NEW ORLEANS — The two families who brought lawsuits against the government for its controversial Obamacare mandate delivered a stirring defense of religious freedom just days after their cases were heard before the U.S. Supreme Court.
This afternoon at The Heritage Foundation’s Resource Bank meeting, Conestoga Wood Specialties Chief Executive Anthony Hahn and Hobby Lobby President Steve Green accepted the Salvatori Prize for American Citizenship on behalf of their families.
“If we are to maintain our freedom, we cannot remain silent,” Hahn warned. “If our freedom is challenged, we must stand to defend it—so all can be free, not just a select few. That is what is at stake at the Supreme Court.”
The Hahns, represented by Alliance Defending Freedom, and the Greens, represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, made their case before the Supreme Court earlier this week. Today, they were recognized for their defense of the First Amendment.
In his remarks, Green recalled a story from the mid-1980s involving his father, David, who founded Hobby Lobby. Green said a tough economy in Oklahoma left the company without a profit, prompting his father to summon the family for a meeting.
“Dad really did not know how we would be able to survive,” Green explained. “He called out to God and said, ‘If you want this company to survive, you’re going to have to intervene.’ And obviously God did.”
Green said Hobby Lobby’s statement of purpose is to first and foremost honor God by operating the company in a manner consistent with biblical principles.
“When the government tells us we have to provide, freely to our employees, abortifacients, we can’t do that,” Green said. “I’ve been asked what our plan is if we lose. I don’t know what our plan is, but I’ll tell you what we won’t do—we will not provide life-terminating drugs to anybody. We cannot do that.”
Hahn’s family opened its business, Conestoga Wood Specialties, in a garage 50 years ago. He said the family never thought the day would come when the government would ask the business to operate in a way that compromised its values.
“The sanctity of human life and the values we hold dear are more important than any financial gain we may receive for simply going along by forsaking our beliefs,” Hahn said.
Prior to receiving the Salvatori Prize, Green spoke exclusively to The Foundry about religious liberty. Watch the video below: