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My 2 cents

Over at Terry Storch's blog he talks about Microsoft and Washington's HB 1515, an 'Anti-discrimination' bill proposed in the Washington State House of Representatives.

The issue at hand is Microsoft (as a company) deciding not to take a stand in support or against this particular bill. Microsoft decided to limit the number of bills it will support and therefore will not be in favor of this bill. The CEO Steve Ballmer has been taking some criticism for the companies decision.

My 2 cents on the issue: (if you haven't read the bill, please read it first)
Companies who are not founded on any religion or set social values should be aware that they are employers of )and product providers to) a wide spectrum of people. In most every social debate they will alienate a percentage of their employees and customers/stockholders.

Microsoft made their final decision apparently after pressure from a Pastor in Washington. This is where the beef resides. Some people are upset that pressure from a Christian may have played a role in Microsoft's decision.

I can understand where religious leaders speak up on issues (both sides of the isle). I can also understand that a Pastor would ask a company to clarify their stand (although I haven't seen a well-organized boycott of anything recently). I believe that issues such as abortion and homosexuality are issues that religious leaders (again on both sides) are to have a voice should they choose (although I personally feel that Poverty, Hunger, the Sudan slaughter, HIV/AIDS and Education should get more attention from Christians).

I believe that Microsoft (as well as other public companies) should stick with making products and fighting bills that directly impact their company bottom-line. I don't feel that any company should attempt to speak on these issues because of the differing beliefs held by their employees/shareholders/customers. On the other hand I also don't feel that a company should be forced (one way or the other) to handle their staffing (the only issue affecting Microsoft in this bill) a certain way as long as it is legal.

AN OBSERVATION:
People who tell you that 'religion' should stay out of democracy do not understand religious principles. Every person on the planet operates on some sort of a drive that is so apart of their fabric we could call it 'religious'. Humanism, Scientology, New Age, Anti-religion, Atheist, Agnostic, Christian, etc. All of these examples are belief systems upon wich people make daily decisions. There is no such thing as a person making a decision apart from any relgious belief (even if that belief is anti-something). Those who believe that there is no God conveniently want to say that they are operating apart from a religious perspective. There is no such thing.

To be anti-something is to be pro-the opposite unless you simply stay out of the discussion (as did Microsoft in this case). We all must understand the arguments people try to toss around.

This post is NOT a defense or support of the particular issue (homosexuality), it is however a principled post about the fact that companies and religious institutions are NOT equal in what issues they should or should not involve themselves. The local church is not a publically traded company.

posted by Tally Wilgis @ Monday, April 25, 2005

1 Comments:

At 8:01 PM, Anonymous Terry Storch said...

Outstanding post and point of view!

 

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