Hobby Lobby CEO: “Government Cannot Force You to Follow Laws That Go Against Your … Religious Belief”

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.

  • Thank you, Mr. Green, for a clear and concise statement of your Christian faith as it applies to the business world. I appreciate your willingness to stand up for those beliefs, setting an example for the rest of us. I am praying for many Aarons and Hurs to hold up your hands.

  • nemnem

    Will be shopping Hobby Lobby tomorrow!! Appreciate your standing up for your beliefs.. May others follow in your footsteps! We need people, companies to stand for their convictions and stand for God! If we do not, we will loose our freedoms and our Constitution!! God bless you!

  • CincinnatiRIck

    The government cannot force you to follow laws that go against your fundamental religious belief.
    Well, you are right about that…they can’t. However, the question is what price are you willing to pay to follow your religious beliefs. While, here in the US (at least at present), martyrdom is not likely, being imprisoned or beggared certainly is. So, in rendering unto God that which is God’s, one must be prepared for the wrath of Caesar.
    And, remember, in insisting on following your conscience at all costs, you are recognizing, in theory, that same right in those who flew planes into buildings, shouting Allah Akhbar or those who withhold part of their income tax that is used to fund the military because they believe war to be immoral. So, good luck in trying to get some protection from our First Amendment but recognize that there are limits to every freedom.
    We have a vile overreach by a progressive ideological movement that currently controls our government. This religious-based objection to “one size fits all” health coverage is just one small piece of the battle to roll back this rotting carcass astride the Potomac.

    • Nellie CA

      It is my understanding that the Muslims don’t buy medical insurance because it is a form of gambling. They have businesses that are funded by the American government called start up. These are the people who use the business as fraud in food stamps and sent the money to the home country.
      Obama has the nerve to go after this great company and find them because they don’t believe in the basis of Obamacare. I stand with this great company and I will look for a store in my area.

  • Dan Williams

    Best wishes Mr. Green. My family will be praying for you.

  • bob434

    Standign by a religious beleif that is NOT a terrorist act is NOT the sdame as standign by some suppsoed religiosu beleif that a terrorist act is ok- the comparison between terrorist acts and Christian morals is a wholly innappropriate comparison. The income tax ism ore appropriate comparison- the oflks who do are holdign to their non violent religious beliefs that the war shoudl not be fudned via their taxes- but the comparison to the terrorist acts does not hold any water-