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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. oklahomasaysitall

    In the U.S., there is a separation of church and state. However, by conducting business in the U.S., that business is obligated to follow the laws of the land, not some fantasy perceived religious obligation. Hobby Lobby has every right to conduct its business and follow religious "laws" – in Pakistan,. Iran, Iraq, and etc. where religion supercedes government.

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

      So no religious freedom in America? Are you sure you're from Oklahoma?

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

      To the religious, 'religious freedom' = 'all our rules, all the time, or else'.

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

      If you want seperation of church and state, then the state should stay out of the church's belief and stop forcing us to do what we don't believe in. This country has really taken a turn morally.

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

      Dudeulose – let me help you out with this one. No one's forcing anyone to use contraceptives. It's offering a choice. It's the same access to the same healthcare across the board. No one company gets to say "these are our beliefs, and you must abide by them as well" to its employees. This healthcare act is a law meant to give everyone the same chances. No company gets to decide what laws they will and will not follow.

      Maybe they should stop importing crap from china, where the rights of all these unborn babies you love so much are pretty much nonexistant.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • Cedar rapids

      'then the state should stay out of the church's belief and stop forcing us to do what we don't believe in.'

      hobby lobby isnt a church, and if a church enters into a business arena then it follow business laws.

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

      Cedar, please go and take a look at how many unions and democrat supporters are exempt from this law. Please don't tell me everyone follows the law.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
    • Primewonk

      " If you want seperation of church and state, then the state should stay out of the church's belief"

      Except, of course, that Hobby Lobby is a crap, er craft store – selling cheap plastic crap from China, to women from trail or parks. Hobby Lobby is no church.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:07 pm |
  2. me2

    I suppose pedophile priests are A-Okay with Hobby Lobby though.

    December 28, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • Indypat67

      I suppose you support late term abortions too.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • sam

      Hey Indy, I suppose you're some kind of right wing nutjob. See how this works?

      December 28, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      IndyPat, do you have the first clue?

      Never mind. You don't.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • Indypat67

      And I suppose you are some lazy democrate that hides behind his computer. Get a clue

      December 28, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What, pray tell, is a 'democrate'?

      My word, but you're a boob.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:14 pm |
  3. george1911

    Hobby Lobby is playing "Big Brother" to its employees, just like Government is playing "Big Brother". Both are telling us how to live are lives.

    December 28, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • sam

      They don't care, they think they're supporting god's law. Which is pretty hilarious.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:45 am |
    • dudeuloose

      NO, they are not telling their employees what they can and cannot do! Just another example the Gov has taken away our rights and freedom.

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

      Dude, I'm pretty sure you're not missing any rights or freedom.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • al123

      I know, I hate how Hobby Lobby is following thier employees around, preventing them from making decisions for themselves. It's especially ridiculous how they go to thier doctor's appointments with them and refuse to let the doctor prescribe them contraceptives and I especially hate how they put a gun to the pharmacists head and don't let him or her fill the morning after pill prescription. Also, i hate how they personally get into people's back accounts and prevent them from using THIER OWN MONEY to purchase said prescriptions. Ugh just awful!

      December 28, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
  4. Indypat67

    These people who are saying they never will shop at Hobby Lobby again are the same folks who, just a few months ago, cried " I will never set foot in a Chik-fil-a again!" Meanwhile Chik-fil-a is enjoying record sales and earnings.

    December 28, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • SPF

      Does chik fil a prevent its employees from contraceptive coverage?

      December 28, 2012 at 11:42 am |
    • me2

      Actually, you're wrong. There is Michael's, A.C. Moore, JoAnn Fabrics – I could go on and on. There is absolutely no reason to shop at Hobby Lobby and I will not. I'm not one of your "same people" and I know there are others out there who stand by their principles too.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chik doesn't get a dime from me. HL won't either.

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

      Chik-fil-A makes people fat, creating more health care costs. That's ok, though.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:50 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Yeah, they devoted a whole page to their last financial statement on how much they lost from you TT

      December 28, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • Indypat67

      Nobody cares if you dont shop there anymore... I assure you, they dont need your business. You drive by any Hobby Lobby this very day, and they are packed full of people... They are a privately run company that "has more than 500 stores that employ 13,000 employees across 42 states, and takes in $2.6 billion in sales." Your few pennies will not be missed. Oh, and Im sure the next time you go and shop somewhere the first thing you will ask the store is if they provide contraceptives to their employees before you spend your money their right??

      December 28, 2012 at 11:53 am |
    • The Truth

      "Chik-fil-A makes people fat, creating more health care costs. That's ok, though."

      And Hobby Lobby let's people hide their Chik-fil-A fat with Christmas decorated sweaters...

      December 28, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, I don't doubt that they won't miss me as a customer; I don't buy crap from any store for "hobbies."

      But that fine will put them under and good riddance.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:58 am |
    • Kevin H

      This is in response to assertions that people of social conscience don't vote with their feet. I have and my friends have. I don't shop at Walmart because of their labor record with employees. I simply do not shop there. I have relented perhaps once a year – and I spend less than $100.00 and then only if I have to. I no longer do business with Chick-filet because of their stance against LGBT people. When Starbuck's CEO demonstrated he supported "family values" that didn't include certain families I stopped drinking Starbuck's beverages and I wrote and called and helped shame them into relenting. Hobby Lobby is literally 2/10th's of a mile from my home – but so is a Michael's store. Hobby Lobby will no longer be someplace I shop. The religious right has felt the sting of taking a less-than-moderate stand on vital issues – issues vital to all Americans and all American families. So yes we do stand behind what we believe in, we are activist, we talk about why Walmart, Chik-filet and now Hobby Lobby are wrong – and we discourage friends from patronizing them. Why? Because to do otherwise sends a message, it says it's OK to limit people's choices, it says that only certain families are valid and it invalidates a worker's right to a fair, safe, healthy and reasonable place to work. I can't speak for all Americans but I can speak for me – and I believe we're better than that. I have no intention of telling a woman what she will and will not do with her body "the morning after" or any other time. I have no intention of rationing healthcare to the working poor or shutting them inside buildings with no way out – even in cases of fire. I also have no intention of working with for, or in any other way endorsing organizations that discriminate against people who are different than I am simply because I believe in one thing and they believe in another.

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

      @The Truth – that is double horror.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I don't order pizza from Domino's, either. Don't shop at Walmart. Won't allow my investments to include gun manufacturers, either.

      Doesn't matter to me if it affects their bottom lines. What matters to me is that I'm not contributing to their profits.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Indypat67

      Kevin H. I applaud you for supporting your beliefs. I'm simply saying these companies don't care because people will come out of the woodwork to support a company's right to their own beliefs. Look what happened at Chik-fil-a. Again, you don't go their because of their beliefs and you have every right to not do that, however people are going there and spending lots of money still. Again, they have record sales and earnings now after their views were made public. And I suppose all of you people who don't want to support companies like them don't own any Apple products, or Nike, or any other company that abuses their workers overseas? Not saying you Kevin, but the hypocrisy of some people is laughable.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
    • Indypat67

      Meanwhile Tom Tom is typing on a computer made by someone making $.40 an hour.. But hey, he "feels ok" about that. Go back down in moms basement now Tommy, time for meds

      December 28, 2012 at 12:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, and Indycowpat isn't using a computer? At all? Do tell.

      Guess what?

      Chicken butt.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:10 pm |
  5. The Truth

    I wonder what would happen if the religious conservatives just stopped using the things they say they are against. What would be the abortion statistics if all so-called religious conservatives stopped getting them. How much would the cost of welfare and medicare and social security go down if those opposed to them just chose to not use them as they have every right to do. How much would we save if they all chose not to collect their unemployment benefits. They seem to be so angry and yet they keep cashing their government checks...

    December 28, 2012 at 11:38 am |
    • sam

      Well, this employer seems to think their employees won't make the right choices, so they need to make sure to help them along. Because gosh, no one would ever use contraceptives for anything but poor choices, right?

      December 28, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Good point truth. All sarcasm aside, there is a growing discussion in some Christina circles about how far the Church has strayed from the Gospel, what some would call hypocrisy, and how to return to the truth, the light and the way.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:54 am |
  6. Dan

    So using Hobby Lobby's logic, any businesses owned by Seventh Day Adventist's could demand that blood transfusions be excluded from health care coverage of their employees, correct?

    December 28, 2012 at 11:37 am |
    • Daniel

      It wouldn't be just blood transfusions but any procedure that requires blood transfusions. That would mean a lot of surgeries, organ transplants, etc.

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

      Right. But, the fundies will run in and tell you that's not the same, because it has nothing to do with THE MURDER OF INNOCENT BEHBEHS, WHICH MUST ALL BE SAVED. Contraception is only used after POOR DECISION MAKING.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Actually sam, it is the same because what we are fundamentally is the depth to which government has the authority to manage markets. If you want to start a company and pay your employees in monopoly money, you should have that right. Just don't blame anyone but yourself when you can't attract talent. In the same way, insurance plans are part of free labor negotiations. A company should be able to determine the level of coverage they want to offer to attract the employees they want to hire.

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

      Bill, it would be terrific if it worked out that way. If that was Hobby Lobby's main point, along with cost, there would be no problem here. I might even agree with them.

      But that's not what they're arguring. They want to provide coverage based on their faith.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
  7. Gigi85

    Hobby Lobby should not have to provide contraception through their health insurance if they don't want to. I thought that's why my taxes go to Planned Parenthood.

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

      So any Protestant or Catholic employees of Seventh Day Adventist businesses should be denied coverage for blood transfusions, correct Gigi?

      December 28, 2012 at 11:40 am |
    • Gigi85

      Dan – An employer should be able to choose what healthcare benefits they want to provide. They should be upfront about the healthacre benefits and the employee can choose to work there or somewhere else. My employer does not cover braces for my children so I have to pay out of packet for that expense.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:43 am |
    • The Truth

      Right Gigi, they get 1/3rd of their funding from the government and spend a whopping 3% of overall funding on abortion services, none of which comes from the money received by the government, so not a single penny of your tax dollars went for abortions at planned parenthood. They went for mammograms, cancer screening, womens health check ups contraceptives to poor family's which saves you far more tax dollars than you can imagine.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • Jesus

      Ummmm... MY taxes go to the US government... Why are you endorsing your refund check to Planned Parenthood? That doesn't seem like a good idea...

      oh, and also, yes, a corporation DOES have to follow the law, no matter how much they dislike it. Sorry 😦

      December 28, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Gigi85

      Whoo there Skippy – I never said a thing about abortion. LOL.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Braces are not a necessity, Gigi. They are cosmetic. Health insurance won't pay for a boob job, either. Too bad for you.

      Contraception IS health care and providing it will save money.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Gigi85

      I agree Jesus – Planned Parenthood is a bad idea.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • Jesus

      No, Gigi, if you knew how to read, you would have figured out that what I was actually referring to was writing a check out to planned parenthood and then complaining about thats where your tax money goes...

      December 28, 2012 at 11:57 am |
    • SPF

      People like GiGi85 are a bad idea.

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

      Oh, Gigi, please tell us why you think Planned Parenthood is a bad idea. We're waiting with bated breath.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:06 pm |
  8. kandy321

    Will Hobby Lobby get TARP money when they go bankrupt?

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

      I hope so...the US government made a nice profit on TARP. It pays Uncle Sam nicely to cover when companies make bad decisions.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Contrary to the Obama administration's claims, the bailouts of the financial and auto industries have not turned a profit for the U.S. government and may never turn a profit, according to a grim new assessment by the bailout's watchdog.

      Even by non-financial standards the bailout has been less than a roaring success and may be helping to lay the groundwork for future financial disasters and bailouts, writes Christy Romero, the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program, in her latest quarterly report to Congress, released Wednesday morning.

      Helps if you read something before you parrot someone else's talking points

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

      Theres Bill again with his Tin Foil Hat Conspiracies.

      Bill, where is Obama from? Kenya? The Independent Country of Hawaii? Is he also in the Muslim Brotherhood & they're coming for your sugar cookies! Look Out Bill! DRONE ATTACK!

      December 28, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
  9. me2

    I wonder if Hobby Lobby is going to bring in a line of burkas?

    December 28, 2012 at 11:35 am |
  10. Jivan

    What a twisted world we live in. If I own a company and don't want to pay for abortion causing drugs, how am I imposing my beliefs? I haven't told anyone how to live their lives. I haven't made a statement at all. If you want to use the morning after pill, then pay for it yourself. Your right to whatever you do in your personal life should not impose on my rights, otherwise, the government has decided that your rights are more important than mine. And while we're at this, what happens when the regulator is less inclined towards liberal ideals? How far does the pendulum swing in the opposite direction?

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

      Whats to stop them from saying, well we don't believe in cancer, so pay for it yourself if you get it. There is nothing wrong with providing a standard benefits package. The company is paying part of the premiums on behalf of the employee for their services, and if the employee wants that package, why do they care. Is it going to get to the point Hobby Lobby will have to approve what every employee spends their money on? Ohh can;' buy that, it's not christian enough.

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

      The morning after pill doesn't cause abortions.
      It's not called "take me the morning after you find out you're pregnant".
      Do some research.
      Also, if you make a profit, you are subject to the laws that every other company making a profit has to follow.
      Also, the company only pays if those drugs are utilized.
      I don't forsee all of these good women at Hobby Lobby suddenly turning wanton because of the morning-after pill.

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

      Something used to prevent pregnancy is NOT AN ABORTION PILL. Stop buying into the rhetoric.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:44 am |
    • Daniel

      When you pay your premium to the carrier it goes into a pool that pays not only for your own employees health care but the health care of everyone the insurance carrier insures. So even if you refuse to allow your particular employees to have access to birth control or any procedure that you object to, the insurance carrier may still use your premium monies to pay for that same birth control or procedure for employees that don't work for your company. That is the whole concept behind pooling risks. You are objecting to that now. Why not?

      December 28, 2012 at 11:46 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Jivan you make way too much sense. Prepare to be annihilated by "right thinkers"

      December 28, 2012 at 12:04 pm |
    • al123

      Jivan this is a "New World". We cannot simply disagree and live our own lives anymore. We (only if we are religious, conservative, etc,) must actively pay for and supposrt the things that we don't think are right. If we do not do this then we are considered biggoted, hateful, etc. Gone are the days of tolerance when people are allowed to think for themselves and pay for the things that they want without having thier hands out for everyone else to contribute. Their consience makes them feel so bad about themselves that they cannot simply take a stand on thier own- but they must (throught government interference) force others to go along with thier nutty way of thinking. Then, they must be right if they can get others to agree, right?

      December 28, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Bill wrote, "Jivan you make way too much sense"

      So Bill, how is posting lies about Plan B, making too much sense?

      December 28, 2012 at 1:22 pm |
    • Sadbuttrue

      There are some ridiculous and unsound arguments here. “Whats to stop them from saying, well we don't believe in cancer, so pay for it yourself if you get it.” This is a straw man fallacy. No one is saying they don’t believe in cancer or that they wouldn’t support fighting a disease. They are simply saying they don’t support killing a fetus in any stage of development. That is unless you consider a fetus a disease, in which case you have a far greater problem than they do.

      Here’s a similar straw man fallacy. “If you support abortion, what’s to stop you from killing adults who you think should have been aborted?” See how ridiculous that is? If an employee wants a different package, they have the right to find a job where it is supplied.

      December 28, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  11. Gerald

    There is a reason for separation of church and state. Our laws and taxes apply to all regardless of religion and beliefs. Besides, there is nothing in the Bible about abortion but lots about saving lives, and that is the intent of universal healthcare. When blood transfusion was a novelty, the Vatican was repulsed and up in arms...but who does not believe that a blood transfusion saves lives regardless of religion? Abortion now is as common as a blood transfusion and should not be viewed as any more repulsive as taking birth control pills or using a condom. What Hobby Lobby is doing is flexing muscles and has a lot more to do with the bottom line than with a religious view...they can drag their feet but it won't do any good.

    December 28, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • Akira

      The morning after pill isn't an abortion pill.
      It's an emergency contaceptive.

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

      There is a reason we have something called 'The First Amendment'. You should familiarize yourself with it.

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

      ctually, Annie, as someone familiar with the 1st Amendment, I should point out to you that by the Judges & courts NOT allowing a special rights to Hobby lobby is actually complying with the 1st Amendment. Because what it states is that gov should not make any laws for or against religion, meaning that religions don't get special treatment from the law. Obamacare is across the board for all businesses, but if they made an exception for Hobby Lobby and their "religious beliefs", it would actually be a violation of the 1st Amendment...

      December 28, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
    • al123

      The helath care law infringes on our freedom in the first place. This is just playing out to it's logical conclusion. Once it starts infringing on rights that the left cares about, nobody will be left to stand up for them.

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

      " The helath care law infringes on our freedom in the first place."

      How, exactly, does the PPACA infringe on your freedom?

      December 28, 2012 at 1:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      About the same way gay marriage does....

      December 28, 2012 at 1:28 pm |
  12. Draeggo

    "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," ... from their website. What about Romans 13... you know... obeying the laws of the land and all that? I'm a convenient Christian myself but even I can't swallow the baloney coming from the Green family. This highlights a major problem in the Christian world... do as the Bible says even if I choose not to!

    December 28, 2012 at 11:34 am |
  13. CP in FL

    The employees of Hobby Lobby should not be forced to honor the religious beliefs of its owner. If the owner of Hobby Lobby does not want to follow the law then let them be fined.

    December 28, 2012 at 11:34 am |
    • Annie

      So, you prefer the 'government' to force businesses to honor 'governments' beliefs? The government used to be okay with owning other people. It was the law of the land.
      If you want birth control, you pay for it.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:52 am |
    • Jesus

      Annie, it's NOT ABOUT ABORTION OR BIRTH CONTROL. It's the fact that Hobby Lobby think they are above the law. If the law says your insurance must make these options available, you can't say you won't make them available. That's breaking the law!

      December 28, 2012 at 12:12 pm |
  14. bob

    I hate that the caltholic association tries to make the argument that they care about the profitability and fines. All they care about is legislating morality. That's what the taliban wants. If you want that, move to the middle east. this is america, and we aren't supposed to be legislating morality here.

    December 28, 2012 at 11:33 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      You mean legislating morality by forcing people to pay for other's contraception?

      December 28, 2012 at 12:13 pm |
  15. me2

    I stopped shopping at Hobby Lobby months ago when I first heard this. A specialty store that caters primarily to women is also finding a way to join the war against women. There are so many other alternative craft stores to even put another thought into shopping at this one. I will enjoy seeing it close down.

    December 28, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • Indypat67

      Explain to me what this "war against women" is exactly. I suppose you are glad that 13,000 people would lose their jobs if they went under too? Pathetic

      December 28, 2012 at 11:35 am |
    • me2

      indypat67, I feel pretty certain that you have arguments in favor of legitimate r – a – p – e too!

      December 28, 2012 at 11:39 am |
    • Rebecca Young

      I agree! I stopped shopping there months ago and don't miss it at all! I discovered the the Michaels in our area has a wonderful framing department with a group of people that are true artists. I also discovered shopping for craft supplies on the internet. I don't need hobby lobby and they will be paying theri fines without my money to help them!

      December 28, 2012 at 11:41 am |
    • Indypat67

      So you cant tell me what the" War on women" is??? Time to go back down in moms basement and take your meds now. Again, pathetic.

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

      Aw, c'mon, Indy, don't be that way. We all know women should never be having sex except for procreation.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:48 am |
    • Jesus

      Indypat67

      The War On Women refers to bills that Republican law makers at state & national levels have been (and trying to) pass that specifically aim at women. If there is a bill that requires women seeking abortions to have an unnecessary medical procedure, then that represents the War On Women, because it is a bill that specifically tells a woman what she has to do, instead of allowing her to make her own choice. Men don't seem to have those laws towards them, but when these laws are aimed at women, it's called the War On Women. Please try to keep up.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:51 am |
  16. Simi

    II am not a Christian nor am I against abortion. At the same time a private company should not be forced to go against their religious views. Also, this brings up the question, does that also mean should a person who owns a company that is not of Christian faith be allowed to then come up with rules for his/her company that goes against US customs or rules but is inline with his or her religion.
    If the government makes an exemption based on Christian values here, then it will have to make exemptions based on Islamic values, Jewish values, Hindu values, Buddhist values, the list goes on.

    December 28, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • Akira

      They are a retail company, and they make profits.
      They do not qualify for the exemption.
      It doesn't matter if they are a private company or not; if they make profits, they must abide by the law.

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

      This has nothing to do with following religious beliefs or not, this has to do with following the law. THis company REFUSES to comply with the law, and they are being punished for it, the same way a murderer who murders is breaking the law & must be punished. THe problem is that this company is COMPLAINING & CRYING because they think they're special & don't have to follow the law because they don't agree with it. Well, too bad we don't live in a country where people get to pick & choose what laws they want to follow & what laws they don't

      December 28, 2012 at 11:53 am |
  17. Jesus

    I didn't realize breaking the law was part of the Christian doctrine, but I guess I was wrong...

    December 28, 2012 at 11:31 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Yes, you are. Christians broke the law in Nazi Germany when they smuggled Jews away from cattle cars and concentration camps. Christians broke the laws in Communist China when they smuggled seex slaves out of the country. Other examples exist.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
  18. John

    Good, let them go under if they don't want to play by the rules. You do not have to have the same morals as your employer and we should protect workers from being denied safe and effective medical treatment because their employer decided that it goes against their beliefs. Your employer doesn't get to decide what you spend your money on or where you live or what hobby you enjoy in your off hours, they shouldn't be making (or taking away) medical decisions for you either. You don't get to offer "insurance" that doesn't cover chemo simply because you believe that the most effective cancer treatment is prayer, why should birth control be different?

    December 28, 2012 at 11:31 am |
  19. kandy321

    It's cheaper to pay the fines than it is to provide health insurance. All companies should drop the health insurance.

    December 28, 2012 at 11:30 am |
    • K.C.

      Hobby Lobby has 18,000 employees. $1.3M/day x 365 days = $474,500,000 in fines. $474,500,000/18,000 = $26,361.11/employee. Average annnual U.S. cost of health care per person: $8,953. Even if "Obamacare" doubled the annual cost of healthcare, your Republican math doesn't add up here. Hobby Lobby's total revenue is about $3B – there's no way they can afford to shell out one sixth of their revenue on "Obamacare" fines.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
  20. hahaha

    I very strongly believe that the Goverment is infringing on our personal beliefs. But I completely agree with the Goverment in this case. First personal beliefs are just that personal. So if you decided to start a for-profit business with religeous beliefs you have to understand that the law applies across the board. To fight a law on relgious beliefs, as a corporation, is a losing battle. Laws are passed by men and religon is based on God so there will never be agreements.

    December 28, 2012 at 11:28 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.