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Jonathan Merritt: Hobby Lobby is Not a Christian Company

Jonathan Merritt: Hobby Lobby is Not a Christian Company

Religion News Service columnist Jonathan Merritt is making a splash amongst conservative Christians with his claim that Hobby Lobby is not a Christian company. The writer argued on The Week that Hobby Lobby cannot call itself a Christian company when its “Made in China” products exploit Chinese workers.

“The Bible is replete with calls for economic justice. Can you call yourself a "Christian business" when you leverage your profits to support an economic system that blatantly perpetuates injustice?” Merritt wrote. He explains the extremely low wages that Chinese factory workers receive and the 70,000 employees that die each year in workplace accidents.

Merritt also went into the issues of Chinese abortion and women’s suicide. According to his statistics, 13 million abortions are performed each year in order to adhere to China’s one-child law. Also, 56 percent of the world’s female suicides come from China, Merritt reports. 

But “the most glaring inconsistency between Hobby Lobby's ethical proclamations and its business decisions concerns the matter of religious liberty,” Merritt wrote. “The craft store chain is hailed by conservatives as standing up to Uncle Sam and fighting for religious freedom. Yet Hobby Lobby imports billions of dollars worth of bric-a-brac from a nation that denies 1.35 billion citizens freedom of worship.”

He concluded, “Every time you buy a decorative platter from Hobby Lobby with a Bible verse stamped across it, you have funded the company's fight against the HHS contraception mandate. But you're also sending a chunk of change to a country that forces people to abort their children, flouts basic standards of workplace dignity, and denies more than a billion people the right to worship.”

Publication date: June 19 , 2014