I am a strong supporter of the political and social online journal, On Line Opinion, founded and run by Graham Young.
OLO publishes all manner of opinion, no matter how contradictory, as long as it’s well argued and not abusive. In this, OLO is a rather unique site, and at times its fora are extremely lively.
OLO is a rare gem. It offers voice to many disparate views. Under no circumstances should we have to do without it.
So when I read in today’s Australian that two major sponsers, IBM and the ANZ bank, have withdrawn their advertising from OLO in protest at the publication of an article by Bill Muehlenberg in which he argues against gay marriage, I thought I’d fallen down a rabbit hole.
I remember Bill’s article well. In fact I wrote a contrary opinion that Graham subsequently published.
I totally disagree with almost everything Muehlenberg says in his piece, but by all the gods, I defend his right to say it.
Apparently OLO has come under attack from some gay activists for publishing Bill’s piece. While the arguments in it are not to my liking, I cannot find them hateful, or inciting hatred. They are quite easily addressed and refuted, as others besides myself have done. I cannot see any reason at all to not publish, that is to censor, Muehlenberg’s opinion piece.
Apparently the ANZ Bank and IBM don’t agree.
As Christopher Pearson reports in his article today, the ANZ states that they do not advertise on blogs that “do not align to our organizational values.” That is, Muehlenberg’s anti gay marriage article offends the ANZ’s pro gay marriage values so profoundly that they’ve pulled their advertising.
Oh, that they would only show such integrity about their business relationships with the manufacturers of land mines!
I’m a staunch supporter of gay marriage. But I’m alarmed that some gay activists apparently seek to silence authors and publishers who do not agree with them, and wish to present an opposing view.
This can never be good for society. To fight for a freedom, and then attempt to deny it to those who don’t agree with you is tyranny. There were no grounds for silencing Muehlenberg in that article, unless you just didn’t like it that he said it, and that doesn’t count.