Support exercise of religious freedom: Shop Hobby Lobby Saturday

Hobby Lobby in Stow, Ohio. (Photo: DangApricot via Wikimedia Commons)

For a nation with a yearning for religious freedom at its roots, we are seeing an awful callousness toward exercise of that freedom lately.

One of the more recent manifestations of this trend has the Green family, who operate Hobby Lobby, facing stiff fines from the federal government because they want to act on their beliefs in the marketplace. The Becket Fund, which is doing invaluable work protecting religious liberty, has more information on the Greens here. They are devout Christians whose beliefs inform their treatment of employees. They close their stores on Sunday and are exemplary in many ways.

The company, true to its religious convictions, will not pay for abortion-inducing drugs for its employees (it does cover contraception) — an eminently humane and reasonable position — but that means they have run afoul of a rule adopted by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services which requires employers, whatever their religious beliefs, to pay for the costs of such drugs.

Justice Sonia Sotomayor denied the company’s petition for an emergency stay of the law’s implementation, requiring the case to go through the appeals process before the company can ask the Supreme Court for review. Whatever the legal merits of this decision (Ed Whelan has a good take on it), it puts Hobby Lobby in the position of either violating the owner’s religious beliefs or being liable for stiff fines (potentially $1.3 million per day).

Some good citizens are promoting this Saturday, Jan. 5, as a day to support Hobby Lobby by shopping in their stores or online.

Many of us hope we will be true to our religious beliefs whatever the cost. The Green family is doing just that, and, in my opinion, they deserve our support. Plus, they sell the great model airplanes and ships I loved to put together when I was younger. Please consider supporting Hobby Lobby this weekend and in the future.

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  • Lehiboy

    Hobby Lobby is not forced to pay for abortion medication.  It IS required to provide insurance to employees that allows for those employees to have access to morning-after medication, etc.  In a perfect world we could all choose where our money was used — my taxes wouldn’t be sued to built military jets, but would be directed to childhood vaccinations.  But, unfortunately, we don’t live in that world.  As a result, Hobby Lobby must accept that they cannot micro-manage what benefits their employees can take advantage of.  But they must support the law of the land, allowing their employees to CHOOSE how they will use that coverage. 

  • David Borough

    Maybe at the root they wish they could discriminate their hiring to only people having sex within a heterosexual marriage? Do we want to go back to a time that was allowed? Hobby Lobby would prefer their employees did not fornicate. If they had that wish, would they preferably be willing to pay for the high cost of maternity within their health coverage, passing out unwanted children, and putting them through the hardship of abnormal parenting by the government and foster homes? I doubt allowing an employee to take advantage of morning after pills is costing much. The cost isn’t really an issue. And having an abortion, having sex, and taking a pill is really not their issue either. There was also a time many people felt ANY FORM of contraception was bad — I’ll bet the owners don’t have 19 kids are are still counting…..

    • D M

      I once had a street vendor in Seattle refuse to sell to me or even talk to me because I was wearing a baseball cap with an inoffensive word on it.  I was disappointed, but I have no right to expect the government to force him to associate with me.  Freedom of association does NOT mean that we have to hire, work for, buy from, sell to, or even provide insurance to EVERYONE.  

      If you are a member of a gay organization, should you be forced to allow straight people to join and even assume leadership?  Should Planned Parenthood be forced to hire an anti-abortion activist?  NO!  So you are a hypocrite if you deny Hobby Lobby the SAME privilege.