Saturday, January 5, 2013

Hobby Lobby Day

Today (January 5th) is Hobby Lobby Day. If you don't know, as part of the The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) (commonly called Obamacare), employers have to cover medications that include Ella (also known as the week after pill) and Plan B (better known as the day after pill). These medications violate the values of the family that owns Hobby Lobby. This blog is not meant to be a platform to debate abortion or "Obamacare". While I am personally against abortion and against Obamacare, I think you, my dear reader should also be concerned.

With my full disclosure of my personal beliefs, you may be raising your fist at me. You may feel that abortion is a woman's right, or think Obamacare is good for our country. My reaction:  That's fine, you are entitled to your opinion. Put another way, you are entitled to your values.  Keep in mind that I am entitled to mine in equal measure.

That is the wonderful thing about being an American. We value freedom (or at least I think we did, I'm not so sure anymore). Freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of the press and the freedom to assemble. We believe in those freedoms so much they are the First Amendment to the constitution.  We are granted a lot of other freedoms as well.

Think about something you really really like. Something you are passionate about. I am passionate about antiques. To help illustrate my point, I am going to use antiques as an example. I adore antiques. I hunt for them, I read about them, I have a house full of them and I blog about them. Does my fever for antiques affect you in anyway? Maybe you are into modern things and you only see antiques as rubbish. If that is your feeling, that is fine with me. Why? It leaves more antiques for me (somewhat joking there). Seriously though, what you put in your house and what I decide to furnish mine with really has no affect on the other.  But, let's say the government came along and said, "You must destroy all objects that are older than two years old to help stimulate the economy."  This proclamation doesn't effect you, as the modern person, as you bought all of your furnishings at IKEA last year, so you decide not to care.

Here's the problem:  If this mandate (clearly fictional and meant as an illustrative device) is allowed, there is nothing to stop the government from later mandating that ALL objects are outlawed; they would prefer our houses to be completely free of objects, as to cut down on the hoarding this nation does. Now, the government mandate does effect you, because you love IKEA and your house full of cool Scandinavian-inspired objects.

I understand my example is overly simplistic and possibly far-fetched.  No matter where your values lie, I want you to think about how important having them and being allowed to embrace them is to you.  Even if they aren't being attacked today, that does not guarantee they won't be tomorrow. I think we have become so divided over "issues" in this country, we fail to see the big picture.  What is happening to Hobby Lobby (and other businesses) is not about abortion, Obamacare or Christian values. It's about freedom. The freedom to have values and the freedom to act according to those values. I don't think it's the government's job to tell us (mandate) if our values are right or wrong.

Hobby Lobby has 22,000 employees and 500 locations. If they were truly a tyrannical company, I doubt they could have grown to that size from operating out of a garage. You can't tell me their stand is about money. They are closed on Sundays to allow their employees time with their families and to worship if that is their custom. If it was all about the bottom line, they would be open on Sunday to make the extra bucks.

So, Dear Reader, I will leave you with these questions. Do you value freedom? Do you value it enough to stand behind someone you might not agree with? If so, go to a Hobby Lobby store and buy something. Heck, pick something crafty and enjoy an afternoon of creating. I assure you it is good for the soul. As for me, I will be headed to my local Hobby Lobby.

Now for my next decision...Do I go to Garland or Rockwall?

Until tomorrow

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