January 11th, 2013
03:40 PM ET

Hobby Lobby finds way around $1.3-million-a-day Obamacare hit - for now

By Eric Marrapodi, CNN Belief Blog Editor
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Washington (CNN) - By Friday, Hobby Lobby would have racked up $14.3 million in fines from the Internal Revenue Service for bucking Obamacare. But in keeping with the great American tax tradition, they may have found a loophole.

The company is facing $1.3 million a day in fines for each day it chooses not to comply with a piece of the Affordable Care Act that was set to trigger for them on January 1. The craft store chain announced in December that, because of religious objections, they would face the fines for not providing certain types of birth control through their company health insurance.

The penalty was set to go into effect on the day the company's new health care plan went into effect for the year.

Peter M. Dobelbower, general counsel for Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. said in a statement released through the Becket Fund that, "Hobby Lobby discovered a way to shift the plan year for its employee health insurance, thus postponing the effective date of the mandate for several months."

The statement continued that "Hobby Lobby does not provide coverage for abortion-inducing drugs in its health care plan. Hobby Lobby will continue to vigorously defend its religious liberty and oppose the mandate and any penalties."

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Last month Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor rejected the company's appeal for a temporary relief from the steep fines while their case made its way through the lower courts.

Hobby Lobby announced a day after the ruling 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.

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, dubbed Obamacare, 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."

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.

A spokesperson for the Justice Department declined to comment on the high court's move last month.

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.

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The Oklahoma City-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. It is still privately held 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.

MORE BACKGROUND: Hobby Lobby faces millions in fines for bucking Obamacare

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.

Part of the reason Sotomayor rejected their appeal to the Supreme Court she wrote was because their case is still pending in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver.

A spokesperson for the Becket Fund said on Friday a date has yet to be set for the case to be heard in the 10th Circuit.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Belief • Church and state • Courts

soundoff (4,609 Responses)
  1. skip

    there are two ways to go here. obamacare says offer it to all. it does'nt say you must use it. so a company is allowed to force it's views on all it's employee's? It's not like it cost anything; it's the same price with or without. but if you work for hobby lobby you must adhere to their beliefs, values, viewpoints? I can see that a company should have the right to dictate the rules of emploiyment, but I can also see the rights of an individual employee to access free stuff if they so choose. Does a company have the power, the right, to demand that only those beliefs and behaviors that the bosses support are available to all and that those things the bosses say are not allowed must be unavailble to their employee's?

    It's a hard question with many ways of viewing it, but it seems to me that giving more people the opportunity to decide for themselves, rather than disallowing choice, is the better way to go.


    January 12, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @skip : it seems to me that giving more people the opportunity to decide for themselves, rather than disallowing choice

      Does the owner of Hobby Lobby have any choice in this?

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

      No. The owner of a business has no right making medical decision for his employees. He does not get to decide if the plan provides certain services or not, nor can he decide that you cannot have them. And he does not even own the plan, nor does he pay for it. The plan it part of the employees' pay package – they earned it, he is trying to deny them earned benefits that the law mandates.

      Hobby Lobby is the bully here.

      January 12, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
      • aaron

        But give anyone with a towel on his head the right to do/say anything to anyone. If Hobby Lobby were owned by a camel jockey, anything in obamacare with a subtle hint of contradictory policy would be worked around with ease, and religious freedom would be cited and accepted. Christians are being persecuted – period.

        July 26, 2013 at 6:05 pm |
        • Bob

          Obvious Troll

          November 26, 2013 at 1:17 pm |
        • Anonymoose

          "But give anyone with a towel on his head the right to do/say anything to anyone...Christians are being persecuted – period."

          If you want to whine about being persecuted then you probably should avoid persecuting someone who practices a religion other than your own. Oh, right, Christians believe that there is no other religion even though their "handbook" says otherwise. Maybe you should try reading that instead of just picking and choosing things.

          November 26, 2013 at 1:46 pm |
    • was blind, but now I see

      So....if the all-knowing, all-caring government says we have to vaccinate our children, even though these vaccines have been shown to cause autism, ADD, etc, we must obey the law and poison our children???

      January 12, 2013 at 6:51 pm |
    • sxwalsh55

      Nope, it sure doesn't. Of course, the law doesn't say that though does it? It just says it needs to be available if the person wants it. Oh how horrible! The crime! The affront to God!

      And just so you know, your kids are many, many, many, (times a few hundred thousand) times more likely to die of the diseases vaccines prevent than to but hurt by the vaccine itself.

      January 12, 2013 at 7:37 pm |
    • Susan

      Yes, the owner of Hobby Lobby does have a choice. He can go out of business.

      January 12, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
    • Codepwned

      ... no study... not one... not a single repeatable, provable study has shown that vaccines cause autism or has any nasty side effect like that. There are 'claims' and 'scientific' studies that have ALL been disproven or massively discredited due to the lack of true scientific procedure. Now that that nonsense is out of the way next?

      January 12, 2013 at 8:12 pm |
    • annie

      Since Hobby Lobby DOES pay for their employee's health insurance, why do you think they should be forced to pay for something that goes against their religious beliefs?

      January 12, 2013 at 9:02 pm |
    • Ann

      The law is forcing companies to pay for an insurance that provides abortion-inducing drugs for free. So, in essence, the company is paying for this...that is wrong. If the employee wants to buy abortion-inducing drugs, they should pay for it themselves. The government should not FORCE companies to provide it as a BENEFIT. IF the employee wants to get access to abortion drugs, then they should work for an employer who provides it as part of their benefits package...

      January 12, 2013 at 9:35 pm |
    • poopie

      Benefit? Health insurance is now a mandatory form of compensation. The company is not paying for abortions, they are paying their employees. It is the employee's right to determine whether they get an abortion or not, not their jesus nut employer's. The line has to be drawn somewhere and it should be drawn at the personal choices of the employees. If we were to say that it is the employer's right to choose, then they could fire you for getting an abortion using the money from your paycheck. They would be directly funding what they deem immoral after all. There is no difference and if they did something like that you could rest assured that they would be sued into oblivion no matter what your states laws are on wrongful termination.

      January 12, 2013 at 9:51 pm |
    • Tom

      Its funny how you talk about choice but hobby lobby doesn't have a choice to offer a health plan that doesn't include contraception and it also doesn't have the choice of not offering healthcare to their employees

      January 13, 2013 at 9:04 am |
    • Ram


      Every part of your post is wrong.

      The employer DOES decide what insurance plan they offer. They DO pay for it. The employee does NOT "earn" a benefit-they earn their wage.

      January 14, 2013 at 8:21 am |
  2. independent texan

    Well there you go - no more Hobby Lobby stuff to go with the fat saturated Chik fil A sandwiches I no longer eat. I just hope the single malt scotch makers don't go off some religious deep end, I'd hate to stop consuming that too!

    January 12, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
    • classybusiness

      I agree. From now on I buy all my "Made in China" decor from Micheal's.

      January 12, 2013 at 6:21 pm |
    • annie

      And that is the beauty of living in this country. No one should be forced to do or pay for anything that goes against their religious beliefs, and no one should be forced to work for, or shop at, any business they have a problem with.

      January 12, 2013 at 9:05 pm |
    • myintx

      Well said annie... independent texan – don't forget to start the list of all the companies that are converting employees to part time to avoid having to cover the cost of providing insurance to all their employees... sure to increase the unemployment rate in this country... Obamacare stinks. Get that spreadsheet open.. it's gonna be a long list.

      January 12, 2013 at 11:53 pm |
      • Sophie

        How is it Obama's fault that the companies are such unprincipled lowlifes that they will cut an employee's hours so they don't have to provide health insurance?

        October 2, 2013 at 5:44 pm |
    • Godschild1972

      Hobby Lobby could just go out of business and then they wouldn't have insurance or a job, i think Hobby Lobby is doing a great thing the american people need to take bar God given country..

      January 14, 2013 at 5:09 am |
    • Godschild1972

      Hobby Lobby could just go out of business and then they wouldn't have insurance or a job, i think Hobby Lobby is doing a great thing the american people need to take back our God given country..

      January 14, 2013 at 5:25 am |
  3. tony

    If fetus's are life in the womb, then they are a new marketing opportunity for gun manufacturers.

    January 12, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
  4. Marc

    I wonder how much Hobby Lobby has paid their lawyers to fight this?

    January 12, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
    • Courtney

      I bet...they probably could use that money to pay their employees better, but who knows.

      January 12, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
    • DC

      They pay enough for people to continue applying and accepting jobs. If the workers aren't being paid enough for their life style they'd seek employment elsewhere or go back to school.

      January 13, 2013 at 10:38 pm |
  5. mark silvers

    And man created god in his image.

    January 12, 2013 at 6:12 pm |
  6. HistoryGeek

    Corporations do NOT have religious beliefs! Corporations are NOT people!

    What if a CEO's religious beliefs are that black are inferior, do we exempt them from laws against discrimination?

    January 12, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
    • Live4Him

      @HistoryGeek : Corporations do NOT have religious beliefs! Corporations are NOT people!

      The Supreme Court has already ruled otherwise. That's why they allow corporations to fund political campaigns – because they have the same rights as other citizens.

      January 12, 2013 at 6:14 pm |
    • Looking under the veneer

      Unfortunately, a major recent Supreme Court decision ruled that corporations do indeed have the rigthts of people, including free speech, and that dollars are a form of free speech. This is why corporations may now spend unlimited amounts on political campaigns.

      We are far closer to being a neo-feudal plutocracy than the democratic republic we are supposed to be. The government is the king, the corporations are the feudal lords, and we are the serfs. The difference is that we serve many lords instead of just one.

      January 12, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • Looking under the veneer

      That is considered one of the worst Supreme Court rulings since Plessy v. Fergusson, by the way.

      January 12, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
    • HistoryGeek

      I know about the Supreme Court ruling.... it doesn't make it right however. It was a stupid decision and one I hope gets overturned..

      January 12, 2013 at 6:55 pm |
    • Ann

      Indeed. Corporations have rights. Such as free speech. This is why CNN can write liberal leaning articles and FOX News can write conservative leaning articles. Their corporations have the right to free speech. Hobby Lobby, a privately owned corporation, has rights as well. The family that owns it have a right to their religious beliefs. They should not have to pay for abortion inducing-drugs such as the Morning After pill and the Week After pill that the law is mandating for them to provide.

      January 12, 2013 at 9:40 pm |
    • Bob

      I do find it interesting that liberals, particularly abortion loving liberals, would prefer Hobby Lobby shut down, add 13,000 people to the Obama no-job list, because they do not want to pay for abortions or abortion inducing drugs. Of all that is wrong with society it's hard to believe this is anybody's priority.

      January 13, 2013 at 10:11 am |
  7. Orygun Duck

    I will exercise my freedom of choice and avoid shopping there.

    January 12, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
    • K from AZ

      I on the other hand choose to keep shopping there! I really have a problem with listening to ducks!

      January 12, 2013 at 6:13 pm |
    • triggerhappy

      I also will continue shopping their. Hard to find any business with morals anymore.

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

      Go for it! If you mistake bigotry for morality, then Hobby Lobby is the place for you!!!

      January 12, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • Brad Simmons

      Wow, didn't know they were a religious-based corporation. Bummer... no more Hobby Lobby for me either. And that's keeping with my own personal non-religious beliefs. 😉

      January 12, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
    • lukos58

      @ Plat: ":Go for it! If you mistake bigotry for morality, then Hobby Lobby is the place for you!!!" Ah, there we go. Anytime someone uses the word "bigotry" to describe a believe (usually a religious belief) they disagree with, they have fallen victim to a variation of internet discussion law #1, "Godwin's Law.". Just stick with the facts...this is a business that doesn't want to comply with the law. Unlike those companies that break other laws right out in the open, such as hiring illegals, routinely use discriminatory hiriing practices, or basically steal money from the poor....Hobby Lobby obviously just didn't buy off the right Congressman, make a big enough Presidential campaign contribution, or hire a former government employee as their inside-man lobbiest. The right looks at this as a religious freedom issue, and no amount of snark and insulting by my fellow liberal atheists is going to change their minds or make our argument seem anything but petty.

      January 12, 2013 at 6:56 pm |
    • A Walker

      To triggerhappy. You will continue to shop at Hobby Lobby because of their morals. Too bad they are of the bad moral kind.Yeah great you're going to continue to support a company that wants to refuse it's female employees their right to not be oppressed by another's religious beliefs. Maybe if Hobby Lobby gets their way someday you or a loved one will be in need of a blood transfusion, a transfusion that will not be covered by insurance because the employer refused to provide coverage for transfusions based on religious beliefs, or maybe a very sweet child that you love will be denied vital childhood vaccines because vaccinations go against an employer's religious beliefs. What goes around comes around. If want companies to be allowed to deny rights to their workers based on the owners religious beliefs then you probably deserve to experience what your support actually will feel like.

      January 12, 2013 at 6:57 pm |
    • Duck Slayer

      That's fine. You are probably more suited to do your shopping at yard sales anyway.

      January 12, 2013 at 7:33 pm |
    • erivera63

      I can't believe people shop for crafts based on religion...I shop based on value and price.

      January 12, 2013 at 8:11 pm |
    • newtonfig

      if you shop at a place called "Hobby Lobby" you obviously need to move to civilzation. I object wholly on complete moronic bad taste in a company name. right up there with "Dress Barn"

      January 12, 2013 at 8:15 pm |
    • overed

      to triggerhappy –

      Am I the only one that sees a certain irony that a person with a nom de plume of "triggerhappy" talks about morals?

      January 12, 2013 at 9:47 pm |
  8. My Thoughts

    Religious freedoms Vs Personal Freedoms to choose....... Religion, you loose

    January 12, 2013 at 6:10 pm |
    • openyoureyes

      Personal freedom to choose not to work there. If you want someone else to pay for your misguided foolish decisions, then work somewhere else. If you're down with personal responsibility then keep working for Hobby Lobby.

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

      How is it a "misguided, foolish decision" to want to use birth control? Anyone who thinks that is clearly a misogynist.

      January 12, 2013 at 8:19 pm |
    • Brian

      They said certain kinds of birth control not all kinds. They will not fund abortion which should never be considered birth control because it is murder. I know you say that the baby is not a baby yet until it is born. well then why is it if someone murders a pregnant women that will be tried for two murders. That's because at the moment of conception that is a human life that you want to OK the murder of. You my dear Susan will find out the error of your ways one day and I feel bad for you.

      January 12, 2013 at 8:42 pm |
  9. sean

    Good for Hobby Lobby! Keep fighting. No tax payer money should ever go to abortions!!!! After conception that is not a tax payers problem to pay for. If people want to kill their offspring, keep my money the hell out of that decision.

    January 12, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • Salad Spinner

      abortions are less than eternal welfare.

      January 12, 2013 at 6:17 pm |
    • My Thoughts

      Right up to the time that the child ends up on some other welfare roll, then the tax money spent is OK? Or the child then becomes a macdonalds feeder and has health issues and ends up 550 lbs and on welfare. More tax dollar at work. Oh I bet you want to do away with all this stuff, right. Better build some more bridges for these people to live under. The entire system is way too messed up to take one piece of the puzzle and say it will fix it all. I have an Idea. Stop with all the vaccines and see who survives. Thin the heard and move forward from there. I don't wish for any of this but Hobby Lobby is small time to the real issues, Crap The Health care act is small stuff to the real problem, that can't be blamed on one person. So, that is my thought right or wrong, I have that right.

      January 12, 2013 at 6:20 pm |
    • back2thekitchen

      It said nothing about taxpayer money. What the actual hell are you talking about? Hobby Lobby is refusing to pay for part of the insurance plans for women they employ. Learn to read, this is about one guy using religion to try to force his belief on people he employs.

      January 12, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • Russell

      Sean do you support the death penalty? That is tax payer money going toward killing, think about that from your high throne, making life decisions for everyone else.

      January 12, 2013 at 6:25 pm |
  10. Real Patriot

    yeah god loves it when you uphold his beliefs while stealing at the same time.

    January 12, 2013 at 6:09 pm |
    • DC

      who's stealing what?

      January 13, 2013 at 10:40 pm |
  11. rad666

    1. this is why providing special loopholes for religious reasons is causing issue that Obamacare writers did not anticipate.

    2. companies are shifting more employees to under 30 hours a week, thereby avoiding providing health benefits and penalties

    Who were the brains(?) behind Obamacare?

    January 12, 2013 at 6:08 pm |
    • Smash

      There is not a problem with the law. Companies like Hobby Lobby owned by VERY religious people seem to forget that they operate in a secular world and they can not push their religious beliefs on everyone. This is an example of the American Taliban at work. Just think to the freedoms that they would take from you if they decided you should live you life as they interpret the Bible.

      January 12, 2013 at 6:15 pm |
    • triggerhappy

      The brains behind it was the failure in the white house.

      January 12, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • rad666


      There is not a problem with the law. Companies like Hobby Lobby owned by VERY religious people seem to forget that they operate in a secular world and they can not push their religious beliefs on everyone.
      They are not pushing their beliefs on everyone. If an employee wants birth control, they can pay for it out of their own pocket. That is their freedom.

      January 12, 2013 at 6:26 pm |
  12. Origin of Life

    NOVA: Decoding Neanderthals – PBS Pressroom
    NOVA: Decoding Neanderthals. Wednesday, January 9, 2013, 9:00-10:00 p.m. ET. Check your local listings. Decoding Neanderthals Ep Main. Find out what

    January 12, 2013 at 5:11 pm |
  13. Mohammad A Dar

    I beginning to like Sonia Sotomayor, I thought she was picked because she was Hispanic and woman, good pick Obama !

    January 12, 2013 at 3:44 pm |
    • TomTom in Austin

      Yes, you are so right Mohammad – MANDATORY ABORTIONS FOR ALL WOMEN will make this a better world. Starting with the mothers of all pro-abortionists... Now if only we can get those time machines working...

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

      From now on I'm buying all my "Made in China" decor from Micheal's. Hobby Lobby is a heartless employer of living, breathing people. Have you ever noticed that you hardly ever see their employees stay with them more than a few weeks?

      January 12, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
  14. Larry of Nazareth

    So the Hobby Lobby owners are getting rich by exploiting severely underpaid Chinese labor, and that is okay with Jesus, but obeying the law and giving people their full choices is a violation of the owners' religious freedom.

    I'm thinking they ought to look in the mirror to see the camel that can't get through the eye of the needle.

    January 12, 2013 at 12:37 pm |
    • Angel Moronic

      For it is written in the New Testisment: Matthew 19:24 : Jesus said:
      I'll say it again–it is easier for a corporation to go through the loop hole of the IRS than for a rich camel to enter the Kingdom of God!"

      January 12, 2013 at 12:57 pm |
    • Linda

      1. Where do you shop that NOTHING comes from China? 2. Hobby Lobby pays excellent wages in its 500+ stores and was providing health care long before anyone thought about making it a requirement. 3. Serves the needs of crafters such as myself with quality merchandise at affordable prices. 4. I have yet to go in one of their stores and come across a disgruntled employee (unlike many stores I enter); the employees are all working and appear to be pleased to have a job. I am so thankful they have principles and are not being bullied into going against them. Obama and his cohorts are an OBAMANATION.

      January 12, 2013 at 1:54 pm |
    • Guess what?

      @ Linda – employment-based healthcare started decades before Hobby Lobby was started, so your assertion that they were some kind of pioneer is absolutely ridiculous. And ironically, you can thank American socialists and communists (the real ones, not the liberals that conservatives abuse with that epithet) for it in their battles on behalf of labor in the 1930s and 40s. You can also thank them for the living wage you credit Hobby Lobby with, and your 40 hour work week.

      Ironic, isn't it? So many of the principles and benefits you credit to Hobby Lobby are actually the work of American communists.

      January 12, 2013 at 2:09 pm |
    • Lexie

      Linda, I'm SO glad you can shop at a company who promotes abortion by getting its goods from a country that regularly aborts its children, just so you can get your little yarn at a cheaper price., all while denying it's emplyess contaceptives that would negate the need FOR abortion....bet you fell good about knitting a little shawl for the babies YOU'LL never foster or adopt because that would be taking care of someone else's SIN, wouldn't it, you hypocritical dweeb?

      January 12, 2013 at 2:23 pm |
    • just wondering

      don't chinese have to eat too?

      January 12, 2013 at 3:00 pm |
    • was blind, but now I see

      Is somebody forcing these severely underpaid Chinese workers to take the jobs?

      It's absoluting mind-bongling how these liberal sheeple get so worked up about children being shot (as well they should) but have absolutely no problem whatsover if that very same child was killed in his/her mother's womb. And they call us sheeple...

      January 12, 2013 at 6:16 pm |
    • Kevin H

      Corporations are not people. Once incorporated a corporation is subject to the laws. In fact only a sole proprietor can operate as an island and then only to a certain degree. Whether you believe or do not believe in abortion is between you and your religious affiliation. Not true for a corporation. Corporations are bodies that are not churches. Now if Hobby Lobby would like to refile as a church and sell crafts as a side business – they can do what they want. But as long as they file in the United States, as a US corporation, and they employ US workers in the US – they are subject to US laws. The separation of church and state must be inviolate. If you don't like working for corporations or you want to operate according to the teachings of the Bible work for your church, synagogue or mosque. But if you work for a publicly held corporation or one that is privately held and you enjoy the protection of the US government then you are subject to those laws which bind us. I think the entire matter is absurd. It's pretty simple – the corporation can simply offer no benefits – or better yet – offer benefits that include abortion options and let people choose for themselves.

      January 12, 2013 at 6:18 pm |
    • regenesis0

      @Lbrweer42; re: "So you REALLY want the government to tell you what established religions can believe?"

      Jehovah's Witnesses' religion prohibits blood transfusions. Are they allowed to restrict their employees - who either may not be JhW's or possibly be less-adherent JhW's– to not having blood transfusions because it's their religious belief?

      There is a basic border of respect which has been crossed here... where employers are enforcing a heretofore-nonexistent right to force the restrictions of his religion upon his employees... during their off-duty hours. And this really isn't about "religious exemptions," it's coming from a company which challenged the Affordable Care Act wholesale and tried to get it struct down. They just don't like Obamacare in general and are trying to force it back before the supreme court. A completely legal, if cynical, move... but please treat it like what it is; legal maneuvering to strike down Obamacare.

      January 12, 2013 at 6:29 pm |
    • A Walker

      Linda the government is not telling Hobby Lobby what to believe or blocking Hobby Lobby owners from the right to freely practice their religion, what the government is saying is that no one can force their beliefs on another. So if I were to say that I am a Hobby Lobby employee (I am not) and I expect, as a female, full preventative health coverage and that some of that coverage could not be denied to me based on someones religious beliefs, if the government allowed for such behavior we would surely start down the path that leads to a theocracy. One more thought, what if a company's owner is religiously opposed to vaccines would you support them in denying coverage for vaccinations to their employees, their spouses and their children?

      January 12, 2013 at 6:30 pm |
    • Kajean

      First of all, the morning after pill is NOT abortion. Life begins when sperm fertilizes the egg. The function of the morning after pill is to prevent ovulation from occurring by delaying ovulation for a few days. The morning after pill also thickens uterine mucous making it more difficult for a sperm to reach its destination. If the egg has already reached the Fallopian tubes, the morning after pill does not work. The claims that the morning after pill is an abortifacient are outdated and incorrect.

      @ i was blind, but now i see – I think you should consider removing your rose colored glasses and take a look at what is really going on in China. Hobby Lobby claims that the positions they are offer in China are among the more sought after employment opportunities available and that they make sure conditions are up to their standards. When the bar is set SO low, this would not be difficult to achieve. Many people are forced to work these jobs, females for example, because they are sometimes considered a burden to their families, and because there are no other options available. I suspect Hobby Lobby's "up to standards" working conditions are still appalling and certainly would not qualify as anything that you or I would consider acceptable, let alone fair. They are up to their arms in facilitating slave labor in a country where abortion is mandatory. Which, by the way, throws their anti-abortion argument out the window.

      So then, what is the harm in making The Morning After Pill, which again is NOT an abortion pill, available to their US workers IF they even decide they need it?

      January 12, 2013 at 9:49 pm |
  15. mama k

    So how are we doing on the contraception front by the way? You know, getting the pointy hat guy and his contemporaries in the associated club of sky fairydom to officially come out and officially encourage people to use protection so that many abortions are not even necessary??

    January 12, 2013 at 11:41 am |
    • midwest rail

      Can't have that. They'd lose a crucial element of control.

      January 12, 2013 at 11:45 am |
  16. Southern Humanist

    Hobby Lobby's owners can handle snakes and drink strychnine to their heart's content – but if they want to offer health insurance to their employees, they are not allowed to cherry pick what they like and don't like about modern medicine.

    January 12, 2013 at 10:43 am |
    • Chad

      Nice strawman 🙂

      The issue of course is that HL doesnt want to pay to provide pills that terminate the life of a newly conceived child.

      January 12, 2013 at 11:34 am |
    • Lester Moore

      Hobby Lobby DOESN'T pay for it. It is part of the employees' pay package. The employees have earned it, and Hobby Lobby is basically withholding part of the pay package. It's exaclty like refusing to give an employee vacation because the employee is headed to Club Med for a nice orgy getaway.

      Once again, Christians are trying to rob people of their choices. This is a major reason why the Founding Fathers had that Separation of Church And State thing – because a hundred years before, a nasty repressive theocracy had befallen England under Oliver Cromwell (love them Puritans), and they knew what allowing that would do to their beloved Liberty!

      January 12, 2013 at 12:26 pm |
    • Hopley Yeaton

      What kind and even if any insurance is offered should be strictly the business of the employer/employee contract. If you want contraception and they don't provide it, buy your own, it is easy and cheap. Would you make a kosher deli serve bacon cheeseburgers just because customers would like them?

      January 12, 2013 at 12:38 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Chard, you are hopelessly ignorant. The morning after pill does not end anything. It prevents pregnancy.

      I wish there was a pill that prevented stupidity. You could become a test subject.

      January 12, 2013 at 12:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So, Hopely, is it okay dokey with you if the owner decides that the insurance coverage won't include covering blood transfusions? Mental health services? There are plenty of employers whose religious beliefs don't include allowing for those kinds of health care. Would that be okay with you?

      It doesn't matter what YOU think is "cheap." What matters is that contraception is considered part of basic health care. At some point, nearly EVERY woman needs it and if she uses an oral contraceptive, it's a daily medication. Lots of other medications are inexpensive, but if they're prescribed, they are covered, at least in part, by insurance. There's no good reason contraception shouldn't be included. And if HL meets the criteria covered by the health care law, then it should be law-abiding and obey said requirement. If it won't, then it should relocate elsewhere or pay the fines.

      January 12, 2013 at 12:51 pm |
    • myintx

      Employers CAN pick what insurance they provide for their employees... e.g. low-end insurance that covers basic care, vs premium care insurance that would cover transplants, etc... If the employee doesn't like the benefits package, they can find a job somewhere else.

      January 12, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
  17. Portland tony

    I just can't understand the rational behind the religious belief that is driving this dispute. An unwanted child born to an unprepared young mother without the emotional stability to properly nurture or care for it cannot be a good thing. While all life is sacred, becoming pregnant is usually an act of passion with instant gratification. This does not qualify a young woman to be a mother and have the skills and resources to care for an infant!

    January 12, 2013 at 9:58 am |
    • Chad

      "all life is sacred"


      you shouldnt be killing children just because you dont want them

      January 12, 2013 at 11:35 am |
    • End Religion

      chad, tell the whole truth. You know your company line is more like "all life is sacred except gays, slaves, sun worshipers, people who work on sundays, women who think or speak, anyone who doesn't think the same as the dude you're speaking to at the moment because he may subscribe to any one of the 33,000 'true' cults" and on and on. Its ludicrous. You fight for bits of cells who are not children then support the death of humans who successfully made it out of the womb. Hypocrisy on top of absurdity, surrounded by lunacy.

      January 12, 2013 at 11:48 am |
    • Portland tony

      @Chad ...I abhor abortion, I also abhor seeing hungary unwanted children wallowing in their own filth. I just think keeping the sperm and the "egg" apart until a child is wanted is a better idea!

      January 12, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • Rational Libertarian

      In the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, no medical pract.itioner worth his salt would call the collection of cells in the womb a child.

      January 12, 2013 at 11:53 am |
    • Nemo_from_Erhwon

      End, you kind of made a lot of stuff up there.

      All of which, if true, would mike the guys who own Hobby Lobby less admirable, but none of which have anything to do with whether the government can force people who find abortion morally wrong to pay for somebody else's abortion.

      Recall that a government that can tell you what to do about religion is sort of nit a good thing - if it can tell you which tenets of faith you have to follow, you might not like what the next government decides we have to do.

      January 12, 2013 at 12:17 pm |
    • Rational Libertarian

      But you would allow the government to force non religious people to follow a religious code? If so hypocrisy alert!

      January 12, 2013 at 12:21 pm |
    • Ken

      My question then is simply this: Why choose for the innocent, unborn child to be killed, why not the unprepared, "innocent" young girl who "enjoyed" creating a child, and is given the power to "kill" this "unwanted" one? Perhaps the problem with abortion is that with each abortion, there remains the "innocent" young girl who just wanted to have a moment of pleasure regardless of the consequences.....if we "ABORT" the host, we will prevent any future "unwanted" children who will NOT have to be raised by "innocent" young girls looking for pleasure. Gee, now, with this in mind, it really does sound like murder, or at least Obamacare....aka, ABORTION.

      January 12, 2013 at 12:46 pm |
    • End Religion

      @nemo: "End, you kind of made a lot of stuff up there."

      Please let me know what was made up.

      "All of which, if true, would mike the guys who own Hobby Lobby less admirable, but none of which have anything to do with whether the government can force people who find abortion morally wrong to pay for somebody else's abortion."

      My post had nothing to do with government. It focused on chad's lie that he/christians feel "all life is sacred." It wasn't the truth.

      January 12, 2013 at 1:01 pm |
    • Lexie

      Ken. The ACA isn't about abortion. It's about contaceptives, which eliminate the NEED for abortion. The morning after pill isn't abortion, no matter HOW the uneducated try to make it appear as iif it is.
      Stop your decieitful twisting of words. If you don't want an abortion, don't get one.

      January 12, 2013 at 1:41 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Ken, the day you get pregnant, you can decide what to do about it. Until that, shove it.

      Grow a brain and figure out that Plan B does NOT NOT NOT cause abortion. It prevents one.


      January 12, 2013 at 2:22 pm |
    • vanessa

      Ken, you sound like a sicko. I can't believe you think it is okay to kill "innocent young women". You sound like the Taliban. You sick, sick, sick freak. Get back under your rock.

      January 12, 2013 at 6:19 pm |
    • Mom

      My husband and I adopted 4 foster children (a sibling group), who "should" have been aborted, by your assumptions. Try telling them they shouldn't have had a chance to live just because their parents sucked and didn't really want them. I'm sure life would have been easier for them had they been adopted right after they were born, which is an alternative to abortion. However, we are raising them now to be responsible, healthy adults that will have good things to contribute to society.

      My point being, please don't forget that an unwanted pregnancy can instead result in joy for a better prepared family. Although, I can see how it would be difficult for a woman to want to remain pregnant, knowing that she will not be keeping the child.

      January 12, 2013 at 6:27 pm |
  18. Task for the day!

    Shop at Hobby Lobby

    January 12, 2013 at 8:36 am |
    • midwest rail

      Yep – support the proliferation of poorly made imported junk.

      January 12, 2013 at 12:19 pm |
    • The Four Fluffy Kittens of the Apocalypse

      Yeah, made in China by atheist labor.

      But that sweatshop labor was exploited by Christians, so it's all Jesusy and stuff.

      January 12, 2013 at 12:32 pm |
    • There is 2 sides.

      @The Fourth – The products might be made in China, but can you provide your proof it is a sweatshop? It seems as if you have been investigating this topic for years. There are many companies who manufacture in China that was regulated and not considered sweatshops. So, please, this is your time to show the world your investigation and become famous.

      January 12, 2013 at 6:22 pm |
    • myintx

      I support Hobby Lobby!

      January 12, 2013 at 11:48 pm |
  19. Chick-a-dee

    ***Attn: Bill Deacon*** Well, what do you think? Do we have an obligation to attempt to shed light here or is it more productive to concerve energy & wait for another conversation thread? On 1 hand it's almost painful to watching this...on the other hand to untangle this theological gordian knot we'd need to post about 1500 pages of catechism (in vernacular English. What say ye? 4hall we jump into this mess or go play canasta while the literalists continue on the ropes?

    January 12, 2013 at 8:32 am |
    • End Religion

      Please stay. Nothing creates more atheists than the web of lies and hypocrisy religious folk weave continually.

      January 12, 2013 at 10:01 am |
    • Chick-a-dee

      IDK...I'm getting a headache just reading the gymnastics required to support support the literalists' interpretation of scripture without the correcting influences of tradition and Magisterium teaching. Every exchange in this thread would have to be scratched and replaced with a primer on HOW to read that particular section of scripture. That's a course worthy of years of study if one is interested but is not necessary to understand the mystery of Christ's passion.

      January 12, 2013 at 11:25 am |
    • End Religion

      The only mystery is how people fall for any of it, literal or not.

      January 12, 2013 at 11:41 am |
  20. It is Called

    Seperation of Church and State

    NOVA | Intelligent Design on Trial
    Nov 13, 2007 – Featuring trial reenactments based on court transcripts and interviews with key participants, including expert scientists and Dover parents, ...

    Evolution WON fact. Cool Science
    Everything starts in the Brain!

    Can't teach ID/creationism in public schools as fact !

    January 12, 2013 at 8:25 am |
    • It is Called

      Oops should say in the US.

      January 12, 2013 at 8:27 am |
    • Origin of Life

      More junk for the trunk (all starts in the BRAIN).

      Stephen Hawking: God didn't create universe – CNN
      Sep 2, 2010 – God did not create the universe, world-famous physicist Stephen Hawking

      January 12, 2013 at 9:18 am |
    • MrHanson

      Yes, we must get through our youths' heads that we are nothing but a cosmic accident in the struggle for survival. Now THAT is a good world view to have.

      January 12, 2013 at 7:03 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.