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Blog Ekonomi

Blog Ekonomi
Blog Ekonomi

Monday, June 17, 2013

Religious US Companies

Talking about religion and politics can be dangerous among friends. It's doubly so for businesses.

That double-edged sword became crystal clear last year after Chick-fil-A's COO made comments about the chain's opposition to gay marriage. It sparked a massive backlash from the media, gay and lesbian couples, and even the mayor of Boston.

The controversy also helped the company shatter sales records after former Arkansas governor and Fox commentator Mike Huckabee organized a "Chick-fil-A appreciation day."

Many other big companies in America are also religious, including some that might surprise you.

1. Chick-fil-A provoked a firestorm of criticism after its COO made comments about gay marriage.

AP Photo/The Wichita Eagle, Travis HeyingFounded by devout Southern Baptist Truett Cathy in 1946 in Hapeville, Georgia, Chick-fil-A has since expanded to become a major American fast-food chain, with more than 1,500 locations in 39 states.

Throughout its success, the company has stuck to its founder's religiously-motivated decision to be closed on Sundays, and has donated significant amounts of money to conservative groups.

The chain's religious bent turned controversial last year after Truet's son and Chick-fil-A COO Dan Cathy made controversial comments about gay marriage, saying, about the company that "We are very much supportive of the family -- the biblical definition of the family unit"

2. Forever 21 prints a reference to one of the most oft quoted passages of the New Testament on the bottom of all of its bags.

AP PhotoPurchase a skimpy $15 top or $19 skirt from trendy but budget-conscious clothing retailer Forever 21 and you may notice "John 3:16" printed on your shopping bag.

Printed on the bottom of each of the store's bags, the biblical reference is perhaps the most obvious reference to the religious beliefs promoted by the store's owners, the Chang Family, who are born-again Christians.

Mrs. Chang told Bloomberg Businessweek last year that the store had religious roots, citing that "God told her she should open a store and that she would be successful."

The store provoked criticism in the summer of 2011 when it released a slew of religious-themed tees emblazoned with slogans such as "Jesus ♥ You" and "Holy."

3. Tyson Foods employs 1290 office chaplains to provide "compassionate pastoral care" to employees

AP Photo/Toby TalbotMany customers may not realize it, but Tyson Foods is a very religious company that embraces spirituality in the workplace.

Founder John Tyson speaks openly about his Christian beliefs, and the company's core values say that it "strive(s) to honor God" and "be a faith-friendly company."

Since 2000, the company has employed approximately 120 office chaplains who are there to provide "compassionate pastoral care" to employees, according to Tyson's website.

4. In-N-Out, the California-based burger chain is beloved for its commitment to fresh ingredients and its secretive "special menu."

flickr/saschopohfleppIt is also well known for the citation of Bible passages printed on the chain's cardboard cups, containers and wrappers.

The company does not address religion or the passages on their website. Company spokesman Carl Van Fleet told USA Todayin 2005 that the founders' son Richard Snyder instituted the practice. "He told me, 'It's just something I want to do.'"

5. Alaska Airlines passes along an inspirational notecard with an Old Testament passage with your breakfast.

flickr/as737700Fly aboard Alaskan Air and you're likely to get some bible passages along with your in-flight breakfast.

Each breakfast tray comes with aninspirational notecard printed with a passage from the Old Testament, a company tradition dating back several decades.

Salon columnist Patrick Smith took issue with the notecard, and received this message in response from the Seattle-based company: "The quotes have application across many Judeo-Christian beliefs and are shared as a gesture of thanks which reflect the beliefs of this country’s founding as in the Declaration of Independence, the Gettysburg Address, Pledge of Allegiance and every U.S.coin and dollar you handle. Alaska Airlines is an international carrier with very diverse customers, and we have no intentions of offending anyone or their beliefs. An overwhelming majority of our customers have indicated they appreciate the gesture, and those who don’t are not forced to read it."

6. You may still find a Book of Mormon alongside the Bible in your Marriott hotel room.

AP PhotoMarriott Hotel founder John Willard Marriott was a devout Mormon who held leadership positions within the church at the same time he was building his hotel empire.

While Marriott passed away in 1985, his religious legacy has lived on within the family-run hotel chain, which is known for sometimes putting the Book of Mormons along with Bibles in hotel rooms.

The company also recently announcedthat it would no longer offer pay-per-view pornography in its hotel rooms.

7. JetBlue founder David Neeleman was featured in a book titled "The Mormon Way Of Doing Business"

REUTERS/Lucas JacksonJetBlue's so-called "homesourcing"— the relocation of its phone reservation system to 700 stay-at-home workers based in Salt Lake City — provides a hint to its CEO's religious roots.

Founder and CEO David Neelman, a devout Mormon father-of-nine, once traveled to Brazil as a Mormon missionary, according to a 2002 USA Today profile.

And it's a big reason Neeleman prioritizes customer service. "My missionary experience obliterated class distinction for me," he said to author Jeff Benedict in "The Mormon Way of Doing Business." "I learned to treat everyone the same. If anything, I have a disdain for the upper class and people who think they are better than others."

8. Interstate Batteries includes references to the glory of God alongside its products in its online mission statement.

flickr/handtrucksentryInterstate Batteries speaks to its own religious identity in its mission statement.

According to the company's website, the mission is "to glorify God as we supply our customers worldwide with top quality, value-priced batteries, related electrical power-source products, and distribution services."

Former Company President Norm Millerwas recognized last year by Dallas Baptist University for "his strong Christian leadership at Interstate Batteries as well as in the community."

9. The Trijicon sight pictured here has a coded reference to Bible verse John 1:7

flickr/dshaboyWeapons-sight maker Trijicon made waves in 2010 when an ABC Nightline investigation found that the company had inscribed coded biblical references on high-powered rifle sights used by the U.S. military.

Military officials told ABC they were unaware of the inscriptions, which violated U.S. military rules banning the proselytizing of any religion in Iraq or Afghanistan.

The Michigan-based company at the time acknowledged the codes and told ABC that the practice started under its founder, Glyn Bindon, a devout Christian who was killed in a 2003 plane crash.

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