With 70 percent of "faith consumers" eager to shop at Christian friendly stores, a new pre-Christmas campaign has opened to steer them to the right businesses and encourage others firms through a "buycott" to be more welcoming.
Called #AddUsIn, the effort from the influential group Faith Driven Consumer, is taking a page from the nation's LGBT lobby, the Human Rights Campaign, to reward, not boycott, firms that welcome Christians through their policies.
Organizers told Secrets that it wants companies that herald their "rainbow of diversity," typically focused on minorities, to also include Christians and their values. For example, if a company hosts a gay pride day, then they should also allow Bible studies.
Most companies are behind on the issue, but Hollywood has already embraced the 41-million Christian market with a wave of family and religious friendly movies like the upcoming "Risen" and "Ben Hur."
To help consumers, Faith Driven Consumer this week unveiled its first "Faith Equality Index" ranking some 300 companies from 1-100, or poor to excellent.
None had high grades.
1 - Chick-fil-A: 63
2 - Hobby Lobby: 62
3 - Interstate Batteries: 61
4 - Tyson Foods: 60
5 - Cracker Barrel: 53
6 - Walmart: 51
7 - Thrivent Financial: 50
The index reviews company policies but it also shows the rankings by other groups such as the Human Rights Campaign.
"In a marketplace that celebrates diversity, the Faith Equality Index focuses major brands on the newest color in their rainbow, Faith Driven Consumers. Like every community, Faith Driven Consumers expect to be welcomed by the companies they do business with and work for. FEI affords the marketplace a transparent tool to measure where brands stand," said Chris Stone, founder of Faith Driven Global.
"We congratulate the inaugural leaders and look forward to working with them, and the other rated brands, in the coming months—helping them all progressively improve their scores. We recognize that many brands still have a long way to go in welcoming, embracing, and celebrating Faith Driven Consumers at parity with their other diversity communities, and are diligently working with all brands as they seek to understand and embrace this key constituency."
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.