A few weeks ago, Apple held its shareholders meeting and a shareholder pushed Apple CEO on the issue of global warming. The individual wanted to know if Apple would stop doing thing that put the environment, etc. ahead of profits. Tim Cook rebutted him forcefully, and rightly, that if the guy didn’t like Apple’s commitment against climate change the guy could ditch the stock.
The tech community and left went wild in support of Tim Cook against “climate deniers.” The tech community and left have repeatedly written about the need to put other obligations ahead of profits — including saving the world.
I actually agree with Tim Cook. While I disagree on the issue of global warming, I’ve known very few individuals in my life who were out to make a profit. Instead, most of the people I have known have been out to make or deliver a good or service better than anyone else and, as a consequence, profit. There is a difference. It shows with Apple. It shows with other companies that put much ahead of profit, but in return are rewarded with profit.
The left would agree with all of this, until we get to Hobby Lobby.
Today, Hobby Lobby will argue its case before the United States Supreme Court. Hobby Lobby is a privately held corporation, unlike Apple. Its owners are evangelical Christians. There is no dispute they put their faith into their business. They pay more than the minimum wage, they close earlier than competitors so their workers can get home to their families, they close on Sunday, and they advertise around Christian holidays with faith based messages to share the gospel.
They also are opposed to paying money that will be used for abortifacient drugs. Because the Greene family believes that all life is sacred and because it is indisputable that life begins at conception, the Greene family opposes providing either directly on their own or by compulsion of the state via a third party those drugs that would then terminate the life, the Greene family opposes the government’s contraception mandate in Obamacare.
The government already gives churches an exemption. But the government’s argument is that businesses cannot live their faith. Christians view their work as a ministry. The Greene family most certainly views Hobby Lobby as a ministry, not just a business.
The left applauded Apple for putting its moral commitment to the environment ahead of profits. It’s a shame we cannot agree the Greene family is allowed to put their commitment to God first in their business. Hopefully, though, the Supreme Court will agree with the Greene family and the many others who object to the contraceptive mandate.