Orson Scott Card isn’t so bad

I wanted to carry on a discussion about Card that was being held over at the LGBT reddit. I want to have it here because there my view points seemed to have been just pushed aside because I was sticking up for him and most people just decided to label him a homophobe and move along. It’s really all you can expect for a somewhat biased subset of people.

Card’s claim to fame is the Ender Saga, which I really hope you’ve all read. If not, let me know. I’ll freaking buy you a copy of Ender’s Game myself.

He has always been vocal about queers. In fact, his article he wrote about people calling themselves both gay and Mormon has been in my “Interesting prose” bookmark folder for a few years now, and I think it pretty much sums what he feels. He’s not homophobic in the sense that he’d go out and kill off some butt munchers, and I doubt he’d ever even nudge someone in that direction to do that. He just doesn’t like gay people interfering with his religion, and that’s totally acceptable. Most religions have conservative “rules” you have to stick to, beliefs you must hold, and that applies especially the Latter-Day Saints. If you’re gay you’re just not invited.

In the same way that if I’m asked to an invite-only party, and you’re not, you can’t go. It’s not that the hosts hate you, it’s just that they don’t really want you there. And why should they? It’s their event. Their religion.

Same goes for marriage really. It’s a Christian thing. What right do the government have to start meddling in it? The church and state should be separate; that’s usually said to stop religion messing with laws, but it’s also true to stop law messing with religion.

I’m not sure on Card’s views on civil partnerships – different but equal. Assuming neither partner in a civil partnership wanted children (for the sake of this paragraph) I think he’d be okay with it. After all, then it’d just be a legal thing and Judges wouldn’t be fucking up his religion in ways it never wanted to be, in ways that specifically are outlawed in their rules.

Up until this point I agree with all of the above; religion should sit in one corner, and politics should sit in another, and their paths should never meet. However, I disagree with Card – not angrily, because I understand why he disagrees with me – as soon as children step into the picture.

I don’t see why gay people can’t have children. I’m pretty sure that having two same sex parents doesn’t mess up a child in any way. The heterosexual desires are inbuilt in heterosexual children, and the same for gay children. It really isn’t a choice, I’m not arguing that here, and I’d love to as I find the article Card mentions he’s going to write “soon” (back last year, so I guess it’s around somewhere). It not being a choice is what I’m basing my opinion on concerning gay people having children. If it turns out that it affects the child in anyway I’ll seriously reconsider my stance on this. I wish I could go out and look at data for how gay parented kids turn out, but I’m guessing that they’re all written by extremists, on both sides so I won’t look. But this isn’t the place for that argument (and I will delete any comment bringing that argument up, email me if you really want to).

I also disagree with him that it’s wrong to allow children to see that there can be happy homosexual relationships, and that they can be just as successful (and as catastrophically dismal) as heterosexual couplings. As a (playing-around-with-the-ideas-of) Objectivist, I’d say that every human has equal rights, and the law should promote those individuals however it can to aid their safety. Morality on the other hand should be controlled by organisations, in this argument religions, and not the government.

PS. Although I’ve only read Ender’s Game so far (just waiting till I can afford Speaker) I’m pretty sure that Card doesn’t put much about gays in his books. There’s no reason not to buy his books. Whilst boycotting is typically a good way to get a business to change their ways, refusing to buy his books isn’t going to stop him believing in what he believes in, and so you’re just missing out on some of the best writing ever. I have amazing small attention span, and can happily sit through reading his massively long articles despite him saying stuff I don’t believe in.

3 thoughts on “Orson Scott Card isn’t so bad”

  1. The only thing I have to somewhat disagree with is that marriage is a Christian thing. It’s not particularly Christian, and in its current form, not particularly old. Marriage ceremonies have changed over the years and are different in different countries or parts of countries.
    Most importantly, allowing gay marriage would in no way impose upon any Christian or other faith as no church ever has or ever will be forced to marry people that they don’t want to marry. It would merely allow a church that recognises a gay couple to marry them in the same way as any other couple.
    Ideally, in my opinion, marriage would be a purely religious ceremony and have no effect on how the state views a couple. That should be reserved for a civil union, which should be equal for gay and straight couples.
    If you want the benefits and responsibilities of a legal partnership get a civil union. If you need some kind of religious ceremony, get married in a church as well.

  2. What you’re saying is exactly true. Card’s just upset about gays getting married in churches, and that the government is forcing religions to carry out those ceremonies in the name of equality despite them being totally unorthodox.

  3. But that’s *not* what’s happening, and if that’s what he’s claiming then he’s a liar.
    Churches that accept gays are already marrying gay couples, it’s just that it’s not recognised by the federal state.
    No church has ever been forced to marry anyone. It’s legal to get divorced, but catholic churches aren’t being forced to marry divorcees.
    There’s no way that he believes that a church that doesn’t accept gays will be forced to marry a gay couple, he’s simply lying or being lied to for whatever political reasons he or someone else has.

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