So sorry for the blogging hiatus. We have moved and are finding our new normal.
I received this in an e-mail today from Focus on the Family and wanted to share this with you. Big government has to stop. Big government makes weak people.
I want to bring you up to date on an important development in the battle for religious liberty, involving one of America's beloved businesses.
Hobby Lobby® is a family-owned business that began in 1972 in David Green's Oklahoma garage. It now employs 13,000 people at 500 outlets in 41 states. The Greens are evangelical Christians who run their business on biblical principles. They are closed on Sundays, employ chaplains to minister to workers' spiritual and emotional needs, and take out full-page ads every Christmas and Easter, wishing everyone the best.
This week Hobby Lobby's owners filed a federal lawsuit against the Secretary of Health and Human Services over what has become known as the HHS contraceptive mandate. This is the 28th lawsuit filed against it to date.
The increasing encroachment on our religious freedom arising from government regulations adopted under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act has prompted dozens of individuals and organizations to rise up and say "This is not right."
Hobby Lobby and Mardel®—a national chain of Christian bookstores also owned by the Greens—provide health insurance for employees, but don't cover the possible abortion-inducing drugs required by the HHS because they believe all life is sacred. Now they face a government-imposed deadline that forces them to choose between abandoning their deeply held beliefs or pay fines of up to $1.3 million per day for refusing to comply with the mandate. With their backs in the corner, the Greens filed a federal lawsuit in Oklahoma this week asking the court to block the enforcement of this mandate.
A few weeks ago, another secular business owned by a Catholic family in Denver won temporary relief from the mandate: A federal judge ruled that they don't have to comply as their religious-freedom lawsuit against the government proceeds.
This is significant because the federal government has argued that secular corporations cannot possibly "exercise" religion, and therefore are not entitled to any protections from the conscience-violating provisions of the HHS contraceptive mandate.
The growing chorus of objections to it, however, tells me that Americans of all faiths are recognizing that business owners—along with nonprofit religious organizations—should not be required to compromise their deeply held beliefs in order to participate in public life.
For faith and family,
Senior Vice President, Government & Public Policy