May 31, 2012

Jesus Yogurt

I feel like there's a lot I'm going to have to answer for and a lot of things that could be taken the wrong way only because I lack sufficient skills to properly explain myself. But here goes...

In my recent travels I ran across Jesus yogurt. Specifically, a frozen yogurt store called Sweet Frog. It sounds innocent and straightforward enough but if you enter the store you're immediately informed that you've entered a business with a mission. For, frog is actually an acronym for fully rely on God. I don't know why but it surprised me. I respect the company for putting it's faith out in the open but another part of me thinks it's unusual. Not unusual in a bad way but really just not usual. Because you rarely see business and religious philosophy tied together in so public a manner.

I'm not Christian or religious in any way. But I certainly don't judge those who are. Beliefs, however, impact how I spend my money. I don't go to Chik-Fil-A not because of its strong Christian leadership and ties. I don't go because aside from waffle fries and fresh lemonade there's nothing for me - a vegetarian - to eat. But I won't order from Dominos because the company president's extreme religious views. Frankly, I don't my money paying for his vision of the world. I won't buy any of Orson Scott Card's books because, despite the fact that he's a great writer who wrote one of my favorite books ever - Ender's Game - he's a homophobic religious nut.

In short, I think its unfair to hold religion against an individual or business but I'm okay not doing business with institutions that do harm in the name of religion.

Do the beliefs of businesses influence whether or not you buy from them?

Update: It was early when I posted this and somehow in my caffeine-deprived haze I managed to close comments. They're open now. Tell me what you think.

Posted by Chris at May 31, 2012 6:47 AM

totally agree with you! though i have to admit, i can't stop shopping at anthro no matter how crazy right-wing their head guy is :/ damn anthro!!!

i bet religious businesses are more common in places like utah and the bible belt, but i'm just speculating. i think coffee shops have a higher percentage of outright religious themes than any other businesses. but again, i'm just speculating based on personal observations.

Posted by: kati at May 31, 2012 6:37 PM

I'm going to show my ignorance here..I had NO IDEA that's what the frog in Sweet Frog stood for. Maybe the ones here in the Richmond area are less Jesus signs and such. I just hated them on the basis of grossly overcharging for frozen yogurt with no service. (However, they do have a bacon maple flavor that I would like to bathe in).

As far as your general, I don't have an issue with religion-based business as long as politics and discrimination are not in their manifesto. I work for a small company owned by very outspoken Christian people, but they are the ideal in that they are kind, open, and non-judgemental.

Posted by: Ickaboo at May 31, 2012 7:20 PM

Religion is one thing, but ACTUALLY HARMING people is another. It's why I avoid Amazon and look to where my items are coming from. I try to buy second hand, etc. Child labor laws in foreign countries are more frightening to me than homophobia, sorry. Homophobia is what it is--stupidity. But crippling and killing small kids?....

Posted by: alektra at June 1, 2012 7:54 AM

Chris saw this on my Facebook wall earlier this week. I was in a Sweet Frog earlier this week and they were playing praise music. I can block out the posters and bible verses on the cup. I can't block out the praise music, and not because of the content of the songs. They could be singing about beer and I would want to run screaming.

I also convinced they lace their frozen yogurt with crack. Which seems like a rather unchristian thing to do.

Posted by: COD at June 1, 2012 8:53 AM

Thanks for the info about Domino's -- not that I was going to buy that tasteless crap anyway. (FYI, the head of Chik-Fil-A has done some pretty disturbing homophobic shit, too.) There's nothing wrong with religion, even if business owners want to shove it down their customers' throats; their company, their prerogative. It's not a problem as long as I have the choice to shop elsewhere. But those kind of companies typically throw money behind some messed-up conservative political candidates/causes. If I'm giving them my money, I am -- in a way -- helping them do that.

Posted by: Fraulein N at June 1, 2012 9:49 PM

Will not shop at Wal*Mart now or ever again. Left the company in 1996 and due to the way I was treated, and the way they treat their employees and the rest of the country, not one red cent will be spent in that sin bin.

Posted by: JJ at June 5, 2012 1:23 AM