My Afternoon as a Hobby Lobby Sidewalk Counselor

Roe v. Wade anniversary, Hobby Lobby and birth control, sidewalk counselors at Hobby Lobby, abortion rights, reproductive rights(In honor of the upcoming 42nd anniversary of Roe v. Wade, and the cultural issues it has produced, The Broad Side is cross-posting this piece by Aliza Worthington, originally published at The Worthington Post on August 1, 2014, on the practice of sidewalk counseling.)

Back in June, I was inspired by a Supreme Court decision to take up sidewalk “counseling.” Since SCOTUS declared the buffer zone around Massachusetts’ health clinics unconstitutional, I decided it was time for me to provide those seeking treatments to which I object with counseling of my own. Here, in my post, “My Morning as a Viagra Sidewalk Counselor” I explain why this made perfect sense to me. Eleanor McCullen, lead plaintiff in that Supreme Court case, had been vindicated. Because she prevailed, she has her country back. “It’s America. I should be able to walk and talk gently, lovingly, anywhere with anybody.”

ME, TOO!!! Now I can walk and talk lovingly anywhere with anybody, too!!! I have to be honest, I didn’t realize how good it felt to attempt to veer people away from their own personal decisions until I became a sidewalk counselor myself. When the Supreme Court subsequently decided that Hobby Lobby was a “closely held” private company, and thereby could choose to not include treatments to which they have religious objections (however poorly reasoned those objections might be)  in the health insurance plans they offered to employees,  I said, “Eureka!” Among other things.

Not coincidentally, the treatments and medications to which Hobby Lobby object are the VERY SAME THINGS against which Eleanor McCullen and her Sidewalk-Counseling-Hare-Krishna-Kumbaya-All-You-Need-Is-Love-and-Salvation Posse object!!!  Things that they (in some cases, mistakenly) believe lead to abortion!!! Forget that our fallen female bodies naturally abort “babies” all the time in the form of miscarriages. It’s when women actually have a SAY in whether a blastula survives that we must fetch Mrs. McCullen (and now, the Green Family of Hobby Lobby fame) the smelling salts so that they may lovingly and gently show us the error of our ways. Because they. know. better.

Anywho, buoyed from my sidewalk counseling triumph regarding turning people away from the evils of Viagra, I decided to turn my loving and gentle gaze to another group of people who needed to be saved from their own behavior.  Hobby Lobby Shoppers.

That’s right, friends. My sister-in-law, Vivian, joined me for an afternoon of making Hobby Lobby shoppers aware of their OPTIONS when it comes to craft supplies. I have some WONDERFUL friends who did something similar at a Grand Opening of the Burbank Hobby Lobby. Thanks to them, I was well-prepared with maps to other nearby craft stores, and even gift cards to said stores should the shopper be persuaded by our loving and gentle counsel to go elsewhere. Because OPTIONS.  Craft options, dontchyaknow.

(Emily Bock returns as videographer and editor. Thank you, thank you, thank you.)

Aliza Worthington grew up in Brooklyn, NY, and now lives in Baltimore. She began writing in 2009 at the age of 40. Sometimes her writing follows The Seinfeld Model of “no learning, no hugging.” Other times it involves lots of both. She blogs about Life, Liberty and Happiness at “The Worthington Post.” Her work also appears in Purple Clover, and before that, in Catonsville Patch and Kveller. She has been featured in the Community Spotlight section of Daily Kos under the username “Horque.” Her piece for The Broad Side, Leaving Gender at the Door, was chosen as a BlogHer Voice of the Year in 2013. Follow her on Twitter at @AlizaWrites.

To schedule an interview with Aliza or to talk with her about a speaking engagement, contact her at alizaworthington@gmail.com.

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