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Posts Tagged ‘health care mandate’

make abortion legal rallyI’m perplexed.  Can you help?

When I speak up against abortion and for the rights of unborn children and the well-being of women, I’m told: “What happens in the privacy of a bedroom is none of your business.”

Well, if that’s true, then why should I be forced to pay for what happens there?

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Dan Cathy, the president of Chick-fil-A, spoke out about the Biblical meaning of marriage.  Threats followed from mayors in Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C.  Chick-fil-A, it seemed, would not be “welcome” in their cities.  But, the mayors sheepishly backed down when even the ACLU dubbed the mayors’ threats a “clear cut” case of viewpoint discrimination.  To show their support of the family-owned business, people stood in long lines at local franchises across the country on Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day.

But, what will happen to Hobby Lobby?  This Christian, family-owned business is standing up to the government health care mandate.  I’ll let David Green, the CEO and founder of Hobby Lobby, explain.  Below is his open letter that appeared in USA Today (9/12/2012).

When my family and I started our company 40 years ago, we were working out of a garage on a $600 bank loan, assembling miniature picture frames. Our first retail store wasn’t much bigger than most people’s living rooms, but we had faith that we would succeed if we lived and worked according to God’s word. From there, Hobby Lobby has become one of the nation’s largest arts and crafts retailers, with more than 500 locations in 41 states. Our children grew up into fine business leaders, and today we run Hobby Lobby together, as a family.

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 close early so our employees can see their families at night. We keep our stores closed on Sundays, one of the week’s biggest shopping days, so that our workers and their families can enjoy a day of rest. We believe that it is by God’s grace that Hobby Lobby has endured, and he has blessed us and our employees. We’ve not only added jobs in a weak economy, we’ve also raised wages for the past four years in a row. Our full-time employees start at 80% above minimum wage.

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. If we refuse to comply, we could face $1.3 million per day in government fines.

Our government threatens to fine job creators in a bad economy. Our government threatens to fine a company that’s raised wages four years running. Our government threatens to fine a family for running its business according to its beliefs. It’s not right.

I know people will say we ought to follow the rules, that it’s the same for everybody. But that’s not true. The government has exempted thousands of companies from this mandate, for reasons of convenience or cost. But it won’t exempt them for reasons of religious belief. So, Hobby Lobby — and my family — are forced to make a choice. With great reluctance, we filed a lawsuit today, represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, asking a federal court to stop this mandate before it hurts our business. We don’t like to go running into court, but we no longer have a choice. We believe people are more important than the bottom line and that honoring God is more important than turning a profit.

My family has lived the American dream. We want to continue growing our company and providing great jobs for thousands of employees, but the government is going to make that much more difficult. The government is forcing us to choose between following our faith and following the law. I say that’s a choice no American — and no American business — should have to make.

It seems to me that many Christians are going to be put to the test under this health care mandate.

Where will we take our stand… and why?

David Green is the CEO and founder of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

Want to support David Green and his family business?
Visit American Family Association to learn how.

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Testifying before U.S. Congress, the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS) President Matthew Harrison said: “Religious people determine what violates their consciences, not the federal government.”  That perspective will be tested in several courtrooms.

If the Health and Human Services (HHS) health care mandate is not overturned, our children and grandchildren will have less religious freedom than their parents and grandparents did.  The stakes could not be higher for Lutheran Christians privileged to live in the United States of America.

The LCMS is seriously concerned.  The health care legislation allows the government to define not only what a church is but also what a church is free to do, or not to do.  You see, the free exercise of religion as guaranteed by the Bill of Rights is more than the freedom to gather with others for worship.  It is more correctly the freedom to live and speak our faith out in the community.  With the health care mandate, government is infringing on our religious freedom and rights of conscience.  It falsely defines Christian charity as limited only to work within our own church walls.  (Read more about “Charity and Compassion Outside the Church” in the next post.)

The HHS mandate directs many religious groups and institutions to offer their employees coverage for contraception and drugs that result in the death of a preborn child regardless of whether or not that religious group believes abortion or sterilization is obedient to God as the Creator of life.  This is a direct violation of our religious liberties and our rights of conscience guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution.

The largest historical question for my church body, the LCMS, is this: Does the federal government have the power to impose a heavy fine or tax on those religious groups who refuse to provide for their employees services that violate their moral and religious principles?  (Source: President Matthew Harrison on Youtube, and Timothy S. Goeglein in The Lutheran Witness, 9/2012)

The LCMS believes this matter is so crucial that it has set up a special website with the goal of providing Christian citizens of the United States with helpful resources.  Please take the time to visit www.lcms.org/freetobefaithful Listen to President Harrison express his grave concerns.  Then, respond by speaking up to your legislators, writing letters-to-the-editor, and talking to your family and neighbors.

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