Shouldn’t the real intent of Cisco’s value of “inclusion and diversity” be to ensure that people in that diverse workforce work together cordially and professionally even when they inevitably disagree on certain political, moral or religious questions? It would seem so. In a large multicultural workforce, people need to work together despite political or religious differences. That’s a noble and necessary goal. It’s totalitarian, however, to subject people to “diversity” training and corporate sponsorships that go beyond teaching respect for people to advocacy of what they do in bed.
All employees should treat one another with kindness and respect because they are fellow human beings, not because of their sexual behavior. If people are to be respected simply on the basis of their behavior, then none of us qualify for respect because we have all behaved badly on occasion.
So instead of trying to force all employees to accept any sexual behavior—especially something as controversial as homosexuality—the inclusion and diversity police should be urging us to treat all people with respect simply because we are human beings. That’s all you need to be productive at work anyway.
But as soon as you start telling people from different religious and cultural backgrounds what they must think about homosexuality, you will offend and create conflict andr resentment. As a Christian, I am commanded to respect all people. That’s what I was doing at Cisco. But don’t tell me that I have to respect and celebrate what people do in bed. Don’t tell me that I must violate my conscience or my God in order to make widgets. That’s not only immoral and un-American; it’s manipulative and stupid. How does accepting homosexual behavior have anything to do with job productivity? Are we supposed to have sex at work?
There simply is no business reason to judge my beliefs about sexual behavior or anyone else’s. And even if some corporate nanny could dream up a reason, it would not justify the assault on an employee’s conscience or religion.
Notice that Cisco did not have a problem with my behavior. My job performance was deemed excellent, and I was “inclusive and diverse” by working in a respectful manner with people of all moral, religious and political views.
Cisco had a problem with my thoughts. Although I certainly accepted homosexuals, I committed the thought crime of disagreeing with homosexual behavior and homosexual political goals. So despite all their talk about “inclusion and diversity,” Cisco deemed my thoughts about something irrelevant to the workplace as grounds for immediate exclusion. Do you think they would have excluded me if I had pro-same-sex marriage thoughts? Of course not—that’s an approved view that Cisco actually sponsors (even though they deny it).
But people who don’t accept homosexual behavior don’t have to work at Cisco then!
True, they don’t. But if Cisco or any other company wants to make it a requirement that every employee and vendor personally accept the behavior of homosexuality or homosexual political goals such as same-sex marriage, then tell us directly. Broadcast it to the world. Cisco can’t and won’t because such a requirement would be a clear violation of the religious protections codified in the Civil Rights Act, and it would result in a mass exodus of employees and customers.
Instead, they create an oppressive culture of political correctness under the false banner of “inclusion and diversity” to achieve the same ends. They tell the world that they value and encourage “different perspectives, styles, thoughts, and ideas” while they punish or intimidate into silence people who have “different perspectives, styles, thoughts, and ideas.” While Cisco executives would never admit this, their actions reveal this twisted truth: Cisco values homosexual behavior more than honesty, freedom of religion and freedom of conscience.
Is it the same at your workplace? Are you tired of having to hide your conservative or religious beliefs as if you live in a totalitarian state rather than America? If you continue to cower in silence before an intolerant militant minority, it will only get worse. To paraphrase Edmund Burke, “All that is necessary for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing.” It’s time to do something—speak up.
Frank Turek is coauthor of I Don't Have Enough Faith to be an Atheist, and the author of Stealing from God: Why atheists need God to make their case. See more of his work at CrossExamined.org.