Hobby Lobby

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Letter from:  David Green is the CEO and founder 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.


9 thoughts on “Hobby Lobby

  1. Yeah Obamacare is a bad deal but it’s a bit sickening to read about “American values” coming from a firm that is a major importer of junk from overseas.

      1. Depends on what you are looking for. Although many items that were once Made in USA are no longer, what is you point? I hate assumptions.

  2. I doubt that the shelves would be empty. Maybe you have forgotten that the American people are very resourceful and inventive, given the chance to compete. The trade laws who widely benefit the elite need to be re-written to instead benefit We The People of the USA.

    1. How do you think we became a super power? Would you rather they have no jobs? That’s how countries develop-study history! Blocking jobs from poor countries keeps them poor.

  3. Isn’t it strange how everyone is upset about imported goods as if Hobby Lobby has ANYTHING much to do with all that. If products that Americans want to buy are NOT made in this country is HB to leave their shelves empty? What about all the thousands of GOOD jobs they are creating with their business?
    What has happened to religious freedom?
    Obama wants Catholic institutions to provide condoms and abortions. Does this mean he will force muslims to serve bacon and alcohol?
    Why does this administration continue to violate the U S Constitution after it has served America well for over 235 years?

  4. Okay! Each of you think back into your nimble brains and remember that the NAFTA bill was Bill Clinton’s baby. This bill was to provide Free Trade with other countries. Free for whom? I have a coat made in Vietnam, and clothes made in Gautamala and Jamaica and other countries. So Hobby Lobby is now being bombarded with comments that they sell items in their store that are not made in America? There are very few things made in the USA. The largest industry that the USA has and is thriving is the trucking industry. And most of the trucks are delivering items that have been made in foreign countries. On the Hollywood, Fla. beach I can watch the freighters leaving out of and coming into Port Everglades all weighted down with pods. These pods are filled with things manufactured overseas. Then you can see those same pods on 18 wheelers on the interstates. So get off the back of Hobby Lobby because they sell things in their stores that are made out of our country. At least they are providing jobs for people in this country.

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