Tuesday, December 04, 2012

Stand Up, Church!

It's time the church stands up and gets behind companies like Hobby Lobby, who are suffering nothing less than persecution in this so-called "land of the free." And really, this isn't just a religious issue. It's an issue all Americans should be concerned about. The government may be starting with the Church, but if they get away with forcing their control into faith-based arenas, make no mistake, they will not stop there.

Below is a letter from the CEO of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. It's an open letter to the American people. Please read it.

Date: Friday, November 30, 2012, 12:30 AM
A Letter from Hobby Lobby Stores CEO
Monday, November 26, 2012 14:10
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.
David Green, Founder and Ceo of Hobby Lobby with wife Barbara

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 it’s business according to it’s 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 exempt 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.

Don't you think it's time we stood behind a company like this? Leave a comment and let me know your thoughts. (All commenters are entered into the weekly book giveaway. For details on this week's book, see any of the past few posts.) 

Warmest Blessings,



Donna J. Shepherd, Author of Love Under the Bubble Wrap said...

Linore, thank you for posting this. Appalling. I will make more of an effort to visit this store now that I know its history.

Diane Archibald said...

This is frightening. We are losing our freedom. What can we do? How can we stand against this as a group of believers?

Pat Cochran said...

I'm sorry one of my favorite stores
is encountering difficulty. Too much
government is as bad as too little

Patricia Cochran

chaplaindebbie said...

I am definitely sharing this, Linore! This is sooo wrong! I am praying that they win their lawsuit and send out a strong message to others who are or will be facing this same problem.

Amada Chavez said...

Linore THANK YOU SO MUCH!!! I would have never known a:) that Hobby Lobby IS a Christian company (I had always thought so, but was never truly certain) and b:) that they where being affected by this! I will help spread the word! And I LOVE Hobby Lobby all the more! Thank you!

Linore Burkard said...

Hi everyone, thanks for the comments. Apparently I'm not getting email notifications (which I should be getting) telling me when someone comments!
Anyway--Donna, you're welcome. I feel the same way. I'm going to make an effort to shop there more often, too.
Diane--I agree. This is a portent of things to come. We need to pray that HL wins their appeal. As far as what we can do, other than praying, we need to be outspoken to our representatives in Congress and in the Senate. The church has been silent for too long. (If you lay down, they WILL walk on you. We can't just lay down anymore!)
Pat--I'm inclined to believe that too much government is WORSE than too little. The biblical role of government is primarily to punish wrongdoers so that others can live in peace. We've forgotten this, as a nation.
Deb--thanks for your support about this on fb as well as here. And yes, we all need to pray they win!
Amada--I'm so glad you saw this. Thanks for your concern.
I appreciate all of you for showing your support for HL and sharing the concern over this.
Thank you, and may we stand strong against this injustice. I suggest we all tell our church friends and neighbors about what's happening.
God bless!

Linore Burkard said...

PS: Maybe AFA or another big organization like them will take up the cause of HL. The problem is, it may be in the hands of the judiciary at this point, and not lawmakers. But PRAYER is never a wasted effort! Will you join me in prayer for HL? (And this woebegone nation?) Thanks again, everyone!