Defying the Obama Administration on Religious Liberty

Hobby Lobby gained national attention when its leadership announced they would not bow to the Obama Administration’s violation of their religious liberty. Thousands of Americans pledged to shop at the retailer over the weekend to show their appreciation for this stand—a stand that could cost the company up to $1.3 million in fines per day.

Like many other companies, Hobby Lobby’s health insurance plan renewed on January 1, causing them to be subject to the Health and Human Services (HHS) mandate under Obamacare. This mandate forces employers to pay for coverage of abortion-inducing drugs like the “morning after” and “week after” pills, which directly violates many Americans’ deeply held beliefs—including Hobby Lobby’s owners, the Green family. The Greens, who founded the company, close all its locations on Sundays and seek to operate in accordance with Christian principles—including offering an employee health care plan that aligns with those values.

The Obama Administration’s outrageous position is that business owners’ rights to religious freedom end when they walk into their workplaces, claiming that “for-profit, secular employers generally do not engage in any exercise of religion protected by the First Amendment.”

If employers don’t change their health plans to comply, they will be hit with fines—up to $100 per employee per day. But if they stop providing health coverage, Obamacare’s double whammy means that, come 2014, employers with more than 50 employees could instead be hit with fines for that.

Thirteen for-profit companies have received rulings touching on the merits of their cases from the courts so far. Ten have secured relief—though temporary—from having the mandate enforced against them. Three companies have been denied relief: Hobby Lobby, Autocam Corp., and Grote Industries.

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