It’s sad that the Green family, who are active Christians, have a world view that allows them to be more important than the little people. I can understand trying to manipulate things the way you want them. The problem is not that David Green, and his son, Steve, who is CEO of Hobby-Lobby are Christians, it is the fact that they are among the uber-wealthy, who think they can manipulate because of their wealth. They’re basically nothing but a religious version of the Koch Brothers. You can’t blame them for trying. What you can blame them for is bullying the rest of us into being forced to scrape and bow to them, because of their skewed version of ‘Christian’. David Green has a doctrinal process that churches and religious institutions must pass, in order for him to donate some of his so-called ‘God-Given’ money to. If Rick Warren of the Saddleback Church passed his test, then we know that Green does not believe in women in the ministry. He is involved in patriarchal Christianity, which, in itself, is heretical.
Green created the One Hope Foundation. His son, Martin works with Visual Story Network, where not one woman is part of the leadership group. There are two women on the board of One Hope. They are associated with the ARC churches, which are very cagey as to ordaining women. In fact, it took me awhile to discover that they are indeed, patriarchal. The really fascinating aspect of the ARC network of churches is that they appear to be more about making money, showing a profit, and paying their celeb ministers a heck of a lot of money. Yep – that fits the Hobby-Lobby model – show me the money!
The Green family has done some very good things. You cannot say that David Green does not put his money where his mouth is. He attends what appears to be a very active Baptist church, where, while they are against abortion, they are offering alternatives and appear to be supporting women who need help. There is nothing wrong with this. My problem is with the way he acquires his product – from virtual slave labor in China. There are tales, while he makes a big show promoting how Christian he is, closing on Sundays, the managers of his stores work all day Sunday, calling in employees to assist them.
In many ways, Green’s buying tendencies for his business are quite telling. He thinks he has the right to tell his employees what they can and cannot do with their bodies. Yet, he is doing nothing about allowing his employees access to Viagra. Since Steve Green took over, the company has raised the starting wage to $14/hour. I applaud this. I just don’t get the fact that, because he is so wealthy, Charles Green has the right to think he is better than everyone else.
In many ways, it is about the money. With Green it is always about the almighty dollar and nothing more. I have no doubt that Green is a good man. He claims to run his company based on Christian values and virtues. What I find disturbing is the fact that Green thinks his success is because he dedicated his business to God. I find the success/dedication model to be highly insulting, disturbing, and disingenuous. The reason the man is a success is because he buys cheap Chinese made products that are built on what is little more than slave labor. As Walmart has shown, when you buy cheap and sell at a profit, you make money. As a former, dedicated Hobby-Lobby customer, I can attest to the fact that his products are quite viable. They are also not inexpensive.
I know so darn many business owners who have dedicated their businesses to the Lord. My father did. My sisters has. My writing is dedicated to Christ. Just because a person does this does not indicate they are going to become a billionaire. In so many ways it is the height of arrogance to make the assumptions he has made – that his religious belief is the reason he is a billionaire.
It is tragic. He is telling the world that all a person needs to do is to work hard and dedicate his business to the Lord and they will be a success. I know so darn many good men and women who have worked all their lives, trying to build a business, which was dedicated to Christ. Most of them barely survive.
What Green is preaching is the Prosperity Gospel. There’s nothing wrong with making money. I aspire to it on a daily basis. What is wrong, though is connecting the making of money, the amassing of a vast fortune to his faith to such an extent that he sets himself up as an example of what a godly businessman can achieve. My father worked hard and made a lot of money. So did my grandfather Froehlich. Never, ever did they envision themselves better than those who were not making lots of money, but were Christians.
There is something despicable about it.
There is also something completely disgusting and despicable about a political movement where the worship of those who have wealth succeeds everything else. They assume that, because a person is wealthy, and they say they are Christians, that their wealth has been anointed by God. This makes them better than those who are financial failures in life. There’s just something wrong with that world view.