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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. Ken Margo

    Hey folks you should stop wasting your time replying to the likes of Bill Deacon. The phony religious types that twist your words around, don't answer your questions or likes to misquote the 14th amendment. Bill thinks employees at HL should buy birth control with their own money ignoring the fact the money is pay from HL. Which is no different than getting the birth control from the insurance company that the employee and employer (HL) both contribute too. The "contribution" is still being made form HL no matter you twist it. The phoney religious types form the pope on down complained about abortions. We get a president who is finally tackling the problem. Lo and behold the crooked christian conservatives MAKE UP something else to complain about. These phoney good for nothings think people are farm animals, only to have s3x to reproduce.

    January 23, 2013 at 5:02 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Myth believers have a tendency to prefer their stances over logic. Faith (arrogance of correct viewpoint regardless of any facts or arguments) trumps reason because nothing else can.

      January 23, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @moby..............No truer words have been written. We literally have millions of people hungry, homeless and without healthcare, yet religious whack jobs think ADDING more people will solve the issue.

      January 23, 2013 at 5:17 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Ok here's a logical question answer if you can. Why should we allow the government to violate a person's religious belief's to mandate a benefit to others which is generally available to them at low cost elsewhere? Bonus points if you can reconcile your answer to the 1st, 5th, and 14th amendments to the Constiitution as well as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act

      January 23, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      (CNN) – Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor on Wednesday turned down a request that she block part of Obamacare that would require companies' health plans to provide for coverage of certain contraceptives, such as the morning-after pill.
      Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., and Mardel, Inc. and five family members involved in ownership and control of the corporations had protested the requirement, which is to kick in January 1.

      They said they would be required "to provide insurance coverage for certain drugs and devices that the applicants believe can cause abortions," which would be against their religious beliefs, Sotomayor wrote in her opinion.

      The applicants said they would face irreparable harm if forced to choose between paying fines and complying with the requirement.

      But Sotomayor, who handles emergency appeals from the 10th Circuit, said the applicants failed to meet "the demanding standard for the extraordinary relief," and that they could continue to pursue their challenge in lower courts and return to the higher court, if necessary, following a final judgment.

      Hobby Lobby is a chain of arts and crafts stores with more than 13,000 employees; Mardel is a chain of Christian-themed bookstores with 372 full-time employees. Both are based in Oklahoma City. Neither company responded to e-mails.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:03 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Answer this, Bill: Why should a corporation be permitted to break the law when its objections to it are based on pure bullish!t?

      January 23, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
    • Archibald Smythe-Pennington, III

      I wonder who could have tried to impersonate Tom on the article that has many many pages earlier today? I wonder who that could be?

      January 23, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      Ladies and gentlemen,

      If you read through the above article copied from CNN, You'll see this line.

      They said they would be required "to provide insurance coverage for certain drugs and devices that the applicants believe can cause abortions," which would be against their religious beliefs, Sotomayor wrote in her opinion.

      The key phrase is "applicants believe". What the applicants believe is WRONG. Medical info. proves they are wrong. This is the number one reason if this phony lawsuit goes to the supreme court it will lose. The women that takes the morning after pill, DO NOT KNOW IF THEY ARE PREGNANT. PREGNANCY HAS NOT BEEN CONFIRMED IN ANY WAY. If no one knows if she was pregnant, how can their be an abortion. This makes the lawsuit as empty as a mitt romney suit. You are arguing something that cannot be proved. How can anyone win a lawsuit on that logic?

      January 23, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
    • Archibald Smythe-Pennington, III

      A Blob, perhaps?

      January 23, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      OOOOoooo! What pages? I've been at work from 8:30 until about 25 or 30 minutes ago, and I don't post from work. Ever.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @archie...............Isn't that called a normal cycle aka a period?

      January 23, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Come on, already. Which article and what pages?

      January 23, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      Copied from Web MD

      Plan B works like other birth control pills to prevent pregnancy. Plan B acts primarily by stopping the release of an egg from the ovary. It may prevent a sperm from fertilizing the egg.

      If fertilization does occur, Plan B may prevent a fertilized egg from attaching to the womb. If a fertilized egg is implanted prior to taking Plan B, Plan B will not work and pregnancy proceeds normally.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
    • Jen

      Actually Ken, its not that there is no way of knowing there is a pregnancy, there is NO pregnancy period. A woman does not become pregnant until implantation has occurred. That is when pregnancy begins. Therefore the morning after pill is not an abortion drug in any way, shape or form, as abortion is the termination of a pregnancy. HL saying that they believe it is an abortion drug is NO different then saying that they don't believe in the medical definition of cancer, therefore they don't have to cover it. Of course Bill knows this full well, but he believes that companies are allowed to make up their own definitions as long as they are being run by Christians.

      Then Bill made the argument that the morning after pill can't be covered because it's not treating a chronic medical condition. So I asked him if IVF should be covered by Catholic companies where mandated by law (as in my state of MA), as it is treating a chronic medical condition, even though it is opposed by the church. He refused to answer the question. Why? He doesn't want to look like the hypocrite that he is.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:07 pm |
    • Jen

      Of course Bill has also made the statement that women aren't allowed to have abortions to lengthen their own lives, but freely admits he would not give an organ to a person that needed one to live, if he put that person in the life or death situation. Ie, my morals apply to everyone else, but not to me.

      HUGE hypocrite.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:15 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @Jen..................Hello, Hope all is well. Like I said before Jen, You answer questions a lot better than I ever could. By the way how are you and Logic doing on the other thread? I gave up on him when he said he would rather his family go without health insurance than comply with the ACA. I feel sorry for his family that he would love an embryo that he doesn't know so much so that he would put his own family at risk!

      January 23, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
    • Jen

      Hey Ken, I'm good. Hope you and your family are good. I definitely agree with your point that there is no difference between employees paying for contraceptives with their take home pay,or through their insurance coverage, as they are both part of their overall salary. Of course Bill would probably support HL if they stopped paying employees that they suspected were buying contraceptives.

      I stopped debating with Logic around the same time you did. It was obvious that he needed to have the last word, and was being disingenuous by continually calling the medical definition of pregnancy 'my' version of pregnancy. He is just so outside the mainstream school of thought it was pointless. Not of this is unlike Bill, who just told me that pregnancy is a medical condition under 'my' value system (nope), and pretty sure has told me he thinks m-sturbation is a major sin before. The only difference is that Logic actually believed he had a shot at changing my mind, whereas I dont think Bill is under that mistaken notion.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
    • Jen

      'none' of this

      January 23, 2013 at 9:11 pm |
    • Kanawah

      @ Bill Deacon,
      "The government shall make no law respecting to religion". If it takes into consideration a persons religion, it is violating the amendment. The government may take no stand. Unfortunately, all too often it does take a stand. This time it did not take into consideration religion, only the needs of the employee, as it should be.
      If the employer does not want to cover contraceptives, then they pay the fine.

      January 25, 2013 at 9:00 pm |
  2. Thoth

    @Bill – you wrote: 'Do you concede they have the right to express a believe, as a corporate entiity"

    If the "corporate enti ty" consists only of likeminded people, and services only likeminded people (i.e. a church) then yes. If the same corporation employees people across the spectrum of ideologies, then no. And let's be honest, HL has no problem making profits off people of any ideology, so skirting requirements that other companies must follow gives HL an unfair competi tive advantage.

    Bottom line, a corporation is made up of people, but it is not an individual with a singular perspective, and is therefore not covered by the BOR's, which apply to individuals. A for-profit corporation must (and should) follow the same regulations that all other businesses must adhere to.

    January 23, 2013 at 10:01 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      How do reconcile that with the SCOTUS historically consistent findings that the Bill of Rights do, in fact, apply to corporations as people who are a collection for individuals freely associating for a common purpose and who may be directed by a single individual or small group of individuals? I mean, I understand your idea, but that is not what has transpired in U.S. law for over a century.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • niknak

      OK Billybob Deacon Blues, then riddle me this;
      If it is ok for HobbyLobby to pick and choose what they want their healthcare to cover based on their "belief," then would it be ok for them to apply that to the color of a person's skin?
      Or to their ethniticity?
      Or any other trait they say would go against their "beliefs?"

      You religious people justify killing abortion doctors because of you beliefs, so I guess I know your answer to the above.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:31 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      NIk, please stop with the ignorance. No religion supports the killing of abortion doctors and you know it. No one believes a religious exemption from the ACA opens the door to rampant disregard for other established law. Has the left lost any ability to argue the merits of this case other than ridiculousness and threats of fines?

      January 23, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      That's a hoot, coming from you, Billy. You've lied about contraceptives. Your hyperbole about this issue is laughable.

      Why do you think you know more than a justice of the SCOTUS about what the laws and the Const itution say? What an arrogant ass you are.

      January 23, 2013 at 6:07 pm |
  3. Ken Margo

    @bill..................Those "Cells" will become something you wont help pay for. So mind your business.

    What we have created in our culture is a society which devalues the gift of one human to another in the act of seexual liaison, deconstructed the family by incentivizing divorce and dehumanizing crreation by making seex cheap and abortion easy. I'm sorry to tell you this but the way out of the quagmire is not through more abortion. It's through a reassessment of our values.

    So I guess wars don't devalue life? What about guns? I guess those are OK. What about the pro-lifers that kill doctors? I guess those are OK too?

    Not all s3x is "cheap" s3x. There are plenty of MARRIED Christians (I'm sure a lot of them go to your church) that use birth control and have had an abortion.

    Birth control prevents abortions. You can make up your own rules if you want, facts are facts. In areas where women have easy access to birth control, abortions drop in significant numbers.

    People that are pro choice don't celebrate abortions. We just don't want it to be illegal.

    January 22, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Ken, I'm willing to mind my own business and you are welcome to turn a blind eye while a million innocents are aborted each year. What I am not willing to do is allow you or the federal government to coerce a company into complicity with that practice without contesting the legality of it.

      January 23, 2013 at 12:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      They AREN'T complicit with any such thing, Billy. Stop lying. Plan B has NOTHING to do with abortions, except that it prevents them.

      Why are you so ignorant of the facts?

      January 23, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
  4. Ken Margo

    Good to see Bill "Scuumbag Deacon is back from his weekly cross burning. Hey Bill, did you run over any poor people you saw on the road?

    I have a suggestion for all you Christians! Since you want these kids to be born, lets raise YOUR taxes so you can support these kids you want so badly to be born. I don't want to pay for them. Lets see you Christians put your money where your mouth is. You wonder why your taxes go up? I've said it before, their isn't an economic system that has ever been or ever will be created to support unlimited amount of people. Add more people, add more taxes.

    January 22, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      You make a great argument Ken. We should immediately start a program that encourages poor and underprivileged segments of our society to abort their unborn children in order for us to maintain our lifestyles. We could make contraception cheap and easy to obtain and even fund abortion clinic with tax dollars. Bring in some Madison avenue types to market it all as "women's rights" or something really snazzy sounding. Meanwhile only rich, educated and, you know, the "right" people (wink wink) should be encouraged to have children. Joseph Goebels would have loved you man.

      January 22, 2013 at 5:26 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by 'Bill Deacon' presents an instance of a Slippery Slope fallacy.

      http://fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      January 22, 2013 at 5:31 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by 'Bill Deacon' presents an instance of a Argumentum
      ad Hominem fallacy.

      http://fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      January 22, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      *correction*
      Post by 'Ken Margo' presents an instance of a Argumentum
      ad Hominem fallacy.

      http://fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      January 22, 2013 at 5:35 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @Bill......................I got news for ya. Rich people take birth control and have abortions too. My point is those against birth control and abortions don't look at the WHOLE picture. I noticed YOU didn't volunteer to raise your taxes to help these kids. Proves my point you don't care about the kids. Your anti birth control and anti abortion stand is just a phony self serving position.

      I don't understand how people like you can "care" about a embryo you'll never meet or know, Yet your money is used for wars that kills thousands and you don't give a rats azz about that.

      January 22, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Just speaking personally now Ken, my argument for pro life doesn't stem from some warm and fuzzy, I love babies sentiment. I understand that liberalism runs on emotion but try to think like a rational person who thinks that human life has value simply because it is human life. Not because of how it is conceived, not because of mommy and daddy's social position but because left to it's natural course, that blob of cells will become a living human being capable of all the absurd, ridiculous, wonderful and impossibly beautiful experiences, contributions and gifts that humans give to one another.
      What we have created in our culture is a society which devalues the gift of one human to another in the act of seexual liaison, deconstructed the family by incentivizing divorce and dehumanizing crreation by making seex cheap and abortion easy. I'm sorry to tell you this but the way out of the quagmire is not through more abortion. It's through a reassessment of our values.

      January 22, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
    • Fallacy Spotting 101

      Post by 'Bill Deacon' contains an instance of the Circu-mstantial Ad Hominem fallacy, and multiple instances of the Begging the Question fallacy.

      http://fallacyfiles.org/glossary.html

      January 22, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
  5. Hugganoak

    "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."
    I think the owners are plenty free to exercise their religion. They shouldn't take one of the pills if they don't want to. However, they should not be free to exercise their religion on someone else. Medical insurance is medical insurance, it's between the patient and his/her doctor what is appropriate. Don't scream about freedom of religion when you are trying to force your views on someone else.

    January 22, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
  6. Wrathbrow

    My Two Cents wrote:
    "I'm dismayed but not surprised of the ignorance and inchoerent logic in your statement. You act as if the company not paying for a service on behalf of an employee equates to denial of that service.

    If I pay you $100 dollars/mo and and refuse to pay for your birth control or I pay you $90/mo and pay for your birth control, I see very little difference (presuming birth control is $10/mo). Understand these are example numbers, but the logic equates."

    Then by that same logic companies should not have to pay for other preventative heath care, and just reduce the rates on their individual insurance costs. That works for me, people who are fat can pay for their insulin, people who smoke can pay for their patches to help quit. Those are people's choices and they can pay for them. Right?

    January 22, 2013 at 9:52 am |
  7. Grow up already

    A "corporation" cannot have religious beliefs. As we all know, corporations are NOT people. People practice their religion on an individual basis and we're all free to do so. Don't want to take birth control or have an abortion? Then don't do it, but leave MY choices to ME. Butt out!

    January 22, 2013 at 8:57 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Your belief is very common but, alas, erroneous. The 14th amendment says so.

      January 22, 2013 at 9:31 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Apparently, your interpretation of the Amendment is what's erroneous, Billy.

      January 22, 2013 at 10:28 am |
    • Damocles

      @Bill

      So does a company have the right to do anything they want under the guise of practicing their beliefs?

      January 22, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Damocles – Do you have the right to do anything you want under the guise of practicing your religion?

      Tom- I'm happy to post this for the umpteenth time if it helps your comprehension.

      Since at least Trustees of Dartmouth College v. Woodward – 17 U.S. 518 (1819), the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized corporations as having the same rights as natural persons to contract and to enforce contracts. In Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad – 118 U.S. 394 (1886), the reporter noted in the headnote to the opinion that the Chief Justice began oral argument by stating, "The court does not wish to hear argument on the question whether the provision in the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constiitution, which forbids a State to deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws, applies to these corporations. We are all of the opinion that it does."[1] While the headnote is not part of the Court's opinion and thus not precedent, two years later, in Pembina Consolidated Silver Mining Co. v. Pennsylvania – 125 U.S. 181 (1888), the Court clearly affirmed the doctrine, holding, "Under the designation of 'person' there is no doubt that a private corporation is included [in the Fourteenth Amendment]. Such corporations are merely associations of individuals united for a special purpose and permitted to do business under a particular name and have a succession of members without dissolution." [2] This doctrine has been reaffirmed by the Court many times since.

      January 22, 2013 at 1:03 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Seems as the SCOTUS doesn't agree with your interpretation, Billy. They're the ones who are going to rule on the matter, and I doubt they'll be consulting you.

      January 22, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Since they have yet to rule I don't see how you can know whether I am interpreting correctly or not.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:06 am |
    • Damocles

      @bill

      Umm... correct, that is the question I am asking you.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:16 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      And the answer is no Damocles. neither you nor I nor any company can just do whatever they want under the guise of religious freedom. That is not what Hobby Lobby, the Catholic Church or any pro-life group is advocating. Why do you feel compelled to extend their position to the absurd when you acknowledge the rights of other groups to adhere to their beliefs without government interference?

      January 23, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      One of them has already denied them. Do you really think you know more about the Consti tution and the law than SHE does, you arrogant twit?

      January 23, 2013 at 7:56 pm |
  8. Julie

    They should have that right because they OWN their business – the government has no right to force a person to accept it's ungodly beliefs either – works both ways -

    January 22, 2013 at 12:45 am |
    • Saraswati

      And if you buy a factory, the only employer in a small town, and decide your religion doesn't allow you to hire women or people of a certain race that's OK too, because it's your religion?

      January 22, 2013 at 9:55 am |
    • Primewonk

      Let's say I own a diner. Can I post a sign and refuse to let those "colored" folks eat there?

      January 22, 2013 at 10:07 am |
    • Saraswati

      @Primewonk, apparently you can if it's your religion. According to these folks you can do ANYTHING as long as you find or create a religion to back it up.

      January 22, 2013 at 10:10 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      What religion would that be?

      January 22, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Bill, ethnic Odinists, if, once again, you can't deal with a hypothetical.

      January 22, 2013 at 1:51 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      No, I prefer reality. Sometimes it bites, I know but at least it's reality. I think if you will observe the courts pronouncements on religious objections they are often based on real, substantial, sincere and valid expressions of faith. If you can substantiate that you are in fact an ethnic Odinist, you might have a case.

      January 22, 2013 at 4:27 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Bill, are you now arguing that I can't even use as an example any religion I don't belong to?

      January 22, 2013 at 4:30 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Did some research on Odinism. Sorry couldn't find anything that says there beliefs include racism, segregation, or seexism. Since tehy seem to believe in reincarnation, I can only assume they would ultimately oppose abortion once their theology develops enough to address it since they would have to eventually deal with the idea that they were aborting either great grandma or possibly their own future ancestor.

      January 22, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Not at all, I'm saying you can't make up some outlandish fabrication in order to make your point when what we are actually dealing with is the real thing.

      January 22, 2013 at 5:05 pm |
    • Jen

      Agreed Bill. HL can't make up the pretend argument that the morning after pill is an abortion drug, anymore than I can make up the argument that a pregnancy starts at 13 weeks. They need to deal with the reality that plan B is a contraceptive.

      January 22, 2013 at 5:23 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Let's stipulate that they do Jen. Do you concede they have the right to express a believe, as a corporate entiity, that they either condone or oppose the use of that type of drug?

      January 22, 2013 at 5:29 pm |
    • Jen

      I suppose that if they want to put their belief in some sort of employee handbook or something that is their right. But they need to follow the laws. The fact is their religious beliefs contradict medical facts.

      January 22, 2013 at 5:39 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Bill, Here you are onOdinism, but this is the last time:

      http://www.splcenter.org/get-informed/intelligence-report/browse-all-issues/2000/spring/pagans-and-prison

      I accepted the ridiculous stand that you wouldn't deal with hypotheticals, but if you're going to take it further and use shear laziness as an excuse you're on your own.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:16 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Well Sara, what about my hypothetical? Are you too lazy to deal with it? I proposed a very plausible and intellectually viable plan where employers, employees, health providers and insurance companies negotiate their mutual contracts without government intervention and you completely disregarded it. What is wrong with allowing free people to make their own choices without the government diictating the terms? Of course if you'd rather swat at flies I understand.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:09 am |
    • Saraswati

      @ Bill, I and many other people have addressed you on that very subject in previous threads. Your game here is to continuously restate your points and ask other people to address them without ever answering our questions and points. You throw out BS statements like "I won't do hypotheticals" and "I can't find anything online to verify that factual info you gave me because I'm lazy and want to avoid the point" (loosely but accurately paraphrased) and you just try to ignore anyone else's point which, in case you are very deeply deluded, just makes you look a) stupid, b) lazy and c) manipulative (and very poorly so).

      Once again, and this is the last time, a completely free market as you describe doesn't provide for people who have pre-existing conditions in their families. If you aren't regulating, then an employer can just turn down any family that has someone in it with a pre-existing condition. OK, since you haven’t specifically included that in your free market description, let's say you give on that and admit we do need to regulate pre-existing conditions. People are not, unfortunately, simply free to up and move any time they choose. I certainly favor people being as unencu'mbered as possible, but the reality is that people live in communities where they are caring for parents with Alzheimer’s, they have homes that they can't sell because of the really downturn, they have kids who have to attend specific hospitals. If we want people to be employed and have medical care we have to regulate it.

      Now, I have once again answered your "hypothetical". Feel free to address mine, but if you do so without first addressing mine, all I listed above and doing so honestly, you will simply be announcing yourself as the manipulative hypocrite we all have seen you to be. Go for it.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:37 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      OK Sara, let's start fresh. I understand that there are people who are having tough times. I understand that you feel a need to have government address those issues. I understand that the government has passed a law, currently being challenged in over 40 cases nationwide, which requires employers to provide services which some people fell violate their deeply held religious convictions. I understand that these services are widely available at low cost whether these objectors are required to fund them or not. Can you please explain to me why we should allow the Federal government to coerce these services from people in violation of their beliefs?

      So far the only reasons I have heard which I find invalid fall into these categories:

      1. Companies can't have beliefs. They, in fact can.
      2. They are trying to force their beliefs on employees. They are not, they are defending their beliefs.
      3. It's the law. It may be at the moment but it has yet to reach the SCOTUS.

      So, if you can, succinctly make your point. Why should the government get to make Hobby Lobby provide contraception coverage?

      January 23, 2013 at 11:34 am |
  9. William

    Hey, Tommy boy. Where in the First Amendment do see reference to religious organizations. These are primarily individual rights afforded to all American citizens including owners, CEO's, etc.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:10 pm |
  10. Erik

    Fine the hell out of this company...send a message to others thinking of pulling the same stunt, fry them!

    January 21, 2013 at 9:57 pm |
    • William

      This will ultimately end in the U.S. Supreme Court where this moronic mandate to violate ones religious beliefs will be overturned.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:16 pm |
  11. MaryLou

    A couple of months ago a Hobby Lobby opened in our area. To be honest I had never heard of them before. When I started hearing about the company's objection to covering contraceptive I was surprised. How can a company make that choice for their employees? I feel that this is wrong since it should be up to each individual. For anyone who has religious beliefs then they too have the choice. The bottom line is the employee should not force their beliefs on the employees. I have decided not purchase anything from their stores since this is my choice!

    January 21, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
    • My two cents

      I'm dismayed but not surprised of the ignorance and inchoerent logic in your statement. You act as if the company not paying for a service on behalf of an employee equates to denial of that service.

      If I pay you $100 dollars/mo and and refuse to pay for your birth control or I pay you $90/mo and pay for your birth control, I see very little difference (presuming birth control is $10/mo). Understand these are example numbers, but the logic equates.

      Here's what it comes down to – if you want to use birth control – pay for it.

      Ironically, no where have I in this "fair and equitable" legislation, seen where male contraceptive options are provided for.

      if you can explain to me how the company is "forcing their beliefs" on their employees, I'll be happy to rescind all the above. But it's a loser, because you can't make anyone believe anything, you can make them say something, or act against beliefs, as the Obama administration is seeking to do.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Too bad for you, two dumb. The law says otherwise. Get over it or move.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
    • William

      A company can make the choice of what it is willing to provide its employees in a health care package, according to its moral/religious beliefs, for one major reason–it is their company. They took the risk to start it, they invested their profits to grow it, and they provided the jobs for their employees, and no one is forced to work for them. The mandate to provide contraception, even for married women is a totally new, unwarranted concept. However, all of this is obviously beyond
      the understanding of those of you who believe all of your wants are natural rights at the expense of someone else. My wife and I drive a good distance across town in order to buy from Hobby Lobby, not only because of their integrity, but because of their excellent selection of goods and their exceptional customer service.

      January 21, 2013 at 10:30 pm |
    • No Problem

      William –
      Actually no a company can't do that... well I guess they can, but it will cost them 1.3 million dollars a day. That is sort of what the article is about.

      January 22, 2013 at 3:53 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      All Juden will board the train! It is the law! Otherwise you will be shot!

      January 22, 2013 at 9:34 am |
    • Saraswati

      @Bill, that's really your only argument and you'd be best off sticking to that. You don't want to abide the law because you think it's immoral. I disagree that it is immoral, but I can respect not wanting to abide a law you think is. However, this is the same as any other civil disobedience, and it is breaking the law. It has nothing to do with protecting freedom of belief or religious freedom. You don't really want to protect all beliefs, just this one. Fine, but please just admit that and drop all the religious oppression stuff.

      January 22, 2013 at 9:51 am |
    • Damocles

      @Bill

      Apparently you believe that a company has the right to demand that, as long as their hate takes cover behind the shield of their faith.

      January 22, 2013 at 10:50 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Please give an example of a right that I have endorsed withholding from anyone or a hate I have espoused.

      January 22, 2013 at 1:10 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      None? Okay thank you.

      January 22, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
  12. Wrathbrow

    Hobby Lobby issued the following statement: "The company 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."
    Pills like RU486 which is a mifepristone, which aborts developing child. That is not approved for use in the United States and hence is is also not covered under the Affordable Heath Care Act.
    What is covered are emergency contraction pills that work by preventing the fertilized egg from implanting in the lining of the uterus. That is the same process that is used in some other contraception pills that women take on a regular basis. The emergency contraction pill is basically larger does that cause the same effect as some contraception pills, and the reason for the higher does is to cause the same effect quickly (instead of days).
    So if people or groups are against this method, they are also saying (though they not realize it due to lacking the facts) that they are against contraction pills.

    January 21, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
  13. ztom

    I am an employer, and I find cancer offensive. I refuse to cover anything cancer-related in my employees' health insurance.

    January 21, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Good luck in the labor market

      January 22, 2013 at 9:37 am |
    • Saraswati

      @Bill, What you're refusing to recognize here is that he would get workers for the same reason that employers who offer no insurance at all get workers: millions of people in this country are desperate and will take what they can get.

      January 22, 2013 at 10:23 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      That's what markets are about Sara. When the risk to capital is greater than the potential for profit, the capital goes away and the market shrinks. The reason there are no jobs in America is that the burden of employment has convinced entrepreneurs to move production onto foreign shores that are more "business friendly" You can legislate all the benefits to yourself that you want but if the money doesn't see a return they won't invest, they won't create and they won't hire. It's very simple and appeals to patriotism, human compassion and equality don't really affect the realities of finance.

      January 22, 2013 at 1:14 pm |
    • Stan

      Bill, that would only be fully true in a case of fully unrestrained capitalism, which we don't have. US unemployment is now far below the >25% of the 1930's and times are pretty good that way now, with a lot of manufacturing happening inside our borders. Finance in the real world is not independent of governent, laws of the land, international law, and even by acceptable employment conditions that are also to some extent driven by consumers and their mores. That all is a bigger net than "business friendly.

      But then again, you are a moron with lastworditis, and I know you'll change the subject and start spewing about your sky fairy again.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:17 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Wow Stan, almost a reasonable and civil response right up until the last sentence.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:40 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Congrats, Billy. You just proved Stan's point.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:04 pm |
  14. sandy

    Saul Alinsky theory... J had is another one. First govern religion, then govern what you eat. I call people who are following this theory, Hogs. Do you know how to catch a wild hog?

    First you throw down some corn for a month or so, and you put up one panel, you continue this process for several months until you have three panels up. (like unemployment for how many years? Not to forget government ran organizations, military, state, federal etc.) When you have a good size herd coming to eat, then the final panel is put up. You have now caged your wild hogs. You can not let them go because they have forgotten how to forge for there own food. They are dependent on you to feed them or time for slaughter because there are too many to take care of. Sounds like Greece to me.. and America you are falling for it.

    The only way to restore this country according to God is repent of you immoral ways and He will restore our country, but that isn't going to happen? Because we have to have tolerance according to Saul Alinsky Theory. Whats moral for you is not moral for meeeee eee ee.. I guess can do whatever I want to you because it is moral to me. Circular reasoning is what this is called. It's bad if didn't get it.

    January 21, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
  15. Renee

    Mr Deacon: Salary, like insurance coverage, is one of the benefits of employment. A Christian employee of a business owned by a Jew or Muslim chooses to use a portion of his salary to buy an Easter ham. How is this different from using a portion of your insurance coverage for contraception, and being prohibited from using it for that purpose not a forcing of one's religious beliefs on another?

    January 21, 2013 at 2:16 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      It's different because under your scenario we would be forcing the Jewish employer to go and buy the ham

      January 21, 2013 at 3:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Bad analogy, Bill. The employers are not "buying" contraceptives. They are simply providing the option to employees to choose health care coverage that will include contraceptives. That you don't grasp the difference isn't terribly shocking.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      There are various versions of the argument that the employer is not actually involved in the transaction. If that is so, why does the mandate burden them and why are they subject to fines for non-compliance. Your sleight of hand dodge that they are not compelled into markets they choose to avoid is a lie TT.

      January 22, 2013 at 9:39 am |
    • Saraswati

      @Bill, the problem is that for anyone with a chronic condition in their family the only way to get affordable insurance is through an employers group policy. They are merely handling money the worker earned. Would it make you feel better if we wasted more money by having a middle layer of businesses that handled the money so the employers hands don't get dirty?

      January 22, 2013 at 9:43 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      What chronic condition do abortifacients treat Sara?

      I prefer to address the issues with the current ACA rather than any hypotheticals. When someone proposes a hypothetical adjustment to the bill I always have to ask; If that is what it takes to make it Constiitutional, why wasn't it written that way to begin with? If the administration gets a different version of the bill passed in Congress, I'm sure virtual Constiitutionalist like myself will be glad to examine it and any real lawyers who can make a case against it will. Just as is happening to this monstrosity.

      January 22, 2013 at 9:50 am |
    • Jen

      The morning after pill is not an abortion drug. Why do you need to lie to try to argue your point? It makes you look very incredible (and very un-Christian).

      January 22, 2013 at 9:54 am |
    • Jen

      Uncredible. Damn autocorrect.

      January 22, 2013 at 9:55 am |
    • Saraswati

      "What chronic condition do abortifacients treat Sara?"

      My point regarding chronic conditions had nothing to do with abortion, but with the options individuals have in this country to get medical coverage (for anything).

      "I prefer to address the issues with the current ACA rather than any hypotheticals."

      Refusing to deal with hypotheticals is a cop out when you either don't have an answer or are too lazy to try.

      January 22, 2013 at 10:00 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The "liar" here is you, Bill. You continue to pretend that plan B is an abortifascient. It is not. It is a contraceptive. The company is being fined because it is not complying with the law. Their beliefs are not an excuse for breaking the law. Attempting to make the argument that because they're being fined, there must be some cost to them that they should not have to pay is absolutely absurd. They offer health insurance already. They are simply not offering a plan that will cover contraceptives.

      You can't have it both ways, Billy. HL claims this isn't about money but belief. Now you're trying to say that it IS about money.

      Make up your mind.

      January 22, 2013 at 10:06 am |
    • Jen

      We ALL know that this is about money. If HL got a financial incentive for including contraception in their insurance they would have no issue with it. Just like they have no problem procuring the majority of their inventory from a country that has an astounding number of abortions thanks to government policies, and they have no problem investing in the pharmaceutical companies that make these drugs. Funny how their morals suddenly don't apply when there is money to be made.

      January 22, 2013 at 10:12 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Jen, Billy thinks any kind of health care requirement is "socialism." You're arguing with a stump.

      January 22, 2013 at 10:16 am |
    • Jen

      Well Tom Tom, Bill is just following Christ's message that health care is for those that can afford it, and everyone else should be left to suffer and die. Oh wait.......

      January 22, 2013 at 10:22 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Yes I'm too lazy to chase your shadow puppets, which you create because your real life legislation is flawed and cannot be defended. You so "well what if..." and then expect an argument based on that. How about this: What if the government kept it's nose out of the health insurance business and allowed employees, employers, health providers and insurers negotiate their own business within legal and Constiitutional frameworks?

      January 22, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Bill

      Still going on and on. Oh the poor little religous fundie business owners can't control the people themselves, so they want to control what they have easy access too. Oh how persecuted they are boo hoo hoo.

      January 22, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      So, in other words there are no chronic conditions medicated by plan B or any other similar medications. Nice red herring.

      January 22, 2013 at 1:44 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Bill

      Considering you tossed the morning after pill into an abortifacent when it is actually an emergency contraceptive, I'd say that didn't require me to respond to your post. Hence I made no Red Herring. It's a nice little sound bite, but ultimately incorrect.

      January 22, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • Jen

      The morning after pill does not manage any chronic conditions (that I am aware of) like the regular pill does. It does prevent a medical condition from occurring however. Much like a flu vaccination is given to prevent the flu.

      January 22, 2013 at 4:39 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Thank you Jen. I suppose pregnancy is considered a medical condition just as non-pregnancy is.

      January 22, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • Jen

      Analogy: I suppose the flu is a medical condition just like not having the flu is.

      It's called preventative medicine Bill. Or do you think those vaccinations my two month old just received were a waste of time and money?

      January 22, 2013 at 5:45 pm |
    • truth be told

      Bill Deacon is a waste of time and money.

      January 22, 2013 at 5:55 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Jen you're value system holds that pregnancy is a medical condition. At least you didn't say disease even though there are those who view as such, at least among the "less desirables". You should know, however, that there are those who have diametrically opposed values and believe that they do not have the authority to end an unborn life, nor do they have the authority to enable another person to do that. When you use the power of the state to force this type of person into complicity with your value system you are engaging in the very intrusion into another person's life that you would accuse the Church of for mandating that you not be allowed to use these products and services.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:27 am |
    • Jen

      My 'value' system says that pregnancy is a medical condition??? Are you kidding??? Actually, no Bill, it is a FACT that it is a medical condition. Again, you are trying to deny a FACT. Both the law and medical profession say it is. And given the $50k in medical bills I racked up in my last pregnancy, I'm pretty sure that it is a medical condition. If you don't agree that it is a medical condition, can you explain what I should have done when I became dehydrated from morning sickness? When I developed a kidney stone due to dehydration (not uncommon in pregnancy and related to dehydration), when I developed gestational diabetes (again, very common – and FYI I only weigh 100 lbs so I didn't bring on the gestational diabetes myself). Or my friend that had to get a hemorrhoid lanced (wouldn't have had that if she weren't pregnant), my other friend that had to have varicose veins treated, my other friend that was treated for prenatal depression? What are those if they are not medical conditions? Please share. I'm waiting for your answer on this.

      My answer I'd that I don't care if the owners of Hobby Lobby are against it. They certainly aren't forced to take contraception. I live in MA where infertility is mandated to be covered by insurance. We all know that that Catholic church opposes IVF. Are you really going to try to argue that infertility is NOT a medical condition? That a company should be allowed to opt out of treating this MEDICAL CONDITION because they oppose it? That someone should not be able to have a child (and unlike contraception you can't argue that someone can go pay for their own treatments – most people can't afford it) because their employer disagrees with it??? I, as an employee, should be childless because my employer believes in a god I don't??? It sounds ridiculous just writing it out.

      I got a tubal ligation with my third child, again, the Catholic church opposes this. If my employer didn't want to cover it, and I can't afford it, what do you propose I do? Im too old to take the pill. A condom could break. What's your solution? Not have s-x with my husband until menopause? Do you think it's okay for my employer to force me into either abstinence or having a child I don't want?

      January 23, 2013 at 2:31 pm |
    • Jen

      And I can't believe I said uncredible instead of not credible above. Whoops – I'm going to blame my three kids under four sleep deprived mommy brain on that one.

      January 23, 2013 at 2:37 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Calm down, take a hot bath. Get dad to watch the kids and try to get some sleep.

      January 23, 2013 at 3:13 pm |
    • Jen

      I'm totally calm Bill. So I guess that means you aren't able to answer my questions on pregnancy, fertility and tubal ligations?

      I'm guessing you also think HL can deny medical coverage for pregnancy too? Ie. Use their religious beliefs to say something like, 'we think pregnancy is a gift from god and therefore it is our belief that something as natural and god given as pregnancy is not a medical condition, hence no coverage'.

      January 23, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      I'm not sure what your shotgun litany of questions about pregnancy has to do with the topic so yes, I'll not answer, other than to say I am sorry for all your difficulties. I'll also not answer your straw man. I was merely trying to tell you that as deeply as you feel you have the right to contraception and abortion, others feel just as strongly that they have the right not to supply, enable, provide or promote those behaviors. The facts are that according to the FDA Plan B and Ella are both capable of causing abortions by preventing a fertilized embryo from implantation. That is legally defined as an abortion. The Green's oppose that action. They are protected in that belief by at least the 1st, 5th, and 14th amendments as well as the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. You are free to engage in all the contraceptive and abortion behavior you want to. You just can't compel the Green's or anyone else to participate in it with you any more than I can compel you to participate in going to the Mass.

      January 23, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Translation of Bill's post: Bill has nothing.

      And he's a little chicken-sh!t.

      January 23, 2013 at 7:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's absolutely hilarious that Billy thinks pregnancy isn't a "medical condition." What do you think it IS, Billy?

      My great Aunt Fanny, but you're stupid. How does anyone as stupid as you are manage to tie your own shoes?

      I can only be thankful that your wife didn't have to raise more than one kid you spawned. It's a boon to all.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:22 pm |
  16. ATPMSD

    Hobby Libby is not providing the drugs, a Doctor is, and the insurance company is paying for it. What right do they have to force their religion views on their employees?

    January 21, 2013 at 2:12 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      So you're claiming HL has no part in the transaction? I think they could live with that. Ooops no one paid the premium.

      January 21, 2013 at 3:52 pm |
  17. sandy

    You know believers, you are really not that good in believing if you do not sit back and watch what God is going to do with this.
    Where is your faith and trust?

    January 21, 2013 at 2:04 pm |
  18. No More Mr Nice Guy

    Hobby Lobby's phariseeical act is fooling only those who practice religion in hypocritical ways. The real moral high ground for Hobby Lobby would be to provide health insurance as the law mandates and let their employees decide on their own whether they want to use birth control or have an abortion. If the company wanted to take a stand, then they should only hire christians whose beliefs are in line with the company's, and make it very clear at the beginning of the hiring process.

    January 21, 2013 at 11:59 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Glad to see that you're not a person who would impose their morals on others. Oh wait; you just did.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, he didn't, Bill.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:36 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      defining morality? judging those who don't comply? telling other people what is right and wrong? Oh I see it's only forcing your beliefs on others when Christians do it.

      January 22, 2013 at 9:42 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Where did I claim that HL was "wrong"? They are breaking the law. That's illegal. You don't seem capable of grasping the difference, Billy.

      January 22, 2013 at 10:14 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      To date, HL has not broken any law. They are currently providing health insurance benefits to their employees under a revised benefit calendar which allows then the time to advance their case in the courts. All legal, all above board, all in excess of their obligations under employment rules and regulations. You jumped onto nice guys argument who is who my allegation is aimed at. Anyone that can't see the hypocrisy in his statement must be nothing more than a blind liberal.

      January 22, 2013 at 1:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Billy, you really are a sore loser.

      January 22, 2013 at 8:26 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Maybe, but I haven't lost.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:29 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Nah, you've lost and you're a loser.

      R v W stands, women have rights, we are a nation of laws not religious belief.

      You are arguing that a company can make up ANY nonsensical belief based on NOTHING at all and use it to avoid obeying the law.

      Good luck with that, dear.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:01 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Um.. companies can't just disobey the law because of somebody's feelings. That's stupid.

      January 23, 2013 at 8:02 pm |
  19. zach

    EVERYTHING in that store is crap that will end up in a landfill within one year. It is ALL made in China by the POOREST of the POOR and thet are severely abused. Harsh labor, toxins, low pay, terrible environments for anyone, let alone the millions of children. How "Christian" like is that? This is just political BS on behalf of HOBBY LOBBY.

    January 21, 2013 at 10:30 am |
    • Alchemist

      Zach, Have you ever been to China? Ever visit a factory? Ever talk to a factory worker? I have. I have been to China over 20 times in 8 years. I have been in hundreds of factories and have visited with many workers. I have even sold to Hobby Lobby in the past. I know there are factories in China like what you describe, but none that involve Mr. Green's products. Many companies such as Hobby Lobby, Costco, TSC require audits to ensure people are not abused and children do not work there. They even have their own QC (Quality Control) people to inspect the factory conditions and quality of the product. For large orders they even live in the dorm rooms at the factory. As for being "Christian", that is up to the individual. I have personally taken bibles and have had studies with man people in China.

      So when you make a comment about something you have only read on the internet, you may want to do a little research yourself. Oh and if you hate the way you think China is being treated...buy American...

      January 21, 2013 at 1:42 pm |
    • janey33

      zach...HUH??? Have you actually bought something at a Hobby Lobby???? Nothing crappy at all about their stuff, and I've had things from there for many years and they are still just as good as when I bought them.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:34 pm |
  20. Chris

    No 'company' has the 'right' to force religious beliefs on employees.

    January 21, 2013 at 9:51 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      correct and no government has the right to force one to violate their religion either. Which do you think is actually occurring?

      January 21, 2013 at 10:03 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      HL is not a religious organization. It doesn't get a pass on following the law, regardless of the beliefs of the owners, Billy.

      January 21, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • My two cents

      I was entirely unaware that declining to provide something that individuals already have access to in the free market at reasonable cost was tantamount to forcing relgious beliefs onto employees.

      January 21, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      And Tom hangs her hat on a thin nail. The SCOTUS has historically ruled that corporations are virtual people who have the equal protection clause of the 14th amendment, just like every one else. But if the left can keep up the diatribe against "evil Christian corporations" she thinks socialism can win the day.

      January 22, 2013 at 9:44 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Do companies have the right to do anything they wish? Ignore worker safety? Discriminate against some applicants?

      No, idiot, they don't. All companies have to comply with the laws of the country in which they operate. What part of that do you not get?

      January 22, 2013 at 10:13 am |
    • Saraswati

      @Bill,

      "correct and no government has the right to force one to violate their religion either. Which do you think is actually occurring?"

      Really, Bill? Plenty of religions have supported human sacrifice and by you ethics no government has the right to interfere?

      Governments make ethical decisions all the time. Kids get medical care, go to school, aren't abused. People pay taxes. Sure, we pander a little here and there to make things run smoothly, but it's not a free-fo-all. Never has been, never will be. It's just really easy to ignore the fact the government makes rules when you aren't the one who's hit by the restrictions.

      January 22, 2013 at 10:42 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Sara, first you should understand that for Catholics and some others, contraception and abortion are theologically equivalent. Obviously governments and religions have worked out compromises in history and where they could not wars have been waged. A great many examples of legislation given where government has enforced behavior is not in conflict with most religions. If you know of any existing religions that advocate human sacrifice, I'd like to know about them. The right to abortion is currently guaranteed by the SCOTUS but the left has always said "If you don't want one, don't get one" and religion accepted that compromise even while making their case for life. But the tide has risen. The left now feels it has the political clout to coerce support for social policies which a great many devout pro-life advocates cannot compromise on. The right correctly sees this as an abridgment of the compromise which has allowed liberal secularist to be unrestrained by Christina belief while still permitting religious people the right to hold their faith. I think it is a risky gamble given the reluctance the left has to respect the rights of the right not to participate in the agenda of the other side. The SCOTUS will no doubt weigh in over time. I hope and pray they defend the Constiitution as I believe they did when they ruled on the ACA as a tax measure. I simply do not see a viable path rule against Hobby Lobby or others who have sincere, viable convictions against certain provisions of the ACA. I also believe that because of the fractures such measures create that it shows the error in the entire law. As four of the nine said "We would throw it out entirely".

      None of this addresses the societal reality of uninsured Americans but the ACA is a failed attempt on it's face.

      January 22, 2013 at 1:40 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Bill Deacon, address the hypothetical. I actually don't believe anyone is really stupid enough not to understand the point of a hypothetical and I'm not going to play a game where you pretend you are.

      January 23, 2013 at 9:39 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      I find hypotheticals and reduction to absurdities dishonest attempts to camouflage the real issues Sara. It's not a matter of intelligence, I assure you. I can make up just as many imaginary scenarios as you can. Why waste time when the real issue is complex enough on it's own. The only reason I can think of is that you cannot defend your position on the real issue so you want to drive the discussion into the hypothetical and then use the conclusions of that to reinforce you points on the real issue. Surely Fallacy spotting can tell use what kind of argumentative faux pas that is.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:46 am |
    • Saraswati

      @Bill Deacon,

      Fallacy spotting will not be visiting because it isn't a fallacy. OK, you apparently are actually ignorant enough not to know the role of a hypothetical question. That explains a lot about how simple your view of the universe is and how unaware you are of your own fundamental premises. I'd recommend looking into it, but you won't. Because the idea that, hypothetically, I could be right is something you won't even consider.

      January 23, 2013 at 11:55 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      I'm disappointed Sara. Even though we hold differing values, we've managed some productive conversations in the past. I hate to see you degenerate into ad hominems simply because I refuse to answer your imaginary question, which frankly I've even forgotten the content of. If you ever find yourself able to address the real issue, please feel free to re-engage the discussion.

      January 23, 2013 at 12:06 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Here's a list of fallacies and definitions I think you risk opening by the use of hypothetical arguments:

      Fallacy of many questions (complex question, fallacy of presupposition, loaded question, plurium interrogationum) – someone asks a question that presupposes something that has not been proven or accepted by all the people involved. This fallacy is often used rhetorically, so that the question limits direct replies to those that serve the questioner's agenda.

      Kettle logic – using multiple inconsistent arguments to defend a position.

      • Red herring – a speaker attempts to distract an audience by deviating from the topic at hand by introducing a separate argument which the speaker believes will be easier to speak to.[34]

      Misleading vividness – involves describing an occurrence in vivid detail, even if it is an exceptional occurrence, to convince someone that it is a problem.

      Association fallacy (guilt by association) – arguing that because two things share a property they are the same

      • Appeal to poverty (argumentum ad Lazarum) – supporting a conclusion because the arguer is poor (or refuting because the arguer is wealthy). (Opposite of appeal to wealth.)[55]

      • Definist fallacy – involves the confusion between two notions by defining one in terms of the other.[67]

      January 23, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @Bill, you risk dying in an accident by driving a car, it doesn't mean you shouldn't do it. The point of hypothetical arguments is to determine exactly what someone’s actual premises are, which is not normally clear at the start of discussion and which are easily hidden without the use of hypotheticals. I guarantee you I can debate with hypotheticals without crashing the car. If you can’t, by all means don’t get behind the wheel. What I can't do is debate with someone who is willfully ignorant without wasting an otherwise good day.

      January 23, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Read some old post and found what I think is Sara's hypothetical. She seems to think if a person found a religion that had a doctrine allowing discrimination of people based on race, gender or religious orientation that an employer would be validated in using that to break labor discrimination laws. Her hypothetical contains several errors:

      1. Her proposed religion (Odinism) does not contain those discriminatory doctrines.
      2. Discrimination based on race creed or gender which denies someone a basic right is prohibited. Hobby Lobby is not denying anybody anything. They are rejecting coercion which violates their creed.
      3. Major theological doctrines do not support discrimination based on race creed or national origin. Hypothetical constructions or individuals claiming "boutique" religious exemptions in the past have had to meet the courts test of "sincerely held convictions". You can't start a religion today that allows you to kill people who come in late to work and claim religious exemption.

      For this reason and others, it is pointless to argue from hypotheticals though it does make a good tactic when your basic premise of the original subject is faulty.

      January 23, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Now I've answered your hypothetical Sara. Answer my real question. I'll restate it. Why should the government be allowed to coerce Hobby Lobby into compliance with a policy which violates their belief when no loss will occur to their employees?

      Or do you have another hypothetical?

      January 23, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      must be too nice a day to defend violating peoples rights.

      January 23, 2013 at 2:04 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.