Obviously, I feel my approach better reveals the truth, but to play devil’s advocate (as a true scientist would), let’s say my approach is wrong. Either way, the bridge breaks down. If people’s beliefs are constructed through different systems of thought, attempts to educate will fail. Facebook comment threads are filled with flame wars from these kinds of impasses and I argue that far too much divisiveness and anger is created when people with different frameworks of thought try to “educate” each other.
In my mind, the abovementioned points present reason enough to forgo the education of someone with a different framework of thought, but another reason is to send a clear message that the greater organization does not espouse or condone a given mentality, and that the speaker in question was not speaking on behalf of the organization’s values. Why is this important? Well, if you spend time trying to educate, what message does that send? As noted above, the CEO of a company is highly unlikely to talk the person out of their beliefs and in the meantime all LGBTQ members of the CrossFit community are left to wonder “was retaining this person, who’s unlikely to be swayed, more important than letting hundreds of thousands of members know that their humanity is valued, celebrated, and embraced and that the CrossFit philosophy of support and community is fully extended and inclusive of them?” I would argue that CrossFit, Inc. felt the risk was not worth it and therefore acted the way they did and as quickly as they did.
So, for one-on-one education, when there is common ground, we should all be 100% there for it, but when the common ground is not there or when someone is a leader of an organization with a bully pulpit (a highly visible messenger), education is not an effective or appropriate response. Indeed, when the stakes involve human dignity and the right to “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” the risks are often far too high.
3. This is America and people shouldn’t lose their jobs because of their personal beliefs – if they do, then they are the real victims and nobody truly wins.
The reality is, you can lose your job. The first amendment protects us from the government infringing upon our right to express ourselves. This does not mean we are free from consequences when serving as a spokesperson of our employer or making statements of opinions that run counter to those of our employer. By doing do, you have failed to do your job and the employer may act accordingly. You can still share those opinions, but no one is obliged keep you on payroll when you’ve gone “off-brand.”