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.