January 2, 2013
O Hobby Lobby, Art Thou a Religious Employer?
Last week, Hobby Lobby, a Christian-owned chain, said it will defy the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)' contraception/abortifacient mandate. The owners, who oppose abortifacients but not contraceptives, claim that the abortifacient part of the mandate violates the owners' and Hobby Lobby's religious liberty. Since January 1, 2013, Hobby Lobby has faced up to $1.3 million in fines per day for not offering abortifacients to its employees through health insurance plans. According to HHS and the Obama administration, Hobby Lobby and similar employers are "secular employer[s] ... [that don't] exercise religion." The HHS mandate exempts only "religious employers" who, among other qualifications, primarily serve and employ persons of the same religion. The Obama administration argued the following to prove Hobby Lobby is a secular employer: The company's pursuits and products are not religious; it operates a chain of retail businesses that sell "a...(Read Full Post)