Hobby Lobby: Is Your Faith Worth A Million Dollars A Day?

David Green, the founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby has decided that rather than offer total healthcare coverage of contraceptives as required by Obamacare, he is willing to pay a fine of $1.3 million dollars per day.  He’s stated that certain types of contraception such as the morning-after pill and the week-after pill violated their religious beliefs against abortion.  Hobby Lobby has over 500 stores in 41 states, employs 21,000 people, and has a gross revenue of $2.28 Billion.  But what kind of message is Mr. Green’s decision sending to his employees and the rest of the world?  Godly conviction or worldly defiance?

Has he considered the long term business effect this will have on his company?  If the government continues to rule against them as they have so far, how long can he pay the fine without being forced to raise prices or lay off employees?  I guess since it’s a privately held company, he can do as he wishes and not answer to shareholders who watch their dividends and stock prices drop.  But my concern is the employment of the staff.  I’ve watched as family members have been laid off by employers much larger than Hobby Lobby who needed to free up cash.  Will Mr. Green’s employees and families understand when his religious convictions result in store closings and lay-off’s?

I appreciate him sticking to his religious beliefs, but at the end of the day he is running a business not a church.  Where does “Submit to the authorities” (Romans 13:1, Hebrews 13:17, 1 Peter 2:13) come in?  Is this more the statement of a conservative businessman who doesn’t support what he sees as a liberal administration?  Is he trying to make a political statement?  There’s just too much to this one action for me to believe it’s simply a matter of personal faith.  At first it appears nice.  I would hope I have the religious conviction to be willing to pay a million dollar per day fine for my beliefs.  But it’s also hypocritical to me how one person feels the need to set an example of defiance to the government while at the same time exerting control over the personal practices of his employees.  Does he feel it’s easier to control their actions than convert their hearts and minds?

It’s disturbing to me that Mr. Green distrusts his employees and wishes to dictate their actions beyond the storeroom floor.  How does covering the medication required by the healthcare plan mean your staff will use it?  It reminds me so much of how Christians in general want to make laws and guidelines to restrict their lifestyles much in the same way that the Pharisees did in Jesus’ day.  They ultimately don’t want the freedom of choice that God implemented from creation.  It’s one thing to cover the morning-after pill in the health plan, but quite another to educate your staff and promote a lifestyle that doesn’t even require it.  What is Mr. Green doing to help his employees believe and live the lifestyle he wishes to enforce by refusing to obey a government mandate?  Does he also have policies about no smoking, drinking, partying, promiscuous sex, getting a divorce, being gay, etc.?  Surely he complies with equal opportunity laws that forbid him from even asking those questions, let alone determining someone’s employment, so why would this be any different?

Faith leads to action.  I’m sure Mr. Green is a good man, full of good intentions, and has done amazing things for his employees and community through his faith.  But Mr. Green has a larger problem with the way he lives his testimony and shares the life changing power of Jesus if he feels the need to defy the government to make his employees follow his system of beliefs.

 

Sources: Wikipedia, LA Times

 

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4 thoughts on “Hobby Lobby: Is Your Faith Worth A Million Dollars A Day?

  1. Hey Ben, I of course disagree with you. I tend to believe that conscience trumps all. It is neither right nor safe to go against conscience. What the Greens have expressed is that this mandate violates their conscience as believers. Your objections seemed to be based on other motives which you have arbitrarily assigned to them. Simply put, a person can’t be faithful to Christ and do something he believes is wrong no matter how much he rationalizes it or what other consequences there may be for him or others. It is the government that has put the family in this situation and it’s on their heads if jobs go down over this issue.

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    • I don’t believe that Mr. Green is wrong in his convictions or wrong for standing up for them. More Christians should. I don’t know him personally and I have probably unfairly lumped him in with many other Evangelical stereotypes. It would be great if all the other “Faith based” organizations would join him. Sadly they aren’t, which weakens his case. You also don’t hear anything about Mr. Green or any other Christian organization who is suing over contraceptives, siding with those asking for tougher gun control and bringing home our troops. Both actions end thousands of lives a year as well. They are in fact going the opposite in defending people “rights”. Those are the US government’s Bill of Rights, and not the “God given” rights so many presume. The same government who grants him the legal authority to operate as a business and has laws preventing the discrimination of individuals based on race and religion for the sake of employment. If I believe that homosexuality is wrong and choose to either not hire someone based on their lifestyle or create policy that makes their employment contingent based on the lifestyle practices, that is illegal. Even though the behaviors of the person violates my personal beliefs. Therefore, should a non-church entity be allowed to discriminate and enforce religious doctrine on its employees based on the personal beliefs of ownership?

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  2. I was wondering. If a woman asked you to pay for an abortion for her, would you give her the money and give her your blessing? I think he realizes the human lives who are within his care, and he is not willing to risk their souls or lives. A man making a responsible decision is a remarkable thing to see in this day and age, especially because this move requires a tremendous amount of spiritual poverty. He has chosen life rather than money. He has not compartmentalized his faith; he is living it. Yeah!

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  3. Sadly the person wrote this article for the LA TImes, is like so many others who worship governmant as the be all and end all of what is good or right miss the point of Godly convictons.
    Mr. Green has chosen to defy a government madate that the government has no right to madate.
    The choice to honor God over what the world says will forever mystify anyone who does not have a personal relationship with God.
    It is always funny to me how people will quote the Bible that really do not know or even try to understand that the Bible is more than just words on a page.
    When Jesus tells us to submit to authorties is a favorite line for all twisted government types throughout the ages. To understand what Jesus means is this, that you need to first understand and accept that God is the ultimate authority of everything and everyone. Sumbit to God what is God’s and God given and to the worldly authorities, give to them what they have a right to, as given to them by God.
    Just because a bill becomes law does not make it right, well thought out,or well intentioned and the Healthcare law is a glaring example of a bad law.
    Government has tried to step into the role as a god by trying to forcibly dictate who we can go to, how much is “fair”, who is worthy or not, and how we seek help to heal our bodies. Give me a break, they don’t own me!
    They gave themselves this power against the will of many people and to stand strong against wrong or evil is what Jesus asked us to do.
    God owns me and everything I have. I have to remind myself daily of this.
    God actually loves and trusts us enough to allow us to make these choices.
    So we must all stand strong against what we know is not the government’s right to take or dictate.
    Stand strong Mr. Green, God does not fail.

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