Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., the privately held arts and crafts retail chain, on Wednesday filed a lawsuit against the Obama administration for its controversial HHS mandate requiring that all employers provide birth control coverage to their employees.
“By being required to make a choice between sacrificing our faith or paying millions of dollars in fines, we essentially must choose which poison pill to swallow,” said CEO and founder David Green. “We simply cannot abandon our religious beliefs to comply with this mandate.”
How much did Green say his company would have to pay in fines?
“David Green … says he’ll have to pay as much as $1.3 million in daily fines if he doesn’t pay for types of contraception he and other evangelicals morally oppose, including the so-called ‘morning after’ pill [emphasis added],” the Washington Times reports.
What’s notable about Mr. Green’s decision is that not only is Hobby Lobby now the largest company to sue the Obama administration’s over its HHS mandate, but it’s also the first non-Catholic-owned business to do so.
And Mr. Green certainly runs a Christian-style business.
Hobby Lobby stores are never open on Sunday and the chain’s website attributes its continued success to its practice of “honoring the Lord in a manner consistent with biblical principles.”
“Washington politicians cannot force families to abandon their faith just to earn a living,” said Lori Windham, Senior Counsel, Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. “Every American, including family business owners like the Greens, should be free to live and do business according to their religious beliefs.”
Started in 1972 in a 300-square-foot retail space in Oklahoma, Mr. Green’s business has grown into a nationwide enterprise that spans more than 40 states.
“It is by God’s grace and provision that Hobby Lobby has endured,” said Green. “Therefore we seek to honor God by operating the company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles.”
“The conflict for me is that our family is being forced to choose between following the laws of the country that we love or maintaining the religious beliefs that have made our business successful and have supported our family and thousands of our employees and their families,” he added.
Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. filed its lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma.
“There are now 28 separate lawsuits challenging the HHS mandate, which is a regulation under the Affordable Care Act (aka ‘Obamacare’),” according to a press release from the non-profit, public-interest law firm The Becket Fund.
“These HHS challenges were not affected by the Supreme Court’s June 28th ruling on the constitutionality of the ‘individual mandate,'” the release adds.
No word yet on whether federal officials have issued an apology for hurting Mr. Green’s religious feelings.
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