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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. Rob

    First of all, like many have already mentioned... the morning after pill is not an abortion inducing medication regardless of what religious zealots may want you to believe. It's emergency birth control which can be duplicated by taking 3 normal birth control pills following intercourse. Second, I don't understand what the commotion is all about as most insurance providers don't cover it anyways as it is now an over the counter medication, much like your insurance wont cover your Dayquil when you get a cold. Granted you can visit a doctor to get the morning after pill prescribed to you, but by the time you take care of copays and what not you will already have paid for it. Religious people need to stop forcing their beliefs on others... if you have a company that employs thousands of people, you need to expect that not all of them will share your beliefs and realize that you can't limit there freedom while also breaking US law. I hope Hobby Lobby is run into the ground.

    December 28, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
  2. me2

    Just shop at Michael's. It's wonderful there and they don't search you for possession of birth control. Though I do think that Hobby Lobby would probably permit you to carry a gun into their store. Some forms of murder are acceptable to them.

    December 28, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
  3. Chris

    I find it ironic that people try so hard (and often succeed) to pass laws based on their religious beliefs, but when a law is passed that violates their particular beliefs they are outraged. You can't have it both ways.

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

      do you find it ironic that Obama issued 1000's of exemptions to his union and democrat friends? look it up!

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

      That really has nothing to do with what I said, but either way you should look up the definition of ironic.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      dude – in other words "Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!"

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

      dudeuloose wrote (again), " do you find it ironic that Obama issued 1000's of exemptions to his union and democrat friends? look it up!"

      Just more fucking bullshit from you ignorant lying tea baggers. That's why Politifact gives your story the coveted "pants on fire" rating.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  4. Zippygirl

    StephVA- A miscarriage is the course of nature. Just like a natural death by natural causes. Abortion or abortion-inducing drugs are an act of intent caused by a human. It is the same difference as dying from a heart attack or dying from a gunshot wound.

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

      A miscarriage is actually an act of God. It's God who designed the female reproductive system. Remember?

      God being all knowing knew the design was flawed and did it that way anyways. Meaning that God intended to cause babies to die via miscarriage.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • SPF

      how is a heart attack the same as a gun shot wound. I mean c'mon. You can be this dumb can you.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Zippygirl

      No I meant, that comparing a miscarriage to an abortion causing drug is the same as comparing a heart attack to a gunshot wound. And to Rundvelt- I didn't mention God. You did. I only talked about the course of nature and natural death.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Miscarriage is god doing the aborting, but even if you do it, it's his will. Everything according to his plan and all.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
  5. Kelli

    Call you local planned parenthood and schedule your mammogram – THEY DON'T PROVIDE THEM!!!!! people need to be informed!!!!!!

    December 28, 2012 at 12:05 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Yes, and while you're at it, call your local coffee shop and ask where they stock airplane engine parts.

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

      You are right... they do not perform mammograms on site, at least not the one I went to a couple of months ago. But I did get a cervix exam from them and a clinical breast exam after which they set up an appointment for me to get a mammogram at a different facility but still covered the costs. I've never had an abortion... but have used planned parenthood for various medical reasons because i can't afford health insurance on my $10 an hour, 39 hours a week "part-time"retail job. I thank planned parenthood for being there and having the ability to help those who are less fortunate.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:21 pm |
  6. james

    So much for religious freedom in America.

    First is was PC to NOT be a Christian, then came financial penalties for following your beliefs, now the gov is doing its best to make Christianity illegal.

    So much for religious freedom in America.

    It was nice while it lasted.

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

      illegal christianity. The world can only hope.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • sam

      Time to polish up that foil hat.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • Rundvelt

      Freedom of religion is related to the individual, not to policy. You can choose to believe whatever you want. You're not free to try and manipulate goverment policy based on your faith.

      Perhaps you should educate yourself on how the US actually works, because apparently this Canadian knows more about your country then you do. That should be embarassing for you.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:09 pm |
    • JudgeDB

      Oh, those poor persecuted Christians. Everyone is against them because they won't let use dirty tricks to make people conform to their beliefs!

      December 28, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • kfitton

      You've confused a war on your religion with not getting everything you want... The business is neither a non-profit nor is it a church....the beliefs of those running the company shouldn't have anything to do with health choices for employees.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
  7. wyogirl

    I agree that it is time to get our health care out of the hands of employers. It is a burden on business and on employees. What if my employer believed that we are over populating the planet and refused to provide health insurance for more than two children? Abortion rights supporters may be cheering on Hobby Lobby now, but the tables could easily turn. We need a secular health care program in this country.

    December 28, 2012 at 12:03 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Good point. It seems like a secular victory today and easy to whoop it up. But the underlying principle can be turned the other way and will be over time.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
  8. wax

    How about let the employee make the decision on what they want in healthcare? no company should tell a person how to live, i hope they go out of business...

    December 28, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Do you not even see your self contradiction?

      December 28, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
  9. Paul

    I wonder how much they are getting fined per day for not paying their taxes since money from taxes goes to the military and they kill actual people and not just prevent implantation of a cell?

    Doesn't it make for a better to choose not to sin instead of not being able to sin? Wouldn't that let the devote still go to heaven and those dirty evil sinners go to hell? If the dirty evil sinners couldn't sin they might get into heaven and you don't want those sort of people in your neighborhood.

    December 28, 2012 at 11:58 am |
  10. StephVa

    If the Morning after pill = abortion ..... then what is a miscarriage? I'm just trying to get this all clear.

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

      I know, right? The morning after pill isn't an abortion; the only people that believe that are the ones who want to legislate morality.
      HL needs to pony up, since they are not a church.

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

      I've wondered if what it would be as well and they never seem to answer that question.

      Naturally occurring miscarriage is manslaughter, externally induced miscarriage is murder?

      December 28, 2012 at 12:01 pm |
    • Akira

      Miscarriage="God's will"

      December 28, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • Seriously?

      Are you implying that a miscarriage is an intentional act to abort a child? Is that what you are trying to "clear up"?

      if you are, then you are an idiot.

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

      A miscarriage? Really? You need to ask? A miscarriage is not something induced, it is something that just happens for many reasons. I cannot believe you would imply that a miscarriage & an abortion are the same.

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

      In my situation, my baby died and that is what caused the miscarriage. I didn't take a pill to do it.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Don't you fundies believe that your god causes everything? Why would miscarriage be exempt?

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

      It's god's will. God is the biggest murderer of babies there is.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:10 pm |
  11. Laurie in Spokane

    Well, I've never shopped much at our local Hobby Lobby, and I will now make it a point NOT to shop there. Where in the bible does it say not to prevent a pregnancy? Geeze Louise people, give the whole thing a rest – keep YOUR nose out of my business!

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

      So Hobby Lobby can't have an opinion but YOU can? I love liberals. They can believe what they want, as long as you believe it too, or you are wrong.

      WHY DOES EVERYONE HAVE TO CAVE TO LIBERAL BELIEFS?

      I love reading CNN articles and seeing the blatant hypocrisy in every statement written. Just like the posting of gun owner addresses, and how that's suppose to be a super smart thing to do, yet the liberals never thought about criminals using said map to find places to rob and commit future crimes, nope that never ever entered their mind because they were so blinded by their misguided agenda against gun owners.

      Karma would be one day the news paper editor is robbed with a gun stolen from a house he gave the address too, that would be perfect, or one day this country is broke financing useless things like condoms that can be purchased freely at any drug store for a few dollars.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:11 pm |
    • Jesus

      Jesse, what ANYONE can have an opinion, but if while exercising your opinion, you are breaking the law, that is NOT OK. My opinion might be I can shoot whoever I want, but that doesn't mean the law allows it. Try to keep up please

      December 28, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • JudgeDB

      There is a difference between having an opinion, and FORCING your opinion on others through policy. If you can't see the difference, then I can easily understand why you would believe in a hidden omnipotent force that knocked up an unmarried woman 2000 years ago and told a few guys to write his stories down in a big book to be translated hundreds of times and lead to some of the largest and deadliest wars in the history of humanity. Makes perfect sense now, thanks.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:23 pm |
  12. johh

    the law is the law. people do not have the option of selecting the laws they would like to follow and the ones they wish to ignore. Hobby Looby is a scofflaw!

    December 28, 2012 at 11:54 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      So was Dietrich Bonnhoeffer

      December 28, 2012 at 12:29 pm |
  13. Roger Dalton

    Based on the gene pool that works at Hobby Lobby I would strongly suggest that Hobby Lobby pays each employee stay on birth control. Stopped going after the cashier had to call a manager to figure out much change to give me after a purchase. Bill was 15.05 and I gave her $20.05. Change....$5.95!!!!

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

      Don't blame hobby lobby, that's Obamas America, so blame him.

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

      Funny- I did the 'old' math, and I came up with $5 exactly. Perhaps you should work at Hobby Lobby, as you can't count change, either.

      I have found that most kids of today can't make change at all. It isn't just Hobby Lobby. Go to any store, be it grocery or specialty or discount, and any person under about 40 can't count change. The employees use the register, dump it all into your had, along with the reciept, and send you on your merry way.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:19 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      And without a thank you

      December 28, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
  14. lelisek

    What about vasectomies? Are they cover? Isn't that contraception. I bet they cover that!!!!!

    December 28, 2012 at 11:52 am |
  15. Rebecca Young

    Bye bye Hobby Lobby...won't miss you and your misogynistic ways....

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

      @ Rebecca: hard to find something more misogynist than killing defenseless, unborn girls.

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

      Yeah, because forcing women to have babies they don't want is EXACTLY what all women want...

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

      Russ, the morning after pill is an emergency contraceptive, NOT an abortion pill, but if you do not believe in contaceptives, I suppose the point is moot.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Russ

      @ J:
      less than 1% of US abortions are because of in.c.est, r.a.pe or mother's life at stake.
      so, in terms of the 99% that are using abortion as belated birth control
      (simply avoiding the consequences of choices the mother already made):
      mother's quality of life (i.e., *convenience*) vs. the child having a life *at all*

      SUM: convenience vs. life
      yes. forcing a woman to deal with what she's already done vs. killing an defenseless child

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

      @ Akira: no. for those of us who believe that life begins at conception (which scientifically is when the *new* DNA is formed), the morning after pill intervenes & ENDS a new life.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      There are no "unborn girls," Russ. There are, however, adult women who have rights. Do tell us all how you would force them to give birth to infants they don't want. How exactly, do you think they should prevent pregnancy? By not having s#x unless they want children? If your own wife did that, you'd have a bad case of Blue Balls every night.

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

      What SHE'S ALREADY DONE? Oh, so women get pregnant all by themselves? Do tell.

      What Russ REALLY wants is to punish women for having s3x.

      Why aren't men eligible for punishment, Russy?

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

      @ TomTom: I expected your usual incensed response on this topic.
      But instead of retreading the ol' debate (on which we ardently disagree), consider *your own line of logic*...

      what about separation of church & state?
      here's a company with religious beliefs directly contrary to a governmental mandate. wouldn't you normally say "keep them separate"? why not here as well? why *force* them to go against their own beliefs? they are providing health care in every other facet. why is that insufficient? why COERCE them against the foundational beliefs? Why allow the state to impinge on their beliefs here when so often you want the religious to stay out of governmental affairs?

      you can't have your cake & eat it, too.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:22 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It has nothing to do with personal convictions, idiot. It is the law. There's nothing complex about it. Companies must adhere to the law. This one hasn't and now wants to get special treatment.

      Tough for them. And their employees.

      You don't get it, Russ. Plan B is legal. Companies don't have the right to dictate morals.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • Russ

      @ TomTom: I *never* claimed the man wasn't responsible. That was your as.sumption.
      Ironically, why does the father have no voice if the mother wants to end their child's life?
      In any other case (after birth), criminal charges would be filed against the mother.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why not allow exemptions for companies that believe it's okay to have slave labor, Russ? Didn't the Bible turn the other cheek on that score?

      Plan B is legal. It's not abortion, and even if it were, that's legal, too.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
    • Russ

      @ TomTom: and the law used to say slaves were less than human. would you have just said "well, that's the law" then?
      or, as i've said before, if the Supreme Court overturned Roe vs. Wade, would you just say "well, that's the law"?

      of course not. why? because IT IS all about convictions here.

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

      Why should the father have a say? He didn't do anything to prevent the pregnancy, you moron. He won't have to bear the risk to health and life that the woman he impregnated will.

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

      Slavery was outlawed because the majority of the populace recognized that slaves were BORN PEOPLE, idiot. Abortion was made legal because people recognized that women have rights to make decisions about their own bodies and the contents thereof.

      What part of that escapes your ken?

      December 28, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Russ. The so-called pro-life movement continues to legislate for the unborn with little or no action against the myriad of causes of death to the born: starvation, preventable disease, road accidents, gun violence, drug abuse, etc. Why is that?

      December 28, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      You cannot dissuade TT from her conviction that women have rights men and children are not allowed.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Russ

      @ TomTom: your blatant hypocrisy is amazing – particularly how you embrace it.
      so, mother's rights are greater than father's? upon what basis do you claim that? i thought you were an egalitarian. shouldn't a man share equal responsibility in raising a child? or should he just disappear from that child's life?

      and notably, you're so blinded to my position by your own that you failed to get my logic. YES, the father "did nothing to prevent the pregnancy." in the example I was giving, he was FOR life. and – as i said – in *any other case*, after the child is born, the mother would be declared criminal (if not insane) for wanting to kill her own child.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Nope, sorry. You lose, Russy. I don't believe in child support, either.

      Keep your dick in your shorts or use a rubber. That is the extent of your say until you grow a uterus and have to go through pregnancy and childbirth.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:35 pm |
    • Russ

      @ TomTom: go back & re-check your facts.
      what led to the end of slavery? to the great fight for civil rights? the appeal in the West was always to certain "God-given, inalienable" rights.
      what led William Wilberforce to end slavery in the British Empire? his biblical conviction that life was inherently valuable. what about MLK? the same thing.

      it was not just "after birth". it was that God had done something.
      now, you don't believe that. ok. but don't try to re-write history.
      those who ended these great travesties of justice did so *by appealing* to higher authorities than that of the state.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What led to the end of slavery was the recognition that blacks were people. Nothing more, nothing less.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Santa: heartily agreed. it's a great hypocrisy of the religious right to care for the unborn but disregard life after birth. that must change. certainly Jesus said that very plainly (esp. in Mt.25: "whatever you do to the least of these, you do unto me").

      December 28, 2012 at 12:39 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's so much fun playing with you, Russ. You get so het up. You must look mad as a wet hen right now.

      The fact is that you have lost this fight, regardless of your 'arguments.' Abortion remains legal. So does Plan B and contraception.

      What have you achieved here, exactly?

      December 28, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh? How many kids have you adopted, Russ?

      December 28, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • Russ

      @ TomTom: again you have a dangling epistemology...
      upon what basis does humanity have any inherent value? the religious clearly have a metaphysical anchor.
      you – as of yet – have divulged a basis for yours. what makes people innately valuable?
      according to you, women are more valuable than men. but i have yet to hear a basis even for that position from you.

      upon what basis do you claim these things?

      December 28, 2012 at 12:42 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Do point out anything I wrote that indicates that women are "more valuable than men," you moronic dweeb.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      How many adopted children do you have, Russy?

      December 28, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • One

      Russ
      if you haven't realized it yet, Tom, Tom is the biggest belief blog bully back to badger believers.
      Any argument you might have with her is going to get you called a lot of names, she'll want you to site sources for opinion, and declare you a liar forever if you cannot come up with those sites.
      She believes that women should be able to kill their own babies as long as they aren't born yet, and won't listen at all to differing opinions. Ignore her.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:47 pm |
    • Russ

      @ TomTom: you want men to be equally "eligible for punishment" but the father does not have equal rights.
      what would you call that if it was flipped? a patriarchal society. injustice. pre-suffrage chauvinism.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Good job purposely ignoring the fact that I stated I do not support enforced child support. Hypocrite, thy name is Russ.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      One? Is that the best moniker you could come up with, herbie?

      You poor little thing. It just galls you that your ass gets handed to you every time you come here, doesn't it?

      Wanna cookie?

      December 28, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
    • Russ

      @ TomTom: so, you're for dead beat dads, but not ones who actually care about their children?
      yes. i'm the hypocrite.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, by the way, One/Brophy/Loser: It's "cite," not "site." Look it up. Learn the difference. Otherwise you look stupid. Oh, wait. Never mind. You look stupid no matter what.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • One

      who is herbie?

      December 28, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'm for women making their own choices. If they choose to give birth to a child they want without the father's approval, yes, they are on their own.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      One: you are.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:54 pm |
    • One

      Ahh I see...you have mistaken me for someone else. Jumping to conclusions is dangerous. But thanks for proving my point. Back to ignoring you

      December 28, 2012 at 12:55 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Must really gripe your ass, Russ, that I don't think men have any right to tell women what they "must" or "should" do when confronted with an unwanted or unplanned pregnancy, and don't hold men to a different standard. Not what you expected, was it? Except that I informed you of this at least once before, you lying sack.

      You don't get to decide for someone else what she will or will not do with her body. Your bit is OVER when you fail to use a rubber.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, were you ignoring me before? I wasn't aware. Gosh, my loss. As if.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:58 pm |
    • Russ

      @ One: seems you struck a resonant chord.
      and considering your rather 'prophetic' introductory summation of TomTom above (one which she has willingly fulfilled), i'm heading to lunch.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      See Russ. See Russ run away. See Russ fold. See him fold like a cheap suit. See Russ. See a lying hypocrite.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Summary: Russ thinks women should remain pregnant and give birth because...he says so. Russ thinks women are lesser beings whose rights are nil when they "become pregnant" because...Russ says so. Russ thinks that women are inferior beings because...he says so.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:05 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Russ wrote, " the morning after pill intervenes & ENDS a new life."

      You know Russ, no matter how many times you dumbfuckers post this, it won't make it true. The Plan B pill delays ovulation – so the sperm and egg never get to meet. No fertilized egg. No new "life".

      December 28, 2012 at 2:34 pm |
    • Russ

      @ Primewonk:

      1) I'm not Catholic. But the Catholic Church is against ANY contraceptive. Should it be legal for people to violate your religious convictions? Would the same be true for non-theists?

      2) Before you make such haphazard labels, note the discussion among the experts. EVEN the NY Times (not a bastion of conservatism) recognizes that while the scientific data is growing, there is not enough data to garner a consensus in the medical & scientific communities yet. And there is STILL substantial concern among some scientists & doctors (notably who share my convictions) that the data is still insufficient to eliminate the possibility.
      http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/06/health/research/morning-after-pills-dont-block-implantation-science-suggests.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

      If you read that article w/ compassion toward our position, you'll see the concern. *IF* a broader consensus is reached, then yes, there would be a new discussion on this particular pill. But as of yet, we are not there.

      December 28, 2012 at 3:26 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Russ

      I'm wondering if those of your ilk will ever realize that your religious convictions mean absolutely nothing when it comes to laws and complying with federal standards. Then again, not having favoritism is equal to pure persecution to you right?

      December 28, 2012 at 3:30 pm |
    • Russ

      @ hawaiiguest: that response is self-contradictory.

      where do legal & federal standards come from? even the pure naturalist must at least recognize (historically) a transcendent principle at play. while i am not one of those who claims our government arose as purely Christian, it is evident that a metaphysical appeal is made from the outset. the notion of "God-given" & "inalienable rights" is appeal to a transcendent standard – and not merely a pragmatic one. (while Jefferson argued for a separation of church & state, he nevertheless clearly not only fully assumed but even appealed to those underlying metaphysical beliefs in the founding of America... as a Deist at that!) what other basis is there for "inalienable" rights? you can't ensure the pursuit of "life, liberty & happiness" without presuming a definition of those things. and who defines life (because science certainly doesn't – as any biology textbook can tell you on p.1)? and that's the entirety of the debate here. whose rights? when do you get rights? etc.

      "those of your ilk" (to steal your own phrase) forget that there is no discussion of unassailable, inalienable rights without a transcendent standard to which governments must answer. and there's the irony: the frequent "complaint" that a woman's 'rights' are being impinged upon assumes there is a higher, transcendent authority which grants those rights. hence the hypocrisy of complaining about "my ilk" & our religious views when it's the very basis by which rights are held...

      so here's your problem: either you are unaware that you equally are making such a metaphysical appeal (& thereby hypocritically complaining about mine) or unaware that the government – while legislating – does so on *the basis* of their own metaphysical appeal, even if it does not do so within an explicit, particularized, singular religious framework (such as in England, for instance).

      so, no, it's not primarily about persecution. it's about hypocrisy. the laws to which you are appealing presuppose the same general metaphysical bases to which you are objecting. it's self-contradictory.

      December 28, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Russ: metaphysical, blah, blah, blah. Nobody cares.

      The fact is that the company is violating law. You can blather on and on about "where laws come from" and "what is your basis for morality" all you want. It will avail you nothing at all.

      You can imagine that your discussions about angels and pinheads will make a difference, but unless you're arguing in a court of law, you're wrong. They won't.

      December 28, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Russ

      Trying to redefine "inalienable" to mean "given by a personal transcendent being that I believ in"? That's just sad. Our rights are defined by the Constitution, not by "metaphysical stuff that I refuse to define because then I would need to actually back up my statements".

      December 28, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Russ

      @ hawaiiguest: again you are guilty of your own critique – what basis do you have for your metaphysical convictions?

      appealing to the Consti.tution not only begs the question (where did they get their values? infinite regress? or are you just ignoring their own metaphysical bases?) but it also forgets the social evolution of rights. we've had this conversation before, but by your position, the Nazis were not wrong within their own framework – and future such genocidal societies would equally be "within their rights." but that's exactly my point: if we have murdered over 54.5 million children in the US alone since Roe v Wade, that's over 9 holocausts... but, you know, we're more civilized & sophisticated than those Nazis...

      i'm not hiding my underlying metaphysical basis for my claims. i'm a Christian. and that gives you a framework to challenge whether or not i actually adhere to what I believe (hold my feet to the fire, so to speak).

      what about you? upon what basis do you claim "inalienable rights"? or do you think Jefferson's argument was really a form of "because I say so"? do you really think our national fore-fathers saw themselves as the ultimate authors & definers of "rights" when the very words they wrote make an explicit appeal to something greater than themselves from which they derived those definitions?

      December 28, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Russ

      Is this how you intend to avoid ever making a point?

      December 28, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • Russ

      @ hawaiiguest:
      no basis for rights, then no rights.
      basis for rights, then rights.
      so: do you have a basis or not?

      it's clear the authors of our government believed there was a greater (transcendent) basis.
      but you seem to think you can appeal to them w/o making the same greater appeal (b/c you're complaining that I am doing the same thing they did, and yet you are appealing to them in your own defense).

      so do you see that your position is self-contradictory? you can't have it both ways.

      December 28, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Russ

      I'll take that as a yes, you will continue this in order to avoid making a point.

      December 28, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      HG, ever think Russy is just Chard's nom de plume?

      December 28, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • Russ

      @ hawaiiguest: i gave you the benefit of the doubt before. now i see you were simply self-projecting again.
      you may be slightly more sophisticated than TomTom at avoiding the question, but it's clear you are simply avoiding the question.

      when you're willing to actually divulge the basis for your convictions, I'm willing to talk further. until then, it's just so much name-calling to avoid engaging the substance of our discussion.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Russ

      Self-projecting really? This coming from the person that is completely avoiding making any kind of point by bringing something completely irrelevant into the picture. The age of religious favoritism is coming to an end. Get over it.

      December 28, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Russ

      @ hawaiiguest:
      we're arguing over life & it's definition (particularly, on what basis can it be stated). you can't define it. or you simply won't – because it would require admitting your foundation. it's not irrelevant. it's the most salient point; it's the basis that DECIDES the rest of the debate. which yet again shows: you're avoiding the question... purposefully.

      why refuse to address the simple, direct question (what is your basis for defining life, rights, etc.?), unless you realize what I've been saying is true (that your position is self-contradictory)?

      December 28, 2012 at 11:14 pm |
    • mama k

      @Russ

      You want to bring children into this world at a record pace. Then you're too busy to take care of them and teach them properly so you want public schools to teach them morals and religion which they have no business doing. After all that you're complaining that between a woman thinking she might get pregnant from she did less than a day ago (which may include being raped), she shouldn't be able to avoid the unwanted pregnancy by taking a pill to disrupt an egg that may or may not have recently been fertilized??

      All I have to say is to hell with your damned religion and good luck overturning Roe v. Wade. See you at the polls.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • mama k

      ( pregnant from something she )

      December 28, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'm with you, mama k. Russ is a pos. I can't wait to see the SCOTUS shoot down any exemption for corporations like HL and shut him up.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:35 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      The dumbfvck's favorite words are "self-contradictory," which he uses for any views that differ from those he created in the Book of Russ.

      What a friggin' dip.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:37 pm |
    • Russ

      @ mama k: it helps to actually read the string before commenting. several positions you are ascribing to me i spoke about above and either do not hold or already responded to that thought (i.e., r.a.pe, the ny times article on plan b pill, etc.).

      December 29, 2012 at 11:14 am |
  16. Seriously?

    Maybe i'm way off base here, but who the fvck shops at Hobby Lobby anyway? Do people actually still make crafts? I mean maybe in rural Alabama but enough to warrant having an entire store dedicated to glue guns and glitter? We had our last big hobby store leave our town about 8 years ago and we have not seen one since...

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

      Yes, people still do crafts, you dolt. Not in your cave in the woods, apparently. But they do. And by the way, could we attempt to stay on topic here?

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

      Old dried up fat and ugly women do make crafts. nothing else to do i suppose, but tell themselves they are special because jesus apparently said so.

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

      LOL, yeah, I never heard of this company before this stuff came up either. I still haven't been to one, but assume it's like a Michael's.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:41 pm |
  17. Drew

    Owning a company does not give you ownership of your employee's and their religious beliefs. If that law says that women get free contraceptive products you do not have the right to deny them based on your religous beliefs as your beliefs may differ from there's. It is not ok for your beliefs to have an effect on another person's live, nor would it be ok for you to deny them employeement based on their beliefs.

    To everyone saying that 13k people will lose their jobs if this chain goes under because of "Obamacare". If there is demand for 500 stores staffed by 13,000 employee's for their products, there will be another business willing to take over that demand with new stores for those employee's that obey the law. If there is a dollar to be made, someone will make it and 13k jobs dont go away because a business refuses to pay for healthcare it goes away because the demand is gone and the business cannot support itself which is clearly not the issue in this case.

    December 28, 2012 at 11:50 am |
  18. me2

    Look at yourselves Hobby Lobby. You are the American version of the Taliban.

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

      Are you serious? Please, you need some perspective.

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

      @ me2: let's see... you don't believe it's an unborn child – but you want to force legal action on anyone who disagrees with you...
      who is the Taliban here?

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

      Russ

      It's not forcing legal action & forcing women to have abortions. It's about the fact that this company has to comply with the law, like it says in the Bible, about respecting the Law of the Land? But, hey, what do I know...

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

      Why don't you finish that scripture there 'Jesus'...what does the rest say? Something to the effect of 'as long as they don't go against the laws of God'

      December 28, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • Russ

      @ J: the Bible says clearly...
      "Submit to the governing authorities" (Rom.13:1)...
      unless they go against the Ultimate governing authority...
      "We must obey God and not men." (Acts 5:29)

      December 28, 2012 at 12:18 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Russ, you idiot. This is not a theocracy–we don't have to adhere to your beliefs but to law.

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

      @ TomTom: no, evidently it is a theocracy – the government is dictating belief.
      i'm against theocracy (this side of heaven). but that's exactly what you seem to be comfortable with.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Russ, you're an idiot. If you can't figure out that women have rights and you don't get to abrogate them, tough toenails for you. I don't really care that much, since you're a boob behind a computer screen who has zero say in the matter.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:37 pm |
    • Russ

      @ TomTom: your position is inconsistent.
      i don't have a problem with women having rights.
      i have a problem with women killing other women (and men).
      a woman does NOT have the right to kill her own daughter (or any child, for that matter) – no matter what any government on this planet says.

      December 28, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
  19. BoiseBlue

    How about we do what every over developed country has done and get employers out of the business of providing health care. Then their political / religous beliefs / rules wouldn't impact their employees. Universal Health Care should be funded by our taxes and provided by our secular government, not subject to the wishes of the dominant, but not universal, religion.

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

      The Republicans REFUSED to go with a single payer system. AHCA is not perfect, but it is the only step forward we could make while dragging the Republicans like toddlers throwing a tantrum. If people didn't need jobs for health care, then they wouldn't be so inclined to stay at horrible jobs just for the insurance. Think of the impact on those poor little big businesses!

      December 28, 2012 at 12:07 pm |
    • cgrubel

      that would be nice......

      December 28, 2012 at 12:08 pm |
  20. Paul Meyer

    I find the thought of big box stores full of chinese garbage so much more offensive than the thought of stopping an unwanted pregnancy.

    December 28, 2012 at 11:48 am |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.