Hobby Lobby and the Loss of America’s Soul

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Originally posted at American Thinker

In America, established rights such as religious liberty and the right to bear arms are currently under attack. Liberals are in charge and they seem to feel that straightforward Constitutional precepts require alteration or eradication.

Take for instance the “right to privacy” – the left has had no problem broadening the meaning of “privacy” to include the right to kill an unborn child. As for religious liberty, unless you’re a Muslim demanding a Ramadan meal, liberals like Supreme Court judge Sonia Sotomayor, rather than uphold religious liberty, facilitate Barack Obama’s effort to redefine the free exercise clause of the First Amendment.

Currently, Obamacare is ushering in a new definition of “religious liberty.” So far, the Catholic Church has already received fair warning that when it comes to providing insurance that covers birth control and abortion, there are limits on “religious liberty.” Moreover, they are also finding out that refusal to conform to progressive edicts could result in the federal government raining down fire and brimstone on the defiant.

So, in conjunction with the updated version of the “right to bear arms,” right about now liberals should provide a lexicon that defines religious liberty in the following way: The right for the government to demand, by law, that religious institutions be forced to support policies that contradict their core beliefs.

Take for example the Oklahoma-based companies craft store giant Hobby Lobby and booksellers Mardel Inc. In 2010 Hobby Lobby grossed $2.6 billion in sales, and employed 13,000 people in 455 outlets in 42 states.

Both companies are owned by Bible-believing Christian families who close up shop on the Sabbath and pay full-time employees a minimum wage of $11 per hour versus the federally required $7.25 minimum wage.

Currently, Hobby Lobby is the largest religiously-owned non-Catholic business to have filed a lawsuit against the HHS birth control directive. Yet, despite the fact that they’ve been founded and run on Christian principles, Oklahoma U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton ruled that Hobby Lobby and Mardel are not religious organizations and therefore subject to the federal birth control dictate.

Because the Christian-owned company maintains that the mandate “violates the religious beliefs for their owners,” it’s evident that Hobby Lobby must think “religious liberty” is defined in a way other than how it is being defined by liberals at this time.

Hobby Lobby maintains that the “morning-after pill is tantamount to abortion because it can prevent a fertilized egg from becoming implanted in a woman’s womb.” Therefore, “defy[ing] a federal mandate requiring it to offer employees health coverage that includes access to the morning-after pill” is the company’s way of staying true to its core convictions.

In the meantime, for failing to meet what she called “the demanding standard for the extraordinary relief,”Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has denied a request for an injunction while the Hobby Lobby lawsuit is pending. If the injunction were granted that would have prevented the birth control mandate from beginning on January 1st.

Because it was denied, until the lawsuit reaches the lower courts, Hobby Lobby had better submit to the HHS mandate or, starting January 1, 2013, figure out a way to come up with $1.3 million a day in IRS excise taxes.

Whatever the ultimate outcome of the case, if government can now force Christians to pay for insurance that covers abortion-inducing drugs, shouldn’t they also require other religiously-based businesses like Halal food markets to sell foodstuffs considered haram? After all, in the words of the Honorable Joe Heaton, a food market is not a religious organization. Right?

Attorney Kyle Duncan of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty speaking for Hobby Lobby said the company would continue to “provide health insurance to all qualified employees.” But while its lawsuit is pending, the company does not intend to offer health insurance that provides pharmaceuticals that induce spontaneous abortion.

On behalf of Hobby Lobby, maybe Duncan should point out that the $3.75 per hour over and above the $7.25 per hour the Christian-run business’s full-time employees would be earning if they worked 40 hours a week elsewhere comes to $150 extra per week, which should be more than enough money to purchase emergency birth control.

Despite facing millions in fines, the noncompliant Hobby Lobby and Mardel Inc. CEO and founder David Green refuses to surrender the companies’ religious convictions. Green has said he’d rather abandon the business. A $2.2 billion-a-year company that is willing to close itsdoors rather than compromise its core principles? Now that’s impressive.

Green maintains that Hobby Lobby, “[b]y being required to make a choice between sacrificing our faith, or paying millions of dollars in fines, we essentially must choose which poison pill to swallow. We simply cannot abandon our religious beliefs to comply with this mandate.” Sounds like Hobby Lobby’s David Green believes verbatim the Scripture verse that asks “What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?”

In the end it is clear that Hobby Lobby’s CEO is more concerned about his standing before God than his standing in the business world, hence proving that in their effort to gain the world, liberals’ redefinition of “religious liberty” forfeits our nation’s soul.

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