Apple’s CEO Needs to Eat His Words

Tim Cook of Apple is one of the most vocal opponents of the religious freedom bill that Indiana initially passed. And I can’t believe anyone let him get away with it. The media asked “tough” questions of Governor Pence, but it let Mr. Cook go free. Well, it’s time someone should core the apple and expose the rotten seeds of hypocrisy that lie within

In case you have been in a coma the last few days and didn’t hear about it, Indiana passed a bill protecting religious freedom. As expected, the press and folks like Mr. Cook have mischaracterized it. And as is typical of too many conservatives, they have allowed the press to frame the issue. They have been unwilling to recast correctly the questions that have been thrown at them.

The issue isn’t whether one person should be allowed to refuse services to someone based on his or her religious beliefs, but whether the strong arm of the government should be used to force people to act contrary to their religious beliefs without the government at least showing a judge and jury some compelling reason to do so.

In a nation that increasingly distrusts government and wants less government interference in our lives, I bet the overwhelming answer to that question would be “Heck no. The government better give me a compelling reason for why it has to trample over my liberty and tell me one more thing I have to do or one more thing I can’t do!”

But Mr. Cook apparently wants one private citizen to be able to go into court and have the court order the government to force another private citizen (or the company he or she owns) to violate his or her beliefs without any compelling reasons to do so if someone wants to use that person’s services.

If that’s what he wants, then he should get what he wants, and the folks at the Manhattan Declaration should help him. The Manhattan Declaration organization should sue Apple for all it is worth because in 2010 Mr. Cook’s company declined to provide services to that organization.

And why? Because Apple didn’t like the message the organization conveyed.

That’s right. Because the Manhattan Declaration supports marriage, life, and religious liberty, Apple removed its app from the Apple i-Tunes App Store. Apple “refused” its services based on its belief system, whatever you may want to call it.

Tim Cook’s conscience was apparently violated by what the Manhattan Declaration organization wanted to advocate, so he told them “Go away.”

But when a T-shirt maker doesn’t want to print a T-shirt with a message he or she doesn’t agree with, Tim Cook would say, “Tough! That’s discrimination. Government, go make him print that T-shirt.”

Mr. Cook may be a technological wiz. He may be a marketing guru. But there is one thing he for sure is—a brazen hypocrite.

I know Christians are supposed to turn the other cheek, but I also know that the Apostle Paul asserted his rights under Roman law when the law was violated.

And Mr. Cook violated the existing civil rights laws that prohibit discrimination—refusing services—based on a potential customer’s religion and creed. And religion and creed are clearly at the core of the Manhattan Declaration’s message.

Ironically, since Mr. Cook isn’t apparently a very religious person, a religious freedom protection law like Indiana’s wouldn’t give him any protection or defense to such a legal action.

I, for one, think it might be a good time for Mr. Cook’s Apple to enjoy the fruit of the position he is advocating and see how it tastes. He may find it rotten to the core.


David Fowler served in the Tennessee state Senate for 12 years before joining FACT as President in 2006. Read David’s complete bio.

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