It’s rare that I get this fired up about something like this. However, this one did it.
Over Thanksgiving weekend, Apple quietly pulled the Manhattan Declaration app off the market in the Apple Store after pro-choice and pro-gay marriage advocates protested the app was "anti-gay" and "anti-woman." The Manhattan Declaration website reports:
The Manhattan Declaration app was accepted by Apple and rated as a 4+, meaning it contained no objectionable material. Yet Apple pulled the app shortly after a small but very vocal protest by those who favor gay marriage and abortion. These groups claim that the Manhattan Declaration promotes “homophobia” and that its supporters are “anti-gay.”
We emphasize with great sincerity that “disagreement” is not “gay-bashing.” Anyone who takes the time to read the Manhattan Declaration can see that the language used to defend traditional marriage, the sanctity of human life, and religious liberty is civil, non-inflammatory, and respectful.
The Manhattan Declaration clearly calls its signers to reject “disdainful condemnation” of those who disagree and declares that all people are worthy of respect, because all are loved by God.
I agree with that statement whole-heartedly. I would add the Declaration boasts the endorsement or signature of all streams of the Christian faith and many of Christianity's most intelligent, open-minded and thoughtful leaders, including: Tim Keller, Scot McKnight, Richard Mouw, Robert George, and J.I. Packer. These men are far from homophobes or hate-mongers.
If Apple had a strict no-bias or no-politics policy that was enforced consistently, I might even be OK with this. However, take some time and surf the app store. There are apps out there for every advocacy group under the sun—espousing nearly everything one can imagine–atheism (these apps certainly has some less than kind things to say about Christians), LGBT lifestyles, extreme politics, etc. Even Al-Jazeera has an app. Whatever else can be said, they cannot with integrity say they removed the app and not others because it upsets large groups of people or is hateful.
This doesn't even make business sense. The Manhattan Declaration has nearly 500,000 signatures. The Change.org petition had 7700+. So, I can only come back to discrimination and/or cowardess and say, “Shame on Apple.”
Shame on Apple and Steve Jobs. Shame on them for caving, and shame on them for what I believe is both discrimination and inconsistency. Shame on them for taking orthodox Christian's money while holding their beliefs too hateful for an app. I have an Ipad, Ipod, and am typing this post on a MacBook Pro. This sort of thing wants me to mail them all back to Mr. Jobs and ask for my money back.
Maybe I will.
For now, I'll await their response to the Manhattan Declaration's open letter.
What do you think? Discrimination? Much ado about nothing? or, do you agree with Apple's decision?