On Holy Marriage and the Sinful Apple

Some guys protest for Apple’s decision to pull an “Anti-Gay” app from the App Store. The “Anti-Gay” app was actually a petition to sign a so-called “Manhattan Declaration” (here its website -have fun).

Please, note and verify, that in the words of the “Manhattan Declaration” (plenty of words) there is absolutely no compelling logic to such a strong opposition to gay marriage. It’s all folcklore, but in terms of logic, nothing prohibits me to say: ok, then: I may understand that in the Christian view marriage shall be only between man and woman. But wait, I am not marrying within the Christian protocol! It’s the State which is marrying me to another guy (perhaps in China, not even remotely a Christian nation)!

It’s particularly unimportant what the “Manhattan Declaration” actually says. The problem is an ethical issue. In a real open democracy, and in the Web, nobody would dream to shut down any web-app, period. For any reason. So, if you write a web-based app to petition against the green Berets, that’s ok, nobody would have the right to take it down. Same with a ku-klux-klan or a nazi app (for hateful that it must be -I won’t put capital letters in those names). The beauty of the Web (one of the facets of Net Neutrality) stems from Voltaire: the freedom of expression must be defended precisely when it seems most horrible to do so.

But Apple is not an Open Web: all the contrary, it’s a Closed Market. So, it can decide to shut whatever it wants from its marketplace.

So, what’s the problem? The problem lies really not within Apple, but within our acceptance of said closed markets, when we have the whole worldwide Web to roam. Who cares if Apple doesn’t accept this or that if we can still find and use it on the free and open Web?

The second problem lies of course in the advocates of such ludicrous concepts as “the sanctity of life, the dignity of marriage as the union of one man and one woman, and religious liberty.” Pro-life? Does this mean somebody is “pro-death” somewhere? “Pro-marriage”? Should we really take “biblical stands”? Like those which teach how to treat omen? Or incite to violence?

They say “We hope that you will see how wrong it would be to let one side shut down the opposing side in a debate by slandering their opponents with prejudicial labels such as “bigot” or “homophobe.”

The point, you see, is there’s no debate, and the mistake would be to open one. Like in the oxymoron of a debate between the “theory” of natural selection and the “theory” of intelligent design. Both are theories, they say. Sure.

Thus, in this imperfect world seen as a closed market, Apple did actually well. It defended a group of people who resented to be deprived of the “right” of marriage. Of course, in the open Web nobody would shutdown a site like that, right? I mean, nobody except some governments or big Web corporations.

In the end, what if Apple banished all religious-themed apps (“because they are ‘biased’ “)? Sooner or later, some group of people would fell offended.

Well, this scenario is scary, no matter how you look at it. It’s just like Apple (and all those distributors like it) is morphing into a Great Censor. Apple can decide what we should or should not read or sign?

Do you see how complex is this issue? Do you see why we must defend the Open Web?

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About Antonio Vantaggiato

Professor, web2.0 enthusiast, and didactic chef.
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