Businesses like Hobby Lobby and Chick-fil-A overtly follow Christian principles and thus promote Christianity. Is it profitable for them to have this ‘brand,’ or do you think the CEOs have some deeper evangelical goal?
THE RELIGION GUY ANSWERS:
These two remarkable corporations are the largest in the U.S. that operate on an explicitly “Christian” basis, and both have been in the news lately.
The Hobby Lobby craft store chain won U.S. Supreme Court approval June 30 of the religious right to avoid the new federal mandate to fund certain birth control methods the owners consider tantamount to abortion.
Sept. 8 brought the death of S. Truett Cathy, billionaire founder of the Chick-fil-A fast-food empire. His New York Times obituary said that to some he was “a symbol of intolerance” and “hate.” Such journalistic labeling stemmed from Cathy’s son and successor Dan criticizing same-sex marriage on biblical grounds in 2012. Afterward, the firm cut donations to groups that back traditional marriage. No-one claimed Chick-fil-A discriminates against gays in hiring or customer service.
With both companies, Christian commitment is accompanied by prosperity, and the question suggests their religious image may be calculated for “profitable” advantage.