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The Prescott Daily Courier | Prescott, Arizona

home : opinions : opinions December 17, 2014

1/1/2013 10:00:00 PM
Editorial: Hobby's stand on par with civil-rights fight

Certain laws require action. For example, Arizona's minimum wage went up as of Jan. 1 to $7.80 per hour. The federal minimum remains at $7.25 per hour and, because the state's rate is higher, employers must pay the higher wage.

When it comes to health care, such as Obamacare, certain provisions will affect businesses as well. The example there is providing workers with insurance that, as of Jan. 1, covers emergency contraceptives. However, in this case, the federal law supercedes state requirements.

And that is what Hobby Lobby is finding out. The craft chain - based in Oklahoma City, with one store here in Prescott Valley - is refusing to provide that type of insurance, saying that certain types of contraception such as the morning-after pill and the week-after pill violate their religious beliefs against abortion.

That is because the owners are a conservative Christian family, and it is not just a matter of principle for them; they appealed the question to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Unfortunately for them, on Monday they lost a last-minute appeal to the high court. After the court refused to block the mandate, a lawyer for Hobby Lobby said the family will defy the law and refuse to provide health coverage for contraception they considered to be "abortion-inducing."

As a result, Hobby Lobby could be fined as much as $1.3 million per day, according to the Associated Press. "They're not going to comply with the mandate," said Kyle Duncan, general counsel of the Beckett Fund for Religious Liberty, which represents the company. "They're not going to offer coverage for abortion-inducing drugs in the insurance plan."

Admirable. It is civil disobedience at its finest, comparable to civil-rights era efforts in which individuals defied bad laws to effect change.

In theory, this is an instance that could ultimately cost jobs and depress wages for the types of workers President Obama supports. So which desire will prevail - the Obama administration wanting unfettered access to the week-after pill or wanting to preserve and/or create jobs?

The family does not want to choose between following the law and abandoning their religious beliefs. But if forced to do so, it's clear which path they will take.

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Reader Comments

Posted: Thursday, January 03, 2013
Article comment by: It's all moot

At 1.3 million a day in fines, Hobby Lobby will be bankrupt soon as it works out to nearly one half billion per year. Unless the business is sold, or they drop all health care, this problem will be resolved in bankruptcy court. Simple math here

Posted: Thursday, January 03, 2013
Article comment by: To Dutch Holland

You state that Hobby Lobby is putting their faith in place of making money. Then, how do you explain the fact that they buy the vast majority of their products from China...a non-Christian country and a country that has many human issues? Hobby Lobby wants to pick and choose their religious beliefs and then impose them on their employees. I'm a Christian, but I do not think that Hobby Lobby is making a good judgment call on this one. They can't have it both ways. If they were such a great religious company, they would not be buying their products from China.

Posted: Thursday, January 03, 2013
Article comment by: Arlis Gamlen

You libs never cease to entertain. Look at you with all your quips about the moral ambiguities and supposed inconsistencies regarding this company's policy. They don't want to support the slaughter of un-born human babies, period.

Stop babbling about "Viagra", divorce, un-wed child birth, contraception and all that other bull shirt. You libs know that abortion on demand is one of your most important values. You know that there are plenty of ways that women can have their un-born child slaughtered without any help from Hobby Lobby or any other employer. But you insist that everyone support, both financially and otherwise, your priority of making the right to slaughter un-born babies something we all participate in to some extent.

Posted: Thursday, January 03, 2013
Article comment by: Hooty Hoo

The kicker here is that our government really thinks they can impose their will on us. They really honestly believe they can tax the rich more and get more money, or make Hobby Lobby provide abortions if they don't want to. What they forget is that the rich are smarter than them, so they'll have the upper hand. And that the owners of Hobby Lobby are smarter than them too. There's a way around everything in this country. I know rich people who outsmart the tax man all over the place. They're got passports and accounts in foreign coutries you won't believe.

Posted: Thursday, January 03, 2013
Article comment by: just thinking

If I wanted to work for Hobby Lobby, I should understand that this company will limit the healthcare I get. Maybe hobby lobby should hire only nuns or seniors. We surely don't need birth control of any kind.

Seriously, let each new employee or since this is the beginning of the year, let all the employees sign they understand there are limits in the Rx plan and they agree with the company.

Neither party should be able to force their views on the other. Accept or leave and be so good at what you do your employer will make some concessions.

It really all boils down to costs. Religious beliefs only go so far. How many children does the owner and board members have. What type of coverage are they actually using.

If you hire people that want birth control your religious objections are yours not theirs. So don't force them, be honest day one and it won't be an issue.

I personally don't think birth control is the issue. The unwanted pregnancy is the issue! That is where we must start and prevention all begins with birth control.

You may disagree but if it wasn't for the pregnancy there would be no abortions.

Posted: Thursday, January 03, 2013
Article comment by: KATE WEBSTER

Thank you Hobby Lobby for standing up for your religious convictions! It is a bright light in the world of "oh well" thinking. I am completely gagged by the thought that an employer is expected to deal with an employees sexual behaviors.
The "unfettered" sexual behavior of employees is THEIR responsibility-not an employers. There are many ways to prevent the need for these government required pills. If you are not interested in having children-avoid "shopping around" for them. Take responsibility for your sexual actions-don't require your boss to do so.

Hats off to the Greens! One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. Let's restore our values and in doing so, restore our nation.

See you at the Hobby Lobby!

Posted: Thursday, January 03, 2013
Article comment by: A Teacher

They are free to stick to their own morals, but not to determine them for others. This is no different that refusing to pay minimum wage for moral reasons.

Posted: Thursday, January 03, 2013
Article comment by: To Another Opinion

I think you will have great success booking either Olive Garden or Red Lobster for any kind of group get-togethers you like.

Although I find the quality of food and service good in both places, the last time I was in either one there was no where near the volume of people there used to be. There were a large number of vacant tables and noticeably fewer employees.

I don't know the reasons for the decline. But it is definitely there.

Posted: Thursday, January 03, 2013
Article comment by: dutch holland

@ to all who ''disapprove'' of Hobby Lobby's stance........

I am sure they will not miss your few pennies you would spend there.
bye-bye, dont let the door hit you on your way out.
I and many others WILL support Hobby Lobby.

Posted: Thursday, January 03, 2013
Article comment by: dutch holland

@ It's All About the Profits............you said.......This whole argument has nothing to do with "Faith", but rather the almighty buck.

it seems to me that they are putting their Faith in place of making money. I am quite sure they know their business could fold, but to them God is more important than the money.

Posted: Thursday, January 03, 2013
Article comment by: Edith Anderson

Stick to your beliefs, So Stated In Gods Word
your reward is a Gift from GOD

Posted: Thursday, January 03, 2013
Article comment by: Attention Hobby employees

Attention Hobby Lobby employees and any others that don't receive benifits: Your employeer has no respect for you and doesn't care if you live or die. Its all about profit!! $$$$$ You are disposable"

Posted: Thursday, January 03, 2013
Article comment by: Where Do They Really Stand? ?

I agree it is all about profits. But here is an even better point I saw someone post elsewhere on this same conversation...

"I'm curious about other religious impositions from the owners on their employees. Do they fire anyone getting a divorce? Refuse to hire divorced people? Or single parents? Since inusrance covers Viagra type meds, do they require that anyone receiving these be verified as married, and using the ED meds for their spouse alone? Are you ostracized if you don't go to church? Or to a different church?

Posted: Thursday, January 03, 2013
Article comment by: Another Opinion

Hobby Lobby can simply go out of business! Contrary to what you 'believe', some people actually are governed by a moral code. In this case, going out of business may be their only option to honor that code. If they did that, I would commend them. They certainly did not go into business to be bullied by a government mandate. And, like others they may decide they aren't going to play the game.

Olive Garden and Red Lobster sound like wonderful places to eat for my next group meetings!!! I'll pass the word ~ thanks!!! I think Red Lobster has a great Shrimp special going on. Yum!!!

I also love Chick Fil A when near one. : )

Posted: Thursday, January 03, 2013
Article comment by: Stealth Bummer

A mandate which suppresses a business owners' ability to run a business within the limits of their moral code will not be accepted by all.

Hobby Lobby's owners are not bound to continue their business if forced to go against their beliefs. I'm sure if forced to comply with this forced mandate, they will decide to take the higher moral road. Going out of business will not hurt them financially as their business is a thriving one. They will give up something they love in order to follow and honor their religious beliefs.

Liberals can spin the idea that a corporation is a secular entity and not entitled to religious exemptions as is an individual. They push the idea that an owner is somehow divorced from running his own business as his moral code dictates BECAUSE the business is a corporation.

However the owners of businesses such as Hobby Lobby cannot be mandated to STAY in business or HOW to structure their businesses. They can downsize, reduce employee hours, or simply go out of business.

In the end, this mandate will do more harm than good, imo. It is too early yet for anyone to know for sure, but time will tell.

In the meantime, Hobby Lobby is just one more of the many businesses being forced to make a choice. Violate long held principles or watch a lot of people lose their jobs.

I'm sure making a decision that will put people out of work is not easy. Who would have ever suspected that employers would be forced by government to run a business in a way which conflicts with their moral beliefs? Who would have ever suspected that contraception and abortion inducing drugs would be so important to be provided to workers through employers that many could lose their jobs over a moral conflict and a rather inexpensive drug?

These drugs should be available at discounted prices at local Planned Parenthood, etc. centers for those workers who have employers who wish to eliminate that portion of coverage from their healthcare coverage for moral concerns. Simple.

That way, women can get easily purchase the drugs if they so choose, and employers stay in business with their moral codes intact, workers keep working and everyone is happy.

There IS a compromise here. But the left does not seem willing to budge. And those who have moral objections will not compromise those morals. The consequences are going to be ugly, I think.

Posted: Thursday, January 03, 2013
Article comment by: J K

Thanks for the nformation. I didn't know Hobby was against a families right to choice. Glad to know that we have Michael's and Jo Anne's here in Prescott as alternatives.

Posted: Thursday, January 03, 2013
Article comment by: Attentive Listener

What if they were religiously against providing any kind of health insurance because they believed modern medicine violates god's will? It has long been the law of the land that employers provide insurance to the employed, regardless of religious or other objections.

Posted: Thursday, January 03, 2013
Article comment by: It's All About the Profits

This whole argument has nothing to do with "Faith", but rather the almighty buck.

I hope Hobby Lobby is aware that the profits of both Red Lobster and Olive Garden have plummeted 37% and continue to sink over their rufusal to address health care for their employees.

Someone writes that Hobby Lobby will not compromise their "Faith" ($$$) and will not pay the daily fine.

You may both be in for a rude awakening.

Posted: Wednesday, January 02, 2013
Article comment by: @ Bitter Clinger and the Hobby Lobby lobby

"If they would rather die, . . . they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.
-- Scrooge

Posted: Wednesday, January 02, 2013
Article comment by: Really .

@ Bitter Clinger:
Where did I say I'm *owed* anything? I've asked for no handouts from other citizens. Why can't you people comprehend simple concepts?

I'll say it s-l-o-w-e-r, so you 'special' types can understand: I *know* working and owning a business is a right. I already said as much. But the rules of business have changed. There *is* a government mandate now, you understand this, right? Thus, as a business owner, I either respect the will of the majority, waste valuable time and resources rebelling and trying to overturn it, move offshore or cease doing business altogether. Good luck on the second choice, as attempting to overturn a Supreme Court decision in itself will kill your business and likely bankrupt you. The third and fourth will also exhaust your resources and jettison jobs. Stop ignoring reality. I don't know how much clearer to you people I can make this.

I for one am glad it's a mandate, because It makes more fiscal sense in the long run for businesses to budget their profit margins so that the basic needs of their overhead are met. On the one hand, providing health insurance for your resources (employees) keeps them healthy and promotes longevity in your business, even if that workforce is one or two people. On the other hand, those businesses that have chosen to opt out for various reasons are clearly projecting that they care more about maintaining their profits than their own infrastructure, no matter how they choose to spin their motivations to the public. This is one reason why many businesses fail within the first year. This mandate will end up strengthening business in this country, not retarding it. Ignore the vitriol some know-nothing right-winger might spew at you. If you can't understand these pretty straight-forward concepts, then you have no business participating in the discussion.

Posted: Wednesday, January 02, 2013
Article comment by: Another Opinion

Hobby Lobby is always busy when I'm there. I will continue to support it by trying to buy what I need there vs any other store.

I also support whatever Hobby Lobby decides to do in the face of the Supreme Court decision.

My belief is that they will not compromise their faith. And they will not pay 1.3 million per day.

They will adjust their business to be able to serve their customers and be true to their faith. I just hope they keep our local store open.

If they need a few 18 hour per week workers, I'm available!

Posted: Wednesday, January 02, 2013
Article comment by: Clarissa Duke

I will support Hobby Lobby as best I can. How dare the government tell a private business what it can and cannot do.
Get over it!

Posted: Wednesday, January 02, 2013
Article comment by: Bitter Clinger

To Really & all the others who think they are owed things from other citizens:

Have you lost your mind(s)? Have you learned nothing? Have you no self respect?

Since when does a person opening a business, or hiring an employee, automatically become responsible for other people's health care costs and doctor bills? By this Obamalogic such an employer would owe all employees automobiles, clothing, food, family day care, and free alcohol.

Where did such a notion come from in the first place? For instance, "Free" medical care is not 'free' at all. If the patient ain't payin', then somebody else is picking up the tab. People like myself (and you should you actually pay taxes, or pay for your own care, which by the sounds of your post you do not).

This overt socialism and desire to make everyone dependent you left wingers push is an empty vessel of catastrophe, of which the effects of destroying a culture were on full display at the fall of the former Soviet Union. Yet, even with this clear example, the greed of the liberal remains unsated.

Owning a business and working is a right in America, not a privelige to be handed out by some city hall or DC bureaucrat!!!

America is based on liberty and self reliance, not government mandate. Thus Uncle Sugar stealing money at gunpoint from one group and handing it over to another.

Take a clue here, would you please!

Posted: Wednesday, January 02, 2013
Article comment by: Bitter Clinger Will absolutely support Hobby Lobby!!

Will ALWAYS shop at Hobby Lobby and will be telling everyone I know to support them as well.

Posted: Wednesday, January 02, 2013
Article comment by: So businesses please remember!! !!

So when you decide that you are not going to provide health care for you workers you are using my healthcare coverage to pay for them. Why? Becasue they can go to the Emergency room and get service. My coverage costs are figured out based on covering for the uncovered. Yep socialism to the max. I just call them users. The walmarts of the world cost me since I do pay for coverage.

So while you whiners are @#$ about the Obama/Romney plan I am glad to know that there is the potential for some insurance relief in the works for me. Unless the insurance companies try to keep my rates high regardless. Back to the users game.

You business people (who are not purchasing for your employees) remember who IS paying for your employees to have coverage. I am!! It's called the emergency room paid for by others.

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