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Hobby Lobby CEO reveals the presidential candidate he believes 'we must elect'

Posted September 14

David Green, founder and CEO of popular arts and crafts chain Hobby Lobby, is supporting Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, writing in a USA Today op-ed that he believes Trump will protect religious freedom.

Green opened his piece by noting that religious liberty is the key cornerstone that has made the U.S. the "freest society in the history of mankind," proceeding to highlight how this freedom has evolved since the nation's founding.

"This spirit of freedom began when the pilgrims fled to the New World to practice their faith freely," he wrote. "It continued when America’s founding fathers ratified the Bill of Rights, which begins with the declaration that 'Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.'"

And Green wasn't done there. He said that he believes the adoption of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 — a bill protecting a person's religious exercise — as well as his own Supreme Court victory in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case also furthered this "spirit of freedom."

The Supreme Court ruled in the 2014 Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case that the Department of Health and Human Services had violated the Religious Freedom Restoration Act in forcing Hobby Lobby, a closely held corporation, to cover certain contraceptives that the Greens felt violated their religious beliefs.

While Green noted that his company was victorious in the case, he called it "frightening" to consider that, with a 5-4 Supreme Court decision, he and his family were "just one judge away from losing our religious freedom."

From there, Green continued explaining why religious liberty is his key concern this election season, particularly after the February death of Justice Antonin Scalia, a staunch conservative whose absence leaves an open spot on the bench.

It is that appointment that he said makes "this presidential election one of the most significant in modern times," explaining why he has some concerns about a potential presidential win for Democratic contender Hillary Clinton.

Green's main fear is that Clinton, among others, doesn't recognize that religious liberty must be protected even when citizens' views don't align with the government's — something he said is enshrined in the U.S. Constitution.

"During a 2015 speech at the Women in the World Summit, Hillary Clinton declared that religious beliefs 'have to be changed,'" Green wrote. "What I fear she really means is that the beliefs of people of faith across our nation will be discounted, and those people will be forced to violate their conscience under her presidency — a philosophy that would be carried out by anyone she nominates for the Supreme Court."

He continued, "Clinton has made no secret she believes government interests supersede the protection of religious liberty."

Green concluded by noting that he believes religious liberty is in peril and that the best candidate for upholding these essential constitutional freedoms is Trump. Read the entire op-ed here.

Trump has gained praise among many conservatives for his comments and proclamations about religious freedom, particularly his pledge to overturn the controversial Johnson Amendment.

But while some have said that Trump will defend religious freedom, others — particularly Muslims — have had fears about what a Trump presidency would look like, particularly after the Republican candidate called last December for a total ban on Muslim immigration to the U.S.

And after his call for a "shutdown" of Muslims coming into the U.S., Trump caught the ire of critics over comments he made about mosque surveillance as well as keeping records on refugees coming into America.

Trump's stance on immigration, though, has seemingly evolved, with the candidate saying this summer that he now wants to curtail immigration from countries that have been "compromised by terrorism."

Email: bhallowell@deseretnews.com Twitter: billyhallowell Facebook: facebook.com/billyhallowell

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