Thursday, April 10, 2014

Mozilla Madness

You may have heard of the kerfuffle with Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich lately.  If you haven’t, here’s a nutshell recap.

Brendan Eich is one of the co-founders of Mozilla – the software foundation responsible for the open-source Firefox browser, debatably the second most popular browser in the world – and the creator of Javascript, which is a computer language that runs pretty much throughout the Internet.  If you use a browser at all, you have Eich to thank for it.

In 2008, Eich donated $1000 of his personal money to the Proposition 8 movement, which supported traditional marriage in California.  It passed easily, with over 52% support from voters (in the ultra-blue lib-crazy California, no less).  A long series of legal battles ensued, with the end result being that liberal activist judges got it tossed out despite the clear will of the people of California.  Fast forward to March of this year, when Eich was appointed the new CEO of Mozilla.  Suddenly, gay rights activists screamed foul, and after a week of intense heat, Eich stepped down from leading the company he founded.  He had never let his personal views interfere with his work life, and no one ever accused him of doing so, but that didn’t matter to the witch hunters.

I think it’s particularly instructive to look at the statement issued on the official company blog:

Mozilla believes both in equality and freedom of speech. Equality is necessary for meaningful speech. And you need free speech to fight for equality. Figuring out how to stand for both at the same time can be hard.

Our organizational culture reflects diversity and inclusiveness. We welcome contributions from everyone regardless of age, culture, ethnicity, gender, gender-identity, language, race, sexual orientation, geographical location and religious views. Mozilla supports equality for all.

Let’s think about this.  The first paragraph makes no sense at all – why is equality necessary for meaningful speech?  Doesn’t the right to free speech inherently mean that equality isn’t necessarily guaranteed?  You can be in the minority on something and still speak your mind about it, can’t you?  That’s the whole point of the right to free speech!  In the second paragraph when it talks about welcoming contributions from everyone, their actions indicate otherwise.  An accurate statement would be that they welcome contributions from everyone who doesn’t disagree with their pop culture view of social issues.  Equality for all?  Really?  You mean like how Eich doesn’t have the right to support whatever political cause he chooses with his own personal money?  That’s equality?  And, might I once again point out that Eich was in the clear majority of Californians (and Americans in general) on his support of traditional marriage?  Funny how once again the most tolerant among us turn out to be the most intolerant of any dissent.

And, might I also point out that this was the position of one Barack Hussein Obama, President of the United States, as well (he didn’t switch positions until after he was re-elected in 2012).  Nevertheless, he’s not the only prominent person to hold that position:

“Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,” Jesus told the Pharisees [in Matthew 19], “And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.”

Here, Jesus was reinforcing the message of Genesis that in marriage, man and woman are “no more twain” but rather “one flesh,” a status that eludes even the most devoted of gay couples.  This tradition dates back at least three millennia and quite likely to the beginning of human history.  Western civilization is based on this understanding.  To ask its adherents to abandon the tradition for the sake of a fad, no matter how ruthless, is to ask for more than one will get.

The Roman Catholic Church openly backed Proposition 8, as did the Knights of Columbus, the Mormon Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations, and Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church.  The leaders of some of these institutions may yield under relentless social pressure, as many of their younger adherents have already done, but at some point, there will be no more ground to give.

A precious few on the Left understand what is really at stake here or are willing to be honest about it:

This state of affairs prompted Andrew Sullivan, a gay author and columnist, to essentially accuse gay activists of quashing Eich's First Amendment rights: "The whole episode disgusts me – as it should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society," he wrote. "If we are about intimidating the free speech of others, we are no better than the anti-gay bullies who came before us."

That’s exactly right.  Hypocrisy?  Hard to find a better example.  Intolerance on the part of the supposed tolerant?  No doubt.  I would guess Sullivan also understands that this viewpoint is, in fact, in the minority, and that if this is how policy and employment questions are decided, then all it takes for such favor to vanish like mist is for the pendulum to swing the other way.

Here’s the bottom line (emphasis mine):

This isn’t new:  we have seen it take place on a national level with Chick-fil-A.  Many of us have seen people outed at work for their support of Prop 8.  Busloads of angry mobsters have descended on the private property of CEOs.  We have seen Tea Parties shaken down by the IRS. We know there is a Hollywood blacklist for conservatives.  It has been a slow trickle that is fast turning into a full stream. 
This is NOT about Prop 8, gay marriage and religion.  That is just the context in which this latest abuse has come to be.  It is about the freedom -- in your personal life -- to believe as you do, support the candidates and issues you want, and to be left in peace to do so without fear of recrimination at the place where you make your livelihood. 
If competent individuals can be fired at work for their personal stances on issues that they do not bring into the workplace, then we are no longer in a free and open society, but a very tightly closed one where fear reigns and keeps us all under control--where our beliefs must yield to pre-set political and religious dogma we are force fed.   …
All of that talk about equality, justice, liberty, tolerance and diversity, is just talk.  It’s a one way street leading to oppression.  And so frenzied are they with their viewpoints -- so intent on crushing any opposing ideas-- that they are blinded to their own bigotry. 
So now, no longer is it just the government that can single you out, punish and persecute you for being a patriot or a tea partier.  Now, your employer can as well.  And then, maybe your landlord.  And, why not the local hospital?  And what about your kids in school?  …
Knowledge is indeed power, and when those in power can use their knowledge of what you do outside of work to determine your professional fate, we have indeed stepped behind the Iron Curtain.
This is simply chilling.   
When you break it all down, that’s exactly what this is: radical liberals using any and every tactic – legally, ethically, or not – to bully and intimidate political opponents into silence or submission.  Yes, it sounds like the former Soviet Union.  It should, because it’s exactly the same strategy, being conducted by people who believe exactly the same things.

It will only persist if the majority of Americans who don’t subscribe to such tactics – regardless of what they think of the actual issue of the moment – refuse to accept it.  If such a refusal doesn’t occur, it will not stop until this country is unrecognizable.

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