Saturday, October 28, 2017
Corporate morality. . .
I am leery (well, really I am Larry) of corporations deciding what is moral and what is not. The marketplace is a great thing but it is a remarkably unreliable when it comes to deciding what is right and what is wrong. Corporate America is a great follower but not a great leader when it comes to acting with a conscience. This should come as little surprise. The business of business is business, or, more accurately, making money. A moral stance which might require them to choose between making and losing money is one you seldom see. Oh, sure, some corporations may take stands that reduce their profits but they cannot afford to exchange profits for morality. It is not their business. We should not expect them to be moral leaders. No institutions are effective or reliable moral leaders. Consciences were placed by God into people and not into business structures.
It is actually quite fearful to think that the moral conscience of America has taken up residence in businesses -- not in churches or even schools but in businesses?!? Businesses are followers and not moral leaders. They adapt to the changing tastes and desires of Americans but they are seldom more than followers when it comes to judging those tastes and desires. It is foolish to think otherwise. Morality lives in people and not in inanimate structures or processes.
So count me as suspicious of a cause when business gets around to deciding to take a stand on something. It is not that I think little of those who are in it for profit. It is that too often that that which is right is a roadblock to that which makes money. Individuals have a hard enough time trying to listen to truth over the roar of the crowd. So while it may seem courageous for CEOs and their Boards of Directors to take a stand, it is really rather easy. We need to listen less to those who have decided that their idea of morality will not cost them anything and we need to struggle more with the choices before us and listen more to the voice of God's Word. When this happens we will find that what is moral is seldom popular and the cause of truth is costly both to the pocketbook and to pride.