Letter from Hobby Lobby Stores CEO
By David Green, the founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.
When my family and I started our company 40 years ago, we
were working out of a garage on a $600 bank loan, assembling miniature
picture frames. Our first retail store wasn’t much bigger than most
people’s living rooms, but we had faith that we would succeed if we
lived and worked according to God…’s word. From there,Hobby Lobby
has become one of the nation’s largest arts and crafts retailers, with
more than 500 locations in 41 states. Our children grew up into fine
business leaders, and today we run Hobby Lobby together, as a family.
We’re Christians, and we run our business on Christian principles.
I’ve always said that the first two goals of our business are (1) to
run our business in harmony with God’s laws, and (2) to focus on
people more than money. And that’s what we’ve 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 week’s biggest shopping days, so
that our workers and their families can enjoy a day of rest. We
believe that it is by God’s grace that Hobby Lobby has endured, and he
has blessed us and our employees. We’ve not only added jobs in a weak
economy, we’ve 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 don’t pay for drugs that might
cause abortions, which means that we don’t 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 that’s raised wages four years
running. Our government threatens to fine a family for running its
business according to its beliefs. It’s not right. I know people will
say we ought to follow the rules; that it’s the same for everybody.
But that’s not true. The government has exempted thousands of
companies from this mandate, for reasons of convenience or cost. But
it won’t exempt them for reasons of religious belief.
So, Hobby Lobby and my family 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 don’t 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.
My family has lived the American dream. We want to continue growing
our company and providing great jobs for thousands of employees, but
the government is going to make that much more difficult. The
government is forcing us to choose between following our faith and
following the law. I say that’s a choice no American and no American
business should have to make.
The government cannot force you to follow laws that go against your
fundamental religious belief. They have exempted thousands of
companies but will not except Christian organizations including the
Since you will not see this covered in any of the liberal media, pass
this on to all your contacts.
David Green, CEO and Founder of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.
“Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery”
— Winston Churchill