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. Meki60

    take that, Obama and your stupid healthcare plan.

    January 12, 2013 at 11:53 pm |
    • Socialism-Communisim-a-Love-Affair

      King Husien has no cloths.

      January 13, 2013 at 12:08 am |
    • Ordinary Average American

      ObamaCare was passed like a Trojan Horse through the gates, all supposedly to cover 30 million people not yet covered. It was all a big sham. Inside the Trojan Horse was a wide variety of new government powers over the king's subjects.

      The Obama Democrats not only wanted to tell us where to go for medical care or how much medical care or what kind of medical care we could have.

      Obama Democrats wanted to force us all how to think, how to believe, what to believe, who to believe, and who to believe in.

      January 13, 2013 at 12:19 am |
    • 0G-No gods, ghosts, goblins or ghouls

      OAA, please explain how what you say does not apply equally to the Republicans, the Tea Baggers and their right wing, jesus myth believer, gun toting supporters.

      January 13, 2013 at 12:23 am |
  2. Reality

    The Hobby Lobby issue pales to the following:

    Only for new members of this blog–

    The reality of se-x, abortion, contraception and STD/HIV control: – from an agnostic guy who enjoys intelligent se-x-

    Note: Some words hyphenated to defeat an obvious word filter. ...

    The Brutal Effects of Stupidity:

    : The failures of the widely used birth "control" methods i.e. the Pill (8.7% actual failure rate) and male con-dom (17.4% actual failure rate) have led to the large rate of abortions and S-TDs in the USA. Men and women must either recognize their responsibilities by using the Pill or co-ndoms properly and/or use safer methods in order to reduce the epidemics of abortion and S-TDs.- Failure rate statistics provided by the Gut-tmacher Inst-itute. Unfortunately they do not give the statistics for doubling up i.e. using a combination of the Pill and a condom.

    Added information before making your next move:

    from the CDC-2006

    "Se-xually transmitted diseases (STDs) remain a major public health challenge in the United States. While substantial progress has been made in preventing, diagnosing, and treating certain S-TDs in recent years, CDC estimates that approximately 19 million new infections occur each year, almost half of them among young people ages 15 to 24.1 In addition to the physical and psy-ch-ological consequences of S-TDs, these diseases also exact a tremendous economic toll. Direct medical costs as-sociated with STDs in the United States are estimated at up to $14.7 billion annually in 2006 dollars."

    And from:

    Consumer Reports, January, 2012

    "Yes, or-al se-x is se-x, and it can boost cancer risk-

    Here's a crucial message for teens (and all se-xually active "post-teeners": Or-al se-x carries many of the same risks as va-ginal se-x, including human papilloma virus, or HPV. And HPV may now be overtaking tobacco as the leading cause of or-al cancers in America in people under age 50.

    "Adolescents don’t think or-al se-x is something to worry about," said Bonnie Halpern-Felsher professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco. "They view it as a way to have intimacy without having 's-ex.'" (It should be called the Bill Clinton Syndrome !!)

    Obviously, political leaders in both parties, Planned Parenthood, parents, the "stupid part of the USA" and the educational system have failed miserably on many fronts.

    The most effective forms of contraception, ranked by "Perfect use":
    – (Abstinence, 0% failure rate)
    – (Masturbation, mono or mutual, 0% failure rate)
    Followed by:
    One-month injectable and Implant (both at 0.05 percent)
    Vasectomy and IUD (Mirena) (both at 0.1 percent)
    The Pill, Three-month injectable, and the Patch (all at 0.3 percent)
    Tubal sterilization (at 0.5 percent)
    IUD (Copper-T) (0.6 percent)
    Periodic abstinence (Post-ovulation) (1.0 percent)
    Periodic abstinence (Symptothermal) and Male condom (both at 2.0 percent)
    Periodic abstinence (Ovulation method) (3.0 percent)

    Every other method ranks below these, including Withdrawal (4.0), Female condom (5.0), Diaphragm (6.0), Periodic abstinence (calendar) (9.0), the Sponge (9.0-20.0, depending on whether the woman using it has had a child in the past), Cervical cap (9.0-26.0, with the same caveat as the Sponge), and Spermicides (18.0).

    January 12, 2013 at 11:53 pm |
  3. sbull

    The freedom to exercise religion does NOT include the freedom to withhold a standard of healthcare mandated by federal law to those whose labor enriches you.

    January 12, 2013 at 11:53 pm |
    • Meki60

      eat s–t

      January 12, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
    • billy

      that's exactly right, sbull.

      January 13, 2013 at 12:06 am |
    • Socialism-Communisim-a-Love-Affair

      There IS not right to health care.

      January 13, 2013 at 12:07 am |
    • Ordinary Average American

      I think your class-warfare angle is a little out of place.

      January 13, 2013 at 12:12 am |
    • Ordinary Average American

      The primary objective of the Democrats in passing ObamaCare was to transfer much of the power of state governments to the federal level and then to concentrate federal power in the hands of the Executive Branch, meaning "the President". As an added bonus, the Democrats are much more easily able to force their social and religious agenda onto the American people at all levels. It's the kind of social engineering that Mao could only dream of, with government employees studying your personal health records and everything. The ObamaCare Democrats have already told Catholics and other Christians what they are permitted to believe and what they are not permitted to believe.

      January 13, 2013 at 12:14 am |
    • employmentnotslavery

      It also does not mean that these employees are being forced to work for this business. If they feel offended and that the CEO's opinions are being forced on them, they have every right to leave the company. Simple as that.

      January 13, 2013 at 12:17 am |
    • Thaddius

      @Ordinary Average American

      One hopes that Obamacare will allow you to obtain the anti-psychotic medication you so clearly need.


      January 13, 2013 at 5:30 pm |
    • Thaddius


      And the owners of Hobby Lobby are free to find other methods of employment to provide for their families, rather than running a business that employs people.

      I got it – how about running the fryers at the local Chick-Fil-A?

      January 13, 2013 at 5:34 pm |
  4. lionlylamb

    So then, a woman's rhythmic cycles can either become known for wanting to either become pregnant or avoid it? I guess women who do not keep good track of their cycles; takes risks on her own just to please herself for a needed one night's stand? How about getting people to treat lovemaking as being a sacred act of conceived conception? After all, don’t the women rule the bedroom antics? Abortions along with the day after pills and all manner of drug induced contraceptives abound to being nothing more than governmentally controlled democide.

    January 12, 2013 at 11:53 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So the only time you diddled your wife was when you wanted her to get pregnant? Thanks goodness you were shooting blanks, you bumble-brain.

      January 13, 2013 at 11:27 am |
  5. TMcD

    I'll never shop there again....

    January 12, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
    • Meki60

      I'm sure you did not before, loser

      January 12, 2013 at 11:58 pm |
  6. doofus

    Look people, this is really simple.

    Obamacare is not forcing anyone to take contraceptives. Hobby Lobby is forcing people to not. Obamacare isn't forcing religious views on anyone. Hobby Lobby is forcing their CEO's personal beliefs onto their employees. Obamacare is forcing businesses to provide the freedom of choice. Hobby Lobby is forcing lack of choice.

    If their staff is so religious like their CEO, they won't ask for and/or use the prescription contraceptives. No one is forcing them to take it, and it's not like people are gonna race out and start poppin' pills just because.

    And all that is ignoring the fact that many women take this kind of medication for reasons totally unrelated to birth control.

    It really is just that simple. The only one forcing an opinion is Hobby Lobby. Obamacare is forcing freedom to live your life how you see fit. $5 says most of you who support Hobby Lobby would be outraged if a Muslim run business tried to dictate life-style choices to Christians.

    January 12, 2013 at 11:50 pm |
    • Ram

      No one asserts that Obamacare is forcing anyone to TAKE contraceptives.

      Obamacare does indeed force people to BUY contraceptive coverage.

      Odd that folks like you who'd recoil in horror that someone would force anyone to NOT buy contraceptives have no problem with people being forced to purchase them.

      January 12, 2013 at 11:58 pm |
    • Socialism-Communisim-a-Love-Affair

      No one is forcing these employees to work for hobby lobby. A job is NOT a right.

      January 12, 2013 at 11:58 pm |
    • Socialism-Communisim-a-Love-Affair

      No one is forcing these employees to work for hobby lobby. A job is NOT a right.s

      January 12, 2013 at 11:59 pm |
    • redzoa

      @Socialism – True, there is no "right" to a job. However, once employed, you might be surprised at the sheer number of rights employees have, both at the federal and state level, e.g. the various discrimination statutes, "good/just cause" requirements for termination, ERISA, etc.

      January 13, 2013 at 12:12 am |
    • redzoa

      @Socialism – On further consideration, there are situations in which folks can make a case that they have a "right" to a particular open position, e.g. if they can show they were denied the position due to some discriminatory hiring practice. They don't necessarily get the job, but they might win a nice monetary judgement.

      Ironically, one of the few areas where employers can openly discriminate and where employees have the fewest rights are in the context of religious employers and any position with even a minimal "ministerial" role. Of course this is certainly justified in that no religious organization should be required to hire/maintain an individual in a ministerial position who doesn't share the religious views of their employer...

      January 13, 2013 at 12:17 am |
    • mike m

      Well said, doofus,

      January 13, 2013 at 1:53 am |
  7. mike m

    Hobby Lobby is an inanimate business, not a person. It cannot hold a belief.

    January 12, 2013 at 11:49 pm |
    • doofus

      while I agree, I believe the law considers a Corporation a person so they can be held liable in court.

      January 12, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
  8. Sue

    Well, no more shopping at Hobby Lobby for me. An employer has NO RIGHT to decide medical decisions for their employees. This is an attack on women. How dare they deny women the right to make their own decisions. This is yet another reason why we need universal health care, so employers can loosen the grip on what they control in their employees lives. It's not Hobby Lobby or any other corporations role to tell women what to do with their health. OFFENSIVE!

    January 12, 2013 at 11:47 pm |
    • Ram

      Your logic is bewildering.

      Women have the right to make their own healthcare decisions, as long as someone else pays for it.

      I am Woman, hear me roar.

      January 12, 2013 at 11:59 pm |
  9. Chad

    The Alabama Supreme Court ruled Friday that the state’s chemical endangerment of a child law also pertains to unborn children.

    The law was intended to target situations in which children were exposed to conditions such as methamphetamine labs, but women also have been prosecuted for harming their children by using drugs during their pregnancies.

    The court’s ruling upheld the convictions of two of those women, Hope Ankrom of Coffee County and Amanda Helaine Borden Kimbrough of Colbert County.

    While the law itself makes no mention of unborn children, the court held in its decision that “the plain meaning of the word ‘child’ in the chemical endangerment statute includes unborn children.”

    January 12, 2013 at 11:43 pm |
    • doofus

      Doesn't matter. A for profit business has no place dictating this kind of thing to their employees, period.

      January 12, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
    • Chad

      You must be wistfully thinking of communist countries, where private business cant make their own decisions regarding benefits.

      This it the USA, capitalism and all that..

      Now, HL has a legal responsibility to follow the law or face fines for failing to do so. To that end, they are seeking legal solutions which will allow them to avoid having to pay for pills that kill children.

      January 12, 2013 at 11:56 pm |
  10. tffl

    "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." That sounds like a church to me – I'd think the foundation of a business is to provide goods and services to their customers, but what do I know?

    January 12, 2013 at 11:36 pm |
    • Ordinary Average American

      Well, I guess if you yourself owned the business, you could establish whatever goals you wanted.

      But this is someone else's private business – not yours and not the governments'.

      January 12, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
    • doofus

      @OAA – so you'd be ok with a Muslim run organization dictating to Christians what they can do or can't do? Or are you only on Hobby Lobby's side because they believe the same thing you do? Freedom to practice what you believe and live your life how you see fit does not only apply to Christians.

      January 12, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
    • sbull

      Someone's private business that employs people and profits from their labor, thus MUST ADHERE TO FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT GUIDELINES. It's not rocket science!

      January 12, 2013 at 11:45 pm |
    • tffl

      Ordinary Average American – as long as what you run is a private club (which is basically what religions and churches are), especially if your club is non-profit, you have a large amount of forbearance when it comes to laws that apply to public organizations . But as soon as you become a public business, making money, hiring people from the general public and providing good or services to the general public, you lose that forbearance – you have to follow the same rules as everyone else. You have the choice to avoid that – don't create an organization in the first place, or don't make your organization a business. But don't expect to be allowed to create a business and then decide which rules you wish to follow – perhaps your religion doesn't allow paying income tax? I'm sorry – it doesn't work that way.

      January 13, 2013 at 12:07 am |
  11. brian

    So if a man wants to get an ED drug, that is a lifestyle choice and unless his doctor shows a medical reason for the prescription it isn't covered. Why is it different because it is medication for a woman? Gotta love the equal rights until we want something that you don't get stance.

    January 12, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
    • doofus

      You can't get prescription medication without a prescription... so...

      January 12, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
    • Ordinary Average American

      The ED drug is not an abortion.
      Now, was that really so hard?

      January 12, 2013 at 11:40 pm |
    • Mister

      @OrdinaryBelowAverageAmerican....Contraception is not abortion either. I'll bet that was really hard for you.

      January 12, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
    • Ordinary Average American

      What the Democrats demand, is no less than what H i t l e r demanded of the neighbors of Jewish genocide victims. H i t l e r demanded that everyone help m u r d e r the Jews. Obama demand that everyone helps to murder the babies.

      There is absolutely no difference. Obama has ordered American citizens to help k i l l children, or he will close down their businesses and take away their jobs.

      Don't sugar-coat it. That's what all Obama Democrats are doing.

      January 13, 2013 at 12:23 am |
  12. burgersandfries

    Corporations are creations of the state. They don't attend church, they don't have religious beliefs and they don't have the choice to pick and choose the laws of the state they follow. I would have much more sympathy for Hobby Lobby's arguments if it was a sole proprietorship and the sole proprietor assumed all liability for the business.

    January 12, 2013 at 11:33 pm |
    • Becca

      Personally I do not think any business at all should pay for any kind of birth control to prevent or to abort. Meaning the morning after or what ever it is. There are too many young kids having babies and they are so young their self. I also do not think the government with our hard working tax dollars take care of these babies either. Today people if they are adults or children..male or female needsn kids are no joking matter at all. If you have them and you cannot take care of them then put them up for adoption!!!! Some one will be very happy to raise your kids and with their own money too. NOT GOVERNMENT MONEY!

      January 12, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
    • Ordinary Average American

      American citizens now have a choice to make. Will Americans agree to m u r d e r other Americans at the risk of losing their livelihood? Another little trick the Democrats have inside that Trojan Horse is "Euthanasia" medication. If employers are forced to pay for the abortion pill and abortions, then they will be forced to pay for Euthanasia drugs. They are already doing it in Europe. It is so common in Europe now, that adult children just go pick up the poison at the drug store and give it to Mom and Dad at home. There is often no paperwork. Rich parents seem to get the special "treatment" more often than poor parents. This is the new America that Obama Democrats are creating. H i t l e r would be so proud of Obama.

      January 13, 2013 at 12:25 am |
  13. Raven

    Well they do have another Alternative.
    Close their doors. Problem solved.

    January 12, 2013 at 11:31 pm |
    • Ordinary Average American

      That's not a very good solution.
      Try again.

      January 12, 2013 at 11:33 pm |
    • doofus

      Or they could simply stop trying to dictate to their staff what choices they are allowed to make in their lives.

      January 12, 2013 at 11:37 pm |
  14. asdfasd

    the only real solution then is to ban the freedom of fiction, or i mean religion.

    January 12, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
    • Raven

      So since your getting to ban one of my rights, maybe I get to ban one of yours.
      Hmmm, the right to vote maybe.

      January 12, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
    • doofus

      @Raven, so it's OK for a CEO to dictate to his employees what religion they practice or what they believe in? Who's stomping on rights here? A law that ensures freedom, or a CEO who makes choices that aren't his to make?

      January 12, 2013 at 11:35 pm |
    • californiafats

      you people want to talk about rights, what about the companies right to do business as they see fit? i for one applaud Hobby Lobby for thier stand. it's not just an issue of rights, it's also about not letting the government dictate the people and thier beliefs!

      January 12, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
    • Ordinary Average American

      Yours is certainly the age-old question, isn't it? "What is the meaning of truth"? "What is fiction and what is not fiction"
      I see that you want to be the one who decides what is true and what is not true. I guess under your governorship, we won't need anything like the First Amendment. All the religious organizations can come directly to YOU to decide if they are true religions or if they are true philosophies. You get to decide. If you are a Lutheran, you get to close all the other churches. If you are a Muslim, you get to close all the churches. If you are a Practicing Christian, you get to close all the mosques, because as governor-dictator, YOU get to decide which religion is true and which one is not.

      However, the Founders of the United States wrote the First Amendment to specifically prohibit what you want to do.

      January 12, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
    • Mister

      @californafats... If a company got to do business as they truly saw fit, we'd still have slavery in this country. Wake up and smell the hypocrisy and greed...but don't forget to praise Jesus.

      January 12, 2013 at 11:49 pm |
  15. Thomas

    There's nothing in the article except an assumption that indicates Hobby Lobby found any sort of loophole. What it is suing on is religious principles and that is not a loophole. That is a right that was the FIRST amendment of the Bill of Rights. What Obama may have found is a loophole in that he doesn't need to have that amendment changed which would take 2/3rds of the states to ratify it, but simply a majority in Congress and a friendly ruling in the courts saying the amendment doesn't apply.

    January 12, 2013 at 11:23 pm |
    • doofus

      says their changing the date the insurance policy goes into place...

      January 12, 2013 at 11:27 pm |
    • Thomas

      That's not a loophole.

      January 12, 2013 at 11:28 pm |
    • Raven

      It IS a loophole of sorts in that they are no longer subject to the January 1st deadline by extending their current policy by a few months. It is however a TEMPORARY loophole. They are hoping to avoid the fines for practicing their religion until the court rules on it.

      January 12, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
    • Thomas

      Loophole: An ambiguity or inadequacy in the law or a set of rules

      Doesn't sound like they found a loophole to me. It sounds like they are following the law as written. Not on account of an ambiguity.

      January 12, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
  16. Kiki

    Emergency contraception most likely works by preventing or delaying the release of an egg from a woman's ovaries. This method prevents pregnancy in the same way as regular birth control pills.NIH

    Morning-after pills do not end a pregnancy that has implanted. Depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle, morning-after pills may act by one or more of the following actions: delaying or preventing ovulation, blocking fertilization, or keeping a fertilized egg from implanting in the uterus. However, recent evidence strongly suggests that Plan B One-Step and Next Choice do not inhibit implantation. Mayo Clinic

    January 12, 2013 at 11:22 pm |
    • Raven

      Read what you wrote, Keeping a FERTILIZED egg from implanting. = Abortion.

      January 12, 2013 at 11:29 pm |
    • Kiki

      "recent evidence strongly suggests that Plan B One-Step and Next Choice do not inhibit implantation...." The research that's been done since it's initial release says that it is not the case. It works by preventing ovulation.

      January 12, 2013 at 11:32 pm |
    • Kiki

      And Raven Pregnancy starts with implantation. Abortion is ending a pregnancy. No implantation no pregnancy.

      January 12, 2013 at 11:34 pm |
    • MarylandBill

      I would point out that to many people of faith, requiring implantation for it to be an abortion is a distinction without a difference. If any of these drugs end the life of a fertilized egg, the moral dimension is exactly the same.

      January 12, 2013 at 11:41 pm |
    • doofus

      And so what if it does abort the baby. That's NOT the business place to decide for their staff. Would it be OK if my Jewish boss forceably dictated I couldn't believe Jesus Christ was the son of God because they don't? People are only on Hobby Lobby's side because it's they believe the same thing they do. People would flip out if a Muslim run organization tried to tell Christians what to do. Freedom to believe what you want doesn't only apply when the belief is one you hold. It applies to ALL, and we ALL should be allowed to believe what we want. A for profit business has NO PLACE telling people what they can or can't do in regards to that.

      January 12, 2013 at 11:43 pm |
  17. gino

    Ya gotta love the bible pounders.

    January 12, 2013 at 11:20 pm |
    • Prayerful

      Not sure what you mean with that broad uneducated generalizaton buddy but I can tell you that I read a chapter of my Bible everyday and I know that Hobby Lobby is a morally challenged hypocrite money grubbing corporation. So tired of people like you automatically tying EVERY believer to freaks like Pat Robertson and Rick Perry. YOU are the very judgemental assuming jackazz you pretend to rail against!

      January 12, 2013 at 11:30 pm |
    • Mister

      @Prayerful... Ummm....You read a chapter of your Bible every night? Didn't you also just judge Gino for his comment. Isn't that exactly what you just said he did? So...ummm....I'm guess you haven't learned anything from that book yet, huh? #FAIL

      January 12, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
  18. AlienShark

    basically, half of you here just got outed for getting paid to act like you care about contraceptives. That can't be good for business. 😉

    January 12, 2013 at 11:19 pm |
  19. libfreak48

    Hobby Lobby isn't some charitable organization; it's a business. And I don't read in the Gospels where Jesus commands His followers to go forth and make money. Rather, I read Matthew 19:21. If it's THAT much a "matter of conscience", I suggest he sell his business and donate the money to the poor.

    January 12, 2013 at 11:19 pm |
    • Thomas

      It doesn't matter if it is a charitable organization or not. Freedom of religion applies to everyone. Even business owners.

      January 12, 2013 at 11:26 pm |
    • Raven

      You are so wrong. The bible tells us to work to support our families and suggest those who don't are lower than dogs.
      It also suggest that you invest your money wisely to make more.
      It also suggests that it is bad to borrow money from others. You are expected to earn what you need.
      Jesus and his family were Carpenters and fishermen, As such they were business owners.

      January 12, 2013 at 11:27 pm |
    • Alex

      What about the employees freedom from their employer's religion? The medical choices made by employees should be between their doctor and themselves and that's IT. If insurance plans that included birth control cost more than those that do not then MAYBE you would have a point. Nobody is being forced to pay for birth control. Instead businesses are spending more money to prevent their employees from using birth control. Insanity.

      January 12, 2013 at 11:35 pm |
    • Alex

      Raven...Jesus spoke in parables, which are basically metaphorical stories. When the story of the master telling his servants to invest their talents, he wasn't actually talking about investing. After all, that would be pretty inconsistent with his saying "It's harder for a rich person to get into Heaven than it is for a camel to get through the head of a needle". But whatever, metaphors are literal, and literal statements just don't exist. F&ck logic right?

      January 12, 2013 at 11:42 pm |
    • Bible Burner

      "I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man. She must be quiet." (1 Timothy 2:12)
      "Go, now, attack Amalek, and deal with him and all that he has under the ban. Do not spare him, but kill men and women, children and infants, oxen and sheep, camels and asses." (1 Samuel 15:3)
      "Then God said: 'Take your son Isaac, your only one, whom you love, and go to the land of Moriah. There you shall offer him up as a holocaust on a height that I will point out to you'."(Genesis 22:2)
      "Wives should be subordinate to their husbands as to the Lord." (Ephesians 5:22)
      "Slaves, be subject to your masters with all reverence, not only to those who are good and equitable but also to those who are perverse." (1 Peter 2:18)
      "Happy those who seize your children and smash them against a rock." (Psalm 137:9)
      "When the men would not listen to his host, the husband seized his concubine and thrust her outside to them. They had relations with her and abused her all night until the following dawn, when they let her go. Then at daybreak the woman came and collapsed at the entrance of the house in which her husband was a guest, where she lay until the morning. When her husband rose that day and opened the door of the house to start out again on his journey, there lay the woman, his concubine, at the entrance of the house with her hands on the threshold. He said to her, 'Come, let us go'; but there was no answer. So the man placed her on an ass and started out again for home." (Judges 19:25-28)

      Any other things from the bible you care to quote Raven? I have more. Or, do you only choose the parts that suit your hypocrisy and self-righteousness?

      January 12, 2013 at 11:55 pm |
    • Thomas

      Employees have the freedom of where to work. Working for a company that has certain religious principles does not infringe on the employee's rights. The freedom of religion is a right that is protection from the government. To stretch it to say the employer is infringing on the religious rights of the workers would utterly fail any judicial challenge. It just does not make any sense to say that.

      January 13, 2013 at 12:04 am |
  20. Ravi in Nebraska

    Fact: Employers do not *provide healthcare*, they offer you a chance to buy into a private plan at a group rate.

    What rational, sane person honestly thinks that it's okay for the personal beliefs of the CEO to decide what services you can use with your private insurance plan? Shouldn't it be between your doctor and your insurance company (and more ideally, just between you and your doctor?)

    January 12, 2013 at 11:15 pm |
    • Raven

      Really? Most employers pay 70% or more of the health insurance premiums for their employees.
      As such they should have a right to say how their money is spent. Especially if it is on religious grounds.
      Or should only SOME Americans have Some rights and others don't?

      What was that George Orwell wrote? "Some Animals are more equal than others"? Yes I believe that was it.

      January 12, 2013 at 11:24 pm |
    • Thomas

      They do that all the time. Haven't you ever worked for anyone?

      January 12, 2013 at 11:27 pm |
    • Alex

      Raven, the difference is that nobody is infringing on the personal right of the CEO by allowing their employees to make health care decisions. If the CEO prevents their employee from using a service than the employee is having their rights limited. If the employee chooses health care based on decisions between them in their doctors, it's got nothing to do with the CEO.

      January 12, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
    • FoxNewsIsTheBest

      @ Raven...That 70% is part of my whole compensation package, if I decline insurance than the employer must pay me that money...So it is my money and I can choose to do what I want with it.

      January 12, 2013 at 11:44 pm |
    • MarylandBill

      Just a point but an employer is not obligated to support the rights of an individual. Don't believe me? Just post online, under your real name, something awful about your employer and watch your first amendment rights be ignored.

      True rights are essentially freedom from government interference, not government mandates.

      January 12, 2013 at 11:46 pm |
    • Thomas

      The employer is NOT prohibiting the employee from using a health care of their choice. They can do that with their own money after they are paid. What they are not doing is buying it for the employee, which is an infringement on their religious rights.

      January 12, 2013 at 11:54 pm |
    • CS Madison

      Raven-So most employers pay 100% of your salary. Does that mean that they get to decide how you spend your salary. Maybe your company should tell you where to live, what food to buy and what kind of car to drive.

      January 12, 2013 at 11:57 pm |
    • Thomas

      @FoxNewsIsTheBest : Incorrect. If a Hobby Lobby employee declines the insurance, they do not get the 70% of the money that the employer pays for it. They only avoid paying their portion. However, insurance paid by employers is not taxed as income, therefore it is never considered the employee's money to begin with. It has been considered a perk that the employer can give if they want to. So it seems to me a precedent has already been set that it is the employer's money being paid to an insurance company and they have also have the precedence that they're the ones who have chosen the choice of plans historically.

      January 12, 2013 at 11:59 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.