Tim Cook forging unusual path as a social activist ‘on behalf of Apple’

“Tim Cook runs the world’s most valuable company. Now he’s making his mark as an outspoken social activist,” Andrea Chang reports for the Los Angeles Times. “The Apple chief executive, 54, penned a sharply worded opinion piece that ran Sunday in which he condemned a slew of ‘pro-discrimination’ legislation pending in several states. The so-called religious objection bills would allow people to legally discriminate against others, such as by citing their personal religious beliefs to refuse service to a customer.”

“‘These bills rationalize injustice,’ Cook said in the 550-word piece in the Washington Post,” Chang reports. “In a big departure from predecessor Steve Jobs and other Silicon Valley CEOs, Cook has increasingly been using his prominent position to shed light on social issues close to his heart. In guest columns and speeches, he has repeatedly denounced racism, discrimination against gays and other instances of inequality.”

“Although Cook has been sharing his personal beliefs, he has also brought Apple into the conversation. In his weekend op-ed, he made clear that he was speaking ‘on behalf of Apple,'” Chang reports. “Cook is forging an unusual path for a tech CEO. Longtime industry watchers note that it can be difficult for business executives to express their views without alienating customers, particularly those who want their iPhones without a side of social justice.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Does Apple risk blowback over Tim Cook’s gay rights activism? – March 30, 2015
Apple CEO Tim Cook says ‘religious freedom’ laws are dangerous – March 30, 2015
Tim Cook: Apple ‘deeply disappointed’ with Indiana’s new religious-objections law – March 27, 2015

144 Comments

  1. The Religious Restoration Act of 1993 was introduced by Charles Schumer (D-NY). It was passed by a unanimous Democrat House of Representatives and a near unanimous Democrat Senate, and none other than Bill Clinton signed it into law — and that law that is practically identical to the one in Indiana.source

    Where was Tim Cook in 1993 or since then as 25 other U.S. states passed similar laws?

    Did Steve Jobs create Apple Inc in order to be Tim Cooks’ personal Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender promotional vehicle?

    1. Apple’s Tim Cook: Indiana’s Religious Freedom restoration Act is “very dangerous” – also, don’t forget that you can pick up an iPhone in Saudi Arabia today!

      Read the law, Tim, or stop lying about it in order to push your agenda. You look silly. Even worse, you’re a flaming hypocrite.

      And, BTW, not every Apple employee agrees with you – not by a long shot. So, you can stop speaking for them. Speak for yourself if you’re so compelled, not for Apple.

            1. You don’t understand corporate governance. The Bd of Directors can remove Cook or any other employee if they decide what is being done or said is against the best interests of the company. The same goes for decisions regarding political contributions.

            2. As loath as I am to say it, breeze, be careful what you wish for. Or more to the point in this case, don’t assume as certainty what you are sure about. As much as I like Tim Cook, he is not invulnerable. Some activism can be used effectively, but only up to the point where a public (and stockholder’s) perception might form that wonders where one’s energy is being directed. Tim may be sowing seeds of his retirement in a way that would be least detrimental to the stock. He can’t just quit outright, but he may be satisfied he’s done some pretty significant things and now may be looking to address other interests. Of late he has been making public statements that are of a more personal nature, y’see. Unlike Jobs’ “work yourself to death building the great pyramid” routine, some people can be content to do a good job and then let another person have a crack at manning the tiller.

            3. Apple is a global force now. Steve Jobs picked Tim Cook becuase he saw him as the only person qualified to lead the Apple of today’s magnitude and scale.

              He specifically aksed Tim to NEVER consider what he would do.

              Being today’s Apple’s CEO requires a completeley different public MO and Cook is an experienced expert at managing this kind of scale from every aspect, production and public relations.

              As Apple has always set the standards and lead in everthing it does and as such, Apple is always under the microscope and looked at as a leader that needs to set an example, whether it is Apple’s ethics, social, employment, ecological and production policies or other issues Apple today has a huge global International leadership image to establish and stamp. That involves and includes declaring public and policy and morals.

              Tim Cook is making sure that Apple’s legacies, ethics and socialogical positions are solid public examples of what a good citizen and leading American company should be.

              As opposed to the evasive non transparent policies of the “know evil” philosophies and ethics of for example – Google.

              I’m sure most Apple supporters would support Tim Cooks stated ideals for Apple and at the end of the day NO ONE van touch Apple’s products, innovation, quality and quality….So Apple will always be the underdog for bucking the norms and taking the moral high road, no matter how big it is and there’s no reason to fear the haters.

            4. If Apple’s CEO was a rugged outdoorsman who publicly backed Second Amendment rights and tweeted “Molon labe!” every other week, would you consider that a risk to Apple Inc. insofar as they might risk losing customers?

              There are far more Judeo-Christians in the USA than there are confused anti-Second Amendment gun-grabbers.

            5. The Board of Directors can remove Cook if he is not acting in the best interests of the stockholders. Any rational person would look at his record and know the current answer to that question.

            6. Apple has no interest in Gun Nut priorities. The quality of life of it’s employees due to ignorant hate laws promulgated by the Right Wing is in Apple’s interest. Apple does not wish potential hires or existing employees to be exposed to unequal protection under the law.

              Another false equivalency from a Right Winger.

            7. Could you be any more disingenuous? “Gun nut”? How about just being a Second Amendment supporter, let’s not start making up crap about people wanting to have a right to defend themselves as “nutty”. That’s ridiculous and begins to diminish your argument. Then it slides downhill with the argument that this is a “hate law”, which is utter BS. The intent of the law is not to promote hate or discrimination, but to ensure that no one is forced or compelled by the state to perform some action that violates their religious convictions.

              I think it was implemented incorrectly, the government should be focusing on property rights and free association for it’s citizens, but I do agree with the concept that I, or you, should not be FORCED to do something that violates our religious convictions.

              Obviously if someone is denying someone their basic constitutional RIGHTS (life, liberty, etc.) then I don’t think they should be protected by this, but no one has a RIGHT to have a cake baked for them. And in the particular case that spawned this law the baker referred them to others and even offered some free goods, but they did not want to participate or offer support for a gay wedding, something they objected to on legal grounds. Instead of just taking their business elsewhere (voting with your dollars) and/or public protest, they decide to sue to FORCE someone to do something. THAT is the objection that many people have to the Oregon decision, and that is why they are not passing a “hate law’ but trying to protect the RIGHTS of people to follow their religious convictions.

              The only people that had their RIGHTS violated in the Oregon fiasco was the baker, not the gay couple. And many states see this clearly which is why so many of them are suddenly trying to implement some sort of law like this, to protect the religious rights of all Americans.

              If you’re going to argue for/against something at least try to be intellectually honest about it, or you lose the argument right out of the gate. This is NOT intended to be a “hate law”, that’s a cheap politically correct talking point.

            8. NOPE. The bakery was a business that served the general public, and therefore did NOT have the right to discriminate against that public – even if the owner’s so-called religion dictates it (which it doesn’t by the way). If the bakery had done nothing wrong, they wouldn’t have lost the case.

              You haters are all alike. You think that you can fool the rest of the world into believing your fabricated lies that your hatred is your “right” just because you sling the word “God” behind it. The rest of us know better, that most proper religions teach that you should be kind to others rather than shun them. Jesus ate, slept and lived with those very same people you love to hate. You would just love us all to ignore those teachings.

              You should be ashamed of yourselves – all of you – hiding behind your so-called religions in order to spread hatred and intolerance in the world. We don’t need you here. Your time is past. And the world will look back on your kind with pity and shame when this is over.

            9. NOPE, you once again lie.

              No one said anything about hate except you. It’s another fake argument. The baker did not say they hated the couple. The law in Indiana is not a hate law. It’s a tired old debate tactic by those who lack an honest argument and they attempt to silence dissent by name calling.

              You CAN disagree with someone and not hate them. At least I can. Maybe you can’t.

              Why don’t you stop hating?

            10. NOPE. I haven’t lied at all.

              The bakery is a business that serves the general public, and the owner’s refusal to serve someone who is part of the general public simply based on their sexual orientation is ILLEGAL and WRONG. It also doesn’t follow Jesus’s teachings that we should accept and love our neighbors. Jesus ate, slept, and loved those who you and these bakery owners instead choose to reject and shun. While the rest of us have no problem with them, you sit there and judge them as if you are gods. Shame on you.

              I realize that you refuse to move from your position of hate. And I’m not interested in repeating myself. So you go on now and have your petty little last word party. I hope it helps you sleep better at night. And I hope for your sake you have a good answer ready when your judgement day comes.

            11. Again you misrepresent my position, why does that not surprise me. I do not judge them, nor do I hate them. I simply believe that the government does not have the right to tell people what they must do. The God of the Bible, if you believe in God (not judging either way, I just don’t know if you do) gave us free will. Why can’t the government do the same? Why can’t you do the same?

            12. “I do not judge them, nor do I hate them.”

              But you do seem to support the silly bakers who judged and treated them unfairly. Jesus’s teaching “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” comes to mind.

              “I simply believe that the government does not have the right to tell people what they must do.”

              The government absolutely has the right and duty to tell businesses (and therefore the people who own those businesses) what they must do – in this case NOT to discriminate. Note that the government didn’t make these silly bakers bake a cake. The bakers chose to run a business that serves the general public, and then refused to serve members of the general public based on sexual preference, which is rightfully illegal, so they must pay a fine. It’s that simple. Such laws are in place to ensure businesses do not discriminate. Are you of the opinion businesses should be able to refuse service to black people if they believe (as many did before the civil rights movement) that blacks are evil? The same concept applies there as here.

              If these silly bakers want to shun people, they can’t operate a business that serves the general public. And that’s a good thing.

            13. You’ve got this judgement theme going on that is apparently your issue to deal with because it’s a straw man. They didn’t judge them, they just didn’t want to participate. Businesses do it all the time. You want a cake with something graphic on it, no, we don’t do that here. You want to carry your legally and lawfully allowed gun with you, no, we don’t want that in our store. Not wearing a shirt, then no, we can’t serve you in this establishment. It’s not judgement, it’s free association.

              And no, the government does not have that right to tell people what they must do. That’s crap. If you want to live your life with government telling you what you can and can’t do then by all means, that’s YOUR choice. I don’t agree with that and that’s my choice. You live your life they way you want, I’ll live mine the way I want, and neither of us try and force the other to do something we don’t want to do.

              You may think that just because it’s government that it has some sort of legitimate right to dictate to you, but I disagree. If you’re comfortable with your decision then live life your way, I’ll live life my way. Why is it necessary for you to try and push your opinions on me and force me to do something I may not want to do?

            14. “You’ve got this judgement theme going on that is apparently your issue to deal with because it’s a straw man. They didn’t judge them”

              You don’t know what you are talking about. The minute the baker told the couple they were “abominations unto the Lord”, he judged them.

              “they just didn’t want to participate.”

              They don’t get to deny service to members of the public when their business serves the general public.

              “Businesses do it all the time.”

              Not this, they don’t.

              “You want a cake with something graphic on it, no, we don’t do that here.”

              That’s different, than “we don’t like you because of your skin color or sexual orientation”, even if you refuse to acknowledge the difference. What someone wants written on a cake is easily changed.

              “You want to carry your legally and lawfully allowed gun with you, no, we don’t want that in our store.”

              And that’s also different than “we don’t like you because of your skin color or sexual orientation”, even if you refuse to acknowledge the difference. One can easily refrain from carrying a gun.

              “Not wearing a shirt, then no, we can’t serve you in this establishment.”

              Also different, even if you refuse to acknowledge the difference. One can easily change what they are wearing.

              “It’s not judgement, it’s free association.”

              Wrong again. It’s judgement and discrimination, even if you refuse to acknowledge the difference.

              “And no, the government does not have that right to tell people what they must do. That’s crap.”

              Wrong. The government absolutely has the right to regulate businesses to ensure they do not wrongly discriminate, even if you refuse to acknowledge it.

              “If you want to live your life with government telling you what you can and can’t do then by all means, that’s YOUR choice. I don’t agree with that and that’s my choice.”

              Too bad. The government can and does tell you what you can and can’t do. The government says you cannot break the laws of the land. If you do, you will pay a price set by the government, in behest of our society. And that’s a good thing. If you dislike it, perhaps you should go live in another country that allows you more freedoms. Good luck finding one.

              “You live your life they way you want, I’ll live mine the way I want, and neither of us try and force the other to do something we don’t want to do.”

              Again, nobody forced the silly bakers to bake a cake for this couple. The bakers made a choice to discriminate based on sexual preference and paid the price of their decision to do so. Nobody restricted their freedom to do so.

              “You may think that just because it’s government that it has some sort of legitimate right to dictate to you, but I disagree.”

              You can disagree all you want. Makes no difference to me. The silly bakers disagreed to, and paid the price. If you want to follow suit, be my guest.

              “If you’re comfortable with your decision then live life your way, I’ll live life my way. Why is it necessary for you to try and push your opinions on me and force me to do something I may not want to do?”

              I’m not pushing anything on you, you poor, mistreated thing. I’m just telling you how it is.

            15. Who says the government has the right to force you to do something? I guess the government says that, and they back it up with police (guns), imprisonment (kidnapping) and fines (stealing). How self serving, they say they have the right so suddenly it’s true? Just because they say it doesn’t mean it’s valid. Think for yourself please.

              And all my examples ARE legitimate, they can all be classified as discrimination, but those are magically allowed? You say all my examples are okay to discriminate against? Isn’t that hypocrisy? I can just as easily say that the couple can get a cake somewhere else, these folks don’t have a monopoly on cakes.

              Saying you disagree with someone is not judging them. Saying you don’t want to willfully participate in something they want you to do is not judging. It’s not hate.

              Again, this is political grandstanding, these laws have been around for years and you didn’t hear this nonsense and none of the doomsday scenarios you’re predicting have happened. Your argument is morally and historically bankrupt. It’s hyperbole being used to push an agenda. You don’t like the baker’s decision then don’t buy from them. If i don’t like any of the examples I gave then I don’t buy from them.

              Nothing to do with hate. Free association, free will. As long as you are causing no harm there is no crime.

            16. So if Tim Cook uses his voice to promote equality in the US its only ok with you if he gives up his day job so he can focus on stopping all inequality everywhere?

              You are not even trying to make sense. Put your bias back in your pants.

            17. If Tim Cook speaks on “behalf of Apple” then shouldn’t he put Apple’s money where his mouth is and refuse to do business in countries that kill gays for being gay? (How does he even visit said countries, by the way? Or does he just steer clear?)

              Cook wants to single out and threaten Indiana for trying to protect U.S. citizens’ right to religious freedom, but not a peep comes out of his mouth about countries in which Apple does business which execute or imprison gays for being gay. Cook seems to like to pen op-eds. How ’bout one in a country that actually is openly and viciously hostile to gays, big man?

              You can’t have it both ways, Timmy. Either you “speak on behalf of Apple” or you don’t. Don’t be a hypocrite and, while you’re at it, stop risking significant backlash against Apple by abusing your position in order to promote your personal beliefs.

      1. If every dog that hides behind an internet entity were qualified for leadership or CEO stature the ASPCA would be the world’s Supreme organization.

        Apple investors have voted full confidence in Apple’s board and CEO.

            1. Agreed. As long as he keeps up his stellar performance. I just wish he would stick to making great products and making money for stockholders.

        1. I love the Atlantic but this time they got some things wrong:

          ‘There here we have it. Indiana, as well as Arizona’s RFRAs are very similar to the Federal RFRA. In contrast, Mississippi’s RFRA, which only requires a “burden,” not a “substantial” one, deviates significantly from the federal statute.’

          http://joshblackman.com/blog/2015/03/26/comparing-the-federal-rfra-and-the-indiana-rfra/

          UVA Law Prof Who Supports Gay Marriage Explains Why He Supports Indiana’s Religious Freedom Law

          http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/uva-law-prof-who-supports-gay-marriage-explains-why-he-supports-indianas-religious-freedom-law_902928.html

            1. I’m sure your fingers are working fine. Feel free to click on the links and read what law professors could say better than I ever could.

              But since you asked, Josh Blackman explains, the “RFRA does not provide immunity [to discriminate]. It only allows a defendant to raise a defense, which a finder of fact must consider, like any other defense that can be raised under Title VII or the ADA. RFRA is *not* a blank check to discriminate.”

              People talk about the law being used to discriminate against self-identified gays, or even other religious groups or races. If what you say is true, why hasn’t those scenarios happened, in the last twenty years those other states’ law were in effect? You need to look at the exact intention and wording of the law.

              None of the RFRA’s even mention homosexuals, nor are they about discrimination. As University of Notre Dame law professor Rick Garnett explains, regarding the Indiana law:

              [T]he act is a moderate measure that tracks a well-established federal law and the laws of several dozen other states. Contrary to what some critics have suggested, it does not give anyone a “license to discriminate,” it would not undermine our important civil-rights commitments, and it would not impose excessive burdens on Indiana’s courts.

              Again, this whole thing amounts to incredibly sloppy and dishonest reporting being used to create conflict where there is none and demo using people whose convictions differ from others. If you want to boycott Indiana, are you willing to boycott the other 29 states as well?

    2. Ever notice that in the USA, everything is protected except the core founding principle: religion. Unless it’s Islam, of course.

      Judeo-Christian principles are trampled upon today in deference to a vocal militant minority, of which Tim Cook is a member.

      What you sow, you reap.

      The USA deserves what’s coming its way.

        1. Fox News is the only one that tells it how it really is. The rest are owned and controlled what they show and the stance they take. This is public knowledge and nothing new. Where have you been?

        1. Our nation’s history provides overwhelming evidence that America was birthed upon Judeo-Christian principles. The first act of America’s first Congress in 1774 was to ask a minister to open with prayer and to lead Congress in the reading of four chapters of the Bible. In 1776, in approving the Declaration of Independence, our founders acknowledged that all men “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…” and noted that they were relying “on the protection of Divine Providence” in the founding of this country. John Quincy Adams said, “The Declaration of Independence laid the cornerstone of human government upon the first precepts of Christianity.” Also, the signers of the 1783 Treaty of Paris, which ended the Revolutionary War, insisted the treaty begin with the phrase, “In the name of the most holy and undivided Trinity.”

          In 1800, Congress approved the use of the Capitol building as a church. Both chambers approved the measure, with president of the Senate, Thomas Jefferson, giving the approval in that chamber. Throughout his terms as both vice president and president, Jefferson attended church at the Capitol, including Jan. 3, 1802, just two days after writing his infamous letter in which he penned the phrase “the wall of separation between church and state.” Nearly 100 years later, in 1892, in Church of the Holy Trinity v. United States, the United States Supreme Court held that America is a “Christian nation.”

          Presidents Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Jackson, McKinley, Teddy Roosevelt, Wilson, Hoover, FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Reagan all referenced the importance of Judeo-Christian principles in the birth and growth of our country. In fact, President Franklin Roosevelt led our nation in a six-minute prayer before the invasion of Normandy, the greatest military invasion in history where freedom was protected for the world, asking God to preserve our Christian civilization. After that great war, Congress came together and jointly recognized that our strength was not in our weapons, our economic institutions, or the wisdom of our committees—it is in God. Congress therefore adopted “In God We Trust” as our national motto and it was engraved in the wall in front of which the speaker of the House of Representatives stands…

          America was birthed upon Judeo-Christian principles.

          Full article: U.S. News & World Report

          1. If you think that isolated examples of religious intrusion into government is “proof” that the US was “birthed on Judeo-Christian principles”, then you’ll believe anything,

            Even someone as logically challenged as yourself needs to understand that the Founding Fathers counted in significant numbers Quakers, agnostics, and atheists, not to mention different natives and slaves of many tribal customs, both Native Americans and Africans. Since the first permanent North American Settlement (now Saint Augustine, Florida), Americans have always been a melting pot. That’s why NONE of the official operating documents from the Constitution onward allowed significant intrusion of religious law into matters of state. Only misguided fanatics attempted to do this, and they were usually voted out of office rather quickly. Sad that they can’t see the advantage of separation for their own eyes.

      1. Apple CEO Tim Cook has taken to The Washington Post to tell the nation that, in the words of the headline, “Pro-discrimination ‘religious freedom’ laws are dangerous.”

        Notice the scare quotes around “religious freedom.” But the reality is that the only person in favor of discrimination in this debate is Tim Cook.

        It is Tim Cook who favors laws that discriminate against people of faith who simply ask to be left alone by government to run their businesses and their schools and their charities in accordance with their reasonable belief that marriage is the union of a man and a woman. It is Tim Cook who would have the government discriminate against these citizens, have the government coerce them into helping to celebrate a same-sex wedding and penalize them if they try to lead their lives in accordance with their faith.

        Read more here.

        1. What a whiner.

          Everyone has to believe like you or you think your beliefs are being suppressed.

          Tim Cook has not proposed any laws giving anyone the right to refuse service to Christians or anyone else.

          You are a shill.

    3. http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/03/what-makes-indianas-religious-freedom-law-different/388997/

      “The problem with this statement (that the Indiana law is the same as other state laws) is that, well, it’s false. That becomes clear when you read and compare those tedious state statutes. If you do that, you will find that the Indiana statute has two features the federal RFRA—and most state RFRAs—do not. First, the Indiana law explicitly allows any for-profit business to assert a right to “the free exercise of religion.” The federal RFRA doesn’t contain such language, and neither does any of the state RFRAs except South Carolina’s; in fact, Louisiana and Pennsylvania, explicitly exclude for-profit businesses from the protection of their RFRAs.”

      1. ‘There here we have it. Indiana, as well as Arizona’s RFRAs are very similar to the Federal RFRA. In contrast, Mississippi’s RFRA, which only requires a “burden,” not a “substantial” one, deviates significantly from the federal statute.’

        http://joshblackman.com/blog/2015/03/26/comparing-the-federal-rfra-and-the-indiana-rfra/

        UVA Law Prof Who Supports Gay Marriage Explains Why He Supports Indiana’s Religious Freedom Law

        http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/uva-law-prof-who-supports-gay-marriage-explains-why-he-supports-indianas-religious-freedom-law_902928.html

    1. The issue with this notion is that Apple had non-discrimination message and was officially opposed to things like Prop.8 in California since Jobs’ times.

      It is company-wide public policy. So there is no need for Cook to disassociate Apple from his writings at all.

          1. Just because one opines that it may alienate customers does not mean the one making the statement is alienated and does not need you to tell him what to do.

            I think it runs the risk of alienating customers. I think it is a risk. I think TC should step down and do what he likes to do most which is defend gay-rights. Obviously, that is becoming more important to him than Apple. That’s OK. It’s his life. Things change and maybe there’s another even more qualified CEO that cares more about Apple than TC does. Writing is on the wall.

            However, I will continuing buying whatever I want regardless what you say or think.

  2. Apple has long been a company friendly to GLBT people despite the angst the NeoCons and Evangelicals express, trying to wish it were not so. The founders were liberal, Steve Jobs died liberal and Woz still is- deal with it.

    Apple seeks the best people to join the company or partner with it. That means accepting GLBT people among others and a workplace that is accepting and respectful.

    These hateful laws that attempt to hide hate and discrimination behind a screen of religion harm people by denying them their basic rights. Evangelicals and others want to put GLBT people back in the closet- something that is unacceptable.

    The long struggle by GLBT people for their rightful place at the table in America has just about been won and these hateful laws are a last gasp attempt by the usual suspects to hold back progress. Mike Pence and those like him will not be treated well by history- he is the George Wallace of our time.

    Apple has a compelling interest in seeing that all their employees can live openly in a respectful community where their rights are protected under law. Laws such as the one Indiana enacted are in direct opposition to that interest.

    Good for you, Mr Cook.

    1. Again, in the USA, everything is protected except the core founding principle: religion. Unless it’s Islam, of course.

      Judeo-Christian principles are trampled upon today in deference to a vocal militant minority, of which Tim Cook is a member.

          1. The intolerance is from the so-called Christian Evangelicals who want to use the law to turn the clock back and party like it is 1899.

            As a LGBT ally who has friends, family, neighbors and co-workers among the GLBT community:

            They are not going back into the closet and are entitled to the full protection of the law. No business person or licensed practitioner should have the right to deny someone service because they are personally opposed to the other person’s lifestyle.

            I work in a licensed Medical Profession and am required by law and the ethical code of my profession to treat everyone ethically and equally in an atmosphere of respect and dignity. Failure to do so could result in the revocation of my state license, my professional credentials and my job.

            Every business has to obtain a permit or license to conduct business. Part of the social contract is that that business will conduct it’s affairs according to the laws. The evangelicals who are pushing these laws want to hide their hate behind the guise of faith.

          2. I do not tolerate your intolerance. True.

            Instead, I choose to accept all of my fellow brothers and sisters on this planet and love them unconditionally as Jesus taught.

            Jesus says in Mark 12:31 “And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.”

            Rejecting LBGT people doesn’t follow or promote these Christian teachings. And anyone claiming otherwise doesn’t deserve to call themselves Christian and are in fact false prophets who have failed this very basic test of Christianity.

            1. Jesus held up Levitcal restrictions against homosexuality. To not call someone out on immoral, self-destructive behavior would be unloving.

            2. False prophets repeat such nonsense to help themselves feel better about their decision to hate rather than love others. Haters gonna hate.

            3. Some of us actually study the Bible and not just quote things out of context to suit our own purposes. Unlike some people.

              But praytell, why don’t show us chapter and verse where in Jesus’ revolutionary teachings, He tells that sex between the same sex was a blessing from God, Genesis 1 should now be interpreted to included gay marriage, and the Levitical Law concerning sexual ethics was now obsolete? Since I obviously am missing part of Jesus’ revolutionary call for love and inclusion.

              We wait with bated breath.

            4. So let’s take that and examine it. I love my children. LOVE them! But occasionally I have to instruct them, rebuke them, punish them and tell them things they don’t want to hear. I also occasionally have to tell them I don’t want to participate in something they want to do because I think it’s wrong, or dangerous, etc.

              I can love someone and not want to participate in their behavior. I can love someone and still point out that what they are doing is condemned in the Bible, all the while knowing that I also do things that are condemned by the Bible, it’s just that I admit it and don’t hide behind the excuse that just because I want to do it then it must be okay.

              If the baker (in the Oregon case that spawned this) just didn’t want to participate in the gay wedding then how is anyone harmed? Especially if the baker also referred them to other bakers who would help them? This is just free political mileage for the LGBTQ political lobby. Why can’t the LGBTQ lobby just let people live their lives and quit trying to control others? (sound familiar?)

            5. InTheShelter: Bad analogy. The bakers aren’t the public’s parents. The bakery is a business open to the general public and therefore does not have the right to judge and punish the public based on their silly “religious” beliefs (which are completely wrong anyway: Let he who is without sin cast the first stone.)

            6. Jolly Roger: Bad analogy. I never said the baker was the public’s parents (why do you continue to make up lies?) The public is not the baker’s parents either, nor is the state. So quit trying to be so authoritarian and force someone to participate in something they object to. Jeez you’re a tyrant!

              The business is an entity, so it can’t judge, but the owner is a person and they can disagree with someone, not want to participate in something, and still NOT hate someone at the same time. Why can’t you get that concept through your head. Freedom of association. The baker just wanted to be free to live their life by their religious convictions, even if you or I disagree with them (which is really not relevant to the discussion anyway). No one cast any stones except the gay couple in this case. The gay couple was not harmed in any way, but the baker was ruined by the gay couple’s intolerance of anyone who dared to disagree with them. Get your facts straight. Again, you lie to try and spin the argument, but that just destroys any point you try to make.

            7. Perhaps I spoke too soon. I may be in fact wrong.

              I am willing to correct my interpretation of the Bible. Just please show me where Jesus’ revolutionary teachings now say that sex between same gendered people was not ok and blessed by God after almost 2000 years of consistent Judaic interpretation. I might have also missed where Jesus rebuked the Pharisees for not rewriting Genesis 1 to include same-sex marriage, overturning thousands of years of Talmudic interpretation. Finally please show me where Jesus said that Law regarding sexual ethics was now rendered obsolete.

              I await with bated breath.

          3. Let’s be clear on the definition of Tolerance.

            christian conservative definition of “tolerance” is to be able to exclude, omit, or discriminate against whomever they feels fits their dogma at a given time period.

            Gay people’s definition of tolerance is learning, accepting and opening up to people of all differnt backgrounds.

            1. You’re hilarious. When an gay activist shot up a Family Research Council office last year, what that accepting?

              Oh right you didn’t hear about it because the media didn’t report it. How convenient.

              Keep drinking the gay kool-aid?

            2. No, I am aware of it. It was all over the media. But how many gay people have been murdered, beaten, bullied, and tortured in the name of religion?

              I stand by the definition I wrote above. Gay people just wanted to be treated equal to all others. Laws that allow people to refuse service to specific groups are, by definition, discriminatory.

            3. Truth be told, you still clearly have no idea what the law is about but your mindset is attuned to find discrimination even where there is no.

              Gay people have rights. Business people have rights. Gay people have a right to wedding ceremony. Business people have the right not to have their services or products to that event or ANY event they so wish.

            4. How dare you espouse free will and free association! When will you learn that tolerance means accepting whatever they tell you to accept?

              The hypocrisy of supposedly liberal people forcing their beliefs on others never ceases to amaze me.

      1. Freedom of conscience- not freedom of religion. Not the same thing.

        BTW-Most of our founders would be considered non-belivers by today’s evangelicals. Many were Deists and many were Unitarians- both widely popular views among the educated classes at the time.

        As an agnostic, I have no problem with you holding to whatever faith you wish or non at all. I do- however- demand that you be accepting of the rights of others to be, believe and live differently from you.

        Businesses do not have the right to pick and choose who they will serve, sell to or accommodate based upon their intrinsic human character- including race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Religion is a choice largely passed down as a tradition along community and familial lines- not a birth assigned trait.

        1. Nice try. Religion is constitutionally protected. You can’t discriminate on religion either in business.

          Oh and btw, there is no conclusive evidence that ones’ sexual orientation is intrinsic or immutable, despite years of propaganda. You putting in on the level or race, ethnicity or gender is empiricially false.

          1. Religion IS limited just like speech and gun rights. You are not legally allowed to shout fire in a crowded theater as it is a public safety issue and a nuisance.

            So is discriminating against people based upon gender identitiy or sexual orientation.

      2. If you think that the right to treat your neighbor horribly is important to your exercise of religion, then I’d like to know what religion you profess. Certainly NOT Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhism, or any other I know of.

        1. Actually, historically treating your neighbor like crap because they have a different religion has been a big part of most religions.

          What religions can you list that do not have a long history of that?

          This is why our founders were so big on separation of religion from government.

      3. If your “religion” teaches persecution of any form, you are not a true follower of God’s Love. Your Faith has been Corrupted by Satan’s message of Despite.

        1. So refusing to celebrate what one’s religion forbids is not “persecution”???

          One’s not doing something, say baking a cake, or taking a picture is persecution???

          Sir, you have no idea what “persecution” is. Try Syria. Try China. Try Korea. You abuse the word like a bullybat just like you abuse the word “hateful”.

          No wonder people can’t take you arguments seriously.

          1. Treating people more poorly because of their different beliefs is abhorrent whether you call it persecution, bullying, intolerance or any other name.

            Denying people jobs or wares may seems like no big deal to you, but institutionalizing that kind of discrimination will make worse forms of treatment more acceptable to the vast numbers of people (even in civilized countries) who have never understood what “equal rights” means.

  3. Tim Cook is not acting “unusual” in any way. Many other companies have stepped forward to speak out about this law and many like it. Starbucks, Salesforce, the NCAA, etc.

    Apple is a leader in making the world a better place for all through technology, innovation, environmental responsibility, and social equality. I commend Tim Cook for his bravery and leadership in this matter (and many others).

    1. Totally agree with that. I think Tim Cook and Apple (as well as the other sympathetic companies) have made their point and you won’t hear any more about it for quite a while. Blowing over….now.

    2. I think it is important to see that many other corporate executives are speaking out on this issue. As of Monday afternoon, the CEOs of nine of the largest employers in Indiana had delivered a letter to the governor and legislature demanding that the religious freedom law be repealed or revised. These guys are not liberal Democrats – virtually all of them are conservative Republicans. So for the trash-talkers about Tim Cook here – who, by the way, was born and raised in Alabama, and is a practicing Baptist – it appears he is in good corporate company:

      – Tom Linebarger, CEO of Cummins Inc.
      – John Lechleiter, CEO of Eli Lilly and Co. (LLY)
      – Tim Hassinger, CEO of Dow AgroSciences
      – Bill Oesterle, CEO of Angie’s List
      – Joseph Swedish, CEO of Anthem Inc. (ANTM)
      – Jeff Smulyan, CEO of Emmis Communications Corp. (EMMS)
      – Dan Evans, CEO of Indiana University Health
      – Jack Phillips, CEO of Roche Diagnostics
      – Jim Kittle, Jr.. Chairman of Kittle’s Furniture

    1. Well, not quite what they’re trying to do. The case that spawned this was about a baker who HAD sold goods to one or more members of the gay couple before, but did not want to participate in their gay wedding due to religious convictions. That’s all, they just didn’t want to participate in that event. And so apparently the LGBTQ community is so intolerant of people that they can’t even allow someone to politely decline to participate, they must FORCE people to accept their opinions. How hateful are they that they can’t respect this baker’s choice? I thought they were pro-choice, but I guess not, they are anti-choice. Why can’t a baker choose what to do with their own body?

        1. Does that violate Apple’s religious convictions?

          But hey, sure, refuse to sell. I’m a big advocate of free association. As long as someone’s rights are not being violated (and having a cake baked for you is NOT a right) then each person should be able to decide for themselves who to associate with.

          But in reality your reply deceptively lies about the true nature of the issue. The baker HAD sold to them before, but just didn’t want to participate in a gay wedding.

          If you can’t be intellectually honest about the topic then get out of the conversation, you’re just wasting everyone’s time with a disingenuous argument.

          1. I’m not being dishonest in any way shape or form, and I am being completely sincere. You saying that I’m wasting everyone’s time because I disagree with you is lame.

            If you’re saying that ‘having a cake baked for you is NOT a right’ then by the same token I’m saying that having a computer made for you is NOT a right.

            1. “I’m not being dishonest in any way shape or form”

              Yes, you are. As I said, they had sold to these customers before, so they did NOT refuse to sell to them. They just refused to participate in the gay wedding sale. So, you DID lie (or you’re ignorant of the facts). You can disagree with me al you want, that is fine, but you are wrong on the facts of the Oregon case, and then you spread untrue statements because of that. What it’s intentional on your part I don’t know, but your statement about them not selling was at best a half truth designed to sway opinion your way.

              And yes, having a cake baked for you is not a right. And yes, having a computer sold to you is not a right either. On that we agree. So instead of being a petty tyrant who goes after someone when they have NOT harmed them, maybe they could have just taken their business elsewhere. That’s what I would have done if someone didn’t want to sell to me.

              Freedom means FREE. You don’t get to stick your boot on their head and force them to agree with you. You go your way, I go mine. I don’t hate you if I disagree with you. Why can’t supposedly liberal people get that through their heads? Why do they always resort to calling people “haters” when they simply disagree.

              As for the Bible, it’s pretty darned clear it condemns homosexuality. It also tells you to love your neighbor, which you can clearly do while disagreeing with them at the same time. You don’t have to agree with it or believe in the Bible. Your choice. And guess what, i won’t sue you to force you to participate.

              it would be nice if you supposedly enlightened people took the same approach and let folks like the baker freely choose who to associate with. This forced feeding of your agenda is not making converts, it’s breeding resentment from those who don’t care for your heavy handed approach and intolerance.

            2. I’m not being dishonest because whether they had sold to these customers before or not is irrelevant to my point. The fact that they can choose to not sell to them at all is at issue. The baker is refusing to sell a cake on this particular occasion because they know it is for a gay wedding. So all gay weddings don’t get cakes? If that’s ok, then bakers might decide not to sell cakes to gay people because they may suspect that the cake might show up at a wedding. Where do you draw the line? What’s next? Gay people can’t buy clothes? food? shelter? It could all start with a cake.

            3. Yes, that is the issue, that they should be FREE to choose how to live their life, to bake a cake or not. They didn’t infringe on anyone else’s freedom. You obviously believe gays have a right to marry, and their freedom was not infringed in any way. I personally don’t think the government should be involved in marriage in any way, it’s a a religious decision and each religion can decide. As for civil unions, or a government contract for property rights, inheritance, medical decisions, they yes, I think the government can have you fill out a form so it’s all legal and noted.

              I think people should be free to associate with whomever they wish, and the government should stay out of it and not force anyone to do anything for anyone else as long as it doesn’t infringe on the other person’s rights (like denying medical care, which could cause death for example). I don’t think this law opens the door to discrimination at all, I think it simply says people have the right to follow their conscience and to use that as a defense in court.

            4. “They didn’t infringe on anyone else’s freedom. “… “their freedom was not infringed in any way”… “I don’t think this law opens the door to discrimination at all”
              – They refused to sell a cake to a person because it was going to be eaten at a wedding. If this is ok then I think the word ‘cake’ has to be interchangeable with everything else – food, cars, housing, clothes, medical care, bus tickets… It is discrimination.

              “I personally don’t think the government should be involved in marriage in any way, it’s a a religious decision and each religion can decide. As for civil unions, or a government contract for property rights, inheritance, medical decisions, they yes, I think the government can have you fill out a form so it’s all legal and noted.”
              – I completely agree with this. I think everyone should have to fill out that form, regardless of what their religion beliefs are or aren’t, or who they love.

            5. You’re right, they refused, then provided multiple contacts for other bakers who could help them. They simply didn’t want to participate in it. No one was hurt (except for the bakers after the spiteful lawsuit), the couple had multiple references to choose from who could provide them a cake, for all intents and purposes no “hate” was involved, just a person not wanting to participate in something. Free choice, isn’t the mantra of the day lately, “pro-choice”?

              I’m not saying it’s the choice I would have made myself, in fact I have a business and I myself provided services for a gay wedding even though I don’t personally agree with it. So there is no hate involved in my opinion, nor do I say I would have chosen the same path, simply that they should not be compelled, forced, or sued to do something that they don’t want to participate in. If everyone seems to support the gay couple’s right to choose how they lead their life (and I support that too, they should have free will to do what they want as long as they are not hurting anyone) then shouldn’t the baker have free choice too? Seems hypocritical to say otherwise?

            6. “No one was hurt (except for the bakers after the spiteful lawsuit), the couple had multiple references to choose from who could provide them a cake, for all intents and purposes no “hate” was involved, just a person not wanting to participate in something.”

              A business does not get to serve the general public and then turn around and choose not to serve some people based on sexual preference. Simple as that. If these silly bakers didn’t want to participate in serving the general public, they shouldn’t have opened a business that serves the general public. You can’t have it both ways. And that’s a good thing.

            7. That’s crap. That may be the way you want the world to be, forcing people to do something they don’t want to do, but I don’t live that way. The government’s opinion has no more legitimacy than mine or yours. As long as you are not hurting anyone then the government should butt out. Common law, no victim, no crime. Go bully someone else, some people aren’t interested in participating in some things and we have the right to refuse to participate. If you consent to the government dictating your life then you live under their laws, I don’t consent to it and my lack of consent or participation isn’t hurting you at all.

            8. “That’s crap. That may be the way you want the world to be, forcing people to do something they don’t want to do, but I don’t live that way. ”

              Nobody was forced to bake a fucking cake, and in fact the bakers did NOT bake this couple a cake. So you are wrong. The silly bakers CHOSE not to bake a cake due to sexual preference, which they were perfectly free to do, and paid a fine as a result. Nobody forced them to make that decision. No cake was baked by these bakers for this gay wedding. So you can stop repeating this lie now that they were somehow forced to do something they didn’t want to do for “religious” reasons.

              “The government’s opinion has no more legitimacy than mine or yours. As long as you are not hurting anyone then the government should butt out. Common law, no victim, no crime.”

              Sure, sure. People said the same things when blacks were being discriminated against by businesses before the civil rights movement, and they were just as wrong then as you are now. Your failure to learn from history is sad.

              “Go bully someone else, some people aren’t interested in participating in some things and we have the right to refuse to participate.”

              Nobody is being bullied. This is about a BUSINESS that serves the PUBLIC refusing to serve some of the public due to SEXUAL PREFERENCE, which is ILLEGAL and WRONG. If you operate a business, there are rules you need to follow. Get that through your incredibly thick skull. Nobody forced these silly bakers to open a business that served the general public. And nobody forced them to bake a cake for this couple. But when they made the decision to discriminate they broke the law, and have to pay a fine as a result. And now they must take full responsibility for their decision to do so.

            9. You continue to froth at the mouth and get angrier and angrier every post. Perhaps you’re the one filled with hate?

              The conversation about forcing people to do something is about whether someone has the right to force someone to do something they don’t want to do. No, the bakers weren’t forced to bake the cake, I get that. But that is what the government intrusion in this case is designed to do. To say “do what we tell you or you will be punished for not obeying”. That intimidation tactic is force. It’s bullying the business owner. So while they were not forced to bake a cake, now the baker is being harmed in the government’s attempt to force them to obey.

              These SAME laws have been on the books since the mid 90’s when Clinton signed them, and they’ve been on the books in many states for a while now too. And guess what, you don’t see all the discrimination happening that you predict. Your doom and gloom scenario hasn’t materialized yet, even with these laws already in place, so you don’t really have a leg to stand on.

              Again, free association and let the public decide with their dollars on whether a business has crossed a line. This Indiana thing is just an attempt to get free publicity for a political cause, otherwise they’d have been protesting similar state and federal laws that have been on the books for years.

    1. Uh huh. And if your agenda is to discriminate in the name of your supposed one true “God” then the rest of us don’t have much respect for your opinions.

  4. Another reason why I love Apple and respect Tim Cook. The economic power of Apple provides an opportunity for them to be heard and demonstrate leadership. Cook’s support for fairness for all people is admirable.

  5. It bothers me that Tim says “Apple is open for everyone” and then goes on to alienate certain people for their religious/political views. I think gay marriage should be universally legalized, but Tim needs to understand something.

    For Apple to be open for everyone it must never take a stance on religion or politics, ever. EVER.

    1. They’ve already waded into politics several times, like standing against the Obama administration’s continuation/expansion of the Bush Jr administration’s PATRIOT ACT and other security- and privacy-compromising measures.

      Funny enough, I didn’t see too many comments condemning Apple for getting involved in *that* mess.

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