Two days ago the news was spreading, that the below letter was written by David Green the CEO of Hobby Lobby and it was titled that they would be closing all their stores before violating their religious values and being forced to provide abortion-inducing drugs as part of their health insurance coverage. The text was written by Green, but didn't come with claim of closing stores. The text is actually from a guest op-ed published in USA Today, written by Green. Hobby Lobby is not closing store and has announce they will open 70 more stores:
Good morning. I am working with Hobby Lobby in Oklahoma City. There is an article on Examiner.com that has an incorrect headline. The Dean Chambers article from Feb. 17, 2014 titled "Hobby Lobby May Close All 500+ Stores in 41 States." Hobby Lobby is not closing, in fact here's a statement from Hobby Lobby and a news release below that announces they are opening 70 new stores across the United States in 2014.
The intent in publishing this story was to inform readers of how the mandate handed down by the government violates religious liberty. There was no intent to pass along inaccurate information regarding the business Hobby Lobby operates. We hope this clears things up and this revised story will be put forth so anyone who read it may also get this correction and be informed on the issues involved.
HOBBY LOBBY TO OPEN 70 NEW STORES ACROSS THE U.S. IN 2014
OKLAHOMA CITY, Feb. 18, 2014 – Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., the family-owned arts and crafts leader, announced today that it will open 70 new stores this year across the United States, bringing the number of retail locations nationwide to 626. As part of this expansion, Hobby Lobby will open its first stores in Oregon and Vermont.
The expansion comes amid inaccurate rumors circulating through social media that the company would be closing stores. Hobby Lobby, owned by its founders, David and Barbara Green, and operated according to the family’s deeply held religious convictions, has objected to providing certain contraceptive drugs and devices mandated by the Affordable Care Act despite possible government-induced fines, a decision that may be driving the incorrect rumors.
Three years ago, the federal government mandated that the Greens provide four potentially life-terminating drugs and devices through their employee health plan. While the Green family has no objection to providing 16 of the 20 FDA-approved contraceptive methods, the family objects to four potentially life-terminating drugs and devices that conflict with their religious beliefs. The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear the case in March and make a decision by June 2014.
“The Green family is confident that their religious freedom will be protected, and that they will continue to operate Hobby Lobby according to their faith,” said Peter Dobelbower, General Counsel and Vice President for Hobby Lobby. “The Greens recognized that they were being forced to either violate their religious beliefs or violate the law. That’s a choice no American should have to make. A federal court has already reached the same conclusion, and we look forward to continued protection for the Greens’ religious freedom.”
Hobby Lobby emphasized that the company values its customers, 16,000 full-time employees and 12,000 part-time employees. The company offers customers exceptional selection and value in the crafts and home decor market. They serve their employees and their families by establishing a work environment and company policies that build character, strengthen individuals and nurture families. All full-time Hobby Lobby hourly employees start at not less than $14.00 an hour, nearly twice as much as the federal minimum wage. In addition to providing a generous health insurance plan to its full-time employees, the retail stores are not open on Sunday and close at 8 p.m. to provide employees with work-life balance.
Hobby Lobby is represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, and a full list of amicus filers and their briefs can be found at http://www.becketfund.org/hobbylobbyamicus/.
For more information and updates, please visit www.hobbylobbycase.com.
This is what was published before the above information and correction was added:
Hobby Lobby May Close All 500+ Stores in 41 States
This is important because it's one example of how the Obama Regime and it's economically ignorant policies are destroying jobs at the whole sale rate. And in this instance, rotten economic policy intersects with Barack Obama's ideological bigotry, in this case his sheer hatred of Christians who live by what they believe in. In this instance, the issue arises over the attempt for FORCE Hobby Lobby to pay for and provide abortion-inducing drugs as so-called “health care” (death care, actually) covered by their company health insurance. This complete violates their religious freedom and Green's family has very reluctantly gone to the courts to seek redress for this injustice. I say they have every right to seek redress in the courts. This case, folks, is another instance of pure fascist policy being handed down by the Obama Regime. Elections have consequences. Remember this in 2014 and 2016 if you even THINK about voting for another progressive Democrats. I know Republicans aren't all with us on these issues either, but NONE of the Democrats are. Therefore, NEVER vote for another Democrat again. NEVER.
Please keep reading, this is a statement from the founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby, and he's asked that this statement be re-published and forwarded everywhere. Please do so, as I have done here.
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 healthcare 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 in the liberal media, please pass this on to all your contacts.
CEO and Founder of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.
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