Investing for Social Behavior

Remember the days when “investing” meant putting money into well-known assets like stocks, bonds, cash, real estate or equity shares and expecting a reasonable appreciation of capital, dividends, or interest earnings? At the Stewardship Foundation, it still is — with the additional peace of mind that your money or assets are working for the common good.

If you keep up with financial news, you may have noticed a bothersome trend…the investment world is becoming woke.

Net Zero and Carbon Neutral Concepts Net Zero Emissions Goals Weather neutral long-term strategy.

There are a growing number of investment firms encouraging their clients to “act responsibly” and this commission has even taken on its own acronym: ESG. 

E refers to environmental, S is for social, and Gstands for governance. ESG then refers to the criteria for evaluating corporate behavior when screening potential investments. What they must have in common is that they offer investments that support social, political or environmental issues.

ESG looks at the company’s environmental impact on the world, the social impact it has on populations and politics, and then the governance required to produce a social benefit. 

We can recall that after God created the world—the sky, day and night, living creatures on the land and in the sea and in the air—He said “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness…male and female he created them.” (Genesis 1:26-27) “Not so fast” says the woke crowd, “who says God is a man, or that a man-God created another man first? What about the women? Maybe God is a she not a he, or maybe there’s no such thing as gender … just “parts” we are born with because God chose variety. That is, if there really is a God at all!

The Stewardship Foundation firmly believes that God exists, that he created man and woman for the purpose of procreation, that in the biblical story of the Parable of Talents (Matthew 25:14-30) we are taught that to those who are entrusted much, much is expected, and if you are a steward of man (we are) we must be good stewards with our donor’s money and increase our donor’s wealth for the good of all. If we create a better world at the same time, we give all the glory to God.

In short, ESG investing is aligning your investments with a set of world values. Morally responsible investing aligns your investments on biblical principles, which The Stewardship Foundation always has and continues to do.

What Are Rights of Conscience?

At the Stewardship Foundation, our 5th Credo is: We believe… in the sanctity of human life, marriage and sexual morality, and religious freedom and the rights of conscience. There seems no better time in American history to explore these valuable rights.

Rights of Conscience are political rights that protect our ability to do what we believe is morally best. For example, a right of conscience for an individual’s health may include seeking an exemption from mandatory vaccination, or for a physician to refuse to participate in abortion or sex-change surgery.

There are three categories of political rights: (1) prohibited, (2) permitted, and (3) required. In the United States, most activities are permitted, meaning people engage in that activity if they wish. On the other hand, activities like murder or robbery are prohibited, and some activities like driving a car on the right side of the road may be required.

Night view on neon inscription of wise quotation on brick wall

As Americans, we enjoy religious freedom (to practice or not to practice), free speech, freedom to assemble, the right to own a gun, and no political authority can prevent the practice of religion. Of course, we can also choose not to practice religion — both are autonomous rights. 

Rights of conscience, however, protect a person from mandatory participation in an activity if the particular activity threatens the their fundamental values. Rights of conscience clauses are typically phrased: “No person shall be required to …” 

No doctor should be required to perform an abortion in order to keep his job, but there seems to be a storm coming on the rights of religious mental health providers seeking exemptions with respect to counseling gays and lesbians about marriage.

To learn more about the current federal laws protecting your rights of conscience, we invite you to read the 2019 statement from the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. 

Marriage: One Man, One Woman

Why do we support marriage between one Man and one Woman? The fifth Credo of the Stewardship Foundation is this: We believe… in the sanctity of human life, marriage and sexual morality, and religious freedom and the rights of conscience.

We support marriage only between one man and one woman because our faith binds in His Word. In the beginning (Genesis 2:18, 21-25) the Lord God said: 

It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him.” So the LORD God formed out of the ground various wild animals and various birds of the air, and he brought them to the man to see what he would call them; whatever the man called each of them would be its name. The man gave names to all the cattle, all the birds of the air, and all the wild animals; but none proved to be the suitable partner for the man.

So the LORD God cast a deep sleep on the man, and while he was asleep, he took out one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. The LORD God then built up into a woman the rib that he had taken from the man. When he brought her to the man, the man said: “This one, at last, is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; This one shall be called ‘woman,’ for out of ‘her man’ this one has been taken.” That is why a man leaves his father and mother and clings to his wife, and the two of them become one body. The man and his wife were both naked, yet they felt no shame.

happily smiling husband-father, wife-mother, baby
One Man, One Woman, One Family

Almost every marriage ceremony between a man and a woman performed by a priest in a Catholic church includes this quote from 1 Corinthians 13:2-7:

If I speak in human and angelic tongues but do not have love, I am a resounding gong or a clashing cymbal. And if I have the gift of prophecy and comprehend all mysteries and all knowledge; if I have all faith so as to move mountains but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away everything I own, and if I hand my body over so that I may boast but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It is not jealous, (love) is not pompous, it is not inflated, it is not rude, it does not seek its own interests, it is not quick-tempered, it does not brood over injury, it does not rejoice over wrongdoing but rejoices with the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 

The last phrase, “endures all things” does not ignore the many hardships of life: financial problems, sickness, and family stress. Marriages are more likely to fall apart are those where the commitment to God’s ideals in marriage are not celebrated (and managed) by consistent, sincere prayer.

In Hebrews 13:4, the foundation of marriage is clearly stated: 

Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure, for God will judge the adulterer and all the sexually immoral.

Moral marriage is between one man and one woman. Redefining marriage as between two people “in love” but of the same sex implies that all fathers and all mothers are expendable. But in Matthew 19:4-12 it is clearly stated that the sacrament of marriage overrides the rights of offspring to be raised:

Have you not read that from the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, no human being must separate.” They said to him, “Then why did Moses command that the man give the woman a bill of divorce and dismiss (her)?” He said to them, “Because of the hardness of your hearts Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. I say to you, whoever divorces his wife (unless the marriage is unlawful) and marries another commits adultery.” His disciples then said to him, “If that is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” He answered, “Not all can accept this word, but only those to whom that is granted. Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it.

The unfortunate trend toward same-sex couples adopting and raising someone else’s child as a blended or adoptive family, including in-vitro surrogates, may appear to be a loving act, but it deprives children of the distinct advantages of being raised by their biological parents, knowing from whom they came, and instead identifies them as simply commodities.

Perhaps, even God-loving people will be offended by our credo. We do not define marriage as a relationship issue, it is a pro-creation issue. God made men and women biologically different so that they would procreate the human race with Him in order to bring more souls to Him