Hobby Lobby

Fan of Retail / Flickr Creative Commons

The owners of Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby are under federal investigation for improperly importing religious artifacts, according to a report by The Daily Beast.

Two major centennial anniversaries took place this week. April 24th marks Genocide Remembrance Day to commemorate the massacre of millions of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire, and Wednesday was the 100th anniversary of the first widespread use of chemical weapons on World War I’s Western front.

Later, Rebecca Cruise talks with Asma Uddin. She started the online magazine Altmuslimah as a forum for issues of gender in Islam, but it resonated across many faiths.

The Jewish Star of David, Arab- Christian Cross and Crescent on the front of Beit Hagefen Arab-Jewish Center in Haifa.
zeevveez / Flickr

According to a 2013 Gallup poll, 56 percent of adults in the United States said religion was “very important” in their lives, with another 22 percent saying religion was at least “fairly important.”

Fan of Retail / Flickr Creative Commons

The United States is a divided nation and Americans need to figure out how to live together, according to Vincent Phillip Muñoz, Tocqueville Associate Professor of Religion and Public Life at the University of Notre Dame. Muñoz spoke at a recent lecture entitled "Hobby Lobby, Obamacare & the Future of Religious Freedom" at the University of Oklahoma’s Fred Jones Auditorium.

In Washington, D.C., construction is underway on the Museum of the Bible, an eight-story, $400 million enterprise funded by Hobby Lobby President Steve Green.

Senator Ralph Shortey - District 44, R-Oklahoma City
Oklahoma Senate

A recently proposed bill would allow for-profit companies to pursue religious-based purposes.

Currently, all organizations incorporated for religious purposes must be registered nonprofit organizations.

SB0729, by Sen. Ralph Shortey, would allow any domestic corporations, limited partnership or limited liability company to establish itself as a religious-based entity if certain requirements are the met.

“What it’s doing is extending the same liberties that a nonprofit has and extending it to corporations,” said Shortey, R-Oklahoma City.

Oklahoma Department of Corrections

The botched execution of Clayton Lockett in April has been voted Oklahoma's top story for 2014.

Lockett's execution prompted the state to impose a moratorium on executions and led to new discussions on the future of the death penalty.

Court action legalizing gay marriages was voted second by Associated Press members, and a workplace beheading in Moore is third.

A series of sexual-assault charges against Oklahoma lawmen is fourth and troubles within Oklahoma's public school system is fifth.

NYC Wanderer

The president of Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby says a Bible museum to hold his family's collection in Washington, D.C. is expected to open in 2017.

The Times Record reports Steve Green spoke to some 600 attendants of the Fort Smith Mayor's Prayer Breakfast on Friday. The Christian Business Men's Committee invited him to speak at the event more than a year ago.

A Democratic effort to override the Supreme Court's recent ruling on contraceptive coverage failed in the Senate on Wednesday.

Bill sponsors fell four votes short of the 60 votes needed to cut off debate on the measure.

When the Supreme Court ruled Monday that "closely held" corporations don't have to pay for workers' contraception, you may have assumed the decision applied only to family-owned businesses.

Wrong. An estimated 9 out of 10 businesses are "closely held."

However, some benefits experts question just how many of those companies would want to assert religious views.

In a 5-4 decision Monday, the Supreme Court allowed a key exemption to the health law's contraception coverage requirements when it ruled that closely held for-profit businesses could assert a religious objection to the Obama administration's regulations. What does it mean? Here are some questions and answers about the case.

What did the court's ruling do?

Oklahoma's U.S. House delegation.
U.S. Rep. James Lankford / Facebook

Members of Oklahoma's Republican congressional delegation are praising the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in a case involving Oklahoma City-based Hobby Lobby.

U.S. Sens. Tom Coburn and Jim Inhofe issued statements Monday in support of the court's decision and praising the company's owners, the Green family. U.S. Reps. Jim Bridenstine, Tom Cole, and James Lankford also hailed the ruling as one in favor of religious liberty.

Hobby Lobby Lawyer, Women's Group React To Birth Control Ruling

Jun 30, 2014

The U.S. Supreme Court wrapped up its term with a bang today, issuing two major decisions.

In one case, the court ruled that closely-held corporations, usually family-owned businesses like Hobby Lobby — the national arts and crafts chain that brought the suit — cannot be required to provide coverage for birth control methods that they object to for religious reasons.

The Supreme Court has ruled that family owned and other closely held companies can opt out of the Affordable Care Act's provisions for no-cost prescription contraception in most health insurance if they have religious objections.

The owners of the Hobby Lobby chain of arts and crafts stores and those of another closely held company, Conestoga Wood Specialties Corp., had objected on the grounds of religious freedom.

The ruling affirms a Hobby Lobby victory in a lower court and gives new standing to similar claims by other companies.

George Bannister /

Emails to school board members and school administrators in a district that approved a Bible-based curriculum show that they broke into small groups for meetings with the program's chief backer to circumvent a law requiring government bodies to meet in public.

The emails obtained by The Associated Press show that the April 14 meetings with Steve Green and other members of the Museum of the Bible curriculum team, the president of the Hobby Lobby arts and crafts store chain, occurred just hours before the Mustang School Board approved the course as an elective.