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-   -   A Letter from Hobby Lobby Stores CEO (http://glocktalk.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1455720)

lethal tupperwa 12-02-2012 07:01

A Letter from Hobby Lobby Stores CEO
 
A Letter from Hobby Lobby Stores CEO

By David Green, the founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.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.Sincerely,David Green, CEO and Founder of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

Japle 12-02-2012 09:40

No surprise, the story's true. Of course, there's a little more to it, but it's true,

http://www.snopes.com/politics/medical/hobbylobby.asp

kenpoprofessor 12-02-2012 09:46

I just bought some things at Hobby Lobby this week, and will be going back Monday for some more.

Have a great gun carryin' Kenpo day

Clyde

Davegrave 12-02-2012 09:52

He doesn't understand what the morning after pill does. It prevents pregnancy, it doesn't terminate a pregnancy.
I disagree with most of his beliefs but I respect that he's fighting to run his own company the way he wants to. Good for him.

Guss 12-02-2012 14:55

Since it's a privately held company, we'll never know how the boycott is working.

Glock36shooter 12-02-2012 15:04

That's funny. I didn't know the owners of Hobby Lobby were so ignorant. Well I hope they enjoy their beliefs putting them right out of business. You can't fix stupid.

steveksux 12-02-2012 16:02

They want to use freedom of religion to force their religious views on their employees? What's wrong with letting the people that work for them follow their own religious beliefs, seeing as how they're such fervent supporters of religious freedom?

Nobody is forcing anyone to take these contraceptives. If all the employees are "good Christians" in the same mold as the owners, they won't buy them, problem solved.

Sure way to really look at it fairly is to take it out of the personal arena, say if you happen to be against the morning after pill, you may feel they're justified. Ask yourself this: Do Jehovah Witness owned businesses get to refuse to cover blood transfusions in their medical coverage? You can see where this gets ridiculous.

Do people who get exemptions from military service on religious grounds get to not pay the part of their taxes that funds wars?

I don't see much merit in their lawsuit, though I understand how they must feel having thought themselves into this dilemma.

That's how I see it anyway. Not that that matters. The courts will look to law and precedent to see how this shakes out.

Randy

Glock36shooter 12-02-2012 16:17

Quote:

Originally Posted by steveksux (Post 19692576)
They want to use freedom of religion to force their religious views on their employees? What's wrong with letting the people that work for them follow their own religious beliefs, seeing as how they're such fervent supporters of religious freedom?

Nobody is forcing anyone to take these contraceptives. If all the employees are "good Christians" in the same mold as the owners, they won't buy them, problem solved.

Sure way to really look at it fairly is to take it out of the personal arena, say if you happen to be against the morning after pill, you may feel they're justified. Ask yourself this: Do Jehovah Witness owned businesses get to refuse to cover blood transfusions in their medical coverage? You can see where this gets ridiculous.

Do people who get exemptions from military service on religious grounds get to not pay the part of their taxes that funds wars?

I don't see much merit in their lawsuit, though I understand how they must feel having thought themselves into this dilemma.

That's how I see it anyway. Not that that matters. The courts will look to law and precedent to see how this shakes out.

Randy

It's their religious freedom to force their beliefs on others. That's what Christianity is all about. Choosing how to live your life through Christ and then making sure no one else has an option to do otherwise.

ArrowJ 12-02-2012 16:26

Quote:

Originally Posted by Glock36shooter (Post 19692632)
It's their religious freedom to force their beliefs on others. That's what Christianity is all about. Choosing how to live your life through Christ and then making sure no one else has an option to do otherwise.

That is not how I live my life, and I am a Christian.

Edit: Let me add that that is not what Christianity is all about. If an atheist is a dick it does not mean that all atheists are as well. If someone reads love your neighbor as yourself and decides that means they should hate everyone that does not believe as they do it does not reflect on what they were told to do, but on their failure to do it.

Glock36shooter 12-02-2012 16:37

Quote:

Originally Posted by ArrowJ (Post 19692665)
That is not how I live my life, and I am a Christian.

Edit: Let me add that that is not what Christianity is all about. If an atheist is a dick it does not mean that all atheists are as well. If someone reads love your neighbor as yourself and decides that means they should hate everyone that does not believe as they do it does not reflect on what they were told to do, but on their failure to do it.

Good for you. But you can see where these business owners are attempting to withhold benefits from their employees in an attempt to force their beliefs on others. Steve is 100% correct... if the employees are such good christians... then they won't need the contraceptives.

ArrowJ 12-02-2012 16:45

Quote:

Originally Posted by Glock36shooter (Post 19692698)
Good for you. But you can see where these business owners are attempting to withhold benefits from their employees in an attempt to force their beliefs on others. Steve is 100% correct... if the employees are such good christians... then they won't need the contraceptives.

I tend to be a libertarian which means I think the store OWNER has the right to refuse, and the EMPLOYEE has the right to tell him to suck a lemon and get a different job. The CUSTOMERS then have the right to not shop at Hobby Lobby and put him out of business, and the GOVERNMENT has the right to go jump off a bridge.

I think I am more interested in hearing you explain what Christianity is about. Which part of the gospel is it that implies your position?

Glock36shooter 12-02-2012 17:31

Quote:

Originally Posted by ArrowJ (Post 19692724)
I tend to be a libertarian which means I think the store OWNER has the right to refuse, and the EMPLOYEE has the right to tell him to suck a lemon and get a different job. The CUSTOMERS then have the right to not shop at Hobby Lobby and put him out of business, and the GOVERNMENT has the right to go jump off a bridge.

Yeah... great idea. Have people quit the job that feeds their family because the boss is pushing his religious nonsense on them. Great plan.

Quote:

I think I am more interested in hearing you explain what Christianity is about. Which part of the gospel is it that implies your position?
Are we talking about the religion itself or the Christians themselves? It's two different things. Christianity has some nice ideals. They aren't in any way unique to Christianity but still nice nonetheless.

However Christians often ignore their own doctrine or base the entirety of their belief around one snipit of scripture. Then they want to enforce it on all people. It isn't good enough that they believe it and live it daily... they want everyone else to. They believe it's wrong to drink on Sunday. So they vote to make laws that alcohol sales are illegal on sunday. They feel abortion is immoral. Rather than simply avoiding it themselves they attempt to have legislation passed so that no one else be allowed to violate their ideals. You see the pattern here. Then you hear Christians equate things like homosexuality to having sex with animals or children. Showing their true bigotry and disgusting ignorance.This country would run so much smoother if religious people would just mind their own damn business and stop trying to control everyone's lives via THEIR idea of morality.

alba666 12-02-2012 17:50

Quote:

Originally Posted by Glock36shooter (Post 19692865)
Yeah... great idea. Have people quit the job that feeds their family because the boss is pushing his religious nonsense on them. Great plan.



Are we talking about the religion itself or the Christians themselves? It's two different things. Christianity has some nice ideals. They aren't in any way unique to Christianity but still nice nonetheless.

However Christians often ignore their own doctrine or base the entirety of their belief around one snipit of scripture. Then they want to enforce it on all people. It isn't good enough that they believe it and live it daily... they want everyone else to. They believe it's wrong to drink on Sunday. So they vote to make laws that alcohol sales are illegal on sunday. They feel abortion is immoral. Rather than simply avoiding it themselves they attempt to have legislation passed so that no one else be allowed to violate their ideals. You see the pattern here. Then you hear Christians equate things like homosexuality to having sex with animals or children. Showing their true bigotry and disgusting ignorance.This country would run so much smoother if religious people would just mind their own damn business and stop trying to control everyone's lives via THEIR idea of morality.

I see that we have a mutual distaste for the effect of "Heaven & Hell" Christianity on our society. You might find reading how someone like Marcus Borg approaches faith to be very refreshing.


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ArrowJ 12-02-2012 17:56

Quote:

Originally Posted by Glock36shooter (Post 19692865)
Yeah... great idea. Have people quit the job that feeds their family because the boss is pushing his religious nonsense on them. Great plan.

I am not sure how to respond to that statement as it is emotive and not particularly productive.

Quote:

Are we talking about the religion itself or the Christians themselves?
I would think YOU would take the initiative to make that clear BEFORE you make blanket statements about what being a Christian is all about.

Quote:

This country would run so much smoother if religious people would just mind their own damn business and stop trying to control everyone's lives via THEIR idea of morality.
Regardless of their impetus, religious or otherwise, would the country not run a lot better if everyone would mind their own damn business?

If I understand your position correctly (please correct me if I am wrong) everyone should mind their own business unless their business is an actual business in which case everyone else should tell them what they can and cannot provide as benefits to THEIR employees. Would you not enforce your ideas of right and wrong as it relates to what a business owner should or should not be required to do as relates to employee benefits?

Why is it wrong for one group (Christians) to push their ideals on another (I agree, it is wrong), but not wrong for another group (those described above) to push their ideals on another?

Gunhaver 12-02-2012 18:08

I hope the court finds that they have to follow the law like everyone else. Then we'll see how strong their convictions are when they have to decide to end their business or pay for some lousy birth control.

I'll bet it'll be business as usual.

Glock36shooter 12-02-2012 18:15

Quote:

Originally Posted by ArrowJ (Post 19692958)
Regardless of their impetus, religious or otherwise, would the country not run a lot better if everyone would mind their own damn business?

Yes but I find it suspect that you completely ignored the rest of my post. When it was you that so desperately wanted me to make it. However I would LOVE it if everyone could mind their own business. If you wanna worship a three headed dragon in your home or church... go right the hell ahead. But do not attempt to push it on me. If you disagree with evolution... ok... be uneducated... but don't attempt to prevent it from being taught in school and don't attempt to push your religion into the school. I'm not saying you do this personally... but many christians do.

Quote:

If I understand your position correctly (please correct me if I am wrong) everyone should mind their own business unless their business is an actual business in which case everyone else should tell them what they can and cannot provide as benefits to THEIR employees.
I am saying that if you want the chance to run a business in this country you have to follow the laws and regulations. If your religion prevents you from following those laws and regulations then you have to choose. 1. Fold up shop to observe your principles. 2. Run your life as you see fit but run your company according to the laws and regulations. You do not get to cry foul and strike up a law suit because you want to establish your own rules and regulations. If that were the case most businesses in the country could say it's against their religion to offer any medical benefits to employees because God's plan is God's plan and doctors only interfere. Companies could choose to not pay income taxes because only God should get a portion of their profits in the form of Tithes.

Quote:

Would you not enforce your ideas of right and wrong as it relates to what a business owner should or should not be required to do as relates to employee benefits?
I would say that if one is going to offer BENEFITS it should benefit the employee regardless of the employers religious ideals.

Quote:

Why is it wrong for one group (Christians) to push their ideals on another (I agree, it is wrong), but not wrong for another group (those described above) to push their ideals on another?
They aren't ideals. They are a group of benefits... and one in particular has gotten religious people's feathers ruffled and they want to claim exemption.

Glock36shooter 12-02-2012 18:16

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gunhaver (Post 19692999)
I hope the court finds that they have to follow the law like everyone else. Then we'll see how strong their convictions are when they have to decide to end their business or pay for some lousy birth control.

I'll bet it'll be business as usual.

Exactly. They'll toss their principles in the back seat if it means having to give up their millions.

ArrowJ 12-02-2012 18:34

Quote:

Originally Posted by Glock36shooter (Post 19693024)
Yes but I find it suspect that you completely ignored the rest of my post. When it was you that so desperately wanted me to make it.

I apologize. Which part in particular do you want me to discuss further?

Quote:

I am saying that if you want the chance to run a business in this country you have to follow the laws and regulations.
I suspect this is the crux of the matter. I think there should be as few of these as possible, including many that already exist. I suspect you do not feel this way. Perhaps I am wrong.

Quote:

I would say that if one is going to offer BENEFITS it should benefit the employee regardless of the employers religious ideals.
Again, YOU want to choose what the employer should provide. The employer is not doing the employee a favor by giving him a job. He opens a business, offers to employ you, and offers extra benefits as compensation for the work you do. If you are not happy with his offer you are free to say no and find something you think is more equal with your value.

Quote:

They aren't ideals. They are a group of benefits... and one in particular has gotten religious people's feathers ruffled and they want to claim exemption.
This is wrong. At its core this issue is about ideals. One set says benefits should include "x", another group says it should not. One group has reasons relating to their moral values based on religious beliefs and the other has reasons based either on moral values based on something else (common good, natural law, whatever). At the end of the day it is one group of people's reasoning against another.

I suspect that at the end of the day I prefer more liberty and you prefer more common good or whatever (which is another discussion. There also seems to be another difference. I do not get really angry with and denigrating of people that disagree with me :).

kenpoprofessor 12-02-2012 18:37

Quote:

Originally Posted by Gunhaver (Post 19692999)
I hope the court finds that they have to follow the law like everyone else. Then we'll see how strong their convictions are when they have to decide to end their business or pay for some lousy birth control.

I'll bet it'll be business as usual.

So you'd be OK if the gov. forced you to clothe, house, and feed a Haitian orphan or two???

Have a great gun carryin' Kenpo day

Clyde

steveksux 12-02-2012 19:18

Quote:

Originally Posted by ArrowJ (Post 19692724)
I tend to be a libertarian which means I think the store OWNER has the right to refuse, and the EMPLOYEE has the right to tell him to suck a lemon and get a different job. The CUSTOMERS then have the right to not shop at Hobby Lobby and put him out of business, and the GOVERNMENT has the right to go jump off a bridge.

Rights are not absolute. I tend towards libertarian also. The business owner has the right to choose not to use the contraceptives deemed un-christian. Give the employees the same right.

I see a parallel with the US Constitution at the beginning. I'm not terribly impressed with the notion that "rights" guaranteed under the Constitution are only protected from the Feds intervening, while leaving the states free to infringe on them. So much for "inalienable" rights.

As a libertarian I tend to prefer rights to filter all the way down to the individuals making decisions about their own lives. Rather than stopping off at something further up the food chain, giving certain entities or individuals the right to make those decisions over other peoples lives , including when those choices do not match mine. You either respect people's freedom, or you try to impose yours on others. Jesus had a whole bunch of former fishermen for disciples. He didn't enlist their expertise to throw nets over people. He let them choose to follow, or not.

There's room for reasonable compromise here. There's likely a very small % of the cost of coverage needed to pay for those contraceptives in question, seeing as how they're used so rarely. Apparently the owner doesn't have a problem with normal birth control stuff, just morning after and week after pills. Let those people pay the difference to get the extra coverage.

As a general rule, freedom should be maximized. Given the choice I'd rather have a few business owners restricted to allow a bunch of employees to exercise their discretion, vs a few business owners having the discretion to restrict many employees.

Having said that, I realize there's a vast difference between restricting access to these drugs, and restricting insurance coverage for these drugs. The employees are free to pay for them on their own. The principle becomes much more important when you get into things generally too expensive to pay for without insurance coverage.

So I see this as a fairly weak case to force employers to provide coverage from that standpoint.

Randy


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