Political Correctness Stifling Christian Business?

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Many media watchers believe this summer's Chick-fil-A controversy signals a new pressure on corporations. Today, they're under the gun to be politically correct or face tougher-than-ever consequences.

Just six years ago, Chick-fil-A's founder stood in front of hundreds in an Atlanta ballroom. He was receiving a business award for investing in marriage programs for the restaurant chain's employees.

The recognition came from the Smart Marriages Coalition, a now defunct professional group of marriage educators.

"We really are stunned at how hard it's been to get corporations to see this as what they should be doing," Diane Sollee, with the former Smart Marriages Coalition, said. "That good, strong marriages would be great for the bottom-line."

It's hard to imagine that 2006 scenario now as Chick-fil-A recovers from a summer whip-lashing from liberals over CEO Dan Cathy's support for traditional marriage.

Although hundreds of thousands of customers flocked to show their support for Cathy, corporate watchers say the fast food chain's experience should serve as a wake-up call for other like-minded companies.

"Companies, they know they're under attack but this is a new change," explained Dan Gainor, with the Media Research Center. "The left has a hit list of conservative companies that they're going after. Good companies like Tyson Foods, Hobby Lobby, and others are on it."

Although not as well known as the Chick-fil-A ordeal, the left also went after top pizza seller Papa Johns after its CEO said President Obama's health care law would force the company to raise its prices.

"I think what we're going to see increasingly is companies are going to have to decide if they want to serve a conservative or liberal audience, and it's going to be hard to serve both," Gainor added.

He advises conservative companies to use social media and other public relations methods to define themselves before others try to.

Regent University business professor Kathleen Peterson said believers should also guard against bitterness, especially in hostile situations.

"I can absolutely tell you what I believe, tell you how I feel about social issues, government policies, all these kind of things. But am I doing it with civility, graciousness, kindness?" she said.

What perhaps both sides can agree on is that the nation's political and cultural divides are now forcing many corporations to take a stand.

Many conservatives and liberals say they don't care what a business's political positions are.

But as time goes by, more and more customers may start voting not just at the ballot box, but with their pocketbook.

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Heather Sells

Heather Sells

CBN News Reporter

Heather Sells covers a variety of issues for CBN News ranging from immigration and religious liberty to human trafficking, privacy issues and food.

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