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07/11/2013

'What is McCarthyism?' asks Gallagher; 'Not what you seem to think it is' answers Hooper

by Jeremy Hooper

And here we go. Not only is Maggie Gallagher defending Orson Scott Card, a board member of the organization she co-founded, by saying the author was merely sharing his "personal views on marriage," but she is also using the historically inaccurate parallel of McCarthyism to refer to what people who choose to skip the forthcoming Ender's Game movie are supposedly doing to the author:

Gay marriage advocates are trying to build up a boycott of Ender’s Game because of Orson Scott Card’s personal views on marriage.

It seems very strange to me that so many artists and people on the left are supporting the idea that to make art in the mainstream you have to have the right political opinions. This used to be considered the heart of McCarthyism: loyalty oaths for filmmakers as the condition for working in the film industry. (These were imposed by the industry, not the government, remember, in response to public pressure).

FULL: What is McCarthyism? [maggie for NRO]

Let's take the second part first. McCarthy was a Senator. His anti-communist witch hunts were an attempt by a Republican lawmaker to use the arm of government against his political adversaries. And the Hollywood blacklisting was absolutely, 100%, almost exclusively sparked by the government action of McCarthy and others. In fact, the blacklisting is generally slated as having begun in November 25, 1947, on the day after certain Hollywood professionals refused to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities. So yeah, it might have been an industry action—but it was an industry action driven by government action!

So no, Maggie, people's personal decisions about whether or not to see a film do not run parallel to a government's attempt to stifle speech, expression, and crucial freedoms. And no, an author's "right" to turn his vision into a Hollywood hit (which will spark sequels, book sales, and a LOT OF MONEY) is not a right on par with the freedom of blacklist era professionals to live without fear of unfair persecution from their government and/or industry.

Then on to the second part: what Orson Scott Card has actually said. Spoiler alert: It's not just about marriage. No, no—this is a man who has incited others into believing pro-equality governments are worthy of being overthrown, who has referred to homosexuality itself as a dysfunction, and has who has called on gay people to repent. That and more:

Cap Header Final 0-8 -- Suggests married heterosexuals should work to overthrow a government that has marriage equality: "If America becomes a place where our children are taken from us by law and forced to attend schools where they are taught that cohabitation is as good as marriage, that motherhood doesn't require a husband or father, and that homosexuality is as valid a choice as heterosexuality for their future lives, then why in the world should married people continue to accept the authority of such a government? What these dictator-judges do not seem to understand is that their authority extends only as far as people choose to obey them. How long before married people answer the dictators thus: Regardless of law, marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down, so it can be replaced with a government that will respect and support marriage, and help me raise my children in a society where they will expect to marry in their turn."

-- Says gay people's marriages "strike a death blow" against straight people's unions: "So if my friends insist on calling what they do "marriage," they are not turning their relationship into what my wife and I have created, because no court has the power to change what their relationship actually is. Instead they are attempting to strike a death blow against the well-earned protected status of our, and every other, real marriage. They steal from me what I treasure most, and gain for themselves nothing at all. They won't be married. They'll just be playing dress-up in their parents' clothes."

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

-- Suggests gays are innately unhappy and that many were raped, molested, or abused into being: "The dark secret of homosexual society -- the one that dares not speak its name -- is how many homosexuals first entered into that world through a disturbing seduction or rape or molestation or abuse, and how many of them yearn to get out of the homosexual community and live normally. It's that desire for normality, that discontent with perpetual adolescent sexuality, that is at least partly behind this hunger for homosexual 'marriage.' They are unhappy, but they think it's because the rest of us 'don't fully accept them.' Homosexual 'marriage' won't accomplish what they hope. They will still be just as far outside the reproductive cycle of life. And they will have inflicted real damage on those of us who are inside it. They will make it harder for us to raise children with any confidence that they, in turn, will take their place in the reproductive cycle. They will use all the forces of our society to try to encourage our children that it is desirable to be like them."

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

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

-- Wrote column chastising the Supreme Court for overturning sodomy laws

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

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

Orson Scott Card [GLAAD CAP]

Defend this NOM Board member all you want, Maggie. Just defend the far-reaching things he has actually said and written rather than the more focused and compassionate rhetoric you wish he'd used instead.

Oh, and rather than compare his treatment to McCarthyism, perhaps compare him to some other visionary who said startlingly sh*tty things about some other minority group.

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