Moral beliefs tarnished

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Illustration by Geoff Gouveia -- Companies like Hobby Lobby are deprived of their religious freedoms as the government tries to micro-manage their organizations.
Illustration by Geoff Gouveia — Companies like Hobby Lobby are deprived of their religious freedoms as the government tries to micro-manage their organizations.

Within a country founded upon the separation of church and state, a government has no right to step in and micro-manage a faith-based company, causing them to abandon their morals while running their business.

Hobby Lobby, a large craft and retail store located throughout the United States, recently petitioned for an exemption from the ObamaCare plan, alongside dozens of other Catholic and Christian organizations, including Wheaton College in Illinois.

Under the ObamaCare health plan, companies such as Hobby Lobby, are being unjustly forced to provide easy access to morning-after and week-after pills. Many Christians, including Hobby Lobby’s CEO David Green, feel that these pills are a modern form of abortion, a sin addressed in the Bible.

This dilemma boils down to two words: easy access.

If Hobby Lobby was to be granted its exemption from this federal mandate, employees would not have cheap and easy access to preventative pills such as the morning-after and week-after pill.

This does not mean that employees would be unable to obtain these pills. The lack of coverage would, in turn, cause the pills to be more expensive, not inaccessible.

Green cited in a letter to the media that the program’s requirements, particularly the mandate of businesses to provide morning-after and week-after pills in their health insurance plans, as “running afoul of the company’s and its owners’ faith and beliefs.”

He stated in his letter that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services “preventative services” mandate forces businesses to go against their faith.

Green’s letter explained that their family is now being forced to choose between following the laws of the land they love or maintaining the religious beliefs that have made their business successful and successfully supported his family and thousands of employees.

Our country is built upon the foundation of the separation of church and state. It has been that way for hundreds of years, and will continue to be that way for as long as Americans choose. With this new federal mandate, the time in which the separation of church and state ceases to exist may be within sight if we do not take a stand.

As Christians, it comes across as a simple answer: The government has no right to mandate a Christian-based company to provide preventative medication that is seen as an advanced form of abortion in the eyes of many Christians.

However, as citizens, it comes across as a more complex question: Is it right for a company to deny a person the right to medicine the individual have no moral problem with, and by extension, cause the company’s beliefs to be imparted onto that same individual.

It is safe to assume that at a company like Hobby Lobby there are many employees who are not Christians and are not against abortion. Some would go as far as saying it is not right for a company to impart their beliefs on their employees. However, employees are hired with the full knowledge of the company, what they stand for and what they cover in their health care plans.

The real problem that is arising with this mandate is the federal government overstepping its bounds to micro-manage what a company provides for employees who choose to work for them. Through this micro-management and universal coverage, companies are stripped of their individuality that makes them successful.

The individuality of the company is seen in Greene’s statement: “We have always operated our company in a manner consistent with biblical principles, including integrity and service to others. We believe wholeheartedly that it is by God’s grace and provision that Hobby Lobby has been successful. Therefore, we seek to honor him in all that we do.”

It is not right for the federal government to strip a company of its individuality, its freedoms and its beliefs.

I will stand behind Hobby Lobby, as well as the countless other companies, throughout their process of filing for exemption from a mandate that should never have been created in the first place. I stand for religious freedom, and I stand for my Christian morals.

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