Joyce Minor

We need the Greens

Let’s get one thing clear, right now. The recent Supreme Court decision in favor of Hobby Lobby does not allow that company, or any company, to opt out of offering contraception to female employees.

I can almost hear you now saying, “But that’s what all the media are reporting…” and you are right, but that doesn’t make it true.

The Supreme Court decision allows Hobby Lobby to opt out of offering four specific drugs from the list of 20 contraceptive drugs Obamacare stipulates. That means Hobby Lobby employees still have their choice of 16 contraceptive drugs funded by Hobby Lobby’s insurance.

So what are the four drugs Hobby Lobby objects to? They are basically drugs which cause abortion, including those sometimes referred to as “morning after” pills. Those are the only ones Hobby Lobby’s insurance will not fund.

And, of course, women employees can also opt to go to any of the government’s free clinics or any Planned Parenthood facility where they can still get the four drugs Hobby Lobby will not offer. So, contrary to what the mainstream media are preaching, no one is losing access to contraception.

The really important issue addressed in the Supreme Court’s decision is the recognition that closely-held family companies have rights just as people do. These companies are run by people to whom the U.S. Constitution grants the right to religious freedom. Therefore, the U.S. government does not have the right to force those people to act against their religious beliefs.

The court’s majority opinion stated clearly that companies like Hobby Lobby, whose corporate culture has been openly influenced by the family’s religious faith since the company was founded, act as one person in making such decisions. After all, that’s what all corporate CEOs do all the time.

In addition, let’s keep in mind that Hobby Lobby could have avoided the whole issue by opting to stop offering employee health insurance. They could have simply left their employees to navigate the Obamacare exchanges as their only choice, as many other companies have done. But they didn’t.

Hobby Lobby could have saved big money, not only on the insurance itself but also on the costly, years-long legal battle that took them all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. But they didn’t, because that’s not who they are.

The people who own and run Hobby Lobby, the Green family, started their small business in 1972 and determined from the get-go that the principles of their Christian faith would guide all corporate decision making. From that day to this, every employee was and is informed of that corporate culture from day one.

If you’ve ever shopped in a Hobby Lobby, you probably discovered, as I have, that they are the cleanest, best organized stores you’ll ever enter. You’ll find the friendliest service and most generous return or exchange policies anywhere. And if you pay attention, you’ll even hear soft Christian music on the PA system. Intentional, personal care for people, both employees and customers, are all part of the Hobby Lobby corporate culture, and that is what’s made the company grow from a small start-up into a multi-state corporation.

Hobby Lobby is exactly the kind of company America needs more of – lots more. We need people willing to invest in starting small businesses – people willing to take the chance and make the sacrifices to build a small business into a multi-million dollar corporation.

But mostly we need people like the Greens – people willing to stand by their principles as well as their constitutional rights, no matter the cost.