Thursday, March 14, 2013

Orson Scott Card vs. Gay Marriage

What to do with Orson Scott Card?

It’s a funny thing to admire a person’s work and then find this person to be disappointing in the real world. Is it ironic that a man who wrote such a great story of how when two species did not understand each other it caused the near genocide of one of them? The Ender books that Orson Scott Card wrote also deal with people who were born different. Different by birth and not by choice. These books are not just great works of science fiction, but of fiction in general. It is surprising then that a man who wrote about how species that are alien to each other and must understand one another to survive is also an advocate of condemning and denying the rights of members of own own species who’s only difference is who they are attracted to and who they love.

The books themselves are not homophobic. Homosexuality is never mentioned in the books. It’s just not an issue or topic that comes up. It’s the man who wrote them that has campaigned to keep marriage "sacred." Not that heterosexual people keep it any more sacred than a gay person would. Card has in the past called for homosexual acts to remain outlawed (when those laws existed). He has even advocated the overthrow of a government that supports gay marriage saying, “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.” So... Yeah.

So how shall I reconcile my love of the books while being completely disappointed in the person who wrote them? Will I never read them again? Not likely. Those books will remain in my collection as examples of great science fiction. Will I refuse to see the movie Ender’s Game? Again, doubtful. To ban that movie would also punish the actors and crew who worked hard to give us something many of us have been waiting a long time to see. I also doubt the fact that Card is homophobic was a well-known fact to them. I certainly did not know until recently.

 So what is there to do? It's not likely that I'll be buying any more of his books. Having read the original four books dealing with Ender and the four concerning Bean, I think the stories have run enough of their courses to have satisfying endings for me. It all comes down to your personal feelings. I won't blame anyone for outright refusing anything Card created. Personally, I will keep enjoying the books and pity the man. It is obvious that the tides of society are turning to the acceptance of gay marriage. I doubt one science fiction author can do much to stop the flow of progress. It's such a shame that a brilliant man can be so close-minded.

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