Article review – Principle Decision for Many, Religious Faith Plays Business Role

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This article mainly contained an interview of Durand Overholtzer, and the manner in which he often calls on his faith when making business decisions, weighing his personal requirement to follow the Scriptures against the opportunity to enhance his company. For the last fifty years he has been using this approach to his business ventures. In his business, it makes sense that his religion would play a big part in the way he conducts business, because he manages and owns Overholtzer Church Furniture. Overholtzer was a member of the Old German Baptist Brethren.

When an accounting problem was noticed where the company was made to look as if it was paying taxes even though it was not, Overholtzer did not report the incident to the police. His stance was due to the scripture that says, “Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unjust, and not before the saints? Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? ” Rather that reporting the accountant to the police he closed the doors to his company. The decision although allowing Overholtzer stay true to his faith, caused 65 people to be out of work.

The article also makes an interesting point of how the U. S. Constitution requires the separation of church and state, but yet makes no ban on the mixing of religion and business. Normally, in the news bringing religious values into the workplace is almost always positive, and the law sets a minimum standard to follow which is itself based on religious values. However, when a company talks of its religious background, it usually refers to common legal issues such as moral codes against stealing and honesty to others.

In the business world these are codes which are expected to be followed as part of the organizational structure of the business providing a service to its customers and needing to keep them happy in order to continue business. This was an extreme example, but it provides a thought on the day to day challenges people face when they bring their religious beliefs into the business world. Often you read something in the paper about how a business is proclaiming its religious affiliations, or making donations to religious organizations.

However, it makes you wonder, how much harm is done, and loss of profit, not necessarily from not breaking a law, but by simply not doing something that others would normally do. Religious beliefs obviously hold a very high value too many people in today’s society. In the business world however, it seems to me that a good business should be ran with basic moral guidelines, of honesty and good will. However, I do not think people should use literal scripture to guide their business decisions, especially when these decisions are outside the norm, and could put others out of work.

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