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Friday, September 20, 2013

Boycott “Ender’s Game”? Orson Scott Card and Profiting From Homophobia



 
“Ender’s Game” is a terrific science fiction novel by Orson Scott Card, first published in 1985.  It is about a young boy recruited into a military effort to repulse an eminent alien invasion.  The captivating story quickly became a classic, and remains a top-selling book to this day.  Now it’s about to become a blockbuster movie, opening November 1, 2013, and likely to be followed by movies based on the sequels Card also wrote.  I’ve loved the book since reading it when it first came out, and two year ago I started listening to the series as audio books, thrilling once again to the captivating tale.  But I then stumbled upon information about Mr. Card, the author, that made be give up listening to the audio books, stopping one fourth of the way through the second one, never to go back. 
 Here’s why I quit:
I always knew that Orson Scott Card was a Mormon, but that didn’t mean much to me.  As readers of this blog know (see “Related Posts” below), I think Mormonism is founded on major fraud by its founder Joseph Smith, as is easily discovered by anyone who cares to investigate his ugly life and the formation of the Church of Latter Day Saints, but I have a number of Mormon friends who are good people, and I carefully avoid discussing their religious beliefs with them (as I do with friends espousing other religions).  Okay, the Mormon Church has been at the forefront of homophobia in this country, but that doesn’t mean individual Mormons agree with the Church on this.



But I then learned that Orson Scott Card is a leading homophobe not only in the Church but nationwide!  He was on the board of the National Organization for Marriage, which opposes same-sex unions, from 2009 until this year.  His attacks on same-sex marriage have been vicious and relentless, to the point where he swore, “[r]egardless 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 1990, Mr. Card came out in favor of making homosexuality a crime once again, stating that  “laws against homosexual behavior should remain on the books” and “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.”

Orson Scott Card

Here are his homophobic quotes gathered together by the GLAAD Commentator Accountability Project (CAP) at http://www.glaad.org/cap/orson-scott-card:

-- Suggests married heterosexuals should work to overthrow a government that has marriage equality: "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? What these dictator-judges do not seem to understand is that their authority extends only as far as people choose to obey them. 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."

-- Says gay people's marriages "strike a death blow" against straight people's unions: "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."

-- In 1990, wrote column saying gays must repent: "The Church has plenty of room for individuals who are struggling to overcome their temptation toward homosexual behavior. But for the protection of the Saints and the good of the persons themselves, the Church has no room for those who, instead of repenting of homosexuality, wish it to become an acceptable behavior in the society of the Saints. They are wolves in sheep's clothing, preaching meekness while attempting to devour the flock." (*In 2004, he said he stands by the main points of the essay)

-- Suggests gays are innately unhappy and that many were raped, molested, or abused into being: "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.' They are unhappy, but they think it's because the rest of us 'don't fully accept them.' Homosexual 'marriage' won't accomplish what they hope. They will still be just as far outside the reproductive cycle of life. And they will have inflicted real damage on those of us who are inside it. They will make it harder for us to raise children with any confidence that they, in turn, will take their place in the reproductive cycle. They will use all the forces of our society to try to encourage our children that it is desirable to be like them."

-- In Op-Ed supporting marriage ban in North Carolina, said marriage equality is not about marriage but rather "about giving the left the power to force anti-religious values on our children." Added: "Once they legalize gay marriage, it will be the bludgeon they use to make sure that it becomes illegal to teach traditional values in the schools." 

-- Refers to gays as people with "sex-role dysfunctions": "That many individuals suffer from sex-role dysfunctions does not change the fact that only heterosexual mating can result in families where a father and a mother collaborate in rearing children that share a genetic contribution from both parents."


-- More "ex-gay" advocacy, again referring to homosexuality as a "dysfunction": "In fact, the scientific evidence we have points in the opposite direction: Same-sex attraction is not a strait jacket; people's desires change over time; gay people still have choices; a reproductive dysfunction like same-sex attraction is not a death sentence for your DNA or for your desire to have a family in which children grow up with male and female parents to model appropriate gender roles. Heterosexual pair-bonding has been at the heart of human evolution from the time we divided off from the chimps. Normalizing a dysfunction will only make ours into a society that corrodes any loyalty to it, as parents see that our laws and institutions now work against the reproductive success (not to mention happiness) of the next generation."

-- From 2000 Salon interview: “I find the comparison between civil rights based on race and supposed new rights being granted for what amounts to deviant behavior to be really kind of ridiculous. There is no comparison. A black as a person does not by being black harm anyone. Gay rights is a collective delusion that’s being attempted. And the idea of ‘gay marriage’ — it’s hard to find a ridiculous enough comparison."

[About the GLAAD Commentator Accountability Project (CAP)


The GLAAD Commentator Accountability Project (#glaadCAP) aims to provide critical context and information about anti-LGBT activists who are commonly interviewed and quoted about LGBT issues. Learn more at www.glaad.org/cap]

To see a recent video of Orson Scott Card in which he repents none of his views on homosexuals and brags that the controversy just makes his works more profitable, see http://www.ksl.com/?nid=148&sid=26756797.

In response to Card’s rantings a boycott of the upcoming movie is underway, led by Geeks OUT, a gay fan group [see http://skipendersgame.com/].  Card himself is one of the producers of the movie, though everyone else involved, from the director Gavin Hood, to star Harrison Ford, to gay screenwriter Dustin Lance Black, is apparently very supportive of the gay community.  They all point out that neither the book “Ender’s Game” nor the movie is homophobic, and that the opposite is true: the story is about tolerance, empathy, compassion, and difference.  Why can’t we separate the “art” from the” artist”?  Hmm.  Jono Jarrett, a founding member of the boycott's sponsor, Geeks OUT, replies, "Regardless of everyone's good intentions, they still cut this guy a check,".

In the current issue of The Advocate, the national gay news magazine, Diane Anderson-Minishall, a lesbian, discusses the boycott and ends up concluding that she loves “Ender’s Game” so much that she’ll skip the many LGBT events planned across the country on November 1 to protest the movie, and will instead go to see it, though she confesses that she’ll “certainly feel a twinge of shame for crossing that invisible picket line.”
 
 
The New York Times published an editorial by Juliet Lapidos last July in which she said that the boycott is a mistake because
boycotts are used to pressure companies or governments to end objectionable activities; consider the boycott of Chick-fil-A to protest the chain’s financial support of antigay organizations. What Geeks Out has in mind is closer to blacklisting. The group wants to “send a clear and serious message to Card and those that do business with his brand of antigay activism — whatever he’s selling, we’re not buying.” This isn’t about stopping the dissemination of antigay sentiments; it’s about isolating Mr. Card and shaming his business partners, thus cutting into their profits.

 
Oh, I want to see this movie so bad!  I’ve long thought that “Ender’s Game” would make a wonderful film, and with the technology of 2013 it’s going to be spectacular! So I’d like to join Ms. Anderson-Minishall as she buys her popcorn and shamefully crosses the ”invisible picket line,” but I think that “isolating Mr. Card and shaming his business partners, thus cutting into their profits” (to use the language of The New York Times) is a splendid idea. 


Frankly, however much I tried I couldn’t sit in the theater and concentrate on the screen without the thought of Orson Scott Card’s smug smile haunting me as I did so.  Pretty quickly the bile would rise in my throat and—however fantastic the movie—I’d walk out, ashamed of myself for having gone in the first place.


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Related Posts:
“The Aging Gay Rights Activist,” March 24, 2010
“How To Change Gay People Into Straight People,” September 20, 2010
"How Many Homosexuals Are There in the World?" November 8, 2010
"Choose To Be Gay, Choose To Be Straight," January 25, 2011
"The Homosexual Agenda To Conquer the World," February 8, 2011
"Coming Out: How To Tell People You're Gay," March 27, 2011
"A Mormon Loses His Faith," June 13, 2011
"The Legacy of Homophobia," August 2, 2011
"Going Undercover at an Ex-Gay Meeting," September 19, 2011
"The Presumption of Heterosexuality and the Invisible Homosexual," October 2, 2011
"The History of Gay Rights in Columbus, Ohio," June 4, 2012
“I Support the Right of the Boy Scouts To Ban Gays,” July 24, 2012
“Mitt Romney: A Mormon President?” October 17, 2012
 “A Homophobic Organization Throws in the Towel: Goodbye to Exodus International,” June 21, 2013
“Gay Marriage, the Supreme Court, and the Future,” June 26, 2013
“A Guide to the Best of My Blog,” April 29, 2013

1 comment:

  1. I have not only every intention of not paying to see this movie when it comes out, I will download it from a pirate site/from friends to make certain that Card doesn't get a penny from me. Viewing the pirated version will eat into other profits (DVD/Blu-Ray/Rentals) as well.

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