We had this in headlines a couple of days ago, but many probably missed it over the holidays. It’s enough of a departure from other recent decisions that it’s worth posting here, and I have a feeling we could use a little good news on a bad day.
The devoutly Catholic founder of Domino’s filed this lawsuit on behalf of an office park he owns in Michigan, not Domino’s Pizza, but the suit is one of more than 40 brought against the federal government to prevent religious owners of secular businesses from being forced to violate their religious beliefs under the birth control mandate.
A federal judge has ordered a temporary halt on the Obama administration’s birth-control coverage policy for Tom Monaghan, the Catholic billionaire who founded Domino’s Pizza.
Federal District Court Judge Lawrence P. Zatkoff issued the decision Sunday, less than two days before the policy would have taken effect and exposed Monaghan to fines for non-compliance.
“Plaintiff has shown that abiding by the mandate will substantially burden his exercise of religion,” Zatkoff wrote.
“The government has failed to satisfy its burden of showing that its actions were narrowly tailored to serve a compelling interest. … This factor weighs in favor of granting Plaintiffs’ motion.”
Hobby Lobby, on the other hand, has lost its fights for an injunction, both at lower levels and in an emergency plea to the Supreme Court. Hobby Lobby plans to defy the law, which could cost the company up to $1.3 million per day in fines as of yesterday.
“They’re not going to comply with the mandate,” said Kyle Duncan, general counsel of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, which represents Hobby Lobby. “They’re not going to offer coverage for abortion-inducing drugs in the insurance plan.”
“The family operates 514 Hobby Lobby stores in 41 states and employ 13,240 people,” according to reporting. But for how long?
But hey, no one’s saying you can’t be Catholic or Christian, guys. Just don’t get any ideas about starting a business.
Update: Just a note, in response to a comment. I was distinguishing between evangelical Christians/Protestants and Catholics in the above sentence because their objections on the issue of birth control, specifically, are doctrinally different. They’re pretty much indistinguishable on the morning-after pill and religious freedom in the case of this mandate, however, which is why you see Hobby Lobby’s evangelical owners and Monaghan fighting on the same side, and thank goodness. I should have said evangelical Christians or Protestants to avoid implying Catholicism precludes Christianity, which obviously I don’t believe.