This was truly a modern-day David and Goliath story. His company was worth 5 Billion dollars at the time, but he was about to take on a government that led the world’s biggest economy with a leading military – the United States Government which is worth 25 trillion dollars.
Just like David with Goliath, this was not a fight he pursued, but it was a fight he was not going to run from as it was a matter of conviction. His religious freedom and that of many companies much smaller than his were at stake. If he loses, he could go bankrupt, but if he wins, it will protect millions of Christian business owners and give them the right to operate their companies based on their convictions and say no to the Obamacare policy that would force Christian business owners with a pro-life conviction to fund healthcare insurance that included abortion services.
The United State States Government VS Hobby Lobby
On March 23, 2010, President Barack Obama signed into law the Affordable Care Act (ACA), formerly known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act or Obamacare. This Legislation was designed to overhaul the entire US healthcare system with the goal of reducing the number of uninsured. It also included a provision that required employers to sponsor health insurance plans that covered certain preventative health services which included abortion products and services.
Starting in 2014, all for-profit corporations with a certain number of employees were required by law to offer health insurance to all their employees, and if an employer failed to do so, they would be fined a $100 tax penalty per day for each affected employee.
On September 12, 2012, Barbara and David Green, the founders of Hobby Lobby, and his entire family filed a lawsuit against the United States Government arguing that the contraceptive mandate interfered with their corporation’s right to exercise their religious beliefs by forcing them to provide health plans to their employees that cover four FDA-approved contraceptive methods that they considered to induced abortion and this violated their religious rights. Their argument in court was that the contraceptive mandate of Obamacare violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1994. After a long-fought battle that could have bankrupted the company in 2014, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the contraceptive mandate under Obamacare violates privately held, for-profit corporations’ right to religious freedom.
What was the key to the Green family and Hobby Lobby’s victory?
- They acted on their conviction
- They were united as a family
- They were above reproach
- They were willing to lose it all
- They were fearless
- They had a great legal argument
- They did not give up
According to congress.gov, the First Amendment of the US Constitution states that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” This however does not guarantee that government officials will not attempt to undermine this due to their own particular worldview or agenda.
Kingdom Companies must be wise as serpents and gentle as doves as they operate in the marketplace to ensure that their light is not dimmed by unfriendly government policies or intentional government attempt to undermine our religious freedom by using tactics that may come across as innocent and for the common good but have hidden agendas.
|“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” – 1 Peter 5:8 (NKJV)|
The Hobby Lobby victory led to the founding of the Christian Employer Alliance (CEA) led by Shannon Royce. A national organization whose mission is to unite, equip, and represent Christian-owned businesses to protect religious freedom and provide opportunities for employees, businesses, and communities to flourish.
To hear more from Shannon Royce about CEA and how they protect Kingdom companies and their religious freedom, check out this Nehemiah Entrepreneurship Community Podcast. Also on January 25th, 2023, The Christian Employer Alliance and the Nehemiah Entrepreneurship Community will be jointly hosting a Religious Freedom in the Marketplace Virtual Global Forum with the goal of equipping Christian Business owners globally on how to exercise their religious freedom in the marketplace with wisdom.
Interested to know more about upcoming events and educational opportunities offered by the Nehemiah Entrepreneurship Community? Click HERE!