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Wed, Sept. 18

Letter: Hobby Lobby would do well by doing good


Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc., which employs 21,000 in 42 states, is a privately held retail chain of 525 stores based in Oklahoma City. According to the Hobby Lobby website, the store's foundation was built "and will continue to be (built on) strong values, and honoring the Lord in a manner consistent with Biblical principles."

In September 2012, Hobby Lobby sued the United States over recent regulations requiring health insurance provided by employers to cover the cost of emergency contraception (specifically, the "morning after pill"). The company claims that this coverage would violate the owners' religious beliefs.

Their appeal was rejected by our conservative U.S. Supreme Court. As of Dec. 31, 2012, the company faces fines of up to $1.3 million per day for violating provisions of the Affordable Health Care Act. This seems like a poor business decision by company CEO and founder David Green.

Hobby Lobby claims to be an equal opportunity employer who only rejects job applicants who drink alcohol or use drugs. Perhaps it should also include women of child-bearing age on their "do not hire" list. This is logical since this special minority of applicants are the only ones at risk of violating the CEO's strict rules on emergency contraception.

Hobby Lobby could confidently hire and cover the medical emergencies of lesbians, men and elderly employees. None would (by definition), ever challenge Mr. Green's policy.

And, instead handing over cash to the government, why not donate $1,300,000 to a charity like the East Valley Child Crisis Center in Mesa, Ariz.? This non-profit organization gives children suffering from neglect and abuse much needed nutrition, shelter, tutoring and love while they await adoption or return to their families.

Mr. Green, do well by doing good. Righteous intolerance is bad for business.

Peter Nelson


EDITOR'S NOTE - As of Jan. 11, Hobby Lobby would have racked up $14.3 million in fines from the Internal Revenue Service for bucking Obamacare, according to the AP. Peter M. Dobelbower, general counsel for Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. said in a statement that "Hobby Lobby discovered a way to shift the plan year for its employee health insurance, thus postponing the effective date of the mandate for several months."

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