We're all familiar with certain high-profile companies that espouse religious beliefs.
Chick-fil-A famously expressed opposition to gay marriage on religious grounds, creating a storm of controversy and sending people flocking to restaurant locations to either protest outside or show their support inside.
Craft giant Hobby Lobby refused to pay for employees' birth control due to the owner's religious convictions regarding the sanctity of human life. That case went all the way to the Supreme Court, garnering significant attention along the way.
But the list of companies built on a foundation of faith is much longer than just those two. Here are some popular brands with religious connections you might not have known about:
The popular clothing company has become a household name by catering to women of all ages through affordable pricing and trendy fashion design.
As it turns out, Forever 21 has deep roots in Christianity although you have to look closely to see it. Astute shoppers will notice that each shopping bag from the outfitter has the phrase "John 3:16" printed on the underside.
The founder of Forever 21, Do Won Chang, explains that he felt empowered by his faith and by God to print the message on his company's shopping bags: "The love he gave us, by giving us his only son, Jesus, was so unbelievable to me. I hoped others would learn of God's love. So that's why I put it there."
Forever 21 fashion designers regularly go on Christian missions all around the world, trips that are enthusiastically supported by ownership.
Marriott has over 550 locations around the world, and anyone who has stayed in a Marriott hotel room might have caught on to their religious leanings. As long as you checked in the drawer of the bedside nightstand, that is.
In lieu of a Bible, each Marriott hotel room comes with a Book of Mormon in the nightstand. The impetus? Founder John Willard Marriott was a devout Mormon.
One other clue: you won't find any pay-per-view porn on the TVs in Marriott rooms, a reflection of how faith influences their business decisions.
Trijicon makes optical sighting equipment for firearms. They caught public attention back in 2010 after an ABC News investigation revealed that they place coded Bible verses on all their products.
Nothing screams "piety" like advanced weapon scopes.
Tacked on to the end of each serial number were shorthand versions of various Bible verses. For example, the popular ACOG scope was branded with the characters "JN8:12" -- a reference to John 8:12, which says: "When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'"
Things became problematic when it was revealed that Trijicon is a major supplier to the U.S. military. The company was subsequently forced to scrub the biblical serial numbers on all military products. However, the verses continues to appear on items they sell to regular consumers.
In N' Out
Perhaps the most surprising addition to this list is the well-known West Coast burger chain, In N' Out.
Some customers were shocked to learn that In N' Out has been printing Bible verses on their food packaging for years. You'd be forgiven for never noticing, however; the inscriptions are all in discreet places underneath cups, on the corners of burger pouches, etc:
The iconic "Double-Double" burger has the inscription "Nahum 1:7" on the seam of every wrapper, while fry baskets have "Proverbs 24:16". Other common Bible verses found on In N' Out items include John 14:6, Revelation 3:20, and Proverbs 3:5.
Lynsi Snyder, the 3rd generation president of the family business, is a devout Christian and likens the subtle references to reminders that people can "find peace through religion".
Sneaky Subliminal Messaging or Harmless Expression?
Religious messages, particularly inscriptions found on products themselves, have been the source of controversy over the years. While some argue that this is just a harmless expression of religious values, others feel that subliminal religious messages are an inappropriate and sly method of influencing unsuspecting customers.
What do you think? Does religion have a place in the corporate world?
Were you surprised to see any of these companies on this list?
If you make a product, you have an absolute right to print whatever you wish on it, so long as it is not obscene or top secret. The consumers then have the right to buy your product or not. I will not buy anything with a religious cross or crucifix on it. I will not join Knights Templar because of their use of the cross symbol, but it is their absolute right to use it and wear it. There is nothing else to this issue that is worth saying, although I am SURE there will be wailing and gnashing of teeth.
And how do you feel about Starbucks and their religion-neutral holiday cups, John?
JOHN BOOGER OWINS is BACK with HIS ORANGUtRUMP DOTAR BELIEFS DIRECT from the VILLAGE of IDIOTS
Kosher/religious tax any one? Look it up. There are factories here in the US and around the world that have a room where all kinds of stuff gets blessed for a price and the mark is placed upon the products that pay for such blessing. Then sold to the mostly unwitting consumer. Those who know know and that is what they buy. All others buy anyway. If the unwitting purchaser know about the Kosher tax that was built into the products they was buying? Who knows? Maybe all the company boys at concerned there is a world full of JOHN BOOGER OWINS type consumers out there so they have to hide it. Yet the company boys also concerned they may get it from the other side so they hide it and pay the Kosher tax and pass the tax onto that unwitting consumer.
It is what it is. A Kosher type tax cast your vote Mr. OWINS buy or boycott
Tax tax tax spend spend spend vote for me so we can do it again.
I don't know what to feel about that. I personally despise Starbucks and I have only been in a Starbucks once. My Chinese ex-wife and I were out on a pretty cold day in Shanghai and we ducked into a Starbucks for a double espresso to warm up. I just think it is a trendy, preppy, over-priced place for self-indulgent people who think spending too much at trendy places makes them feel and appear classy. Still, a cup is just a cup. I don't do Christmas, Easter, Halloween or any other pagan holidays, anyway, and I've never seen Passover, Matzoh, or Sukhot cups.
I got my book of Mormonfrom my room at the Courtyard Marriott in Corpus Christi, Texas in2012. I've never read it but thought it would be good to have for reference in case I ever find myself ministering to Mormons. And it's not as bad as swiping towels,so there! I try to keep things in context. This month I read an article in Inc. Magazine about molecular biologists making meat without animals.and charging a lot less for it. I don't care who they are or what they believe in. If it costs less, tastes good, and is nutritious I'll eat it all the time.And I have a Cuisinart coffee maker. That's preppy enough for me (and I bought it at Goodwill). Kroger brand coffee tastes just as good as Starbucks, especially with a half shot of amaretto or Irish cream liqueur. And I'm too cheap to buy Bailey's, so it's Mc Cormick's all the way! And that tastes just as good too.
My stepfather goes to Starbuck's. I think that's where his atheist group meets. Talk about Bridgette Loves Bernie. My mother is Roman Catholic, and Stepdad's relatives are all Disciples Of Christ. No wonder I'm Pagan!
I really like Café Bustelo, or Rico Rico, but I'm not too fussy as long as it is not weak.
Freedom (of) religion often includes freedom (from) religion.
I agree , dont whine either way , its supposed to be about choice and Freedom here in the U.S. Either buy , or go on down the street to another place....quietly. I am Christian and find it refreshing in our troubled world , but respect others to not patron those places if they wish....but when you fiss about it , raise cain and badmouth......then we have an issue.
Religiosity in America has descended to a type of despotism that aims to keep all locked in their dogma. The truth is that few know who that one called Jesus really is or fully understand what he did and why. They say he is god and came to wipe our sins. But each must eventually realize the truth or be stuck for a long time at what the church pushes for religion. Religious pushing companies are just one tentacle of this octopus. If I know they do that, I do not use or buy their products. If you love religion, fine, go to a church.
Pablo, estoy de acuerdo que few know who Jesus really is. Very few. To them it is like speaking heresy or treason to try to explain it to them. Also, I have always thought that God, and most of the things concerning God, have no business on bumper stickers or decorations. If people wanted to be obedient, they could put the Torah on their homes' doorposts as the scripture says, but just endlessly, mindlessly quoting or writing John 3:16 without any context to me seems to trivialize their false Jesus even more. Automobiles and coffee cups don't worship or praise God. I don't think it would make me more "religious" to drink from a cup with a bible verse on it. That is just marketing, targeting a certain demographic. Neither would it contaminate me to drink from a cup with blasphemy on it, although I would not knowingly use a cup like that, just out of principle.
Having said that, I DO wish people would actually learn the scriptures, since they like to talk about them so much.
Are you sure that "pushing" Bible verses is the same as pushing a specific religion? They aren't providing links to their church's website or soliciting for any particular denomination.
When restaurants give you fortune cookies with lucky numbers, they aren't trying to sneakily get you into the i-ching or eastern scrying. It's the motive that matters more than the actual content.
Having said that, if I know the company or what it promotes has particular beliefs that go against me personally (religious or not) then I won't go there. I also avoid traveling to countries that would persecute me for any particular aspect of my life - those who go out of their way to hate me or people like me don't get my money.
I kind of like the idea. Might get someone to look at a book they have never considered.
Be it a church, non-profit junk store that plays religious stations on the speakers. Some I have spoke with consider sporting emblems, the country flag all icon / belief system. Shall we have an issue displaying said these? These forms of advertising / expressions of various scriptures / beliefs are NO PROBLEM in my book.
Capitalism is a great thing. If you don't like the company or its products, you have control over your ability to not buy from them. Majority rules in the end. Except when emotions rule. Then it's money rule. Reasonable people will remain reasonable and irratational people tend to stay irratational. Newtons laws and all.
Agree 100% James - if I don't agree with a business' religious stand (i.e. Chic Fil A and Hobby Lobby,) I don't do business with them, I figure they don't need my money and besides there are plenty of business' that do not promote their religious beliefs in the boardroom or on their doors or windows.
I'm with you. And I don't want profits earned from my purchases donated to causes with which I disagree.
I feel the same. I don't want ONE penny of my money supporting abortion or the Muslim Brotherhood or the building of Mosques or veganism, or gender-bending.
I agree, we also have the right to seek out those companies that share our beliefs. Free enterprise is a wonderful thing.
I do not BELIEVE that PERSONS are NOT AWARE of their PERSONAL POWER, BOYCOTT, DON'T BUY, if YOU DON'T LIKE it LEAVE it, W T F !!!
I don't care how you decorate your packaging (as long as it's within the bounds of decency), but I will not frequent an establishment that forces their religious beliefs on their employees. I don't buy from Chic-Fil-A because they require their franchisees to participate in Christian groups, or Hobby lobby because they limit insurance coverage based on their Christian beliefs. There are others, but you get the idea. I respect their right to run their businesses the way they see fit (within legal limits), but I also have the right to take my business elsewhere. Grandy's is a Christian run business, but they don't impose religious limits on their employees. Starbucks chooses to have neutral cups. A local Jewish deli doesn't celebrate Christmas at all, and has people on staff who are not Jewish. I frequent all of these businesses. Why? I like the product, and they treat their employees well without regard to their religious beliefs. You can enforce piety, but not faith, and I don't believe the Christian God will let you into heaven on piety alone.
Guairdean, I have to disagree with you a little bit. I don't think these businesses force their religious beliefs on their employees. They can certainly make employment conditional on a set of criteria the way Chic-Fil-A does. The employee is not forced. He/she has the right to go work somewhere else. Nearly all employers have some conditions for employment, even something as simple as wearing a suit everyday. If you don't want to wear a suit, don't work there.
As consumers we have the choice to ignore a company's beliefs and buy their product if we like it. I don't patronize Charbucks because 1) their coffee always tastes burnt -- hence the name "Charbucks", 2) their stuff is WAY over priced, 3) I refuse to order coffee as venti or grande -- it's small, medium and large, and changing the name of the sizes doesn't make it taste any better, and 4) they do not support the 2nd Amendment, and I have a problem with that. Now, if you like burnt, overpriced, foo foo shi shi named coffee and hate guns, you can go to Charbucks. That's what's great about America... something for everybody.
Providing evidence for claims is helpful—where have you ever seen that Starbucks doesn't support the 2nd Amendment? (Note: support for gun control does not equate to a lack of support for the 2nd Amendment.)
They made a very public statement that they do not want concealed carry in their stores. That, to me and many others, equates to not supporting 2A. If it is my right to carry, and I am licensed to carry, but they don't want me to carry in their stores, they won't be getting any of my money.
The Right to Bear Arms, drafted 1791, The purpose of the Second Amendment was to prevent the new Federal Government established in 1789 from disarming the state militias and replacing them with a Federal standing army. It was a concern that was relevant perhaps for a few years around the birth of the country. It is irrelevant today. Americans do not rely on state militias in 2017 for our freedom from the federal government.
Over 200 years ago when America became a nation, fighting “other nations” that didn’t agree with our democratic ideals and wanted more land to expand their power was a reason to carry a gun.
America, land of the free, land of racism, land of hatred, land stolen from the real Anericans, the Native Americans, by use of guns and laws created to prevent anyone standing against the white man. Yes, I am white, yes I served in the military and yes I love our country and all religions. I just want the love and peace.
They won't be getting any of mine, either Jim.
Mike, hatred is no greater in the US than anywhere else. In fact, we ARE one of the most tolerant and diverse nations on Earth, regardless of the stereotypes and hype.
The "Native Americans" are no more native than the white ones-- they just immigrated a few millennia earlier. I feel no guilt for our founding fathers having taken this land.
I used to cry about the Early Americans, but then I realized--Through our surplus and magnanimity, our warriors' sacrifice on foreign battlefields and distant waters, all nations on Earth have been blessed. WE WERE the DECIDING factor in WW2. If not for our tremendous contribution in armaments and lives, everyone on the planet would be speaking Japanese or German, and there would probably be no black or brown people, as they would all have been slaughtered when the Third Reich and Hirohito came to power, or made slaves. I think that's why the Union won the War Between the States-- so the United States would be able to defeat Japan and Germany, but that's just speculation, even though the Axis would likely have won if the US had not been united.
That amendment still says, "the right of the People to keep and bear arms..." It doesn't say the right of Militia or National Guard or Police or anyone or anything else shall not be infringed, but the "right of the people shall not..."
I love peace. I am small, 60, peace-loving. I hate drama and abhor violence. My motto is, "Don't start any trouble, and there won't be any trouble." Like the Dalai Lama, like Kwai Chang Cain, only I'm not a kung-fu practitioner.
Thank you for your service
Mike, After I read your post, it really kind of ticked me off. Being smart enough not to jump right on my keyboard, I read it over a couple of times and realized that this is your opinion, and you are entitled to it. I don't have to agree with it, at least in its sentiment. Are we a perfect nation? Oh, hell no. Can you show me another nation that is perfect? Same answer. Is there a nation that is closer to perfection than ours? I don't think so. Often time the French like to think they are superior and more advanced socially than we are. But if you examine France's history, it's participation in the inquisition, it's collaboration with Nazi Germany, the Napoleonic wars..., You see they are no position to cast judgement on any other nation. They all have their flaws.
Mike, if you love this country but hate certain things about it, do something to change. I mean really DO something, not just post stuff to forums like this. Racism and hatred exists in the minds and hearts of individuals, not nations. We should all do our best to fix that problem.
The Kennewick man was DNA tested, turns out he was Caucasian, not Asiatic. Also, the Paiute Indians have in their oral history the account of Red-Haired giants who were in America before the indians. (Whom the Indians subsequently genocided). American Indians were NOT here first.
I don't know if anyone has tried entering a Federal Building or a Veterans Administration Building or Medical Facility lately but they (to my knowledge) ALL prohibit guns on their properties. In fact the recent appointment notice I received from my VA Medical Center has: * * * Reminder: 18 U.S.C. 930 prohibits the possession of weapons on Federal property ***
You are correct, Thomas. One cannot take their firearm, pocket-knife, or multi-tool into a federal facility. If you make deliveries to a secure facility, you cannot have a cigarette lighter or even a .22 bullet in your vehicle. On those rare occasions I have to go someplace where there are metal detectors, I carry a very sturdy metal ball-point pen and my belt and hope nothing bad goes down. If there is no metal detector I just pretend I am unarmed.
The ability to react quickly and decisively to danger is usually a greater determining factor than the type of weapon one is holding.
I agree. Since I learned of Chic-Fil-A" policies I have never been back. I will not purchase from any company who spouts so called "Christian" beliefs through discrimination. I worked in a Dr.'s office where people stopped coming when they found out I was not one of them so it works both ways.
I am with you on Chic-Fil-A and I also will not shop at Hobby Lobby. Don't like In & Out but now will never purchase from them.
If a company wants to put a small symbol of their faith on their bags or cups, let them. It's harmless. Just as long as they don't give me a sermon when I go to buy/order something, I'm fine with it. After all, they're not forcing me to change my beliefs by putting these small messages on their bags or cups.
Nice comments, Alicia
I agree. They can put a scripture reference on the bottom of a cup or bag or wherever they want to subtly print it. It doesn't mean I'm going to take time out of my day to find a bible and look up the verse to try to figure out what subliminal message or inspiration the company is trying to convey. If they really wanted to push Christianity, they wouldn't be so coy about it. By the same token, I'm not going to be so petty as to boycott a business because they print John 3:16 or whatever on their bag or soda cup. It's not like they're actively trying to recruit me to join their religion.
An atheist friend of mine works at Altar'd State, which is very openly Christian. She is comfortable in the work environment and said there is no pressure to join the morning prayer sessions, etc. Being Christian isn't a requirement to work there, and let's face it, no matter what the religion of the owners and stockholders, at the end of the day all businesses exist to make a profit.
Today, we can express our views and sentiments without fear of reprisal from the State. Be ever so thankful for this. Continue your expressions and opinions yet let's be decent and clean. Remember, your and my children are watching and they will emulate us. Be the change you want to see. I am Nichiren Buddhist. Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.
Nice comments, James. Balanced.
I have NO problem with a business enterprise expressing their spiritual views, as long as they do not limit my rights through their expression. i.e. limiting my health care options, etc. I DO have a problem with a business enterprise that imposes their views and values of "the state", i.e. the National Football League telling me I must stand for the national anthem when this is NOT the land of the free and the home of the brave. This is, more and more, becoming once again...."the home of the slave."
Yes, but they do ask nicely. The announcer always says, "Please rise for the National Anthem." As a ticket-paying fan it's your choice to stand or not. If you have a problem with the NFL, stop watching games, stop buy their merchandise, cancel your NFL package on you satellite TV. Many people have, and they have felt the impact.
I agree. I exercise my right to not shop at places that force their beliefs on employees (particularly women). I do not go to Hobby Lobby or Chic Fil A.
If a business put pagan symbols on their products, what would be the response of the Xtian community? Especially if it was made surreptitiously or inconspicuously? Just wondering...
I have no problems with this proselytizing on their products but like other commenters here but i can choose to not support these businesses with my dollars.
It would be like that whole backward masking thing again. Except that backward masking was made up by a bunch of fundies trying REALLY hard to find Satan. So maybe they'd beat this dead horse even harder.
Just like with this issue there would be some who want to openly protest, mainly for the attention. But most Christians would simply not go to that business.
Their companies.. my choices.
Succinct and to the point. Well done.
It's true that the founder of the Marriott Hotel chain was Mormon, as the family is today, and it's also true that you will indeed find a Book of Mormon in their hotel rooms (and in all of their brands). But right along with the Book of Mormon, you will always find the Bible as well. Over the years I have stayed at hundreds of Marriott chains and found this consistently true.
Companies should have the same first amendment rights afforded to all citizens, and I have the right to shop where I want. I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend your right to say it.
I think that these messages and the public stands of certain companies are not intended to "lure" anyone to beliefs they don't want. Those things do, however, remind us lukewarm Christians of what we should be remembering and standing for. Maybe that was the reason for this controversy all along. I do believe that God works in mysterious ways!
IF they employee discriminatory practices based on their beliefs, then they need to be legally brought to task. Otherwise, they have every right to express their religion on their products. And if I disagree with those opinions (or causes they support) I have every right and duty to boycott them.
I don't care what these companies print on their refuse. I also could care less about their religiosity. What I do care about is the "fruits" of their beliefs, and what they actually do to aleviate the suffering of the poor and diadvantaged of the world.
I would like all religiously oriented companies and company owners to clearly mark their products in a way that reflects their beliefs. That way I spend my money elsewhere. Hobby Lobby and Eden Foods should be added to this list, although perhaps their religiosity is too obvious.
I admire employers who are not afraid to express their Christian belief as long as they practice what they. I visited an In-N-Out and was impressed with the polite service by the young employees and they seemed happy. This was a couple of years ago and they had a help wanted sign on the door 12.00 dollars per hour. I'm happy to see the owners share their Christian faith. Wish we had this chain in my area. Food is good too.
It's their product and they can market it any way they choose. But I wonder how many of these companies are discriminating against women, limiting their access to healthcare, wage discrimination, and discrimination against the LGBT... community?
Thanks for publishing a list of religious businesses. That makes it easier for me not to go there or buy their products. Christians aren't happy unless they can somehow impose their beliefs on others. By the way, In-and-Out burgers are not very good, despite all the hype.
Your opinion, you are entitled to it. Personally, being from so.cal (where in&out was founded) I have eaten in many of their restaurants in and out of the state, and in central and nor.cal, personally only the la county and south seem to have any really good flavor. ducatijay
There is a difference between "denying or acknowledging" and "proselytizing". It's not a fine line. Cultural norms and laws are to be obeyed according to Jesus. Daniel and his three friends drew the line and bowing down to a golden statue of the king, as if the king were a god. Many socially acceptable practices that believers find against their religion, means that the believer should not participate. That said, if the believer is licensed for business, then the business is subject to the laws of the government. Advocating/proselytizing may or may not increase business. I go to a "Jewish" deli for Kosher, quality products. I don't specifically do business with organizations claim a religious affiliation because the quality of their work should speak for itself, not necessarily the Lord shilling for the company. Sadly, I have found that many companies with a religious profession, fall short of the values of the religion. Politics and religion can be very tricky for a business. Just ask the NFL.
I disagree that Christians are more prone to impose their beliefs on others than non-Christians. They DO feel obligated by the Great Commission to advertise and demonstrate their beliefs and not hide them. They are also commanded not to participate in certain activities. They are NOT commanded to force others to live according to their beliefs, and I do not think since the Puritans first came here that it has often been tried, except while raising their own children. It is in no way oppressive for a business to have a dress code, nor to be closed on certain days. It WOULD be oppressive if they demand employees go the boss' chosen church. "Special" people can only be accommodated up to a certain point. After that it becomes a financial burden and a disruption of work and then they cannot beyond that point.
People who believe in certain things want to force Christians to participate in them, either monetarily or socially, and that is just as unfair as a Christian trying to force someone else to keep Christian customs.
I have no problem with the placing of religious tracks on merchandise, but I probably would not buy something which had something negative to beliefs or the principle of "let others be." But one has to be mindful that when placing your "message" on a product, what you find as acceptable others might find as offensive. Best not to tug the tail of the tiger.
Freedom of Religion
A company’s rights to invoke Freedom of Religion have come into question.
This is how I see it. Simple as the new commandment the Jesus gave us “Love one another.”
When a company does something like a verse on a wrapper that is not aggressive. But when they refused to serve out of bigotry and use religion as the reason that is evil.
God does not want us to judge one another, we are not God.
Remember cast the first stone.
When anyone uses religion to hurt ? another and not for good it is evil.
Church of Love ❤️ and Light ⭐️ Minister Charles and Jennifer invite you to like them on Facebook https://m.facebook.com/Church-of-Love-and-Light-1716171341958311/?ref=bookmarks
I just wish people would practice their beliefs instead of wear or pushing their personal ideas..It just divide us.
Well when they push I don't purchase..I find it very disrepectful in anyway pushing a religious veiw point.
Rev. Calville Dunnon I praise God for their testimony
The USDA and Halal groups do the same thing. I imagine whomever is certifying stuff to be all natural or organic are doing it, too. It's a big game to those involved, but city dwellers can't grow their own food, and there are few jobs away from the city, so we have to depend on someone to check our food, regardless of their incompetence.