Join 3,562 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Speaker for Himself
July 29, 2008 10:43 PM   Subscribe

Orson Scott Card on gay marriage, which he says "marks the end of democracy in America". Not everyone is too happy about that.
posted by Artw (284 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
That column is as narrow as his fucking mind.
posted by turgid dahlia at 10:45 PM on July 29, 2008 [3 favorites]



This coming from a writer whose books are so replete with adolescent homoeroticism I almost came in my dry goods reading Ender's Game in ninth grade.
posted by bukharin at 10:49 PM on July 29, 2008 [50 favorites]


In other news: New Enders Game comic from Marvel!

Which appears to feature a small boy threatened by, um, vagina beasts
posted by Artw at 10:52 PM on July 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


Is this new news? I thought that his opinions on the matter were very well documented. Or am I thinking of someone else?
posted by roll truck roll at 10:53 PM on July 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


roll truck roll: The sentiment I've heard from most fans of Card's - and my own: "gee, I loved Ender's Game, and a bunch of the sequels were decent, as was [some other book by Card] but the man is fucking nuts!" So, no, not news.
posted by spaceman_spiff at 10:55 PM on July 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


He does a fantastic job of clearing up the confusion over whether same-sex couples can produce offspring. Also, judges might turn parking lots into greenery, so beware.
posted by strangeleftydoublethink at 10:56 PM on July 29, 2008


I read one of OSC's collections of short stories when I was about 17, and my conclusion then was that he was a very creepy minded individual. Seriously, I have read straight out horror that made my skin crawl less than his stories. Even Ender's Game is seriously messed up if you look passed all the exploding spaceship awesomeness.
He has been going on about homosexuality for years - methinks he may be protesting a bit too much, if you catch my drift.
posted by AndrewStephens at 10:58 PM on July 29, 2008 [12 favorites]


From his 'essay': 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.

I dislike it that the ignorant get to speak in the public arena, and especially dislike it when the ignorant person in question will attract more eyeballs than every rebuttal put together.

Card, you unqualified moron, the citizenry doesn't get a say in the decisions of the judiciary. That's how it works. Whether it's democratic or not is irrelevant. The last thing you want is for a well-organized mob to be able to overturn a judge's decision on fundamental human rights by any means less difficult than a constitutional amendment.

And probably not even then.
posted by ten pounds of inedita at 10:59 PM on July 29, 2008 [35 favorites]


I've been saying it for years: Orson Scott Card is a frothing homophobe and his views should not be supported by people buying his books.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:02 PM on July 29, 2008 [8 favorites]


Why the fuck do people worship Ender's Game? I sniffed that O. Henry ending out, like, 30 pages in.

Maybe because I watched The Last Starfighter first. Damn, always loved that Robert Preston.
posted by sourwookie at 11:03 PM on July 29, 2008 [5 favorites]


and (fucking submit button), we all know what 'frothing homophobe' means. Hey, OSC, have a drink, suck some dick, stop hating yourself because your religion tells you to.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:05 PM on July 29, 2008 [7 favorites]


Just what the homophobe needs, more publicity.
posted by crossoverman at 11:08 PM on July 29, 2008


You now what else signaled the end of democracy in America? Bad Boys II.

And everything else that I don't personally like.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:08 PM on July 29, 2008 [22 favorites]


This coming from a writer whose books are so replete with adolescent homoeroticism I almost came in my dry goods reading Ender's Game in ninth grade.

You know, its funny: I first read EG when I was 20 or so and still coming to terms with my own sexuality. I couldn't point to anything in particular -- nothing that I could really put my finger on and say "Yes, this is it" -- but I remember having the strangest feeling that Ender just wouldn't be into girls when he grew up.

Also, the aliens are called "buggers", so there you have it.
posted by Avenger at 11:10 PM on July 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


In other news: New Enders Game comic from Marvel!

OK, partial non sequitur, but why is Ender wearing Gordon Freeman's clothing?
posted by Schlimmbesserung at 11:13 PM on July 29, 2008


Say what you will, but the longer we allow the court system to simply strike down laws enacted by a democratic majority purely on the basis of those laws being unconstitutional, the more people are going to think that's exactly what the court system is supposed to do.

You've been warned.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:14 PM on July 29, 2008 [31 favorites]


A very polite friend of mine lived near Card for many years and has nothing at all to say about him. So more than likely OSC's an all-around ass.
posted by infinitewindow at 11:15 PM on July 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


This is why we sigh and say someone is "such a Card" when they being an indefatigable social retard.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 11:17 PM on July 29, 2008 [20 favorites]


Like I needed another reason not to buy his badly written books.
posted by w0mbat at 11:19 PM on July 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


He has been going on about homosexuality for years - methinks he may be protesting a bit too much, if you catch my drift.

Seconded.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:23 PM on July 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


Card is overrated - try reading Xenocide if you want to know why. (Note: do not do this.) It's a sci-fi book in which people have their wishes granted. I wish someone had told me that before I read it.
posted by yath at 11:24 PM on July 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


He has been going on about homosexuality for years - methinks he may be protesting a bit too much, if you catch my drift.

Three-wayed.
posted by johnj at 11:25 PM on July 29, 2008 [10 favorites]


Say what you will, but the longer we allow the court system to simply strike down laws enacted by a democratic majority purely on the basis of those laws being unconstitutional, the more people are going to think that's exactly what the court system is supposed to do.

Yeah, that's why Loving v. Virginia was such an atrocity.
posted by blucevalo at 11:25 PM on July 29, 2008 [6 favorites]


I couldn't point to anything in particular -- nothing that I could really put my finger on and say "Yes, this is it" -- but I remember having the strangest feeling that Ender just wouldn't be into girls when he grew up.

Many years ago (i.e. after Ender's Game but before Speaker for the Dead), a friend of mine pointed out homoeroticism in a whole gamut of Card's work. (See Songmaster as the most overwhelming example.) I didn't think much of it at the time, but as the years have gone by, the point has become stronger. Card is obsessed with male homosexuality. Yours is to wonder why.
posted by outlier at 11:25 PM on July 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


OSC and his personal views (about this very issue even) have been referenced here numerous times before (see 1, 2, 3). I came to respect him by reading his books, like many others he was one of my favorite authors when I was younger. And no, I'm not gay. When someone you respect holds a different opinion or philosophy from your own, hopefully it spurs you to evaluate your own ideas again, engage in debate, and not just write them off immediately as stupid, uninformed and wrong.

There is a great divide in this country between the liberals and conservatives, and I think Metafilter's own fascination with the fact that someone many of us grew up reading and agreeing with turned out to be one of those crazy conservatives we have since come to regard as either hopelessly misguided or criminally avaricious. Turns out, there are intelligent people in the world who hold different views from your own. Replace a few few words in this thread with their liberal counterparts and you will see a startling similarity to the vitriol spewed in many a conservative blog. They aren't necessarily the enemy, they just started with a different set of premises.
posted by sophist at 11:26 PM on July 29, 2008 [10 favorites]


http://www.hatrack.com/

http://www.haterack.com/

Fixed that for you Orson.
posted by three blind mice at 11:28 PM on July 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


They aren't necessarily the enemy, they just started with a different set of premises.

Uhh.. actually? As long as they influence public policy, they are indeed the enemy to me and those like me.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:29 PM on July 29, 2008 [15 favorites]


When someone you respect holds a different opinion or philosophy from your own, hopefully it spurs you to evaluate your own ideas again, engage in debate, and not just write them off immediately as stupid, uninformed and wrong.

When that someone turns out to have ideas that that are, in fact, stupid, uninformed and wrong, it spurs me to reevaluate how much I respect that person.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:31 PM on July 29, 2008 [45 favorites]


How odd, he actually provided the rebuttal to his own argument as part of the argument:

There is no branch of government with the authority to redefine marriage. Marriage is older than government. Its meaning is universal: It is the permanent or semipermanent bond between a man and a woman, establishing responsibilities between the couple and any children that ensue.

The laws concerning marriage did not create marriage, they merely attempted to solve problems in such areas as inheritance, property, paternity, divorce, adoption and so on.


Which is correct, assuming (with good reason) that Card is using the particular meaning of the word "marriage" that is typically used by Mormons. But as a direct consequence of this division between the two concepts, "marriage as a union under god" and "marriage as a union under the state", religious and moral objections have no bearing on the extension of the latter concept. None whatsoever.

Moreover, as others have noted in response to this:

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.

The US judicial system, not to mention the constitution, are essentially undemocratic. In many cases, it is preferable to avoid a tyranny of the majority than to enact perfect democracy. These systems are in place to prevent minorities (like, for example, religious groups who don't have the largest populations in the US...) from getting taken advantage of. And strangely enough, the US constitution isn't generally considered to mark "the end of democracy in America."

It's fairly clear that Card could see this if he gave the matter even a moment's thought, and so it's equally clear that the man simply hasn't given the matter any thought.
posted by voltairemodern at 11:31 PM on July 29, 2008 [9 favorites]


Amusingly (well, to me anyway), just above the column is this quote:
Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth”
Mark 9: 23
Kinda sounds like Scott can't believe.
posted by shetterly at 11:34 PM on July 29, 2008


I'll never forget the day gay marriage was legalized here in British Columbia. I remember looking into my wife's eyes, trying to wrap my head around the fact that we couldn't be married anymore. I couldn't look away from the pain those eyes, the sense that I'd let her down, that all the promises we made weren't worth a hill of beans now because the gays had destroyed marriage. And democracy. That was important to us to, what with the stolen elections and the illegal surveillance and the secret police and gutting of the constitution and the prison camps, democracy was more important to us than ever. But the gays. The gays...

I wanted to hold her. I wanted to shield her from it. I wanted to tell her it was going to be all right, but I knew - she knew - we both knew it was never going to be all right ever again... I wonder what she's doing now...

You BASTARDS! I LOVED HER SO MUCH! I... (great racking sob) I just wanted to grow old with her... we just wanted to be together, a man and a woman in love, was that SO wrong?

It still hurts, every day it's like a knife in my gut. Why'd you do it? Why? You fucking homos. Why'd you have to do it? (staggers off wailing, drops the bottle and it shatters on the trash strewn street. Later a dog, bone thin and desperate, comes sniffing for food and a gentle hand, but finds none.)
posted by Naberius at 11:36 PM on July 29, 2008 [161 favorites]


And copy editing. They destroyed that too.
posted by Naberius at 11:36 PM on July 29, 2008 [10 favorites]


He has been going on about homosexuality for years - methinks he may be protesting a bit too much, if you catch my drift.

By this logic, Metafilter's about 70% closet rabid fundy Christians.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 11:38 PM on July 29, 2008 [56 favorites]


Turns out, there are intelligent people in the world who hold different views from your own. Replace a few few words in this thread with their liberal counterparts and you will see a startling similarity to the vitriol spewed in many a conservative blog. They aren't necessarily the enemy, they just started with a different set of premises.

No, sophist, this is far too weak. Though I agree that a lot of the kneejerk responses that have been posted contain little thought, there are plenty of reasons for viewing Card's arguments as a hot mess (I gave one or two in my previous post). Contrast that with the fact that Card doesn't even bother to address any arguments in favor of gay marriage. He didn't just start with a different set of premises -- comforting though that may be to believe -- he started with different rules of engagement and goal state. And reflecting upon his own position is not, for Card, on the menu.
posted by voltairemodern at 11:39 PM on July 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


Oh! Oh! Heston! GOD DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL.....
posted by Naberius at 11:39 PM on July 29, 2008


I think the issue is, at least for me, that he could be liberal, conservative, or anything he wants, but when his scree against a part of the population EXCLUDES an interest in evaluate[ing] your [his] own ideas [and] engage[ing] in debate [with others], he's just looking to be disrespected, and then some.

I want to respect OSC's right to his opinion and his right to voice it, but suggesting that what he has said here is NOT, in some way, hate-speech, is just wrong.
posted by johnj at 11:41 PM on July 29, 2008


(See Songmaster as the most overwhelming example.)

I had never heard of that book before. I just read the Wiki on that and holy crap I'm speechless. It really reads like a novel written largely from personal experience. Tragic, painful and self-loathing.

I've just gone from anger to pity.
posted by Avenger at 11:41 PM on July 29, 2008 [4 favorites]


He has been going on about homosexuality for years - methinks he may be protesting a bit too much, if you catch my drift.

Thinking about this again and, in looking up an old quote, I really have to wonder:

Any homosexual man who can persuade a woman to take him as her husband can avail himself of all the rights of husbandhood under the law. And, in fact, many homosexual men have done precisely that, without any legal prejudice at all.

OSC, please come out of the closet before you hurt yourself or others.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:43 PM on July 29, 2008 [3 favorites]


By this logic, Metafilter's about 70% closet former rabid fundy Christians.

Of course, you can choose your religion, so it isn't a perfect analogy.
posted by Avenger at 11:43 PM on July 29, 2008 [3 favorites]



They aren't necessarily the enemy, they just started with a different set of premises.


And every second of every hour of every day of every month of every year, they are presented with the opportunity, the privilege, the right, the gift, the onus to re-evaluate those premises and make good on their role as humans.

Sucks that most don't.
posted by sourwookie at 11:47 PM on July 29, 2008


Dude, forget Ender's Game (and yes, I got the gay vibe from Ender as well). It's all about the gay man-boy rape in Songmaster, the alien-girl rape in Wyrms (the alien has multiple slimy penises that project from its belly), the multiple public man-girl rapes in Hart's Hope...

OSC definitely protests too much.

I mean, I realize that's entirely ad hominem, but it is a strong pattern. Something is not right with that guy.
posted by prefpara at 11:47 PM on July 29, 2008


By this logic, Metafilter's about 70% closet rabid fundy Christians.

Yeah but no. There is an extremely strong correlation, both anecdotally and scientifically, between homophobia and homosexuality.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:48 PM on July 29, 2008


By this logic, Metafilter's about 70% closet former rabid fundy Christians.

It's true: Seven out of ten Mefites sneak out of the house on Sundays to attend Baptist service. Even the Jews. It's scandalous.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:56 PM on July 29, 2008 [11 favorites]


He puts good premises into some of those books, and underneath all of his complicated internal meanderings, he's got a knack for dragging you into a scene and getting involved with it from time to time.

The way he embraces his fears and then lashes out at others for not being afraid of the same things has deeply disappointed me. Such a loss. If he had an emotional core as strong as his mind, I think he could have really done a lot of good with his gift of picking apart possibilities.

Most of the second paragraph could be about me, with two major differences: I haven't sold a-bajillionty books and I don't make a habit of spewing anti-human rights tirades.
posted by batmonkey at 11:58 PM on July 29, 2008 [2 favorites]


After the first time I read a piece of Card's non-fiction, I never read his fiction again.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 11:59 PM on July 29, 2008 [1 favorite]


As someone said, I think in some ways these closet cases are actually reasoning pretty rationally, they just start from false premises. The reasoning seems to go something like this:
  1. I am a normal heterosexual guy
  2. I constantly crave cock and only have sex with my wife due to social pressure
  3. Without that social pressure, all us normal heterosexual men would ditch our wives and head straight for the gay bathhouses
  4. Therefore, strong social (and legal) pressure is necessary for the human race to keep reproducing
You can see how it makes sense to them.
posted by TheophileEscargot at 12:01 AM on July 30, 2008 [162 favorites]


I think Metafilter's own fascination with the fact that someone many of us grew up reading and agreeing with turned out to be one of those crazy conservatives we have since come to regard as either hopelessly misguided or criminally avaricious.... [but] They aren't necessarily the enemy, they just started with a different set of premises.

Yeah, stupid ones.

--

Sorry, that was to easy. Look, when two people disagree, at least one of them must be wrong (of course, both can be wrong as well). I've read Orson Scott Card's writings about homosexuality in the past and he seems to fear butt sex as much as most people fear death. That's just not a rational reasonable premise to hold.
posted by delmoi at 12:03 AM on July 30, 2008


Cagey people are toxic no matter the reason they're cagey and insecure. It just so happens that a lot of closeted people are cagey.

It's tempting to totally vilify, rather than support, closeted fuckers (I've personally been screwed over by the bitchery of closeted, confused, uptight assholes), but it's important not to totally conflate this kind of overcorrection with closetedness, because that's kissing kin to homophobia proper.
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 12:12 AM on July 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


As long as they influence public policy, they are indeed the enemy to me and those like me.

There's where you're wrong dnab. One does not need to be homo to recognize that anti-homo rhetoric is a threat to everyone's personal liberty.
posted by three blind mice at 12:12 AM on July 30, 2008 [4 favorites]


This coming from a writer whose books are so replete with adolescent homoeroticism I almost came in my dry goods reading Ender's Game in ninth grade.

It's been years now since I've read Ender's Game, but I do recall lots of passages set on the orbiting battle school involving boys exercising in the nude, doing homework and hanging out together naked in the barracks, and of course the scene where Ender wrestles, fights, and kills a rival older boy -- in the showers.
posted by longsleeves at 12:13 AM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


I found Farnham's Freehold by Robert Heinlen waaaaay more disturbing than Ender's Game.
posted by KokuRyu at 12:17 AM on July 30, 2008


Ender and Hitler: Sympathy for the Superman

You don't have to read his columns to conclude that he's not a good person.
posted by Pope Guilty at 12:31 AM on July 30, 2008 [8 favorites]


True, KokyRyu, but I'd hang out with Heinlein over Card any day. Anyone who invokes the "the long mammalian tradition of heterosexuality" in this context, or any context, is a cunt. And, judging from this piece, a cunt in bad need of an editor. And, in his heart of hearts, probably a pedophile as well, as anyone who reads Ender's Game honestly cannot help but admit. (PS: I am a big fan of the book.)
posted by luckywanderboy at 12:31 AM on July 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


There's where you're wrong dnab. One does not need to be homo to recognize that anti-homo rhetoric is a threat to everyone's personal liberty.

You mistake me. My intent wasn't to exclude others who are affected by such bigotry, just to point out the very--and, sorry, more--personal effect such attitudes have.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:38 AM on July 30, 2008


of course the scene where Ender wrestles, fights, and kills a rival older boy -- in the showers.
...and the killing blow is made possible by a feint to the crotch.

And now that you mention it, wow are his stories packed with explorations of nontraditional reproduction. I can't think of a single novel he's written that doesn't have a primary plot point revolve around some test tube baby, eugenics experiment, or bizarre alien physiology. Motherfucker's just looking for something.

Yes, do not read Xenocide. Jesus.
posted by breath at 12:38 AM on July 30, 2008


There's where you're wrong dnab. One does not need to be homo to recognize that anti-homo rhetoric is a threat to everyone's personal liberty.

You mistake me. I didn't mean to exclude people--meaning everyone who is straight--who are also affected by such thoughts. But the reality is that you are collateral damage, not the target.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:43 AM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


From Pope Guilty's link: Card makes us wait until well into the second novel before he tells us that Ender hasn't consummated his love for Valentine.

Whoa, I had totally overlooked the incest angle. Gross. Gross.
posted by breath at 12:44 AM on July 30, 2008


Ugh, I feel dirty just for having read that.

Card's problem — at least as expressed in the essay, not generally — is that the courts have overturned the will of the majority. Basically, he's just wailing that this isn't faaaaair.

To which I'd say: that's the whole point. That's why we go to such great lengths to insulate the judiciary from the people; it's specifically so that they can ignore popular opinion when that's what the law requires.

Somewhere along the line, Card seems to have missed an essential point about the United States: it's fundamentally not a democracy. The will of the people in our government is actually quite limited, and it's carefully balanced against other forces to keep it in check. Any smart eighth-grader could tell you that.

Card's screed is a prime example of why unchecked democracy is dangerous; if it weren't for the checks placed against the power of the majority, we'd probably be living in some sort of quasi-theocracy by now. It's only because of some very undemocratic restraints that the Enlightenment-inspired, secularist values of a few long-dead men have managed to survive more than two centuries of demagoguery and spastic religious revivals.

It frightens me to imagine what an America where the courts were overruled by popular vote would look like. It's worth thinking about, though, because that's what Card is essentially complaining we don't have. And I'm very thankful for it.
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:46 AM on July 30, 2008 [27 favorites]


read Xenocide, didn't mind it, thought Ender's Game was much better.
posted by zippy at 12:46 AM on July 30, 2008


Dude probably thinks he's got his logic locked tight. Gonna change the world just like Locke and Demosthenes.

The real kicker is that the values that are espoused in the Ender's Game series: acceptance, forgiveness, seeking common ground with the totally alien, self-healing, the connection between all living people... are so mindblowingly, 180 degrees, antithetical to Card's blatant homophobia. I am seriously pissed off at what Card has done to my memories of Ender, Valentine, Jane, Bean, Peter, the Hive Queen et al. We can forgive manslaughter. We can forgive war. We can forgive genocide. But, teh butt secxs? HELL NO. amirite? Read your own books, jack ass.

I can only hope that he's gone batshitinsane and was actually a sensible human being before. Doesn't sound like that's the case, tho.
posted by Skwirl at 12:51 AM on July 30, 2008 [7 favorites]


The last thing you want is for a well-organized mob to be able to overturn a judge's decision on fundamental human rights by any means less difficult than a constitutional amendment.

Unfortunately (?) constitutional amendments are pretty piss-simple to manufacturer by popular vote here in Kullifornia. The Gay Marriage thing surviving past November is basically a coin-flip the last I checked.
posted by yort at 1:01 AM on July 30, 2008


Quoth Orson:
If government is going to meddle in this, it had better be to support marriage in general while providing protection for those caught in truly destructive marriages.

Because when government is the enemy of marriage, then the people who are actually creating successful marriages have no choice but to change governments, by whatever means is made possible or necessary.
This basically reads like a threat to attempt the violent (but only if necessary) overthrow of the government if he doesn't get his way. What a hate-filled whiner.
posted by mullingitover at 1:07 AM on July 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


With all the veiled (and not-so-veiled) homoeroticism in Ender's Game being referenced, I'm surprised nobody's mentioned the fact that the only moment of real warmth or intimacy in the novel is when Ender gets a peck on the lips from his best friend.

As a young and sheltered nerd when I read it, the fact that it dealt with a bunch of cadets at the Naked Military Academy being trained to kill "buggers" while avoiding any mention of the opposite sex pretty much went over my head. But even at twelve or thirteen or however old I was, a scene with two naked boys sharing an emotionally charged kiss seemed gratuitous unless the author was trying to tell us something.

I can only hope that he's gone batshitinsane and was actually a sensible human being before.

My guess is that his earlier, better work was at least in part the product of his struggle to reconcile his homosexuality with his conservative Christian upbringing. The prevalence of bloodless, scarcely credible hetero romance in his later work suggests how that turned out.
posted by Makoto at 1:07 AM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Look, Card is a serious Mormon. I've met him twice, listened to him talk; he is 'sure' about the mormon ideals, and really, only writes for the mass audience as it's profitable.

He really just wants to write plays and parables about Mormon life. Quit thinking he's anything other than a storyteller. Just because his stories are compelling, or perhaps he writes well, doesn't make his values more valid; since he's a good communicator, they merely seem like they are 'strong, well thought out/written views.'

In other words, your favorite writer sucks, when he doesn't tell stories, but gives his opinion on politics/religion/sexuality.
posted by filmgeek at 1:28 AM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


In other words, your favorite writer sucks, when he doesn't tell stories, but gives his opinion on politics/religion/sexuality.

Actually, my favorite author is fucking awesome when he gives his opinions. Being a Pratchett fan has its perks.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:29 AM on July 30, 2008 [26 favorites]


Set in 2135, "Ender's Game" tells the story of young Andrew "Ender" Wiggin, who is humanity's best chance to defend the planet from an alien attack by Formic race, known more commonly as Buggers.

Uh huh.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 1:42 AM on July 30, 2008


MORE LIKE ENDER'S GAY AMIRITE?
posted by turgid dahlia at 1:52 AM on July 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


Something is not right with that guy.

About 15/20 years ago, there was an excellent SF zine called SF Eye which took issue with one of Card's short stories. I don't remember the name of the story (I never read it), but it had some connection with one of Card's children, who was mentally handicapped, and SF Eye was outraged that the story seemed to be about Card fantasising about the death of his own child.

Does this ring any bells with anyone?
posted by daveje at 2:04 AM on July 30, 2008


I cannot help but think he tried to publish these crackpot essays anonymously, Locke and Demosthenes styley, got like two comments on his crappy blogspot in a year of posting, realized no one gave a shit and became a columnist for the one newspaper that would take him, the Mormon Times, and now the only people who actually give a shit are going "LOL HOMOPHOBE CRAPPY WRITER"

Way to fail OSC.
posted by Suparnova at 2:15 AM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


To clarify my previous comments:

When a grenade is thrown, it is obviously not of much import who it was thrown at if you are in the blast radius.

But those who are specifically targets take a somewhat more personal view--and, indeed, must feel a more acute sense of danger--than those who are tragically hit by the collateral shrapnel.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:20 AM on July 30, 2008


I can't take anyone seriously who believes, in all honesty, that there's an Angel Moroni.
posted by rodgerd at 2:23 AM on July 30, 2008 [7 favorites]


(On a more serious note, though, this goes back to the sort of shit that encourages people to pick up guns and shoot up churches full of evil liberals)
posted by rodgerd at 2:25 AM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


You mistake me. I didn't mean to exclude people--meaning everyone who is straight--who are also affected by such thoughts. But the reality is that you are collateral damage, not the target.

Everyone who loves liberty and believes in personal freedom is a target dnab.

And all of this "he hates gays so he must be a self-hating gay" in this thread, might well be true, but it seems to me that those would would demonize him by (in effect) subtley calling him "faggot" are totally missing the fucking point.

Disagree with him for what he says - isn't that enough - not because of what he might or might not be.
posted by three blind mice at 2:30 AM on July 30, 2008 [6 favorites]


When a grenade is thrown, it is obviously not of much import who it was thrown at if you are in the blast radius. But those who are specifically targets take a somewhat more personal view--and, indeed, must feel a more acute sense of danger--than those who are tragically hit by the collateral shrapnel.

dnab, ever been punched in the face by a skinhead because you happened to be standing next to a gay man having a conversation? Ever walked with your kids down the street and have them scared shitless by the same sort of assholes threatening two women holding hands? Ever have to explain to your terrified kids, "Daddy's got to do this" before you walk across the street to confront them?

Happened to me. And I'm not even cheerful, let alone gay.

This harms and hurts US ALL.
posted by three blind mice at 2:40 AM on July 30, 2008 [11 favorites]


Mormon pleeeasse.
posted by pianomover at 2:42 AM on July 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


Everyone who loves liberty and believes in personal freedom is a target dnab.

In the abstract, yes. In the concrete reality? Those of us who are gay are far more targets than those of you who are not. Yes, we value your affinity and support. That goes without saying. But the reality is that we are the direct targets of this sort of hatred.

I guess one way to put it is this: if a (hetero) rapist is terrorizing your city, it affects everyone. And everyone should be up in arms about it. But it personally affects 51% of the population--personally in that only that part of the population need fear attack. Yes, of course the rest of the population would have to help deal with the results of the attack, but only part of it would be the actual targets.

That's how I feel about these sorts of people. Of course you see it as an attack on rights in general that could affect you. That's reasonable and welcomed. But me and those like me, we are the very specific targets of this hatred. While we welcome and appreciate your support, this kind of attack can never hit home for you in the same way it hits home for us. Nobody is attacking you. Nobody is telling you that you are a second-class human being.

As much as I hate comparing gay rights to the racial rights movement, you are (for the purposes of this argument; I have no idea, nor do I care, what your skin colour is) the white person who supports the black liberation movement. You can support and commiserate, but the bottom line is that you are not the target, and thus you are able--luckily, and I'm not judging you--to be a step removed from the attack.

I understand where you're coming from, and I really appreciate it. But you're not a personal target in the way that I, and people like me, are. Please try to understand that difference, and understand why it matters.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:43 AM on July 30, 2008 [6 favorites]


dnab, ever been punched in the face by a skinhead because you happened to be standing next to a gay man having a conversation? Ever walked with your kids down the street and have them scared shitless by the same sort of assholes threatening two women holding hands? Ever have to explain to your terrified kids, "Daddy's got to do this" before you walk across the street to confront them?

No, but I have been threatened directly by them. Not threatened by association. The thing is--and I really do commend you for not doing this--you have the choice to walk away and not be bothered.

We don't.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:45 AM on July 30, 2008 [7 favorites]


And all of this "he hates gays so he must be a self-hating gay" in this thread, might well be true, but it seems to me that those would would demonize him by (in effect) subtley calling him "faggot" are totally missing the fucking point

No, not missing the point. Demonizing him for being a hypocrite points out that he is worse than your run of the mill bigot. Is he gay? I don't know. But the evidence would suggest, very strongly, that he is.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:47 AM on July 30, 2008 [4 favorites]


Right now I'm going to go and read all the Ursula Le Guin stories where people have six genders or no gender at all, or change sexes periodically, or engange in three- or four-party marriages. That'll get the nasty flavour out of my mouth, I'm sure.
posted by Jilder at 2:49 AM on July 30, 2008 [5 favorites]


So... Ender's Gayme.... Amirite!
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:16 AM on July 30, 2008


Dammit... I knew I should have read ALL the thread...
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:17 AM on July 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


Do we really have to give the crazy people so much attention?
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 3:24 AM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


The first and greatest threat significance from of court decisions in California and Massachusetts, giving legal recognition to "gay marriage," is that it they mark s the end limit of democracy in America.

See, I thought, "I'll just edit two words and have it make sense." Hah. Crappy writer indeed.


At least he doesn't need to start his own religion.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:44 AM on July 30, 2008


Now having read the article... Wow, I wish I could actually unread the two Card novels I have read previously...

Actually, now I remember, I only read the original novella version of Ender's Game. I can't remember any gay undertones in it... was that only added for the novel?
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 3:47 AM on July 30, 2008


OSC's attitude toward homosexuals is freaking bizarre. On one hand, you have these angry, seemingly-homophobic screeds, and on the other hand totally at odds with this are his mentions of gay characters in films or literature, where he almost always complains about how offended he is that the gay characters aren't given enough depth or mention. Cases in point:

Mamma Mia

"I enjoyed it. Except for the appalling moment when Colin Firth's character suddenly reveals himself to be gay. No, it's not because I'm anti-gay. It's because they trivialize and ridicule him and homosexuality. His developing relationship with a gay Greek man is never shown or hinted at -- it is revealed only as a punch line. As a joke. It's a slap in the face to all gay people."

Dumbledore

"She wants credit for being very up-to-date and politically correct -- but she didn't have the guts to put that supposed "fact" into the actual novels, knowing that it might hurt sales. What a pretentious, puffed-up coward. When I have a gay character in my fiction, I say so right in the book. I don't wait until after it has had all its initial sales to mention it."


The really damning one is School of Rock. He spends more words condemning the portrayal of the "gay" character than he does reviewing the film. Here's an excerpt, and I'll be danged if I can find a better indication of OSC's closeted homosexuality:

I've known a lot of guys over the years who were quite effeminate or spoke with a whispering lisp (not to mention a lot of guys who can switch on these mannerisms quite convincingly when the moment requires). But only a few of these guys ended up living as gay men.

In other words, the supposed markers of homosexuality in our society are ludicrously not markers of anything at all, except that inside the gay community there are those who exaggerate these traits, often to the embarrassment of other homosexuals.

I remember watching In & Out, the Kevin Kline movie about the high school drama teacher whose former student "outs" him at the Academy Awards -- even though the character never suspected himself of being gay. When they listed all the markers of homosexuality, I had to laugh, because of course almost all of them fit me and most of my heterosexual friends -- because I'm a theatre guy who grew up loving show tunes (including Streisand), and I tend to hang out with people who share those tastes.



So yeah, pretty gay, this is fairly old news though.
posted by Ndwright at 4:06 AM on July 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


The errors:

1. The courts are making law.
Not so. The court is recognizing that the State cannot limit the ability of citizens to enter into contracts based on gender.

2. Society gains no benefit.
Not so. Gay marriage creates the opportunity for contracts between gay couples. As we all know, contracts and property are the foundation of the economy.

3. It isn't good for the kids.
Not so. Having potential parents that may not be able to procreate increases the demand for adoptive services. More parents with the same number of kids=good for kids.

I think there goes Romney's shot at the vp slot.
posted by ewkpates at 4:07 AM on July 30, 2008 [5 favorites]


It frightens me to imagine what an America where the courts were overruled by popular vote would look like.

I would think, for a start, that Mormonism would be illegal.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:27 AM on July 30, 2008 [6 favorites]


Every time Card's right-of-Atilla views get the spotlight, there's always a lot of jumping on the hater bandwagon: "I always thought Ender's Game sucked, anyway!".

I think Card's politics are super looney, but I loves me some Ender's Game.
posted by zardoz at 4:27 AM on July 30, 2008 [4 favorites]


Card's (wide) stance on gay marriage doesn't surprise me. ENDER'S GAME = GREASED MEN.
posted by emelenjr at 4:38 AM on July 30, 2008 [15 favorites]


you go, orson!
posted by quonsar at 4:38 AM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well, this is a guy who writes stories in which bloggers change and take over the world because of their, uh, blogginess? I mean, I can accept a 12 year old saving the world via a complicated video game, but a 12 year old writing a blog that quakes the very foundation of established nations? That was around the time I threw the book across the room.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 4:51 AM on July 30, 2008


I started this thread very happy that I had never read any of Orson Scott Card's books, and firmly intending to keep it that way.

Now I discover that OrsonWorld is all about the greased naked guys touching each other PLUS exploding spaceships, and as such I'm beginning to reconsider that position. Way to encourage a boycott, guys.
posted by flashboy at 4:53 AM on July 30, 2008 [6 favorites]


Surely this is not the first time some of you have run into the concept of an author who's an asshat yet writes good books?
posted by elfgirl at 5:26 AM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Every few years, I re-discover I was right to run far, far away from Card after just 3 pages of Ender's Game.
posted by DU at 5:37 AM on July 30, 2008


I look forward to hearing Alan Dean Foster's views on stem-cell research.
posted by ColdChef at 5:39 AM on July 30, 2008 [9 favorites]


democracy in amerika ended in 1962
posted by kitchenrat at 5:41 AM on July 30, 2008


It's easy to dismiss this rant by substituting 'interracial' for 'homosexual/gay'. *shrug*
posted by plinth at 5:41 AM on July 30, 2008


One of the other boys in Ender's Game has his terminal thingie locked with a cock-n-balls screensaver.

I still think it and Speaker are fantastic books.
posted by Skorgu at 5:42 AM on July 30, 2008


Which appears to feature a small boy threatened by, um, vagina beasts

Wow, for reals.

Note to Card: When your shaman is telling you stuff that biology is telling you is false, believe the facts, not the superstition. Give in to teh gay.
posted by DU at 5:52 AM on July 30, 2008


I was initially very surprised when I heard this sort of frothing homophobia from Card because I had read Songmaster which seemed (to me at least) to be an exploration of the pain that is caused by the fact that we can't just choose who we love, or even what gender they will be. Now, it has been many years since I've read the book, and maybe I got it all backwards. But the fact that he wrote that book but can spout this kind of crap still causes some cognitive dissonance for me.
posted by Lazlo Hollyfeld at 5:57 AM on July 30, 2008


Kadin2048 writes "It frightens me to imagine what an America where the courts were overruled by popular vote would look like."

But... but that America would have a President Gore!
posted by caution live frogs at 6:07 AM on July 30, 2008 [4 favorites]


In one small aspect, he's right- homophobe is a word that should be reserved for people with mental illness. The correct words to describe him are "bigot" and "asshole".
posted by jenkinsEar at 6:08 AM on July 30, 2008


But the fact that he wrote that book but can spout this kind of crap still causes some cognitive dissonance for me.

Think of the problems he must have! Speaker (my favorite) was all about love and forgiveness. He's got to be twice the bigot to make up for that goof.
posted by cmyk at 6:09 AM on July 30, 2008


you go, orson!

That's "you go, Your Immensity!"
posted by octobersurprise at 6:11 AM on July 30, 2008


You know what I blame this on the breakdown of? Society! [/Moe Szyslak]
posted by captnkurt at 6:12 AM on July 30, 2008


Say what you will, but the longer we allow the court system to simply strike down laws enacted by a democratic majority purely on the basis of those laws being unconstitutional, the more people are going to think that's exactly what the court system is supposed to do.

That's actually a much more interesting topic than the pathetic ramblings of a closet case who wants to dress up his homophobia as a nuanced discussion of constitutional law. I've always been vaguely uneasy about our relationship with the courts, because it's a system practically begging to be abused. Most of us left-of-center types are pretty happy with a judiciary that can run roughshod over populism, because the courts have been really good to us in the last two centuries. For every Plessy v. Ferguson, there have been three Loving v. Virginia, and the general trend of civil rights has been that, once the trend toward equality for $MINORITY starts, the courts carry the knuckle-draggers kicking and screaming into the new century. But I would posit that this has been an extraordinary bit of luck on our part, because it has everything to do with the personal whims of an extremely powerful group of nine men and women over whom we have absolutely no control. That should scare us shitless.

It's a system that has tended to self-correct in the past (we'd be in a world of hurt if Souter hadn't gone renegade on Bush I, for example, and that's not the first time it's happened), but again, it's all situational, and there are no safeguards in place to prevent it from becoming a really powerful tool of enforcing systematic discrimination, or from it becoming a regressive influence in law and culture. We're becoming far too complacent with the court overstepping its bounds, and we should probably remember that we'd have a lot more credibility and ability to effect change if we were to complain about creeping judicial authority when it's working in our favor. We can deride OSC for crying foul in this case, because it's obvious that he's just dressing up his bigotry as righteous democratic outrage; what's to keep us from being pigeon-hold in exactly the same way if the pendulum swings the other way in a few years?
posted by Mayor West at 6:26 AM on July 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


Folk of the fringe is only one of Card's books I've ever read and I've never had the urge to read any more of them, but it wasn't bad if you like (Mormon) apocalyptic fiction. And as a bonus, there's a hot, kinda S&M-y scene near the end where an older mestizo woman has wild, bestial, sex with a young, self-loathing, puritanical, American Mormon guy (in order to conceive a child who will grow up to save Norteamérica after the cracker-ass Whiteys screw everything up).

So, Card: thumbs down. Card's weird, strangled, slash-fictiony kitsch: thumbs up.
posted by octobersurprise at 6:28 AM on July 30, 2008


"This coming from a writer whose books are so replete with adolescent homoeroticism I almost came in my dry goods reading Ender's Game in ninth grade.

...

You know, its funny: I first read EG when I was 20 or so and still coming to terms with my own sexuality. I couldn't point to anything in particular -- nothing that I could really put my finger on and say "Yes, this is it" -- but I remember having the strangest feeling that Ender just wouldn't be into girls when he grew up.

Also, the aliens are called "buggers", so there you have it."


Also, Ender's Game is an anagram of greased men.

I'm sure that's not an accident.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:41 AM on July 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


We can deride OSC for crying foul in this case, because it's obvious that he's just dressing up his bigotry as righteous democratic outrage; what's to keep us from being pigeon-hold in exactly the same way if the pendulum swings the other way in a few years?

it's already happened with the upholding of forfeiture laws that require the target to prove his innocence to get his property back; the only difference being is that the majority think it's a good idea

in fact, the majority only seem to object to what our courts do when they attempt to expand people's rights - when they constrict or ignore them, they're just fine with that
posted by pyramid termite at 6:47 AM on July 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


And I see emelenjr already anagrammed it.

That's what I get for sleeping late.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:50 AM on July 30, 2008


Religions channel libido. They establish taboos and lay down laws that direct sexual energy away from its immediate expression. Secular judicial bodies do the same thing with aggression. Way back when, these sorts of redirections were crucial for the emergence of culture and fragile, complex forms of human interaction that would be catastrophically undone by rampant fucking or killing. Roman Catholicism, for example, opened up tremendous spaces for speculative thought by mandating a class of professional eunuchs. Mormons (like many contemporary orthodox jews) do their thing by channeling all that libido into the family in order to increase membership through internally controllable means. But over time traditions take hold and institutional authorities come to believe that the sine qua non of their institution was the redirection of libido, or aggression. So they begin engaging in ever more baroque practices of restriction and prohibition whose central function is to conceal their own arbitrariness.

When someone subject to those sorts of strictures looks out and sees others living without a care for the arbitrary rules under which he or she labors, fear is the inevitable result. The freedom of others is an immediate testimony to your own meaningless sacrifice. The happiness of others rebukes your own discipline. I don't hate Orson Scott Card. Honestly, I feel sorry for him. I can understand why gay people would react with revulsion to this sort of ugliness. But honestly, remind yourself that somewhere down in the bowels of his fear-addled heart his envy for you is a white-hot thing.
posted by felix betachat at 6:54 AM on July 30, 2008 [41 favorites]


No, he's right. The vote of the people *should* override everything. Therefore, I humbly offer the following motion.

RESOLVED: That no member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints be allowed to reside in the United States of America.

Funny how democracy works, isn't it?
posted by eriko at 6:55 AM on July 30, 2008


The Gay Marriage thing surviving past November is basically a coin-flip the last I checked.

51% oppose, 42% favor the amendment to ban marriage equality in a July 18 Field poll.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:57 AM on July 30, 2008


Mayor West: Well, here I think you can thank Marbury vs. Madison. The court can't preemptively decide cases, its only the court of last resort, and we do have control over the judicial system leading up to the Supreme court. Take for example, Kitzmiller, et. al. v. Dover Area School Board which was promptly dropped out of the system when the offending School Board failed to be reelected.

And isn't deciding whether a case is consistent with the Constitution what the Supreme Court is supposed to do?

Ndwright (quoting Card): When they listed all the markers of homosexuality, I had to laugh, because of course almost all of them fit me and most of my heterosexual friends -- because I'm a theatre guy who grew up loving show tunes (including Streisand), and I tend to hang out with people who share those tastes.

Well, on this one, Card is right in the same manner as a stopped clock. One of the really sad things about pervasive anti-gay prejudice is how many straight guys will go to ridiculous lengths to edit their behavior to avoid being seen as gay, and if, heaven forbid, they actually do something associated with gay men, there is always a rushed little speech disassociating themselves from it.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 6:58 AM on July 30, 2008


"When gay rights were being enforced by the courts back in the '70s and '80s, we were repeatedly told by all the proponents of gay rights that they would never attempt to legalize gay marriage.

It took about 15 minutes for that promise to be broken."

This quote even SOUNDS gay. While reading it, a lispy Orson appeared in my head, and can't you just SEE his wrist flapping when he throws out the "15 minutes (or 38 years...)" rebuttal? His mormon editors must have decided that leading off with a sassy "Girlfriend!" was a little TOO much.
posted by youthenrage at 6:58 AM on July 30, 2008


Religions channel libido. They establish taboos and lay down laws that direct sexual energy away from its immediate expression. Secular judicial bodies do the same thing with aggression.

Very interesting. Military organizations do something similar with thought (i.e. turning it off to make an obedient killing machine).
posted by DU at 6:59 AM on July 30, 2008


A while back I saw a list of famous science fiction authors who didn't turn out to be shitheads, but I can't remember which two guys were on it.
posted by Legomancer at 7:01 AM on July 30, 2008 [7 favorites]


OH JOHN RINGO ORSON SCOTT CARD NO!
posted by cowbellemoo at 7:11 AM on July 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


Ok, this might sound weird but..... he is right. (me/ ducks a brick). This is a sensitive issue but look past the anti-gay statements and look at what he is saying. A judge is saying what is what and is not looking at what the majority of the population wants. Sorry but face it the majority of the population does not want gay marriage. Forcing it down the throats of people is not going to help. Forcing it down the throats of children is not going to help. Forcing it period is not going to help. Look at it this way:

A christian group is against liquor and has a judge rules that no one can drink in their state. The majority says screw that we want beer... but the ruling states no more alcohol period. Would this be wrong?

A vegan group in California is against eating meat and they know a judge that will rule slaughtering and eating meat of any kind will be illegal. The majority of the population wants to eat meat. Is this wrong?

A group of gay activists have a judge make a ruling making it legal for them to get married. The majority of the population does not want this.... Again is this wrong?

All three of these are minority groups forcing their views on the majority of the population. Face it the majority wants to drink, eat red meat, and does not want gay marriage. Stepping over our rights as Americans and silencing our voice is not the way to go about this. I am all for individual rights as long as you give me mine in return. But if I am part of the majority and I'm saying no I don't want this, don't go to a judge and silence me to get your own way. However if 51% of the population wants gay marriage then so be it.

Anyways I got off topic... sorry. Also the author made a good point saying this (minus the anti gay stuff):

Judges taking minority views and turning them into laws that the majority does not want is a threat to democracy. NOT Gays are a threat to democracy. Personally I agree with this statement. This is pretty much saying one man can make a law that everyone has to live with regardless of how they feel or voted. There is a form of government that does just this.... communism.

Personal I think it is a great idea that gays and lesbians get the same marriage rights as traditional married couples get. It is only fair. However I am against it being known as a marriage. A marriage is between a man and a woman. Sorry that is how I and the most of the population feel about it. You could easily have the same rights as marriage but call it something different... a union, a life long commitment... etc. By insisting that it is called marriage you are just pissing people off. It is like you are trying to force your views on the population, or if we don't accept it, you are going to get a judge to make us.

In closing, don't think I'm a hater or anything but don't force your views on me. I will tolerate your views because they are your rights as fellow Americans. You can be whoever you want to me here. As I can. I would die for these rights. Please return the same to me, don't silence my voice by pressuring the courts to rule in your favor.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 7:19 AM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


I found Farnham's Freehold by Robert Heinlen waaaaay more disturbing than Ender's Game.

For true. "In the far future, black people rule the world! Damn you! Damn you all to hell!"
posted by EarBucket at 7:22 AM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Card wrote awesome books, and I will continue to read them and promote them and not give a shit about his personal politics.
posted by where u at dawg at 7:22 AM on July 30, 2008


if we don't accept it, you are going to get a judge to make us.

Sounds like the best use of the legal system to me.
posted by robself at 7:25 AM on July 30, 2008


Mastercheddaar, 50 years ago, it was still illegal in some states for people of 2 different races to marry. This law was struck down by the courts. Did they make a mistake when they did that?
posted by garlic at 7:27 AM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


You can be whoever you want to me here.

Except married, by your standards.
posted by gaspode at 7:30 AM on July 30, 2008


I guess the first mistake was making the religious bond of marriage a legal institution. Maybe Orson would be happier if we dissolved that and gave any sexual grouping the same legal rights. So if your threesome lived together they could all share insurance benefits and tax benefits, etc

Orson writes passable fiction, maybe he should stick with the pulp.
posted by JJ86 at 7:33 AM on July 30, 2008


where u at dawg, wrote is the correct tense. Card's latest Alvin Maker and Bean books are nearly unreadable. A real shame, too, because the Alvin books were really good up through book three.
posted by infinitewindow at 7:38 AM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


the majority of the population

just because the majority of the population harbors antiquated beliefs does not make them right.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 7:38 AM on July 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


making the religious bond of marriage a legal institution.

The legal institution of marriage existed under English common law for a long time before Christianity got involved.
posted by rodgerd at 7:41 AM on July 30, 2008


Wow, Mastercheddaar, that's some very strange thinking there.

A christian group is against liquor and has a judge rules that no one can drink in their state. (...) Would this be wrong?

Yes. Influencing a judge to impose the arbitrary rules of your religion on the general populace would be wrong. The judge is supposed to determine whether a law is constitutional, not to listen to various lobbying groups. Also, in this case, a Christian group would be forcing christian behavior on other people. So, yes. Wrong.

A vegan group in California is against eating meat and they know a judge that will rule slaughtering and eating meat of any kind will be illegal. The majority of the population wants to eat meat. Is this wrong?

Yes. Again, you're talking about a group lobbying a judge to rule in their favor rather than judging something by whether it is constitutional. And again, you are talking about a judge forcing the behavior of a specific minority group onto the populace. Very wrong.

A group of gay activists have a judge make a ruling making it legal for them to get married. The majority of the population does not want this.... Again is this wrong?

First of all, you're phrasing the scenario wrongly. To follow your other examples, you should ask, "A christian group have a judge make a ruling making it illegal for a particular minority group to get married based solely on their sexual preferences. Is this wrong?" The answer to that question is "yes."

However, to answer the question you actually asked: It's wrong if the activists "have a judge" do anything. However, if the judge examines a law and decides that it is unconstitutional (which a law banning gay marriage is) then it is absolutely not wrong that he would strike it down, no matter what the majority of people wanted.

It's also worth noting that unlike your first two examples, this third example is not forcing anyone else to do anything. In your first example, a small group is conspiring to change the behavior of everyone. In your second example, same deal. In your third example, a group of people is working to be left alone and to have the same rights as everyone else. Their freedom to marry doesn't require anyone else to change their behavior at all and doesn't harm or affect anyone else except in the small positive ways people might be affected by living in a free and equal society.

How does gay marriage force anything on you? It doesn't. You're asking for the freedom to be intolerant and to rob other people of their rights. No.
posted by The Loch Ness Monster at 7:43 AM on July 30, 2008 [31 favorites]


MasterChedder, you've got it backwards. In your first two examples, a small group of people are restricting the rights of a larger group. In your third example, a small group is expanding their rights to match those of the rest of the population.

Opposing gay marriage is much more like your first two examples than allowing it is.

Even so, it's still a silly argument. Restricting alcohol affects you. Restricting meat affects you. Restricting or allowing gay marriage doesn't affect you at all- just like restricting or allowing alcohol or meat won't affect your Christian group or vegans.

Whether there's a law or not, your example Christian group won't drink alcohol. Whether there's a law or not, your example vegans won't eat meat. Whether there's a law or not, you won't be getting a same-sex marriage. You're not arguing here for majority rule, you're arguing for YOUR majority to rule. If the majority decided to ban alcohol or meat, would that be right?

This is what Card misses and this is what you're missing. 51% of the population can't vote to enslave the other 49%. The majority can be wrong. That's why we have judges and that's why they are (ideally) independent and neutral- so they can enforce the rules without bias or pressure.
posted by The Man from Lardfork at 7:44 AM on July 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


Mastercheddaar: Basic civics.

A christian group is against liquor and has a judge rules that no one can drink in their state. The majority says screw that we want beer... but the ruling states no more alcohol period. Would this be wrong?

I'm scratching my head trying to think about how this would work in a way that is plausible within the legal system we have, and completely failing. But if a local law prohibits the sale of alcohol, and there is no constitutional reason to overturn said law, then a judge would be right to uphold that law.

A vegan group in California is against eating meat and they know a judge that will rule slaughtering and eating meat of any kind will be illegal. The majority of the population wants to eat meat. Is this wrong?

This is slightly more plausible but still unlikely. If the state or the federal constitution is amended to include animal rights (unlikely), AND there is a law banning slaughterhouses, then the judge would be in the right to uphold that law.

A group of gay activists have a judge make a ruling making it legal for them to get married. The majority of the population does not want this.... Again is this wrong?

But that's not what happened in California. The California constitution guarantees equal rights. California law also grants a domestic partnership that differs from marriage primarily in semantics and a handful of privileges. The California Supreme Court was right in ruling that a law creating an arbitrary distinction between same-sex civil union and marriage was incompatible with the equal rights protection of the California Constitution.

Personal I think it is a great idea that gays and lesbians get the same marriage rights as traditional married couples get. It is only fair. However I am against it being known as a marriage. A marriage is between a man and a woman. Sorry that is how I and the most of the population feel about it. You could easily have the same rights as marriage but call it something different... a union, a life long commitment... etc. By insisting that it is called marriage you are just pissing people off. It is like you are trying to force your views on the population, or if we don't accept it, you are going to get a judge to make us.

But clearly this battle is not about the semantic distinction between civil union and marriage, as many of the counter-amendments prohibit giving any legal rights to civil unions.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 7:44 AM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


I tried to read Ender's Game twice and never got very far. I didn't find it very well written or engaging at all, and I've always wondered why it is fawned over so much. I always assumed it was due to some deficiency of mine.

But of course the quality of his writing has nothing to do with if he is a douchebag or not (and he is a douchebag). But it is at least interesting, and comforting, to see other people didn't think EG was some sort of holy tome.
posted by Ynoxas at 7:46 AM on July 30, 2008


Judges taking minority views and turning them into laws that the majority does not want is a threat to democracy. NOT Gays are a threat to democracy. Personally I agree with this statement. This is pretty much saying one man can make a law that everyone has to live with regardless of how they feel or voted. There is a form of government that does just this.... communism.

A fellow of most excellent wit and fancy!

don't silence my voice by pressuring the courts to rule in your favor.

Look on the future Mastercheddaar. Look on it and feel funny (in your pants)!
posted by octobersurprise at 7:46 AM on July 30, 2008


A lot of people are saying the same thing about gay marriage right now. I think they think if they fix this one thing they think is broken, all the other problems will go away. It's so much easier to look at this one scary thing and blame everything else on it than it is to look at the bigger picture.

It's scary.
posted by Tehanu at 7:50 AM on July 30, 2008


you go, orson!

You really don't have anything to contribute besides your contrarian schtick, do you?
posted by Pope Guilty at 8:00 AM on July 30, 2008


Actually, I'm in favor of separating marriage from law altogether. Any two consenting adults can get a civil union. They can get married in a church as well if they choose to, and if the church will allow it. But the two procedures are independent. The church is free to deny marriage to whomever they choose, but the benefits (insurance, power of attorney, etc) that we currently associate to marriage would only be granted to partners in a civil union.

So a typical Christian wedding would be like: We're getting married on Saturday, and we have to go to the county office on Friday afternoon to get our C.U. paperwork done. Various religious groups would be free to have whatever beliefs about marriage they choose, but marriage would only have to do with religious doctrine rather than law. Marriage would have the same legal status as a Bar Mitzvah.
posted by The Loch Ness Monster at 8:02 AM on July 30, 2008 [19 favorites]


EarBucket writes "For true. 'In the far future, black people rule the world! Damn you! Damn you all to hell!'"

Well, there was the Happiness. Oh and the tiny matter of them rngvat gur juvgr crbcyr.
posted by Mitheral at 8:04 AM on July 30, 2008


State job is not to redefine marriage…Marriage is older than government.

There's a glaring irony in this coming from a Mormon. The LDS embraced polygamy, and then renounced it before Utah could become a state. Now, of course, the LDS party line is that their president had a revelation that God told him "Oh, that whole polygamy thing? Sorry. My mistake." Those of us inclined to a more temporal interpretation would say it was the U.S. government twisting arms, redefining marriage for the Mormons.

There is also a real lack of intellectual rigor at work here. If we tacitly or explicitly grant our government the authority to define marriage, we are granting it the authority to redefine it. Much though some might like, we can't get the law looking the way we want, and then remove the government's authority to modify that law in the future.
posted by adamrice at 8:05 AM on July 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


Sorry that is how I and the most of the population feel about it. You could easily have the same rights as marriage but call it something different... a union, a life long commitment... etc. By insisting that it is called marriage you are just pissing people off.

I don't doubt that is how you feel about it, but that is assuredly not what "most" Americans think.

In states where it has come up and been defeated, it was purposefully framed as "gay marriage" by the people opposing it, to make sure it was handily defeated, due to what you said yourself.

Louisiana Constitutional Amendment 1[1] of 2004, is a so-called "defense of marriage amendment" that amended the Louisiana Constitution to make it unconstitutional for the state to recognize or perform same-sex marriages or civil unions. The referendum was approved by 78% of the voters

Similar results were in other states in 2004.

This is clearly not over a semantic difference between "gay marriage" and "civil unions".

As I've said over and over and over, your "average American" is an ignorant bigot. The polls and the actual voting results prove this again and again.

The only way there will ever be a new progressive movement in this country will be if people get enough of a backbone to start calling their friends, family, and neighbors on their bigotry, and stop trying to defend it as simply wordplay.

Also, Loch Ness Monster, I've approved of a similar notion for years. I don't even see why there should be any resistance to it. It's just paperwork. If you're not a bigot, then why could you ever care even a tiny iota as to if two other people buy a house together or share health insurance?
posted by Ynoxas at 8:06 AM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


I've always wondered why it is fawned over so much.

Because it's designed to appeal to adolescent nerdish males. (And the adolescent nerdish male inside many adults.) The lead character is brighter than everyone else, more talented than everyone else, but has difficulty in making friends, and is constantly picked on by bigger bullies. However, in spite of not wanting to hurt anyone, the bullies are always defeated. In the end, his superior talents are recognised and he's hailed as a hero.

It's a cunning book - it's difficult to read it and not respond in some way to the power fantasy.
posted by daveje at 8:07 AM on July 30, 2008 [4 favorites]


Barney Frank on "Real Time With Bill Maher" | March 2005
"I try very hard to be a responsible citizen and as a gay man I try very hard to keep track of the marriages I have destroyed, and there really aren't that many. I may have some secret admirers out there and I may have wreaked more havoc than I realize, but they haven't called."
posted by ericb at 8:12 AM on July 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


daveje writes "Because it's designed to appeal to adolescent nerdish males. (And the adolescent nerdish male inside many adults.) The lead character is brighter than everyone else, more talented than everyone else, but has difficulty in making friends, and is constantly picked on by bigger bullies. However, in spite of not wanting to hurt anyone, the bullies are always defeated. In the end, his superior talents are recognised and he's hailed as a hero. "

You missed the war games. In space. Using computers (OK it was a big deal when it came out). And Lasers.
*faints*
posted by Mitheral at 8:12 AM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wow.... I didn't write anything mean just my views and I got called stupid and outdated.

That is the problem right there..... anyone that tries to say hey do what you want just don't force it on me gets belittled and shamed in front of everyone. It's like "Whats wrong with you for not letting me step all over you mastercheddaar? Don't you know its the in thing to let minorities do as they please???? " Guess what... IN THIS COUNTRY IF THE MAJORITY WANTS SOMETHING AND VOTES FOR IT.... EVEN IF IT IS A 51% to 49% vote the majority wins. Period. Back on topic, the message of the article that I got was it is undemocratic for a judge to rule in favor of the minority. Who cares if the message comes from a bigot asshole. Again I am all for equal rights with anyone... RIGHTS not part of my culture being conformed and forced down my throat. If you want the same rights as me and a women have when we are married so be it. They are yours. You deserve them. However don't take something from the heterosexual culture Marriage -- MAN AND WOMAN and make me accept something. I can speak for a lot of people (not everyone) when they say that forced acceptance pisses us off. If you are right, we are not stupid the light bulb will turn on... just let us be the ones that turn the light on. Maybe next time I have the chance to vote on the subject I will think "hey marriages are awesome..... the wedding, the emotions... who am I to deny someone that just because they want to marry the same sex... Fuck it, love is forever and who cares what they call it!" But I like most people are not ready to do that yet. And sitting here when I make my point saying " LOOKING EVERYONE mastercheddaar disagrees with me!!! He is a hater and a bigot and an asshole! Quick everyone don't act like him or I'll say the same thing about you... and you don't wanna be labeled DO YOU?" is not helping the situation. Look at it this way if something is 60% 40% in order for the majority all you need is 11%. It is a lot easier to get that 11% by letting someone come to grips with an issue on their own terms. I like my coffee with cream and sugar not piss.
posted by Mastercheddaar at 8:13 AM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


In related news -- A curb on gay marriage will fall
"In a major victory for advocates of same-sex marriage rights, the House voted by a wide margin yesterday to repeal a 95-year-old law that prevents gay and lesbian couples from most other states from marrying here, setting the stage for Massachusetts to join just one other state, California, in allowing same-sex couples to marry regardless of residence."
posted by ericb at 8:14 AM on July 30, 2008


Also, Orson Scott Card is an anagram of "Cast rod, consort".

Coincidence? I think not!
posted by imperium at 8:18 AM on July 30, 2008


As has been said above, n Massachusetts and California the Supreme Courts of those states deemed laws preventing same-sex marriage to be unconstitutional. They made interpretations of law.

Tell me Mastercheddaar, was it okay that interracial marriage was illegal in many states until 1967 when the the Supreme Court ruled in Loving v. Virginia that such was unconstitutional?
posted by ericb at 8:19 AM on July 30, 2008


Bradbury, Heinlein, and Card...why do all my science fiction lit heroes end up being such dicks?
posted by cazoo at 8:20 AM on July 30, 2008


mastercheddar: I see what you're saying, really I do, but you're confusing the roles of the legislative and judicial branches.

The majority of the population of Arkansas didn't want the Little Rock 9 to create an integrated school.

The majority of the population of the Great (sic) State of Alabama didn't want George Wallace to let black students into the University of Alabama.

Were the courts right in these instances, or the majority?

I stress again, unless you are simply a bigot, there is no reason, of any kind, with any rationalization, to refuse the same rights and liberties to any citizen of this country, due to any characteristic that they have.

There is of course one exception: convicted felons have some of their rights and liberties taken away as punishment. Whether that is right or wrong is up to debate, but it is how the law currently stands. Who knows, in 50 years we may consider it backwards and ghastly to have denied people who served their time a full reinstatement of their rights.
posted by Ynoxas at 8:20 AM on July 30, 2008 [5 favorites]


What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
posted by garlic at 8:21 AM on July 30, 2008


The misspelled cheese man makes some excellent points. Aren't we all a little are not ready for the light bulb be forced on with piss to conform culture down my throat?
posted by designbot at 8:22 AM on July 30, 2008


A judge is saying what is what and is not looking at what the majority of the population wants.

That's right. Because that's how the judiciary works. The electoral branch responds to what its constituents want (tax cuts, longer hunting season, whatever). The judicial branch, in response to challenges (lawsuits) to laws passed by the electoral system, decides whether those laws conform to the state/federal constitution (and previous legal precedent). If a law says that hunting season for turkeys is 47 days long, but the state constitution says that hunting season is 45 days long, the judiciary says - hey, constitution trumps the law. If you want it to be different, you gotta change the constitution.

Which is what's happening in California. This is the system at work.

Did you miss the part in elementary school about how this stuff works? Because it sure sounds like you did.

And please take your thoughts to their logical conclusion. Do you really want to live in a place where it's majority rule? Do you really want to live in a place where people can vote to, say, kill homeless people, and because that's "what the voters want", there's no legal recourse? I don't think you do.
posted by rtha at 8:23 AM on July 30, 2008


it is undemocratic for a judge to rule in favor of the minority...

Once again, judges rule by interpreting laws, the state constitution and the U.S. Constitution. Our judiciary (city, state and federal) is there for "checks and balances." Just because a majority supports a law does not mean that that supercedes the interpretation of law. Many such laws have been struck down since the founding of our nation.
posted by ericb at 8:23 AM on July 30, 2008


I dislike it that the ignorant get to speak in the public arena

Yes. Let's silence them.

Also, I get to determine who's ignorant, OK guys?
posted by allkindsoftime at 8:25 AM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Mastercheddaar, settle down for a sec and take it easy on the caps-lock key. I think one person called you names, but I think the majority of responses to your comment were reasoned and temperate.

Guess what... IN THIS COUNTRY IF THE MAJORITY WANTS SOMETHING AND VOTES FOR IT.... EVEN IF IT IS A 51% to 49% vote the majority wins. Period.

That's not right at all. It's not morally right and it's not legally correct, either. That isn't how it works and that isn't how it should work.

However don't take something from the heterosexual culture Marriage -- MAN AND WOMAN and make me accept something.

Nobody is making you accept anything. A group of people which has nothing to do with you is just asking to be left alone and to have the same rights as other people. You don't have to do anything differently, and none of your rights are lessened or changed. You're free to not accept it for the rest of your life. If you wanted to be against blond women marrying dark-haired men, you can be against that too, and nobody is going to force you to accept it. You can start a church and call it the Cheddar Church of Latter Day Cheese and say that no two people of differing hair color can get married there, and that's your right and likely nobody is going to bother you about it. However, it isn't within your rights to burst into someone else's church and tell them whether they're allowed to get married. That's all we're saying. Nobody is forcing anything upon you at all.
posted by The Loch Ness Monster at 8:28 AM on July 30, 2008 [8 favorites]


I'd thought that those weekly status reports Orson used to get from that coked-up alien would lead him to be more understanding about the rights of people who are different, even if you don't quite understand them.

Looks like I was wrong: the lesson he learned was that you should go to great -- sometimes even comically ridiculous -- lengths to hide your true nature from the people around you and the general public.

I blame Boulder.
posted by lord_wolf at 8:32 AM on July 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


In related news -- A curb on gay marriage will fall...

BTW, here in Massachusetts then-Governor Mitt Romney (a Mormon) invoked an outdated law that was passed in Massachusetts in 1913. The law prevented out-of-staters coming to Massachusetts to wed. It is widely regarded as having been enacted in 1913 to racially discriminate against interracial couples. It went by the wayside until Romney invoked it.
"Shortly after the Bay State legalized same-sex marriage in 2004, Romney invoked the 1913 law to prohibit out of state gay couples from wedding in Massachusetts if their state of residence did not recognize gay marriages.

On Tuesday, the state Senate voted unanimously to repeal the law. The state House of Representatives is expected to vote on the measure this week.

In an interview with PolitickerMA.com, Tisei said the Senate should have acted then to keep the law off the books, a break with Romney who was then the leader of the state GOP.

'We probably should have done it for years ago when we took up the issue of same-sex marriage,' Tisei said. 'Gov. Romney used it as a way of discriminating against people.'

posted by ericb at 8:34 AM on July 30, 2008


Whats wrong with you for not letting me step all over you mastercheddaar?

Other people getting married steps on you? I had no idea that gays wanted to marry just to upset your little apple cart. I was actually under the impression that most of humanity neither knew nor gave a shit who you even were. Thanks for the enlightenment -- everything makes so much more sense now.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:35 AM on July 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


Hey Lochness... Kinda just read what I did type and Toucha. I kinda like the church of latter day cheese tho...... good day to you all
posted by Mastercheddaar at 8:37 AM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm guessing this is his last hurrah. He lost a ton of his readers a few years back when he first ran this schtick, and I suspect he knows that whatever public voice he once had is on its last legs.

Frankly I'm amazed anyone thought enough of his opinion to post this.
posted by tkolar at 8:37 AM on July 30, 2008


Note that the founding founders decided that some rights and laws were so important that it takes a *supermajority* to change them.

Want to get rid of the right to refuse to house soldiers in your house during peacetime*? You don't need 50%. You need 67% of the House and Senate, and consent of 3/4ths of the states. The founding founder considers this important enough that a bare majority shouldn't be able to change it.

Otherwise, you have no rights -- only privileges that the bare majority grants at that time. **


* As far as I can see, the only purpose of the 3rd Amendment in modern times is to serve as an apolitical example.


** Of course, given the last ten years, you don't have rights, period. Different thread.
posted by eriko at 8:37 AM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


it is undemocratic for a judge to rule in favor of the minority...

Of course it is. It's intended so. One of the main purposes of the judicial branch of the government is to balance the "two foxes and a sheep" abuses of democracy, because one thing we in the United States are supposed to value even more than democracy is individual rights.

To argue that a judge should rule only for the majority of the population is to argue that we should not have a judicial branch, or a constitution, or the rule of law (only "majority rules"). That was never the intent of the founders.

Maybe you should take a civics class.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:40 AM on July 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


However don't take something from the heterosexual culture Marriage

Please explain to me (and I'm really not being snarky here - I'm genuinely curious) how my marriage to my partner (we're both women) takes something away from you. Please explain what it takes away from you.

(We've been married four times now - four! Once in CA in 2004 - that one got annulled (by the same state courts that you're railing against!); once in Canada (thanks!); once in a non-legally-binding-but-we-invited-everyone-we-know commitment ceremony thing; and once last month here in California - again! For a few photos of the most recent weddings, you can look here.)
posted by rtha at 8:40 AM on July 30, 2008 [10 favorites]


Mastercheddar, you're wrong. In your country, it's not majority rule. It's Constitutional rule. There's an important distinction. If 51% of Americans wanted you killed on the steps of the Capital building by ravenous rats, the majority would not win. The Constitution would.

You're not being forced to do anything. You don't have to like gay marriages, any more than racists don't like inter-racial marriages or Christians don't like Muslims or any other Group A doesn't like Group B. You are simply expected to tolerate its existence. Is is really *that* much to ask you to tolerate something that will have no discernible impact on your life?

As an atheist, I am expected every single day to tolerate the various religious groups and societal influences around me, and I do. There's a church just down the street from me that chimes its bells every freakin' hour of daylight, every day of the year (and extra long during Easter and Christmas seasons). It's a constant reminder of religion that infringes on my atheist worldview. I'd say that has a greater impact on my life than gay marriage will have on yours, unless you're attending 4380 gay weddings a year.
posted by GhostintheMachine at 8:42 AM on July 30, 2008 [4 favorites]


I'm a woman. And I'm divorced (from a man). That I married in a church. I just thought I'd toss that in, since, really, I'm responsible for making a mockery of or ruining the institution of heterosexual (religious!) marriage and not the gay folks. Can I please get some credit here? Because no one is wailing about how I can't remarry as many times as I want.
posted by pointystick at 8:43 AM on July 30, 2008 [17 favorites]


Ynoxas writes "Who knows, in 50 years we may consider it backwards and ghastly to have denied people who served their time a full reinstatement of their rights."

I consider it ghastly and backwards right now.
posted by Mitheral at 8:53 AM on July 30, 2008 [8 favorites]


I'm responsible for making a mockery of or ruining the institution of heterosexual (religious!) marriage and not the gay folks.

Ah, yes the sanctity of marriage! Mastercheddaar, should divorce be illegal?
posted by ericb at 8:54 AM on July 30, 2008


About 15/20 years ago, there was an excellent SF zine called SF Eye which took issue with one of Card's short stories. I don't remember the name of the story (I never read it), but it had some connection with one of Card's children, who was mentally handicapped, and SF Eye was outraged that the story seemed to be about Card fantasising about the death of his own child.

I think the story was "Lost Boys," which was later expanded into a novel. I haven't read the novel, but I have read the story, and I don't agree with SF Eye's characterization.

The story was more or less a ghost story about a couple who loses one of their children, not realizing at first that he's a ghost. Or something like that.

In an epilogue, written well after the story was first published, Card talks about the response to the story--many people who had lost children of their own deeply connected with the story. In fact, many assumed Card must have had to lose a child himself to write so empathically about it.

He hadn't. Some of the people who assumed he had were angry, feeling he had pretended to emotions that weren't his. But Card wrote that, long after writing the story, he realized that the story was a way of working through grief of his own: not the grief of physically losing a child, but the grief of "losing" his child to mental retardation (compared to what he had hoped for his son before he was born).

While I haven't read the SF Eye article, I don't get how they could spin that as "fantasising about the death of his own child."
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 8:54 AM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


the alien-girl rape in Wyrms (the alien has multiple slimy penises that project from its belly)

Tentacle hentai? Really?
posted by Halloween Jack at 8:57 AM on July 30, 2008


Mastercheddaar, to paraphrase somebody a lot smarter than me: Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. We really, really don't want a majority rules government. The judicial system exists to ensure this doesn't happen.
posted by LordSludge at 8:58 AM on July 30, 2008


I am so glad I never read his books. I couldn't finish reading that column. It made me feel physically ill. Not only due to the homophobia, but the misogyny as well. This man writes books? That people I respect like? Something is wrong with that picture, because his logical capacity is seriously faulty.
posted by threeturtles at 9:02 AM on July 30, 2008


Wow.... I didn't write anything mean just my views and I got called stupid and outdated." ... "Guess what... IN THIS COUNTRY IF THE MAJORITY WANTS SOMETHING AND VOTES FOR IT.... EVEN IF IT IS A 51% to 49% vote the majority wins. Period."

No, you were called stupid because you don't even know 8th grade social studies. This is not how the government works. It's not even close to how the government works. Either you aren't old enough to have taken social studies in junior high or you didn't pay attention when you did take.

There are three branches of government. One of the reasons for the separation of powers is to limit the ability of mob rule by the majority. The judicial branch is supposed to rule without much regard for what the majority does or does not want, only with what is or is not legal and constitutional. And when the two conflict, to decide on the side of constitutionality. If the people disagree strongly enough they can amend the constitution and the courts will decide differently next time.

That's how Dad did it. That's how America does it. And it's worked out pretty well so far.
posted by Justinian at 9:07 AM on July 30, 2008 [14 favorites]


Once I read the Kessel piece, I understand why I started to loathe Card's work - because he stands for everything I hate: might makes right, it's necessary to do terrible things without examining them because we are the good guys, there's no need to justify ourselves because we are the good guys. Not to mention "die faggots".

"Bradbury, Heinlein, and Card". Wait, what's this?

Heinlein was a complex man who couldn't be easily summed up. Philip K. Dick has it:

"Last year a dream of mine of almost forty years was realized: I met Robert Heinlein. It was his writing, and A. E. Van Vogt's, that got me interested in SF, and I consider Heinlein my spiritual father, even though our political ideologies are totally at variance. Several years ago, when I was ill, Heinlein offered his help, anything he could do, and we had never met; he would phone me to cheer me up and see how I was doing. He wanted to buy me an electric typewriter, God bless him —one of the few true gentlemen in this world. I don't agree with any ideas he puts forth in his writing, but that is neither here nor there. One time when I owed the IRS a lot of money and couldn't raise it, Heinlein loaned the money to me. I think a great deal of him and his wife; I dedicated a book to them in appreciation. Robert Heinlein is a fine-looking man, very impressive and very militarism stance; you can tell he has a military background, even to the haircut. He knows I'm a flipped-out freak and still he helped me and my wife when we were in trouble. That is the best in humanity, there; that is who and what I love."

I don't know anything bad about Bradbury except that he railed against the name Farenheit 911. Totally wrong, sure, but he's an old, cranky, eminent guy - and it's not like railing against faggots, it is his work.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 9:19 AM on July 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


By the way, there is actually a reasonable chance that the California supreme court decision will end up being 'ratified' by voters in the fall. I havn't been following it too closely, but a right-wing group is trying to push a constitutional amendment there that would re-ban gay marriage. The only problem is that it's polling at less then 50%, and amendments and ballot initiatives need to poll really well in order to pass, since voters vote against most new laws.

And actually I think in Nevada another ballot initiative also failed, which means voters there are OK with it as well. I don't follow these issues too closely, though.
posted by delmoi at 9:29 AM on July 30, 2008


Metafilter's own jscalzi weighs in: "...this is OSC at his most foamy, and you really don’t want to miss it."
posted by ShawnStruck at 9:32 AM on July 30, 2008


I'm looking forward to the time he gets caught in a men's room at a rest stop on I-85 with a truck driver's dingus in his mouth.
posted by zzazazz at 9:35 AM on July 30, 2008


OSC at his most foamy

I think the accepted term is "santorumy"
posted by DU at 9:36 AM on July 30, 2008 [5 favorites]


Heinlein was a complex man who couldn't be easily summed up.

Though there was quite a bit of homophobia in 'Stranger in a Strange Land' so don't forget that in your summary.
posted by biffa at 9:40 AM on July 30, 2008


I think the story was "Lost Boys,"

Thanks - that helps me to find a reference to the controversy here:

This is where the "baby killer" tag comes in. There was an on-going, spiteful and unbelievably closed-minded correspondence in SF Eye over this, in which the readers apparently queued up to pour vitriol on Card's good name. The basic premise was that Card had written a story in which he fantasised about his son's death. Even leaving aside the interesting contention that writers necessarily fantasise about what they write, this just ain't so.

Time frame was 1990 or thereabouts. Not having read the short story, what stuck in my mind was seeing the writer who had recently been deified for Ender's Game getting labelled a baby killer by the SF literati.
posted by daveje at 9:53 AM on July 30, 2008


I don't get it--do we get a nickel for every comment that is posted in response to a FPP? That's the only reason I can see for putting this on the front page.

And I agree that there is a huge schism between Card the conservative essayist/troll and Card the voyeuristic fiction writer and theater lover. Can a straight man love theater? Is David Pogue gay too?
posted by mecran01 at 9:56 AM on July 30, 2008


Bigot or not, his logic is simply bad. His arguments go all over the place, he nearly rebuts himself at least twice and walks right up to, but then skips over, many arguments for gay marriage that come from the axioms he presents.

Card may be a good fiction writer, but he's a bad essayist.
posted by GuyZero at 9:56 AM on July 30, 2008


First, its not fair for everyone to jump down Mastercheddar's throat. It's never easy being a voice of dissent on Metafilter, so let's not make it unpleasant as well. Also, who doesn't like cheddar? Cheddar rules, be it on nachos or burgers. You know it and I know it, so let's not take the name of the Cheese in vain.

Mastercheddar doesn't actually have to accept anything, because gay marriage legalizes an option he was never going to exercise anyway. So he can be disgusted by men marrying each other all he wants and it is still okay for him not to oppose the law, because what does he care? So this is the criticism that Mastercheddar has to address - why legitimizing an option is wrong when he knows that not all people think exercising the option is morally wrong.

The problem I have with the article is trying to couch the animosity towards gays in some kind of tired judicial activism argument. Yes, judges interpret and indirectly make law undemocratically. Legislatures have voted to ban guns any number of ways, and the courts strike it down. Card would be all for judges making laws if they are the laws he likes. So it isn't about judges, its about gays. This is card worrying that being gay will become acceptable, and when he says gay, he doesn't mean two men kissing, because that's okay and he writes about it in his books. Being gay means being a "sissy" or a fairy. It means that whole truckload of words that these people use in private: prancing, mincing, queerboy, fairy, queen, etc. All the words that are an attack against someone's masculinity.

For Card, if two male Naked Cadets get all sweaty wrestling and Tab A happens to slide into Slot B, well, what's the harm, it's just a coupla guys bein' manly and showing off their big muscles. But if two men get married and one calls the other "his bride" then he's a fairy and deserves scorn and humiliation, not because he's going to have manly gay sex, but because he isn't a man by their definition.

Guys like Card are worried about the mythical "Feminizing of Men" and gay marriage is actually only a small part of that . He wants men to be rough and hardscrabble. If they kiss in a moment of celebration, hey what's the big deal. But if a guy's wrist tendon is weak and he speaks with a lisp, then he's a fag and a fairy, regardless of whether he bangs the Swedish bikini team in his spare time.
posted by Pastabagel at 9:57 AM on July 30, 2008 [4 favorites]


It's never easy being a voice of dissent on Metafilter, so let's not make it unpleasant as well.

God forbid it should be unpleasant to be a bigot.
posted by Justinian at 10:03 AM on July 30, 2008 [9 favorites]


Though there was quite a bit of homophobia in 'Stranger in a Strange Land' so don't forget that in your summary.

I don't remember that but I'm certainly willing to believe it. "Stranger" was written in the late 60s, remember. However, later works definitely have strong supporting characters who are verygay and also "serious good guys".

A little more research since I posted however came up with cases of Heinlein cutting off friends with whom he had a political difference so I have to moderate my previous support of him.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 10:08 AM on July 30, 2008


However, later works definitely have strong supporting characters who are verygay and also "serious good guys".

I can't think of any gay....oh, you mean Galahad? I guess bisexual is close, considering the time period. Oh and I think Lazarus mentions some homosexual experiences. For that matter, so does Whatshiscrazyname in Job...and that guy is a conservative fundamentalist! (And omg I just realized that Job has steampunk in it.)
posted by DU at 10:13 AM on July 30, 2008


As might be noted from my posts I’m a bit of a HP Lovecraft fan – does it automatically lessen his works that he was a bit of a weirdo and a bigot?

And then there’s all those Sven Hassel books I read as a kid…
posted by Artw at 10:15 AM on July 30, 2008


Pastabagel writes "It's never easy being a voice of dissent on Metafilter, so let's not make it unpleasant as well."

Dissent is fine. But when you crank out gems like this:
Mastercheddaar writes "Guess what... IN THIS COUNTRY IF THE MAJORITY WANTS SOMETHING AND VOTES FOR IT.... EVEN IF IT IS A 51% to 49% vote the majority wins. Period."

...yeah. Dude needs to go back to high school civics class. Fix that caps lock key, too.
posted by mullingitover at 10:19 AM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


...Not to mention SAME GENDER. Ha.
posted by emelenjr at 10:22 AM on July 30, 2008


Pastabagel: Guys like Card are worried about the mythical "Feminizing of Men" and gay marriage is actually only a small part of that . He wants men to be rough and hardscrabble. If they kiss in a moment of celebration, hey what's the big deal. But if a guy's wrist tendon is weak and he speaks with a lisp, then he's a fag and a fairy, regardless of whether he bangs the Swedish bikini team in his spare time.

See, to me this is even more pernicious than just homophobia, since it ties homophobia to remarkably internalized strain of misogyny. It's a type of attitude that doesn't just oppress us gays, but women, who have to live with these debasing ideas, as well as any man who somehow doesn't match up to that platonic form that is Masculinity.
posted by Weebot at 10:22 AM on July 30, 2008 [8 favorites]


It would be quite an enterprise if folks like Orson Scott Card spent their furious energy concentrating on clear and present threats to democracy in this country -- the pursuit of the unitary executive branch being the example that leaps first to mind. But that would lead them away from their real intent, which is not defending democracy but defending the perceived right to "destroy the government" (Card's words, not mine) if it counters their closely-held beliefs.
posted by blucevalo at 10:24 AM on July 30, 2008


Guess what... IN THIS COUNTRY IF THE MAJORITY WANTS SOMETHING AND VOTES FOR IT.... EVEN IF IT IS A 51% to 49% vote the majority wins.

Mastercheddar, I think you took Intro To American Government from me. And that you one of the ones who asked if they should buy the book and answered on their final that the decision declaring school segregation unconstitutional was Kramer vs. Kramer.

Yes, I really do include that as a option in multiple-guess tests. Yes, a few people really do pick it. They also pick Heston v. Zaius and tell me that senatorial courtesy is actually known as the Eiger Sanction. I suppose I should be thankful that when I ask how judges are selected, nobody has yet selected "gladiatorial combat."
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:30 AM on July 30, 2008 [7 favorites]


A while back I saw a list of famous science fiction authors who didn't turn out to be shitheads, but I can't remember which two guys were on it.

Stross and Scalzi?, he asks, sucking up so that they'll go BACK TO THE WORD MINES AND WRITE MOAR.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 10:34 AM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Stross and Scalzi aren't old enough to judge yet. Most authors don't start out all crazified, they work their way up to it over the course of decades. Give it another 15 years or so and we'll see.

Not that I expect them to go all wobbl. But they are both in their 40s, so the brain eater won't have kicked in yet.
posted by Justinian at 10:37 AM on July 30, 2008


As might be noted from my posts I’m a bit of a HP Lovecraft fan – does it automatically lessen his works that he was a bit of a weirdo and a bigot?

For me, as a black sci-fi/fantasy/weird fiction fan, yep, it sure did diminish his works in my eyes when I found out he was a bigot. I still enjoy them, quote them, and reference them, but I often find myself thinking, "You son of a bitch, when I meet you in the Afterlife, I'm going to have to punch you in the jaw and yell at you for a few minutes before we sit down and have a beer together."
posted by lord_wolf at 10:41 AM on July 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


Though there was quite a bit of homophobia in 'Stranger in a Strange Land' so don't forget that in your summary.

There was a good bit of maneuvering to avoid hot guy-on-guy action in that book, but I never really read it as rampant homophobia. It was more like Heinlein was vaguely squicked out by the notion of two dudes gettin' it on, but he'd already built an ethos about it being totally OK to just making out with whoever was in arms' reach, and he needed some way to dodge the issue without detracting from the plot. The wimmin folk in the book made out with each other like it was going out of style; Heinlein just made Jubal into a curmudgeonly old coot who wouldn't make out with Mike. I was less bothered by the homophobic aspect of that book than I was by the wise-old-guy-who-makes-out-with-hot-young-servile-women-and-is-a-thinly-veiled-allegory-of-what-Heinlein-envisions-himself-to-be thing.

Sci-fi writers and their character archetypes. Ye gods, man.
posted by Mayor West at 10:42 AM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


This weird little homophobe still writes an occasional column in a free weekly in my hometown. And that hometown, Greensboro, NC, is still trying to crawl out from under the shadow of the sit-ins and the Klan-Nazi shootout and all other manner of bigotry and ass-hattery. Card lives there still—ruminating on his endorsement of Birkenstocks as the only year-round, godly footwear as well as the duty of all men everywhere to be mor(m)ons and have a dozen kids like he does. So with respect to Greensboro trying not to seem like a hick town, Card isn't helping.

As far as I'm concerned, he's a very good exemplar of why I (a) don't attend any sort of religious services, (b) don't read tedious science fiction with glossaries of made up words taking up the first four pages, and (c) don't live there anymore.

By the way John Scalzi, fellow writer of the same sort of books but who is obviously not an ass hat, responded thus to Card's screed, amongst other things. His whole blog is quite good as well. None of it takes place in the future on board a space frigate, or whatever. That might be why it's so good.
posted by littlerobothead at 10:43 AM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Presenting the Generation-X Geek Orson Scott Card cycle:

1. Read "Ender's Game" at an impressionable age somewhere in late adolescence. Love it. Card nailed it! Everyone at school is so mean to those they sense are superior! My family's so disrespectful of my specialness! Gifted kids have it so miserable, but we'll get back at you in the end! Someday I'm gonna kill all these jerks who don't appreciate my brilliance, too, and also totally save humanity with the skills I am developing while playing video games instead of going outside.

2. Start shouting "Enemy's door is DOWN!" during Super-Soaker battles with your Gen-X geek friends. Complain, upon seeing the Robin Williams movie "Toys," that its ending is a "Total rip-off of 'Ender's Game.'" In extreme cases, get yourself an online alias such as "e.wiggin@psuvm.edu."

3. Read "Speaker for the Dead" when it comes out. Huh... this one's not as good. Oh well, maybe the next book will be better, although a sequel's sequel rarely surpasses the sequel.

4. Get impatient waiting for next book to come out. Start exploring Card's other works. Are unprepared for the shock.

5. Holy shit, this guy is a Latter-Day Homophobic Asswipe! Is this seriously the same guy? Is someone framing him?

6. Start telling everyone what a closed-minded eugenics-lovin' asshole Card actually is. (If you're honest, admit you still have a soft spot for "Ender's Game.")

7. Fail to read "Xenocide" on quasi-political principle, despite mild curiosity.

8. Mercilessly tease all friends who purchase and read "Xenocide" despite the warning signs. Refuse to listen to them whine about how much it sucked. Seriously, they walked right into it.
posted by cirocco at 10:48 AM on July 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


He wants men to be rough and hardscrabble.

So what you're saying is that Card likes em butched-up?
posted by johnj at 10:49 AM on July 30, 2008


WTF? The MORMONS are in positions to define marriage and democracy now? What god damned hypocrites.

My family is Mormon. My ancestors were big important mo's. I talking chill'n with Brigham Young.

And you know how they deliberately kick started the religion? By "destroying" ideas of traditional christian marriage and bringing "back" polygamy. Until the big 1890 Manifesto a "revelation" from god telling them that polygamy wasn't the way to go. Which just happened to coincide with the US Army and the 9th Cavalry being sent to Fort Douglas from the mid to late 1880's. Also Brigham Young himself was considered a complete despot by the federal government and his rule prompted President Buchanan in the late 1850's to send troops so there could actually be an elected governor in the state of Utah - a state the Young was busily trying to convert into a sovereign country.

Fuck Card. What an asshole.
posted by tkchrist at 10:49 AM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Is David Pogue gay too?

For the last time, YES DAVID POGUE IS GAY.

Wait, who's David Pogue again?
posted by thanotopsis at 10:58 AM on July 30, 2008


Justinian:

"But they are both in their 40s"

I'm currently 39, actually. More than enough time to go completely bugfuck insane.

Personally I'm hoping to avoid the brain-eater, but that's the insidious nature of the brain-eater, isn't it? You don't notice it until one day you're publicly pissing yourself over some subject people a decade and a half younger than you see as perfectly normal, and then there it is: the Metafilter thread where people say that they used to like your early stuff, but now you're just too screwed up to bother with anymore. And then you drink turpentine until you fall asleep.
posted by jscalzi at 11:00 AM on July 30, 2008 [17 favorites]


Mastercheddar declared:
"But I like most people are not ready to do that yet."

So what?
posted by batmonkey at 11:08 AM on July 30, 2008


Oops, sorry about the age mixup. I thought you were born in 1964. I must have looked at Charlie Stross' page twice.

You don't look a day over 38.

Anyway, possible future jscalzi braineater triggers: People who tape sausage to housepets. What the hell is wrong with those people? What is wrong with using bacon like all right-minded folk?
posted by Justinian at 11:13 AM on July 30, 2008


Holy crap, John Scalzi posts here!
posted by Makoto at 11:14 AM on July 30, 2008


Well, Justinian, it won't happen because no one would possibly take sausage to their pets like that. It's so outside the bounds of common decency that it simply can't happen, and anyone who thinks it could is the sort of horribly defective anarchist who would condemn our society -- nay, humanity -- to immediate extinction.

So you don't have to worry about that.
posted by jscalzi at 11:17 AM on July 30, 2008


Stross and Scalzi...BACK TO THE WORD MINES AND WRITE MOAR.

Yes, please do this.

love,
cmonkey
You too, Joe Haldeman.
posted by cmonkey at 11:23 AM on July 30, 2008


*quietly untapes sausage from cats*
posted by rtha at 11:30 AM on July 30, 2008 [4 favorites]


Orson Scott Card writes an opinion column for a local paper in Greensboro, NC called the Rhino Times. It's called "Uncle Orson." The only thing I remember about it was that in one article, he made fun of fat women. I got the impression he wasn't a very nice man. Then I worked with his niece. Turns out, the blatant self-importance and all-around meanness runs in the family.

Also, you can tell him what you think of him here.
posted by ailouros08 at 11:37 AM on July 30, 2008


Regarding OSC's quotes here:

But only a few of these guys ended up living as gay men.

So, basically he's saying everyone else with the stereotypical traits chose to live in the closet. Hmmm, that's not obvious at all as to what/who he's getting at....
posted by jenfullmoon at 11:49 AM on July 30, 2008


Holy crap, John Scalzi posts here!

Fanboys are so cute.

It's like when you hit your first home run; try to look like you've done it before instead of staring, pointing, and jumping up and down.
posted by Justinian at 11:59 AM on July 30, 2008


Not only do I post here, but occasionally I get called "a bag of dicks" here too (which at the time, mind you, was a fair enough assessment). Which proves that even the (presumably) non-braineaten can descend into asshattery from time to time. What you hope for is not to have it part of your permanent personality feature set.
posted by jscalzi at 12:06 PM on July 30, 2008 [5 favorites]


I'm glad you posted that link, jscalzi, because I wanted to but didn't feel like searching for the thread.
posted by DU at 12:12 PM on July 30, 2008


Well, you know, DU. If I don't point out my own warts, others will.
posted by jscalzi at 12:16 PM on July 30, 2008


Gay marriage - like abortion - should not be an real issue. These "issues" are concocted by the Right to get the prols into the voting booths to vote for Republicans.
posted by Zambrano at 12:21 PM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wait, what? Zambrano, that seems like it's a real issue than. I'm not sure what the scare quotes are for. When someone is concerned about abortion or gay marriage, dismissing there concerns won't change their minds. Now maybe nothing else will either, but it's not a great way to win votes.
posted by garlic at 12:24 PM on July 30, 2008


Do we really have to give the crazy people so much attention?


Exactly. Folks look where this was posted. The Mormon Times. Who reads this? Um. Mormons, who are already homophobic. "Heh, what, I'm not gay, I've got 3 wives, not just one like you other pussies."

I understand the outrage amongst my homosexual bretheren (and sistren or is that cistern) here in the Blue, but this is a bit of tempest in a teapot. Card is preaching to his own tabernacle choir on this one, and I liken it to white suppremist crackpots ranting on their own hitler.com blogs.
posted by prodigalsun at 12:39 PM on July 30, 2008


ROU_Xenophobe writes "Stross and Scalzi?, he asks, sucking up so that they'll go BACK TO THE WORD MINES AND WRITE MOAR."

Spider Robinson. Though I posit that's because he's moved to BC which is far from the brain eaters and is where copious quantities of the local vaccine is available.
posted by Mitheral at 12:40 PM on July 30, 2008


No one ever seems to address a point that was brought to my attention a little while back:

Does not the establishment of a right to marry mean that homosexual couples can sue churches for refusing to marry them?

Don't tell me that it's "private property" or a "private institution." With civil rights, private businesses' wishes were not honored with respect to Jim Crow laws. The right applies everywhere, without regard to boundaries of private or public, as the courts repeatedly ruled. Thus, a right to marriage will also be found by the courts to apply everywhere, yes?

Why does no one address this?
posted by po at 12:41 PM on July 30, 2008


I'd like to see this FPP mashed up with this FPP and this FPP.
posted by not_on_display at 12:42 PM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


jenfullmoon: As much as I dislike coming on the same side as Card on this issue, the assumption that gay men are effeminate, and all effeminate men must really be gay, is pretty obviously a form of anti-gay prejudice (or, dare I say it, homophobia).
posted by KirkJobSluder at 12:43 PM on July 30, 2008


Does not the establishment of a right to marry mean that homosexual couples can sue churches for refusing to marry them?

No. Same-sex marriage in California and Massachusetts pertains to civil marriage, not religious marriage. With the separation of church and State, no igious denomination can be compelled to perform a religious marriage.
posted by ericb at 12:52 PM on July 30, 2008


*no religious denomination*
posted by ericb at 12:52 PM on July 30, 2008


I'd hang out with Heinlein over Card any day.

Most tellingly, Heinlein's protagonist in The Cat Who Walks Through Walls goes to bed with two women, wakes up with a (different) woman and a man, has the obligatory straight-guy OMG I HAD DRUNKEN BUTTSECKS flash, then realizes there's nothing at all to be bothered about. Nicely handled.

Ever walked with your kids down the street and have them scared shitless by the same sort of assholes threatening two women holding hands? Ever have to explain to your terrified kids, "Daddy's got to do this" before you walk across the street to confront them?

three blind mice FTW. You're a good dude.
posted by cereselle at 12:53 PM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


just because the majority of the population harbors antiquated beliefs does not make them right.

just because you think you are right does not oblige the majority of the population to do a damn thing.
posted by quonsar at 12:53 PM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


Separation of church and state in the United States.
posted by ericb at 12:57 PM on July 30, 2008


po: From what I understand, churches already have broad discretion concerning whom they choose to marry. If the church has a theological prohibition against something — say, alcohol, cohabitation, marrying someone outside your faith, or whatever — they have the right to refuse to marry you. At that point, you'd have to find another officiant.

I can't imagine that changing should gay marriage become broadly legalized.
posted by Weebot at 1:01 PM on July 30, 2008


Whats wrong with you for not letting me step all over you mastercheddaar? Don't you know its the in thing to let minorities do as they please???? "

Errrrrrrrrrrrr. Naa, nevermind. Others have eviscerated you far better than I could. I'll just let your repellent bigotry--and depressing lack of understanding of how your own legal system works--stand on its own. I mean really... I'm Canadian (and gay! and able to get married if I could find a nice guy) and I know more about how your legal system works than you do.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:02 PM on July 30, 2008


just because you think you are right does not oblige the majority of the population to do a damn thing.

The actual impact of marriage equality on the majority of the population is likely to be trivial. You might be more likely to receive an invitation that says "wedding" rather than "commitment ceremony." Your workplace may be obligated to provide benefits to a few more spouses. That's about it.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:04 PM on July 30, 2008


Spider Robinson. Though I posit that's because he's moved to BC which is far from the brain eaters and is where copious quantities of the local vaccine is available.

Unfortunately, something--possibly the local vaccine--has made Robinson's writing complete and utter drivel shit since roughly the mid-80's.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:04 PM on July 30, 2008


Pew Forum surveys denominations' views on gay marriage -- "Study finds a wide range of attitudes on same-sex unions from tolerance and support to strong opposition."
posted by ericb at 1:04 PM on July 30, 2008


Does not the establishment of a right to marry mean that homosexual couples can sue churches for refusing to marry them?

Not any more than Protestants can sue the Catholic church for not marrying them. The right to marry is about getting the marriage certificate from the government, not performing the ceremony.
posted by dirigibleman at 1:07 PM on July 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


po: With civil rights, private businesses' wishes were not honored with respect to Jim Crow laws. The right applies everywhere, without regard to boundaries of private or public, as the courts repeatedly ruled. Thus, a right to marriage will also be found by the courts to apply everywhere, yes?

And perhaps more to the point, civil rights laws provide broad exceptions to churches in regards to religious practice. Catholic Churches are not obligated to employ women as priests for example.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:12 PM on July 30, 2008


Does not the establishment of a right to marry mean that homosexual couples can sue churches for refusing to marry them?

Not unless they're members in good standing of the church/synagogue/mosque/temple/whatever in which they'd like to be married.

There are hundreds of churches and synagogues--let alone the mosques, temples, and whatevers-- that wouldn't marry me and Mr. Sidhedevil, because we're not both congregants in good standing. That is not an infringement of our civil rights in any way.

Houses of worship may refuse to allow non-congregants to participate in religious rituals if they don't meet the criteria for membership.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:20 PM on July 30, 2008


And I should say that Mr. S. is on notice that if our state (not likely) or our Federal gummint (more likely) ever tries to put in a two-tiered system of opposite-sex marriage and same-sex civil unions, we're getting a divorce so that we can join a lawsuit for our right to have a civil union.

Because I'm cranky like that.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:23 PM on July 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


I should say "members in good standing who meet the religion's criteria for a religious marriage." Catholic churches don't have to marry opposite-sex couples who have civil divorces but not annulments, no matter if they're otherwise members in good standing of the congregation. This is fine. However, the City Hall can't refuse a civil marriage license to someone because they have a civil divorce but not a religious dissolution of an earlier marriage.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:25 PM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


just because the majority of the population harbors antiquated beliefs does not make them right.

just because you think you are right does not oblige the majority of the population to do a damn thing.

just because Nobody is asking the majority of the population to do anything at all except mind their own business.
posted by The Loch Ness Monster at 1:38 PM on July 30, 2008 [3 favorites]


As might be noted from my posts I’m a bit of a HP Lovecraft fan – does it automatically lessen his works that he was a bit of a weirdo and a bigot?

He was a bigot, but he also lived in the 1920s-30s. The civil rights movement was decades off. People are, to a great degree, a product of their time. Lovecraft's attitude towards race was common when he lived. If he had lived longer (he died in his 30s), presumably he would have worked himself out of it.

Presumably, of course. But I've not heard that he went out of his way to oppress African Americans. He wasn't a lyncher. And by many other measures H. P. Lovecraft was an awesome guy. I found a book in the college library once that was a collection of correspondence between him and a 13-year-old fan, that went up right to his death. He treated the kid as an equal.
posted by JHarris at 1:44 PM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


HPL wrote and apparently said racist and anti-Semitic shit.

However, he did not jump up on a soapbox and pontificate about said shit the way OSC does at every possible opportunity.

It's not just that OSC is a big old homophobe--it's that he's so energetic about it.
posted by Sidhedevil at 1:53 PM on July 30, 2008


If he had lived longer (he died in his 30s), presumably he would have worked himself out of it.

I've read that in his later years he became much less of a douche.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:55 PM on July 30, 2008


Oh the irony that Card belongs to a church that radically redefined marriage in a way that met with the strong disapproval of the vast majority of the American population.
posted by mahamandarava at 2:08 PM on July 30, 2008


just because you think you are right does not oblige the majority of the population to do a damn thing.

That is correct. The fact that my partner and I can, and did, marry in California does not oblige you to do one. damn. thing. You didn't have to get divorced, or get married, or force your daughter to marry a woman instead of a man. You didn't even have to send me flowers or a card or a kind thought. So what's the fucking problem?
posted by rtha at 2:14 PM on July 30, 2008 [6 favorites]


I got the gay vibe from Ender as well

Ender was a bender?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 2:14 PM on July 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


complete and utter drivel shit

On the one hand, "drivel shit" is an awesome concept. Not just drivel, but what drivel poops* after it eats whatever it eats. And one would bet that drivel's diet is not good.

On the other hand, it's a similar construction to "man animal" and "breath gas" from Battlefield Earth.

*It poops it from where poop comes out, and where some men their thingy.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 2:17 PM on July 30, 2008


All hands, man your thingies!
posted by COBRA! at 2:18 PM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


There was an interesting post on k5 awhile back that fills in some blanks about OSC. The author theorizes that he didn't actually writer Ender's Game. I'm not convinced, but its an entertaining post.
posted by ben242 at 2:36 PM on July 30, 2008 [2 favorites]


cereselle writes "Most tellingly, Heinlein's protagonist in The Cat Who Walks Through Walls goes to bed with two women, wakes up with a (different) woman and a man, has the obligatory straight-guy OMG I HAD DRUNKEN BUTTSECKS flash, then realizes there's nothing at all to be bothered about. Nicely handled."

And somewhere in his later books (all the debauched sex kind of runs together after a while) his protagonist (male) has sex with a post-op MTF transsexual. 'Course I think it's also the one where the protagonist attempts to have sex with his mother and is thwarted only by his younger self.
posted by Mitheral at 2:36 PM on July 30, 2008


I finally clicked on the link to the Ender's Game comic book.

Are you kidding me? Are you fucking kidding me?!
posted by lord_wolf at 2:59 PM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


just because you think you are right does not oblige the majority of the population to do a damn thing.

No it doesn't. If we are constitutionally right, though, it does require the courts to act. And then, yes, the majority of the population is required to follow the law as interpreted or accept the ramifications (lawsuits, etc.). So there.

on preview: I knew I liked Heinlein's books for a reason but I forgot what it was. Debauchery!

It's amazing all the SF I read in the '80s, and I never even heard of Ender's Game until much later. I guess I didn't have any friends that read SF ... now that I think about it, I guess I read more fantasy than SF (LeGuin, Heinlein, Dick, Farmer) ... nevermind.
posted by mrgrimm at 3:04 PM on July 30, 2008


I think this entire debate is based on a wholly false premise. Namely, that marriage even means anything any more.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:08 PM on July 30, 2008


Marriage means an awful lot to married people and to people who want to be married, no matter what the rest of us may think about it.
posted by Pope Guilty at 3:14 PM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


I think this entire debate is based on a wholly false premise. Namely, that marriage even means anything any more.

Well, there are significant benefits that accrue to married couples that unmarried couples don't receive:
"Filing joint income tax returns with the IRS and state taxing authorities.

Creating a 'family partnership' under federal tax laws, which allows you to divide business income among family members.

Inheriting a share of your spouse's estate.

Receiving an exemption from both estate taxes and gift taxes for all property you give or leave to your spouse.

Creating life estate trusts that are restricted to married couples, including QTIP trusts, QDOT trusts, and marital deduction trusts.

Obtaining priority if a conservator needs to be appointed for your spouse -- that is, someone to make financial and/or medical decisions on your spouse’s behalf.

Receiving Social Security, Medicare, and disability benefits for spouses.

Receiving veterans' and military benefits for spouses, such as those for education, medical care, or special loans.

Receiving public assistance benefits.

Obtaining insurance benefits through a spouse's employer.

Taking family leave to care for your spouse during an illness.

Receiving wages, workers' compensation, and retirement plan benefits for a deceased spouse.

Taking bereavement leave if your spouse or one of your spouse’s close relatives dies.

Visiting your spouse in a hospital intensive care unit or during restricted visiting hours in other parts of a medical facility.

Making medical decisions for your spouse if he or she becomes incapacitated and unable to express wishes for treatment.

Consenting to after-death examinations and procedures.

Making burial or other final arrangements.

Filing for stepparent or joint adoption.

Applying for joint foster care rights.

Receiving equitable division of property if you divorce.

Receiving spousal or child support, child custody, and visitation if you divorce.

Living in neighborhoods zoned for 'families only.'

Automatically renewing leases signed by your spouse.

Receiving family rates for health, homeowners', auto, and other types of insurance.

Receiving tuition discounts and permission to use school facilities.

Other consumer discounts and incentives offered only to married couples or families.

Suing a third person for wrongful death of your spouse and loss of consortium (loss of intimacy).

Suing a third person for offenses that interfere with the success of your marriage, such as alienation of affection and criminal conversation (these laws are available in only a few states).

Claiming the marital communications privilege, which means a court can’t force you to disclose the contents of confidential communications between you and your spouse during your marriage.

Receiving crime victims' recovery benefits if your spouse is the victim of a crime.

Obtaining immigration and residency benefits for noncitizen spouse.

Visiting rights in jails and other places where visitors are restricted to immediate family."
While married same-sex couples in California and Masschusetts now receive all the state benefits that heterosexual couples have always had, they are still treated as "second-class" couples when it comes to federal benefits. Separate and not equal, indeed.

I'd say there's meaning to being married!
posted by ericb at 3:19 PM on July 30, 2008 [48 favorites]


It means a lot of things. Like being able to visit your spouse in the hospital as family. Being able to make medical decisions for each other. Being able to make a case for shared custody if your ex doesn't want you to see the kids anymore. Being able to receive a deceased spouse's social security. Being able to file joint income taxes. Being able to inherit property without paying the kind of taxes on it as if it wasn't the house both of you shared.

Marriage rights aren't just what you want when everything's good. They're what you need when there's a problem and you have to deal with it. Not having those rights makes everything much more complicated and has led to some pretty bad situations for people already in a bad place.
posted by Tehanu at 3:19 PM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


ericb: Consider me schooled.
posted by turgid dahlia at 3:37 PM on July 30, 2008


I believe that banning gay marriage will eventually be declared unconstitutional because it violates the Equal Protection Clause (with assists from Lawrence v. Texas and Loving v. Virginia).
posted by kirkaracha at 4:01 PM on July 30, 2008


Orson Scott Card writes an opinion column for a local paper in Greensboro, NC called the Rhino Times. It's called "Uncle Orson." The only thing I remember about it was that in one article, he made fun of fat women. I got the impression he wasn't a very nice man.

That's odd. Because I have a collection of Card's short stories (not bad), regrettably interwoven with his non-fiction writing (very bad). One of his essays was a big rant about how oppressed he felt by people who make fun of fat people. Presumably it's only bad to make fun of fat men.

It was an odd little work, too. It started out sort-of reasonable, noting that Card had been a buff gym rat at one point, decided he preferred being fat, and people who didn't like that were the problem, not him. Then it went off on some wierd batshitinsane rant about how gym culture and scultped male bodies are all about the gay and shit and therefore bad.
posted by rodgerd at 5:02 PM on July 30, 2008


This guy's obviously a 14karat yutz, but why exactly is the opinion of some second string space opera writer so important?
posted by jonmc at 5:33 PM on July 30, 2008


He's definitely not second string, for one thing. He's the only science fiction writer to win back-to-back Hugos and Nebulas for his books, and he sold roughly half a million books a year every year for the last decade at least. He's one of the most significant science fiction writers in the last couple of decades, like him or no.
posted by jscalzi at 5:44 PM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


jscalzi: still, I'd wager that roughly 90% of the population has never heard of him. I'll stipulate that the guy is a homophobe and an asshole (and from the sound of things, a repressed gay man himself), but still...he's really not all that important. There's always going to be assholes in the world, and I'd concentrate on those with actual power first.
posted by jonmc at 5:51 PM on July 30, 2008


Uncle Orson Reviews Everything.

He should stick to sci-fi.
posted by mullingitover at 5:58 PM on July 30, 2008


Unfortunately, something--possibly the local vaccine--has made Robinson's writing complete and utter drivel shit since roughly the mid-80's.

Ooohh, DNAB, do you really think so? Or are you just thinking of the Callahan's sequels? I must tell you that I've derived a great deal of pleasure from the last three of monsieur Robinson's novels -- and not just because he made me a minor (if heroic) character in Variable Star and one of the three folks he dedicated Very Hard Choices to... [grin]. If you haven't tried Very Hard Choices or its predecessor, Very Bad Deaths, I think you ought to. He has fantastic command of description, -- his evocation of BC paysage is amazing, I think.

As for monsieur Card, I find I enjoy his short stories and novellas a lot more than his interminable and glacially-ponderous Alvin Maker. His "Originist" in Friends of Foundation, and an early story the title of which I've forgotten that dealt with a composer raised without hearing certain folks' music are both very fine.

If you buy second-hand you won't be lining his pockets, anyhow...
posted by pernishus at 6:00 PM on July 30, 2008


in 50 years we may consider it backwards and ghastly to have denied people who served their time a full reinstatement of their rights

I hope it doesn't take you guys fifty years to get to that point. It is simply absurd and wrong to continue punishing people after they have served their time. Either rewrite the laws so that they are never free, or give them their freedom back.

imo, the reason they don't get their rights back is because that would be harmful to the Republican party.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:50 PM on July 30, 2008


I will begin considering it backwards and ghastly in exactly 17 minutes. But until then, screw 'em.
posted by The Loch Ness Monster at 7:20 PM on July 30, 2008


The right to marry is about getting the marriage certificate from the government, not performing the ceremony.

Indeed, the religious ceremony predates the government contract by only fifty years, and that only in Roman Catholic Europe. Over in the Protestant countries, the government contracts predate the church's involvement.

Prior to circa 1550, marriages were informal: there was no church nor state interference in the binding of couples.

AFAIK, YMMV.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:21 PM on July 30, 2008


Jonmc:

"still, I'd wager that roughly 90% of the population has never heard of him."

Probably not. However, I would wager 90% of the population has never heard of Grover Norquist, either, which doesn't stop him from being a pernicious influence on the way government is run. If you know the right 10% you can do a lot of damage.

In OSC's case, I'd wager a substantial number of Church of Latter Day Saints members are very aware of who he is -- he's one of the most successful of LDS writers in any genre -- and his words carry disproportionate weight in that community (the article that touched this off was published in the Mormon Times). While I would hesitate at suggesting he has power, he certainly has an influence that goes further than you might expect.
posted by jscalzi at 7:37 PM on July 30, 2008


The Honorable Mr Scalzi has reminded me of something. Why hasn't William Shunn weighed in yet? (Also, Scalzi, back to work! DANCE, MONKEY, DANCE!)
posted by crataegus at 8:29 PM on July 30, 2008


pernishus, I'd forgotten about "The Originist" until you mentioned it. Definitely the best novella in Foundation's Friends, and the final straw that got me to read the Foundation series in the first place.

I don't care so much about Card's massive suckyness as a person than as his increasing shittyness as a writer. People grow old, and their bigotry and muddled arguments usually die with them. Nothing you or I can do will change Card's mind. But I do wish I had a new good Alvin Maker yarn to pass the time while Utopia approaches.
posted by infinitewindow at 8:40 PM on July 30, 2008


in 50 years we may consider it backwards and ghastly to have denied people who served their time a full reinstatement of their rights

To make sure everyone understands, I am talking about "we" Americans, not "we" me and you and the MeFi brigade.

I do consider it backwards, but I'm not sure I'm aghast at a convicted felon losing the right to bear arms, but I do find it surprising that they are still punished after serving their time. If they really can't be trusted with a weapon, can they really be trusted in the population? Are they actually a threat or not?

I am currently becoming aghast over people being put on the sex offender registry FOREVER for something that may have actually brought no punishment or incarceration for the "perps". I'm having trouble being convinced that getting caught talking dirty online to a cop pretending to be a 14 year old merits you being marked for the rest of your life.
posted by Ynoxas at 10:26 PM on July 30, 2008


Presenting the Generation-X Geek Orson Scott Card cycle:

I'm a gen x geek, and I'm proud to say I never even hit point 1 in the cycle. Well, I hear he's a good writer, but I don't feel like I really missed out.
posted by krinklyfig at 11:08 PM on July 30, 2008


It's losing the right to vote that should be really choking you. All else really is secondary to that.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:20 PM on July 30, 2008 [1 favorite]


1. Read "Ender's Game" at an impressionable age somewhere in late adolescence. Love it. Card nailed it! Everyone at school is so mean to those they sense are superior!...

5. Holy shit, this guy is a Latter-Day Homophobic Asswipe! Is this seriously the same guy? Is someone framing him?


Am I the only one who remembers that Ender was being teased by his classmates because his butt wiggles when he walks? Ya'll are looking for a conversion that pretty much didn't happen.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 5:37 AM on July 31, 2008


Most all of Card's arguments here are tangential to the issue of homosexual marriage. But they're spot on when it comes to the issues of heterosexual marriage: polygamy, divorce, unwise marriage, etc. I think this essay could very easily be adapted to a message I'd strongly agree with: heterosexuals are themselves the biggest enemy of monogamous heterosexual marriage.
posted by wobh at 7:25 AM on July 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


3. Read "Speaker for the Dead" when it comes out. Huh... this one's not as good.

I liked Speaker for the Dead even better than Ender's Game.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 7:47 AM on July 31, 2008


Am I the only one who remembers that Ender was being teased by his classmates because his butt wiggles when he walks? Ya'll are looking for a conversion that pretty much didn't happen.

Dunno if it affects your argument -- not sure what you're saying, actually -- but it was a side-character, "Shen", who was teased for wiggling his butt:
"OK, you don't have to tell me," said Shen. "Still, it was great." They ate in silence fora moment. "Do I wiggle my butt when I walk?"

"Naw." Ender said. "Just a little. Just don't take such big long steps, that's all."
posted by LordSludge at 8:02 AM on July 31, 2008


I liked Speaker for the Dead even better than Ender's Game.

And I sincerely enjoy the comedic stylings of Jar Jar Binks. There truly is no accounting for taste, eh?

(It's entirely possible that the sequel is the objectively superior novel--I don't trust my recollected opinions of books I read during the period when my favorite band was Def Leppard.)
posted by cirocco at 9:04 AM on July 31, 2008


And I sincerely enjoy the comedic stylings of Jar Jar Binks.

Mr Bisley would like a few words with you.
posted by Tenuki at 2:01 PM on July 31, 2008 [2 favorites]


This is depressing on so many levels. The modern mind sucks. Nihilism sucks. Fundamentalism sucks. Alientation sucks. Self-loathing sucks. Everything here sucks sucks sucks sucks sucks.
posted by johannahdeschanel at 10:42 AM on August 1, 2008


It really does suck. I have always admired OSC's ability to coherently present a philosophical argument and pick it apart on the page -- I wish I could dig up an example, but I'm pretty sure there was some great stuff in the second half of (the much maligned) Xenocide. He always struck me as a great guy to get stoned and talk about Deep Stuff with. I just can't wrap my brain around how he is so far off the rails here.

Maybe he's fucking with us.

And Ender's Shadow was the best book in the series. Yay, Bean!
posted by LordSludge at 1:56 PM on August 1, 2008


Maybe he's fucking with us.

I prefer to imagine — as someone who really liked the Ender books, even the latter ones — that he's just trolling with a straight face because it pays the bills. Maybe he just sits down once a week, turns out whatever he thinks the readers of the Mormon Times will want to hear, and cashes his check. I think turning out right-wing editorial fodder is well within his capabilities as a writer regardless of what his personal opinions might be, deep down. I'd really, really like that to be the case; so badly that I suspect there's no way it's true.

The alternative seems to be that he has an amazing ability to simultaneously be the perceptive person behind many of his novels/novellas and book reviews, and a crazed religious bigot. If that's the case, it's got to be close to the world record in doublethink.
posted by Kadin2048 at 12:31 AM on August 2, 2008


Huh. Apparently Ender's Game is about Hitler. And Card has always been an asshat.

Seriously weird.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:01 PM on August 13, 2008


Or, of course, not. Maybe all scifi writers are nuts.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:05 PM on August 13, 2008


thanks for linking that, fff. Fascinating read.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 5:54 PM on August 13, 2008


You know waht else is, according to Dave Brin at least, a an apologia for hitler.
posted by Artw at 11:00 PM on August 13, 2008


Hitler? Heck of a writer.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 3:34 AM on August 14, 2008


ender and hitler: sympathy for the superman
I'd love to read Card's rebuttal but it doesn't seem to be online.
posted by Tenuki at 3:41 AM on August 14, 2008


The rest of that David Brin essay.
posted by EarBucket at 6:14 AM on August 14, 2008


« Older Business Guys on Business Trips....  |  On 30th July 1908, after 169 d... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments