Quotes of the day

posted at 9:01 pm on December 28, 2012 by Allahpundit

Hobby Lobby and religious book-seller Mardel Inc., which are owned by the same conservative Christian family, are suing to block part of the federal health care law that requires employee health-care plans to provide insurance coverage for the morning-after pill and similar emergency contraception pills…

Kyle Duncan, who is representing Hobby Lobby on behalf of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, said in a statement posted on the group’s website Thursday that Hobby Lobby doesn’t intend to offer its employees insurance that would cover the drug while its lawsuit is pending.

“The company will continue to provide health insurance to all qualified employees,” Duncan said. “To remain true to their faith, it is not their intention, as a company, to pay for abortion-inducing drugs.”

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The Internal Revenue Service regulations now say that a group health care plan that “fails to comply” with the Affordable Care Act is subject to an “excise tax” of “$100 per day per individual for each day the plan does not comply with the requirement.” It remains unclear how the IRS would implement and collect the excise tax.

The Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, based Hobby Lobby chain has more than 500 stores that employ 13,000 employees across 42 states, and takes in $2.6 billion in sales. The company’s attorneys say January begins a new health care plan year for Hobby Lobby and that excise tax from the IRS would amount to $1.3 million a day

After this piece of the law went into effect in August, religious nonprofits were given “safe harbor” of one year from implementing the law. “In effect, the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciences,” Cardinal Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, said in January when the administration announced the move.

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Today Hobby Lobby announced that they will not comply with this mandate to become complicit in abortion, which the Greens believe ends an innocent human life. Given Hobby Lobby’s size (it has 572 stores employing more than 13,000 people), by violating the HHS Mandate, it will be subject to over $1.3 million in fines per day. That means over $40 million in fines in January alone. If their case takes another ten months to get before the Supreme Court—which would be the earliest it could get there under the normal order of business—the company would incur almost a half-billion dollars in fines. And then of course the Supreme Court would have to write an opinion in what would likely be a split decision with dissenters, which could easily take four or six months and include hundreds of millions of dollars in additional penalties.

This is civil disobedience, consistent with America’s highest traditions when moral issues are at stake…

The issue before the courts here is whether the Greens religious-liberty rights include running their secular, for-profit business consistent with their religious beliefs. In other words, is religious liberty just what you do in church on a Sunday morning, or does it include what you do during the week at your job?

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Recently, Belmont Abbey College and Wheaton College (which are Catholic and Christian respectively), fought for a similar exemption on religious grounds as did The Archdiocese of New York. In these cases, it was ruled that they should not be forced to provide coverage which violated their religious beliefs. The difference between these cases and Hobby Lobby is that the latter is not a religious institution, and the others are. However, the rights of the individual are a cornerstone of America’s foundation. There is no compelling reason for that freedom to be limited in this case, and must fiercely be protected…

The biggest questions may be with regards to what happens next. Will these battles cause a delay in implementation? With Constitutional protection for religious beliefs being thrown out the window, what will the next casualty be?

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Believing their employees should have the opportunity to spend Sundays with their families, the company is closed on Sundays and only operates 66 hours per week. Indeed, the Greens strive to apply the Christian teachings on respect and fairness to their employees, increasing the pay of Hobby Lobby’s full- and part-time hourly workers for four years in a row. Full-time hourly workers now start at 80 percent above the federal minimum wage…

The Green family has no moral objection to the use of preventive contraceptives and will continue its longstanding practice of covering these preventive contraceptives for its employees. However, the Green family cannot provide or pay for two specific abortion-inducing drugs. These drugs are Plan B and Ella, the so-called morning-after pill and the week-after pill. Covering these drugs, as the government is forcing them to do under the threat of $1.3 million penalty per day, would violate their most deeply held religious belief that life begins at conception, when an egg is fertilized. The FDA-approved government birth control guide clearly states that these two drugs, the morning-after pill and the week-after pill, may prevent fertilized eggs from implanting in the womb, thus aborting the fertilized egg.

The Green family respects the religious convictions of all Americans, including those who do not agree with them. All they are asking is for the government to give them the same respect by not forcing them to violate their religious beliefs.

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As a conservative, regardless of how I feel about Obamacare, I believe the law is the law until it is repealed. Therefore, Hobby Lobby should be fined until they get a temporary injunction while the case works its way to the Supreme Court. (Justice Sotomayor denied an emergency injunction, by the way. How nice.) That’s the law. Liberals undoubtedly agree with me regarding Hobby Lobby, but they don’t when it comes to David Gregory. Of course, anyone else who breaks DC gun laws should be prosecuted, if you ask those same liberals. Just not David Gregory because he was making a point. Like Hobby Lobby. But that’s different, they’ll say.

How? How is it different? Both are cases where the law is being broken. I thought liberals were all about “fairness.” Where’s the fairness when Hobby Lobby has to pay 1.3 million dollars PER DAY to prove a point and David Gregory doesn’t even have a charge pending against him? And no, the ATF isn’t allowed to waive DC gun laws…

[B]y arguing that Gregory shouldn’t even be investigated, let alone prosecuted, liberals are saying that they get to decide which laws should be enforced. They are basically saying that the law is only relevant when they say it is. If that’s the case, the law has no meaning. And yet they’ll be the first to propose new laws that must be followed for the greater good, until they decide it can be broken to make a point.

You see where this leads?

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