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Billions Shaved Off of Gillette’s Profits

Proctor & Gamble’s Gillette brand of shavers for men began featuring commercials bashing men for their “toxic masculinity” as a new marketing angle in an attempt to appeal to millennials.

Even though Gillette CEO Gary Coombe acknowledged that the campaign backfired, the company then quickly jumped on the LGBT bandwagon by showcasing a “transgender boy” (a biological girl) being taught how to shave by her dad in a Father’s Day ad.

This prompted conservative groups like One Million Moms to reach out to their conservative base to boycott the company. Many attribute the boycott for the $8 billion non-cash write-down Gillette reported in the second quarter report of its parent company, Proctor & Gamble. The company’s liberal stance on the issues of marriage, life, education, and religious liberty is reflected in its score from 2ndVote of 1.7, on a scale of 1-5, with 1 being the most liberal.

Instead of admitting that its political ideology might have been largely to blame for the asset devaluation, CFO Jon Moeller is blaming a cultural trend toward facial hair as the culprit: “Lower shaving frequency has reduced the size of the developed blades and razors market.”

While Gillette may still be shrugging off the loss and claiming that boycotts really don’t work, former Walmart CEO Bill Simon says it does not take much to affect a company’s bottom line. “It doesn’t take a lot of people to stop buying product or to stop going to a retailer or a restaurant . . . for [companies] to notice, because a couple of percentage points is win or lose for a company,” he says.

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Sanders, Tlaib, and the Minimum Wage

U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, a socialist, says the minimum wage needs to be raised from $7.25 to $15 (though he’s unwilling to allow his employees to increase their gross income as a result!) and then U.S. Representative Rashida Tlaib wants to raise him $5 to $20. What are we to make of this?

The fundamental question being raised by the Democratic Party is whether our governmental system that allows for free enterprise or capitalism has run its course and new structures are needed for American society.

The Pope Joins the Democrat’s Conversation

Even Pope Francis has raised this question (and I’m sure some protestants have as well, perhaps Ron Sider and Jim Wallis). In 2013, in Evangelii Gaudium, the pope wrote,

Some people continue to defend trickle-down theories which assume that economic growth, encouraged by a free market, will inevitably succeed in bringing about greater justice and inclusiveness in the world. This opinion, which has never been confirmed by the facts, expresses a crude and naive trust in the goodness of those wielding economic power and in the sacralized workings of the prevailing economic system. (emphasis supplied)

The solution, according to a growing number in the Democratic Party, is a change to socialism, beginning with the government fixing wages and profits by various means.

Ironically, this solution relies on that which the pope used to question free markets with only a twist at the end, namely, “a crude and naïve trust in the goodness of those wielding [the] power [of the sword].”

One greedy person might harm me economically, but a greedy person wielding the power of the law’s sword against me is worse!

What the Pope Got Right

To his credit, however, Pope Francis did get right a part of the real problem. In 2015, he said,

Behind all this pain, death, and destruction there is the stench of what Basil of Caesarea called “the dung of the devil.” An unfettered pursuit of money rules. The service of the common good is left behind. Once capital becomes an idol and guides people’s decisions, once greed for money presides over the entire socioeconomic system, it ruins society, it condemns and enslaves men and women, it destroys human fraternity, it sets people against one another and, as we clearly see, it even puts at risk our common home.

Are Republicans Exacerbating the Drive to Socialism?

Sadly, from what I see, too many in the Republican Party, even in Tennessee, don’t have the solution, either.

Too often nowadays we see legislation that promotes the common good found even in good old common sense, let alone the Bible—e.g., boys are boys and girls are girls, and the two should not undress in shared locker rooms—go down to defeat because of fears it will lead to a boycott that will hurt our economy. That is exactly what happened in the Republican-controlled Senate this past session.

So, while Republicans by and large still support an economic system that allows for liberty in our private economic relations, it’s ironic that its almost exclusive emphasis on material prosperity does foster the “destruction of human fraternity” that leads to calls for socialism.

What Lies at the Root of the Socialism Problem

The drive toward socialism is rooted in two things, the first of which the pope mentioned, greed. But greed is most often spawned by lack of contentment with what one has or one’s station in life. Any solution must address both of these root issues.

The problem is that these are matters of the heart, which law and politics can only deal with clumsily at best.

That’s because God alone has jurisdiction over the human heart, and it is therefore God alone who can fix it. But do Christians who profess belief in God understand what it is about the God reveled in their Bible that provides the fix?

The Solution to the Real Root Problems

The biblical fix is rooted in two major things. First, a belief that all of humankind exists and continues to exist at every moment in time only by virtue of an omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent God. It is because of these beliefs about God that we believe Him to be sovereign and the Author of a transcendent law that He has imposed upon all His creation. Second, the fix is rooted in a Heavenly Father, who by an incredible act of condescending love, willingly cloaked His glory in the human flesh of His Son, Jesus Christ, in order that we, in the fragility of our human condition, might have some present comprehension of that and give us now a foretaste of knowing and experiencing that glory someday in fuller measure.

If these two things are true—and I believe them to be—then they provide a true, objective basis for us, subjectively as individuals, to have a real and true sense of equality and fraternity. As Abraham Kuyper said during his 1898 Stone Lecture presentation to seminarians at Princeton, this view of God and man “places our entire human life immediately before God.”

From this, he said,

It follows that all men or women, rich or poor, weak or strong, dull or talented, as creatures of God, and as lost sinners, have no claim whatsoever to lord over one another, and that we stand as equals before God, and consequently equal as man to man.

Hence we cannot recognize any distinction among men, save such as has been imposed by God Himself, in that He gave one authority over the other, or enriched one with more talent than the other, in order that the man of more talents should serve the man with less, and in him serve his God. . . .

It condemns not merely all open slavery and systems of caste, but also all covert slavery of woman and of the poor; it is opposed to all hierarchy among men; it tolerates no aristocracy save such as is able, either in person or in family, by the grace of God, to exhibit superiority of character or talent, and to show that it does not claim this superiority for self-aggrandizement or ambitious pride, but for the sake of spending it in the service of God. (emphasis supplied)

Herein lies both a reason for contentment and a rebuke to greed. After all, “Godliness with contentment is great gain” (1 Timothy 6:6, KJV, emphasis added).

Those who attain to such wisdom will find it “better than rubies, and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared to it” (Proverbs 8:11, KJV).

Now if only I, and all the other people who profess biblical Christianity, would heed these words, live them, and then proclaim them.


David Fowler served in the Tennessee state Senate for 12 years before joining FACT as President in 2006. Read David’s complete bio.

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Study Shows the Financial Impact of Religion on Society

Those who think religious organizations in America don’t help the economy should consider the latest statistics from “The Socio-economic Contribution of Religion to American Society: An Empirical Analysis,” a 2016 study by Brian J. Grim of Georgetown University and Melissa E. Grim of Newseum Institute.

According to the researchers, 40 percent of the top 50 charities in the United States are faith-based, with a combined operating revenue of $45.3 billion. Religious businesses, institutions, and congregations contribute $1.2 trillion to the U.S. economy every year. And in the past 15 years, despite the decline in religious affiliation in America, religious organizations have tripled the amount of money spent on social programs to benefit society.

Instead of religion being irrelevant, as some atheist organizations have tried to prove, religion in America is actually a dominant force for good. But then that’s really nothing new to members of the religious community.

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Dismissal in Howe v. Haslam Affirms Legislative Policy Determination

FRANKLIN, Tenn. (November 6, 2014) —The following statement can be attributed to David Fowler, the President of The Family Action Council of Tennessee (FACT):

I applaud the Tennessee Court of Appeals for its decision dismissing the lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the Equal Access to Intrastate Commerce Act, also known as House Bill 600. In a day when cultural winds have driven some courts to issue politically correct decisions, the Court of Appeals stuck to the facts and the law.

The Court rightly noted that the state has authority to determine that civil rights laws should apply uniformly across the state. As the Court noted, those who advocate for special legal protections based on their sexual behaviors have not been precluded from persuading the people of this state of their need for those protections. And the court rightly recognized that those kinds of policy decisions are committed under our form of government to the legislature, not the judiciary.

At a time when we needed the economy to grow, our legislators did the right thing in passing the Act. They understood that the creation of desperately needed new jobs required an expansion of existing businesses and that the prospect of a patchwork of different local laws across the state would be a hindrance to that expansion.

The Family Action Council of Tennessee, which Fowler heads, was formed in 2006 by a group of citizens concerned about the growing negative impact of public policies on the family. FACT’s mission is to equip Tennesseans and their elected officials to effectively promote and defend a culture that values the traditional family, for the sake of the common good.

Read the Howe v. Haslam Court Case

Read the Related Tennessean Article About the Dismissed Lawsuit

Media Contact: Laura Bagby, Director of Communications  |  Office Phone: 615-261-1338  |  Email: laura.bagby@factn.org