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January 11th, 2013
03:40 PM ET

Hobby Lobby finds way around $1.3-million-a-day Obamacare hit - for now

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Editor

Washington (CNN) - By Friday, Hobby Lobby would have racked up $14.3 million in fines from the Internal Revenue Service for bucking Obamacare. But in keeping with the great American tax tradition, they may have found a loophole.

The company is facing $1.3 million a day in fines for each day it chooses not to comply with a piece of the Affordable Care Act that was set to trigger for them on January 1. The craft store chain announced in December that, because of religious objections, they would face the fines for not providing certain types of birth control through their company health insurance.

The penalty was set to go into effect on the day the company's new health care plan went into effect for the year.

Peter M. Dobelbower, general counsel for Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. said in a statement released through the Becket Fund that, "Hobby Lobby discovered a way to shift the plan year for its employee health insurance, thus postponing the effective date of the mandate for several months."

The statement continued that "Hobby Lobby does not provide coverage for abortion-inducing drugs in its health care plan. Hobby Lobby will continue to vigorously defend its religious liberty and oppose the mandate and any penalties."

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Last month Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor rejected the company's appeal for a temporary relief from the steep fines while their case made its way through the lower courts.

Hobby Lobby announced a day after the ruling 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.

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, dubbed Obamacare, 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."

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.

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

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.

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The Oklahoma City-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. It is still privately held 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.

MORE BACKGROUND: Hobby Lobby faces millions in fines for bucking Obamacare

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.

Part of the reason Sotomayor rejected their appeal to the Supreme Court she wrote was because their case is still pending in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.

A spokesperson for the Becket Fund said on Friday a date has yet to be set for the case to be heard in the 10th Circuit.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Church and state • Courts

soundoff (4,609 Responses)
  1. Jonathan

    Unless Hobby Lobby forces it's employees to sign contracts swearing they won't use any of their paychecks to buy contraception, what real difference does it make whether it's the employee using money from their Hobby Lobby paycheck or an insurance company using the money?

    January 13, 2013 at 3:12 am |
    • Mark Davis

      because the employer pays for the insurance. and they are against abortion pills.

      if a employee goes out and buys their own abortion pills well then god will deal with them.

      the owners dont want to tell jesus one day in heaven they provided death pills for the unborn.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:22 am |
    • Nice try

      The employer does not pay for the insurance. The employee does: it's part of his pay package. His labor earns it. The company does not own it or pay for it.

      Do you really want your employer making medical decisions for you? Seriously, I can't believe anyone would think that is a good idea.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:25 am |
    • me

      I don't see where the employees had to sign a contract stating that every dime of their paycheck can only go toward Christian-approved activities. Most Christians I know are pro-choice, anyway, so they can keep their personal beliefs to themselves.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:25 am |
    • doofus

      if the staff is so righteous they wont use the pills. no one is forcing them to take them. we only want the Business to not force it's opinion on the workers.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:27 am |
    • bam

      Mr Jesus never preached to discriminate, why then does man do this in the name of Jesus?

      January 13, 2013 at 3:28 am |
  2. Bill

    Ahhhhhh americans.....HILARIOUS!

    January 13, 2013 at 3:12 am |
    • Yes indeed

      Yeah, they are the same ones who think the Scandinavian healthcare models are a bad idea.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:17 am |
    • me

      I'd be laughing too if I didn't have to live here with these wackos.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:26 am |
  3. Leo

    So... because of their religion, they get to break the law?

    January 13, 2013 at 3:11 am |
    • Deborah

      So Leo.......just bow your head and do what your master tells you to do? Sheeple.............

      January 13, 2013 at 3:14 am |
    • bspurloc

      So Leo.... the employees are to bow their heads and do what the CEO tells them to do

      January 13, 2013 at 3:17 am |
    • Deborah

      No Bs...it's called making a choice where you want to work. That is why you should inquire about a job before you take it......

      January 13, 2013 at 3:19 am |
    • bspurloc

      ah yes..... so since this employer DEMANDS I follow their christian taliban belief systems I should not work there as I will be harassed.....
      perfectly christian of them.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:22 am |
    • doofus

      may take a job just to have a job and not take money from the government. everyone says "take whatever job you can man" so you're not allowed to complain when people do just that. it's not the business' place to dictate to their staff what they can or can not do when off the clock, regardless of what you personally believe. that's a personal choice, and not something you are allowed to push onto others. they have the same freedoms you do, just like how you have the freedom to do what you want to do.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:31 am |
  4. Deborah

    Doofus.....Obamacare is going to end up costing Americans millions. Insurance companies will go out of business, companies will close their doors and they we will end up just like East Germany back in the day......We will only be able to pick on type of car, one type of clothing and only certain amounts of food. If you want Big Brother as your surrogate parent, more power to you. I fought for this country to have freedom of choice. And I will continue to support such.

    January 13, 2013 at 3:08 am |
    • Deborah

      And just an afterthought Doofus.......I am guessing the payroll tax we got hit with, when we were told that middle class Americans would be spared a hike didn't bother you either???

      January 13, 2013 at 3:13 am |
    • bspurloc

      just like romneycare did....
      WAH WAH WAH the dark man finally got universal healthcare into a reality like the REST of the MODERN COUNTRIES...

      January 13, 2013 at 3:13 am |
    • People sure don't pay attention

      Hysterical much? Your doomsday fantasy just isn't going to happen.

      You must not be aware of how much you actually pay for your health insurance, and how fast it is rising, and how the care is decreasing. The old system was the Titanic roaring towards the iceberg, and the new law is a band-aid on the gash. Give things a decade or so and even you will be screaming for single payer. Becuase you won't be able to afford health care by then.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:14 am |
    • bspurloc

      and another thought DOOFUS....
      SHOCK AND AWE was NOT FREE.... the bush tax cuts to pay for SHOCK AND AWE caused a massive deficit worse than the cost of Reagans Star Wars which was paid for with tax increases....

      January 13, 2013 at 3:15 am |
    • Deborah

      This has nothing to do with Obama being black......for you to suggest such is sickening.....Always want to use that race card when it suits hmmmm?

      January 13, 2013 at 3:15 am |
    • Deborah

      Hey BS...ever visited a country with universal healthcare? Do so and let me know how "modern" it is to be on a waiting list for months for surgery.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:17 am |
    • me

      The loss of our pathetically corrupt insurance companies would be a blessing. I hope they go under.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:17 am |
    • bspurloc

      again....
      Romneycare is OK that which this was based on but because the dark man got it finally passed wah wah wah

      January 13, 2013 at 3:19 am |
    • me

      ... also, I've lived in several countries with public healthcare systems and they're all miles better than the US, which has the most expensive healthcare in the world despite offering services of the same or lower quality. The "wait months for surgeries" thing is bull, and even if it wasn't, I would rather have to wait several months for a surgery than have the same surgery bankrupt my entire family even with insurance. Over 60% of the bankruptcies filed in the US are due to medical issues. No other developed country in the world lets its sick have to deal with the stress of paying ridiculous costs on their own.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:21 am |
    • doofus

      So you're OK with a Muslim run Business dictating to their Christian staff what than can or can't do off the clock? You're OK with my Jewish boss demanding I don't believe Jesus Christ is my savior because they don't believe it? I'm not an Obamacare spaztard, and I'm certainly no support of the "morning after pill," but I am a supporter of freedom and personal choice. Just because I don't like the decision someone else chooses to make doesn't give me the right to tell them what they can do or not do with their own life, or the life of those they are responsible for.

      Do you REALLY think you are so morally correct you get to dictate to everyone what is right or wrong? How arrogant is that? What if you're wrong? I guess it won't matter when you're dead... or will it?

      It's not the Businesses place to tell their employees what is right or wrong in regards to legal things. It's illegal to discrimate against someone because of their religion, so it's no ok to avoid hiring someone because of their belief. Why is it ok with you that we do so after the person is on the job?

      January 13, 2013 at 3:21 am |
    • Deborah

      What does the dark man have to do with anything? I wouldn't agree with it if the President was freakin' pink and oinked.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:21 am |
    • redbaron120288

      I dont think you are seeing the Big picture here. every major country has free medicine. the US is the 3rd most populated country in the world, and pre obama care it didnt care for its people. they get sick, well it was on them. obama tried to change that with obama care. by having obama care the countries people stay in good health. east germany as you said has nothing to do with this. east germany fell because of the soviet union because there military spending did them in. another thing, many countries have socialized medicine, but they are in good shape.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:22 am |
    • redbaron120288

      deborah, you spoke of visiting a country with universial healthcare, then if it was modern? you do know canada, england, scotland, australia, russia, and china all those countries have universial healthcare. and they are modern.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:28 am |
    • bam

      wacko alert

      January 13, 2013 at 3:30 am |
    • Larswald

      Deborah,

      You seem to be the "Doofus" here. You don't know the difference between an income tax and payroll (Social Security) tax? Your income taxes didn't go up, did they? The two year "holiday" on your Social Security tax ended and it reverted back to what it was in 2010. And your employer didn't get such a holiday and continued to pay 6.2% the past two years on your behalf. Or maybe they didn't explain this to you on Fox News?

      January 13, 2013 at 3:32 am |
    • aergern

      @Deborah The ACA aka Obamacare is not a single payer system like medicare but a give away to big insurance so for the last time .. GO bloody read it and stop repeating HOW YOU feel about it. The written word and what was put into law supersedes what YOU think it does with what it ACTUALLY does. Maybe we do need WWW3 so we can clean the gene pool. sheesh.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:35 am |
    • Ryan

      @Deborah – Yes the doomsday scenarios that have been screamed at us have always come true.

      @bspuloc – Bringing race into the equation is not cool and detracts from anything that you have to say.

      @me – If you really think insurance companies going out of business will somehow be good for the country you are insane. Also, insurance companies are not nearly as corrupt as you think they are. They are strongly regulated because so many people have your sentiment. Now if you'd kindly switch your thinking over to the banking industry as that is where we could use some more regulations.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:36 am |
    • Angela Birch

      borah I ave not only visited countries where they have universal health car but have had health care in those countries. Both in Canada and in the UK. Health care is better there, it is more accessable, much less expensive (because American pay for the care), and yes it is more modern, than in the US. I had scans in a small village in Cornwall that I would have to travel to a big city in the US to get. The care was better and they solved a problem that doctors in the US couldn't figure out in over 3 years. The Doctors in the US figured it out in 4 hours by running the correct tests and consulting with experts in London There is a reason why people in countries with universal health care live longer, it is because the health care is actually better. The cold rational fact is Health care in the rest of the industrialized world is better and much much less expensive. They don't have a 20% profit layer built in as part of the costs. Our life expectancy is falling in relationship to the rest of the industrialized world and even in the second world. Did you know Cuba has passed us in life expectancy in the last 2 years and Mexico is likely to in the next 2 years. Countries like Jordan and Malta passed us in life expectancy 5 years ago. And guess what they have universal health care plans. Do you really expect intelligent people to buy that they are all living longer because their docors are still bleeding and using leeches and ascribing to the Humor theory of medicine. Get a grip their systems work better and cost much much less.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:38 am |
  5. Mrbwood

    If you don't agree with Hobby Lobby's idelogy, DONT work there. No one is forcing employment on there employees, fact is they all chose to work there knowing who they were working for. Seems simple enough to me

    January 13, 2013 at 3:07 am |
    • bam

      this is the USA land of Freedom... which also means freedom of religion. NO EMPLOYEE has the freedom to force their beliefs on the employers....Mr Jesus wouldnt approve of this and man would.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:27 am |
    • g vick

      Absolutely. The way the United States is supposed to work... free enterprise.... if you dont like a companies policys simply dont shop or work there, if the company does not make money they will go under. Dont have the government step in an dictate what people and companies must buy (insurance), if an employee doesnt like a companies health plan its easy, just work someplace else. What shocks me is how liberal and socialist the United States is becoming. It is not the governments role to dictate how free enterprise is excatly supposed to function, the free market is supposed to determine the economic health for one product over another. Its obvious that the government now wants to control everything. And for those people who have mentioned "jesus" in this topic, it really is not a religious one, simply a free market one. Can people decide what is best for there own company and employees? (and for the people that say well its the employees money, well no it is not ... the employer determines what health care plan is provided or not, and if you dont like it work someplace else, that is how free market choices work. The US has moved its policys so far from what the founding fathers intended it is staggering, government forcing people to buy a certain product or face fines and penalties? wow.

      January 13, 2013 at 4:06 am |
  6. Aaron

    This is the trouble I have with Hobby Lobby's position; they DO NOT OWN the insurance. They DID NOT buy it for themselves. It was bought FOR the employee as compensation for labor.

    I mean, Hobby Lobby writes employee paychecks and once the employee cashes it, what the employee does with the money is none of Hobby Lobby's business. The money originally came from their account, but it doesn't belong to them anymore once it has been bartered away for labor. Likewise, insurance is a form of compensation so Hobby Lobby doesn't have any business telling the person who owns the compensation what they can do with it.

    January 13, 2013 at 3:06 am |
    • koba

      Aaron,
      You are correct, but you are missing one point. The company supplies the insurance that is being bartered. The company selects the options that is being given to the employee. That is the crux of this situation, not what they, the employee, are doing with it. Obamacare says you "have to" include this. The company says "we don't elect to". If it was already included then you are 100% correct. However, the company does not want to provide across the board everything due to their beliefs.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:31 am |
    • Angela Birch

      koba. , The employer is providing compensation for labor. The employer has no right to decide what an employee uses their compensation for be it if they rent naughty movies with the dollars they get or if a married couple decides they do not want a child now and chooses to use Birth Control. It is not the business of the employer as to how their pay is spent. employers do not have the right under the law to choose if their employees can have blood transfusions or pig heart valves if needed, that also violates the beliefs of some employers, This is no different, as Jehovah Witness employers do not have the right to forbid employees to have blood transfusions or Christian Scientist do not have the right to forbid their employees to see a doctor neither does this employer have the right to decide what medical care or medications their employees may have.

      January 13, 2013 at 4:05 am |
  7. taintright

    Government mandating what you're allowed/not allowed to do with your business...sounds like socialist communism to me. Whatever happpened to freedom of choice/democracy? Oh, that's right...majority voted for a "socialist" president. What a bunch of two-faced dummies.

    January 13, 2013 at 3:06 am |
    • bspurloc

      u r the problem with america.... lack of an education.... good thing your pappy ignored the government order to get u a free education

      January 13, 2013 at 3:08 am |
    • Mrbwood

      And once the government controls your healthcare, it is responsible for everything you do. Now that's a scary thought.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:09 am |
    • Deborah

      Yep to taintright.....you hit the nail on the head.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:09 am |
    • Welcome to the real word.

      This recession is the result of government NOT regulating mortgages and mortgage-backed derivatives.

      History proves that a corporation without regulation will plunder and pillage and totally exploit their workers. Heck, many of them do it WITH regulation.

      Socialist Communism blah blah blah. Turn off the Limbaugh and develop an opinion of your own for a change.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:09 am |
    • Mrbwood

      Government forced company's into lending money to unqualified applicants because it wouldn't be fair if a poor person couldn't own a home, regardless if they could pay for it or not.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:12 am |
    • vceg

      govt also mandates minimum wage.
      the issue here is that hobby lobby is a public limited company and cannot bring their private beliefs into the company.
      If they feel so strongly about the issue they should go private.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:18 am |
    • taintright

      bspurloc – you are Full of BS... regards from a highly educated self-made business person who doesn't feed off the gains of others. Get off the couch and stop hoarding those Hostess cupcakes you think no one sees you shoving into your face.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:21 am |
    • Tim

      Did I really just read "sounds like socialist communism to me"........ SOCIALISM AND COMMUNISM ARE NOT THE SAME THING!!!! And they also are not dirty words. Unregulated capitalism does not work. The anti trust laws that stop businesses from colluding to jack up prices that the first Roosevelt enacted are SOCIALISM!!!! Any regulation is socialism. We have been a socialist country since our founding and will always be that way.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:22 am |
    • Welcome to the real world

      The government forced lenders to make those loans? Are you really that stupid? Seriously, are you really that stupid?

      You are the useful fool of banks, woody.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:23 am |
    • doofus

      epic. you do realize the point at hand is actually about making sure everyone can choose what they want, right?

      January 13, 2013 at 3:23 am |
    • g vick

      Absolutely, we are quickly moving into a socialist country, where the government forces people and businesses to do everything the government says to do. Businesses can not even decide for themselves what kind of health insurance that they provide for there employees, businesses are forced by the government to buy something (insurance). What happened to free entreprise? Where if an employee did not want to work for a company they simply worked (and shopped) someplace else. I for one am going to go out of my way to give more business to Hobby Lobby, and any other business which stands up for there rights to conduct business in a free american manner. Whats next from the government?... regulating what names we can name or children? (if you think I am kidding, look at some socialist european countries, you actually can only name your children from approved list of names, that is where the US is heading. Why should anyone be forced to buy health insurance? What happened to a free market, where you buy what you want or dont want? These kinds of Obama policys are very destructive to business, just like the other extreme liberal views of the California government, which are completely destroying business in California. Its liberal socialism, combined with out of control spending by democrats, which will probably bankrupt the US.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:29 am |
    • taintright

      Tim – FYI:

      Socialism and communism are alike in that both are systems of production for use based on public ownership of the means of production and centralized planning. Socialism grows directly out of capitalism; it is the first form of the new society. Communism is a further development or "higher stage" of socialism. Socialism is the first step in the process of developing the productive forces to achieve abundance and changing the mental and spiritual outlook of the people. It is the necessary transition stage from capitalism to communism.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:43 am |
  8. me

    Do these idiots realize that they are denying their employees the exact same religious freedoms that they are complaining about losing under this law? It's none of their business if an employee wants to get an abortion. Maybe if they paid their employees enough to raise a child they wouldn't want to abort a pregnancy in the first place.

    Either way, I will never give Hobby Lobby another dime again until they start valuing their employees more than their stupid backwards fake-religious policies.

    January 13, 2013 at 3:05 am |
  9. Steve

    No Chucklehead (Paul)!!! Abstinence prevents unwanted pregnancies, not pills. Get some morals!!!

    January 13, 2013 at 3:02 am |
    • Glonk

      Mormons practice abstinence. The resultis that Utah has thehighest rate of rape in the country, and the unofficial rate is thought to be much higher as Mormon women tend not to report it due to the stigma, and because the perpetrators are sexually repressed Mormon males.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:06 am |
  10. Carl

    None of this would be a problem if the government was not forcing employers to give away health insurance. There is no logical reason for that. Your employer is not your mother. They owe you cash for work, and nothing else.

    January 13, 2013 at 3:00 am |
  11. Sir Cecil

    The argument is nonsensical. If an employee pays for an abortion outside of the company's health coverage, she is still using Hobby Lobby money to pay for it. Whether they pay money into an employee's health insurance or into her bank account makes no difference. They might as well say they'll withhold wages if an employee has an abortion, to ensure their money isn't financing it.

    January 13, 2013 at 3:00 am |
    • opinion

      this doesn't make sense. If this apply to this case, then all employers are guilty of school shooting because people use the money they get from them to buy guns???

      January 13, 2013 at 3:11 am |
  12. Avi

    So, if they stick to the bible, does that mean that they support slavery, and will put to death anyone working on the sabbath? Just wondering... Seems like they selectively go with the bible. I am sure their healthcare covers Viagra...

    January 13, 2013 at 2:55 am |
    • Sniffy Bob

      If they stick to the Bible, they will know that the rich owners are going to shove a camel through the eye of a needle to get into heaven. I wish they televised that. I'd kick back with a cold one and watch that Unreality Show.

      January 13, 2013 at 2:59 am |
  13. JohnD

    What this company and many others may do is cut employee hours and not provide coverage at all to part time employees.

    January 13, 2013 at 2:42 am |
    • doofus

      With a couple extra hundred dollars a paycheck I might actually be able to afford healthcare that doesn't make me wanna punch myself in the face.

      January 13, 2013 at 2:49 am |
    • Deborah

      Too bad John.......thank God we are in a country that if you try and force me to do one thng, I will find a way around it.

      January 13, 2013 at 2:53 am |
    • doofus

      Obamacare is only ensuring freedom of personal choice. The only one "forcing" anything is Hobby Lobby. But you're OK with that Deb because they believe the same thing you do. I guess you'd be totally OK with a Muslim run business telling Christians what they are allowed to do with their personal lives?

      January 13, 2013 at 2:56 am |
    • bspurloc

      anything to force your religious beliefs on employees

      January 13, 2013 at 2:57 am |
    • Glonk

      They aleady do that. Basically only the managers are assigned enough hours to qualify. They also do almost no training, pay just above the minimum wage, use archaic technology, preach to the employees, and have very high turnover. Like WalMart, it is the employment version of a slum, and the owners got very rich paying those poverty wages.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:03 am |
  14. TexInd

    We should now be able to go up to the register and buy something and then say when paying for it, "My religion share I should get this for free!". Let's see how many people do this now!

    January 13, 2013 at 2:41 am |
  15. Spike

    Hobby Lobby should just scrap all health care for their employees and give them part of the money they would have spent on it. Then the employees can buy whatever insurance they want. Problem solved.

    January 13, 2013 at 2:40 am |
    • bspurloc

      or they could stop saying Birth Control is an abortion pill, stop forcing their religious beliefs on their employers, and stop paying for viagara

      January 13, 2013 at 2:59 am |
  16. Person

    This is what is wrong with America today. People complain about religious freedom, rights being infringed upon. But what about the employee who doesn't have the same views as you? Their rights are being infringed upon by you shoving their believes into your life. An employer does not have the right to tell you that you cannot take that drug because it is against their views. This is like a store owned by a Mormon, who fires an employee for drinking.

    January 13, 2013 at 2:39 am |
    • doofus

      Yet were still stuck here trying to convince them that the group stomping on rights is Hobby Lobby. Some only think rights and freedoms apply when people agree with their point of view :\

      January 13, 2013 at 2:44 am |
    • Vince

      No one is forced to work for Hobby Lobby so the company's owner is not forcing his beliefs on anyone. Don't like what your employer believes? Quit. It's your right. However you are not guaranteed a job in this country...so finding another may prove difficult in an ObamaCouldn'tCareLess economy...

      January 13, 2013 at 2:45 am |
    • doofus

      So just quit? Go back on wellfare and not be able to provide food for your family? WRONG. Many are taking whatever job they can to make things work. It's NOT the Businesses place to dictate personal life choices like this.

      January 13, 2013 at 2:51 am |
    • Steve

      Let me guess, you are one of those tolerance idiots that believes everyone should have a right to do whatever they want. Sad this is you contradict yourself. So by what you are saying since Hobby Lobby doesn't share YOUR view they should be forced.. Wow you are such a hypocrite. What happened to tolerance. You all make me sick.

      January 13, 2013 at 2:54 am |
    • Painted themselves into a corner

      All that has happened is that an attorney for the company claims they found a loophole to slither out of the fine for several months. That doesn't mean it will stand up. And even if it does, all the government has to do is wait, and when those months pass, that 1.3 million dollar a day fine is going to put them in an embarassing position: which is more important, Jesus or money. The family is already eye-of-a-needle rich, so they can afford to stand up for Jesus and close down, but I guarantee they are going to choose money over Jesus.

      The government is not going to give in on them, so they are going to be forced to choose. Money or Jesus.

      Can't wait.

      January 13, 2013 at 2:57 am |
    • doofus

      yet you're ok with a for profit business actually forcing individuals to their beliefs, instead of allowing people to make the personal choice to do the right thing. you're so dead-set on the fact that everyone is gonna race right out and start poppin' contraceptives for no reason you can't trust them to believe the same thing that the CEO does... again, who's forcing what? I advocate personal choice, you're the one forcing a personal opinion.

      January 13, 2013 at 2:59 am |
    • Scott

      Hobby Lobby isn't forcing its beliefs on the employee who wants to take such drugs. Hobby Lobby is just saying it doesn't wan to pay for such drugs for the employee. The employee is still free to go and purchase these drugs on their own.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:00 am |
    • bspurloc

      exactly and it is being ALLOWED cuz they are Christian Taliban.... if they were anything close to Islam there would be an uproar

      January 13, 2013 at 3:00 am |
    • Dr. Santa

      What kind of phucking moron are you? You say, "An employer does not have the right to tell you that you cannot take that drug because it is against their views. This is like a store owned by a Mormon, who fires an employee for drinking."

      Firstly, no one is saying an employee cannot take an abortion pill – only that the company will not pay for it.

      And in case you don't know, there are many hospitals around the United States that will no longer hire smokers, and present employees must quit in a preset amount of time, or be fired. Testing is done to confirm this.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:01 am |
    • bspurloc

      Let me guess, you are one of those tolerance idiots that believes everyone should believe in what I believe in. Sad this is you contradict yourself. So by what you are saying since Hobby Lobby employees doesn't share the owners view they should be forced... .. Wow you are such a hypocrite. What happened to tolerance. You all make me sick.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:04 am |
    • Tyler Durden

      Hobby Lobby just doesn't want to pay for the Plan B pill. They aren't telling the employees that they can't buy and take the pill. Before Obamacare, that's what the employee would do. And if the employee wanted to work somewhere else that provided free Plan B pills, they could. Frankly, this newly reformed healthcare is just the same old cr4p except now everyone is being forced to give their money to Big Pharma, the Hospital Cartel, and the Insurance Barons. Oh yeah, and a few "freebies" are being thrown in for uninformed voting blocks. Seriously, since when was FREE birth control a RIGHT that we all needed to pitch in for? It will be interesting to see if STD rates actually increase because idiots are no longer using condoms to prevent unwanted pregnancy.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:04 am |
    • Mako

      This is why America will continue to FALL. Strip away the "religious" aspect of this argument. The very notion that HOBBY LOBBY is now being controlled more by the Federal Government is what's happening. Obama and the Senate are currently pulling the strings of all the people in this country who keep throwing stones at the "bad guys". Who are not really the "bad guys". But they sure do make you believe it. Obama puts a convincing smile on his face and gets most of you to believe what he is doing is going to better the "people". No... it's not. It's going to give them more CONTROL. And guess what? Most of you are helping this happen. Just this week I've never heard so many people complain about how they are getting less money from their paychecks. That they thought only the RICH would be sucked dry. I shake my head and am ashamed at the lack of reasoning the people in this country has. I blame it on lack of accountability, complacency and being blinded by emotions rather than logic.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:16 am |
    • Angela Birch

      Actually the employer is not being forced to do anything. The employer is going out of his way to make sure that the employees are not getting birth control pills provided by the health insurance. As an employer I can tell you this coverage is actually more expensive than one that covers Birth control, because the insurer is now assuming risk of pregnancy and delivery costs with complications. Health isurance is part of the employees compensation it is not a gift from the employer. The employer is not paying for it. The employee pays for the health insurance by forgoing pay.To mandate that an employee buy only what the employer allows with the compensation for their work is like an employer demanding you do not buy bacon with your pay because they are orthodox Jews or devout muslims.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:17 am |
  17. Lilybean58

    Once again, a large company falls back on any excuse it can find to not provide mandated employee benefits. Hobby Lobby is not trying to exercise their "religious" beliefs, they are trying weasel out of providing necessary health care for their employees because it costs money. I'm sure if they would go back and study the beliefs they claim to hold so dear, they might find out that they are behaving in a most un-Christian way. I wonder how many of it's employees it would keep on the payroll if they refused to work on certain days because of their religious beliefs. My guess is a big fat zero. Time to boycott this company and others like it. These are not Christians, folks. They are BIG BUSINESS.

    January 13, 2013 at 2:38 am |
    • doofus

      if their staff were as religious as their CEO, none of the employees would use their benefits to get the "morning after pill." no one is forcing people to take them, their simply saying a Business isn't allowed to make the decision for the individual working American.

      January 13, 2013 at 2:42 am |
    • Deborah

      Totally disgree with you, and you cannot read their minds. Employees have the option to NOT work for a Christian-based company that would not give out birth control. No one should be forced to do anything in the US. If you want people to be forced, move to a socialist country.

      January 13, 2013 at 2:49 am |
    • doofus

      @Deborah – yet you want Hobby Lobby to force their CEOs beliefs on their employees? You're not making a whole lot of sense. I guess "forcing" only applies when people don't agree with you?

      January 13, 2013 at 2:53 am |
    • Deborah

      Doofus I don't think you read my post correctly as it was intended for Lilybean......I don't think anyone should be forced. That is why we are a free country. Believe me....I have been in Sweden for the past two weeks and talked with people regarding socialism over here. They are not happy with it and feel they have no rights.

      January 13, 2013 at 2:56 am |
    • doofus

      yet Obamacare is only ensuring the employee has the CHOICE to make for themselves. the only one trying to bend will is the business in this example. Obamacare is only demanding the company isn't allowed to dictate what the employee does in regards to their own personal choices. socialism has nothing to do with this. and if it does, Hobby Lobby is the one trying to tell people what to do... Obamacare is simply saying it's not the business place to do so

      January 13, 2013 at 3:02 am |
  18. Paul

    Do these chuckleheads not understand that contraception avoids unwanted pregnancies and reduces abortion? Are they stupid?

    January 13, 2013 at 2:38 am |
    • doofus

      yes

      January 13, 2013 at 2:39 am |
    • Lilybean58

      And the congregation shouts "AMEN!"

      January 13, 2013 at 2:40 am |
    • Chris

      Finally, someone writes something that resonates with me. Paul is my kind of guy

      January 13, 2013 at 3:01 am |
    • Steve

      No Chucklehead (Paul)!!! Abstinence prevents unwanted pregnancies, not pills. Get some morals!!!

      January 13, 2013 at 3:03 am |
    • me

      Go ask some of those poorer countries that can't afford contraception how well abstinence is working for them.

      January 13, 2013 at 3:31 am |
    • BorgX

      Nice way to force your moral values on people Steve. I have an idea, you live your life and keep your nose out of mine. Healthcare is not GIVEN by the employer, it is earned by the employee. The employee should be able to decide what is best for their lives themselves with out religious nut-jobs like yourself telling them what is right and what is wrong.

      January 13, 2013 at 1:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So, STEVIE, you only have s3x with your spouse when you WANT to have a baby?

      Nice marriage.

      Actually, your wife is probably thrilled with this arrangement. Who'd want to fvck you?

      January 13, 2013 at 1:24 pm |
  19. Holy Man

    Hobby Lobby does not have "Christian" values. There is nothing "Christian" about that company. They only care about shoving their (misguided) beliefs down their employees' throats.

    What would Jesus do? He certainly wouldn't behave the way Hobby Lobby has behaved. He never refused to help the poor, the needy or the sick. The extremely low IQ of the management of Hobby Lobby is incapable of understanding that. Their "values" are pretty much exactly the same as the KKK.

    January 13, 2013 at 2:37 am |
    • Deborah

      Holy Man......we are talking about birth control, not starving them. I am from Tulsa and yes they are Christians. You take the opposite view because they just so happen to not agree with you. Congrats....welcome to America

      January 13, 2013 at 2:58 am |
  20. random

    Why does everyone call it "health insurance provided by the employer"? Maybe we should be calling it "health insurance earned by the employee" instead. Religious freedom is an individual right, not a corporate excuse. Everyone is free not to use the insurance for treatments that violate his/her religion.

    January 13, 2013 at 2:33 am |
    • doofus

      and if the employees were so religious they wouldn't even consider the option. unfortunately, some people feel the need to remove freedom of personal choice from the table so others are forced to live by the standards others believe in. funny how many feel freedom of choice only applies when that choice matches theirs.

      January 13, 2013 at 2:37 am |
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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.