With many non-essential businesses being forced to shutter their doors for an indefinite period of time for the protection of employees and customers during the pandemic, the staff at Hobby Lobby were told by their owner they must report to work.
According to the retail chain owner's wife, it was God's orders.
The craft store's evangelical owner David Green sent a notice to workers on March 19, saying that his "prayer warrior" wife, Barbara Green, heard the divine directive from God to keep their business open.
In the letter, Green wrote the three words his wife Barbara heard from the mouth of the Lord.
"In her quiet prayer time this past week, the Lord put on Barbara's heart three profound words to remind us that He's in control. Guide, Guard, and Groom."
Green—whose net worth is $6.4 billion—broke down the power of the three G's.
"We serve a God who will Guide us through this storm, who will Guard us as we travel to places never seen before, and who, as a result of this experience, will Groom us to be better than we could have ever thought possible before now."
The company did mention on their website that if an employee exhibits symptoms, they may be sent for medical care and self-isolation at home. However, the company made no mention that employees will be paid sick leave.
Twitter users chalked it up to corporate greed.
While the future remains uncertain, Green gave employees some reassuring words but then warned them that they may have to "tighten our belts."
"While we do not know for certain what the future holds, or how long this disruption will last, we can all rest in knowing that God is in control."
"The Company's leaders are doing all they can to balance the need to keep the Company strong and the need of employees. To help ensure our Company remains strong and prepared to once again when this passes, we may all have to 'tighten our belts' over the near future.'"
If there were any prospective customers, Hobby Lobby's latest move isn't gaining their patronage.
People questioned who the company devoted their faith to.
In 2014, Hobby Lobby was in hot water after a 5-4 high court ruling in which the owners challenged a mandate issued by the Obama Administration that required employee health coverage to include birth control costs.
The owners denounced the mandate because they believed some of the contraceptives would lead to abortion.
The LGBTQ+ community was particularly blindsided when the Supreme Court ruled in favor of privately-owned businesses being exempt from the policy for religious reasons.
The ruling foreshadowed the ongoing Supreme Court battle over the Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which outlaws employee discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin and sex.
Title VII currently does not have a separate protected category for sexual orientation or gender identity; however, federal and state agencies, and most importantly, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recognizes "sex" bias as pertaining to LGBTQ people.
The Supreme Court will determine if it would be legal to fire someone based on their sexual orientation.
The billionaire arts and crafts store owner keeping his business open amidst a global pandemic because God says so is one of many controversies Hobby Lobby can add to their scrapbook.