One of my writings this week concerned Fortune 500 corporations that support causes like same-sex marriage and abortion that are antithetical to evangelical Christians and social conservatives.
That prompted a request from a reader that I follow up with a post listing corporations that embrace Christian values; that evangelicals and social conservative can support with their pocketbooks.
Well, I’ve long known that the Christian business sector is large. But I’ve known of only a few major corporations guided by Christian values.
That includes, of course, Chick-fil-A, which started-up in Georgia before spreading throughout the country; which is so unabashedly Christian, it doesn’t even open its more than 1,600 fast-food restaurants on Sunday, the Lord’s Day.
And it used to include Alaska Airlines, the nation’s seventh-largest carrier, which promoted Christianity by handing out prayer cards printed with Bible verses before meals, but which, disappointingly, discontinued the practice this past February.
Those were the only two corporations I could think of that included Christ in their business plan.
So, I did a little research. And one of the best sources, surprisingly, was CNN’s “Belief Blog,” which published a list last year of “religious” companies.
After deleting companies like Whole Foods, whose co-founder and CEO is a Buddhist, and companies like Tom’s of Maine, that used to be controlled by Christians, but were bought out by faith-less corporations, I came up with this short list of companies worthy of support by evangelicals and social conservatives:
Chick-fil-A, God bless them.
Forever 21, a fashion-forward clothing store favored mostly by young women. The bottom of its signature yellow shopping bags are emblazoned with John 3:16, which, according to a company spokeswoman, is a “demonstration of the owners’ Christian faith.” Forever 21 also sells ladies T-shirts unapologetically displaying Christian messages.
Herman Miller, manufacturer of modern office furniture. Known for its famous Aeron chair, Noguchi table and Marshmallow sofa, the company was founded in 1905 by D.J. De Pree, a Christian evangelical, who named it after his father in law, Miller. De Pree was succeeded by sons Hugh and Max, who considered themselves servant-leaders, just like their father.
Hobby Lobby, a chain of arts and crafts stores. Founded in 1972 by David Green, a Christian entrepreneur, Hobby Lobby’s ethos is, “Honoring the Lord in all we do by operating the company in a manner consistent with Biblical principles.” Like Chick-fil-a, its more than 500 stores are closed on Sundays.
In-N-Out-Burger, which boasts some 275 restaurants throughout the western United States. Founded in 1948 by devoted Christians Harry and Esther Snyder, the chain continues to promote the couple’s faith by inscribing scripture on its cups, wrappers and packaging.
That includes not only oft-cited John 3:16, but also Revelation 3:20, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock,” and Proverbs 3:5, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.”
Interstate Batteries, which boasts the nation’s second-largest chain of of franchised retail battery stores. The company is unbashful about its Christian moorings. In fact, company chairman Norm Miller moved out of the presidency to give himself more time away from day-to-day operations to offer testimony on “how he learned to apply Biblical principles to create a more successful business.”
Interstate also happens to be the primary sponsor of a NASCAR racing team owned by Joe Gibbs, a devout Christian.
ServiceMaster, which owns such brands as Terminix, TruGreen, American Home Shield and Merry Maids, which has more than 5,100 company-owned and franchise locations around the country. The company’s name comes from the Christian concept “service thy master.” It continues to practice the principles of founder, Marion Wade, who, according to company historians, “had a strong personal faith and a desire to honor God in all he did.”
Tyson Foods, the largest meat producer in the world. Company Chairman John Tyson is an interfaith Christian. He has 128 part-time chaplains on the company payroll. They “provide compassionate pastoral care and ministry” to employees at Tyson’s corporate offices and production centers.
Walmart, the world’s largest retailer. Founded in 1962 by Sam Walton, who subscribed to the Christian servant leadership model, his heirs have a 48 percent stake in the publicly-trade corporation. That enables the family’s to continue to hold sway over Walmart’s business practices.
That’s why the company carries the kind of Christian books that bricks-and-mortar bookstores like Barnes & Noble choose not to. And that’s s why the Walmart’s music department refuses to sell music requiring parental warning labels.
For those keeping count, this list includes only nine corporations. Nominations of other corporations deserving love by evangelicals and social conservatives are welcomed.