Hobby Lobby, the popular arts and crafts retailer, is being threatened with a $1.3 million daily fine for refusing to provide insurance coverage that pays for contraception that induces abortion. Their lawsuit is working its way to the Supreme Court, but a recent ruling denied their request to suspend the mandate pending resolution of the case.
In response, the family-owned Christian business announced their intent to disobey the law. David Green is Hobby Lobby’s CEO. Here is an excerpt of a letter he recently wrote about the situation:
We’re Christians, and we run our business on Christian principles. I’ve always said that the first two goals of our business are (1) to run our business in harmony with God’s laws, and (2) to focus on people more than money. And that’s what we’ve tried to do. We close early so our employees can see their families at night. We keep our stores closed on Sundays, one of the week’s biggest shopping days, so that our workers and their families can enjoy a day of rest. We believe that it is by God’s grace that Hobby Lobby has endured, and he has blessed us and our employees. We’ve not only added jobs in a weak economy, we’ve raised wages for the past four years in a row. Our full-time employees start at 80% above minimum wage.
But now, our government threatens to change all of that. A new government health care mandate says that our family business MUST provide what I believe are abortion-causing drugs as part of our health insurance. Being Christians, we don’t pay for drugs that might cause abortions, which means that we don’t cover emergency contraception, the morning-after pill or the week-after pill. We believe doing so might end a life after the moment of conception, something that is contrary to our most important beliefs. It goes against the Biblical principles on which we have run this company since day one. If we refuse to comply, we could face $1.3 million PER DAY in government fines.
My family has lived the American dream. We want to continue growing our company and providing great jobs for thousands of employees, but the government is going to make that much more difficult. The government is forcing us to choose between following our faith and following the law. I say that’s a choice no American – and no American business – should have to make.
The government cannot force you to follow laws that go against your fundamental religious belief. They have exempted thousands of companies but will not except Christian organizations including the Catholic church.
I applaud Mr. Green and his company’s courageous and bold decision to stand firm and ask you to please join me in praying for a favorable outcome, one that respects their religious liberties.
In the meantime, a grassroots effort has been launched to express public support of the retailer. The organizer is Joe Grabowski.
“Inspired by the “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day” promoted this past August by Governor Mike Huckabee, a similar grassroots initiative has cropped up in the past few days at StandWithHobbyLobby.com,” he told Life News. “The Facebook-driven campaign has already collected more than 18,000 people who have pledged to shop at the store [this coming] Saturday. On Saturday, January 5th, all Americans who value freedom of religion and oppose the HHS Mandate’s unfair impositions upon religious individuals and corporate entities are called upon to show their support for Hobby Lobby by shopping either at their local retail Hobby Lobby store or online,” he said.
To find out if there’s a Hobby Lobby in your area, click here.