Saturday, October 21, 2006

AFA Wants It Both Ways

The American Family Association is overcome with glee after NBC pulled the plug on a segment in an upcoming Madonna concert set to air in November. The AFA seems to be taking credit for the decision after 750,000 email messages were sent in protest to NBC from AFA "supporters."

Backing away from a confrontation with religious groups, NBC says it has decided not to show pictures of Madonna mounting a Crucifix when it airs her concert special next month. During her song "Live to Tell," Madonna sings from a mirrored cross wearing a crown of thorns.
Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Dr. Don Wildmon, chairman of the AFA, said:

"We appreciate the fact that NBC has seen the power of the pocketbook and decide to cancel [that] scene from the Madonna special," says Wildmon in a press release. "The network should never have even entertained using the scene, but we appreciate their removing it from the special."
Apparently, the AFA is just pleased as punch at their power to stifle free speech in having NBC censor a portion of an artistic performance which they deemed offensive. However, they are not so supportive of an employer in Virginia allegedly firing a human resources employee for having a "vote for marriage" message handwritten on the window of his truck:

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
Photo by Nikki Fox, Courtesy of Daily News Record)

Luis Padilla was reportedly terminated from his employment at a Cargill Foods plant in Harrisonburg because of a written message on the rear window of his pickup truck that read: "Please, vote for marriage on Nov. 7." That is the day when voters in Virginia will be considering a proposed amendment to the state constitution protecting traditional marriage.

According to the Daily-News Record in Harrisonburg, Padilla -- who worked in Cargill's human resources office -- was dismissed for insubordination when he refused to remove the message, which company officials could be considered harassment. He apparently had removed the sign when first requested, then later posted it again and parked his truck outside the company parking lot.

"This action exposes the hypocrisy of people who claim to stand for 'tolerance' but who instead do all they can to silence all opposing views," says Dean Welty, [a spokesman for the Family Foundation-affiliated Valley Family Forum.]
The AFA is trying to push a one-sided agenda down both lanes of a two-way street. If Padilla should be allowed to display his message so prominently even though Cargill employees who are proponents of gay marriage might feel uncomfortable with it, why strip Madonna of a portion of her message?

Those offended by Madonna's stage props are not required to watch. Employees, on the other hand, are required to show up for work.

I must be honest here though. Armed with the information I have thus far, I'm not comfortable with Padilla being fired for having a political message on his truck. It's not as though he tried to hold a pro-marriage (or anti-same-sex marriage) rally on company property. If I had a bumper sticker on my car encouraging a vote against the marriage proposition, I'd be absolutely livid if asked to remove it in order to keep my employment. Unfortunately, that is the nature of
”at-will” employment and it is legal.

Here's a link to The Daily News-Record piece. (Embeded link not working)

Crossposted at Pam’s House Blend

No comments: