We may close
By David Green, the founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.
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
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 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 healthcare 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.
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
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
The government cannot force you to follow laws that go
against your fundamental religious belief. They have exempted thousands
of companies but will not exempt Christian organizations including the
Since you will not see this in the liberal media, please pass this on to all your contacts.
CEO and Founder of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.