(Photo: Courtesy of The Green Collection)
Hobby Lobby's President Steve Green, whose Christian standards have recently been highlighted by way of his company's fight against the government's HHS mandate that requires businesses to offer employees health care coverage for abortion-inducing drugs, is being honored with a top award from the National Bible Association.
Green is this year's recipient of the John M. Templeton Biblical Values Award, NBA President Richard Glickstein announced Monday.
"Biblical values are at the core of Hobby Lobby's business – from closing stores on Sundays to defending religious liberty. The bar has been set high for Biblical values in the work place," Glickstein said. "Steve is an outstanding example for business leaders across the country, and we are grateful for his exemplary spiritual values and his continued commitment to the Bible."
Glickstein told The Christian Post that Green and his company "literally live the Bible."
The award is named after John M. Templeton who successfully integrated work and his Christian faith. "By using his investing talents to help ordinary people and practicing Biblical values in the market place, Templeton serves as a model to all business executives of faith," Glickstein stated.
"It is truly an honor to receive the prestigious Templeton award from the NBA," said Green, via a statement released by the association. "I am humbled to join the ranks of other leaders who are committed to the Bible to guide their spiritual and religious beliefs as well as their business."
Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby was founded in the early 1970s, and is now a chain of 525 arts and crafts retail stores with more than 20,000 employees in the U.S. The decision to close stores on Sundays cost the company over $100 million in product sales annually, according to the NBA. "The decision to pay all new employees at least 80 percent more than the minimum wage is a further reflection of the company's values," the association stated. Hobby Lobby also offers biblically-based spiritual and financial counseling to its employees.
Nearly half of Hobby Lobby's annual profits are donated according to Biblical principles and for the promotion and reading of the Bible itself, NBA announced. These donations have allowed Hobby Lobby to acquire one of the world's largest private collections of Bibles and Biblical artifacts, a collection that will be housed in a fifty-thousand square foot Bible museum opening in Washington, D.C., in the near future. "Steve has been at the forefront of this project since its beginning in 2009," Glickstein stated.
Hobby Lobby recently found a way to delay compliance with the Obamacare mandate. The company plans to shift the beginning of its employee health plan to temporarily avoid $1.3 million a day in fines for each day since Jan. 1 that it did not comply with the Affordable Care Act.
The company's general counsel, Peter M. Dobelbower, said Hobby Lobby "does not provide coverage for abortion-inducing drugs in its healthcare plan," alluding to "morning-after" and "week-after" pills. The company will continue to "vigorously defend its religious liberty and oppose the mandate and any penalties," he stated.
Green will be recognized at the annual NBA awards luncheon in New York City on April 15 at the Union League Club. NBA also announced that it will make a $25,000 donation to a nonprofit charity designated by Green that has biblical values.
Previous Templeton Award honorees included Ambassador Bonnie McElveen-Hunter, Chairman of the American Red Cross and Founder and President of Pace Communications, and Dr. Thomas Haggai, Chairman of IGA, Inc.
Dr. John M. Templeton Jr. is Chairman of the National Bible Association and is also Chairman of the Templeton Foundation. Founded in 1940, the National Bible Association is a non-profit, independent educational association operating in the public square. Composed of business and professional leaders, the Association is "focused exclusively on encouraging America to read the Bible in every sector of society regardless of religious or political distinction."