Hobby Lobby Faces $1.3 million per day fines over HHS Mandate starting Jan 1

Standing Against Christian Persecution

Hobby Lobby will have to begin paying fines of $1.3 million per day next Tuesday, thanks to the HHS Mandate.

After federal appeals court ruled against their lawsuit regarding the mandate, Hobby Lobby petitioned the Supreme Court for injunctive relief. What that means is that they asked the Supreme Court to push back the date on which the fines would become effective.

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor denied this petition. That means that Hobby Lobby will be subject to $1.3 million in fines every single day, beginning January 1.

All this comes from an agency rule which was signed by one man: President Obama.

It is not a statute that was passed by a legislative body. We the people were not at the table when the HHS Mandate was created. It was written by an appointed (and hand-picked) committee which was balanced heavily in favor of supporters and activists for Planned Parenthood and abortion.

This Mandate is in direct violation of the promise that President Obama gave to the American people and to pro-life Democrats who helped him pass the Affordable Health Care Act. To put it bluntly, the President lied to pro life Democratic members of Congress such as Congressman Bart Stupak in order to pass Obamacare. Former Congressman Stupak has signed a letter in opposition to the Mandate essentially saying this.

For myself, I plan to go shopping at Hobby Lobby.

These are two quotes from different articles which describe the logic of filing the petition to the Supreme Court and the decision by Justice Sotomayor.

Justice Sotomayor Rejects Hobby Lobby’s Request for Mandate Relief (1192)
The Christian-owned business now faces fines of up to $1.3 million per day after Jan. 1 if it refuses to provide abortion-inducing drugs in its company health insurance plan.

by REGISTER STAFF 12/27/2012 Comment

– Wikicommons
WASHINGTON — Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor has rejected a request that the federal government temporarily halt enforcement of the federal abortifacient mandate against the Christian-owned business Hobby Lobby, the Associated Press reported Dec. 27.
The Green family, owners of the Oklahoma-based retail chain Hobby Lobby, does not object to providing contraceptives through the company’s health insurance plan. But the company has filed a lawsuit against the Affordable Healthcare Act’s mandate that abortifacient drugs also be funded, on the grounds that involvement in abortions is a violation of the Greens’ religious beliefs.
In her Dec. 26 decision denying the request from Hobby Lobby and a related company, Mardel Inc., Justice Sotomayor ruled the Greens’ companies do not meet the legal standard for preventing enforcement of the mandate while their lawsuit is before the courts, the Associated Press reported.
Hobby Lobby sought relief from enforcement of the mandate because as of Jan. 1, the company will face potential fines of $1.3 million per day if it declines to provide coverage of the so-called “morning after” and “week after” abortifacient drugs in its health insurance plan.
Hobby Lobby appealed to the Supreme Court after a federal court denied its request for relief from enforcement of the abortifacient mandate Dec. 20. The 10th Circuit Court rejected the motion on the grounds that the religious burden to the Green family was “indirect and attenuated.”
Some religious nonprofits are not required to comply with the mandate until Aug. 1, 2013, while the Obama administration works out the details of changes it has promised to make to the mandate to address their religious objections. However, other religious employers were required to begin providing co-pay-free contraceptives and related services by August 2012, or whenever they subsequently updated their health plans.
The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which is representing Hobby Lobby as well as a number of other organizations and groups that have filed lawsuits against the contraceptive mandate, said in a Dec. 20 press release that “the Green family’s religious convictions prohibit them from providing or paying for the abortion-inducing drugs, the ‘morning-after’ and ‘week-after’ pills, which would violate their most deeply held religious belief that life begins at conception.”

Read more: http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/justice-sotomayor-rejects-hobby-lobbys-request-for-mandate-relief#ixzz2GHDEodQD

A Hobby Lobby store. Photo courtesy of the Becket Fund.

Washington D.C., Dec 20, 2012 / 05:53 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Arts and crafts giant Hobby Lobby will appeal to the nation’s highest court after an appeals court ruled the federal contraception mandate does not impose a “substantial burden” on the owners’ religious freedom.

“The Green family is disappointed with this ruling,” said Kyle Duncan, general counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which is handling the case.

He explained that the Christian family that owns and operates Hobby Lobby must now “seek relief from the United States Supreme Court.”

“The Greens will continue to make their case on appeal that this unconstitutional mandate infringes their right to earn a living while remaining true to their faith,” Duncan said.

On Dec. 20, an appeals court denied the plaintiffs’ request for a temporary injunction to block the federal contraception mandate from being enforced against them while their case moves forward in the court.

The mandate requires employers to offer health insurance covering sterilization and contraception, including drugs that may cause early abortions. As Christians, the Greens are morally opposed to funding any type of abortion, including those caused by “morning after” and “week after” pills. (Read more here.)

  • Bill S

    “Therefore we seek to honor God by operating the company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles.”

    And what Biblical principles are we talking about? First it was the Church that should be exempt. Then it was Catholic institutions like schools and hospitals. Now it is Catholic employers.

    “As Christians, the Greens are morally opposed to funding any type of abortion, including those caused by “morning after” and “week after” pills.” This is just a hang up that no reasonable person need tolerate. They are not making the decision to take the pill. Their employees are. They are just being difficult for no good reason. Just obey the law and pay the premiums and let your employees make their own health care decisions.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I believe the Biblical principle he is referring is the one that says it is wrong to kill innocent people.

    • SteveP

      Bill S: Look again at the two parties in the contract – the employer and the insurance company. Do the employer and the insurance company have the right to negotiate a private contract? I think you answer is no they do not.

      You propose a strange conflict of privacy rights.

    • Ted Seeber

      What part of Congress Shall Make No Law respecting the Establishment of Religion or the FREE EXERCISE THEREOF do you and SCOTUS fail to understand?

  • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

    So now we are playing God and deciding whether we think someone else’s conscience is “being difficult for no good reason.” It’s a very slippery slope from there, Bill. Personally, I think that there is no good reason for Jews and Muslims not to eat pork, but that is not for me to decide, nor is it for me or anyone else to force them to pay for anyone’s pork sandwich.

    And that’s what they object to, I’m sure, is that they have to shell out company money for those insurance coverages, thus making them complicit.

    • Alan

      I’ve never heard of a Jewish owned company that rejects expense reimbursement for meals bought at McDonald’s.

      What they object to is the moral decisions of their employees. They need to get over it or move to a country that is run by the Catholic church.

      • Rebecca Hamilton

        Actually, no, they are not in any way giving an opinion about the moral decisions of their employees. They are objecting to having the right to make their own moral decisions taken away from them by government force.

        These people are American citizens. They don’t have to move anywhere. They also are not Catholics.

        I have no idea what point you’re making about Jewish-owned companies and McDonalds.

        • Alan

          Yes, they are giving an opinion about the moral decision of their employees – if they want to be responsible for their health insurance they need to give them access to everything deemed minimal. They have another option, don’t provide the insurance and instead cover the federal subsidies that will help them buy individual insurance.

          They don’t have to move anywhere – but then they have to accept there responsibilities as business owners in this country.

          And my point was Jewish owned companies don’t whine about paying for their employees pork meals when they reimburse them for business expenses because they aren’t trying to force their morality on their employees.

          • Rebecca Hamilton

            Saying that they don’t want to pay for something that can kill innocent people is only an opinion of their employees’ potential actions by derivation. Evidently, you oppose the right of these people to even refuse to participate in something and equate that with an opinion and also believe that having opinions is somehow so reprehensible that it should be punished by federal fines and penalties. If that is your contention, knock yourself out. I’m not going to debate something like this.

            As for the analogy of Jewish business owners who reimburse for McDonald’s pork sandwiches, I was (1) unaware that McDonald’s even served pork sandwiches, but if they do, then (2) I am also unaware of the practices of Jewish business owners concerning said sandwiches, but, (3) assuming that McDonald’s sells pork sandwiches (I’m just not overly tuned in to their menu) and (4) that there is a large number of people who are employed by Jewish-owned businesses who eat at McDonald’s and (5) order pork sandwiches when they do and (6) then ask to be reimbursed for the cost of said pork sandwich by the aforementioned Jewish business owners, and that (7) all owners of Jewish businesses reimburse for this purchase and that they do so (8) without “whining,” well then, the question remains …

            … What does a pork sandwich have to do with an abortifacient drug that can kill someone?

          • Ted Seeber

            1. Contraception isn’t health care, it is murder. Regardless of what the bigots from Planned Parenthood say. They don’t get to dictate my religion to me.
            2. As far as I’m concerned, SCOTUS just made the entire constitution a void contract. I see no reason why anybody should respect the federal government any more at all.

          • Thomas R

            The analogy makes no sense. This isn’t the employer paying them extra money which they then use for anything they want. It’s the employer being required/told they are supporting this specific thing. If I work for a Vegan it’s, at best, rude to keep telling them “Thanks to your money I’m going to go eat meat now.” To outright ask them for McDonald’s coupons I think would be obnoxious and I doubt I’d do it. (I wouldn’t work for Vegans in the first place. And I switched to Vegans as it’s a better analogy as they deem meat a kind of killing)

            As for the some of the rest there might be some tendency to revere the State or Nation when you take away God. Without a God the State/Nation might indeed be the main thing greater than the self. However not everyone believes that morality is only from the State/Nation and that all its laws are just or must not be questioned. Their understanding of being “in this country” might be that this is a free country that recognizes conscientious objection. So Mennonite colleges don’t have to play the National Anthem, as some don’t, and they can opt out of morning-after pills.

      • Ted Seeber

        I was in a Seventh Day Adventist company that did. Does that count?

  • Bill S

    Jews and Muslims pay taxes, some of which go toward paying for school lunch programs. Do they have a right to refuse to pay their taxes if the lunches include pork? Are they going against their faith in paying taxes? Should anyone even listen to them if they complain?

    Nobody’s playing God. You can’t raise the First Amendment every time you can’t get your way. The judge has made her ruling and I am sure it will prevail. With all the problems in the world, to get all worked up about something that is this trivial is just riddiculous.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Bill, Justice Sotomayor’s ruling was in answer to a request for emergency injunctive relief. It was not a ruling on the HHS Mandate.

      As for your knee-jerk reaction in support of Justice Sotomayor’s decision, I wonder how you will feel when the government gets around to you, as it surely will if this trend toward abrogating citizens’ right to act in accord with their consciences continues.

      • Bill S

        I don’t have an ultra-scupulous conscience like Mr. Green, who has no problem dictating morality to his employees, but who believes that the morning after pill is such a horrible thing that providing coverage for it would violate it. The closest I came to having the government force me to violate my conscience was that I was eligible to be drafted to fight in Vietnam. I would have held that against the government. Other than that, I am not so scrupulous that something as innocent as providing health care coverage to my employees would cause me to violate my conscience. That’s just sick.

        • Rebecca Hamilton

          Bill, based on your comments on this blog, you seem to latch onto any trendy way to kill people out there. Your newfound atheism, with its total disregard for the dignity of the human person, has evidently led you into accepting anything … anything at all.
          Your choice of the military draft as an example is an ironic one. Our government has long allowed people of faith to refuse to take up arms in its defense, if that violated their conscience. In fact, it has allowed people of no faith to do the same. I have a friend who was given conscientious objector status on just this basis.
          The logic you seek to apply would abrogate that right, along with every other consideration of individual conscience before the government behemoth you are debating for.
          The simple truth is, you have, so far as I know, come out in favor of destroying individual liberty and freedom of conscience, or in support of just plain killing people, on any topic that’s been discussed here.
          If this is the kind of thinking atheism produces, then it’s hardly a force for either progress or freedom, but a stalking horse for tyranny and death.

          • Bill S

            “If this is the kind of thinking atheism produces, then it’s hardly a force for either progress or freedom, but a stalking horse for tyranny and death.”

            I guess that’s where our opinions differ. The first time I stumbled upon your blog was when I was looking for an opposing opinion on Death With Dignity, from which I got a lot of good feedback. Why is it so predictable that atheists and Catholics will disagree on so many issues? I don’t have an answer for that but it is good to seek out opposing views.

            • Mark G.

              Bill,
              Another poor analogy that you make is equating Christian’s being forced to provide abortifacient drugs to their employees with a Muslim having to pay taxes which pays for pork being served in Public Schools.

              A better analogy would be the government forcing a Muslim to serve pork chops to his employees on their lunch break in his Halal Shop…

              But, I’m sure if that was the case you would be out protesting on his behalf.

        • Ted Seeber

          Bill, from what you’ve posted on this blog about life issues, you have no conscience at all.

      • kenneth

        The government does get around to us, and we all have the same avenues of relief before the courts and petition to elected officials and the vote. That last piece is particularly important. Obama did not take power by coup or by installation from some foreign power. His stance on Obamacare as it interfaces with religion was well known heading into the recent election. “We the people” were most definitely at the table during this entire process, as much as is ever the case in a representative democracy. Businesses and religious/cultural interest groups arguably have influence well beyond “one person one vote” through the magic of super-pacs and lobbying resources which are out of reach of ordinary voters.

        Hobby Lobby has the same rights to make its case before the courts, and, I would argue, has more legal resources to effectively do so than do 99% of individuals in this nation. Hobby Lobby is not the victim of some pogrom. It is a citizen no less than any of us. Sometimes the law doesn’t break the same direction as our wishes or consciences. As individuals, we have many avenues of redress. Beyond that, we can suck it up and obey the law or disobey it as conscientious objectors and take on the consequences of that. Ordinary citizens live with those realities all of our lives. There is no reason why corporate citizens should have a special legal highway for avoiding the speed bumps of life like the rest of us.

        • Rebecca Hamilton

          Actually, I agree with much of what you said, I just don’t think it applies to this discussion. The question isn’t whether or not corporations are persons under the law. It is also not the question of injunctive relief, which was decided today. The question is whether or not the HHS Mandate should be allowed to stand and what effect this Mandate has on the rights of individual conscience.

        • Ted Seeber

          “It is a citizen no less than any of us”- except with this ruling, we all just got demoted from citizen to peasant- with no say left in how we run our lives or what we believe.

    • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

      People being compelled to pay taxes, some of which go towards things which are immoral, is indeed bad, and one would be justified in refusing to pay them in my opinion. However, the HHS mandate is even worse than that. The HHS mandate forces someone to directly subsidize, as a benefit of employment, coverage for immoral activities which violate their conscience.

      • Bill S

        What kind of immoral activities is this employer being forced to cover? The HHS mandate is great for the employee. If it poses such a moral dilemma for the employer, then maybe he shouldn’t have his business in this country. Maybe he should outsource if he can’t live with the guilt of one of his female employees taking a morning after pill. Is this really something that the owner of a multi-million dollar business stays up nights worrying about?

        • Rebecca Hamilton

          The forced financial support of induced abortion via means of abortifacients. Some people consider this immoral Bill. I realize that the idea of morality is an oxymoron to an atheist, but there are those people who try to govern their lives by these precepts, including the quaint notion that all human life is valuable and it is wrong to kill people at any stage of their existence. Evidently, David Green is one of those people.

          • Ash

            “I realize that the idea of morality is an oxymoron to an atheist”

            Completely false. Try treating the human person with respect and dignity instead of slander.

            • Rebecca Hamilton

              In what way is it false Ash? On what basis would an atheist create a morality? Situational ethics is not morality. Neither is blanket nihilism or appeals to “reason,” which is a purely subjective term. Since, in the atheist worldview, human beings are simply animals among other animals, what is the basis for valuing human life? Other than the notion that the biggest and meanest get to make all the rules — which is pretty much what I see in these repeated defenses of killing, government hegemony and the destruction of the rights of individual conscience — what are the moral parameters of this philosophy?

              When the government finishes destroying religious freedom, do you think it will stop at that? The viewpoint of those backing this mandate seems to be that so long as the rights that government is trampling belong to people they don’t agree with, then that is a good thing and they support it. They forget that an empowered government is not so easy to control. The powers they erect to trample other people’s freedoms do not vanish when that piece of dirty work is done. It is a matter of time before that same government turns on them.

              As for atheist “morality,” I repeat: It is an oxymoron to even talk about it since there is no objective criteria on which it can be based.

              • Thomas R

                I don’t agree and I’m against Bill on this by and large.

                But to say atheists can’t have morality I think is kind of hammering many other people, not just Bill. Going from the Catholic Encyclopedia of 1911

                “On the other hand, the Church has ever affirmed that the two are essentially connected, and that apart from religion the observance of the moral law is impossible. This, indeed, follows as a necessary consequence from the Church’s teaching as to the nature of morality. She admits that the moral law is knowable to reason: for the due regulation of our free actions, in which morality consists, is simply their right ordering with a view to the perfecting of our rational nature. But she insists that the law has its ultimate obligation in the will of the Creator by whom our nature was fashioned, and who imposes on us its right ordering as a duty; and that its ultimate sanction is the loss of God which its violation must entail. Further, among the duties which the moral law prescribes are some which are directly concerned with God Himself, and as such are of supreme importance. Where morality is divorced from religion, reason will, it is true, enable a man to recognize to a large extent the ideal to which his nature points. But much will be wanting. He will disregard some of his most essential duties. He will, further, be destitute of the strong motives for obedience to the law afforded by the sense of obligation to God and the knowledge of the tremendous sanction attached to its neglect — motives which experience has proved to be necessary as a safeguard against the influence of the passions. And, finally, his actions even if in accordance with the moral law, will be based not on the obligation imposed by the Divine will, but on considerations of human dignity and on the good of human society. Such motives, however, cannot present themselves as, strictly speaking, obligatory. But where the motive of obligation is wanting, acting lacks an element essential to true morality. Moreover, in this connection the Church insists upon the doctrine of original sin. She teaches that in our present state there is a certain obscurity in reason’s vision of the moral law, together with a morbid craving for independence impelling us to transgress it, and a lack of complete control over the passions; and that by reason of this inherited taint, man, unless supported by Divine aid, is unable to observe the moral law for any length of time.”

                So although this is saying morality can’t be disconnected from religion my understanding is that it also says atheist can know a kind of morality while lacking any sense of duty to it. Still an atheist can choose to obey his or her knowledge of morality and I’ve known atheists who I agree are moral. It’s deficient from Catholic teaching, but even if I’m out-on-a-limb here I think it exists. Atheism doesn’t negate one’s ability to feel empathy and learn how different behaviors lead to differing outcomes.

                • Rebecca Hamilton

                  I think we’re sliding past one another in what we’re saying. It sounds like what you’re referring to is something that is also called “natural law,” which is the idea that certain basic understandings of right and wrong are innate in each of us. This is the basis for assuming that a person would stand convicted before God of, say, murder, if he or she committed it for the simple reason that all people innately know that the killing of innocent people is wrong. I agree with this, btw.

                  What I am attempting to express is that atheism as a philosophy is incapable of developing a working moral code because it is a vacant philosophy which denies any basis for anything other than a survival of the fittest amorality which would doom most people to hard, short, narrow lives. Modern atheism not only denies the existence of natural law, it attacks its promptings. Haven’t you noticed that the atheists who comment on this blog and others are almost uniformly in favor of any and every sort of killing of the weak? Abortion, euthanasia, embryonic stem cell research, are all defended vigorously by these people as a positive good. The lives involved are uniformly and aggressively defined as “not human,” and thus unworthy of consideration.

                  Do you think this is an accident, or an inevitable outgrowth of an amoral philosophy?

                  My contention is that modern atheism is incapable of creating a moral code and that it is, as a philosophy, workable only within the framework of a culture that has an existing moral code to hem in its murderous impulses.

                  • Thomas R

                    Yeah, but I just think it’s unfair to equate atheists in general with this new reductionist mindset. I don’t think atheism necessarily is that and I’d like to think most atheists still aren’t that. Sure the loudest atheists are kind of evangelists for a narrow scientism, but this is somewhat recent. It wasn’t true when I first went online in 1998. As the term “atheist” still means “anyone who doesn’t believe in a god or gods”, rather than “Scientism mixed with nihilism”, it’s not the same thing.

                    • Rebecca Hamilton

                      You’re probably right. There was a time when I would have argued your viewpoint vehemently. But that was back in the day. The atheists I’ve encountered in the past six years or so are … well, no reason for a list of adjectives. They mimic the worst of Dawkins, let’s say. As for their philosophy being capable of creating a workable morality, I still say no. It is, at best, too mushy and subjective.

                    • Ted Seeber

                      I’ve never known an atheist who was not also a reductionist, addicted to Ockham’s razor like a druggie to meth. Have you?

            • Ted Seeber

              I’ve never known ANY atheist to treat the human person with dignity and respect at all. And certainly not the pro-choice ones, who are against both dignity and respect.

              • Thomas R

                Anti-euthanasia activist Harriet McBryde Johnson was an atheist. In her article discussing her debate with Peter Singer she stated “God didn’t put me on this street to provide disability awareness training to the likes of them. In fact, no god put anyone anywhere for any reason, if you want to know.” And elsewhere she stated her atheism.

                Granted she could be a bit too militant, but I admire many things about her. (She died before I learned of her) And I was lucky/unlucky enough to start online at science fiction forums where I met some very friendly, and very much atheist, writers.

                • Ted Seeber

                  Doesn’t that quote kind of prove my point “to the likes of them”. It is easy to respect the lives of your friends, it is incredibly hard to respect the lives of your enemies.

                  • Thomas R

                    I didn’t claim she was perfect, just that she respected the life of the weak and vulnerable.

              • Sus

                Ted, some of your comments make me ashamed that I am on my quest for religion because your God is so judgmental there is no room for redemption.

                An atheist reading your words might think by your standards there isn’t any room for them to discover God so why bother.

                A woman who has had abortion might read your words and think there is no hope for her so why bother.

                • Ted Seeber

                  Redemption requires repentance. Atheists do not recognize either.

                  An atheist who clings to the lies of atheism will never discover God because they’ve purposely ignored all of the evidence for God. In fact, their definition of evidence *specifically* excludes such ideas- any evidence leading to God will just be ignored.

                  And finally, near as I can tell, there is a systemic attempt by atheists at eugenics and population reduction right now. It’s their judgement that condemns.

                  • Sus

                    I’ve never known an atheist who was not also a reductionist, addicted to Ockham’s razor like a druggie to meth. Have you?”

                    Ted, because of how I grew up, I have known many atheists who are not the evil people you say they are. Labeling all atheists like this is wrong. Your message gets lost. How can you say you should have the right to worship when you don’t want to allow others their right not to worship?

                    • Thomas R

                      Yes, I’ve also known atheists who aren’t especially reductionist. I do think Dawkins/Dennett/Myers/Etc have created a group of “online atheists” who are extremely intense and somewhat repetitious. (Hitchens is somewhat different as his disdain of religion sounded somewhat emotional, rather than purely scientism, so I’d guess his followers even now aren’t necessarily reductionist) When I first went online though they weren’t as common. Back then there were still many atheists who preferred to call themselves “humanists” or whatever and sometimes even treated religion as anthropologically interesting rather than upsetting. You still sometimes see atheists like that in anthropology and “Soft Science Fiction.” Granted as a Catholic I’d agree atheism is deficient and false, but if an atheist doesn’t pester me about my religion (and several have been okay in my life) I usually won’t bother them.

          • Bill S

            Looking at the morning after pill as an abortifacient is misleading Mr. Green and a lot of other conscientious people. When you look at exactly what happens when a woman takes this pill, you can’t really call it an induced abortion. People who see it as such have been hyper-sensitized thereby allowing an emotional response to take over their way of seeing things. The Church doesn’t make any effort to clarify this issue because it is against contraception of any form, which is ridduculous.

            • Rebecca Hamilton

              I don’t agree with you at all Bill. The morning after pill has a clear abortifacient property in how it functions. Also, it is dangerous for women to take over and over; something which no one seems to care very much about. Whatever the Church teaches or doesn’t is not pertinent to the Hobby Lobby situation, since the Greens are not Catholic.

            • Ted Seeber

              “Looking at the morning after pill as an abortifacient is misleading Mr. Green and a lot of other conscientious people. When you look at exactly what happens when a woman takes this pill, you can’t really call it an induced abortion”

              Only if you want to lie about the definition of abortion. Which of course you do, because you’re a liar.

        • Thomas R

          “What kind of immoral activities is this employer being forced to cover?”

          I’m on a different tack here. I don’t think it’s even necessary for you to recognize the morning-after pill is immoral. However what you think is moral or immoral doesn’t even have to be the issue. They consider it immoral. Whether you think they’re deluded or not is irrelevant. What matters is they believe funding it is financially supporting killing done by their employees.

          I may think it’s “delusional” to think eating eggs hurts anyone. This doesn’t mean I’d find it baffling if a Vegan employer doesn’t want eggs in their cafeteria. I don’t have to believe what they believe to recognize they believe it and it matters to them.

  • http://www.patheos.com Amy

    Was it ever up for discussion that employers could give their employees an increase in pay so they could be responsible for paying for their own health care? It would have been taxable income, but again it would have been up to the employees to shop for their own insurance needs. And I am talking about everyone, not just one company. Would it have been a feasible solution? As it stands, if employers are following their moral conscience, then pass on that moral responsibilty to their employees by giving them raises, and have nothing more to do with providing them health insurance coverage.

    • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

      This would make sense. It would even make sense for the government to just subsidize the contraception and abortion pills directly at the medical offices (even though it would be wrong) but they just HAD to do it this way and overrun people’s consciences in the process.

    • SteveP

      Amy: Private employer offered health benefits are bound by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (EIRSA). I believe that is the source of “you must offer a health plan if you have more than X full-time employees.”

    • Alan

      That is in essence what their options are – they can choose not to offer insurance and instead pay the fines that offset the federal subsidies for individual insurance their employees would be purchasing instead.

    • lethargic

      What would make even more sense, thus will never be done, is to de-couple insurance from employment. I mean really, how many people buy auto or home insurance through their employer? Yet it’s expected for every employer that is “large enough” to provide such a subsidized product. That’s an artifact of the ramp-up of personal income taxes back in the WW II time frame. De-couple it altogether and let every individual choose individually, no mandates. Only then will we have liberty.

      • Ted Seeber

        I personally would like to see health care be on a subscription model rather than an insurance model. It is the way the rich do it anyway.

  • Will

    The federal government, many state and local governments, and school districts have been giving these benefits to employees for years with taxpayer money.

    • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

      Whether it should be this way or not (I would say not), most Americans have gotten used to paying taxes to support the government, even though the government then turns around and does any number of immoral things which depend partially on the tax revenues (unjust wars, abortion/contraception funding for overseas & domestic entities, general overspending, etc.)

      They have NOT yet gotten used to being forced to directly subsidize coverage for immoral actions, so it seems like now is a good place to draw the line.

  • SteveP

    Rebecca Hamilton: This is sad news regarding the sought injunction. It will be even sadder if the government does indeed attempt to collect the accrued fines.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I agree.

  • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

    Why did Justice Sotomayor get to make the decision? Is that just a “random” choice, or is she speaking for the justices as a whole? If just a random choice, isn’t that rather arbitrary? I mean if it were Justice Scalia, the decision would in all likelihood have been different.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      I believe they appoint one justice to handle these emergency appeals. She was speaking for the Court as a whole, but her decision is limited to the emergency appeal for injunctive relief. It does not apply to challenges to the Mandate.

      I agree that the decision might very well have been different if Scalia had been the judge making it.

  • http://www.rosariesforlife.com Dave

    So, I’m having a hard time understanding why some do not understand this as being a gross violation of conscience, so I have come up with a directly comparable example to see if it helps.

    I have heard in the news that some individuals are trying to come up with poisons that would selectively kill those with certain DNA markers and leave others unaffected. Let’s say that someone was able to come up with such a poison that would kill a certain class of people. And let’s say that the government mandated that businesses had to cover such a poison as part of the offered health insurance plan. Of COURSE, the government would not call it a poison. It would be called a “selective demographic purifier.” Now, do you have a problem with that? Or do you think it’s fine because no one is forced to use the purifier, and it simply gives the option to the employee?

    Now, this is a nation of racists who believe that this particular race is subhuman, and most people believe that those who are against the purifier are getting all upset over a trivial matter. What say you?

    • Thomas R

      I’ve argued this issue on a forum where practically all supported the mandate. From what I can tell many of them come close to agreeing it’s a violation of conscience, but…

      One: Your conscience doesn’t apply once you live your house or house of worship. When you are in the public you must obey public morality not personal morality.

      Two: Employees outnumber employers so their conscience has precedence.

      Three: Forms of morality that reject contraception or the morning-after-pill are illegitimate and contrary to the common good. Therefore they can no longer be tolerated in a modern society. Any more than we tolerate cultural practices like female-circumcision.

      • Rebecca Hamilton

        One: Your conscience doesn’t apply once you live your house or house of worship. When you are in the public you must obey public morality not personal morality.

        This supposition, like just about all the suppositions of its type, is a form of tyranny. The idea that the government may enforce “public” morality on individuals and require them to abrogate their private conscience is one of the most profound and intrusive forms of tyranny known to man. That these people would blithely support it for something so inane is rather mind boggling.

        Two: Employees outnumber employers so their conscience has precedence.

        Nazis outnumbered Jews. White people outnumbered blacks during segregation. etc, etc. INDIVIDUALS matter, including their right of conscience.

        Three: Forms of morality that reject contraception or the morning-after-pill are illegitimate and contrary to the common good. Therefore they can no longer be tolerated in a modern society. Any more than we tolerate cultural practices like female-circumcision.

        In other words, I want what I want and my wants are more important than anyone else’ individual right of conscience.

        • Thomas R

          I was also rather aghast at how totalitarian some of their arguments seemed. Although in part I think they see them as the opposite and libertarian-like. Pregnancy must be optional because everything should be optional in a free society. Things that make it harder for women to be “free” of pregnancy should be smashed.

          Although some of them are coming at it from a “Shulamith Firestone” type view that pregnancy is a bad thing we tolerate for a greater good. So pregnancies should only occur when thoroughly planned for or chosen. To make avoiding pregnancy more difficult is to force women to suffer because pregnancy is dangerous, painful, exhausting, and hurtful. So from their mindset I was a man wanting it to be harder for women to cure themselves of disease and they said just that.

        • Alan

          Yeah, how dare they not allow female circumcision and interfere with your right to conscience.

          • Thomas R

            If that’s what you got from what I said you need better reading skills.

            • Thomas R

              Alas my brother seems to support this mandate. His argument seems to be healthcare is part of wages so employees can have it cover whatever they wish and the employers conscience is not affected. He called me up to try to get me to “understand what he’s saying better”, but I still don’t think I liked it.

    • Ted Seeber

      They understand. But like our friend Bill, they decide that lies are better than objective truth.

  • FW Ken

    Its an easy google to find what happened last time the government got into the sterilization business. We really don’t want to go there.

    And its beyond imagining that people deny the clear thrust of this law, which is a first step toward public funding of abortion.

  • Peg

    I’ll join in and shop more at Hobby Lobby. This is a great company. Anyone can get these pills free or cheap–they don’t need to be mandated–excuse my language but what a load of crap! These fines are excessive and punitive and totalitarian.

    This may sound conspiratorial but I think some dark forces have gotten to the supreme court – not sure things will be righted there…needs lots of prayers…please keep posting about this case so that those of us who do believe in objective morality can support the Green family.

  • Gary

    I don’t think its right that hobby lobby has to cover the morning after pill..
    if someone wants to have sex with out a condom then that’s on them..
    I would not expect my company to pay for my mistake

  • FW Ken

    From what I read, even the Canadian health system doesn’t go this far. There’s a darkness working here greater than simple politics.

    • Alan

      Canada has a single payer system and it does cover birth control and in most provinces emergency contraception so I’m not sure what comparison you are trying to make.

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  • Beth F

    Hobby Lobby is one of a few places I can go to buy craft and fabric goods in my area, and the only one in my budget. I imagine with that kind of a fine, they will not be open for much longer, and that will be a great loss for crafters in my area.

    • Rebecca Hamilton

      Go. Buy. Support them Beth. Courage of this type deserves all the support we can give them.

      • http://heartfulmemories.wordpress.com janice oliver

        Just the knowledge that Hobby Lobby is a Christian based store is what drew me to it to begin with.
        their selection of christian cards cannot be found in any other store in my town. like Beth F says I will be sad when they close because surely they cannot afford to pay the fine and the judge knows this. (the dark foces at work). There is a war on religion that has started and wont the non- belivers be surprised when their rights are taken as well. Knowing God brings the knowledge of morality.

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