Saturday, March 26, 2011

Exodus of Free Speech?

I'm on a job now where I have an hour and a half commute, which means a lot of radio time.  When top 40 isn't doing it for me, old time rock n' roll is sounding, well, old, and NPR off on some oddball topic not piquing my interest, I often turn to Christian talk radio.  Today was one of those days.  And today, it seemed their news and talk programs all centered around the decision Apple made to pull the Exodus International app.

I don't have this app, so I can't vouch one way or another for it.  Referred to in slang as the "gay cure app," supposedly (according to Christian sources) this app presents Biblical guidance on methods for overcoming homosexual urges.  According to, that included calling homosexuality a "sin that will make your heart sick."

After receiving a ~150000 person petition, Apple pulled the app, because according to Apple it "[violated] our developer guidelines by being offensive to large groups of people."

I think that was the wrong move.  Here's why:

The Christian talk guys made the excellent point that the apps available which specifically target the GLBT group are offensive to large groups, namely Christians and Muslims, both of which are larger than the GLBT populous.  So by this act, Apple is setting a huge double standard.

Also, this was not some mandatory app which everybody had to have.  This was something to download by choice.  In that sense, it was like someone selecting a book to read in the self-help section; the specifically Christian self-help section, mind you.

More importantly, you don't solve a problem by hiding it.  That problem not being GLBT persons, but rather the antiquated Biblical and Koranic views of homosexuality, which has proven itself to be 100% natural at some frequency.  Apps like these can serve as discussion points which can help reveal the deeper truth.

So Apple's decision to pull the app was disappointing to me, but not the impetus for this post.  That comes from the Christian response.

The Christian talking heads were expressing outrage at the groups who protested Apple and calling this an attack on free speech.

No.  No, my friend.  These groups have every right to protest, just as you do about the opening of adult novelty stores, gay marriage, and abortion clinics.  That's what we call a free country.

More importantly, this is not an attack of Free Speech.  Free Speech is the law of the Constitution of the U.S.A. in the Bill of Rights.  Apple did not attack Free Speech.  Apple made a business decision.  Guess what?  As a private (public) company, they can make any decision they want to make.  Just like Christians see no problem with the Boy Scouts of America excluding homosexuals because they are a private organization*, they should have no problem with Apple making their own decisions of an equal, if opposite, magnitude. Hypocrites.

No offense to the ladies out there, but come on Christians:  man up.  How do you expect us to think that you have the Absolute Truth when you go around wielding your own set of double standards.  State your "Truth," play by the same laws and standards, and let the chips fall where they may.

Oh, and by the way, with Apple making these kinds of decisions, Christians/Muslims should be praising God/Allah that they still have Bible/Koran apps available.  Talk about offensive material... slavery, oppression, and genocide, oh my!

* Boy Scouts of America actually does receive some public funding from the government, or at least it did before this new fad of funding cuts.


  1. I listened to the Christian talking heads for years...daily. They have many such double standards. Except to them they aren't double standards. The truth of the matter is those staunch believers really want this the be a Christian nation and anything that falls outside of that should be done away with. The biggest double standard is they would still want to call this a free nation.

  2. Amen to that! Sometimes I shudder to think of how life would be if some NT verses weren't there, like the ones which downplay obeying the OT laws. We would probably see the equivalent to the Muslim's Shari'a laws enacted in all Christian nations.

    It is absolutely amazing sometimes how they don't recognize their own hypocrisy.

  3. Who gets to define what is hateful?
    I am glad that they pulled the app. It was hateful and promoting emotional violence.

    When you define good by someone's interpretation of stories and commands written by people from a violent culture that saw most of humanity as property, anything that challenges their hypocrisy is hateful.

    Seeing people as people is hateful.

  4. Thanks for your insight prarienymph. I know you've got a more personal stake in this, so I certainly respect your opinion.

    If you've seen my other blog, you know I've got issues with the hate and hypocrisy in the Bible.

    I am not sure about considering the app hateful and promoting emotional violence. Did you download it, or did you otherwise have access to the content to fully make judgement?

    The way I see it (which could be wrong) is that the app would be downloaded by someone who is already a Christian, and, because they know the Biblical view of homosexuality, is looking for a way to deal with homosexual feelings.

    You and I both know the Biblical view is wrong, but the person who would download the app has already bought into that errant Biblical concept. So I guess I am having trouble seeing why this app would really need to be pulled. The damage has already been done.

    To me, pulling the app is like trying to treat the symptom but not the cause.

    I'm not quite sure I understand what you are trying to say in your last sentence.

  5. Are you familiar with the mythology about inviting vampires into your home?

    Since you have invited me...

    I would like to point out a flaw in your logic RE
    " ...homosexuality, which has proven itself to be 100% natural at some frequency..."
    This statement is true for virtually every human frailty, murder, rape, extortion...
    To be clear I am not making a statement about homosexuality (you have no idea whether or not I frequent, just the logic for its justification.

    You did say "So Apple's decision to pull the app was disappointing to me...", and I agree. Apple's business decision to extend its censorship (it already has made a concerted effort to eliminate porn) in this direction is disappointing precisely because of the "Library" nature of these apps. It seems like taking a book off the shelf, regardless of how you feel about the content. If it is bad for the Christians to do it (and it is) then it is bad for the non-Christians to do it. Hypocrisy is also 100% natural at some frequency but that doesn't make it right.

    Finally you say, "Talk about offensive material... slavery, oppression, and genocide, oh my!"
    It seems to me that any serious work of history would be required to include this material. Since I don't believe you are implying history is offensive material (well ok, but I think you understand my meaning here) I must conclude that you mean to infer that the Bible/Koran advocate this behavior. Is that impression correct? I ask because I don't think that view is one commonly held by serious scholars of the subject, though it is one I have seen echoed in blogs on the "net of a million lies" (

    Of course if you'll just hold up a Crucifix I'll go away ;-)

  6. Doh! David, thanks for your comments. I'll get back to them in time, but I just found out I'll be taking a rather long road trip for work tomorrow. Check back Sunday or Monday for a response, or at least another whiny excuse.

  7. Apple can't decide my moral character.