Daily Dispatches
Brendan Eich
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Brendan Eich

Brendan Eich, culture war casualty

Marriage

On today’s The World and Everything in It, John Stonestreet of the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview talked about a recent event in the marriage debate: the less-than-two-week tenure of Brendan Eich as CEO of Mozilla. The technology company created the Firefox web browser. Eich co-founded Mozilla and created JavaScript, a programming language used prolifically on the internet. He had to step down on Thursday amid a firestorm over a $1,000 donation to the campaign for Proposition 8, the successful effort in 2008 to write into the California constitution a provision defining marriage as the exclusive union between one man and one woman. It was subsequently thrown out by the courts just as Eich was thrown out of his company.

Eric Teetsel, our mutual friend who runs the Manhattan Declaration, tweeted this week. He said, “LGBT activists remind us yet again that there will be no detente in the culture wars.” John, is he right? Yeah, I think he is. What we wrote at Breakpoint after the World Vision situation is that anyone who thinks that they can sit this one out is just mistaken. They can’t. … Even some gay activists have pointed, kind of, to the revenge motive, you know, of perceived and real mistreatments in the past. Now there’s a chance to get back at those who are the cause of that in their mind. … One of the things we’ve just got to do is we’ve got to set policy. We’ve got to know where we stand. We’re going to have to be willing to take the shots for where we stand, and it’s time to do that now.

Well, I think we should point out, too, John, that this CEO … made three big commitments to the LGBT community. He said that Mozilla would continue to offer health benefits to same sex partners. He said that they would continue to allocate resources to a project to bring more from this community into the technology world and into Mozilla in particular. And, third, [he said they would] maintain and strengthen the company’s policies against discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. And that wasn’t enough…  No and this has, again, been repeated as well. I mean, look, this is what happened to Louie Giglio at the second inauguration of President [Barack] Obama. I mean, he was disinvited essentially, or he uninvited himself, whichever way the story actually went. … At the first inauguration in 2008, Rick Warren, you know, it was protested that he was going to pray, but he prayed anyway, even though that same year he had also supported Proposition 8. I mean, look, for the Mozilla CEO to be thrown under the bus this way is just, it kind of reveals the revenge motif here. Because in 2008, you know, that’s exactly where President Obama stood as well, so times have changed, and that’s what’s really clear. And for a lot of us it seems like it happened really fast, but there is a whole history of this.

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Editor’s note: The final portion of this story originally stated the IRS leaked Eich’s name and contribution to the Proposition 8 campaign by way of the National Organization for Marriage. That is not how his information came to light. The identities of all Proposition 8 donors, not just those supporting it, were public information lawfully released by the California Secretary of State’s office.

Lynde Langdon contributed to this report.

Nick Eicher
Nick Eicher

Nick lives in St. Louis, loves the Blues (as in the NHL), is executive producer of WORLD Radio, and co-hosts WORLD's radio news magazine The World and Everything in It. Follow Nick on Twitter @NickEicher.

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