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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. Seth216

    To me the key words came from their attorney Kyle Duncan "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 is in effect suing the government because they don't believe or are completely ignorant of the mechanisms by which these contraceptives work. Unless they can produce credible evidence supporting their position that that these contraceptives cause abortion that is contrary to all medical literature on the subject, their position is simply wrong, and must be assumed to be motivated by political interests.

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

      'they believe'. That's the kicker, right there.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Heineken

      Wait, wait, wait....you do know that the Plan B pill destroys the fertilized egg, right? Agree or disagree...fundamental Christians consider it a child at conception.
      That's a very safe position because it errors on the side of life. Nobody should be forced to concede such a foundational belief. It's a core ethic.
      The compromise here is to find a job with a different company.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The word is "errs," ya simp.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:55 am |
    • Heineken

      "The pronunciation (ûr) for the word err is traditional, but the pronunciation (r) has gained ground in recent years, perhaps owing to influence from errant and error, and must now be regarded as an acceptable variant. The Usage Panel was split on the matter: 56 percent preferred (ûr), 34 percent preferred (r), and 10 percent accepted both pronunciations." [1]

      thefreedictionary (dot) com/errs [1]

      December 28, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Totally missed the point, didn't you?

      No surprise there.

      It has nothing to do with pronunciation, idjit.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • Seth216

      That's a common misconception (no pun intended) on how the plan b pill works. Please read the following article from the new york times that discusses the subject in lay-man's terms.

      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/06/health/research/morning-after-pills-dont-block-implantation-science-suggests.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

      December 28, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      The compromise here is to find a job with a different company.
      .
      No the compromise is Hobby Lobby paying 1.3 mill a day if they wish to not comply..that is their choice.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Trying to inform Heiny is akin to trying to teach a pig to sing.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • Heineken

      @Tom, I understand you'd rather sling dirt than argue. That's fine. As per the American Heritage Dictionary, Websters and Oxford, the word error can be used a verb. "Err" is the archaic usage. Language evolves.

      @ Seth,
      The argument is here is about the origin of life, not the start of pregnancy. The human embryo is formed before it attaches to the uteran wall. If the Plan B pill is taken before the embryo attaches itself, it will be destroyed. The FDA considers a woman pregnant when the embryo attaches to the uterus.
      So it is a misrepresentation of the fact. It is true that the plan B pill won't terminate a pregnancy, but it WILL terminate an embryo before it attached to the uterus.
      The drug maker admits that Plan B "may inhibit implantation by altering the endometrium [i.e. the lining of the womb]." In other words, Plan B may cause a newly-conceived embryo to die (and be expelled) because it cannot implant itself in the lining of the womb.

      please review the following:
      http://www.lifesitenews.com/news/archive//ldn/2006/sep/06090701

      December 28, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Nah. I would rather make a fool of you than anything else. Nobody says "I'd rather error on the side of caution." Nobody. Except an idiot like you.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:19 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Bet anyone 100 to 1 that Heiny is a male. Who will never face an unwanted, unplanned pregnancy.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      http://www.thefreedictionary.com/error

      December 28, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Talk about desperate and stupid. Heiny is citing 'lifesitenews." Betcha he reads World Nut Daily and watches Faux News, too, and thinks they're reliable sources of fact.

      I betcha he also has an IQ of less than 120.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:27 pm |
  2. Heineken

    This is teaching the next generation that society owes them a debt. There is no longer any merit in personal responsibility. The line between liberty and license gets erased and the end result is an ideologically stunted resource sponge. The politics of, "Because I desire it, I deserve it" are becoming household worldviews. It's really sad to watch unfold.

    December 28, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      More terrifying than sad and trending worse.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, bullish!t. Stop hyperventilating, you nitwits. This is not welfare. It's simply healthcare, and the rest of the world has it. There's no reason to deny it to people here.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • sam

      Providing equal access to healthcare to all citizens is ruining personal responsibility?

      Why don't you just go ahead and say what you actually mean: no sex outside marriage, no prevention of bringing more children into the world.

      Oh, and add this to your little speech: "I'm sorry you can't afford the morning after pill after being raped. But oh well! Enjoy god's little blessing."

      December 28, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Bill's still sore because his girlfriend got pregnant ('course Bill doesn't take any responsibility for that) and decided she didn't want to be.

      Now he wants everyone to pay the price.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Skip

      My, my, Tom Tom. Your arguments are well thought out and reasonable. You didn't even need to use an ! or a – to get your comment past moderators this time either. "Chard, do you never master-bate?" Outstanding! *slow clap*

      December 28, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If you're too stupid to figure out how to avoid having your comment kicked out, it's not my problem.

      If you have trouble with clapping, take lessons, dear.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • Skip

      It does get tiring having to filter through all the personal attacks. I don't really come to CNN discussion forums expecting to have reasonable debates, but you seem like you have a strong opinion, so why would you and Sam discredit yourselves with comments like that? Also, I am not stupid and the slow clapping was intentional.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, was it??? Gee, I never would have figured that out if you hadn't informed me, Skippy.

      I don't care if you get tired or not. Don't like filtering my comments? Go somewhere else that includes an "ignore" option.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
  3. John/kc

    So if I don't believe in blood transfusions and own a business, they think I should not have to supply this item to my employees health plan? Get serious. All these plans need to supply the same benefits, and if they don't like it, give the money to the employees and they will buy their own insurance. Don't force your religious beliefs on your employees. If they don't believe in these items, then they won't use them. A lien should be placed on Hobby Lobby and Mardel and any other business that bucks this law, and if they don't pay, then foreclose and sell to the highest bidder.

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

      Semantics. Blood transfusions are medical procedures performed by a healthcare proffesional in a controlled environment to sustain life. The plan B pill destroys a fertile egg conceived through poor decision making. To force a company to pay for this medication is like forcing your insurance to cover the damage you did to your Toyota after a night of heavy drinking. You own your mistakes.
      Wether or not a human life is a mistake is a whole other discussion.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • sam

      'poor decision making'? You're giving yourself away, jackass. Those whores should keep their legs together, right?

      December 28, 2012 at 11:36 am |
    • Heineken

      I don't believe I called anyone such names. Are you trying to paint me as a religious zealot? I find it a bit myopic to assume that every conservative is a fundamental Christian.
      I based my premise on a very rational, secular ideology. Humanism. I just happen to find most liberals behave like children, so my argument will make a logical progression to "responsibility."

      December 28, 2012 at 11:59 am |
    • Primewonk

      " The plan B pill destroys a fertile egg"

      This, of course, is simply more fundiot nutter bullshit. All actual evidence shows that Plan B delays ovulation, preventing the egg and sperm from meeting in the first place.

      Perhaps if you ignorant fundiot nutters would read a fucking science journal or two instead of getting your "science" sounding information from the "Pastor Dave's" of the world, you would have known this.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      Seems you have a misconception of what a human life is.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
  4. Kim

    Why is this a big deal? If you want an insurance package that includes contraceptives, get a job at a place that provides them. I don't see why this particular issue is now a mandate.

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

      Exactly. But that makes too much sense.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:29 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      But if that happens then how will we force people into the Dear Leader's brave new world?

      December 28, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • SPF

      Obviously you can't see why being a for profit business in the US requires you to follow the law. Ohh wait they are christian, let them do whatever the heck they want. Fool.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • Primewonk

      By law, all businesses that are not churches, have to include contraception in their insurance plan. So where, exactly, do you want all these people to work?

      December 28, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
  5. SPF

    Hobby Lobby isn;t providing contraceptives. get over it. they are providing health care, and its the individuals decision whether they use them. Stop hiding behind this govt forcing us bs. this is just another example of christians trying to dictate people's lives for them.

    December 28, 2012 at 11:27 am |
    • lol??

      Got hate?

      December 28, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
  6. Heineken

    If our ability to play semantics exceeds our moral position, then nothing is sacred. There is no good answer to the question:" Why should they pay for these drugs?"

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

      They are not paying for it. It's the insurance company they contract are.

      The religious argument is just for show.
      Hobby Lobby is indirectly paying for wars and an other unChristian stuff via their tax dollars, yet they get all worked over about some contraception coverage?

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

      I think even the government has backed off from the insipid claim that the insurance companies will pay for it.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:32 am |
    • Heineken

      I was about to say.....the company pays money to stipen the insurance, per capita I believe.(What, like 5000 per full time employee?)

      December 28, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      AP there is a difference in paying a properly levied tax and submitting to the consensus of the republic as compared to direct force majure impose against ones own conscience. You should change your screen name.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • lol??

      Heineken, bullies don't have a moral position. They just wanna be on top. Their form of luvin' da neighbors.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
  7. CatSh

    So change the rule to state that if the company can limit coverage ONLY if the company pays 100% of the premiums to the insurance company.
    If they feel so strongly about their faith, they shouldn't object to paying the extra cost for it.

    December 28, 2012 at 11:24 am |
  8. dragnet767

    Shop at Michael's..........

    December 28, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • Rachel

      Love.

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

      Great idea. Shop at Michaels. Their business will increase and they can supply all the contraceptives they want. Problem solved.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Already do-Hobby Lobby sucks.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:43 am |
  9. AmericanPatriot

    This corporation is so unethical, they would put their religion before providing equal access to healthcare.
    They DESERVED to be fined. And more!

    December 28, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • lol??

      You run all your neighbors' businesses? What's the pay? You just voted yourself in? What a plan!

      December 28, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
  10. dragnet767

    If they don't want to follow the law then they don't have to. They can either pay the daily fines or they can close their doors. We are a land of laws. Follow it or leave.

    I don't think the speed limit should be 70 mph because my beliefs say they can't tell me how fast top drive. The point where does it end? Hobby lobby is wrong because they can't force others to follow THEIR beliefs which is their goal.

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

      Hobby Lobby is by all reports a law abiding corporation active in the community, the issue here is tax payer subsidized murder of unborn children.

      Taxpayer funded abortions was an evil that Obama promised would not occur.

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

      Subsidized murder. LOL Wow, the BS is flying all over the place in here today.

      But gosh, Chad – aren't the employees of this corporation good christians anyway?? There's no way they would make the wrong choices in their lives. Seems the employer wants to make sure they don't have the chance to stray. There's no problem in that, right?

      December 28, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      So sam, by your logic, if the employees don't want it and the employer doesn't want it why should they be forced to buy it?

      December 28, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • dragnet767

      Chad they are NOT law abiding when they won't follow the LAW! Hello! No one is making anyone get anything. If one of their flock doesn't want a baby then they can get something to block it from happening. You need to keep the "deer in the headlights" stuff in church. The people that work at Hobby Lobby DO NOT have to believe what the owners do.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chard, do you never master-bate?

      December 28, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • dragnet767

      They have to offer it Bill because it's the LAW! Just because they don't agree with the law doesn't mean they don't have to follow it. As the supreme court just said. So they can pay the fines or close their doors. Again they can NOT force others to follow their beliefs. That's not how this country works. Go to the middle easy where they HAVE to follow the religion.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • Chad

      The issue here is only one thing: tax payer funded abortions.

      Hobby Lobby is seeking an exemption from being forced to pay for murdering unborn children.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chard, the morning-after pill does not cause abortion. You're an idiot.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • Chad

      the morning after pill stops a newly conceived child from being implanted in the uterus, thereby killing him/her.

      Extremely dishonest semantics to claim that the morning after pill isnt "abortion" because "abortion only terminates pregnancy, and pregnancy technically doesnt start until the newly conceived child becomes implanted in the uterus"

      It matters not to the newly conceived child at what point pregnancy technically starts. He/she is dead.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • lol??

      Ah, a Doctorate in bullyin'.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Chad wrote, " the morning after pill stops a newly conceived child from being implanted in the uterus"

      More fucking lies from the religious right (oxymoron).

      Plan B works by delaying ovulation so the egg and sperm don't meet in the first place. Plan B has no effect on an already fertilized egg.

      But why let the truth stand in the way of yet more religious lies?

      December 28, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • Chad

      incorrect, here is the real info:

      How do the PREVEN® emergency contraceptive pills prevent pregnancy?
      Ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel are used together in this product as an emergency contraceptive (EC) to prevent pregnancy after contraceptive failure or unprotected intercourse. Ethinyl estradiol and levonorgestrel prevent ovulation (the release of an egg from an ovary), disrupt fertilization (joining of the egg and sperm), and inhibit implantation (attachment of a fertilized egg to the uterus).
      Source: http://www.drugs.com/mtm/preven-ec.html

      How does Plan B One-Step® work?
      Plan B One-Step® is one pill that has a higher dose of levonorgestrel, a hormone found in many birth control pills that healthcare professionals have been prescribing for several decades. Plan B One-Step® works in a similar way to help prevent pregnancy from happening. It works mainly by stopping the release of an egg from the ovary. It is possible that Plan B One-Step® may also work by preventing fertilization of an egg (the uniting of the sperm with the egg) or by preventing attachment (implantation) to the uterus (womb).

      Source: http://www.planbonestep.com/faqs.aspx

      December 28, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Jen

      FIFTY PERCENT of fertilized eggs do not make it to implantation. The body doesn't even produce any hormones until implantation, so it is impossible to tell if conception even occurred until implantation. I understand being pro-life, but it's absolutely moronic to believe life begins before implantation. If you believe that, you must also believe an egg and each of the millions of sperm are 'precious lives' too.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • Really-O?

      The following is from the International Federation of Gynecology & Obstetrics Emergency Contraception Statement (March 2011) regarding the levonorgestrel-only emergency contraceptive pills (Plan B) and implantation.

      –Two studies have estimated effectiveness of LNG ECPs by confirming the cycle day by hormonal analysis (other studies used women’s self-reported cycle date). in these studies, no pregnancies occurred in the women who took ECPs before ovulation; while pregnancies occurred only in women who took ECPs on or after the day of ovulation, providing evidence that ECPs were unable to prevent implantation.
      –A number of studies have evaluated whether ECPs produce changes in the histological and bio-chemical characteristics of the endometrium. Most studies show that LNG ECPs have no such effect on the endometrium, indicating that they have no mechanism to prevent implantation. One of these studies found that following administration of double the standard dose of LNG, there are only minor or no alterations in endometrial receptivity. One study found a single altered endometrial parameter only when LNG was administered prior to the LH surge, at a time when ECPs inhibit ovulation.
      –One study showed that levonorgestrel did not prevent the attachment of human embryos to a simulated (in vitro) endometrial environment.
      –Animal studies demonstrated that LnG ecPs did not prevent implantation of the fertilized egg in the endometrium.

      The gist –
      Inhibition or delay of ovulation is LNG ECPs principal and possibly only mechanism of action.
      Review of the evidence suggests that LNG ECPs cannot prevent implantation of a fertilized egg.
      Language on implantation should not be included in LNG ECP product labeling.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:15 pm |
    • Chad

      @Jen "FIFTY PERCENT of fertilized eggs do not make it to implantation."

      @Chad "Fifty percent of the people in Mozambique dont live past 39 years old. That doesnt make it OK to kill them before they reach that age.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I don't know, Chard. Your god seems to be okay with it.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:33 pm |
  11. Sam

    @Tom– Isn't that a straw man fallacy? Is Hobby Lobby a sweatshop?

    December 28, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, dear, it isn't a "straw man fallacy." This is a country of laws. Hobby Lobby doesn't get to pick and choose which ones to follow. The owners aren't being forced to do anything but abide by the laws.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:24 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Correct TT. And all that they were asking for was an injunction against the fines while their case is being adjudicated regarding their exemption. A case not unlike dozen of such currently pending in courts all over the nation. What Sotomayor did was allow the heavy hand of government penalties to weigh against the plaintiff which coerces compliance to a law that may not apply to them.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Boo hoo. The law is being applied to all such companies equally. If HL doesn't like it, they can take their company elsewhere.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Yeah! America Love it or Leave it!

      December 28, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Sammy

      @Tom– I wasn't really questioning the law. I was wondering how the feds would explain to the 13,000 about their job loss. By the way, I changed my name to Sammy to avoid being confused with the Sam that is spreading vitriol here.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:47 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      He's not spreading vitriol. Why can't you answer the question, Sammy?

      December 28, 2012 at 11:49 am |
    • Sammy

      @Tom– Sorry, dear. I didn't see a question in your last comment.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, honey. You just ignored the comment in which I asked you for your solution. Good going. And so honest.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • lol??

      Listen to all the bullies telling people to leave, just like they do to children in the womb They be little gods.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:56 am |
    • lol??

      Braggin' about the bondage of law??????? Nutzoism at its best.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • dragnet767

      Pretty much Bill. That is the way it works here in America. Like TT and I have said we are a country of laws and the Supreme court has up held this law. So I don't get where all these law suits you refer to are. That question has been answered by the highest court in the land. They have no where else to take a lawsuit.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • dragnet767

      "Nutzoism at its best" No lol that would be church law. I have to follow the nations laws but I don't have to follow yours. That is the way it works here. You all should learn how America works as long as you live here.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Sammy

      @Tom– Sweetheart, I don't know what the solution is. It's a complex equation. I do feel better that you have it all figured out, though.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • dragnet767

      No Sammy it's really an easy question. If you want to get the birth control from the insurance then get it. If you don't want it don't get it. See, simple.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
    • Jesus

      Bill Deacon
      Yeah! America Love it or Leave it!

      It's funny how you say Love it or Leave it, while you complain about the President's law. Maybe you should take your own advice Bill

      December 28, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
    • Sammy

      @Dragnet– You're right! It is simple if you don't consider any of the factors involved.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What "factors," Sammy? There is law. That's the only 'factor' here.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
    • Sammy

      @Tom–That seems a bit restricting. Kind of like thinking inside the box that's inside another box.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:26 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Sam wrote, "I was wondering how the feds would explain to the 13,000 about their job loss."

      Simple, you tell the employees that their idiot owner decided he was above the law and he decided to ignore the rules of the US. You then add that their idiot owner thinks the Us is a theocracy, and it's his version of a god who is in charge. You then explain to the people that the US most definately is not a theocracy, and that all this is the personal fault of their idiot owner.

      How much simpler do you want it?

      December 28, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • Sammy

      @Primewonk– Such a ludicrous explanation might make you feel better but I don't think it will make the 13,000 innocent bystanders celebrate.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
    • dragnet767

      Except Sammy what he said is the truth. you just don't like the truth. Simple again.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:14 pm |
    • Sammy

      @ Dragnet–Simple solutions are often the progeny of simple thinking.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
    • Sammy

      @ Dragnet–Simple solutions are often the progeny of simple thinking. Hope that isn't too complex for your understanding.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:29 pm |
    • dragnet767

      And being blinded by the church leaves you simple minded.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What "factors," Sammy?

      December 28, 2012 at 1:31 pm |
    • Sammy

      Dragnet– What makes you think I go to church?

      December 28, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
  12. dragnet767

    If they don't want to follow the law then they don't have to. They can either pay the daily fines or they can close their doors. We are a land of laws. Follow it or leave. I don't think the speed limit should be 70 mph because my beliefs say they can't tell me how fast top drive. The point where does it end? Hobby lobby is wrong because they can't force others to follow THEIR beliefs which is their goal.

    December 28, 2012 at 11:21 am |
    • lol??

      Bully thoughts

      December 28, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • dragnet767

      No lol?? Freedom. Freedom to leave if you don't like it. Simple. I'm not telling you to leave I'm saying you can.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
  13. buzz

    Guess I'm not going to hobby lobby for religious reasons.

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

      amen!

      December 28, 2012 at 11:23 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      What will you do if the government mandates that you must? I mean that would be the law right? Why should you have the freedom to choose not to buy something that the government has decided you need?

      December 28, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • lol??

      Mandate Mania with a side of Waiver Mania from da kings in washington

      December 28, 2012 at 11:51 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Bill, how delusional are you? Nobody is forcing HL's employees to use contraception or Plan B, you dope.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Jesus

      Bill, you really are paranoid, aren't you? Why would the gov force you to shop at a silly hobby store? Is that before or after they make secret clones of us that they hide under ground with the Mole People.
      Seriously, is THIS really the kind of stuff you worry about? With all the problems in the world, you're afraid the gov is going to force you to shop at a hobby store? No wonder you don't have any friends, everyone is afraid of you.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • dragnet767

      Bill and lol??? see only what they want to see. They don't live in reality. They live in the made up world of the church.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
  14. IdaJean

    Oh Well

    December 28, 2012 at 11:20 am |
  15. Deez

    You cannot pick and choose laws to obey. I don't want to pay my taxes, since it goes to fund warfare, which is against my religion. But can I just stop paying taxes, now can I?

    December 28, 2012 at 11:19 am |
  16. Heineken

    CNN will block anything these days, huh?

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

      Except that...wow....I wonder what set the filter off? Maybe it was the word "L I B E R A L", or maybe it was "S e l f – e n t i t l e d."

      ROFL.

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

      It's a silly word filter. Maybe that's your sign to wander off, crackpot.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:38 am |
  17. leeann

    I'm shocked by some of these comments. Ultimately, when it's your company, your capital, and your risk, you shouldn't be forced by the government to go against your beliefs. It's a free country and if an employee feels they simply can't exist without free morning after pills, there is nothing to stop them from going to work somewhere they can have them. The amount of this fine is ridiculous. I would like to point out that while, yes, employees do pay a portion of the premiums, the employee contribution is a very small amount of the total premium. I'm a small business owner–I have twelve employees, and I pay $60,000 a year for their health insurance. I feel it's the right thing to do. But–God help us if we have the government telling us what we have to do with our own money.

    December 28, 2012 at 11:17 am |
    • AmericanPatriot

      "corporations are people my friend".-Mitt Romney

      it's about time they serve time for not following the law.

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

      " Ultimately, when it's your company, your capital, and your risk, you shouldn't be forced by the government to go against your beliefs."

      Cool. Let's say I own a diner. Can I hang up a sign that says, "We don't serve colored people"?

      Let's say I own a hospital, and I'm a fundiot nutter. Can I post a sign that says "We don't treat Muslims here"?

      How about if I'm a Catholic physician – can I post a sign that says "I refuse to treat gay folks"?

      What if I own a toy store – can I post a sign that says, "Kids, if your parents are tea baggers, I refuse to let you shop here."

      Are all those OK Lee Ann?

      December 28, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
  18. Thinkstr8

    I have a suggestion. If you do not believe in abortion or contraception then you should be entered in a pool where people take turns adopting children that were unplanned and/or unwanted. It should be rotation based and nobody skips a turn. In other words; put actions where your mouth is.

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

      There's already lots of non-government, Christian types doing that. Like these good folks:

      http://www.tbhc.org/

      December 28, 2012 at 11:22 am |
    • lol??

      Who made you boss?

      December 28, 2012 at 11:49 am |
  19. Taxpayer

    So you have no problem profiting in the American system, but refuse to play by their rules? Oh well.

    December 28, 2012 at 11:15 am |
  20. Bails

    obamacare. government at it's best. sigh.

    December 28, 2012 at 11:15 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.