Sunday, December 22, 2013

Faith Drivers

Faith Driven Consumer is an "on-line community" (business) that steers the Faith Driven toward businesses that seem compatible with their beliefs.  There's nothing unique about it really, no different than the dating service for farmers,  or directories of gay-owned companies or of environmentally friendly enterprises. Hey, it's a free country - unless of course you ask the people who despise censorship, but still want to dictate to retail stores what language their signage can use (English, of course) or can't use (Spanish or course - it's still OK to call snails Escargot or Dolphin fish Mahi-Mahi.) It's OK When We Do It is as much the foundation for American politics and popular sentiment as it ever was.

I can't say that I reject the idea of putting pressure on private business concerns with regard to all kinds of things per se, but it's as close to being censorship to do so as is the firing of Phil Robertson because of some offensive comments.

I've had it emphatically pointed out to me that with certain exceptions, a business may hire or fire whom they please for any reason they please and this is certainly a right that's staunchly defended by conservatives.  Tell a business it has to hire minorities and we'll certainly hear about freedom to hire and fire as we please. Tell a business it has to send a paycheck to someone who damages the marketability of the product and hear the conservatives quack like ducks - and rightly so.

The FDC folks have put up a website where you're asked to sign a petition demanding that A&E reinstate Robertson, red neck and all.  It's a free country, what can I say?   If they have a right to petition the government they should have the right to petition a company even if  supporting one person's right to self expression while denying it to another would tickle a dead duck with the irony.

As I've said previously, I have certain misgivings about someone being punished for statements made outside of business premises and outside of business hours. I'm irritated, I'm worried when Wal-Mart fires someone for privately discussing a Union.  It worries me that someone has a right to fire me for calling George Bush a dangerous and dishonest delusional.  The whole concept of corporations holding us hostage in that way is irritating, if legal, but  free country means free country and I'm sure conservatives would agree and perhaps that's why the frenzy.  You have to draft them into your mission before they stop to think,

So lets talk, yet once again, about the Framing effect. Frame it in terms of  a man's right to free speech and do it before we remember that the protection is against the government, not against Wal-Mart. Make it about religion and do it before anyone suggests that a man's right to stop sending a paycheck to someone whose actions damage the marketability of his product, because if you frame it as a right to profit, to do business free of regulation?  Do I have to continue?

Such a contradiction might prompt cynicism in certain people. Some might even find it funny to see how an attempt to avoid one boycott has fostered another, that people who "stand with Phil" will start to watch a show they didn't watch before making the show more profitable for the network they're boycotting, that standing up for the right to do dumb things doesn't make sense when you're attacking someone else's right to do dumb things.  I say certain people because, although it may sound arrogant, most people react and are prompted to react the the frame long before they look at the picture and think -- and even then, they don't think all that well.  It's like the people who called me anti-American for criticizing W, yet call themselves "Patriots" for criticizing Obama.

So before we drive this vehicle, let's look under the hood and wouldn't you know - Faith Drivers really is driven by faith and not by truth or logic or even a consistent argument.  It's not a defense of freedom for all, at all but a defense of special rights for special believers.

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