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Bogglement - Michael M Jones

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February 26th, 2004


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10:39 pm - Bogglement
I was made aware of this lovely little essay by Orson Scott Card, in which he makes his views on homosexuality, marriage, the family, and so forth rather clear. I'm speechless with disgust and disappointment.

Essay of Doooooom


Here's the great rebuttal/analysis someone posted: Smart Person Alert!

(12 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


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From:closer2myself
Date:February 26th, 2004 08:05 pm (UTC)
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One only has to read a few of his books to see how closeted that man is.
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From:tigerchild
Date:February 26th, 2004 09:13 pm (UTC)
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Seems in keeping with his religious beliefs.

I don't understand the shock here, unless you weren't aware of said leanings. I mean, conservative right-wing Mormons can write SF too, ya know. ;)
From:enzeru
Date:February 26th, 2004 10:15 pm (UTC)
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S'true. One of my Mormon uncles wrote a Star Trek novel. Heck, a lot of stuff I've read about Mormonism itself seems rather sci-fish.
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From:tigerchild
Date:February 26th, 2004 11:21 pm (UTC)
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Ha!!

Now that you mention that, it's right on the money!

Man, I knew that I chose the wrong religion.

Secret ceremonies, holy underwear, beautiful temples, multiple mates, populating distant planets...if I want all of that stuff in mine (minus the multiple mates) I'd have to shave my head and stack rocks and contemplate riddles that I'm too dumb to figure out. :P
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From:oneminutemonkey
Date:February 26th, 2004 10:53 pm (UTC)
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Let's just say I never expected him to be so... well, sure, great authors can have crappy beliefs. I just never expected him to be so vocal about it. I feel so sullied. :>
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From:tigerchild
Date:February 26th, 2004 11:25 pm (UTC)
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I have to admit, I do feel a smidgin of respect for him to at least be open about his beliefs, when he's got to know it will alienate a great deal of his normal audience.

It saddens me that he feels the way he feels, but no more than it saddens me that almost all of my (Southern Baptist) family feels the same way--but with even less thought put into it.

I think if I get one more email about how non-traditional marriage will make the world explode, or about the goddamn Jesus snuff film, I will have to start mailing out onion parodies in response.
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From:karen_said
Date:March 13th, 2004 06:50 am (UTC)
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Awww... a sullied 'minutemonkey. *hug* It's probably been a few years since I told ya I had him as a professor for a creative writing class at App State, hon, but I coulda told you what an asshole he was in "real life" :) It was very disappointing for me too at the time, I liked (and still like) a good number of his books.
From:ebonhost
Date:February 26th, 2004 11:59 pm (UTC)
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Bah, that's the last time Card gets any royalties from my wallet. Gah. I don't think it's the views so much (I threw down the third Ender book in disgust not very far into it) as the rampant hatred. Oh, but stating his views isn't hatred, according to him, even though its dripping with it.

What the fuck ever.

I knew I shouldn't have read that. Now I'm pissed.
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From:eugie
Date:February 27th, 2004 03:45 am (UTC)
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Well, the man is from a Mormon background and all. I try to seperate the art from the artist, otherwise I'm in Wagner-esque situations all too often. So, I like his writing, don't like his world view.
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From:oneminutemonkey
Date:April 1st, 2004 04:44 pm (UTC)
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Belatedly, I reply. And this actually stems from a thought I had earlier. Currently, I'm so annoyed that I find myself unable to separate the art from the artist, as you said. To the point where I won't even recommend his work. Which makes me start to wonder if it's okay for me to ignore someone because of personal dislike. Or if, as a reviewer, I should try and remain impartial and unbiased. Stupid, stupid moral quanderies. I guess it's not hurting anyone if I just don't say anything.
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From:djonn
Date:April 4th, 2004 10:16 am (UTC)
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Yikes.

The "separate the art from the artist" issue is a tricky one, indeed. It's hard to argue that, say, Ender's Game stops being good because we now know something about the author that we didn't before. OTOH, it's also hard to argue that giving the author money (by buying his books) with which he can further his socio-political agenda isn't necessarily a Good Thing.

At times like this perhaps one can be vaguely thankful that the US doesn't have the Canadian "library pass-through" system whereby authors receive income based on a book's library circulation.

////

On a different front, what surprises me most about the exchange is that Card's socio-history is so bad -- and that the response failed to call him on it.

One of the prime arguments on the "anti" side of the gay marriage issue is that marriage has meant the same thing in all cultures since the dawn of time. This is, in a word, nonsense.

It's not surprising for Card to tread lightly on this point, given the historical (and contemporary) practice of polygamy in the Mormon and splinter-Mormon religious communities. But Mormonism is hardly the only religious/cultural system in which marriage has been defined more flexibly.

Moslem and Chinese cultures also supported polygamous marriage. Egyptian royal families sometimes married siblings to each other (though it's not entirely clear, I think, whether this was a matter of religious symbolism or lack of incest taboos). And Gaelic-Celtic legal codes recognized at least nine (sometimes ten) distinct sorts of marriage (the "brehon marriage" code). Greek and Roman culture also recognized and approved of homosexual unions, though they didn't necessarily grant them "marriage" status. A quick discussion of some of this appears here.

But it isn't necessary to document gay marriage in historic or prehistoric context to shoot down Card's point. Card's "Humpty Dumpty" logic tries to assert that "marriage" is a fixed, unchanging concept -- and the plain historical fact is that he's flat wrong.
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From:oneminutemonkey
Date:April 4th, 2004 05:13 pm (UTC)
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Thanks for the thoughts. I'm still sorting through the thoughts on this one. I mean, I still think Ender's Game is classic. I think, though, I've lost any desire to interact with Card as a person. Probably all for the safest. :>

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