Last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook ‘came out of the closet’ as they say, proclaiming proudly in the pages of Business Week that ‘I consider being gay among the greatest gifts God has given me.’ Columnist Bert Wagendorp of the Dutch newspaper de Volkskrant calls Cook’s comments ‘a beautiful and powerful provocation’ in ‘the most Christian country in the world’ and which goes the pope – who can’t get the Catholic hierarchy to budge on the issue – one better. He does wonder, however, how his comments would sound to ‘the tens of thousands of Chinese who assemble iPhones for twelve hours a day’ – and who, too, might like a taste of ‘equality.’
For de Volkskrant, Bert Wagendorp begins by having some fun with how the Catholic Church and the ‘most christian country in the world’ have dealt with Cook’s heavenly ‘gift’:
Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, is gay. We knew that already, but this week Bloomberg Business Week published an open letter by Cook, in which he officially steps out of the closet. “I’m proud to be gay,” he said, “and I see my homosexuality as the greatest gift that God has given me.” The letter is world news.
Does God have an iPhone? Does he, too, get hyped up about buying the latest Apple model?
In the most Christian country in the world, God gets bandied about a lot, but the fact that the Almighty is now even giving homosexuality as a gift did surprise many Americans. More precisely, in the most Christian country in the world, Cook’s comment about God was both beautiful and a powerful provocation.
Last month, American Cardinal Raymond Burke, the highest legal authority in the church after the pope himself, was one of the attendees at a Vatican Synod on the Family – where attitudes toward homosexuality also came up. It seemed that the pope would lead Rome in a new direction and make the mother church a lot more gay-friendly. Eventually, though, conservative forces prevailed, including Burke and of course our own prelate Wim Eijk.
Homosexuality is permitted – as long as it isn’t practiced – remains the credo of the Church of Rome. Despite the undoubtedly high percentage of gay men on the board of the church, open letters to the L’Obsservatore Romano are not yet on the cards.
Perhaps that’s why Apple does things better than the church.
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