Hobby Lobby Founder May Close ALL Stores

An open letter from CEO and Founder of Hobby Lobby

CEO and Founder of Hobby Lobby, David Green
CEO and Founder of Hobby Lobby, David Green

The wisdom that comes from above is, first, pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruit…s, without uncertainty or insincerity. James 3:17

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 healthcare 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.

David Green
CEO and Founder of Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc

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  • Sean S

    I am all for closure of big box stores that primarily line their shelves with goods made in China.

    David Green can have his opinion and certainly can close his stores, but as soon as he closes his doors, another “like” big box will pop up.

    We are a nation of free men and you cannot force your beliefs on those who work to make you millions.

    Good riddance, but I suspect when it comes down to your wallet not being infused with the cash, Green may just may be another chicken little claiming the sky is falling.

  • Lisa Hutto

    As Christians, we are called to stand firm for our faith and beliefs. My prayer is that your family will not have to ultimately sacrifice your business for standing firm, but I lift you up for doing what is right in spite of all trials.

  • Mary Steverson

    Thank you, Mr. Green, for standing up for what is right in God’s eyes. You set a wonderful example for everyone. God bless you and your family.

  • I would hate to see Hobby Lobby close their doors. Our family does some craft work and this is the only place in our area that we can find the raw materials to produce a product.
    I am a Christian and I share the same concerns as the CEO does. If they close it will be based on his beliefs and I can live with it.
    This Obama administration has ruined this nation in five years. The decisions have been below the level of educated men. There is an extreme difference in dong what is beneficial and trying to push through a radical agenda. It has ignored the Constitution by cherry picking the laws they will support and those that they ignore.
    Our only hope in this country is at the end of this term when the actual conditions are reported truthfully, we can see the areas that need repair and there will be many.
    Let us all be in prayer that a change will come and these differences can be solved and Hobby Lobby can continue the tradition tat it has had in the past.

  • I totally agree with Mr. David Green! The government should keep out of things they don’t belong in and should value life as we do! Or rather, most of us value life!I respect the values of Mr. Green and family. We just got our Hobby Lobby in Mt. Dora and I sure hope we don’t have to lose it! This is our only place, anywhere in the area to buy things. I hope everyone will join in prayer for this federal court hearing. The government is ruining many a business now and I respect those that are fighting it!

  • Barbara Pearce

    I agree with Mr Green that he should be able to run business according to his rules. If he chooses not to provide health insurance that covers these drugs that is his business. Each person who accepts employment from any employer can decide for themselves if thatit company meets their needs. I am sure the employees did not complain when they got raises for the past five years. or when the store closes early and is closed on Sunday.

  • Dianne Harrell

    Mr. Green, thank you for standing up for your beliefs. We will be praying that God will intervene and allow your store to stay open. I enjoy shopping in your store. God bless you and your family.

  • mary

    Mr. Green,

    Please do not profess to represent Christian principles here. The actions you take are purely because you perceive a financial threat to your business model that you haven’t figured out doesn’t really exist.

    The purpose for you is to close your store and put all the people you employ out of employment because of your unknown, not the great unknown.

    Who are you kidding? Maybe yourself.


    • kathryn soulier

      You really don’t know much about Christians who are truly committed to their faith. I am sorry that you are so cynical.

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