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December 27th, 2012
07:20 PM ET

Hobby Lobby faces millions in fines for bucking Obamacare

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UPDATE: Hobby Lobby's $1.3 million Obamacare loophole

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Christianity • Church and state

soundoff (5,627 Responses)
  1. Proud American

    It is hypocritical that the owners of a store, any store, think that all of their employees share their owner’s religious beliefs 100%. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act allow each patient to choose for themselves if they want the medication or not. Hobby Lobby is forcing their religious beliefs on their employees by wanting their employees not to have the choice to seek the medical treatment that their personal religion allows. The Supreme Court should only be ruling to uphold the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act so that the individual has their rights too.

    December 28, 2012 at 11:15 am |
  2. olepi

    Hobby Lobby, another bigoted store that I won't shop in.

    No one is forcing the owners to give their family birth control. but for the owners to foist their own beliefs on their employees, is wrong.

    December 28, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • JT

      Hobby Lobby opposes this based on the owners religious convictions. The same is true of Obama. He is forcing his lack of faith, lack of moral, lack of right upon the American people and we have no say in the matter. He continues to spew forth his anti-American ways and to hell with the people. We are forced to shut up and pay up. Our country is doomed to destruction when people like him are voted into office.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • sam

      JT...don't you have a bunker to stock, while you're waiting for the end? I'm sorry the majority of voters in this country put a darkie into office. You only have to suffer four more years.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • bill.x

      JT – you do have a say under Obama. You can chose to use or not use contraception under the health care plan. What you don't have is the right to not allow someone else to make their own choice, like Hobby Lobby is doing.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • Jesus

      Jt, what does this company not wanting to follow the law have to do with Obama's religion? Ooooohhh, nothing! And you just want excuses to break his laws because you don't believe in his authority because of... why? His skin color maybe?

      December 28, 2012 at 11:37 am |
  3. Realityblowz

    Just the Obama administration driving another company out of business. Just like the Chevy dealerships, coal mines...etc etc

    December 28, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • Givemeabreak

      Read the article. It is the company being as@&$)le with their employees.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:22 am |
  4. LiqMat

    I am with Hobby Lobby on this one. God's law always comes first.

    December 28, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • sam

      Uh...which of god's laws are getting broken?

      December 28, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So do we execute people who don't honor their fathers and mothers?

      December 28, 2012 at 11:14 am |
    • Bobert

      Lol! Oh that's a good one. Oh... wait... you're being serious?

      December 28, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • JT

      Abortion = Murder.
      You shall not kill. Pretty plain.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • ReligionIsBS

      JT, abortion is legal is America. It isnt considered murder. Try to catch up.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • sam

      JT, you're wrong. Back to your bunker.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • Jesus

      uhhhhhhhh, You do realize, that in America, you still have to follow the law, even if you really don't like it?

      December 28, 2012 at 11:38 am |
  5. dave in dallas

    a corporation doesnt have a faith.. a corporation doesnt have a soul... a corporation isnt going to heaven or hell.
    The stupidity of Hobby Lobby.... is humorous.

    December 28, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • Givemeabreak

      Good one!

      December 28, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • bill.x

      Let's all just boycott this chain whereever it is, and let it go out of business. – both in the strip malls and on-line.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:21 am |
  6. WASP

    i love this companies have no problems covering male with viagra to help them create more babies yet when it comes to females having coverage to prevent pregnancy then they feel the need to envoke god into the issue.
    lmao idiots.

    December 28, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      You have presented what is commonly called false dichotomy. Not helpful to the discussion but allows some self satisfaction apparently

      December 28, 2012 at 11:15 am |
    • Bobert

      Bill, I don't think this is a false dichotomy. Now, if Hobby lobby wanted to fire all men that "take care of business" by themselves (because they are aborting a lot of potential babies), then I would be all for Hobby lobby!

      December 28, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • sam

      Bill doesn't agree, therefore it's a false dichotomy.

      You're supposed to stay on topic – meaning, women should never need abortions or morning after pills, because they shouldn't be having sex at all until they're married (to a nice white christian guy) and then her job is to pop out brats nonstop.

      Remember: if it's a legitimate rape, the woman can shut that whole thing down! She shouldn't be out without a chaperone anyway. She should be home making sandwiches.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • jimmy mack

      If you want to get under a fanatics skin...tell them the only reasons religious organizations do not want contraception in general is that the only way to make more fanatics is for current fanatics to pop them out. Of course in the past fanatics traveled to 3rd world countries and converted the willing by promising food in exchange for belief. Only two ways to make more....brainwash children from birth or convert the uneducated poor. I am happy to say that my wife was brought up catholic like I was and escaped as I did. And my father-in-law ...a deacon...has 3 of 5 girls who do not believe....

      December 28, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
  7. tom

    I can only assume that Hobby Lobby also quizzes their employees and job applicants on whether they have ever used contraception (including condoms), or ever got a divorce. Since those are banned by the Catholic Church, then those people can't work at Hobby Lobby... RIGHT?

    December 28, 2012 at 11:09 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Divorce isn't banned by the Catholic Church. Civil divorce is recognized by the Church. The sacrament of Holy Matrimony is considered unbreakable by the Church. A fine distinction that may elude you but informs me that your opinions on other matters may also be ill formed.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • ReligionIsBS

      "The sacrament of Holy Matrimony is considered unbreakable by the Church"

      So divorced catholics cant remarry? Or they can and the church is allowing people to be married to multiple people at the same time? LOL. Please explain, I bet you cant.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:20 am |
    • Bobert

      Bill, I bet you are a white, christian man in his late 30's, early 40's in the upper mid income bracket. Good for you. Time to think outside of your box and realize that not everyone is like you...

      December 28, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • sam

      Bill is The One True Catholic.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:24 am |
  8. ted

    Why doesn't Hobby Lobby move to China and sell American made crap to the godless Chinese. They wouldn't be so hypocritical then.

    December 28, 2012 at 11:07 am |
  9. ReligionIsBS

    I might take them seriously if they didnt force their employees to work on the sabbath, which of course is also against their religion. But hey, at least that sin is profitable, right?

    December 28, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • sam

      Well, as someone pointed out further down, a lot of their stuff comes from China, which has...oh, gosh, lots of human rights and infanticide problems. But it's cheap to buy from there, so that must be ok.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • MC

      Hobby Lobby IS closed on Sunday for those who want to slam them for this as well. They do observe their Christian faith.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • ReligionIsBS

      I stand corrected.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:24 am |
  10. JK

    You can't prevent employees from having a benefit if it is going to be used in a way that you don't agree with, which was the point of the supreme court ruling. Just like you can't stop giving employees their wages if they use it on something that your faith thinks is wrong. If people don't like it, then don't do it.

    Sorry, you can't force others to obey what your faith believes is right.

    December 28, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      No but you can fine them if they don't

      December 28, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • jimmy mack

      Does anyone have an issue with the "company religious rights". Worst SCOTUS decision giving companies free speec rights....now the company has religious rights...not just the owners. Bull crap... The company is an inanimate object that lives on paper. And should follow the rules like a good inanimate object.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:23 am |
  11. William Demuth

    Destroy them before they breed.

    We do NOT need this Bronze Age throwbacks in 2013.

    Inbred hill billy rednecks we sell junk to fat fundies on welfare.

    How about canning the arts and crafts and geting a JOB you losers??

    December 28, 2012 at 11:05 am |
  12. kd

    I hope the company goes bankrupt. They shove their religion in peoples' faces. If it's a shallow retail move on their part, it's a dumb one. If it's genuine, it's offensive. Yeah, yeah – free country. But it comes across very strongly as discriminatory on their part, very judgmental, very elitist, very unChristian. And their stuff is crap.

    December 28, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • mrid

      Heck yeah! Bankrupt! Then all those folks will be out of work but hey, they can get free condoms! Thanks Big Government!

      December 28, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • William Demuth

      mrid

      Don't sweat it, we will need PLENTY of Fundies to drop in Iran

      It seems the ones we sent to Iraq came back broken

      No worries, we got PLENTY of indoctrinated fools!

      December 28, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • Jeff from Columbus

      Ironic. You oppose a company forcing their religion on their employees. But, have no problem with the government forcing their politics on a company?

      December 28, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It isn't 'forcing politics', you doofus. It's requiring that the company obey the law.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • sam

      Jeff: uh, that happens everyday. It's called having everyone play by the same rules. Everyone gets to make the same choices across the board. Companies cannot say 'well, we won't provide the same access to the same things because we don't feel you should have those choices.'

      December 28, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • Susan Henke

      Sorry folks- this company is beloved by their employees, and they are closed on Sundays so their employees can spend the day with their families. So far the only idiots I see are those of you who are willing to give up freedoms to the government tyranny.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:18 am |
    • sam

      Great, now allowing everyone to have access to the same choices is 'tyranny'. Ugh, please.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      OOOOhhhh, "government tyranny!" The boogeyman.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:30 am |
  13. Steve

    Give them the choice. Why would the government demand that this drug be on the list? Companies pay a lot of money for health insurance, they should be able to choose what's best for them. If an employee wants that drug let them pay for it. Maybe they'll get smart and use condoms from now on. Birth control and prevention are life style choices an employee makes, nothing to do with health care. Does insurance cover rubbers?

    December 28, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • JudgeDB

      You know what, you're point makes a lot of sense. Too bad that isn't the point Hobby Lobby is trying to make. They're doing this on moral/religious grounds, not because of the cost. If it was because of the cost, then they could argue your points, but no, they just want to enforce their beliefs on their employees.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • sam

      It covers viagra, but I don't hear them crying about that.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • troy

      shouldn't a patient and a dr. make that choice not the employer.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • Givemeabreak

      Because it is a choice a person should make, not your employer. How would you feel if, because of stupid religious beliefs, your boss has an issue with the brand of car you use, or the perfume you use. Would it be ok for them to tell you what to wear or what not to use? The problem here is that they are NOT allowing their employees to choose. They want to make that decision and impose it to their employees. This people are intolerant. Religious? NO WAY! That is arrogant and stupid. Go tell your wife what to do, and let other women make their own choices. of course the owner is a guy! Estupidos machistas!

      December 28, 2012 at 11:10 am |
    • Susan Henke

      I also don't think viagra should be covered. If men need help "getting it up" they should pay for it themselves. Give me a break.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Yes, it would be ok for my employer to choose the car I drove if they were making the payments. Does that help?

      December 28, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • AndyM

      Maybe you don't understand the concept of insurance. It's everyone covered paying into a pool. For most, the amount you pay in would be more (not really, because of discounts insurance companies negotiate) than you would probably pay over your lifetime for services. However, you are protected against being hit by catastrophic costs.

      Birth control is a preventative measure. It saves the entire insurance pool money, because, for someone who does not want a child, that unwanted child represents pre-natal care costs, prescription costs, delivery costs, post-partum costs, and a lifetime of coverage for an additional person.

      Take those hundreds of thousands of dollars in costs vs. a couple hundred a year for the prescription.

      It's the same reason why regular checkups are mandated to be included in base coverage – saves money for the pool.

      The idea that you are "paying" for contraception is a complete fallacy. Since the costs of prevention are negative (saved money), if you want to "opt out" of being forced to "pay," then you wouldn't get the savings.

      In fact, you could probably look at this as not a fine/punishment, but being allowed not to "pay" the negative costs of contraception.

      Do childless individuals and couples have to subsidize the costs of those who want children? What if they have a moral and philosophical belief that we have a duty not to overpopulate the planet? How do they get to "opt out" of paying for birth and health care for people who have four, five or more kids?

      They don't. Neither should Hobby Lobby, or others. Especially since it's not an actual "cost."

      December 28, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • sam

      Andy – the fundies don't like logic, just hyperbole.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:26 am |
  14. Givemeabreak

    Hypocrits. Lets make money and exploit women and men for a profit, but Lord forbids I am fair with them and respect their rights to choose. Double standards! Hypocrits!

    December 28, 2012 at 11:00 am |
  15. Impertinent

    Isn't it ironic, or maybe the better word is hypocritical that the Hobby Lobby Corporation refuses to adhere to the Affordable Care Act because it pays for various methods of birth control, but the goods it sells in it's stores come almost exclusively from China, a country with one of the worst records of forced abortion and infanticide in the world.

    December 28, 2012 at 10:57 am |
    • sam

      Exactly. Oops. It's all about values, right up until it's not convenient for them.

      I wonder if they sell coat hangers.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • Givemeabreak

      I agree totally. They are so arrogant that try to play God choosing for others, and all for the misery they pay to their employees. No Sir. You go ahead and do not use anything u dont want, but they are nobody to tell their employees what to do with their lives or bodies. They are employers, not the owners of them.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:03 am |
  16. Cindy

    You people need to learn how to read. They don't want to pay for the morning after pill, not all contraceptive. There is a BIG difference there. I guess in this day and age of "If it feels good do it" there is no room for people with morals or religious beliefs. Very sad. My only consolation is that there IS a heaven and a hell that awaits us all.

    December 28, 2012 at 10:55 am |
    • JudgeDB

      Wow, you're just full of self righteous indignation, aren't you. First of all, paying for regular birth control but not the morning after pill makes absolutely no sense. Second, just because people don't adhere to your moral or religions principles doesn't mean that there is "no room for people with morals or religious beliefs". Awful high and mighty of you to simply disregard anyone who disagrees with you as immoral and having no religious beliefs. You can have your morals and your religions, just KEEP THEM TO YOURSELF. That is ALL anyone wants here. STOP making decisions for other people based on YOUR religious beliefs. Let people do what THEY feel is right for THEM, and then your god can have his turn at judging them when they die.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • sam

      The bible never says anything about abortion.

      These 'morals' are made up by people who have decided they think they know what sin is. It's simple, isn't it? Whores should keep their legs closed unless they have permission from their owner...I mean, husband.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:01 am |
    • Madtown

      there IS a heaven and a hell
      ----
      Maybe. How do you know there "IS", for certain?

      December 28, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      There is no big difference, Cindy, honey. The morning-after pill is just a larger dose of contraceptive which will prevent pregnancy. Tough toenails if HobbyLobby doesn't approve of it.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:02 am |
    • myweightinwords

      Most women I know who have ever used the morning after pill were raped.

      Still, the morning after pill is a means to prevent pregnancy, taken at a moment when a mistake has been made or a tragedy has occurred. It isn't "an abortion".

      December 28, 2012 at 11:03 am |
    • sam

      @myweightinwords – was it a 'legitimate' rape?

      December 28, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Your heroes, Cindy, are ignorant yahoos who think that Plan B is an "abortion pill." They, and you, are wrong. There is no "abortion" when a pregnancy hasn't occurred.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:04 am |
    • sam

      Life starts before conception, right?

      December 28, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • Akira

      It's called "emergency contraceptives" for a reason.
      They take it the morning after unprotected s.ex, not the day after they pee on a stick.
      As MWIW pointed out, there are a few different reasons for taking the morning after pill; please stop being judgemental.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:12 am |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      Cindy what is yoru source that ther IS a heaven and hell? Do you hear a voice in your head talking to you?

      December 28, 2012 at 11:13 am |
    • The Truth

      "My only consolation is that there IS a heaven and a hell that awaits us all." So Cindy is heartened by her belief most of humanity, as she see's them, will end up in horrible torture and agony for eternity...

      December 28, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • jimmy mack

      Sorry Cindy...I stopped believing in a heaven or hell when I was 12. Just a few short years after standing up during my confirmation and telling the bishop I wanted to be a priest. Cindy...imagine living 2000 years ago. Can you even fathom how hard and terrrible life was for the common man and worst yet for the poor. REligion and god have a perpose. It is to keep you alive so you can plow that field , build a road....or fight a war for somebody. It may be hard to believe but, death was a welcome end to a very hard existence. The olny way to keep your population alive and not welcoming an exit to the hardest existence you can imagine....was to make up a story about a dreamland that will punish you for bad deeds.... especially if you off yourself.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:42 am |
  17. cmon

    Healthcare coverage from your employer isn't a right, it is a perk. You may disagree with Hobby Lobby's religious stance but they aren't "forcing" anything on you. You can work for Hobby Lobby and purchase all of the contraceptives you need for your personal life, they just don't think the government should require them to pay for it.

    December 28, 2012 at 10:54 am |
    • xeno

      Then I shouldn't be required to pay for religion, which is what churches' tax exempt status amounts to.

      December 28, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • Cindy

      You're not paying for religion.

      December 28, 2012 at 10:58 am |
    • JudgeDB

      I'm pretty sure that the entire point of the AHCA is to make health care a right for everyone. And yes, Hobby Lobby is enforcing their moral views by arbitrarily denying one form of medication, again based on nothing but moral views. They are not arguing that this is a cost cutting measure, or that it is medically dangerous. They simply don't agree with the moral aspect and by denying employees what is required BY LAW, they are forcing their religion on their employees.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • chris

      Cindy is right, you don't pay for religion through thier tax exempt status. It does not work like government subsidies on programs like solar, wind , oil and such which the tax payers do pay for. And what we gain from what churches do around the country through social programs far outwieghts that tax exempt status. Wiether you believe in god or not or belong to a church or not there is no hiding the fact that they are very involved in their local communities through food pantries, family counseling, youth group organizations and more.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • Primewonk

      We all pay for your religion Cindy. Who do think pays for your churches fair share of property taxes? Who pays for your churches share of police and fire protection? Who pays your churches share of water plants, sewage plants, power plants? All of us do. Perhaps these nutters should begin paying their fair share?

      December 28, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      "they just don't think the government should require them to pay for it."
      .
      Thats fine...they can pay the 1.3 million tax a day for that position. After I started hearing about their christard rhetoric, I stopped shopping there.So please business owners who feel the need to preach...speak out so that we may know you and stop using yoru services or buying yoru goods.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:16 am |
    • chris

      More ignorance from poster JudgeDB. Hobby Lobby is not forcing any moral point of view on it's employees. They have from day one of this court battle kept their employees informed. It is only the morning after pill that is at issue. All other contraceptives are fine. And whats wrong with America as far as I'm concerned is that there are not enough people and companies standing up for what they believe. And when did moral views become bad?

      December 28, 2012 at 11:19 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      I think if I were on Hobby Lobby's board i would advocate cancelling employer provided health care and give everyone a raise commensurate with the premium. Then the employees could freely choose whatever health plan suits them. It will cost them more because they will lose the collective discount they now enjoy, especially if they add premium services to the policy but hey, welcome to the market.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • cmon

      "...And yes, Hobby Lobby is enforcing their moral views by arbitrarily denying one form of medication, again based on nothing but moral views"

      So is it ok for the US Government to enforce moral views on us? In many cases I think so but where do those moral views come from? Isn't the Government enforcing their moral view by requiring Hobby Lobby to pay for this form of medication.

      Again, Hobby Lobby is not denying a form of medication to anyone, they just choose not to fund it.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:28 am |
  18. chris

    If we had more companies standing up for what they believe we'd be less likely to allow government to take more of our lives into thier hand. If you vilianize profit and wealth your ignorant of how money is made and the benifets to the country. Whatever social government program you love is impossible without the taxes collected from companies making products and making a profit. You dont tax expenses...you tax profits. My daughter works for Hobby Lobby and along the path of this court battle the owners have kept the employees well informed about what they are fighting for. Even employees who want the morning after pill have at least expressed appreciation for how the company has kept them informed. People like Peter Q Wolfe in his post above have an ignorance about how business and government work. One can't live without the other. The difference with government is that liberals love to bash success, wealth and corporations...but then when there are no jobs you bite the hand that feeds you. Hobby Lobby is admired by it's employees, there are no protests, and the doors remain open and busy. At least they are standing up for what they believe...few of us do these days.

    December 28, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • Cindy

      Amen Chris!!

      December 28, 2012 at 10:56 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      chris, you don't have much education, do you?

      December 28, 2012 at 11:06 am |
    • JudgeDB

      Uh, plenty of people are standing up for what they believe in. That is why this issue is such a hot topic... Oh, wait, you meant fewer people are standing up for persecution from the religious these days. That I will agree with. People come before corporations, and your understanding economics is very rudimentary.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:11 am |
    • Akira

      Since they are a retail business, making profits, they are subject to the same laws as every other money-making venture.
      The ACA is one of them.
      They are not a church, and therefore, not eligible for the exemption. Period.
      Stand up in church for what you believe in; it is wholly inappropriate in a retail setting.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:25 am |
    • Primewonk

      " The difference with government is that liberals love to bash success, wealth and corporations...but then when there are no jobs you bite the hand that feeds you."

      This, of course, is simply more tea bagger bullshit.

      22 states already signed similar measures into law. Romney signed it into law in Massachusetts. Huckabee signed it i to law in Arkansas.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:48 am |
  19. GOD AND COUNTRY

    MILITARY VET, you are wrong! Has every thing to do with there beliefs. Why would you grant your employess in a business that you own for them to allow abortions and what not. They may be theo nes not commiting there acts but they are supporting there employees to kill babies at there descretion. So in my beliefs I am for them standing up for themselfs and for what they believe in.

    December 28, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And you, like Cindy, are ignorant. The morning-after pill is not an abortion-causing medication.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:07 am |
    • sam

      LOL "Here's your health care, go kill babies."

      Dumbass, the morning after pill is not an abortion pill.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:08 am |
    • JudgeDB

      You can't kill something that isn't alive yet. No religious text I have ever heard of defines when life begins, and even science can't really pin it down. It all comes down to moral ambiguity, which is a stupid thing to fight over because, surprise surprise, you end up with two extremely polar groups that will never agree on anything. Its also a stupid thing to base laws/policies on because it discriminates against people in the middle and which ever extremist camp that isn't in power.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      DOG AND COUNTRY

      Yur not very smurt.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:19 am |
  20. independent jim

    the SCOTUS has ruled that corporations are people .. the SCOTUS did not say people have the right to interpret law (any law) to suit themselves.. if this Corporation is allowed to interpret law to suit their own moral convictions.. then any law can be interpreted to suit anyones moral conviction .. fine them and make them pay

    December 28, 2012 at 10:52 am |
    • MTG

      You are correct my man!

      December 28, 2012 at 10:58 am |
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About this blog

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.