Families, communities, and nations are strengthened by businessmen and women who stand by their principles and who are more interested in maintaining their personal principles than in making money. Obedience to some of the laws and regulations instituted under the new health care law requires businesses to go against some of their principles. Under Obamacare, business owners are put in the position of either casting their principles aside or paying millions of dollars for disobedience.
Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. is among the businesses that have been placed in this position, but CEO David Green decided to fight rather than going against his own beliefs. He wrote the following letter and asked his supporters to pass it on to all our contacts; I hope that my readers will also pass the letter along to their contacts. I do not personally know David Green or any of his family, friends, or employees. I do enjoy shopping at his stores, but I am supporting him in this fight because his Freedom of Religion rights are being infringed.
The First Amendment protects his Right to practice his religion. “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof….” His Freedom of Religion rights are being disregarded because he will be forced to pay for something that is against his religion.
The First Amendment says that Congress must keep church and state separate. It says nothing about whether or not privately-owned businesses must keep their religion out of their workplace. The Green family built their business from nothing; they made all the sacrifices and did all the work to make their business successful. They also employ thousands of people and provide healthcare to their employees - while at the same time making sure that their employees have time with their families. They strengthen every community where their stores are located. They have continued to hire more employees and to give raises even in this bad economy. This is the kind of business that should be encouraged – not penalized. I hope that you will support Hobby Lobby also.
“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 info 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.”