A Letter from Hobby Lobby Stores CEO
By David Green, the founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.
When my family and I started our company 40 years ago, we were working out of a garage on a $600 bank loan, assembling miniature picture frames. Our first retail store wasn’t much bigger than most people’s living rooms, but we had faith that we would succeed if we lived and worked according to God’s word. From there,Hobby Lobby has become one of the nation’s largest arts and crafts retailers, with more than 500 locations in 41 states. Our children grew up into fine business leaders, and today we run Hobby Lobby together, as a family.
We’re Christians, and we run our business on Christian principles. I’ve always said that the first two goals of our business are (1) to run our business in harmony with God’s laws, and (2) to focus on people more than money. And that’s what we’ve tried to do. We close early so our employees can see their families at night. We keep our stores closed on Sundays, one of the week’s biggest shopping days, so that our workers and their families can enjoy a day of rest. We believe that it is by God’s grace that Hobby Lobby has endured, and he has blessed us and our employees. We’ve not only added jobs in a weak economy, we’ve raised wages for the past four years in a row. Our full-time employees start at 80% above minimum wage.
But now, our government threatens to change all of that. A new government health care mandate says that our family business MUST provide what I believe are abortion-causing drugs as part of our health insurance. Being Christians, we don’t pay for drugs that might cause abortions, which means that we don’t cover emergency contraception, the morning-after pill or the week-after pill. We believe doing so might end a life after the moment of conception, something that is contrary to our most important beliefs. It goes against the Biblical principles on which we have run this company since day one. If we refuse to comply, we could face $1.3 million PER DAY in government fines.
Our government threatens to fine job creators in a bad economy. Our government threatens to fine a company that’s raised wages four years running. Our government threatens to fine a family for running its business according to its beliefs. It’s not right. I know people will say we ought to follow the rules; that it’s the same for everybody. But that’s not true. The government has exempted thousands of companies from this mandate, for reasons of convenience or cost. But it won’t exempt them for reasons of religious belief.
So, Hobby Lobby and my family are forced to make a choice. With great reluctance, we filed a lawsuit today, represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, asking a federal court to stop this mandate before it hurts our business. We don’t like to go running into court, but we no longer have a choice. We believe people are more important than the bottom line and that honoring God is more important than turning a profit.
My family has lived the American dream. We want to continue growing our company and providing great jobs for thousands of employees, but the government is going to make that much more difficult. The government is forcing us to choose between following our faith and following the law. I say that’s a choice no American and no American business should have to make.
The government cannot force you to follow laws that go against your fundamental religious belief. They have exempted thousands of companies but will not except Christian organizations including the Catholic church.
Since you will not see this covered in any of the liberal media, pass this on to all your contacts.
David Green, CEO and Founder of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.
OK I got this is in my email inbox today. This was a lunch discussion today between Rob and I. This is exactly what the whole birth-control health care issue comes down to…right? Christian and religious agencies not wanting to cover abortion or abortion type drugs on their health care policies…..because of religious beliefs.
I have worked in insurance billing. I did for several years.
They are not refusing to cover birth control. They are refusing to cover abortion.
No matter what you feel about those topics….What I think is important is that the government gets to choose what each company will or will not cover. They get to decide. How is the USA coming to this?
Each business goes through that time of year where they normally get to choose their underwriting policies and choose what they want to cover or approve. Usually based on cost. For instance …most insurance policies won’t cover fertility or weight ( obesity) issues…….but some business’s do choose to cover those. All state employees ( with a certain insurance offered in WA state) can choose to have a lap band or gastric bypass operation and it be fully covered by insurance. I know several people who have had this done because it was free. Most business choose not to cover this because they feel it isn’t a necessity. Same with fertility issues.
If these policies choose to cover birth control why can’t they opt not to choose abortion pills?
I believe in Women’s rights……I won’t judge. Whether you believe in abortion or not…it’s more about our freedom of choice. In any topic. It’s the American freedom that we are proud to send our soldiers to defend every day. FREEDOM…what does this mean anymore? Why are we defensing it? If we don’t truly own it…if we don’t get to make our own choies?
However…….what really truly concerns me is that our own Government not only thinks they need to dictate what a business chooses to pay for…but also that we are dumbing down our society. They don’t trust people to have fore-thought. How come people aren’t as cautious and thinking before they act? How come we have to put all of these systems in place ? Because we can’t be trusted to make good choices or to think before we act. Instead there is a magic pill to take away any responsibility to do that. Youth these days can just go out and party….have sex and there is a pill to cure that. Really?
So we are not only giving up our freedom….our freedom to make choices. We are just going to continue to dumb down our children….so they can’t make a choice for their future. I am getting really scared.
Not only is my generation of children entitled….they are spoonfed absolutely everything in school…who needs to learn how to spell or do simple math? There are calculators and spellcheck to do that. Now we are going to dumb them down to taking pills to cure any problem they may encounter. Fabulous! This just makes everything better.
I think every should be offered birth control. It should be free. Easy access. No doubt about it. At least then it is a conscious act…it takes fore-thought about what actions they will be taking or not taking.
I don’t think the government should be making these types of decisions for us. I think they need to get health care access to everyone…but not dictate what good tax paying citizens should do with their money and/or how to run their business.
I think no person should be oppressed. Even the Christians. It is getting to that point.
I don’t want to get political…..I just want freedom.