Hobby Lobby and the Truth

300px-HobbyLobbyStowOhio

Respectfully submitted by Lawrence E. Rafferty (rafflaw)-Weekend Contributor

Unless you have been in a coma the last few weeks, you have probably heard of or read about the Hobby Lobby case recently argued in front of the United States Supreme Court.  Hobby Lobby is challenging a section of the Affordable Care Act that requires companies to provide medical insurance for their employees or pay a fine.  The mandate also requires the insurance to include coverage for contraception services.  Services that its owners claim violates their religious beliefs.

“…. the battle for its Christian identity was revived this week when lawyers for the company argued before the Supreme Court that the company should not have to comply with the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate. The issue, says Hobby Lobby co-founder Barbara Green, isn’t that the company wants to meddle with women’s rights to take contraceptive drugs. “We’re not trying to control that,” she said. “We’re just trying to control our participation in it.” ‘ Reader Supported News

Mrs. Green claims they are not trying to control their female employees use of contraceptives, but the network of causes that they are involved with seem to indicate that the Greens want to mix their religious views into everyone else’s business.

When you dig a little deeper, the facts indicate that the donations made by the Green family and their related businesses and executives, display an attempt to force their religious beliefs on others.

“But a document published here for the first time reveals Hobby Lobby appears to be going much further than protecting freedom, providing funding for a group that backs a political network of activist groups deeply engaged in pushing a Christian agenda into American law. The document shows entities related to the company to be two of the largest donors to the organization funding a right-wing Christian agenda, investing tens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars into a vast network of organizations working in concert to advance an agenda that would allow businesses to discriminate against gays and lesbians and deny their employees contraceptives under a maximalist interpretation of the Free Exercise Clause of the United States Constitution.

That network of activist groups has succeeded in passing legislation in Arizona requiring women to undergo an ultrasound before an abortion, banning taxpayer-funded insurance paying for government employees’ abortions, defining marriage as a union between a man and woman, and funding abstinence education. And there’s evidence that its efforts go well beyond the borders of the Copper State.” Reader Supported News

The above efforts by Hobby Lobby and its owners seems to conflict with Mrs. Greens claim that they are not trying to meddle with women’s right to use contraceptives.  Just how deeply is Hobby Lobby involved in these organizations funding and assisting with these efforts to restrict other citizens of their freedoms?

“Hobby Lobby-related entities are some of the biggest sources of funding to the National Christian Charitable Foundation, which backed groups that collaborated in promoting the anti-gay legislation in Arizona – recently vetoed by Gov. Jan Brewer – that critics say would have legalized discrimination against gays and lesbians by businesses.

The path of SB 1062 to the Arizona statehouse was built by two groups, the Center for Arizona Policy and the Alliance Defending Freedom. Center for Arizona Policy employees regularly spoke in favor of the legislation, appearing as the grass-roots face of a bill that the center’s president, Cathi Herrod, characterized as “[making] certain that governmental laws cannot force people to violate their faith unless it has a compelling governmental interest–a balancing of interests that has been in federal law since 1993,” according to a statement on the group’s website. (One hundred and twenty-three Center for Arizona Policy-supported measures have been signed into law; its legislative agenda ranges from requiring intrusive ultrasounds for women seeking abortions to HB 2281, a bill that, if passed by the Arizona Senate, would exempt religious institutions from paying property taxes on leased or rented property.)

For its part, the Alliance Defending Freedom, a national Christian organization based in Arizona, works toward the “spread of the Gospel by transforming the legal system and advocating for religious liberty, the sanctity of life, and marriage and family,” according to the group’s website. Both groups are heavily funded by the National Christian Charitable Foundation, “the largest Christian grant-making foundation in the world,” as described on the group’s website. And who is the largest funder of National Christian Charitable? That would be a Hobby Lobby executive.” Reader Supported News

It would appear to this reader that Hobby Lobby does quite a bit more than just look after protecting what it considers its own religious rights.  Their donations and efforts are geared toward making their religious beliefs the law of the land.  They seem to think the Free Exercise Clause allows them to dictate how other people have to exercise their lives.  Just how much money has Hobby Lobby and its executives donated to the cause of transforming the legal system?

“In 2011, the National Christian Charitable Foundation contributed $9,606,281.88 of the Alliance Defending Freedom’s $36,379,373 grant revenue. That same year, the NCF contributed $236,250 of the Center for Arizona Policy’s $1,662,355 in grant revenue.

Overall, from 2002 to 2011 the NCF contributed $1,481,343 to the Center for Arizona Policy and $31,024,584.30 to the Alliance Defending Freedom.

Typically the trail would stop there. The National Christian Charitable Foundation appears to be one of the biggest, if not the biggest, single contributor to the Alliance Defending Freedom and the Center for Arizona Policy, but because the foundation is a massive-donor advised fund, its donors are shielded from public scrutiny.

However, a 2009 NCF tax filing, reported here for the first time, offers insights into the deep pockets backing National Christian Charitable Foundation.

The form, viewable here, shows a total of nearly $65 million in contributions coming from a combination of Jon Cargill, who is the CFO of Hobby Lobby, and “Craft Etc.,” an apparent misspelling of Crafts Etc., a Hobby Lobby affiliate company. The document shows that Hobby Lobby‑related contributions were the single largest source of tax-deductible donations to National Christian Charitable’s approximately $383.785 million in 2009 grant revenue.

According to addresses on the filing, both the contributions from Crafts Etc. and Jon Cargill came from a massive warehouse and office facility housing Hobby Lobby’s headquarters in Oklahoma City.” Reader Supported News

Notwithstanding Mrs. Greens earlier claims, Hobby Lobby seems to be deeply involved in the business of pushing their religious beliefs upon their employees and upon citizens in many states where laws have been introduced or passed at the behest of the Alliance Defending Freedom and the Center for Arizona Policy and the National Christian Charitable Foundation.  I wonder how Hobby Lobby would react if another business sued for the ability to subtract a percentage of its taxes on the grounds that their religion does not allow their tax money to be spent on any military expenses?

Is Hobby Lobby fibbing when they claim that they are merely trying to protect their own religious beliefs when they are sending millions of dollars to causes intent on making their religious beliefs the law of the land?  Hobby Lobby buys millions of products from China and other countries that have a variety of policies and laws that a good Christian would not agree with or which might violate their religious beliefs.  Shouldn’t Hobby Lobby boycott those countries products that are produced under slave like conditions, or in countries that have forced abortion laws?

What do you think?

“The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.”

692 thoughts on “Hobby Lobby and the Truth”

    1. Annie – risky is not really defined and if you read the survey all the way to the bottom you will see the problems with the survey, which includes a significant number not filling out the additional survey and the fact that it was a phone survey which may have caused less truthfulness.

  1. Paul:

    It would be devastating if condom use increased risk of infection for MSM. I hope that you are mistaken. I’ve looked through the literature, and was only able to find articles on improper condom usage, such as using oil-based lubricants that degrade condoms. I’ve also found that some condoms are marked as enhancing pleasure only, and do not act as a barrier at all. Those would be labeled as such.

    I found two articles which you might find interesting. One of the problems is that there is an 18-fold increase in transmission rate for anal sex (regardless of the gender of the partners). This causes a biological basis for increased rates of infection. But it can also give heterosexuals a false sense of security, which can lead to unsafe practices and exposures for them, as well.

    http://www.aidsmap.com/pdf/Condoms/page/1044833/

    http://healthland.time.com/2012/07/20/hiv-continues-to-spread-among-gay-men-studies-show/

    I hope very much that you are mistaken, and it’s improper use or types of condoms that was the basis of what you’ve heard.

    As far as I’ve been able to find, the accepted paradigm still seems to be that abstinence, monogamy with an uninfected partner, or correct condom usage are the only ways to prevent the transmission of STDs like HIV.

    This has underlined my concern that Obamacare’s making 20 contraceptives have no copay will exacerbate rates of condom usage which are already waning. Having at least a modest copay will make them financially similar to condom use, whereas now contraceptives are less expensive.

  2. Jon I have no problem…. The u should have been I…. But hey you do make grammatical errors which was pointed out….. I’m not in a tit for tat…. Your blog has meant a great deal to me over the years….. I am please you are a little more proactive…. Maybe it will make a difference here….

  3. Golly Jees Jon….. Maybe you failed to see the message when u was being attacked for argument, typos etc….. And I’m just a little to incoherent to understand that I might take issue with this?
    on 1, April 12, 2014 at 2:25 pmPaul Schulte
    anon – attacking the messenger(s) is bad form. Shows lack of a coherent argument. Ask AY about those who do this.

    And yes it was Paul that was doing that last week…. Now if you’ve come to a cleaning on that…. This kinda spewed a little bile ….

    1. AY,

      If anyone is attacking you, please email me and I will address it. As for attacks on me, I rarely delete those postings to avoid a conflict of interest. It comes with the territory.

  4. Byron,

    That study is from 1992. Does the study note any differences in the efficacy of condoms manufactured by different companies? Do you know if manufacturers have corrected for deficiencies in their products since 1992?

    1. Elaine – I think the manufacturers have corrected for any deficiencies by adding flavors, but I cannot speak from experience, only from reading the ads when I was looking this stuff up. 😉

  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1411838

    Abstract

    Condoms were tested in an in vitro system simulating key physical conditions that can influence viral particle leakage through condoms during actual coitus. The system quantitatively addresses pressure, pH, temperature, surfactant properties, and anatomical geometry. A suspension of fluorescence-labeled, 110-nm polystyrene microspheres models free human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) in semen, and condom leakage is detected spectrofluorometrically. Leakage of HIV-sized particles through latex condoms was detectable (P less than 0.03) for as many as 29 of the 89 condoms tested. Worst-case condom barrier effectiveness (fluid transfer prevention), however, is shown to be at least 10(4) times better than not using a condom at all, suggesting that condom use substantially reduces but does not eliminate the risk of HIV transmission.

    that is 1:3.069. You have better odds playing Russian Roulette which is 1:6.

    Enjoy your “protected” sex with HIV carriers.

    You would have to be dumber than low lying rat sh*t to take those odds.

  6. Elaine – from a pragmatic standpoint the advice of the CDC is sound. If you are going to do it, you have a 2/3rds chance of not getting infecting from an HIV partner. However, you still have a 1/3 change of getting infected. Now the big question is, which way are you going to bet? What is your decision going to be? People have been convicted of attempted murder by having sexual intercourse while HIV positive and not warning their partner. Spitting on a policeman used to be considered free speech, now it is considered attempted murder because you could be HIV positive.

  7. But am very pleased that you are taking a more proactive stance…. I’ll be sure and forward those attacks I feel are personal….

  8. Is stating someone is a hypocrite in violation of the civility rules ? If so, I need to reread those…..

    Apparently you’ve missed the personal attacks by others and I am the target ….

    1. Anonymously Yours, I fail to understand why just posting one brief line calling someone a hypocrite would in your view be consistent with our civility policy. The answer is that it does not. If someone has called you names and engaged in personal attacks, you can simply email me and I will address as in other cases. I have not seen such an attack in recent postings. There is obviously some hated debate over these issues but they are largely been confined to challenging support and asking for responses.

  9. Deletion Notice: I have deleted a personal attack by Anonymously Yours. I asked again that you comply with our civility policy. I understand how strongly people feel about this and offer subjects but this is not the first such deletion. We are not interested in having posters call other people “idiots” on this site. I cannot monitor the site continually and I would appreciate your cooperation.

  10. Actually, there is no distinction. The CDC recommends the same practices for homosexuals as it does for heterosexuals:

    How can I prevent STDs?

    “The most reliable ways to avoid transmission of STDs are to abstain from sexual activity, or to be in a long-term mutually monogamous relationship with an uninfected partner. Consistent and correct use of male latex condoms reduces the risk of STD transmission. However, condom use cannot provide absolute protection against any STD.”

  11. RTC – the distinction I was making was central to the discussion.

  12. anon – attacking the messenger(s) is bad form. Shows lack of a coherent argument. Ask AY about those who do this.

  13. Anon,

    They are in search of the greatest mystery of all…… Wisdom…..

  14. As others have suggested, it’s clear that some of those who hang out here have way too much time on their hands.

  15. Do your homework, Paul and stop making irresponsible comments:

    CROI 2013: Consistent Condom Use Stops 70% of HIV Infections, Says CDC

    Published on Friday, 15 March 2013

    http://www.hivandhepatitis.com/hiv-aids/hiv-aids-topics/hiv-prevention/4038-croi-2013-consistent-condom-use-stops-70-of-hiv-infections-says-cdc

    An analysis by Dawn Smith of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported at the 20th Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI 2013) last week in Atlanta has provided the first estimate of the efficacy of condoms in preventing HIV transmission during anal sex since 1989. It found that condoms stop 7 out of 10 anal transmissions — the same efficacy found by the 1989 study.

    “Condom efficacy in gay men”

    “Limited data suggest that condoms have similar efficacy in gay men as in heterosexuals.”

    http://www.aidsmap.com/Condom-efficacy-in-gay-men/page/1324955/

    1. anon – you are listing a 25 year old limited study and its follow up limited study. Limited studies have limited reliability. 30% chance of transmitting HIV sounds high enough to me to make a difference. Basically, that makes it a 1 in 3 chance. Better than 50-50 but higher then 1 in 4 or 1 in 5.

  16. And Jane Goodall could do yer head in with the loads of studies on chimps that are directly relevant to understanding humans. Although in your case she’d probably give up.

  17. Paul: “the cdc study is only concerned with male-female contact, not male-male contact. ”

    You’re getting to be as good as David at playing word games, and by good I mean as bad at making trivial, meaningless distinctions.

Comments are closed.