A Kodak Moment
John F. Schmidt
That familiar phrase, a part of Americana, has become almost synonymous with the essence of tender family moments. So, it is strange to find that Corporation Kodak, it’s author, has morphed into a pusher of aggressive homosexuality.
While certainly not alone, Kodak is perhaps the most egregious example of a disturbing corporate trend of radical intolerance of those who refuse to bow to the “gay” agenda. In October of this year, Rolf Szabo, a 23-year veteran at Kodak’s world headquarters in Rochester, NY, paid a high price for his boldness in refusing to “go along to get along.”
As reported in Family Research Council’s Culture Facts, 11/1/2002, Szabo received a corporate HR memo promoting an event organized by the homosexual activist organization Human Rights Campaign (HRC). The memo instructed employees to observe HRC’s 15th annual National Coming Out Day, and assist gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered employees to “feel comfortable in sharing his/her orientation in the workplace.” Rolf took a stand against pressure to conform to a lifestyle that is deeply repugnant to his core beliefs and was fired as a consequence. He is considering a lawsuit against his former employer.
Contrary to what “everybody knows,” it is illegal for an employer to deny a believer the right to speak of his religion in the workplace, to wear religious symbols, to read a Bible on personal breaks, to have religious symbols in his personal workspace, to object to Sabbath-breaking work rules, or to force him to endure harassment or verbal abuse of a religious nature. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, a Federal agency, polices the workplace by enforcing Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The Act prohibits discrimination based on race, color, sex, religion, or national origin. The “sex” mentioned in Title VII refers to discrimination against a person because they are either a male or female. It has no legal reference to homosexuality. Not yet, at least.
While it is illegal for an employer to deny an employee the reasonable practice of his religion, Kodak has done practically the opposite in forcing its employees to accept and even celebrate activities going directly against employee’s deeply held religious beliefs. Under the guise of “diversity training,” or “sensitivity training,” Kodak, like many contemporary companies, is trying to reconcile moral opposites by granting one the upper hand.
A caller to a local radio station, in commenting on Kodak’s action against Rolf revealed the agenda in stark language: "I work in the same division as Rolf. Kodak is constantly trying to cram this diversity/inclusive culture c**p down our throats. We are told by management that all beliefs are welcome. Well, as Rolf found out, if your opinions and fundamental beliefs go against the Kodak party line, you will be gone."
Perhaps America’s corporations are attempting to avoid litigation under the laws of some State that prohibit discrimination based on “sexual preference.” Whatever the reason, a number of the largest corporations are waging guerrilla warfare against believers by forcing a culture of “tolerance” and “inclusiveness” onto their employees through corporate Human Resource Department policies.
On the face of it, Kodak’s tolerance policy appears to be a reasonable appeal to all employees to exercise self-restraint in criticizing those who differ in sexual orientation, whatever the motivation. But in practice a definite line has been crossed when force is used to cram a repugnant immorality down the throats of some employees. The policies amount to persecution of Biblical morality.
As recently as fifty years ago, homosexuality was universally condemned as a social cancer and perversion. Today, merely criticizing it is a punishable offense. In many public schools and colleges, if a person makes a Biblically based criticism of this behavior, he himself is regarded as the one doing evil. Biblical morality is being replaced by biblical immorality and the definition of what is good is being changed too. Yet, it is utterly impossible for the two to coexist in the same organization, or nation, or world without one absorbing the other. It is all out war.
The problem is not bad laws or some sinister conspiracy. It is the inevitable result of two things: rampant rejection of God at all levels of our culture, and failure of His people to stand against the trend. The two are bound together. And the solution is simple but costly.
Enter Rolf Szabo. All he did to touch off this conflagration was to send a return memo to the Imperial Kodak Human Relations department: “Please do not send this type of information to me anymore, as I find it disgusting and offensive. Thank you," and kingdoms tottered.
In the book of Daniel, there were three young men who refused to bow down in worship to the king’s golden image. Even when threatened with a fiery death they still refused. Their words reverberate today with the same force: “We aren’t afraid to answer you in this matter, O king. Our God is able to deliver us out of your hand. But if not… we want you to know that we still won’t bow to your golden image.” The rest is history.
“But if not...”
These are words that encourage. These are fighting words, too. But these are also words that change the world. The great king of Daniel’s day later testified that because these three young stalwarts “yielded their own bodies” rather than deny their God, “they changed the king’s word.” Hang in there, Rolf. God is on your side, and so are we. Let’s change Kodak’s word.
By putting his job – and living – on the line, Rolf may well change a lot more than just a corrupt policy at Kodak. He may again purify to our minds and hearts the original – and good - meaning of “A Kodak Moment.”