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