I have read with great interest the recent story of the “early retirement” of Mozilla’s CEO, Brendan Eich, who, in his ten days as CEO, managed to generate a whirlwind of controversy over his (relatively meager) financial support of California’s Proposition 8 (which was ratified by over 52% of California’s voters). That’s because the situation mirrors the situation of a nun (a Sister Jane Dominic Laurel) who gave a speech on homosexuality to a local (Catholic) high school and was subsequently “Mozilla-ed” and run out of town to take a “sabbatical”. Rather than being isolated events, these two situations are part of a pattern of (hypocritical) intolerance from the gay crusaders as they seek to crush anyone who raises even the faintest criticism of the homosexual agenda.
She’s evil. Clearly.
While I’m sure Eich’s and Laurel’s resignations were completely voluntary, these events are as ominous as they are predictable. Coming from a group of people, who, for all their supposed popularity, still can’t manage to win an election, the desperate shrieking designed to end debate is a fairly routine response from leftist agitators. However, considering that the crusaders’ response to the aforementioned criticisms has all the hallmarks of a Maoist Struggle Session (complete with the requirement that the offending party submit a written apology), there is some cause for concern here. Of particular interest is the case of the Catholic nun, whose religious order presumably follows the lead of the pope, and for whom criticism of the homosexual agenda should be a given. Yet, in the face of criticism, the nuns capitulated just as quickly as the go-along to get-along types at Mozilla.
So, what explains Mozilla’s willingness to fire its CEO after a mere 10 days and the nuns prostrating themselves before the altar of political correctness? The short answer is a desire to be liked. If a crowd of people is criticizing you and drawing attention to you, it is much easier to capitulate and satisfy the hunger of the mob than to continue to draw attention to yourself. I’d be willing to bet that if the pro-marriage types picked a heretofore unknown CEO and started drawing attention to his political views in the same way the gay agitators do (assuming of course, they had no moral qualms about having a man fired for his political beliefs), they could probably force a couple “conversions” of their own. Indeed, that is why struggle sessions (in their various forms) are so popular among totalitarians. That is why these thuggish tactics are so successful. They force you to choose sides. You can either stand alone against the mob and be consumed by it, or simply give them what they want so they’ll go away. Most people opt for the latter. That is why Mozilla wasted no time in dumping its CEO (and even apologized for not doing it faster) and why the nuns threw one of their own to the wolves. It’s particularly tempting to satisfy the mob when it means sacrificing someone else. Mozilla’s board and the leadership of the Dominicans could have stood behind their people and defended them against the ludicrous demands of the mob. But they chose the easy path, to their lasting shame.
Excuse me if I find the recent Chick-fil-a controversy a little underwhelming. It’s not as if the company’s president, S. Truett Cathy, has suddenly come out as some sort of hard-core Christian businessman. Merely step inside your local chicken eatery, and you are hit with a deluge of corporate propaganda proclaiming the company’s rather strident stand for traditional family values. So, the fact that Mr. Cathy opposes same-sex marriage really shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone (anyone who has actual eaten at a Chick-fil-a anyway). However, I do sense a rather glaring inconsistency on the part of the would-be protesters. If corporations aren’t people, how can they hold political opinions?
What is concerning is the reaction (however belated) from the increasingly radicalized homosexual agenda pushers. The mayors of both Chicago and Boston have both proclaimed their intent to use the power of government to prevent Chick-fil-a from setting up shop within their cities, because apparently, the company’s values aren’t the cities’ values. Ignoring the rather obvious negative economic consequences of such narrow-minded thinking, consider the political consequences of such a statement. Let’s assume for a moment that such government coercion of private businesses (or individuals) is permissible. Let’s assume that if a government’s “values” conflict with a businesses values, that government can prohibit the business from operating within its jurisdiction. Does that mean that a mayor of town or city could prohibit a couple of Muslims from setting up shop simply because their religious beliefs conflict with the mayor’s arbitrary definition of the town’s values? I should think not. Such bullying from the government would clearly run afoul of the First Amendment’s free exercise provisions (and arguably, the establishment clause, if one were to view these city “values” as some sort of secular religion). So, what excuses such actions when they are directed against people who happen to support traditional family models?
But such blatant disregard for the First Amendment is hardly surprising. Indeed, on this Chick-fil-a Appreciation Day, the Department of Health and Human Services’ rape of religious freedom took effect. There appears to be a concerted movement afoot to lock (almost exclusively) Christian religious expression within the confines of the church, such that your religious freedoms begin and end on the steps of the local chapel. It is an attempt to change freedom of expression into freedom of worship, an attempt to take religion from the public sphere and confine it to the much smaller individual sphere. It is a rather disturbing trend, as it seems to indicate that only the loudest and most aggressive people will be allowed to enter the public square. Debate ceases to be a battle of ideas and instead becomes a battle of tactics.
In the meantime, the controversy appears to be good for business. Chick-fil-a restaurants around the country were packed with swarms of hungry customers, some waiting in lines that stretched out of the stores and around the buildings. It’s rather encouraging to know that some people refuse to be bullied and intimated by thuggish activists. And kudos to Chick-fil-a for refusing to cede their ground. While it is a kind of sad commentary on the state of American politics that the decision to buy a chicken sandwich is now a political choice, such bravery in America’s corporate citizens is a rare sight indeed.