Sixteen stores in the Tar Heel state from Hickory to Wilmington
By L.A. Williams, Correspondent
Christian Action League
January 2, 2013
Follow your faith or follow the law — that’s the predicament that Hobby Lobby CEO David Green found himself in with the passage of the Health and Human Services mandate that requires businesses to provide employees with free contraception, including the “morning after” pill that may induce abortion.
The company and its sister corporation, Christian book retailer Mardel, unsuccessfully sought relief from the courts and, as of Tuesday, face fines of some $1.3 million per day.
“Praise God, the Greens know who their company belongs to and are operating it accordingly even in the face of extreme pressure from the Obama administration and in the midst of a court ruling that has turned the First Amendment on its head,” said the Rev. Mark Creech, executive director of the Christian Action League. “We pray their stand for Biblical truth will inspire people of faith who own businesses across the nation to follow suit and defy this federal mandate.”
Hobby Lobby and Mardel’s lawsuit against the insurance mandate is still pending, but Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor refused to grant an injunction that would have prevented the firms from being fined while the suit is under way. In recent arguments in the case, the Obama administration presented two reasons the mandate should stand. First, it contends that Americans lose their freedom to exercise religion when they form a corporation and engage in commerce. Secondly, it asserts that persons can be forced to act against their religion so long as the coercion is under the authority of a law that is generally applicable and not designed to persecute one group over another.
“These arguments are ludicrous, and we believe if judges apply the Constitution as written to the 40 or so cases coming before them over this section of Obamacare, the mandate will be defeated,” Dr. Creech said. “Never in America should a person have to give up his or her religious convictions in order to start a business.”
Labeled by Forbes magazine as the “largest evangelical benefactor in the world,” Green started his business in 1970 with his wife and sons making miniature picture frames at the kitchen table. He opened his first store two years later in Oklahoma City. Now, some 525 Hobby Lobby locations employ roughly 22,000 workers in 42 states, and annual sales have reached $3 billion. Sixteen of those stores are in North Carolina, ranging from Hickory to Wilmington.
Known for its Biblically sound business plan — stores are closed on Sunday; Christmas and Easter ads feature the real meaning of the holidays; there are four chaplains on the payroll, etc. — Hobby Lobby has raised its minimum wage for full-time employees by a dollar a year over the past four years. It offers a free health clinic for headquarters staff and health insurance for full-time workers, but doesn’t pay for abortions or the so-called “morning after” pill that Obamacare requires.
“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,” Green explained to the media when he first filed the suit. “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.”
Attributing Hobby Lobby’s success to the Lord, Green told Forbes magazine last fall that, “If you have anything or if I have anything, it’s because it’s been given to us by our Creator.”
“I don’t care if you’re in business or out of business, God owns it. … You can’t have a belief system on Sunday and not live it the other six days,” he said during the interview for the September article.
Dr. Creech said it’s his prayer that God would continue to use Hobby Lobby as a shining example of what it means to live what you believe, no matter the cost.
“This issue is getting lots of media attention because the world can’t understand why someone would be willing to be fined $1.3 million a day — more than it would cost to offer free abortifacients — in order to defend their Christian principles,” he said. “Our hope is that the media attention not only brings hope to other companies battling this mandate, but also brings individuals to Christ as they see there is something different about Christianity, something worth defending.”
Take Christian Action:
Saturday, January 5th has been declared as Hobby Lobby Day. In support of Hobby Lobby’s act of civil disobedience, Christians are being urged to visit and shop at their nearest Hobby Lobby store. “It’s always good to ask for the management,” said Rev. Creech, “and be certain to pass along to them that you are present because of their stand.”
You can write the Green family to express your appreciation and support for them by clicking here