Chick-fil-A, Hobby Lobby Earn Highest Scores On Inaugural ‘Faith Equality Index’
A conservative Christian group has taken a page out of the Human Rights Campaign’s playbook, releasing a ranking of corporations that are most hostile to LGBT and reproductive rights.Â
Not surprisingly, Chick-fil-A and Hobby Lobby received the highest scores on the inaugural Faith Equality Index, put out earlier this month by a group called Faith Driven Consumer, which is encouraging people to “buycott” companies that don’t share their “biblical worldview.”Â
“Just in time for the busy Christmas shopping season â€” we launched our ground-breaking new scoring system rating major brands on their relative faith-compatibility,” Faith Driven Consumer saidÂ in a news release.Â “It’s important for everyone to understand what we are asking Corporate America to do â€” acknowledge us on equal footing with the other groups they embrace and celebrate.”
According to The Washington Times, the Faith Equality Index is a response to HRC’s Corporate Equality IndexÂ and Buying For Workplace Equality guide,Â which for more than a decade have rated companies based on LGBT-inclusive policies and procedures. Using the hashtag #AddUsIn, Faith Driven Consumer is even attempting to co-opt the LGBT “rainbow of diversity.”Â
“In a marketplace that celebrates diversity, the Faith Equality Index focuses major brands on theÂ newest color in their rainbow, Faith Driven Consumers,”Â Faith Driven Consumer founder Chris Stone said in a statement. “Like every community, Faith DrivenÂ Consumers expect to be welcomed by the companies they do business with and work for.”
Faith Driven Consumer claims to represent 41 millionÂ Christian consumers who spend $2 trillion annually.
Earlier his year, Faith Driven Consumer led campaigns to return Phil Robertson to “Duck Dynasty,” get SunTrust Bank to reverse a decision to fire the Benham brothers, and protest Houston officials’ decision to subpoena pastors’ sermons in defending the city’s Equal Rights Ordinance.
The group also got involved in the controversy over “religious freedom” laws in Arkansas and Indiana that aimed to give businesses a “license to discriminate” against LGBT people.Â
â€œWe are disappointed by theÂ misleadingÂ and inflammatory nature of many peopleâ€™s comments in reaction to recent events surrounding Indianaâ€™s religious freedom law,” Stone said in March. “Such language presents an obstacle to the important issue of achievingÂ universal equality in our culture and in the marketplace.”
The Faith Equality Index rates more than 300 companies based on 14 criteria, and lists the ratings alongside their scores on HRC’s CEI, the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility’sÂ Corporate Inclusion IndexÂ (CII), Black Enterprise’sÂ Best 40Â list for African-American diversity and Diversity Inc.â€™sÂ Top 50Â ranking for diversity.Â
Criteria for the Faith Equality Index include:Â
- Use of the word â€œChristmasâ€ in seasonal advertising
- Respect for, acknowledgment of, and compatibility with a comprehensive pro-life view on abortion, embryonic stem cell research and euthanasia â€” either by supporting these positions publicly, financially or with in-kind resources equal, at minimum, to support given alternative positions, or remaining silent and neutral on these issuesÂ
- Proactive public support for legislative, regulatory, and/or judicial protections for religious liberty including freedom of speech, association and expression
- Respect for, acknowledgement of, and compatibility with biblical teaching on sexuality, gender, marriage and family â€” either by supporting these positions publicly, financially or with in-kind resources equal, at minimum, to support given alternative positions, or remaining silent and neutral on these issues
- Promote or support wholesome images in marketing and culture while refraining from the promotion or support of pornography, sexual immorality or the sexual exploitation of individuals, as viewed through a biblical lensÂ
Here are the seven companies that received the highest scores on the Faith Equality Index:Â
- Chick-fil-A: 63Â
- Hobby Lobby: 62Â
- Interstate Batteries: 61Â
- Tyson Foods: 60Â
- Cracker Barrel: 53Â
- Walmart: 51Â
- Thrivent Financial: 50Â
And here are the 10 that received the lowest scores: Â Â
- Bank of America:Â 11
- Unilever: 11
- DirecTV: 14
- Expedia: 15
- Nationwide: 16
- Pfizer: 16
- Microsoft: 17
- AT&T: 17
- Apple: 19
- T-Mobile: 19
Chick-fil-A is, of course, is well-known for its outspoken opposition to same-sex marriage, although the Faith Equality Index doesn’t appear to take into account a franchisee’s recent decision to sponsor an LGBT Christian film festival. Hobby Lobby, meanwhile, was the lead plaintiff in the U.S. Supreme Court case challenging the contraceptive mandate under the Affordable Care Act.Â
Starbucks, currently under fire from right-wingers for its Christmas-less coffee cups, received a score of 27 on the Faith Equality Index, including five out of five points for the use of the wordÂ â€œChristmasâ€ in seasonal advertising. (Again, no word on whether Faith Driven Consumer will be lowering the company’s score.)Â
As for Interstate Batteries and Cracker Barrel, one columnist writes: “So,Â if you identify as a Christian it may be time to mentally prepare to find a car battery or hunk of cheese under your Christmas tree.”Â
Needless to say, that would be better than the lump of coal people deserve if they allow prejudice against the LGBT community, women and religious minorities to motivate their shopping decisions.Â
Image via FacebookÂ
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‘Taking Us All for Fools’: Critics Decimate Greg Abbott’s Claims and Defense of His Actions in Wake of School Shooting
Texas Republican Governor Greg Abbott in a press conference that left reporters frustrated defended his actions and insisted his earlier praise for law enforcement’s widely criticized response to the Uvalde school massacre was the result of being “misled.”
“I am livid about what happened,” Abbott declared, blaming others for his “recitation of what people in that room told me.”
“I was misled … the information that I was given turned out in part to be inaccurate. And I’m absolutely livid about that” — Greg Abbott on his initial false statement portraying Uvalde first responders as heroes pic.twitter.com/dUIdxnicjm
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) May 27, 2022
Critics aren’t buying his claims.
Abbott, who’s in the middle of a heated re-election campaign, appeared extremely defensive when reporters asked him questions.
“Let’s be clear about one thing. None of the laws I signed this past session had any intersection with this crime at all,” Abbott told reporters when asked if he would call the legislature back for a special session, as The Texas Tribune’s Sewell Chan noted.
“No law that I signed allowed him to get a gun,” Abbott insisted.
“The answers fell pretty flat,” opined MSNBC’s Nicolle Wallace, who noted the press event lasted just 36 minutes, less time than the police officers “stood outside and did nothing,” which was 47 minutes.
Abbott ended the press conference with many reporters almost begging him to take more questions. As the governor got up and left one frustrated reporter was caught on a hot mic saying “unbelievable.”
Chan, who is the editor in chief of the Tribune, added on Twitter: “Abbott rejects background checks as a simplistic and ineffective fix. Wouldn’t have prevented Sutherland Springs and Santa Fe shootings, he says. Tries to turn focus to broken mental health system.”
Former FBI assistant director for counterintelligence Frank Figliuzzi on MSNBC delivered a strong rebuke to Governor Abbott’s remarks.
“No amount of free flights, no amount of free caskets, no amount of mental health counseling is going to bring back any one of those murdered children,” Figliuzzi said, referring to Abbott’s announcement an anonymous donor is putting up $175,000 for funeral expenses of those who were murdered in the shooting and said the state will pay for mental health treatment.
Abbott also insisted that since Texas became a state it’s been legal for 18-year-olds to buy long guns.
Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime was murdered in the Parkland school shooting, blasted Abbott:
.@GregAbbott_TX responding to a question on long rifles “it seems like only in the past decade or two we have had school shootings.” Governor, the assault weapons ban ended in 2004. See the connection? You have actively helped to sell millions of weapons since then.
— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) May 27, 2022
And long guns of today, as Figliuzzi noted, are often semi-automatic “killing machines.”
“The governor seems completely unable to understand that he can easily make a distinction when you’re talking about whether an 18-year-old should buy an assault rifle or not. And all he cares about is a century of history in Texas on long guns. We didn’t have the AR-15 style assault weapons back then. He can easily make a distinction and say, ‘you can go hunting, here are the rifles you can do, you can buy, you can possess – and here’s an assault-style rifle.'”
“If he thinks that people are stupid and unable to understand that there is a clear distinction between a killing machine and a hunting rifle, that he’s taking us all for fools.”
‘I Apologize for Interrupting Your Press Conference’: Tearful Texas Democrat Urges Greg Abbott to ‘Do Something’ on Guns
The Texas Democratic State Senator who represents Uvalde stood up during Greg Abbott’s Friday afternoon press conference and almost begged the Republican Governor to “do something” about gun violence after Tuesday’s massacre at Robb Elementary School that took 21 lives.
Abbott was trying to place the blame for the school shooting on mental health despite the gunman having no documented issues, and told attendees, “we’re focusing our attention on the wrong thing.”
That was not good enough for Democratic State Senator Roland Gutierrez, who politely introduced himself and said, “I’m not making a political speech.”
“My colleagues are asking for a special session, you’re getting a letter tomorrow,” from the Senate Democratic Caucus.
“We’ve asked for gun control changes – I’m asking you now, bring us back in three weeks.”
Gutierrez grew emotional, sounding as if he was choking up, and added, “I apologize for interrupting your press conference about the needs of this community. I’ve been here for three days with all of these elected officials – this county judge has been working his ass off,” he continued.
“I don’t know how to express the loss of the families that I’ve talked to,” he added.
“You have to do something, man,” Gutierrez said, all but begging the governor to take action, and saying his “own colleagues are calling me and telling me this is enough.”
“I’m sorry to interrupt your press conference… you have to do something” pic.twitter.com/OiRI1OQZWQ
— Acyn (@Acyn) May 27, 2022
Watch: Right Wing Host at NRA Convention Likens 18 Year Olds Buying Guns to 3rd Graders Deciding Gender
A host from a right-wing streaming service covering the NRA convention in Houston decided to compare conservatives’ growing active opposition to the rights and existence of transgender people, to the majority of Americans demanding expanded gun control legislation.
“We are being told by the left that a third-grader has the knowledge to determine if they were born a boy or they were born a girl, whether or not they want to stay that gender that they were born with,” said Brian Glenn, Right Side Broadcasting’s director of programming and correspondent.
“And if we feel like at a third grade you can make decisions on your gender, then I think by the time you’re 18 you should have enough maturity – assuming you’re not a complete psychopath – to buy a handgun and exercise your Second Amendment.”
Of course, that hypothetical third-grader is harming exactly no one and later can reverse that decision if they choose, which the vast majority do not.
That hypothetical 18-year old, or, in the case of this week’s horrific tragedy, an actual 18-year old, buying two AR-15 style assault weapons and hundreds of rounds of ammunition within three days of their 18th birthday, gunning down 21 people including 19 elementary school children, cannot reverse any of those decisions.
Right-wing broadcaster inside NRA convention says if young people are allowed to choose their gender, then 18 year-olds should be allowed by buy assault weapons. pic.twitter.com/Fog4lZBgHW
— Ron Filipkowski 🇺🇦 (@RonFilipkowski) May 27, 2022
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