There probably isn’t anyone who hasn’t heard about the sacking of (now former) Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich over a personal donation he made to the Proposition 8 campaign. When it comes to the sacking itself, I couldn’t have said it better than Andrew Sullivan at The Dish:
Will [Eich] now be forced to walk through the streets in shame? Why not the stocks? The whole episode … should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society. If this is the gay rights movement today—hounding our opponents with a fanaticism more like the religious right than anyone else—then count me out.
Robert George sounded the loudest (and most hysterical) cavalry charge at First Things, suggesting that all orthodox Catholics, conservative evangelicals, Eastern Orthodox Christians, Orthodox Jews, and observant Muslims now need to watch their backs:
You can bet it’s not just Mozilla. Now that the bullies have Eich’s head as a trophy on their wall, they will put the heat on every other corporation and major employer. They will pressure them to refuse employment to those who decline to conform their views to the new orthodoxy … there will be other political and moral issues, too, that will be treated as litmus tests for eligibility for employment. The defenestration of Eich by people at Mozilla for dissenting from the new orthodoxy on marriage is just the beginning.
How is it, we might ask, that we now hear the loudest cries against “political and moral issues” being “treated as litmus tests for eligibility for employment” coming from conservative kulturkampf warhorses who have been strenuously advancing that very proposition for some time?
How is it, we might ask, that we hear the loudest cries against Mozilla’s decision to decide that it is an organization with progressive values coming from those who strenuously defend Hobby Lobby’s claim to be a “religious organization”? Would Robert George et. al. complain about the “defenestration” of a pro-gay marriage Hobby Lobby CEO? If a business selling “arts and crafts supplies, fabrics, baskets, silk flowers, needlework, picture framing, party supplies, furniture, and related items” can have views on sexual ethics, why can’t a web development company have urbane, progressive values?
As Jamelle Bouie notes at Slate, the “Mozilla situation seems emblematic of what conservatives want when it comes to the relationship between business, public opinion, and public sanction”—which is why their complaints over Eichgate sound hollow and cravenly opportunistic to everyone who isn’t a conservative.
Christians are waking up to the fact that they have very little moral capital with which to speak out against the defenestration of Brendan Eich. If we want to know why this is the case, we might start by questioning our collective acquiescence in allowing the culture warhorses to act as de facto public spokespeople for the churches on “political and moral issues”—the people who have spent so long digging Brendan Eich’s grave, and are now surprised to find him buried there.