Having a moral framework, a set of guiding principles, and believing in free speech can be a recipe for the unemployment line. Just ask Brandon Eich.
Brandon was co-founder and Chief Technology Officer of Mozilla until the board appointed him to the position of CEO of the Mozilla Foundation on March 24, 2014. He resigned as CEO only 11 days later on April 3, 2014. I imagine he hadn’t even had time to move into his new office.
What happened to Brandon? What could possibly have happened to cause him to resign in less than two weeks? The answer is simple. Mr. Eich had the temerity to believe in and support traditional marriage. He backed up his personal belief a few years ago by making a financial contribution to the Prop 8 Campaign in California, which maintained that marriage was defined as between a man and a woman. By the way, 33 other states have a similar law, and 52% of the California electorate supported Prop 8.
The “tolerant” folks who support gay rights demanded Eich’s removal now because he gave money to a campaign initiative years ago. They started an online petition to gather signatures demanding his removal, and threatened Mozilla they would all switch to another browser if he was not removed. A huge dating website, OK Cupid, reportedly blocked Mozilla users from their site during his tenure as protest.
No one at Mozilla has ever come forward in the 16 years since Mozilla was founded to suggest even remotely that Mr. Eich’s personal beliefs led to the unfair, or illegal treatment of any race or class or people regardless of their beliefs. In fact, in his own statement to the company as CEO, he reinforces the importance of diversity and acceptance within the company, and the larger global technology industry itself.
What makes the situation even more difficult to understand is that in the case of Citizens United vs. Federal Election Committee (2008) the Supreme Court held that political contributions were protected free speech. Yet, apparently in the land of Mozilla, protected free speech from years ago can be brought forward as a basis to terminate an employee.
In a written statement, Mozilla Chairwoman Mitchell Baker, wrote, “Mozilla prides itself on being held to a different standard and, this past week, we didn’t live up to it,” She doesn’t know how right she is! She allowed a small, but vocal, opposition to, in effect, overturn a decision the Mozilla Board of Directors had made just a few days prior. Way to stick by your people (sarcasm light is on)!
I don’t understand why the folks who support gay rights haven’t gone after the nearly 7,000 other corporations and people who donated $1,000 to Prop 8. Why not demand the resignation of all of their executives? Where does it stop? For that matter, why just takes away the jobs of those who don’t believe the way the “tolerant” gay rights supporters do? Why not take away their property rights? Their right to vote? If some of the Constitution is now void for those who oppose a viewpoint, why not the rest of it? What about the Bill of Rights? Is that only for those who agree with a certain viewpoint?
NEXT WEEK I’ll review the Biblical implications and principles that touch on this issue.
Ask yourself what course of action should we as Christians take when confronted with similar situations. My bet is they will happen with greater and greater frequency in the months and years ahead!
Join the Conversation
As always questions and comments are welcome. What do you think about Mozilla’s action? What do you think about the actions of the supporters of gay marriage – are they right?
Category: Personal Development | Wisdom