One of the hot issues currently taking up pages in newspapers and air time in the United States is the impending Supreme Court ruling on the Hobby Lobby case. In a nutshell, the Hobby Lobby case is about religious freedom.
According to this Washington Post’s article, “It all starts with the Affordable Care Act [popularly known as Obamacare]. The law stipulates that employers need to provide health care for their employees that covers all forms of contraception at no cost. However, some for-profit corporations have insisted they should not have to pay for all of these services — especially those that conflict with their beliefs.”
This is a very controversial issue whose outcome will have a huge impact on American society.
Religion plays a very important role in American society. People are outspoken about their beliefs and I find it surprising. Although my country is officially Catholic, religion is a private matter and Bible bashing is extremely rare. I’m still not used to discussing my beliefs or to people trying to ram theirs down my throat. I respect everybody’s opinions; all I ask is that they reciprocate.
The reason I mention this is because I’ve noticed that the packaging for some products contain biblical quotes. Some can say that I’m not very observant, having discovered this only a few years after moving to the United States and they will be right. Also, in connection with this, some stores are closed on Sundays, an uncommon occurrence in the land of consumerism.
I did a little digging into this. I began by going to these companies’ websites to find out why. The stores I know that close on Sunday are Chick-fil-A, Sam Moon, a Texas-based accessories company, and Hobby Lobby, a big craft store. According to the FAQ section on their website, Hobby Lobby closes on Sundays “… in order to allow our employees and customers more time for worship and family.” The same goes for Chick-fil-A, a restaurant chain specializing in fried chicken. I sent an email to Sam Moon’s Customer Service department asking why they close on Sundays. They kindly replied that “our company is Christian owned. Sundays are used for going to church and spending time with family.”
The packaging of the hamburger restaurant chain In-n-Out has Bible quotes discreetly printed. I also sent them an email asking about this but they never replied. It’s not difficult to imagine the answer, though. More surprisingly, if possible, the fashion retailer Forever XXI has a Bible quote at the base of their yellow bags. They did reply to my enquiry saying that “The Bible quotes on the bags reflect the founder’s beliefs.”
As far as I know, this happens only in the US, but I would love you to let me know if religion plays such a key role in business (and packaging!)