Hobby Lobby Resources


The case of Sebelius v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc. has become a flashpoint in our national debate over what we mean by things like “religious liberty” and “freedom of conscience.” It can be rather confusing, as different sides of the debate make similar appeals to freedom and tolerance, but have drastically different implications. We’d like to help clear some of this up. It’s too important to be muddied by fast talking and political-speak.

This page offers a helpful FAQ and collects the Center for Inquiry’s own resources on the Hobby Lobby case and the larger issue of religious freedom in U.S. policy, as well as additional articles and resources that help to explain what’s really at stake, and why we believe so strongly that Hobby Lobby and its allies are wrong in their broad claims for religious privileges. 

Hopefully you’ll find it useful, and if you have more questions about this issue that you’d like to see answered here, let us know.

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions

What’s this case really about? What are Hobby Lobby’s religious rights? Why does CFI think Hobby Lobby is wrong? What happens if they win?

Click here for answers to these and other frequently asked questions about the Hobby Lobby case and religious freedom.

CFI’s Amicus Brief to the U.S. Supreme Court

Download the PDF of our amicus brief written by CFI legal director Nicholas Little; attorney Ronald A. Lindsay, president and CEO of CFI; and Edward Tabash, a prominent lawyer and Chair of CFI. Tabash serves as the counsel of record for this brief. 

Our press release announcing the brief, January 2014: CFI Tells Supreme Court: Hobby Lobby Religious Exemption Would Harm Workers, Violate Constitution 

Additional Resources from CFI on the Hobby Lobby Case and the Contraceptive Mandate

CFI president and CEO Ronald A. Lindsay’s op-ed in Free Inquiry, March 2013: To What Extent Should We Accommodate Religious Beliefs?:

What those employers objecting to the mandate are effectively complaining about is not being able to control the conduct of their employees, some of whom may choose to use contraception. However, being denied the ability to control the conduct of others such that they conform to one’s own religious beliefs does not constitute a burden on a person’s exercise of religion. 

CFI’s formal comments submitted to the Department of Health and Human Services on religious accomodations for the contraceptive mandate, April 2013:

We believe that there is no need for — and no constructive point to — further discussion. This prolonged debate, over something as fundamental as birth control, is a perfect example of the harmful influence sectarian religious institutions have on public policy. It’s time for us to move past them, for the common good.

(CFI launched other calls to action to lobby the HHS in 2012 and 2011.) 

Ronald Lindsay blog post, December 2013: Should Catholic Judges Recuse Themselves from the Contraceptive Mandate Cases?

CFI public policy director Michael De Dora blog post, November 2013: Religious Privilege Disguised as Religious Freedom Goes to the Supreme Court

Michael De Dora blog post, July 2013: Center for Inquiry Mixed on Finalized Birth Control Rule

CFI Press Statement, February 2012: CFI Urges Obama Administration Not To Retreat Any Further on HHS Regulation

CFI Position Paper, 2006: Public Health and Contraception, by Margaret Brown, Ph.D.

Helpful Articles and Resources from Around the Web

New York Times editorial board: Crying Wolf on Religious Liberty:

If there is a Supreme Court decision in favor of these businesses, the ripple effect could be enormous. One immediate result would be to encourage other companies to seek exemptions from other health care needs, like blood transfusions, psychiatric care, vaccinations or anesthesia. It could also encourage toxic measures like the one vetoed last month by Gov. Jan Brewer of Arizona that would have given businesses and individuals a broad right to deny services to same-sex couples in the name of religion. The Supreme Court cannot go there. 

Religion & PoliticsContraception v. Religious Freedom: Hobby Lobby Heads to the Supreme Court

Religion News Service: Does Hobby Lobby have religious rights? The Supreme Court will decide 

The American ProspectThe Citizens United of the Culture Wars

Slate“Procedures Involving Gravely Immoral Practices” - What the religious right really thinks of birth control. 

Pittsburgh Post-GazetteStretching the definition of religious liberty 

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