The Christian-based company Hobby Lobby has been under the gun by the Obama administration as they are being forced to submit to federal mandated birth control for employees. In an incredible victory on Thursday, a federal appeals court ruled that Hobby Lobby stores won't have to start paying millions of dollars in fines for not complying with the mandate.
"Sincerely religious persons could find a connection between the exercise of religion and the pursuit of profit," the judges wrote in the ruling. "Would an incorporated kosher butcher really have no claim to challenge a regulation mandating non-kosher butchering practices?"
The Associated Press reports:
The 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver decided the Oklahoma City-based arts and crafts chain can proceed with its case and won't be subject to fines in the meantime.
The reprieve gives Hobby Lobby Stores Inc. more time to argue in a lower court that for-profit businesses – not just currently exempted religious groups – should be allowed to seek an exception if the law violates their religious beliefs. The company had sued to overturn the mandate on grounds that it violates the faith of founder and CEO David Green and his family.
The appeals court remanded the case for more argument, but the judges indicated Hobby Lobby had a reasonable chance of success.
While the Greens, who own Hobby Lobby rejoiced at the ruling, some were a bit sore, like Barry Lynn, the executive director of Americans United for Separation of Church and State. (By the way, I highly recommend that people watch to the debate between this guy and Dr. James White on whether practicing homosexuals can be authentic Christians and you will see quite clearly that this guy has absolutely no business running anything.) Lynn said, "This court has taken a huge step toward handing bosses and company owners a blank check to meddle in the private medical decisions of their workers. This isn't religious freedom; it's the worst kind of religious oppression."
Once you watch the debate, you'll know exactly why Lynn's thinking is so… well non-thinking.
The 10th Circuit heard the case before eight active judges, not the normal three-judge panel.
The case is now headed back to U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, which had ruled against Hobby Lobby earlier.
Back in January, Hobby Lobby had found a loophole that allowed them to shift the plan year for its employee health insurance, thus postponing the effective date of the mandate for several months. This gave them time to exhaust the case.
Justice Sonia Sotomayor denied Hobby Lobby's request regarding the HHS mandate back in December and just prior to that, the Obama administration told a federal court that Hobby Lobby must obey the HHS mandate.
Hobby Lobby has received strong support from its customers during the fight.
Hobby Lobby is not the only Christian company to face these kinds of bullying tactics by the current administration. Christian Publisher Tyndale House fought the mandate and beat it! So, take heart American. There is victory when you stand upon your convictions.Don't forget to Like Freedom Outpost on Facebook, Google Plus, & Twitter. You can also get Freedom Outpost delivered to your Amazon Kindle device here.