Hobby Lobby’s secret agenda: How it’s quietly funding a vast right-wing movement
Outside of the Supreme Court case, little has been reported about Hobby Lobby’s political ties. The company is owned privately by the Green family and generates more than $3 billion per year in revenue from its 602 stores. The family proudly promotes its philanthropy to churches, ministries and Christian community centers, dedicating half of the company’s pretax earnings to Christian ministries. In 2007, Hobby Lobby’s founder and CEO, billionaire David Green, pledged $70 million to Oral Roberts University, bailing out the debt-ridden evangelical university. In 2012, Forbes reported, “Hobby Lobby’s cash spigot currently makes [Green] the largest individual donor to evangelical causes in America.”
But until now, its political connections have been obscure.
Hobby Lobby-related entities are some of the biggest sources of funding to the National Christian Charitable Foundation, which backed groups that collaborated in promoting the anti-gay legislation in Arizona – recently vetoed by Gov. Jan Brewer – that critics say would have legalized discrimination against gays and lesbians by businesses.
The path of SB 1062 to the Arizona statehouse was built by two groups, the Center for Arizona Policy and the Alliance Defending Freedom. Center for Arizona Policy employees regularly spoke in favor of the legislation, appearing as the grass-roots face of a bill that the center’s president, Cathi Herrod, characterized as “[making] certain that governmental laws cannot force people to violate their faith unless it has a compelling governmental interest–a balancing of interests that has been in federal law since 1993,” according to a statement on the group’s website. (One hundred and twenty-three Center for Arizona Policy-supported measures have been signed into law; its legislative agenda ranges from requiring intrusive ultrasounds for women seeking abortions to HB 2281, a bill that, if passed by the Arizona Senate, would exempt religious institutions from paying property taxes on leased or rented property.)
For its part, the Alliance Defending Freedom, a national Christian organization based in Arizona, works toward the “spread of the Gospel by transforming the legal system and advocating for religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family,” according to the group’s website. Both groups are heavily funded by the National Christian Charitable Foundation, “the largest Christian grant-making foundation in the world,” as described on the group’s website. And who is the largest funder of National Christian Charitable? That would be a Hobby Lobby executive.
Here’s how it works: At the end of the 2012 tax year, the National Christian Charitable Foundation had more than $1.22 billion in assets under management in donor-advised funds that offer “innovative, tax-smart solutions [to] help you simplify your giving, multiply your impact, and glorify God.” Outgoing grants – totaling $4.3 billion since 1982, according to the Foundation — go to a range of causes including climate science denial, charter schools, free market and pro-life advocacy. But buried in their voluminous tax filings (at times totaling more than 600 pages) are a number of sizable grants to the Center for Arizona Policy and the Alliance Defending Freedom, issued between 2002 and 2011, the last year that complete tax data is available for all three organizations…
info: Christian Dominionists
Dominion Theology or Dominionism is the idea that Christians should work toward either a nation governed by Christians or one governed by a conservative Christian understanding of biblical law. ... It is a form of theocracy and is related to theonomy ...