|My sister, Jenna, took this picture of the Hobby Lobby in Stillwater, OK|
Hobby Lobby started as small business from a garage in Oklahoma city with a $600.00 loan. Today it is one of the largest arts and crafts stores in America. Its founder, David Green, was raised in a poor family. His formal education consists of a high school diploma. His family feared God and his siblings all get their sustenance from what most people see as ministry. David believes his work is also ministry, and this has been recognized from both his friends and his critics. This has especially been noticed in the way the store closes early. David believes that family time is extremely important for families to remain strong and hasn't extended the hours. He also has practiced his faith by keeping all Hobbie Lobby stores closed on Sundays which is a practice that is believed to cost him many millions of potential dollars. David believes that by honoring God that God has honored him. He believes that is why Hobby Lobby has done extremely well in this bad economy. Yet he recognizes that God's values aren't measured by money. This can be seen in some comments he shared with ChristiaNet: "Our organization wants to be remembered as one that knows the difference between the temporal and eternal." He continued, "Our business is only a means to an end and our end is to try to affect lives for eternity. If we haven't done that, then we are just merely a good person."
Today there is a challenge as to whether a person can practice his beliefs in the workplace. Because the Green family believes life begins at conception, they also believe that it would violate their conscience to encourage abortion by paying for abortion-inducing drugs through their insurance coverage. The current Heath Care Mandate does not protect business owners or individuals with a conscience clause. This encroachment on the right of conscience needs to be a concern for every American as a loss of freedom. Because the Green family cannot follow this unjust and unconstitutional law in good conscience, they are facing fines of over a million dollars a day.
In every generation there are those that God has appointed to carry on a message that is important for that age. The freedom of conscience is not new. Martin Luther faced this when it was demanded that he recant his beliefs. He knew his life was in danger, but said that he could not and would not recant for it would go against conscience which is not safe. In America, the law of the land respected freedom of conscience largely because of a man named Roger Williams. Williams was banished from a colony for his beliefs, and created Rhode Island which became a refuge for people with various beliefs. Roger believed everyone had the right to be wrong and that when there were differences that the only way to seek to change someones mind would be through civil debate. A firm believer in God, he extended these rights to all men, even those he considered to be pagans and atheists. This freedom is the direct opposite of socialism which manipulates people.
Should Hobby Lobby have to close its doors it will be memorial to what socialism does to business and freedom. Whether they close or not, the principles that made this counteraction to socialism will not be held in vain because the liberty of conscience is bigger than money and bigger than the here and now. Indeed, eternity is testified in the lives of those that hold on to it.
Below David shares in his own words the plight his company is in because of the liberty of conscience:
I shared a shorter version of this post to the local newspaper: