The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver has overturned a previous U.S. District Court in Oklahoma’s ruling that Hobby Lobby was not exempted from health care legislation mandates to include birth control measures in employee health benefits. The Christian-based store, which refused to pay for contraceptive and abortive pills for employees, will not incur fines for non-compliance while legal proceedings are ongoing.
Hobby Lobby, an arts and crafts retailer that employs over 13,000 employees nation-wide, was founded by David Green – a man whose business is permeated by his faith in Jesus Christ. The retailer has more than 500 stores in the United States and annual revenues in excess of $2 billion. Hobby Lobby stores play Christian music, offer a free Bible download from its sister-store at www.Mardel.com/Bible, and are closed on Sundays. The company has established its own minimum wage of $11 per hour for a full-time employee, which is $3.75 higher than the federal minimum wage. Hobby Lobby has also established a health-care clinic for employees as well.
The Christian-based company also runs full-page ads in the newspaper on Christmas and Easter, encouraging readers to receive Jesus Christ as their Savior. The Hobby Lobby advertisement for Easter 2012 read, “You are dead to sin and alive in Christ. According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. – 1 Peter 1:3.” It also encouraged readers to call Need Him ministry (1-888-NEED-HIM)to learn more about receiving Jesus as their Lord and Savior.
The Health and Human Services birth-control mandate under the Affordable Care Act orders that employers provide free contraceptive and abortive measures to employees covered by health benefit plans. Hobby Lobby took a stand against giving employees abortive medication, such as the morning after pill (Plan B) and the week after pill (ellaOne), which can kill a baby in the first few days of his life by prohibiting him from implanting into his mother’s womb.
Because only churches and religious organizations are given exemption from the birth-control mandate, Hobby Lobby was originally denied the right to refuse to comply with the Affordable Care Act legislation. The Christian-based store is for-profit, and was threatened with over $1 million in fines per day and around $26 million in annual penalties for non-compliance. The Hobby Lobby CEO has stood firm in his faith and continues to uphold his right to religious freedom.
“The foundation of our business has been and will continue to be strong values based on Biblical principles,” said Green in a company newsletter celebrating forty years of being in business. The Christian-based store will stand before the U.S. District Court in Oklahoma once more with hope of being granted an exemption to the law that violates its founder’s faith in Christ.