Over 100 executives from some of the most powerful and profitable corporations in the country met virtually over the weekend to discuss their opposition to voter integrity laws across the United States.

CBS News reported that the “high-level Zoom call” was hastily organized with just 50 hours’ notice.

Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a Yale University management professor who helped organize the call, said that 120 CEOs were invited to the event, of which 90 attended. “The gathering was an enthusiastic voluntary statement of defiance against threats of reprisals for exercising their patriotic voices,” Sonnenfeld said.

According to CBS News, leaders of AMC Theaters, Ariel Investments, Walmart, United Airlines, American Airlines, Levi Strauss Company, LinkedIn, and ViacomCBS attended the event.

Other participants included the owner of the Atlanta Falcons, businessman James Murdoch, and the chairman of the law firm Paul, Weiss.

The CEOs of General Motors and Delta Air Lines were also invited but were not able to attend.

According to Sonnenfeld, these corporate leaders are ready and raring to get their companies involved in political disputes. He said that the leaders “recognize that they need to step up to the plate and are not fearful of these reprisals. They are showing a disdain for these political attacks.”

“Not only are they fortifying each other, but they see that this spreading of disease of voter restrictions from Georgia to up to possibly 46 other states is based on a false premise and it’s anti-democratic,” Sonnenfeld added.

The virtual meeting took place after Georgia’s Election Integrity Act of 2021 was signed into law on March 25. Delta Airlines and Coca-Cola both issued statements opposing the law, and Major League Baseball (MLB) moved its All-Star game from Atlanta to Coors Field in Denver, Colorado.

The MLB “fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box,” MLB commissioner Robert Manfred Jr. said while announcing the move, adding that it was “the best way to demonstrate our values as a sport.”

But does Georgia’s new election integrity law actually restrict voting rights like so many have claimed?

The Daily Citizen previously reported that the law stipulates:

  • Voters must provide their driver’s license or identification card number to request a mail-in ballot.
  • The bill maintains 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. voting on election day. Those in line before 7:00 p.m. are still allowed to cast their ballots.
  • Requires at least 17 days of early voting.
  • Weekend voting was expanded, with two Saturdays of voting across the state. Counties may also hold votes on two Sundays.
  • Drop boxes for ballots will be permitted in early voting locations and only during business hours. Until the 2020 election, the state did not even have drop boxes.
  • Because a first-time candidate ordered pizzas for folks standing in line at the polls in 2018, the bill prohibits giving away food or drink within 150 feet of a polling place. The measure allows poll managers to distribute water.

Of note, the law’s mandatory 17 days of early voting is more than many other states, including the 10 days required in Delaware and the nine days required in New Jersey.

For Christians, of serious concern is the amalgamation of political opinions by American companies. In everyday life, Americans are unable to retreat to places untouched by our political divisions.

Americans can no longer drink a coke, buy an airline ticket, attend a baseball game, go to a movie, shop at a grocery store or subscribe to a streaming service without political issues being front and center.

As the United States becomes more polarized, the things we hold in common become more important. And yet, as evidenced by the list above, the list of institutions and interests we mutually hold is growing thin, if it is not already practically nonexistent.

The founding fathers warned about the divisive spirit of factions.

James Madison cautioned in Federalist No. 10, “The latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man… A zeal for different opinions concerning religion, concerning government, and many other points… have, in turn, divided mankind into parties, inflamed them with mutual animosity, and rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress each other than to co-operate for their common good.”

Madison was prescient. Division and animosity seem to aptly describe the state of our culture today.

So, what can Christians do about it?

For our part, we can do our best to emulate Paul’s instructions to the church in Philippi: “Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves” (Philippians 2:2 ESV).

As we engage in conversations, both in personal relationships and on social media, we can all do our best to “count others more significant than” ourselves. But only through Christ’s love, and the love Christians demonstrate, will our nation begin to heal.

You can follow this author on Parler @ZacharyMettler

Photo from Shutterstock