Companies that Mix Religion with Business.

It’s well-known that talking about religion or politics among friends and family members can make for awkward conversation. For businesses, it can not only be awkward but also financially deadly.

Not long ago the CEO of fast food chain Chick-fil-A made his opinions known about the fact that he believes marriage should be between a man and a woman. The backlash that his comments sparked, from the media, gay and lesbian couples across the country and even Boston’s mayor, was massive.

On the other hand, when former Arkansas governor (and FOX commentator) Mike Huckabee organized a “Chick-fil-A appreciation Day”, the restaurant saw record shattering sales. When it comes to religion and business, it’s quite literally a double-edged sword (or at least a double-edged kitchen knife).

If you’re looking to invest in companies that have a religious bent, some of the companies on the short list below might surprise you. It’s not just Chick-fil-A that like to serve doctrine with their chicken sandwiches (they even close all of the stores on Sunday).

For example, clothing store Forever 21 prints a message or passage from the New Testament on the bottom of all of its bags for customers to enjoy when they make a purchase. If you’ve ever purchased a trendy skirt or skimpy top from the company you may have noticed a reference to “John 3:16” on the bottom of your bag, one of the most obvious and most well-known religious references. The Chang family, owners of the chain, are born-again Christians.

Tyson Foods, famous for their chicken, actually employs over 1200 office chaplains at locations around the country to provide, as they call it, “compassionate pastoral care” to their employees. John Tyson, founder of the company, has often spoken openly about his Christian beliefs and the fact that he believes his company should “be a faith friendly company”.

If you’ve ever eaten and In-N-Out Burger you may have noticed that their cups, containers and wrappers all have Bible passages printed on them. While they may have a secretive “special menu”, it’s no secret that this chain wants to deliver a religious message to their customers. Interestingly, the company doesn’t address or make reference to their religious passages on their company website

Then there’s Alaska Airlines who, along with their in-flight breakfast, also pass out inspirational notecards to all fliers with passages from the Old Testament. In fact, this is a company tradition that’s been going on for several decades.

All of these companies are traded on the stock market and so, if you wish to purchase stocks for your portfolio that lean towards religion or faith, you’d do well to start with them.

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