The New York Times magazine recently published an Ethicist article about shopping at Hobby Lobby for those that are pro-choice. Or, I would argue, those that understand science and know that no method of abortion was ever on the table and that reproductive health care should be included in all health care packages. But, I digress. The question is, if you disagree with the Supreme Court’s decision on the case and you disagree with Hobby Lobby, is it okay to shop there?
In response, I have to ask, does it matter? I’m sure there are loads of people that have boycotted Hobby Lobby in the last few months. But when I google Hobby Lobby news, I get a string of articles about Hobby Lobby openings all across the country. I think if you’re boycotting them, they don’t care. Because there are enough people who aren’t bothering, and business is doing fine. Chick-Fil-A also seems to be doing well, in case you were wondering.
That’s not to say that you should shop at Hobby Lobby or eat at Chick-Fil-A if it is going to keep you up at night. By all means, head to Michael’s and KFC instead. Better yet, go to a local craft store or chicken themed restaurant. (Lest you think I don’t know conservatives also waste their time with boycotts, you might also feel like you need to use ask.com because Google donates to UNICEF, or maybe you get all your coffee from a local shop because Starbucks supports marriage equality.) When I say it doesn’t matter, what I mean is that it is not effective activism. It is not making a difference. Professional campaigns against brands can be effective, but grassroots efforts to boycott companies rarely change anything. You can make a difference, though, if you donated and volunteered at organizations like Planned Parenthood and PFLAG. Please keep that in mind.