This is How Hobby Lobby Practices Their Allegedly ‘Christian’ Values

This week the Supreme Court heard a case brought by the arts and crafts retailer Hobby Lobby. The company seeks an exemption from the mandate in the Affordable Care Act (aka ObamaCare) that requires employers to offer insurance plans that include coverage for contraceptives. The basis for their request is that they are a “Christian” enterprise and that they believe that certain methods of contraception are de facto abortion.

The problem with their legal argument is that science does not regard contraception as abortion, so the belief of the company’s owners is factually false. What’s more, they are asserting that a corporation can have a religious affiliation just like a person. That’s a strained proposition unless you believe that a corporation also has a soul, is capable of sin, and is subject to divine judgement. Do good corporations go to Heaven?

However, even if we were to accept their assertion of a religious objection to the mandate, Hobby Lobby can cannot seriously claim to have a spiritual conflict with the law as regards contraception, or even abortion. That’s because, despite the company’s owner saying that “Being Christians, we don’t pay for drugs that might cause abortions,” their business does engage in practices that violate their professed beliefs.

Hobby Lobby

Hobby Lobby pays millions of dollars to stock their shelves with cheap products made in China, a country where abortion is legal and is even provided by the government for free – when they aren’t forcing it on women who want their babies. It is impossible to accept that the company is unconditionally opposed to a voluntary form of preventive health care that obviates the need for an abortion, while supporting a system that encourages abortion outright. If Hobby Lobby can do business with China when the profit motive compels them to, they cannot simultaneously pretend that an American woman having access to an insurance policy that includes coverage for contraception is some sort of abomination against their Lord.

Hobby Lobby’s hypocrisy, of course, is not the only reason they should lose this case. It would be frightening if the Supreme Court ruled that a corporation can have a religious belief. That would set the stage for any business to discriminate against employees for anything from race or sexual orientation to facial hair or consumption of pork. It would enable some companies to seek an exemption to ObamaCare if they believe that only faith healing is in accordance with their religion.

For Republicans, and their PR division, Fox News, to cheer on the Hobby Lobby case represents a severe departure from their professed principles. While they falsely allege that ObamaCare allows the government to come between the patient and the doctor (in fact, the government is merely attempting to prevent insurance companies from doing so), they are embracing a ruling that would give that power to every corporation.

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Permitting businesses to dictate what sort of health care their employees can have is not an expression of the individual liberties that conservatives pretend to favor. And it’s even more offensive when corporate high priests impose their religious beliefs on the people who work for them. Especially when those beliefs are discarded in order to increase profits.


31 thoughts on “This is How Hobby Lobby Practices Their Allegedly ‘Christian’ Values

  1. The major problem with the Hobby Lobby argument is that it represents certain things, abortion and contraceptives, only a portion of Christians have with insurance. If accepted as a valid argument by SCOTUS this would present the proverbial “slippery slope” where other Christians could come and say they have a problem with vaccines or psychiatric coverage or any other medical coverage a radical sect could think of.

  2. Private corporations, individuals or anything else can discriminate against anything or anyone they want – only government can and should be held to that standard. What a shitty country this would be if your clan ever gets its way. Any private corporation that values profit and success would be wise not to discriminate, not because of some some bullshit federal law.

    • Then why are Jim Crow laws considered unconstitutional? After all under such laws, corporations can (in fact they MUST) discriminate between clients based on skin color.

      That’s what you say any corporation should be allowed to exercise.

    • If the SC rules in favor of Hobby Lobby and your dream comes true, it will lead to a further bifurcation of this country. Companies — the privately held ones at least — will necessarily go down on record as “for” or “against” certain behaviors and practices. In our information age, it’s quite easy to see how that information will be readily available — think Yelp-like apps — where the Christianists can choose their retailers based on their preferred principles, and the rest of us (myself included) will ardently avoid buying from and working for them. Might I point out that when society cleaves itself into two sides, there ultimately is less and less shared between them. Good luck with that whole evangelizing thing.

  3. Brilliantly put! I was unaware of Hobby Lobby’s dealings with China. It’s just another instance where people pick & choose which parts of their religion they choose to enforce. I hope the Supreme Court makes the correct decision on this one.

    • We all do hope they make the correct decision – which is to not permit the government any power over the practice of religion by any private institution, individual or anything else – no matter how twisted your reasoning is. If they come down how you think is correct, are you saying the government can also tell the catholic church it must do the same thing for those who work for it? Where does it stop? Mark will state all our rights noted in the bill of rights can be compromised and he’ll use the 1st amendment to support his belief (the yelling fire in a crowded theater blah blah blah) – which is why this is a dangerous precedent if it rules against the private sector regardless of the form of the plantiff in this case. How any of his “supporting” information has anything to do with being able to take away rights of the people (oh yeah, he finds a way to redefine everything so as to convince himself of the good in his argument) I don’t know – science and religion are NOT the same thing . With every article he writes, he convinces me of how dangerous his version of progressivism really is to every man, woman and child in this country – calling his progressive beliefs akin to terrorism is being nice (of course that’s not the first time I’ve suggested it).

      • Good job Steve. You authored the most incoherent comment in this string.

        • That’s his specialty. And, as he said, this is not the first time he has associated me (and all progressives) with terrorism. I am pretty close to banning him because his contributions are so useless and uncivil, but he is such a perfect representative of the idiocy of conservatism that, so far, I leave his posts so people can see the ignorance and hate that permeates right-wing thinking.

          • And mark u show that u think someone who exercises their free speech shouldnt be allowed to if u dont like what they said. Also u show ur not progressive but a separatist, u want to classify all conservative speech as far right or hatefull or ignorant. Make no mistake im independent ( means im not blinded by a certain 1 way thinking) perhaps u should try it too.

            • Travis, stop trying to label people. I tried to read Steve’s post a number of times and it really doesn’t make too much sense. The only thing I could understand is that he is anti-government. In case you haven’t realized it yet, this is a progressive-leaning site. If you are interested in only exchanging ideas with like-minded people you should go somewhere else. If you want to remain and further this discussion you should try not to be insulting to others. And the first step in doing that would be to quit labeling people.

            • Travis, are you serious? Do you really think I would be imposing on free speech by removing someone who says I’m worse than a terrorist?

              That kind of speech is not welcome here. It also is not expressing an opinion on an issue, it is just personally insulting and it distracts from the discussion. Obviously you don’t understand what free speech is if you think blogs can’t moderate their comment sections.

        • Miss the point much? Oh, never mind. Silly me! You have already answered that question.

      • I wasn’t aware that the store was also a church. Trying also to be a medical clinic.

    • A veritable religious salad bar.

  4. Leviticus 19:19 ………neither shall a garment mingled of linen and woolen come upon thee.”
    Deuteronomy 22:28-29 “Thou shalt not wear a garment of divers sorts, as of woolen and linen together.”
    I certainly hope they do background checks on customers so they don’t sell garment fabric to seamstress’s who might try to mingle clothing!
    Does Hobby Lobby also have religious objections to their employees who eat meat from “…them that chew the cud, or of them that divide the hoof “…them that chew the ” etc, etc, etc.
    I get so sick of these religious hypocrite’s who pick and choose which of Gods commandments and statute’s they would like to adhere to.
    Matthew 5:17-19 “Think not that I’m come to destroy the law, or the prophets. I’m not come to destroy, but to fulfill. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. Whosoever therefore shall break one of these least commandments, and shall teach men so, he shall be called least in the Kingdom on heaven.”

  5. If he so great about this matter. What about the commandment that states That you keep the Sabbath and keep it holy by not working, neither you wife, children., servants or animals. He has his stores opened on Sunday and still making MONEY off the backs of his employees.

    • I’m pretty sure Hobby Lobby is and always has been closed on Sundays. At least that’s how it is here in Arizona.

  6. There is a difference between buying something from a person with whom you do not share the same beliefs and actually paying out of pocket for something you oppose.
    Let’s say you believe that it is wrong to wear red. (No matter how radical, this is your belief. In America you have the right to uphold this belief) Now then, let’s say that I am wearing red; however, you need to purchase something that I have. Would you be a hypocrite just because you purchased something you needed from me?
    No. You did not in any way agree/disagree with my apparel simply because you purchased an item in my possession.
    What WOULD make you a hypocrite is an instance where you only provided red uniforms for your employees, knowing that it is strictly against your beliefs.

    • That is illogical on so many levels. You really had to stretch to get to that justification. But the main fault in your comment is that Hobby Lobby would NOT be paying for the contraception at all. They would merely be offering access to an insurance plan that includes coverage for it. The insurer and the employee pay for it.

      That is a far less direct connection than financially supporting a government-owned company that provides for (and often forces) their employees to get abortions.

    • So by that logic, it is acceptable for American companies to do business with the Taliban if it’s profitable. Just A-OK to financially support terrorist operations that kill Americans.

      Let’s see you twist yourself in knots explaining how that’s not hypocritical.

  7. I can see where you’re using an example to justify your logic but that’s comparing apples to oranges. If you are truly a religious person (or corporation in this instance) you should not be purchasing merchandise from countries that provide or insist upon abortions to keep the population as low as possible. If you do business with those countries you are accepting their beliefs so you can make a profit. In my opinion you shouldn’t balk at providing birth control to your employees.

  8. All I can say is: Thank god we’ve got a new Pope in the house! He’s the only man in the Vatican all these years (if not centuries) who’s finally standing up for what Christianity is truly supposed to be about: humility, kindness, giving to under-privileged and abandoned souls, accepting gay rights, and openness to contraception.

  9. The Hobby Lobby case goes beyond hypocrisy on buying goods from China with the one child policy. If they are so opposed to offering insurance that covers contraceptive they could just not offer health insurance. How the rights of a few individuals trumps that of the thousands of women who work for them baffles the objective mind. No one in corporate America has filed an amicus brief in this case because it terrifies them in piercing the veil of personal liability for the business owner. For a good explanation of this watch Mike Papantonio explain it in this clip.

  10. The comments from the “conservatives” that have posted here are indicative of a single inescapable truth: these people do not believe in a single thing that they preach. Their obsession with freedom and liberty is a full throated lie. These people are facists. Their belief system is fraught with double standards and does not represent the beliefs of most Americans. They are not a majority of any kind, they are a loud, traitorous, bitchy minority. There is something to take solace in though. When the American mainstream gets wind of their agenda they reject it. American’s don’t want their America and showed it by electing and reelecting President Obama. They can use their Koch money to buy elections all they want, eventually it won’t matter when people realise what they stand for and how backward they are.

    We are going to drag these dregs into the future with us. If we have to do it with them kicking and screaming, then so be it.

  11. First of all, who does not deal with China in on way or another these days? We as a Nation are so in debt to them they practically on this Country. I have not seen proof that Hobby Lobby deals with China, just what this biased reporter has said. Hobby Lobby’s did not want to pay for the MORNING AFTER PILL. That is what constitutes abortion. You need to refresh your History, and Constitution. This Country was founded on FREEDOM of Religion, Like it or not. Enjoy while you can your freedom of where you can or cannot shop, the way this country is heading that freedom will soon be taken from you too. I can tell by the comments many of you must be young, and do no know what REAL FREEDOM is.

    • perhaps we do deal with China in some way everyday. But Hobby Lobby has more stuff from China for sale than any other place I have ever shopped. Haven’t been there in more than a year…and certainly won’t go again…..

  12. Hobby Lobby is operating according to its beliefs. Hobby Lobby is NOT attempting to impose its beliefs on other nations, on other corporations or on customers who walk in its doors.

    There is no connection between Hobby Lobby’s opposition to funding contraception for its employees and the actions of any person or entity outside the scope of its own internal operations. As far as Hobby Lobby is concerned, the rest of the world can go about its business on its own terms.

    In short, none of the arguments about Hobby Lobby engaging in discrimination or hypocrisy hold water. On the other hand, the critics of Hobby Lobby want dictatorial control of all healthcare regulations.

    • What utter nonsense. I notice you left one group out of your list of those who Hobby Lobby is imposing their beliefs on: The employees.

      And you’d have to be pretty dense to spin this as critics wanting dictatorial control over anything when all they want is for everyone to have access to whatever they (not their boss) decide is best for themselves. That’s called freedom.

  13. I’m sort of enjoying the fact that people who don’t thing anyone has the right to decide what a company can and cannot do are the same people who think that you don’t have the right to block posters from your site. I tried to figure out the logic in that but since I still have functioning brain cells there doesn’t seem to be any logic in it at all.

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