Tens of thousands of Christians across the country are expected to shop at their local Hobby Lobby outlet today in support of the company’s determination to obey God rather than Obama.
As previously reported, Joe Grabowski of StandWithHobbyLobby.com has named Saturday, January 5th as the official appreciation day for the company, when proponents will shop at Hobby Lobby as a gesture of support for the popular craft chain’s defiance of Obamacare’s abortion pill mandate.
“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, nearly 60,000 people had committed to shop either in-store or online today.
“Today, I am shopping at Hobby Lobby to stand for my Biblical convictions and my constitutional rights,” writes supporter Becky Shrum.
“Can’t wait to go shop today! Love this store and totally support their intent,” commented Elyse Wade. “So disgusted to watch the government legislate things that should not be legislated.”
“I am out of town, but I just submitted my order online,” added Philis Cook. “I support Hobby Lobby, and I feel that all Christians should support our brothers and sisters in Christ. … May all your lives be blessed as you live in Christ and follow His Commandments.”
Others supporters state that they will be doing more than just shopping.
“What am I going to buy at Hobby Lobby? Poster boards and markers to make signs to wave outside Hobby Lobby near the main road!” writes Amy Butt. “I want to make the community aware of what the government is forcing on businesses! I encourage others to join me. Stand outside your store — near the main road — and inform the community that their religious freedom is under attack!”
Former Arkansas governor, pastor and presidential candidate, Mike Huckabee, now FOX talk show host, also expressed his support of Hobby Lobby Day.
“This is not just about Hobby Lobby — this is about you!” Huckabee wrote on his official website. “If Hobby Lobby is forced to eat the ‘king’s meat’ and ‘bow on their knees’ to a human government in direct conflict with their fundamentals of faith, then how long will it be before they come for you and your family?”
“We will stand with them in their resistance. For we will either stand together or fall together,” he continued. “I choose to stand.”
Earlier this week, Emily Hartman, Communications Director for The Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty, told Christian News Network that Hobby Lobby is standing by its previous statement issued after the Supreme Court’s rejection of the company’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 in November, 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 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].”