June 19, 2013
Oct 26 - Adela Just
On September 12, 2012, Hobby Lobby became the largest and first non-Catholic business to challenge the HHS Mandate.
Because it is a for-profit business, Hobby Lobby is not included in any of the exemptions available to non-profit religious organizations. However, Hobby Lobby is an openly Christian business, taking such measures as employing full time chaplains, closing on Sundays and making sure all marketing and representations of the business as a whole accurately reflect and comply with their Christian business principles.
The company is requesting an injunction that would prohibit the federal government from mandating coverage of the morning-after and week-after pills, among a few other abortion-inducing drugs.
A petition with 80,000 signatures was brought to the company’s headquarters, demanding the company drop its lawsuit. The petition read:
Don’t use your Christian faith as an excuse to obstruct health care reform and deny women access to birth control. I won’t shop at your store until you drop this lawsuit, and I’ll tell my friends to do the same.
The petition is misleading because people were led to believe the organization was determined to refuse coverage on all contraceptives. This is inaccurate though because the company has always covered preventive bith control and has every intention of continuing to do so. Where they draw the line is at being forced to offer drugs which induce or potentially cause abortion.
Kyle Duncan, who is defending the company in the HHS lawsuit, said:
People are free to believe whatever they want. But all Hobby Lobby is doing is asking the same thing – to be able to practice their own faith. Hobby Lobby is not saying anything about what their employees can and cannot do. Hobby Lobby employees are free to do whatever they want. All Hobby Lobby is saying is that we offer benefits to our employees and we are being forced to offer benefits that we consider to be immoral that implicates Hobby Lobby and the Green family. They are saying that they want to structure their business along the lines of their faith. (2)
The federal government is urging the judge who will hear the case to deny Hobby Lobby’s request for an injunction against enforcement of the mandate. According to the government, “Hobby Lobby is a for-profit, secular employer, and a secular entity by definition does not exercise religion” (3).
An attorney from the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the organization defending Hobby Lobby, said the government’s argument is weak. Lori Windham, senior counsel, said:
The government repeats its old line: you give up your religious freedom when you go into business. That’s a startling and disturbing claim for our government to make. (3)
Arguments will be presented in federal court beginning next Thursday, November 1. David Green, founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby, explained why his company has chosen to make their bold move against the HHS Mandate:
We simply cannot abandon our religious beliefs and comply with this mandate. We know that we have been blessed by God’s grace and believe it is because we have chosen to live our lives and to operate our business according to His Word and we are very grateful for that. But our faith is being challenged by the federal government. (1)
- Pray for The Becket Fund to have wisdom and favor as they represent Hobby Lobby and specifically as they present their arguments to a federal judge next Thursday, November 1. (James 1:5)
- Pray for Hobby Lobby’s business to continue to thrive as the Lord honors them for their faithfulness to Him. (Psalm 90:17)
- Pray for the complete overturning of the HHS Mandate so that religious organizations and businesses across the nation will be free to practice their faith. (Psalm 32:23,24)
- The Becket Fund has set up an opportunity for people to show their support to Hobby Lobby. Take a moment and send them a thank you note here.
- As you prepare for the upcoming holiday season, consider showing tangible support to Hobby Lobby by making them a first choice for your shopping.
- Share this article with friends and family, so we can broaden the prayer covering and practical support for this organization.
1. Gryboski, Michael. “Hobby Lobby Injunction against HHS Mandate set for court.” The Christian Post. 25 October 2012. http://www.christianpost.com/news/hobby-lobby-injunction-against-hhs-mandate-set-for-court-83947/
2. Murashko, Alex. “Hobby Stands Ground Against Group Asking to Drop HHS Lawsuit.” The Christian Post. 28 September 2012. http://www.christianpost.com/news/hobby-lobby-stands-ground-against-group-asking-to-drop-hhs-lawsuit-82347/
3. Talley, Tim. “US: Judge must Deny Hobby Lobby morning-after case.” Bloomberg Businessweek. 25 October 2012. http://www.businessweek.com/ap/2012-10-25/us-judge-must-deny-hobby-lobby-morning-after-case