While several Christian businesses have won legal challenges to Obama's Health and Human Services Mandate in Obamacare to provide contraceptives in insurance plans they provide to employees, retail chain Hobby Lobby has met with resistance at every turn. On the day after Christmas Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, an Obama appointee, denied Hobby Lobby's request for an injunction from the mandate. Now, Hobby Lobby has determined to defy the mandate and risks millions in fines, $1.3 million per day.
Kyle Duncan, an attorney for the pro-life legal group Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, said in a statement that hobby Lobby doesn’t plan to offer its employees insurance that would cover the drug while its lawsuit is pending.
“The company will continue to provide health insurance to all qualified employees,” Duncan said. “To remain true to their faith, it is not their intention, as a company, to pay for abortion-inducing drugs.”
“The Green family is disappointed with this ruling,” said Duncan. “They simply asked for a temporary halt to the mandate while their appeal goes forward, and now they must seek relief from the United States Supreme Court. The Greens will continue to make their case on appeal that this unconstitutional mandate infringes their right to earn a living while remaining true to their faith.”
“It is by God’s grace and provision that Hobby Lobby has endured,” said David Green, founder and CEO. “Therefore we seek to honor God by operating the company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles.”
This is civil disobedience, consistent with America’s highest traditions when moral issues are at stake. The Greens are a law-abiding family. They have no desire to defy their own government. But as the Founders launched the American Revolution because they believed the British government was violating their rights, the Greens believe that President Barack Obama and Secretary Kathleen Sebelius are commanding the Greens to sin against God, and that no government has the lawful authority to do so.
The Christian tradition of defying government commands to do something wrong goes back to the very birth of Christianity. When the apostles were ordered not to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with anyone, the Book of Acts records: “Peter and the other apostles replied: ‘We must obey God rather than men! The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead—whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree.’”
Senior Fellow with The Catholic Association Ashley McGuire, following Sotomayor's ruling, said, “Today’s shocking decision from the 10th Circuit is an utter rebuke of religious freedom. Hobby Lobby now faces fines of up to 1.3 million dollars a day if it’s owners refuse to violate their consciences by paying for and providing abortion-causing drugs for its employees. This is a dereliction of duty of the part of the courts to protect IRS citizens from bureaucratic bullies who care little for the First Amendment."
A majority of Americans support a religious exemption to the mandate. A Rasmussen report that came out on December 5, 2012 declared, "Voters are narrowly supportive of allowing businesses and religious organizations to opt out of government-mandated free birth control for their women employees if religious beliefs are at stake. As part of the new national health care law, the Obama administration has mandated that all companies must have health insurance coverage that provides no-cost contraceptives for women. A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 46% of Likely U.S. Voters feel that if providing such coverage violates the deeply held beliefs of a church, religious organization or business owner, they should be allowed to opt out of providing coverage for contraceptives."
In that survey, 41% believed that there should be no exemptions to businesses.
While the Obama administration claims that there is an exemption in the statute, Mr. Duncan says that is not acceptable. “The safe harbor’s protection is illusory,” said Duncan. “Even though the government won’t make religious colleges pay crippling fines this year, private lawsuits can still be brought, schools are at a competitive disadvantage for hiring and retaining faculty, and employees face the specter of battling chronic conditions without access to affordable care. This mandate puts these religious schools in an impossible position.”
The Becket Fund is leading several charges against the unconstitutional HHS mandate on behalf of other institutions besides Hobby Lobby, including: Wheaton College, East Texas Baptist University, Houston Baptist University, Belmont Abbey College, Colorado Christian University, the Eternal Word Television Network, and Ave Maria University. There are currently 40 separate lawsuits that are challenging the mandate.
My family will continue to support Hobby Lobby, how about yours?
Though time is short, I have started a Hobby Lobby Appreciation Day Facebook page. We plan to support Hobby Lobby on January 1, 2013, the day they begin to incur the fines. Just as Liberty lovers across the nation showed support for Chick-fil-a earlier this year, let's come together to do the same for this fine business who are not afraid to take on a tyrannical federal government and stand on their principles. Please feel free to share the Facebook page with all your friends.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.