Commentary

Left’s Easy Retail Targets Should Focus on Business, Not Cave to Activist Agendas

By Dan Celia | May 18, 2016 | 3:19pm EDT
Target shopping carts. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

“Mind your own business.” In life in general, it's pretty sound advice.

But these words of wisdom apply to corporate finances, too. Recently, corporations have been caving to activist agendas, even when it’s bad for business and alienates customers.

The most recent example, as many now know, is Target, where the announcement of a controversial bathroom policy motivated more than 1.2 million Americans to sign a boycott.

Companies should stick to the business at hand, especially when the retail industry needs all the sales boosts it can get.

How hard is it to say: “I’m sorry, we are in the business of {fill in the blank}. It is not a matter of whether we agree or disagree with your agenda. It is a matter of staying focused on our business at hand.” Instead, far too many cave to demands. Standing up to agenda advocates is clearly a difficult challenge for CEOs, presidents and marketing representatives. Sad.

Left-wing advocates seem to love retailers and consider them easy targets—pun intended.

Target execs made this decision at a time when they could least afford it—retailers in this country have been suffering for the last six years, and Target took an approach to appease a small minority rather than the wider customer base. But the Target situation is not an isolated one. Companies from all sectors have made financial and marketing decisions that alienate some of their customers and their stockholders.

Instead of this approach, individuals and companies should focus on the importance of biblically responsible investing.

As we think about being biblically responsible with our money—which comes from God in the first place—and when we think about doing what is right, we must consider all aspects, from buying items in the checkout line to purchasing stock to owning mutual funds. As Christians, we must carefully and prayerfully consider how we are handling God’s money. In these uncertain times, we must get it right in every possible way and, in particular, be biblically responsible in everything—especially our finances. It will take us being “sold out” against the things that dishonor God, and that includes investment in companies that dishonor biblical principles.

Dan Celia is President and CEO of Financial Issues Stewardship Ministries, Inc., and host of the national syndicated radio talk program “Financial Issues,” heard daily on more than 200 stations across the country. To learn more, visit www.financialissues.org.

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