While not as big of a draw for the media as the Chick-fil-a controversy was, the grassroots movement “Standing With Hobby Lobby” has brought tens of thousands of people out in support of the Christian-owned company that has drawn a line in the sand with the federal government, refusing to comply with the Obamacare Health and Human Services contraception mandate.
Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, who spearheaded the push for the Chick-fil-a appreciation day in 2012, wrote,
This is not just about Hobby Lobby–this is about YOU! If Hobby Lobby is forced to eat the “king’s meat” and “bow on their knees” to a human government in direct conflict with their fundamentals of faith, then how long will it be before they come for YOU and YOUR FAMILY?”
We will stand with them in their resistance. For we will either stand together or fall together. I choose to stand. What about you?
“Support Hobby Lobby, a company that obeys God rather than men,” the Family Research Council declared.
The Green Family, owners of the national arts and crafts chain with more than 500 stores in 41 states, are facing possible fines of $1.3 million per day since January 1, 2013 for their decision to follow their conscience in the matter. Currently there are 42 separate lawsuits that challenge the HHS mandate and some lawsuits have already won their challenge to the unconstitutional mandate.
“God bless this company,” columnist Michelle Malkin told Fox News. “It’s incumbent upon every conservative who believes in freedom of religion and freedom of conscience to support those businesses that are standing up and taking the slings and arrows of this discriminatory administration.”
“This is the most egregious violation of religious liberty that I have ever seen,” wrote columnist Denny Burk. “The first line of the Bill of Rights says this: ‘Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.’ Obamacare prohibits the free exercise of the owners of Hobby Lobby. Who’s next?”
Conservative talk radio host Laura Ingraham said President Obama “must step in to stop this madness.”
“It turns out as many feared, the president’s religious exemption to the contraception mandate is so narrow as to be meaningless,” she said on Fox News. “Unless you employ and serve only those of your same religious faith you don’t receive an exemption. So under that standard, Jesus himself would not qualify. This is unconscionable and unconstitutional.”
Ingraham pointed out that in a previous case Sotomayor ruled in favor of a Muslim inmate who was denied Ramadan meals. She held that the meal was subjectively important to the inmate’s practice of Islam.
Malkin called it a selective double standard.
“Religious liberty for some, none for others,” she said.
CEO and Founder of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. David Green penned these words in a letter:
When my family and I started our company 40 years ago, we were working out of a garage on a $600 bank loan, assembling miniature picture frames. Our first retail store wasn’t much bigger than most people’s living rooms, but we had faith that we would succeed if we lived and worked according to God‘s word. From there, Hobby Lobby has become one of the nation’s largest arts and crafts retailers, with more than 500 locations in 41 states. Our children grew up into fine business leaders, and today we run Hobby Lobby together, as a family.
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.
Our government threatens to fine job creators in a bad economy. Our government threatens to fine a company that’s raised wages four years running. Our government threatens to fine a family for running its business according to its beliefs. It’s not right. I know people will say we ought to follow the rules; that it’s the same for everybody. But that’s not true. The government has exempted thousands of companies from this mandate, for reasons of convenience or cost. But it won’t exempt them for reasons of religious belief.
So, Hobby Lobby – and my family – are forced to make a choice. With great reluctance, we filed a lawsuit today, represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, asking a federal court to stop this mandate before it hurts our business. We don’t like to go running into court, but we no longer have a choice. We believe people are more important than the bottom line and that honoring God is more important than turning a profit.
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.
Since you will not see this covered in any of the liberal media, pass this on to all your contacts.
David Green, CEO and Founder of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.
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