Tuesday, April 29, 2008

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.
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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.





13 comments:

Connor said...

Legit! Really liked that article. I agree, Colbert should give them a "Wag of the Finger".

Brian said...

I noticed the Warnaco as well, but didn't see anything in their holdings regarding Kennametal or Washington Group International. This was based off a view of their website and fund fact sheets.

Keith said...

Brian,

Here is a quarterly report filed in 3/2007 listing both holdings http://www.secinfo.com/d14D5a.u3PAm.htm, and an annual report from their website: http://www.timothyplan.com/Download/AnnualReport.pdf.

Keith

WhereAreOurMorals? said...

The fund is not out to be hypocritical. There is a difference with putting a gun (fake as it might be) in a child's hand and protecting our freedom (Right to Bear Arms). What parent wants their kids to play video games where their son has to kiss a boy to earn point? The Timothy Plan seeks to preserve families and let children be just children. This is a pro-family values mutual fund, maybe you would be more interested in the Vice Fund or the Lesbian Fund or the Animal Rights Fund? No one is stopping you, why bash a company that is pro-children and pro-moral values? Just food for thought.

Keith said...

where are our morals,

Thank you for your comment. First, I did not say the fund's investment practices are hypocritical, I thought the issuing of a press release denigrating a game company when they invest in the companies which make real weapons and salacious material is hypocritical. Those who live in glass houses... Or should I say judge not...

As far as kissing a boy in a game, if it promotes tolerance, I am all for it. The lesbian fund, if there is a compelling need, why not? And animal rights, there ate extremists out there, but they should not be used to color the entire movement.

Anonymous said...

You're all for it if it promotes tolerance?? You seem pretty intolerant of the Timothy plan for someone who is all for tolerance

Keith Boesky said...

Thank you for your comment. Please take another look at the post. I am not suggesting The Timothy Plan change their investment criteria. They can choose to invest in anything they choose. Their stated purpose is a good one.

My objection is to the hypocrisy of investing in companies that enable real violence or have histories of salacious advertising while issuing a press release about a decision not to invest in an entertainment company.

It seems like a naked play for attention.

Anonymous said...

I laugh, & love reading stupidity from non-believers, moral relativists, and atheists, because the levels, piles, and stacks of hypocrisy coming from many of their ilk is simply mind-blowing. Wow they focus on 1 myopic, tiny, minuscule, issue/incident! AMAAAAAAAAAZING! If you're so open-minded, and are not just a big, baby, whining, than you need to read WND, News-max, Tea-party.org. Listen to Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, etc. And after you have done that for several years. Come back and make a comment about the one issue of hypocrisy by The Timothy Plan. Then and only then will I take you seriously.

Keith Boesky said...

thank you for your brave and bold comment Mr. Anonymous. I would happily reply with an open dialogue, but you chose to attack anonymously. My name is right next to my words.

Anonymous said...

lol. Brooke Shields hasn't been 14 years old since 1979. That's a pretty lame complaint considering the press release you are accusing of being hypocritical appeared almost 30 years later. If want to be taken seriously, use legitimate data and comparisons.

Anonymous said...

Agreed

Ross Byrd said...

@ Keith B.... how long have u been a liberal? I mean how dare a company invest with a sense of right and wrong? What are u liberals going 2 do when there r no more conservatives 2 protect your right 2 speak this kind of hate and intolerance against a religious oriented company? Did u get forced 2 invest with this bible thumping comany or something? Btw, whats so offensive about the message of Christ? How dare we try 2 keep somebody from burning in HELL... the nerve!!! Crazy Christians

Sandy said...

I have evolved...I once was a "Keith" but am now very much an "Anonymous". I enjoyed the conversation. Thanks to both of you for sharing your opinions.