Hobby Lobby’s Secret Agenda: How it’s Quietly Funding a Vast Right-Wing Movement

Hobby Lobby's secret agenda: How it's quietly funding a vast right-wing movement

 

Hobby Lobby says it’s just trying to protect its religious freedom. The family-founded and -run company is closed on Sundays, has an employee manual that includes biblical references, and announces on its website its commitment to “Honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with biblical principles.” The company got in hot water last year when an employee told a blogger that no Hanukkah decorations were stocked “[b]ecause Mr. Green is the owner of the company, he’s a Christian, and those are his values.”

Though the company went on to apologize, 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.”

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.

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