NOM Calls Apple CEO Steve Jobs “Big Brother”

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The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) has released a video accusing Apple CEO Steve Jobs of having become Big Brother for banning The Manhattan Declaration app from the App Store. Referencing the iconic “1984” commercial introducing the Mac, where Apple says that Macintosh is “Why 1984 won’t be like 1984,” the conservative Christian group said that Mr. Jobs himself has gone from being iconic to ironic.

“Steve Jobs built his reputation as an iconic marketer in the famous 1984 commercial for the MacIntosh [sic] computer in which Apple promises to take on ‘Big Brother’” Brian Brown, president of NOM, said in a statement released on NOM’s Web site. “Jobs has made billions taking on ‘Big Brother’ yet the irony is that in refusing to allow citizens to support pro-life and traditional marriage positions he’s become the very ‘Big Brother’ he has decried.”

The group further accuses Apple of allowing pro-gay marriage-related apps and apps from pro-choice groups like Planned Parenthood, while the company pulled The Manhattan Declaration app for violating Apple’s developer guidelines by “being offensive to large groups of people.”

In the video (below), the company includes footage from Apple’s 1984 commercial, and a voiceover narrative attacking Mr. Jobs and labelling him as the new Big Brother.

NOM Video

The Manhattan Declaration is the name for a document and the meeting itself of conservative Christian groups that call for an end to legal abortion and for preservation of what they deem to be “traditional marriage,” that of a union between men and women. The app included the text of that document, along with calls to action and a “survey” of four questions that was actually a test to see if you think correctly about the two issues in question.

Apple pulled the app after Change.org submitted a petition with more than 7,000 people asking Apple to remove the app, offering a rare comment at the time to PC Magazine that read: “We removed the Manhattan Declaration app from the App Store because it violates our developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people.”

As part of its newfound campaign against Mr. Jobs, NOM’s home page is all but dominated by images of the CEO, as you can see in the figure below.

NOM Home Page

NOM’s Home Page

Comments

Khaled

wow >.<

Thanks for explaining Manhattan Declaration, Bryan.

iVoid

While I agree Steve Jobs and Apple has become WAY to similar to Big Brother and the obvious change from their attitude in 1984 to today is disappointing, NOM is just a bunch of bigots trying to spread hate around the world.

I usually place the narrow minded fools who use their freedom of speech to take away other people’s freedom at the bottom of the pile of people who waste their lives by hating. No exception here.

BradPDX

NOM are indeed bigots hiding behind “religion”, a pox upon them and shame for debasing others needlessly.

Apple is trying to make App Store shopping non-controversial, and I understand that business model. Less open, but you know what you are getting. I don’t expect to see porn magazines at Barnes and Noble, either - but that kind of “closed” isn’t bad as long as it is clear.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Hmmmm… Someone in the first thread on this said it would be forgotten in a week. Fat chance. Apple should not be in the middle of this. But it was inevitable once they ventured down the path of using fear to justify unprecedented control over the devices people purchased from them.

And for the record, while you may disagree with NOM or the Manhattan Project, they’re not bigots. They hold a very mainstream political opinion. It’s not helpful to call them bigots. Your median voter (a phrase popularized by Bryan Caplan) sees through that. You need to engage in legitimate debate to change people’s hearts. Using the power of the state or a corporation to censor and rebuke a legitimate position only encourages more people to examine it. And you know, if you read the Manhattan Declaration reasonably, you may find something you disagree with, but it is in no way at all hateful.

BradPDX

To be clear, I’ve read the Manhattan Declaration and I do find it narrow-minded and offensive due to its a priori assumptions about Christian morality and history. It uses what might appear to be ennobling language to create a platform for disempowering others. It is hateful in a manner designed to make believers feel better about themselves, something that religions in general can do quite well.

Perhaps I should not have used the term “bigots” - but I nonetheless find the group sincere, hurtful and misguided.

That said, it is a completely different to argue about that than to argue about Apple’s rights in this case or any other in which they decide to remove an app. There I feel that Apple has some claim in the App Store just as Barnes and Noble has the “right” not to sell porn in a store that bears their name.

If people wish to sign up for the Manhattan Declaration, they may do so in mobile Safari and Apple won’t stop them.

albatross

And for the record, while you may disagree with NOM or the Manhattan Project, they?re not bigots

I’m not so sure… from their declaration:

“We acknowledge that there are those who are disposed towards homosexual and polyamorous conduct and relationships, just as there are those who are disposed towards other forms of immoral conduct.”

Calling homosexuality “immoral conduct” is at least inflammatory, if not bigoted.

Mikuro

So, does this mean that any app we get 7,000 people to sign a petition against will be deemed “offensive to a large group of people” and nixed from the app store? Okay 4chan, time to start trolling Apple! I suggest starting with dictionaries. They have naughty words.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Calling homosexuality ?immoral conduct? is at least inflammatory, if not bigoted.

And you’re hurt by someone thinking you engage in immoral conduct? I guess we should paint Ke$ha on a Tomahawk and turn Iran into glass then.

To me (a very happy atheist), it’s just like all these prudes who want to strip any reference to Christmas out of the public sphere. Silliness. “Merry Christmas” isn’t hurting anyone. Nor are people who think seriously and deeply that there is a religious purpose to marriage. Neither is in a real position of power anyway. Let them be, or if you have to, engage in a civil debate with them. Seriously, if I were in charge of the Manhattan Declaration and wanted to get some great press, I’d astroturf this rabid gay opposition.

computerbandgeek

The reason so many people find NOM to be bigotry is because they have a track record of paying people to attend their rallies in order to give the appearance of having support, and bribing local police departments into blocking all press representatives except those from Fox…

Nemo

Another irony here is that by banning the civil debate offered by the Manhattan Declaration App (Manhattan App), Mr. Jobs has probably done more to advance the Manhattan App and its message than anything else he could have done.  This isn’t going away and has the potential to cost Apple a lot of business among customers, who share the views presented in the Manhattan App and who will be offended that their view can’t be presented on the App Store and who will then take their custom elsewhere.  And that could just be the beginning.  The incoming conservative U.S. House of Representative might decided that any company that runs a closed system app store that doesn’t permit the full range of civil debate, as is consistent with U.S. values, should not be and will not be eligible for any government contracts.

Apple is under no legal obligation to permit the Manhattan App on the App Store, but if Jobs’ refusal to permit the Manhattan App begins has negative business repercussions with a large segment of the public and/or with Apple’s ability to do business with the government, because of Mr. Jobs’ view that all political speech on the App Store must conform to his views, Apple’s Board and the members thereof, who are fiduciaries for Apple and its shareholders, may have to exercise their authority to say no to Mr. Jobs and order him to reinstate the Manhattan App to the App Store and further regulate the App Store so that all civil discourse is permitted on the App Store, except in markets where doing so would be prejudicial to Apple’s business interests.

Apple Inc.‘s purpose, after all, is to make profit for its shareholders.  Where the conduct of any individual, even that of what may be the greatest CEO of our time, threatens Apple’s business interests, Apple’s Board must exercise its authority as the ultimate management authority of Apple Inc. to curb that conduct. 

The virtues of a closed system app store are that it allows for an effective prophylactic security model; it allows developers an orderly and secure place to get a return for their paid apps, rather than have those apps pirated; and it permits Apple to exclude uncivil discourse or any discourse that prejudices its business interests.  Those virtues are wise and proven by an easy comparison to Google’s Android MarketPlace, where the security model is post hoc; developers often have more copies of their apps pirated than sold; and where, as evidenced by China, Google or any operator of an app store will be blamed for what apps appear in that app store, because it can restrict apps on that app store, notwithstanding that it doesn’t as a matter policy restrict apps on its app store.  But the virtues of the App Store’s close system do not include, as a necessary element, the bigotry of its senior management or even of its brilliant CEO.  Quite to the contrary, that bigotry endangers Apple’s business interests by creating a controversy, where there needn’t have been one, and by angering a great many potential customers.  Finally, that bigotry is self defeating because it has accomplished nothing but advancing the very message that it sought to suppress far more than would have been the case had Apple simply permitted the Manhattan App on the App Store. 

Thus, it is time for Mr. Jobs to reverse himself on banning the Manhattan App, and if he won’t, it is time for the U.S. Congress to help him to that decision by depriving Apple for federal contracting, and if he still won’t, Apple’s Board must order him to take that decision.

Jamie

Anytime anyone compares Steve Jobs to Big Brother, I wonder if they actually ever read 1984, and further, if they understood it (Google and their ilk fit the description much, much better IMHO if we really want to go there). 

A difference of opinion is one thing, outright hatred is another; NOM falls into the latter category in my opinion. I’m glad they pulled the app.

BradPDX

Thus, it is time for Mr. Jobs to reverse himself on banning the Manhattan App, and if he won?t, it is time for the U.S. Congress to help him to that decision by depriving Apple for federal contracting, and if he still won?t, Apple?s Board must order him to take that decision.

I’m sorry, but that’s insane.

First, Steve Jobs did not personally make this decision. It’s a company decision. To pin his name on this is uselessly inflammatory.

Second, it’s an app. It is not a prohibition. Users are free to use Apple products to promote whatever they wish, but this is a question of a specific company-branded store that sells applications. It is not a soapbox in the public square - that’s what the internet is for.

Freedom does not guarantee that you can say whatever you want, whenever you want, wherever you want. You can sell porn, but not at Walgreens. You can yell “fire”, but not in a crowded theater. You can have a gun, but not in a second grade classroom.

The Manhattan app contained outright assertions that many found offensive. I am sure that I could cook one up that was equally offensive to Christians and “conservatives”, and would agree that it doesn’t belong in the App Store, either. I can, however, put whatever I want at my website.

Nemo

Jamie and all those on this thread who find the Manhattan App and/or the Manhattan Declaration hateful and, therefore, in your view, with which I vehemently disagree, uncivil.  How would you redraft the Manhattan Declaration/App, while maintaining a true, faithful, and accurate statement of its message and beliefs, so that it isn’t hateful?  And since the language used by the Manhattan Declaration/App is similar in its tone to apps that exist on the App Store that support gay marriage and/or abortion, why aren’t those apps also hateful? 

The only difference that I see between the Manhattan Declaration/App and the apps supporting gay marriage and abortion on the App Store is the message, not the tone of the language.  So aren’t what you are really objecting to is a message, the Manhattan App, that disagrees with your views, which is okay as long as you don’t demand the Manhattan App be silenced so that it can’t make its argument.  When you do that, it isn’t about the Manhattan App being uncivil; it is about you being a bigot.

And Big Brother would have been just as awful a totalitarian nightmare, if it had forbid the beliefs expressed in the Manhattan App—in fact, Big Brother did forbid religion—instead of, as did Hitler, forbidding homosexuality.  Totalitarian bigotry isn’t okay if it is tolerant of your beliefs, while banning other civil beliefs, civil discourse, and civil ways of living.  It is still bigotry either way, and that is still a great evil.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

I finally understand Nemo’s view of Apple, which is that Apple is wonderful until his ox is Gore’d. Then Apple needs to be swatted down for that, but otherwise Apple is still wonderful. I feel strangely consistent in comparison grin.

But seriously, this is unavoidable given Apple’s choices for regulating software on its platform. Oh, and much like most atheists (like myself) are not offended by Christmas and even (gasp!) take part in it in their own way, many developers are not crapping their collective pants over simple piracy (unauthorized copying) and simply factor it into their business models. Look what Rovio has done with Angry Birds on Android. $1M/month in ads. They are monetizing just fine.

Nemo

Well BradPDX, let me set you straight.  First, any decision that is this controversial, to ban an app, the Manhattan App, that had already been approved by Apple’s censors as containing no objectionable material, certainly received Mr. Jobs’ approval.  Jobs is a legendary hands on CEO, and if you don’t think that this was escalated to his desk, you are so naive of disingenuous that further discussion with you is pointless.

Second, clearly users of Apple’s App Store can’t use it to promote whatever they wish, nor should have that right.  As I said, supra, Apple does not have a legal obligation to post the Manhattan App to the App Store.  However, the popularity of the App Store has made it an important place of civil discourse and that places a special, at least moral, responsibility on Apple to ensure that all civil discourse may have a place on the App Store.  Either that, or Apple must remove all controversial apps from the App Store, which, inter alia, would include those that currently support gay marriage and abortion.  If Apple doesn’t want the App Store to be a soap box, that is okay.  Then Apple should make it so by removing all controversial and political speech.  However if Apple permits some civil speech on controversial political issue on the App Store, which has become a major means of communication, then it should permit opposing civil views on those issues.  Apple should not be allowed to have it both ways, and I predict that it won’t be allowed to have both ways.  Either no political speech or all civil political discourse.

There is nothing in the Manhattan Declaration that anyone can reasonably find offensive, though there is much one can disagree with.  Indeed, Apple’s censors did not find anything in the Manhattan App that was offensive.  What is offensive is those insisting that the Manhattan App be silenced, because they find its message, not its language, intolerable.  That offends the ideal the America is the home of civil debate; that offends the core values of freedom of civil speech and discourse that is in the founding documents of the American manifesto, such as the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, President Thomas Jefferson’s The Virginia Act For Establishing Religious Freedom.

In American, we deal with a bad argument by offering a better one, not by saying shut up.

Nemo

Bosco:  My rule with Apple is both simple and consistent:  When in my view Apple does things that are wonderful, which it usually does, I find its conduct and the products thereof to be wonderful; when its conduct and its product is mediocre, I say so; and when Apple’s conduct and/or its consequences are bad, I declare Apple’s conduct and/or the results thereof to be bad.  The rule is perfectly consistent, thought my view of Apple will vary depending on Apple’s conduct and/or its results are good, wonderful, or bad.

However, you, Bosco, have a rule that is consistent both as a rule and in its result.  No matter what Apple and particularly Steve Jobs do, no matte whether it be wonderful or bad or anything in between, you will find it to be awful.  Now that is consistency, but it is the foolish consistency that Emerson warned us about.

mhikl

“You need to engage in legitimate debate to change people?s hearts.”

What a hearty laugh I got out of that line. Like a hooker suggesting that virginity was her most outstanding attribute.

Lee Dronick
Nemo

It is a good thing that NOM doesn’t have the rainbow, for if it did, Steve Jobs might ban it from the App Store.

Lee Dronick

It is a good thing that NOM doesn?t have the rainbow, for if it did, Steve Jobs might ban it from the App Store.

Remember the rainbow Apple logo, I suspect a conspiracy here. smile

mhikl

I’m usually a pretty easy going guy and usually practice being mean to only one person but this topic is too important to ignore. But when a general idea takes hold, wrong though it may be, and even the good get confused, something has to be said. Just so there’s no confusion I will say it blatantly and in simple English. “The purpose of any being who is human or any corporation is not just to make money.” There. I’ve said it. Take the “just” out if you will. It means the same, either way.

“Apple Inc.?s purpose, after all, is to make profit for its shareholders.”

Money rules and nothing sells like porn, especially kiddy porn, so Apple stock should roar like a rutting bull moose with such delightful offers.

So does an ?Inc.? have only one purpose? And anything that helps this aim must be pursued? Anything?

Seems this blind pursuit was Microsoft?s raison d??tre and look where that lollipop company is heading. (There was nothing admirable, nothing honourable in M$?s tactics. Can?t be supported so don?t try to argue it.)

Apple Inc. wants to make money and has to if it is to survive. (Like this needs to be pointed out.) But it also needs to provide a public good to survive long term. The day it loses sight of this is the day it imitates M$?s decline to oblivion. Every day big companies try to show themselves up as the good.

For example: (Is there anything good (really?) about McDonald?s garbage. McDonald?s Corporation has to be out blatantly selling the idea they are good people because they blatantly ain?t. Apple Inc. doesn?t have to do this, for good reason.)

Possibly as a Buddhist, Steve sees something money obsessed ?Christian? ethos sees as irrelevant. (Well, sometimes we can learn from those who think differently from our own kind.)

And another good one.

?But the virtues of the App Store?s close system do not include, as a necessary element, the bigotry of its senior management or even of its brilliant CEO.? & ?. . . and if he won?t, it is time for the U.S. Congress to help him to that decision . . .?

Same argument holds true for the sale of porn. The courts can?t hold this trash at bay so a government-forced-open Apple Store would have to accept all comers and (in the short, not-so-long, run) would be more harmful to Apple profitability.

Today, in Apple iProducts, parents can generally trust, be quite assured, that this kind of garbage won?t pollute their kiddy?s iProducts like it does their kiddy?s open computers.

In a nation that demands perfection and easy answers, there will never be truth and peace; cheap, easy and dirty will win overtime. But at least don’t make their take-over as easy as possible.

Jamie

@Nemo

So far as the moral aspects go, actually, and perhaps ironically it goes back to the question of autonomy in my view, and that is an idea groups like NOM clearly do not support.

Additionally, all too frequently (in my community anyway, and I’m not calling out NOM specifically in this instance) these types of groups do indeed often resort to violence and slander in their attempts to enforce their differences of opinion, this is fact, not FUD, and it’s worth paying attention to. I can recall one instance a number of years ago where a group very similar to NOM posted flyers all over our historic district claiming a good number of our openly gay citizens were all afflicted with AIDS, and it listed their names and personal information; in another instance, an innocent man was stabbed in the throat for holding hands with another man. This particular group was brought to justice, but I have to say, I have never seen or heard of incidents of this kind from pro-choice/pro-gay marriage proponents..

And with my personal rant and justifications out of the way, I do understand and respect your desire to be impartial; but remember, bottom line, Apple made this decision based on their customer’s feedback and (for once) not some random whim.

And LOL for the rainbow comment. smile

Nemo

mhikl:  I am not sure that I follow the argument of your last post, but I will try to respond nonetheless.  If your are saying that the Manhattan App should be treated in the same manner that Apple treats porn, that doesn’t work. 

First, Apple does not ban soft porn from the App Store but only restricts it to paid apps, so even if your were to treat the Manhattan App as soft porn, which would be absurd, it would still be in the App Store as a paid app, rather than banned completely.  But, of course, that would be absurd.  As the U.S. Supreme Court recognized long ago, even porn is entitled to full First Amendment protection and may be regulated only to restrict it from the tender view of minors.  Now, as I’ve said many times on this topic, Apple has no legal obligation, First Amendment or otherwise, to permit the Manhattan App on its App Store, but the morality of American values, which I think on issue such as this are the best values, compel Apple—because of the App Store’s success has made it an important place of public speech and because Apple has permitted political speech on the issues of gay marriage and abortion by permitting pro gay marriage and pro abortion apps—compel Apple to permit the Manhattan App as an instance of civil debate on at least those issues.  And I think, unless Apple reverses course and bans all controversial political speech, including pro abortion and pro gay marriage apps, it must in manner consistent with the best American values adopt a rule for the App Store that permits all civil discourse, except where doing so would have a significant negative affect on Apple’s revenues.  Only where permitting civil discourse on an issue would or in fact does have a significant affect on Apple’s revenues, only then should Apple ban all civil discourse on that issue, be it pro, con, and otherwise.  That is the only fair and moral rule that is consistent with running a closed app store that is as popular as the App Store, which must serve customers, both public and private, in a free and diverse democratic society.

Such regulation of the App Store by Apple will doubtlessly on occasion annoy, if not offend, me as some civil debate presents views that I dislike or perhaps even hate, but I, as all American, must suffer that annoyance or offense as the obligation of tolerating free and civil speech in a free society.

Jamie:  I don’t know NOM or its views, so I have no brief for NOM.  My brief is for the Manhattan Declaration’s right to offer the civil debate presented by the Manhattan App (App).  That App is civil in its discourse and represents the views of millions of Americans and of billions of people around the world.  As civil discourse, Apple, as I’ve tried to argue in my posts here and supra, has a moral obligation to permit all such civil speech or ban all such civil speech.

As for the 7,700 people who objected to the App, the Manhattan Declaration, at last count, has 46,337 signatures in support of a petition to reinstate the App in the App Store.  But, of course, rule by poll is a nonsensical way to decide what apps should be permitted on the App Store.  Adopt that rule and Apple will be constantly removing and reinstating controversial apps in serial.  Not to mention that 7,700 or even 46,337 folks is less than a fraction of 1% of Apple’s installed base of iOS devices.  Instead, I proposed the rule, supra, which I believe to be practical, acknowledge the importance of Apple’s business interests, and consistent with our values of permitting free and civil discourse in important public or, in the case of the App Store, quasi-public space.

vasic

There is a fundamental difference between anti-gay and pro-gay position. As good and nice as NOM people likely are, they are fundamentally no different from their grandparents who genuinely believed that there was no justification to allow blacks to vote, get higher education, or even socially mix with whites.

The “pro marriage” anti-gay position is necessarily discriminatory in that it unavoidably defines a specific group of people as different, with fewer human rights, which implies lesser human (“moral”) value than their own. There is no way to avoid defining this position as bigoted and therefore offensive to such group of people (as well as others who aren’t necessarily in that category).

I have carefully read that “Manhattan Declaration”. It is very, very carefully written to include noble, emotional language. Majority of it is in fact inspiring for every decent person, straight or gay. Here is the offending piece:

We acknowledge that there are those who are disposed towards homosexual and polyamorous conduct and relationships, just as there are those who are disposed towards other forms of immoral conduct (emphasis mine). (...) we pay tribute to the men and women who strive, often with little assistance, to resist the temptation to yield to desires that they, no less than we, regard as wayward. We stand with them, even when they falter. (...) We call on the entire Christian community to resist sexual immorality, and at the same time refrain from disdainful condemnation of those who yield to it. Our rejection of sin, though resolute, must never become the rejection of sinners. For every sinner, regardless of the sin, is loved by God, who seeks not our destruction but rather the conversion of our hearts.

I can clearly see how calling someone immoral just because they are gay can be profoundly offensive to a gay person. Perhaps that’s just me…

vasic

And to extend my argument above, I don’t think you can find in any of the pro- gay marriage content out there that ANY individual group of people is in any way defined as immoral, with lower human, social, cultural or other values than any other. Gay, abortion and other minority rights groups all base their positions on elevating the rights of certain groups of people to the SAME level as those of the majority; not ABOVE anyone else’s, and not at the expense of anyone else’s rights.

That’s why those apps can (generally) easily be approved; not because they aren’t offensive (because they are, to those who object to their values), but because no language in there discriminates against anyone else.

vasic

Just to add another quote from the final paragraph of that Declaration:

...Because we honor justice and the common good, we will not comply with any edict that purports to compel our institutions to participate in abortions, embryo-destructive research, assisted suicide and euthanasia, or any other anti-life act; nor will we bend to any rule purporting to force us to bless immoral sexual partnerships, treat them as marriages or the equivalent, or refrain from proclaiming the truth, as we know it, about morality and immorality and marriage and the family.

In other words, the ‘truth’ about morality and immorality puts those gays squarely into the ‘immoral’ (therefore less worthy than us) group.

There may be a bit more such language there; it has been a few weeks since I last read the whole thing, and I have just quickly parsed it today for some relevant quotes.

jfbiii

How would you redraft the Manhattan Declaration/App, while maintaining a true, faithful, and accurate statement of its message and beliefs, so that it isn?t hateful?

I wouldn’t. The message itself is hateful. One could be pro-traditional marriage without insisting that it come at the expense of the freedoms of others. That is not a message that any of the bigots at NOM is interested in pushing.

They can use nice, flowery language (like the Roman Catholic does) in an effort to burnish their bigotry, but it doesn’t change the fact that their core message is not “pro” anything but “anti” homosexual.

vasic

The saddest part of this is, the people around this declaration are probably some of the nicest, most decent, honest, hard-working Americans out there. If there weren’t for this belief regarding homosexuality, I doubt anyone out there would object, or be personally offended by anything they have to say.

It took centuries for people to accept the idea that humans cannot be bought and sold as property. It took few more decades to accept women should be allowed to vote, drive, work for a living (although, there are still parts of the world where this is not yet so). It took yet few more decades to accept that people of different colour aren’t that different, and should be afforded same human and social rights. Another decade or two to accept that there is nothing wrong for humans to mix across racial boundaries.

Eventually, people will accept that there is no valid reason to disallow marriage to couples who want to engage in it based on their sex. Until then, we’ll likely be seeing declarations opposing such discrimination banned from Apple Store.

Nemo

Vasic:  If merely calling someone or that person’s conduct immoral constitutes uncivil discourse, then you’d foreclose any discussion or what is and isn’t moral, so, of course, calling someone immoral can’t be an objective standard for what constitutes civil discourse, nor can it alone be a reasonable basis for taking offense.  Anyone has the right to challenge conduct as being moral, and where, as here, the views announced in the Manhattan App are held by billions of people, it clearly, if only from a normative point of view, is a reasonable position to say that homosexuality is immoral.  Therefore, those who take offense at the view that homosexuality is immoral and is, therefore, uncivil and can be banned are simply foreclosing debate on the morality of homosexuality, that is, they don’t like or even hate the idea that homosexuality is immoral, so they would simply ban all discussion of it because it offends them.  So what. 

The standard for civil discussion is whether a position has some reasonable basis and is stated in terms that faithfully presents the argument in a manner that does not unnecessarily disrespect anyone’s dignity or legitimate interests.  The Manhattan App and particularly the parts of it that you quote, supra, fit within those parameters, and, therefore, those taking offense must bear it, as I must bear the religious prattling of preachers on Sunday.

Or, if we are going to have rule by subjective standards of annoyance, we could have the folks as the Manhattan Declaration banning all of the apps on the App Store that annoy them, for I am sure that they are greatly offended by all of the current apps in support of abortion and gay marriage.  However, they like truer Americans didn’t demand that those apps be removed from the App Store.  But we must be fair, so we can divide the year so that the Manhattan App and its cohort of apps would get six months on the App Store, and the apps in support of gay marriage and abortion would get the remaining six months.  Perhaps, we should alternate the months. Yes, that is the way.

However, now that I consider the matter further, if we are going to have a standard of offense and uncivil discourse based on personal annoyance or subjective views, I insists that the standard be my subjective views, because, in my view, I am the most excellent and extraordinary chap, and under my standard of what’s annoying, the Manhattan App isn’t offensive, error perhaps but not offensive.  I will get back to you on the list of my other annoyances, but I can assure you that Bosco will be on my index and shall have no further right to speak on any topic.

But, of course, this is nonsense.  Civil discourse is any discourse that, given the circumstances, reasonably, respectfully, and appropriately presents its message.  If that offends anyone, that person or those persons just have to tolerate their annoyance as the price of their being also being able to engage in civil discourse.

Lee Dronick

Maybe NOM is correct about calling Apple Big Brother, see the Patriot App available for free at the iTunes Store.

vasic

Nemo,

I don’t think you understood my reasoning. I have no objection to ‘objectionable’ content, as that what is perfectly fine for one person can be objectionable, or offensive to the other. It is often the core side effect of civil discourse.

The line that Manhattan Declaration (in my view) crossed is the one of arbitrary discrimination against a group of people.

Almost any kind of content could be objectionable, even offensive to at least some person. There’s no point in attempting to establish criteria for filtering, as such criteria would most certainly have to be subjective, and therefore not satisfactory for everyone.

However, discrimination is generally universally accepted as objectionable by everyone. Regardless of political, social, “moral” or any other position, everyone generally agrees that discrimination is deeply offensive and not acceptable in any modern, civil society. This is, I believe, the principal argument behind Apple’s decision.

Dean Lewis

I find this debate interesting, considering just the other day someone posted a diatribe against Apple because they let the NOM app onto the store in the first place. Apple are damned if they do and damned if they don’t.

Because I stand with Vasic, on a personal level, I’m perfectly fine with NOM’s app being ousted from the app store. On another level, this is business, so whether it is there or is not doesn’t have one whit to do with censorship or Big Brother or anything else. It is up to the consumer to vote on the issue by handing over their dollars or not. There are enough Android devices out there or coming to stand up for one’s own values against the big bad Apple, if one wishes. (If the NOM app remained, I wouldn’t be switching to Android or other devices. The utility I want goes beyond one or a few apps I don’t like.)

78% of Americans identify as Christian, another 4-6% identify as other religions. And even with that, 51% of Americans oppose gay marriage (and that number changes depending on how the polls define marriage and unions), with that number going down each year. Apple’s customers are a further subset of this, and very likely skew pro-gay or “don’t care and leave me alone.” Apple has simply made a business decision based on their view of numbers and profit, and I don’t expect they’ll see much negative impact on their bottom line from it or from NOM trying to drum up sympathy.

We can check the numbers next year and see if we think this decision hurt or not. Or, wait, did the decision to allow it in the first place hurt or not? We may have to figure out which before we can effectively determine what is driving Apple out of business </death-knell>.

Nemo

Arbitrary discrimination against homosexuality, of course not.  While the views presented by the Manhattan App may be wrong, there are the views of well over two billion people of various sects of Christianity, Islam, Judaism, et other religions, and that is only the religious arguments for homosexuality as immoral.  One could also offer biological arguments.  And while all of those arguments and others may be wrong, they are reasonable and, thus, clearly are not arbitrary.  And therefore, any reasonable, appropriate, and respectful statement of the ideas that homosexuality and/or abortion are immoral, as is presented in the Manhattan App, is civil discourse.

And no, discrimination isn’t per se objectionable.  Discrimination isn’t even per se unconstitutional.  Discrimination is a natural and necessary part of everyday life and of constitutional jurisprudence.  Each of discriminates every day regarding people and their prerogatives, and we would come to grief if we didn’t that.  The question is when is discrimination wrong, as opposed to being right, and to determine that using reason, we must have the debate.  The only discourse in that debate that isn’t permitted is uncivil debate, but defining the very question at issue, aside being an immoral and illogical act, foreclose that very debate and is itself an instance of uncivil discourse.

Dean Lewis:  I don’t know how this will affect Apple’s revenues.  I hope that Apple suffers, because I think that by removing the Manhattan App, it engaged in immoral censorship.  But whether it suffers of not, it’s banning of the Manhattan App is immoral and wrong for the arguments that I presented, supra.

Dean Lewis

Then Apple is immoral and wrong for banning any app. You are arguing they should have a totally open app store with no decisions on their part about what to carry. WalMart doesn’t do this. The corner store owner doesn’t do this. Why should Apple do this for its virtual shelves?

Business is a pragmatic amorality. It picks and chooses its battles in order to maximize profits based on its perceptions of its customer base and the customers it wishes to attract. As we can see in this case, Apple has been chastised both for approving the app and removing the app. Apple has chosen the final step it feels will best help their bottom line. WalMart makes choices it believes are in line with its customers. A Christian bookstore will make decisions based on its customer base. Whatever the owners reasoning, in the end it’s all about making money.

I don’t see anything wrong with any of it, no matter my personal beliefs and subsequent decision of whether to buy from those stores or not.

vasic

As the resident legal mind of TMO, I can see that Nemo is passionately defending his personal views using legal arguments.

I don’t think they are sound, though. When you say “each of us discriminates every day”, you seem to be switching the meaning here (as in: “I have a very discriminating taste when it comes to wine”).

When the word ‘discrimination’ is used in the context of the debate regarding speech such as this ‘Declaration’, it obviously and specifically means the kind of discrimination against group or groups of people based on some arbitrary criteria, such as race, age, sex, height, weight, income level, perceived social status, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, and all other criteria that is no more or less arbitrary than these. Many countries (as well as states in the US) have plenty of laws on the books that prohibit such discrimination. More importantly (since Apple does not fall under those laws here anyway), these laws reflect society’s common opinion regarding the concept of discrimination against a group of people. It is simply indefensible to support the idea of standing against discrimination, but with the exception of this one (or more) specific group(s) of people, where it is OK to discriminate against. To argue that discrimination can be right or wrong is misguided. Modern societies of today have uniformly accepted the concept that ANY kind of discrimination against ANY specific group of people is never right, under ANY circumstances. Even groups of people whom all modern societies universally consider not deserving of any standard rights (murderers, rapists, etc) are universally afforded the same rights in the societies that claim to be civil and modern. In those where they are not (no voting rights to the prison populations, for example), such issue is often the subject of a powerful campaign by human rights activists.

In the end, it seems to me that both of us try to argue in favour, or agains Apple’s position/decision from our personal beliefs. Meanwhile, Dean Lewis seems to be offering most logical argument for such decision…

albatross

I can clearly see how calling someone immoral just because they are gay can be profoundly offensive to a gay person. Perhaps that?s just me?

That’s exactly the point I was trying to make earlier.

Nemo

No, I meant and do mean discrimination against a person or groups of people.  The U.S. Supreme Court has never held that the U.S. Constitution prohibit discrimination against a person or groups of people.  It has, though, raised the bar for such discrimination to the highest level:  To discriminate against a person’s constitutionally protected interests, the state much show a compelling interest and meet the Court’s strict scrutiny standard.  And yes, both “compelling interest and “strict scrutiny” are legal terms of art, so don’t try to apply them here without knowing that art.  However, those legal standards only apply to Federal Government and the several states and territories of the United States and, in certain instances, to others through Congress’s Commerce Clause authority.  But enough of the law school stuff.  Discrimination against a person or groups of people is a necessary and normal part of everyday life.  It is something that we have both legal and moral license to do on occasion and that each of us do everyday, while at other times either law or morality prohibits such discrimination.

And your are wrong about modern societies.  No modern society that I am aware of, and I am acquainted with the laws of most them, have prohibited discrimination per se, and as for arbitrariness, it is often in the eye of the beholder.  Yet few eyes and the living heads that contain them would take the view that religious traditions of at least two thousand years vintage and that are held by billions of people and many modern societies are arbitrary or that discriminations based on them are arbitrary.  Indeed, much of our current law in the U.S. derives from the Judeo/Christian and proceed almost word for word from biblical text.  If you want, I can give you lots of quotes.  Is then much of our law arbitrary?  What about: thou shall not commit murder.  If you can assure me that is arbitrary, Bosco’s days are numbered, and the number is small.

For example, Vasic and others here discriminate against the folks at the Manhattan Declaration for their views, which you regard as immoral.  Here you discrimination would result in a fundamental deprivation of the Manhattan Declaration folks’ right to speak in the App Store, and you discriminate in favor of the apps supporting at least gay marriage.  That discrimination is legal for you to do, but wouldn’t be legal for you to do if you were a state, federal, or other government authority.  Yet, you discriminate against the Manhattan App and sanction Apple doing the same.  So you are in no position to complain of discrimination, having so blatantly discriminated against someone else’s speech who you disagree with.  And I am sure that, if I could clandestinely observe you, I would discover that you routinely discriminate against people and groups and do so in ways that very few would find objectionable.

I, for one, discriminate against pedophiles having unmonitored access to minor children, well any access to minor children.  I discriminate against them as teachers of minor children.  According to the Man-Boy Love Association, my discrimination is foolish at best and immoral at worst.  Yet, I shall hold to it.  Am I wrong to do so?

And once again, discriminating against homosexuality on the basis of religious traditions that are as old as civilization and shared by billions of people on the planet ipso facto isn’t arbitrary.  And though it may be wrong, it is certainly not uncivil to state it as a belief.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Reminder: Apple discriminated against MD by banning its app. But that kind of discrimination is “OK” because the MD app espouses politically incorrect views (that actually hurt nobody in practice).

Business is a pragmatic amorality. It picks and chooses its battles in order to maximize profits based on its perceptions of its customer base and the customers it wishes to attract.

This is utter horse feathers like you’d learn in a post-Marxist English department these days. (A) The statement isn’t true and (B) no business has enough information to even begin to optimize on that axis. Case in point: Apple removing the MD. Someone in the last thread on this suggested that the controversy would be forgotten in a week. Whichever Nostradamus predicted that should administer a self-flogging (note: not disallowed by the MD).

The underlying point that you all seem to miss or ignore is the iPhones you purchased belong to you, not Apple. If you could legitimately install software from venues other than the App Store, this would be a non-issue, or at worst an issue between so-called gay advocates and the MD, with few caught in the crossfire. Walled garden may work in gaming consoles, but it’s inherently problematic for devices with the reach of iPhone (or Android, BB, WP7, webOS, etc.). There needs to be a legitimate side door to keep pressures in balance.

vasic

Continuing to battle it out with legal language (not to be blamed for it, of course, if that is your profession and/or passion). I continue to seriously question the validity of your argument, because you continue to switch the meaning of the word ‘discrimination’ as it is used in the context of our debate. If we even disregard for the moment most of the Equal Opportunity housing, lending, employment and other laws on books of many, many jurisdictions, we simply cannot ignore the fact that denying one group some universally agreed common right is something all modern societies consider wrong. And that is the mindset behind MD: to deny a universally agreed common right (marriage) to a specific group of people. Humanity and civilisation has evolved to the point that no specific dogma, set of laws, or rules should be allowed to override those universally agreed common rights.

And while in the context of English language, the verb ‘to discriminate’ CAN be used in the context “I discriminate against folks at the MD for their views”, it would be very disingenuous from me to commandeer this specific verb to express such sentiment. Considering the context of our discussion, it would be much more honest for me to to say “I don’t like/disagree with/don’t respect/oppose the folks at MD…” Rather than blurring the meaning, it would clarify the difference between the kind of discrimination you seem to be describing when trying to define the meaning of the word, and the kind of discrimination I am talking about (the kind that denies someone some common right on an arbitrary basis).

Again, I’m sure folks at MD would agree that discrimination on basis of race, sex, marital status, social status, health status, physical appearance or personal wealth is wrong. This list of categories is by no means complete, but some of the categories I had mentioned were certainly NOT on that list no more than 60 years ago (and even more weren’t there as we go back in history). Being white/black, man/woman, married/single, rich/poor, healthy/HIV-positive is no more an arbitrary category than being homosexual.

vasic

Reminder: Apple discriminated against MD by banning its app. But that kind of discrimination is ?OK? because the MD app espouses politically incorrect views (that actually hurt nobody in practice).

Well, I know of many people who, because of such views, cannot get married, get family health insurance, as well as all those other practical benefits and rights that any married couple is afforded. They are no different from anyone else: they aren’t convicted criminals, they are mainstream Americans, much like many here, they work, pay taxes, give to charity and in most respects are exactly the SAME as folks at MD. So, what could possibly be the excuse for not letting them getting married? How can possibly their marriage affect anyone else’s life in any way?

This debate seems to be sliding onto another topic, so I’ll try to refocus here: Apple’s decision to yank MD was likely made for business reasons (regardless of what Bosco thinks; I believe Dean Lewis is ultimately correct); they eyeballed the situation, someone (perhaps even Steve himself) weighed one side, than the other, tried to asses how it would affect them financially one way or the other, and made decision (which isn’t necessarily set in stone, mind you). Big part of that decision was likely the fact that MD very clearly supports discrimination against a specific group of people (and by ‘discrimination’, I specifically mean denial of an universally accepted common right to a specific group of people, regardless of the excuse behind that denial).

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Again, I?m sure folks at MD would agree that discrimination on basis of race, sex, marital status, social status, health status, physical appearance or personal wealth is wrong.

Defined as you’ve defined “discrimination”, you’re wrong. For example, they don’t see marriage without children as a moral marriage. There are so many ways I disagree with the MD, yet I strongly believe that they have a right to their (strange) opinions. Their opinions are hurting nobody. If they ever ascend to a position of power where they could hurt, there are elements there much more fundamental than their view that men can only marry women in the eyes of the state. As amusing as it is to see Apple in the middle getting simultaneous kicks to the arse and the crotch, it’s a bit disconcerting to me to see the MD rightly claim the high ground in the debate process.

But then again, I don’t think the state has any business approving of marriages, nor can I begin to comprehend why same sex couples would want any of the downside of legal marriage when they already have all the upside.

Nemo

Vasic:  You are the one who is being deceptive with meaning of the word to discriminate.  You want in this context for discriminate to mean some unjust or invidious distinction, but of course, that is just another way of saying that you and those who share your view regard the Mahattan Declaration so out of bounds that its discrimination is wicked as opposed to good and useful discrimination.  Well, that may be, but you have to prevail on the argument, rather than simply forbid argument by calling the Manhattan Declaration discriminatory.  The whole point of the debate is to determine whether discrimination against gay marriage is good or bad.  That can’t be done if we can’t discuss it because you and those with you declare, based on your beliefs, that the anti-gay marriage message is out of bounds, not even permitted for discussion, because it discriminates.  Yes, it does discriminate.  Now, what:  Is that discrimination good or bad?

Modern societies.  Is France a modern society?  It doesn’t permit gay marriage.  What about Italy?  Is it modern?  No gay marriage there.  Japan?  No gay marriage in Japan.  Russia, not there either.  I will have to check India, but I don’t think that it permits gay marriage.  China, that most modern of emerging societies, does not permit gay marriage.  No gay marriage any where in Africa. And, of course, there is no gay marriage in any Islamic nation, whether modern or not.  And even Israel does not permit gay marriage; if it tried to do it the government would fall, and the orthodox rabbis would revolt.  And I don’t think that there is gay marriage anywhere in South America.  I could go on, but you should see that you argument that all or even most modern societies permit gay marriage is a complete myth.  So there is no universal standard of modern and enlightened societies vs. the ignorant primitive societies accepting gay marriage.  That is pure myth, and to the extent that your argument depends on the Manhattan Declaration being in violation of some universal enlightened standard, your argument for banning the Manhattan App from the App Store falls with it.

The question is whether gay marriage should be on the list of unquestioned rights, and that question is fairly debatable, when debated civilly, except on the App Store which permits only the pro gay marriage side of the argument.

gospellifechurch

As a Christ follower and an Apple supporter this is a very tough pill to swallow. I think that Apple is wrong to block free speech without blocking it completely. The fact is while I applaud their efforts to have a moral, safe and peaceful business, they cannot allow religion to be accessible without feelings getting hurt.

Society doesn’t consider pornography a redeeming and safe lifestyle primarily because of the way women are degraded, used and profited from by most of that industry. Not to mention the consensus of the faith community against it. The faith community also agrees as majority and traditionally that homosexuality leans towards immorality and an “unsafe” lifestyle. That being said, their are many liberal religious groups who feel scripture is not firm on the subject of sex and so the lifestyle CAN be a safe and socially acceptable one. Religious radical groups are much more obvious and include groups like Neo Nazi, nudist communities, and other cults which deviate from traditional scripture interpretation. The Bible, Bhagavad Gita, the Koran, and Veda all say things that will irritate other faiths, lifestyles or people groups if read carefully.

Apple needs to make it clear that it loves ALL its customers and recognizes that religion just as political is socially accepted but prone to controversy. An APP should be pulled if it promotes violence, verbal abuse, or slander toward another group. I see the MD doing any of that and if pro-LGTQ groups want to create a counter App good for them.

jfbiii

the people around this declaration are probably some of the nicest, most decent, honest, hard-working Americans out there.

There’s nothing nice, decent, or honest about their message.

I find it humorous when bullies peddling discrimination turn around and complain that someone would discriminate against them. The horror. They’re receiving exactly the treatment they seek to enforce in law against another group of people.

As for their opinions not hurting anyone, I can assure you, their opinions and the money, rhetoric, and time they invest in espousing them absolutely hurt real people every day. They actively seek to limit the ability of others to pursue their own happiness. Were their opinions limited to promoting traditional marriage they could be characterized as nice, decent, and honest. But they do not recognize that limit and instead attack people whose views differ from their own. That they can’t handle treatment in kind isn’t going to make me lose any sleep.

There can be no civil debate when one side is not arguing for a civil outcome. The preservation of traditional marriage is not up for debate, for instance. If they simply chose to champion traditional marriage, their declaration would not be problematic. It is uncivil in its nature when they choose to frame it as a zero sum game in which traditional marriage loses when people who would not choose to engage in it must be punished by not having access to a legal framework that protects the relationships they would choose to engage in.

vasic

Definition, some online sources:

Discrimination:

The prejudicial treatment of an individual based solely on their membership in a certain group or category. Discrimination is the actual behavior towards members of another group. It involves excluding or restricting members of one group from opportunities that are available to other groups. (Wikipedia)

Treatment or consideration of, or making a distinction in favor of or against, a person or thing based on the group, class, or category to which that person or thing belongs rather than on individual merit: racial and religious intolerance and discrimination. (Dictionary.com)

It is very difficult to rationally argue with a legal mind. We seem stuck at the practical meaning of the word ‘Discrimination’. While there are many definitions out there that also confirm Nemo’s usage (noting or distinguishing something as different), just a cursory look at the search results on ‘discrimination’ reveals absolutely NO content that implies ANY positive meaning to the word discrimination, and instead uses it precisely in the meaning I’ve been trying to explain. In other words, discrimination is BAD.

As for modern societies, nowhere in my text did I argue that legal marriage is prevalent. What I DID say was: ...“denying one group some universally agreed common right is something all modern societies consider wrong”. For example, promoting a man at the expense of a more qualified woman on the account of her sex; or kicking a man out of a bar only because he is black; or refusing to give a mortgage loan to a family only because they are Asian… I’m sure you get the picture. However, in many (indeed, most) modern (and not so modern) societies of today, there is an emerging struggle to reconcile these universal values regarding discrimination, and the heritage of religious dogma that occasionally collides with them. And in those situations, rational and progressive minds are having a hard time arguing the rationality of those universal values against the dogma of organised religion.

Applying this most common (and arguably, principal) meaning of the word ‘discrimination’ to the text of MD, we can easily see that it passes the test: it unambiguously promotes discrimination against a specific group.

With respect to same sex marriages, there are only a handful of countries in the world where it is legal (about 10), plus two more where it is legal is certain jurisdictions (Mexico and US). The point is, this is really rather irrelevant to our discussion regarding whether the text of the App in question is discriminatory and offensive or not (which, I argue, it unambiguously is).

mhikl

mhikl:? I am not sure that I follow the argument of your last post,

From Wikipedia.

Kiddy Porn or Child pornography - means the same thing.
?
Child pornography refers to images or films (also known as child abuse images[1][2][3]) and in some cases writings[3][4][5] depicting sexually explicit activities involving a child; as such, child pornography is a record of child sexual abuse.[6][7][8][9][10][11] Abuse of the child occurs during the sexual acts which are recorded in the production of child . . . . (has nothing to do with soft porn)

There is no argument about it, Nemo. The fact of the matter is that if the government steps in, as you suggested, and forces Apple to open up its Apps store to any one and any thing, then that is exactly what will happen.

Porn creeps will sell their garbage as willingly as the Nazi-Christo freaks. Apple will be unable to say no to either. I repeat, Apple will have to say “yea!” to both.

There may be a difference in your mind between the two, (Nazi-Christo Freaks and Porn-Creeps); there isn’t in mine. And the government and courts realize this. Apple refuses one (take your pick), it would then be taken to court and have to withdraw its refusal and pay all expenses and penalties to boot..

On the happier side of things:

Jamie, you take my breath away. I was so excited over your comments ? the part regarding the lack of violence by pro choice groups ? I read it all aloud to my son: and I kept adding “You grow up like Jamie, yessss! You grow up like Jamie”.  (Not that he could understand, actually I think he was nodding off, too tired to even drool.)

Namaste,
mhikl

computerbandgeek

include groups like Neo Nazi

I knew it! No Christians in this country can go through an entire debate about their discriminatory and hateful practices without pointing out that they are at least better than Nazis.

What this entire discussion has missed is the distinction between political opinions and LEGITIMATE political opinions. Apple should (and does) only allow legitimate political opinion apps on their store. Allow me to elaborate:

The KKK is a group with political opinions. Just because there is an organized group of them does not make their political opinions LEGITIMATE political opinions. Although the KKK has dwindled in size in the past half-decade, it was at one point very popular. Yet no rational human being in this day considers their opinions to be legitimate. If Apple allowed an app on it’s store promoting the agenda of the KKK, people would be outraged.

The National Organization for Marriage (NOM) is a group with political opinions. Just because there is an organized group of them does not make their political opinions legitimate. Although their numbers are dwindling in size, they still have a very large following. Yet no rational human being in this day considers singling out a group of people and stripping away their rights to be a legitimate political opinion. When Apple allowed an app on it’s store promoting the agenda of the NOM, people were outraged.

Oh and as a side note: Apple’s submission policy clearly states that it does not allow “Hateful, discriminatory speech”. Singling out individuals and stripping away their rights is unquestionably discriminatory and hateful, and therefore is disallowed by that clause in Apple’s policy.

Terrin

Kinda like it used to be a mainstream political position that it was OK to hang blacks from a tree for fun or in the very least not let them drink out of the same fountain as whites. Not helpful to call them racists.

They hold a very mainstream political opinion. It?s not helpful to call them bigots.

Terrin

You honestly think Jobs is personally reviewing every application that Apple approves. Wow.

that had already been approved by Apple?s censors as containing no objectionable material, certainly received Mr. Jobs? approval.

Terrin

LOL. You do understand that the House can’t pass any legislation without the Senate approving first? Further, the President has the power to Veto the legislation.

Boy, what happened to the land of the free where law abiding individuals and companies can go about their business as they see fit without government interference.

Oh yea, when we started having to borrow billions of dollars from China to give all the rich folks here a tax break (great conservative values by the way), you sort of have to forget about allowing people/companies to express their own views.

The incoming conservative U.S. House of Representative might decided that any company that runs a closed system app store that doesn?t permit the full range of civil debate, as is consistent with U.S. values, should not be and will not be eligible for any government contracts.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

Terrin: Segregation was solved politically and culturally, not via arbitrary censorship. For an interesting take from someone who arguably was more effective at changing minds and hearts in 3 hours than all the marchers were in 3 decades, check out Turning of the Tide.

An Terrin: A careful reading of Nemo’s posts indicates that federal contracts involving Apple could be held up by the House subject to hearings or whatever other whims they wish to impose. Mix in a little CSPAN with your NPR and see how government actually works grin.

Terrin

Because the Manhattan Declaration application is advocating both uninclusiveness and the taking away people’s right to make decisions for themselves while the other applications are advocating inclusion and personal responsibility.


More importantly, Apple is a company. If you don’t like it’s decisions, don’t buy its products. That is how you express your view.

I suppose you are angry at Target for donating money to oppose gay rights initiatives in California without also giving money to gay rights initiatives?

And since the language used by the Manhattan Declaration/App is similar in its tone to apps that exist on the App Store that support gay marriage and/or abortion, why aren?t those apps also hateful??

Nemo

I am not using any special legal jargon, nor have I switched the meaning of discrimination.  I simply don’t accept you circular logic that all discrimination against gay marriage is invidious and is, therefore, immoral and thus, can be dismissed as an instance of uncivil debate.  The folks at the Manhattan Declaration (MD) maintain that gay marriage is immoral and is, therefore, wrong.  Since MD is raising the morality, or the rightness or wrongness, of gay marriage as the issue, it is just logical, circular nonsense to say that it is discrimination and is, therefore, beyond the pale of discussion, so it properly may not be discussed.  That simply says that you won’t debate the issue.  But issue presented by MD is whether gay marriage is moral discrimination, that is, it is discrimination with a sound justification If it is, then the discrimination is not invidious.  But the only way to fairly debate that issue is to permit MD to make its argument.  Whether MD’s positions is not merely wrong but so clearly wrong and so insulting that it is invidious depends on their argument.  But we don’t get to their argument under your rule, because we a priori label it invidious discrimination by accepting your circular syllogism:  All discrimination against gay marriage is wicked; therefore, MD is wicked and needn’t be fairly debated.

To save your circular house of cards from collapsing on itself, you construct an utterly mythical universal accepted standard of “modern” nations that accept gay marriage.  Well, is France a modern nation?  No gay marriage in France; of course, there isn’t much marriage in France either.  Is Germany a modern nation?  No gay marriage in Germany.  Nor in Poland, the Republic of Ireland, Italy, or any where in eastern Europe; there is no gay marriage in any Islamic country, whether modern or not; not in Japan, Australia, Russian; not, I believe, anywhere in South American; nor anywhere in Africa, though I might be wrong about South Africa; not in China or New Zealand, and most of Southeast Asia does not have gay marriage.  That is just about most of the nations that would be considered modern.  So where is this universal acceptance of gay marriage among modern nations, which is so pervasive that MD’s views may be deemed too indecent for discussion?  It is nowhere but in your fancy.

While religious tradition and tenets of belief don’t of themselves do it for me, they are the basis for law, social institutions, and acceptable behavior for most of the civilized world, including most modern nations, even if they only survive as secular legal or social standards.  MD is firmly in that tradition, though in the more orthodox and conservative branch of it, and thus, its positions, though they may be wrong, are neither arbitrary or contravened by standards so universally accepted that they can be dismissed as foolish and/or uncivil.

Tik Tok

To my surprise, and for the first time, I find Nemo engaging in tactics which degrade, not the substance of the arguments he rails against, but the quality of his own remarks.  As an attorney myself, though hardly so brilliant as Nemo, I’ve read his constantly shifting attention to the various meanings of “discrimination” in his attempt to obscure what Vasic, primarily, has set forth.  What Vasic has meant, if I may be so bold, is precisely to condemn the invidious discrimination voiced in the MD as uncivil.  It is uncivil because it seeks to deprive a class of people of generally-afforded rights because that class can be characterized by a trait, homosexuality, which should not allow that deprivation.  Specifically, the MD calls homosexuality “immoral”; one might similarly call a birth defect immoral, or race, or ethnic group. 
That, under law, is illegal discrimination in California, and should be and, I believe, eventually will be under the U.S. Constitution as well.

As far as Apple’s decision to remove the MD app goes, then, Vasic, in my view, is correct in his analogy to the Klan.  Nemo may be right to say that even the Klan has the right to argue its points, but that’s in the broad context of the First Amendment freedom of speech, not in the context of a company’s decision to remove what it determines to be hate speech. 

Nemo also assumes that the type of hate speech that vilifies as immoral a class of people for a characteristic they were born with is “civil discourse”.  Others in this forum have done a better job than I of describing how this sort of “civil discourse” has prompted murder and other violence against the targets of the vilification.  I don’t regard someone who paints their opposition as “immoral” as interested in “civil” discourse, but rather in fomenting hatred and ill will against such individuals.  Thus, it is not about innocent and civil discussion of gay marriage; it is about initiating bigoted and mean-spirited characterizations as the premise of the speech that will be allowed.

As has been noted, the MD is about denying rights and privileges granted to one class of our society to another class, indistinguishable from the first except for characteristics of sexual preference over which they had no choice.  Apple reasonably can distinguish (discriminate? Nemo?) between this type of approach and that which simply attempts to elevate the deprived class to the same level as the privileged class.

As for bundling the “religious tradition and tenets of belief”  of the world’s religions as generally supporting the discrimination advanced by MD, as if that were justification for the invidious nature of it, one similarly can enlist many of those same “religious tradition and tenets of belief” to support the unequal, degrading and dehumanizing treatment of women throughout history, down to the present day.  Not only is such an approach irrelevant to the discussion; it does not support Nemo’s attempt to buttress his position, since it conflates the presence of a religious tenet with some sort of immutable morality.  (Lest this be unclear, I am simply saying that, although many such tenets do present sound moral precepts—against murder, for example—there are others which are solidly overdue for the ash heap of enlightened morality—such as, pertinent here, inequality for equals.)

To conclude, I believe Vasic has the best of this debate, particularly as limited to a corporate decision to exclude the MD approach to its app library.  The MD folks remain free to voice their views in this country in public forums, just as the Neo-Nazis are.  But if one runs a business, they needn’t tolerate speech of that ilk—except in the bizarre world conjured by Nemo, to my amazement.

Tik Tok

One more point that I hope will be helpful.  Nemo argues that, if you permit pro-gay marriage apps, you have to permit anti-gay marriage apps.  But that isn’t exactly what is presented by the MD app.  Consider whether if, because Apple allowed apps that promoted racial justice, it should permit apps that promoted racial injustice.  Even if that gives you pause for a bit, Nemo, and I would guess not, given your arguments, the question, to be analogous, would ask that question if, on top of its position, the injustice promoters employed the N word, and other slurs of the same ilk to carry their message.  It’s hate speech, just as calling homosexuals immoral is hate speech, and thus, it no longer qualifies as civil discourse in my book.

Nemo

My Brother Tik Tok:  Discrimination is a loaded term.  It can mean invidious discrimination against a group or reasonable or erroneous the distinction between things.  You and Vasic come from the position that discriminating against homosexuals in marriage is an invidious distinction against a group of people who were born homosexual and, therefore, shouldn’t be discriminated against.  But it is MD’s position, if I may be so bold, that there are good reasons for discriminating against gay marriage and abortion so that that discrimination is justified.  You and Vasic are saying, for reasons that I can’t fathom, that there are not any possible good reasons for MD’s position, so it can surely be classed as out of bounds, invidious discrimination that needn’t be heard.  But there is nothing to support that view but that you, Vasic, and others disagree with MD’s position, a position which many others support and regard, not as invidious but as mainstream both in this country and beyond.

So explain me to how you arrive at the position that MD’s position fits in the second definition of “discriminate” of invidious and unreasonable distinction, as opposed to its first definition of making a distinctions for good reason.  Other than that you, Vasic, find MD’s position abhorrent, which is a kind of invidious discrimination itself, I don’t see why MD can’t make its argument on the App Store, as do the many pro gay marriage and pro abortion apps.  I’ve already shown that Vasic’s universally accepted standard of gay marriage as a universal right is utterly false, so that won’t do to bar MD’s message as invidious.  In fact, all of the world’s Semitic religions and a vast majority of the world’s population support MD’s position.  Surely such foundations give MD’s position sufficient legitimacy to speak.

And talk about degrading the substance of the argument.  Have you read the Manhattan Declaration?  MD goes out of its way to distinguish itself from the vile elements of those who support its position to state its position in the in a respectful manner, so much so that my challenge to redraft it in a more respectful manner that remains true to its meaning has gone unanswered.  And, as for your parade of horribles:  racism, sexism, etc.  MD has at least the right to argue, based on the support for its postion in law and custom, why its statement that gay marriage and abortion are immoral is no more an invidious ism or other damnable thing than saying, for example, that lying, incest, or murder is immoral.  There is nothing in the Manhattan Declaration that calls for murder or violence or any illegal act.  And shame on you for implying that it does.  There is nothing in MD’S mode of expression or in its position that would permit one to reasonably class it with racism, sexism, or anything else so out of bounds as to be invidious or indecent, except that one really, really, really hates MD’s position.

What you do is say that MD is so out of bounds that they can’t make any reasonable argument against abortion and gay marriage even using language.  And why, other than that your really, really hate MD’s message?  Well, there really isn’t anything other than that you really, really, really hate MD’s message.  There is no universal standard of right that you can point to in the world and certainly not in this country; there is nothing violent, intemperate, or disrespectful in MD’s speech, notwithstanding your scurrilous association of MD by with invidious isms and the intemperance of the extremes that its language rejects, but merely vehement disagreement with your position; and MD has broad acceptance of its views.  So in its language and the support for its positions in at least law, bot domestic and international, and tradition, MD has ample warrant speak in the App Store, or at least no less warrant to speak than the apps supporting gay marriage and abortion.

What I defend here is MD’s right to engage in civil discourse in the App Store, as it has done in its Declaration, when the only reason advanced for shutting MD up is that you hate what it is that they have to say.  After all, the immorality of gay marriage and abortion is MD’s point, its argument, and its thesis.  If it can’t say gay marriage and/or abortion is immoral, it can’t speak its message.  It may be that MD’s position, that gay marriage and abortion are immoral, is wrong and will pass with time.  But it may be that MD’s position is right and wise.  To determine which it is, we have the debate, the competitive marketplace of ideas.  And by today’s standards; given the broad support that MD’s view have in tradition, law, international social custom, and perhaps even the biology of human reproduction; and given the utterly respectful mode in which it expresses its position, it has as much right to argue in the App Store that its position is right as the apps that its message opposes have that right.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

I’d bet that those who feel that the MD is hateful and promotes discrimination are also quite opposed to affirmative action and would oppose any app extolling the practice and laws that promote it. Similarly, such people should be troubled by the growing education gap between young men and women, which now extends beyond college graduation and into masters’ degrees and doctorates. No?

Nemo, you take my breath away. I am sitting here with the MBP next to my dog, and was so excited over your comments, that I read it aloud to Bosco: and I kept adding “You grow up like Nemo, yessss! You grow up like Nemo”. (Not that he could understand, Bosco’s a dog, but he was also too tired to even drool.)

Nemo

Thanks Bosco for your support, but it must show you how hard pressed I am that I will turn to you for the little support that I am likely to receive in this forum.

Lee Dronick

As far as I am concerned I am declaring this a hung jury and hence a mistrial, I will be unsubscribing from the story, you all have a great weekend.

Now speaking of hung I need to go and hang more lights.

vasic

So explain me to how you arrive at the position that MD?s position fits in the second definition of ?discriminate? of invidious and unreasonable distinction, as opposed to its first definition of making a distinctions for good reason

The explanation is very clear: the “discrimination” is invidious and unreasonable because it DENIES rights and privileges to a certain group of people.

Marriage is an institution that carries with it many very tangible, practical and meaningful benefits and privileges. This is the case in vast majority of civilised societies today, I’m sure we’ll all agree on that. Over the history of human civilisation, the institution of marriage was not available to everyone. Less than 50 years ago, this institution was unavailable to people of different races in many US states. From our current perspective, there is absolutely no valid reason to deny this privilege (to marry) to people of different races. However, many Christian denominations were passionately arguing for preservation of the institution of marriage as defined by one between a man and a women of same race. As we all know, many other Christians were arguing the opposite, and with their help, those anti-miscegenation laws were repealed.

Nemo, I had always respected your sharp legal mind and have always enjoyed your contributions to the TMO discussion. It doesn’t hurt that you so passionately argue with “Bosco”, with whom I often disagree. I have to say, though, that on this particular subject, you have allowed your (apparently) very passionate and strong personal position on the issue to paralise your sense of justice. I believe Tik Tok is right when he says that you seem to be degrading the quality of your own remarks.

Again, when an institution, which affords rights, benefits and privileges, is denied from a certain group, that is unambiguously and clearly labeled as discrimination AGAINST that group, and as such is socially and morally (if not legally; we all know the letter of law is usually the last to catch up with the society’s norms) wrong. You argue that people at ‘MD’ should be allowed to argue the reasons for this discrimination, but your argument fails; such argument would then require us to allow everyone to argue (in a legitimate debate) why it is right to discriminate against people with disability, people of racial (or ethnic) minority, people who are unmarried, etc. The very moment you allow anyone to argue the reasons for denying universally afforded right (such as the right to marry) from a group of people, you begin to legitimize the concept of racial discrimination, for there is no meaningful difference between racial, gender, ethnic or any other kind of discrimination when it means denying someone some right or privilege that is afforded to the remaining portion of society.

I believe it is clear to everyone reading (or participating) in this debate how passionately people behind ‘MD’ (and those who defend them) believe in the correctness of their position when it comes to the defense of the institution of marriage. I don’t think anyone in this debate objects to their goals in general. The only ONE element to which some of us object is that their quest to defend the institution of marriage frames it in such a way that it prohibits some people from enjoying the rights, benefits and privileges (as well as responsibilities) of that institution. Much like it would be impossible to defend the denying of right to vote for women, or right of husbands to physically beat their wives, or the right of ownership of another human being, or the right to use birth control, or the right to marry a person of the opposite sex, or the right of a person of dark(er) skin to have higher education… or so many other rights that we currently have.

The one of the fundamental values on which today’s civilised societies are based can be summed up in a simple phrase: Equal rights for all. This phrase is NEVER followed by “Except…”.  The ‘MD” position that there should be an exception when it comes to the right to marry fails on that most fundamental principle. Any argument to explain away the reasons for that exception is not really all that relevant.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

@vasic: Your big problem is that gay marriage is not a solved political issue, as evidenced by California Proposition 8 of 2008. It passed 52+ to 48-, defining in the state constitution that marriage is between a man and a woman. It was overturned in Federal Court, but a stay has been put, lifted, and reinstated on the overturning pending appeal.

So what Apple has done here is inject itself into a current political debate on the unpopular side (in a state most likely to be receptive to that side) and censored the other side of the debate. They have done this via the exclusive channel for legitimate software (with distribution more than 100 units) for the iPhone and iOS, two very popular consumer products. They have put themselves in a position where they will necessarily have to offend about 1/2 their users who have feelings on the issue and want Apple to act in accordance with their feelings. Perhaps that turns out to be a very small constituency that takes actual offense, and so perhaps Apple skates on this without repercussion.

In my mind, it is the perfect example for why Apple should not have a choke hold on apps for iOS. As for further legitimization of gay people, see my book recommendation above. It’s probably not going to happen until Tom Brady or Brock Lesnar come out of the closet.

Nemo

No Vasic: That won’t do, because the law denies rights to identifiable groups of people, that is, discriminates against them, all of the time.  There are many jurisdiction were convicted felons can’t vote, even after they have served their sentences; proven pedophiles mayn’t go within a thousand yards of a school in many places; diabetics can’t be commercial airline pilots.  The law does all of that and more in discriminating against groups of people in what would otherwise be their rights, because there is good reason for doing so.  So yes the law discriminates against groups of people in their rights all of the time, and each of us also discriminates in our personal lives.  So discrimination against groups of people is not only not per se illegal, it is quite often a good and necessary thing.

So the question then becomes what about discrimination against gay marriage.  Is that a good or necessary or advisable type of discrimination?  Or is it discrimination of the invidious kind?  You say that it is the latter; MD says that it is the former.  I say that I don’t know of any law, reason, or fact nor have you or anyone else in this thread shown any reason or fact that patently or even persuasively places MD’s position in the category of invidious discrimination, and, therefore, MD should be allowed to make their civil argument on the App Store, just as the pro gay marriage and pro abortion apps are permitted to do.

Vasic, please stop making sweeping statements about what modern societies that are so patently wrong.  Even you, in an earlier post on this thread said that there were only ten such states, and only four or five state in the U.S. permit gay marriage, and whenever the issue of gay marriage has been put to popular vote here, it has failed.  That does not a universal standard make.  And most recently every justice of the Iowa Supreme Court in the majority authorizing gay marriage in Iowa was voted out of office, which almost never happens in state-wide judicial elections.  And no, even without taking a Doctorate of Laws, which I hope one day to do, I can assure and can easily show that civilized societies don’t believe in equal rights for all, not even the good ones like us.  At best, they believe in equal rights for similar situated people, unless there is a good reason not to grant such rights, as there often is.

Thus, there is no universal standard of civilization that mandates either gay marriage or that mandates equal rights for all or that prohibits per se discrimination against identifiable groups of people.  Such ideas are pure fiction and would be disastrous in practice.  Whether discrimination against gay marriage and/or abortion is invidious or proper depends on the debate and how that debate influences the electors in a democratic society.  Being affirmed and steeped in democratic values and seeing no universal standard, intemperate speech, custom, or law that would move MD’s position to the category of invidious discrimination, I say that the debate among MD and those opposing it views on the App Store should be permitted to proceed on the App Store.

So stop with the false statements about universal standards; the circular logic of declaring the opposing position invidious and then refusing to hear it, because it’s invidious; the declarations that MD’s position is a vile ism, because you don’t like it and disagree with it; and that MD’s position is akin to advocating violence, when it says nothing to encourage or foster violence; and start making sound arguments about why you are right and MD is wrong.  I want to hear that debate and will defend to the death the right of both sides to have it.

Got to go.  If I don’t pick up my SO at the airport, it quite likely that she will be permanently remove me from all debates, and I think that I am beginning to repeat myself on this thread.  Point of information:  SO and her lesbian sister are with you Vasic, but SO still let me prattle on about the importance of free speech and debate.

vasic

It is clear to me, Nemo, that both of us are very passionately arguing our case. You seem to be defending yours with legal arguments, while I continue to claim that legal arguments cannot and do not apply, since we are not talking about a court of law here. I’m sure everyone here will agree with what I had already said before (and which has apparently been ignored), that laws usually tend to take decades before they start reflecting the social norms (which is why in some states it is still illegal to beat your wife between the hours of 10PM and 8AM, implying that you could do so outside those hours).

It looks like both of us feel the need to repeat ourselves, you with your legal arguments, me with my ‘universal social (notice, I didn’t say ‘legal’) norms. The argument will likely go nowhere, since you will likely continue to defend the right of people to discriminate against gays for no reason other than them being gay, and I will continue to defend Apple’s position that they were right to remove an application that unfairly discriminates against a group of people (regardless of reason).

I don’t know you or your sister-in-law (or S.O.-in-law), so it might be inappropriate for me to say this, but since you DID mention her in your post (presumably, to add some perspective to your position in this case), I can’t help but wonder what she thinks of you and your opinion, and whether she ever argued with (against?) you on this subject (that includes your SO). There is, perhaps, a little bit of irony in our debate, since I had grown up with, and had for decades shared, your general opinion about gays (and their right to marry), until I moved to the US (New York City), where I got to understand that they really AREN’T any different from the rest of us and that we really don’t have any right to deny them any privilege that the rest of us have. Where I come from, nearly everyone still thinks much like folks at ‘MD’ (and those who support them).

I’m not sure what ‘circular logic’ means in this context. My argument is that, since homosexuality is not a health condition, mental disorder or any other human condition that makes gays in any way impaired as compared to the rest of the population, discriminating against them for the sole reason of them being gay makes it no different than discriminating against people who are blond, or have blue eyes. Unfortunately, many people who come to this issue from the position of the ‘MD’ will try to argue that homosexuality IS in fact some sort of disorder, or human condition, and that it DOES in fact make gays meaningfully different (as compared to blue-eyed or blond people, vs. dark-haired and dark-eyed people). This argument cannot be defended (even legally, I’m pretty sure, although I have no law schooling at all, which is by now pretty obvious).

vasic

As for “discriminating” against diabetics (not letting them be airline pilots), or convicted criminals (or pedofiles), Nemo, please don’t hide behind those, that argument is incredibly weak. You don’t need a law degree to justify those (legally), and that is certainly NOT discrimination within the meaning I explained. Again, we are discussing discrimination WITHOUT a valid, legitimate reason (against some group of people who are absolutely NO different from everyone else). Let me put it this way: you would have absolutely no problem if a gay man married the person he loves, as long as that person is of opposite sex. However, they are denied to marry another person if that person is of same sex. Absolutely nothing separates “us” from “them”, other than what sex is the person they love. This is what doesn’t make sense to me, because it is simply illogical and irrational.

In order to properly debate this, we simply cannot use legal precedents (or existing laws). We can likely successfully hide behind them, but that will NOT resolve the issue properly. When we hind behind our existing system of laws, we hold the progress of our society. This was true for slavery, rights of women to vote, rights of blacks to same education, rights of blacks to vote, rights of people to marry someone of different race (and these are only things from the last century or so of humankind). As I said before, laws take forever to follow social progress (it took 17 years for “Dont Ask, Don’t Tell” to become history). Defending a point argument with a legal argument doesn’t bring discussion forward.

Bosco (Brad Hutchings)

@vasic: You deny arguing this on a basis of law, and you ignore arguing this on a basis of public opinion. So it’s just your way or the highway, everyone who disagrees be damned (or censored, or have their opinion called “hateful”).

What is different about calling people who have a political disagreement with you “hateful” than them believing that homosexuality is “immoral”? In the latter case, they do not wish to deny anyone basic “rights”. Marriage recognized by the state is not a basic right. For one, you’ve got to find someone who wants to be married to you, something the state can’t guarantee! Being able to express your opinion, no matter how unpopular in certain crowds, is a basic right, far more fundamental than marriage. Yes, you may think of and call the MD people “hateful”, but you are over the line denying them avenues of expression.

Again, I disagree with much of the reasoning and conclusions of the MD. I’m far more worried about having to live in a society where they are not allowed to present their reasoned opinion than in one where gays are not allowed to be married in the eyes of the state. Practically speaking, if you claim that the debate is over and it isn’t, the backlash will be far worse than the status quo. Intolerance of dissent is horrible, horrible politics.

Nemo

Vasic:  You keep saying that MD doesn’t have any good reasons for arguing that gay marriage is immoral, ignoring that law, tradition, and all of the Semitic religions support MD’s position.  Those reasons can’t and shouldn’t be ignored, even if you disagree with them, and certainly are good reasons for a great many.  That alone would justify at least letting MD present its argument.  But I said this before to no avail with you. 

But there is another argument that is rarely presented by any side in this debate that I would like to see presented and that could certainly justify discriminating against gay marriage, and that is the biological one:  The only way for the human species to naturally reproduce, pass along heritable traits, and in short, produce replacement human being of the type that we have now is by heterosexual reproduction.  Now that is a profound and irrefutable biological difference between homosexual and heterosexual sexual relations and could be the basis for discriminating in the right to marry, that is, the state and MD could argue that the state has a compelling interest in discriminating in favor of heterosexual marriage, because that is how we produce human beings and, as such, it should be favored by a special status in recognizing a special relationship among a man and a woman. 

Now MD does not use this argument, relying instead on religion and tradition and custom.  MD rejection of this argument is based on its rejection of biology, Natural Selection, and modern science, which just as vehemently as your reject MD’s position.  But despite themselves, I think that MD raises this argument in a way, because I think that the religion and tradition, which MD so vigorously defends, isn’t a revealed divine edict but is simply ancient recognition of a biological fact of human reproduction in religious terms:  Because of only heterosexual couples can reproduce, society discriminates in the institution of marriage in favor of heterosexuals.  Eight to ten thousand years ago, religion would have been the only terms in which to express that truth, and the then religious institution of marriage would have been the only way to establish that truth in a social institution.

Now, I’ve heard my Brother Olson dismiss this on the grounds that the state permits marriage among heterosexual couples who have no intention of reproducing or who, short of a miracle, can’t reproduce.  But Olson’s glib answer misses the point:  Society is no discriminating in favor of any particular heterosexual couple but is discriminating in favor of the only way that we can reproduce.  Olson’s dismissal of the argument on the ground that some heterosexual couples can’t or won’t reproduce only works if it were possible for any homosexual couple to naturally reproduce, which none can.  So the state can argue that it has an interest in fostering human reproduction and a compelling interest in providing an institution for the formation of families by natural reproduction.

So, yes there is a fundamental biological difference between homosexual and heterosexual relations based on human reproductive biology.  I think that is the underlying biological distinction that MD’s religion expresses. And if someone wanted to make that argument directly or by proxy through religion, as MD does, there is more than enough there to defeat any opposition that there is no reasonable basis for discriminating against homosexuals and in favor of heterosexual in marriage, so that an argument for such discrimination in marriage isn’t an irrational, baseless distinction like anti-miscegenation laws or other bygone prejudices, but has a rational basis in human reproductive biology that is certainly sufficient to support its presentation in the App Store—though whether it is sufficient to survive the U.S. Supreme Court’s scrutiny has yet to be determined, which why should have the debate on important quasi-public forums like the App Store.

Therefore, the theme that you constant return to—that discrimination against homosexuals in marriage has no more basis than racism or denying women the right to vote and, therefore, can be barred from the App Store as vile prejudice—is without merit.

vasic

I was wondering how many exchanges would be necessary before the biological argument is brought out. Well, we now have that argument as well. It still doesn’t help, and your brother Olson obviously argues from a position of common sense. We are again arguing in circles, past each other, so it seems that continuation makes little sense.

One thing is clear to me, though. Regardless of what either of us thinks on this issue, the generation of my children (10 and 4) will more than likely consider same-sex marriage rather uncommon, but perfectly acceptable thing. For them, it will likely mean they won’t understand how same-sex marriage could possibly affect their own (if the two of my children happen to grow up heterosexual). The point is, there is a direction in which modern civilisation is going, and it is likely only the matter of time. I’m sure there will be very many people who will be deeply disappointed (and genuinely concerned for the future of mankind), but nonetheless, I’m sure it will eventually happen.

As for the whole MD, its right to be made available in the App store, and the meaning of it all (from Brad’s perspective), I don’t think this presents ANY danger whatsoever to free speech in America, or the rest of the free world. App store will live or die based on whether people feel it has value to them, and freedom of expression may figure somewhere in that value proposition. Apple will likely continue to make some decisions for that store that may skew politically towards progressive (i.e. liberal), but we don’t know that for certain (i.e. what happens after Jobs dies?). Most importantly, the App store is just a tiny little avenue for delivering information and content.

Lastly, at the risk of igniting another debate, this time with Brad, on the whole ‘walled garden’ issue (on a four-day old thread), I’m sure that, when presented with a choice between controlled ‘walled garden’ and a wild, wild West (i.e. complete lawlessness), majority of people (especially those who don’t know how to defend themselves) will always choose a walled garden, especially when you have to walk a very, very long way before you ever hit any of those walls.

vasic

Marriage recognized by the state is not a basic right. For one, you?ve got to find someone who wants to be married to you, something the state can?t guarantee!

Just a quick add-on; marriage (recognized by the state) is pretty much one of those common rights afforded to everyone. Not that you have a right to be married, and that state should guarantee that you will get married, but that you have the right to enter into a marriage of your choice, and that the state will not restrict whom you can marry (i.e. if you are a white protestant, the state cannot forbid you to marry a black muslim, or an asian buddhist, etc).

Nemo

Vasic:  You may be right about social trends regarding gay marriage; you may be wrong.  But I think that our instant discussion shows that debate of gay marriage on the App Store or anywhere else can be done civilly.  MD’s Manhattan App was such an instance of civilly debating the propriety of gay marriage and, therefore, should have been allowed on App Store just as the pro gay marriage and pro abortion apps exist on the App Store.  From the perspective of civil discourse, there is no difference among the two types of apps, and thus, Apple was wrong to permit the pro gay marriage apps on the App Store, while banning the Manhattan App opposition to gay marriage and abortion.

gospellifechurch

Just one comment to this thread that really has become redundant. I am thankful for my faith in God and consider myself a free, intelligent and open minded follower of Christ. I also love the Mac and all things iOS, primarily because of the freedom and creative technology Apple introduces through a multitude of products.

Has anyone ever typed in the word gay on the app store and seen the number of products and services that seem to be inspired by the porn industry? Gay, lesbian, bi-, on any search engine also seem to be euphemisms for sex! Using the same criteria, Christianity and essentially any other faith practice brings up the topics of learning, life, love, family, community, peace, justice and hope.

Can anyone here see why organizations focused on cultural morality rather than hedonism might want to push back a societal embrace of homosexual “lifestyle” as a positive alternative to religious traditions?

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