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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. janelle

    I don't understand why the morning after pill is part of this debate at all. The morning after pill is available over the counter and does not require a prescription. It should not be part of any health insurance plan. Are insurance companies supposed to pay for other over the counter, non perscription items as well? Every time I buy aspirin, do I get to whip out my insurance card and charge it to my insurance company?

    December 28, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  2. MS

    "Just because the book's contents
    Were written generations hence
    By hairy desert-dwelling gents
    Squatting in their dusty tents
    Just because what Heaven said
    Was said before they'd leavened bread
    Just 'cos Jesus couldn't read
    Doesn't mean that we should need
    When manipulating human genes
    To alleviate pain and fight disease
    When deciding whether it's wrong or right
    To help the dying let go of life
    Or stop a pregnancy when it's
    Just a tiny blastocyst
    There's no reason why we should take a look
    At any other book
    But the Good Book
    'Cause it's good
    And it's a book
    And it's a book
    And it's quite good!"

    – The Good Book Tim Minchin

    December 28, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
  3. Billy Harrison

    By the same logic Hobby Lobby is using, if a person were a Quaker and believed taxes funding the government's spending on the military was against their religion (a not too far-fetched notion), wouldn't they have the right to an exemption based on their religious beliefs? Just as Hobby Lobby doing with regard to abortion? I do indeed empathize with Hobby Lobby's feelings on this. However, how we decide when and where the line is crossed is a huge can of worms to open.

    December 28, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • The Truth

      The difference is that acording to Obozo – this isn't a tax!

      That little 3 letter word makes a HUGE difference!

      ... having said that I have to admit that I do not agree with Hobby Lobby on this issue ... yet there are so many other reasons to hate Obozocare and try to refuse to pay for it
      !!!!!

      December 28, 2012 at 2:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Such as what?

      December 28, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Dan

      TruthBozo...please broaden the sources of where you get your news. Sean Hannity is an entertainer out to make as much money as he can. He's not a news man.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:51 pm |
  4. Pat

    If businesses are allowed to back out based on religious ideals of the owners' in a year all business owners will convert to Christian Science, and you all know why.

    December 28, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
    • The Truth

      Yes ... to get way from this disaster that is Obamacare.

      What a disgrace this whole thing is!

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

      In what way is this a "disgrace"?

      December 28, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
  5. W247

    Here is my take on this:

    If you don't want to support the drug, that's fine. If you stop someone else from supporting/using the drug, that is not fine. Changing someone's mind about abortion is not going to happen but making it illegal, it is going to happen by the "renewing of your mind" and the guidance of the Holy Spirit in their life. All you should be doing as a mentor is to be influencing that person to read and study the bible and to let the holy spirit work in their lives.

    December 28, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
  6. snp

    this is a loaded article. We can argue religion and hypocrisy and so on.... or we can look and say...wow, a company that DOES offer health insurance is being mandated by our government to make it a certain type of insurance. The article doesn't mention if Hobby Lobby had zero insurance for its employees prior to obamacare. If Hobby Lobby did not give insurance, then it must comply with the government mandated insurance because new laws state that everyone must offer some sort of insurance. If a company couldn't afford policies for its employees, then the government gives (charges) their version (hopefully at a good rate....since employers A) already couldn't afford it or B) Were being greedy and cutting costs, so now with the new mandate they will probably keep their original personality and just cut hours making everyone part time, thus screwing workers and everything stays the same except people make less money/work fewer hours). So if Hobby Lobby falls under the category of being federally told what insurance to give and for how much, then yes....Hobby Lobby must follow the new mandate because medicine has become government controlled/ it is against the law if you do not comply. So, they are at 1.3 million a day in fines.....so, he can pay the fine and go out of business.....and then all his employees will still have no healthcare....because they'll be jobless .....he can cut hours so his employees are part time....and they will still have no health care because they are part time and make less money.....OR he can give the government mandate and pay the price which is given to him by his only option.....unless he cuts a deal with Anthem or something...then perhaps he can find the best prices for himself as a business owner and for his employees as workers with, well, probably not 6 figures and need all the financial help they can get. I assume that he has that choice? though, it is unclear. Either way, we must do what the government says, or we will be put out of business with the fines. Then no one has a job or care. So, I hope he makes the right choice......whatever that may be.

    December 28, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  7. Mikey

    People and businesses can't arbitrarily decide what laws they will and won't follow. If they choose to stupidly not follow the law guess what......they get fined. Hiding behind religious nonsense is no justification. These guys will be breaking the law if they go through with this and should be treated the same as any law-breaker (i.e., "criminal").

    December 28, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yup.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
  8. lionlylamb

    Question,, If someone has no income whatsoever, how can they be made to carry health insurance when they have no income?

    December 28, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Dan

      Question....if that same person has no health insurance and needs an appendectomy or they'll die, who should pay for it?

      December 28, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If one has no income, then one is covered by Medicare, is one not?

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

      Not unless they're age 65 or older.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:20 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If one is disabled, as LL seems to be, one is covered under Medicaid.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      My brother hasn't worked in around five years. He is not on Medicare and has no health insurance whatsoever. If Obama care kicks in next year are not all people required to carry health insurance or be fined for not carrying any health insurance?

      December 28, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • Akira

      They'rte covered by Medicaid.

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

      Why isn't your brother eligible for Medicaid? Or for disability? Or for SS benefits?

      December 28, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • Dan

      Yes LL, he must have coverage but I believe he'll receive a subsidy to pay for it, or he may go on Medicaid. Despite what conservatives say, having people enrolled in a health care plan is a good thing.

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

      My brother has no disability to get SSDI and as yet is unable to receive Medicare/Medicaid. Does Obamacare grant those without jobs and/or income Medicare or Medicaid?

      December 28, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why CAN'T he get disability?

      December 28, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • Saraswati

      If you have no income you aren't penalized because the penalty is against your income tax.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • sam

      Meaning medicaid has turned him down for some reason. Come on, tell the whole story!

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

      My brother has a lawyer who come January sometime is going to court to see if his disability claim is sound reason to award him a SSDI claim. He just recently was taken by ambulance to the local hospital due him not being able to breathe right. The bill was over four grand. I had to fill out some paperwork for him in hopes of reducing the cost or possibly even getting it written off. The house we live in was inherited to my brother free and clear. We both are in fears that somehow the house will be auctioned off to pay the medical bills.

      I have been on SSDI and Medicare for some 25 years. We are living on my income of just over a grand a month and I have been paying all the bills since my brother has been out of work. I cannot afford to pay all my brother's medical bills. His daughter is now paying for his prescription which is $17.oo each script. I could pay for my brother's meds but he asked his daughter for help due I am paying all our other bills.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:50 pm |
  9. Dave The Butcher

    Making more profits at the expense of my employees is my religious belief.

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

      Doesn't sound like you'll be nominated for Employer of the Year, Dave.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Rollin' with Sisyphus

      Avarice...the religion of many.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
  10. chris

    I hope every single one of you posting on here has insurance as well or guess what? It's your ass that will be in the fire next!

    December 28, 2012 at 2:10 pm |
    • Eric G

      Well, I do have insurance, but I don't think it covers ass fire anyway.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • derp

      My employer has a a religious opposition to assfire. So, while I have outstanding health insurance, that's not covered.

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

      I had a bad case of that assfire last week...its wicked.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • sam

      Thanks for the laugh, Eric!

      December 28, 2012 at 2:28 pm |
    • Eric G

      Ok, I just checked my policy. Ass fire is not covered, but I am glad to say mini-strokes are!

      December 28, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
  11. furianxo

    Good for them... they should personally sue Obamama

    December 28, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
    • Dan

      Are you as stupid as you sound?

      December 28, 2012 at 2:09 pm |
    • ken ken 21

      Good idea. At least you aren't a stupid sheep like Dan.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:11 pm |
    • furianxo

      A business should have every right as a individual... they should have the right to practice their religion. If you don't like it, don't shop , or work there.... PERIOD

      December 28, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Dan: are you?

      December 28, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • Dave The Butcher

      Sue Obama based on what grounds? If that was the case, anyone could sue the government for any law they felt that they didn't want to follow. Fail.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • Akira

      Furi:
      "...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.
      They cannot defy the law.
      "Render that belongs to Ceasar to Ceasar" and all that.

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

      Probably as stupid as a girl going by Tom,Tom.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Which is no more stupid than someone naming a kid "Milton."

      December 28, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • Dan

      You tell me...."Personally sue Obama"...on what grounds, you raving imbecile? Under yous ystem of justice, can I still sue that Bonehead Bush? By the way, what year did you have your labotomy?

      December 28, 2012 at 2:19 pm |
    • derp

      Naming your child Milton is dumber. That name will earn them years of abuse by other kids.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Milton

      Lol, except that the kid wouldn't be at fault. But the moron that picks Tom,Tom would be. HAHA. 🙂

      December 28, 2012 at 2:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You never read much, did you?

      December 28, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
    • Milton

      I was wondering that about you considering one of the greatest authors went by the name Milton.

      But if going with Tom,Tom makes you feel better about yourself then go for it. Get your small moments when you can.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You must think choosing "Milton" imbues you with some sort of magical power. I chose my moniker out of a spur of the moment thought about a nursery rhyme. If you have a problem with that, I suggest you get therapy or stop posting on public blogs.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Milton

      That's a pretty lame attack Tommy. Though one that has, "pleased both the girls and boys...with her legs", I guess it shouldn't surprise me any.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:37 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      If you deem that an "attack," you limp-dick, you must be French.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:39 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You're not exactly a scholar, are ya?

      December 28, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • Milton

      Lol, come on..you are better than this. Get out of grade school and insult like you got a pair.

      Just keep throwing insults, it makes your arguments fade away so much faster and your banter that much more irrelevant. 🙂

      December 28, 2012 at 2:46 pm |
  12. JR

    My mother works at Hobby Lobby and is required to work double shifts on Sundays... not exactly "honoring religious beliefs" of their employees when they want something done to increase profits. I find much of what they claim in their lawsuit to be completely hypocritical if not an all-out lie.

    December 28, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
    • Mck

      All Hobby lobbies are closed on Sundays so she can't work then

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

      JR you are a liar, Hobby Lobby is closed across the nation on Sundays. Get off this board if you can't be honest

      December 28, 2012 at 2:13 pm |
    • G.Lo

      Not to mention, their reasoning is completely wrong. The "Morning After" pill is NOT an abortion pill. It will not induce an abortion or help you if you are already pregnant. Just because they "believe" it does should not give them exemption when their belief is easily proven as inaccurate.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Sorry, but she can be required to work then. Just because the store is closed to customers, it does not follow that employees are not required to work on Sundays.

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

      The doors are locked, but they have people in there stocking shelves.

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

      If she works on Sunday then she probably volunteered and gets paid extra, but if not don't worry she'll be looking for a new job soon enough.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • LMT

      Well I for one will be shopping more at Hobby Lobby!! I liked the store before I saw this story and I love it even more. Thank you for standing up to this.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • lol??

      You don't qualify to judge, JR......................"Col 2:16 Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink, or in respect of an holyday, or of the new moon, or of the sabbath [days]:"

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

      I know your mother does not work on Sundays because Hobby Lobby is closed on Sundays and holidays, this gives people time with their families. My dad worked at Hobby Lobby for over 30 years before retiring and I still have family and friends that work for them. You don't have to agree with their religious convictions, but they are good people and that have done a lot of good for others. They start their cashiers and stock workers at 12 an hour and want to increase that.They also offer health insurance and christmas bonuses. If a person feels that strongly about the morning after pill they need to either pay for it themselves or work somewhere else!

      December 28, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Geannette

      JR, I have been dead for years, stop using my name when you're lying like that. I didn't raise a liar did I, Jeff?

      December 28, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  13. BOb the Prairie Dog

    Hobby Lobby actually has customers? Who knew?

    December 28, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • Lulu55

      hi

      December 28, 2012 at 2:08 pm |
  14. MajestyRider

    We do not live in a theocracy! OBEY THE LAW!

    December 28, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
    • BlueRun NE

      Better yet – change the laws!

      December 28, 2012 at 2:12 pm |
    • lol??

      Reading laws is no longer required. The Putrid Servants pass em all anyhow.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • lol??

      Ignorance of the law is now an accepted excuse and codified.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
  15. Holly Habib

    Okay will never spend a dollar in Hobby Lobby. If they don't believe in freedom of belief then they shud plan relocating to Iran

    December 28, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  16. Steve H

    They basically want to force their employees to comply to their religious beliefs as a condition of employment. Is that freedom of religion? If they got their way, it could well set precedent for their own daughters having to wear a hijab to work.

    December 28, 2012 at 2:04 pm |
  17. jlech

    Fredom of Religion = Fredom from Religion...religious hypocrisy at its finest

    December 28, 2012 at 2:01 pm |
  18. RS

    Put em out of business, I say! Any company that puts so much stock in faith has no business existing to serve the general population. I feel dirty just walking into those stores, because of how public their faith is. Faith is private, keep it that way, and don't impose it on those of us who have the capacity to think for ourselves.

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

      So if I build a successfully company based on principals of my faith, employee thousands of people, pay taxes, give to charity and then I want to publicly declare my success as my continued faith in God it makes you feel dirty? Do you always think for yourself or did anyone in life ever influence you?

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

      You're free to believe however you want, but expressing it publicly is offensive to me. The very thought of organized religion, of any kind, is ridiculous to me. So, seeing a notice on Hobby Lobby's doors that they close on Sundays so their employees can worship, and having ads in local media stating their faith, I consider that infringing on my right to avoid such things completely. Same reason I don't eat at Chick-Fil-A, even though their food is awesome. Faith-based companies are jsut fine, let them do what they will, but respect that some of their employees and customers don't share their beliefs and keep it private, where it belongs.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • RMP

      Woa ... wow. Ease off the meds a little.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • janelle

      so much for tolerance and respect. You demand people respect your views, but you don't have to respect theirs? If you don't like their religion, don't go to their store, it's your right to choose which stores you patronize. But you have no right to demand they keep their mouths shut. How these folks run their business is their business and their right as well.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • oliiP

      Maybe those people should just now work there? Or eat there? Or buy stuff there? woooo – what a concept.

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

      You too are free to have any opinion you want. What if you expressing your opinion publicly offends others? What's the difference? It's rather hypocritcal to publicly state your opinion that others should keep their opinions private.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:18 pm |
    • RS

      The difference is, I am stating my opinions on a message board with an open dialogue about the subject. Therefore, it is appropriate. Just like, I would expect to see messages about faith and religion if I went to a church or even a Catholic hospital (my mother worked in one, I had no problem with it). But for-profit organizations that brand themselves as religious should not be making their faith public, they exist to make money, not for faith or healing.

      As for not shopping there, I truly wish that was an option. Unfortunately, it's the only art supplies store in our area, and I have a daughter who loves art. I tolerate Hobby Lobby for her. I may sound unreasonable, but my priorities are in the right place. And before someone brings it up, yes, I still say close them down. This area has a high demand for art stores, so someone like Michael's is certain to swoop in and fill the void very quickly.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • John

      Well if you're that offended by faith and it makes you feel so dirty then maybe you should move to another country since this one was founded on faith. Does waking up an American offend you? Are you that thin skined that people or businesses of faith put you in an outrage? If so you are the problem and should seek some serious professional help.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:24 pm |
    • derp

      "So if I build a successfully company based on principals of my faith, employee thousands of people"

      Yeah, well based on the above sentence the only business phrase I can ever expect that you will say is... "would you like fries with that".

      December 28, 2012 at 2:25 pm |
    • Christianity is a form of mental illness- FACT

      RS

      The difference is, I am stating my opinions on a message board with an open dialogue about the subject. Therefore, it is appropriate. Just like, I would expect to see messages about faith and religion if I went to a church or even a Catholic hospital (my mother worked in one, I had no problem with it). But for-profit organizations that brand themselves as religious should not be making their faith public, they exist to make money, not for faith or healing.

      As for not shopping there, I truly wish that was an option. Unfortunately, it's the only art supplies store in our area, and I have a daughter who loves art. I tolerate Hobby Lobby for her. I may sound unreasonable, but my priorities are in the right place. And before someone brings it up, yes, I still say close them down. This area has a high demand for art stores, so someone like Michael's is certain to swoop in and fill the void very quickly
      .

      Order online...Di ck Blick.
      .
      No doubt michaels would fill the Hobby Lobby void. yes Hobby Lobby has art supplies ...but its not liek it is huge..They have a lot of useless decorating crap..not mention the disgusting christard crap.

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

      John, this country was not founded on faith. The founding fathers were deists. Read a book that isn't the bible.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • RS

      John, my friend, this glorious country was founded on the principles of freedom from religious persecution. Just because the Founding Fathers were Christian does not mean that they meant for all of us to be as well. I believe in our right to believe, or not believe, as I see fit. When I see the flag, I am filled with pride. When I stand for the anthem at a baseball game, I stand tall with my hat over my heart. America's religious freedom is at the very heart of my argument. I am free to believe as I see fit. Yes, it is also their right to post their religion everywhere as well, and I am not arguing the legality of it, but rather the appropriateness of their actions.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:31 pm |
    • Julie

      That store is kind of creepy to begin with.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:32 pm |
    • Julie

      They are hypocrites, I don't see them rejecting money from those of different faiths. Didn't they build their company by selling their products to people of many faiths?

      December 28, 2012 at 2:36 pm |
    • cmon

      After reading so much hate It is refreshing to hear RS respectfully argue his point. Religion has always been a hot button and always will be. What about Sports? Each fall College football becomes the major religion in many cities. Some businesses really get into their local professional or College team. They put signs up, they have their employees where the team colors or even the logo, and they offer special pricing if you show your ticket stub on Game day. Patrons drive around with flags on their cars , it is on the radio and TV. If I don't like College football or a specific team should I expect everyone around me to keep it private?

      December 28, 2012 at 2:44 pm |
    • beachthumb

      If you dislike it so much, stay out their stores. No one is forcing you to go in there and shop.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:45 pm |
    • Saraswati

      @beachthumb, the issue has very little to do with where one wants to shop and everything to do with where one can get a job in a tight economy and still hope to have both decent medical care and a way to feed your kids and pay your mortgage.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:47 pm |
  19. Steven

    I think these 'employers' are trying to take too much personal responsibility for the choices that their employees make. Should I hold them responsible when one of their employees buys a gun with the money they earned at the business and then kills someone. We don't hold the employer responsible we hold the individual that pull the trigger responsible. Here is another option. Let the employee pay for an add-on for that coverage through their plan. That way the 'employer' isn't paying for it and those that want the coverage have it. I

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

      these employers are not "trying " to take responsibility for their employees personal lives. They want their employees to take personal responsitiblity for the choices they make in their own private lives. It's the government that is forcing employers to now be personally responsible for the decisions their employees make in their private lives.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:22 pm |
    • derp

      "They want their employees to take personal responsitiblity for the choices they make in their own private lives"

      Exactly how does stripping people of legal medical choices equate to wanting them to take responsibility for their choices?

      This is idiot logic at it's finest.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:27 pm |
    • Rollin' with Sisyphus

      I think the choice would still be available derp, just not the method of paying for it.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:29 pm |
  20. Rick1948

    Corporate America's newest excuse for shafting workers and not doing the right thing – "It's against my religious beliefs".

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

      Yoohoo! And a way for the executives to get an even fatter bonus check!

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

      They have a simple way out of it, make all of their employees part-time and then they don't have to offer insurance. Instead, they are simply asking that a finite item be excluded from their policies.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:03 pm |
    • Portland tony

      Just hire all men...

      December 28, 2012 at 2:16 pm |
    • Akira

      Jared,
      ...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.

      They do not qualify. Period.

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

      Akira

      I think it is clear that they don't currently qualify. If they did we wouldn't be having this discussion, would we? There wasn't even a narrow exemption until it was fought for. Hobby Lobby is fighting for their exemption. Will they win it? Who knows.

      December 28, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
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About this blog

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