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Oct 01 2013

“You people”

You can hardly blame Hobby Lobby for refusing to serve Christ-killers on Christmas, now can you?

Beginning your shopping list for Hanukkah gifts and decorations? If so, make sure to avoid Hobby Lobby, a swiftly growing U.S. crafts store with 561 stores, which sells zero Hanukkah merchandise, and hires Jewish intolerant employees.

On September 27th, Ken Berwitz took to his blog to explain what happened when a friend of his entered Hobby Lobby seeking Hanukkah goods. To the customer’s surprise, a sales associate callously replied, “We don’t cater to you people.”

Understandably, Mr. Berwitz had to hear this supposed truth for himself, and quickly made a call to Corporate to ask why Hobby Lobby didn’t put Hanukkah goods on their item list this year.

The response: ”Because Mr. Green is the owner of the company, he’s a Christian, and those are his values.”

My values involve never setting foot inside a Hobby Lobby store.

76 comments

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  1. 1
    Pteryxx

    from the cited post:

    Hobby Lobby is reportedly responding to questions on their Facebook page about new store openings and discounts but are swiftly deleting and ignoring Facebook comments inquiring about Hanukkah merchandise.

    One has to wonder if this is the first year Hobby Lobby has decided to neglect Hanukkah merchandise, and if the aloof company has ever sold Jewish holiday products in general. So far, I’ve found none on their website.

    Separately, Hobby Lobby has been in the news for challenging the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that the company provide birth control coverage to its employees.

    Small business, conscience clauses, of course that had nothing to do with either religion or bigotry. Uh huh.

  2. 2
    Inaji

    My values involve never setting foot inside a Hobby Lobby store.

    I dearly wish I could say the same. I do not like what Hobby Lobby stands for in the least, and haven’t, for a long time. They are, however, the only source of basic art supplies where I am. The last independent art supply store closed ages ago, and the Ben Franklin chain closed ages ago as well. I order much of my stuff online, but that’s hardly helpful when I need something right away. Fuck.

  3. 3
    raven

    Oh gee.

    I bet they don’t sell much in the way of Pagan celebration goods either.

    I’m devastated. The winter Solstice is coming up in just a few months. That holiday seems to get started earlier every year.

    Oh well, I’m sure they have something for Halloween. Or do they? I don’t actually care enough to find out though.

    I’ve never set foot in a Hobby Lobby store and never will.

  4. 4
    Eamon Knight

    Fortunately, they don’t seem to have a presence in Canada, or sell model railroading supplies (and the firm that sells RC equipment seems to be a different company).

    Well, that was an easy boycott.

  5. 5
    raven

    Ill let people with stronger stomachs find out what they carry in the way of goods for Moslem, atheist, Hindu, Buddhist, Aztec, and Mayan holidays.

    Hmmm, what are the atheist holidays anyway. The anniversay of putting Socrates to death for denying the gods? Giordana Bruno’s burning at the stake for Heliocentrism? The death of Jerry Falwell? There must be a lot of them by now.

  6. 6
    smrnda

    Wow, it’s one thing to just not happen to sell Hanukkah merchandise, quite another to do this. “We don’t cater to *YOU PEOPLE*?” Geez, why not just put a ‘no Jews, Pagans, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, atheists, etc.” on the door and save everybody the time wasted going into the store?

    All said, I’ve never been there (we have better art stores and I don’t want to finance bigotry and ignorance if I can avoid it) but I’m inclined to make a trip out to the nearest Hobby Lobby and try this experiment for myself. Maybe I can get a string of non-Xtians asking about non-Xtian holiday merchandise.

  7. 7
    shockna

    Didn’t they also opt to pay huge fines rather than permit their female employees to get any kind of reproductive healthcare?

    Hobby Lobby seems like an out and out poisonous company these days.

  8. 8
    David Wilford

    I hope a sincere apology is made in this case, given the insensitivity of the employee, and it should be made by Mr. Green himself, in person.

  9. 9
    schweinhundt

    Apparently, Raven, those apostate preverts at Hobby Lobby do supply neo-pagan s (i.e. Satanists) via the interwebs (another tool of the Devil): http://shop.hobbylobby.com/tabs/halloween/

  10. 10
    Eric

    That’s why if you have a Michaels nearby, I’d suggest you patronize them for your arts & crafts needs. Right away on their homepage are Hallowe’en decorations and under the heading “Categories>Seasons&Celebrations>Projects”, you’ll find Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and a host of other seasonal merchandise. Not sure of their company politics, but they’re clearly marketing to everyone.

    Screw Hobby Lobby.

  11. 11
    steve84

    No surprise. They also hate women and gays.

  12. 12
    Eamon Knight

    Oh, I bet they sell lots of stuff for the pagan solstice festival of Jul — decorations for the ceremonial tree, wreathes made of the branches of same, holly (real or plastic), etc.

    Geez — it’s one thing to not carry a particular line of products. No one’s obliged to, if they choose to specialize. But “Don’t cater to you people”? And “Those are his values”?

  13. 13
    Reginald Selkirk

    Hobby Lobby donations & ministry page
    When you make a purchase at Hobby Lobby, part of the money goes to Oral Roberts University.

  14. 14
    Dutchgirl

    And I was already angry/ranty this morning. I don’t have to shop at a Hobby Lobby, but I sympathize with Caine’s plight of it being the only game in town. I expect a non-pology at best, and deeper digging in with pronouncements of Christian persecution more likely. Because my vocal mockery and non-patronage of a chain store is totally oppressive persecution, no?

  15. 15
    Alverant

    Caine, have you thought about mail order? You could probably find most art supplies online. Granted you have to wait but at least you won’t have to go to HL unless you need something right away.

  16. 16
    markd555

    Sorry, can’t support this boycott.
    I’m still boycotting them from the anti-birthcontrol stance.

    Unless I am allowed to double boycott?

  17. 17
    Dutchgirl

    markd555, sure and make it a triple for their stupid War on Christmas crap.

  18. 18
    Pteryxx

    Did a quick search for earlier reports of Hobby Lobby and Hannukah supplies:

    Comments from a discussion in April/May 2012: source

    First, my response was meant to be a little tongue in cheek. In no way was I implying that “all Christians are intolerantassholes” and I apologize if that’s how you read it. I’m glad your impression of HL is that the employees are open to be who they are- that is not the case in my area. Also, as I work for a Jewish organization, I’ve never ever seen anything I could use for Hanukkah in my HL.

    I live in a very conservative Christian area and I know we’ve had Chanukah stuff in our HL store. I wasn’t really aware of the fact there was controversy over their policies.

    Article comments in June 2010: source

    I’m nowhere near Christian, and constantly frustrated by Hobby Lobby’s lack of Hanukkah or Passover supplies, but I like this. The history of the bible is an interesting thing and its always good for people to open their private collections to the public.

    A report of a manager making similar statements in 2010: source

    This might have only been one store manager, but it was a store manager with the nerve to look another person in the eye and exclaim “We are a Christian store. We only celebrate Christmas.” That’s obnoxious, but it’s not a corporation being obnoxious, it’s a manager with a flawed sense of customer service.

    So… this isn’t an isolated instance, and it may or may not indicate a (formal or informal) organizational policy, which HL may or may not be moving to actively cover up (removing comments on their FB isn’t a good sign). I hope Hobby Lobby customers and employees get busy asking their local stores about how they treat non-Christians.

  19. 19
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    David Wilford @8:
    An apology?
    Hold on a second, I am going to start holding my breath. Right…now…

    Seriously, this is a company that is anti-women and anti-queer. To the best of my knowledge they have not apologized for those positions. On the contrary, they appear quite proud to discriminate. A true apology would be an admission that they were in the wrong.

    At best, I think a Barilla-style notpology is what they will issue.

  20. 20
    Pierce R. Butler

    The War on Hanukkah starts earlier every year!

  21. 21
    colnago80

    Re raven @ #5

    How about celebrating Isaac Newton’s birthday on December 25?

  22. 22
    holytape

    Well, it’s understandable. They simply don’t have room to store Hanukkah stuff. After all they sell 182 styles of crosses.

  23. 23
    colnago80

    On September 27th, Ken Berwitz took to his blog to explain what happened when a friend of his entered Hobby Lobby seeking Hanukkah goods. To the customer’s surprise, a sales associate callously replied, “We don’t cater to you people.”

    The correct response to this type of rubbish was made by composer George M. Cohan. He was once told by the clerk at a hotel where he was trying to register that it only catered to Christian clientele. His response was, “I am not a Jew and you are not a Christian.”

  24. 24
    Vicki, duly vaccinated tool of the feminist conspiracy

    The version of the Cohan story I heard was he wrote to a hotel for a reservation, got that “we don’t accept Jews,” and wrote back “You thought I was Jewish and I thought you were gentlemen. Obviously, we were both mistaken.”

    I’m not going to cut them the slack of “if he discriminates like that he obviously isn’t a real Christian,” not after so many centuries of churches encouraging and practicing discrimination against non-members.

  25. 25
    Inaji

    Alverant @ 15, I suggest you read my comment, again. Carefully this time.

  26. 26
    xaurreaux

    Well shit, if I had known they were going to be such big babies I wouldn’t have killed their god! Fuck ‘em if they can’t take a joke!

  27. 27
    Eamon Knight

    @24: I’m not going to cut them the slack of “if he discriminates like that he obviously isn’t a real Christian,”

    Oh hell, discrimination and antisemitism (frequently murderous) were practically sacraments from early days until well into the last century. It was really only after the Shoah came to light that Christianity was (mostly) shamed out of it, in a “Shit, we never meant it to go that far” kind of way. Modern liberal churches are Jew-friendly because they’re everyone-friendly, and the evangelicals (most of them) have a kind of “Well, they worship the same God, right? Now if we can just quote the right bits of the Old Testament to them and convince them that Jesus was their Messiah, it’ll all be good” attitude (which sucks in its own way, and is infested with massive ignorance of what modern Judaism is all about, but nonetheless represents an improvement over past centuries’ attitudes).

  28. 28
    David Wilford

    @ 19:

    If the perception that the Hobby Lobby as a matter of company policy doesn’t believe they should care about the needs of religious minorities, it’s pretty bad PR, in particular with respect to Judaism. You might as well put up a sign on the front door that says “We cater to Christian trade only” if this matter isn’t immediately dealt with sincerely and with humility.

  29. 29
    Rey Fox

    Sadly, much like Chick-Fila*, Hobby Lobby has carved out a niche as the god-thumping scrapbook store of good Christians. Between them and the rest of the customer base that either a) isn’t aware or b) just doesn’t care, HL should do pretty well for themselves.

    * Which I boycott** not only by not patronizing, but by refusing to spell their name correctly
    ** Supposedly, Chickie-Fillie also has the business advantage of making really good chicken sandwiches. I went there once, and they’re good, but not earth-shakingly so.

  30. 30
    Doug Hudson

    This is just bizarre–why wouldn’t Christians want to sell to Jews? I mean, sure, anti-semitism and all that, but it’s not like Christianity forbids Christians from doing business with Jews. Hell, Jews provided vital monetary services to Christians for almost a millennium (because they weren’t allowed to do anything else).

    I know it’s silly to expect bigots to be consistent, but it still amazes me how easily they can contradict their own twisted beliefs!

  31. 31
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    David Wilford @28:
    I failed to express myself properly in my last comment.
    Hobby Lobby discriminates against queers. They have not apologized.
    Through the companies refusal to offer contraceptive coverage to its employees, the company demonstrates a lack of support for womens rights. This too has not received an apology.

    In light of those two ongoing discriminatory actions, as well as the companies failure to acknowledge their bigotry, I do not believe an apology is forthcoming.

  32. 32
    Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls

    I do not believe an apology is forthcoming.

    And anybody who does is on some serious hallucinogens….

  33. 33
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    @Caine, have you considered shoplifting?

    (Only about 80% kidding.)

  34. 34
    Pteryxx

    Apologize, not likely. They’re Currently Evaluating.

    http://princeton.patch.com/groups/business-news/p/hobby-lobby-considering-jewish-holiday-decorations-on-shelves-princeton

    In a brief email to Patch, Hobby Lobby representative Vincent Parker said, “We currently do not carry any Hanukah items in our store. Our customers have brought this to our attention and we are currently evaluating our Holiday items and what we will carry in the future.”

    [...]

    The blog post was also picked up by NJ 101.5 host Ray Rossi. A small majority of listeners voted they would not patronize stores such as Hobby Lobby, Barilla Pasta, or Chick-fil-A when their chairman’s values are made public, if the views do not reflect their own.

    In his own blog post, Rabbi Don Weber of Temple Rodeph Torah said, The same freedom that allows Hobby Lobby to ignore Jewish interests also allows us to ignore Hobby Lobby. OUR freedom includes the right to vote with our feet, and with our money.”

    “if the views do not reflect their own” ? Um, NO. More like “stop discriminating against those people, that isn’t cool”.

  35. 35
    Inaji

    Alethea:

    @Caine, have you considered shoplifting?

    :snort: If I had a way of doing it and not getting caught…

  36. 36
    theignored

    Understandably, Mr. Berwitz had to hear this supposed truth for himself, and quickly made a call to Corporate to ask why Hobby Lobby didn’t put Hanukkah goods on their item list this year.

    The response: ”Because Mr. Green is the owner of the company, he’s a Christian, and those are his values.”

    And don’t forget: It’s “evolutionists” who are responsible for anti-semitism. Fucktards.

  37. 37
    Acolyte of Sagan

    Hang on, don’t these eejits know that Christ was not a Christian and didn’t celebrate Christmas, or Easter, or any other Christian festival? He was just a Jewish boy with an ego problem; he observed the Jewish rituals whilst indulging in a little self-promotion (or some such bafflegab).

  38. 38
    ck

    theignored wrote:

    Fucktards.

    I agree with the sentiment behind this, but it’s probably best to avoid variations of the ‘tard insult.

  39. 39
    cicely

    My niece-by-marriage works in the Hobby Lobby home offices in OKC.
    It’s not just individual members of management in isolated stores; it’s assholes all the way up.
    And they don’t apologize for it.
     
    It’s OKC. They don’t have to apologize. That’s fundy country.
    -
    Doug Hudson

    This is just bizarre–why wouldn’t Christians want to sell to Jews?

    You’re mistaken—they will happily take Jews’ money; they just refuse to stock anything directly connected to Jewish (or other non-Christian) holidays.
    -
    My problem with ordering everything off the ‘net is that I have a poor time with visualizing sizes. Even when I have a ruler or yardstick in front of me, a picture of 5mm beads just doesn’t connect; I have to see ‘em in real life.
     
    These days, I try Michael’s or JoAnns Fabric first…but there are so many things they don’t carry.
    -

  40. 40
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    Doug Hudson @30

    Jews provided vital monetary services to Christians for almost a millennium (because they weren’t allowed to do anything else).

    Well, also because Christians weren’t permitted to “breed money” (i.e. loan money & charge interest)–that was considered immoral. Therefore, only infidels could do it. Rather amusing (in an unfunny kind of way) that such a core element of the capitalism prized by right wing Christians today was basically seen as an abhorrent practice by Christians for centuries.

  41. 41
    anteprepro

    These brave warriors are fighting to keep the “Christ” in “Christ, what an asshole”.

  42. 42
    JJ831

    @Cain #2
    While I understand, the best thing to do is try and get you supplies before you need them, so that you rely on them as little as possible. Granted, I assume you do as much. But if you have the cash flow, keep a bigger inventory. I’ve done the same, being in a similar (albeit quite different) situation.

  43. 43
    JJ831

    @Eamon #4

    and the firm that sells RC equipment seems to be a different company

    Is that Hobby Shack you are thinking of? That’s the RC/Rocket/Fun Stuff chain I first thought of when I read this.

  44. 44
    Inaji

    JJ831:

    While I understand, the best thing to do

    Yeah, ya know, as someone who has made a living as an artist for over 30 years, I already fucking know the best thing to do, thanks. That said, I do not own a fucking art supply store, and there will be times, fairly often, that I need something right now, and do not have time to order online, or wait for it, or want to pay the fucking shipping charges on two paintbrushes.

    I realize it’s almost irresistible to give advice on the ‘net, but unless someone looking to give me advice is actually going to open an art supply store in the Bismarck area of ND, I’d prefer to do without the advice.

  45. 45
    Moggie

    Caine @35:

    :snort: If I had a way of doing it and not getting caught…

    You know how good rats are at stealing things…

  46. 46
    csrster

    This guy Green has a real goyische kopf!

  47. 47
    Eamon Knight

    JJ831@43: Google is my friend. And, potentially, yours. Just sayin’

  48. 48
    JJ831

    @44 Cain
    Sheesh. Ok, how am I supposed to know that? Don’t like my advice, then don’t take it and keep giving your money to bigots.

    You notice I put in there “Granted, I assume you do as much”, I’m just trying to join a conversation, and you blow shit out.

  49. 49
    JJ831

    Eamon@47
    I grew up with a Hobby Shack right down the road. I would have spent ever dime of my parents there if they had let me

  50. 50
    JJ831

    as someone who has made a living as an artist for over 30 years, I already fucking know the best thing to do, thanks

    Actually, I’d argue after 30 freaking years you should have your sourcing of materials down as well as inventory flow. It shouldn’t take 30 years to build an inventory of needed materials. On-offs, I understand, but do you take on projects without thinking about what materials are needed?

    I think that gives you LESS of an excuse, not more.

  51. 51
    JJ831

    *one-offs*

  52. 52
    Eamon Knight

    @50: Fuck, but you’re just full of good advice and mind-readin’ aren’t you?

  53. 53
    chigau (違う)

    JJ831
    “just trying to join a conversation” doesn’t usually involve condescension.
    And you should stop digging.

  54. 54
    Ingdigo Jump

    Hobby Lobby seems to be trying to expand into the northern East Coast and from my observation is hitting three big obstacles.

    1) the EC is a lot less godly than the south.
    2) Michaels and AC Moore already are ubiquitous so shit like not being open on Sunday doesn’t fly when you’re not the only game in time
    3) Newly added: there are large Jewish populations, and see 2)

    The one that just opened by me apparently realized two and is open on Sundays now

  55. 55
    Inaji

    Moggie:

    You know how good rats are at stealing things…

    :Envisions unleashing 20 rats into Hobby Lobby, with instructions to steal a 40 x 60 canvas:

  56. 56
    Ingdigo Jump

    @Caine

    At this point just make a costume and became The Pack Rat. Costumed menace to art stores

  57. 57
    Moggie

    Dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun PACK RAAAT!

  58. 58
    Ingdigo Jump

    OOOOH WAIT OR “FANCY RAT” and dress up as a Victorian Lady with her army of trained hobby rats!

  59. 59
    Moggie

    Victorian Steampunk Lady!

  60. 60
    Inaji

    Damn, Ing & Moggie, you make that sound so very enticing…

  61. 61
    ledasmom

    No, wait – the Hooded Rat! The costume practically designs itself!

  62. 62
    David Wilford

    My wife’s been an artist for over 35 years and she still sometimes finds herself needing something NOW. Thankfully I can usually make a run for her to Dick Blick or TC Moulding at the last minute. Unless it’s past 10pm and the only alternative is Wal-Mart.

  63. 63
    Ingdigo Jump

    @Caine

    DO IT! I need new recruits for my Atheist Secular Legion of Doom.

  64. 64
    Inaji

    David Wilford:

    Thankfully I can usually make a run for her to Dick Blick

    Man, it would be seriously nice to have a Dick Blick local. Really, really nice.

  65. 65
    JJ831

    @Chiagu, Eamon and Cain (and anyone)
    I wasn’t trying to sound superior in any way, but I apologize I have obviously given “advice” where it wasn’t warranted or needed. I should be more thoughtful when posting, and probably just not post.

    I also have no idea what your art entails, Cain, so I should not comment on where and how you get your materials.

    Sorry, I’ll put my shovel down now and go back to lurking. Next time I chime in, I’ll make sure I have something useful to say.

  66. 66
    Inaji

    Ing:

    I need new recruits for my Atheist Secular Legion of Doom.

    You can always count on the Mischief of Rats and myself.

  67. 67
    twincats

    I have worked for Jo-Ann and they are VERY inclusive, not least in their hiring practices. In a very RWA and christ-soaked area of SoCal, I have worked with Pagan, Jewish, Gay, Lesbian, old, and fat people in two different stores; we were all treated the same. They also do a good job of accommodating folks with physical limitations, the unfortunate story about the cancer patient notwithstanding.

    I do have to say that I have noticed a trend lately at J/A toward stocking more christian-centered stuff, but I guess you go where the $$ are. But they DO have Hannukah merchandise.

    Jo-Ann also has a very liberal coupon policy; you can use one each of each J/A coupon source currently available (snail-mail ad, newspaper ad, phone app, web page, etc.) plus one each of Michaels, Hobby Lobby, and AC Moore.

    I have only been in the Hobby Lobby (that opened year before last) twice and only ever bought one ball of yarn. That was before I knew about their god-bothering ways. I always have to laugh when earnest folks try to tell me how HL is going to close because of Obama Care.

    We also have a Michaels right down the same road as HL. I don’t go there much more than twice a year since they only take one coupon per transaction.

  68. 68
    chigau (違う)

    JJ831 #65
    Thank you very much for that.
    When you comment again, if you copy/paste ‘nyms, the spelling is preserved.

  69. 69
    Inaji

    JJ831:

    I also have no idea what your art entails, Cain, so I should not comment on where and how you get your materials.

    It’s Caine. Thank you, JJ831. Everyone makes mistakes, don’t worry about it. I am sorry if I got snippy, I’m in a shit situation where supplies are concerned, and I really do hate having to patronize HL for even the smallest thing, but sometimes, I simply have no choice. It’s just not feasible for me to have every single type of supply in the house. (I wish, but then I would have a store!)

    The Jo-Ann’s in Bismarck has started stocking some art supplies, but they are very limited. It’s been ages since I’ve been in a for real art supply store, and I miss them more than I can say. Online, I split my business between Daniel Smith and Dick Blick. It’s never the same as being in the midst of all the goods, though. It’s hard to explain, but there’s a whole lot missing when ordering supplies online. Even when I know exactly what I want, I miss seeing, touching, the smell.

  70. 70
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    I’m now imagining the rats as little Nac Mac Feegles, picking up a canvas like they would a sheep…

  71. 71
    Tony! The Fucking Queer Shoop!

    JJ831 @65:
    Thank you.
    More often than not, commenters dig and dig and dig or offer notpologies. I find it refreshing and commendable that you stopped digging and offered apologies.

  72. 72
    ledasmom

    Rats with balls of yarn stacked on their tails. Rats with beads on their whiskers. Chains of rats passing bottles of paint out the door. Rats creating diversions by peeing on the registers.
    I envision a Hobby Lobby stripped bare, nothing remaining but a couple of Wilton pans and the distinct aroma of rat pee.

  73. 73
    Inaji

    Alethea:

    I’m now imagining the rats as little Nac Mac Feegles, picking up a canvas like they would a sheep…

    That was the image in my head!

  74. 74
    Bernhard Rosenberg

    •I spent an hour at the Marlboro store trying to help them and spoke to corporate. I do not believe they are anti-Semitic and believe certain people are trying to destroy their reputation. I have suggested sources to obtain channukah items and how to fight the bad press. RABBI DR. BERNHARD ROSENBERG

  75. 75
    Inaji

    Bernhard Rosenberg:

    I spent an hour at the Marlboro store trying to help them and spoke to corporate.

    That’s nice.

    I do not believe they are anti-Semitic and believe certain people are trying to destroy their reputation.

    You are certainly free to hold your own opinion about the matter, however, the words issued by HL stand on their own merit. They are certainly terribly biased on other matters, and there’s plenty of evidence on those biases. As for claiming that “certain people” are out to destroy their reputation, it’s best to put at least a little evidence on the table for such an assertion.

    Also, if you comment again, please lose the all caps, it’s not necessary to shout, and your name is conveniently right there, at the top of your comment, for all to see. Thank you.

  76. 76
    kittehserf

    I’m now imagining the rats as little Nac Mac Feegles, picking up a canvas like they would a sheep…

    Blue rats in kilts!

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