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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.

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

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. Mother of 3

    1. Contraceptives should not be part of an insurance plan.
    2. I do believe in freedom of choice and would never condemn anyone for the choices they make for themselves.
    3. Birth control for other medical treatment will be given with out contraceptives on your insurance plan.
    4. A lot of states now offer at hospitals r.ape victim plan B after performing a r.ape kit.
    5. Separation of religion and state..
    6. If you don't like it... don't work at hobby lobby.

    January 25, 2013 at 2:48 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      You should be called Bad mother of 3. Why would you be against insurance co providing birth control. As long as YOU don't use it. Mind your business. It doesn't make a difference if a hobby lobby employee buys birth control with their pay OR the insurance co providing it with money from the employee and the employer. Hobby Lobby is still contributing to the pot no matter how you twist it.

      January 25, 2013 at 5:07 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH WHAT I SAID. Pill IUD what ever floats you. BUY THEM YOURSELF. You want to sleep around be responsible and pay for it or go to a free clinic where they GIVE you birth control and condoms. Your JOB has nothing to do with your bedroom. STOP BEING GREEDY and SELFISH.
      If you really think others should pay for us.. Open your wallet and run to the pharmacy for me.

      Study the last line you wrote bad mother of 3. Now dig this truth:

      YOU PAY FOR THE KIDS THE PARENTS CANT TAKE CARE OF. THIS VERY WEBSITE STATED IT COST OVER $230,000 TO RAISE A CHILD FROM BIRTH TO 18. So now tell me, which would cost YOU less. Birth control or children.

      January 25, 2013 at 5:15 pm |
    • Mother of 3

      Thank you Ken you proved my point... which is cheaper? Fork out your own $10 dollars and buy your birth control or condoms. OR pay $250,000 to raise a child. I appreciate your support Ken.

      January 25, 2013 at 8:05 pm |
    • Jen

      I don't really understand why you aren't okay with an employer paying for birth control but you are okay with going to a free clinic where you as a taxpayer pays for it....

      No answer on my question...no? Didn't think so.

      January 25, 2013 at 9:34 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @Bad Mother of 3..................I wish birth control for women was that easy. Birth control is NOT one size fits all! That's why Women need to consult with a doctor. As I woman (I think you are) YOU should know that.

      As far as my point about $230,000 YOU chip in for the bill. So yes birth control is cheaper, for YOU and the rest of us.

      January 25, 2013 at 10:47 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @Jen............Bad Mother of 3 must be Logic wife! She's saying some of the same garbage Logic is spitting out.

      January 25, 2013 at 10:52 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      I've always been told by women that women can be very "catty". This is the only reason I can think of why WOMEN would be against insurance co. providing birth control at no extra cost to women. Some people think wh0re when talking about birth control. Plenty of married women take birth control including Christians.

      January 25, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
    • Jen

      I agree Ken. Notice how mother of three thinks it's fine that her birth control pills are covered, but as sumes almost everyone else taking birth control does so because they have some irresponsible s-x life.

      January 26, 2013 at 7:21 am |
    • End Religion

      MomO3, your #1 and #2 conflict. Your opinion has summarily been dismissed.

      January 26, 2013 at 7:52 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why should a woman whose birth control failed not have access to Plan B through her health insurance? Do you really think anyone's using Plan B on a regular basis? It's not going to cost anyone any more to provide coverage that includes Plan B.

      January 26, 2013 at 7:36 pm |
  2. Mother of 3

    Actually Jen I agree that there are other uses for birth control.. such as, I have ovarian cysts therefor I take birth control for that reason. The beauty of the medical science finding other reasons for taking birth control is.. it (contraceptives) does NOT have to be on your insurance plan to get it.

    January 25, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • Jen

      Another medical reason is to alleviate the pain of severe menstrual cramping. How do you propose that medical science 'prove' that a woman is suffering from this (as opposed to lying to her obgyn in order to obtain coverage),

      Also, I see you are a mother of three (as am I). Insurance covered your pregnancies. Why should insurance cover those costs when you CHOSE to not keep your legs shut and get pregnant three times? If you believe that insurance should not cover a choice to avoid getting pregnant, why should it cover the choice to become pregnant?

      January 25, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @Jen................You are brilliant on 2 threads.

      January 25, 2013 at 5:18 pm |
  3. Mother of 3

    lol?

    That's why you're trolling this thread proving you're an idiot.

    Hey pot, meet kettle.

    January 25, 2013 at 10:19 am |
  4. Mother of 3

    Susan- that's wonderful really. Do you have a voice of your own or do you plan to plagiarize all of the internet. Your copy and pasting has nothing to do with what I said. Enjoy your own...oops I mean other peoples voices.

    January 25, 2013 at 9:59 am |
    • lol?

      That's why you're trolling this thread proving you're an idiot.

      January 25, 2013 at 10:03 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Just because somebody is saying something you don't agree with doesn't make them a troll.

      January 25, 2013 at 10:05 am |
    • Jen

      So you have no rational response to Susan's post? No? How about hey zeus' post that explains why the pill is covered – because it also treats other medical problems. It's not just for birth control (hence why condoms aren't covered). Nothing? I didn't think so.

      January 25, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
  5. Mother of 3

    It's a horrible state of the world if people argue for the sake of arguing but have no idea what they're arguing against.

    January 25, 2013 at 9:50 am |
    • Susan

      Freedom of religion and belief has long been a treasured American value and a centerpiece of our constitutional system. As a result, religion has flourished and we are one of the most religiously diverse nations in the world. Religious freedom, however, has never meant the absolute right to conform institutions in the public sphere to religious doctrine. Other values – such as fairness, equality, health and safety, and the government’s ability to administer laws and programs – also affect the way we order society. Our religious freedom protections safeguard the right to both believe and act on our beliefs; but they are not a license to take actions that discriminate against or harm others.
      Two principal safeguards of religious liberty are the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).
      As interpreted by the U.S. Supreme Court for the past two decades, the First Amendment is not offended where a neutral law of general applicability has an incidental impact on religious exercise. The Free Exercise Clause is triggered only when a law intentionally targets religion. In the 1990 opinion establishing this framework, Justice Antonin Scalia explained that society cannot function where “each conscience is a law unto itself.” In other words, the Supreme Court concluded that the Free Exercise Clause does not create a blanket right to exemptions from every law or regulation that conflicts with someone’s religious teachings or convictions.
      In 1993, Congress responded to this interpretation by passing RFRA to give greater – although not unlimited – protection to claims of infringement on religious exercise. The statute is intended to restore the test that courts previously used when evaluating such assertions. Instead of asking whether a regulation intentionally targets religion, RFRA asks whether the law places a “substantial burden” on religious exercise, regardless of intent. If yes, the government regulation needs to be important, or in the words of the statute “further a compelling government interest” using the “least restrictive means.” Those interests found to be compelling have included, among others, combating discrimination, and ensuring the comprehensiveness or administrability of a government program
      RFRA asks courts to be highly protective of religion, but Justice Scalia’s words ring true here as well – each conscience cannot be its own law. In a “cosmopolitan nation made up of people of almost every conceivable religious preference,” the right to act on our beliefs has never been and cannot be without limit. That is borne out by the fact that minimal burdens do not trigger RFRA protection, and that even substantial burdens on religious exercise must be tolerated where the countervailing interest is important. Courts have been careful not to exempt an objector where “the requested exemption would detrimentally affect the rights of third parties.” Indeed, the U.S. Supreme Court has explained that allowing an employer to opt out of a benefits law would “operate to impose the employer’s religious faith on the employees.”

      January 25, 2013 at 9:52 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      If they don't like it they can quit. I wouldn't expect to keep my job as a priest if I went up on the pulpit every week decrying religion. Yet if I was fired, my employers would have every right to do so, even if they are imposing their beliefs on me.

      January 25, 2013 at 10:00 am |
    • Jen

      A priest works in a religious capacity. HL employees definitely do not.

      The courts have ruled similarly for people that work at Catholic schools and break tenets. Those that work in a religious capacity (ex. A teacher that takes kids to mass) is under the tenets; a position such as a receptionist wouldn't be obliged to live by their employees' moral standards.

      Bad analogy.

      January 25, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I don't care what the courts have ruled. It's unfair that two different employers have different rights.

      January 25, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • Jen

      But in your example you were talking about a church, not a business. So your analogy was stupid. Perhaps you should finish fourth grade before posting.

      January 26, 2013 at 7:18 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      How is a church not a business you condescending cvnt?

      January 26, 2013 at 7:21 am |
    • Jen

      Oh that's nice. Instead of responding to my very kind and intelligent original post with, 'you are right, it was a bad analogy. But I believe this ....', you respond with an immature, 'I don't care'. So I respond with a rational post that perhaps you should educate yourself on the difference between businesses and churches and I get that response? (and the only reason I say fourth grade is because fourth grade graders KNOW the difference), and you call me that name?

      Poor RL. Sitting is his mom's basement right now clinging to his precious guns, deluded in paranoia that at any moment the government is about to burst through the doors to take them away.

      January 26, 2013 at 7:28 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Churches are businesses. You are a cvnt. I can't convey my meaning in a more coherent manner.

      January 26, 2013 at 7:31 am |
    • Jen

      Businesses fall under labor codes and pay taxes. Churches do not. The fact that my three year old grasps this and you do not shows your extreme lack of intelligence. Due to your extreme lack of intelligence, your opinion is irrelevant. It doesn't matter to anybody.

      You also have no ability to debate in an educated and civilized manner (as evidenced by your unintelligence and calling me the worst name possible). As you know, I have never once called someone a name. Unlike you, not a single person has asked me to step away from the blog. You have been told to step away by more than one regular poster. Why? Because you are too unintelligent to engage in an adult debate.

      But go ahead, call me a cvnt again. Display your low IQ once again.

      January 26, 2013 at 8:36 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      You insulted me first and the fact that you fail to acknowledge this speaks volumes. If you can't handle the heat, fvck off.

      Second, I don't need labor codes to tell me what is and isn't a business. A business is an organization whose main purpose is to make a profit. That sounds susp.iciously like a church to me.

      P.S. You are a cvnt.

      January 26, 2013 at 8:45 am |
    • Jen

      Actually your initial post to me was rude and irrelevant. If you had nothing to post back with then you should just not post . But you were mad like a little baby that I got you on a point so you posted back in a rude manner. You then called me a name. I did no such thing.
      P.s. the fact that you don't recognize this displays your lack of education and intelligence. Why do you think you are asked to leave?

      January 26, 2013 at 9:17 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Why are you now posting with a link in your moniker? Is this really Jen?

      If this is really Jen, please explain how I initially responded in an insulting way. Also, I have a fairly high educational attainment (Bachelor of Science and a Master of Arts) and even though you would have to be retarded to put any stock in an IQ test result, mine is 127.

      January 26, 2013 at 9:25 am |
    • Jen

      I was on my iPhone.

      Because I got you on that point, plain and simple. How is the response 'I don't care' contributing to a debate in any way, shape or form? What should my response to that be? Oh well if RL doesn't care about the law then I guess the law does not apply. Yeah that makes sense. I'm talking about the real world and in the real world churches and businesses are treated differently. I don't dispute the point that maybe they shouldn't be, but that's not what we are talking about, and they ARE.

      My initial post was kind. You responded immaturely and rudely. I then responded back rudely. You then called me the lovely c word. What a great debater you are.

      I can stand the heat. Your posts do not phase me in the least. You are the one sitting behind your computer seething right now (you will say you are not but it is really obvious).

      January 26, 2013 at 10:32 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I'm a libertarian, I obviously don't care what unjust laws have to say. If you find my utterance of the phrase "I don't care" insulting, you really need to develop a thicker skin for insults. Also, I wouldn't find my current emotional state to be in any way 'seething', I think mildly amused would be more accurate. I'd imagine you're the one seething considering your typical liberal, FemiNazi response to my use of the word 'cvnt'.

      Anyway, I'm tired of this. My hatred for liberals is all maxed out for now, I think I'll go and hate on some conservatives. Enjoy your weekend and make sure to keep your kids away from religious buildings.

      January 26, 2013 at 11:02 am |
    • Jen

      You are not seething but you have to leave because your 'hatred' is maxed out. Uh huh. That's not contradictory at all.

      I know your views (your moniker is obvious). I agree with a lot of your views and also obviously disagree with some of them. My suggestion is that if you have nothing further to contribute just stop posting. Don't write something that does nothing to further your side of the debate. You do this with Tom Tom all the time. If you don't like her calling you a moron don't respond to her. Simple.

      I'm not the one that needs to get a thick skin. You are the one that hates me. It's not mutual. I wouldn't waste any emotion on a complete stranger. And thanks for the feminizi comment. You must love Rush Limbaugh, the other person that always uses that term. I take it as a compliment from people like you guys.

      January 26, 2013 at 11:17 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      I don't hate you, I hate liberalism. Also, I do hate Limbaugh as any self-respecting libertarian should. However, he undeniably coined a funny and accurate term for the modern, man-hating feminists (which I'm not accusing you of being). Also, I admit calling you a cvnt may have been a tad excessive but it is as accurate a term as I can think of to describe Tom.

      January 26, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • Jen

      Well let's call truce then. I took your post as being rude but I accept you didn't mean it as rude. So I'm sorry that I took it out of context.

      I still don't think calling anyone the c word is okay. I am far from the language police and that word is the only one that I find offensive. So I don't think you should be calling anyone that. Just my opinion. Obviously I can't stop you from calling someone that.

      January 26, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Poor RL. It's still griping his ass that his opinion isn't accepted as fact.

      My heart just aches for him.

      January 26, 2013 at 12:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Jen, RL likes using the word cunt because he thinks it makes him look cool and tough.

      January 26, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Rational Libertarian –

      I know from previous interactions that you are a large "L" libertarian, not a small "l". With that in mind, have you really considered whether or not "I hate liberalism" is rationally defensible? Have you ever determined where your personal philosophy is located on the Nolan Chart? If not, I think you're use of the term liberalism may be somewhat of a caricature.

      Cheers

      January 26, 2013 at 12:52 pm |
    • Really-O?

      "I think your use", not "I think you're use".

      BTW – Nolan Chart tests are freely available.

      January 26, 2013 at 12:56 pm |
  6. Mother of 3

    Logically speaking

    And when your scared teenage daughter goes for a back alley abortion and dies because Roe v Wade got overturned, you can be called Mother of 2 as you self-righteously condescend to tell everyone else what to do.

    Oh yeah! That's why it was legalized! Because abortions didn't stop or even slow when it was illegal; they just caused maimed and dead young women.
    ???????
    THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH WHAT I SAID. When and if my daughter gets pregnant.. when SHE decides what SHE wants, I'll hold her hand and foot the bill. When she is older I hope she will do the same. NO one else should be told to pay it for YOU! Please take time and read correctly before commenting... I'm against none of the choices, birth control, condoms, IUD's, morning after, abortion. It's your choice.. but pay your own bill.

    January 25, 2013 at 9:43 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      Hear, hear.

      January 25, 2013 at 9:45 am |
    • Susan

      Since 1965, when the U.S. Supreme Court first protected a woman’s access to contraception in Griswold v. Connecticut, both maternal and infant mortality rates have declined. Pregnancy spacing reduces harmful birth outcomes such as low birth-weight and premature birth, and pregnancy planning can help women control a number of conditions that negatively impact their own health, such as gestational diabetes and high blood pressure. Indeed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention hailed family planning as one of the ten greatest public health achievements of the last century.

      But that’s only where the impact of contraception begins. Access to affordable and effective contraception plays an important role in facilitating women’s participation in all parts of society. When asked how birth control impacts their lives, women report that it has allowed them “to support [themselves] financially,” “to stay in school,” and “to get or keep [a] job or have a career.” Researchers have found that the availability of oral contraception has played a significant role in allowing women to attend college and choose post-graduate paths, including law, medicine, dentistry, and business administration. Indeed, the ability to advance in the workplace through education or on-the-job training, because of the ability to control whether and when to have children, has narrowed the wage gap between men and women. One study shows that the birth control pill led to “roughly one-third of the total wage gains for women in their forties born in the mid-1940s to early 1950s.” In short, contraception helps women take control over their lives; inconsistent access undermines that.
      The ACA was designed to redress gender discrimination in health benefits. As Senator Barbara Mikulski, author of the provision on women’s preventive services, noted: “Often those things unique to women have not been included in health care reform. Today we guarantee it and we assure it and we make it affordable by dealing with copayments and deductibles.

      Prescription contraceptives are a form of health care particular to women. Omitting contraception from an insurance package – as so many plans have done in the past – discriminates against women; it means men receive comprehensive health care coverage while women do not. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission pointed this out over a decade ago. It explained that prohibitions on sex discrimination require employers to include contraceptive coverage when they offer coverage for comparable drugs and devices. As one court explained, “carv[ing] out benefits uniquely designed for women” discriminates against them.

      Without comprehensive coverage, women of childbearing age routinely pay more than men in health care costs. These costs are not insignificant, are a true barrier to women’s access to effective birth control, and the financial barriers are aggravated by the fact that women typically earn less than men. The cost of contraceptive methods can cause women to have gaps in their use, or to use less effective methods with lower upfront costs like condoms, as opposed to more effective long-acting reversible methods like the IUD. The contraceptive coverage rule helps to eliminate those disparities and their negative consequences. Indeed, a recent study shows that no-cost contraception is likely to significantly decrease unintended pregnancy rates by making long-acting methods more accessible.

      The U.S. Supreme Court said it well: “The ability of women to participate equally in the economic and social life of the Nation has been facilitated by their ability to control their reproductive lives.” Ensuring insurance coverage for contraception promotes equality on multiple, intersecting fronts. These are exactly the kinds of interests that are considered “compelling” by legal and lay audiences alike.

      January 25, 2013 at 9:48 am |
    • End Religion

      TripleMammy: Sorry. We all pay for Timmy's broken arm because he chose to play Midget League Football when he could have chosen not to play. We all pay for the populace's preventative doctor visits. We all paid for Sonny Bono's emergency responders because he chose to go skiiing when he could have chosen the cozy warmth of his cabin. We pay when mothers of 3 go into labour (again) when having children they could have chosen not to. We pay for obese people's operations after they have a heart attack when they could have chosen to eat properly. And we should pay for contraception because someone chooses it over some other choice.

      It is human health. It has nothing to do with religion or who is paying for it.

      January 26, 2013 at 8:23 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Mommy, YOU aren't paying for anyone else's birth control anymore than I'm paying for your smoking cessation program or weight-loss drugs. I pay premiums for my insurance and drug coverage. The group insurance plan my employer offers spreads the costs among a large pool of employees. My cost isn't going to rise significantly just because contraception will be covered. You are arguing dishonestly.

      I don't give a crap whether you approve of the medications I use. That is not a sufficient reason for them not be covered, when they are considered part of basic health care for women. When a woman spends the majority of her life trying to prevent unwanted pregnancy through the use of contraception, it's basic health care.

      January 26, 2013 at 12:58 pm |
  7. Mother of 3

    Ken Margo

    Because mother of 3 if you take away a woman's right to birth control YOU'LL be the mother of millions because YOU'LL have to help pay for the kids. YOU subsidize school children, YOU pay the health bill of those that end up in the hospital and cant pay the bill, YOU pay for public assistance. Since YOU are so happy to pay this, please tell the republicans to raise taxes so WE can support these kids
    ???????
    THIS HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH WHAT I SAID. Pill IUD what ever floats you. BUY THEM YOURSELF. You want to sleep around be responsible and pay for it or go to a free clinic where they GIVE you birth control and condoms. Your JOB has nothing to do with your bedroom. STOP BEING GREEDY and SELFISH.
    If you really think others should pay for us.. Open your wallet and run to the pharmacy for me.

    January 25, 2013 at 9:36 am |
    • End Religion

      We did pay for you TripleMammy, when you went into labour (again). you did use insurance for the hospital visit, eh?

      January 26, 2013 at 8:25 am |
  8. Mother of 3

    OK you can all argue rights of women, use of ones body, religion, whatever floats you... Bottom line- Your right? to sleep around? (then be responsible)... Use of body- You used it, don't wait for others to HELP with YOUR choices... Religion- Whats the difference? you all do what you want any way... Keep your legs together or pay for your own stuff. What right does government have in your bed anyway? Get your pills, rubbers or other contraceptives on your own dime. Can't afford them? Free clinics is your answer. Why make employers pay for your play? SELFISH! GREEDY!

    January 24, 2013 at 1:50 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      Because mother of 3 if you take away a woman's right to birth control YOU'LL be the mother of millions because YOU'LL have to help pay for the kids. YOU subsidize school children, YOU pay the health bill of those that end up in the hospital and cant pay the bill, YOU pay for public assistance. Since YOU are so happy to pay this, please tell the republicans to raise taxes so WE can support these kids

      January 25, 2013 at 12:29 am |
    • Logically speaking

      And when your scared teenage daughter goes for a back alley abortion and dies because Roe v Wade got overturned, you can be called Mother of 2 as you self-righteously condescend to tell everyone else what to do.

      Oh yeah! That's why it was legalized! Because abortions didn't stop or even slow when it was illegal; they just caused maimed and dead young women.

      January 25, 2013 at 12:36 am |
    • Hey-Zeus

      You don’t get to pick and choose what parts you want and don’t want about a health plan. If so, I wouldn’t pay a dime towards fat fucks who need all sorts of medication because of their obesity, or towards any medications for smoking related illnesses. The list goes on and on! Birth control isn’t always about contraception. It is very often used to treat other medical problems, and for that reason it must be included.

      January 25, 2013 at 9:49 am |
  9. ME

    WHY are taxpayers paying for abortion inducing drugs??? Unbelievable! Next we will be subsidizing plastic surgery. No wonder this country is so messed up. Lawmakers/Obama...where is your common sense. Abortion should not be paid for by the people. Healthcare is for preserving life not destroying it because of a whoops pregnancy.

    January 24, 2013 at 1:48 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      The govt isn't providing birth control. It's part of health insurance. The people using birth control are paying for it through their health care premiums. Not the gov't.

      January 25, 2013 at 12:33 am |
  10. SoldierOfConscience

    Bully for them. this country is based on freedom of religion

    January 23, 2013 at 12:20 pm |
    • End Religion

      SoldierOfUnconsciousness: might want to go back and get some elementary education. The country is certainly not based on freedom of religion. That is one aspect of what we have granted ourselves, not the basis of our government.

      January 26, 2013 at 8:28 am |
  11. MetheBLKman

    Well I hope everyone is aware that this organization was based on as a "christian store" back in the day. Just saying it, most likely, still is ran that way. They have really nice items for cheap, love the stores, but might have to reconsider going there now. :(

    January 22, 2013 at 3:05 pm |
  12. Logic

    Consider what the owners of Hobby Lobby are basically saying.

    "It’s kind of like church. Our faith journey isn’t just about showing up on Sunday for a good sermon and good music and a good meal. It’s about what we do Monday through Saturday as well, especially in those quiet moments, when the spotlight’s not on us, and we’re making those daily choices about how to live our lives.

    "We see that in the life of Jesus Christ. Jesus didn’t limit his ministry to the four walls of the church,” she said. “He was out there fighting injustice and speaking truth to power every single day. He was out there spreading a message of grace and redemption to the least, the last, and the lost. And our charge is to find Him everywhere, every day by how we live our lives."

    January 21, 2013 at 3:18 pm |
    • Fladabosco

      It's not about what the company does. It's about their employees health care and who gets to decide what they get to do WITH THEIR OWN BODIES. I personally don't give a rat's patoot about the beliefs of the owners of a company. That's their personal business. What kind of health care their employees get is the employees business. Another example of how claiming to know what god wants (the ultimate arrogance of humans) interferes with common sense and decency.

      January 22, 2013 at 7:33 am |
    • Logic

      Employees most certainly are not being prevented from deciding what they get to do with their own bodies. Hobby Lobby is a PRIVATE COMPANY and _NOT_ a government agency. Nobody is being forced to work there, nobody has a _right_ to work there, and Hobby Lobby is MOST CERTAINLY NOT hiding the fact that they run their company based on their Christain values, ones that they cannot check at the door from 9 to 5 on work days. They use these deep held beliefs "everywhere, every day" to make "daily choices about how to live [their] lives."

      BTW, that quote in the first post is from First Lady Michelle Obama.

      January 22, 2013 at 8:15 am |
    • Saraswati

      Can I assume Logic that you want all workplace laws dropped? Employer insists female wokers come in bikinis, no problem. No safety regulations, no problem. It's all just a wide open free market, right?

      January 22, 2013 at 11:07 pm |
    • Saraswati

      Hey, if I declare my home kind of like a church I guess I don't have to pay taxes. Awesome.

      January 22, 2013 at 11:12 pm |
    • End Religion

      Mmmm... women in bikinis.... that sounds like an awesome workplace. Could they be forced to bring us beer and pizza? Or is that going to far?

      January 22, 2013 at 11:22 pm |
    • Logic

      You're pretty handy with the as.sumptions, Sara. Again, absolutely not. And interesting that you should say "Employer insists female wokers come in bikinis" since a devout Christian employer would be the one NOT doing that. See, we actually respect women for the human beings that God made, rather than treat them like property (gee, like the 55,000,000+ inconvenient unborn babies that have been aborted over the last 40 years, how ironic!). This law does not force anyone to work at Hobby Lobby, nor does anyone have a _right_ to work there. And Hobby Lobby has not been hiding their religious views from potential employees, nor have they hidden their intentions about this issue.

      There are many reasonable and _just_ laws that make sense for businesses. But this law isn't one of them.

      As for turning your house into "something like a church", so you think it's OK to just fake something to cheat the system? Why do I see example after example of liberals/democrats that seem to have no problem justifying lying and cheating to get what they want? My morals don't allow me to do that, so I have no option but to tell the truth and fight a clean fight, not just because it's "fair", but because I have to answer to God.

      January 23, 2013 at 12:13 am |
    • Moby Schtick

      Logic, why are you completely ignoring Saraswati's logic and instead arguing things that are irrelevant to the points s/he made? Look at the LOGIC presented, not the examples and what you or other christians would or wouldn't do.

      January 23, 2013 at 12:18 am |
    • Logic

      Oh, and speaking of the "bikini" comment, isn't it interesting that Hobby Lobby has a no-tolerance policy for se.xual misconduct. Mean old Christian company forcing their male employees to treat females like PEOPLE. How dare they!

      January 23, 2013 at 12:29 am |
    • Henry

      You do realize that the law made them do that, right? It's not like they have a choice.

      January 23, 2013 at 12:32 am |
    • Logic

      @Moby
      Perhaps you can explain how my reply did not address her "logic"? She is building a straw man. I most certainly do not "want all workplace laws dropped" nor have I ever said anything remotely supporting that.

      Question: Would you think it was OK to force a vegan to buy someone a hamburger?

      January 23, 2013 at 12:44 am |
    • Logic

      Actually Henry, the law does not force Hobby Lobby to "immediately terminate" an employee for se.xual misconduct. There are laws that protect people from se.xual misconduct, but Hobby Lobby goes the extra step and says they won't tolerate it one bit.

      January 23, 2013 at 12:47 am |
    • Saraswati

      @Logic, if you don't know the difference between a straw man and a hypothetical scenario you should stay out of the game until you do. Seriously, look them up and get back to us.

      January 23, 2013 at 12:50 am |
    • Logic

      Sara, you presented it as an as.sumption that I would want that. There is no basis for that. Your argument is that my support for changing the law shouldn't be supported because I believe that all laws regarding business should be repealed. Then you continue to back it up with hypotheticals (not only ones with no basis, but offensive ones, to boot) to support your false premise. That is building a straw man.

      But when I offer a hypothetical situation, no bites. Would _you_, Sara, think it wrong to require a vegan to buy someone else a burger?

      January 23, 2013 at 1:07 am |
  13. all about investing in gold

    This is the best blog for anybody who desires to find out about this subject. You notice so much its nearly onerous to argue with you (not that I truly would want...HaHa). You undoubtedly put a brand new spin on a subject thats been wrote about for ages. Nice stuff, simply nice!

    January 21, 2013 at 3:07 pm |
  14. Donut Hole

    This is great. A store that sells junk that no one needs and pays their employees next to nothing, now wants to skirt the law. Boycott this store and shop elsewhere.

    January 21, 2013 at 9:35 am |
    • Logic

      1) So teachers and students don't need supplies for the classroom? Business people don't need supplies for presentations? Just because you don't need it doesn't mean someone else doesn't.
      2) Hobby Lobby pays full-time employees $13 per hour, and part-time employees $9 per hour. And those have been increased every year over the past four consecutive years, despite the condition of the economy. Compare this to the minimum wage at $7.25 per hour. Sure sounds like "next to nothing" to me... (NOT) On top of that, they employ over 15,300 people in 41 states, and they provide a free health clinic at their headquarters office.
      3) The "law" they want to "skirt" is one that is in violation of their Consti.tutional right that promises the government will not make a law that prohibits the free exercise of religion. Nobody is forced to work at Hobby Lobby, nor does anyone have a _right_ to work there (they are not a government program, they're a private business), so nobody is having the religious beliefs of the owners forced on them. And absolutely, if the employees or customers don't like their values, then they are perfectly free to shop elsewhere.

      Yessiree, these guys sure are a bunch of jerks...

      January 21, 2013 at 2:46 pm |
    • Fladabosco

      Logic, the question isn't free exercise of religion – it's whether your employer can force you to live their belief system. Should they be able to tell their employees they can't buy alcohol with their earnings? No? Why? Because it's NONE OF THEIR BUSINESS. Same thing. Do you want your employer telling you what kind of doctor you have to go to and what kind of treatment they should offer you. Of course not. It's none of their business.

      January 22, 2013 at 7:37 am |
    • Logic

      But that is the point exactly! Hobby Lobby isn't forcing ANYONE to live their belief system. Not one employee of Hobby Lobby is _forced_ to work there. Not one. And every one of them is capable of spending their money any way they want. Hobby Lobby has no say so in any of that. The government does not give Hobby Lobby the same choice though. Hobby Lobby's owners can either violate their consciences (which they will not do), pay a crippling fine for not providing the insurance they way they require, or drop insurance altogether and pay a smaller (still unfair) fine, forcing employees to find their own insurance (not fair to them, either).

      January 22, 2013 at 11:03 pm |
  15. ??

    Does This CEO have person investments in the stock market? If so does he invest in healthcare or Pharma? Do employees have to give up their own beliefs to work at Hobby Lobby? In an efforts to keep avoid the new insurance laws have they realigned employees as part time? so HL buys a majority of their inventory from China A communist(atheistic) country who routinely harasses Christian and other groups buy imprisonment restriction of religious freedom and even chooses pastors and preachers for churchs sanctioned by the gov't. Not to mention the two child rule that has led to millions of abortions! The Ceo has no problem with any of these things because they maximize profit by providing cheaper products. It seems interesting he only opposes on religious grounds things that will cost HL money on their bottom line. This CEO is Ok with birth control methods as long as a Communistic country is in control but, not when the employee making 2 dollars over minimum wage has to make a heartbreaking choice! And By GOD WHY does no one ever point these things out? Which of these is more truly EVIL? And a little bible message for the CEO " its easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than a rich man to enter the gates of heaven" Jesus. We'll see how committed he is when he can no longer avoid the 1.5m daily fine.

    January 20, 2013 at 1:04 pm |
  16. SlobbyLobby

    "All they're asking for is a narrow exemption from the law that says they don't have to provide **drugs they believe** cause abortion"

    Medicine is science and has nothing to do with "belief" which is precisely why these lawsuits will not prevail. Morning after pills are NOT abortion pills. Hobby Lobby can "believe" anything they want, but that does not change the medical facts in this case. This is nothing other than FOR-PROFIT Hobby Lobby trying to force the CEO's morals about family planning on it's employees. Anyone who believes these wingnuts should be given an exception to this should give serious pause to the implications. What if Lobby was run by a Jehovah Witness and decided to no longer have their policy cover blood transfusuions (about 80% of cancer patients receive transfusions), knee reconstructions and cardiac bypass surgery using allografts? These medical procedures are all strictly aginst the Jehovahs' religous beliefs, so, Mom can die of leukemia and Dad can die from a heart attack because their employer doesn't "believe" in these medical interventions. Your right to freely swing your fists (or in this case "beliefs") ends at the start of my nose. For the record- I am not a JW, and they firmly believe they should never forcibly impose their beliefs on others.

    January 20, 2013 at 10:59 am |
  17. AgnosticAndProud

    The real point is this: Hobby Lobby should not be dictating and forcing their employees to live by their personal religious beliefs. If you do not believe in the morning after pill, don't take it. You don't have the right to force your opinion on anyone else. It's your "opinion" and that does not make it right for everyone. If you don't believe in Gay Marriage, do not marry someone of your own gender. Same as Inter-racial marriage, Logic, which you were probably against too.

    January 19, 2013 at 5:40 pm |
    • Logic

      @AgnosticAndProud
      "The real point is this: Hobby Lobby should not be dictating and forcing their employees to live by their personal religious beliefs."
      They aren't. But the federal government is forcing Hobby Lobby's owners not to live by theirs, or face crippling fines that will eventually put them out of business. A person's "personal religious _beliefts_" are just that, personal (they're persons), religious (in this case, evangelical Christian) and beliefs (they hold them to be TRUE). The can no sooner check those beliefs at the door from 9-5 than can you choose to believe that the world is flat on Saturdays. This is not an optional "preference".

      "If you do not believe in the morning after pill, don't take it. You don't have the right to force your opinion on anyone else. It's your "opinion" and that does not make it right for everyone. If you don't believe in Gay Marriage, do not marry someone of your own gender. Same as Inter-racial marriage, Logic, which you were probably against too."
      Wow, out comes the race card. No, I am not at all against inter-racial marriage. Do you even know my race? Do you know my wife's race? Are you guessing that because I identify as a Catholic that I'm white? Or is your as.sumption that a black man would obviously support Barack Obama? Maybe you should carefully examine exactly why you chose to tack that accusation on your argument. Either way it's offensive.

      Nevertheless, I'll venture to carry your thought process a step further. "If you don't like abortion, don't have one". Or maybe "If you don't like rap.e, don't rap.e someone". Complete garbage. If you want to use contraception, you buy it. The point here is that religious freedom does not exist, and the federal government is FORCING the owners of Hobby Lobby and people like ME to choose between crippling fines and violating our conscience. That is PROHIBITING the FREE EXERCISE OF RELIGION, a right we are guaranteed by the First Amendment of the Consti.tution.

      January 19, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • Logic

      Furthermore, nobody has been forced to seek or take employment at Hobby Lobby. If you don't like their beliefs, nobody is stopping anybody from getting a job somewhere else. That's exercising your freedom.

      January 20, 2013 at 11:33 am |
  18. Logic

    !) Doesn't matter one bit who takes care of "the kid" what percentage of the time. My wife is disabled and I take care of all FOUR of my kids about 90% of the time.

    2)If LIFE begins at conception/fertilization, the zygote that has not yet implanted is a HUMAN LIFE (a PERSON, defined as "a human being"). Regardless of which definition of "pregnant" you use, doing something that prevents that HUMAN LIFE from continuing to live, violates that HUMAN's right to LIFE. The pill (assuming you meant "morning after pill") _admittedly_ prevents implantation, which prevents the zygote (a HUMAN LIVING BEING) from being able to survive. The only things a zygote needs to continue developing into a recognizable HUMAN BEING is a proper environment (the womb) and nutrients (JUST LIKE ANY HUMAN BEING AT ANY OTHER STAGE OF LIFE). A random clump of cells CANNOT develop into a HUMAN BEING, that is what differentiates a zygote from a clump of cells. The zygote has its own DNA and its own chromosomes (making it male or female). Is it scientifically possible for a person to have TWO DISTINCT DIFFERENT DNA? No. Can an individual human being be both a man AND a woman? No.

    3) "... if the egg is implanted it is fine and dandy." Are you saying that abortion should not be legal, but the morning after pill should?

    4) Since the Democratic party includes unabashed support for a "woman's right to choose" (i.e.- choose abortion, killing a baby), then it is only logical that people who believe in an unborn baby's right to LIFE side with anything but the Democrats. Republican candidates are usually the ones most likely to win an election, and the Republican party supports a baby's right to life. This does not mean that I or many pro-life people that vote Republican identify as one. It means that we make choices to vote against what we consider to be EVIL (killing unborn babies).

    See comment page 56 for LOTS MORE INFO.

    January 19, 2013 at 8:18 am |
    • Logic

      (Note: this was supposed to be a reply to "Jerk" below.)

      January 19, 2013 at 8:19 am |
  19. bear79

    Hobby lobby- where we don't want our employees putting the p in the v.

    January 19, 2013 at 8:12 am |
    • Logic

      Hobby Lobby has nothing to do with what employees choose to do on their own time with their own money. If they want to have se.x, use contraception, even get an abortion, there is NOTHING that Hobby Lobby can do about that, and they aren't trying to do so. BUT, it is unjust for the government to FORCE the owners of Hobby Lobby to violate their conscience by paying for drugs and services that are against their religious beliefs. The First Amendment of the Consti.tution says "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof..." The Affordable Care Act forces the owners of Hobby Lobby to choose between violating their conscience, or paying crippling fines, thereby PROHIBITING the FREE EXERCISE OF RELIGION. The can no sooner check their beliefs at the door than can ANYONE ELSE. To do so would make your beliefs into a preference. Not the same thing.

      January 19, 2013 at 8:33 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's not doing anything of the sort, you silly little man. Nothing is preventing HL from the free exercise of religion as you'd know if you read Susan's posts. You can "believe" it with all your little might, but that won't make it true under law.

      Why should a company be permitted to break the law because they believe something that isn't true? Plan B doesn't cause abortions. It's medical fact.

      January 26, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
  20. Jerk

    Look, the woman takes care of the kid 90% of the time. If she's not pregnant YET, which is what this pill takes care of, and I'm going to repeat NOT PREGNANT YET, she should have a choice. The pill does NOT induce abortions, if the egg is implanted it is fine and dandy. I bet most of you that support Hobby Lobby are Republicans that don't want to pay for welfare anyway. Good luck with everything.

    January 19, 2013 at 7:02 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.