Freedom for Hobby Lobby’s Religion

Hobby Lobby Supreme Court RulingConservative Christians cheered when Hobby Lobby was able to deny working-women of childbearing age birth control coverage though their company’s insurance plan. They called it a victory for “religious freedom.” I would like to see those applauding this newly discovered corporate conscience to also stand up for other religions’ freedom: Islam, Flying Spaghetti Monster or Scientology. Otherwise they’re not really for religious freedom—they’re for Conservative Christian legal protection while tweeting the word “freedom.”

Is Conservative American Christianity a monolith like they claim to be? Are they in solidarity with each other under the same basic religion? Are they open-minded to any differences as long as you believe in Jesus? Are they accepting of all “faiths” that are based on the Bible? Really? The country is about to see.

The Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores decision is not the end of Hobby Lobby and its billionaire-fueled fight for their specific Christianity. No, quite the opposite. Hobby Lobby has launched a crusade to insert their opinion of their religion into American life. Hobby Lobby, the store that is to birth control what Citizens United is to campaign finance, also wants to teach your children about the merits of the Protestant Bible.

How will Christian Conservatives feel when the “hobby” is teaching our kids about the Green family’s denomination in public schools?

A draft of the bible curriculum has already caused an uproar. Mainly, because it claims Adam and Eve were historical figures and asserts lore like Noah’s Ark and the Holy Grail are evidentiary facts. Why? Bible says so. It’s a literal reading of the Bible as many have pointed out.

“Our goal … [is to] reintroduce this book to the nation,” Steve Green, president of Hobby Lobby, said last spring. “This nation is in danger because of its ignorance of what God has taught. We need to know it. And if we don’t know it, our future is going to be very scary.”

tina-dupuyGreen goes on to say in his speech he’d like for this curriculum to one day be mandatory instead of elective. (Note: birth control coverage, elective–teaching one literal interpretation of the Holy Bible—mandatory).

I have two problems with this endeavor: The first one is if a billionaire Muslim wanted to get American students to learn about to Koran and study it as the literal truth, then poured millions into a similar project saying otherwise the country is in danger, there would be rioting in the streets.

The other is this Bible project seemingly bowdlerizes the Good Book and injects modern day values into an ancient tome. The draft of the course says early feminism, freedom of the press and human rights are in the Bible. Maybe in crayon, but not in the regular text. Not that I would ever accuse a religion of just making stuff up as they go along.

Catholics are the largest Christian denomination in the country and they don’t believe the Bible is the literal word of god. So this project isn’t about Bible study, it’s about promoting Protestantism in the classroom.

Speaking of the actual text, Hemant Mehta at Patheos points out, “The textbook utilizes only four versions of the bible, all protestant: the New Living Translation, the New International Version, the New King James Version, and the English Standard Version. Catholic, orthodox, Jewish and other biblical traditions are omitted, leaving only one particular sect.”

Catholics are the largest Christian denomination in the country and they don’t believe the Bible is the literal word of god. So this project isn’t about Bible study, it’s about promoting Protestantism in the classroom.

Will that be controversial among any of those who lauded the idea a legal entity can have religious objections?

Hobby Lobby was able, through the guise of religion, to carve out a tiny niche of people they could treat differently: their female employees. The decision specified it didn’t give all religiously affiliated companies the right to discriminate at will. It ruled in favor of just what Hobby Lobby thinks is wrong in the Affordable Care Act.

The Court’s opinion reads, “This decision concerns only the contraceptive mandate and should not be understood to hold that all insurance-coverage mandate e.g., for vaccinations or blood transfusions, must necessarily fall if they conflict with an employer’s religious beliefs. Nor does it provide a shield for employers who might cloak illegal discriminations a religious practice.”

tina-dupuy-2013It’s worth noting just last week Pope Francis said the church is reconsidering its stance on birth control.

So while this seemed to be a “religion freedom” Kumbaya moment for conservative Christians—we’ll see how it goes when Hobby Lobby starts teaching our kids in public schools about what they think the Biblereally means.

What’s a little Protestant Reformation among friends, huh?

Tina Dupuy
Taking Eternal Vigilance Too Far


  1. Steve S says

    Hobby Lobby has been in business for 40 years. During this time thousands of people have worked for them, many of them are women. Hobby Lobby have never offered abortifacients through their insurance for this whole time.

    Suddenly, and contrary to the whole of history, the government decides that all companies must provide no-cost abortifacients to their women employees. Hobby Lobby protested, and won their case in court. They return to the status quo ante of their past 40 years of existence.

    Your histrionics over this are infantile. You really do need to get out more. Please grow up.

  2. MadJayhawk says

    I think that the decision refers to the religious freedom of the owners of Hobby Lobby and not the corporation. The owners said that they did not want to pay for abortifacients because of their religious beliefs. They believe that abortifacients abort unborn children. A lot of people share that belief. Do not overlook that the owners generously and willingly fully cover 16 other forms of birth control. The owners did not say that employees were not allowed to buy their own abortifacients. The owners did not any way impose their religious beliefs on their employees or anyone else. If employees had a problem with the fact that abortifacients were not covered they could, in the unlikely event that they would need one: 1. Quit 2. Not put themselves in a position where abortifacients were the only way they could prevent pregnancy. If they did think that their birth control methods paid for by the owners did not work and that they got pregnant and want to be sure to kill the child, they could easily, at a reasonable cost, purchase the abortifacients themselves. What is so terribly wrong with that forgetting for a moment the child’s life? Hobby Lobby sounds like a great place to work. They pay almost twice the minimum wage and seem to treat their employees with respect.

  3. JoeWeinstein says

    Three points on the HL decision:

    (1) How nice to own a large share of a closely held corp! When your favored biz practices are unethical, only the corp and not you are legally first-cut responsible. But on the other hand, when it needs an excuse of a ‘personal’ belief system, suddenly the corp gets to have one – even though it may well have up to five separate owners who account for its majority interest, no one of which need have the precise ‘religious belief’ which is being alleged to a court.

    (2) And how nice – both for a corporation and for an actual human being – to be able to get out of following a law by simply appealing to an alleged ‘religious belief’, sincere or otherwise.

    (3) But what’s been overlooked on both sides of opinion from and about the HL decision is this: The entire brouhaha is yet another idiotic consequence of the dysfunctional USA tradition that was put into ACA: basing health insurance on employment.

  4. Luis Lozano says

    Let’s stop using the language of the right wing Christians and their rights. This ruling is about letting women choose their own health care and to make their own decisions. This decision deprives them of this choice. If you start arguing about religious freedom you have given up the already.

    • Kathy says

      h please..this decision is about a company closely held with very few shareholders who have maintained christian values through out the company since inception…HL did NOT ask to stop supplying contraceptives through their insurance since they have been doing so prior to ACA…It is about 4 DRUGS that they felt were abortifacients and contrary to christian beliefs…IT is their company, RIGHT??? AND NO WHERE does it say that a christian business has to check their faith at the door when opening a business…BECAUSE OF THE YEARS(30+) that they and the Mennonite has been in business and running their business with THOSE VERY BELIEFS, the Justices ruled very narrowly THAT THOSE COMPANIES like Hobby Lobby, do have rights of protection under the law….HobBy Lobby pays their employeesM MAJORITY WOMEN,DOUBLE the minimum wage up to $15/hr with insurance and still providing contraceptives, Holidays and sundays off..and if there is a problem at home, the employees can have time off with OUT fear of job loss….AND YOU AND OTHERS LIKE YOU..HYPER-FOCUS ON 4 DRUGS out 20, and choose to vilify this company….SHAME ON YOU….It is shameful that you can not see through your hate what this company has done FOR WOMEN AND THEIR ISSUES based on ERRONEOUS REPORTS by liberal political partisanship media…RESEARCH and LEARN before you shoot your mouth off ….signed A WOMAN AND MOTHER!

  5. Doug Ables says

    Hobby Lobby’s insurance plan offers 16 other kinds of birth control for employees to use. It does not feel that the morning after pill and the three others like it fit in with their beliefs. Employees are free to acquire those other four on their own…..HL is not preventing them from doing so. Since when does everyone have to agree for it to be fair? The issue is not whether the employees are able to do it or not…the issue is whether the employer has to pay for something they do not believe in. Those that do not see it that way would scream loud and long if their employer made them pay for something they did not use, nor believe in. A person’s “rights” only go as far as it begins hurting others.

  6. says

    As a Jew, I would not deprive any Christian, Muslim, Hindu, atheist (or any religion) of health care or their right to practice whatever religion they wished, even if it conflicts with mine. However, I doubt many Jews take the Old testament literally–that Adam and Eve were the first humans on earth . . . or that the entire Bible is the sacred indisputable word of God. I don’t impose my views on the evalngelicals — I AM tired of them claiming divine wisdom

    • Kathy says

      Evangelicals have rights of protection under the law,would you agree? So how does the fact that this company who is Christian and asked the high Courts for their protection of religious freedom hurt you???They did not go to court to IMPOSE their faith on their employees, or religious practice…They went to court to request that they not be FORCED by the government to pay for something that is against their religion…Now just because YOU feel as you do about your faith, the Bible or the OLD Testament…does not mean it is so or should YOU GET TO SAY what Christians should and should not purchase…So your contention that Christians “claim divine wisdom” is not only false, I think your anger is more about your faithlessness than Christians….and the JEWS I adhere to the OLD Testament …..YOUR OPINION IS JUST THAT….and yes when you disagree with someone else exercising their constitutional rights by going to court and receiving due process…yeah you a re IMPOSING your views…

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