Joplin Businessman Is Happy With Hobby Lobby Decision, Are You?

A Joplin businessman said the following about the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision, as reported by KODE and KSN TV:

JOPLIN, MO.— “I just don’t like the government telling me what to do,” said David Starrett, The Medicine Shoppe Owner.

That’s the stance Hobby Lobby owners have taken. Today, the Supreme Court ruled five to four in favor of Hobby Lobby stores. This means the company doesn’t have to provide contraception coverage under Obamacare. 

“This family says, stood up and said ‘Hey, we’re not going to take this. We have reasons why we’re making our decisions, and we don’t want the government.’ You know, I thought it was a victory for them, American liberty,” said Starrett.  […]

“Religious liberty, I’m happy to see it too because again, I don’t think the government needs to be involved in telling a person what they can or can’t believe, or have strong feelings about it,” said Starrett. 

medicine shoppeIt happens that I used to use Starrett’s pharmacy. That changed sometime back, as I am sensitive to what business owners have on their for-public-viewing televisions during business hours. It tells me something. Thus, when I went to Starrett’s Medicine Shoppe and was forced to endure Glenn Beck’s program while I waited—he was still on Fox at the time—I vowed to change pharmacies, which I did sometime later.

And after I saw Starrett’s appearance on KODE TV on Monday night, I was compelled to find a way to express to the giddy pharmacist how I felt. Even though it appears that the “Guestbook” page on his website isn’t working, just in case I sent the following message to David Starrett, who, along with his wife, owns Joplin’s Medicine Shoppe:

David,

I saw you on local TV tonight praising the Supreme Court’s decision in the Hobby Lobby case. Thanks for confirming my decision to drop you as my family’s pharmacist several years ago. I had a feeling, after walking into your business on 20th street one day and seeing Fox “News” on your TV, that you didn’t really care if you served people like me. Turned out I was right. I will tell every non-right-wing person I know that your Medicine Shoppe is not worthy of their business.

R. Duane Graham

28 Comments

  1. I will tell all those that I know the same–do not use this pharmacy.

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  2. genegarman

     /  July 1, 2014

    In the Hobby Lobby decision the Supreme Court, in direct violation of the First Amendment, established religion by law.

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    • That statute they used can be modified by Congress, but don’t hold your breath.

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      • genegarman

         /  July 2, 2014

        Echos from the Dark Ages! Which part of “make no law respecting an establishment of religion” is unclear? If I am correct, there are three Jews and six Roman Catholics on the U.S. Supreme Court. How does that happen? Regardless, the Hobby Lobby decision was made, not surprisingly, by five Roman Catholic men. The one Roman Catholic woman Justice voted against the Catholic men. James Madison wrote, “Strongly guarded as is the separation between Religion and Government in the Constitution of the United States, the danger of encroachment by Ecclesiastical Bodies may be illustrated by precedents already furnished in their short history,” c. 1817, William & Mary Quarterly 3:555.

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  3. I have read that the majority opinion notes that only “closely held” corporations are affected, even though that includes most companies in the U.S. The righteous five took pains to say that the decision doesn’t mean that employers can suddenly declare that they have religious objections to vaccines, blood transfusions or even paying taxes. By doing so they recognized that the Hobby Lobby decision is just such a precedent and that such cases, based on the same strange reasoning, are inevitable. It all stems from thinking organizations are people. That’s doublethink stuff to me.

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    • It’s one thing, I suppose, to think that corporations an execute contracts like people do. It’s another to think they can have religious “convictions” and theological “beliefs.” Wow.

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      • It’s one thing, I suppose, to think that corporations an execute contracts like people do. It’s another to think they can have religious “convictions” and theological “beliefs.” Wow.

        Another thing occurred to me as I was reading about Hobby Lobby and their support of the disgraced Gothard, Duane. The statement was made that HL boasts that ” . . . it devotes half of its pretax earnings to Christian ministries.” That being true, I must assume that this wildly successful business has not only leveraged the labor of the world’s poor, not to mention child labor, in making piles of money, but that it has avoided paying any significant taxes in the process, charitable donations being deductible. Just think about the impact that would have if all corporations decided to follow that model.

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  4. Troy

     /  July 1, 2014

    I’m with you on that brother! Do spread the word!

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  5. Anonymous

     /  July 1, 2014

    Might try looking at the facts. Hobby Lobby has always provided preventative contraception. They only have issue with the “morning after” options and these are the only ones that will be overturned by the courts decision.

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    • And you might try looking at the blockquote. It wasn’t my writing that got that fact wrong. You might call the TV station and ask them to correct it.

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  6. Hugh Shields

     /  July 1, 2014

    Where does most of the stuff in a Hobby Lobby store come from? What is that country’s policy re birth control? Re abortion? re women’s rights? Is there a contradiction here between what this corporation says and what it does?

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    • Excellent, Hugh. And don’t forget about the persecution of Christians in China. I wonder how that fits in with the Green’s biblical principles?

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  7. You might try getting some facts prior to making false statements. Hobby Lobby has always and still will provide preventative birth control. They only object to the “morning after” options. How do you get that they aren’t required to provide birth control from that?

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    • I know exactly what you are saying. Problem is that I didn’t write the story for the local TV station. They got that fact wrong. But I didn’t feel free to change what they wrote and that wasn’t the point of this piece anyway.

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    • Oh, and you might try noticing what is set out in blockquotes before you accuse me of making false statements.

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    • Hobby Lobby objected to four kinds of contraceptives. They said they believe these contraceptives induce abortion, but they do not. According to their religious beliefs the four contraceptive methods at issue are abortifacients. Just because someone believes it causes abortion doesn’t make that true. These are contraceptives that prevent pregnancy. Prevent pregnancy. You know what people do when they fail to prevent pregnancy? They get abortions.

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      • Great points, all, Helen. And the Supreme Court expressly honored what they should have known were critically errant beliefs. Or, since all five of the majority are Catholics, maybe they believe the falsehoods themselves. Who knows.

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  8. When I heard this decision, my first response was disbelief and intense anger. And wondering, what about business owners who don’t believe in blood transfusions, or vaccinations? But my anger soon devolved into just a deep sadness. I feel so deeply sad about what I see happening to this country.

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    • Dawn,

      Thanks so much for the link. That last bit was fantastic:

      If religious folks try to withdraw too much from practices of ordinary society—if they push too hard for the right not to participate—it will backfire. It sends a bad message about their inclusivity and their willingness to engage with society.

      I have always thought that so closely identifying with one political party would injure the evangelical church much more than any amount of religious skepticism from non-believers. It diminishes the strength of the message to have it mixed up with partisan politics, especially a brand of partisan politics that seems so, well, un-Christ-like. But that hasn’t stopped my former friends on the evangelical right. The Hobby Lobby case’s proponents, and the people who are cheering the decision, seem to be oblivious to the damage these things are doing to what they claim to be their first priority: the message of Christ.

      By the way, your blog post was excellent. I really liked the way your daughter’s classmate framed the issue for Americans who are hyper-critical of other societies, especially when it comes to “the systemic and institutionalized nature of gender inequality.” While I think the U.S. can be proud of our achievements in addressing that gender inequality, we have some ways to go, as the Hobby Lobby case makes clear.

      Finally, the end of your post made me think that someday, before the Court, a case could come that features an objection to the use of Viagra, based on religious grounds (especially the way it is used by healthy men). It’s not that far-fetched. I just wonder what the reaction of those five old-timers on the Court would be to that?

      Duane

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  9. Hobby Lobby object to four kinds of contraceptives. All four of the contraceptive methods Hobby Lobby objects to—Plan B, Ella, and two intrauterine devices—do not prevent the implantation of a fertilized egg into the uterus, which the owners of Hobby Lobby consider abortion. Instead, these methods prevent fertilization.

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    • Every doctor I have seen talk about this, everything I have read from the professional organizations who deal with this stuff, completely backs you up. No question about it, my friend.

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  10. ansonburlingame

     /  July 1, 2014

    Duane,

    You of course have every right in the world not to do business with people that offend you or your political or religious beliefs. That is by far the correct approach to take to demonstrate your animous towards that businessman.

    As well you have every right to blog about your decision and why that businessman offended you by choosing an objectional (to you) TV station, etc. As well your quote of what the man said on public TV seems appropriate as well.

    In other words you made your , points by not doing business with…. and writing a rather mild blog on the man without calling him a ………, etc.

    Having said all of that, well, good blog in my view.

    Anson

    PS: I am sure however that when we get into the details of the politics of this issue, the new approach to law I will find some things to argue about with you. As for the science of a bunch of pills (what exactly the “do” or how they “do it”), well forget it. I am not going to get out my old biology books to figure that one out!!!

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    • The science of what the “pills” and the IUD do is clear. The Green’s are mistaken in their beliefs, even though that did not matter to the Court’s majority. By the Green’s standards, God would be the biggest abortionist in the history of the planet.

      In any case, I know that in this town I can’t stop doing business with everyone who holds different political views than I hold. That would be impossible. And sometimes it would be undesirable (some doctors, for instance, are very good at what they do despite their politics). But the main reason I stopped doing business with the Medicine Shoppe was not because the Starrett’s hold right-wing views privately, but because they chose to advertise them publicly by forcing me to pay attention to Fox “News” while I was waiting on my prescription. I saw that as a message they were sending, especially at the time it happened. After I saw him on TV, I checked Mr. Starrett’s Facebook page and saw some disturbing things on there. All of which confirmed my initial suspicions.

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  1. On the Supreme Court, Hobby Lobby, and Women’s Rights | Beyond Lipstick and Petticoats
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