FIRST-PERSON: Nope, there's not an app for that

Baptist Press
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Posted: Mar 25, 2011 5:45 PM
FIRST-PERSON: Nope, there's not an app for that
ALEXANDRIA, La. (BP)--"There's an app for that," is a phrase that can be found on many advertisements for the iPhone. Apple, maker of the popular smartphone, has trademarked the expression that conveys an application for most every subject is available for download online via the company's app store.

Apple currently offers 134,000 apps, which is short for "applications" and refers to software programs utilized by a smartphone.

While thousands of apps have gained Apple's approval, two Christian-based apps have recently been rejected. If you are interested in the Manhattan Declaration or Exodus International, you will find there's no longer an app for either.

The Manhattan Declaration, according to its website, "is a 4,700-word declaration that speaks in defense of the sanctity of life, traditional marriage, and religious liberty." As such, the document contains language that opposes "gay marriage." To date, approximately 490,000 people, including many leading Christian leaders, have signed it.

Exodus International states on its website that it "is committed to encouraging, educating and equipping the Body of Christ to address the issue of homosexuality with grace and truth." Exodus, often referred to as an "ex-gay" ministry, is dedicated to helping homosexuals who want to change and leave behind what they believe is an immoral lifestyle.

Both organization's apps were initially approved by Apple and were made available in the app store. However, when homosexual activist groups orchestrated complaint drives, the company caved to their demands and pulled both apps.

The only reason Apple has thus given for rejecting the previously approved apps is they are "offensive to large groups of people."

If Apple were to be completely honest, it would have to admit the two Christian apps were rejected solely because homosexual activists and those sympathetic to their cause complained about them.

Apple pulled the Exodus International app only after 150,000 people signed a petition at Change.org, Baptist Press reported. The petition was started by the homosexual group Truth Wins Out.

Apple carries any number of apps that could be deemed offensive "to large groups of people." However, in order to compare apples to apples (no pun intended), one only needs to consider the numerous homosexual-themed apps offered by Apple. I did a search and found dozens. Among them:

-- "Grindr," billed as a "gay, bi, and curious finder of the same sex." Part of the app's description calls it "one of the quickest, most popular ways to view and instantly connect with cool, fun guys."

-- "Gay History Project" described as an app to help "people think more carefully in the future about equality."

-- "Safe and Sound," a app presented as "a collection of erotic stores with male on male action."

These apps are just an example of dozens, perhaps even hundreds, available in Apple's App Store that cater to homosexuals. According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, millions of Americans could be offended by such apps. Pew found that 50 percent of Americans believe homosexual behavior is "morally wrong." Approximately 228 million adults live in America and, according to the Pew study, 114 million of them have a moral problem with homosexual behavior. Even so, I have yet to hear of Apple pulling any of the homosexual titles.

Could it be that Apple has yet to pull any homosexually themed apps from its app store because not enough of the 114 million have complained to Apple asking for them to be removed?

Or, could it be possible that half of Americans, even though they believe homosexual behavior is immoral, are tolerant enough to live and let live? Perhaps most Americans don't know they exist. You can't be offended by something you don't know about.

I had to go looking for the homosexual apps that I listed. In order for me to be offended, I had to find them. But I'm not inclined to lead a movement to demand they be pulled. They don't appeal to me, so I simply will not access them.

It is much like television. For years Christians have been told that if a program offends them, then "don't watch it." If homosexual activists are offended by the Manhattan Declaration or Exodus International, they shouldn't download them.

It seems that homosexual activists look for reasons to be offended. Additionally, many sympathetic to their cause seem to become offended because it is expected. In other words, they must be offended or they are not really committed to the cause.

I suspect many who signed the petition at Change.org aimed at Apple wouldn't know an app from an asp. They were offended & they added their name, because it was expected.

In all fairness to Apple, it does offer numerous Christian-themed apps. As a private company, it has every right to adopt any policies it chooses with respect to the products and services it offers.

However, by pulling two Christian apps from its app store while allowing sexually charged homosexually themed apps to remain, Apple has compromised its integrity with many of its customers.

By giving into the demands of homosexual activists, Apple has allowed a worm into its presence that will eat away at its credibility. And there is no app that will change that any time soon.

Kelly Boggs is a weekly columnist for Baptist Press and editor of the Baptist Message (www.baptistmessage.com), newsjournal of the Louisiana Baptist Convention.

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