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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. New Athiest

    Please remember that for insurance to cover the pills, thay have to be prescribed by a doctor.
    We should not let any company get between an employee and thier doctor's decisions.

    December 28, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Heineken

      Not entirely true. The pill RX can be given by a Nurse Practicioner, which is usually who you see at a women's health clinic like Planned Parenthood. There is an obvious conflict of interest here, because PP supplies abortions on demand.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Then why not prevent PP from having to perform one, idiot? Why not give emergency contraception to those who want it instead?

      How stupid are you?

      December 28, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Do cite a single instance in which PP refused to fill a prescription for Plan B, Heiny.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • Heineken

      Tom, you realize that such information is protected by the privacy act, right? Where do you suppose I would find such an example?

      December 28, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Heineken

      Additionally, if I found a single case where they refused to fill the prescription, it would hurt my premise. As I stated, it's a conflict of interest. Anyone can get a prescription without any real medical reason. It's a for-profit clinic. It's in their best interest to write prescriptions.
      My point is, you can't use the argument that it's between the doctor and the patient because the drug isn't regulated like a narcotic painkiller. It's available on demand. The doctor's visit is just a formality and you're probably not gonna see a doctor. You're probably gonna see a female nurse practicioner who works for a 'for-proft" women's health clinic that benefits from every abortion and every prescription. How much money do you think planned parenthood makes on prenatal care visits?

      I will bet that they make a huge profit from abortions and that pre-natal care won't account for even 30% of their buisness. Wanna take the time to research this?

      December 28, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
    • Heineken

      Oh, look at that. Public information. 40% of total income came from abortions. Nearly 34% came from donations, which only leaves 26% to divide between Government funding and "other services rendered". Too bad their income reports aren't specific on that. I would love to know.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So you fold. Thanks for playing.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's not my burden to prove your assertions, moron. If you can't find the evidence to back up your claims, it's not my problem. y

      As I said, thanks for playing. Collect your consolation prize at the exit and don't let the door hit you in your fat ass.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • derp

      congrats Heineken, you won. Tom didn't stand a chance.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Funny that you needed a sock puppet like "derp" to jack you off.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • New Athiest

      Okay heinekin

      Now you're just playing stupid word games. Yes, the laws do vary state by state. However, my arguement is mot invalid just because i generalize with "doctor" instead of some all inclusive " medical professional" term.

      Companies have no business interfering with decisions made by "medical professionals who have the liscenses and certifications to write prescriptions".
      Also, birth control is usually a hormone that could be prescribed for other reasons.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • Heineken

      @ NewAtheist, We're only talking about plan B. Hobby-Lobby is willing to cover birth-control. They just object to this one form, the plan B. Plan B is not used in hormone therapy. It's only purpose is to prevent the embryo from attaching itself to the uterus. You need to understand, the egg is already fertilized at this point.

      You simply cannot ask a Christian to compromise such an ethic. It is innate, central, instrinsic. Forcing a Christian to support this medication is simply oppressive.

      I understand that Christians are generally the oppressive ones. I understand that they usually make a lot of noise and talk a whole lot of garbage. We can't let their dyamtericly opposed worldviews cause us to abandon common ethic – The right to a faith centred life.

      The government is wrong to force this on the Company. They aren't making a stand to save money. For goodness sakes, they are hemoraging 1.3 million a day, because they have made it clear:" This is the hill we're burried on".
      They accept 99.999% of obamacare, but they refuse the plan B pill. All of a sudden they are oppressive women-hating zealots who believe Moses rode a dinosaur?

      December 28, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      The establishment law says precisely that, Heineken. When the congress passes laws, they don't give a toss whether it agree with or disagrees with somebody's or some company's religion. So, yes, they can "force" a company to do something that is against some of its leaders religious values because the law doesn't care if it's against any religious values.

      Use logic much?

      December 28, 2012 at 3:16 pm |
    • New Athiest

      @heineken

      Now we have to deal with the question of what religions have the right to stop their employees from having which treatments. Scientlogists don't believe in psychology – according to the tabloid headlines anyway. Does a company owned by an alien worshipping freak have the right to deny counseling to their employees? As others have posted, can an employer forbid blood transfusions?
      I am as adamant as you that the ‘doctor’ should have the final word and my employer has no business in my medical treatments or decisions.

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

      Companies, in this case, do not get between employees and thier doctor's decisions. They just should not be required to pay for prescriptions and procedures that violate the religious conscience of individual employers. This will ultimately be decided by the Supreme Court of the United States. And if the First Amendment is followed, this portion of the new "health care" law will be overturned.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      They aren't, witless.

      God, you people are stupid.

      January 21, 2013 at 11:36 pm |
  2. volsocal

    Another private business damaged by the Obama Administration. Welcome to the club, Hobby Lobby. You are in good company. Let's see. There's Boeing, Gibson Guitars, auto makers in non-union states, Gulf oil producers, gas pipeline producers, nuclear plant builders and operators, banks that don't make bad investments, anyone making over 250 K per year, gun owners, gun manufacturers, coal miners, coal fired power plants, airlines, private colleges, and private hospitals. Just to name a few.

    December 28, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Dan

      Are you on dope? Tell me how this company/cult is damaged. Do you support businesses of the Seventh Day Adventist church forbidding coverage for blood transfusions as well?

      December 28, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Larry

      Boeing is losing their contracts (mostly to Lockhead) because of poor management practices. This has been ongoing for over a decade.

      Have no idea what you are talking about regarding Gibson Guitars. They did initially shrink in size early in Obama's 1st term but that was due to reduced sale of guitars in the U.S. Certainly out of Obama's control. Since then they have eexpanded their product line and are making a come back.

      Automakers exit because of the bailout (for good or ill) in union states and 'non-union states' (not sure what you mean by that phrase since unions are legal in all states).

      Gulf oil producers shot themselves in the foot by ignoring safety regulations but oil companies remain some of the most profitable businesses in the U.S. Even the U.S. branch of BP remains profitable despite paying billions to settle the oil spill.

      I assume you are referring to the Canada to U.S. pipeline. Most of that work was temp jobs and the company is moving forward with it anyway. After it is completed, by the company'sown admission, it will generate less than 30 long term jobs in the U.S. It will also, by the company's own admission, cause a rise in gas prices in the U.S.

      Nuclear plant building was frozen for over a decade...until Obama took office. Since then new permits have been granted but there has been trouble finding investors because, despite generous federal subsidues, nuclear plants just are not profitable to operate. That covers operators also.

      As for banks that don't make bad investments, I am not sure what your point is here. Almost all of the restrictions on banks were conditional on their acceptance of federal bailout money. Major banking reform has yet to make it through congress since the collapse of the banking market.

      Gun control is the lowest it has been since...before the Reagan administration. Gun sellers are making record profits.

      People making over 250K per year pay the same tax rate they paid in 2007. It is likely that will go up from 35% to 39% but it hasn't yet.

      The coal industry is more profitable than it has been in a long time. It harvests more coal per worker than ever before. Most worker layoffs have not occurred due to lack of demand but as a result of increased technology. Coal fired power plants have had minor regulations on air quality placed on them but none have gone out of business as a result. There are more being planned due to how profitable they are.

      Private universities are doing well, especially when compared to public universities. It is true that for-profit ones have had new regulations but that is because two thirds of their students couldn't get jobs in the fields they were 'trained' in. It was costing the federal government billions of dollars, 4 billion in the case of one university, per year to cover their defaulted loans. Money that taxpayers will have to cover.

      Private hospitals are also doing well, particularly the for profit ones.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • volsocal

      Dan – I can always tell that I've struck home with Progressive when their response leads off with the condescending insult, followed by the pseudo-intellectual change of subject. What the Seventh Day Adventists do is not the issue. People can get transfusions if they need them, just like people can get the pill if they want it. The issue is government interference. Is there anything you don't want the government to decide for you?

      December 28, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
  3. Heineken

    Ok...you win. However, if Hobby-Lobby has to pay for your embryo-bombs, then you have to pay for their flamboyant kids to see a Christian counselor for "gay therapy". Agreed?

    December 28, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      You really don't grasp the concept of logic, do you?

      December 28, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Heineken

      I do, actually. See, what you just did is called an "ad hominem". That's a logical fallacy because it attacks the person, not the argument. Next.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, Heiny, you don't. I hope you will, someday, but without swift intervention, it's unlikely.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
    • Larry

      Conversion Therapy has been shown to be as effective as bloodletting is to reduce fevers by letting the fire elements out of the body.

      The morning after pill has been shown to be as effective as an aspirin is for reducing the symptoms of minor headaches.

      What insurance covers should be based on the ability to treat a medical condition not on personal beliefs. I won't even get into the argument as to whether or not being gay is a medical condition.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • New Athiest

      The difference between a pill prescribed by a doctor and "gay therapy" should be obvious.
      In my opinion, you should have to prove your god exists before you use a religious arguemnet in court.
      Note: prove YOUR god exists, not just prove that you believe A god must exist.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Heineken

      That was a desperate ploy.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • James PDX

      Heineken, being gay is not an illness and, therefore, does not require a cure. If they don't want gay babies maybe they should use the morning after pill, too.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • sam

      Flamboyant kids...hmm. You really do have a lot of issues. Do you only act like this on the internet, or is this something you also do IRL?

      December 28, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Heineken

      @ Larry, I know conversion therapy is a nonsense. I was making a different point. What you consider medicine is considered fanatical and grotesque by others...and vice versa.

      I think gay therapy is an insult to psychology, but if a gay Christian is torn between his faith and his orientation and genuinely believes this can help him/her lead a better quality of life, who are you to deny him/her the treatment?
      Let's suppose this gay Christian wants to have his sessions covered by Obamacare, should he be denied coverage for "elective treatment"?

      I also understand that birthcontrol is used in hormone therapy and has many other medical uses. Nobody is disputing the value of birth control. The subject is concerned with a single form of the pill, and it's intended use.

      If someone walks into a pharmacy and buys plan B pill because the condom broke, that is fine. It happens, pay the cash and be more careful next time.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, please, Heiny. Could you BE any dumber? Who CARES why? What difference do the circ umstances make? If a woman has had s3x and is afraid she might become pregnant, what is the big hairy deal to you? Do you REALLY want to pay the cost of prenatal care and childbirth instead? Get a friggin' clue!

      December 28, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Larry

      Just to be clear. It doesn't matter to you whether or not a treatment is determined to be medically effective, you think that the beliefs of the people who (in part) pay for it should determine whether or not the treatment can occur...

      That's an unsustainable decision making model.

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

      Tom, your argument is myopic. Nobody said that they can't get the pill. You're behaving as if Hobby-Lobby is banning access to the medication. They just want to remove themselves from covering it.

      Buy it yourself. The thing costs 35 bucks and if you ask the right resource for help, you can even get it for free. Here is a site that offers a 10 dollar coupon. 25 bucks...that's it. Can't afford it? Go to Planned Parenthood, they'll hook you up and bill you later.

      http://ec.princeton.edu/locator/concerned-about-cost.html

      December 28, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
  4. pinkhaze

    So, now Hobby Lobby is G-d. They decide what drugs or medical procedures their employees have a right too. Shouldn't those decisions be made by the individual. This is very sad to think that employers have the right to rule our lives after we finish our day at work. Whats next? Maybe HL would like to start its own church and make all their employees pray to Mr. Green. I applaud Mr Green for his beliefs and how he CHOOSES to run his life, but it stops there. Mr. Green and family, you should be ashamed of yourselves. STOP telling others what to do. They should have the same rights as you and choose what drugs they need or want to use. HL must be making hugh profits off the people who shop at their stores, how else are they going to pay the hugh fines. Why not give back to the communities where you have stores instead of paying legal fees and fines. I'm sure there are may people in these communities who could use a little help at this season. That kind of giving is good publicity.

    December 28, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Heineken

      Stopped reading after the first sentence. Hobby Lobby isn't determining what your rights are. You can have all the baby-nukes you can swallow, but...they don't want to buy them. So you probably sign up for supplemental prescription coverage.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Baby-nukes"? What are you, brain-dead? Or just immature?

      Bet you have a penis.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • James PDX

      HL isn't buying them. They are providing healthcare coverage that allows the employee and their doctor to determine what kind of medical care they need. Alcohol is bought with money. If a Mormon run company is against consumption of alcohol, should they be allowed to not pay the employee to prevent them from buying it? The company provides pay and benefits. The employee gets to decide what they do with them. It's a simple equation that people are trying to turn into verbal/moral calculus.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
  5. Jen L

    Firstly, a corporation does not have religious beliefs. The OWNERS of the corporation do.

    Secondly, the owner of a business's religious beliefs do not trump my right to equality in health care, my right to privacy in health care, or my right to choose my own religion. The lawsuit is not intended to uphold religious freedom but to impose religion on employees in contradiction to their rights.

    Thirdly, of COURSE the fines are high. The corporation intends to break the law. Why would the fines for such a thing be low enough to make that a tenable business decision?

    Fourthly, the morning after pill prevents fertilization of an egg. That's not what abortion is. If you don't even know what the medicine in question does, stay out of my health care. I don't care if you "believe" that it's the same thing; you don't get to "disbelieve" reality in support of your alleged right to force your religion on others.

    Everyone is welcome to their religion but businesses do not have a religious right to discriminate against women. This is well-established law.

    December 28, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • SLoRider

      Excellent breakdown of a sticky issue. Good to see someone around here can see clearly.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • al123

      Please research. The pill does not prevent the fertilization, just the implantation of a fertilized egg. People who started thier own business with thier own sweat who believe life begins at conception are being told that they have to pay for the destruction of this fertilized egg. They are not preventing other people from doing so.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • sam

      al123 – please research. They're not being forced to pay anything. The employees might never use the coverage. If they don't like the law, they should just decide to operate in at-will only states and fire anyone they think is enough of a whore to need birth control.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
  6. GUEST

    It really isn't as hard as some people and organizations/companies are making it. Yes, the benefit is there that a person may take/use the available products if they so desire. If it is against your beliefs, then DON'T DO IT! Is Hobby Lobby FORCING ALL of their employees to do as they want them to do instead of each individual choosing their own way? Sounds to me as though Hobby Lobby is FORCING their employees to believe in only Hobby Lobby's beliefs. Doesn't work that way.

    December 28, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • lol??

      "......Doesn't work that way." Yup americult ain't firing on all cylinders. It knows how to waste gas.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • guest 2

      If HobbyLobby does not want to pay for it why not let them be? can't the employees pay out of their own pocket? It's not a matter of health after all, but rather lifestyle.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • al123

      Yeah it's not that hard. Quit thinking about your stupid individual rights and focus on the collective people. Jeez.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • al123

      Yeah it's not that hard. Quit thinking about your stupid individual rights – it's all about the collective, people. Jeez.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • sam

      'Lifestyle'. Uh huh. Sinners.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  7. Jeff Smith

    The question is, "Does the Federal Government have the right to, and if should it, dictate what benefits are provided by an organization to its at will members?" This is a slippery slope folks, and one that is leading companies to keep their headcounts down.

    December 28, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • New Athiest

      Wrong question.
      Does the company have the right to deny health services prescribed by a doctor?

      December 28, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I do believe the same argument was used when child labor laws and safety measures were enacted.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
    • Jen L

      That would be the slippery slope FALLACY, actually. Businesses are required to not discriminate based on gender and there are NO medical issues for men that are off the table on these grounds. Businesses also have to follow safety laws, pay minimum wage, and follow other non-discrimination laws. Why is this only now a slippery slope when the law in question is equality in women's health care– paid for by the women's work hours?

      You want to talk slippery slope? If employers gain the right to force their religion into their employee's health care, they will also gain the right to tell you what you can invest in in your 401k and spend your salary on, since that is all your work compensation. Work compensation is no longer the property of the employer; it belongs to the employee.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:57 pm |
    • Rollin' with Sisyphus

      "I do believe the same argument was used when child labor laws and safety measures were enacted."

      Exactly the same...except that those labor laws and safety measures where about keeping employees safe at the job, while the other has to do with ppl doing stuff in the privacy of their own home. But other than that, yeah...the same.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  8. pooflingingmonkey

    Hobby Lobby still exists? How many people really need paper mache and balsa wood?

    December 28, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • lol??

      Yeah, now that the gubmint has turned drone making into big business!

      December 28, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
  9. dave

    Stick to your principles. If the US govt. doesnt back down, close all the stores , pocket the cash and leave the 13000 out of work. Thanks a lot Obama!

    December 28, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Or Hobby Lobby could comply with the law of the land like everyone else must do. Why would you blame Obama or the government when the fault lies with the one not following the law?

      December 28, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Dan

      Wow...so you want to see 13000 people lose their jobs. Now THAT'S pathetic.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So that's the only alternative? How about obeying the law? What is the problem with that? If you think it's morality, I have a nice waterfront property in Arizona for sale, cheap.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:52 pm |
    • Gene

      Yeah, right–cut off your nose to spite your face. Dumb strategy...

      December 28, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Jake

      Do you really think that is an option? Hobby Lobby's profit margin is so thin that they will be out of business in less than four months if they pay the fine. They really wouldn't walk away with anything, other than a pile of balsa wood and yarn, if they closed down their stores. Most of their assets are in their store inventory.

      Do you really think their loss would be a big hit to the economy? They are so poorly run and managed that not only are they threatened by stores like Wal-mart they also lose business to independent retailers. If they closed down the only thing people would notice is that there is a new Micheals in town. If anyone noticed they were gone it would unusual.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      How many businesses went under when child-labor laws were enacted? How many failed when other measures became law?

      Really, stop your act. If HL goes under, it goes under. It's not the fault of Obama or the government anymore than the passing of safety laws was the fault of the president when the Triangle Shirt Company went up in flames.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:59 pm |
    • sam

      Sounds great! Flounce away like a spoiled child, then blame it on someone else.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
  10. Cynic

    So contraception = abortion in the opinion of Hobby Lobby management? I suppose menstration qualifies as abortion too, since those discarded eggs would and could have been human beings. Hobby Lobby's stance is utterly ridiculous, but they have a right to run their business as they see fit without government interference. And the rest of us have a right to avoid applying there and shopping there, as well.

    December 28, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
  11. Pantheist

    CNN, . . . why do you not post my comments? Just because I said to stop shopping at Hobby Lobby and thereby put them out of business . . . you don't like that comment for some reason??? You puzzle me!

    December 28, 2012 at 1:45 pm |
    • Pantheist

      Thanks for allowing THIS comment! You really puzzle me now!

      December 28, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Sammy

      A clear case of confusing the already confused? You decide.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      It's the automatic word filter. If you have a naughty word like t.it in there, it will automatically block your posts. It means you can't reference the const.itution or say things like circ.umvent.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • dave

      A little slow , arent you.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
    • Helpful Hints

      Pantheist,

      Bad letter combinations / words to avoid if you want to get past the CNN automatic filter:
      Many, if not most, are buried within other words, so use your imagination.
      You can use dashes, spaces, or other characters or some html tricks to modify the "offending" letter combinations.
      ---
      ar-se.....as in ar-senic.
      co-ck.....as in co-ckatiel, co-ckatrice, co-ckleshell, co-ckles, etc.
      co-on.....as in racc-oon, coc-oon, etc.
      crac-ker…
      cu-m......as in doc-ument, accu-mulate, circu-mnavigate, circu-mstances, cu-mbersome, cuc-umber, etc.
      ef-fing...as in ef-fing filter
      ft-w......as in soft-ware, delft-ware, swift-water, drift-wood, etc.
      ho-mo.....as in ho-mo sapiens or ho-mose-xual, ho-mogenous, sopho-more, etc.
      ho-oters…as in sho-oters
      ho-rny....as in tho-rny, etc.
      inf-orms us…
      hu-mp… as in th-ump, th-umper, th-umping
      jacka-ss...yet "ass" is allowed by itself.....
      ja-p......as in j-apanese, ja-pan, j-ape, etc.
      koo-ch....as in koo-chie koo..!
      nip-ple
      o-rgy….as in po-rgy, zo-rgy, etc.
      pi-s......as in pi-stol, lapi-s, pi-ssed, therapi-st, etc.
      p-oon… as in sp-oon, lamp-oon, harp-oon
      p-orn… as in p-ornography
      pr-ick....as in pri-ckling, pri-ckles, etc.
      que-er
      ra-pe.....as in scra-pe, tra-peze, gr-ape, thera-peutic, sara-pe, etc.
      se-x......as in Ess-ex, s-exual, etc.
      sl-ut
      sm-ut…..as in transm-utation
      sn-atch
      sp-ank
      sp-ic.....as in desp-icable, hosp-ice, consp-icuous, susp-icious, sp-icule, sp-ice, etc.
      sp-ook… as in sp-ooky, sp-ooked
      strip-per
      ti-t......as in const-itution, att-itude, t-itle, ent-ity, alt-itude, beat-itude, etc.
      tw-at.....as in wristw-atch, nightw-atchman, salt-water, etc.
      va-g......as in extrava-gant, va-gina, va-grant, va-gue, sava-ge, etc.
      who-re....as in who're you kidding / don't forget to put in that apostrophe!
      wt-f....also!!!!!!!
      x.xx…
      There's another phrase that someone found, "wo-nderful us" (have no idea what sets that one off).


      There are more, some of them considered "racist", so do not assume that this list is complete.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
  12. Sean

    Sure, the Hobby Lobby is not complying with Obamacare over contraception and is willing to pay $1.3 million a day in fines. The fact is, they don't want to give their employees health insurance. I'll be sure to pass on to my wife not to shop there anymore. A woman's decision to use contraception is her choice and not her employers. The Hobby Lobby isn't the same as working for the Vatican.

    December 28, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Cynic

      Since Hobby Lobby feels obliged to do all the thinking for their female employees, females should feel obliged not to work for them.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:50 pm |
  13. Wilma

    Thats why I shop at Michaels.

    December 28, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
  14. Not_religious

    Make an example out of them. Fine them out of existence.

    December 28, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • lol??

      Hooked on phonics, errr abortions.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:42 pm |
    • Heineken

      Right, fvck the thousands of employees, because this is about erradicating faith based buisness, not about human rights. Gotcha.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:48 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      LOL, so don't fault the agency who is blatantly disobeying the law for the natural consequences of their illegality? Ha!!!

      December 28, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You think this is a 'faith-based business"? How stupid are you?

      December 28, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • sam

      Heineken, you're gettng more and more ridiculous. If this place cared about human rights, why does most of their stuff come from China? Again, are you only worried about white christian embryos?

      December 28, 2012 at 1:55 pm |
    • Akira

      Lol??: are you really that dim to think that the morning after pill is the same thing as an abortion? Yes, I think you are.

      Heinie:
      ...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.”

      Hobby Lobby is a for profit organization.
      They sell to the public, both in a retail setting and online.
      They do not know who shares its religious tenets.
      They are subject to the same laws any other business is, regardless of their religious beliefs.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:02 pm |
    • lol??

      Akira sayz,
      Lol??: are you really that dim to think that the morning after pill is the same thing as an abortion?...." You're tryin' to dance on a needle point.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:05 pm |
    • Heineken

      In reply to the three persons above,

      Wether on not they are faith based is irrelevant because the law would force the same conditions on the genuine article.
      It also doesn't matter if they disobey this law. It's called lawful rebellion. This premise dictates that core ethics are a superior authority than government rule. THAT is how America was founded, by the way. Lawful rebellion.
      Just because the law exists, doesn't mean it should be followed. Are you going to call all the Germans who aided in the liberation and underground transport of Jews to safezones.."criminals"?

      December 28, 2012 at 2:06 pm |
    • sam

      Hey, let them rebel all they like, and pay the fines. You comparing the saving of jews to the saving of zygotes is cute as hell, though.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  15. Thoth

    Let's say I'm a health/religious nut who believes that god expects us to take care of our physical bodies and that all obese people are fat because of a lack of self-discipline. Can I limit the plan I offer to employees so that it does not cover any condition linked to their obesity?

    December 28, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • New Athiest

      wrong arguement.
      First define gluttony as a sin.
      Secondly complain that it violates your religious beliefs.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • cmon

      Insurance companies can charge you a higher premium if you qualify as Obese, smoke, etc. So, Let's have the Government require that a person share how frequently they have intercource and if it turns out that they are doing it too often, then their premium will be higher. What qualifies as too much intercourse? Don't worry, the Government will tell you.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:51 pm |
    • Thoth

      @New Atheist – that's sort of the point. There is no "wrong argument" when it come to religious interpretation. I can claim to believe whatever I want. This is the problem with allowing corporations, LLC's, LLP's, etc.... to be recognized in the same capacity as an individual person, with the same rights.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  16. James PDX

    God flooded the world and therefore aborted every fetus on the planet. Why are Christians against abortion when their God performed more abortions in one day than any abortion facility ever did in total?

    December 28, 2012 at 1:40 pm |
    • lol??

      Genetic engineering by the Master.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:44 pm |
  17. Eduardo

    Yes I don't see the issue, same with the Catholic Hospitals; if all your employees were of the same belief you might have a point but they are not. It would be ridiculous to suggest that only women who are pro-life can be employed at Hobby Lobby or a Catholic Hospital. Furthermore as some others have suggested even if you have it in the health insurance doesn't mean the employee is going to use it. I like the suggestion of Johnathan earlier in the posts as a compromise if the companies did not see the non issue as I do.

    December 28, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
  18. The Truth

    Fact: The top 5 medical colleges in the USA average MORE medical breakthroughs each year than the entire rest of the world combined.

    Fact: Those Medical insurance companies average 6%-7% profits which means that they have no choice than to be lean and efficient to survive.

    Fact: "other industrialized nations", as someone recently put it, have people dying every day for things that even our so called "uninusred" get medical treatment for. A bum in the USA can go into any non-private ER (over 99% are non-private) complaining about chest pains and that bum will receive a complete check-up that those so called "other industrialized nations" can only dream of providing for their "insured" citizens!

    ... the problem is simple ... it's the LAWYERS, not the insurance companys, hospitals, doctors, or anyone else the media and politicians like to blame! We need to get the stinking sleazy lawyers under control in this country or we have no hope! We regulate other industries ... why not regulate lawyers??? (Maybe because most of the politicians are lawyers themselvs???)

    December 28, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • lol??

      ".....6%-7% profits...." Money markets pay how much? Manipulated markets never work.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
  19. Sammy

    Ima gonna put all these opinions in a big burlap sack and head on down to the river.

    December 28, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Good. Jump in with it to make sure it sinks.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:37 pm |
    • Sammy

      I may do that Tom. It might be the only way I can keep your microscopic thoughts from escaping between the threads of the sack and polluting the river.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Funny that you feel compelled to do that. I guess it's because you can't find any facts that refute what I've written.

      You poor little thing.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:43 pm |
    • Sammy

      Tom, Tom, Tom. No need for me to do that. Your ideas are self-refuting.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If they were, you'd have no reason to respond. That you do speaks volumes. I can only hope you're either sterile, impotent, or celibate.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Sammy

      Is that really all that you can hope for, Tom? I'm not sure whether to be flattered or flatulent.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You're already a farter. Nothing much more.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:54 pm |
    • Sammy

      Sorry, Tom. I can't help it when I read your comments.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:56 pm |
  20. suzanne

    I hear people say because it is legal, that makes it ok... regarding the morning after pill and abortion. I wouldn't know where to start to say when it would be ok or crossing the line. That would be tough and sad no matter where the line was. I do know a long time ago, it was legal for child sacrifices on alters to Gods that didn't exist. It was legal somehow for Harod to slaughter many innocent little ones himself. hmmm now it seems the slaughtering is still being done, just prettied up somehow and those who stand up and say it is wrong are somehow the bad guys???? accountability will not be evaded...eventually Herod and all those who knowingly made certain choices will face the same God who in fact gave them their own life. He will determine whether it is mercy they receive or a judgement as unquenchable regret when their eyes are opened. So as for insurance..... I think individuals are responsible for their choces and I don't see God holding HL accountable. So I think HL should let their employees have all the rope they need. After all that is free agency. I do think abortion education should be ramed up though, so people know the truth about it, including the fall out after. There are far too many soothsayers out there.

    December 28, 2012 at 1:35 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      Thanks for being on the side of the law and against Hobby Lobby's stupidity, Suzanne.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • Eduardo

      Suzanne I liked your post a lot. You gave a Pro-Life message juxtaposing Biblical and contemporary times. It wasn't preachy or even outright accusing. It was a personal belief and option but also given real world context. This maybe not a totally accurate summary but basically it read to me as this – Hobby Lobby should include the mandate in their healthcare options because it is the workers choice what to do with it and if there happens to be a divine judgment after death it will be on the shoulders of the workers who used it for what they used it for. Free will?

      December 28, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
    • Akira

      ...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.”

      Hobby Lobby is a for profit organization.
      They sell to the public, both in a retail setting and online.
      They do not know who shares its religious tenets.
      They are subject to the same laws any other business is, regardless of their religious beliefs.

      December 28, 2012 at 1:53 pm |
    • James PDX

      suzanne, don't forget all of the animal sacrifices God used to demand or all of the people God sacrificed/drowned so that he could start all over after he realized his plan wasn't working out so well.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:00 pm |
    • john

      Suzanne, you are right about the abortion issue. I quit arguing with people about abortion being murder. All I hear is the pro abortionist trying to convince me it isn't murder but deep down most people know this to be true. So my answer to them quit trying convince me. I am not the one you need to change but rather God is the one you need to convince. Good luck with that one. ABORTION WILL ALWAYS BE MURDER, know matter how you want to spin it.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • sam

      john – there's no such thing as a pro abortionist. No one runs around yelling about how great abortion is, no one gives out two for one coupons for abortion.

      Let's let your god handle it, if he exists.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • suzanne

      James PDX, Free Agency... he didn't start all over.... he just took all those back home that were not living according to his teachings, which were most, as well as many young innocents, that are very happy where they are. Animals have always been a part of his plan for us, not us for them. When I have dinner and think of the animal that had it's life taken that I might live and be nourished, I am thankful, and reminded of another sacrifice that ended all those animal sacrifices that you mentioned, yet know also even that death you spoke of will only be temporary, when it does occure.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Moby Schtick

      @John

      Yep, god is the one that needs to change since according to his divine plan and will he lets the vast majority of pregnancies end in miscarriage. Most pregnancies (about 3 out of 4) miscarry without the woman even knowing she was pregnant. God should stop being such a murdering azzhole who enjoys having an eternal torture pit for those who don't stroke his ego with proper "worship."

      December 28, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
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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.