Monday, March 24, 2014

Hobby Lobby

March 24, 2014
Tomorrow is Hobby Lobby Day
by Joseph Backholm  (Family Policy Institute of WA)

Tomorrow the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in one of the most significant conscience rights/religious freedom cases in our nation's history.

This case challenges whether employers can be forced to provide their employees with contraceptives.

Two families have filed lawsuits claiming that this mandate violates their constitutional rights. The Green family owns the national craft store Hobby Lobby and the Hahns are Mennonite cabinetmakers who founded and own Conestoga Wood Specialties. 

The plaintiffs currently have an injunction preventing the federal government from enforcing the mandate against them.

However, if the Supreme Court held that the mandate is constitutional, these families would be subjected to a fine of $100 per day, per employee for failing to provide contraceptive coverage.

Hobby Lobby would face fines of $1.3 million per day.  The Hahns have said their company would be out of business within a month.  

It should also be noted that the fine for providing no health insurance at all is $1,000 per employee per year.  That is still significant, but it is 18 times less than the penalty for providing excellent health insurance that does not cover contraceptives.

The fact that Congress is passing laws that so blatantly target and punish people because of their convictions is problematic regardless of the outcome of this case.

A good pictorial summary of the scores of lawsuits related to this mandate can be found here.

Please pray for the Supreme Court as they hear arguments in this case and deliberate.

Every American, including family business owners, should be free to live and do business according to their faith.    

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