Friday, August 13, 2010

Corporate Profits and Religion

Protesters have been rallying outside Target Corp. or its stores almost daily since the retailer angered gay rights supporters and progressives by giving money to help a conservative Republican gubernatorial candidate in Minnesota. Liberal groups are pushing to make an example of the company, hoping its woes will deter other businesses from putting their corporate funds into elections.

I am not much for protests because I think the protesters run the risk of looking irrational. However, I am crazy about boycotts. I vote with my money essentially. I don't go to Denny's since their racial acts and policies some time back and I cannot see me frequently Target because of its obvious homophobic stance. Still there is an on line retailer I buy from that puts a bible quote in the upper right corner of its on line invoices. I continue to purchase from them even though I have eliminated every business in my neck of the woods that puts a fish on their business card.

Why this dichotomy you might ask? Well, thus far Sierra Trading Post has conducted itself like a good Christian where as local Christian businesses think they get to rape anyone that does not go to their church. So it is not just about who Target gave money too but whether that support of a homophobic politician extends to their treatment of their employees . . . or heaven forbid, their customers. I have a feeling it does.

You can either be in business, religion or politics. Not any combination of the three, to my way of thinking, (though there are a lot of religions that have become businesses) if you you want to avoid controversy, and boycotts and protests. Maybe I should add actors and actresses there (also a business). I don't go to Tom Cruise movies any more because of his announced views on women and his religion.

Mother always said that if you wanted to keep your friends you should not discuss religion or politics. Businesses should want to keep their friends/customers and yet of late with the religious right there have been some major errors. Hobby Lobby began closing on Sundays and I am sure lost a big market share to Michael's as women shop for things to do during Sunday football games. Target is no doubt taking a back step in its battle with Wally world over this. And Tom Cruise is losing out at the box office. If being a green business is smart then being an opinionated business is dumb.