(RNS) Once Steve Green sets his path, there’s no turning back.

Steve Green in his high school basketball photo, playing for the Bethany Broncos. Photo courtesy of Green family

Steve Green in his high school basketball photo, playing for the Bethany Broncos. Photo courtesy of Green family


This image is available for Web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

Not when he and his high school girlfriend, Jackie, totaled their cars playing chicken. “No one turned off,” he said, recalling how he aimed right at her and she just kept coming. A year later, she married him.

Not when he saw no point in college, going directly into his family’s Hobby Lobby craft store business. Green, now 50, rose up from assembling picture frames for “bubble gum money” at age 7 through every job, including cleaning toilets, to president of the $3.3 billion national chain, one of the nation’s largest private companies.

And certainly not now when, he says, the U.S. government is challenging his unshakeable Christian faith and his religious liberty.

Next week (March 25) Green’s path leads straight up the steps of the U.S. Supreme Court to witness oral arguments in the case Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores and Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp. v. Sebelius.

That’s Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. The department included all Food and Drug Administration-approved forms of contraception among services required for insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

Hobby Lobby has provided insurance with contraception coverage for years, paying for 16 of the FDA-approved forms, from barrier methods to pills that prevent fertilization. Not covered: intrauterine devices and morning-after pills such as Plan B. Those, the FDA acknowledges, could prevent a fertilized egg from implanting in the womb.

 Jackie and Steve Green were married in 1984. Photo courtesy of Green family

Jackie and Steve Green were married in 1984. Photo courtesy of Green family


This image is available for Web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

 

Blocking implantation would “terminate life” says Green. “We won’t pay for any abortive products. We believe life begins at conception.”

While scores of faith-based organizations and private business owners have filed suit seeking exemption from the mandate, Hobby Lobby has become the standard-bearer for religious opposition. The potentially landmark case is a First Amendment battle testing whether a private corporation can have freedom of religion rights and, if so, whether the government has a “compelling interest” in overriding such rights.

The justices will wade through thickets of questions: Can a company pick and choose laws to obey, based on the personal beliefs of the owner? Is it the job of government to decide whether those beliefs are worthwhile and sincere, deeply and consistently held?

Steve Green is a Southern Baptist, grandson and nephew of Pentecostal pastors, a Sunday school teacher for decades and leader of a business that has declared its Christian principles from opening day. Hobby Lobby stores are all closed Sundays “to allow employees time for family & worship,” the front door signs say.

He may be the ideal plaintiff “for such a time as this” — the line from the Book of Esther that believers often call on for courage when standing on faith.

Left to right, Steve Green, wife Jackie, son Derek (with Derek's wife and kids), daughter Lauren Green McAfee and her husband outside the coliseum in Rome in 2012; the family was in town for the opening of the Verbum Domini exhibit of The Green Collection at the Vatican. Photo courtesy of Green family

Left to right, Steve Green, wife Jackie, Green’s son (with wife and kids), Green’s daughter and her husband outside the coliseum in Rome in 2012; the family was in town for the opening of the Verbum Domini exhibit of The Green Collection at the Vatican. Photo courtesy of Green family


This image is available for Web publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

Jackie and Steve Green, side by side in a Washington hotel restaurant crowded with people in town for February’s National Prayer Breakfast, remember another day when standing on faith carried them through a crisis.

Nearly 30 years ago, long before they were tagged as Oklahoma City billionaires, Steve Green’s father, Hobby Lobby CEO David Green, brought the whole Green clan together to consider — and pray for — the company’s survival. The 1985 Oklahoma oil bust had devastated the state economy. Hobby Lobby, never in the red before, was in deep trouble.

David Green founded the company in 1972, the only one of six children who didn’t become a pastor like their father in the Church of God of Prophecy denomination. After months of struggling alone to save the family business, he admitted, “I don’t know how to make this work.”

Steve Green was 21, his wife, 19 and pregnant with their first child. Married the year before, they had just bought their first home. Fear was not an option.

The whole family doubled down on work and on faith, “shared the stewardship,” they said, and never looked back. It turned out to be the only year Hobby Lobby ever lost money. Now, the company has 640 stores, with 70 more opening in 2014.

Steve and Jackie Green, who met at a church camp as young teens, are a double-team interview. They have the same eyes, pale blue green. They share the same easy laugh, the same “no regrets spirit,” Jackie Green says.

After all, not even a head-on collision could derail them.

Steve Green walks in a garden with his daughter, Gabi, shortly after adopting her. Photo courtesy of Green family

Steve Green walks in a garden with his daughter, shortly after adopting her. Photo courtesy of Green family


This image is available for Web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

Not surprisingly, he had his driver’s license suspended for speeding a few years later. (Who would know this was the same Steve Green who won the driver’s ed award among 68 students in his Bethany High School graduating class?) But he gave up the lead-foot driving — and parachute jumping and later his pilot’s license — as their family grew. The Greens have six children including a daughter, now 7, adopted from China.

The Hobby Lobby kingpin has little time for hobbies of his own. The family enjoys skiing and the Oklahoma City Thunder NBA team. He became the chocolate chip cookie baker in the family when his wife didn’t make them as often as he had a hunger for them.

Their family foundation’s charitable gifts focus on gospel outreach efforts in the U.S. and abroad, contributing to the building of a dome for the Oklahoma State Capitol, and supporting social services such as the City Rescue Mission.

The mission is a 640-bed homeless shelter in Oklahoma City run by CEO and President Tom Jones. He was Steve Green’s youth pastor who became a lifelong friend (and an eyewitness to the infamous collision).

Jones still recalls how impressed he was by the teenage Green in his youth class at Sunday school.

“As a young man, when many others were just talking about everything from football to dating, his conversations were always centered around the importance of knowing and living by the truth of God’s word as the way to move through life toward success.

“I told him, ‘You need to share this!’ and he was all, ‘No, no, I’m good.’ So, finally, I just announced one day that he would be teaching the class. He’s been teaching ever since,” said Jones.

Across three decades, says Jones, “I’ve never seen Steve angry.” He’s also never seen Green turn away from a challenge, certainly not one where, said Jones, “he could be forced by the government to do something contrary to the word of God.”

Family, faith and business were the sole centerpieces of Steve Green’s life until the late 1990s when a professor with a passion for ancient manuscripts brought him the idea to build a collection of Bible texts. He’s since written two books, “Faith in America” and “The Bible in America.”

Steve Green and his wife at a surprise 40th birthday party for Steve. Photo courtesy of Green family

Steve Green and his wife, Jackie, at a surprise 40th birthday party for Steve. Photo courtesy of Green family


This image is available for Web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

Now, the Green’s family foundation is building a Bible museum five blocks southwest of the U.S. Capitol to house an unparalleled collection of rare and ancient Scripture manuscripts: 40,000 biblical texts, artifacts and antiquities, from the most ancient manuscripts in Jesus “household language” to Torah scrolls that survived the Holocaust.

It’s planned to open in 2017 and research to choose a name is underway. Just don’t expect to see “Green” in that name.

“Our hope is that the Bible is the hero of the museum, not me, or the Green family,” he said last week, in a phone interview from Egypt. He was traveling to Jerusalem and Rome as well to discuss possible exhibition partnerships (and take a side trip to climb Mount Sinai).

The average American has four Bibles at home and rarely reads any of them. Steve Green has worked his way through his Bibles uncounted times.

Lately, it’s the Book of Daniel that comes often to his mind. In Chapter 3, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego would rather face a fiery furnace than bow to an idol at the command of King Nebuchadnezzar.

Green said, “They told the king ‘Our God is able to deliver us.’”

As he faces the white-hot spotlight of the Supreme Court case, Steve Green said, “God has allowed us to take this stand. I don’t want to be presumptuous to say this is God’s will.”

All Hobby Lobby stores are closed on Sundays and customers can easily learn why. RNS photo by Cathy Lynn Grossman

All Hobby Lobby stores are closed on Sundays and customers can easily learn why. RNS photo by Cathy Lynn Grossman


This image is available for Web and print publication. For questions, contact Sally Morrow.

If the ruling goes against Hobby Lobby, “I don’t know what we will do but I am sure what we will not do,” he said. He will say as the three men told the king, “even if God does not deliver us, we still cannot do this.” (Daniel 3:16-18) 

Of more than 25,000 full-time and part-time Hobby Lobby employees, there are “13,000 lives” depending on their health plan, said Steve Green.

And the “greatest misconception” about the Green family and this case, he said emphatically, “is that we are trying to impose our religion on these workers or others. Not at all! That would violate our religion to do that.”

Yet through that religion, he said, they can face any court ruling with peace of mind.

“We are just going to do what God would call us to do, what he teaches us is right and trust him to do what is out of our control.”

KRE/AMB END GROSSMAN

155 Comments

      • @CarrotCakeMan: you said: “Mr. Green’s Freedom Of Religion does NOT include some “right” to force his employees into his religion.”
        Did Mr. Green say “Join my religion or your fired”?
        Did Mr. Green say “If you are caught outside or inside of work taking/using contraception you are fired”?
        Did Mr. Green say anything about religious practices being grounds for terminiation or work place discrimination?
        Or did Mr. Green say “My company shouldn’t have to pay for XYZ because XYZ goes against the very founding ideology of the company”?
        You are equating paying for forcing.

        CarrotCakeMan this is what in effect you are arguing:
        CarrotCakeMan, why are you not paying me $10,000 to go to Europe and meet new cultures. Your a RACIST and against diversity! Why do you CarrotCakeMan hate diversity? Why must you be so RACIST!!! Why are you trying to force your racism and anti-diversity on me by not paying me 10K to go to Europe?
        –Yes to me you sound THIS stupid

        • He’s not such a bad man for a slaveholder. He didn’t beat his slaves too hard or keep regular concubines. Those slaves could have done worse. :)

          He said all employees must follow the dictates of my religion when it comes to their legally mandated health benefits. You have no say in the matter.

          Btw his company has said to customers, Hobby Lobby is for Christian customers only. They cultivate that kind of discriminatory corporate culture.

          “Or did Mr. Green say “My company shouldn’t have to pay for XYZ because XYZ goes against the very founding ideology of the company”?”

          Because that “founding ideology” is irrelevant to its existence as a company. Its PR that you are pretending is legally relevant. His company was founded in order to make money for Mr. Green and associates and to create a layer of legal protection of his personal assets from business losses. Anything outside of that purpose is just marketing.

          Sven you are arguing for bullies who want to flaunt the law and pretend its religious belief.

          • Larry, I’m afraid right-wing “religious wrong” types do, indeed, routinely try to blame their worst excesses on their intended victims.

          • Larry, It’s good to see that you and CarrotCakeMan are left-wing intellectuals. We need folks like you to warn us of people like Mr. Green. After all, there’s no doubt that we need a secular progressive republic instead of a constitutional republic. Why should I work for evil companies like Hobby Lobby, when I can get all that I need from our benevolent government. Of course history shows that someday we will collapse upon ourselves. But that’s OK. It will be a nice change of pace to become part of Russia someday.

        • As for my city, Springfield Il Hobby Lobby asked my daughter what church she attended and if so how often, and if so on a regular basis. When all questions were answered no, suddenly there were no open postions, and for the record my daughter is a National Honor Society Member, Golden Key Club, and a freshman at Western Illinois Univ. in the criminal justice program. Sounds like bigotry to me!!! I call them as I see them.

          • SleepyCitizen

            My gut instinct is that your daughter is too smart. HBLB couldn’t take the risk of hiring her. It’s my experience that management holds us on short leashes and hires people who they think will be obedient.
            Intelligent, strong-willed individuals need not apply. I am confident to assume that your daughter went on to bigger and better things.

        • Oh, Sven, while you’re ever so busy lining up silly questions that have nothing to do with the issue at hand, do you even spend any time in reality?

          Your questions are irrelevant – the Greens aren’t asking for the right to fire employees based on religion. The Green family’s preposterous claim is that THEIR religious freedom is threatened if they cannot dictate to their employees what medical care meets the Greens’ criteria of being religiously acceptable to the Greens’ own personal interpretation of their religion.

          And, by the way, they’re fighting a battle that not even all Christians agree on, but the Greens are claiming the Right Wing’s favorite claim – they’re being persecuted by mean, liberal, secularists if they can’t have their way and blame it on God. God, according to their argument, requires them to only allow certain medications for their employees, or they are not free.

          Now for the fun part: the Greens, being the huge, dishonest, lying sacks of scum that they are, are using religion to manipulate the courts to get their way because, they argue, abortion is so horrible that the Greens’ billions must never come in contact with anything abortion related.

          Unless they can make a profit from it, in which case, the Greens apparently have no problem with either contraception, which they invest in, or abortion, which they openly fund.

          I guess what the Greens are really saying is – don’t look at what we actually do to support abortion, just look at what we claim to be suffering – in spite of our own actions doing the very thing we claim our religion forbids.

          They don’t want religious freedom – they want the right to be lying hypocrites who blame religion for their lies and hypocrisy.

          How much do the Greens willingly spend every single year to support abortions? Millions. Every year.

          Millions of dollars annually is spent by the Greens to support a government that forces abortions of healthy, wanted, late-term babies on it’s citizens.

          But, if the Greens don’t do business with an atheistic dictatorship that forces slave labor and abortions, why, then the Greens wouldn’t be so rich that they could try and buy the right to be religious dictators to their employees here.

          They are hypocritical scum who allow their money to support forced abortions because it profits them to support China, rather than support American manufacturers and maybe not be rich enough to try and buy the courts.

      • For 16 years, Mr. Green has provided health insurance to his employees that did not include the contraception in question.

        Now the new law says he has to do so.

        For 16 years it was not a problem. Now it is. How is he “forcing” his religion on anyone?

          • Seems to me that for 16 years Mr Green followed his own religious beliefs that he would not pay for abortifacient drugs. During that entire time his employees were free to purchase their own abortifacients with their own money. Now he is asking to be allowed to continue not paying for such drugs and to not be FORCED to pay for such drugs. His employees are still free to buy and use such drugs with their own money. Freedom of religion is explicitly protected in the 1st amendment – where is the explicit right to have free abortifacient drugs found in the constitution?

          • Now that we have the ACA, Mr. Green being a opportunist and hypocrite is using his alleged religious convictions to gain capital with religious right political groups. When there wasn’t a law mandating the coverage, he had no problem providing it. The fact that he was micromanaging between types of contraception shows he is just a control-hungry hypocrite not a person of strong convictions.

            His employees are free to have all forms of contraception provided by their healthcare insurance under the law. It is not Mr. Green’s role as an employer to tell them otherwise.

            Freedom of religion does not apply to a commercial entity. There is for individuals. But institutional religion of a corporation is a fantasy. A Hail Mary play to weasel out of compliance with a law which Conservatives have been trying to duck for years.

            Mr. Green is not Hobby Lobby. His views are not automatically those of a company. Freedom of religion also does not give people the excuse to break laws of general application, or the right to force others to comply with one’s beliefs.

            “where is the explicit right to have free abortifacient drugs found in the constitution?”

            The Federal Government’s right to tax and regulate commerce. Article 1.

          • mlw,

            “Seems to me that for 16 years Mr Green followed his own religious beliefs that he would not pay for abortifacient drugs.”

            Even in China?

          • Then they don’t have to work there….They can freely choose to seek employment elsewhere!

        • “For 16 years, Mr. Green has provided health insurance to his employees that did not include the contraception in question.

          For how many of those years did the not so holy Mr. Green also support and profit from doing business with an atheistic dictatorship which forces both slave labor and abortions on its citizens?

          In fact, isn’t he paying all his lawyers with blood money from the profits he made dealing with China, that atheistic dictatorship that forces abortions of late-term healthy, wanted babies?

          Isn’t it true that he could have lived his principals and not done business with a country which forces abortions, but he made more profit dealing with China than he would have if he had done business with American manufacturers?

          Yeah, he’s a real man of principal whose religious freedom is being threatened if his female employees make their own medical decisions. Uh huh, sure he is. Not a narcissistic, religious hypocrite, at all.

          Whatever. Every time Right Wingers start whining about being persecuted, two things are bound to follow: first, they always claim they are being picked on for being such good religious people, and second, they always get caught doing the very things they are hypocritically hyperventilating about.

          And so it is with the smug and hypocritical, abortion funding, Green family.

      • @ Carrotcakeman: His employees are certainly not forced into his religion. They do not have to worship as he does not do they have to work for him. In the same manner the owners of Hobby Lobby should not be forced to support actions contrary to their religious practices.

      • Religious freedom is not the right to force others to adhere to your religious beliefs.

        Religious freedom is not a license to ignore laws of general application

        Religious freedom does not apply to a commercial entity. It is an individual right. A company has no religious beliefs any more than your toaster does. It is a form of property. One which is capable of being transferred to people at will. They exist at the behest of the incorporation laws of a given state. Compliance with said laws conveys both rights and obligations under the law. This form of existence is completely different from an individual’s.

        Its telling you said nothing about his mockery of labor laws or “the corporate veil”. Both of which undermine the religious freedom argument at its core.

        • Hobby Lobby isn’t forcing anyone to abide by its owners religious beliefs. Its employees are free to murder their unborn children to their hearts’ content within the confines of the law.
          What Hobby Lobby’s owners are doing is asserting their own religious freedom in refusing to pay for such practices.

          • What do you call refusing to obey a federal law providing for benefits of the employees based on alleged religious grounds? It is forcing the employees to abide by the owner’s beliefs. The employee are not being consulted on this. It is purely the owner making decisions on behalf of the employees. Its forcing them to abide by his religious dictates.

            Hobby Lobby seems to think Mr. Green’s religious views provide an excuse from essentially paying a tax levied by the Federal government. The idea that religious belief excuses one from laws of general application. The same argument which would permit human sacrifice.

            Hobby Lobby has no “religious freedom” to assert. It is not an individual. It is a business entity. A form of property which has a legally separate existence. Mr. Green may. His employees may. But Hobby Lobby does not.

            If Hobby Lobby is sold to someone else, does it lose its religious belief? If it acquires another company but does not manage it directly, has that company been converted to Mr. Green’s Christian faith? Do you require a priest to sanctify selling your car to someone of another faith? The whole corporate religious argument is a load of crap.

            Its employees are free to have contraception and abortion paid for by their employer as required because that is within the confines of the law. You don’t get to dodge it because you claim your commercial entity has some form of religious belief.

            You don’t have a valid argument that the ACA does not exist, is not enforceable or is unconstitutional. It passed muster in all of these.

          • Refusing, based on religious ground, to obey a federal law providing benefits to which one has a serious religious objection to the employees I call standing up for freedom of religion. In no way are these employees forced to abide by the owners’ beliefs; if they believe different, and have no objection to the procedures and products to which the owner objects, they remain free to make use of them. They simply may not force the owner to violate his religious freedom by making him pay for these procedures and products.
            Mr. Green’s religious freedom to not support financially those products he has a religious objection to is being trampled upon by this law, and he is right and just to refuse to obey it. The argument against human sacrifice fails categorically; in the instance of Hobby Lobby, positive action is being demanded by the State, which action violates Mr. Green’s freedom of religion. In the instance of human sacrifice, the victim’s freedom of life is being violated (assuming he is not a willing participant), and because of this, government action is required. There is no analogous freedom being violated in the case of abortificants not being paid for by the employer which would justify the government forcing Mr. Green to pay for such.
            Hobby Lobby, as Mr. Green’s property, is an extension of Mr. Green’s existence. When Hobby Lobby pays for something, Mr. Green pays for it. To force Hobby Lobby to act is to force Mr. Green to act. A law requiring Hobby Lobby to support procedures and products to which Mr. Green objects on religious grounds is to violate Mr. Green’s own freedom of religion.
            If Hobby Lobby is sold to someone else, that new owner’s religious beliefs become the relevant factor. Should the hypothetical new owner have no religious qualms with abortificants, the law would not violate his freedom of religion (although it would still violate his rights; it is simply the case that, because his religious view does not require him to oppose such products and procedures he is not forced to violate his religious views).
            Freedom consists entirely in the absence of coercive influence on one’s action. The law forcing one person to pay for benefits of another against his religious views are coercive influence on that person’s actions, and are a violation of his freedom. Employees are not free to act to force their employer to pay for their procedures against his will.
            The ACA obviously exists. Whether it is enforceable or not is uncertain at this time because, to date, this president has never attempted to do so. As for it’s constitutionality, only certain aspects of it were ruled constitutional; namely, the individual mandate. No ruling has yet been made as to whether or not the employer mandate to provide abortificants when provision of such violates their freedom of religion is constitutional; indeed, that’s why the Supreme Court agreed to take the case in the first place! Your assertion that there is therefore no case is a direct denial of facts which, to be fair, is quite in keeping with the mindset of Affordable Care Act supporters historically.

          • You keep repeating the same nonsense, but you don’t really think about what you are saying.

            Mr. Green’s rights aren’t affected by ACA at all because Hobby Lobby is not Mr. Green. You don’t seem to understand that.

            Your word salad all hinges on ignoring the very real legal distinction here. Hobby Lobby is not an individual. It has no religious belief. It is legally separate from its owners in a way which benefits Mr. Green financially. Therefore, it is never Mr. Green’s religious beliefs which can be imputed to Hobby Lobby. The case is not Sebelius v. Steve Green. Its Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby.

            Refusing to obey a law which confers benefits to employees is denying employees benefits. Since this is done purely at the whim of the owner, it is forcing employees to abide by the owner’s belief. It is not religious freedom to attack the rights of others in the name of your religious belief. That is what Green is doing.

            Free Exercise of religion affects your personal ability to worship. It is not a license to ignore laws or to harm others. You have no clue what religious freedom means. To you its just an excuse to bully and cajole people into accepting your views. The ACA is enforceable. The Supreme Court already determined that.

            Corporate religious belief is complete nonsense and you have to be a complete idiot to support such notions. If you work for anyone besides yourself, you are essentially supporting sectarian discrimination against yourself. You are willfully accepting status as the personal acolyte of your employer’s religious belief.

            Are you really that stupid?

            Establishing corporate religion means courts can determine whether a company is sufficiently religious before it could be exempted form laws of general application. The Courts suddenly become the arbiter of what is truly religious and what isn’t. Of course such things would be used to attack religious belief as well. Your claim of religious freedom would have the result of tangibly curtailing it for people. Of course being a Christian means never having to care about other religions besides your own and always assuming you will have control of the apparatus of government.

            What I meant that there is no case is that there is no legally sound good faith case to be made. Of course the expensive lawyers for Hobby Lobby would like to think otherwise, but their arguments are complete nonsense. They have no basis in current law or even sane public policy. There is no rational case to be made here.

            btw PARAGRAPH BREAKS PLEASE!!!!!!!

          • HOBBY LOBBY DOES NOT HAVE RELIGIOUS RIGHTS. They are a CORPORATION. People, individuals have religious right to NOT go to the doctor and get birth control. Actual, stone-written fact: Birth control has NUMEROUS applications beyond preventing pregnancy. Relief of severe menstrual cramp pain, regulating menses, helping with symptoms and effects of endometriosis..
            Here’s a novel approach: actually read the 240-year old document you’re siting as reference *before* you use it as a basis to deny women the right to choose what enters (and exits, natch) their body.

        • How is Hobby Lobby forcing their beliefs on their employees by not paying for abortions?? The owners have a right to refuse to participate in an act that goes against their belief. I worked for a state prison and when Muslim holidays came the whole unit had to change its schedule to accommodate Muslim worship. Why do the Greens not get the same consideration? The government is trying to force the Greens to any against their beliefs not the Greens forcing their employees to believe like they do. This law is illegal anyway because it violates the 28th amendment, congress shall make no laws are exempted from.

          • Irrespective of one’s personal belief’s as to the Green families’ reasoning, bigotry, racism etcetera there is a much larger issue at hand. The Green’s notwithstanding, are under the same “Christian Persecution” as are tens of millions here in the U.S. however, the VAST majority do not have the money or “public standing” to even BE heard.

            BTW…as stupid as it sounds, corporations now ARE legally classed as a “person” with all the “constitutional protections” (and I use THAT term very loosely) an actual human being “should” have…It was in reality a political ploy to allow for obscene amounts of campaign donations. And yes, unlimited donations have already been challened and the Supreme’s already shot down putting caps on donation amounts.

            Unless people have been living without any access to any form of media, the blatant persecutions of Christians , at this very moment whole families including women, children even infants are being dragged from there homes and beheaded across the globe. To think “that could never happen here!” is either in denial, in cahoots or insane.

            It IS happening here, It has been happening here, and will continue to escalate until and unless enough people see through the ACA lie as they sit by and helplessly watch friends, family and loved ones die. And dying they are…complain about it, and watch what happens.

            When reading this thread (I have the “wasting syndrome” and have lost over 55 pounds in 7 months) I was hoping to see some type of information regarding these new “pain contracts,” because as soon as I started showing an improvement from what is considered 100% terminal/irreversible after contacting our Senator as to why critical “referrals” weren’t being done for up to years at a time. The clinic (who as it turns out is responsible for that) cut off my prescriptions the day after I received the dreaded one-page SSDI “review” letter.

            To stand up against anything guaranteed by the U’S’ Consitution when it is being willfully violated, is beyond doubt the right thing to do, Giving up our Christian morals and freedoms via “force” has never worked in any civilization in history, and can only work now if enough good people do nothing.

            One Love,

            Vinny

    • Only a secularist idiot would conflate, “I’m not paying for that” with “You’re not allowed to do that”. In the secularist mindset, if you refuse to pay for something, you’re forcing your beliefs on someone…

      • Only a fool thinks religious freedom can exist without secularism.
        Of course said fools don’t really care about religious freedom unless it can be exercised exclusively for the benefit of Christian fundamentalists.

        When you refuse to pay for something on behalf of other people THAT YOU ARE OBLIGATED TO PROVIDE, THAT THEY ARE ENTITLED TO UNDER THE LAW that is using force on people.

      • Only a logic-chopping apologist thinks there is a difference between denying someone a service in the name of religion and imposing one’s religious views on someone. Larry is right.

        • Only a morally bankrupt atheist would attempt to equate the over simplified phrase “denying a service” to “the faith based conviction to not provide the means to kill an unborn child as protected under the Constitution”.
          If a child lives and logic, instead, gets “chopped” so be it.

    • I’m voting for Steve Green for President in 2016.

      We need a REAL leader in that White House (not that libbie fascist “evolving beliefs” turncoat), and Steve Green has proven himself to a genuine leader.

    • Steve Green is an [expletive deleted]. Who is he to insinuate his beliefs into women’s healthcare and his beliefs, that goes against everything this stupid country is supposed to stand for.

    • Frank, Green might be on the “right” side, but he is most definitely not on the Christian side. Please repent of your false teaching and idolatry. Please.

        • Sorry, Frank, but can you show where trying to force others to live by your “religious beliefs” is endorsed by Jesus? Whatever happened to that “dust off your feet” part of the Bible? Are you saying that doesn’t apply to your particular over-politicized version of “Christianity” that we call Christianism? That is really a political movement, not a religion.

    • Sorry, Ms. Grossman, if Mr. Green picks and chooses which medical treatments he will and will not include in health insurance for Hobby Lobby employees, especially as he has already admitted publicly he’s picking and choosing based on his religious beliefs, he is indeed attempting to force his religion upon his employees, and I hope the full force of the law is brought against him. NO employee, especially in today’s economy, should be forced to seek new employment based upon the company owner’s desire to force his employees to live according to the company owner’s beliefs.

        • Gosh joella, no. What a brilliant solution! Why should an employer be expected to provide negotiated benefits to employees? Why should an employer have to follow federal law at all?!

          • @Eric: Did hobby lobby employees ask for these “negotiated benifits”, did they negotiate for them? Did Hobby Lobby sign a contract with its employees to provide the contraceptives that it currently doesn’t want to provide? Or did the government just suddenly step in?

          • @ Sven

            The benefits did not have to be negotiated by contract. They were guaranteed by Federal Law. It is not Hobby Lobby’s discretion to ignore it any more than other labor laws. The religious freedom argument is just an excuse to avoid compliance with the law. There is no realistic way corporate religious beliefs CAN exist.

            Just because the government steps in, it does not mean it does not have the right. The government has a general right to regulate commerce and to tax. The ACA is considered a tax. The fight to declare ACA unconstitutional was already lost.

        • Many birth control pills are used for many other treatments other than birth control. But Joella apparently does believe Mr. Green has some “special right” to determine what medical treatments his employees may or may not have, since some of those prescriptions are very expensive–and out of the financial reach of his low-paid employees.

      • @CarrotCakeMan
        You said: “chooses which medical treatments he will and will not include in health insurance” Ummm… isn’t this EXACTLY what Obama did by passing the ACA. Health insurance can’t cover everything so some things are left off for whatever reason. Ask Obama why he left infertility treatment out of the law, but made sure abortion was included (albeit abortion portion of coverage isn’t subsidized by the tax payer…supposedly). Isn’t obama “forcing his beliefs” on to the entire american people by your same thinking? Why should Obama be able to force his ideology (read: religion)on all 300 million americans?

        • The difference is Obama’s opinion is backed up by Congressional mandate and Supreme Court rulings. It has the weight of law whether you agree with it or not. Mr. Green does not have that kind of weight behind his actions. So his version of it is unacceptable.

          Btw if your legislative representatives were not so hell-bent on preventing any kind healthcare reform, then maybe you would have received the benefits you are asking about in the ACA. It was already a heavily compromised law as it is.

        • Sorry, Sven, there’s just no point in your attempting to drag the President down to the level of the Christianist employer who wants to force his “beliefs” onto his employees.

    • So that makes him a political opportunist and a hypocrite.

      He is just making noises to attack the ACA. Much in line with the current conservative stance. The religious freedom argument is just so much nonsense. Religious freedom never meant forcing people to accept your religious beliefs and practices.

      He is abusive of his power as an employer. The fact that Green chooses which contraception his employees can use in their health insurance is an invasion of their privacy. Its not a decision he has any legitimate right to make.

    • Ms. Grossman, any thoughts about how Hobby Lobby has long profited from cheap labor costs in a country that frequently uses abortion and other forms of population control? Do they expect to continue to do so, despite the apparent, some would say glaring, contradictions involved? Thanks.

  1. Pamela Wheaton

    Hobby Lobby, Chic-Fil-A, and Franklin/Covey are companies very well known to have business foundations based on faith and Biblical principles. If a person wishes to use post conception methods of birth control, that person should choose to work for any number of other retailers that choose not have such restrictions. I applaud the Greens for taking a stand and support their right to do so.

    • There is no such thing as corporate religion. A business entity is created to be separate from its owners. A company is not its owners. It cannot have a religious belief. Individuals can have religious beliefs. Biblical principles of a company is just PR to get gullible believers to plunk down money at a given place.

      The “they can work anywhere else if they don’t like it” argument is just an excuse to violate whatever labor laws an employer does not feel like following. If you don’t like being discriminated against by your employer, forget the EEOC, just find another job. If you don’t like your unsafe work conditions, don’t complain to OSHA, just find another job. Well that argument is crap. An employer does not own its employees like chattel property.

      The government has every right to regulate corporate conduct. A company (that is not a sole proprietorship with no employees) exists at the fiat of the state. A business entity follows the laws created by the government to retain the benefits that such business formation has.

      There is nothing admirable about forcing employees to give up something they have every right to under the law. Its bullying. Pure and simple. Something we see a lot of when Fundamentalists get some degree of authority.

    • @MS. Wheaton,

      THE ENTIRE PURPOSE of HOBBY LOBBY IS TO BREAK GOD’S LAW! :-)

      HOBBY LOBBY is an ART store.

      Steve Green sells tools for the purpose of making and ENCOURAGING
      THE BLATANT, WILLFUL DEFIANCE OF GOD’S LAW!

      “Thou Shalt not make any graven images.” – God’s 3rd COMMANDMENT

      The irony is always lost on those who want to force religion on everyone else!

  2. Susan Humphreys

    I think Mr. Green is practicing his piety in public.Which the Bible tells him not to do. His claim that he is trying to live by his faith, is also problematical, since he seems to pick and choose the passages in the Bible that he follows and those that he rejects. There is no where in the Bible that says life begins at conception and there are passages that say life begins with first breath. So the argument really comes down to whether anyone, can claim that something is their religious belief and that the government can’t interfere. He should hope that he loses this case otherwise he might find himself on the receiving end of some one elses, self-proclaimed beliefs!

    • Uh, I believe Mr. Green DOES in fact find himself on the receiving end of someone else’s self – proclaimed beliefs. What do you think Obama care is? That is why he is headed to the US Supreme Court.

      • Obamacare aka the ACA is Federal law. One which passed muster through the Supreme Court. Laws don’t require one to believe in them at all. Just follow them. Mr. Green’s beliefs are his own. Beliefs he forces others to comply with using the coercive force of his role as an employer. All in violation of the law.

        Your argument is akin to saying that following workplace safety and environmental hazard laws is just kowtowing to proclaimed beliefs of the government. Or that minimum wage is merely coercion to the beliefs of employers.

        Conservatives lost the battle to keep it from being passed in Congress and being declared unconstitutional. They lost the battle to get it repealed though extortion in shutting down Congress. This is just another way to fight a battle thrice lost.

        • Larry from NC: Laws don’t require belief, not even by legislators who are paid by the wealthy to enact them. Laws only require obedience, like it or not. Presumably, in a democratic society, which the U.S. have never had, that obedience would be gladly given because laws are just and fair.

          But when politicians sell themselves to the wealthy like the Koch brothers, the wealthy then own the government and everyone must obey the wealthy. That is not democracy, that is oligarchy.

          And while a lazy and ill-informed electorate continues putting people in government who sell themselves to the wealthy, what else can you expect? Is democracy really possible given the lazy, selfish, greedy, illiterate ways of human beings?

          It seems our government contains the same self-destructive evils
          as religion has shown historically.

      • Larry from NC: Don’t you recognize the clear difference between religious beliefs and the belief in human rights, such as the right to health and life?

        Health and life, like laws protecting you against murder–except to the extent that the NRA owns our government and interferes with the right to life–are even more natural than the presumed “democratic” right to vote for those to govern us.

        Of course, North Carolina is as bad as any state in the Union in suppressing voting rights, so it is easy to see how that germ may have contaminated the rest of your democratic and constitutional outlook.

        • You know, gilhcan, most gun owners say that having a gun provides them with a protection so they can keep their right to life. In fact, owning some sort of weapon is just about the only way to protect that right. The police are under no obligation to protect that right, only to pursue the criminal to took the right away. But please go on lecturing people about how the government is the entity which is gracious enough to provide us our rights, no they were never ours to begin with, the government provides them. You absolutely have a right to access healthcare, but you DO NOT have the right to take my money to pay for your needs. I have my own needs which I use my money for, please stay out of my wallet.

          • Sven —
            “please stay out of my wallet.”

            So you’d rather be a freeloader?
            Who do you think has been paying for your hospital and doctor visits when you couldn’t?
            Answer: The rest of us! And I’m a conservative who owns guns too.
            And this has been going on for a hundred years.

            For once, I’m glad the US government has done something to force people to pay for their own health care!

      • Larry from NC: Also for your information, President Obama has never been “headed to the (Catholic) US Supreme Court.” The Supreme Court, constitutionally, considers laws, not people, supposedly to ensure they conform with our Constitution, our basic law.

        As for the Affordable Care Act–and that is what the law is, not “Obama care”–it has already passed muster with the Supreme Court. It is constitutional. Yet your obvious party has spent the whole time it has had a majority in one branch of our national legislature voting unsuccessfully over 50 times to try to wipe out the Affordable Care Act. Even worse, they have never proposed a single word toward a substitute or an improvement to a law they claim is faulty. They can’t even provide an honest claim about any fault.

        Your Republican majority obviously wants you to become sick and die. You are a “taker,” not a “maker.” You belong to the “47%.” (Romney was wrong, the percentage of those who are not millionaires and billionaires like him is monstrously larger than “47%.” They are the great majority of this nation, but you’d never know it from their lazy and ignorant non-participation in our elections.

        You suffer, according to Paul Ryan, Romney’s running mater, from a “culture problem” in that you don’t want to work. They never note that you can’t work because there are no jobs because Republicans, with the help of some sleazy Democrats, shipped them out of the country with destructive foreign trade acts. In the words of Republican Ross Perot, those jobs left the country “with a giant whooshing sound.” And now they’re proposing yet another one of those acts, this time headed for the Pacific..

        Again, a Democratic president, Obama, is pushing that undemocratic, secret dealing that will be so destructive to our economy. And Obama just nominated Max Baucus, the sleaziest of all so-called Democrats, to be ambassador to China. Baucus even quit the Senate for the job!

        Where’s all the fault, Larry from NC?

        • Actually since you are going to split hairs by saying: “Affordable Care Act–and that is what the law is, not “Obama care” let me correct you. The law is not called the Affordable Care Act you are wrong. It just goes to show how little information you have about this monstrosity of a law. If you are going to correct people, please actually provide them with the correct name: The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Now, continue on your way of providing disinformation. Also before you say “yes, but people shorted it to the Affordable Care Act”, let me remind you that people have further shorted it to Obamacare. ;-)

          • It seems to me what really bothers Sven is that this great advance toward guaranteeing all Americans will receive medical care will always be identified with a President he hates and fears.

      • Susan Humphreys

        That Larry is the question before the Supreme Court. Is he really on the receiving end, being forced to do a direct action against his beliefs. OR is his argument a sham? I think he is a man crying wolf, there really isn’t at this point in time a wolf at his door. Somday there might be and no one will pay any attention to him!

        • Except there has never been an accepted version of Free Exercise of Religion which exempted people from laws of general application, nor permitted coercive efforts to harm the rights of others.

          Even if you have a “deeply held belief” some actions are just not permitted under rule of law.

        • @SUSAN,
          Many religious people are expressly against nuclear weapons for what they claim are religious reasons. They list chapter and verses of the bible. But they must pay taxes anyway and FUND nuclear weapons.

          We all do.

          The Supreme Court has decided the Healthcare Act is a legitimate TAX.
          Therefore this is a settled matter. The religion nuts are not going to win their escape clauses.

    • It’s phony piety. Have you ever heard a word about religion from Green before? This isn’t religion at all. That would be unconstitutional. This is just a trick for Green to further enrich himself by not paying his employees a decent wage which would include health care.

  3. Steve Green is not only violating the First Amendment of our Constitution, he is plainly dishonest and obviously deceitful in attempting to force his religious beliefs, disguised as personal, religious morals, on everyone else in order to deprive his employees of health care. This is a disguise to use religion to increase his own bottom line of profit. That is selfish greed, not religion, except at its worst, no different than that of the moneyed behavior of the Koch brothers and outfits like Exon Mobil. That is a disguise for religion. That is ugly. And it is unconstitutional.

    Our Catholic Supreme Court is unlikely to declare Green in violation of the Constitution and our laws. That is a precarious possibility because that court has itself been violating the Constitution and preferring Catholic canon law to U.S. law. Remember that Catholic court also declared that money is speech and corporations are people. Our Catholic Supreme Court has repeatedly demonstrated disrespect for our Constitution, our laws, and honest religion. The solution is for people to never again shop at Hobby Lobby no matter how this matter is resolved in court action.

  4. When Steve Green says, “We believe…” he makes his opposition to some forms of birth control conform to his religious beliefs, not science. Green supports the birth control he has obviously practiced, and “believes” that the practices everyone else uses should conform to his particular religious reliefs.

    Green is challenging the Affordable Care Act on the basis of his religious beliefs, not science. That is precisely why Green is wrong. It is sad that Green did not learn more science instead of spending so much of his high school and college time learning the rudiments of his family’s craft business. It is even sadder that at 50 Green does not recognize the difference between the realities of science and the mythology of religion.

    It also appears that Green has caught the wealth disease that all of our other oligarchs suffer, do anything to increase your wealth. Enough is never enough. And real workers are no different than the machines or other functions of your business. They are not equal to capital in business, they are inferior. They do not even deserve health care or decent wages. So much for the religious angle of capitalism.

  5. Steve Green is an unbelievable idiot. Christians don’t own all the idiot real estate but they are doing all they can.

    He feels,
    “the U.S. government is challenging his unshakeable Christian faith and his religious liberty.”

    If it is so unshakeable why doesn’t he just calm down? If his liberty is at risk why is he able to practice it without Atheists like me shouting in his face?
    Is he repressing his own anti-christian feelings?

    Let it out Steve – if the Government can challenge you, there must be a problem with your ‘unshakeable faith’ right?

  6. Thank you Mr and Mrs Green. Hurray to you for standing your ground. I so agree with you and your actions. Sometime, in this world we, as Christians face difficult choices. I commend you on your belief in God and family. Thanks for your example to all of us.Thanks for letting your light shine!

    • Typical of Fundamentalists to confuse dishonesty, bullying and coercion with principles and acts of conscience. Evidently Christians believe their choices and beliefs must be adopted by everyone, by any means necessary.

    • “Thou Shalt not make any graven images.” – God’s 3rd COMMANDMENT

      Hobby Lobby, an ART STORE, is therefore an institution built to destroy God’s Commandments.

      The religious argument from Steve Green is an INCOHERENT mess. He will not be allowed to pick and choose these things for his convenience. The court will destroy him, as it should.

  7. David Lloyd-Jones

    How astonishingly egotistical of this man to claim that the government is “challenging his unshakeable Christian faith.”

    I don’t think the government knows any more about his faith than the rest of us do. It might be interesting to some of us, just as a matter of curiosity. As tabloid sales teach us, psychopathology is always has a morbid attraction for part of the public.

    The government, however, doesn’t care. They’re just trying to subsidise his insurance company to pay for his employees’ health care. He seems to be trying to interfere.

    Could he maybe stop obsessing about his own ego long enough to explain why?

    -dlj.

    • David Lloyd-Jones

      The “is” typo is obvious — but could the editors maybe work on getting an edit button for careless folks like me? Or is there on there that I’m missing?

      -dlj.

    • Susan Humphreys

      All the world’s religions and secular philosophies, as far as I can tell, have realized that it is our Ego that gets in our way and keeps us from reaching our highest potential as human beings. I think Mr. Green is a perfect example of this. It seems to me that he is in trouble in another way, the Supreme Court is in essence being asked or forced to determine IF his religious beliefs are legitimate and therefor of greater importance as to take precedence over secular rights. To make such a determination puts the Supreme Court in an awkward position, do they support his beliefs which is in essence an endorsement of his beliefs and in a sense a violation of the concept of separation of Church and State? OR do they take the position that this simply is NOT a religious issue?

  8. The Bible clearly states that we should respect and obey our leaders except when it’s in direct violation of what God has commanded us to do. The Green family does not wish to halt all forms of contraception – only those that induce abortion. They are NOT trying to force their religion on their employees. (I know as my daughter is an employee there.) Why are others granted exemptions/waivers (or whatever you wish to call it) from the law but not Christians? What makes a union, a special interest group or any other denomination different? Muslims are forbidden to purchase insurance because they believe it is a form of gambling. Is this not a religious belief? What makes them any different than Christians?

    • So if God commands you to wipe out the heretics and unbelievers, it should not be considered illegal? It would be a matter of conscience to murder for the Lord in such a case? I guess so. So much for the idea that Christianity respects rule of law.

      The big question is why is the Green family making ANY decisions as to what forms of health care the employees are receiving. He is not the beneficiary of the healthcare benefits. He is not making decisions based on medical necessity.

      Claiming it is not forcing his religious views on his employees is a falsehood.His religious views should have no bearing on the subject. It is not his body which is receiving the contraception. Yet he feels the need to micromanage and make decisions on behalf of employees. How very CHRISTIAN of him. To make religious based decisions on behalf of people he has power over, without their consent.

      Your whining about Christians not receiving exemptions under the law is utter fiction. Christians already have been given a wide berth by our laws to a degree which at times is intolerable to democratic freedoms. Religious freedom is not the freedom to coerce. Its the freedom to avoid coercion.

      As an employer, Green is imposing his religious beliefs through coercion on his employees. Never mind if they agree or believe as he does. It is not their choice. It is the mandate of the self-styled righteous defender of the faith Green. God commands Green to treat his employees as personal conscripts to his faith.

    • Please stop repeating the lie that the contraception methods opposed by Green “induce abortion.” That is a falsehood contradicted by scientific evidence and medical understanding. Having a “sincere religious belief” otherwise does not make that belief true or make it legitimate grounds for refusing to obey a federal law.

      Please stop pretending that Christians are being singled out as well.

    • The Greens are not Hobby Lobby, which is a corporation, designed among other things, to protect them from personal liability for the actions of their business. That wall should work both ways, isolating them somewhat from the legal system, but also the rest of us from their religious dogma.

  9. Why can’t religious people ever spot their own flaws?

    HOBBY LOBBY is a business
    which breaks the 3rd Commandment endorsing the making of “graven Images.”

    In fact, it is the ENTIRE PURPOSE of HOBBY LOBBY to sell tools for the purpose of making and ENCOURAGING THE BLATANT, WILLFUL DEFIANCE OF GOD’S LAW!

    Should I therefor not pay taxes to the government which permits Graven Images to be created?

    That is the ‘DEPTH’ of this ridiculous argument!
    Of course the Supreme Court should laugh this FOOL back into the stone age.

    Religion is nothing but poison to civilization!

  10. We have to be vigilant.

    These religious people and their outrageous challenges are simply UNENDING. Just imagine the horrors we would be living under without The Establishment clause. So thankful to Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine today – may the religious fascists always find rejection.

  11. Dear Cathy Lynn,
    I’m afraid you have unleashed the ignorant, the un-churched, and (perhaps) the unwashed . Let’s see if we can get their attention, for the moment, at least.

    Satan, the the name of Jesus the Christ, return to Hell with all your minions. + .
    In this sign shall you be conquered, you and all your devil supporters.

    We ask you, Lord Jesus, to bless the Greens, their employees and their business. Grant them the patience and perseverance to follow your commands. We thank you, Lord. AMEN! .

  12. Dear Cathy Lynn,
    I’m afraid you have unleashed the ignorant, the un-churched, and (perhaps) the unwashed . Let’s see if we can get their attention, for the moment, at least.

    Satan, in the name of Jesus the Christ, return to Hell with all your minions. + .
    In this sign shall you be conquered, you and all your devil supporters.

    We ask you, Lord Jesus, to bless the Greens, their employees and their business. Grant them the patience and perseverance to follow your commands. We thank you, Lord. AMEN! .

  13. Restricting access to contraceptives results in MORE abortions. Romania proved that. You can’t be pro-life if you’re anti-contraception. You’re just anti-women’s health and anti-family.

  14. Good for him. He’s standing up for his freedom of religion and, in doing so, for the 1st Amendment right to follow one’s conscience held by each and every American. His refusal to back down from Obama’s tyrannical campaign against religious liberty is refreshing in this time when so many are simply rolling over to him.

    • If you think a corporation has a religious belief you have no clue what religious freedom means. Its just a bunch of words for you in order to excuse bad public behavior.

      There is no principled stand in making decisions on behalf of others without their consent. That is just abuse of power. It is not an act of conscience to make people suffer a detriment for your beliefs. But it is a typical Christian attitude. Their version of morality involves coercing other people to accept their views. .

      The first amendment does not allow people to become laws unto themselves under the notion of religious belief. I know many Fundies like to think otherwise. Especially when their excesses violate all sorts of laws protecting the freedom of people who may not share their beliefs. But that was never the case.

      • The owner of the company has a religious belief, which he expresses through his company’s actions. Mr. Green is making no decisions on behalf of others; his employees may make their own decisions as to which treatments, products and procedures they will pursue. Mr. Green is simply refusing to pay for a subset of such treatments, products and procedures should his employees choose to pursue them.
        What the 1st Amendment does is prohibit the government from creating a law that violates the rights individuals already have. When a law passes which violates that right, it is proper and just to disobey and challenge that law, just as Mr. Green has done.

        • You obviously do not know what a corporation really is. It is a legally separate individual from its owners. It is a form of property to be owned, transferred or sold at will. It can no more have a religious belief than your car or toaster. A company is not its owners. Mr. Green reaps major legal and taxation benefits from that separation. In doing so he must abide by the obligations that entails as well. The main one being that one must abide by laws concerning conduct of corporations and those regulating commerce.

          A corporation cannot have a religious belief because only individuals can have that. If Mr. Green wants his company to completely adopt his religious beliefs then he has to dissolve Hobby Lobby’s corporate existence, fire all his employees and run everything all by himself.

          As much as you repeat the same nonsense over and over “Mr. Green is just chosing not to pay…”, the more dishonest you get. Mr. Green is making decisions affecting his employees on his own accord, without the wishes of those affected in accordance to his religious beliefs. He does not have the right to make those decisions on his employee’s behalf. It is the private concern of the employees (ever hear of HIPPA S. Keegan?). Therefore he is forcing his employees to abide by his religious beliefs whether they want to or no. By withholding money to something his employees are ENTITLED TO UNDER THE LAW he is forcing his employees to accept some limitation to their rights because Mr. Green’s religious beliefs. That is force. That is coercion. That is not exercising one’s religious rights. Its pure bullying.

          You might as well be saying he is requiring all employees to convert to his sect in order to collect a paycheck. Of course given your arguments, you probably don’t have an objection to that.

          You have no idea what the 1st amendment says or means. You are making an phony knee-jerk response. Conservative Christians seem to have this idea in their heads that religious freedom means they have a right to be a raging malicious jerk to people without consequence. That being told one can’t attack other people is somehow persecution. You have no respect for religious freedom at all. It is merely a means to an end to give Christians some measure of coercive authority over others.

          The 1st Amendment religious rights do not give one the license to ignore laws that are inconvenient nor give one the right to harm the interests of others. Article 1 of the Constitution gives the government the right to regulate commerce and taxation. It is not an act of conscience or deeply held religious belief to attack the rights of others. You do not support religious freedom. You support bullying by those with money and influence.

  15. Great article Ms Grossman. Thank you for the background on Mr,. Green and his very successful family business. I admire his dedication and courage moving forward. He stands for what he believes in regardless of the winds of the time. Bravo! I am giving Mr. Green a standing ovation.

  16. Well, I for one hope the Supreme Court ultimately does the right thing in this case and finds that no person or corporate entity can be justly compelled to abide by a law violating his, her, or its principles.

    • So how does a corporate entity even have religious principles?
      It is separate from its owners in all legally relevant ways. But given the arguments posed by people like yourself, here is how it would play out:

      You are an employee of a company which gets acquired by a major Saudi concern, then it would become a Muslim company. That new owner is a lay Inam, he went to a fancy Madrassa back in Saudi Arabia. He has served Allah in many capacities in his public and private life.

      By the arguments people pose here, since you chose to work for that company, you contracted to be subservient to the owner’s religious belief. You can be compelled to follow the dictates of the employers. It means that if the company said that all workers must pray 5 times a day towards Mecca or they will be docked their salary, you must comply. All women must wear hijabs on duty. If the workers don’t like it, they could just leave. Promotion can only come to Muslims working there. After all, nobody has to be promoted in a job.

      You are essentially saying all the religious beliefs of the owners trumps your beliefs as an employee. Even though such a rule violates the Equal Employment Act.

      The owner is making a principled stand of religious conscience to avoid complying with the EEOC. The owner is not forcing his employees to follow the rules of Islam, he is just choosing not to enforce a law which goes against his deeply held beliefs.

      Oh wait, you can’t conceive that happening You think the law can only be applied in favor of Christians. After all they are the only ones who can exercise religious freedom.

      • Larry, I know you’re angry and don’t believe in the God who created you. That’s certainly your right. But why? Who hurt Larry so badly that you are so filled with loathing?

        As for this argument, you can’t be serious. Are you? If you are, you are also insane and should just go away. Your arguments–especially this one–are ludicrous.

        • Way to engage in an infantile patronizing reply. Because every atheist is just mad at God. Give me a break. One cannot be mad at something that does not exist. Whatever you think earns brownie points for Jesus, I guess.

          There is not a shred of anger in the post you are replying to. I am merely taking the arguments here to their logical conclusion. Its also telling how you avoided addressing anything I said. I guess I hit a little too close to the belt. Nothing to say about my version of corporate Muslim faith?

          I will admit I have little tolerance for blitheringly stupid arguments that get repeated constantly without thinking. Much like anything said in favor of corporate religious belief.

          • “I will admit I have little tolerance for blitheringly stupid arguments that get repeated constantly without thinking.” You mean like your repeated assertions that about the Green’s legal standing, or lack thereof? Hmmm. OK.

            You’ve used the usual liberal tactic (tell me, is it numbered in the playbook?) of simply repeating the same thing over and over and over and over again until people just accept it as truth–which it isn’t. And, all sarcasm aside, you’ve done a good job of that. Clearly every time you’ve repeated it in this thread–I don’t know, a dozen or more times?–you’ve retyped and rewritten it, not just cut-and-pasted, which shows a great deal of passion and effort on your part.

            Now tell me, Larry, are you a constitutional attorney, or just an armchair barrister? What are your bona fides for your arguments? Have you argued before the SCOTUS? In what states are you licensed to practice law?

            As to your anger, which is readily apparent, I was not referring to your “blitheringly stupid” Muslim argument specifically but your posts in toto. Taken as a canon they reveal a great deal of anger.

            For the record, there was nothing infantile or patronizing in my reply. Just observations. And you clearly are mad at God (who is very real and believes in and loves you, even if you insist on not acknowledging Him), you just don’t have the intestinal fortitude to admit it. And riddle me this, Larry: if there is no such thing as God, as you falsely claim, why do you spend so much time and energy railing against Him? You do know that you’re doing that, don’t you Larry?

            I’ll pray for you buddy, and I mean that sincerely. It will be nice to look back on this and laugh over it in Heaven one day. Please reach out to Him and give Him a chance. You won’t regret it!

          • You were and still are being insulting and patronizing. Don’t bother trying to BS me to the contrary. You are being purely passive aggressive and avoiding the points being made. Its a very typical approach many Christians online.

            I have not cut and pasted anything. I have not repeated talking points at all, but responded to very half-baked, not well thought out arguments made on behalf of Christians (who all seem to be ignorant of religious freedom, the nature of corporations, labor law, and current events).

            ” I was not referring to your …Muslim argument specifically but your posts in toto”

            Then address it.

            Does it make you feel alright by God that you are trying to attack the big bad atheist? I guess so. I don’t care about your opinion of me. I am not making this personal at all. That is all you. You are certainly doing nothing which indicates you want a serious discussion.

            Make an argument on the topic on hand as opposed to the ad hominems you want to fling. Tell me why the arguments applied for corporate religion don’t apply to my hypothetical muslim company. I would love to hear an opinion on something besides my demeanor. Give me a reason to take you seriously.

  17. Concerned Citizen

    I think the opening of this article slightly glorifies an incident of reckless driving by teenagers. It very much weakens your case to say his character is the same as whence he played chicken almost killing himself and a young lady, to draw that parallel with his actions today paint his actions in an extremely foolish light.

  18. So let me see if I understand the thinking of some “contributors” to this article. . It appears by what is being stated, that everyone has “rights” to do what they feel are important, that is except for Christian business owners, Pastors, Priests and Rabbis whose standards are set by their faith and the God they serve. Seeing that the founders of our great nation knelt to pray on the shores of this great land of America . . and the great men who formed our Constitution were also men of faith . . how is it today that modern day people of faith who either are in business or heads of Ministries, etc., must kneel to a mandate written by the President that entirely goes against their faith, beliefs and doctrines? Forcing religious leaders and business owners to go before the Supreme Court to state their case of this law as inappropriate for their religious standard. This is something I would have never believed possible in “The Land of the Free . . The Home of the Brave”. I will declare what our forefathers declared: “GIVE US LIBERTY! OR GIVE US DEATH.” We Americans are a “free people”! We have “inalienable rights” that no president has the right to take from us or force us to do what goes against our beliefs. I PRAY that The Supreme Court will look to the SUPREME GOD for HIS Wisdom and not that of just a man who happens to be the President for only a few more years.

  19. This is a family owned and operated PRIVATE corporation that has had the same stance and philosophy for decades. The even have it on their website, have for years. They tell their prospective employees about their philosophy. You know what? If you don’t like it, you don’t have to work there. No one is forcing you to take a job at Hobby Lobby. Why is it that you have to make things so convoluted? It’s just that simple. In addition, I agree that I shouldn’t have to pay for abortions either. To me it is murder. Sucking a being with a heart beat to shreds just rings murder to me. Agreeing to do this is like being an accomplice to murder to me. This issue was bound to come up, and the question we should be asking is why isn’t there a provision for this in Obamacare? Here is the part of the Bill of Rights that this whole question resides on. It says nothing about people or corporations. This law prohibits the free exercise of religion. Read it again. Your rights are being stripped away. Pay attention. Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

  20. I will be praying, God will give the Blessings and the jobs for so many,I am standing ground with you. I believe what is happening will give a mircle that is much need for some.More people should follow what God says than what the Government says.The Angels will be there to catch the firey darts, Standing on the rock I shall not be moved. I love that verse in Bible. God Bless to you…!! Amen Jesus is Lord Amen..!!

  21. There is this “thing” today called “if you dont like your company or their ways go somewhere else to work. No one is forcing you to stay”. I believe any business owner should have say about their own company. Obamacare is BS. We fuss about government telling us what to do in our own homes but when an individual company tries it people get ticked off. Look at the companies supporting the abortions etc.. They are in trouble but companies like Hobby Lobby who stand true to their Christianity are prospering… I will continue to support Hobby Lobby and, oh yeah, Chik-fil-a… GASP!! I said it!! God Bless all the Christian-haters out there.. Im sorry if your religion has left you feeling contempt for us but we will continue in our Faith and will pray for you all…

    • Who is the “your” here? Its not Steve Green. He is not Hobby Lobby.

      Hobby Lobby was a entity created in compliance with state laws to insulate Mr. Green and whomever else has an ownership interest in the past or future from liabilities of doing business. Something which cannot have a religious belief in of itself. No more than any other property interest one has.

  22. Larry:

    Sorry, couldn’t get a “Reply” link on your reply to my post of 3:34 p.m. today.

    I’m not trying to BS you in any way, and I genuinely apologize if you felt I was insulting and/or patronizing. That was not my intent (although I will note that in your anger you did post a few ad hominem’s of your own in your various posts throughout).

    You should know better than to paint with such a broad brush, Larry. Your characterizations of Christian as a class are unfair (and, I would add, generally inaccurate in my experience), as you well know.

    I did not accuse you of cutting-and-pasting in any way; quite the contrary. Please reread that graf.

    Nor did I accuse you of repeating talking points. I believe your perspective, wrong though it is, is wholly yours and well thought out. And clearly you’re not alone.

    Now, contrary to your characterizations of my previous post, I also note for all that you did not address my direct question as to your qualifications for the proclamations you post. You are stating many things of a legal nature as fact, not opinion, and I don’t believe you are qualified to make said assertions. “Give me a reason to take you seriously.”

    I am guilty of making this personal because you and I were created by a very personal God who loves both of us–yes, you too–very much. In that sense it’s very much a personal matter. And I do not apologize for that in any way.

    I am not “attacking” any atheists, big, bad or otherwise, and certainly not you. I don’t even know you, so on what basis could I form such an opinion?

    So, back to your qualifications for your strong positions: they are?

    • Still nothing on my previous points. Just want to make personal attacks. ChicagoIrish, you are a waste of time. There is no reason to take you seriously.

      If you must pray for me, do it in the style of Matthew 6:

      “when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the churches and on the street corners to be seen by others

      “when you pray, go into your room, close the door”

  23. Ok I read most of the comments here…who says that every law that is enacted needs to followed..threre is a line that needs to be drawn..the government exists for the general well being of the people, not to impose dos and don’ts that violates God given morale principles of human beings. If there is no God given principles how do we know that murder is wrong. Without being thought every person knows that murder is wrong so if the government one day says it is the law to kill fellow human beings am going to kill then? You all know the answer to this if u are honest to yourself. Mr Green simply wanted to follow his God given conscious and not be part of this that violates who he is as a human being, he is told to abide or else..I think Mr Greens basic human rights are been violated here not the other way around where he is imposing his views on his employees..He is giving his employees sundays off and providing health coverage and he is providing job for them to support their families..so now threre is a mandate that violates him who he is as a person and chose to stand for the truth are being called all kind of names.. Common people nothing can be further from the truth and this specific mandate needs to be scraped.. Read Daniel chapter 6 where Daniel refused to abide to the King Darius’s edict and find out what happend in chapter 6.. This is not a fiction but truly happend during the time of the Medes and Persians and God showed up in a miraculous way where he shut the jaws of the lions because he stood for what is right regardless of the consequences.. Mr Green be strong and and see the hand of God!! To say Mr Green’s views and hobby lobby is not the same is just wrong. He and his family built the business based on core values and the business is part of him and the principes that he buiit it on..

  24. The Green family, in my view, isn’t doing a thing wrong. I just read parts of his website, articles all over the web (pro and con). All I see is that this man and his family don’t want to be held accountable for the termination of life via abortifacients (sp?) . Contraceptives don’t seem to be in any of the language. Probably because there isn’t any moral detriment tied to it all.. After all, contraceptives are not killing any child at any stage of life because contraceptives prevent conception, right? It’s at conception that life begins, so all the biology teachers including my parents say…

  25. “We are just going to do what God would call us to do, what he teaches us is right and trust him to do what is out of our control.”

    and then proceeds to do the exact oppossite of Jesus’ commandments. Jesus didn’t say “force other people to follow my teachings”. He said “how can you say ‘Brother you have a mote in your eye’ when your own eye is filled”. Religious Freedom does not mean one person must live according to a wealthier person’s religion — that’s called Tyranny.

  26. Diane Propster

    I wonder if Mr Green, who is so concerned with Life issues and the welfare of employees is providing pregnacy leave, and childcare at the employment location for his female employees who now may be burden with more children along with the need to work. From the article on Mr. Green it shows that he only seems to offer insurance to full time employees. What about women who cannot work full time because they have a number of children and on top of it do not get insurance.

    I noticed in the reviews of his company, while many said positive things, a number of people noted that working in very hot warehouses is an issues. He makes millions but his employees swelter in hot wearhouses. Also, it appear that Hobby Lobby is not providing any upward mobility. Your job begins and ends in the wearhouse.

    It is nice that he makes millions of dollars so he is able to fully care for his 6 children. I wonder about the people making a lower level wage who are not capable of feeding, clothing and housing many children.

  27. Also, when you consider those 50,000,000 plus innocent lives that were
    taken, and then you consider how many future generations were eliminated, you begin to
    see that the population that was eliminated was far more than the original 50,000,000.
    He will do fine- he was a very good (but not great) prospect,
    he’s young (age 25), and still plays half of his games in Coors.
    Abortion is the legalization of killing a child while that child is in the early developmental
    stages, period.

  28. Have you ever thought about adding a little bit more than just
    your articles? I mean, what you say is valuable and everything.
    But think of if you added some great visuals or video clips to give
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  29. Today, I went to the beach with my children. I found a sea shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She placed the shell to
    her ear and screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to tell someone!

  1. […] Steve Green is a Southern Baptist, grandson and nephew of Pentecostal pastors, a Sunday school teacher for decades and leader of a business that has declared its Christian principles from opening day. Hobby Lobby stores are all closed Sundays “to allow employees time for family & worship,” the front door signs say. To read more of the article about Steve Green click here. […]

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