Oklahoma City, Oklahoma — Christians across the country state that they will be standing with Hobby Lobby this weekend as the popular craft chain continues to defy the abortion pill mandate in Obamacare.
Joe Grabowski of StandWithHobbyLobby.com has named Saturday, January 5th as the official appreciation day for the company, when supporters will shop at their local Hobby Lobby outlet to show their support.
“On Saturday, January 5th, all Americans who value freedom of religion and oppose the HHS mandate’s unfair impositions upon religious individuals and corporate entities are called upon to show their support for Hobby Lobby by shopping either at their local retail Hobby Lobby store or online,” he writes. “[T]he justices of the Supreme Court will be watching on January 5th, be assured, and they’ll know the minds and hearts of the American people as to this matter — but only if we get the word out and stand up in large enough numbers to make an impact!”
As of press time, over 4,000 people stated that they would be participating in the event.
“I will be there spending my $$ to back this company,” writes supporter Eric Coval. “They are one of the few who are taking a stand against a federal government that seems hell bent to trample on our liberties, and when we cry foul they tell us to be good little subjects and that we are too extreme. Hobby Lobby, fight the righteous fight!”
“We love Hobby Lobby!” commented Beth Collins. “I won’t be able to make it in person, but I will shop online that day to show my support!”
Others stated that they have never shopped at their local Hobby Lobby outlet before, but will do so this Saturday in order to make their voice heard and support the cause.
Emily Hartman, Communications Director for The Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty, told Christian News Network today that the company is standing by its previous statement issued after the Supreme Court’s rejection of Hobby Lobby’s request for an injunction.
“To remain true to their faith, it is not their intention, as a company, to pay for abortion-inducing drugs,” stated attorney Kyle Duncan on behalf of the company. “Hobby Lobby will continue their appeal before the Tenth Circuit. The Supreme Court merely decided not to get involved in the case at this time. It left open the possibility of review after their appeal is completed in the Tenth Circuit.”
“The company will continue to provide health insurance to all qualified employees,” he added.
While Hobby Lobby states that it has been covering, and will continue to cover, birth control for its over 13,000 employees nationwide, it refuses to pay for two pills that are included in Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate: the morning-after pill and the week-after pill.
“These abortion-causing drugs go against our faith, and our family is now being forced to choose between following the laws of the land that we love or maintaining the religious beliefs that have made our business successful and have supported our family and thousands of our employees and their families,” CEO David Green wrote in a statement earlier this year. “We simply cannot abandon our religious beliefs to comply with this mandate. … By being required to make a choice between sacrificing our faith or paying millions of dollars in fines, we essentially must choose which poison pill to swallow.”
Hobby Lobby has opted to rather risk paying $1.3 million per day in fines — over $40 million in January alone — rather than to violate its convictions regarding drugs that it believes cause abortions.
As previously reported, Hobby Lobby, owned by evangelical Christian David Green, has been seeking an emergency injunction from all available venues since its request was first turned down by a federal district court in Oklahoma City. U.S. District Judge Joe Heaton, appointed by George W. Bush, ruled against the company last month, opining that Hobby Lobby and its bookstore chain Mardel are not entitled to an exemption from the national healthcare law because “Hobby Lobby and Mardel are not religious organizations.” He stated that while churches and non-profit entities may qualify for an exemption under Obamacare, a secular business is not a religious institution.
The company then appealed to the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals in Denver, asking the court that it overturn the lower court’s decision and grant the injunction. However, the three-judge panel refused to issue the restraining order, stating similar reasoning as Heaton.
Hobby Lobby then took its request to the nation’s highest court, but earlier this week, Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor stated that it was not “indisputably clear” that Hobby Lobby’s request met the very high bar needed for an injunction. She pointed to the fact that the lower circuit courts have been divided on the matter, insinuating that the craft chain still has a chance at eventually winning.
“Even without an injunction pending appeal, the applicants may continue their challenge to the regulations in the lower courts,” Sotomayor wrote. “Following a final judgment, they may, if necessary, file a petition [in the Supreme Court].”