Sunday, September 29, 2013

Update: Hobby Lobby Will Not Be Closing Any Stores


Update 3-25-2014: Hobby Lobby Update: Supreme Court Justices Skeptical of White House Position

Update 3-23-2014: Why Hobby Lobby Is This Year's Supreme Court Case To Watch

Update 1-28-2014: Democratic Senators to File Amicus Brief in Hobby Lobby Birth Control Case - Click for details

Update 1-22-2014: Supreme Court Sets Date to Hear Hobby Lobby’s Challenge to Obamacare Abortion Pill Mandate - Click for details

Update: Hobby Lobby has informed us they will not be closing any stores. In fact, they plan on adding an additional 36-60 stores this year. They also advised us the Becket Fund is handling their legal issues with the government at this time. You may contact the Becket Fund with any questions or donations you may wish to contribute to this cause.

Make note this issue is not settled. Hobby Lobby has only won a “temporary” exemption from the new healthcare requirement. This fight is not over for Hobby Lobby or the other businesses being effected by overreaching government. The government cannot make laws restricting you from your right to exercise your religion.

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." - First Amendment

(CEO David Green's interview with USA Today) - When my family and I started our company 40 years ago, we were working out of a garage on a $600 bank loan, assembling miniature picture frames. Our first retail store wasn't much bigger than most people's living rooms, but we had faith that we would succeed if we lived and worked according to God's word. From there, Hobby Lobby has become one of the nation's largest arts and crafts retailers, with more than 500 locations in 41 states. Our children grew up into fine business leaders, and today we run Hobby Lobby together, as a family.

We're Christians, and we run our business on Christian principles. I've always said that the first two goals of our business are 1) to run our business in harmony with God's laws, and 2) to focus on people more than money. And that's what we've tried to do. We close early so our employees can see their families at night. We keep our stores closed on Sundays, one of the week's biggest shopping days, so that our workers and their families can enjoy a day of rest. We believe that it is by God's grace that Hobby Lobby has endured, and he has blessed us and our employees. We've not only added jobs in a weak economy, we've also raised wages for the past four years in a row. Our full-time employees start at 80% above minimum wage.

But now, our government threatens to change all of that. A new government health care mandate says that our family business must provide what I believe are abortion-causing drugs as part of our health insurance. Being Christians, we don't pay for drugs that might cause abortions. Which means that we don't cover emergency contraception, the morning-after pill or the week-after pill. We believe doing so might end a life after the moment of conception, something that is contrary to our most important beliefs. It goes against the biblical principles on which we have run this company since day one. If we refuse to comply, we could face $1.3 million per day in government fines.

Our government threatens to fine job creators in a bad economy. Our government threatens to fine a company that's raised wages four years running. Our government threatens to fine a family for running its business according to its beliefs. It's not right.

I know people will say we ought to follow the rules, that it's the same for everybody. But that's not true. The government has exempted thousands of companies from this mandate, for reasons of convenience or cost. But it won't exempt them for reasons of religious belief. So, Hobby Lobby — and my family — are forced to make a choice. With great reluctance, we filed a lawsuit today, represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, asking a federal court to stop this mandate before it hurts our business. We don't like to go running into court, but we no longer have a choice. 

We believe people are more important than the bottom line and that honoring God is more important than turning a profit.

My family has lived the American dream. We want to continue growing our company and providing great jobs for thousands of employees, but the government is going to make that much more difficult.

The government is forcing us to choose between following our faith and following the law. I say that's a choice no American — and no American business — should have to make.

David Green is the CEO and founder of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. - USA Today


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