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Orson Scott Card Joins NOM Board

Jim Burroway

April 21st, 2009

The National Organization for Marriage — the folks who brought you the much-mocked “Gathering Storm” ad — have taken on a real nutcase as the newest member of their board of directors. Joining the board and representing the LDS church is science fiction author and Mormon Times columnist Orson Scott Card. He replaces Matthew Holland, who is the son of a member of the LDS church’s Quorum of the Twelve, who recently stepped down from the board.

Last summer, Orson Scott Card called for the overthrow of civil government if California’s Proposition 8 had failed. Writing for the Mormon Times, he said:

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 …

In 2004, Card tried to address the argument that same-sex marriage would somehow diminish his marriage. That’s an argument that many anti-gay activists have had a hard time articulating. Most would concede, “Well, of course it wouldn’t affect my marriage,” but Card was game to give the argument a go. Claiming to have “gay friends” of his own, this is what he came up with:

But homosexual “marriage” is an act of intolerance. It is an attempt to eliminate any special preference for marriage in society — to erase the protected status of marriage in the constant balancing act between civilization and individual reproduction.

So if my friends insist on calling what they do “marriage,” they are not turning their relationship into what my wife and I have created, because no court has the power to change what their relationship actually is.

Instead they are attempting to strike a death blow against the well-earned protected status of our, and every other, real marriage.

They steal from me what I treasure most, and gain for themselves nothing at all. They won’t be married. They’ll just be playing dress-up in their parents’ clothes.

He also thinks he understand why we want same-sex marriage. Raising the most-gays-are-gay-because-they-were-molested canard, he writes:

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.

It’s that desire for normality, that discontent with perpetual adolescent sexuality, that is at least partly behind this hunger for homosexual “marriage.”

So this is just a small glimpse into the psyche of NOM’s newest board member. Maybe that explains the “Gathering Storm” ad. Scott may well have provided the script. Meanwhile, the parodies keep on coming:

Comments

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Emily K
April 21st, 2009 | LINK

Someone once recommended the book Songmaster to me because I’m writing a comic book (which will probably end up being 1,000 pages long) based on a society that is music-centered. I looked up the wiki synopsis and immediately dismissed it as garbage the moment I learned that the entire book equates homosexuality with pedophilia. The character who is sexually attracted to the boy (the protagonist) describes himself as “bisexual” or something.

Moments later I found out the author, OSC, was a Mormon. That explained it plenty for me.

lurker
April 21st, 2009 | LINK

Seems a strange time for a highish-profile person to “hitch” himself to this organization, right in the middle of all this public ridicule of their ad!

lurker
April 21st, 2009 | LINK

I wonder what he means by:

“they are attempting to strike a death blow against the well-earned protected status of our, and every other, real marriage”

Does he mean that straight couples earn their marriage privileges personally? that whole heterosexual relationship thing is such a chore that they need special brownie points?

or does he mean that straight people earned marriage privileges politically? that they have gotten out on the streets to demand marriage rights that are now THEIRS . . . he may have an argument there, but certainly gay&lesbian partnered people sharing in those privileges won’t “strike a death blow” to civil marriage.

For an multiple-award-winning novelist he doesn’t do written political argument very well!

Bruno
April 21st, 2009 | LINK

If Orson actually has a gay friend, they need to be turned over to EXODUS.

cowboy
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

Yeah, a “multiple-award-winning novelist” who thinks he can be an authority on homosexuality.

His ego will crush in on itself eventually.

This is similar to how the LDS Church tries to distance itself from “formally” being connected to NARTH.

Brian Torwelle
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

I have never been sexually abused. Neither has my partner.

He is very close and affectionate with his father. His mother is hardly domineering. His older brother, raised by the same parents, is straight.

My father was also affectionate, but I will admit we never shared similar interests. My mother and I are close, and hardly what I’d call domineering. Oh, there was that time she yelled at me! My younger brother, raised by the same parents, is straight.

I am so sick of hearing about how these people are such experts on gay culture and why people are the way they are! There is no magic recipe for GAY!

Johnson
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

OSC has been venomously anti-gay for several years now. Among his other jewels, he advocated strongly for keeping criminalization of homosexuality, not because he wants to put all his “gay friends” in prison, but because it is imperative to send a message to them that their behavior has no place in a civilized society. Sick, sick Man and if he does indeed have any “gay friends” you can be sure they’re all graduates of the Evergreen or Exodus School of self-loathing closet cases.

Regan DuCasse
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

I think the parodies of the “a storm is coming” ad are hilarious and a hugely cathartic way to laugh to keep from crying.
Looking back on the kerfuffle started by Prop. 8, The Musical, I can only have respect for how cleverly some people channel their heartfelt and legitimate feelings.

Even though the loud rallies were criticized after the passage of Prop. 8, I think they were considerably orderly and without incident.

But to hear the critics tell it, they might as well have been riots.

When asked about why such responses, I can only say it’s because our opposition WON’T TALK TO US. They might make a few token appearances and leave fast, but it’s damn near impossible to find these people and get down to serious business.

I won’t forget Marj Christofferson’s behavior and flight, but she was ALL OVER THE PRESS, to tell her story.

That way, it’s a lot harder to challenge the distortions made on whatever we do.

Even so, we still have to keep going and trying and getting involved.
I do like doing it with a smile.

But the spectre of young Carl Walker-Hoover is there and a reminder of how serious our fight and who and what it’s really for.

Rev Ray Neal
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

Brian,
Right on! Neither was I or my partner sexually abused. Both of us have two brothers raised in the same family environment who are straight. They ‘preach’ their version of the ’causes’ of same-sex relationships and desire because they are unwilling to accept the fact that we are exactly the way God created us to be. They cannot accept the idea that God would have created anyone to be sexually different from them. As to their arguments against same-sex marriage look for those to become even more extreme as they continue to lose the battle in legislatures and courts.

Jim
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

I think the attitude of OSC and most Mormons is that there MUST be an easy answer to everything in life. There are no easy answers, there are somethings that God has not revealed and they belive that their prophet has the absolute truth. They can’t admit that they don’t know. OSC and the mormon church leaders just spout rhetoric, when really they have no clue. IMHO!

Timothy Kincaid
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

Joining the board and representing the LDS church is science fiction author and Mormon Times columnist Orson Scott Card. He replaces Matthew Holland, who is the son of a member of the LDS church’s Quorum of the Twelve, who recently stepped down from the board.

Interesting. It appears that the Mormon Church owns a set on NOM’s Board.

Now I know in business if a seat is owned on a Board of Directors, it is often because of a large financial investment or a controlling interest. I wonder how the Mormon Church came to own a seat on NOM?

Stephen Hyland
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

I LOVE the most have been molested canard. Because I learned as an adult that I was the only one NOT molested and the only one gay.

There must be a reason, then.

Patrick
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

I recently finished reading Speaker for the Dead. It was an amazing book from start to finish.

The protagonist, Ender Wiggin, found himself in the middle of a conflict between not only humans and two other sentient species, the Piggies and Buggers, but also humans of different religious convictions in conflict with each other.

Throughout the book, Ender did everything he could to foster not only understanding and compassion between the different sets of beliefs and species, but a deep respect for their unique qualities and the importance of preserving those differences.

It really is a masterpiece of fiction and deeply moving story about the importance of diversity and tolerance.

Which leaves me wondering how such a wonderfully compassionate book could ever have been conceived and written by such an intolerant bigot as Mr. Card has revealed himself to be. It is quite a paradox. The amount of cognitive dissonance needed to hold both viewpoints in the same head is seriously off the charts.

KJ
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

But of course. Because the Mormon church’s understanding of the GLBT community renders us varelse. You’d think OSC at least would recognize that. But there’s no telling with brainwashing, is there?

Golden tablets - Quo Warranto
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

[...] blah [...]

Jessica Sideways
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

Well, if we needed further proof that mormons are loony… Even though I identify as a pansexual transsexual, I have never been sexually abused in my life – ever. If I find a partner that I want to get married to and they wish to marry me, the relationship will be no less real if it was with another woman than it would be if it was a man.

I still find it perplexing that people still buy into this crapola.

Linda
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

Patrick said: “Which leaves me wondering how such a wonderfully compassionate book could ever have been conceived and written by such an intolerant bigot as Mr. Card has revealed himself to be. It is quite a paradox. The amount of cognitive dissonance needed to hold both viewpoints in the same head is seriously off the charts.”

Amen! I loved the Ender series – for just the reasons you mention.

I’m finding it very hard to connect the author with the bigot.

TurboFool
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

Orson Scott Card is, perhaps, one of my top three favorite authors of all time. His writing is deep, insightful, and brilliant, and almost every book of his I read amazes me.

These latest turns prove to me, more than ever, what a brilliant writer he is, as he’s apparently able to step completely outside of his believes to write about characters who are infinitely more tolerant and thoughtful than he, himself. If he were a character in one of his own novels, he would certainly not be the hero. At best he’d be an annoying member of the other side who isn’t even worthy of an epic death, but more likely someone to be pitied and reviled.

As I don’t believe in censorship, I’m not going to boycott his works due to his words. I’ve come to terms over the years with how I feel when that’s called for against statements from people I agree with, and so I can’t and won’t bring myself to do it for him. His bigotry does not diminish from his talent and I will simply have to separate the two. I respect his writing incredibly deeply, but I have very, very little respect for his personal beliefs and attitudes. How sad that I have to make that distinction.

Richard Peterson
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

I was raised in the Mormon Church. I am Gay. I fallowed the teachings and even went to seminary every morning before school. I was still GAY. I was Gay all of my life. And I was Raised in the Mormon Church!!! So, what the heck are they talking about I was a good Mormon boy and want to be married. We are not putting on garments trying to storm the temples seeking to be married there. In this day and time I think God has opened the minds and Hearts of the Righteous. The devil has taken hold of the Right wing.

AJD
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

I haven’t read any of Card’s books, but looking at descriptions, I do see what looks like a fascination with boys growing into men. Coupled with his obsession with homosexuality, I have to wonder…

frankye
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

This is such a shame. I absolutely adored the Ender books when I was a kid. I read a bunch of his other books too. In fact, I realized he was Mormon some time I accepted that I was gay. I remember feeling really disappointed in Orson. Then I felt guilty for judging him, even though a look at his other work shows that he is pretty hard core religious, and that goes usually hand in hand with hating homos. He should put a disclaimer on the covers of his books. Something like “This book written by The Virulent Bigot(c).” That way no more of his young queer fans will set themselves up for heartbreak.

Splendid One
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

He’s written some good, even great, fiction. I’ve read it all. But he’s gotten weird, politically, as he’s gotten older. It’s hard for me not to be embarassed for someone who actually believes what he has apparently written about this.

Timothy Kincaid
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

As a Mormon writing in a secular genre, no doubt Card felt like an outsider, misunderstood. So it is not surprising that his books make a plea for tolerance.

But like so many who confuse self-interest with idealism, Card is unable to empathize. To Card, “tolerance” means “tolerance of me” not tolerance of those whom he doesn’t like.

AM
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

It’s funny, I’ve never been able to reconcile OSC’s political beliefs with his writing, especially his earlier stuff. He’s often done deep explorations of male friendships, and Ender’s Game really is a masterpiece.

It’s sad, really, to hear such intolerant and intemperate rhetoric from him.

suzib
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

As a bisexual, I must have only been half-molested as a child. /sarcasm

What a tool. And Ender’s Game isn’t all that, either.

NT
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

In some of his more ridiculous anti-homosexual screeds, Card has made some really creepy arguments about how civilizations depend on reproduction of the species, how homosexuality is a “reproductive dysfunction,” and how giving in to homosexual desires is akin to pursuing an evolutionary dead end.

It’s hard to tell how much of this comes from the Mormon tradition of placing a high value on reproduction and how much comes from the kind of pernicious pseudoscience that led to the eugenics movement. Either way, the truly bizarre thing is how he fails to realize how offensive these views are to anyone with a sense of human decency.

David C.
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

The amount of cognitive dissonance needed to hold both viewpoints in the same head is seriously off the charts.—Patrick

The truly amazing thing is that the space of one’s world view can contain points that ought to be in the same neighborhood but aren’t, and no rip in its topology results. Apparently, arbitrary distortions of value spaces that are required to keep one’s world view consistent do not keep an otherwise rational mind from appearing to function.

Mr. Card’s reasoning is at best suspect when evaluated from the perspective of those with normal childhoods in healthy gay relationships. In his world (and that of the LDS it would appear), any expression of homosexuality cannot possibly be healthy under any circumstances. Therefore, wildly unsupportable arguments must be crafted to account for how “bad” same-sex marriage and affirmation of the possibility of a healthy homosexual are for society.

From the point of view of one with a substantially less tortured and twisted world sheet, I conclude that Mr. Card is just another example of those who will become increasingly shrill and irrational as the struggle for gay rights progresses. The rest of society will not disintegrate in the meantime and the species will continue to exist undiminished by SSM in spite of what Mr. Card and NOM claim.

BobN
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

Piggies and Buggers

Paging Dr. Freud…

Jaynee Doe
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

I frequent a board dedicated to promoting the Mormon Church, and there is a poster who is always talking about compassion for our fellow man, following Christ, etc.

But when it comes to SSM, he is full of vitriol, and literally believes there will be no next generation of SSM is legalized. The hate is palpable.

The Lauderdale
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

Put me down as another one who read Card’s books, loved them, and could no longer read them after I found out about his homophobia. No, I didn’t rouse people to boycott, or throw out all the copies I owned. I just can’t buy them anymore. Or read the ones I have. Or even check them out of the library.

It’s not a matter of principle. It’s because I honestly don’t want to.

And for a long time that made me feel bad, because I *wanted* to want to, if that makes any sense. I remembered how much I had enjoyed them, and how much I had enjoyed *him* as a writer. What was wrong with me that I couldn’t disengage from the author and just enjoy the books? I could do that with writers who held views I found abhorrent. Why not his?

I have another friend who is gay, and who loves his books. She knows about him but is able to shrug it off, and I just can’t. So I try to be happy for her when she says she shook hands with him at a Con or that she got his latest book. I feel like she’s fortunate. Because she’s able to enjoy him in a way that I can’t anymore.

JT
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

I’m LDS & straight, and it scares the bejeevies out of me that OSC would represent my church and my views on any board. Please say it isn’t so!

Timothy — thanks for your succinct description of the discrepancy between his works of fiction and his beliefs. I’ve been trying to figure that out ever since OSC made some very racist comments to a friend of mine, and you nailed it.

Emily K
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

I don’t understand really, “Songmaster” – in which the “gay” character is gay because he is attracted to a “beautiful” prepubescent male – was written in 1979. By everyone’s account this should have been when he was “younger” and “not so crazy.” And his “artistic” explanation of their sexual relationship in his book (as well as justifying the very existence of [what he decides to call] homosexuality in the book) is that they both follow their natural, “mutually self destructive” path and that’s supposed to make for good fiction.

I can’t read or support or critically praise a book that so easily normalizes such demonization of me. And in case people might be wondering, I also have a problem with Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice” and anything done by Wagner.

Also, sorry, but as “artistic” as I am, I can’t enjoy fiction that has molestation of “beautiful” and “willing” children as part of its main plot point. I’m not advocating censorship, it’s just quite a turn-off for me and puts a stumbling block into my personally thinking someone is a “great” author. Again, this is only my personal opinion, not one of any authority on literature.

Timothy I agree. From a business perspective, it would be prudent to have a LDS on the board if their financial stake is that great.

Emily K
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

Oh, and also, I don’t think less of people for enjoying OSC’s fiction; I would question somebody who claims to be “pro-gay” who buys his fiction, but I don’t consider reading it or even enjoying it as a betrayal to the cause of equality.

Orson Scott Tard | stelpavlou.com
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

[...] link [...]

Jim C
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

I read several of his books before I found out he was a hateful, bigoted kook. An you know, he’s entitled to be a kook and have his kooky opinions. His joining the NOM board, as laughable as that organization is, has crossed a line for me. He’s now actively working to remove my rights as a gay American and all GLBT people everywhere.

I’ve written to several bookstores to ask them to stop supporting this man, our enemy, financially.

Do people think that hitting him in is wallet is fair?

Nate
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

I refused to buy his books after I saw how pro-Iraq War he was. This only adds to it. I won’t support right-wingers if I can avoid it. My son still wants to read him, and I make him come up with the money on his own, then buy used.

My nickname for OSC: Mormon Scott Nazi.

Brenda
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

My husband and I have been married for seven years, and we’re as crazy about each other as we’ve ever been. We’ve seen each other through hard times, and things are finally getting good enough that we’ve decided to have children. But guess what? Apparently I can’t conceive. We haven’t explored all of the options yet, but we’re working on it as finances allow.

But what if we can’t make it work? By Orson Scott Card’s definition, our marriage is apparently not real, our love means nothing and shouldn’t be given the same treatment as relationships between couples that are capable of having children. And you know what? You can rot in hell, Orson Scott Card. However much you try to wrap it up in your phony moralizing, you are a bigot and human filth. I’m doubly disgusted because I used to like your books. They’re going in the trash now, and I’m telling everyone I know to do the same.

Bruce Garrett
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

Card’s anti-gay bigotry is not at all a recent thing. Google “hypocrites of homosexuality” which was written in 1990 and you can read in it an already well established contempt for gay people. Right at the beginning of the essay he asserts that a homosexual’s highest allegiance is to the community that gives him access to sex. This is also the essay in which he argues in favor of sodomy laws, less as punishment for having sex as a tool for keeping gay people fearful and closeted.

If ever there was a classic textbook example of what a bigot is, it’s Card. In his essay on marriage he writes: “However emotionally bonded a pair of homosexual lovers may feel themselves to be, what they are doing is not marriage. Nor does society benefit in any way from treating it as if it were.” Now just look at that for a moment. “However emotionally bonded a pair of homosexual lovers may feel themselves to be…” The man isn’t even willing to grant that that there is actually any emotional bond at all between same sex couples but only, and grudgingly, that they might think there is one. It’s an article of faith among bigots that homosexuals don’t love, they just have sex, and when pressed, Card openly says pretty much exactly that. His marriage is “real”, not simply because it’s the proper mix of genders, but more critically because the emotional bond is real, whereas in a gay couple it is merely imagined. This is how bigots think.

Card claims his position is one of “walking a middle way, which condemns the sin but loves the sinner”, and lots of folks it seems, are willing to forgive Card his bigotry for Ender’s Game. I would suggest they take another look. Ender Wiggin commits genocide yet is presented as being morally innocent of it. He is guiltless, because his motives were pure. Sound familiar? Consider the following passage in light of Card’s all too familiar Love The Sinner boilerplate:

“In the moment when I truly understand my enemy, understand him well enough to defeat him, then in that very moment I also love him. I think it’s impossible to really understand somebody, what they want, what they believe, and not love them the way they love themselves. And then, in that very moment when I love them…I destroy them. I make it impossible for them to ever hurt me again. I grind them and grind them until they don’t exist.”

Behold love.

The race Ender wipes out was referred to throughout the books as “the buggers” Whatever Card’s problem with homosexuals is, wherever it came from within him, it’s in there deep, and more then likely been there since even before those college days he refers to in Hypocrites, when he became acquainted with all those very talented people whose highest allegiance is to the community that gives them access to sex.

What’s Freaking Me Out Now | The Smoking Argus/
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

[...] author and Mormon Times columnist Orson Scott Card has joined the board of the anti-same-sex-marriage, anti-homosexual National Organization for [...]

John
April 22nd, 2009 | LINK

I read Ender’s Game years ago and enjoyed the book. I haven’t recommended the book to anyone in years since finding out about Cards bigotry.

It is interesting that he is also part of the Mormon anti-gay hate machine, but I find even more interesting this thread about his various writings about homosexuality over the years. It leaves me with the inescapable conclusion that the guy must be gay.

This level of interest and pursuit of the subject, and his need to so fully explain and reject the whole concept of homosexuality most logically comes from his own internal conflict on the matter.

I wonder if there is someone out there with some Card history (perhaps back to his teen or college days) who could shed some light on why Card is so obsessed with homosexuality.

David
April 23rd, 2009 | LINK

Orson Scott Card may have been the single most influential author of my childhood. His writing isn’t merely good, it’s rich and powerful, and painfully personal. You can’t read through one of his books without empathizing with his characters and caring so much about them that you feel the same things they do, to a certain extent anyway. He’s certainly deserved the awards he’s one. (to date, the only person to win both the Hugo and Nebula awards two years in a row)

Card has always been an author for the underdog – those ostracized, picked on, left out – and probably gets inside the minds of characters better than anyone I’ve ever read. I remember reading a haunting letter in which he describes a writers convention he went to, and spent the entire time in the basement writing by himself, unable to interact with or find common ground with any of the other male writers. His constant reference to the fact he feels insecure around other men, and most of his friends are women really related with me during a time when I felt physically insecure in junior high.

And yet, he’s able to go from being a highly empathic, shy, sensitive man to a hateful bigot at the drop of a hat. And he’s not one of those men who finds homosexuality “a little gross” or just doesn’t like it because of “plain stubborn old fashioned values”, he’s really obsessed with the subject. He writes about it often, with a great deal of philosophical and psychological attacks on his idea of a homosexual man, and is now part of the NOM board.

All this leads me to ask: what did homosexuals ever do to OSC? Why would he even care? Even conservative christian straight men that I’ve met, for the most part, don’t really think much about the subject unless asked. So why is he so worked up about it? It doesn’t make any sense.

Regardless, his books are too good to just throw out or stop reading. But I’m deeply confused by his decisions here.

Onefinemess » Blog Archive » Oh Orson. Sigh.
April 23rd, 2009 | LINK

[...] I hate knowing about author’s personal lives because it makes me harder to enjoy their books knowing they were written by a douche. [...]

David
April 23rd, 2009 | LINK

Am I the only SF fan who DIDN’T like his books before I knew he was a homophobe? (a few weeks ago)
Enders game is a little too much “poor little übermench” for me for a start..

Toby
April 23rd, 2009 | LINK

OSC wrote one great story in “Ender’s Game”, but that was a one-hit wonder as far as his other novels are concerned.

I gave up on him as an SF novelist many years ago, and now I give up on him as an adviser on marriage, too.

TJ McFisty
April 23rd, 2009 | LINK

David, no, you’re not the only one, but I’m also not a good judge since I’m not a big SF fan. Back the day, I do recall conversations with those who were, and I remember one had called his work “self-indulgent and unctuous.” Thought he was being rather bourgey so I checked OSC’s work out for myself…by George, he’s right! ;D

AJD
April 23rd, 2009 | LINK

Now that I know about Card’s bigotry, I have no intention of reading his books. However, those of you who still want to but don’t want to support him financially can do so by buying his books at secondhand stores :b

Not to plug my own tastes, but I’ve always loved William Gibson’s books. The thing is, Gibson doesn’t make a centerpiece of homosexuality, but he does present a future in which people who are GLBT aren’t regarded as outcasts because of it.

cowboy
April 23rd, 2009 | LINK

OSC’s books are still sold at Mormon-owned Deseret Book but Mormon-darling Stephanie Meyer’s TWILIGHT series of books have just been removed from the shelves at their bookstores. No reason except DB said in an e-mail to the media: They only offer products “…that are embraced and expected by our customers.”

Which leaves the reasoning/logic wide open to speculation.

Having never read any of the Twilight books and I haven’t (yet) seen the movie base on the first book…I can only speculate why DB CEO Sherry Dew (you all love how she loves gays) took these books off the shelves.

Their loss is someone else’s gain. Free publicity for Ms. Meyer’s perhaps?

Emily K
April 23rd, 2009 | LINK

Cowboy,

as someone who is pretty involved with the anti-twilight community, this surprises me that it hasn’t been brought up. But I heard from somewhere that she actually donated money to the fight against Arizona’s anti-equality proposition this past election cycle. That might have something to do with it.

Otherwise I’m not sure; apparently her other book “the host” is still being offered.

The reasons why most of my fellow “anti-twilighters” dislike the book is because other than being badly written, is that it glorifies shallow, abusive relationships as “ultimate true love” and negates women to a status of homemaking baby-producers. And because teenage girls obsess over these books, it leaves us a bit concerned, but mostly disgusted. However, these are not reasons I would expect smeyer’s books to be pulled. There’s no sex and violence in them at all; the characters never even kiss each other on the mouth.

Bruce Garrett
April 23rd, 2009 | LINK

“All this leads me to ask: what did homosexuals ever do to OSC? Why would he even care?”

It’s really hard to encounter this and not want to find some deeper explanation for it then simply, “he’s a bigot”. Maybe they’re a self hating closet case. Maybe something happened to them when they were young that they blame gays for. Perhaps a their parents divorced because one of them was gay. Perhaps an older relative took advantage of them. This kind of thing does happen. But for some people, the hatred seems to just have been there all along, just waiting for a trigger. Nobody did anything to them to cause it. They just hate. It’s how they are.

I realize it sounds like just throwing up your hands and giving up, but sometimes the superficial answer is the right one after all. He’s a bigot. He can be very a very decent person most of the time, to most people. But to the object of his prejudice he can only hate. He cannot see the people for the homosexuals. He is incapable. It’s like a little hole in the fabric of his conscience, a bug in the code, a tear in the fabric of his own inner space-time that can suck in and devour every higher human attribute the man has in an instant should he get close enough. It is all reflex and no thinking. He sees the Homosexual Enemy and he has to lash out at it. He will always be like this when it comes to gay folk. You cannot reason someone out of something they did not reason themselves into.

I am no god that I can peer into someone soul and see what’s going on in there. But in a decade and a half of watching Card for the slightest hint of something, anything, other then the bigot’s reflex I have seen nothing else but. Nothing at all. In fact, I have never seen anyone less willing to grant the slightest shred of human status to homosexuals then Orson Scott Card, even rhetorically, even when it might make him seem a little less of a nutcase on the subject. This really says it all about the man:

“However emotionally bonded a pair of homosexual lovers may feel themselves to be, what they are doing is not marriage. Nor does society benefit in any way from treating it as if it were.”

“…a pair of homosexual lovers…” They are not a couple. They are a pair of homosexual lovers. They don’t feel a bond, even a lesser one then heterosexual couples. I’ve had people say to my face that the love gay couples experience isn’t as strong or as meaningful as that of heterosexuals. Card can’t even go that far. He’s saying right there, with that deathly matter of fact prose that can only be the essential person speaking, that homosexuals don’t love, they just think they do. There are no same sex couples…only pairs of homosexuals engaging in sex. He states this very matter of factly. It is self-evident to him.

The rest of it…the bogus factoids about homosexuality being the result of child abuse, that homosexuals live shorter lives, that homosexuals almost all deep down inside want to be heterosexual, that homosexuality will destroy the human race if we let it…all of that is the artifice built on top of the bedrock. It’s how the rational mind excuses, covers over, vindicates, that patch of rot in the heart. And those of us on the outside, looking in appalled, do something similar. He’s a closet case. He was mistreated as a child. Perhaps he was abused. There has to be a reason. But sometimes hate is its own reason.

cowboy
April 23rd, 2009 | LINK

A thousand pardons: It’s Sheri Dew that is the head of Deseret Book.

In a quick cursory reading of the comments on the news blog here in Utah I get the feeling it was because of the “occult” and “vampire” theme of the books is why they were taken off the shelves.

There are comments about the poorly written, thin plot line, one-dimensional characters…and it was a purely business decision to make room on the shelves for other books.

I don’t buy it. Literally.

Emily K
April 23rd, 2009 | LINK

Cowboy, trust me, this is as far from true “occult” as you can get. A good deal of anti-twilighters are also avid fans of vampire fiction. They refuse to even refer to smeyer’s creations as vampires, instead dubbing them “meyerpires,” “failpires,” or “sparklepires” (for the fact that rather than being killed by the sun, it instead causes them to sparkle. no joke.)

The book is the female character describing how “gorgeous” “hawt” and “adonis-like” the vamp character is. Really. That’s all it is. Anything deemed “occult” was thrown in at the last minute to give the book some sort of semblance of plot.

Ben in Oakland
April 23rd, 2009 | LINK

Very well said, Bruce.

As Papa Freud said in another context– maybe it’s the same one…

…sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

cowboy
April 23rd, 2009 | LINK

“sparklepires” (for the fact that rather than being killed by the sun, it instead causes them to sparkle…)

For me: sparkle = freckle.

Apparently, Mr. Card’s newest book: ENCHANTMENT is “awesome”. A tastefully sex scene but it’s worthy to be on Sheri’s, can-stand-the-sight-of-two-men-kissing, bookshelves.

Timothy Kincaid
April 23rd, 2009 | LINK

I saw most of the movie Twilight. I had to stop watching twice as I was falling asleep.

I’m hesitant to judge a book by the movie, but this was a pile of crap. The characters acted without any motivation other than to move the plot – such as it was.

As for OSC’s writing, I didn’t like his books for the same reason I don’t much like Woody Allen movies. I found most of his characters unlikeable, filled with angst, and boring. If I wouldn’t want to spend any time with you in life, you have to have a pretty good reason for me to spend time with you in fiction.

David
April 23rd, 2009 | LINK

Bruce: Hard to swallow, but I guess so.

It’s just that we live in a culture that insists there has to be some rational behind any strange hatreds/perversions. If this were a Hollywood movie, we’d find out that a gay man ran over OSC’s puppy when he was a kid, or maybe some gay bullies beat him up and made his life hell when he was doing theater.

I think it’s the same instinct that made people instantly try and find others to blame for the Columbine Murders (ten years ago now!), or try and find motive behind serial killers… see the movie American History X where they show in the end that the main character’s racism is because his father (a bigot himself) was murdered by a black man.

It’s easier to accept then the rather frightening notion that people have entirely irrational, intense hatreds that are entirely unjustified. But I guess it’s probably the case.

John Small Berries
April 23rd, 2009 | LINK

Orson Scott Card wrote: “Regardless of law, marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy.”

Isn’t there anything lurking at the back of Card’s mind suggesting that it might be somewhat ironic for him to publicly espouse that sentiment, given that the Mormon faith he holds dear once attempted to change the definition of marriage to include polygamy?

David C.
April 23rd, 2009 | LINK

Clearly, OSC has deep issues. Some deep emotional scar might explain it, but by any standard of measure this guy needs counseling.

The nutcases and kooks behind such profound anti-gay sentiment are far more disordered than any of the allegedly immoral homosexual personalities conjured up in their propaganda or the fiction of OSC.

My only hope that by being so far out of the mainstream, these organizations will be exposed and finally discredited to the point of ultimate rejection by anyone with two neurons to rub together.

Chris Swanson
April 23rd, 2009 | LINK

I can’t think of enough really, really unkind things to say about Card. I wrote an article on my blog about his words on gay marriage last year. What a craptacular ass he is.

Loganotron » Ender’s Game Author Joins NOM Board
April 23rd, 2009 | LINK

[...] Scott Card (aka Asshat McGee) has apparently joined the Board of NOM, the religious zealots behind the Gathering Storm ad. Why am I SO not surprised that they guy who [...]

Orson Scott Card Joins Anti-Gay Marriage Group | Heretical Ideas Blog
April 23rd, 2009 | LINK

[...] am saddened, but not surprised, to report that Orson Scott Card has joined the board of the National Organization for Marriage. A group which brought us this persuasive [...]

Jester
April 24th, 2009 | LINK

David C-

You missunderstood American History X.

For half the movie, we’re led to believe Edward Nortons character is a bigot because his father was killed by a black man.

In the end we learn that’s all BS, and that he was a bigot for the same reason the vast majority of bigots are – his father taught him to be one.

As a very young man, Orson Scott Card campaigned for the pre-reformation George Wallace. The pro-Segregation George Wallace. The anti-Miscegenation George Wallace.

Of course, since his Church changed its official stance on such issues, he had to find somewhere else to direct the bigotry his father taught him to embrace.

grantdale
April 24th, 2009 | LINK

Well… I always found his writing to be bad. Bad as in the way most all of the SF(or do I mean BS)-affiliated genre was bad. Over written. Presumptuous. Fantastic, and not in a good way. It didn’t help that I was an engineering student at the time and near lost my eyeballs noticing the absurd pretences.

Than again, I also felt 1960′s Ayn Rand was ditto so what would I know.

(A: a lot, apparently).

If I need name one novel that had an impact on me at that time… in moize late teens… it would be ‘Dead Souls’ by Gogol. There are several translations, and I still cannot put my finger on which one tickled my fancy so much at that time.

It is, to be honest, rather like a trying to read a funny, sarcastic, dry novel about Auschwitz. An impossible task, one might assume.

But, I think, in all the absurdity, Gogol made the clear point that hypocrisy and accommodation about slavery was ‘perhaps’ worse than slavery itself in some ways. Not to the slaves and etc, of course, but with regard to the corrosive effect on others. I laughed myself stupid reading it, little knowing in my youthful nativity that I would encounter such people throughout my adult life. Yeah, real funny that discovery is.

Perhaps I need to send a copy to Maggie Gallagher.

Then again, even if she did read it she’d probably just say it was a book about farming in Russia. And, somehow, The Gays(c) were to blame for crop failure. And slavery.

So few of us, and yet so powerful.

Entertainment… Weakly. » Blog Archive » A-TtN = LOL.
April 24th, 2009 | LINK

[...] http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2009/04/21/10865 Dailies [...]

Dale Masters
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

I used to believe (in the ’70′s !) that if people grew any more stupid, society would have to collapse under the weight of its own mindlessness.

I live under a rock now ( or at least I try to)…

Dead-Ender’s Game » Boztopia.com
April 27th, 2009 | LINK

[...] quite another to use your status to pen increasingly disjointed and bitter polemics for an organization with such a LOL-worthy pedigree as NOM. In fact, by all accounts, it’s a [...]

We Need More Cards
May 6th, 2009 | LINK

Orson Scott Card, and all Christians, for that matter, are not anti-gay. They are pro-Marriage. There is a significant difference.

I know Orson Scott Card personally and he is a compassionate man, which his novels prove beyond question. He is not a closet homosexual, but a loving husband and father. He is an exemplary citizen, who stands up for moral values and voices his opinion even when it is not politically correct.

It is shameful to disparage a man whose concern is strengthening his family and shoring up fading values in our nation. He loves his gay friends, but at the same time he doesn’t believe we should weaken marriage or change millennia of tradition for an alternative route that shows little scientific evidence of strengthening our communities and nation. His articles are a beacon of common sense, not radical fundamentalism.

Let’s choose to stop the hate speech and try to understand those with different opinions. As Card’s books illustrate beautifully, when we open ourselves to what at first seems disgusting and alien, we learn and grow in ways we never thought possible.

Jeffrey
May 6th, 2009 | LINK

I am a gay sci-fi fan, and I am NO FRIEND of Orson Scott Card. I unfortunately only learned of his beliefs very recently, but I will no longer purchase or read his books, comic adaptations of his work, or attend a film adaptation.

He most certainly is NOT a “beacon of common sense”. He absolutely IS a radical fundamentalist. I cannot see how a presumably intelligent, educated person can continue to swallow the lies of religion in the 21st century. I am offended that he regurgitates those lies with such abandon, hatred, and intolerance.

It is Card who needs to “choose to stop the hate speech”, and he who needs to open himself to what is alien to him. This is true for everyone who has succumbed to delusion of religion. The truth is I know nothing about the nature of the universe or the will of it’s creator, AND NEITHER DO YOU. It’s time religious people admitted this, and come down off their high horses and share the planet with the rest of us.

Slavery was once a tradition. Segregation. The disempowerment of women. If those who think that gay marriage will somehow weaken the tradition of heterosexually priviledged marriage as a whole continue with their archaic, obsolete, elitist, isolationist, patriarchal, supernatural and mythological mindset, they are going to be left behind.

Walt
May 16th, 2009 | LINK

If the posters here are former fans of Card and have some of his books, what you can do is sell them at a garage sale, ebay or whatever, then donate that money to the People for the American Way, the Serviceman’s Legal Defense Network or other worthy gay friendly organizations – this could have two benefits: 1. Keeps Card from getting the royalties from those books that otherwise may have been sold and 2. The money goes to help fund Gay friendly organization. Sales from Card’s books to help fund organizations that support gay causes – irony?

Laughing Bunny
August 25th, 2009 | LINK

Thanks everyone for your thoughtful comments.

I was raised mormon, and OSC books were widely praised as works of genius by my community.

Perhaps my expectations were just too high, but after reading Ender’s Game and one other in the Alvin Maker series, I couldn’t bring myself to enter his fantasy worlds again.

Particularly in Ender’s Game as OSC goes to extravagant lengths to explain why his main character is innocent of genocide and murder (of another boy) and excuses abusive and deceitful behavior by the authority figures as “necessary for training”. The ends justify the means, was my take away impression of the meta-moral of this story.

Of the Alvin Maker book I have to agree with a previous poster that there was an oily, “unctuous” feel of self-justification and an odd, almost masochistic satisfaction in the persecution of his main character.

I don’t doubt that OSC believes himself to be “an exemplary citizen and loving father and husband.” As an ex-mormon, I saw that most of the lay people do their best to be good citizens and neighbors. As an ex-mormon I also have to say that this institution has HUGE issues with human sexuality. There is good reason Utah leads the nation in anti-depressant drug use.

The Religious Right is Swiftboating Same Sex Marriage in Maine | Main Street Plaza
September 12th, 2009 | LINK

[...] Executive Director of NOM’s Rhode Island chapter, in which Plante dismissed statements by NOM board member Orson Scott Card who called for the overthrow of civil government if Prop 8 failed in California. According to an [...]

William Muraskin
April 25th, 2010 | LINK

I would like to thank all those who have written on this blog. I find them helpful in dealing with the problem of what to do one’s love of Orson Scott Card books. I had read the Ender series years ago and just re-read Ender’s Game with great pleasure despite the passage of 25 year! It came as a great shock to hear of the author’s extreme anti-gay views. I heard of his position right after I had purchased 5 of his books for my kindle. I immediately called Kindle and asked for them to take them off my machine and refund my money and I was gratified when they in fact did so. I will not give him any money now or in the future to fund his intolerant political activity. I must admit that I still love his work and am very tempted to buy his books second hand – so that I don’t support him but still have access to books I love. However, the prospect does leave me somewhat guilt ridden. Can I read his work knowing what kind of repellent human being he is? On the one hand I loved Agatha Christie when I was a kid and simply ignored that she was an anti-semite (though it hurt me to know that an author I loved hated me). But so many great authors have hated the Jews I didn’t see much choice except to ignore it. The same is true about homophobes. Most Americans are homophobic – though toleration and even acceptance is growing – slowly. But to make the situation more complex (and worse) I was told that Orson Scott Card was doing more than simply speaking out and joining crazy anti-gay organizations. He was also funding “research” into the causes of homosexuality for the express purpose of “preventing” the birth of homosexuals. If true (and I have not been able so far to confirm it) that is Nazi-style behavior and genocidal in intent and goes beyond simple every day homophobia. If true, can I still read the man’s work without cringing? Would I read good sci fi by Hitler?
P.S. I am an historian but was trained as a psycho-analyst and I must admit that someone as obsessed with gay people as OSC does raise the suspicion that he wants to suppress (or kill off) gay people in order to kill the gay part of himself.

Utah’s Deseret News Takes Final Steps to End Run as Mainstream Newspaper | GayLGBT.com
August 31st, 2010 | LINK

[...] at “The Mormon Times” is anti-gay science fiction novelist Orson Scott Card.  Mr. Card also serves on NOM’s board.  He has written scathingly anti-gay columns, one even calling for government overthrow if gay [...]

Utah’s Deseret News Takes Final Steps to End Run as Mainstream Newspaper | Gay China official website | for gay Chinese and Asian
September 1st, 2010 | LINK

[...] at “The Mormon Times” is anti-gay science fiction novelist Orson Scott Card.  Mr. Card also serves on NOM’s board.  He has written scathingly anti-gay columns, one even calling for government overthrow if gay [...]

Utah’s Deseret News Takes Final Steps to End Run as Mainstream Newspaper | GLAADBlog.org
September 2nd, 2010 | LINK

[...] at “The Mormon Times” is anti-gay science fiction novelist Orson Scott Card.  Mr. Card also serves on NOM’s board.  He has written scathingly anti-gay columns, one even calling for government overthrow if gay [...]

Swiftboating Same-Sex Marriage in Maine | Dirigo Blue | Maine's Source for Progressive Political News
June 12th, 2012 | LINK

[...] Plante, Executive Director of NOM’s Rhode Island chapter, in which Plante dismissed statements by NOM board member Orson Scott Card who called for the overthrow of civil government if Prop 8 failed in California. According to an [...]

John Becker: ‘Tolerate’ Your Homophobia? Um, No | Kindle Fire HD And Kindle Fire 8.9
July 10th, 2013 | LINK

[...] release this November. Card, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is on the board of directors of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). He also happens to be a virulently anti-gay [...]

John Becker: 'Tolerate' Your Homophobia? Um, No - Maveriker
July 12th, 2013 | LINK

[...] release this November. Card, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is on the board of directors of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM). He also happens to be a virulently anti-gay [...]

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