Hobby Lobby is Suing the U.S. Government Over Obamacare-Truth!

Summary of eRumor:

This is a forwarded email that contains a letter allegedly written by David Green, the owner of Hobby Lobby.  The letter says that his company is run on Christian principles and that he feels that it is wrong to be federally ordered to enroll his employees in a government mandated healthcare program that provides abortion-causing drugs.

The Truth:

Update 7/2/14 – The Supreme Court made a ruling on June 30, 2014 that “certain ‘closely held’ for-profit businesses can cite religious objections in order to opt out of a requirement in ObamaCare to provide free contraceptive coverage for their employees.” This according to a June 30, 2014 article by Fox News, which said that the Supreme Court justices ruled 5-4 in favor of Hobby Lobby and one other company, after legal teams argued that a 1993 federal law on religious freedom, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, applied also to business.

Original findings of eRumor:

We have not been able to confirm that this letter was written by David Green but according a September 12, 2012 article by Reuters, the Hobby Lobby Company is suing the U.S. Government over the healthcare mandate.

TruthOrFiction.Com has made inquiries as to this letter’s origin and will update this page when we get further findings.

The Reuters article said that a lawsuit was filed in District Court in the Western District of Oklahoma “seeks a permanent injunction against the government on behalf of Hobby Lobby and other companies that have religious convictions against abortion.”

Green, the CEO and founder of the Oklahoma City based Hobby Lobby Stores Inc., told reporters, “These abortion-causing drugs go against our faith. We simply cannot abandon our religious beliefs to comply with this mandate.”

The article also said that there is a January 1, 2013 deadline for the company to comply with the mandate.  A lawyer representing the company told reporters that failure to comply could result in stiff fines.

On December 20, 2012 the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the Hobby Lobby citing the lack of proof “the rule would ‘substantially burden’ its religious freedom.” 

One week later, on December 26, 2012 the Supreme Court denied the “request by Hobby Lobby to shield the company from the so-called contraceptive mandate while its legal battle plays out, after a federal court last week similarly ruled against the Christian-owned company.”  This according to a article on the same day by Fox News

On July 19, 2013 “Hobby Lobby Inc. was given a temporary exemption Friday from a requirement in the new federal health care law to offer insurance coverage for the morning-after pill and similar emergency birth control methods or face steep fines.”   This according to a Fox News article dated that day.   The article said the the judge gave the federal government until October 1 to “consider filing an appeal with the U.S. Supreme Court.”

Posted 12/26/12    updated 07/02/14

A real example of the eRumor as it has appeared on the Internet:

Column: Christian companies can’t bow to sinful mandate By David Green

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 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 healthcare 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.