Christian Retailing

CBA throws hat into ring on Obamacare mandate Print Email
Written by Jeremy Burns   
Thursday, 30 January 2014 12:11 PM America/New_York

CurtisRiskey-OfficialWebCBA is the lead petitioner on a “friend of the court” brief supporting religious freedom for businesses and business owners. The amicus brief was filed in support of Hobby Lobby Stores, its Mardel subsidiary and other businesses and their owners.

“CBA is taking this stand in cooperation with other organizations and businesses with religious purposes to ensure religious liberty remains part of American law,” said Curtis Riskey, CBA president. “The issue at stake in the Hobby Lobby and Mardel case is about whether or not a small business or corporation can practice personal religious beliefs as part of their for-profit business.”

CBA’s brief addresses only the question “whether for-profit corporations are categorically excluded from protection for free exercise of religion under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” as stated in the petition.

Riskey said the ruling could affect any business, including Christian stores and their suppliers. Tyndale House Publishers is also part of the CBA amicus brief.

Hobby Lobby owners, the Green family, have said they respect the religious convictions of all Americans, including those who do not agree with them. They are asking that the federal government give them the same respect by not forcing them to violate their religious beliefs.

U.S Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court following Hobby Lobby’s lower-court victory. In an unusual response, Hobby Lobby also asked the court to review its case to decide whether the company and the family would be required to provide and pay for “morning after” pills and “week after” pills for employees, which would be in opposition to their religious beliefs. The company is facing millions of dollars in fines and penalties for noncompliance with portions of the Affordable Care Act.

The case will be heard March 25. A ruling is expected before the court adjourns in June.

The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty reported the 81 amicus briefs flooding into the Court by the Jan. 29 deadline were nearly three to one in support of Hobby Lobby/Mardel. Among those signing onto amicus briefs were pastor Rick Warren, author Eric Metaxas and more than 30 Protestant theologians.

Currently 91 separate lawsuits are challenging the federal healthcare legislation as unconstitutional.