Monday, November 29, 2010

Bad Idea: Apple Pulls 'Anti-Gay' App

I can't say I'm thrilled with this:
"After some controversy and complaints, Apple has reportedly pulled an application from the iTunes App Store after claims it was anti-gay. Highlighted by The Huffington Post and others last week due to its reportedly objectionable content, the Manhattan Declaration iPhone application has been quietly removed sometime in the last few days."

Now, I don't really agree with anything that's in the Manhattan Declaration. But it strikes me as a relatively thoughtful statement of mainstream evangelical Christianity's beliefs regarding abortion and marriage. It doesn't call for violence or cast slurs against people who disagree, but it doesn't pussyfoot around its own point of view, either.

I'm fine if such beliefs, regarding gay marriage particularly, are pushed to the fringe. I'm not comfortable trying to silence them entirely. It's Apple's sandbox, so they get to decide who plays in it. But I'd rather be part of a movement that responds to the Manhattan Declaration with forceful -- but respectful -- counterarguments. Hell, I'd rather be part of a movement that ignores the Manhattan Declaration entirely and lets the people behind it do their own thing. I don't want to be part of a movement that tries to erase conservative evangelicals from the digital universe.

And for what it's worth, it's also tactically problematic. Part of the reason for evangelicals' resistance to state-sanctioned gay marriage is because they believe it might infringe on their ability to practice their religion as they believe it. Getting the Manhattan Declaration booted from the App Store confirms that point-of-view, and probably gets conservative Christians to dig their heels in against the otherwise-secular decisions of the state.

1 comment:

KhabaLox said...

I'm conflicted about Apple's app store policies. One the one hand, we can't force merchants to sell any and every product. On the other hand, we can force merchants to provide equal access to customers. Add to this the oligarchic market structure of smart cell phones (there are really only two choices) and I'm inclined to extend the requirement of equal access for customers to equal access for vendors.

I don't know. For all the benefits the Apple experience has, the fact that you are beholden to the whim of their vision is a huge negative.