Religious companies mixing faith and business

They have all sorts of ways to merge their convictions with their products.

By Jason Notte Jun 17, 2013 8:05AM
File photo of an In-N-Out Burger in Baldwin Park, Calif. (© Adam Lau/AP Photo)Think wearing religious beliefs on your sleeve alienates customers? That hasn't been the experience of a dozen or so U.S. companies that have expressed their faith in methods both large and small.

Business Insider recently compiled a list of said companies, and while not all of them made the noise Chick-fil-A did last year -- with its chief executive's comments about gay marriage, the ensuing backlash and the Mike Huckabee-prompted "Chick-fil-A Day" that followed -- all have made religion a part of their day-to-day business. Business Insider's tally ran to 18, and each company has a different method for integrating faith into its business.

In the interest of brevity, we've grouped the companies by the intensity of that expression and just how visible it is to consumers:

The whispered acknowledgement: Some companies merely hint at their religious convictions rather than proselytize through their products. In N Out Burger makes no mention on its website or in any of its company correspondence, but it does include small citations of Bible passages on its packaging. When asked for an explanation by USA Today in 2005, company spokesman Carl Van Fleet said the founder's son started the practice and "told me, 'It's just something I want to do.'"

Clothing chain Forever 21 stamps a reference to Bible verse John 3:16 on the bottom of each of its bags as a nod to born-again Christian owners the Chang family. The Marriott hotel chain still places the Book of Mormon alongside the Bible in some of its hotel rooms to acknowledge its devout Mormon founder, John Willard Marriott. But it recently broke with the church's stand on gay marriage to join other businesses in supporting a repeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

The preachers: Alaska Airlines (ALK) still provides inspirational cards with passages from the Old Testament on its meal trays even after a 2004 article on Salon slamming the practice. Craft-supply chain Hobby Lobby pipes Christian music into all its stores, runs full-page religious ads in newspapers every Christmas and Easter, and unsuccessfully sued the government in an attempt to avoid mandated insurance coverage for emergency contraception.

The guiding principles: When token gestures and public displays won't do, many companies write their faith right into their corporate mission statements. Tyson Foods (TSN) founder John Tyson notes in his company's core values that Tyson strives "to honor God" and "be a faith-friendly company." It follows through by providing 120 chaplains to provide "compassionate pastoral care" to employees.

Interstate Batteries' mission statement expresses a desire to "to glorify God as we supply our customers worldwide with top quality, value-priced batteries, related electrical power-source products, and distribution services." ServiceMaster -- which owns Merry Maids, Terminix and American Home Shield -- stresses the company's "foundational commitment" to Honor God in All We Do, which includes the killing of insects.

More on moneyNOW

Jun 17, 2013 10:37AM

Unfortunately the last 6 words of this article overshadowed what could have been a totally unbiased look at companies who express their religious beliefs. There just had to be a little "zing" at the end taking a stab at companies who do this. Why is it ok for companies to take a stand for things that aren't Biblical and we are all told to be "tolerant" of those beliefs but when it comes to Christianity we are made out to be crazy, non-tolerant and uneducated people? Those who "preach" tolerance should be the most tolerant of all but that doesn't seem to be the case. Sad...sad...sad

Jun 17, 2013 10:33AM
Good.  More businesses I can make sure I purchase products from.
Jun 17, 2013 11:13AM
It is nice to know that some business owners are proud of their beliefs and have not sold their souls to comply with the ignorant political correctness that plagues our nation.
Jun 17, 2013 10:18AM

We respect every faith in the world; except for Christian. Go figure.

Jun 17, 2013 11:10AM

In a world where standing up for what you believe has become passe' more out of fear of persecution; I am so please to see business that have not been shamed to change.


Jun 17, 2013 10:36AM
The first time I crossed the Artic Circle was with old bush pilot Fritz Wein (the ancestor of Alaska Air) at the controls, me on a canvas seat next to a crate of vegetables, some kerosene and gunny sacks of oatmeal.  We were a small plane, a tiny speck, in the middle of an icy nowhere which does put a spiritual flavor to the experience.  As much as I hate people trying to jam their religion down my throat, Alaska Air should keep alive an old tradition of a prayer before a meal (an act so common in many cultures) even if it might make a few passengers squirm wondering if they have plans to ditch somewhere along the way.  lol   BTW, Alaska Air's safety record is a tribute to their bush pilot roots where maintenance and caution are guiding principles. 
Jun 17, 2013 11:32AM

Some claim religion is the source of evil. I am a Christian and would have a hard time arguing with that statement. Religion is a life exercise, routine, etc.

A Christian has a relationship with God the Father, made possible by the blood of Jesus, the Christ, and supported by the Holy Spirit.

Jun 17, 2013 11:56AM

Everyone has a right to believe what they will, attacking ones beliefs does nothing to further your own point of view.  If you expect others to respect your right to believe or not believe then you need to extend the same courtesy to those with whom you disagree.













Jun 17, 2013 12:16PM
I like this! It's wonderful to see companies unafraid to state their religious beliefs especially because we live in a society that wants God banished from everything.
Jun 17, 2013 12:34PM
will do more business with these companies. Thanks for the list.

Jun 17, 2013 1:50PM

As an atheist, I have no problem with anybody who wants to run their business according to their religion, as long as that doesn't mean that they lobby for religion-based laws or practice discrimination and claim that they are forced to do that by their religious beliefs.  Treat me with repect and I'll return the favor.

Jun 17, 2013 11:19AM
I assume they are all doing well financially. They are operating in the Blessing.
Jun 17, 2013 3:58PM
Jason Notte- the publisher of this blog knows how to lie really well. He states the chief executive of Chick-Fil-A comments about "gay marriage". The chief executive NEVER made a comment about "gay marriage". For the record the comment made was marriage is between a man and a woman, which is what it is.
Jun 17, 2013 11:25AM
And the follow up story with pro-abortion anti-religiousc companies signaled out  will be coming.....
Jun 17, 2013 2:12PM
we need more companies like those in this article. I direct all my business to people who love Jesus our Lord.
Jun 17, 2013 2:41PM

I am amazed by all the comments on here that clearly demonstrate a how little, so many know about Christianity.

1st of all, Christians do not hate you, I don't care if you are a thief, a murderer, a homosexual, a liar, an adulterer or what ever, we don't hate you. We do hate sin but not the sinner. We have all sinned. Some have been delivered from their sins and some have not.

Christians follow the the teachings of Jesus, the Bible, the Word of God, Jesus is the Word. His word does not change. God does not care if it is 100 AD or 2013.

God does expect us to share the Good News. The news of his Son who came to deliver us all from our Sins.

Jesus told us when we pray, pray to the Father. I read the Bible regularly and have never read that we are to Pray to anyone but the Father, (God) and we pray to him in the name of Jesus. Jesus is the Word of God, he is from God, the Holy Spirit is from God and they only do what the Father tells them to do. Mary was a human, not a god, and definitely not the Father. I don't pray to her. All who are saved are Saints, Even thou they are Saints, I don't pray to my brothers and sisters in Christ, after one goes to be with the Father. In fact the Bible says it is an abomination to communicate with the dead.

Jun 17, 2013 2:25PM
I think businesses should be able to refuse service to anyone; however I think they ought to post their racist, ignorant. bigot practices on the outside of their establishments and embroider them on their clothing so that those of us who are disturbed by this will know enough not to shop there or eat their food.  Years ago, when Coors Beer broke their Union and fired every union employee, I vowed never to drink a Coors beer, and I never did.  I also never ate a Hormel ham or bacon.  When I found out that Dominos Pizza was a major contributor to antiabortion campaigns, I vowed never to eat one of their Pizzas, and I never will.  Vote with your cash, folks.  As a business owner, you should have the right to smoke in there if you want to, you should be able to say you don't want to do the flowers for a gay wedding, and the rest of us should say, we don't want your flowers.  We do not need the law to tell us this.  Don't force business owners to do what their religion and convictions tell them is wrong, let us tell them it is wrong and to get out of business.  Vote with your cash!
Jun 17, 2013 4:50PM

Perhaps if more businesses followed a Godly way of doing things the world would be way better off'.

It is important to know ones priority such as Family time, Church time , abolish those over the top bonuses and provide what is ethically and morally right----Comprehensive health benefits where the Employer pays 70 to 80% of the cost for Full time and part time!!!!!  I can remember the days when Christian/Judeo principals were respected and revered and so was respecting your elders.  We are failing our children and ourselves by not instilling these virtues.  Just look at the world......the prophecies are coming true and everyone is just ignoring them.

Jun 17, 2013 3:25PM
What I have issue with are the non-profits that really should be taxed. This country is out of control with .org and other non-profits, that really are not. Many run a business through their churches.
Jun 17, 2013 2:12PM
You forgot a really big company, The Catholic church, every  cemetery in CA, Az, and Co, has a mortuary on there property.. they are run by Stewart Ent. which was just bought out buy SCI the world's largest mortary/cemetery business in the world.death care is big bsiness.!!
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