OK Stupid

or:  Truth, Lies, Politics and Web Browsers.

Brendan Eich is a smart guy. He co-founded Mozilla, who created Firefox and many other software products. Over ten days in May 1995, he created JavaScript, the programming language that lives in all of our web browsers.

Back in 2008, he donated some money in support of Proposition 8, a California ballot measure that sought to ban gay marriage in the state, which was subsequently shot down by the Supreme Court. It was his own money, privately donated to a cause he believes in passionately enough to put his money where his mouth is.

As it happens, I share his beliefs on this particular subject: It is not politically correct, and it probably isn’t even a popular stance, but if you define marriage as a sacred covenant between a man, a woman and God, it is hard to believe otherwise.In spite of the hysterical yammering from certain sectors of the press. Given that definition, “Marriage Equality” if effectively an oxymoron in the context it is being used here. This is not a “Gay Rights” issue or even an “Equal Rights” issue – Gays have the same rights as everyone else – no more, no less. It is a “Marriage” issue. That is my privately-held belief, and like all such beliefs, it is not for others to decide or negotiate. You don’t get to tell me what to think, and I won’t try to tell you how to live – capisce?

In an interview with the Guardian newspaper, Eich said his political beliefs were “personal” and that he had “kept them out of Mozilla all these 15 years we’ve been going… there’s a difference here between the company, the foundation, as an employer and an entity, versus the project and community at large, which is not under any constraints to agree on LGBT equality or any other thing that is not central to the mission or the Mozilla manifesto,”

Apparently that is not enough for some, including the match-making web site “OKCupid”, which singles out Firefox users for special attention – as if the browser was in some way at fault. After the resulting sturm aund drang, he resigned as CEO of Mozilla, a post he had held for only sixteen days, and has left the company entirely after fifteen years there.

Who won? Who lost? I wonder…

Mr. Eich’s decision to take an unpopular stand and deal with the consequences has my respect and admiration. It is Mozilla’s loss; those who hounded him from office have not gained anything, and Mr. Eich will not starve; he’s a smart guy, and there are most likely dozens of companies out there – presumably there are some as yet un-infested with the disease of political correctness – who will snap him up in a heartbeat. He is most likely independently wealthy anyway. But the shameful treatment of Mr Eich does the Gay Rights Movement no credit; they who talk about loudest about tolerance have none to spare for those who do not share their beliefs and philosophies.

Practice what you preach, folks.

Andrew Sullivan says it best: “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. If we are about intimidating the free speech of others, we are no better than the anti-gay bullies who came before us.”

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  • By Bravery | Wizard Prang's Blog on November 25, 2016 at 8:40 PM

    […] More than two years ago I blogged about one Brendan Eich, the short-lived CEO of Mozilla, who committed the cardinal sin of opposing Gay Marriage; way back in 2008, he made a donation opposing Proposition 208 in California. Even though the donation was made as a private citizen and even though he never discriminated against gays in any way during his time at Mozilla, his disagreement with the love-and-tolerance mob was such heresy that a witch-hunt was in order and he was figuratively burned at the stake. He was forced to resign from Mozilla, and went to live out his days in obscurity. […]

  • By Brave New World | Wizard Prang's Blog on November 25, 2016 at 8:52 PM

    […] More than two years ago I blogged about one Brendan Eich, the short-lived CEO of Mozilla, who committed the cardinal sin of opposing Gay Marriage; way back in 2008, he made a donation opposing Proposition 208 in California. Even though the donation was made as a private citizen and even though he never discriminated against gays in any way during his time at Mozilla, his disagreement with the love-and-tolerance mob was such heresy that a witch-hunt was in order and he was figuratively burned at the stake. Following a political firestorm, he stepped down as CEO and resigned from Mozilla, and wenr on to live out his days in obscurity. […]

  • By TAXI!! | Wizard Prang's Blog on January 31, 2017 at 1:40 PM

    […] you do with your personal share of the profits is entirely up to you (as long as you don’t donate money to the wrong causes). Whether your company gets any of that money from me is up to […]

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