(NationalUSNews.com) — Conservatives found themselves up in arms after fraudulent pictures of Satanic-themed merchandise was shown for sale on shelves at Hobby Lobby. The faith-based company that once took their anti abortion stance all the way to the Supreme Court has found themselves facing a boycott from Christian customers.
A Satanic Temple member using an artificial intelligence program is to blame. Satanist Jennifer Vinyard, a pharmacy-tech from Austin, Texas, is said to have used a piece of software called Midjourney to combine pictures of Baphomet with the interior of Hobby Lobby stores. The program generated images of horned demonic figures resting alongside standard Hobby Lobby merchandise.
With no disclaimer of satire, Vinyard posted the images to her Reddit and Facebook accounts. In her accompanying comments, she feigned concern for what was unfolding at the store and voiced worry for children.
Shares, re-shares and new related posts followed. Vinyard’s original listing was posted publicly on Facebook in the group AI Art Universe. After being shared more than 6000 times the group shut the post down.
Vinyard said her reasoning for creating the content was because the business “pretends to be a Christian store.” Had she known the postings would go viral, she said she “would have spent more time on them.”
Relevant Magazine reports that some consumers are unaware of the prank and are still planning a boycott of Hobby Lobby. One commenter remarked that even Christian “companies can be bought for the right price.”
A spurning of Hobby Lobby would come on the heels of Target and Bud Light boycotts. In both cases, conservatives abstaining from those companies led to a dramatic decrease in their market capitalizations.
The Hobby Lobby business model dictates that all stores be closed on Sundays so their employees can “have more time for worship and family.” In 2014, the company successfully argued before the Supreme Court that they should not be obligated to provide contraception to their employees.
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