More than 64,000 people throughout the U.S. have signed up to support Hobby Lobby on Jan. 5 for risking millions of dollars in profit to follow its Christian principles.
A Facebook page dedicated to supporting the arts and crafts retailer
called on “all Americans who value freedom of religion and oppose the
HHS Mandate's unfair impositions” to support the company on Jan. 5 by
shopping at either their local Hobby Lobby store or online.
The national arts and crafts retailer could face fines of $1.3 million
per day for following its owners’ religious beliefs, which conflict with
a federal mandate requiring employers to offer health insurance plans
covering contraception – including some drugs that can cause early
abortions – and sterilization.
The Christian family that owns Hobby Lobby holds moral objections to
facilitating any type of abortion, including those caused by “morning
after” and “week after” pills.
Although the mandate includes a narrow exemption for a small percentage
of religious organizations, no conscience protection has been extended
to non-religious companies such as Hobby Lobby that are owned by
Christian individuals wishing to put their faith into practice.
More than 100 plaintiffs – including Hobby Lobby and its owners – have
sued over the mandate, arguing that it violates the constitution’s
guarantees of religious freedom.
The company was recently denied an injunction to temporarily block the
mandate by both a district and appellate court, as well as by Supreme
Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, who has jurisdiction over emergency
requests from the circuit where the lawsuit originated.
Having exhausted its legal recourse for an injunction, the company may
proceed to argue its case in court but is not protected from the
possibility of massive of fines while the lawsuit is pending.
Kyle Duncan, an attorney representing Hobby Lobby in court, said the
company will continue providing employee health insurance without paying
for the abortion-inducing drugs.
Founded in an Oklahoma garage by Evangelical David Green, Hobby Lobby
has expanded to include 500 stores in over 40 states. However, despite
this growth, it has remained a family business since its conception in
The Greens have previously explained that their Christian faith
influences every aspect of their life, including their business
Hobby Lobby stores are closed on Sundays – sacrificing millions of
dollars in profit – in order to allow employees to rest and worship with
Motivated by Christian principles, the company also donates significant
amounts to charities around the world, provides minimum wage levels
that are considerably above the federal requirement and takes out
full-page newspaper ads on Christmas and Easter.
When the lawsuit was first announced, Green stated that his family
“simply cannot abandon our religious beliefs to comply with this
Individuals who signed up to support the company showed enthusiasm about protecting religious liberty.
One participant encouraged Americans to be “proactive in the fight to retain religious freedom.”
“I don't need anything from Hobby Lobby but I'll be there and I'll be purchasing something,” said another.
Former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee threw his support behind the
grassroots event, promoting it on his Facebook page and website.
“Hobby Lobby is a respected and very successful business that is
privately owned by a family who have sought to honor God in their
personal lives and in their business,” he wrote on Facebook on Jan. 3.
“Their generosity to missions, to the relief of poverty around the
world, to Christian education, and to their employees is legendary and
exemplifies the kind of business principle that should be applauded and
appreciated,” Huckabee said. “Instead they are having to fight in court
for the most basic American rights of freedom of religion and freedom of
The former governor encouraged Americans to show their support for the
Hobby Lobby and its owners, warning that “we will either stand together
or fall together.”