The Timothy Plan: Hypocrisy Edition
Every once in a while you come across an act of Hypocrisy so egregious, you have to laugh. I read an article on game politics about a mutual fund called The Timothy Plan, which call itself a family of mutual funds offering individuals a biblical choice when it comes to investing.
If you are concerned with the moral issues (abortion, pörnography, anti-family entertainment, non-married lifestyles, alcohol, tobacco and gambling) that are destroying children and families you have come to the right place..
The Timothy Plan® avoids investing in companies that are involved in practices contrary to Judeo-Christian principles. Our goal is to recapture traditional American values. We are America's first pro-life, pro-family, biblically-based mutual fund group.
The fund issued a press release indicating it would not invest Take Two Interactive because "it is releasing another video game that contains extreme sexual and violent content." Curiously, the release did not mention the other 5963 companies listed on the NYSE and NASDAQ exchanges into which they were not investing yesterday. The release went on to say:
The Timothy Plan, a morally responsible family of mutual funds, refuses to invest in companies like Take-Two Interactive because of their involvement in the anti-family entertainment and pornography industry.
Of course the press release does not explain The Timothy Plan has never invested in an entertainment software company and from their prospectus, it appears entertainment in general is outside their scope of interest. It also did not point out Take Two now joins Disney on their last of Hall of Shame companies. Perhaps the only list whose members include both Disney and Take Two. But rather than focusing on what they don't invest in, let's take a look at what they do buy.
Just looking at the top three holdings, we can forgive their position in Warnaco, parent company to, among other things, Calvin Klein jeans. Of course Calvin Klein jeans came under fire for sexualizing a 14 year-old Brooke Shields in the "nothing comes between me and my Calvin's" ads, and the famously controversial 1995 ad campaign which was pulled after the complaints for the ads similarities to kiddie porn got too loud, but this all happened a long time ago. Why should we question an investment in Washington Group International, one of the leading contractors for decommissioning chemical weapons and military bases, as well as constructing highly classified facilities, just because they had a bit of a kerfuffle with the EEOC last month.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today announced a litigation settlement with Washington Group International, Inc. (WGI) for $1.5 million dollars, as well as significant injunctive relief, on behalf of African American workers who were racially harassed and then retaliated against for complaining about it.
But one of them I really don't get. I really can't get my head around Kennametal. They do a bunch of stuff, but this line from their website stood out:
Kennametal produces a variety of tungsten alloy and tungsten carbide armor piercing penetrators for the U.S. Government and prime contractors. The penetrators are utilized in small and medium caliber ammunition.
The fund is upset about pretend violence in a video game and one of their top ten investments is in a company making real bullets. You can't make this stuff up. I guess it is ok to support a company which enables the killing of real people, but it would be morally reprehensible to support a company which enables killing of animated people.
If I were Stephen Colbert, these guys would be getting a wag of the finger.