Saturday, January 5, is Hobby Lobby Appreciation Day—an opportunity for individuals and communities to support the company and its owners’ brave stand against the anti-conscience mandate’s assault on religious freedom.
Unless the Green family, which founded and runs the company, violates its deeply held beliefs and gets in line with the Administration’s mandate, Hobby Lobby could face fines of up to $1.3 million per day. On January 1, the family-owned arts-and-crafts supply chain that employs more than 22,000 individuals renewed its employee health plan for 2013, triggering enforcement of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate.
The Standing with Hobby Lobby Facebook page has more than 30,000 who have pledged to shop at one of Hobby Lobby’s more than 500 stores or online on Saturday in support of Hobby Lobby’s stance. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee joined the chorus of supporters:
[Hobby Lobby’s] generosity to missions, to the relief of poverty around the world, to Christian education, and to their employees is legendary and exemplifies the kind of business principle that should be applauded and appreciated. Instead they are having to fight in court for the most basic American rights of freedom of religion and freedom of speech.
The Green family, which closes all Hobby Lobby locations on Sundays, simply seeks to operate in accordance with Christian principles, including offering an employee health plan that aligns with those values. Under the coercive Obamacare mandate, however, the company is now forced to provide and pay for coverage of abortion-inducing drugs such as ella (the “week after” pill) and Plan B (the “morning after” pill) or face ruinous fines.
Such non-compliance risks the possibility of draconian government fines. The roughly $1.3 million per day fine Hobby Lobby could face means the company could see financial penalties of roughly $40 million for the month of January alone.
Last Wednesday, in an opinion written by Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the Supreme Court denied a request to temporarily stop enforcement of the mandate against the family-owned business while its appeal moves forward.
However, Hobby Lobby’s lawsuit over the mandate’s unconstitutional coercion continues. Represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the Green family maintains hope that a court may eventually strike down the mandate.
Until then, as Kyle Duncan, general counsel for the Becket Fund, explained following the Sotomayor opinion: “[Hobby Lobby] 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.”
Those unable to make it to a Hobby Lobby store this Saturday can use a portal set up by the Becket Fund to send thank you notes to the Green family encouraging them in their brave stance against the mandate.