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The viewpoint diversity survey sent to 100 top companies

The Alliance Defending Freedom is the premiere religious freedom advocacy organization in the courtroom, but now it's mission is coming to the boardroom.

ADF has prevailed in many landmark victories in the court system, but came to realize that the clash of cultures that has been occurring in law has intruded into publicly traded corporations. The eye-opener for ADF was being cancelled from Amazon’s “Smile” charitable donation system. ADF as well as Family Research Council) were labeled “hate groups” by the Southern Policy Law Center, and consequently Amazon stopped following customer directives to divert a portion of their purchases to ADF. The program might be called Smile, but it clearly frowns on viewpoint diversity of thought, as well as on the consciences of its own customers. Amazon coercively replaced the values of its customers with those of the SPLPC.

Amazon has continued this policy despite pressure from Congress and press coverage in The Washington Post and The Atlantic, which undermine the SPLPC’s credibility. The SPLC has been used by activist donors to issue unfounded accusations of ‘hate’ and has suffered a series of financial, sexual, and racial scandals serious enough to trigger major upsets in leadership.

At Amazon’s most recent shareholders’ meeting there were a number of items relevant to viewpoint diversity, including one calling for Amazon to reveal its charitable donations. Such proxies have come from conservatives who want to know if the company is donating to Planned Parenthood. The Black Lives Matter Foundation has also been a matter of concern. Given their broken relationship with Amazon, conservatives do not intended to go on trust when it comes to the use of shareholder resources in supporting various causes.

Companies in general, and the tech sector in particular, have taken sides in a culture war. This is why ADF created an objective corporate evaluation tool for corporations, The Viewpoint Diversity Score. The score is calculated from 42 direct questions, which encompass “market, workplace, and public square,” which measure how well companies deal with variant religious and political values in how they deal with other businesses and customers, their employees, and in the outside world. They're currently sending surveys to 100 of the top companies in America.

Amazon’s score is terrible at 6%, and its Public Square Score is 0%. Shareholders have good reason to want answers, and not just from Amazon.

In addition to currently sending its survey to 100 of the top companies, ADF sent a similar survey earlier this year, but most of the companies simply refused to answer. This is an opportunity for Christians who care about religious liberty in the workplace to help reform the corporate sector, rather than gripe about it irrelevantly from a distance. If Christians look at their IRAs and 401(k)s, note the companies they are invested in, and contact those companies from their position of authority as owners, it will be very difficult for these companies to ignore us.

The process is simple:

  1. List the companies you own shares in, with an emphasis on ones which are well-known.
  2. Go to the company website, search for the section “Investor Relations”. Sometimes the name is slightly different.
  3. That investor relations page will have an email address to contact, or a section in which to make comments or a phone number.
  4. Use whichever tool you prefer to ask the company whether they have received the Alliance Defending Freedom’s View Point Diversity survey and what they intend to do with it.

It’s that simple. Don’t be shy about this. You’re an owner, and they owe you an answer.  

Jerry Bowyer is financial economist, president of Bowyer Research, and author of “The Maker Versus the Takers: What Jesus Really Said About Social Justice and Economics.”

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