For those of you who don’t know it, Hobby Lobby is a family owned business that started out in a garage and now, 40 years later, includes more than 500 locations in 42 states. It is undeniably one of the premier hobby stores in the United States and has long been a bastian of Christ centered faith-based commitment to operating under a set of guidelines that would make the Savior proud.
For example, the chain closes early so employees can get home and spend time with their families. Additionally, the entire chain is closed on Sundays, celebrating the idea of a Sabbath rest. Full time employees start at the store receiving a compensation package that is 80% more than minimum wage – quite an accomplishment in the world we live in today – where employers are looking for ways to cut wages instead of increasing them.
According to Mr. David Green of Hobby Lobby, their President and Founder, the business was started with the idea of following two foundational Christian principles – namely, to run the business in harmony with God’s laws and to focus on people more than on money. And according to Mr. Green, God has blessed the effort abundantly for more than 4 decades.
But now, things could be about to change. Not that Hobby Lobby is any less God centered, but the government is about to impose its will on this faith based organization. Apparently, under the new health guidelines, Hobby Lobby will be forced to deal with insurance companies who reimburse for drugs taken to promote abortions. Specifically, Mr. Green states, “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.”
He goes on to say that although he is against legal action and the filing of lawsuits these new mandates will strike at the very core of his company and could endanger the livelihoods of thousands of employees resulting in catastrophic losses for countless families across our great country. Therefore, with a heavy heart, he has filed suit against the government for injunctive relief. After all, there have been thousands of exemptions already and Mr. Green believes that following this mandate is in direct opposition to what the foundational principles of the company would support.
Regardless of which side of the fence you fall on, this whole issue brings up an interesting point. And that is – what are the rights of business owners relative to the government and the company employees. After all, the owners have risked their capital and years of their lives to build something lasting – in this case, something that has benefited thousands of people.
So Mr. Green, with his concern for the sanctity of life, and his unwillingness to participate in what he considers to be potential abortion, faces a crossroads in his life. He has apparently made the decision that when the laws of man and the laws of God come into conflict, the law of God prevails. I daresay the Bible would concur with his position.
In fact, all three of the synoptic Gospels, Matthew, Mark and Luke, agree on this issue. We are told in Mark 12:17, “And Jesus answering said unto them, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s. And they marvelled at him.” In other words, God instituted governments and we are under a God given mandate to honor government – but only so long as it does not conflict with God’s law – and that includes the taking of a life – even if it is an unborn life.
My encouragement this evening is to let you know that God values all life and He has created each one of us in His likeness. That means that we are all special to Him. My prayer is that you will think about these issues of life and that you may come to love all life the way the Father does. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…