Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Strange Bedfellows

I recently came across a couple news stories that just didn't seem to go together. First, I read that Google to Team Up With Vatican.
VATICAN CITY, JAN. 18, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Google, a symbol of the seemingly endless possibilities of the Internet, will team up with the Vatican Television Center and Vatican Radio in a joint venture to give Benedict XVI his own YouTube channel.

According to the Vatican press office, texts and video footage of the Pope's speeches supplied by Vatican radio and television would be posted directly onto the video-sharing Web site.

Details of the initiative will be announced Friday in conjunction with the publication of Benedict XVI's message for the 43rd World Communications Day. Saturday is the feast of St. Francis de Sales, patron of journalists.
Great, right? Maybe Google has found a heart. In their unrelenting advances toward taking over the world, they have shown themselves to be not uniformly good. Consider their partnership with the government of China. But, perhaps a Google-Vatican partnership would be good for the both of them. Imagine my surprise when this morning I saw this article.
At least sixty amicus curiae briefs have been filed with the California Supreme Court, variously arguing for and against to the constitutionality of Proposition 8. Opponents include internet giant Google, Inc., which argues the Proposition denies employees “basic rights.”

On Thursday Google’s official blog published an entry titled “Supporting Equality.” In that entry, Google said that many people were concerned with the impact the ballot measure could have “on the personal lives of people they work with every day, and on California's ability to attract and retain a diverse mix of employees from around the world.”

Google explained that this is the reason they filed an amicus curiae brief supporting challenges to Proposition 8. “Denying employees basic rights isn't right, and it isn't good for businesses. We are committed to preserving fundamental rights for every one of the people who work hard to make Google a success.”

I'm not sure what "fundamental rights" they are speaking of. Any of the people that Google is speaking of is free, in California, to marry someone of a gender which is opposite theirs. Simple. How does this limit their applicant pool? It's not as if California outlawed homosexuals or gay bars or something. Also, if Google were to desire to grant some sort of same-sex benefits for its employees, I assume California wouldn't stop them.

Back to the main point of this: what doesn't go together here? Google teams up with Vatican, and files support for gay marriage, all in the same week. I don't think this is what Jesus meant when he said "do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing". It may be that Google is simply automating some sort of youtube content of the Pope's comments, but the timing of these announcements just surprised me.