Why a Hobby Lobby Victory at the Supreme Court is Important to Everyone

Next week, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments for the Hobby Lobby HHS mandate case to decide whether they have constitutionally guaranteed religious rights as a corporation.

Hobby Lobby is a Christian owned craft store chain. It is run by the Green family according their Christian values. It is closed on Sundays, pays employees far above the minimum wage, and limits store hours so employees can spend more time with their families.

Founder David Green says his “family cannot in conscience subsidize certain mandated drugs and devices that can cause abortion in early pregnancy.”

Why does this matter, especially for those who consider themselves secular or non-religious?

The Heritage Foundation’s Evan Bernick says it should matter to everyone.

All Americans should support Hobby Lobby, regardless of whether they believe in one God, 20 gods, or none at all.

Bernick explains how Supreme Court jurisprudence has dealt with this type of question historically:

All Americans should support Hobby Lobby, regardless of whether they believe in one God, 20 gods, or none at all.

The First Amendment to the Constitution stands as a bulwark against this sort of coercion. In Employment Division v. Smith (1990), the Supreme Court held that the First Amendment allows the government to pass “neutral, generally applicable” laws that impose substantial burdens on religious exercise. But in Church of Lukumi Babalu Aye, Inc. v. City of Hialeah (1993), the court clarified that a law is not “generally applicable” if it regulates religiously motivated conduct while leaving similar, secular conduct unregulated.

Notably, that second case concerned a corporation. Never in its jurisprudence on free exercise of religion has the Supreme Court treated organizational persons differently from individuals.

“Federal law, too, protects the religious liberty of Hobby Lobby,” he adds. “The Religious Freedom Restoration Act provides that the federal government may substantially burden the exercise of religion only if it ‘demonstrates that application of the burden to the person (1) is in furtherance of a compelling government interest and (2) is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling interest.'”

Why should this matter to a secular individual? Bernick states:

So the Constitution and federal law protects the Greens against the HHS mandate of Obamacare. Is that something for secular folks to celebrate?

The answer is yes. Individuals are free to choose whether or not to become Hobby Lobby’s employees, and the Greens’ faith-based business practices are open and obvious. Employees also are free to work for the Greens and either pay for additional services out of pocket or purchase supplemental insurance.

The Greens, however, can’t escape the HHS mandate. It is not just an assault on religious liberty. It is an assault on an idea as old as the nation: that the government can’t lightly force us to give up our most deeply held beliefs as the price of earning a living. Every American has an interest in being protected from such assaults.


Please Share Your Thoughts

16 thoughts on “Why a Hobby Lobby Victory at the Supreme Court is Important to Everyone

  1. Why should hyper religious christians get a free pass on descriminating against their employees and imposing their beliefs on everyone that works for them? You don’t sign on to the beliefs of others just to have a job. No one is stopping these people from practicing their religion, which is the only protection the constitution gives to them. It doesn’t give them the right to dictate the beliefs of the people that work for them or that they do business with.

    • “Congress shall pass no law… establishing a religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof…” This mandate is Congress passing a law prohibiting the free exercise thereof. It is requiring HL to provide something that is wholly against the religious beliefs and values of the company.

      Let’s take your quote and tweak it a little:
      “Why should Muslims get a free pass on discriminating against their employees and imposing their beliefs on everyone that works for them?”
      “Why should Homosexuals get a free pass on discriminating against their employees and imposing their beliefs on everyone that works for them?”
      “Why should Blacks get a free pass on discriminating against their employees and imposing their beliefs on everyone that works for them?”

      Do you understand how idiotic you sound now?

    • Its sometimes hard to explain how our GOD does not want us to have anything to do with immoral practices. While some people find there isn’t anything wrong with this Obama care Health insurance you would have to read what it takes care of and for us Christians to go along with this is involving ourselves with immoral practices our GOD asked us not to do. We stand united with our loving GOD.

    • Most if not all businesses have some kind of statement dictating their vision, belief, and mission for the company. Some have an additional belief statement that you should be able to agree with if you want the job. Why would you want a job somewhere that was at complete odds with how you believe? Those kinds of statements are there for the unity of the company and it’s employees. And in hiring contracts, you have to sign a lot of things stating you agree with such and such about the company and that you will comply. There is always an out for you and there is always a whistleblower protection. You don’t HAVE to work there. You do have plenty of other options, and yes you DO sign on to the beliefs of the corporation in order to accept that job.

  2. If an individual knows going into a job what the health benefits are, or are not, they have the option to turn a job down. Forcing a person or a corporation to enforce an “illegal law” which Obamacare is, is religious persecution. If my history serves me correctly, that’s what this country was built on and why we are here today. If you don’t like a company’s policy, go find a job elsewhere,

    • next you are going to say that they cannot refuse to employ a heroin addict because he cannot help his addiction..he made an intial choice.
      WHY suddenly does the employer have to supply birth control? they dont have to supply heroin to the heroin addict, or pot to a pot head. Where do you draw the line?
      If she wants to have sex without birth control, she or her man can afford the morning after pill or the termination.

      • I guess it never occurred to you that a very large majority of women use birth control for reasons other than to prevent pregnancy… It’s no different than having an annoying little cold and wanting to go to the doctor for it and you can’t because your employer had a religious belief that you weren’t sick enough to pay the visit. Don’t forget there are religious groups that DO NOT believe in medicine PERIOD. What will become of their employees? I mean once you open Pandora’s box….

        • You know what!!!!!!! My insurance which we pay out an insane amount each month for doesn’t pay for my blood pressure medicine either. But it keeps me from dying, so I foot the bill myself. Generics in this case don’t work for me. I certainly don’t expect other people to pay for MY meds. Get off the gravy train and pay for your own! Like I said, if you don’t like the policies at a business, go find another job where you do.

      • I replied to the wrong message…..
        I agree that government control of things is often expensive and poorly executed because of all the politics involved.
        Most birth control is available via generics for $10-$30 a month. Everyone seems to spend more then that on their cell phone.

    • What the whole thing boils down to is “governmental control” of things that they should keep their nose out of. We have ALL had this Obamacrap pushed down out throats and I for one am sick and tired of the tyrant we have in the white house. I am PRO-LIFE, and in NO WAY believe in abortion by oral medication or physical practice. It’s a life? BUT, if you don’t want to get pregnant, don’t have unprotected sex. Not to mention the diseases you are opening yourself up to. I’m not condemning anyone, just stating MY BELIEF?

  3. For this company to be able to not offer their employees birth control or the morning after pill is no different than a company not offering their employees a heart transplant just because they don’t believe in it. Everyone everywhere should have access to ALL forms of healthcare, if their religious beliefs condemn them from using one of the services then they should simply NOT use the service, not force all their employees to live under their religious beliefs… I’m agnostic and I worked for Hobby Lobby for around 6 months, they have pictures of Jesus in the employee break room and they even ask that you lower your head and pray with them in the morning (I never did and nobody said anything about it to me). I accepted the job because I needed a good job to pay the bills. The hours sucked, I was literately there from open around 8am until well after close (they close at 8p-9p depending on season.) usually 10p-11p sometimes until 2am, so their statement about good hours to spend more time with family is completely FALSE!!! I was always worn out, never could get used to working those kinds of hours and the physical part of the job was extremely demanding. When I was home I was so tired all I did was sleep, never got to see my family, I ended up taking a job for less money because I just couldn’t hold up to the hours or the physical demand. (Mind you I’m 26 yrs old, not out of shape.)

    • no, the difference is like auto insurance….they can be compelled to cover catastrophic accidents for you being utterly stupid. But cannot be compelled to cover tires when you go in the wrong way over spike strips.
      I am all for freedom of choice, I am against ordering someone who is against it having to pay for it…I see it the same as…if you want to smoke pot, go ahead…do not get the your employer to cover the cost it because it helps you relax…

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