The logic of accusing Hobby Lobby of hypocrisy

July 2, 2014

In the wake of Monday’s Hobby Lobby ruling, a few Facebook friends yesterday linked approvingly to this progressive Christian response in the Huffington Post. One of them commented on the article, saying, “If you believe in something, it’s important to be consistent!”

The gist of the HuffPost article is the following: Because of their Christian convictions, the owners of Hobby Lobby refused to subsidize four of twenty “contraceptive” drugs mandated by the Affordable Care Act because they believe that these four induce abortions. At the same time, however, Hobby Lobby purchases many of its products from China. China’s one-child-per-family policy has compelled or forced Chinese women to have hundreds of millions of abortions over the past several decades.

If Hobby Lobby were so concerned about abortion, why do they buy products from China?

Therefore, the author says, Hobby Lobby is being hypocritical, and a few of my Facebook friends agree: “If you believe in something, it’s important to be consistent.”

But let’s think about the logic of this argument: Are there any Christians among us who don’t think that China’s policy, which enforces or compels abortions, is wrong? Since U.S. companies outsource most of their manufacturing to China, however, all of us knowingly purchase products from China often (to put it mildly). The laptop on which I’m typing this, for example, was assembled there.

Am I wrong, therefore, to believe that China’s policy is immoral, since I’m being exactly as inconsistent, on an individual level, as Hobby Lobby is on a corporate level?

Please note: I’m not passing judgment on whether purchasing goods from China has any bearing on its abortion policies; I’m just following the logic.

Regardless, as is always the case in debates like this, Hobby Lobby’s alleged hypocrisy can’t prove that its convictions are wrong.

5 Responses to “The logic of accusing Hobby Lobby of hypocrisy”

  1. Tom Harkins Says:

    Excellent! And we are not to be taken “out of the world.” We everyday deal with “sinners.” But we are not supposed to be “of the world.” We don’t do the things we have convictions against ourselves.

  2. Joe Says:

    Most folks nowadays (including the great majority of those reacting negatively to the SCOTUS decision) allow one or two favored blogs to do the mental heavy lifting for them.

    I’ve read almost no negative reaction that offered a) a non-HuffPo or Sojourners take, or b) evidence of having actually read Alito’s text of the decision.

  3. bthomas Says:

    So Hobby Lobby is castigated for taking a principled faith based stand for what is right in a world where the social and political left prefer the shadows of grey. What else is new? The SC is to be applauded. Added to it’s other defeats this is now the 21st time that the SC has unanimously acted to stop the current administration from abusing executive authority as it seeks to act beyond and in disregard of the COTUS to advance it’s illegitimate left-wing social/political agenda.

    • brentwhite Says:

      Thanks, bthomas. I’m guessing you mean “unilaterally acted,” since the court decision was a 5-4 split. I agree that Hobby Lobby took a principled faith-based stand, and there’s nothing at all wrong with it!


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