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Friday, March 01, 2013

Dear Amazon: I don't care about gay marriage, just gimme my damn books

I believe that homosexuality and bisexuality is just as wrong as heterosexual extramarital intercourse, rape and polygamy and for the same reasons.

Do I have gay and lesbian friends?  Yup, sure do.  Plenty of them in fact.  They already know that I cannot approve with a sincere heart the behavior they engage in.  They also already know that though I must judge as wrong that behavior, I cannot judge them wrong as people.  Certainly not as the friends who I am thankful to have.

I don't believe that "homosexual marriage" is wrong.  I know that it is.  The notion itself is a contradiction against logic and human culture.  "Marriage" entails the uniting of two unique characteristics into one, so that the the sum is greater than the equal of its constituent parts.  That is something among human society that can only be found in the uniting of one man and one woman.  We've had six thousand years of recorded history without "gay marriage" up 'til now, and many thousands of years of human culture just as absent of it before that.  Sure there were aberrations and deviations once in awhile, but by and large gay marriage is a mutation that has never survived social Darwinism.

Those who advocate "gay marriage" are ignorant of something else.  Namely, that true marriage is not focused at all on sexuality.  That is a defining aspect of marriage... but it's only one aspect of it.  If a marriage is based primarily on sex, then it's not going to be a marriage that tends to survive and endure the trials and tribulations of a couple's lifetime together.  That goes for any couple, be they gay or straight.

So why are we seeing homosexual marriage hoisted high and in our faces lately?  There are two reasons, I have observed.  The first is that legalizing "gay marriage" is perceived by its proponents as being official endorsement for that behavior.

The second is that many if not most of those demanding "gay marriage" believe that doing so demonstrates how "progressive", how "forward-thinking", how "wise and tolerant" they really are.  They won't admit or acknowledge it in the slightest but to them, they are assuming that they "know better" than the rest of us and that we have to be "educated" and made to conform to their own demands and expectations.

Case in point: Amazon's new commercial for its Kindle Paperwhite e-book reader.  I first saw it last night.  It opens with a man and a woman laying on the beach.  The guy is squinting at his tablet in the harsh sunlight while the lady is obviously enjoying reading without straining her eyes.  Convinced, the man immediately orders a Kindle Paperwhite and tells the girl they should go out and celebrate.

Trying to shut him down, she tells him "My husband is bringing me a drink right now."

"So is mine," the man tells her.  Cut to the bar behind them and their husbands(?) waving back at them.

No doubt that Amazon deems this to be a groundbreaking and culturally revolutionary ad.  That it's a game-changer for marketing.  The climax of the commercial practically screams out "WE'RE DIFFERENT AND PRO-GAY DAMMIT!"

Fine.  Amazon is pro-homosexual "marriage".  I couldn't care less what Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos believes on the matter.  He's as entitled to his beliefs and spending money on them as much as anybody is.

But this kind of marketing is a terrible, terrible model for a business.  In fact, it's proven to be downright disastrous.

And I'm not talking about for taking pro-gay stances either.  Anytime a company's leadership decides to use that company as a platform for a social or political agenda, the profits drop.  Ever heard of Hechinger?  It used to be a pretty major name in the hardware and home improvement business, right up there with Lowe's and Home Depot.  And then its head executives chose to make Hechinger as a company pro-gun control.

People stopped shopping at Hechinger as a result.  They wanted lumber and bathroom fixtures, not a political statement.  That was twenty years ago and very few people now remember the company existed at all.

Want more proof?  J.C. Penney's profits dropped 32% in the past quarter.  The situation there is so dire that the company is apparently deferring payments to its suppliers.  Many are blaming J.C. Penney's pro-homosexual marketing: a blunder bad enough to warrant many to demand the banishment of Ron Johnson, the current CEO.

Look, it's not the particulars and peculiarities of the personas involved that is the present problem.  I've come to enjoy the products I buy from Apple.  My iPad goes with me everywhere.  It's become an indispensable part of my life.  I also know that Apple's CEO Tim Cook is widely reported to be gay.  But not for a moment have I considered not buying stuff from Apple because of it.  I buy Apple's gadgets because they work and because the company trusts its products enough to sell themselves.  I do not now, nor will I ever buy something because it's being sold as "pro-straight".  I would however very seriously consider not buying a product if the officials running the company selling it decide to get "in yo' face" about an issue that I disagree with.

And based on history, I don't doubt that there are many others who would refuse to support such a company either, on those same grounds.

Amazon: seriously?  A pro-gay e-book reader?  Why should I care?  Why should anybody care?

Jeff Bezos, keep your pro-gay stance to yourself.  Just be a responsible CEO and shut up and sell books.


Lex Alexander said...

You're entitled to your views, Chris, but I couldn't let this go without saying this: Rape is neither an innate orientation nor a conscious but generally harmless choice. It is a sin, yes, but more importantly to the victim, it is a crime of violence against another human being. It is about control, not love or lust (a large percentage of male rapists fail to ejaculate). And it has no business even being mentioned in what is otherwise a perfectly respectable post, if not one I necessarily agree with.

Relatedly: God didn't destroy Sodom and Gomorrah because of "inhospitality" (or whatever euphemistic translation is in vogue these days) toward the angels in disguise. He destroyed them because the residents demanded the right to gang-rape the visitors. You can, as they say, look it up.


Chris Knight said...

Lex: it wasn't without thought that I wrote that.

I sincerely believe that we are meant to exert control over our bodies and not let our bodies control us. There is always the choice, the free will, to either reign-in our lusts or yield to them.

I do not doubt that there exists such a thing as homosexual tendencies, whether by nurture or by some sort of genetic disposition. Nurture and genetic disposition also figure into heterosexual tendencies. But are we to indulge in either because of whatever has become wired into our neurobiology because of experience or hormones?

Whether it out of lust or for control or for power over another or whatever else, a failure to control one's body is always going to be wrong, and against what I have to believe is what God meant for us to be. He isn't a God who wants to deny us sexuality at all. If anything, he wants to maximize its pleasure and potential.

But as with everything else worthwhile, that can only come when one is self-disciplined and desiring of it enough to wait, and if need be to endure.

Lex Alexander said...

Chris, I don't say this lightly. But you just went down the rabbit hole.

Chris Knight said...

There are some who will say that I've been down before... and am probably still there :-)

Cheryl said...

I read this and I see what you are saying and I agree. The first responsibility of a CEO and board of directors is to their shareholders. That means increasing profits, not lowering them. Using the company to drive a social/political issue isn't responsibility. It has nothing to do with pro gay/anti gay.

Lex Alexander said...

Cheryl, I won't pretend to read the mind of the CEO here, but it might be that he figured that reaching out to gays might, on balance, bring in more new revenue than it would lose from people upset about the advertising who boycotted Amazon.

I talked to a B&B owner when I was on vacation in California years ago who said he'd be failing in his fiduciary responsibility to his co-owners NOT to advertise in what he called "gay-friendly" media. And for all I know, he was right. It was California, after all. :-)

Jeremy D said...

Lex: homosexuals are only 1-3 percent of the population. They are not a minority like blacks or Indians or Jews. And we shouldn't have their "alternate lifestyle" forced onto us to accept.

Jessica Britton said...

Chris, you said "Those who advocate "gay marriage" are ignorant of something else. Namely, that true marriage is not focused at all on sexuality. That is a defining aspect of marriage... but it's only one aspect of it." If this is true (which it isn't), why do you and many other people focus entirely on sexuality when it comes to gays and lesbians? Most gay people I know that want to get "married" (or have a domestic partnership, or whatever you want to call it, so long as it involves the same legal rights and privileges that straight marriage has.) do so not because of sexuality, but because they want to spend their lives in a committed relationship, and want to recognize that relationship legally.

And if you truly believe that one's sexual orientation is a choice, then please tell us when you made the choide to be sexually attracted to women instead of men?

Anonymous said...

Chris, you are right on target brother, the intent of the commercial was politically and culturally motivated, it had nothing to do with Kindles at all. Stick to business Amazon, or lose it. I have already boycotted them and I am sure they think I can't do without them....they are wrong. For me, it really has nothing to do with their beliefs, it has everything to do with their marketing of their beliefs to me, a long time loyal customer, without acknowledging my belief system. I am sure they have a substantial amount of employees and consumers that feel the same.

Why new age CEOs and Hollywood types think anyone cares what they think is beyond me. So you are a billionaire...get over yourself and don't forget about the consumers that got you there....a big portion of them are not pro-gay!

Pretty sad too that gays are so lost in who they are as individuals that the only thing that defines them in life is their sexual orientation. Really? Is that all you are? Is that all you want to be know for? What you choose to hump is the primary definition of who you are?

I get that they have lived their lives being told they are not normal (and I am sure that is a very painful life to live, one I do not wish on anyone), but the way to be normal is to....be normal, meaning...leave your business in your bedroom, nobody cares!