Hobby Lobby founder and CEO David Green authored a USA Today op-ed on Thursday, denouncing Hillary Clinton’s militant opposition to traditional Christian beliefs and insisting that her Supreme Court picks would rule against Christians’ rights. He also announced that he is endorsing Donald Trump to ensure a Supreme Court that will uphold Americans’ First Amendment rights under the Constitution.
The Obama administration launched an unprecedented attack on people running their businesses according to their faith when his Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) created a regulation under the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or Obamacare) requiring employers to pay for abortion-related products and services.
As evangelical Christians, the Greens believe that life begins at conception, and that anything that aborts an unborn child after conception ends a human life. Hobby Lobby has 30,000 employees, so not funding abortion-related drugs for its employees (not regular birth control, but rather drugs that induce abortions after conception) meant the company would have to pay $1.3 million per day—almost half a billion dollars per year—in penalties under Obamacare.
Hobby Lobby and the Green family sued, eventually making it all the way to the nation’s highest court, represented by former U.S. Solicitor General Paul Clement. In 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores held that this regulation violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).
“It’s frightening to think that we—and all Americans—were just one vote away from losing our religious freedom,” Green says regarding his Supreme Court case, highlighting that they won that 5-4 case by a single vote. Since that time, Justice Antonin Scalia—a reliable vote for religious liberty—passed away, leaving an open seat on the Supreme Court that will be filled by the next president.
“Make no mistake, the vacancy left by Justice Scalia and the subsequent appointment to fill his seat makes this presidential election one of the most significant in modern times,” he says.
To explain his position, Green quotes Clinton’s April 2015 speech where she declared that Christian beliefs on abortion, marriage, sexuality—and potentially other issues, as well—“have to be changed.” (In another speech, Clinton elaborated on this point, saying that traditional Christian beliefs on LGBT issues are similar to Islamic honor killings and people who cite religion to justify slavery.)
Green goes on to state:
What I fear she really meant is that the beliefs of people of faith across our nation will be discounted, and those people will be forced to violate their conscience under her presidency—a philosophy that would be carried out by anyone she nominates for the Supreme Court.
By contrast, Donald Trump has published a list of 11 judges he would consider for filling Scalia’s seat, a list of originalist judges experts refer to as a “conservative goldmine.”
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