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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. Diana

    Typical, anti-woman, non-scientific BS. Fortunately the courys agree that these owners do not have the right to deny this coverage to women employees who do not share their beliefs. I will not be frequenting this or any other business who attempts to deny my right to choose.

    December 28, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      14 deaths, 2027 hospitalizations from RU486

      Choose life.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Bill, how many times do you have to have this explained? RU 486 is NOT the morning after pill. They are two different medications.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • lol??

      The world is a much more dangerous place than you think.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • Chad

      How, exactly, is wanting to save the life of an unborn child "anti-woman"?

      December 28, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Using contraceptives or the morning after pill isn't endangering a fetus or embryo, you idiot.

      December 28, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • Chad

      well, just prevents the newly conceived child from being implanted in the uterus, meaning he/she will die..

      other than that, no harm done.

      December 28, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Idiot, read something once in a while. You're so dumb it's embarrassing, Chard. You're wrong. Utterly.

      December 28, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
  2. Chilippeppr111

    I worship and honor the Great Flying Spaghetti Monster, and all of His Noodly Appendages!!! So, all of you Americans are now required to follow the doctrine of the FSM in all of America's business practices, because you must honor Him in thought, word, and deed!

    Thus sayeth Me, an American business owner, who knows better than anyone else on the entire planet what everyone should be required to do, because I am completely confident in MY personal brand of faith.

    I am in no way bound to follow civil laws established to ensure equitable, standardized business practices for all U.S. business interests, not me! I am serving under a Divine Mandate given to us all by the Great Flying Spaghetti Monster, one which we must all follow, lest we all be cast down into the ever-boiling pot of slimy Pasta, for all Eternity.

    I KNOW that following the mandates of the FSM is the ONLY thing that anyone who is good should follow–or else, let them all face Eternal Damnation!!!

    I personally commit to housing, feeding, clothing, and totally supporting any employees in America who become unemployed in the course of following the Divine Mandates of the FSM!!! You can totally have faith in that, my promise to all of you.

    Have faith! He will take us all into his loving web of Noodly Appendages, and keep us Eternally safe in his Loving Wiggly Arms...

    Oh, and I totally support purchasing the vast majority of the environmentally damaging, cheaply made products that I resell to American customers from Asian sweatshops that I helped to create when I shipped all of my manufacturing work overseas.

    I also totally support bolstering the economic and governmental powers of China by buying products produced their sweatshop labor camps, and therefore helping them to continue to enforce forced abortions on its citizens, especially if the fetus is female.

    We all know that female fetuses are not as important as male fetuses, anyway, especially in the Eyes of His Holiness, the FSM, who is conveniently male.

    The All Great and Almighty Flying Spaghetti Monster told me that these are the right things to do, just like Hobby Lobby does, so all of you had better just "get in line" with our way of doing business–or else!!!

    Oh, and remember, I will only pay the Federally-mandated full minimum wage to you if you use at least 10% of it to buy pasta and meatballs each week. My religious beliefs insist that this is absolutely a requirement for me to do my part to save all human beings from an endless boiling in the Eternal Damnation Pot of Slimy Pasta!

    I don't have to follow civil law in this matter, because I answer to a Higher Law. I wouldn't want to be damned by the FSM for having failed in my Divinely Mandated duties to Him. It is all for the best for all of you–I promise!

    In Divine duty to His Holiness, the FSM,

    Me

    Google Flying Spaghetti Monster to locate the link to his Holy Website. Now. Or be doomed Forever!

    SNERK!

    December 28, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • sam

      R'amen.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  3. wrgaetaetga

    Lets just put all the religious people in work camps so we can move on and have a society that isn't based on prehistoric delusions.

    December 28, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • GodsPeople

      how about we execute liberals? That will actually HELP the world.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • sam

      GP, you might want to reconsider. There's always a fundie who's even more right wing than you, and they might consider you a liberal.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • Chad

      It's been tried (see: Soviet Union, North Korea, China, Khmer Rouge), it is called "state atheism" and has resulted in the deaths of over 70 million people in the last 100 years alone..

      December 28, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
  4. monte

    Just cut the workers hours to less than 30 a week and this solves everything. 500 stores, 3 to 4 managers per store, than corp, maybe 2500 employees that you would pay for health insurance, or just pay the 2000 per employee and they can get it themselves.

    December 28, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • Chad

      Many low paying businesses do exactly that (restaurants for example), keeping the hours at a part-time level so that benefits dont have to be paid.

      December 28, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
  5. lol??

    Birthrights and inheritance are important Christian concepts which are lost on the Socialists' thinking.

    December 28, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • sam

      What?

      December 28, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
  6. lewtwo

    David Green and the Tea Party are trying to force Hobby Lobby employees to abide by Greens's personal perverted moral code.

    December 28, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  7. lol??

    Ya gotta admit the Big O is flexible. His version of birth control is sellin' guns to Mexican drug lords. Any law violations there?

    December 28, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  8. Larry98

    Pretty sure this is the most poorly planned out publicity stunt ever created by a company. The morning after pill doesn't even do what they claim it does (abort a pregnancy) it is well established that it is a contraceptive. There is no financial reason for them to oppose purchasing this type of health care, before this became the law insurance companies offered a discount to companies that purchased plans with no co-pay contraception (cheaper than paying for a pregnancy).

    They are hoping for a 'Chic-fil-A-style' bump in sales to finish the fourth quarter after which they will 'cave-in to the oppressive secular establishment' with a record quarter of profits.

    Alternatively, they are just a bunch of fools that think they can absorb a $478 million dollar hit on their yearly sales but I sort of doubt that even they are that short-sighted.

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

      True, it did give Chik-Fil-A a boost even if it came with a lot of scorn. Saves on the advertising budget, I guess.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • Mark of Tennessee

      Nice post!!! and the truth

      December 28, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  9. me2

    I just came from Hobby Lobby – is it normal to be strip searched and have my birth control confiscated?

    December 28, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • me3

      Didn't they tell you not to go to a place like that dressed as an altar boy?

      December 28, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  10. GetOverYourself

    Another company I'll never do business with again! Thank you CNN for actually providing a service this time!

    As for the religious "principles" these zealots are whining over, remember, you don't have a right to impose your religious beliefs over anyone but yourselves (individually).

    December 28, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Ron

      How exactly are they forcing their beliefs on anyone?????

      December 28, 2012 at 4:53 pm |
    • Jeanne021556

      Absolutely right. How do they know their employee agree with their opinion. They just don't want to help employees and I hope they are hit $1.3 Million PER DAY. IDIOTS

      December 28, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • @Ron

      Ron...um...by denying contraceptive coverage for employees because of their "beliefs." . I'd say that is a big ol' case of forcing their beliefs on "anyone." And I'd be willing to bet most of the employees are unable to afford the pill, etc., on their crap wages,otherwise.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Ron: By denying the coverage due to their belief, they are imposing their personal belief. Are you enjoying your winter break and does your Mommy know you're using her computer?

      December 28, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • GodsPeople

      I'll be happy to spend thousands a year at the local Hobby Lobby now. I didn't know they were a Christian oriented business.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • sam

      @GodsPeople – make sure they're the 'right' kind of christians first. If they don't believe exactly what you do, they may not be true christians!

      December 28, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • ana

      Exactly. Corporations can't have "beliefs" because they are not individuals, and the owners of corporations have no right to impose their views and values on employees–that is discrimination. I hope they pay through the nose for their high-handed crap.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • Ron

      The employees are free to do what they want with their wages, if they want better wages they are free to do a good job and earn promotions, or seek employment elsewhere if there is a better opportunity. No company/individual should be required to provide anything to anyone. I could honestly care less about the religious aspect, I just don't like the government telling anyone what they must do with their own money that they earned....period.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • Ron

      Corporations can and do have beliefs.....They must just pay the consequences for them if they choose to espouse them. If you choose not to shop at hobby lobby, chik-fil-a, or any of the other corporations who choose to identify as christian, you may do so, but they can believe and support what causes they want, just as I am free to do the same.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • Bill, Bloomington Il

      and you just did.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Well, then, Ron, I guess it's okay with you if a company wants to hire kids to work, or not abide by any safety standards that would prevent tragedies like the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire, right?

      December 28, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • Ron

      Tom, that is a ridiculous argument, and no, there should be minimum safety standards for hazardous duties, but OSHA has pushed those things ridiculousness as well. Once government gets involved they keep going and going just like the energizer bunny, and do not stop until they regulate something to death.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • Ron

      As far as kids to work, that would probably be good for some of them since their parents don't teach them responsibility. Lots of our grandfathers and great grandfathers grew up working on a farm etc.....they turned out OK.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Nonsense. OSHA regulations are needed to prevent manufacturers from allowing dangerous conditions to continue. You are simple-minded.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Ron, you're a troll. If you think that forced child labor was "good" for kids, then you never met some of those who lost arms or hands in farm machinery or in factories. You are obviously just here to be an ass, not to discuss the issue at all. Go do your homework.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • Larry

      So Ron...do you offer the gas station the $7 a gallon your gas costs before government subsidies reduce it to the price you pay at the pump? Do you give grocery stores twice as much money to reflect the actual cost of food production before government subsidies reduce it to ensure the production of your food is profitable?

      December 28, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • Ron

      Larry,

      I don't know that those numbers you are throwing out are correct, but here is what I found..."In 2011 the three oil giants mentioned above paid more income tax than any other American corporation. ExxonMobil paid $27.3 billion in income tax, Chevron paid $17 billion, and ConocoPhillips paid $10.6 billion." Sounds to me like the oil companies are subsidizing the government. A "subsidy" is just a fancy word for saying they let the company keep a little more of the money it earned.

      And if the government was paying some $7.00 a gallon of gas, which it isn't, then we can no longer afford to do so. We are in incredible debt as it is,and eventually someone is going to have to pay the piper, I would rather suck it up now then let my kids do it or my grand kids.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:43 pm |
    • Ron

      Tom, just like most socialists, you like to make things extreme.....I never said pout kids to work in a dangerous factory job....To suggest so is just moronic. A little labor never hurt anyone though, the problem with society is they want everyone to give it to them and don't think they have to work for it. If speaking the truth makes me a troll, then so be it.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You're full of crap. If you think that business owners enact safety measures out of the goodness of their hearts, you're stupid. They won't; that's WHY there was a need for unions and OSHA regulations. How many kids do you think died in mine accidents? On assembly lines? You're not talking about doing a few chores or getting a job bagging groceries. You're acting as though safety regulations are the cause of our deficit and the economy. Nobody with half a brain believes such baloney. How is it you just blithely ignore the BILLIONS Bush blew in Iraq and Afghanistan, and pretend that our economy is in a shambles because of a health care mandate?

      You are a snot-nosed Limbaugh clone. I'm not socialist, but you sure as hell are a fvcktard.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • Ron

      I love how when you throw facts at a socialist, they get mad and start calling you names. They bring up the past like we are still doing thinks like we were back in the 1930's etc. etc. etc. Since you have nothing intelligent to say anymore I guess that means I wont his one.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • Ron

      Never heard one constructive argument about our national debt and how we can't afford all this....Just name calling and bashing.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What "facts"? You don't even know where your future SS money will come from! You're an ignoramus who listens to Faux News and thinks you're informed.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      That's because you didn't read my post. I stated that we need to raise taxes and cut some programs. There's no need for drastic cuts. And there's certainly no reason to allow Hobby Lobby or any other employer to get away with flouting the law. Again, your side lost, Ron. The folks who think the way you do are the minority.

      December 28, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Ron

      So tom, what should we do about our national debt, I will concede the point where I miss-spoke about where my SS money will come from, are you willing to concede that our debt is out of control and we can't afford all of the government programs we have?

      December 28, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And I agree with whoever said that the REAL issue for you is that YOU don't want to pay any money for anything that doesn't directly benefit YOU in some way. If that's the case, you have no business taking advantage of the public schools, public parks, roads, or anything else that doesn't benefit ME directly, but for which I have to pay.

      December 28, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      What part of my post can you not read, Ron? Yes, some cuts are needed, but that doesn't mean that we cut all the benefits and programs that make our standard of life here higher than in some 3rd world hole. We need to raise revenue and that DOES mean raising taxes-if you compare ours to those of most other nations, we pay far less than most people.

      Acting as though cutting health care will somehow fix the economy is just idiotic, and behaving as if paying for it will bankrupt is is even more so.

      December 28, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • Ron

      Does anyone here know what the national debt is? Understand it is unsustainable? Or do we want to just name call back and forth and talk about ludicrous things like public schools and national parks, which I DO PAY FOR IN THE FORM OF TAXES. I would be fine with the government letting me keep my money and sending my kids to private schools though.

      December 28, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Beat it, you moron.

      December 28, 2012 at 6:12 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I'll bet you would. And those who can't afford private schools can just go suck hind t!t, right? Sure, that'll work.

      What is it with you hysterical nuts who think the only way to fix anything is with the MOST extreme measures? Where were you when Bush was shoveling billions into the military for 2 wars we didn't need to fight?

      What part of making some cuts and raising revenue is beyond you? And what else is it you think is going to make this better? Making cuts in what, exactly? You don't even have a credible plan of any kind, and based on your lack of understanding of even the simplest concept (SS), I don't think you have the knowledge or education it takes to come up with one. You are just angry and think that's going to solve something. It won't. And neither will cutting drastically all kinds of programs that benefit the elderly and disabled.

      There's always someone like you who thinks he has an answer that's simple and easy. Trouble is, he's wrong.

      December 28, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      And why are you posting when you said you had no more to say?

      December 28, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
  11. DavidInNC

    Some people and organiations only use the teachings of the Bible that please them. If everyone looked hard enough, they too could find some reason to oppose paying taxes because part of the tax money was funding something that went against their religious beliefs. Lets see, I could use a passage from the Bible that requires all of us to pay taxes no matter what the tax money is used for. It goes something like this, render unto Ceasar what is Ceasar's and unto God what is God's. Now wasn't that easy.

    December 28, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Ron

      We earn our money, it is not the governments or "Caesar's.

      December 28, 2012 at 4:54 pm |
    • lol??

      You had a Greek education from Athena?

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

      Ron, who paid for you to attend public school? Just your parents? Just their taxes? Or everyone's? Who pays for the roads your drive on? Only you and others who own cars, or everyone?

      What is wrong with you that you don't get this?

      December 28, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Why shouldn't you "have to"? You are the one who benefits from these programs, you idiot. You benefit from the common good and that includes the improved health of all.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  12. Fed Up With Our Government

    We now have a government every bit as invasive and oppressive as King George was to start this country. It would appear that the only religion anymore is the official "state religion" sponsored by the liberals – secularism ! The present group in power seem to relish the destruction of morals, religious beliefs, and reward for working hard. If Marx was alive today he would be cheering loudly for what this country has become and is heading toward becoming – 1984 is just a few years late. Sadly if I was in charge of the company, and those were my beliefs, I would close every store to aid the recovery ! The government then could put more people under it's welfare state control and those behind this would rejoice.

    December 28, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • Dan

      So you advocate for a theocracy like Iran, huh Brainless?

      December 28, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hilarious. Those like Fed love to whine about government intrusion when it comes to gun laws and taxes, but you'd better believe they think it's just dandy to have the government tell women what they can and cannot do with their own bodies. And they're the first ones to cry and moan with FEMA doesn't fork over the bucks to bail them out of a crisis in their trailer parks.

      December 28, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • fred

      Tom Tom
      I never said I love to whine, I said I love the wine

      December 28, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Blessed are the Cheesemakers

      Drama queen

      December 28, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @fed...........please stop being bitter. You lost. Deal with it. Move on. You against birth control? Please offer some money to help take care of these kids. You will pay for the kids one way or another. If the parents cant raise the kids, guess who pays. THE TAXPAYER. Birth control is cheaper than children.

      December 28, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • The Truth

      "We now have a government every bit as invasive and oppressive as King George was to start this country." Seeing as how our founders continued the practice of slavery for a hundred years after our founding I find it hard to consider them the "non-invasive" and "non-oppressive" government we should be comparing ourselves to or wanting to "go back to".

      December 28, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • lol??

      You're just gonna have to get used to the wunnerful scientific gift of eatin' Asian Carp. it's the only thing on the commies menu.

      December 28, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • Ron

      I could care less if you buy or use birth control, or get abortions, or anything you want to do personally, but why do I have to pay for it?????

      December 28, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • lionlylamb

      People's moral and civil rights are nowadays subjected to Federalism, the father of secularism and divorcee of theocracy whose many so many children are the abolitionists of Christendom's creed of many now marrying the atheists giving rises to the damned infidels of social pragmatisms emotionalized pleasurable natures leading down the future's lamentations of embittered communalisms.

      December 28, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • Larry98

      Ron – Offering birth control reduces the cost of health care.

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

      Every word of this is truth. The illegal obongocare act actually caused employers to either lay off or cut hours on employees so they could afford to remain in business. Socialism DOES NOT WORK. Get over it.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • Ron

      Larry,

      It is not my responsibility to pay for your health care, or at least it shouldn't be...

      December 28, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @ron..........Which is cheaper birth control or children? Since you have to pay for one or the other, which would you rather pay for?

      December 28, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @god...............Those companies are using Obamacare for an excuse to lay off people. You are falling for it hook line and sucker.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Larry98

      Ron – I really don't understand your argument. You don't want to pay for their healthcare, OK. But that isn't the issue here.

      About five years ago insurance companies figured out that offering no co-pay contraception breaks even with the cost of paying for their share of a pregnancy. When they considered the cost of providing care to their dependents into it the insurance companies realized that it was a profit margin increase to offer this benefit. take the extra benefits. Companies still refused to offer those plans to their employees. Offering this benefit doesn't hurt your pocket book. It may even help it. It could reduce the overall cost of health insurance or, if you frequent Hobby Lobby, you are paying more for their products because they refuse to take a reduced cost health plan for their employees and are passing that expense on to you.

      If you are angry at paying more Hobby Lobby should be the focus of your anger not your sympathy.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • GodsPeople

      @Ken Margo: You're obviously completely re-tar-ded. Those companies weren't laying people off BEFORE obozocare. Now they HAVE to to avoid going out of business altogether. Ob–on–go hates America, he hates successful Western Nations because his native Kenya is a festering sore, much like most of Africa. Perhaps if you take your half-human loving blinders off, you'll see reality.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Ron, what part of this escapes you? My health care WILL cost you regardless of your 'wants'. You WILL be paying for health care costs via taxes if no one has insurance. When we ALL have insurance, the costs are spread out among all, and it will be far less expensive for everyone. That is the POINT of insurance.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • Ron

      My argument is the government should not be forcing anyone to do anything.....I don't want to pay for your healthcare, your kids, or anything....How about some personal responsibility.....I am not angry at anyone or anything except those goons on capitol hill, and the leeches that put them there.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • Ron

      tom, I know I will, my argument is I shouldn't have to.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • GodsPeople

      @Ron: Liberals and Socialists don't believe in personal responsibility. They have no sense of right or wrong, they have no loyalty other than to their immediate whim. That's why they have to all be executed and their political views banned forever.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Then you will never take a dime of SS or Medicare right, Ron? Because you know that it's not YOUR income that covers those expenses, don't you? And you'll never ever go to an emergency room, will you? And you'll never send your children to a public school or go to a national park, right? Because YOU aren't the one paying for those, either.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
    • Ron

      tom, I am paying for SS and medicare, but if you let me keep my money, then no I won't.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • sam

      Oh Ron, 'personal responsibility' – why don't you just say what you really mean? You don't want to pay for sluts to have sex. Have you been listening to Limbaugh again?

      December 28, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      No, Ron, the SS payments that YOU get in the future are going to be paid for by those who are still working, not by you. You've paid in to support the payments for those getting paid NOW. Do you not know how SS works? How can you be so ignorant?

      December 28, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • Ron

      I have no problem with a public school or a national park, and I have no problem with my taxes going to support such things IF WE CAN AFFORD THEM!!!!! We are broke and bankrupt as a country...... We have to cut somethings and get out of debt. National parks is probably something that can be cut until our fiscal house is in order, not keep adding on more expenses....It is simple economics.....You cannot go in debt to buy all the things you want if your checkbook is empty...You have to cut and prioritize.... Apparently our public schools which we spend so much money on aren't teaching that simple truth.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @God................... The prez saved the auto industry, banks doubled the dow from 6500 to over 13000 and kept us out of a depression. Just say you don't want a black president. That would make more sense than criticizing his record.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Baloney, Ron. The public schools, parks, and roads all contribute to the public good and all should continue to be paid for through taxes. We do not need to cut all programs; we do need to raise revenue on the wealthy. And you are an imbecile if you think that the biggest threat to our economy is the ACA.

      You're a poe.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @Ron.................Obviously you want to cut programs that YOU don't currently need. What are those individuals that use those programs supposed to do? Go hungry, Go somewhere and die. Remember the republicans are pro life. They Want all these children to be born we cant take care of.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:39 pm |
    • sam

      Ron, there's no way you can possibly support public schools and parks – sometimes sluts have sex in them!!

      December 28, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Ron

      I can see this is going nowhere...Tax the rich more, until there are no more rich, or you run them to another country, talk about "some cuts" when we need major cuts, and continue to expect big government to take care of you. I am gone, waste your time typing if you want, flame me when I am gone, talk about what a quack I am, your opinion couldn't mean less to me because you deny logic and are irrational. Good Night.

      December 28, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
  13. Andrew

    This just in –

    Hobby Lobby has declared that they will now put to death any employee that has disobeyed their parents, per their religious beliefs.

    They are still considering the same punishment for any employee caught wearing cloth made of two different fibers. Ironically, they sell many of these types of cloth.

    December 28, 2012 at 4:34 pm |
    • Jan

      I totally believe that.....since prayer is mandatory in the corporate offices....this wouldn't surprise me at all...

      December 28, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • lol??

      Who do they think they are, anyway? Sears with gift card abortions? Sears has everything, not them.

      December 28, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • sam

      DON'T EVEN ask what happens to the employees caught eating shellfish!

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

      @Andrew: Could you be an even bigger idiot?

      December 28, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      GodsPeople: Sorry he's only speaking from the giant book of fairy tales you believe in or are you like most christards and never read it?

      December 28, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • GodsPeople

      he's talking old testament. He;s also talking out of his a-z-z. Now go back into your slime pit, idiot.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • Andrew

      Well there is a passage in the New Testament requiring any woman wearing hat have their head shaved. Can they enforce that?

      December 28, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • Andrew

      Sorry, they have to wear a hat or their head must be shaved...I guess head scarves count as a hat in this case.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • sam

      GodsPeople, are you actually one of god's people? You don't sound like it. Or maybe you do.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • GodsPeople

      @Andrew: how about you just come down here and we'll talk... face to face. I'm sure you'll find my arguments quite.. pointed.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • Hamsta

      You're mother should have aborted you, lol??. You're a total drain on humanity and bring nothing to the conversation. In short, you are an ass hole. Fvck off you cvnt.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • Andrew

      I guess that 'do not kill' thing has been overturned by the new testament, based on your thinly veiled threat.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  14. ehomer

    I'm glad I now know never to patronize hobby lobby.

    December 28, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
  15. Sashatree

    Another religious zealot trying to impose their beliefs onto others. I'm glad the courts have ruled against his stupid position! For once they're protecting the religious freedoms of others!! If he's so arrogant and narrow-minded that he'd rather pay the fines, then he truly IS a nutjob - but, hey, thanks for the MONEY! We can use it to help pay down our debt! What a jerk this guy is. Truly.

    December 28, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
    • lol??

      "...........pay down our debt!.........." Just a minute pal. I didn't get in on the cash on trees clunker deal. Ain't fair!

      December 28, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • RY

      Sashatree, I think he will probably cancel insurance for everyone and just pay the difference for people to buy their own before he is out all of that money. It would be a smart move on his part, but that will probably mean more people on medicaid so that will come out of your pocket.

      December 28, 2012 at 4:48 pm |
    • Ron

      How exactly by not wanting to pay for your beliefs are they imposing their beliefs????

      December 28, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
  16. lol??

    Hugh Hefner to the rescue. In a bid for social harmony HH is offering to hire the waifs for house keeping at his mansion. The Big O will not pursue Hobby Lobby on this issue.

    December 28, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
  17. WhatstheDifference

    Can someone please tell me the difference between a union steward's statements that if you don't want to be part of the union, well, you don't have to work here and hobby Lobby's management stating if you want contraceptive medication, well, you don't have to work here? I find it ironic that that same argument that garners heat from the progressive left (the statment by Hobby Lobby's C level management in regards to your freedom to remain employed or not) is the same argument made by unions who are decrying "Right to Work" laws recently implemented.....

    December 28, 2012 at 4:29 pm |
    • Frank

      Are you upset about the unions but not Hobby Lobby?

      December 28, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      Gee, could it be that one thing is a medication that is, by law, only an issue between the person and their doctor, and the other is a lobbying group? Wow yea no difference at all there.

      December 28, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      How in the world do you draw a parallel between unions and access to health care?

      December 28, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • WhatstheDifference

      No, just merely pointing out a double standard.

      December 28, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      And ignoring my post in the process. Of course.

      December 28, 2012 at 4:47 pm |
    • Chad

      @WhatstheDifference "Can someone please tell me the difference between a union steward's statements that if you don't want to be part of the union, well, you don't have to work here and hobby Lobby's management stating if you want contraceptive medication, well, you don't have to work here? "

      =>pretty easy that one
      -the liberal left endorse unions
      -the liberal left hate Christian values

      It's a battle along the lines of morality and tax/spend govt.

      December 28, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      Still ignoring the difference I pointed out. Then again, that just ruins your rhetoric right?

      December 28, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • Chad

      @hawaii, unfortunately, you didnt read/comprehend the root post. Namely: I find it ironic that that same argument that garners heat from the progressive left (the statment by Hobby Lobby's C level management in regards to your freedom to remain employed or not) is the same argument made by unions who are decrying "Right to Work" laws recently implemented

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

      Hey Chad, which christian values are hated?

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

      marriage, abortion for two..

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

      Liberals hate marriage? Strange then that conservative Christian fun dies have the highest divorce rates.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • sam

      Liberals hate marriage and abortion? Uh...ok. Whatever, Chad.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:18 pm |
    • Really

      Chad
      Abortion is a christian value, thanks for coming around on that point, now you can tell your fundies to stop blocking people from planned parenthood clinics, there is hope for you, Hallelujah.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Liberals hate marriage? And love abortion? Wow, I'm out on both those counts. I'm married and never had or sought an abortion. Never counseled anyone else about the decision, either. Don't hate marriage at all; of course, if I were married to some impotent little twerp like Chard, I'd feel different, for sure.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • Chad

      Marriage = 1 man + 1 woman

      December 28, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • Chad

      Oh, and since you dont endorse abortion, then you'll join me in turning back Roe v. Wade!

      no?

      ah.. why not?
      🙂

      December 28, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Roe v. Wade doesn't mandate or endorse abortion, you limp-dicked weasel, and neither do I. I do endorse a woman's right to choose, and you might as well pi$$ up a rope as think you're going to "turn it back."

      December 28, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • Jen

      Join you in overturning Roe Vs. Wade? Are you gathering a posse to overturn it Chad? Good luck with that!

      December 28, 2012 at 5:42 pm |
    • Jen

      Not sure how I 'hate' marriage just because my definition differs than yours. How is it possible I hate marriage when I am happily married with three kids??? (if anything you hate marriage because you are not married)

      December 28, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • Indypat67

      Jesus Tom Tom, you're STILL on here after all these hours spewing your crap... Moma must not be home yet

      December 28, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Really

      Chad
      You stated that abortion is a christian value, why would you want to overturn RvW?

      December 28, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Chad

      You're desire to find something to oppose in anything a Christian says seems to have backfired a bit..

      December 28, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Really

      Chad
      Sam asked what christian values are hated. You replied marriage and abortion for two; ergo abortion is a christian value!
      Now Chad, you always are perfect, never make an error? When your opponents err you are all over them like flies on sh*it, hypocrate.

      December 28, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Chad

      lol

      as I said, the rush to oppose anything a Christian says left you somewhat exposed on this one 🙂

      December 28, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Moma," IndyPat? Who's "Moma?'

      I'll bet you didn't mean the Museum of Modern Art, did you, you dip wad?

      December 28, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      sam
      Hey Chad, which christian values are hated?

      December 28, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Report abuse |
      Chad
      marriage, abortion for two..

      ---

      Are you denying you wrote this?

      December 28, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Chad

      Simply cutting and pasting the root post does absolutely nothing. You ignored the difference I pointed out, and you've pulled people into side issue to cover it up. Congrats, you have once again shown how much of a dishonest person you are.

      December 28, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • Jen

      'your desire', not 'you're desire'

      December 28, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • Really

      Chad
      He (Chad) is hopelessly ignorant or hopelessly disingenious. Redzoa.
      I made a decision to use the same debating tricks against you that you use against your critics, can't take what you dish out, you can always quit dishing it out and act honestly. I doubt that you can.

      December 28, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • Really

      TTPS
      I think the best way to make the Chad look like the fraud that he is, is to jump on any mistake his eminence makes and rub his nose in it. The more we can do so the more his nonsense will be discredited. LOL

      December 28, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
  18. minerva

    Does Hobby Lobby tell employees how they may spend their paychecks or where they can go on their vacation time? Once given...none of HL biz how the employee uses/spends it. The employee does a job in exchange for certain benefits. (Pay, medical, time-off etc.). Unless HL thinks they can also say pay may not be used to buy beer or vacations cannot be spent gambling or in a legal brothel in Nevada, then their argument completely falls apart.

    December 28, 2012 at 4:27 pm |
  19. Jim Hahn

    Since when can a corporation have a religion? Again we need to separate church and state. If you run a business, it is a BUSINESS AND NOT A CHURCH

    December 28, 2012 at 4:26 pm |
    • JJH

      It is a privately owned company...

      December 28, 2012 at 4:32 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So were sweat-shops.

      December 28, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • The Truth

      So were restaurants that didn't want to serve black people.

      December 28, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • lol??

      Yeah, shut down Athena and the educratists' Greekster assembly halls in all the schools across the land. The Socialists are gettin' out of hand.

      December 28, 2012 at 4:52 pm |
    • Ron

      Learn the difference between a corporation and the state please. Go back to middle school.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • JJH

      And Nazi Germany was a government. Your examples are just as ridiculous and pointless

      A privately owned company can have a code of ethics or belief system. In this case, a company can be like a person. If Hobby Lobby wants to stand up to a new law they can and of course risk paying a lot of fines.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • lol??

      Ron, school districts are corporations.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  20. phearis

    So they would rather pay $39-million a month in fines rather than obey the law. Well, if they got the money, fine by me. It'll help put money into the government.

    December 28, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
    • Desperate in Alabama...

      Unless they have calculated the cost and they would spend more than $39Mil on morning after pills for their employees every month, which could mean... TIME TO GO TO HOBBY LOBBY TO PICK UP CHICKS!!

      December 28, 2012 at 4:28 pm |
    • 9hydra

      Well good for them. They can put their money where their mouth is now. They make billions and then cry about how unfair it is that they have to give their minimum-wage employees health insurance, including – gasp! – birth control.

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

      @9hydra: They provide health insurance. Obozocare is illegal. Much like ob-oz-o himself.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • Cedar rapids

      Grow up GP, don't be a fool all your life

      December 28, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • GodsPeople

      Actually Cedar, I'm the one who is grown up. Not to mention mature, socially and financially responsible. I also hold high levels of personal responsibility. These are all concepts liberals are completely ignoring because they don't fit the marxist line. Now go away.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @GP You are a typical crooked christian conservative that looks down on others not as fortunate as you. What happened to the saying "But for the grace of God goes I" If you doing well good for you. You better pray harder that you never fall on hard times. You and your family will starve refusing the gov't help.

      December 28, 2012 at 5:56 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.