Saturday, April 11, 2015

Speak Truth to Power


There is a great deal to like and to admire about Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple.  He is a courageous and visionary liberal leading what is arguably the finest and best run company in America. He came out recently as gay and is the only openly gay CEO of a Fortune 500 company.

Among the many liberal convictions he has put into practice at Apple in an environmentally responsible effort on climate change, going even so far as to challenge shareholders who are, in Cook's opinion, "climate deniers."

It is from this framework that he led a chorus of corporate leaders, politicians and celebrities in condemning Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Cook said, "Our message, to people around the country and around the world, is this: Apple is open. Open to everyone, regardless of where they come from, what they look like, how they worship or who they love. Regardless of what the law might allow in Indiana or Arkansas, we will never tolerate discrimination. Opposing discrimination takes courage. With the lives and dignity of so many people at stake, it’s time for all of us to be courageous." 

Writing in an op-ed in The Washington Post, Cook said, in part, "There’s something very dangerous happening in states across the country. A wave of legislation, introduced in more than two dozen states, would allow people to discriminate against their neighbors. Some, such as the bill enacted in Indiana last week that drew a national outcry and one passed in Arkansas, say individuals can cite their personal religious beliefs to refuse service to a customer or resist a state nondiscrimination law."

I am greatly bothered by the fact that Cook and many other "Liberals" are on exactly the wrong side of this issue, demanding conformity to a rigid and terribly narrow standard of behavior instead of standing up for individual's right of moral conviction.  


But I am even more concerned that Cook leads a group of bullies in a mob action to demand an orthodox Jewish photographer or a Muslim baker be forced under penalty of law to deny their religious and their moral convictions and participate in acts or ceremonies forbidden by their religion.  Deny Allah or lose your business, livelihood or freedom.  

Cook insists we deny to others the very freedom of moral conviction that allowed gays to gain an open and free place in our society. Cook seems to have forgotten that when the so-called "majority" forced gays into hiding, it was the religious minority of Unitarian Universalists (and other liberal churches) who welcomed gays and lesbians into their churches and performed gay marriages when they were outlawed.  

Unitarians have for centuries lived their beliefs even when prohibited by the state.  They are the religion of the pilgrims, driven out by The Church of England and the King to find freedom in the America they founded.  Now Cook wants to deny this freedom of moral belief.  God help the next persecuted group as Cook wants actions taken based religious belief to be denied by the state.

Errr...well, he wants then denied in Indiana and Arkansas.  Not so much elsewhere.

V the K, writing over on The Gay Patriot responded perfectly, "It takes N0 courage to “stand up to” bakers and florists who just don’t want to take part in gay weddings (although it gets you a lot of “trained seal applause” from other sanctimonious poseurs). Standing up to legitimately brutal regimes … that would be actual courage."

Indeed, as it turns out, Cook wants no part in speaking truth to power.  Challenged by more that a dozen bloggers and pundits, they wrote an open letter to Cook.  The letter reads, in part,  "Tim Cook says that, “Opposing discrimination takes courage,” and we agree. We call on Mr. Cook to live up to our shared principles by pulling Apple out of Nigeria, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Iran until they stop their official government policies of jailing and murdering gays and lesbians."


Tim Cook has not, as yet, responded.  Sadly, I've lost substantial respect for Mr. Cook.  He is, as V the K implied, a poseur.

3 comments:

Lee Wm Kiester said...

Excellent posting.

Bob Keller said...

Lee, Thanks. It's always nice to hear from you.

The stance taken by Tim Cook bothers me because it's all about "winners and losers" and not "right versus wrong."

Just a few short years ago Bill (and Hillary) Clinton were strong supports of the "defense of Marriage Act." Bill signed it into law. At that moment religious conservatives were "winners" and the Clinton's (and most other Democrats) were quick to support the winners. They passed a law FORBIDDING Gays and Lesbians from following their beliefs and moral code.

Today the LBGT community are "winners" and the Religious conservatives are "losers." So today we pass laws to make sure today's "losers" (i.e. religious conservatives of any of the world's major religions) cannot follow their conscience or the teachings of their church.

Tim Cook is now very proud of himself for causing the same pain to another minority he himself once suffered.

The king is dead, long live the king.

Chris said...

It's more than winners and losers, it's who gets ostracized from the community. Modern liberals like Tim Cook believe that they, and only they, get to define the community. This is why modern liberals all have the same opinions on almost everything. Am I surprised that Tim Cook is a believer in global warming? He could not be anything else and be a member of his community in good standing. Watch their behavior when one of their own breaks ranks on some issue. The dissenter will be vilified until he grovels his way back into grace, or he will be shunned.