Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Intolerance in the Name of Fighting Intolerance

                In our politically correct world of today, bigots are fighting intolerance with even more intolerance!  Brendan Eich, the former CEO of Firefox-maker Mozilla Corporation, is the latest victim of the fight for equality and acceptance, but he most likely will not be the last.  Numerous people who claim to be gay and support same sex marriage have called the intolerance against Eich completely wrong.

                Eich stepped down as the CEO because employees who support gay rights learned that he backed Proposition 8 in California in 2008 with a $1,000 contribution. Prop 8 was meant to enshrine “one man, one woman” as the standard for marriage in California’s constitution; it has since been ruled unconstitutional.  Eich not only stepped down as CEO, he left Mozilla.

                Mitchell Baker, Mozilla cofounder and executive chairwoman, wrote in a blog post that Eich voluntarily left Mozilla for the good of the company and the community.  “Mozilla prides itself on being held to a different standard and, this past week, we didn’t live up to it….  We know why people are hurt and angry, and they are right:  it’s because we haven’t stayed true to ourselves.
                “We didn’t act like you’d expect Mozilla to act.  We didn’t move fast enough to engage with people once the controversy started.  We’re sorry.  We must do better.”

                It appears that gay rights supporters were outraged at Eich’s appointment as the CEO of Mozilla once public records revealed his contribution to Prop 8.  Eich’s support for Prop 8 “was seen as antithetical to Mozilla’s progressive public ethos, leading to calls for a boycott of the group’s Firefox web browser.”  It also directly opposed Baker’s view.

                Eich, a Mozilla cofounder, explained his position in an interview with the Guardian newspaper last week.  Stating that he considered his political beliefs to be “personal,” he had “kept them out of Mozilla all these 15 years we’ve been going.”  He continued:  “There’s a difference here between the company, the foundation, as an employer and an entity, versus the project and community at large, which is not under any constraints to agree on LGBT equality or any other thing that is not central to the mission or the Mozilla manifesto.”

                A young friend expressed his feelings about this situation:  “It’s wrong to fire someone over their political beliefs, and it’s unfair if they are capable.  This is bigotry, supposedly in the name of fighting bigotry, and it’s a scary precedent.  Whether or not you agree with his stance, it was in 2008 that he made a personal, political donation – it shouldn’t have reflected on his tenure at Mozilla.  Mozilla’s stance on the issue, or his ability to manage at all.  Imagine getting ousted from your job because of how you voted on a ballot measure 5 years ago….”

                Scholars at The Heritage Foundation gave their reaction to the “bullies” attacking, intimidating, and harassing Eich because he did not share their view.  Ryan T. Anderson, the William E. Simon Fellow in Religion and a Free Society:  “The outrageous treatment of Eich is the result of one private, personal campaign contribution to support marriage as a male-female union, a view affirmed at the time by President Barack Obama, then-Sen. Hillary Clinton, and countless other prominent officials.  After all, Prop 8 passed with the support of 7 million California voters.  So was President Obama a bigot back when he supported marriage as the union of a man and woman?  And is characterizing political disagreement on this issue – no matter how thoughtfully expressed – as hate speech really the way to find common ground and peaceful co-existence?

                “Sure, the employees of Mozilla – which makes Firefox, the popular Internet browser – have the right to protest a CEO they dislike, for whatever reason.  But are they treating their fellow citizens with whom they disagree civilly?  Must every political disagreement be a capital case regarding the right to stand in civil society?

                “When Obama `evolved’ on the issue just over a year ago, he insisted that the debate about marriage was legitimate.  He said there are people of goodwill on both sides.”

                Hans von Spakovsky, manager of the Election Law Reform Initiative and senior legal fellow:  “Before Eich resigned, he pointed out that he had kept his personal beliefs out of Mozilla and that they were not relevant to his job as CEO.  He was exactly right, although that did not prevent him from resigning.

                “In a startling display of irony that was obviously lost on her, Mozilla Executive Chairwoman Mitchell Baker, who approved of Eich’s resignation, said it was necessary because `preserving Mozilla’s integrity was paramount.’  She seems not to recognize that forcing a founder of the company to resign because of his personal beliefs that have nothing to do with his qualifications as a corporate officer is the exact opposite of `integrity.’

                “Eich is certainly not alone in his predicament.  As The Heritage Foundation previously pointed out, other supporters of Proposition 8 in California have been subjected to harassment, intimidation, vandalism, racial scapegoating, blacklisting, loss of employment, economic hardships, angry protests, violence, death threats, and anti-religious bigotry.  All committed by individuals claiming they are simply trying to gain `acceptance’ and who complain about the supposed intolerance of society over their lifestyle.”

                Should anyone be forced to toe the company political line or lose their job?  I thought America was a land of freedom where we were free to think and feel what we choose!  We must stand up to these bigots and defend our own beliefs.  I believe that marriage should be defined as “one man, one woman,” and I will not change my belief.  I just might boycott Mozilla and other companies that support gay rights!  What will you do to defend your rights of freedom against intolerance?

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