Last week the internet was all abuzz when Chick-fil-A CEO Dan Cathy made public comments regarding his and the company’s stance on the marriage issue. Despite it has been a well-known fact the company is owned by devout Christians and runs its company on “biblical principles,” (and despite the fact he made the comments in the context of Christian media) Dan’s comments resulted in a nationwide flurry of responses on both sides of the issue. Some people spoke out and vowed never to eat there again. Some people did protests. Others came out to support the company. It still remains to be seen whether Dan’s comments will have any kind of effect (positive or negative).
I don’t want this blog post to be a debate about the specific issue at hand. There’s enough of that going on at Facebook. What I want to address and ask y’all is this: is it ever a good or wise decision for the owner or executive to share his/her personal and/or political beliefs, especially if they relate to such a provocative or polarizing topic as gay marriage? I have seen wedding photographers get sued for turning away same-sex couples requesting to have their weddings shot. I have seen other public companies come under fire when executives have been known to contribute to political campaigns. It is all worth it? Early in my business I turned down a music video for a rapper who had profane lyrics and content I found offensive. Was it unwise for me to turn down a paying gig just because of that?
There is no right or wrong answer of course. But it’s one worth exploring. What are your thoughts and experiences on the topic? Please share.
For another great article on the topic read “Should You Mix Religion and Business?”.