Geek Girls Rule #53 – Why does Orson Scott Card keep putting that extra ‘m’ in the word “moron?”

First, I have to admit to having read an Orson Scott Card novel, and even enjoying it.  It was nice, middle of the road fantasy/sci fi novel, heavy on the allegory about TEH EVULS OF TEH FLESH (particularly female flesh), but apart from that, it was ok.  Honestly, I had to go look it up online to remember the plot apart from the main character being a girl assassin.  By and large, though, his writing does not excite me.  He’s an adequate sci-fi author who has a good following.  Good for him.  But as I repeat many times in reference to L. Ron Hubbard, who the fuck thinks it’s a good idea to take any philosophical truths from SF/F authors?  Really, now.  (ETA 8/14/09 apparently the post is no longer there)

Seriously, go read it.  I feel like sharing the head explodey “joy.”

Man, where the hell do I begin with this?  Do I begin with his utter and complete ignorance of… everything?  Ok, not everything.  I’m thinking perhaps a deconstruction of this paragraph by paragraph may prove entertaining, because I can find something wrong in almost every one.  Actually, I’ll just hit a few highlights. 

“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.”

You know, I don’t recall his fiction being this filled with rabid hyperbole, but yup, you read it here first.  Gay marriage will end democracy.  Never mind that the US isn’t actually a Democracy, it’s a Democratic Republic.  In further paragraphs this “end of democracy” is actually due to the activist judges subverting the will of the people in order to follow the homosexual agenda

“…it is absurd to claim that these (state) constitutions require marriage to be defined in ways that were unthinkable through all of human history until the past 15 years.”

 Really?  Because up until the Loving decision, a Supreme Court ruling in 1967, it was “unthinkable” to let a mixed race couple marry in the United States.  

“It is such an obvious overreach by judges, far beyond any rational definition of their authority…”

Um, no, it’s not, actually.  It’s actually the definition of their jobs.  From Wikipedia (ok, I’m doing this quick and dirty):  “The supreme court of each state is the final authority on the interpretation of that state’s laws and constitution.”  Next.

“We have seen it with the court decisions legalizing abortion. At first, it was only early abortions; within a few years, though, any abortion up to the killing of a viable baby in mid-birth was made legal.”

BULLSHIT!  Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, bullshit, bullshit!  Sorry.  It’s just such a phenomenally stupid statement, and one that can be refuted with a minimum of effort.  Abortion regulations vary state to state.  Roe -v- Wade just says that women have the right to abortion, that denying abortion violates a woman’s right to privacy.  NO STATE IN THE UNITED STATES ALLOWS ABORTION MID-BIRTH, YOU FUCKING MORON!!!!!  Sorry, again.  I just… wow, the sheer mass of ignorance in that statement makes me want to punch something. 

Here is the link for abortion law in Washington State.  It states that post-viability abortions, except in cases of danger to the mother’s health, are illegal.  You can go read the website for the definition of “viability.”   I found it with Google, so I know it isn’t hard.  In fact, I think I’ll do Mr. Card’s home state.

Well, it doesn’t appear that North Carolina has their laws up on the web, or at least they aren’t coming up on the first two pages of Google results, but I did find this page which provides a brief overview of state laws concerning abortion:  Hmmm, it seems North Carolina is also a state that outlaws post-viability abortions except in cases of danger to the health of the mother.  Go figure. 

“Not only that, but the courts upheld obviously unconstitutional limitations on free speech and public assembly: It is now illegal even to kneel and pray in front of a clinic that performs abortions.”

Actually, no it’s not illegal to pray there.  It is illegal to obstruct access to the clinic.  Law here:

Dude, seriously, this is like shooting fish in a barrel. 

The next several paragraphs go on about all the schools with textbooks that talk about gay marriage.  Ok, seriously, I haven’t heard of any, but then again, I don’t have kids.  I’ll have to ask my parent-type friends about these Gay Agenda-Friendly textbooks.  But I remain skeptical, to say the least.

“How dangerous is this, politically? Please remember that for the mildest of comments critical of the political agenda of homosexual activists, I have been called a “homophobe” for years.”

And rightly so.  I wouldn’t call terming the legalization of gay marriage “the end of democracy” a “mild” critical comment.  I mean, I guess compared with all the yahoos calling to have all the fags rounded up and put into camps, it COULD be categorized as mild.  But then again, if we take that tack, being shot in the leg with a rifle is “mild” compared to being blown up with a mortar round.  Good grief. 

He goes on to talk about how the term “homophobe” pathologizes people like him.  Well, yeah, because an unreasonable amount of concern with the bedroom practices of people you don’t know, and this panicky insistence that if they are treated like human beings and citizens of the United States that the world will come crashing down around our ears sounds pretty fucking pathological to me. 

“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.”

Ok, let’s try this again, “There is no branch of the government with the authority to DEFINE marriage.”  There, fixed it for you.  They aren’t redefining or defining.  They’re letting people marry according to their own beliefs, because of a little thing I like to call the First Amendment.  You know, the one that guarantees your right to be a Mormon, and my right to be a Pagan, and even the rights of people to be Atheists if they want?  Because with freedom OF religion, there also comes an implied freedom FROM religion. 

And this part is just too, too, too easy:  “Its meaning is universal: It is the permanent or semipermanent bond between a man and a woman.”  Um, actually, it’s not.  For most of the existence of a thing called marriage, plural marriages have been the norm.  And not just one guy with lots of women, sometimes even one woman with several guys (ok, way less common, but it still existed).  There’s also the matter of child marriages.  Let’s not forget marriages contracted solely for business arrangements, to cement economic and political ties.  Let’s also not forget the roots of your very own religion, Mr. Card.  Do I really have to point this out?  Are you so lax and degenerate in the history of your own faith that it’s going to take an apostate gentile like myself to point out that not even your Church has always defined marriage as between one man and one woman?

Not to mention that whole “permanent or semi-permanent” thing.  I’m not even going there, it’s too easy. 

“The laws concerning marriage did not create marriage…”

At least we agree on something.

And then he blathers on about what if congress passed laws changing the names of colors and a whole bunch of other stuff that makes zero sense and has jack all to do with the topic at hand.  And then goes back to how no law can change the permanent state of nature, blah blah blah…

Seriously, Mr. Card, if you don’t want people to view you as a hateful homophobe, then please quit saying hateful, homophobic things.  It really is that simple.  If you are against gay marriage, don’t have one.  Your Church already has the right, and will continue to have the right, to refuse to marry people if it so desires, and that will not change, because of the First Amendment, just as some Churches have been performing Spiritual Marriages for LGBTQI folk for years already, because they’ve seen the unfairness and very un-Christian-ness of your stance. 

Honestly, as long as both human beings entering into a marriage are doing so of their own free will and volition, and are of consenting age (or have permission from parents), it really is no one’s business but their own.

20 thoughts on “Geek Girls Rule #53 – Why does Orson Scott Card keep putting that extra ‘m’ in the word “moron?”

  1. I quit reading Card’s books after that snippet he wrote. The Hoopy Frood keeps telling me I need to read Ender’s game. If I do, I’m picking it up for a buck at Halfprice Books, so Card gets no money from it.

    Really, why are people so obsessed with what other people do? I mean, it doesn’t mean anything about my relationship that there are people out there who’re attracted to same sex partners and want to get married. Nobody is forcing me to marry a woman (Natalie Portman wouldn’t have me, anyway.) I wonder if the supposed moral breakdown of society is that those who oppose same sex marriage will be seen as the bigots they are.

  2. The sad thing is, Orson Scott Card will likely never read this.

    What I want to do is load you into a cannon and shoot you at him.

  3. Can I be holding an Armenian man who is also holding a small but viscious dog with knives taped to it’s feet?

  4. Well, if they don’t like the term “homophobe,” then they should try “bigot” on for size.

  5. ““…it is absurd to claim that these (state) constitutions require marriage to be defined in ways that were unthinkable through all of human history until the past 15 years.””

    I call bullshit. This maybe a Wikipedia article, but I’ve read of this before in numerous texts:

    History of same-sex unions:

    “Unthinkable through all of human history”, my ass. Maybe only in areas where Christianity had a heavy influence. Actually, really, *only* in areas where Christianity was king.

    An excerpt: “Same-sex marriage has been documented in many societies that were not subject to Christian influence. In North America, among the Native Americans societies, it has taken the form of Two-Spirit-type relationships, in which some male members of the tribe, from an early age, heed a calling to take on female gender with all its responsibilities. They are prized as wives by the other men in the tribe, who enter into formal marriages with these Two-Spirit men. They are also respected as being especially powerful shamans.”

    Perhaps, though, Card doesn’t recognize the heathen brown people. But that’s a topic for another time.

  6. It nearly broke my heart when I read his comments on homosexuality a few years ago. I haven’t always loved his plotlines, but nearly always his characters, and I suddenly could not read his books without looking for his bigotry. I have a whole shelf of his works. You’re right, his assertions are largely ridiculous and I just can’t make it through the article! It’s sad and upsetting. Wikipedia has the article I was referring to, as well as a few others, cited in his entry.

  7. Some of Card’s sci-fi novels have been favorites of mine for a long time, largely because they dealt not only with interesting characters but also because they reflected his interest in spiritual or religious subjects. As a lesbian and a Christian myself, I was saddened to read of his anti-gay sentiments, but I don’t think I want to “throw the baby out with the bathwater.” Not all of his novels reflect his biases, and I think they still make good reads. But in the future I will add him to my prayer list of people who need enlightenment.

  8. @Eunice Fisher: You are a far, far better person than I. I just have no patience with the bullshit any more.

  9. I agree with your assessment about Card and his writing, but I must take issue with one of your earlier statements:

    “Who the fuck thinks it’s a good idea to take any philosophical truths from SF/F authors?”

    Anyone with an ounce of intelligence and an awareness of the role of art. Science fiction is better prepared than any other genre of literature to address philosophy because the overriding issues of science fiction are about the Big Question: what does it mean to be human? Never mind the “little” questions it addresses, like, where are we going, how do deal with change, and what is our relationship to our past?

    Or consider fantasy. Fantasy’s role is to reinterpret myths. If science fiction tells us who we are and who we can be, fantasy tells us where we come from – and then frees us to define our own relationship to that past.

  10. If most SF/F authors studied philosophy, you might have something there. But most of them are just trying to tell good stories, that will sell.

    I quote Marion Zimmer Bradley, at a long ago Rustycon when she said, “I don’t even know why I’m on this panel. I’m a fiction writer, by definition I’m a liar.”

  11. *sigh*

    Watching him get crazier and crazier has been really sad. I remember when he used to argue that proselytization had no place in fiction, and that any fiction writer who used his status as such to push his beliefs onto his fans was unethical. Somewhere in there, I remember a couple-year-long correspondence and eating pizza at his house and a really incredible mentor and friend.

    As it was for many profoundly gifted kids, Ender’s Game was my first real paper mirror. I remember crying because it was so incredible to find a writer who really, truly *got* it.

    Not questioning that he’s being a douche, nor that the writer I liked and respected is, for all personal purposes, dead. I just think it’s worth acknowledging that intolerant screed isn’t his only lasting legacy, even if he seems to be doing his best to drown out the rest with it.

  12. Yeah, I’m with Rachel on this one, though obviously from a less personal perspective. As I noted in my blog, I can’t toss away certain things of his in light of this.

    This which we knew was coming and didn’t want to consider. He can expect none of my money from now on, though.

  13. Yeah, my husband pointed out Card’s post earlier this week, with the comment “Well, I’ve read my last Orson Scott Card book.” I couldn’t even get through Card’s entire post on first read because I found it such offensive crap. Hello, Orson, marriage is a cultural institution that has always been reshaped and redefined as societies changed.

    To me, the bottom line is that I have no right to tell two consenting adults who are harming no one else whether they can marry or not, and whether they can benefit from the same societal, fiscal, etc. benefits I enjoy because of a similar but heterosexual choice. I don’t understand why this is so complicated to some people.

  14. since one of the comments made was “OSC will never read this” i took it upon myself to send him the link and “dared: him to read a differing opinion!
    good Blog!

  15. I’m not sure whether or not to thank you…

    I guess Thank you until I get an onslaught of trolls. If they don’t materialize, you may keep my gratitude.


  16. FYI – they seemed to have removed Orson Scott Card’s blog post from the web site – the link no longer works…

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