Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Call Them McMorons

I thought that you might find the following e-mail exchange to be enlightening.
The first letter was sent to the McDonald's Corporation by myself, in response to an e-mail message I had received that same day. The second letter was sent by McDonald's to me, in response to my letter.

Here's my letter to McDonald's:
I received an e-mail from Tony Perkins, who regularly sends me his e-mail newsletter. The following quote from the newsletter greatly disturbed me."'Haters.' That's how Bill Whitman, a McDonald's spokesman, describes customers who oppose homosexuality on moral grounds."

Hmmm. I guess that makes me a "hater," then, because I find the gay agenda to be dispicable, particularly in relation to the social ramifications of the absurdly irresponsible idea that gay people aren't responsible for their thoughts or actions, when sexuality is concerned, because those thoughts are allegedly the result of genetic programming. I find it pathetic that grown adults refuse to take personal responsibility for their lifestyle choices.

Do I endorse acts of violence against gays? No, of course not. I don't hate gays, any more than I hate people who are held captive by sinful lifestyles involving heterosexual adultery or other acts which are equally sinful. But I do hate it when people who claim to respect civil liberties demonstrate the insincerity of that alleged respect by disrespecting the rights of people to think for themselves with regard to matters of morality, rather than automatically swallowing whatever the PC Police decide to serve up on the menu.

Stick to making burgers, McDonald's. When it comes to intelligent commentary about social and moral issues, you're in way over your heads.
And here's the response I got from McDonald's today.

Hello Mark:

Thank you for contacting McDonald's. We appreciate this opportunity to share information regarding our commitment to our employees as well as the communities that we serve.

First, it's important to note that McDonald's respects and values people. Diversity and inclusion are business imperatives and integral components of McDonald's culture. We believe that by embracing our differences we are better enabled to value and respect other people as well as understand differing points of view.

We have a long and proud history of leadership in these areas. We continually strive to maintain an environment in which everyone feels valued and accepted. We encourage employees to recognize and appreciate the contributions that all diverse groups and individuals bring to the McDonald's system.

Thank you for sharing your personal point of view on this topic with us.

McDonald's Customer Response Center
O.K., first of all, it ought to be clear to anyone reading Kayla's reply that it's a canned (boilerplate) response. While it's obvious that she did read my letter, she doesn't make any effort whatsoever to address any of the specific points I made in the letter or to acknowledge the inherent contradiction between McDonald's alleged desire to "understand differing points of view" and its inflammatory use of inaccurate and needlessly pejorative language when describing conservative Christians who disagree with the idea that homosexuality is a genetically inherited trait, and who oppose homosexuality on moral grounds. Apparently, attempting to understand conservative Christians such as myself is not on the McDonald's menu of options.

Kayla writes, "We continually strive to maintain an environment in which everyone feels valued and accepted." Everyone, that is, except for conservative Christians. Apparently, it's perfectly O.K., in the view of the McDonald's Corporation, to describe such people with offensive terms such as "haters". (If there was any doubt in my mind as to the accuracy of the information I received from Tony Perkins, Kayla's reply erased that doubt. If Bill Whitman had not described people such as myself as "haters," then I'm sure that Kayla would have hastened to correct the error. She did not.)

Paradoxically, the result is that McDonald's attempt to be tolerant of everyone is that they have displayed extreme intolerance towards conservative Christians who believe that homosexuality is sinful.

I could understand a phrase such as "embracing our differences" if we were talking about differences over which people have little or no choice, such as ethnicity or gender. But people do have a choice over what they think (including sexual desires) and how they act (including sexual activities). There is no way to "embrace" such differences without tacitly endorsing them to some extent. And in spite of the language which seems to suggest that McDonald's Corporation wants to maintain a position of neutrality on issues such as the morality of homosexuality, they contradict that language when they use pejorative language to describe conservative Christians. There is nothing even remotely neutral about describing such people as "haters".

It's typical of the doublespeak I have come to expect from liberals throughout the land. Nat Hentoff described the phenomenon with great accuracy in his book "Free Speech For Thee But Not For Thee". Now, Hentoff writes for a very liberal publication (The Village Voice), and his book does include an indictment of conservatives who are intolerant of free speech. But that isn't the main focus of the book. What is striking about the book and the many examples which he provides is the wide chasm between the rhetoric often seen in the speeches and writings of liberals who claim to value civil liberties and the incredibly intolerant manner in which many of those same people typically deal with the views of those with whom they disagree (particularly on most secular college campuses, where liberalism reigns supreme). As one review states, "I've always thought it ironic that the left portrays itself as having a lock on being open-minded, yet it is all too happy to restrict speech that presents a contrary point of view."

When one's opposition to homosexuality makes one a target for people who would respond to such opposition by describing one as a "hater," the effect of such a characterization is to inhibit (or attempt to inhibit) one's right to express one's own opinions. Opposition to homosexuality is not invariably tantamount to hatred for homosexuals, and the promotion of the idea that the two things are invariably synonymous is tantamount to slander, just as it would be slanderous to argue or imply that all homosexuals were child molesters.

I wouldn't expect for McDonald's to risk offending its gay customers by making public statements repudiating homosexuality and calling it sinful. But neither would I have thought they would be so stupid as to risk alienating the sizable number of conservatives on the other side of that social issue. It seems clear to me that the corporate culture in Oak Brook is increasingly dominated by liberals with a very clear political agenda which is utterly unrelated to the best business interests of the McDonald's Corporation.

It's tempting, on one level, for me to boycott McDonald's in response to their hateful description of conservative Christians such as myself as "haters," but I doubt seriously that it would do any good. I lack the resources to mobilize a huge force of fellow boycotters, and even if I had those resources, it's likely that a boycott would have very little effect on McDonald's. Why do I say that? Because a boycott is ultimately an attempt to appeal to people on the basis of reason. It assumes that they can be persuaded to adopt a different course of action by making them aware that they are hurting themselves in terms of their ability to continue to make a profit and achieve their business goals. But McDonald's Corporation is such a massive entity that thinking about that corporation reminds me of the old joke: "Where does a huge gorilla sit? Anywhere it wants to sit." They're so massive and so successful that they can afford to alienate a select segment of the population (conservative Christians) and to lose our business. Maybe that wouldn't be true if there were more conservative Christians with real backbone, but my own perception is that that isn't the case. It's sad, but true, that far too many Christians have capitulated to the gay agenda, having bought into the erroneous idea that loving people the way Christ wants us to love people means refraining from speaking out against depravity.

UPDATE: Here's a link to a news item which is relevant to this blog post.

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