Chick-fil-A, Hobby Lobby deemed 'faith-friendly'

NASHVILLE (BP) -- A Christian watchdog group has launched a ranking system to identify the companies most and least friendly to consumers motivated by religious faith.

Faith Driven Consumer's Faith Equality Index (FEI), published Nov. 2, evaluated more than 300 major brands "to see which are the most likely to cultivate Bible-minded buyers," according to The Blaze.

Faith Driven Consumer founder Chris Stone told The Blaze that Christians and other people of faith "want America's brands to include them at parity with their other prioritized communities." The Human Rights Campaign, he said, has successfully pressured companies to adopt so-called "gay friendly" policies and practices. "We simply ask corporate America to extend their equality proof of performance to faith-driven consumers."

The FEI "provides a transparent baseline for both brands and consumers to measure the relative degree which brands choose to engage faith-driven consumers," Stone said.

According to the Faith Driven Consumer website, the FEI uses a 100-point scale to evaluate companies based on criteria including "actions that demonstrate a company-wide public commitment to the Faith Driven Consumer community," "actions that demonstrate ... compatibility with biblically orthodox teachings" and "actions that create a safe harbor of inclusive religious freedom."

The ranking scheme accounts for whether companies use the word "Christmas" in holiday advertising, support pro-life views on a range of issues and have workplace nondiscrimination policies to protect faith-driven employees and consumers, The Daily Signal reported.

The seven most "faith-friendly companies" according to the FEI are:

-- Chick-fil-A (63)

-- Hobby Lobby (62)

-- Interstate Batteries (61)

-- Tyson Foods (60)

-- Cracker Barrel (53)

-- Walmart (51)

-- Thrivent Financial (50)

Stone said the FEI leaders' rankings are not higher because "they have not prioritized faith-driven consumers" even though they "have a culture that is naturally compatible with faith-driven consumers."

The 10 lowest-rated companies are:

-- Unilever (11)

-- Bank of America (11)

-- DirecTV (14)

-- Expedia (15)

-- Nationwide (16)

-- Pfizer (16)

-- Microsoft (17)

-- AT&T (17)

-- Apple (19)

-- T-Mobile (19)

Faith Driven Consumer claims in a press release to represent 41 million consumers who spend $2 trillion annually.

To see FEI ratings for additional companies, visit http://www.faithdrivenconsumer.com/faith_equality_index_company_reviews.

David Roach is chief national correspondent for Baptist Press, the Southern Baptist Convention's news service. BP reports on missions, ministry and witness advanced through the Cooperative Program and on news related to Southern Baptists' concerns nationally and globally.
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