Christianity,  Politics

More on the difference between Sterling and Eich

Yesterday, I wrote a short piece for The Federalist arguing that the NBA was right to ban Donald Sterling but that Mozilla was wrong for firing Brendan Eich. I also argued that this is not a self-contradictory position because the two cases are not analogous. You can read my argument here.

Today William Saletan has an excellent rundown of the differences between Sterling and Eich. It is a long list that puts to rest the notion that these two cases are in any way analogous. I highly recommend this one.

I would add one other item to the list of distinctions—one that you will not read in a secular publication but one that every Christian must acknowledge. We must reject categorically the suggestion that racism is the moral equivalent of support for traditional marriage. On the contrary, promoting racism is evil. Promoting traditional marriage is not. They are anything but equivalent. That is what the Bible teaches whether everyone recognizes it or not. Anyone who misses that fundamental distinction has missed the point altogether.


  • andrew alladin

    To say that Andrew Sullivan “supports gay marriage” leaves out just how instrumental he was in the normalization of gay marriage. But he couldn’t do it alone. The types of people who forced Brendan Eich out as Mozilla CEO (and the IRS employees who leaked the list of Prop 8 donors) are the muscle behind Sullivan and Saletan’s erudite, sophisticated, and nuanced arguments. Eich’s outing/ouster will do more to ensure the triumph of gay marriage and the silencing of opponents than anything written by these gentlemen.

    Now that Sullivan and Saletan have gotten their victory (with more to come) they wish to disassociate themselves from the means through which it came. But this is just the good cop/bad cop routine. The revolution is still in its infancy and there are too many people and institutions that have to be brought into line with the New Morality.

    • James Bradshaw

      It may have been warranted to ban Sterling, but did they need to take his money as well? I understand he was fined somewhere near $2 million.

      I’m not a fan of either Eich or Sterling, and the latter in particular sounds like a meat head. Both made, in my estimations, wrong decisions. Yet, I’m a strong believer in the punishment fitting the crime.

      Taking a man’s money because he may be an idiot and a bigot still seems like theft to me.

      To Mr Alladin: Sullivan has been very vocal in his opposition to Eich’s ouster and has received a lot of heat for that stance from other activists. Your accusation that he is somehow responsible for what happened to Eich is slanderous.

      • buddyglass

        Sterling voluntarily entered into a contract that authorized the league to fine him. So I don’t call it theft. Perhaps “bad business sense” if he had any self-awareness of how poorly his views would be received if they ever came to light.

        • Esther O'Reilly

          a) Such contracts shouldn’t even exist. No private entity should have that kind of power.

          b) It’s rather frightening that the clause was worded broadly enough to include things said in private that the company doesn’t like. This can be applied to people who aren’t even racists, they just let slip one comment that somebody THINKS is racist.

  • Aaron Chandler

    Denny: In your post yesterday in The “Federalist,” you suggested Sterling’s actions were distinct from Eich’s, and that Eich’s donation to Prop 8 didn’t hurt anyone. But, let’s say that, instead of saying hurtful things, Sterling had given thousands of dollars to a ballot campaign to create anti-miscegenation – anti-interracial marriage – laws. Would you then say that the NBA was *not* justified in its actions? I don’t think you would be.

  • Brian Darby

    Offered for what it is worth, Dr. Burk in the field I work in there is a rather large representation of people who are gay. Two things Mr. Sterling was recorded in a private conversation, but has had many other issues concerning his view of people of different ethnicities / “races” (I wish I could think of another word I agree with Ken Ham, and this is the only point I agree with him. We are all the human race). You know I may be wrong, often am, but I have never met a person who is gay, decided to become gay. I mean sexuality and orientation is an extremely complex. It just is.

    I find any bigotry disgusting and both in my opinion, which could be wrong, each was based on a bigoted view. That may not always be wrong, I am a real bigot to Nazism. Of course I think I may be committing a categorical error, I do that alot. The difference one person gave money to a California constitutional amendment and the names were leaked and the other one came to light because of the recording, without permission of a private conversation. Funny some people dont seem troubled with that. If all the stupid, pathetic, idiotic claptrap I have spoken was put online I would shrivel up and blow away. But because I dont have money and I am not an important person I am basically a waste of air. I get that in and out of the “Church”.

    I am just trying to come to grips with things. I am a single person, I live a celibate life out of personal conviction and most likely ever be married. I have always been ashamed of that from within the community of faith, I mean really ashamed. From the world they sort of look at me and say, well if it works for you and we move on and just act like people to each other.

  • Andrew Orlovsky

    What I find troubling is how everybody is outraged by Sterling’s racism (and rightfully so) but no one bats an eye at his adultery. Racism and adultery are very similar in while neither are crimes against the law, both are sins that destroy society.

    • Ian Shaw

      That was my point in a previous blog post of Denny’s as well Andrew. While I think the majority of secular culture still frowns upon adultery (and the military can prosecute you for it), it’s sliding fast towards normative behavior in our relativistic culture.

    • Aaron O'Kelley

      Andrew, I agree. The NBA yawns at his blatantly immoral public actions, but all of a sudden decides to take a moral stand when it comes to his private thoughts expressed in a private conversation. This is not moral courage. It is playing to the crowd.

      I can’t help but see this story as a sign of a lot more thought-policing to come. And the outrage mob who takes it upon themselves to police the thoughts of society will not be able to make the kinds of moral distinctions that Denny has outlined here.

      • Ian Shaw

        Let the record reflect that the NBA believes racism, sexism and homophobia are bad for its image, but it’s employees involved in crime, adultery, battery on women, drugs, violence, et al. are good for it’s image. Any pendiing litigation is good for notoriety as well.

        Live for today, don’t think about tomorrow, have a good time in America Gomorrah.

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