Apply Your Rules Consistently

So, on What’s Wrong With the World there’s an interesting discussion going on, more interesting in my opinion than the blogmasters are giving it credit for, about the resignation of Eich from Mozilla due to pressure brought on from, ten years previous, funding an anti-gay marriage charity (the horror!).

The discussion eventually morphed into whether or not it should be allowed to fire people because of things like donating to political causes years prior if they don’t approve of them.

I’m going to go against the group here and bite the bullet: Yes, I believe you SHOULD be allowed to fire somebody for doing something contrary to your company’s stated beliefs, as long as it cuts both ways. I’ll grant this as long as you agree that firing a Catholic teacher after learning she was in a lesbian relationship for her entire career at the school should be absolutely legal.

I’ll grant it if you agree that Catholic hospitals, or places like Hobby Lobby, don’t need to pay for contraception coverage, because it’s their right to act according to their morals.

And I’ll grant this if you grant that bakers don’t need to make cakes contrary to people’s stated beliefs.

Hell, I might as well add that I think this is a perfectly fine attitude if you also agree that you can fire somebody for monetarily supporting the NAACP or Planned Parenthood.

I have absolutely no problem with any of this stuff, including the first one. Just apply your rules consistently.


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11 Responses to Apply Your Rules Consistently

  1. lotharson says:

    Dear Malcom, I entirely agree that such firings are EGREGIOUS and I promised to Crude I’ll write a well-argued post showing that progressive Christians ought to condemn and utterly reject such petty strategies.
    It spurns decency and the Golden Rule.

    In the mean time I wrote something you might be interested in:
    Gender equality and the liberal agenda.

    I am sure you could bning up lots of interesting insights 😉


  2. lotharson says:

    There is a more vivid ongoing discussion you might also be interested in:

    I think that Crude probably needs some Conservative Catholic reinforcements 😉

  3. rdmiksa says:

    Dear Malcolm,

    I too, over time, have come to see the strategy that you describe as the only truly viable strategy that can maintain the maximal amount of freedom for all people in our increasingly emotional, irrational, “I’m offended”, “You’re a bigot!” society. Indeed, given the major divides and fractures in modern society and culture, and given that rational argumentation between cultural groups about many cultural positions seems essentially impossible today–after all, try having a rational discussion about your opposition to abortion or gay marriage and watch how quickly you are labeled a “bigot”, or “homophobe”, or whatever other “feel-bad” word is the word of the week–then I do think that I agree with you that this sort of a libertarian-type freedom is the only way to go. Either that, or cultural groups will need to start breaking apart and seceding in order to maintain their freedom of conscience from the enforced impositions of other groups.

    Furthermore, this is also why I am all for this sort of maximal freedom and choice extending to other domains as well. For example, I think public schooling should be abolished and we should move to a “Charter”-type system where parents still pay taxes for schooling, but then have vouchers to use to select which school they want their children to go to and where they want their tax dollars to go to as well. Thus, for example, these fights about having prayer in school or not, would be eliminated. If you want prayer in school, then send your child to one of the Chartered schools that does that. And if you don’t want prayer in school, then sent your child somewhere else. In this way, maximal freedom and choice could be offered to all. And the same principle could extent to hospitals, and other domains of social life as well.

    And while I do need to think more about this topic to come to a firm and comprehensive view, I am definitely leaning–quite strongly, in fact–in the direction of this type of a consistent, broad, and libertarian freedom.

    Take care,

    RD Miksa

    • I am NOT a libertarian, and so I’m hesitant when it comes to charter schooling. It goes both ways. I support a waiver program to help kids get into private schools, but I actually think public schools should be given more authority then they have.

      • rdmiksa says:


        The funny thing is, I would not count myself as a libertarian either, but I find it increasingly difficult to see a solution to the cultural divide that affects Western society that does not either adopt some type of libertarian stance or proceed with a physical separation of individuals along cultural lines.

        As far as the school issue goes, what do you mean that you think public schools should be given more authority then they have? More authority to discipline? More authority to dictate the lesson plans? More authority in terms of the freedom that they have to teach certain things?

        I might point out that the reason that I see Charter Schooling as necessary is because here in Ontario–where we have both a tax-payer funded Public School System and a tax-payer funded Catholic School System–I already see how secular groups and the secular government wishes to force the Catholic system to adopt policies and teach material that go against Catholic teachings. And because the Catholic system is tax-payer funded, the government and secular groups feel that they have a right to force Catholics to do so. And maybe they do, but the fact is that this problem would be easily solved with the adoption of a Charter system.

        Take care,

        RD Miksa

      • I doubt that would solve the problem. All it would do is make the charter schools completely useless.

        Private schools would be left on their own though, I guess.

      • …Actually, you’re essentially arguing for a government funded private school system…which would run into the exact same problems that you think a waiver system for private schools would run into, since they’re essentially exactly the same thing.

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