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If Your Time is short

  • In 2012 Hobby Lobby CEO David Green wrote a column in USA Today explaining why he was suing the federal government over a provision in the Affordable Care Act. 
  • He did not say that the company’s stores could close.

A statement attributed to Hobby Lobby CEO David Green that’s being shared on social media talks about the company’s Christian principles and how they’re at odds with government mandates to cover emergency contraception.

The words are real — Green penned them for a September 2012 column in USA Today explaining why Hobby Lobby sued the federal government over a provision in the Affordable Care Act requiring employers to offer their employees health care plans that cover all forms of contraception.

Nearly nine years later, it’s being recirculated online without context and with some creative additions.

In one Facebook post from April 15, for example, the statement is titled: “Hobby Lobby, We may close.”

It also includes three sentences that don’t appear in Green’s USA Today column: “The government cannot force you to follow laws that go against your fundamental religious belief. They have exempted thousands of companies but will not exempt Christian organizations including the Catholic Church. Since you will not see this in the liberal media, please pass this on to all your contacts.”

This post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)

Hobby Lobby didn’t respond to PolitiFact’s questions about the Facebook post. But the original version of the column did appear in the media — USA Today published it, under the headline: “Christian companies can’t bow to sinful mandate.”

Green’s column made no mention of Hobby Lobby closing. “We believe people are more important than the bottom line and that honoring God is more important than turning a profit,” he wrote.

Under the Obamacare mandate, he said, the government threatened “to fine job creators in a bad economy.”

Green wrote that he felt like the company had no choice but to go to court.

In the end, the Hobby Lobby case went to the Supreme Court, and in a 5-4 decision in 2014, the company prevailed.

Somebody who saw one of the recent Facebook posts sharing Green’s 2012 column may not realize that, and mistake his concerns as new. They’re not.

But more importantly, the posts wrongly claim that Green said Hobby Lobby stores may close. That wasn’t true then, and it isn’t true now.

We rate this post Mostly False.

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