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Atheism, Christianity, Culture

Apple Joins Delta and Others in Boycotting Christian Values Network

Apple has pulled its iTunes store from the Christian Values Network due to what it sees as the network’s contributions to controversial groups, as tech companies tread carefully in the midst of complicated social issues. (LINK)

After what has seemed like weeks of bad news for non-believers, there is a small ray of hope tucked away in the Business Section of the newspaper.  Western Washington University student Ben Crowthe submitted a petition to Apple to withdraw support for CVN.  He cited the Southern Poverty Law Center’s report linking the Christian retail website to known anti-gay, anti-woman Hate Groups.  Last week, Apple announced its withdrawal from the site.  This is not the first time Apple has taken a stand against bigotry.  In March, the company pulled an app that purported to help “cure” gay people.  (LINK)

Apple is not the only big company to jump ship in recent weeks.  Atlanta’s own Delta Airlines, Macy’s, Wells Fargo, BBC, and Microsoft have issued similar policy statements.  To many, this marks a rare departure from the cut-throat amoral marketing which has apparently become the norm.  In an age where consumers are increasingly skeptical of big corporations’ commitment to anything other than the almighty dollar — and especially in a period of economic instability, it is comforting to know that there are top level executives with some human empathy.

The issue is, however, a complicated one, and there are examples on the other side.  Facebook recently removed a photo of two men kissing from a posted event, citing violations of its policy against “sexually aggressive content.” (LINK)  (Besides being a photo of two men, it appeared no different than thousands of photos of heterosexual couples kissing which were allowed to stay.)  It is still unclear where Facebook stands on the issue.

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4 thoughts on “Apple Joins Delta and Others in Boycotting Christian Values Network

  1. I think it was TheAmazingAtheist on Youtube, that once said freedom of speech means that sometimes incredible assholes win.

    I agree, I don’t want my future decided by a petition. Sign a petition to ban gay marriage, sign a petition to ban the ground zero mosque.

    The perfect example of this is Casey Anthony case. There was a petition to trial her in federal court. People’s civil liberties aren’t determined by who yells the loudest. Imagine if it went through! You could go to prison for life, based on people signing a piece of paper!

    That said, if Steve Jobs decided that the anti-gay material offended his sensablities and decided to pull it himself, that would be good. It’s his company and he can decide what can and can’t be pushed by it. But if he bows to petition, than he’s not running his company. The people who sign things are. Who knows if Steve even agreed with that trash Christians are doing, and only did it in interest of free speech.

    This is why I think the government should butt out of a lot of issues. It should butt out of marriage and not decide who can and can’t marry. It should butt out of, lots and lots of things.

    We can’t decide things based of offensiveness even if it means that the assholes win.

    Posted by Alison | August 1, 2011, 2:54 pm
  2. Alison, this discussion is a little more nuanced because of what corporations are capable of doing. It’s one thing, for example, to allow the KKK to have a rally near a black church. They can hold signs up saying, “Niggers are inferior species, and they’re all stupid.” And that’s their right in America.

    But the thing is, a corporation isn’t a person, and the constitution doesn’t guarantee the right of say… News journals to print outright lies. (FOX News notwithstanding.) For instance, if the Washington Post printed an article saying that Obama had been killed, and that an atheist did it… well… that would be very bad, and you know it would be the end of the Washington Post. And rightfully so.

    Big corporations like Apple and Delta and Microsoft are in the position of being able to control great swaths of information that directly shapes our culture. They are not free (or rather, should not be free) to say or do anything they want. I can’t help going back to FOX News. They’ve made an art-form out of presenting lies as fact, and nobody’s held them accountable. And gee… look at what happened to America.

    Journalistic and corporate responsibility are part of a discussion that transcends simple personal freedom.

    Posted by Living Life Without a Net | August 1, 2011, 3:40 pm
  3. …commitment to anything other than the almighty dollar …

    And how do you know that this isn’t what’s driving Apple’s decision now? Oh, sure, it may look like “Apple has taken a stand against bigotry”, but in truth, it’s entirely possible that Apple is simply trying to distance itself from perceived controversy. After all, it seems reasonable to assume that Apple has gay and female customers, so it could very well be beneficial to Apple’s bottom line to not be perceived as dealing with “anti-gay, anti-woman Hate Groups” in any way shape, form or fashion, no matter how indirectly such dealings may be (or merely appear to be).

    Marketing is all about perception, after all, and truth often has little bearing on the matter.

    Posted by CB | August 1, 2011, 3:41 pm
  4. Sorry Bill, but the point still stands. The Christian Value Network should be boycotted, but we can’t tell companies what they can and can’t do.

    American Atheists or the Freedom From Religion Foundation isn’t a single person, do you want the government to control what they can say or do? WordPress isn’t a single person, would you want your blog or mine to be put on a tight leash? Lots of people read blogs [maybe even more so than news sites] and blogs have a big impact too.

    The biggest problems with these laws is the government gets to decide what is offensive and what isn’t. That’s not good. They basically say “I want strict control over organizations EXCEPT for mine.”

    If Washington Post or AA makes a distortion in an article that should be the end of them? Both WP and AA publish opinion pieces.

    You are opening the door for very very selective reporting. If we didn’t have freedom of press, we wouldn’t know a lot of things.

    Posted by Alison | August 1, 2011, 4:31 pm

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