Recently the CEO of Mozilla resigned after receiving pressure from gay rights activists when they found out he donated $1,000 to the Prop 8 campaign. What is one to make of such an event?
Before we get to analyzing, here is a piece of their statement. As you read it, take note of the italicized words.
Brendan Eich has chosen to step down from his role as CEO. He’s made this decision for Mozilla and our community.
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.
We have employees with a wide diversity of views. Our culture of openness extends to encouraging staff and community to share their beliefs and opinions in public. This is meant to distinguish Mozilla from most organizations and hold us to a higher standard. But this time we failed to listen, to engage, and to be guided by our community.
And in response to this decision, GLAAD said this:
Mozilla’s strong statement in favor of equality today reflects where corporate America is: inclusive, safe, and welcoming to all.
So what are we to make of this?
Hello, Crazy World…
I believe the actions of Mozilla are a good snapshot of common stock thinking today. Their actions perfectly display the spirit of our age. So what do we see?
The Ironic Attitude of Our Culture. I find it hard to believe that the gal who wrote the Mozilla’s post wasn’t laughing as she typed those words. How is it possible to write an entire post saying you believe in equality, freedom of speech, diversity of views, and how you welcome everyone regardless of their age, culture, ethnicity, gender, gender-identity, language, race, sexual orientation, geographical location, and religious views while the whole intent of the post is to offer an explanation for why they allowed their CEO to be intimidated out of his job for the crime of holding a different view of marriage…take a breath…and do this without laughing? From this, we can see that Mozilla’s value for diversity of views only counts for those who believe the new dogma of marriage. In the words of Alanis Morissette, “And isn’t it ironic… don’t you think?”
The Intolerant Tolerance of Our Culture. The idea our culture has of tolerance would be humorous if the implications weren’t so serious. Today, tolerance is championed as the virtue of all virtues and is passionately fought for. Now, hear me clearly, there is no problem with that, if by tolerance we mean was it has always meant: accepting the existence of different views without necessarily agreeing with them. With this old definition, a tolerant person could accept the existence of different views without having to accept the views themselves. However, today’s new definition of tolerance is subtly, but massively different: accepting different views and not opposing them. With this new tolerance, a “tolerant” person must actually accept the views themselves and ditch their own if they contradict the majority. In other words, if you oppose the majority opinions/values of culture, then you are given the scarlet letter of Intolerance.
I hope its easy to see that this new tolerance is very, very intolerant of anyone who doesn’t shut up and conform to the majority. D.A. Carson hits it spot on when he says:
This new, contemporary tolerance is intrinsically intolerant. It is blind to its own shortcomings because it erroneously thinks it holds the moral high ground; it cannot be questioned because it has become part of the West’s plausibility structure. Worse, this new tolerance is socially dangerous and is certainly intellectually debilitating. Even the good that it wishes to achieve is better accomplished in other ways.
The examples of this intolerant tolerance abound. Bakers and photographers are forced to recant their views of marriage or go out of business. In fact, the whole reason Brendan Eich resigned was because he was bullied to recant his views in order to propitiate the culture’s wrath. The bottom line is, there is no room for disagreement in this tolerant nation of ours; it will not be tolerated.
The Closed-Minded and Hateful Heart of Our Culture. Now note, I agree that there isn’t any hateful kind of language in the Mozilla piece, it is filled with fluffy HR-type of language that offends nobody and says nothing. However, the close-mindedness is easily observed: there is no room in the Inn for anyone (i.e. Eich) who differs from their views on marriage.
But how can I say that our culture is close-minded and hateful? Isn’t that what dem Christians are? Easy, I have seen it (see below) and I have endured it. I remember an episode on my honeymoon. I was walking to the pool after getting some food for my new bride and I was stopped by a lady who struck up a conversation with me. As the conversation went on she inevitably asked what I do for a living and was surprised to hear I was a youth pastor. Upon this revelation, she then began to tell me she was a Jewish lesbian who was on vacation with her partner. After her disclosure she interrogated, “What do you think about that?” I said something to the effect that I hoped they were enjoying their stay and that they should try the Ono. But then she got more to the point, “What are your views on homosexuality?” I then, in my most friendly and non-combative voice explained that I believe sex and marriage were created by God to tell us something of Him and the gospel of Jesus Christ and that that picture can only be displayed when sex is had within a marriage that is between one man and one woman.
After she collected herself, in a look of utter disgust and a few choice expletives, she stomped off. She had no room to even accept the existence of my views. Her mind was closed, locked, and guarded with a gun. Trespassers will be shunned. No other beliefs or views allowed. I had become for her a proper object of scorn for my crime of differing from her beliefs.
This is a PG-Rated example of the cultural norm of closed-mindedness. It gets worse. But the straight truth of the matter is: if you fail to conform to the majority opinion on issues like homosexuality, or abortion, or the redefinition of marriage, you will be shunned and hated by most. The bigoted, narrow/close-minded attitude that Christians have been accused of having over the years has become the prevailing attitude of our culture at large. If you disagree, watch this.
I recommend the full lectures here if for no other reason than to get a real view of how accepting and open-minded everyone is. But again, the point: our culture’s mind is closed and guarded by angry, hostile folks. (Note: I highly recommend Greg Koukl’s thoughts on this subject.)
Our Culture Loves Their Slogans, Regardless if They Communicate the Truth. The last thing to note is the complete misuse of words in the Mozilla post and the GLAAD response. I think Amy Hall nails this observation when she says:
If there’s one thing we ought to demand from Mozilla and GLAAD in this situation, it’s this: stop misusing language to make your views sound nice. If you want your company to stand for certain ideas, that’s perfectly fine; just use words in a meaningful fashion to express the actual ideas you stand for. Be honest about your values: the views you’re for and the views you reject, the people you’ll tolerate and the people you’ll require to fully recant their views or face the consequences.
But let’s have no more of this “inclusive,” “tolerant,” “welcoming” nonsense.
And done. Phew.
Remember Our Fight…
Well, I had no intention in writing this post this morning and it has taken me too long and is probably itself too long, but it got me riled up. Not in the, “I’m gonna stick it to this big bad culture” kind of way, but in the, “This is insane” kind of way.
However, as Christians, this shouldn’t surprise us. The god of this world is actively at work in blinding minds (2 Corinthians 4:4) and pulling the chains of his hungry slaves (Ephesians 2:1-3) who love to suppress the truth by their wickedness (Romans 1:18). Be not dismayed or distraught. This is the fight we signed up for. These folks are not our enemies, but our mission field. We must not return their hostility with hostility, but kindness and an uncompromising hold on the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. This world needs what only Christ offers. May we be liberal in telling that Old Story.
Fix your eyes on Christ (Hebrews 12:1-2).
Renew your minds (Romans 12:1-2).
Don’t conform (Romans 12:2).
Demolish arguments and take thoughts captive to obey Christ (1 Corinthians 10:5).
Take your sword out and fight (Ephesians 6:17).