Orson Scott Card Wants You to Forget How Much He Hates Gays

Remember the heady days of 2008, when Orson Scott Card wrote:

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.

:

The dark secret of homosexual society — the one that dares not speak its name — is how many homosexuals first entered into that world through a disturbing seduction or rape or molestation or abuse, and how many of them yearn to get out of the homosexual community and live normally.

If America becomes a place where the laws of the nation declare that marriage no longer exists — which is what the Massachusetts decision actually does — then our allegiance to America will become zero. We will transfer our allegiance to a society that does protect marriage.

:

homosexuality is a pathological condition of the sexual system.

And back in 1990:

Laws against homosexual behavior should remain on the books, not to be indiscriminately enforced against anyone who happens to be caught violating them, but to be used when necessary to send a clear message that those whoflagrantly violate society’s regulation of sexual behavior cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens within that society.

The goal of the polity is not to put homosexuals in jail. The goal is to discourage people from engaging in homosexual practices in the first place, and, when they nevertheless proceed in their homosexual behavior, to encourage them to do so discreetly, so as not to shake the confidence of the community in the polity’s ability to provide rules for safe, stable, dependable marriage and family relationships.

Good times. No, wait, not good times at all. What’s the expression I’m looking for? What a gigantic douchebag. Yeah, that’s it. And he’s been at it vocally and for a long time.

So anyway, for those who hadn’t heard, a movie version of Card’s novel Ender’s Game is coming out, and a group is calling for a boycott, what with Card being such a raging homophobe and all.

So here’s what Orson Scott Card told Entertainment Weekly (emphasis added):

Ender’s Game is set more than a century in the future and has nothing to do with political issues that did not exist when the book was written in 1984.

With the recent Supreme Court ruling, the gay marriage issue becomes moot. The Full Faith and Credit clause of the Constitution will, sooner or later, give legal force in every state to any marriage contract recognized by any other state.

Now it will be interesting to see whether the victorious proponents of gay marriage will show tolerance toward those who disagreed with them when the issue was still in dispute.

For one thing, while I think the tide has turned on gay marriage, the issue is far from “moot”, as Card says. I’ll give him credit for recognizing that he’s on the losing side; I’ll even give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that he’s motivated by wanting people to see a piece of art that he had a hand in, and not because he stands to make money from it.

But really. That last paragraph. No. Just no. He doesn’t get to fight against gay rights for more than a decade, and then, when it’s clear that his side is losing, try to pretend like it never happened.

I’d argue that since gay-rights activists aren’t calling for him to be thrown in jail for having sex the way he likes it, they’re already showing him more tolerance than he himself has shown.

I’m sorry, but “why aren’t you more tolerant of my intolerance?” won’t wash. If you want people to play nice with you, you first have to play nice with them. And just for the record, “playing nice” includes things like not saying they must be the way they are because they were abused as children, and also not calling for them to be thrown in jail because you don’t approve of their partners.

(via Towleroad)

Now, I confess that I’m somewhat torn: I did enjoy Ender’s Game tremendously (first the novel, and then the short story that it was based on). It’s not all that political (as I recall, it leans more toward libertarianism than what’s called “conservative” in modern American politics), and I don’t remember any gay issues, or any sex-related issues at all. That book was written by pre-brain-eater Orson Scott Card.

And normally, I’d be content to leave it at that: I try to keep the artist separate from the work, and accept that people with political views I strongly disagree with can still write stories that I like.

But Card has been so extreme, so vitriolic, for so long, that he’s retroactively tainted my enjoyment of what he wrote back when he wasn’t yet a hate-filled ugly bag of mostly bile.

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6 Responses to Orson Scott Card Wants You to Forget How Much He Hates Gays

  1. If you need help ridding yourself of some misguided love for the old story, this should help: http://plover.net/~bonds/ender.html

    Like

  2. Troublesome Frog says:

    I keep thinking about picking up Ender’s Game, but I’m put off by other recent experiences with books that my science fiction and fantasy loving friends loved when they were younger. The last one I ran into was the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan. I couldn’t get through the first book. It was just… a children’s book. Really heavy-handedly so. I’m sure that if I had picked it up at age 13, I’d remember it as fondly as they do, but no such luck. I grabbed it at age 31. Just looking at the synopsis and listening to the recommendations, I can’t shake the feeling that Ender’s Game would be the same experience.

    I’ll probably get to it eventually, but I just haven’t yet been able to work up the courage. Am I making a serious mistake?

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    • arensb says:

      Hard to tell. I haven’t read it in ages, but the article John linked to, above, didn’t have anything that immediately screamed “bullshit” at me.
      Yes, its audience is probably angsty-teens through angstsy-college-students. I’m going to assume that a lot of the space-combat stuff will look dated, now that we’ve all played space combat games and seen ISS footage. And the world-net stuff will likely seem naive in light of the Internet we now use every day.
      In short, eh: I can’t tell you for sure to read it or not to read it. Check it out at the library and see how far you get.

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  3. Pingback: Against Boycotting Orson Scott Card | Alas, a Blog

  4. kcharlemagne says:

    The plover.net article is really far too facile to warrant much comment. Of course novels cater to, among many other desires, wish-fulfillment. It is important to note that the Ender’s Game was not written for a “young adult” market. That’s a label that publishers slap on it when they find it has traction with the teen demographic. My 1985 paperback version classes it as Science Fiction because that’s what Tor prints.

    I actually like Card’s moral exploration, “Lost Boys” is a particularly non-science fiction exploration of theodicy. The Worthing Saga was a well executed stripping of human motivation to its core and taking an unstinting look at what remains. I couldn’t get through the first chapter of Speaker for the Dead or Xenocide which probably makes me not a fanboi.

    Given his auto-biographical forwards that had to get past an editor, he makes it quite clear that his works parallel his wrestling with his own crises of faith. I’ve a much more parsimonious explanation for why he’s such a moralistic asshole when left to his own: he isn’t just Mormon, in his eyes, he’s a failed Mormon, and that’s more than enough cause for people to brood a fanatical grievance against others. Oddly, he’s quite disparaging of people who would hurt others in the name of their religion in “Lost Boys”, thus making the title apply well to himself (although in a different sense).

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  5. Pingback: Boycotting Ender’s Game | Make It So

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