Hobby Lobby CEO open letter: āHonoring God is more important than turning a profitā
Weāre Christians, and we run our business on Christian principles. Iāve always said that the first two goals of our business are (1) to run our business in harmony with Godās laws, and (2) to focus on people more than money. And thatās what weāve 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 weekās biggest shopping days, so that our workers and their families can enjoy a day of rest. We believe that it is by Godās grace that Hobby Lobby has endured, and he has blessed us and our employees. Weāve not only added jobs in a weak economy, weāve 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 donāt pay for drugs that might cause abortions, which means that we donāt 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 thatās raised wages four years running. Our government threatens to fine a family for running its business according to its beliefs. Itās not right. I know people will say we ought to follow the rules; that itās the same for everybody. But thatās not true. The government has exempted thousands of companies from this mandate, for reasons of convenience or cost. But it wonāt exempt them for reasons of religious belief.
So, Hobby Lobby ā and my family ā 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 donāt 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.