Hobby Lobby, an arts and crafts chain store, won its Supreme Court case to restrict birth-control coverage for a company’s employees if the owner objects on religious grounds. David Green, founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby, and his wife, Barbara, seen above, are devout Christians and took “issue with four of the 20 FDA approved methods of birth control” under the Affordable Care Act’s contraceptive mandate, including the morning-after pill and intrauterine devices (IUDs), according to Forbes.
Learn more about the Hobby Lobby leader and the Supreme Court decision’s effect on other medical procedures that go against strong religious beliefs.
1. Green Runs His Business on Christian Principles
Green incorporates his evangelical Christian faith into the business of his company. The 555 Hobby Lobby stores across America close on Sundays and stay open until 8 p.m. rather than 9 p.m. so employees can return home to their families at a reasonable time.
Green explained the company’s philosophy to The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty:
We do everything we possibly can to be a help to our employees… that they can structure their lives based on biblical principles. It’s not something that’s forced on anybody, but it’s there for them if they would like.
— Hobby Lobby Case (@HobbyLobbyCase) June 30, 2014
Given the court’s ruling of 5-4 in favor of Hobby Lobby, the decision could reach beyond contraceptive coverage to “other medical procedures at odds with firm religious beliefs,” according to Politico. In Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dissent, she also fears that although the decision specifies “privately held companies,” it could extend to public companies as well:
Although the court attempts to cabin its language to closely held corporations, its logic extends to corporations of any size, public or private.
2. The Contraceptive Mandate Is Ruled Unlawful Under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act
Justice Samuel Alito’s opinion states that “under the standard that [the Religious Freedom Restoration Act] prescribes, the HHS contraceptive mandate is unlawful.” The Religious Freedom Restoration Act prevents laws that “substantially burden a person’s exercise of religion” unless burden is necessary for the “furtherance of a compelling government interest.”
In this case, the Supreme Court found the burden of contraceptive coverage wasn’t enough to compel religiously devout employers to provide the item. But those employers can’t refuse coverage on medical procedures to provide vaccines or blood transfusions on religious grounds.
Watch Hobby Lobby’s attorney Lori Windham speak about her client’s victory in the video above.
The Hobby Lobby decision comes as a big blow for Obamacare and its supporters, according to Politico.
The justices have given Obamacare opponents their most significant political victory against the health care law, reinforcing their argument that the law and President Barack Obama are encroaching on Americans’ freedoms.
3. Half of Hobby Lobby’s Profits Go to Evangelical Ministries
Green commits millions of Hobby Lobby’s profit dollars to Christian causes and education, according to CBN News. In 2004, he gave a $10.5 million gift to Jerry Falwell’s Liberty University and bailed out Oral Roberts University with a $70 million donation in 2007. He also purchased Christian artifacts and ancient Bibles for a national Bible museum.
4. Hobby Lobby Is a Family Business
Green started Hobby Lobby in 1970 with the help of a small $600 loan and his family. His wife, Barbara, and three kids glued together picture frames in their garage, and the family sold them to local craft stores, according to Hobby Lobby Case.
Today, his son Steve Green is the president of Hobby Lobby and his daughter is the creative director for the stores. His other son Mart Green is the founder and CEO of Mardel Christian and Education Supply and of Every Tribe Entertainment.
5. Hobby Lobby Pays Every Full-Time Employee at Least $14 Per Hour
Because Hobby Lobby earns better profits than other arts and crafts stores, Green believes the company should pay its employees “above average salaries,” according to ChristiaNet. As of 2013, Hobby Lobby paid its full-time employees a minimum of $14 an hour and its part-time employees a minimum of $9.50 per hour.
Green released a report on the wage increase in 2013 that acknowledged “the hard work and dedication of his employees,” according to the Christian Post:
We are very fortunate to be able to increase hourly wages for our employees, because we know our company would not be successful without the great work they do each day in our stores across the nation. We know that if we reward our employees for their hard work, we will be rewarded in turn with their loyalty and dedication to their job and to our customers.
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