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December 27th, 2012
07:20 PM ET

Hobby Lobby faces millions in fines for bucking Obamacare

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Washington (CNN)– Craft store giant Hobby Lobby is bracing for a $1.3 million a day fine beginning January 1 for noncompliance with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, dubbed Obamacare.

The company opposes providing some contraceptives to employees through its company health care plan on religious grounds, saying some contraceptive products, like the morning after pill, equate to abortion.

After failing to receive temporary relief from the fines from the Supreme Court, Hobby Lobby announced late Thursday through its attorneys that it "will continue to provide health insurance to all qualified employees. To remain true to their faith, it is not their intention, as a company, to pay for abortion-inducing drugs."

In September, Hobby Lobby and affiliate Mardel, a Christian bookstore chain, sued the federal government for violating their owners' religious freedom and ability to freely exercise their religion.

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"All they're asking for is a narrow exemption from the law that says they don't have to provide drugs they believe cause abortions," Hobby Lobby attorney Kyle Duncan, a general counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, told CNN affiliate KFOR in November. "Our basic point is the government can't put a corporation in the position of choosing between its faith and following the law."

The lawsuit says the companies' religious beliefs prohibit them from providing insurance coverage for abortion inducing drugs. As of August 2012, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires employer-provided health care plans to provide "all Food and Drug Administration approved contraceptive methods, sterilization procedures, and patient education and counseling for all women with reproductive capacity," according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Churches and houses of worship are exempt from the regulation and a narrow exemption was added for nonprofit religious employers whose employees "primarily share its religious tenets" and who "primarily serve persons who share its religious tenets."

In the face of that opposition, the Department of Health and Human Services tweaked its original rule in February to require health insurers, not employers, to cover the cost of contraception coverage, reasoning that would prevent religious groups from having to finance such coverage. Critics have argued that exemption for nonprofits is far too narrow and a host of nonprofit religious groups have sued the administration over the regulations.

The Internal Revenue Service regulations now say that a group health care plan that "fails to comply" with the Affordable Care Act is subject to an "excise tax" of "$100 per day per individual for each day the plan does not comply with the requirement." It remains unclear how the IRS would implement and collect the excise tax.

The Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, based Hobby Lobby chain has more than 500 stores that employ 13,000 employees across 42 states, and takes in $2.6 billion in sales. The company's attorneys say January begins a new health care plan year for Hobby Lobby and that excise tax from the IRS would amount to $1.3 million a day.

Hobby Lobby is owned by CEO and founder David Green and members of his family. "The foundation of our business has been, and will continue to be strong values, and honoring the Lord in a manner consistent with biblical principles," a statement on the Hobby Lobby website reads, adding that one outgrowth of that is the store is closed on Sundays to give its employees a day of rest. Each year the company also takes out full-page ads in numerous newspapers proclaiming its faith at Christmastime and on Independence Day.

The store is not formally connected to any denomination, but the Green family supports numerous Christian ministries and is behind the Green Collection, one of the largest private collections of biblical antiquities in the world. The family plans to permanently house the collection in Washington at a museum set to open in 2016.

On Friday, attorneys for Hobby Lobby petitioned the Supreme Court to intervene and provide temporary relief from the the fines until the case was decided by the U.S. 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.

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Wednesday evening, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who handles emergency appeals from the 10th Circuit Court, said the company failed to meet "the demanding standard for the extraordinary relief," and that it could continue to pursue its challenge in lower courts and return to the higher court, if necessary, after a final judgment.

"Hobby Lobby will continue their appeal before the 10th Circuit. The Supreme Court merely decided not to get involved in the case at this time," Duncan said in a statement.

A spokesperson for the Justice Department declined to comment on the high court's move.

White House officials have long said they believe they have struck an appropriate compromise between religious exemptions and women's health. The White House has not commented specifically on the Hobby Lobby case.

"It's just so sad that Hobby Lobby is facing this choice. What company, even a successful family owned business like Hobby Lobby, how can they afford the government $1.3 million in fines every day? It's just really absurd that government is not giving on this," said Maureen Ferguson, a senior policy adviser for the Catholic Association. Religious liberty groups like hers are watching the Hobby Lobby case closely.

"I am optimistic that these cases will eventually snake their way back up to the Supreme Court and given a full hearing on the merits of the case, I am confident that the Supreme Court will rule in favor of religious liberty," Ferguson said. "But in the meantime there is serious damage being done to businesses like Hobby Lobby and nonprofit charitable organizations."

The Hobby Lobby case is just one of many before the courts over the religious exemption aspects of the law. The case represents by far the biggest for-profit group challenging the health care mandate.

After this piece of the law went into effect in August, religious nonprofits were given "safe harbor" of one year from implementing the law. "In effect, the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences," Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, said in January when the administration announced the move.

Dolan's New York Archdiocese won a victory this month in its legal battle against the administration and the mandate. In May it sued the government in federal court in Brooklyn over the mandate, saying it "unconstitutionally attempts to define the nature of the church's religious ministry and would force religious employers to violate their consciences."

The government moved to have the case dismissed. On December 4, Judge Brian M. Cogan denied the government's motion to dismiss the case, saying the government's promise of changes to how it will implement the law were not enough to merit dismissal. "There is no, 'Trust us, changes are coming' clause in the Constitution," Cogan wrote in in his decision to let the case proceed.

UPDATE: Hobby Lobby's $1.3 million Obamacare loophole

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church and state

soundoff (5,627 Responses)
  1. Jacob

    Corporations having religous beliefs..... Its like saying the NAZI's had religous beliefs.

    January 12, 2013 at 2:57 pm |
    • fredkelly

      That's it? You read the article, pursued the forums, logged in and felt that that was the most meaningful and salient point you could make? Nice job!

      January 12, 2013 at 8:53 pm |
  2. larry5

    These methods that Obama is using are not creating any jobs. Obamacare is government terrorism against it's own citizens. Will the 28 thousand new IRS agents hired to collect Obamacare payments wear brown shirts? Will people that insist on working for a living be stuck sporting Obamacare for everyone else, too? Does Obama have to take away our guns to have a chance of making us pay for his new America created in his own image?

    January 12, 2013 at 9:41 am |
    • Maxx

      How about you stop whining and pay your share...did you build the highway you drive through work, did you hire your own soldiers to prevent terrorists from entering the US and into your home...and which civilized nation has collected taxes through guns...Australia, Canada, Sweden....look at your so called free society trailing behind most other nations in every measure of collective/national success not in terms of packing the pocket of few millionaires with the sweat of hard working Americans who work 2 shifts a day.

      January 12, 2013 at 7:45 pm |
    • Brad

      Seriously? What a coward you are. Unless you complained while the debt was piling up since 1980, you have no right to complain. Or is it that since Obama took office that you actually paid attention. You benefited from the last 30 years? Pay for it.

      January 12, 2013 at 8:13 pm |
  3. Ken Margo

    TO ALL THE PHONY CROOKED CHRISTIAN CONSERVATIVES

    You people just need something to complain about.
    All you nuts from the pope on down whine and complain about abortions.
    So we have a solution. Birth control. You whine and complain about that.
    I bet 90% of the complainers use birth control. (According to polls 90% of Catholics use birth control)
    Bottom line MIND YOUR BUSINESS.
    There is a ton of things your money is used for (Wars, research, foreign aid) that should offend you a thousand times more than birth control.
    If you are having s3x on a regular basis and not getting pregnant or getting someone pregnant please tell the world your secret. Share so we can do what you Christians do since you don't use birth control.

    January 11, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
  4. Nietodarwin

    I ate a Chick fil A once or twice, but I never will again now that I know that they are a "faith based" company. I plan to now boycott ANY company that starts preaching its religious delusions as part of its business practices. I hope Hobby Lobby just goes out of business, I think THEY DESERVE ANY FINE THEY GET.

    January 11, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
  5. mark

    No one is stopping the Greens from going to church on Sunday, and worshiping as they please. What IS being stopped is the attempt by the Greens to impose THEIR values on everyone else. A company cannot be denied religious freedom, only a person can, and no one is is having that done. Religious freedom does NOT include forcing your way of thinking down all of your employees throats.

    January 11, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      No one can force values onto another person. That is why people are willing to pay fines and go to jail rather than fund contraceptives and abortifacients for others.

      January 11, 2013 at 11:37 am |
    • j

      Well said!

      January 12, 2013 at 9:33 pm |
  6. Phil Fulton

    I believe that in the Hobby Lobby case that it boils down to this. Is health care costs a part of each employee's pay? If it is, then Hobby Lobby is wrong.If it not, then exempt them. I'm sure Hobby Lobby wants to keep employee's by offering benifits, which nearly all companies add to payroll costs(labor cost).If so, which i'm sure they do, then Hobby Lobby is fighting a losing battle. this company cannot dictate what an employee buys with their money. right?

    January 11, 2013 at 10:02 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Health insurance is a part of the employee's total compensation.

      If Hobby Lobby doesn't want to pay for the coverage, increase everyone's pay and make it an opt in part of the insurance, that the employee pays with their premiums.

      January 11, 2013 at 10:14 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      They already pay a premium wage.

      January 11, 2013 at 10:33 am |
    • myweightinwords

      That isn't the point, Bill. And really, it's retail. There's no "premium wage" in retail.

      The point is, the law has mandated the coverage. Hobby Lobby doesn't feel they should pay for it (even though every other employer across the nation has to). Since all the rest of the country is getting the coverage, which means a bump in compensation, Hobby Lobby employees deserve the same bump and the same coverage. If Hobby Lobby isn't going to supply the coverage, they must supply the increase in compensation.

      January 11, 2013 at 10:49 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Oh cool. You mean we can just pass a law that says everyone gets more pay and employers have to do it. That is totally awesome!

      January 11, 2013 at 10:55 am |
    • Pete

      " You mean we can just pass a law that says everyone gets more pay and employers have to do it. That is totally awesome!"

      We already do that with the minimum wage.

      January 11, 2013 at 10:57 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Which is how I justify the statement that Hobby Lobby pays a premium wage. Typical retail clerk jobs are minimum wage while HL pays $3-4 more/hr. Are you advocating everyone be paid a federally mandated wage that accepts the ACA?

      January 11, 2013 at 11:04 am |
  7. david defrank

    16 trillion in debt.i got a idea stop abortion.more babies more money in our economy.babyclothes spending hospital care baby food more tax payers ect. ect. lets have more babies to help solve this deficit

    January 11, 2013 at 9:58 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Wrong, because what we would end up with is more poor people who can't get a job because the job market is oversaturated and relying on the government to support them and causing more debt.

      Try making birth control easily accessible and affordable to all. Fewer unwanted babies, more parents able to work and contribute to society, more teenagers staying in school to get an education to get a better job to pay taxes and buy things.

      And while we're at it, legalize gay marriage. Wedding registries, huge weddings, license fees and even the cost of divorces all feeding into our economy.

      January 11, 2013 at 10:12 am |
    • DB

      No one should be allowed to have a child without:
      – Proper age (at least 18)
      – A job or a viable family support means to care for the child
      – A home
      – Training on the care and feeding of an infant
      – A license
      – If they already have a set number (my number would be 3 maximum)

      It's the last bastion of human stupidity. This incessant urge to create children even when you can't support them. I get the idea, breed more of your religion to outbreed the enemy (aka Mormons), but it is ridiculous to bring so many unwanted, unsupportable, children into this world. It's not that we can't feed them, it's that we don't want to care for them. It's like hurry up and grow older so you can add more to your particular religious group.

      January 11, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • Cherries

      Your "solution" is just as ridiculous as the thought of prining more money to pay down our debt is. You haven't a clue, you're a man, and a somewhat dim one at that. Shut up.

      January 11, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      More people on welfare, david. You're not very bright, are you?

      January 11, 2013 at 7:03 pm |
  8. david defrank

    defund planned parenthood.they do over 300 thousand murders every year.support diane black.war on women not ....the real war is against the unborn

    January 11, 2013 at 9:50 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Planned Parenthood nationwide provides much needed health care for underprivileged and under served women, including screenings from breast and cervical cancer, birth control, yearly exams, etc. Abortion is a very, very small portion of what they do. Government funding to Planned Parenthood supports health care for women, including pre-natal care in some places, not abortion.

      If not for Planned Parenthood, many women would not discover the cancer in their bodies in time to stop it from killing them.

      Get some information before you rant about something.

      January 11, 2013 at 10:00 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      david dedummy, go get a cop and tell them someone's being murdered at PP. See how far you get, moron.

      I wonder how you felt about the murder of that doctor who performed abortions. You know, the one some ass hole like you shot in front of his wife and kids in a church? I suppose you're okay with killing, as long as you get to choose who dies, right?

      January 11, 2013 at 6:43 pm |
  9. Will

    What the people who disagree with Hobby Lobby seem to be missing is they don't have to provide their employees with any health coverage. They could simply stop providing health insurance, which would both save the company money and solve the contraception issue. However, the government is telling them that if they are going to show kindness to their employees by providing health coverage, they have to include contraceptive coverage. That's like telling a parent who buys their kid their first car it has to have a radio in it. It's not essential, but if the parent is going to provide the car (or the employer the insurance) nonessentials must be included.

    January 11, 2013 at 9:37 am |
    • myweightinwords

      The only way Hobby Lobby could avoid paying for health care would be to cut every employee's hours down below 40, which some businesses have chosen to do.

      They have the right to do that. It is within the law.

      Providing insurance that doesn't meet the standard dictated by law is not.

      Pretty simple.

      January 11, 2013 at 10:03 am |
    • Phil Fulton

      I guessyou are thinking that Hobby Lobby, out of the kindness of their heart,GIVES their employee's health insurance. That might be the answer then. Hobby Lobby should drop coverage for their employees. I'm sure they will be able to retain good help that way. They , in my opinion, justget over it and go on making money. This is a tough pill to swollow either way.

      January 11, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • kamanakapu

      Contraceptions are nonessential? To women who cannot afford to have a child it dam sure is essential!

      January 12, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
  10. Bill Deacon

    Today Hobby Lobby announced they will reset their benefit calendar to provide themselves a cushion of several months before the mandate to insure contraceptive coverage takes effect in their policy. This should buy them some time for their case to work through the lower courts as Justice Sotomayor recommended. In other news, Gubernatorial candidate and Attorney General for the state of Virginia, a Catholic, is promoting civil disobedience including willingness to personally go to jail in protest of the contraception mandate in the ACA.

    January 11, 2013 at 9:15 am |
    • Rick

      "is promoting civil disobedience including willingness to personally go to jail in protest of the contraception mandate in the ACA."

      Yeah do it then more of you nut cases will be locked up behind bars where you belong.

      January 11, 2013 at 10:04 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      The best way to revoke a bad law is to vigorously enforce it – Abraham Lincoln

      January 11, 2013 at 10:35 am |
    • Rick

      "The best way to revoke a bad law is to vigorously enforce i"

      Really try selling that to the 50 million Americans that were walking around without health insurance prior to this law.

      January 11, 2013 at 10:53 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Are they the same 50 million who live in fear of no free cell phones?

      January 11, 2013 at 10:57 am |
  11. david defrank

    any of you proaborts read thomas jeffersos tomb stone?????????/read what the man says about religius rights on his stone something he he felt strongly about

    January 11, 2013 at 8:59 am |
    • Geogal

      I wasn't aware a dead man could write on his own tombstone

      January 17, 2013 at 3:50 am |
  12. david defrank

    to chris esser.to answer your question yes. it is the right of the people to alter a law that has a long train of abuses and userpations if my spelling is correct.when they pursue a destruction of our posterity.our population is below replacement level.for gods sake census says we have about the same population now as we had in the fourties.why because proaborts killed them all.

    January 11, 2013 at 8:54 am |
  13. 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

    So, are these religious azzes still in business?

    January 11, 2013 at 2:41 am |
  14. aaron

    Maybe if Hobby Lobby quizzed their customers before accepting their money, they might be more believable. Ask the women customers if they've had abortions. They say yes, don't sell them anything. If they're going to claim religious persecution, they should operate it on both the revenue and expense ends. Nothing's gonna get in the way of their making money though.

    January 11, 2013 at 2:33 am |
  15. kevin

    Why should an employer be able to choose any aspect of their employee's healthcare decisions? Health plans should be set up such that the employer pays X dollars into a general fund, and the employee puts a check in a box that says "Contraceptives (yes) or (no)."

    Only the employee, and their doctor, know what is in that box and NOT the employer.

    If the EMPLOYEE has religious beliefs against contraception, their rights are protected, AND VICE VERSA.

    Problem solved?

    January 10, 2013 at 10:41 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      That makes sense to me and most people I know, but then again you're talking about old wrinkly white religitard dudes who are feel the need to intrude on anything happening in any va ginas in the vicinity.

      January 10, 2013 at 11:06 pm |
    • kevin

      Aren't all medical records sealed, and protected by Doctor/Patient confidentiality laws? Period?

      January 10, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
    • kevin

      From the religious viewpoint, must the choice of an individual beliver to use or not use contraceptives be an act of FAITH?

      The religious leader and organization must encourage their followers, at their house of worship, to excersize their free will to an act of faith. Those same leaders must have FAITH that their followers are doing so.

      A human act of facisim by an employer is NOT one of faith, and more importantly, violates the rights- religious and otherwise- of their employees, and violates Doctor/Patient confidentiality.

      The solution is make is so that no employer can know what any citizen chooses, and on their soul be it.

      Anything else is a violation of law, and of an act of true faith for a beliver.

      January 11, 2013 at 12:09 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      As a staunch Catholic and vehement opponent of the ACA, I think I could get behind your suggestion. Do you have any idea why the law was not written this way?

      January 11, 2013 at 9:01 am |
    • kevin

      I am super glad to hear you say that Bill Deacon.

      All it would take is a confidential form that the employee and their doctor sign that says Contraceptives (yes) or (no).

      The employer is therefore not knowingly paying for anything they disagree with; the burden is on the individual alone.

      The government is happy, employers are happy, employees are happy, religious leaders are acting in good faith, athiest progressives are happy, its win win! Actually its win, win, win, win, win.

      January 11, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • bill deacon

      Oh I understand how it could be implimented I'm just wondering why you think it was not done that way

      January 12, 2013 at 1:07 am |
  16. David

    So the hidden issue is that the government is trying to support abortion with out paying for it and therefore getting it's hands dirty. The government is passing it off to the people.

    January 10, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You are dumb as a box of hair.

      January 10, 2013 at 10:57 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @David..............If you keep this up, they'll start requesting bloggers give urine samples.

      January 10, 2013 at 11:02 pm |
    • lol??

      The only money the gubmint has is from extortion.

      January 10, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
  17. Mike Scott

    All they have to do is what my employer did. Get crappy insurance like Allied National or United Healthcare, and they will save enough money in premiums to offset the fines.

    January 10, 2013 at 8:36 pm |
    • lol??

      But they wuv us. Unlimited toys from santa gubmint.

      January 10, 2013 at 11:19 pm |
  18. Tim

    Is the Greens FORCING someone to NOT USE the morning after pill. No. They can use it all they want. He is simply saying that they won't use it on his dime. And indirectly through him paying for his employees insurance, he is supporting their ability financially to get it. Is the morning after pill so expensive that even someone with employement can't afford it. I doubt it. So the greens are HARDLY putting someone in a position where they can't excercise their own agency and buy this form of contraception. I doubt if someone really wanted to buy this pill on their own dime that they will not be able to pay their bills as a result. This argument is just pathetic

    January 10, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's NOT his dime. Employees pay premiums. Their health insurance is part of their compensation.

      January 10, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      That's not entirely true now is it Tom? Employers pay benefits also and in HL's case I believe the entire policy is funded by the employer.

      January 11, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You "believe"? You believe a lot of things, Billy. Cite your source. Your "belief" isn't proof.

      By the way, didn't you cause an abortion by being irresponsible and not using protection while boinking your girlfriend?

      January 11, 2013 at 6:46 pm |
    • bill deacon

      Well since I'm not on HL's board I can't say what the employer paid share is and unless you are i doub that your claim that it is employee paid is any more accurate.

      I suppose you get a kick out of rubbing my nose in personal history but do you think i owuld have posted it here if I had not made peace with it? What about you TT? You've got a strong interest in keeping abortion available. Care to risk a little vulnerability for the sake of substantiating your position?

      January 12, 2013 at 1:11 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So, Billy, you made a statement you can't back up. Nothing new there.

      As for my reasons for caring about reproductive rights, they are purely this: I believe no one has the right to make a decision about whether to continue a pregnancy or terminate but the woman who's pregnant. End of story. Never had or sought an abortion. Never counseled anyone as to what decision to make either way. Never even discussed the issue with anyone at all unless she or he brought it up first.

      My personal history concerning the issue is clean as a whistle, Billy. I don't have anything I need to "make peace" with, unlike you.

      January 12, 2013 at 4:53 pm |
  19. David

    Is David Green and his wife being forced to use contraception? No. Is Hobby Lobby paying for someone else's contraception? No.

    Once again, the religious right is playing the victim while being the biggest bully group in our nation. I hope one day they will stop persecuting others.

    January 10, 2013 at 4:45 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      What is it that you believe the ACA is mandating which the Greens object to?

      January 10, 2013 at 4:49 pm |
    • David

      The ACA is requiring that the insurance company provide contaception (not at Hobby Lobby's expense) to those who want it. David Green believes that it is a sin to use the morning-after pill and he believes that he has a right to force that view on those that do not believe it is a sin to use the morning-after pill. Imagine if the tables were turned and those that believed it was not a sin to use the morning-after pill FORCED David Green's wife to use it. As long as you are the bully, it is harder to put yourself in the shoes of the victims.

      January 10, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      So who pays Hobby Lobby's insurance premium?

      January 10, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • David

      " . . . the Department of Health and Human Services tweaked its original rule in February to require health insurers, not employers, to cover the cost of contraception coverage . . . "

      In other words, Hobby Lobby's insurance premiums do not go up when this coverage is included – so they are not paying for it.

      And as I stated earlier, imagine David Green's reaction if he was told that his wife was going to be required to take the morning-after pill. He would scream about how his rights were being infringed upon.

      Play the victim, be the bully – Conservative Christians have mastered that art more than any group I have ever known.

      January 10, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      But the Catholic Church called BS on that slight of hand and the Federal government has now backed off on the claim that the cost will not be passed on to the policy holders. So your argument doesn't even exist in reality today. I'm not even talking about your "what if it were reversed" argument. Secondly, the Green considerations are not financial. They are religious. It has already been substantiated that they will pay higher premiums with the contraceptive coverage which they are willing to do. So, can you make a good argument for why we should allow the Federal government to force people to buy products for others which violate their conscience?

      January 10, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
    • Jeff

      I LIKE TURTLES AND SO SHOULD EVERYONE ELSE.! WHERE IS TYHE SUBMIT BUTTON

      January 10, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Should read "will pay higher.. without..."

      January 10, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • Susie

      How would you like to pay for the gun that murdered the children in CT?

      January 10, 2013 at 5:57 pm |
    • Tim

      ummmm. actually hobby lobby IS paying for someone else's contraception. That's the whole point of the article is that through the law they are forced to provide insurance care for their employees that would include ALL forms of contraception, even the kind which the Green's who own Hobby lobby opose based upon religious grounds. So I don't know what you are talking about as far as religion being a bully????

      January 10, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • lol??

      A&A's prefer the leftist religious wrong dongs.

      January 10, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Susie, I'm not sure what you might be trying to say but imagine this: Suppose the NRA has a field day and convinces President Obama to create and Congress to pass a law that say all employers must provide ammunition for their employees in order to protect the citizens of this great land from further gun violence. Now, it doesn't matter if you oppose guns or ammunition because it is the law and besides the presence of guns is statistically shown to mitigate violent mass murder and lessen the number of deaths in the event they occur. No one is forcing you to use guns or ammunition but even if you oppose them, you must provide ammunition for others to use. Do yo believe you should have the right to contest such a law and on what grounds?

      January 11, 2013 at 9:23 am |
    • Rick

      I want to play the Bill game too. Let's do away with all laws because it imposes things on others that they might not like. Yeah, makes perfect sense to me!

      January 11, 2013 at 11:57 am |
    • Pete

      "Suppose the NRA has a field day and convinces President Obama to create and Congress to pass a law that say all employers must provide ammunition for their employees in order to protect the citizens of this great land from further gun violence. "

      We have done something similar it's was called the draft.

      January 11, 2013 at 11:58 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Rick, I think you misunderstand. I'm not advocating the repeal of any laws in my scenario. I'm asking what your response would be if the government mandated that you, as an employer, were required to fund something for me which you found morally reprehensible. The fact that you support the health care mandate for contraceptive coverage and disregard the Green's conscientious objection to it sets a precedent whereby a political climate contrary to you beliefs would have the same privilege. You may choose to ignore that now because you like the flavor but a different meal may be served in the future unless the government is restrained.

      January 11, 2013 at 12:07 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Pete, the army is not permitted to be deployed against the citizenry at this time.

      January 11, 2013 at 12:09 pm |
    • Really??

      Dill Beacon
      You want the government restrained??? The government of, by and for the people. The government is US. If you have a problem with it, stand up and speak, you have that right. It is only the citizens that control government, not the other way around. If you want to chnage something, convince enough people to your way of thinking. complaining about the government, is complaining about yourself.

      January 11, 2013 at 12:13 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      My mistake:

      In yet another astonishingly treasonous act the U.S. administration has eliminated yet another key check to control out of control government, the 1878 Posse Comitatus Act. The Posse Comitatus Act abolished the use of the U.S. military against our own citizens and eliminated the ability of the U.S. government to eliminate the U.S. Constiitution and Bill of Rights by declaring Martial Law.

      In early 2006 Congress passed bill H.R.5122 granting the President the right to commandeer Federal and State National Guard Troops for use against citizens. The bill is entiitled the John Warner Defense Appropriation Act for Fiscal Year 2007

      January 11, 2013 at 12:15 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Yes really, really. The fundamental idea of the great American Experiment is that the government, for the first time in history is responsible to the people. It is our duty, as free people, to restrain the government lest tyranny ensue and our divinely originated freedoms become a dim memory of our enslaved grandchildren. The infringement of speech via hate-speech laws, the infringement of religious belief, as in this case and the usurping of the right to self protect as is currently underway are the three key strategies of demagogues and dictators.

      January 11, 2013 at 12:22 pm |
  20. Chris Esser

    "Our basic point is the government can't put a corporation in the position of choosing between its faith and following the law."

    This is where the religious argument fails. The law comes first, and the law should always be applied equally to everyone.

    If I started a religion that advocated murder would I be exempt from following the law? Could I kill with immunity? No.

    How about something less extreme than murder? Lets say I was a raciest based on religious beliefs. Could I then use race as a bases for employment? Of course not. I have to follow the law like everyone else. Would people still use the argument that it was my right to discriminate? Could I refuse service to minorities and claim a religions or moral objection? If I was a doctor could I say, "I don't like Jews so let the patient die."? Any of these cases are very cut and dry. It's illegal, and for good reason.

    So why is it different when it comes to healthcare coverage? The law is the law.

    January 10, 2013 at 3:53 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Chris the basic difference between America and every other nation on earth is the divine free nature of each individual that the Declaration of Independence announced, the Constiitution ratified and 250 years of history have validated. If you want to live in a country where "the law is the law" and trumps the inalienable rights of free men, and obviates their responsibility to pursue justice, you are in the wrong country.

      January 10, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • Chris Esser

      So exactly how is not following business laws an inalienable right? Do I have an inalienable right not to pay my taxes? Can I run a restaurant and say it's my inalienable right to serve rats I find in the alley and call it pork?

      Do people have the right to ignore laws they don't like? That seems to be what you're suggesting.

      January 10, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      No Chris, besides being absurd reduction, neither of the scenarios you submit are equivalent to the health care mandate. The difference is when you refuse to pay your taxes you are infringing on the rights of other citizens who must then carry your share of the load. When you serve unsafe food from your restaurant you are impacting the health of others by deception. When I refuse to buy you contraceptives, your right to acquire them is not infringed. On the contrary, when you use the government to force me to pay for them (or insurance to cover it) you are using the strong hand of the state to steal privileges from me for your benefit against my conscience.

      January 10, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • Tim

      Bill Deacon....very, very well said sir!! You clearly pointed out how we are not taking away anyone's right to obtain contraceptives. I just love how logic...makes sense.

      January 10, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • Bob

      "The difference is when you refuse to pay your taxes you are infringing on the rights of other citizens who must then carry your share of the load."

      The same thing has been happening in health care. Who do you think has been absorbing the bills of people who don't pay their health care bills because they didn't have insurance?

      January 10, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • eric

      Actually, The SUpreme Court ruled in 2010 against the Catholic School teacher who was fired after receiving in-vitro fertilization. So Churches aren't necessarily subject to civil employment laws. Hobby Lobby isn't a church, no matter how much crap they write on their walls in bad grammar ("He is Risen).
      Also, they need to be told that the morning after pill doesn't cause abortion, it prevents implantation.

      January 10, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @Bill..................Your conscience is full of it. I replied to your earlier posts. I couldn't help but notice you never answered the question. If you want these kids to be born are you willing to pay for them? Kids need food, health care, shelter etc. Lets see hoe religious you really are if your money is on the line. In addition when women take these pills NO ONE knows if their pregnant or not. It hasn't been confirmed yet.

      January 10, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
    • Jojo the Chimpanzee

      eric,

      though I agree with what you said, "He is risen" is not bad grammar. It is old English. It means "He rose".

      January 10, 2013 at 10:21 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Sorry Ken I didn't answer you because I think the question is ignorant. But if you insist, the answer is I pay for the children I brought into this world and I pay taxes that provide welfare for those who don't. I also donate a considerable amount of time and money to children's causes from area Little league to a foster child in Africa I have supported for fifteen years. So, your comment has less weight than the feather in Forest Gump.

      January 11, 2013 at 9:06 am |
    • Ken Margo

      @Bill........................Guess what you still don't do enough. Children are going to bed hungry and homeless. So your self serving crap means nothing to them. When you're pro life, ALL CHILDREN have to be helped. Bottom line you and others like you are failures. YOU supported Mitt Romney who wanted to cut and gut programs children need. YOU support republicans who voted to deny major relief money for Super storm Sandy to NYC and NJ. You should be ashamed of yourself but when you have no soul and as phony as three dollar bill you can convince yourself you're better than you really are.

      January 11, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • Cherries

      Ken, as you can see, the common myth among people like Bill Deacon is pro life=pro children. Nothing could be firther from the truth. They do not care ONE WHIT about the child after its born-witness all those rabid "Pro-lifer" GOPer's constantly wanting to cut social services and education and everything else that may make some poor person'd quality of life better. As you innustrated above, the House if full of them. They care not about people. Only their preserving their misgynistic power plays.

      January 11, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @cherries........................Thank you. We literally have millions of people (including children) that are either homeless, hungry, without health care, uneducated or a combination of them. Why take away the right to choose from women and add more kids/adults to that ever increasing problem? I love children, I have 2 myself. I'm 50. do you think I want children at my age? Birth control works for me. I know Bill Deacon wont be there if I need assistance.

      January 11, 2013 at 9:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Bill is opposed to any and all birth control. Even if it results in an unwanted, unplanned pregnancy that forces a woman to seek an abortion. Just ask him. It's his life story.

      January 12, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.