From a long-time, faithful user of Mozilla’s products, to include FireFox:
I am writing you in response to a recent incident that happened, on the part of your organization. This is an issue that has me very concerned when such an act, as has transpired within the recent week or two by your organization, has the effect of the chilling of an individual’s right of conscience and personal beliefs. I discovered the open-source community many years ago, starting with exploring and using one of your earliest open-sourced products: the Mozilla Suite since one of its earliest versions, previous to “1.0”, and previous to the now-famous FireFox(tm) web-browser.
I have learned a thing or two about the general character of the open-source community. It was a community built upon the idea that, “The user HAS another choice, besides the often expensive commercial offerings for software.” The operative word here is “choice”, as in “personal choice”. I have used and explored many different open-source projects and products, to include the Linux operating system I am now running, for all of my personal computing needs. I have been surprised time and again at what I have found for other programs and even brilliant ideas expressed, in code and otherwise, by the various open-source projects and software I have found. The one thing that has kept my interest, even when certain software were, for a while, having “bug” issues, consistency issues, and still working out smooth transitions from one major version to another; I have still held out in support and favor of most of the open-source software I use today.
Let’s just say that Mozilla was one of those soon-to-become-prominent members of the open-source community who made a believer in “open-source is best”-philosophy out of “little ‘ol me”! I probably would not have learned to discover, for myself and my future projects, the open-source community’s drive for excellence and actual, working choices to the out-dated, out-moded thinking of the “big-box” software publishers in the market. I have found that some of the open-source software I use today, often out-perform the commercial offerings of software used for similar purposes, and further – exceed my expectations in what they offer in terms of additional features and user-friendliness. I am a firm believer in the open-source philosophy (and, consequently, the “Free Software Foundation’s” – Freedom Initiatives). Boy – oh – BOY, do I love this country and the freedom that is possible within it! The freedom to choose, based on my own expectations and experiences, is perhaps, one of the most important aspects of living as a sentient human being.
The point I close on, is the fact that your organization chose to take a rather arbitrary and very subjective action against one of your own; a co-founder of your organization, nonetheless, based on his personal beliefs and what he chooses to support with HIS OWN MONEY. He chose to support a political initiative he truly believes in. I do not believe his actions warranted a termination of his employment and association with your organization. I do not believe that this action should be condoned, let alone be supported as “business as usual”, when it strongly appears to be based on the beliefs of and activities supported by the individual. This action reflects adversely upon the reputation of the Mozilla organization as well as sets up a very dangerous precedent, by example, to others in this country, the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. How long will it be, before we have politically-correct “loyalty tests” and other forms of “measuring the fealty of employees and perspective employees” as pre-conditions to employment, anywhere in these UNITED STATES???
This onerous and odious act also betrays the very values enshrined by the open-source community’s values towards “personal choice”. I have been a big fan of the open-source community BECAUSE of its values rooted in “personal choice”. The Open-Source Community best exemplifies one of our country’s best attributes and freedoms that mankind could enjoy: The value of “choice”. If what Mozilla, Inc has chosen for its actions, is deemed to be right and just, then my confidence, your organization, as well as that of the other users in the open-source community, have some serious questions about your alleged-support of man’s freedom to choose, to support, and to merely believe that which he deems fit and proper. You have demonstrated, through this (obviously politically-motivated) act, that our freedoms and liberties, especially concerning our own choices and decision-making are of no consequence to you, and therefore, do not matter!
Just check out what happened to Mozilla CEO Brendan Eich this week. He was forced out after it was discovered that he had donated $1,000 to support Proposition 8 back in 2008…
Mozilla Chief Executive Brendan Eich has stepped down, the company said on Thursday, after an online dating service urged a boycott of the company’s web browser because of a donation Eich made to opponents of gay marriage.
“He broke the politically-correct moral code of the thought Nazis, so he must pay.”
– “If You Do Not Conform, The Thought Nazis WILL Get You”, Michael Snyder, The American Dream, April 4, 2014
In another piece:
Mozilla Announces Resignation of Brendan Eich, a Chief Executive
Apr 4 14,
– (found on Bloom Business Week website at: http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/private/snapshot.asp?privcapId=10460890,
Fri, Apr 4th, 2014.)
And tragically here too:
Farhad Manjoo, of the New York Times, says that Brendan Eich had to go as chief executive officer of Mozilla Corp.
Eich, who donated money in 2008 to a political group that opposed same-sex marriage, resigned from the maker of Firefox yesterday under pressure because of his views. Mozilla is a community with a public-spirited mission, Manjoo argues, and Eich’s “views on gay marriage might have posed some danger to that community.”
The danger arose because many of the company’s employees, and the technology workers it seeks to influence, consider those views unacceptable.
That’s a frustrating argument, because the question is whether people, even if they favor same-sex marriage themselves, ought to tolerate those who oppose it or should instead judge them lacking in public-spiritedness and cast them out of the community.
– “Mozilla’s Gay-Marriage Purge”, By Ramesh Ponnuru, Apr 4, 2014 6:09 PM EDT, Bloomberg View
Unfortunately, this already occurs in many government jobs and contract opportunities! Many of our own local and other police and “law-enforcement” agencies actually seek out those who are willing to sell out on their fellow countrymen (and women) for such an opportunity, absent any concerns about the right of choice and the right of conscience of others which may differ from their own. If, what Mozilla, Inc. has done, is to be given any modicum of credibility, and the aura “right and just action”, then let me be among the few, who dares to question such questionable and OBJECTIONABLE actions, speak up in defense of common decency in strength FOR individual liberty and freedom:
“ Your act bespeaks ill omens about the true nature of your organization, as well as calls into question, what freedoms and liberties, as well as personal beliefs and choices your organization is willing to support, and what others you are willing to disparage, deny, decry, and in any other fashion prevent the full enjoyment thereof, even when such acts are purely subjective, selective, and demonstrate a willingness to contravene the idea of individual liberty and freedom of choice, in which the open-source community otherwise fully supports – in the true spirit of our Nation’s humble founding! “
Please reconsider your actions regarding Mr. Eich, and his personal choice to support whatever opinion, belief, and political initiatives he CHOOSES to support. You have a far larger user base of supporters than those who would see fit to confine and constrain the rights of opponents to their views! NO ONE should be arbitrarily punished for holding a differing view or opinion about any issue, that differs from what is “politically acceptable“. That is NOT what originally made the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, “Land of the Free, Home of the Brave”. It was no “law” ever legislated that made this nation great. It was the people with a dream, a passion, and the drive to make it happen – as a free society – that made this nation capable of becoming great. That “great beacon of freedom” is dying! We, as a people and a Nation, need to realize and support the rights due every individual, including the right to disagree with one another, and the right to be politically-unpopular – without restraint, and with repercussions.
Rev. Athauliz “Dragon’s Eye” Firestorm,
Founder, Temple of The Ancient Dragons,
And – Long-time user and fan of FireFox