Sunday, July 06, 2008

Is Ronald McDonald queer?

AFA urges millions to shun fast-food giant over its promotion of same-sex marriage

The American Family Association, whose earlier boycott of Ford Motor Co. over its promotion of homosexuality was dropped after company sales fell 8 percent per month for two years, now is asking consumers to stop buying Big Macs and Happy Meals at McDonald's. In a brief announcement today, AFA, whose constituents number in the millions, said it is "asking its supporters to boycott the restaurant chain." "This boycott is not about hiring homosexuals, or homosexuals eating at McDonald's or how homosexual employees are treated. It is about McDonald's, as a corporation, choosing to put the full weight of their organization behind promoting the homosexual agenda, including homosexual marriage," said AFA chairman Donald E. Wildmon.

AFA pointed out McDonald's donated $20,000 to the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce in exchange for membership in the NGLCC and a seat on the group's board of directors. The NGLCC lobbies Congress on a wide range of issues, including the promotion of same-sex marriage. AFA had asked the corporation to remove its name and logo from the NGLCC website, where it is listed as a "corporate partner and organization ally." AFA also requested that McDonald's remove the endorsement of NGLCC by Richard Ellis, vice president of communications for McDonald's USA, from the website. "McDonald's refused both requests," the AFA announcement said. In fact, Pat Harris, global chief diversity officer and vice president of "inclusions & diversity," told AFA the burger-and-fries conglomerate would "reaffirm our position on diversity."

"Ellis, who is openly homosexual, was given a seat on the NGLCC board of directors. . He was quoted as saying, 'I'm thrilled to join the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce and ready to go to work. I share the NGLCC's passion for business growth and development within the LGBT community, and I look forward to playing a role I moving these important initiatives forward,'" AFA said.

The AFA initiative followed an exchange of words between the pro-family organization and the corporation. WND reported then that McDonald's was running an e-mail campaign responding to concerns expressed by AFA to constituents. The restaurant corporation had told consumers expressing opposition to its pro-homosexual stance that the company treats "all our employees and customers with dignity and respect regardless of their ethnicity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation or any other differentiating factor."

"We are not telling McDonald's who they can hire to work for the company, nor are we demanding that they stop serving Big Macs to homosexual customers," AFA said then. "This issue is about the world's largest fast food chain allying itself and partnering with an organization that lobbies Congress to enact laws that we feel can be used to repress religious freedom or undermine the sanctity of marriage."

McDonald's noted, "While one McDonald's employee is affiliated with the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC), McDonald's is in no way 'aggressively promoting the homosexual agenda' as suggested in the newsletter." But AFA said, "To refer to Richard Ellis, who is the vice president of communications for McDonald's, as 'one McDonald's employee,' as if he is a teenager flipping hamburgers, is disingenuous at best. While 'aggressively' is admittedly a subjective term, AFA believes that giving money to and partnering with a homosexual lobby organization is certainly an enthusiastic promotion of the homosexual agenda."

AFA asked the corporation for honesty in its communications and called its verbal maneuvers "disingenuous." "As a Christian organization, the American Family Association always seeks to be honest, accurate and completely forthright in the information we pass along to our supporters," AFA said. "We expect corporations in this country, especially those that position themselves as 'family friendly' businesses, to do the same."

McDonald's officials declined to return a WND call seeking comment on the placement of its executive on the "gay" advocacy organization. But the corporation sent a subsequent e-mail confirming its support for the agenda of the homosexual business lobby. "McDonald's is indeed a Corporate Partner and Organizational Ally of NGLCC. Our vice president of U.S. communications, Richard Ellis, was recently elected to its board of directors," said the brief statement to WND from Heidi M. Barker, senior director of media relations.

A spokeswoman for NGLCC refused to speak with WND except on "background" when asked about McDonald's financial contribution to the group. But she did confirm the organization would not release information on its sponsors.

As WND reported, after joining the NGLCC, Wal-Mart's income later started declining as Christian organizations reacted to the news. CNN reported Wal-Mart officials later decided to pursue a lower level of homosexual promotions. "We are not currently planning corporate-level contributions to LGBT groups," Mona Williams, the company's senior vice president of corporate communications, told CNN only months after the issue arose.


Does Patriotism Matter?

By Thomas Sowell

The Fourth of July is a patriotic holiday but patriotism has long been viewed with suspicion or disdain by many of the intelligentsia. As far back as 1793, prominent British writer William Godwin called patriotism "high-sounding nonsense." Internationalism has long been a competitor with patriotism, especially among the intelligentsia. H.G. Wells advocated replacing the idea of duty to one's country with "the idea of cosmopolitan duty."

Perhaps nowhere was patriotism so downplayed or deplored than among intellectuals in the Western democracies in the two decades after the horrors of the First World War, fought under various nations' banners of patriotism. In France, after the First World War, the teachers' unions launched a systematic purge of textbooks, in order to promote internationalism and pacifism. Books that depicted the courage and self-sacrifice of soldiers who had defended France against the German invaders were called "bellicose" books to be banished from the schools.

Textbook publishers caved in to the power of the teachers' unions, rather than lose a large market for their books. History books were sharply revised to conform to internationalism and pacifism. The once epic story of the French soldiers' heroic defense against the German invaders at Verdun, despite the massive casualties suffered by the French, was now transformed into a story of horrible suffering by all soldiers at Verdun-- French and German alike. In short, soldiers once depicted as national heroes were now depicted as victims-- and just like victims in other nations' armies.

Children were bombarded with stories on the horrors of war. In some schools, children whose fathers had been killed during the war were asked to speak to the class and many of these children-- as well as some of their classmates and teachers-- broke down in tears.

In Britain, Winston Churchill warned that a country "cannot avoid war by dilating upon its horrors." In France, Marshal Philippe Petain, the victor at Verdun, warned in 1934 that teachers were trying to "raise our sons in ignorance of or in contempt of the fatherland." But they were voices drowned out by the pacifist and internationalist rhetoric of the 1920s and 1930s.

Did it matter? Does patriotism matter? France, where pacifism and internationalism were strongest, became a classic example of how much it can matter. During the First World War, France fought on against the German invaders for four long years, despite having more of its soldiers killed than all the American soldiers killed in all the wars in the history of the United States, put together. But during the Second World War, France collapsed after just six weeks of fighting and surrendered to Nazi Germany. At the bitter moment of defeat the head of the French teachers' union was told, "You are partially responsible for the defeat."

Charles de Gaulle, Francois Mauriac, and other Frenchmen blamed a lack of national will or general moral decay, for the sudden and humiliating collapse of France in 1940. At the outset of the invasion, both German and French generals assessed French military forces as more likely to gain victory, and virtually no one expected France to collapse like a house of cards -- except Adolf Hitler, who had studied French society instead of French military forces. Did patriotism matter? It mattered more than superior French tanks and planes.

Most Americans today are unaware of how much our schools have followed in the footsteps of the French schools of the 1920s and 1930s, or how much our intellectuals have become citizens of the world instead of American patriots. Our media are busy verbally transforming American combat troops from heroes into victims, just as the French intelligentsia did-- with the added twist of calling this "supporting the troops." Will that matter? Time will tell.


Moral paralysis

By Thomas Sowell

"Moral paralysis" is a term that has been used to describe the inaction of France, England, and other European democracies in the 1930s, as they watched Hitler build up the military forces that he later used to attack them. It is a term that may be painfully relevant to our own times. Back in the 1930s, the governments of the democratic countries knew what Hitler was doing - and they knew that they had enough military superiority at that point to stop his military buildup in its tracks. But they did nothing to stop him. Instead, they turned to what is still the magic mantra today - "negotiations."

No leader of a democratic nation was ever more popular than British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain - wildly cheered in the House of Commons by opposition parties as well as his own - when he returned from negotiations in Munich in 1938, waving an agreement and declaring that it meant "peace in our time." We know now how short that time was. Less than a year later, World War II began in Europe and spread across the planet, killing tens of millions of people and reducing many cities to rubble in Europe and Asia.

Looking back after that war, Winston Churchill said, "There was never a war in all history easier to prevent by timely action." The earlier it was done, the less it would have cost. At one point, Hitler could have been stopped in his tracks "without the firing of a single shot," Churchill said. That point came in 1936 - three years before World War II began - when Hitler sent troops into the Rhineland, in violation of two international treaties. At that point, France alone was so much more powerful than Germany that the German generals had secret orders to retreat immediately at the first sign of French intervention. As Hitler himself confided, the Germans would have had to retreat "with our tail between our legs," because they did not yet have enough military force to put up even a token resistance.

Why did the French not act and spare themselves and the world the years of horror that Hitler's aggressions would bring? The French had the means but not the will.

"Moral paralysis" came from many things. The death of a million French soldiers in the First World War and disillusionment with the peace that followed cast a pall over a whole generation. Pacifism became vogue among the intelligentsia and spread into educational institutions. As early as 1932, Winston Churchill said: "France, though armed to the teeth, is pacifist to the core." It was morally paralyzed.

History may be interesting but it is the present and the future that pose the crucial question: Is America today the France of yesterday? We know that Iran is moving swiftly toward nuclear weapons while the United Nations is moving slowly - or not at all - toward doing anything to stop them. It is a sign of our irresponsible Utopianism that anyone would even expect the U.N. to do anything that would make any real difference.

Not only the history of the U.N., but the history of the League of Nations before it, demonstrates again and again that going to such places is a way for weak-kneed leaders of democracies to look like they are doing something when in fact they are doing nothing.

The Iranian leaders are not going to stop unless they get stopped. And, like Hitler, they don't think we have the guts to stop them. Incidentally, Hitler made some of the best antiwar statements of the 1930s. He knew that this was what the Western democracies wanted to hear - and that it would keep them morally paralyzed while he continued building up his military machine to attack them.

Iranian leaders today make only the most token and transparent claims that they are building "peaceful" nuclear facilities - in one of the biggest oil-producing countries in the world, which has no need for nuclear power to generate electricity.

Nuclear weapons in the hands of Iran and its international terrorist allies will be a worst threat than Hitler ever was. But, before that happens, the big question is: Are we France? Are we morally paralyzed, perhaps fatally?


Prisoner Rehabilitated; Fifty Million Die

Each day we're told that radical Islamists, terrorists, and assorted extremists are going to moderate, so why not negotiate with them, appease them, defuse their grievances, have dialogue, and then everything will be okay. But, those who are doubtful, argue, shouldn't we have learned from history that militant ideologies are not prone to compromise and ruthless dictators don't change their stripes. You cannot appease them, they don't go away; displays of weakness make them more aggressive.

Oh, no! Not the Nazi analogy again! And yet what can you say when confronted with this New York Times headline of December 21, 1924: "Hitler Tamed By Prison; Released on Parole, He Is Expected to Return to Austria." This is not a satire. See for yourself here

The correspondent explains that Hitler, once a demigod for the extreme right, was released on parole from the Landsberg fortress where he had been sent for trying to overthrow the democratic German government in what has come to be known as the Beerhouse Putsch. Prison, the article continues, seems to have moderated him. The authorities were convinced that he presented no further danger to the existing society. In fact, it was expected that he would abandon public life and return to his native land, Austria. Well, that problem was certainly solved easily.

And also the Times learned its lesson, hasn't it? As the newspaper explained in a June 30 editorial: "Few countries can afford the luxury of limiting their diplomacy to friendly countries and peace-loving parties. National security often requires negotiating with dangerous enemies." Right. And believing their protestations of moderation, making concessions to them, ending sanctions, blaming ourselves for problems, and never using force is the actual content of such negotiations. Then the leaders of Hamas, Hizballah, Syria, Iran, the Muslim Brotherhoods, al-Qaida, North Korea, Zimbabwe, Sudan, etc., will no doubt be tamed, abandon public life, and go back to their homes.

Henry Kissinger once told the joke--or at least is credited for doing so--that it is very easy to have the lion lay down with the lamb, as long as you put in a new lamb every day. Kissinger no doubt little expected at the time that this would become the democratic world's favored strategy. No surprise that the main villain for the politically correct West is Israel, the lamb that refuses the honor.

From Barry Rubin


Political correctness is most pervasive in universities and colleges but I rarely report the incidents concerned here as I have a separate blog for educational matters.

American "liberals" often deny being Leftists and say that they are very different from the Communist rulers of other countries. The only real difference, however, is how much power they have. In America, their power is limited by democracy. To see what they WOULD be like with more power, look at where they ARE already very powerful: in America's educational system -- particularly in the universities and colleges. They show there the same respect for free-speech and political diversity that Stalin did: None. So look to the colleges to see what the whole country would be like if "liberals" had their way. It would be a dictatorship.

For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, GREENIE WATCH, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, DISSECTING LEFTISM, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and EYE ON BRITAIN. My Home Pages are here or here or here. Email me (John Ray) here. For times when is playing up, there are mirrors of this site here and here.


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