Obama administration justifies mandate as Hobby Lobby owners defy law

David-Barbara-Green-Hobby-Lobby

David and Barbara Green of Hobby Lobby

David and Barbara Green, founders and owners of Hobby Lobby, are placing their religious principles ahead of an Obama administration mandate — and they may pay dearly for living up to their beliefs.

Last week, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor denied the Greens an injunction protecting them from being forced to provide abortion-inducing drugs to their employees pending the outcome of their lawsuit.

I noted at that time that the motion’s failure left the company “with the choice of either going out of business or ignoring their religious beliefs” as the lawsuit continued.

In a stunning announcement, Becket Fund attorney Kyle Duncan, representing the Greens and Hobby Lobby, said the Greens will put their money where their mouths are. They’ll conduct business as usual, without offering their employees insurance to cover the controversial “morning-after” and “week-after” pills, pending the outcome of the lawsuit.

“The company will continue to provide health insurance to all qualified employees,” Duncan said in a statement, according to LifeNews. “To remain true to their faith, it is not their intention, as a company, to pay for abortion-inducing drugs.”

The significance of this decision is enormous. Beginning Jan. 1, when the mandate goes into effect, the Greens and Hobby Lobby risk daily fines of $1.3 million in the name of religious freedom.

The Department of Health and Human Services’ mandate, requiring that all employers provide contraceptives to their employees, is the subject of numerous other lawsuits nationwide.

Unlike those lawsuits, however, the Greens only seek a narrow exemption from the mandate. They object to being forced to provide the “morning-after” and “week-after” pills, reasoning that such drugs are a form of abortion, which runs contrary to their religious beliefs. As such, it also runs contrary to the First Amendment guarantee that all Americans may freely exercise the religion of their choice.

Acting Assistant Attorney General Stuart Delery has advanced two arguments against the Greens.

Individuals lose their First Amendment religious freedoms when they engage in commercial activities as part of a for-profit corporation, one argument goes.

In the other, “the administration argues it can force a person to act against his religion so long as the coercion is done under the authority of a law that is neutral and generally applicable,” according to CNS News.

The CNS article added:

In keeping with Delery’s argument, the Washington Post, as a corporation, can use its First Amendment-protected freedom of speech to write editorials in support of the Obama administration imposing its contraception mandate on businesses like Hobby Lobby. But the members of the family that created and owns Hobby Lobby, because they formed Hobby Lobby as a corporation, have no First Amendment freedom of religion that protects them from being forced by the government to act against their religious beliefs in providing abortion-inducing drugs.

“As the nation approaches the much publicized fiscal cliff, it also approaches a moral cliff: Will the Obama administration compel Christians to act against their faith?” the CNS News article said. “As of now, the answer seems plain: Starting Tuesday, it will.”

It’s hard to argue with that.

Read more at CNSNews.

A video report on the lawsuit and the Greens’ decision follows.

If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed
About Michael Dorstewitz

Mike has been with BizPac Review almost from the beginning. Email Mike at michael@bizpacreview and follow him on Twitter at @MikeBPR.

  • Will Winn

    Government is endorsing the evil and satanic religion of PREMEDITATED INFANTICIDE-MURDER, potentially forcing businesses to be an accessory before and after the fact without the freedom of execising their own personal beliefs under the Constitution of the United States. The function of this evil is to kill the unborn, partial-born and viably born who have survived attenpted murder. These United States of America will not survive economically, physically, politically or spiritually because we are commiting national suicide and will stand before the final Judge of people and nations unless we repent and turn from this wickedness. The Providence of our founding will be, unless He alresdy is, against us.

  • dawn lafayette

    DON'T IMPOSE YOU'RE RELIGIOUS BELIEFS ONTO MY GENDER. I WILL NEVER BUY FROM YOURE CHURCH..OOPS I MEANT STORE EVER AGAIN.

    GOODBYE

    • David Love

      goodbye

    • morstar150

      No one is forcing anything on you. You have the choice of doing whatever your conscience believes is right when it comes to reproduction. Why must I be forced to participate in your reproductive choices that violate my religious beliefs? I don't understand why the abortionists don't understand this simple argument. Religious Freedom was the first right guaranteed under the Bill of Rights. When did your genitals and ovaries become superior to my right to worship as I choose?

      Stop playing the victim. You can get all the contraception you need. No church has ever approached the government to stop you from getting birth control or abortions for that matter. What you don't understand is that there are many in our society that believe that reproduction is more than a sexual experience. It is a process that builds families and societies. My religious beliefs are that life begins upon the union of sperm and egg and a NEW life has begun at that point. That is my view and I will champion the right of that new life to survive your attempts to exterminate him or her. If you want to consider victimization how about the innocent child who is slaughtered in each abortion without ever having the right to be heard!

      Goodbye!

    • JC

      The thing is…it's infringing upon the store owner's beliefs and freedom's…not yours. If you want that particular drug, you have the freedom to go purchase it. They should not be forced to pay for it FOR you. Then you're infringing upon THEIR freedoms. That's where education and common sense can help you with the definition of " freedom"…which is not a one-sided term. While I may not agree with your beliefs…you should have the freedom to exercise them without infringing upon the freedom of this Christian based company. Simple as that…

      • http://BizPac Andi

        This is absolutely correct and I agree with you JC. No one ispreventing these people from obtaining these drugs, but Christians should not be forced to go against their religious beliefs to provide this abortion drug to those who want it.

  • Shaybrew

    No one imposed anything on you, idiot. Something UNCONSTITUTIONAL IS BEING IMPOSED ON BUSINESSES, though. You don't have to work there or shop there, so shut up you self-serving would-be murderer.

  • https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/amend-health-care-mandate-laws-protect-rights-and-beliefs- Laura Fallon

    The government cannot seek to compel a business to pay for something its owners, together with a large number of the rest of the country, consider murder. Instead, it should provide an alternate means of complying, for instance, a flat cash benefit or flex healthcare benefit to employees in addition to the healthcare benefit it provides, while limiting the benefit to exclude the abortifacients. This would protect the right to operate in accordance with the owners' beliefs while also protecting the intent of the HHS mandates.

    If you agree, please consider signing the petition in support of Hobby Lobby and other faith-based businesses at http://www.whitehouse.gov.

  • patrick rose

    Give unto Caesar what is Caesar's and God what is God's. no one is preventing you from believing or worshiping what you want. calm down. All the government is asking is that you don't force others to believe what you believe especially when those beliefs could cost someone their life. it's always easy to say God's will when it's not your wife or daughter or mother. you don't have to endorse abortion. you only have to pay a tax. it's up to your employees to make that decision of weather to use the service (there is that pesky free will thing again). I am so tired of the rhetoric and empty-hearted aggression with which this past election and subsequent hate mongering has done to the national conversation. republicans aren't Nazis and democrats aren't Communists. we are all Americans we just see the role of goverment differently. If we could compromise more and fight less then maybe this country could get better. but with comments like the ones above, no wonder this country is in the crapper. we can't even talk to one another. I know friendships of 30 yrs or more that have ended over things like this. that is a tragedy. isn't faith in god supposed to unite humanity? why is it dividing? stop signing petitions for these stupid things. lets unite to do God's work like feeding the hungry, caring for the sick, and ministering to the poor. leave judgement to God.

  • http://Bizpac Ted

    Lot's going on here. "Murderers, evil, accessories to murderr". Wow. The choice is simple. Do the mandate, or go out of business. If you value your beliefs enough, do the sacrifice. The fact that this situation is in the news maybe shows that maybe Hobby Lobby doesn't want to have to follow their sacred beliefs. There is a lot of ammunition and contridiction on both sides of the life and pro-life argument. The pro-lifers want to forbid abortion or birth termination. But, they also feel that these same babies should not have some of the governmental assistance in growing up because their parents can only work in low wage jobs. The prochoice people seem to think that people can use abortion as a fall back birth control choice. In this case, there is some misunderstanding. The morning after pill does not cause an abortion. I believe that conception takes up to three days and that the particular pill mentioned here only makes the surface of the uterus nonreceptive to the comception. No conception, no murder. Just old fashioned birth control. I'll bet many of those of you out there yelling "murder" are using some sort of birth control. You are doing the same thing. I think religions should stay out of business. Or, have the business go out of business if it needs to and follow there beliefs. Happens all the time. Sad to see. Hobby Lobby is one of my favorite stores for my small business supplies. I think that the botton line is that the business of a woman's body should be between the woman and her doctor. If you don't have the baby and don't make the delivery. "Butt-out". Just saying.

    • reinhold

      Ted,

      You fail to perceive the hypocrisy and cowardice of your declaration. To have the blessing one must pay the price. You recite the Libertine Mantra. You pretend to desire Liberty merely to promulgate the Amoral Society you wish to impose on all others. I have coined a term that describes those embracing this wanton defiance of reason. Dharmatoid: One who embraces the principle of enforced tolerance. Any society that tolerates everything will ultimately promulgate nothing. There are absolutes. Defy the Law of the Almighty Creator at your peril.

    • morstar150

      Is that the information they sold you. The boring after pill works after contraception. The idea that contraception takes three days is absurd. There is a scientific argument here but the pro-abortion political agenda distorts even that science. Fact is that the morning after pill prevents a the zygote from attaching to the wall of the uterus. There is no egg no sperm only the beginning of a new life with a completely distinct DNA. You may believe that the new life is not formed enough for your beliefs to avoid killing it but my religious beliefs support the scientific facts that this is the beginning of a new life. I cannot support the killing of that life. If you can, that is your right under our laws. Just don't make me pay for your lifestyle beliefs that are contrary to my religion. It is simple!

      • morstar150

        Auto correct is a problem. Boring is morning!

        • morstar150

          and conception.

  • http://Bizpac Ted

    I still go back to the fact that the decision for the business to comply is yes or no. Business or not. I also think that projecting anyone's religion on anyone else is small minded. If it is you. If it is your body, its your concern. You guys stay out of the womens panties because the business of whether any birth takes place or not is between the doctor and the lady. It is this projecting your beliefs on others that causes the problems. Religions have been the root cause of the world's problems and the ignorance and intolerance fostered by the dummer side of these beliefs has been the world's "cross to bear" to this day. If you dialed back on the hypocracy, I bet you'd say a lot less.

  • Stephanie L. Jones

    We stand on the Word!

    Notice the headline says "to defy Obamacare…"

    IT IS WRITTEN:

    And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God? (1 Samuel 17:26 KJV)

    David Green will defeat this Goliath.

  • http://Bizpac Ted

    It is the law. Take it or not. Business or not. Again, the dummer side of religion does the driving. Man, this cross gets heavy.

  • Olivia

    "between the doctor and the lady"? Where is the father of the baby in all this? Doesn't he have a responsibility in this decision? Ted, the more you type, the less you make sense. Please stop typing, as the projections of your beliefs are not showing any benefit to this discussion…