God and Guinness

Lest we believe capitalists can’t be Christian…

Stephen Mansfield writes in USA Today:

The company’s 250-year legacy of God-inspired good provides myriad lessons for today. Among them: A benevolent corporate vision is good for business, for its employees and for the world. Interwoven throughout these 2 and a half centuries of brewing success is a legacy of benevolence that we ought to know and that is perhaps an antidote to one of the great crises of our age.

The values Arthur Guinness envisioned for his company were first honed in a life of devotion to God. He was an earthy but pious man who frequently thundered his views despite angry opposition. He was beloved throughout Ireland for his defense of Roman Catholic rights, for example, an astonishing stand for a Protestant in his day. He criticized the material excesses of the upper class and sat on the board of a hospital for the poor. He was also the founder of the first Sunday schools in Ireland. When he died in 1803, the Dublin Evening Post declared that Arthur Guinness’s life was “useful and benevolent and virtuous.” It was true.

Yet it was in the treatment of their employees as much as in their use of private wealth that the Guinnesses honored their founding principles…


Author: Father Silouan Thompson

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