The Hayride

The Hobby Lobby CEO Letter Everybody’s Talking About

The Hobby Lobby CEO Letter Everybody’s Talking About
November 29
10:50 2012

Editor’s Note: David Green is the founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., which is challenging the Obamacare contraceptive mandate. This letter is an excellent illustration of how stupid one-size-fits-all federal policies trample individual freedom.

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.

David Green, CEO and Founder of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

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  1. Jim Ryals
    Jim Ryals November 29, 17:18

    Mr. Green, you have two bull's eyes on your chest. You are an evil capitalist and an evil Christian. Welcome to the USA – the United Sponges of America.

  2. Suzanne S LaMonte
    Suzanne S LaMonte November 29, 21:37

    We have a Hobby Lobby in our town and I shop there as much as I can. It's a great store.

  3. Jan Nelson Davis
    Jan Nelson Davis November 30, 00:32

    Jim, no American should be forced to go against their beliefs. That's one of the reasons this country is great!

  4. Javier Rojo
    Javier Rojo November 30, 19:24

    "Jim, no American should be forced to go against their beliefs. That's one of the reasons this country is great!"

    I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent. – 1 Timothy 2:12.

  5. Teri Welch
    Teri Welch December 01, 22:13

    It is taking the importance of your OWN beliefs a bit far…when failing to provide full coverage health care for women…and women's issues, such as rape…impose on others. I only have to wonder…would Mr Green feel the same if his wife, daughters or grand daughters were to be forcibly raped…would he condemn them…at any age, despite the risk to their emotional and physical health…to carry that possible pregnancy to term? If so…I feel exceedingly sorry for them, because it's that old attitude that once violated, a woman is 'less than pure' and deserves what she gets. God have mercy…on that sick thought process. Still…it does not mean that he should be able to impose those thoughts on his employees. These hard core evangelicals…do NOT have the right to impose their own religious viewpoints (which they ARE entitled to) upon others when it comes to things like insurance coverage. Also…I just wonder and would love to know…does the healthcare provided by Hobby Lobby…cover Viagra, Cialis or one of the male performance-enhancing drugs…for the men? Hmmmm, might that NOT be vehicle for them philandering…and fornicating? See…you can spin things all kinda ways…but that does not make them holy.

    • Jim Cloran
      Jim Cloran December 02, 13:20

      You are the problem. Abortion is not a "health" issue. I agree with exceptions in the case of rape or health of the mother, but i dont want to pay for your abortion because your baby would be an inconvenience.

    • Steve Kirkpatrick
      Steve Kirkpatrick December 05, 00:41

      Good lord, Teri. I bet Mr. Green would feel exactly the same if his wife, daughters, and grand daughters were subjected to the situations you discuss. The baby has rights too, you know.

    • Joni Lynn
      Joni Lynn December 26, 15:47

      I don't believe in abortion in any situation. Teri I don't however believe that if a woman is raped she is "less than pure." It absolutely is not her fault but it's also not the baby that's inside of her fault. I have never been through this but I know it would be a VERY difficult decision to make (and that's an understatement). If Mr. Green's religious beliefs are like mine being a christian is about love and not judging or condemnation. Even a woman who willingly had sex outside of marriage and got pregnant will still be loved by God and by me. The bottom line is that he cannot, according to his religious beliefs, pay for his employees to kill a baby. He's not talking about firing them if they do or forbidding them from getting one. He just can't pay for it and thereby condone it. The whole point of America is like he said, NOT having to choose between God and following the law. God calls us to follow him first.

  6. David Gulotta
    David Gulotta December 04, 23:41

    Hooray for Hobby Lobby! We also follow the "Never On Sunday" policy.

  7. David Gulotta
    David Gulotta December 04, 23:41

    Hooray for Hobby Lobby! We also follow the "Never On Sunday" policy.

  8. Zack Anderson
    Zack Anderson December 31, 02:58

    This "letter" seems to be pretty much the same as this USA Today column by Mr. Green on Sept. 12. The only major differences I can find are that the USA Today column does not have the last three or so sentences. Because the "liberal media" has covered it.

  9. Natalie Rosen
    Natalie Rosen June 30, 22:23

    I am NOT a Christian and if I am employed by you we are trading services. I give you a hard days work and you give me money + health care. That does not mean I have to disclose to you the kind of birth control I use or if I use any at all. No doubt Viagra is paid for… just speculating. This is an awful decision and I urge everyone to BOYCOTT this insipid corporation. Our nation is NOT about corporations or shouldn't be. They are NOT people. Would Christ himself say a corporation is a person? DOUBTFUL. No he threw over the money changers. Government should serve the people AND it is not about the Christian religion. It SHOULD be religion neutral. You have done a disservice to the fundamentals upon which this nation rests. No one is telling YOU not to practice Christianity by all means to your hearts content but leave MY heart OUT OF IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Rancid decision and more than rancid corporate practice!

  10. Natalie Rosen
    Natalie Rosen June 30, 22:24

    Good points Teri!

  11. Pat Crowley
    Pat Crowley July 01, 01:37

    I wonder where exactly, in the Bible, does it say that Hobby Lobby can continue to offer Viagra and penis pumps to male employees? Not being able to have an erection is certainly not a life and death matter, although some men think it is. If the total responsibility of birth control and unwanted pregnancies were given to MEN, Hobby Lobby's self-proclaimed deeply held religious beliefs would be way different. As the 5 Catholic male judges' ruling would be way different.

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