I have long been convinced by certain arguments about the hypocrisy of many big corporations (see HERE, HERE, and HERE) relating to the surge in LGBT support and a recent Financial Times article called The Business of Gay Pride has further added to my understanding of the situation. The article takes a look at how quickly the Gay Pride brand is becoming attractive to companies seeking to become socially relevant. As Albert Mohler notes HERE the Financial Times’ primary expertise and interest is writing about economics and money. The article is not digging into the moral substance of the Pride movement or taking a side on the matter. They are simply noting what is happening as the movement becomes mainstream and as corporate sponsors line up to participate.
Financial Times explains, “This year, 16 Global Fortune 500 corporations, including Walmart, Delta, AXA, Netflix, Bud Light, Unilever, BNP Paribas, Nissan and Disney, sponsored the New York event, a number that has almost doubled since 2012.” (my emphasis)
The article then adds this telling statement:
Brands are also increasingly recognising the cachet that comes with aligning themselves with progressive social causes. “There’s this moment where a controversial cultural norm begins to shift,” says Jonah Sachs, co-founder of the brand and innovation firm Free Range and author of Winning the Story Wars(2012). “And if you hit it exactly right, when it’s already sort of tipped but has not yet been seized upon, you get a first-mover advantage in terms of seeming highly socially relevant.”
It is interesting to note the time-frame that this cultural and corporate shift is occurring in. These changes did not come in a political vacuum but coincided with momentous Supreme Court decisions that were handed down in the last 4 years. Ryan T. Anderson, the William E. Simon Senior Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation has NOTED that there is a lesson to be learned about how quickly public opinion can shift following a Supreme Court ruling on a very controversial subject. Many politicians, corporations, and every day people will shift in their opinion to stay “relevant”. He describes this phenomenon in the following statement:
Whatever happens, it is essential to take the long view and to be ready to bear witness to the truth even if law and culture grow increasingly hostile. There are lessons to be learned from the pro-life movement.
Consider the pro-life movement in February 1973, just weeks after Roe v. Wade. Public opinion was against the pro-life position, by a margin of 2:1. With each passing day, another pro-life public figure—Ted Kennedy, Jesse Jackson, Al Gore, Bill Clinton—“evolved” to embrace abortion on demand.
The media kept insisting that all the young people were for abortion rights. Elites ridiculed pro-lifers as being on the wrong side of history. The pro-lifers were aging; their children increasingly against them.
But courageous pro-lifers put their hand to the plow, and today we reap the fruits. Everything the pro-life movement did needs to happen again, but on this new frontier of marriage.
Whatever the law or culture may say, we must commit now to witness to the truth about marriage: that men and women are distinct and complementary, that it takes a man and a woman to bring a child into the world, and that children deserve a chance to grow up with a mom and a dad.
Too many of our neighbors haven’t heard our arguments, and they seem unwilling to respect our rights because they don’t understand what we believe. It’s up to us to change that perception. We will help decide which side history is on.
The lesson to be learned is that the ebb and flow of public opinion and new cultural norms is unreliable as a mechanism for deciding what is right and wrong. We cannot just say, “whatever is true today is what is right because history has proven it true”. This is an ignorant approach. Consensus alone should not be indicative of what we hold to be true, however, it can be a factor in our decision-making. History is replete with examples of bad decisions based on consensus, whether it be Hitlers Germany, the Eugenics movement (which was considered “scientific”) or legally forced segregation of races in the Jim Crow south etc…
Deciding what is right or wrong (and what is true or false) is not something to be taken lightly and it is not always an easy task to undertake. As I have WRITTEN,
…I think it is easy to get confused with and too focused on the CONTENT of the truth claim as opposed to the CONCEPT of a truth claim (D.G.). In other words, merely claiming that truth exists is not overtly choosing sides on a topic. In an argument, it needs to be agreed upon that there are truths or no progress in the conversation can be made. The whole conversation is moot. Once the CONCEPT of a truth claim is understood, then the conversation can proceed to the CONTENT (specific ideas about which ideas are true and which are false).
As an example in ethics: We need not claim a particular moral epistemology (how we know WHAT is right and wrong) if we are speaking purely about moral ontology (the existence of objective moral truths) (http://www.reasonablefaith.org/keeping-moral-epistemology-and-moral-ontology-distinct).