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Freedom is now an abstract in America. Once, the word was clearly defined, solid ground for “We the people,” to stand on. It’s now a slippery slope to tread. Hobby Lobby, one of the nation’s leading crafting and home decor product stores, has been fighting the government over health care mandates that violate its religious founding.
CEO and founder David Green has articulated that his Christian beliefs keep him from funding or supplying employees with morning after pills, week after pills, and any emergency contraceptive that interferes with implantation of a baby in the womb. It’s a legitimate belief, but not to Obamacare.
According to the Health and Human Services mandate, the word free isn’t all encompassing, and Hobby Lobby fails to meet the mandate’ requirements.
The Obama administration couldn’t care less that the company tries to work at, as described by the company’s website, “honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with biblical principles.”
All that matters is that Hobby Lobby’s freedoms are clashing with the “freedoms” of its employees. The HHS mandate states that a company must primarily employ persons of the same religion for it to be exempt.
Hobby Lobby is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate through the hiring process based on a person’s religion. Therefore, many of its employees don’t follow the same religious practices of the Green family. The company fails on nearly all provisions of the mandate.
It’s an unconstitutional mandate, though. The Green family has taken their case to the Supreme Court; the case is known as Hobby Lobby v. Sebelius (In reference to Kathleen Sebelius, the Secretary of the HHS).
Maybe they will win on the premise of religious freedom, hopefully; or perhaps the company can win off of the premise that they are a private company, run from within and not from without. That’s a far cry. Whatever the battle cry, Hobby Lobby should fight.
In the Introduction to his book The Founding Fathers and the Place of Religion in America, Frank Lambert wrote that James Madison’s own interpretation of freedom of religion in the Constitution led him to regard “religion as a ‘natural right’ that the governed never surrender to their governors.”
Hobby Lobby has no plan B, but it’s a potentially costly fight for the Greens.
Each day they do not comply with the mandate, they are fined $1.3 million by the federal government. It’s not a “do it yourself,” project.
The Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), an entity of the Southern Baptist Convention, urged the Supreme Court on Oct. 29 to review certain rulings of the HHS mandate.
ERLC President Russell D. Moore told the Baptist Press that they would stand with the Green family “for religious liberty and against the audacity of a state that believes it can annex the human conscience.”
Hobby Lobby shouldn’t budge. Freedom is is not a word to be used as a political ploy to usurp legitimate religious belief.