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April 24, 2005

Comments

Tom

I’d argue just the opposite; I think any Microsoft employee who participated in this has acted irresponsibly. I like Scoble, but you just don’t attack your company publicly over social issues because people are far too attached to them and it ends up damaging the brand. Ask people to compare how they feel about abortion to how they feel about RSS Feeds and you’ll see my point.

Further, I think the number of people who make purchasing decisions on these issues is more significant than you think. Dave Winer, an intelligent man in my opinion, stopped eating Dominos for a time because he thought the company was supporting causes he didn’t approve of and he even admits that Dominos is the best Pizza available to him. The idea that only a fringe group makes purchasing decisions based on politics ignores the reality IMHO (ask Heinz)

As for the current situation, there is no way Microsoft can win this now, its bad PR either way. For Scoble to take the company to task, publicly, knowing that no good can come of it is not very forward thinking. Now, let me say, privately I don’t have any problem with what he said but to have this be debated in a public forum is a bad idea.

Worse yet, these types of posts are going to eventually lead to the end of corporate bloggers if everyone isn’t careful. Microsoft is a huge company but even it can only take so much of a beating and after a few major PR flaps they’ll just have to shut the bloggers down. Even if Microsoft, with its vast wealth, decides to continue allowing people to blog, smaller companies are sure to watch this and use it as an excuse not to allow their employees to blog because they can’t afford to take the PR hits that Microsoft can.

I don’t think that isn’t what anyone wants and I can only hope that Scoble and the rest realize this and are more careful in the future.

dashie

Yeah, it's just a "social" issue. First, MS supports anti-discrimination (internally, locally and state-wide: they also get awards for this, which they then publicise). Then, they go to "neutral" on anti-discrimination. Are they neutral on racism? On religious bigotry? I doubt it. Internally, those offensive attitudes are probably liable to disciplinary action. Indeed, I suspect that anti-gay discrimination still is: it just ain't worth extending to non-MS Washington State residents (huh?).

Since when did striving for equality become anti-christian? What Would Jesus Blog?

Rob Bushway

I totally agree with you Brian. I applaud Scoble for standing up and voicing his concerns. Christians always encourage each other to stand up and voice their concerns, it doesn't change just because someone is not a Christian.

I may not agree with Scoble and his lack of religious preference or his view points on religion altogether, but I really appreciate the passion for which he speaks. If he were a Christian, I'd expect him to stand up and voice concerns with other Microsoft policies that go against his belief system with the same passion.

Douglas Reilly

I think it is importnat to understand what the bill in question did. My understanding is that it outlaws discrimination against people on the basis of sexual orientation. It is not encouraging the gay lifestyle, or doing anything else. As such, I think this issues does rise to the same level as issues of race that most of civilized society has accepted.

Regardless of where we stand on the homosexuality, I would hope we could all agree that discrimination based solely on sexual orientation is a bad thing. Not because being gay is "good" or "bad", but simply because it is the right thing to do, to not discriminate against folks for reasons that are not directly related to the task at hand (i.e., getting a job or housing).

If Jesus was able to speak to tax collectors and others of ill repute (who chose to do the things that set them off from society), I expect He would at least want us not to mistreat or discriminate against homosexuals.

Out4Blood

It's one for MS to determine it desires access to skilled homosexuals and thus promote internal policies that make MS a haven for homosexuals.

It's another for them to be portrayed as "promoting the homosexual agenda."

As for What Would Jesus Blog? Only He knows for sure, but I'd bet he would not encourage people to engage in a sinful lifestyle. "Go and sin no more," is what he usually said.

Douglas Reilly

While Jesus might have said "Go and sin no more," I doubt he would have denied them a job or housing. I am a christian, teach Sunday school, and consider myself devoted to my faith.

That said, Jesus is likely to be just as ticked off over our ignoring the plight of the poor, ignoring unjust economic systems as he is over any sort of sexualy sin, though chrstians in general seem to focus on those sorts of sins. Consider the number of verses in the bible refering to treatment of the poor and compare that to admonitions about sexual impurity.

We are all sinners and have fallen short of the glory of God.

calisurf

Douglas I agree with you.

It is people like "Out4Blood" that are totally painting a bleak picture of religious fanatics. Who are you to judge anyone? God will be the final judge. I laugh every time I say the religious right supporting George Bush and all of his cronies as they continue to pillage the earth and drive the poor deeper into poverty. As an example, where are all these "Out4Blood" folks when it comes time to drill ANWR? do you really think that God would be saying, "Please completely destroy everything I have created so that you can continue to drive your SUV and line the pockets of a few with wealth?"

It is too bad that there are not more people like Scoble standing up for what they believe in. Where are all the Exxon employees? Bechtel? etc, etc, etc. There needs to be more people standing up for what they believe is right, even if it means alienating others....

Richard

Douglas I agree with you. We *are* all sinners. Homosexuals... people who eat pork, cheeseburgers, and shrimp scampi... people who work on Sunday... women who interact with men when they are having their period... men who trim the hair around their temples... women who speak in church... men who masterbate... people who get divorced... US soldiers who have killed. All these people are sinners when you read the Bible...

I think Jesus also asked how you can remove the splinter in your friend's eye when you can't remove the board in your own...
Richard

Tom

I just have to preface this by saying I am not a Christian (at least, according to most Christians I’m not). That said, one of the things I always hated about these “what would Jesus do arguments” is that what people are doing (those in this thread for example) are passing their own judgment on those they disagree with.

Not only are you judging (bad enough as it is) but you’re using the name of Jesus to pass your judgment, THAT isn’t a very Christian thing to do.

As far as homosexuality is concerned, you’re all full of it quite frankly. On one hand the biblical passage might not even be referring to homosexuality and on the other hand you could say that God destroyed a whole town because homosexuality was that bad of a sin. No one knows what God thinks so you should stop pretending that you do.

Douglas Reilly

Tom,

Fair enough. I have no idea exactly what Jesus thinks about homosexuality. I am not aware of any direct reference by Jesus to homosexuality. There are many aspects of life and faith that I have decided I will never understand. For instance, why bad things happen to people, why people sometimes behave badly, and really even why people might choose different sexual orientations.

That said, I am pretty sure that Jesus would feel everyone should have fair access to jobs and housing.

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