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In this game of Life, we'll gladly play the Scott Card

by Jeremy Hooper

One of the most frustrating things about doing what we do is that we who fight for equality in this so-called "culture war" often know far more about our organized opposition than even some of their own followers. For instance, take this little snippet from EDGE Providence:

One of NOM’s more notable national board members is Orson Scott Card, a science fiction author and columnist for the Mormon Times. Card advocated for the overthrow of the government if California’s Proposition 8 had failed to pass last year. Card also wants to criminalize sexual intercourse between consenting adults.

"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, " Card wrote in 2004.

For his part, [Christopher Plante, Executive Director of NOM’s Rhode Island chapter] says he was unaware of Card’s involvement with NOM and denied that NOM is a hate group. "I don’t believe that at all," Plante said. "Do I think that there are extreme people on both sides of the movement that can say hateful things? Absolutely. NOM is here to defend marriage, to protect it, and to encourage it."
EDGE Talks to NOM: Anti-Marriage Group Details Rhode Island Plans [Edge Providence]
(H/t: Queerty)

Now, Mr. Plante has willfully signed up to head NOM's Rhode Island effort. He defends the organization in the press. He is expected to speak to the group's work, which would seemingly involve assessing its full picture. But yet he doesn't know that Orson Scott Card sits on NOM's board? That seems unacceptable, considering Orson-Scott-Cardthat NOM has gone to considerable lengths to make this information known. Shouldn't Mr. Plante at least read the group's press releases?

And this particular matter is an important piece of information because of Mr. Card's mentioned words. They are not merely those of a "pro-family" person. Mr. Card has quite literally suggested that a pro-gay American government should be overthrown!!!! Those words, which are incomprehensible to most, came from Mr. Card's keyboard. And yet NOM put Orson on the board despite the fact that (because?) his extremist views were public knowledge! It's truly shocking. And anyone who puts themselves in a position to speak for this particular group has a responsibility to know this eye-opening piece of information.

Are there extreme people of all political stripes? Sure. Mr. Plante is basically right in saying that. But to the best of our knowledge, NOM is the only group who chose to appoint this kind of mindset to their board:

"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."
-Writer Orson Scott Card, Mormon Times, 7/24/08

This particular appointment is not something that can or should be removed from any assessment of NOM's work. It is their work that is emboldening this kind of thing.

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Your thoughts

I've been torn for years between my appreciation of Card's writings (specifically the Ender's Game series) and my utter disdain for his politics and religious beliefs. He's certainly entitled to his own opinion, but when you start trying to make that opinion law and speak of inciting revolution against anything perceived as "pro-gay", he just sounds like a moron. I can't believe some of my favorite books have come out of that head...

Posted by: Matt P | Sep 1, 2009 11:33:59 AM

It really is heartbreaking; Ender's Game was one of the best books of my childhood, but penned by a man with so much hate for my lifestyle.

Posted by: lazy_overlord | Sep 1, 2009 11:38:51 AM

Someone's been writing too much science fiction. It's almost as if he expects the government to break down his door with laser blasters. There's definitely a layer of psychosis over his rantings. We must keep watch over him... he knows too much.

Posted by: Marcus | Sep 1, 2009 12:28:58 PM

I guess I'm supposed to be outage by Mr. Card's beliefs - but it really hard too when he's being honest about what he believes. I can take someone's blunt feelings about homosexuality much more than the phony "love sinner, hate the sin" crowd any day.

Posted by: Alonzo | Sep 1, 2009 12:37:09 PM

Well yea, Alonzo, the honesty is refreshing. But when that honesty calls for the overthrow of gay-accepting government, you can still allow yourself a little room for outrage :-)

Posted by: G-A-Y | Sep 1, 2009 1:12:30 PM

I was appalled when I found out Card's politikal philosophy. So much for buying anything of his any longer.

Posted by: Mykelb | Sep 1, 2009 1:44:38 PM

Strictly speaking, Card is not explicitly advocating the destruction of a government that recognizes same-sex marriages. He's douching out by casting the offensive phrase in a "what-if" scenario. "Hey, I'm not saying we should commit treason," he can plausibly argue, "I'm just asking how long it would be before somebody started arguing that way."

But in any event, yeah, fuck that crazy hack and his whole wackadoo cult.

Posted by: Johnj | Sep 1, 2009 2:54:05 PM

The first paragraph of his quote is something that gay people know well. Gay people have their children forcefully taken away. Gay children or any children are force fed dogma from birth, and later in their schools that gay people are evil, threatening and nobody loves them.

And it's no wonder that the anti gay epithet has resulted in all manner of youth suicides, school shootings and disrupted families.
Evidently, his worst case scenarios are not a reality for the straight folks, but always have been for the gay folks.

Had any of this complaining and victim card playing weren't so selfish and self righteous, that moment of being able to wear the shoes of the other, to empathize with greater clarity the wrongness of exclusion, wouldn't be lost on supposedly fertile imaginations like Card's.

The real tragedy is, instead of seeing gays and lesbians as a vital ally against greater and shared threats, so much preoccupation, money and physical energy is spent on creating a monster of ordinary gay human beings instead, where none exists.

You'd think after the Holocaust, people would learn the folly of such weakness. Card should be old enough to know better.

Posted by: Regan DuCasse | Sep 1, 2009 3:51:00 PM

To this day, I don't understand the argument that we "enter the homosexual lifestyle" because we've been sexually abused. Um, most people who've been sexually abused want to stay AWAY from sex, especially the particular sexual experience that was most traumatic for them. The people that perpetuate this myth seem to be saying that we become gay because we were abused by other gay people. What an utterly ignorant argument to make, on so many levels.

I read Ender's Game some time ago, and I have to say I didn't enjoy it all that much, even before I knew of Card's views. I think maybe the crazy just bled through.

Posted by: fuzzypony | Sep 1, 2009 4:32:18 PM

At one time i had a lot of his books in my SF library, Befor i found out what he is, i don't have them now, nor will i ever pick up aney of his books now.

I will not spend aney money on someone who has hate in his hart, for the lgbt.

And i love to read.

Posted by: Scott Buck | Sep 1, 2009 8:38:39 PM

"Do I think that there are extreme people on both sides of the movement that can say hateful things?"

The bigots always pull this bullshit, tossing up a handful of violent incidents *people want to kick your ass after you wreck their marriage? shocking* and pretending it means both sides are just as bad. When pressed about it they can never, ever name an example of a gay rights group with millions of dollars in support backing hateful picks, demonizing the opposition as sick perverts and just lying their ass off in general.

Posted by: penguinsaur | Sep 2, 2009 2:55:55 AM

A while back, I read his most recent sequels to "Ender's Game" -- the sequels that follow the character Bean. Card's beliefs about how the homosexual mind works are just astounding. Of course his gay character's a villain -- and he goes around saying "Even perverts like me feel a deep divine longing to mesh with the opposite sex and have babies. After all, that's what life is all about."

Um... no, Orson, no.

Oh, and his take on feminism (in "Enchantment") is truly obnoxious.

Some of his books are wonderful, and I own them, so what the hell, I'll keep them. But I'm never buying anything of his ever again.

Posted by: Yaara | Sep 2, 2009 10:11:24 AM

Why don't you just distort Mr. Card's position, Jeremy? The Democratic Party leadership in California and their homosexual lackeys do indeed intend to force these bizarre, unscientific definitions of "sexual orientation" and marriage on young children in government-run schools, i.e. "re-education centers," were it not for the efforts of such people as the backers and supporters of Prop. 8. And, if they do eventually succeed, Mr. Card's proposal to oppose the government is not extremist at all, whether violent or non-violent. Just as the Founding Fathers, and many if not most of their wives, sisters, mothers, and aunts, decided to oppose the governmental tax tyranny of the King of England.

Posted by: Tom S. | Sep 2, 2009 9:08:08 PM

Oh, Tom. What we always found more frightening than Mr. Card's comments is the possibility that some might actually agree with them. And now you've confirmed. Swell.

However, I'd love to know where the "distortion" is, considering this post features Mr. Card's full comments with a link to his entire article.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Sep 3, 2009 7:51:49 AM

Apparently Tom S. was educated at home by a religious zealot. Seems he does want re-education, to a theocratic form of government. No thanks!

Posted by: Mykelb | Sep 3, 2009 8:59:56 AM

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