Do overt religious displays bias you for or against a business?

Driving through North Carolina and Tennessee last weekend, I noticed a number of business that had overt religious references on their advertising (for example, Covenant Trucking, whose logo includes a scroll, and whose trucks all bear the legend on the back ‘It’s a child, not a choice’)

Do you take any notice of such things, and do they influence whether you patronize a business?

I find it obnoxious but I don’t know that I would avoid doing business with them just because of it, then again maybe it depends what kind of business it is.

Against - at least if there is a viable option. Our town has a local jeweler who takes ads out in the local rag around Easter and X-mas saying “Jesus is the reason for the season.” I figure if they don’t mind possibly offending potential customers, I’ll gladly take my business elsewhere.

I think it would depend on the type of display being used. A lot of the time I just don’t notice it but something that said “it’s a child, not a choice” would definitely send my custom elsewhere because it’s the complete opposite of what I believe.

Neither. I find those St Pancras with a coin stuck through their raised finger totally dumb, but won’t bring my business elsewhere because someone in an office has a stupid superstition.

If I found religious images offensive I wouldn’t be able to visit any of the Chinese restaurants in my home town, since all of them have at least one Buddha around. I want my ant climbs tree and my duck with pineapple, thank you!

Against. If they’re for real, I don’t want to support further ads like that. If they’re not for real, I think they’re trying to attract people who will be easier to take advantage of.

It depends, exactly. I don’t have a problem with “Jesus is the reason for the season”, necessarily, though I would probably try to go elsewhere. The whole abortion thing would entirely drive me away.

Yeah, I think this is an important difference. If it’s just something like Dinsdale’s example, I wouldn’t use it in my decision to go there or not (although if it’s an advert, I might be more likely to go if I don’t know anywhere else). I might be creeped out, depending on how forced the reference seems, but that doesn’t mean they don’t do a good job. If it involved a position that I think has an actual effect on me and others, OTOH, then i’d probably be biased either for or against depending on whether their position is the same as mine.

It depends. Religious displays are fine with me, in a private business. If it’s a religion different than mine, I also like to take the opportunity to ask questions about the display and learn more.

I’m not as interested personally when the religious displays get political, although I realize that is all a gray area, the child/choice slogan seems to fall into this category for me. At the same time, I like having the information just in case it informs my consumer choice. I am the kind of dorky person who really does follow the instructions to “mention where you saw this ad” at local businesses – I like to say “hey, I saw your ad in the program of the high school musical” to hopefully encourage the business owner to continue to support the high school musical, and so I will also say this if I see ads appear in my church bulletin for the same reason. Oddly enough, it’s not so much about my church, I would say the same thing if I saw an ad at another church or temple where I was a visitor, because I like the whole idea of local businesses being involved in the larger community.

Okay, that’s going pretty far from the OP, but I think my point was that if the business announced an affinity for a group or religious organization that I found fundamentally objectionable, it would probably influence me to take my business elsewhere. I can’t think of any instance where this has actually happened, but I suppose it could.

I try to avoid any business that makes any religious reference in their advertisements.

Against, but I wouldn’t necessarily avoid going there as long as it’s not done in too much of a preachy way.

I was on holiday in Wales recently and went into a cafe for breakfast. I noticed there were a few religious posters and gewgaws around and about - fine, not a problem - but my opinion of the place went up a factor of 10 when I went to the loo. Hanging on the inside of the door of the tiny, single-person broom cupboard of a toilet was a gaudy framed print of Jesus on the cross with the legend “The Lord is Everywhere!”

Just what you need to see when you’re sat on the throne :slight_smile: Whether it was meant to be humorous or not I don’t know, but I left with a smile on my face…

The Hobby Lobby closes all day on Sunday so their employees can worship. Aside from the fact that this is one of the dumbest business decisions I’ve ever seen, I don’t understand why they need to broadcast the reason for their stupidity. Unfortunately, they’re the only game in town, so I have to go to them periodically. Mostly I order stuff on line. The Baby Jayzuz doesn’t seem to have a problem with the internet working on Sunday.

“It’s not a child, it’s a choice” is to me less a religious sentiment than a political one. and since it’s on I agree with, I might patronize that business if it had anything to do with reproduction. For example, if I were to choose a gynocologist, I’d definitely choose one who didn’t perform abortions over one who did. As for a “Jesus Fish” in a yellow pages ad or a scroll logo on a semi trunk, it doesn’t impact me one way or the other. They aren’t forcing me to worship.


Against, unless it’s my religion, natch. And even then, it better be subtle unless you’re a religious shop.

I generally don’t mind this type of display, even though I may or may not agree with the store owner’s particular flavor of religion.

Coming from the other side of the coin, I despise some businesses lame attempts to make fun of or belittle religion. For example, there is a trucking firm called Guaranteed Overnight Delivery, and all of their trucks have GOD in big letters on the side. I would never ship anything with them.

I think there’s a difference here. Chinese culture has a tradition of displaying small shrines in businesses. It’s harmless and carries no overt message to the viewer. It helps that Buddhism is a non-proselytizing, non-“witnessing” religion.

The kind of displays that OP is talking about, especially referring to abortion, carry an explicit political message. And there is an increasing number of “Christian” businesses that seem to suggest something along the lines of: (1) We are Christian businesspeople, and better than non-Christians, so we are better to do business with or (2) We are Christian businesspeople, so we prefer Christian customers.

There was another trucking company, whose name I have forgotten, whose trucks all bore the legend “Start the week right: attend the church of your choice.” As a Jew I definitely felt that the use of the word “church” instead of, say, “temple” excluded me and my religion. Thats a deal-breaker for me.

Against. If someone has a yellow pages ad with a Jesus fish, I assume it’s there in a disingenuous, mercenary effort to drum up business by appealing to commonalities with customers. I am not that customer. They are appealing to a specific demographic that excludes me. They might as well lose as much business as they gain by it.

Exactly. It seems most of the replies to this thread are about overt displays of Christianity, but I would guess that the majority of religious icons in businesses in my city, at least, would be Buddhist.

Some of this is sounding like an anti-Christian bias to me. Devout Muslim and Jewish people will make their religion obvious in their dress and grooming. There may also be symbols, such as the scroll Jewish families display. And apparently Buddha is OK, because Buddhists are different from Christians… Some of the displays in Indian restaurants are probably Hindu. And most New Age spriritual businesses I’ve been in have been full of displays and saying consistent with those beliefs. If the thread is just about Christian, or proselytizing, religions, then make it a thread about that.

I agree that “child not a choice” is a political statement, not a religious one. But most of us probably aren’t familiar enough with other religions and cultures to know when Hinduism or Judaism crosses into political territory.

No, I don’t avoid a business because of their religion. I will avoid businesses, even secular ones, if I don’t like their politics. But IMHO the US is about freedom of religion, not freedom from religion. Of course, it is also about freedom of where you spend your dollar and if you really want to send that message, it’s your right to shop where you want.