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Satanist posts fake AI images of demonic displays at Hobby Lobby

AI-generated images shared on LGBT-allied AI Facebook group page go viral

| Screenshot/Facebook/AIArtUniverse

Correction Appended

For a minute there, it looked like the go-to craft store for Christians could be headed for a boycott.

A Facebook post purportedly showing satanic statues and other merchandise for sale at Hobby Lobby, one of America’s biggest retail chains, went viral earlier this month after Christians and conservatives fretted that the chain was headed down a demonic path. 

The images were shared by Jennifer Vinyard on the AI Art Universe group page with the caption, “I think we need to talk about what is going on at Hobby Lobby… won’t somebody please think of the children!?”

Several of the items depicted on the shelves of a Hobby Lobby included horned demons —  including one image with a cross hanging from the ceiling — a winged goat-headed statue, and the bust of a crowned skull figure.

| Screenshot/Facebook/AIArtUniverse

Commenting on the post was eventually turned off, but not before it had been shared more than 6,000 times on Facebook. 

One TikTok video showing the images garnered over 240,000 views.

“Apparently Hobby Lobby has a crapton of Baphomet and demon-like statues just on the shelves right now,” said user @whoathatisstrange. 

Vinyard told Vice she was inspired to create the images following the backlash and ensuing boycott against Target over satanic-inspired clothing earlier this month. 

“I just thought it would be funny to use the satanic decor, since Hobby Lobby pretends to be a Christian store,” Vinyard was quoted as saying.

According to the report, Vinyard claims to have joined The Satanic Temple in 2021 “but does not yet belong to an official congregation.”

The Christian Post reached out to Vinyard for comment but did not receive a response by press time Friday. A Texas Department of State Health Services spokesperson told CP that the Jennifer Vinyard who posted the images online is not to be confused with the person with the same name who works for the agency. 

With nearly 600,000 members, the Facebook group where Vinyard first shared the images describes itself as “a supportive and inclusive environment for those interested in the intersection of AI, design and art.” 

The group’s “About” page also features a warning against anyone reporting pride-related posts or showing “hate or intolerance” toward LGBT-identified group members.

Founded in 1972, Hobby Lobby is considered one of the most successful Christian brands in the U.S. market, with nearly 1,000 stores and over 43,000 employees operating in 47 states.

Hobby Lobby is also closed on Sundays, similar to another successful Christian-owned brand, Chick-fil-A, which has faced calls for a boycott over (relatively old) news that the chain hired a VP of Diversity Equity and Inclusion (DEI). 

Following a Fourth of July ad in 2021 that referenced a Bible verse, Hobby Lobby faced similar calls for a boycott. The ad was titled “One Nation Under God” and included the Bible verse, “Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord” (Psalm 33:12).

Last month, Target’s stock value took a $9.3 billion loss amid controversy over a collection the company unveiled ahead of so-called pride month that has ties to a British designer whose brand promotes Satanic imagery. 

In response, the chain announced it was making “adjustments to our plans, including removing items that have been at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior.”

Correction: This article has been corrected to reflect that Jennifer Vinyard who posted the images on the AI Art Universe is not the same person who works for the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS), the latter of which is not a member of the Satanic Temple.

Ian M. Giatti is a reporter for The Christian Post and the author of BACKWARDS DAD: a children’s book for grownups. He can be reached at: [email protected].

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