The Intersection of Politics and Christmas Shopping


Faith Driven Consumers can match their wallet to their worldview this holiday season   

What do politics and some of your favorite stores for Christmas shopping have in common?

After entering through the doors of retailers decked out with Christmas sale advertisements and then paying at the cash registers, corporate decision makers will then choose where your money goes—both inside and outside of the company.


Between charities, organizations, and even political parties, the money you spend with retailers is then redirected to support a wide variety of groups and causes – whether you as the paying consumer like it or not.

A recent Christian Science Monitor article sheds light on the political sway of various leading companies. The Center for Responsive Politics compiled a guide based on campaign contributions from employees and corporate Political Action Committees (PACs) during the 2012 election cycle.

Here’s a snapshot of various retailer contributions from the 2012 election cycle.

  • Toys ‘R’ Us‘ employees contributed $36,000 to Democrats of their total $39,000 given in the 2012 campaign cycle.
  • While Macy’s employees favored Democrats, its PAC favored Republicans by a three-to-one margin.
  • At Best Buy, the employees as well as the company PAC had a slight preference for Republicans; combined, the workers and PAC gave $585,000 to both major political parties and their causes in 2011-2012.
  • Target‘s workers and PAC leaned GOP – giving a total of $484,000.
  • Individuals working at Wal-Mart have a strong Republican preference. The company’s PAC gave almost the same amount to Democratic causes as Republican ones. The company’s total contributions from both sources: $2.7 million.

Based on this snapshot as well as what you learn from the latest FDC resource, “2012 Faith-friendly Christmas Guide,” keep in mind that your spending directly supports the organizations and causes that retailers choose to support.

And while researching the corporate contributions of your favorite retail brands, be sure to fully consider the degree to which the company supports causes you find to be either compatible or incompatible with your deeply held faith and values. Remember that every choice matters, and every choice has consequences – including everyday purchasing decisions.

As Faith Driven Consumers, we can each choose to align our wallets with our biblical worldview when marking things off our Christmas lists. Let’s be good stewards of the precious resources God has entrusted us with this Christmas season and throughout the year to come.

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