Jim Daly Christian Blog and Commentary

How to Respond to the Ousting of Mozilla’s CEO

  • Jim Daly Jim Daly is president and chief executive officer of Focus on the Family, a non-profit organization dedicated to helping families thrive.
  • 2014 Apr 04

This is the kind of news story that will make you shake your head at where we are as a culture.

The co-founder of Firefox maker Mozilla, Brendan Eich, is a “thoughtful, nerdy, humble guy” (according to a homosexual San Francisco-based journalist) – the type of man you would want to run a technology company. He created the JavaScript programming language and uses his smarts and influence to advance the principles of individual freedom and an open Internet.

However, to his peril, Eich also supports traditional marriage. In 2008, he donated $1,000 to California’s Proposition 8, which defined marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

His relatively small donation was enough to mobilize staffers in his own company to publicly condemn Eich being named as the CEO of Mozilla Corporation. They took to social media to voice their displeasure. Others joined them, such as online dating site OkCupid.

The pressure led Brendan Eich to resign yesterday.

Eich’s departure led actor and gay-rights activist George Takei to post on his immensely popular Facebook page that Mozilla staffers “can now work in a hate-free zone.”

That’s quite the powerful accusation – that merely holding the view that marriage should be defined as a union between a man and a woman can create an environment of “hate.”

Indeed, that word – hate – gets thrown around a lot when it comes to those of us who hold to a view of natural marriage.

Nevermind that Eich never discussed his support of one-man, one-woman marriage while in his professional role. On the contrary, Eich has said he’s always “kept my personal beliefs out of it [Mozilla].”

Mr. Eich even sponsors a project that helps minorities, including those who are LGBTQ, get training and support.

Maybe that’s why Mozilla Executive Chairwoman Mitchell Baker is quoted as saying she “never saw any kind of behavior or attitude from him that was not in line with Mozilla’s values of inclusiveness.”

And yet, Eich is accused of hatred and gets ousted from the company he helped start simply because he supports natural marriage.

It’s enough to make a reasonable person’s head spin.

Even influential author and blogger Andrew Sullivan, who is openly gay, is recoiling at how Eich has been treated. In a blog post, Sullivan writes, “The whole episode disgusts me – as it should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society.”

Sullivan also quotes a reader who disagrees with Eich over gay marriage, but who gets the bigger issues at hand: “There’s no freedom of speech if you can’t be employed while holding your opinion.”

Yet this is where we are.

Sullivan and others coming to Eich's defense are right. It's wrong and ridiculous. It's reverse discrimination. It's social bullying, pure and simple. I'm reminded of the title of that off-beat comedy from another era:

"It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World."

Indeed it is.

Let me ask this:

Is it not reasonable for those who support same-sex marriage to extend to us the same level of tolerance they expect from us?

I certainly think it is.

So how should a Christian practically respond to news like this?

Our natural inclination would be to engage our “fight or flight response.” Some of us would want to retaliate, using the same name-calling and punishing tactics being used against Eich and others who are being penalized for their views on marriage or homosexuality.

Other believers are tempted to disengage and retreat. They feel like going underground and ignoring the culture – after all, it’s clearly evident there can be a price to pay for voicing our support of natural marriage.

May I suggest you pull back from either of these options?

Instead, I encourage you to continue to stand for truth in love. Without wavering. Willing to pay whatever price comes.

That’s the way of Jesus’ disciples. We engage in a way that’s different from the world, because we are motivated by love. It’s not about winning every argument. It’s about serving as a witness to the power of the Gospel.

We need to speak up and out, with respect of course… but we simply can’t stay silent.

Let’s also continue to educate ourselves on why these issues matter.

As the culture increasingly rejects the principles we see in the Bible, we need to explain why marriage and family matters. It’s no longer enough to know in our gut that what we believe is right – now we have to provide a defense to a skeptical world.

Focus’ upcoming movie, “Irreplaceable,” will help you be confident in standing for God’s design for family. It will debut in more than 700 cinemas around the nation in a one-night event on May 6 and will feature experts and real families explaining the wisdom of God’s plan for culture and society. Tickets are available now.

I hope you and our family can join us on May 6 – it’s a simple way you can take a stand for what’s right.

Embed Metaxas trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yLLhvj7Wf1Y&list=PLN_OwL4J8L1AfuPuiL_h9PlChGwRl4qe_&index=5

Those of you visiting on your mobile device can watch a sneak peak of Irreplaceable featuring author and cultural commentator Eric Metaxas at our YouTube page.

Learn more about “Irreplaceable,” the one-night theatrical event showing on May 6

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