Saturday, 26 July 2008

Card has lost it

Mormon writer Orson Scott Card has written an amazingly deranged piece of frothing about gay marriage. He argues that if the USA allows gay marriage, we should — nay, must — overthrow the government 'by whatever means is made possible or necessary'. You really have to read it to see how unhinged he is on this issue.

Here are the highlights.
The first and greatest threat from court decisions in California and Massachusetts, giving legal recognition to "gay marriage," is that it marks the end of democracy in America.
End of democracy? I think of myself as an interpreter of Mormonism, but even I'm struggling to find a context in which this comment makes sense. It's not enough to point out that Mormons are millennial dispensationalists who expand personal and local conflicts into end-of-the-world issues. You have to imagine that homosexuality is not just a lifestyle choice that you may disagree with, but some kind of magical force of darkness that is politically dangerous.
How dangerous is this, politically? Please remember that for the mildest of comments critical of the political agenda of homosexual activists, I have been called a "homophobe" for years.
Wonder why. You know who Card reminds me of? My missionary companion from Idaho. He once made some disparaging comments about gay people, and I said, "You know what you are? You're a homophobe."

"What's that?" he said.

"Well, 'phobe' is like 'phobia' — fear. So it's a fear of gay people."

He was incensed. "I'm not afraid of them! I'll bet the hell out of any of them!"

Just for reference, here are his 'mildest of comments' from 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 who flagrantly 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.
Keep 'em in line. Send 'em a message. Good move. Back to the article.
A term that has mental-health implications (homophobe) is now routinely applied to anyone who deviates from the politically correct line. How long before opposing gay marriage, or refusing to recognize it, gets you officially classified as "mentally ill"?
Well, it would help if you stopped, you know, writing insane things. I'm not an expert, but Card sounds psychiatrically actionable.
If property rights were utterly abolished, and you could own nothing, you would leave that society as quickly as possible -- or create a new society that agreed to respect each other's property rights and protected them from outsiders who would attempt to take away your property.

Marriage is, if anything, more vital, more central, than property.
I got a better one: There are laws against littering. But music is much more important than litter, so we should have laws about what kind of music you're allowed to listen to.

He then argues that marriage is like some kind of slum that straight people have let run down, which is why those horrible gay people now want in.
A vast number of unmarried men and women have such contempt for marriage that they share bed and home without asking for any formal recognition by society.
How dare they!

What is this 'society' Card's talking about, and how is he so sure what it expects of us? And why does he think that society must approve of all our actions? Is he a utopian socialist?

One thing is certain: Card's devotion to society is absolute, until the very moment it contradicts his views.
Why should married people feel the slightest loyalty to a government or society that are conspiring to encourage reproductive and/or marital dysfunction in their children?

Why should married people tolerate the interference of such a government or society in their family life?

If America becomes a place where our children are taken from us by law and forced to attend schools where they are taught that cohabitation is as good as marriage, that motherhood doesn't require a husband or father, and that homosexuality is as valid a choice as heterosexuality for their future lives, then why in the world should married people continue to accept the authority of such a government?

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.
What a terrible monologue. But at least he has his priorities straight. Better to tear down the fabric of the republic than for people to think certain things.

It's crazy stuff, and it all comes to you courtesy of the Mormon Times, the weekly magazine of the church-owned Deseret Times. I'd love to see if the church leadership has anything to say about this call to insurrection.


  1. It seems to me that Card is a representative, the epitome perhaps, of a certain kind of bigot who uses pseudo-scientific and/or sociological claptrap to justify his ingrained prejudices.

    You know, I'd almost be able to respect him if he said something like: "Just thinking about gay people makes me feel disgusted. I don't really know why, but that's the way it is."

    His argument, however, shows him to be a bigot in search of a crutch, perhaps to make him feel better about himself.

  2. I had no idea OSC was a mormon. I have a habit of not noticing the religious affiliation of writers I would never read. Hell, Jodi Piccoult might be a satan worshiper, although I might take a peak if that were true.

    At least OSC doesn't advocate the massacre of the unbleievers like Tim Lahaye (yet) and making video games about it and distributing it to soldiers in Iraq. He just wants to destroy America and everything it stands for, everybody has spun that 45.

  3. I've always had trouble reconciling Card's personal views with some of the philosophies espoused by his characters.
    I'm a sci-fi nut, I love the Ender saga. ...but Ender is a lefty! It's hard to imagine that all this stuff is being written by the same guy.

  4. A lot can happen in 23 years.

  5. All those years of bookselling and so many young minds I turned towards OSC. I feel so dirty now.

  6. Anyone else find it hilarious that the bad guys in Ender's Game were called "the buggers"???

    Apparently OSC has been trying to suppress his anti-gay vendetta for some time. ;-)

  7. Hmm. Does that mean Card will eventually become a "Speaker for the Gay" and radically alter public sympathies?

  8. It's not prejudice to realize that society has an interest in regulating sexual behavior AND misbehavior, and that in order to do that, one must define what constitutes behavior and misbehavior. For example, I have no problem when individuals participate in whatever they consent to do as adults. Where I have a problem is when they use force (government-backed force) to COMPEL society to ministrate to the demands of a minority based upon some arcane interpretation of the law. It is easily demonstrated that there is no basis in the American constitution priveleging me to marry my apple, or my horse, or any other thing I may happen to fall in love with such as my thermostat.

    I think the philosophical underpinnings of the gay agenda, i.e. that a body is a body and its gender is immaterial and society must willingly blind its eyes to this physical fact - is what I object to the most. I know for a fact that the biological differences are there, and that there is no way you can alter the biology of a male to make him a female, "good" intentions notwithstanding.

  9. It's not prejudice to realize that society has an interest in regulating sexual behavior AND misbehavior, and that in order to do that, one must define what constitutes behavior and misbehavior.

    Please tell me how homosexuality entails 'misbehaviour'.

    Where I have a problem is when they use force (government-backed force) to COMPEL society to ministrate to the demands of a minority based upon some arcane interpretation of the law.

    You'd rather have it the other way, it seems, where you're compelling others to adhere to your demands and values. Then as society outgrows your views, you play victim and complain you're being COMPELLED to do… what exactly? No one's compelling you to do anything or forcing you to hold any opinion. That's a very strange definition of compulsion.

    I can tell you got here by Connor's blog, btw. Thanks for playing.


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