As most probably know, last Tuesday the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the Hobby Lobby/Conestoga V. Sebelius case. For the uninitiated, this case involves an incorporated, for-profit business claiming that a CEO/Shareholder(s) religious preference, transitively becoming the business's religious preference, should stand as legitimate grounds for the business to be exempt from laws that are perceived to to be counter to said religious preferences.
There's been a bevy of commentary about the oral arguments that were offered Tuesday. Of all the punditry, speculation, pontifications, and bloviation that has been offered, there appears to be one common theme that everyone generally agrees on: David Green is genuine in his religious belief - specifically the belief about plan B, Ella, and IUDs.
However: In reading through the complaint filed on behalf of Hobby Lobby, there's a rather interesting passage embedded in pg. 15, #55 that may provide some insight into just how important these beliefs are to Green. It reads:
Recently, after learning about the nationally prominent HHS mandate controversy, Hobby Lobby re-examined its insurance policies to ensure they continued to be consistent with its faith. During that re-examination, Hobby Lobby discovered that the formulary for its prescription drug policy included two drugs - Plan B and Ella - that could cause an abortion”
It then goes on to state that coverage of such drugs was not included knowingly or deliberately by the Green family, and thus was ended (in 2012) once the Green family found out.
For multiple years, the Green family offered the very drugs they are claiming they are morally opposed to, and did so apparently without incident. Quite literally, it wasn't until the Affordable Care Act required coverage for such drugs did the Green family decide they were morally opposed to Hobby Lobby doing so.
But, that may not be the most interesting part of the passage just quoted from Hobby Lobby's complaint filing. The most interesting part may be the language "re-examination" and "to ensure (its insurance plans) continued to be consistent with its faith". It is hard to believe the Green family did any initial evaluation, otherwise one would be hard pressed to miss the inclusion of the drugs in mention. In fact, it those particular drugs would seem to be the only relevant part of the policy that would need to be examined if someone like Green were examining the policy to make sure it was consistent with his faith.
Obviously, there is no functional way to measure the 'genuineness' of one's belief. Having said that, it is increasingly difficult to give Green the benefit of the doubt that this entire lawsuit isn't simply about partisan spite against a President he doesn't like. His company offered, for years upon years, the very same drugs he says he's opposed to - apparently without Green knowing or otherwise caring. Unless Green is either (a) a newly born Christian who didn't hold the same beliefs when he started the company that he does now, or (b) is very poor at reviewing insurance policies, or hires people that are very poor at it - then it would seem like Green didn't care one way or the other (at least, not enough to actually look into it).... until President Obama had something to say about it anyway.
UPDATE: there are conflicted reports about whether or not Hobby Lobby's coverage included IUDs before 2012. Since all accounts - including Hobby Lobby's - verify that Ella and Plan B were covered by Hobby Lobby, those two drugs have been left in the article and IUDs as a general reference has been removed.