Warriors on the Front Lines: Hobby Lobby, Civil Disobedience, & Obamacare – Shades of Grace | Natalie Nichols- Shades of Grace | Natalie Nichols

Warriors on the Front Lines: Hobby Lobby, Civil Disobedience, & Obamacare

Hobby Lobby

How do you define freedom of religion? Is it solely the freedom to worship on Sunday, or is it the freedom to live out your faith? 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?

Ken Klukowski recently wrote a moving, informative article on this topic: Hobby Lobby Defies Obama Administration with Civil Disobedience for Religious Liberty.

The article was written in response to Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor’s denial of Hobby Lobby’s application for an emergency injunction protecting them from Obamacare’s HHS Mandate on abortion and birth control. Hobby Lobby has decided to defy the federal government and remain true to their religious beliefs, at significant risk and financial cost.

Civil Disobedience in the Bible

Ken Klukowski’s article on Breitbart.com is a must-read for two reasons:

1. It reminds us that the Christian tradition of defying government commands to do something wrong goes back to the very birth of Christianity.

When the apostles were ordered not to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with anyone, the Book of Acts records: “Peter and the other apostles replied: ‘We must obey God rather than men! The God of our fathers raised Jesus from the dead—whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree.’”

Eleven of the twelve apostles—including Peter—would lose their lives for the sake of spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ; only the apostle John died of old age. They were determined to obey God’s will at all costs.

This issue of civil disobedience is never to be undertaken lightly. The Bible teaches Christians to submit to all legitimate governmental authority (e.g., Romans 13:1), and so a person can only disobey the government when there is no other way to obey God.

2) It shows us a few reasons why the Greens, a family of incredible spiritual integrity, need our prayers

Hobby Lobby is wholly owned and controlled by the Green family, who are evangelical Christians. The Greens are committed to running their business in accordance with their Christian faith, believing that God wants them to conduct their professional business in accordance with the family’s understanding of the Bible. Hobby Lobby’s mission statement includes, “Honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company … consistent with Biblical principles.”

The HHS Mandate went into effect for Hobby Lobby on Jan. 1, 2013. The Greens correctly understand that some of the drugs the HHS Mandate requires them to cover at no cost in their healthcare plans cause abortions.

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.

Under the coercive Obamacare mandate, Hobby Lobby is now forced to provide and pay for coverage of abortion-inducing drugs such as ella (the “week after” pill) and Plan B (the “morning after” pill) or face ruinous fines.

Hobby Lobby’s lawsuit over the mandate’s unconstitutional coercion continues. Represented by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty, the Green family maintains hope that a court may eventually strike down the mandate.

Hobby Lobby’s Civil Disobedience

David and Barbara GreenThe Greens clearly have incredible spiritual integrity? Many would find it easier to turn a blind eye and pretend they weren’t taking innocent human life than to sacrifice millions of dollars and personal comfort — and they would do it all the while justifying themselves by claiming they were saving 13,000 jobs.

The Greens are no doubt facing opposition on every front, fighting not only a legal battle, a financial battle, but also a spiritual battle with demonic forces. Let’s pray for them and support their courageous stand with our Hobby Lobby purchases!

On The Front Lines

Stating the critical nature of this moment — when Hobby Lobby has been forced to fight in court for the most basic American rights of freedom of religion and freedom of speech — Gov. Mike Huckabee said:

The Obama administration insists that companies like Hobby Lobby bow their knees to the God of government health care mandates, even when those mandates are a clear and direct contradiction to their personal beliefs of faith.

The Hobby Lobby company has resisted the demands of the government to abandon their principles to “comply” with dictates from the Health and Human Services Department. It’s one more way in which an overreaching federal government seeks to violate the conscience and Constitutional rights of American citizens in the name of “what’s best for us.”

This is not just about Hobby Lobby–this is about YOU! If Hobby Lobby is forced to eat the “king’s meat” and “bow on their knees” to a human government in direct conflict with their fundamentals of faith, then how long will it be before they come for YOU and YOUR FAMILY?”

This isn’t just about Hobby Lobby, this is about you and me and the freedom to live out our faith in our daily lives.

The Civil Disobedience of Other Entities

The Greens and Hobby Lobby aren’t the only entities engaging in civil disobedience. Many businesses and institutions have been forced to deny their faith or disobey the government — businesses including Hercules Industries, Domino’s Pizza, Seneca Hardwood Lumber Company, Grote Industries and Tyndale House Publishers.  Institutions suing the federal government include Louisiana College, Biola University (see also Why Biola is Suing…), Grace College and Seminary, East Texas Baptist University, Houston Baptist University  and Geneva college.

Chuck Colson on Civil Disobedience

Just two month before he passed away, Chuck Colson spoke about the abortion mandate and civil disobedience.  The video is below. Here’s an excerpt:

We have come to the point—I say this very soberly—when if there isn’t a dramatic change is circumstances, we as Christians may well be called upon to stand in civil disobedience against the actions of our own government. That would break my heart as a former Marine Captain loving my country, but I love my God more… I’ve made up my mind—sober as that decision would have to be—that I will stand for the Lord regardless of what my state tells me.

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Obedience to God

At this point, if these entities are going to obey God, civil disobedience is unavoidable. And as they stand on the front lines of the assault against our own religious freedom and obedience to God, these leaders, and businesses, and institutions, and families need our prayers.

May God bless the Greens for the price they are paying for their commitment to Christ. I never dreamed the U.S. government —  founded by men who believed that the free exercise of religion was vital to the survival of our nation — would demand that people deny their faith…or be punished.

“It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”
~ George Washington

Obviously, the Bible opposes the murder of innocent life. The shedding of innocent blood pollutes the land.

“Do not pollute the land where you are. Bloodshed pollutes the land, and atonement cannot be made for the land on which blood has been shed, except by the blood of the one who shed it” (Numbers 35:33).

“They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to demons, and shed innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan; and the land was polluted with blood….Therefore the wrath of the LORD was kindled against His people, so that He abhorred His own inheritance” (Psalm 106:37-40).

Sadly, we Christians commonly reconcile our faith with the perversity that exists in America today. After all, it is both politically correct and socially acceptable to tolerate perversity in all forms, rather than risk being labeled as intolerant, bigoted, homophobic, or sexist. It is precisely here, however, that tolerance of evil becomes evil itself.

“This is the exact moment in time for all Christians in America to live in the spirit of Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Like it or not, we have been selected as being warriors on the front lines of an epic spiritual battle. We must engage the battle and not abandon the fight at this historic moment in time. The wholesale slaughter of our nation’s preborn under the demonic perversity of women’s rights must not be accepted or further tolerated. We must not submit to a system that requires us to forsake our beliefs under the color of law. Acting in the spirit of costly grace, we must summon the spiritual courage of Dietrich Bonhoeffer to change the course of our nation.” ~ Bonhoeffer’s Message to America Now

A Prayer

Father, thank you for the courage and conviction of David and Barbara Green – and of all the leaders at the helm of the businesses and institutions seeking to obey you in spite of great cost. We ask that you give them wisdom and strength. Protect them, their families, and the businesses and institutions you have entrusted to them. Provide for them. Provide for them financially as they pay penalties and accrue legal expenses. Provide for them emotionally as the battle is wearying and the enemy seeks to dissuade and discourage. Provide for them spiritually, renewing, refreshing, and recharging them.

We ask for mercy and forgiveness for the slaughter of millions of sons and daughters on our watch. Forgive us for the idolatry that paved the way to the slaughter. Forgive us for our lukewarm passion and commitment to you — for our self-worship, idolatry, and complacency. For our love of self that so vastly outweighs our love of you. Show us mercy, Lord. Mercy in giving us godly sorrow and repentance. Mercy in stopping the slaughter. Mercy in rekindling our love for you. Mercy in the courts for those seeking to obey you above men. Mercy in sending revival to our land. In Jesus Name.

Questions: Did you ever think that in your lifetime you (or your fellow citizens) would be forced to defy government commands to do something wrong and contradictory to your personal beliefs? Or did you foresee, as Chuck Colson did, the fast-approaching day when government would strip away your freedom to practice your faith? What do you think should be done to turn the tide in America?



Saturday, January 5, is Hobby Lobby Appreciation Day—an opportunity for us to support the company and its owners’ courageous stand against the anti-conscience mandate’s assault on religious freedom. I urge you to participate.

The Standing with Hobby Lobby Facebook page has more than 30,000 who have pledged to shop at one of Hobby Lobby’s more than 500 stores or online on Saturday in support of Hobby Lobby’s stance.

Those unable to make it to a Hobby Lobby store this Saturday can use a portal set up by the Becket Fund to send thank you notes to the Green family encouraging them in their brave stance against the mandate.

Additional Articles on the Web:


Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, Shades of Grace will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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