We are in the age of corporate opinions. That’s the real lesson and point of action that needs to be acted upon after recent events, most notably the suspension of Phil Robertson from A&E’s Duck Dynasty.
I don’t watch television. Perhaps that’s why I was so shocked to hear about the indefinite suspension of the show’s family patriarch over inflammatory statements he made in GQ about homosexuality as well as African Americans. By my uninformed reckoning, I had heard that they were openly Christian on the show and therefore I believed that A&E was a Christian-friendly television channel.
Maybe they are. Maybe they aren’t. They don’t really matter too much. Phil Robertson doesn’t really matter that much either in the context of this debate. While most will focus on whether he was rightly removed for expressing his religious beliefs, whether he is a bigot, and whether A&E was right by suspending him, the real issue is about moving forward based upon what we’ve learned.
Today, it’s finally possible to have a clear understanding of a company’s stance on important topics. Gay marriage. Abortion. Immigration reform. Religious freedom. There are countless other polarizing topics and we have a choice to make as a society. Do we want to know how the leadership at a company feels about these topics or is it not important?
Those who would argue that there’s no such thing as a company stance on topics like these should really wake up. This isn’t new. Companies are operated by people and people have opinions. There is no way to remain unbiased as a company. There never has been. Rather than try to pretend like corporations of any size have no opinions, perhaps we would all be better off if they were simply asked to make their opinions public.
It’s a slippery slope, but never before has the technology made it possible for companies to express how they feel about certain topics. I would suggest that as dangerous as it would be to companies to express their opinions, it’s important enough to ask. The public finally has the internet and social media, venues through which companies can express their stance on issues. It would be helpful for helping us all make decisions.
I don’t know enough about the views of Chick-fil-A to know if I share the same Biblical doctrines or stances on issues, but the media has exposed enough of their thoughts to make me want to eat there. I believe that marriage as declared by God is between a man and a woman, but I have zero political interest on the way that states or the US government perceive it. The laws of man, while they have their place, do not influence anything important from a Biblical worldview. In other words, the legality of gay marriage isn’t anything I would ever question. We are all sinners. Whether I perceive it as a sin or not is irrelevant. The only thing that matters is faith in Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. A gay Christian goes up while a non-believing conservative political activist goes down when all is said and done.
Our opinions only matter through association. If we believe that a company, television network, or other entity hold faith as a driving force, I would want to know about it. I would be more inclined to support them. That’s the point. There needs to be clear descriptions of the conscience that drives a business in order for us to make better decisions. If a company supports gay marriage, supporters of gay marriage would want to know and would be more inclined to do business with them.
The real issue here isn’t Duck Dynasty, Phil Robertson, or A&E. The real issue here is a call for transparency of corporate beliefs.