Who knew that buying a spool of ric rac could be a political statement? Just like any other large corporation, though, some large craft store chains wield their money as political speech or use their resources to try to influence policy.
Hobby Lobby recently came under fire for suing for the “right” to deny employee’s coverage for emergency birth control under their health insurance plans. Thanks to some of the recent aspects of Obamacare that have gone into effect, insurance companies are required by law to cover birth control along with other women’s health services like pap smears and mammograms. Hobby Lobby’s owners are saying that covering emergency contraception infringes on their freedoms of speech and religion.
Obamacare’s birth control clause contains an exception for religious organizations – like churches – if birth control conflicts with the organization’s beliefs. They’re also calling the morning after pill an “abortion-causing drug,” which it is not. The morning after pill prevents implantation, just like daily birth control pills do.
Hobby Lobby isn’t the only craft store making large political donations. Do you guys remember BuyBlue.org? Back in 2004, the now-defunct website rated companies based on their political donations on a percentage red or blue scale. A company scoring 100 percent red donated strictly to the Republican party, and one that rated 100 percent blue donated only to Democrats. Buy Blue is no longer around, unfortunately, but I was able to find a commentary on the site that lists some of the 100 percent red and blue companies, including two craft stores:
- Michael’s got a 100 percent red rating.
- JoAnn Fabrics got a 100 percent blue rating.
Of course, this information is from two elections ago, so you’d want to take it with a grain of salt, but it illustrates that when you shop at a big corporation, you’re giving up control of your money to that company’s ownership.
So, what’s an ethical crafter to do? The best way to tell these companies that you want their money out of politics is to stop giving them your money. The answer is: shop small. On the next page, check out some resources for small companies where you can feel good about buying your craft supplies!
Image Credit: Creative Commons photo by daysofthundr46