Exposing And Putting Pressure On Woke Companies – With Jeremy Tedesco – Alliance Defending Freedom is exposing and putting pressure on woke companies. Why is it important to not support companies that threaten the very beliefs we hold to? How do we find companies that support our views? Jeremy Tedesco joins us to answer these questions and more today!
Air Date: 08/01/2022
Guest: Jeremy Tedesco
On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton
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Transcription note: As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.
Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live. Thanks for joining us today. We’ve got a great program lined up for you and we’re glad that you’re here to help us restore America’s constitutional republic by infusing biblical principles back into the culture.
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Alright, David and Tim, we got Jeremy Tedesco back with us from Alliance Defending Freedom. Of course, they do fantastic work and legal cases all over the country, all the way to the Supreme Court. That’s usually what we’re talking about when we have them on. But now we’re going to be talking about an effort that they are making to essentially expose, in a way, a lot of these big companies for just how left wing they are and how anti-freedom their policies are, but also try to put some pressure on them to change and become more American.
Well, and part of the pressure you can put on them is through the free market, where we put our own money. You know, usually around Christmas time. Oh, I say Christmas, can I play Christmas music right now, is that okay, can I go?
Let’s see, Christmas in August, so Christmas in July is normal for you. Christmas in August, you’re a month late, David. We should have been talking about this a month ago with you.
Yeah, I should have been playing music a month ago, but oftentimes we have Mat Staver on and he has the naughty and nice list and they’re about Thanksgiving. We talk about companies who don’t like Christmas, they don’t like talking about Christmas. Even though it’s a federal holiday, Christmas, they say happy holidays or whatever. They just don’t want to acknowledge Christmas. And so that naughty and nice list says well, you know, why reward these guys by buying stuff from them when you can buy good stuff from other companies that do celebrate Christmas? And so it’s allowing people to vote with their dollars.
There’s also a group called Second Vote. In addition to voting like you can in an election, you can also vote with your dollars. And so what we have now is Alliance Defending Freedom has come out with a list that says, hey, all these big companies, all these mega companies, we’ve gone back and looked at them on where they are with things like religious liberty, where there are an intolerance toward religious liberty. What they did to people of faith? Are they trying to silence the voice of people of faith? And more than 40 questions to these companies.
And based on that, they can give us rankings now of who’s friendly toward faith people? Are these the guys that want to shut out the voice of faith in America? Because if they do, why would I be paying them to shut out my voice on something I believe in? As I was thinking about this and what they do with Alliance Defending Freedom, I was remembering a lot of scriptures. You know, a really good one is in 2 Corinthians 6, where the Bible says you don’t need to team up with those who are unbelievers. And Paul goes on to say, it’s not that you’re not going to have connection to the unbelievers. You will. As long as you’re in this world, you will. But you don’t really team up with them, make joint with them. It’s like you don’t get married to them. You don’t do things that are really close, not just incidental contact.
And so when we start putting money and sometimes lots of money into big companies that really hate our values, we’re really teaming up with them. It’s money that God’s blessed us with or we worked hard for. We have a job, whatever, and then we’re taking out of hard earned money and putting it into organizations where they make a profit and turn around and attack us for what we believe. And that’s just not a sound way to do this.
Well, on top of that, we talk about this a lot, we are supporting companies in their intentional effort to destroy America or destroy American values or attack Christianity. And we are helping them make money off of us while they are trying to destroy the very foundation that we are trying to build. So there definitely are things that don’t make sense. It can certainly be a challenge as we start looking at some of the companies and see the vast number of these massive corporations that are fundamentally opposed to us.
But the other reason it’s important to identify who they are is because these organizations aren’t going to change if there’s never public pressure on them to do something different. And so when we can expose them doing the wrong thing, we can put public pressure on them. And if we can change some of the financial position for them, when they recognize, like Disney going really woke, we talked about at this point, I guess months ago when Disney Plus came out and part of their agenda was that 50% of all of the shows for the rest of the year and going forward we’re going to be promoting LGBTQ+ and minorities, etc.
But when they’re intentionally open about their goal is to propagandize children with a sexual ideology or lifestyle, that’s one of their big emphasis that their lead characters are going to have for the rest of the year and forever going forward until they get different leadership, it’s one of those things why would we want to support and fund them when they’re fundamentally attacking a basic set of values and intentionally trying to come after our children? It’s similar across the board.
And so if we can be aware of organizations that are going a different direction, that are intentionally going to take our dollars and their profit and use it to try to overturn America or overturn traditional values, it’s certainly something that we probably want to spend our money in different direction. And if we can put some public pressure on them to change that ideology and philosophy or get different leaders who will change that ideology and philosophy, it’s a really good position to be in. And some of that starts with getting better information, which is certainly part of why we want to review and go over some of these lists.
And one of the things that struck me that’s really ironic in a lot of this, there was an article that came out about a week ago, CNN had this article. And it’s really going after people of faith. It’s going after conservative value people, Constitution people, and it essentially just lumps them into this thing they call theocracy. You know, if you’re traditional value, if you’re a conservative American, if you’re a Christian, you’re trying to establish a theocracy in America. And the thing that’s always seemed interesting to me is they make claims like that big sweeping claims.
But there’s a verse in Romans 2, and I think it’s verse 21 where it says that when they accused others, they’re often accusing their own selves. In other words, they’re accusing us of trying to establish a theocracy. Really, that’s what they want to do, is establish a secular theocracy. They want to punish people who don’t conform to their woke views. They want to try to take them out. And so they’re willing to take our money and help really kind of establish their own theocracy where they can silence us. And there’s just no reason at all we should be part of that.
Now, the problem is, how do we know which of these companies is trying to do this? How do we know which of the companies are really going after us and don’t like our faith? I mean, I do business with a whole lot of companies. How do I know which are the ones that agree with what I believe or those who disagree with what I believe? And that’s where Alliance Defending Freedom has done such a good job. They’ve gone through and they’ve done the work and again, dozens of questions on the basis of how they come down on these scores. And so it’s pretty easy now to be able to go on that list and say, hey, I see that company right there. I used to do a lot of business for them, I think I’ll find an alternative company that’s not going to attack me for what I believe. And so, that’s the big benefit of this list that ADF has come out with.
Everything I hear you guys saying sounds exactly like what Jack Hibbs says in our biblical citizenship course, that it’s stewardship, it’s all about stewardship. And here we’re talking about stewardship of money, not necessarily stewardship of our right to vote or some of the other freedoms we have, but specifically our money and where we spend that money. So, really interesting topic today. Jeremy Tedesco, our special guest, stay with us, folks. We’ll be right back on WallBuilders Live.
This is Tim Barton from WallBuilders with another moment from American history. In the early 1700s, the Reverend John Wise preached that all men were created equal, that taxation without representation was tyranny, and that God’s preferred form of government was the consent of the governed. All of which is language recognizable in the Declaration of Independence. Why?
Because in 1772, the Sons of Liberty, led by founders such as Sam Adams and John Hancock, reprinted and distributed the Reverend Wise’s sermons. So four years later, much of the declaration reflected the language of those sermons by John Wise. In 1926, on 150th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, President Calvin Coolidge affirmed “The thoughts in the declaration can very largely be traced back to what John Wise was saying.” Few today know that the Declaration was so strongly influenced by the Reverend John Wise.
For more information on this and other stories, go to wallbuilders.com.
Welcome back to WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. Always good to have Jeremy Tedesco with us from Alliance Defending Freedom. Jeremy, welcome back to the program.
Thanks, Rick. Appreciate it.
Hey, so you guys are doing I love seeing this, by the way, it’s like punching back, fighting fire with fire. We have all these other ratings out there trying to silence people. You guys are actually doing ratings so that we know what to spend our money with companies that are encroaching on free speech. So tell us about this rating of respect for free speech and religious freedom with these tech companies and other big companies.
Yeah, sure. It’s viewpointdiversityscore.org. And when it comes to free speech and religious freedom, do they respect viewpoint diversity and religious diversity within their business practices? And it looks at it from the standpoint of their work and how they treat their workplace, how do they treat their customers and their consumers and how are they engaging in the public square as well?
And the whole point of the index, yes, it’s definitely to educate people so they understand what these corporations are doing, where they’re falling short. And there’s a huge component of that to it. But our big audience here is the businesses try to convince them that they are falling below a mark that they ought to be trying to attain. And then we created a whole slew of resources that they can use bottle policies, guidelines and other things to improve, not just their score in our index, but hopefully improve their culture internally and externally when it comes to issues of free speech and religious freedom.
Well, man I pulled it up, as you said, the link and I mean, these are abysmal scores for the major companies. I mean, Adobe 5%, Airbnb 5%, Amazon 6%, Apple 8%, Bank of America 10%. I mean, this is pretty bad. And you’re talking about you guys have looked into what their policies are in the workplace and then how they treat their customers and other businesses. How many different data points per company is this? And I know, roughly, I’m saying.
Yeah, a great question. So there are 42 questions that I think. You know, roughly approximate, whether you respect religious freedom and free speech within your workforce, among your customers and in the broader public square…
That’s significant, 82
Yeah. And so, we collected data from the companies themselves, we collect the data online through public available information, and then we put it through our 42 question matrix for scoring. And it’s all publicly available. You can look, we’re very transparent about what questions we ask, how we scored them. You can even look at the raw data that were used for each question to give us the score that we did.
And so, yeah, I mean, it’s rigorous, it’s serious. And to your question about the low scores, the reality is this isn’t a really high standard. What we found, especially because we were looking at big tech and financial services to markets that, the Left really tries to push further and further left, I think a lot of success doing so. What we found was, I mean, as we probably all know, right, these corporations are way off the mark on basic things. So, basic ways that you would treat your own employees the right way when it comes to their religious freedom or their free speech interests both inside and outside of the workplace these companies are failing at.
Some of this just getting back to a place of basic equal treatment of people regardless of their religious and ideological views, and that’s something companies should aspire to. And so, we’re not trying to turn these companies into conservative or religious activists, we just want them to be neutral and get out of these contentious social and political issues and treat their workforce and their consumers fairly.
Yeah. Jeremy, there was a time when the American value system was supported by education, by corporate America, by government, I mean, we’re all somewhat on the same page with basic values. We’re definitely not there anymore. And that’s really what this points out. And we’re at a point where it’s almost like it’s not right now, it’s raw power. It determines the direction. And so I guess my main question would be how do our listeners exert power in this particular situation? Like, what do they say to these companies? Or how do they let them know if they’re going to switch their business from one to another because of this? Shouldn’t we let them know so that we hopefully influence them to reassess this? As a corporate entity, they should be worried about the bottom line, and they should know that well over half of America is willing to say, hey, you guys don’t support our values anymore, we won’t support you with our dollars?
Yeah. I mean, that’s one of the options people can take and they absolutely should communicate with corporations that they’re going to stop doing business with them, stop using their services and tell them why. But we are looking at this also from an engagement opportunity.
We want these companies who provide unbelievably essential services in the communications, tech and finance industries to stop going down the path of censorship and anti-religious hostility and bring them back to a place where they actually want to serve everybody, regardless of their religion, regardless of their ideology. They don’t take contentious and narrow political positions on all these really important social issues, but those go through the normal course of politics in the courts. Stop becoming weaponized by left wing activists. Stop enabling cancel culture in your business.
We as Americans need a healthy business culture that’s committed to serving everybody regardless of their religious or political views, especially when you’re talking about these major corporations who can de facto regulate society without ever having a law change or a court case be won. They can just oppose these policies on your access to banking, on your access to the ability to speak in the digital public square.
So, we really want people to engage with these corporations and tell them we’re not happy with your score. We want you to be excellent. We want you to do well as a business. And one way to do that is to stop going down this path of cancel culture. And look, here is a positive vision for how to run your company in a way that respects everybody. And the only thing you have to do is look at these policies, adopt these standards, take a look at these guidelines and try to mirror them or build on them in your own business practices.
I think that we’ve lost corporate America in some ways, but I don’t think the battle is lost. And right now we see so many corporations like Disney, Netflix and others really taking a big backlash because of how woke they’ve become because they’ve really accepted a lot of these far left demands. And I think a lot of businesses are saying, my sense is the pendulum is starting to swing back. It might not be swinging back yet, but I think a lot of business leaders are looking at that, saying there’s got to be a different path. Why would we want to continue to be politicized more and more? And this is a different path and it’s one I think is very valuable, very attractive. We serve everybody. We’re not going to cancel you because of your religious or political beliefs. We’re going to respect viewpoint tolerance, religious tolerance inside our workforce. And we’re going to stay out of these contentious political issues from a public square perspective and not use our brand, our reputation, our dollars to drive narrow political agendas that are going to alienate people who are core constituencies of ours.
So, I mean, we’re trying to plant that flag. We want people to rally around it. It’s not just consumers. I mean, we have investors that are part of our coalition who’re going to be talking to these businesses about the importance of these issues. So I really think we need to engage them and not consider them just completely lost to us.
Viewpointdiversityscore.org. I’ve got two last questions and probably only enough time for one of them, so I’ll let you pick which rabbit trail we’re going to go down. But one would be most of these companies, the business model requires a broad customer base. This isn’t the kind of situation where you can just go after a particular tribe, pick a political side and only serve them. I mean, I guess you could. But I mean, in terms of like some of the social media companies, the tech companies, the banking, that sort of thing, you just need to be able to go after the whole market and you would think that would drive them. So, maybe touch on that a little bit.
But then also, how in the world did we get here? How did these companies that made their money in a free market system based on American values begin to hate America? I mean, there’s only way I can describe it. When they support the things they support, they’re actually going against American values that made them successful. Where did that disconnect happen?
Yeah. I’ll take the last question, because I think you’re right about the first one: it’s intuitive and this business should want to serve everyone. And that’s what our Viewpoint Diversity Score in the business just kind of lays out how to do it. But the other question, really, it’s hard to unpack in less than a minute, right. I mean, I think this is the reality.
For 20-25 years, left wing activists have been aiming at corporations, precisely because they know that their agenda is very hard to get through the courts, because the First Amendment blocks censorship, it blocks anti-religious discrimination. It’s very hard to get their agenda through the legislatures because their agenda is not popular with the American people at the ballot box. But if they can get Fortune 500 companies to adopt their policies, and then if they can force those companies to start censoring people who disagree with them, their ideological opponents under those policies, they don’t ever have to change the law, they don’t have to have to win a court case to essentially regulate society the way they want to.
Now, conservatives, religious kind of group of people, we’ve been largely asleep at the wheel while the Left has done this for the last 20-25 years. You ass that advocacy aimed at the corporations plus governments starting to put more pressure on these corporations to move further for the left, yes, all these other kinds of things that people hear about, it’s really been a one way direction that the businesses could go. So we hope Viewpoint Diversity Score and this idea of serving everybody, regardless of their religious political views, staying out of politics and treating your workforce with dignity and respect regardless of their beliefs, will be appealing to businesses and can be a real counterweight and countermeasure to what the Left has been doing so successfully for so many years with the corporations.
Wonderful, love it. Viewpointdiversityscore.org. Jeremy, thanks for all that ADF does. I mean, normally I’m thanking you for winning some religious liberty case or some fight in the courts. I love this taking offense here and not just playing defense approach that you guys have taken. So thank God for you. I encourage people to visit your website as well, donate, keep supporting on all that you’re doing and really appreciate you taking time to be with us today.
Thanks very much, Rick.
Stay with us, folks, we’ll be right back with David and Jim Barton.
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We’re back here on WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. And thanks to Jeremy Tedesco and all of the attorneys at Alliance Defending Freedom and their entire team. And they’ve got thousands of affiliated attorneys across the country and involved in so many different areas. But I love this new project, guys. And David, you’ve said for years and years we can’t just play defense, we’ve got to be on offense, we’ve got to look for ways to take ground back. That’s the feeling I get from this project.
Well, what I love about what Jeremy said too, is it’s not like we’re trying to force these companies to do what we want. We just want them to be neutral. Just give us a level playing field. And it’s not like we’re trying to impose our values on them. We just don’t want them imposing their values on us. Let it at least be neutral.
And I thought the point he made too, these companies have become big companies because they’ve used the free market system to do that, and now they want to shut that free market system down once they get control and they want to shut out the other voices and the other competition, they don’t want competition. And I thought that’s really important stuff. They’re using the very system that we have to try to destroy the system we have so that they can have what they want.
Well, and guys, I think we want to be clear too, this notion that they’re trying to push an agenda on us, we’re not trying to push an engineer on them. Well, on some level, we are. We’re trying to restore the basic reality that truth does exist, like men and women actually is a thing. There are chromosomes. Biology does actually happen. Like there are some basic truths that at this point you do have these corporations almost playing this woke contest to see who can go the furthest in one direction.
And actually, if you look at this list from ADF, this business index, it is staggering that virtually nobody on this top 50 passes on any level. In fact, not even just passes. Very few people make it even past the teens on any of these scores that they identify on this business index. And so what that does indicate for us is this is a very hostile environment. So when we think it’s just easier to use some of these pay services, to use some of these banks, it’s easier to order off some of these certain websites.
The reality is, even though things might be easier, we are funding the very organizations that are attacking the foundation of our family, the foundation of our faith, the foundation of our nation. And we do need to be aware of it. And then this is also another area we can get involved in the process and make sure we’re drawing attention to some of these ideologies and then make sure we’re teaching our kids and we’re pushing back in culture, we’re getting involved in the process.
What we are seeing right now is the result of the lack of Christians being involved for the last many decades. And guys, we’ve talked about this a lot. I am encouraged that I think there’s a lot of hope going forward. We’re seeing so many Christians waking up all over the nation. In fact, right now all of us are on the road. We are recording this online from our various locations. We’re all on the road engaging people, trying to make a difference, and we’re seeing people wake up.
Big picture, with where the corporations are right now, it’s not going to be easy to turn the corporations around and get them to change their ideology. But if we start engaging and investing in our kids and our grandkids and those around us, if we get involved on the local level, we can make a difference, and ultimately, hopefully we can put some public pressure on these organizations to change some of these really bad positions.
Well, that’s it, friends, out of time for today. Again, want to encourage you to visit the website, wallbuilderslive.com; great place for you to get a lot of great information. The program, of course, being able to share that with your friends and family. Also, go to those links to the different organizations that we have on the program throughout the week.
And then it’s also a great time to just sign up as a Constitution coach and start hosting some of the WallBuilders programs like Biblical Citizenship in Modern America or Constitution Alive or now we’ve added Kirk Cameron’s American Campfire Revival. Which, by the way, I was with Kirk last Friday in Washington DC and had a fantastic event Friday night and just always encouraging to talk about the solutions. You know, we love talking about the problems, right, that’s our nature. Complain, complain, complain, we want to talk about what’s going wrong, but we need to talk about the solutions as well.
And it was so great to team up with Kirk and talk about how to become a campfire coach and actually bring the American campfire revival to your living room, to your home, to your church. Whatever location you want to host this in your community, it’s just a great way to get people together, talk about what’s happening, but talk about the solutions and what they can do in the community to help restore our nation. That will give them hope. It’ll give you hope. I promise all of that.
You can sign up today. Quickest way to sign up is at patriotacademy.com or constitutioncoach.com and go straight to that coach link. When you sign up as a coach for Patriot Academy, you get all of the WallBuilders and American Campfire Revival and Patriot Academy materials in your coach dashboard. So it’s a great way to get started as the catalyst in your community for restoring biblical values and constitutional principles. Check that out today at patriotacademy.com. Thanks so much for listening. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.