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Will Hobby Lobby destroy ObamaCare?

Dr. Jim Denison is a cultural apologist who helps people respond biblically and redemptively to the vital issues of our day. He is also the co-founder and Chief Vision Officer of the Denison Forum, a Dallas-based nonprofit that comments on current issues through a biblical lens.

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Hobby Lobby store front at night in Stow, Ohio (Credit: user DangApricot via en.wikipedia.org)

Hobby Lobby continues to make headlines that have nothing to do with the Christmas shopping season.  Its founders are contesting the Affordable Care Act’s requirement that they cover abortion-causing drugs in their employees’ insurance.  The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case, with a ruling expected next June. The Denison Forum is interested in the outcome of this case because it could impact all ministries, including our own.

Supporters of the ACA say Hobby Lobby’s case could destroy the legislation.  If an employer can decide which procedures to cover and which to exclude based on personal religious beliefs, the whole concept of requiring minimum medical coverage falls apart.  Hobby Lobby supporters counter that all citizens, not just churches, have a First Amendment right to freedom of religion.  If corporations such as Starbucks and Google can advance gay rights, companies like Hobby Lobby can act according to their religious convictions.

I have no idea what the Supreme Court will decide.  But if Hobby Lobby loses, could the government force Christian business owners to provide other services that violate their religious beliefs, such as sex-change operations and abortions?

I am grateful to David Green for building a company that seeks to honor God in all it does.  He began his business in 1970, making mini picture frames in his garage.  Hobby Lobby now runs nearly 600 stores which employ 13,000 people.  The company donates more than 10 percent of its income to charity.  All its stores are closed on Sunday, even during the Christmas rush.  Last April, it raised employees’ starting minimum wage to $14 an hour at a time when many other companies were slashing wages and benefits.  It is committed to “honoring the Lord in all we do.”

Our ministry exists to build believers like David Green and his family—Christians who will use their influence to change our culture for God’s Kingdom.  The Lord is blessing our work: in 2013 our Cultural Commentary subscriber base has grown to 88,000 readers in 203 countries.  Likes on our Facebook page have doubled and traffic to our website has almost tripled (our website received more visits last month than in all of 2010).  In early 2014 we will launch a disciple-making website with resources to help believers experience God’s presence and power each day.

None of this is possible without your help.  We give our printed resources at cost and our online resources for free.  To do this, we have kept our organization small and depend entirely on the financial support of our readers.

This morning, I urge you to pray for Christians to stand boldly for their faith in our culture.  And I ask you to intercede for our ministry as we speak God’s word to the critical issues of our day.  Each December, I ask our readers to pray about supporting us financially.  If God leads you to help us, please send your tax-deductible contribution to the Denison Forum on Truth and Culture, 17304 Preston Road, Suite 1060, Dallas, Texas 75252.  Or you can click on this link to make a secure online donation.

Jesus called Christians “the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14).  Has our culture ever needed our light more than today?