Freedom/Privacy

Author Orson Scott Card: Gays not "acceptable, equal citizens"; "I will act to destroy that government and bring it down"

Orson Scott Card is a barking fascist asshat. Let me illustrate.

I always marveled at how some of my friends worshiped the writing of Orson Scott Card. Maybe, I thought, it’s because we’re North Carolinians and he’s from Greensboro. From my perspective he was nothing special, at best, and has in the last couple of decades evolved into perhaps America’s most overrated science fiction author. Ender’s Game was prescient in its way – in a world where weaponry is so technologized that war is a video game, of course kids can be uber-warriors. But when the boy is made into some kind of equally uber moralist and philosopher (or whatever the hell Speaker for the Dead was about) I smelled the pungent aroma of self-indulgence that so often attends SF writers of a certain stripe.

The Alvin Maker series was even less bearable. We were doing fine in Seventh Son, clipping through an interesting enough little story (assuming you could get past the inexplicably patronizing treatment of Native American names) and then – the damnedest what the fuck passage in all of known literature. Those of you who have read the book will recall the scene I’m talking about – the quilt sequence – and those of you who haven’t should read the book just to say you’ve been there.

At this point it was clear that Card was too goddamned full of himself by half and that the only reason the rest of us existed was so he’d have people to be more clever than.

Until today, however, I thought Card was merely a badly overrated writer. Now, though, we’ve learned that he favors criminalizing homosexuality and overthrowing any government that tolerates teh faggots. Witness, if you would:

Laws against homosexual behavior should remain on the books…to be used when necessary to send a clear message that those who flagrantly violate society’s regulation of sexual behavior cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens.

And:

How long before married people answer the dictators thus: Regardless of law, marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down, so it can be replaced with a government that will respect and support marriage, and help me raise my children in a society where they will expect to marry in their turn. Biological imperatives trump laws. American government cannot fight against marriage and hope to endure. If the Constitution is defined in such a way as to destroy the privileged position of marriage, it is that insane Constitution, not marriage, that will die.

His words, not mine.

In a way this is validating for me. I knew there was something a little wrong with the boy, but couldn’t fully articulate what it was based on his masturbatory fictional style alone.

It will be interesting to see how his fans react. I personally have some literary heroes with political skeletonry in their closet (Eliot comes to mind) and cognitive dissonance loves company…

60 replies »

  1. I tried reading Ender’s Game once, and gave up on page five. And now, thanks to Dr. Slammy, I have no reason to try again.

    (Although of course I’m dying to read the “damndest what the fuck passage in all of known literature.”

  2. I read and loved Ender’s Game but I couldn’t even read the Alvin series. I agree with you that Speaker was too moralistic but you can rest assured that I will never read another word written by him again. Is he a LeHaye fan or what?

    It was bad enough that Robert Jordan dragged out the Wheel of Time series way past where it should have ended in Book Three by going off on tangents so far from the original plot that he passed away before finishing it but at at least he refrained from writing anything so obviously stupid.

    SciFi just isn’t what it used to be.

  3. Ender’s Game et al are some of the best SF ever written, IMNSHO. The rest of the body of Card’s work, what I’ve read of it – not so much. But that doesn’t make OSC any less of an asshat here.

    But I figure that, if I can handle the cognitive dissonance of loving Wagner’s music even though he was a virulent anti-semite and Hitler’s favorite composer, I can put aside my disgust at his statements above.

    This doesn’t make me any more likely to buy and more of Card’s work, however. I think I’ll stick with the Ender saga, thankyouverymuch.

  4. “Biological imperatives trump laws.” There’s where you kill his argument against teh gay. Science will set his mind free. What if the gay gene, or perhaps better stated as the “man love” gene, helps straight people to propagate by making women who carry it more randy?

  5. I liked Ender’s Game a lot. It has a roaring narrative that appeals to every boy I know, even the ones inside the big, smelly beasts boys grow up to be. I didn’t think it was great literature by any stretch. A least, I didn’t think it was any better than Treasure Island or the Hardy Boys books.

    Just action/adventure fare with a very interesting plot.

    Like you, Sam, I thought the rest of the books in the series were crap, but I did like the series he built on Ender’s Game that starts with Ender’s Shadow.

    Regardless, he’s off my reading list now.

    What a bigot.

  6. You guys do realize that OSC is a mormon, right? His views are in directly accordance with that organization.

  7. Ok, call me what you will, but I really liked the ender series. I most like Children of the Mind. (I was reading it just last night.)

    I wasn’t fond of the Bean series, however.

    But I’ve always been troubled by what I know about OSC. I’ve simply tried to ignore the author and simply enjoy the books of his I like.

    I even wondered if it would even be worth reading this piece and risk spoiling a series I like, pretty much, more than any other sci-fi I’ve read.

    Perhaps I’m far too under-read, or I have bad taste etc, but it is what it is.

    I guess it was simply too much to expect to really like the author too… 🙂

    -Greg

  8. Loved Ender’s Game but it all went downhill from there. Maker books just sucked. Still, some teachers at the school I teach at teach or recommend the book. Its off my list won’t teach it and won’t recommend it. What a marroon.

  9. I have actually read quite a bit of Card’s work. I am always interested in different points of view. His mormon sci-fi collection is pretty wild. For fans of sci fi it is worth the read for just that reason. As for Enders Game I actually enjoyed the sequel “Speaker for the Dead” much more. By the way, he also was involved in the writing of the movie “The Abyss” and wrote the novel for the movie. He swore he would never be get involved with the movie industry after his relationship soured with Jim Cameron during the course of his writing the novel “The Abyss. I do agree he is a highly over rated and I am not surprise he is a homophobe. I have not bought a book of his for a long time. Even when I did it was at a second hand store.

  10. This is really old news you know.

    He wrote that stuff a few years ago and there was already an entire Slate article about it.

  11. Never read this guy. But this reminds me of steFen King I loved his books, then about ’83-’84 he started running his mouth about how people who did not believe as he did or do as he did, were stupid. This from a guy not smart enough to get out of the way of on coming traffic. Never bought a book of his after ’85. Yeah I’m old.

  12. Yeah. Michael Crichton became a great disappointment too. i loved Andromeda Strain and The Terminal Man. Jurassic Park was pretty fun too. But when he re wrote Beowolf and compounded that with his climate change status. That did it for me. And yes I am old too.

  13. You know, you didn’t have to bother with the entire article. All you had to do was show me the picture of the 50+ year old man with gigantic chin pubes and I’d have instantly understood that this man is a douchebag.

  14. While I’m not defending Card, I suspect that if he wrote that homosexuals are absolutely the cream of the human crop you’d be breathlessly singing his praises. Why is it that if someone says something that an political activist disagrees with they have to utterly trash him? It comes cross as dishonest to say the least.

    I will take the middle ground: this forcing of ones sexual attitudes upon others, heterosexual OR homosexual is reprehensible.

    • Ug: this is, as one of my profs used to say, a “testable hypothesis.” I’ve written hundreds of posts here. Go find me one where I praise an artist of any sort because of his or her sexuality. Just one.

      When you give up on that, find me a case where anybody here – ANYBODY – advocated (or defended) “forcing sexual attitudes on others.” Just one.

      I’ll be waiting.

  15. I recall liking Ender’s Game, though I haven’t read it in a long time. I also recall liking Xenocide from later in the series. I also knew Card was a devout Mormon, so I’m not surprised with these remarks of his. I can’t like a perfectly consistent person; too boring. Dealing with cognitive dissonance in people you admire for one reason or another is just realizing that they are people as well, with their douchebag opinions and character flaws.

    What I remember from Speaker of the Dead was a lot of pseudo-philosophy on how to interact with alien species, and some internecine conflicts as well. I might have been too young to realize I was being preached to. Also, lots of Portuguese.

    I wouldn’t know much about sci-fi nowadays; I’m still reading through Asimov and Ellison. Eventually I want to get to the recently-deceased J.G. Ballard. For now, I need to complete Gravity’s Rainbow

  16. Go read “Songmaster” and then you will realize that Card is pretty much on par with all the closeted gay politicians steeped in self hatred to the point where they become spokesmen for the bible brigade.

  17. He wears a white coat and white shirt with a shiny silk tie. If he’s not Tom Wolfe, then he can’t pull it off–so I’ve got no respect for him.

  18. > Regardless of law, marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy.

    So imagine if there was this polygamist cult out in the boonies that felt this way, and then government attempts to outlaw polygamy…

  19. Dr. Slammy I didn’t say that you praise artists because of their sexuality. Please read it again.

    Here’s my conjecture which you may trash at will. I believe that homosexuality is natural (the causes of which are unclear but it apparently has a biological basis) just as much as heterosexuality. It’s natural in that it happens in nature, not just in humans but other species as well. I suspect that you will agree with that.

    On the other hand homosexuality is obviously is a reversal of normal (what is it, maybe 10% of the population has homosexual tendencies?) physio/sexual function which biologically exists so as to allow the continuation of the species. Without freakish surgery men cannot produce children with other men or via any other way or women with women.

    That said, while I hold that it is biologically natural for one to be homosexual it is ALSO biologically natural for heterosexuals to be repelled by homosexual behavior (which is instinctively viewed as being abnormal). Thus it is futile, even counterproductive for homosexuals to constantly be trying to find ways of ramming their preferences down the throats of the other 90% of humanity with in-your-face gyrating bump and grind parades and frequent condemnations of heterosexuals who cannot fully embrace that lifestyle. I don’t agree with Card’s comments about outlawing homosexuality. That would not do a thing to help the situation. What is needed is to teach tolerance on both sides. Heterosexuals need to understand that homosexuality is natural and be respectful and understanding, and homosexuals need to understand that repellancy of their lifestyle is natural. On neither side can you legislate way feelings. Maybe it’s not completely fair but unfortunately nature is not politically correct.

    • That said, while I hold that it is biologically natural for one to be homosexual it is ALSO biologically natural for heterosexuals to be repelled by homosexual behavior (which is instinctively viewed as being abnormal).

      Wow. That’s one hell of a statement to be making, Ug. Care to provide scientific proof?

      Oh, and let’s not confuse our terms, shall we – if homosexuality is “natural” in a biological sense, then it’s not a “lifestyle.”

  20. Now an example of another natural tendency is incest. This is one though that I think, weirdo groups like NAMBLA aside, should be legislated against. In nature incest tends to be looked down on since it can result in birth defects. Another reason to legislate against it is that it usually involves the victimization of one side in the party.

    Homosexuality between consenting adults hurts no one.

  21. Meh, I thought it was long ago established that Card was entirely a closet case. How else to explain his conflation of equality under the law with “forcing the gay on me”. Very similar to the televangelist who was convinced that children’s TV characters were trying to make him gay. This kind of denial/projection is just tiresome.

  22. “homosexuals need to understand that repellancy of their lifestyle is natural.”
    That’s funny, because I don’t have the slightest “natural” disgust at the thought of gay sex, and I’m straight as a yardstick. Guess I’m just abnormal too.

  23. Brian, I kinda disagree with your last comment. I believe homosexuality can be both “natural” AND a chosen lifestyle. They are not necessarily mutually exclusive. I’m no behavioral scientist by any stretch of the imagination, but I can imagine several “nurture” type scenarios which may result in someone choosing to be homosexual that have nothing to do with biology. And, as far as I’m concerned, both are perfectly reasonable paths to homosexuality. The need to justify or validate behavior with genetics kinda misses half the point and has always bugged me. I understand the need to do it, but it still bugs me. To put it bluntly, people should be able to bang (or, for that matter, marry) whoever the hell they want regardless of any sort of genetic predisposition.

    • Fair criticism. I actually have heard of some homosexuals (men and women) who actually despise the genetic argument, because it makes them feel like they have a disease that can/should be treated. And frankly, I can see their point.

  24. “That said, while I hold that it is biologically natural for one to be homosexual it is ALSO biologically natural for heterosexuals to be repelled by homosexual behavior (which is instinctively viewed as being abnormal).”

    I actually can’t think of any men I know who are repelled by lesbian porn. I guess we are all abnormal.

    I just saw this study that found that homophobic men have stronger erectile responses to gay male sex than non homophobic men. The same study found that most women are aroused (sometimes not consciously but confirmed by measurements) by sexual imagery no matter what the sexes of the participants.
    I suspect that people with extreme homophobia like OSC are profoundly afraid of their own sexual responses, so they do everything they can to reduce their exposure to the stimulation.

  25. Ug: I am not sure where to begin, there are so many wild scientific and logical errors in your assertions. I guess at the top:

    “On the other hand homosexuality is obviously is a reversal
    of normal(what is it, maybe 10% of the population has homosexual
    tendencies?).”

    Give this one second of thought. One second. Your assertion is that even though homosexuality is a natural occurrence, because it exists in a minority it is a reversal of normal. Come on. When it is “natural,” it is by definition normal. By your reasoning white skin as a genetic adaptation is a reversal of normal. (which must be naturally detestable as abnormal)

    “That said, while I hold that it is biologically natural for
    one to be homosexual it is ALSO biologically natural for
    heterosexuals to be repelled by homosexual behavior”

    There is no legitimate science to back this up whatsoever. Certainly you can make the case that socially heterosexuals)(or anyone) are trained to be repelled by homosexual behavior. Not biologically though. I could look up and find any number of scientific studies to refute this, but think it through for five seconds. What about lesbian porn? Innately repellent to men?

    “constantly be trying to find ways of ramming their
    preferences down the throats of the other 90% of
    humanity”

    i think you might be confusing ramming down preference with creating awareness of normalcy and promoting tolerance, your discomfort aside.

    Further underlying all of your statements is the extremely errant assumption that moral behavior should reflect natural instincts (which you yourself recognize as mistaken when you discuss ideas of incest which I am not qualified to comment on).
    I would say that it is abundantly clear that the aspirations of humans should reach above simply enacting our natural instincts as far as we can inadequately understand and explain them, and instead should look to reason, logic, and tolerance as the hallmarks of responsible morality.

    Now before I waste too much of my time, your original question went unanswered:

    “I suspect that if he wrote that homosexuals are absolutely
    the cream of the human crop you’d be breathlessly singing
    his praises. Why is it that if someone says something that
    an political activist disagrees with they have to utterly
    trash him?”

    Because one represents tolerance and acceptance, while the other is hatefulness and bigotry. I think its clear neither is a universal indicator of talent, but they are clearly reasons to extol or disparage.

  26. Card was on the Rusty Humphries Show in early 2007 and made these preposterous claims:

    1) The Iraq War is the best run of any American war.

    2) Pres. Fredo is the greatest President in Card’s lifetime.

    3) Pres. Fredo is truly a moderate.

  27. As a gay man, I must say this thread has been … enlightening. Although I am certain that on this side of the ocean, my chances of having my anus glued shut while having ex-lax forced down my throat will not happen (as the self-righteous breeders are fond of foisting in Iraq), I am made aware that my particular societal niche is not that far behind.

    No pun intended.

  28. Orson Scott card wrote a couple of OK books. No denying that. Not even the fact that most of his books were below mediocre detracts from his two OK books.

    Yet I am greatly saddened by his myopic, intolerant and somewhat moronic stance on homosexuality. In my mind, this makes Mr Card a small man. A small, intolerant, frightened man.

  29. I looked at the face and steepled fingers and my gaydar went off. Orson may do a Ted one day. He looks tremblingly ready.

  30. Ug:

    Thanks for taking the time to outline your position. If I may, let me point out that it is quite natural to fear and distrust people of different skin colors (the familiar in unfamiliar guise). Would it then be true that African-Americans should just accept the scorn, prejudice, and unreasoning, fear-driven anger of the white majority towards them? Or should they require that white people get over it?

    Or, if you prefer a larger question, can tolerance never be required of a group of people on any issue?

    Ubertramp:

    It is quite likely that nurture can play a role in homosexuality, else there would not have been and could not be societies in which homosexuality, usually between grown men and young men or boys, was and is sanctioned. Classical Greece is a good example of this sanction, and I think it’s noteworthy that, even there, some men eschewed homosexual relations (I think Xenophon was one, IIRC) and others avoided heterosexual behavior, suggesting that their sexual preference needles were pushed all the way over to one side or the other.

    It also seems likely, then, that practicing homosexuals in societies that punish homosexual behavior are overwhelmingly made up of those who are homosexual by nature. As the US becomes more tolerant of homosexuality, I suspect we’ll see more bisexuality as those whose preferences are less polarized engage in behavior that society no longer condemns, or at least no longer punishes.

  31. Ubertramp:

    I’m going to stick with “overwhelmingly.” I can’t prove it, of course. No one can. But I think the highest probability is that those who are willing to risk substantial public scorn, economic hardship, and even jail time, or worse, in order to engage in homosexual behavior are probably driven by something more basic and immediate than light preference. I suppose my hypothesis, though unstated above, is that in a society like that of classical Greece, where homosexuality among men was idealized, those who engaged only in heterosexual behavior were most likely strongly heterosexual by nature. And it would stand to reason that engaging in homosexual behavior in a society where that behavior is strongly stigmatized and even punished would require a strong drive most likely explained by nature.

    But, as I said, I have no proof.

  32. JSO, you may be right. I don’t have any proof either. I’m just going on instinct here. I wonder if someone has done a case study comparing a socially liberal city like San Francisco with a relatively conservative city like Colorado Springs. Of course, considering how many unknowns there are with the biology, I’m not sure such a study is even possible yet.

  33. Ubertramp:

    Yeah, and even if you did such a study, it would be hard, if not impossible, to control for self-selection or, for that matter, to measure the degree of social pressure.

  34. Michaelc: “I actually can’t think of any men I know who are repelled by lesbian porn”. I doubt if homosexual men are turned on by it. However you have a point there. I have puzzled over it myself (in the secret recesses of my mind :-).

    To refine my above hypothesis, I believe that the average heterosexual man and woman is innately repulsed at the idea of having sex with one of their own gender, it invokes what I’d call the “yuck factor”. Thus to have it thrown in their faces is probably not an aid in tolerance.

    As for scientific studies, while I could look and possibly find something on it in psychological nomenclature were I to dig deep enough, just as I might on why heterosexual men are strangely turned on by homosexual women and visa versa (what is the evolutionary survival reason?) – it would probably be a expentiture in time that I can’t afford just to prove a point on this website. Perhaps no such study exists due to the fact that, not being politically correct, it would arouse a lot of antagonism. I suspect that scientists, like the rest of us, would prefer to find safer avenues of study when availiable. Thus, for now I’ll relegate this as just my personal opinion.

    JSO, the nurture argument can work against you. Many heterosexual parents have been foresquare against openly homosexual teachers in schools, especially elementary schools, for the reason that they believe that their influence as “authorities” could twist the natural inclination of their children toward the opposite sex to something the teacher wants.

    I once had a gay social studies teacher in college who began teaching from his very first day that homosexuality was more natural than heterosexuality – the latter, he taught, was actually the abberation. I was turned off by this transparent using of his office to promote a political agenda and spurious notion as fact so I withdrew after a couple of classes. He asked why I wanted to drop out so I politely told him that I didn’t agree with his philosophy. He got angry and, I later found out, refused to document the withdraw. Instead when grades time rolled around I found that he failed me, so I had to go through a lengthly process to prove that I actually only attended a couple of classes and did indeed legitimately withdraw. Did this incident create the belief I’ve stated above about repellancy, no, but they probably hardened them some.

  35. Ug,

    I wish you had addressed my parallel about whether or not repulsion/fear of the “other” as evidenced by racial differences should, because it’s natural, mean that African-Americans should just endure prejudice, presumably without complaint.

    I don’t think the nurture argument I made works against me at all. The argument I made was societal in nature and therefore one of the superego. It has nothing to do with schools, families, or other individual contacts.

    As for heterosexuals being innately repulsed by homosexual ideas, I most certainly do not agree. I’m as het as anyone I know. I’ve seen gay porn. I wasn’t repulsed at all. I was bored. I have seen a study (and I couldn’t locate it quickly on google) in which men who had the most violently “repulsed” reactions to male homosexual porn also had the most movement in their erectile tissue when watching it. That would suggest that their repulsion wasn’t to the subject matter itself, but to their own feelings as seen through a frowning, societal lens.

    As for your social studies teacher in college (your college really had a class called “social studies???” Did it also have a class called “recess”?), he just sounds like a common asshole. Do you really take the act of a common asshole and apply it to all members of a group from which that asshole came?

  36. I find it curious that some are against ‘in your face’ homosexuality, yet I myself am subject to ‘in my face’ heterosexuality on a daily, sometimes hourly, basis. Ubiquitous sexuality is alright as long as it is hetero – gotcha.

  37. JT, I was going to ask Ug something along those lines, but I lacked the motivation. 🙂 His whole argument seems to revolve around homosexual PDAs.

  38. And that is it, really. A straight couple would never be bashed for kissing in public in a park, but homosexuals? Two lesbians in Montréal were assaulted (=beat up) for kissing, two men in Vancouver for holding hands – but I can sit in a theme park waiting to get on a rollercoaster and enjoy the view as pre-pubescent males try to outdo one another playing tonsil hockey in their girlfriend’s throats.

    Oxy-moron. Inherent.

  39. JSO, good comments. Let me respond as best I can. First, I’ve stated that I believe that pushing homosexuality in public is counter-productive. Maybe I’m wrong but it seems to me that as a group homosexuals in the United States are much more aggressive in promoting their agenda than in other countries (excepting perhaps Brazil). I’m not talking about just holding hands etc. as heterosexuals do but really aggressively pushing it and trashing those who have a natural aversion to it as evil. It also seems to be true that the backlash against them is greatest in the United States. Is their a connection? Remember that scientific maxim, ‘to every action there is an equal and opposite reaction’. If gays were to chill some maybe the reaction to the would as well.

    About your comments on other races. That’s funny as it kind of proves my point, “otherness” is naturally met with by resistance. Does that make it right, no, but that’s the way it is. And where races, no matter which ones, attempt to force their particular race only agenda on others that is usually met with by equal resistance. Shouting “Black Power!” was met with cries of “White Power!”. Where races integrate and engage socially, befriend rather than confront the majority they tend to be more accepted. The problem is that it takes some patience and insight into human psychology. When obvious discrimination is occuring the automatic (and justifiable) reaction is to react. Force is met with force. African Americans were finally afforded civil rights in the sixties, yet while equality was officially sanctioned it did nothing to change the minds or hearts of those who hate them simply because of their skin color. But with time, and perhaps the demise of groups like the Black Panthers has brought them to a more just place. And today we have a black President, and the world is breathing a breath of fresh air. Still I suspect that racism will always be with us, it’s unfortunately natural (unless one is personally raised with the other races). Birds of a feather and all that.

    I remember my young daughter, about five at the time I think, telling me that she didn’t like black people. I asked her why as this might be an interesting study in how people become prejudiced and her answer was that she didn’t know why except that they looked different. I used the opportunity to tell her, it was probably a paraphrase of MLK, that we should not judge someone by the color of their skin but by the content of their character, and I have attempted to reinforce that along the way and now she understands.

    Back to gays, you said that “men who had the most violently “repulsed” reactions to male homosexual porn also had the most movement in their erectile tissue when watching it”. I would suggest then that those are people with issues, perhaps they are closet homosexuals yet fearful to admit that to themselves because of what they fear it might mean, that they re bad people as they were taught in their Sunday schools in childhood. Kind of like that nutty guy in the movie American Beauty.

    Today it is PC to be all for homosexuals, people falling all over themselves to show that they are more pro-gay than the next person. Yet I suspect that lots of the people paying lip service to gays are also not being completely honest with themselves. That’s not a healthy state to be in.

    Should their be legislated moral limits? In extreme cases yes, where one is a victim. One can be a seeming willing participant and still be a victim as in cases where one in the party is way underage and may not be using their full faculties. Other things are simply so far out there that you’re going to have a really hard time getting people to accept it as OK. Bestiality is an example. Yet if you look hard enough you’ll probably find some group that wants equal rights for that. I daresay most people would have a natural yuck factor at the thought of sex with a mule. Most, but not all.

    http://wonkette.com/408277/secessionist-mule-raping-georgia-governor-candidate-would-also-kill-own-son-for-liberty

    The point of all this, beastiality aside, is that, again, you cannot legislate away or guilt away natural inclinations and feelings, homosexual or heterosexual. To attempt to do so only engenders internal resentment which may well come back to bite you.

  40. Oh, about the social studies class. I don’t think it was specifically called that but that’s the way I remember it being. That kind of class.

    Ubertramp and JT, as I said, nature is not politically correct, and life isn’t always fair. Sorry but thems the rules.

    Hey I wonder if their is such a thing as a beastiophobe? Chuckle.

  41. Dear Ug, please don’t apologize. I, for one, am well aware that you are not to blame for the machinations of life.

  42. Ug:

    I’d like to thank you for your thoughtful comments. Let me take a moment to explain why I think that some of your fundamental premises are dead wrong.

    1. I believe the evidence strongly supports the contention that people are generally afraid of “otherness.” This appears to be hard-wired in. People have neo-cortexes, though, and can override such nonsense … and need to do so. In addition, there is much evidence to indicate that individual/cultural adaptation levels have a great deal of influence on people’s willingness to accept otherness. Those most exposed to otherness are the ones most likely to accept it over time. This is demonstrated by the fact that the areas of the country most adamantly opposed to homosexuals also tend to be the most rural, where many people live in areas where they have never been exposed to gay men and women.

    So, your premise, that it is in-your-face homosexuality that causes the backlash would seem not to hold a lot of water over the long-term. In the short-term, there is support for what you say from McClellan’s research into adaptation levels and tipping points.

    2. I was there for the civil rights movement, and I can tell you that it was not the Black Panthers that caused the backlash. Far from it. The most violent confrontations were aimed at peaceful marchers. Meeting socially was not an option. Actually, I laughed out loud at that. The idea that the answer to the racist South was to befriend and the like is so …. well, you had to have been there. A black man who tried to be friends with most white men where I grew up would be very lucky to survive. The solution applied to the South was the only solution with a prayer of working, and it did after a fashion.

    3. I’m not pro-gay. I just think live and let live should be the US motto.

    4. Your idea of legislated moral limits … well, you didn’t mean those to apply to gays, did you? Bestiality and pedophilia are dead wrong because there can be no mutual consent. I think consent is the issue with all sexual morality laws.

    BTW, I have known men who boasted openly about having sex with mules, sheep, and chickens. I worked two summer with them in my rural, Southern county.

    All of them hated homosexuals.

    Go figure.

  43. Ok, mules and sheep…but chickens??

    I just don’t get it. If you don’t like it, then don’t do it. What the fuck is with America and its penchant for pushing personal beliefs on everyone else? (And it ain’t just “conservative” douchenozzles, everybody does it.)

    Someone recently said to me that he wonders if America needs to do the full totalitarian to learn its lesson, suggesting that we secretly want it because we don’t yet know what it really means. I think he’s right, and i can see it everything from this issue of a guy with chin pubes and a white suit hating homosexuals to the anti-smoking campaigns. It was obvious in the Prohibition of alcohol and just as obvious in the War on Drugs.

    America, dreaming of totalitarianism but too chickenshit to take the plunge.

    I nominate We the People for the next Asshat of the Month Award…

  44. I guess I lack the intellectual depth to take a philosophical or moral stance on a natural biological behavior. Also the curiosity to investigate the sex lives of people I’m not actually planning to fuck.

  45. This man, who is a fine writer, is a raving lunatic on this subject. How dare he speak of his freedom which he claims is at the price of denying me mind to love whom I choose! Biological mandate my ass. Tell it to all the childless couples and those past their childbearing years. He writes science fiction of the triumph of the mind over mere biology. Yet he claims biology is destiny when it comes to sex and love. Even in biology homosexuality is know throughout the animal kingdom. So surely appealing to biology to justify such prejudice is weak. And we are not at all impressed by one science fiction writer saying he will work to bring down the country if it does not enforce his ugly little prejudices. Sad when a grown man throws a public tantrum like this thus ruining a life time of positive regard he has built up.

  46. No one is “pushing homosexuality”. They are simply seeking to apply equality under law which is supposed to be *fundamental* to what this country is about. So save the “Gay Agenda” BS. We demand and end to criminilization and discrimination based simply on our sexuality. We demand the equality under law that is our right as human beings and as citizens. Nothing more and nothing less. We will no longer settle for less.

  47. Liked about 3 of his books, don’t like his politics. But I try and separate that. More to the point, I stopped reading him years ago because he stopped writing good books. But Ender’s Game was still a heck of a good read. I think as he got older his Mormonism became more and more rabid.

  48. I’ve always held the majority of Card’s works in high regard, as both an avid reader and an aspiring writer. His article in Sunstone did not change that.

    There is a phenomenon which occurs whenever a society experiences a period of radical sociopolitical change that entails the public scrutiny of the ideas of certain artists and other characters of note.

    Often, when a given individual is unable or unwilling either to abide by certain new principles or to renounce long-held principles and values which do not mesh with those of the recently changed or changing social landscape, the works of said individual are publicly denounced.

    My point is thus: The fact that Orson Scott Card is unwilling to alter or pretend to alter his own long-held belief that homosexual love and homosexual marriage should not be considered standard practices in American society should not detract from the value of his written works.

    To those of you who do not enjoy Card’s books simply because you believe they are not appreciable examples of science fiction literature I would say that, while I disagree with you, I know that certain things appeal to certain people and that my appraisal of his books should by no means dictate or influence your own.

    However, to those who, in light of Card’s personal beliefs, would forsake a book or series they admired prior to discovering that their author disagreed with them, I offer this word of caution: Suppose that in the course of future human events society never stagnates; that it keeps changing and shifting and remaking itself for as long as mankind remains on the earth. If such a thing were to happen, and a number of each generation’s artists and thinkers and achievers were to subsequently become unpopular and their works be forsaken accordingly, just how severely would our understanding of art and science and literature and religion and philosophy be limited in, say, one-hundred years? Five hundred? A thousand? How strongly might our descendents wish, in that distant time, that their predecessors had striven to judge a book or painting or sonata or idea by the value of the thing itself, rather than the level to which its originator adhered to the social whims of their community during the hundred-year span in which they lived and died?

    I would ask that any who would renounce their love of Orson Scott Card’s books because they no longer love Orson Scott Card consider that, prior to learning his stance on the public acceptance of homosexuality, they were perfectly happy to admire and support the same man simply because they enjoyed his books. This is another habit that I would warn against.

    Let the value of a thing be wholly contained and concerned with the thing itself. If you find it agreeable and appreciable based on its own merits, then your opinion of the originator should not take away from that.

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