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Orson Scott Card Calls for Tolerance — For Him

Jim Burroway

July 9th, 2013

Geeks Out, a group of LGBT comic and sci-fi enthusiasts, is calling for a boycott of Ender’s Game, a movie coming out in November based on anti-gay Mormon writer and NOM board member Orson Scott Card’s 1985 novel by the same name. Card has responded with a statement to Entertainment Weekly asking for “tolerance” for Card’s radical anti-gay positions:

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.

Orson Scott Card

Card’s idea of tolerance only flows one way. When California’s Prop 8 campaign was still looking close, Card called for the overthrow of the government if Prop 8 failed:

 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.

And to give you an idea of what Card considers tolerance, he wrote this in 2004:

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.

And why, according to Card, do we want to marry?

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.”

But hey, now that he has a major motion picture starring Asa Butterfield, Harrison Ford, Viola Davis and Ben Kingsley on the line, Card wants you to show him how tolerant you are. And it now seems that the only way to do that is to not only keeping silent about what he has written about you, but to actually hand over some of your money to see his movie and buy his action figures.

Right. I’m not a fan of boycotts, but I just don’t see that happening.

At any rate, Card — and Summit Entertainment, the Lionsgate subsidiary which is trying to figure out how to promote Ender’s Game — is definitely feeling the heat:

Now Summit  faces the tricky task of figuring out how to handle Card’s involvement. The first big challenge will be whether to include him in July’s San Diego Comic-Con program. Promoting Ender’s Game without Card would be like trying to promote the first Harry Potter movie without J.K. Rowling. But having Card appear in the main ballroom in front of 6,500 fans could prove a liability if he’s forced to tackle the issue head-on during the Q&A session.

“I don’t think you take him to any fanboy event,” says one studio executive. “This will definitely take away from their creative and their property.”  Another executive sums up the general consensus: “Keep him out of the limelight as much as possible.”

Comments

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Bruce Garrett
July 9th, 2013 | LINK

He also wrote in that same “Homosexual “Marriage” and Civilization” piece: “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…”

This is what I have always found so striking about Orson Scott Card; he’s just about as perfect an example of the bigot mindset as you can find. Not vein throbbing ranting red in the face, but calmly telling you as if it is a self evident fact that same-sex couples do not have any feelings for each other, but only think that they do.

This is a man who is utterly, absolutely, incapable of seeing the people for the homosexuals. You could reason with a brick wall more easily than with the likes of him. He simply will not see let alone acknowledge anything his prejudices tell him not to. They say we call people bigots just to shut down debate, but ‘bigot’ is a good old fashioned English word and if it does not mean people like Orson Scott Card then it does not mean anything at all.

Mike S
July 9th, 2013 | LINK

our days of tolerating bigots are over Olsen it’s time for people like you to gtfo the media entirely and no we won’t stop calling for boycots on those who would abuse the economy just to keep funding their works to spread hate speech and the calls for violence against us. That’s what you conservatives call Free Market right? Live with it.

cowboy
July 9th, 2013 | LINK

Card called for the overthrow of the government if Prop 8 passed:

You mean: if Prop 8 failed.

But, Mr. Card is loving all this free publicity. There is not much we can do to stop the ball rolling now but we can certainly keep reminding people of Orson’s ideology.

Timothy Kincaid
July 9th, 2013 | LINK

My only concern with this boycott is that I fear it may give hype to what would otherwise be a sci-fi movie based on a rather old book which was more conceptual than good-guy-bad-guy action-based. And, as co-producer, Card has more to gain (and more to lose) so I’m worried about hype-driven attendance.

On the other hand, sci-fi geeks are some of our best allies and may well refuse to go if they hear about Card’s homophobic rants.

markanthony
July 9th, 2013 | LINK

Interestingly, there has been a trial run of this type of boycott with the 2009 release of “Shadow Complex”, which was an Xbox Live video game. OSC had an IP connection to the game and there was alot of talk on the gamer/geek blogs about a boycott.

The game ended up doing pretty well $$ wise (it was also a very fun game),so so the boycott didn’t materialize. However, it was clear that the opinion makers in the geek world (penny-arcade, Wil Wheaton, etc.) are very gay friendly.

Seeing OSC’s views aired as unacceptable at Comic-Con would be just another nail in NOM coffin.

Soren456
July 9th, 2013 | LINK

I can see lines of smug ticket buyers, a la Chik-fil-A, on opening day.

Card won’t suffer much damage on that occasion, but thereafter, when the true believers have gone, he will find that he (like Chik-fil-A) has undermined himself so thoroughly that his participation in new projects will never be welcome again.

Johnson
July 9th, 2013 | LINK

I think Orson doth protest too strongly if you get my drift. My Gaydar went off the charts with him years ago.

TomTallis
July 9th, 2013 | LINK

Card, in his beg for tolerance, has admitted that his battle (and NOM’s) is lost. I’m waiting with bated breath to see how Brian Brownshirt reacts to that bit of betrayal.

It’s pretty clear what god Card worships, and it sure isn’t the Christian/Mormon one. Not when it comes to his pocketbook.

Ryan
July 9th, 2013 | LINK

I think we all need to be careful and armed with quotes of what Card has said about homosexuality. This will very quickly get distilled down to the other side saying “Card simply supports traditional marriage and is being attacked for it. Nice tolerance, libs!”
This site has called out the “simply” defense before. It’s coming. The closer we get to the opening of the movie, the more the media will report that the gay activists are boycotting the movie because Card supports traditional marriage, and none of the other stuff he’s said will get mentioned.

Andrew
July 9th, 2013 | LINK

I was pretty crushed to realize that Card is a (pun-intended) card-carrying lunatic. There are elements of it in his earlier works (government who “oppress” religious minorities by imposing procreation limits, and heroes who defy them), but his work in the past 15 years has gone into full blown nutbaggery.

It’s a shame. His writing is incisive, his Enders Series work absolutely brilliant meditative pieces immersed in a complete Science Fiction universe. It does what SciFi as a genre does best – use fully fantasized cosmologies to ask larger philosophical questions about life, death, and moral quandries.

I’m torn. EG is one of my all-time favorite books, read before I realized what a loathesome person OSC is. And the man is already insanely rich – a boycott doesn’t really do anything here.

Perhaps a better thing to do is to ask for redress from the other stakeholders.

We should lean hard on the distribution house and the stars of the film to make SUBSTANTIAL donations to the LGBT community, and to do so very publicly. Viewers should be urged to consider donating the cost of a movie ticket to Lambda Legal or one of the funds that actually defends students against the kind of violence the heroes in OSC’s book are subjected to by their bullying peers.

Rather than have him piggy back the success of the movie off our outrage and boycott… Why don’t we piggy back off the success of this novel to promote our values of fairness and equality?

Richard Rush
July 9th, 2013 | LINK

It’s not surprising that Card’s untruths about us roll off his lips/pen/keyboard so effortlessly. After all, his field of expertise is writing science fiction.

Patrick Hogan
July 9th, 2013 | LINK

What flagrant hypocrisy:

“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.”

Meanwhile, at the dumpstarbucks website run by NOM (on whose board Card sits):

We are urging customers across the globe to ‘Dump Starbucks’ because it has taken a corporate-wide position that the definition of marriage between one man and one woman should be eliminated and that same-sex marriage should become equally ‘normal’. As such, Starbucks has deeply offended at least half its US customers, and the vast majority of its international customers.

You first, Card — force NOM to end its boycott of Starbucks (which actually was just for Starbucks supporting marriage equality — they didn’t say the opposition became so by being molested or suggest overthrowing the government if they lost) or resign from the board and condemn the organization, apologize to gay people for repeatedly and falsely linking homosexuality to pedophilia, completely* renounce your support for laws banning our relationships and agree not to donate to campaigns against allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry in the future and I’ll consider giving you my money. Until then: your whining about tolerance rings hollow.

* The “I have no interest in criminalizing homosexual acts and would never call for such a thing, any more than I wanted such laws enforced back when they were still on the books.” statement doesn’t quite cut it, since you supported enforcement of those laws “when necessary to send a clear message that those who flagrantly violate society’s regulation of sexual behavior”.

Pacal
July 10th, 2013 | LINK

Card not so long ago wrote a short novel about Hamlet in which Hamlet’s father is a Gay pederast who repeatidly rapes Roisencratz, Guildenstein, Laetres and Horatio turning them Gay. It turns out Horatio murdered the Hamlet’s father in revenge for being molested. Meanwhil;e the ghost of Hamlet’s father deliberately manipulates Hamlet into murdering the innocent Claudius so Hamlet will be sent to hell where Hamlet’s father can molest him for eternity the way Hamlet’s father always wanted to.

This is frankly utterly vile.

Adam
July 10th, 2013 | LINK

Bit late now, but I think this critique of Ender’s Game is both relevant and fun: http://plover.net/~bonds/ender.html

Richard Rush
July 10th, 2013 | LINK

Perhaps the phrase, “pulling a Card,” can now enter the lexicon to apply to anyone who whitewashes their virulently anti-gay stripes to avoid financial consequences and/or becoming a social pariah.

Just as our remaining bigoted opponents have fabricated fiction to persecute us, they will fabricate fiction to protect themselves from financial and/or social consequences.

PS: I will give Card some tolerance after he renounces and denounces NOM as a hate-group, and then makes generous donations to some groups fighting for gay equality.

Timothy Kincaid
July 10th, 2013 | LINK

thanks Adam, I enjoyed that

Lord_Byron
July 10th, 2013 | LINK

“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.”

Well, at least he admits that his side lost. I may be a minority on this, but I’m going to go ahead and say no. I don’t have to show tolerance to those that still hold racist views after they lost the civil war/civil right’s movement. I don’t have to show tolerance to the MRAs out there who think that women should be barefoot in the kitchen making them a sandwich.

They have the right to their opinion, as stupid as it may be, but I don’t have to act like it is an opinion worthy of respect or tolerance. I will still call it out for the idiotic and hateful nature of that opinion.

Jaime
July 10th, 2013 | LINK

Ryan, thought this might help in light of your excellent suggestion.

http://www.glaad.org/cap/orson-scott-card

A great response can be found here:
https://www.facebook.com/david.gerrold/posts/10200886752543440

Priya Lynn
July 11th, 2013 | LINK

Andrew said “His writing is incisive, his Enders Series work absolutely brilliant meditative pieces immersed in a complete Science Fiction universe. It does what SciFi as a genre does best – use fully fantasized cosmologies to ask larger philosophical questions about life, death, and moral quandries.”.

No one as immoral and bigoted as Card has anything of value to say regarding “philosophical questions about life, death, and moral quandries”.

Priya Lynn
July 11th, 2013 | LINK

And I don’t for one second believe anyone as stupid as Card has written a “brilliant meditative piece”.

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