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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. Ken Margo

    @bill................If I look up gut less Azz hole in the dictionary, your picture would be there. Unfortunately there are unemployed as well as employed people that don't have health insurance. College grads that don't have health insurance. Their are business owners that don't have health insurance. You're a typical phony sad sack republican against Obamacare because a black man pushed the idea. Your boy Mutt Romney signed a mandate in law in Mass. You have no problem with him. Why because he's the white guy! So I now see your true bigoted colors. My solution? SINGLE PAYER, That way EVERYONE HAS INSURANCE. Not just bigoted, AZZ holes like yourself.

    January 18, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Nothing on these boards pleases me more than watching a liberal reduce his argument to their natural conclusion.

      I'm off for the weekend; Dinner with friends, visiting a sick friend in the hospital, music ministry rehearsal Saturday morning, then a party Saturday night. Sunday mass (always wonderful) Taking communion to hospital int eh afternoon for the sick and dying. Sunday dinner with family. I'll be back Monday at the job I love to cuss and discuss with everyone, God willing. Have a blessed weekend!

      January 18, 2013 at 5:41 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @Bill...........Yes Schmuuuck. Join your other bigoted friends this weekend. Don't forget to bring your cross to burn. Oh by the way try not to use anything built by the govt. You know, that evil socialist govt. So if you get sick, don't go to the hospital. Use a helicopter to get around, the govt. built the roads. You wouldn't want to get that socialism on your feet. Scuum bag.

      January 18, 2013 at 6:06 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @Bill the Scuum bag..................While your visiting someone at the hospital, visit the others without health insurance. Visit the emergency room. I bet 1/2 to 3/4 don't have health insurance. Say hello, after all you'll be chipping in to pay their bill. When you visit the dying, Tell them why they don't deserve health insurance, and the nerve of them dying without paying their bill. When the plate is passed around during Sunday mass tell the parishioners you don't want any socialist money. (Hint: don't be surprised if the plate is empty) As far as your singing goes, sing at the hospital instead, the sick can die quicker that way.

      January 18, 2013 at 7:00 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Might as well save your ire, Ken. Billy the Deek is a hypocrite. Please see what has been said about the "unexamined life." Billy the Dick is a prime example.

      January 18, 2013 at 7:04 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @Tom Tom...........I prefer bill the Scuum bag (The S is capital for effect) That guy and others like him have the qualities I detest the most Selfish, ignorant and bigoted.

      January 18, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      About a month ago I took communion to a lady I didn't know in the hospital. Her family said she wanted someone to sing to her. So I sang "Amazing Grace." Later that week she died and the family called asking me to say the rosary for her at the funeral parlor. They asked me to read a short obituary of her life. She was a lifelong teacher with a masters in education and a certificate in second language. Her students included an immigrant family who generated five cuum laude and went on to college. When we finished the service they gave me $75.00. I sent it to a parish priest in Sandy Hook N.J.

      January 21, 2013 at 12:24 pm |
  2. Science

    At its best here and peer reviewed .No go-d(s) required. Proven right here on this tread!!!

    https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/01/17/belief-blogs-morning-speed-read-for-thursday-january-17-2013/comment-page-2/#comment-2107898

    January 18, 2013 at 10:54 am |
  3. ???????

    Reviewing the comments noticed someting interesting. Science PROVED it does not work the way the bible said it did !!!
    All the facts are here on this tread. Peer reviewed !!!
    https://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/01/17/belief-blogs-morning-speed-read-for-thursday-january-17-2013/#comments

    January 18, 2013 at 9:08 am |
  4. Yeah

    “Yeah, your point re: Bernie Madoff are moronic. Most people hire people to manage their money unless they already specialize in finance like I do (and if you are so successful you would know that most of us don't keep our savings in cash and cash equivalents – pension funds are not held in cash just FYI).”

    No kidding moron, assuming I didn’t know that only makes you look like the idiot you are.

    “Most people hire professionals to lots of things for them (it's efficient). Blaming people for trusting a professional like Madoff is the same thing as blaming a person when a contractor builds their house and doesn't do it properly. I guess they should have just built it themselves right? “

    It’s called managing your account. No I you don’t just leave a contractor to build your house, you manage it all the way through the process, otherwise yeah your another idiot.

    “And if a person is near retirement they can't just 'save up' again.”

    When the economy crashed, it was all over the news prior to it happening. The bust of the housing bubble was well known 2 years in advanced. They had either stupid investors or greedy ones. In addition, if you were really in finance you would know to move your money the closer to retirement in to safer accounts. Most of the people I know did just that and made money. Otherwise, yeah they'll be the one's working till they die.

    “And somebody did help you when you were homeless. Somebody gave you a job. And I don't know a lot of homeless people that have good enough hygiene to land a job. Somebody provided you with a shower, a meal when you had no money for food (your family? Great. Not everyone has a family that cares about them).”

    More assumptions on your part, it’s called a public restroom moron. My family never knew I was homeless.

    “As for your obesity analogy. How about a person who gets cancer becomes it runs in their family? What if they cant afford insurance? That's their fault right? You shouldn't have to pay for bad genetics. Let's just let them die.”

    They can afford insurance that’s the point. All you are doing is making more excuses like all the other lazy people in America. You cut spending in other ways and if you’re really in finance you should know some of those techniques so why do you share and show us you actually have a brain in that empty shell of your skull. All you’ve done is run through the same lame excuses people come up with for not making the necessary choices and changes they need to do in their lives so they can afford their own retirement and health insurance.

    January 17, 2013 at 3:14 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @yeah.............If you don't want to help people fine. It's your money too so I can respect that. BUT, the people you support REPUBLICANS are pro life. The same applies to you as it does them. IF YOU WANT THEM TO BE BORN THEN HELP THEM. You cant only "help" the successful one's. YOU need to tell republicans to get off the pro life band wagon. Less people = less poor people.
      Also try to be fair. There are plenty of rich people that are lazy too. How do you know they are lazy? Because they are in prison. CEO's like Madoff, Kozlowski, ebbers. Politicians, athletes you name it. All trying to cut corners somewhere.

      January 17, 2013 at 5:59 pm |
    • Jen

      Wow, so my husband and I have masters degrees and both make six figure salaries and we are lazy. Interesting. Unlike you, who works 60-70 hours/week but still manages to spend copious amounts of time on the Internet (I suppose you're working right now? Just FYI – posting on the Internet while working is not working really hard). Also, you're (note the spelling) really successful but you don't know the difference between your and you're? Also interesting. I know a lot of successful people but they all made it through the fourth grade unlike you.

      So it's the retirees' fault that they thought Madoff had their investments in safe accounts? Wow. I guess you also think that it's a patient's fault when their doctor commits malpractice, I'm sure you also think that it's the children's fault that got killed at Sandy Hook. Under your logic, they must be at fault for going to school that day.

      All people with genetic diseases can afford insurance? Wow..interesting. My daughter just got diagnosed with a genetic problem and I had to pay 5k out of pocket (and I have top of the line insurance). But everybody should be able to write that check like I can? The minimum wage must have skyrocketed without me noticing.

      Public bathrooms? Did you take your showers at Walmart? And I suppose you slept on the street every single night. Better not have been a homeless shelters because I paid for those with my taxes. Actually I hope you went out to the bush – I paid to pave those streets but you weren't paying for them when you were a lazy good for nothing homeless person

      January 17, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
    • Jen

      Ken, you are always so much more diplomatic in your posts than I am. I always appreciate your arguments.

      January 17, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
    • fred

      jen
      Are they government jobs?

      January 17, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
    • Saraswati

      My taxes not only paid for the street you slept on but the public restroom (if it really was public) the water system that fed the taps and the cops that likely kept you from getting killed. You're inability to imagine the illnesses that could keep one from obtaining insurance is stunning, whether willful or just ingnorance I don't know. I recommend you get to know a few more people.

      January 17, 2013 at 6:28 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @Jen..............Trust me, I'm not always diplomatic. Some things tick me off (racism, paranoia) I try to be truthful. If I spread BS, I'm no different than racists that rant on the post. As I said before, I know others are reading this and hopefully I can give be a counter to the BS.

      January 17, 2013 at 6:42 pm |
    • Jen

      No fred, I'm an accountant who has always worked in private industry and my husband is a consultant for a finance company. Why do you ask? I'm on mat leave right now which is why I have the spare time to blog. I can't wait to tell my previous firm though that we can stop buying insurance for potentially screwing up financial statements and tax returns. Yeah thinks that it's our clients fault when we fail to perform our services properly! Yay!

      January 17, 2013 at 8:21 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Yeah? You are full of sh!t on this issue.

      January 17, 2013 at 9:36 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Jen is absolutely correct that your point regarding Madoff is crap on a shingle. I'll bet you don't even know how Bernie did it, do you?

      And really, Yeah, you don't sound smart enough to have managed to "work the system."

      January 17, 2013 at 9:43 pm |
    • Tracy

      "So it's the retirees' fault that they thought Madoff had their investments in safe accounts? "

      Jen, there were red flags that many people simply ignored. The biggest red flag was that the best traders can't beat the market so consistently and by so much as Madoff claimed and the fact he kept looking for new investors. There were financial people that were making it public they thought he was a fraud, but easy money and greed always got in the way.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:47 pm |
    • Bill

      One thing is for sure Jen might have a master's degree but she doesn't understand grammatical fragmented sentences. Just because someone doesn’t know how to spell, doesn’t make them dumb.

      January 21, 2013 at 2:56 pm |
  5. Jen

    Whoops – couple of typos there

    January 17, 2013 at 12:33 pm |
  6. Observer

    John

    Nope. The Bible is full of commands from God to kill and then (incredibly) to kill anyone who kills anyone.

    The Bible says that if you cause a miscarriage, the penalty is a FINE (like a parking ticket?) paid to the FATHER, not mother.

    But the Bible says that if you hurt a PERSON, the penalty is "an eye for an eye".

    January 16, 2013 at 11:33 pm |
    • Observer

      Oops. I blew this somehow and got it posted in the wrong place. Ignore me (as usual).

      January 16, 2013 at 11:38 pm |
  7. What the?

    Why is Hobby Lobby above the law of the land? Why can they ignore federal laws and not pay the price? Did we REALLY want to go to war under the Bush regime? No. Did we? Yes. So Hobby Lobby, you might not like your current President, but you do have to obey the laws if you are living in America.

    January 16, 2013 at 2:36 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Do you understand the difference between a Congressional declaration of war and the individual mandate of the ACA? Not really comparable examples of executive power.

      January 16, 2013 at 5:20 pm |
  8. Science

    Doc-umentary states it has the smnoking gun!
    No go-ds required. Brand New Show Jan 9 2013
    DNA can't be disputed. But they are still trying
    PBS Nova Decoding Neanderthals doc-umentary
    In public schools in the US already .
    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nH1fqd0Ryo&w=640&h=360]

    January 16, 2013 at 9:09 am |
  9. Punctus

    ".. put a corporation in the position of choosing between its faith and following the law"
    So, corporations have faith? Does this corporation go to church on Sunday?

    January 15, 2013 at 1:23 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Despite not being actual human beings ('Natural People'), corporations, as far as the law is concerned, as legal people have many of the same rights and responsibilities as natural people do. Closely held corporations such as Hobby Lobby are essentially virtual entiities who are operated on the direction of a central individual or group of individuals.

      January 15, 2013 at 3:56 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Bill

      And you have yet to answer my question.
      And if it were a Jehova Witness refusing any insurance that covers blood transfusions, or what if the religious belief of the owner is that only Homeopathic "medicine" should be covered? Would you still be supporting this?

      January 15, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Sorry Hawaii, you must not have been paying attention because I've answered this numerous times. The fact that other religions and even non religions will find conscientious objection to some mandate or another in the ACA illustrates the abomination that the law is to begin with. American citizens should not be forced not markets they choose to stay out of. Since the libs couldn't get the full boat nationalized health care they really wanted, they opted for the first approximation of Obama care. Now it will be systemically dismantled case by case and state by state as people come up with moral objections to specific provisions when the true objection is that the Federal government has no right to mandate behavior of a free people.

      January 15, 2013 at 4:08 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Bill

      And yet religion does have the right to attempt to legislate the behaviors of free people.
      You still have not answered my question, merely used a cop-out.

      January 15, 2013 at 4:12 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      How thick can you really be? Should I use all caps? THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DOES NOT HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO COMPEL FREE PEOPLE INTO MARKETS.

      Conversely, associations of people be they religious or secular have the right, in fact the duty to try an influence legislation so that he law reflects the will of the people.

      You must have some bodacious herb man.

      January 15, 2013 at 4:20 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Perhaps it was me that didn't understand. If you are asking do I support the First, Tenth and Fourteenth Amendments of the U.S. Constiitution the answer is YES.

      January 15, 2013 at 4:23 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Bill

      And yet the will of people spoke during the election. Obamacare was huge rhetoric in the election, as well as the mandate. Obama won, Romney lost, the majority of Americans do not want Obamacare repealed. You speak of the will of the people, but all you really care about is the will of those who agree with you in turning America into a christian theocracy, and fuck diversity, fuck standards of care, and fuck the freedoms of everyone.
      If your going to screech about freedom, at least have the honesty to be open about your conditional freedom.

      January 15, 2013 at 4:25 pm |
    • Primewonk"

      " THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DOES NOT HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO COMPEL FREE PEOPLE INTO MARKETS."

      Done, then stop mandating that we have to save the butt of every idiot without the means to pay. Your wife shows up with a lump in her breast and you were to freaking cheap to buy insurance, let me watch her face as you tell her she will die a horrible painful death.

      January 15, 2013 at 4:28 pm |
    • Yeah

      Do away with medicare and medicaid! Yeah, let's go all the way. Everyone pays for themselves! Oh, and SS is dying anyway let'ts cut that too! If you are to stupid not to save for retirement then it's your fault.

      January 15, 2013 at 4:32 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @Bill.............. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DOES NOT HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO COMPEL FREE PEOPLE INTO MARKETS.

      .What you and others that think you fail to realize is that the Govt. already compels you into the markets. I've said it before, YOU PAY (THE TAXPAYER) for sick or injured uninsured individuals the end up in the hospital that cant pay the bill. YOU ALREADY HAD A MANDATE. You weren't given an option to pay it. YOU PAY IT. It's a hidden tax that you and everyone else will pay forever. There is only one way to keep from paying this. Let hospitals refuse uninsured patients. If that happens, The pro life movement is dead. You cannot be pro life and vote to allow hospitals to refuse patients.

      January 15, 2013 at 4:37 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Prime and yeah, I agree.

      Ken, yours I had to think about. I think there are differences of degree in what you state and the objections HL has to the contraception mandate. Whether freeloading health care users are paid for from a tax base or absorbed by the premiums of insurance users doesn't seem to make a good argument for why anyone should be forced to buy a policy. I understand there is a problem. I understand there are people who either will not or cannot take care of themselves. I just happen to believe that forcing others to do it is against the Constiitution.

      January 15, 2013 at 5:50 pm |
    • hawaiiguest

      @Bill

      What a loving stance you have. Anyone in dire straights just need to die off, and how do you want to accomplish this? All the social programs that help them just go away. Your sick, psychopathic idea will never gain ground because thankfully, most people are more moral than you are.

      January 15, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @Yeah.................How easy is it for you to save money for retirement? Times are tight, it's tough to put money away. How well off are your grandparents? If you get rid of medicare, people that have health care through their jobs will work until they die. Do you want to work until you die? In addition if people don't retire, nobody can get that job. you'll make it tough for kids to get jobs in the future.

      January 15, 2013 at 6:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Bill has plenty of respect for the amendments that HE likes. The right to privacy? Not so much. He only wants CERTAIN people to have rights.

      January 15, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      You guys would be a lot funnier if you didn't take yourselves so seriously.

      January 16, 2013 at 9:20 am |
    • Yeah

      ".How easy is it for you to save money for retirement? Times are tight, it's tough to put money away. How well off are your grandparents? If you get rid of medicare, people that have health care through their jobs will work until they die. Do you want to work until you die? In addition if people don't retire, nobody can get that job. you'll make it tough for kids to get jobs in the future."

      Actually, I am very well off because I worked the system and will retire early most likely. My grandparents did just as well. I don't by the times are tough line at all, most people are greedy and live far beyond their means. I have people I work with that haven't saved anything yet for retirement, yet they go out drinking on a Friday night and buy a Starbucks coffee every day while talking on their iphone. I find it fascinating that a mother can't get toilet paper for her children or a pair of decent shoes for them, but she'll be dam if she's going to give up her texting and iphone. People have to make choices every day about how they are going to live, it's not my fault if they continue to make bad choices. So, yeah if you were dumb enough to not save, buy insurance to cover unexpected medical bill, then you have no one to blame but yourself if you have to work till you die.

      January 16, 2013 at 11:43 am |
    • Ken Margo

      @Yeah.......Typical response. You're doing ok so forget the rest. It's easy to have principles and morals when you have money. Would you feel the same way if your kids or grand kids weren't as fortunate as you. Please jump off the rush Limbaugh paranoia about i phones and starbucks and TV's because a person has these things, that doesn't make them rich. What do you expect people to do? live in cave. The victims of Bernie Madoff were trying to live within their means, Saving for the future, how did it work out for them?

      January 16, 2013 at 5:54 pm |
    • Yeah

      "Typical response. You're doing ok so forget the rest. It's easy to have principles and morals when you have money. "

      You're a joke and have no idea what you are talking about, just making more excuses. I was actually homeless for over a year, I had hit bottom, so yes I've been there and know what I am talking about. Keeping making excuses but the reality is that's all they are for your bad choices.

      January 16, 2013 at 6:04 pm |
    • Yeah

      "The victims of Bernie Madoff were trying to live within their means, Saving for the future, how did it work out for them?"

      Oh, why don't you throw in the all other organizations too. People who are too lazy to do their own homework when dealing with their money pay the price. We all make mistakes but you find ways to save again and move on. Look at the housing market, all those lazy people that want to put nothing down and where to lazy to do research on their loans and read the fine print. If you actually did the research you would have known the burst of the bubble was predicted years before it happened...time to move your money into safer investments. That is the issue, our society has found being lazy, not being held accountable for your choices is ok, which is why this country is so far in debt.

      January 16, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @Yeah.....You sound like Mitt Romney. Safe to say you believe that 47% nonsense. You logic is pretty simple if you're poor your lazy. Sad way to look at people. Do your friends know how much compassion you lack for other individuals. You better pray you never fall on hard times.

      January 16, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @yeah..........Congrats on recovering. You should know more than others the difficulty of surviving. I'm sure someone gave you a chance. It's tough to overcome homelessness without some assistance. We all don't get the same breaks in life. It worked out for you, GREAT. Maybe instead of branding people lazy why don't you offer some insight on how one can turn their life around?

      January 16, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
    • Yeah

      "You logic is pretty simple if you're poor your lazy. Sad way to look at people. Do your friends know how much compassion you lack for other individuals. You better pray you never fall on hard times."

      You can have compassion for people but we don't need to make it so easy that they don't have to earn the help they are given. Many people on welfare stay on welfare because it pays and they don't have to work. If we allowed our country to make people actually have to fend for themselves it would alter the way we do business overall. You do realize that the recommendation of rising the retirement age to 70 is probably going to be a reality very soon. The people that end up doing that will be the ones that probably didn't start saving when they were younger. Why do you think that Hollywood makes so much money? Why do you think the lotteries make so much money? Why do you think the average American has 4 credit cards? Why do you think we had a housing bubble to begin with? People want an easy life they can't afford and are too lazy to work for it. The people that are doing well in this country usually work hard for it. You can criticize us for it but when I am working 60-70 hours a week to reach my dream, it's a choice I made but I'll be dam if you have the right to take my hard earned money because you were to lazy to save yours. You want to fix the issues in this country start with trimming down the greed and make people realize the "American Dream" is actually a myth. Yeah, people don't like us telling the hard truth because too many of you have been brainwashed in to believing a myth. Oh, an no I didn't get assistance from anyone. When I started my job, I saved to get an apartment and I went up from there. Dumpster diving is a great way to survive; it's amazing how much businesses waste on a daily basis.

      So here's a question for you 2/3 of the American public is obese, they fill themselves with junk and then get all kinds of health related issues because of it. Why should I have to pay for their health care because they want to drink coke all day? Money they could be saving by drinking water.

      January 17, 2013 at 11:52 am |
    • JeN

      Yeah, your point re: Bernie Madoff are moronic. Most people hire people to manage their money unless they already specialize in finance like I do (and if you are so successful you would know that most of us don't keep our savings in cash and cash equivalents – pension funds are not held in cash just FYI). Most people hire professionals to lots of things for them (it's efficient). Blaming people for trusting a professional like Madoff is the same thing as blaming a person when a contractor builds their house and doesn't do it properly. I guess they should have just built it themselves right?

      And if a person is near retirement they can't just 'save up' again.

      And somebody did help you when you were homeless. Somebody gave you a job. And I don't know a lot of homeless people that have good enough hygiene to land a job. Somebody provided you with a shower, a meal when you had no money for food (your family? Great. Not everyone has a family that cares about them).

      As for your obesity analogy. How about a person who gets cancer becomes it runs in their family? What if they cant afford insurance? That's their fault right? You shouldn't have to pay for bad genetics. Let's just let them die.

      January 17, 2013 at 12:31 pm |
  10. lisapowers7

    It is evil for our government to force a company to violate it's conscience, ESPECIALLY when the company simply does not want to endorse murder. The morning after pill (like all forms of abortion) plainly and simply is murder. For people to say, "leave religion at home", clearly shows they do not understand that they have a religion, aka belief system. Your beliefs on God and life impact and inform everything you see and do (even atheism is a belief system), and these beliefs directly impact how they view this to be a "women's health" issue, rather than seeing and including the most vulnerable party, children, and their health and right to life.

    Good for The Hobby Lobby for standing on their convictions! May more companies stand for truth, and not give into our wicked government's policies.

    January 14, 2013 at 11:21 am |
    • Doc Vestibule

      It seems that you believe businesses should be able to choose what taxes to pay.
      Should Exxon not have to pay environmental fees if they believe that climate change isn't real?
      Should a business owned by a Christian Scientist be exempt from providing any kind of medical insurance whatsoever since their religious convictions state that all you need is prayer?
      Can Scientologists decide that they won't pay for psychiatric drugs for their employees? They believe that a schizophrenic just needs to learn to speak with their Thetans to be cured.

      January 14, 2013 at 11:30 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Is the ACA a tax used to fund a government program or is it a mandate with regulated compliance?

      January 14, 2013 at 2:20 pm |
    • sam stone

      lisa: go to any police station and tell them you want to report a murder. then tell them that you are reporting abortions,and see how far that gets you

      January 14, 2013 at 6:59 pm |
  11. Tyshunn Felton

    The problem is that letting Hobby Lobby off creates a loophole in the system. Any business could just claim to be religious so they don't have to pay the mandate.

    January 14, 2013 at 12:35 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Yes, that's known as freedom of religious expression in this country

      January 14, 2013 at 2:21 pm |
    • Ben

      Tyshunn is right. And there are intrinsic problems in treating corporations as if they were people, as well as plusses. Also, religious is a problem in and of itself, but sham declarations of religion by corporations look like pure exploitation of the system.

      January 14, 2013 at 2:29 pm |
    • annie

      I think Hobby Lobby can prove their beliefs. They've "lived" it all these years – never minced words as to why they are closed on Sundays. And if the government follows through on the "fines" they want to impose, how many employees with that hurt? That could possibly cause people lto lose their jobs, which is much worse than a woman having to pay for an abortion if she wants one.

      January 14, 2013 at 4:58 pm |
    • sam stone

      really,bill? my sincerely held beliefs indicate that cannabis is a sacrament, and magic mushrooms are the flesh of the gods. based on this, the government has no right banning me from my form of religious expression

      January 14, 2013 at 7:01 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      You're probably right sam. What are you rastifarian or American Indian shaman? Each of those groups has received exemptions in some cases. Of course you are neither of those sincerely held religions. You're just a stoner right?

      January 15, 2013 at 8:47 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      The problem with religious exemptions is that they help perpetuate the myth that gods are real. Time to stop coddling the delusional and the charlatans.

      January 15, 2013 at 8:52 am |
    • sam stone

      bill: do i need to be either? does freedom of religion apply only to those who are part of an organized church?

      January 15, 2013 at 10:26 am |
    • sam stone

      bill: in terms of the "just a stoner" comment, i am many other things. i am a CPA, i am a recreational skydiver, i am an ultramarathoner.

      January 15, 2013 at 10:31 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Actually, I think you raise a good question. "Is religious exemption only available to religious people"? If I paraphrased correctly. A version of that question has been nagging at me since this debate started. My libertarian, free market answer is "No". Anyone should be free to purchase otherwise legal products as they choose and likewise not coerced by the government to buy something they don't want. I think Justice Roberts affirmed that precept when he stated that the ACA only had authority to tax people, not to coerce them into markets. So, to your outrage, LDS folks should be free to decline blood transfusions and coverage of same. Anti-gun folks should not be forced to provide for their own defense, contraceptive coverage should be available for those who want it but not mandated for those who do not. IN other words the federal government has no authority to be in the health insurance business and legislation of morality, either for or against a popular cause. It isn't in their charter.

      January 15, 2013 at 12:48 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      Why have laws then? Anyone can just say "it's my belief so I should be allowed to do it." Which religion should take the lead? Does one religion have power over another? Who will make that decision? It cant be the courts because you want religion to take precedence over the laws!

      January 15, 2013 at 5:28 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @bill................You are wrong, Justice Roberts by his yes vote, voted that the govt. can mandate (or coerce as you would say) people buy private insurance.

      January 15, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      He upheld the individual mandate as a tax, not as an expression of Congress’ Commerce Clause power. Joining him were the court’s four liberal-moderates—Stephen Breyer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor.

      Not among those five votes was Anthony Kennedy. Here is a closing line of the dissent he signed, along with Samuel Alito, Antonin Scalia, and Clarence Thomas: "[W]e would find the Act invalid in its entirety."

      So, the Affordable Care Act came within one vote of being struck down entirely. And that missing vote was Roberts’. I would never have called that in a million years. But here is his key line: “The individ­ual mandate must be construed as imposing a tax on those who do not have health insurance, if such a construction is reasonable.”

      I think I covered with you few days ago why some laws are just and others are not.

      January 16, 2013 at 9:18 am |
    • Ken Margo

      @Bill.....................You must be a lawyer. I've never seen anyone spin things like you. Instead of saying the same things over and over. Why don't you give us a solution to the problem? We know giving people the option of having insurance doesn't work. You're against the mandate. Letting hospitals refuse uninsured patients wont work (and it's against the law) The only option left is SINGLE PAYER. Govt. pays for everything. Don't be like the republicans that want to repeal ACA without a plan. Tell us YOUR grand plan.

      January 16, 2013 at 6:00 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Not spinning anything Ken. That's pasted from slate.com. It's not my job to provide answers to every thing you think needs to be solved. It's my job to protect myself from the infringement of my rights.

      January 18, 2013 at 4:54 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @Bill Deacon..................You still didn't give me your solution to the problem of uninsured individuals. Please tell me what would you do?

      January 18, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Why is it so many leftists think they are entiitled to answers to dumb questions?

      When I was uninsured, I got a presented myself as valuable addition to an employer who hired me for his profit motive and agreed to subsidize a portion of my insurance. What is your solution?

      January 18, 2013 at 5:08 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @bill................If I look up gut less Azz hole in the dictionary, your picture would be there. Unfortunately there are unemployed as well as employed people that don't have health insurance. College grads that don't have health insurance. Their are business owners that don't have health insurance. You're a typical phony sad sack republican against Obamacare because a black man pushed the idea. Your boy Mitt Romney signed a mandate in law in Mass. You have no problem with him. Why because he's the white guy! So I now see your true bigoted colors. My solution? SINGLE PAYER, That way EVERYONE HAS INSURANCE. Not just bigoted, AZZ holes like yourself.

      January 18, 2013 at 5:21 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      No, I get it Ken. You're a socialist. Whenever someone offers that you might clean up your act and contribute to your own well being your reaction is to call them names and get violent. I'm simply telling you that Obama couldn't get the socialist single payer nationalized health care done that you and he wanted because this is not, yet at any rate, a socialist nation. So, he got the best first approximation he could. Now that approximation is being contested on constiitutional grounds and your defense of it is reduced to "You're an azzhole" I get it.

      January 18, 2013 at 5:27 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @bill..............You think the question is dumb? Well your DUMB AZZ is paying for every uninsured person that goes to the hospital. You want to repeal Obamcare? Fine. Just throw your wallet in river. Your DUMB AZZ is paying someone Else's hospital bill. So I'm glad you're happy about it. You complain about social programs, yet your DUMB AZZ pays for the highest social bill their is, HEALTH INSURANCE.

      January 18, 2013 at 5:32 pm |
    • Ken Margo

      @bill...........You call me a socialist, but you didn't cal me a liar. So I described you perfectly. I have health insurance, married, 2 kids, own a home, cars, swimming pool, traveled etc. So I'm doing ok. Unlike you I'm thinking about others not as fortunate. You remind me of the other Ignoramus that post Yeah and logic to name two. You're a crooked christian conservative. Quoting the bible when it suits you. discard it when it don't. pro life before birth, screw the kid after birth. The republican party is full of F00LS like you. You scream socialist! I bet you tale public transportation, use roads, hospitals, airports, bridges, tunnels etc.. ALL BUILT BY THE GOVT. Who do you think built them? Warren Buffet, NO The govt. So YOU benefit from this socialist govt providing for your DUMB AZZ so you can go to work and enjoy your life to the fullest.

      January 18, 2013 at 5:48 pm |
  12. Peter

    Good. Fine them into the ground.

    January 13, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      And pull the fillings from their teeth

      January 14, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
  13. Norga

    No human person can destroy the church and what GOD is created.

    January 13, 2013 at 3:32 pm |
    • sam stone

      "what god IS created"?

      wow, how convincing

      January 13, 2013 at 4:55 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Norga: If you're going to come here and try to defend your imaginary friend, at least prove that you're not as we see most christards-weak minded, uneducated, gullible individuals (not all are like you but the bulk are at least gullible).

      January 13, 2013 at 5:10 pm |
    • Gir

      Norga is right. It is impossible to destroy that which doesn't exist.

      January 14, 2013 at 11:20 am |
    • was blind, but now I see

      The unbelievers are the truly gullible ones.

      January 14, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • Jennifer

      Nah, you're blind, and ignorant.

      January 14, 2013 at 1:02 pm |
    • sam stone

      still blind.....i see you are still blathering on like a mouthy little b1tch......jeebus is waiting on your silky mouth.....watcha doing here? you can be on your knees in front of the savior tonight

      January 14, 2013 at 7:06 pm |
  14. Norga

    No one can change what god created. Marriage, Sin, and bible. God is god and who oppose to his words must paid a price. God bless you to all. God love you. The evil is working to destroy the church teaching. No human person can destroy what created.

    January 13, 2013 at 3:28 pm |
    • sam stone

      norga: your god is an impotent little pr1ck, and you are a snivelling coward. now, get back on your knees

      January 13, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      "Must paid a price"?

      January 13, 2013 at 4:57 pm |
    • was blind, but now I see

      Yea. What's wrong with you? Why aren't you worshipping satan like stoned and ttps? Get with the program already.

      January 14, 2013 at 12:59 pm |
    • Really??

      God was created by men. God did not define marriage, it is in every society, even those who have never heard of your book of myths.There are even several societies that have no problem with gay marriage, many of them are native american tribes.

      January 14, 2013 at 1:00 pm |
    • sam stone

      Ooooohhhh....worshipping satan....

      How fvcking insightful, gash

      January 14, 2013 at 7:11 pm |
    • sam stone

      also, still blind, stoned or not, i can still rip your punk a$$ arguments apart. got something to say, boy, or are you yet another bloviating cowardly christian?

      January 14, 2013 at 7:29 pm |
  15. Socialism-Communisim-Globalism-A-Love-Affair

    I have indian blood and you are full of sit. We too were immigrants who did we take the land from. The anglos paid Mexico for land they won in conquest who every heard of such a thing. Now they also created liberal concepts of keeping us on resevations and drunk.

    January 13, 2013 at 10:02 am |
  16. J. R. Roberts

    Why is it that many of those opposed to birth control products don't seem to care about pre-natal care, Head Start, food stamps for the poor...I could go on. These people are not Pro-Life...they are pro-birth but aren't interested in financing that side of the equation.

    January 13, 2013 at 7:28 am |
    • Leann

      When you pay insurance premiums you are paying for your and other people's health care. Some people use some services they need and other people use other services. That's how it works. Why should Hobby Lobby get to tell other people how their health care funds are spent? Should the rest of us be able to tell the Hobby Lobby owners what health care services they get to use? I don't get it. Nobody is forcing anybody to take a morning after pill. Is Hobby Lobby going to try to prevent their employess from taking a morning after pill if they pay for it out of their own pocket? It's none of their business.

      January 13, 2013 at 11:08 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Or you're both wrong

      January 14, 2013 at 2:24 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Bill, Please explain why the "pro life" movement only takes action against abortion – there are a myriad of causes of human death which these passionate anti-abortionists never address: food safety, road safety, drug safety, gun safety, water safety, food security, water security, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, etc. etc.

      January 14, 2013 at 5:04 pm |
    • Bill Deacon

      Do you really want to go there Santa? The Catholic Church has the most comprehensive and consistent stance on pro-life there is. If I took the time to outline for you the teachings of the Church and the missions and social organizations that actually deliver on the teachings you would just end up telling me we don't live in a theocracy, which we don't. But to claim pro-life advocates drop the ball once a child is born is a bald face lie.

      January 15, 2013 at 8:51 am |
  17. Angela

    Religion belongs at he pew, your home and your personal lives... Not at work. They are a corporation, not a faith.

    January 13, 2013 at 7:28 am |
    • Dee

      No, religion does not belong it the pew. It WAS what this country was founded on. Christian principals, along with freedom to choose what we believe in. Its there buisness and they should be able to stand up for what they believe is wrong. If the people who work there don't like the terms, they have the CHOICE to seek employment elsewhere. Thanks Hobby Lobby for standing up for what you believe in. YOU ROCK!

      January 13, 2013 at 4:29 pm |
    • sam stone

      dee: describe to us what a christian "principal" is

      January 13, 2013 at 4:59 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's "principles", Dee, dear, and no, it wasn't. This country was founded on principles which preceded Christianity by thousands of years and are universal in nature.

      Go back to school and learn something.

      January 13, 2013 at 5:01 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      ha, sam. I wonder if it's an elementary school principal or one that works in a high school or middle school.

      January 13, 2013 at 5:03 pm |
  18. JOHN

    What is the government doing in healthcare, in education, in taking away the rights of parents etc.? Next they will be telling the pastors they cannot call sin... sin as it is in Canada today. Read When A Nation Forgets God... See where this is going. Christians push back now!!!

    January 13, 2013 at 6:41 am |
  19. gregorypierce

    My understanding was that individuals have faith, not corporations. I'm not sure why a corporation would be able to seek an exemption to this law, and doing so creates a slippery slope.

    January 13, 2013 at 6:34 am |
    • Bill Deacon

      Because the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that corporations do have equal protection under the 14th amendment dating back to the mid 1880's

      January 14, 2013 at 2:26 pm |
  20. worldcares

    I agree with Ken Margo. Educating birth control is the answer. Natural birth control teaches a woman to be conscious of her body.
    Subjectively speaking, some sects of Religion do not believe in birth control.

    January 13, 2013 at 4:30 am |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So what if they don't believe in it? That has nothing to do with what's required by law.

      Furthermore, the sort of "natural family planning" YOU espouse? Research shows that for every 100 couples who practice it exactly as intended, there will be 5 unplanned pregnancies. For AVERAGE users, the rate is even higher.

      January 13, 2013 at 5:05 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.