Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Dear McDonald's...

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By Laurie Higgins

In a recent letter, “Global Chief Diversity Officer,” Pat Harris, wrote that, “McDonald’s is associated with countless local and national affinity groups here in the United States. We have a well-established and proud heritage of associating with individuals and organizations that share in the belief that every person has the right to live and work in their community free of discrimination.” What precisely does GCDO Harris mean by claiming that homosexuals have a right to live and work “free from discrimination”? Does he mean that they should be able to live and work without being harassed? If so, we’re in complete agreement. No one should be harassed anywhere anytime.

Or, is he asserting that they have some sort of right to community approval of their sexual practices? If so, from where does that right derive? And is every group that is defined by anomalous sexual desires and practices owed that same right? Will McDonald’s stand in unity with all these “affinity groups”? Will McDonald’s cheerfully associate with the national affinity group NAMBLA? (North American Man Boy Love Association)

What Harris neglected to articulate is whether McDonald’s believes that community members have the right to discriminate between moral and immoral conduct. Everyone I know believes that those who self-identify as homosexuals have a right to live and work in their communities free from harassment. Everyone I know believes that those who self-identify as homosexuals are equal in dignity and worth to heterosexuals. No one I know hates homosexuals. But many believe that homosexual conduct is immoral.

Just as every human has a right to live and work free from harassment, every human has a right to hold and articulate beliefs about which behaviors, sexual and otherwise, constitute moral behaviors. The most prevalent belief throughout history and in virtually all societies has been and continues to be that homosexual conduct is profoundly immoral and destructive to the lives of individuals and the fabric of society. McDonald’s can ensure a workplace free from harassment without supporting organizations whose central mission is not to end harassment but to impose radical views of deviant sexual practices on America through demagoguery and censorship.

What the “global diversity officers” at McDonald’s don’t seem to grasp is that by embracing the philosophical commitments of the LGBTQ community, they repudiate the philosophical commitments of Catholics, Orthodox Jews, Muslims, and many Protestants. One would expect that McDonald’s, as a business enterprise, would refrain from taking positions on arguable, divisive cultural issues. The thickheaded diversity officers don’t seem to grasp the simple truism that no individual or organization can embrace mutually opposing principles. It is a logical impossibility. The solution should be obvious: conduct business and leave the transformation of public sentiments on controversial moral issues to others.
As long as McDonald’s affirms the destructive deceit that homosexuality is morally equivalent to heterosexuality, my family will not be financially supporting McDonald’s.

By the way, someone may want to inform GCDO Harris that diversity simply means variety or multiformity; it does not denote the beatified triumvirate of “race, gender, and sexual orientation.”

Laurie Higgins is a freelance writer based in Deerfield, Illinois. She can be reached through Culture Campaign by writing feedback@culturecampaign.com.