'Christian values' Hobby Lobby purchases its products from #1 'family planning' nation China

Hobby Lobby

David Green, the owner of Hobby Lobby , has said:

We're Christians, and we run our business on Christian principles. I've always said that the first two goals of our business are (1) to run our business in harmony with God's laws, and (2) to focus on people more than money. And that's what we've tried to do. [...] We believe that it is by God's grace that Hobby Lobby has endured, and he has blessed us and our employees. [...] But now, our government threatens to change all of that. A new government health care mandate says that our family business MUST provide what I believe are abortion-causing drugs as part of our health insurance. 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.

Apparently, Green and his family run Hobby Lobby on "Christian principles" only when it is convenient and good for the bottom line. They send their "Christian" money to China and its policy of one child per family and forced abortions:

The policy is controversial for a number of reasons, but maybe the one that Americans hear about most is the practice of forcing abortions on mothers who become pregnant with an unapproved second child. And that may get to the biggest misunderstanding that most Americans have about the policy: why these things keep happening. As my Beijing-based colleague William Wan writes in an insightful explainer, "practices of forced abortions, infanticide and involuntary sterilizations [are] all banned in theory by the government," but they still happen. They're no longer frequent, but they do happen.

In July 2012, for example, a 23-year-old mother became pregnant with her second child. Local officials arrested her, seven months into her pregnancy, and demanded her family pay $6,000 in fines for violating the one-child policy. When the family couldn't get the money together, the officials gave her an injection that killed the baby, whom the mother delivered stillborn while in police custody. It became an international news story when the mother, outraged at her child's death and at the indignity of being forced to wait alongside the body, posted a gruesome photo of the scene on social media. In China, it generated a national debate over the question, Why is this still happening?

Here is Hobby Lobby's "Christian values" in action in China:

Isn't it interesting that when it comes to procuring cheap goods from slave labor from China, Hobby Lobby's "Christian values" are nowhere to be seen? But telling its employees how to run their private lives? Then it is "Christian values" time!

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    That is the Definition of Christian Values... (5.00 / 2) (#1)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 03:33:56 PM EST
    ...never mind what we do, this is how everyone else should do it.  You would have a better chance of finding a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow than finding a cross waiving christian that isn't a hypocrite.

    Wonder how many execs at Hobby Lobby are concerning themselves with the actual laws written by god, like that silly commandment about working on the Sabbath, or coveting the neighbor's sh1t, which is the corner stone of capitalism.  No they focus on some abstract notion that is never once mentioned in the bible, abortion, and only when it financially benefits them.

    Hobby Lobby (5.00 / 1) (#2)
    by the capstan on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 03:36:17 PM EST
    It is ALWAYS the bottom line!

    Come to think of it... (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by kdog on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 03:42:16 PM EST
    it is impossible to run a business on "Christian Principles".  You could run a charity on them, a soup kitchen, or a free clinic...but a for-profit business?  Impossible.

    IMO... (none / 0) (#51)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 12:01:06 PM EST
    ..capitalism is in direct conflict with most christian values set in the bible, not the ones Robertson and Co. throw around.

    Capitalism's underlying principle is greed, which is essentially coveting other people wealth.  It's what separates us from the commie pigs like jesus who think greed is a bad thing.  We covet, more or less, as a Nation, wealth which cannot be accumulated without greed.

    Corporations are the antithesis of christianity, an abstract formation whose sole purpose is to limit it's own exposure, aka liability. So no matter what the mistake or the error in judgement from the entity's ruling class, the corporation will survive, namely the dollars and folks who own it.  And by corporations I mean any devise like exotic partnerships that is designed to limit a entities liability.  

    Tax liability being the most obvious limitation.


    I would certainly expect that (none / 0) (#7)
    by Zorba on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 04:03:09 PM EST
    the Hobby Lobby people are not eating pork.  Or mixing two fabrics in their clothing.  Or any number of other injunctions that are explicitly laid out in the Old Testament.
    Not to mention, I would assume that all their males are circumcised.

    Shrimp cocktail.. (none / 0) (#12)
    by unitron on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 05:30:09 PM EST
    ...at the Christmas party is out as well, right?

    And cheeseburgers (meat and dairy), of course.

    Even without the bacon.


    Yep (5.00 / 1) (#15)
    by Zorba on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 05:40:06 PM EST
    Those, too.  And don't forget, if one of the married men should die without children, and if he lived on the same property as his brother, that brother is obligated to marry the widow and get her pregnant.

    If  brethren dwell together, and one of them die, and have no child, the wife of the dead shall not marry without unto a stranger: her husband's brother shall go in unto her, and take her to him to wife, and perform the duty of an husband's brother unto her.

    Deuteronomy 25:5

    Well, fortunately for both... (5.00 / 1) (#38)
    by unitron on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 12:58:28 AM EST
    ...my SIL and me, they've already made me an uncle twice, so we're off the hook.

    Unfortunately (none / 0) (#20)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 07:09:56 PM EST
    the ones who scream the loudest are usually the poorest examples.

    At least Chick Fil A does close on Sunday.


    So does Franklin Covey (none / 0) (#40)
    by jbindc on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 05:48:29 AM EST
    Wonder how many execs at Hobby Lobby are concerning themselves with the actual laws written by god, like that silly commandment about working on the Sabbath

    In case there is some need for clarity (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 03:48:25 PM EST
    I don;t hold Hobby Lobby "morally responsible" for China's policies - I simply applied their logic on ACA (that they are responsible for what's in a government mandated health policy) to their relationships in China.

    Indeed, they have a good reason on ACA, it's the law. They COULD choose to not do business in China.

    The case for their moral culpability regarding their China relationships is much much stronger.

    Clarity not neccessary here (5.00 / 2) (#5)
    by Dadler on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 03:53:23 PM EST
    I didn't get the impression you were holding them accountable for China's behavior, but of course doing business with them under the guise of religion, ins such a hypocritical fashion, flying in the face of their supposed values, is just scummy. And they really hate when you challenge their "morals." They will soothesay their way out of it, just like the rationalizations you get regarding their literal belief in obvious metaphor, otherwise know as fundamentalism.

    Soothesaying... (none / 0) (#13)
    by unitron on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 05:33:30 PM EST
    ...is really supposed to be literally telling the truth, forsooth, so I think what you meant is weasel-word their way out of it.

    I mean it in the prophecy sense sarcastically (none / 0) (#17)
    by Dadler on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 06:14:58 PM EST
    Soothesaying, to me anyway, can also mean bullsh*t artist, as in the fortune teller.

    Just Like They Are Choosing... (5.00 / 3) (#9)
    by ScottW714 on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 04:33:21 PM EST
    ...to not offer a portion of mandated coverage for their employees.  No one has ever claimed HL is morally responsible for their employees medical choices, but they are making a decision based on their religious beliefs.

    They could just as easily over look that aspect of their employees private health care as they overlook China's policies.

    Why have they decided to exert their strong religious moral convictions here and not there ?  One would cost them their entire business and the other will save a couple bucks, which to me say they don't give a rat's A about religious convictions, and totally dedicated to the monetary convictions.


    Thanks (none / 0) (#10)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 04:35:45 PM EST
    I wanted to make sure my point was absorbed.

    "logic" and "religion" (none / 0) (#57)
    by Mr Natural on Sat Dec 07, 2013 at 10:35:33 AM EST
    Something doesn't quite mesh.

    The "belief" (5.00 / 3) (#8)
    by KeysDan on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 04:32:17 PM EST
    that morning-after pills/emergency contraceptives (Plan B) end a life after the moment of conception--when egg meets sperm-- is just that, their belief.   It is not science. These drugs are anti-ovulants,  No eggs to get together with sperm. Evidence, for example, exists that such drugs do not work if taken after ovulation.  

    Emergency contraceptives are not abortifacients, such as RU 486, which prevents implementation of a fertilized egg in the womb and destroys the embryo.  It is as if these believers where schooled in human reproduction by Todd Aiken.  Of course, Hobby Lobby is entitled to its own beliefs, no matter how flimsily based, but, they are not, in my view, entitled to impose their alchemy-like beliefs on their employees or be the basis for public policy.

    The emergency contraceptive/morning-after pill has three modes of action (as does the regular birth control pill); that is, it can work in one of three ways:

    1.    The normal menstrual cycle is altered, delaying ovulation; or
    2.    Ovulation is inhibited, meaning the egg will not be released from the ovary;
    3.    It can irritate the lining of the uterus (endometrium) so as to inhibit implantation.

    Just shows to go ya... (5.00 / 3) (#14)
    by unitron on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 05:35:47 PM EST
    ...how stupid it is to have a system that puts your health insurance at the mercy of your employer.

    Indubitably (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Zorba on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 05:48:04 PM EST
    If Hobby Lobby and other "Christian-owned" companies are allowed to get away with this picking and choosing, then why wouldn't a company owned by, say, a Christian Scientist, be allowed to not offer any health insurance policies except for those involving visiting a Christian Science practitioner?  Or those companies owned by a Jehovah's Witness to disallow any payments for blood transfusions?

    Well (5.00 / 6) (#19)
    by Ga6thDem on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 07:08:56 PM EST
    you seem to be completely missing the point.

    There is a solution (5.00 / 4) (#21)
    by TeresaInSnow2 on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 07:30:36 PM EST
    for all of this.  Public insurance.

    Private insurance offered by employers or anyone else is not a solution to the health care problem we are STILL facing, even under that horrible health insurance (not health care) law.

    Contraception is cheap.  Imagine how many people we could provide health care to for the cost of litigating this ridiculous law.

    Just say, okay, Hobby Lobby, you don't have to provide this service.  We the government will.  Simple.

    fyi, HL has no problem with contraception. (none / 0) (#22)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 11:21:32 PM EST
    It is covered under its existing insurance.

    Defined very narrowly? (none / 0) (#23)
    by MKS on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 11:24:04 PM EST
    Not including the Pill?

    Dunno. If the Pill does not prevent (none / 0) (#24)
    by sarcastic unnamed one on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 11:29:26 PM EST
    implantation of an embyro, I see no logical reason HL would disapprove of it. I'm guessing you know the answer to your question?

    And to agree with Hobby Lobby (none / 0) (#26)
    by MKS on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 11:37:55 PM EST
    you must agree with Romney that "Corporations are people, my friend?"

    That is a terrible idea and potential precedent.


    leaps of logic. It is one of my failings, I'm sure.

    Hobby Lobby is not a natural person (none / 0) (#30)
    by MKS on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 11:43:51 PM EST
    The legal argument will be that Hobby Lobby as a company has a right to the Free Exercise of Religion as if it were a real person.

    The founders are shareholders, etc.  They do not stand in the stead of the company--indeed, that is the whole point of limited liability.

    Moreover, company or person, if you engage in commerce, you are stuck with the laws of the land.


    on real person vs. company, etc., I read several articles earlier today, by people who read the lawsuit, which claimed the forecast of the legal argument as:
    Hobby Lobby as a company has a right to the Free Exercise of Religion as if it were a real person.
    is completely false and not a part of the lawsuit.

    If you are going to take a position (none / 0) (#33)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 12:05:14 AM EST
    that disagrees with mine, but yet throw up your hands and say you don't know nothin'--and on top of that cite unnamed and uncited articles, it goes nowhere.

    I do not know where you get your information.  Link please.  


    You made this claim:
    The legal argument will be that Hobby Lobby as a company has a right to the Free Exercise of Religion as if it were a real person.
    Link to HL's actual lawsuit that supports your claim please.

    Everything you might want to know (5.00 / 4) (#35)
    by Peter G on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 12:36:59 AM EST
    about the Hobby Lobby case at the Supreme Court level is here, at SCOTUSBlog. The issue, as framed by the government's petition for certiorari, is:
    Whether the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (RFRA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000bb et seq., which provides that the government "shall not substantially burden a person's exercise of religion" unless that burden is the least restrictive means to further a compelling governmental interest, allows a for-profit corporation to deny its employees the health coverage of contraceptives to which the employees are otherwise entitled by federal law, based on the religious objections of the corporation's owners.
     It is linked for Supreme Court consideration with another, similar case, in which the question presented is:
    Whether the religious owners of a family business, or their closely held, for-profit corporation, have free exercise rights that are violated by the application of the contraceptive-coverage mandate of the Affordable Care Act.
     So, the issue of whether the corporation has "free exercise" rights is indeed before the Supreme Court.

    documentation I was looking for, instead of pundits' analyses.


    On the merits, in an opinion by Judge Tymkovich, a five - judge majority ruled that Hobby Lobby and Mardel had demonstrated a likelihood of success on their RFRA claims [The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993].

    The majority first addressed the question of whether Hobby Lobby and Mardel are "persons" capable of engaging in the "exercise of religion" under RFRA. App. 23a.

    Because RFRA does not define "person," the court turned to the Dictionary Act, which provides that "unless the context indicates otherwise," the word "person" in federal law "includes corporations * * * as well as individuals." 1 U.S.C. § 1 ; App. 24a.

    Thus , the majority concluded that "the plain language of the text encompasses `corporations,' including ones like Hobby Lobby and Mardel."

    But of course "the context" here (5.00 / 1) (#50)
    by Peter G on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 11:49:24 AM EST
    does "indicate otherwise."  Just as the Supreme Court ruled in 2011 (in an opinion by Chief Justice Roberts) that the "personal privacy" exemption from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act does not protect corporations' so-called "privacy" interests.

    any contradictory cases to cite.

    This is really a fascinating case. Although I could barely keep my eyes open in B-law, if this was the type of case taught I would have had much more interest.


    It isn't a real conversation (none / 0) (#36)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 12:38:26 AM EST
    if you do not provide your reasons or a citation.

    I have read an article that makes both the points you raise here:  That HL does provide birth control coverage, and the lawsuit does not involve granting First Amendment rights to a corporation.  The source?  The American Spectator.  Right wing rubbish.

    Under general corporate law, shareholders cannot sue to enforce rights of the corporation.  (Except for derivative lawsuits where the officers and directors fall down on the job, e.g., a CEO takes Susie to the Bahamas on the company dime, and the shareholders sue on behalf of the corporation, instead of the Board, to get the money back.  But still enforcing corporate rights, not shareholder rights.)

    HL the corporation is the entity required to provide insurance.  The shareholders do not have to personally do anything.  The beliefs of the shareholders should be irrelevant.  The shareholders do not have legal standing to raise corporate rights.  (Boring to many here who know this already but stated for sake of clarity.)

    The wingers will have to blow past the idea that shareholders are not legally the same as the corporation.   And the wingers on the Supreme Court may do that.  But that would be agreeing that a corporation has a right to the Free Exercise of Religion.   Truly perverse.  


    Corporation suing to protect (none / 0) (#37)
    by MKS on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 12:41:14 AM EST
    it shareholders feelings?

    Cute (none / 0) (#58)
    by Militarytracy on Sun Dec 08, 2013 at 08:44:47 PM EST
    Three birth control pills can equal one morning after pill.  It's basically the same thing.  If the morning after pill is unavailable and a friend has an extra pack of regular birth control pills, that's your next best bet.  Secrets that girls must know to protect themselves and those they love from the crazies.

    Hobby Lobby isn't a "Family Business", (5.00 / 3) (#42)
    by cpinva on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 08:27:57 AM EST
    it's a closely held (5 or fewer sh's own 80% or more of the issued and outstanding voting stock), for-profit corporation. the corporation is a completely separate legal entity, a legal fiction existing solely on paper. as such, it is incapable of having religious convictions or expressing emotions. when Hobby Lobby,Inc. can be physically arrested, i might change my mind.

    An interesting take (none / 0) (#43)
    by jbindc on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 10:54:12 AM EST
    Really? (none / 0) (#44)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 11:21:37 AM EST
    I found it exposed that Volokh is not well informed regarding corporate law.

    Well (none / 0) (#46)
    by jbindc on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 11:45:14 AM EST
    I didn't say I agreed with it necessarily, since I am not well versed in corporate law, I will reserve judgment.  But since (at least part) says the same thing as what SCOTUSblog posted (via Peter above), it seems to me that it was, as I said, an interesting take.

    VOLOKH also has about 8 other posts addressing this topic and breaking it down.


    I haven;t seen the others (5.00 / 1) (#49)
    by Big Tent Democrat on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 11:48:00 AM EST
    But I found Volokh's to be particularly poor.

    He's a smarty guy so I attribute it to his inexpertness regarding corporate law (his specialty is criminal law if I remember correctly.)

    Mind you, I suspect his poor reasoning may very well carry 5 votes on this Court.


    Here's the rest (none / 0) (#54)
    by jbindc on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 12:25:51 PM EST
    Additional discussion (none / 0) (#6)
    by Peter G on Tue Dec 03, 2013 at 03:57:48 PM EST
    I guess no one here owns anything made in China (none / 0) (#39)
    by Payaso on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 02:04:27 AM EST
    Either that or you support China's one-child policy and the use of slave labor.

    Not only that but I guess that all religious believers will have to prove that they don't do business with anyone who violates their religious beliefs or they will forfeit all claims of religious freedom.

    Whether we own anything made in China (5.00 / 5) (#41)
    by Anne on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 06:49:29 AM EST
    is not the issue; I'm pretty sure we all own things made there.  The issue is whether the federal mandate to include coverage for contraception in employer-sponsored health insurance plans places an undue burden on companies' owners' exercise of their personal religious beliefs.  In other words, are the owners' religious freedoms being infringed by their company being required to follow this federal mandate?

    The hypocrisy that's being pointed out here is that Hobby Lobby is using its owners' religious beliefs to attempt to deny its employees contraceptive coverage, but doesn't seem to have any religious objection to doing business with companies in a country where the government forces the use of contraceptives and abortions in order to control the size of its population.

    And I'm not sure you understand the concept of religious freedom.  That China imposes the use of contraceptives and abortions doesn't infringe upon my right to act in accordance with my own religious beliefs.  I could choose not to buy Chinese-made products because of my own religious beliefs, but if I knowingly or unknowingly buy them, my freedom to practice my religion as I see fit has not been restricted or infringed upon.

    I would also argue that Hobby Lobby being required by federal law to provide insurance coverage for contraception does not infringe upon its owners' right to exercise their religious beliefs not to use contraception themselves, nor does having the coverage require any of its employees to use it in violation of their own beliefs.


    If the Christians are right... (none / 0) (#48)
    by kdog on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 11:47:16 AM EST
    I'd guesstimate 99.9% of us are going straight to hell.  You, me, and everybody over at Hobby Lobby.

    Luckily, I don't believe there is such a place, but death will tell! ;)


    No. (none / 0) (#55)
    by ScottW714 on Wed Dec 04, 2013 at 01:07:04 PM EST
    It's not about proving anything, just stopping their selective application of their moral BS.

    And where does this leave people who don't believe in any of it, they can't have moral convictions because they don't believe in their kind of BS, or are they going to let anyone with moral issues in the workplace dictate who gets what.  

    IMO it is just like the marriage BS, they want to allow certain people certain rights based on their believes.  In this case allow certain people certain services based on their assumption of knowing what god would want.  Hopefully the SCOTUS will see through it and realize that you can't selectively deny your employees services mandated by law because of what they think god thinks.

    Keep in mind the bible doesn't mention abortion one time, it's a made-up believe derived from what they think god would want, which we all know is a huge sin, that is actually in the bible.

    Wouldn't it just be easier to tell them to grow up then to let companies set policy based on whatever fantasy their ruling class believes in ?

    Their dollars are going to pay for abortions in China, so what why no moral outrage there, why here only ?


    Two obvious points (none / 0) (#56)
    by Mikado Cat on Sat Dec 07, 2013 at 03:51:26 AM EST
    Hobby Lobby buys from people who may have various practices, not the government of China, so the policies of the government of China are a bit irrelevant.

    Hobby Lobby perhaps like many do not like the costs and regulation of Obamacare and choose to fight it via what they see as the most viable path.

    Bonus point, you really need not look too far to find businesses that adhere to the owners personal principals. In and Out is Christian, and I know more than a few Jewish businesses that will do no business of any kind on Saturday. More common may be those who talk the talk, but don't walk the walk, but there are some who do both.