The Point: Corporate Virtue-Signaling

Activism sells. For the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, I’m John Stonestreet with the Point.

During the taxi strike in New York City over President Trump’s immigration order, Uber drew criticism for keeping its cars running. Competitor Lyft saw an opportunity and pounced. Their CEO donated a million dollars to the ACLU, and was rewarded with a surge of new customers.

Writing in The Guardian, Alex Holder highlights other companies who use social and political activism to raise their bottom line, like Starbucks, Airbnb, and Unilever.

“Companies are now attempting to outdo each other with major acts of generosity,” he writes. “But there’s a catch; they’ll do good as long as … their customers know about it.”

“Our activism is mediated by brands,” said one advertising expert. “Brands are allowing people to pat themselves on the back without … personally having to sacrifice anything.”

I seem to remember Someone saying something about not doing good deeds to be seen by men. Well, whatever these companies’ politics, it’s clear their reward is here on earth. Christians should skip the virtue-signaling and look for our reward elsewhere.


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