Orson Scott Card, award-winning science fiction author of Ender’s Game, has long been vocal in his opinions around homosexuality—and, recently, despite social critics, he continues to speak his mind. A sampling of Card’s writing includes:

Since the Church’s public announcement of official support for California’s Prop 8 initiative, Brother Card has offered even more of his thoughts on the issue via the Deseret News‘ arm, the Mormon Times, most recently concerning the state of science and homosexuality:

Regardless of how one feels about Card’s views on homosexuality—or, more particularly, the gay rights socio-political movement—what I find most interesting is the pejorative application of “homophobe” to anyone who does not believe homosexual relationships are in harmony with God’s ultimate plan for His children, that homosexual orientation is not innate and immutable, or that a socio-political and cultural redefinition of marriage making gender irrelevant is a good idea.

Perhaps Orson Scott Card is a “homophobe.” I don’t know; I don’t know him. Somehow I doubt it. But, despite his obviously strong beliefs concerning the gay cultural movement, it’s ignorant diatribe to ascribe such a term anyone who doesn’t uncritically subscribe to some of the assumptions underlying the gay cultural movement.

Brother Card isn’t the only one with strong opinions.

Leave a Reply

39 comments

  1. avatar

    Snowe

    He thinks that a certain number of homosexuals should be jailed, in order to scare the rest back into the closet. The gays “cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens” in society. That’s pretty [darn] homophobic to me.

  2. avatar

    I do not call OSC a homophobe, as I do not know him either. However, in his last article, he looks at people like me – married for more than 20 years and now “deciding” to come out to my wife as some kind of “midlife crisis” or a longing of something that I feel is missing in my life as I get older – as someone to be dismissed and not taken seriously. His idea that people like me must be “bisexual” as an argument against homosexuality being absolute is ridiculous.

    It is when such statements are made in a public forum with the “stamp of approval” of the church’s newspaper that creates much grief and difficulty for those of us who are trying to live the teachings of the Gospel, to stay WITHIN the Church and to honor our covenants – all knowing full well that we are gay – and doing so without needing gasoline being poured on the flames of intolerance and lack of compassion for our homosexual brothers and sisters – that makes me crazy!!!!!!

    I don’t think he’s a homophobe, but defending him doesn’t help. And what is going on in the Deseret News – this subliminal and subtle agenda to keep the ire and distate for anyone or anything like me from being in their midst, with “strong opinions” or not, – dismissing us older geezers of just going through a “midlife crisis” – is certainly not helping.

    When is there going to be an article by OSC that encourages an increased amount of love and support and compassion and understanding – instead of a dismissal?

  3. avatar

    Beck, I wouldn’t have said or encouraged the kinds of things that you seem to find most offensive in the article. I don’t agree with them. OSC seems to be a bit strong—near extreme—in some of the statements he’s made, and could certainly use a dose of sensitivity to those in situations like us, but there’s a lot there I agree with as well. So, I have to dissect it a bit and look at what resonates as well as what doesn’t.

    My primary point is that, even though I may disagree with certain points, and would be happy to engage him or anyone else I may disagree with on various points, that doesn’t make him a “homophobe.” I have personal experience with this issue as well. I don’t “hate” the issue or those who experience it—including those who vigorously defend the morality of gay relationships. In fact, I feel a lot of affection and empathy for them. The fact that I choose not to adopt a gay identity or pursue a gay relationship—or that I don’t support a socio-political reconstitution of marriage—in some people’s view makes me “hateful”, “bigoted”, and a “homophobe.” Which is ridiculous. I can agree and disagree with either Brother Card or various gay activists on certain points and not start name-calling. Unfortunately, there are many for whom this simple capacity is beyond the realm of comprehension.

  4. avatar

    A.J.

    I think OSC has said enough on the subject. He needs to go write a scifi book or something. We all know how he feels. Orson Scott Card we get it. You don’t like same sex marriage or the so called “gay agenda”. Please stop writing about it. – A.J.

  5. avatar

    GFB

    I must say I am sincerely a fan of Orson Scott Card?s books. I believe he is a very good writer. I have been to book signing, reading, and lectures of Mr. Card?s. As I have read Mr. Card on the subject of homosexuality I see brilliance I have a harder time being sincere about. Whether Mr. Card is afraid of homosexual, or of being a homosexual I do not think I am qualified to say.

    His article in the Mormon Time on the States Job is not to Redefine Marriage I thing particularly illustrated the kind of brilliance I have a hard time being sincere about. I was so impressed by his reasoning I would like to highlight some of his more brilliant ideas here.

    I love his opening arguments about how courts should not overturn popularly elected laws that discriminate against a small group of people. There are many examples of this through out our nation?s history. Unfortunately, Mr. Card is too young or he could have made these arguments about Brown vs. Board of Education.

    I can?t agree more with this statement:

    ?Here’s the irony: 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.?

    Yes we all know the definition of marriage has never change and is the same for everyone within society. To add to this I would like to quote Elder Wickman ?For openers, Marriage is neither a matter of politics, nor is it a matter of social policy. Marriage is defined by the Lord Himself. It?s the one institution that is ceremoniously performed by priesthood authority in the temple [and] transcends this world.?

    I am sure this is the universal meaning Mr. Card was referring to. Yes we should amend proposition 8 to make any marriage out of the temple illegal, because marriage has always meant and means to everyone time and all eternity. Out law all the death do us part kind of imitation marriage. As Mr. Card points out the meaning of marriage is universal it has meant the same thing through out history and particularly by the Mormon church we have always had the one man one woman definition.

    I am stuck by the wisdom of this next quote:

    ?There is no natural method by which two males or two females can create offspring in which both partners contribute genetically.?

    I completely agree that if you can?t create offspring genetically you have no business getting married or staying married.

    I was then ah struck with the argument that homosexuals would have to be crazy to want to get married after how bad we heterosexuals have screwed up the institution. Based on this argument alone we should make gay marriage illegal, we can?t let crazy people get married.

    I must say that how Mr. Card compared gay marriage to legalizing theft quite persuasive. I know that every time gay people get married they come into my home and take a peace my marriage.

    I wish to quote him on the rights traditional marriage has always defended.

    ?Husbands need to have the whole society agree that when they marry, their wives are off limits to all other males. He has a right to trust that all his wife’s children would be his.

    ?Wives need to have the whole society agree that when they marry, their husband is off limits to all other females. All of his protection and earning power will be devoted to her and her children, and will not be divided with other women and their children.?

    I must say particularly I am moved by the second half of this quote. Traditional marriage has always done so much to protect the right of women. This is so true particularly in the church I know that there are many quotes from early Mormon prophets I just can not think of them off the top of my head. Brigham Young spoke almost continually about a man dedicating everything to only one woman an her children.

    I must say that this quote struck me speechless:

    ?In an era when birth control and abortion make childbearing completely optional, the number of out-of-wedlock births shows the contempt that many women have for marriage.

    Yet most of these single mothers still demand that the man they chose not to marry before having sex with him provide financial support for them and their children — while denying the man any of the rights and protections of marriage.?

    I mean what the hell are these women thinking trying to get men to take responsibility.

    Finally, I for one am ready to rally behind Mr. Card?s revolutionary flag. I totally agree when him when he said ?What these dictator-judges do not seem to understand is that their authority extends only as far as people choose to obey them.? Yes, anarchy is the only answer.

    In closing I reiterate I am not sure if these comments prove fear of homosexuals, fear of being homosexual, lunacy, or idiocy. Do you have a guess?

  6. avatar

    I think that the term “homophobic” has come to mean, and to be used as not just fear of something or someone gay, but as a comparable term to “racism” or “sexism”. That is, it is used to describe someone who speaks or acts based on prejudice rather than facts when it comes to homosexuality in any form. I would say that very accurately describes Mr. Card if just for the reasons mentioned above by Snowe and Beck.

  7. avatar

    That should be “homophobia” not “homophobic” (or it should be “racist” or “sexist”).

  8. avatar

    Max Power

    I’m trying to decide if GFB’s comments were tongue in cheek or serious.

  9. avatar

    I’m reasonably certain they were ironic.

  10. avatar

    GFB, this post isn’t about the content of Card’s [albeit strong and occasionally insensitive] opinions so much as it is about the contextual reaction and name-calling that happens in response.

    Craig: The fact, though, is that “homophobic” purely pejorative. There’s no integrity to it. People through it around as name-calling, not in an honest effort to discern whether someone is prejudice.

    “I believe homosexual behavior out of harmony with God’s plan for His children”; reply: “You’re homophobic!”

    “I believe research and experience convincingly demonstrates that it’s most developmentally healthy for a child to be raised in a home with an active, nurturing presence of both a mother and a father, and that social policy to promote this”; reply: “You’re homophobic!”

    It’s purely inane diatribe—usually used by those who don’t know how to have intelligent conversation; it’s much easier to call people names.

  11. avatar

    Robert

    What does it mean for a child to be “developmentally healthy”? I think this is a fair question particularly when one is stating that “research is convincing” in its assessment that two genders will do a “better’ job than one in raising a child.
    Anyone working in academics at the doctoral level knows that SPSS and data collection techniques can have a great effect on validity…not to mention funding sources and desired outcomes.

    I am suspect of all research until I actually read the study and review the methodology. One of the first questions I would raise is with respect to the dependent variable: “developmental health”. What exactly was the researcher measuring? Was he/she attempting to measure happiness, durability, sexual orientation outcomes, history of depression? Was the study longitudinal or short term? If short term, how short?

    I would also inquire as to the qualitative aspects of the couples being studied. How does the researcher mediate for the differences between individual couples? Are all of these couples of the same race, religion, socio-economic backgrounds. How was the concept: “active,nurturing, presence” defined? In other words, who are these people and who are their children and who established the criteria for developmental health in the research?

    Without satisfactory answers to the above questions, the statement: ?I believe research and experience convincingly demonstrates that it?s most developmentally healthy for a child to be raised in a home with an active, nurturing presence of both a mother and a father, and that social policy to promote this? if not homophobic, is most certainly suspect. And if it was used categorically to respond to someone in favor of raising a child in a same gender family situation, it would most certainly require further direct scrutiny.

    PS: This would hold true for either a type 1 or type 2 error as it related to the hypothesis.

  12. avatar

    Robert, since the substance of your questions is beyond the realm of this post, I’m not going to go there. I will say, however, that I think they are good and fair questions to ask and—in the context of this post—are much more valuable and productive than reactionary name-calling. And I’d like to suggest those in the gay community take a more mature and reasoned approach, just as they would like those who might oppose aspects of their cultural movement to take. Some of those who have participated in discussions on this blog have been very mature, but others say things that are so emotionally charged that I don’t understand how they can’t see shallowness of their own rhetoric. To be fair, though, that may be too common an occurrence on all sides of the discussion.

  13. avatar

    Fear leads to anger leads to hate. Brother Card?s hate-filled essays on gays are the result of fear and fear of gays is homophobia.

    Ever wonder why he gets so worked-up and vocal on this issue? I?d give 20:1 odds he?s got a gay kid.

  14. avatar

    My vote is that playa has internalized fear and hatred—self-homophobia—that he’s projecting on to others. Playa is a homophobe. Yep, I think that pretty well sums it up.

  15. avatar

    G

    ?I believe [being black is] out of harmony with God?s plan for His children?; reply: ?You?re [racist]!?

    ?I believe research and experience convincingly demonstrates [sic] that it?s most developmentally healthy for a child to be raised in a home with an active, nurturing presence of both a mother and a father, [who invariably must both be white,] and that social policy to [sic] promote this?; reply: ?You?re [racist]!?

    People who regularly protest LDS General Conference are referred to in the Deseret News and on KSL as “anti-Mormon protesters,” so perhaps people such as Orson Scott Card ought to be referred to as “anti-homosexual protesters,” although LDS people have infused the “anti” term with enough meaning that even it, too, has become pejorative and not merely a statement of difference of opinion.

    Card would qualify as homophobic under the Princeton lexical database definition of homophobic as “prejudiced against homosexual people.” And I’m perfectly fine with him and his prejudice. Part of me, however, is deeply frightened by his thinking, however a brilliant writer he may be.

    When he writes, “Laws against homosexual behavior should remain on the books … to be used when necessary to send a clear message” that sexually active gay people are not “acceptable, equal citizens within that society,” I cringe.

    He speaks about “hypocritical homosexuals,” while comparing their sexual urges to those of straight, adolescent boys who are “genetically predisposed to copulate with anything that moves,” yet he advocates prosecuting and jailing gay people for having sex and merely guiding straight people back to the correct path. Is that not slightly hypocritical?

    Call me Cardophobic, but I have to feel a little frightened about a guy this out there being defended and embraced by even those in this community.

  16. avatar

    GFB

    Ty Ray,

    If your point is to talk about whether or not it is a conmen practice to just fling out the pejorative of homophobe if someone is respectfully disagreeing with the gay rights agenda, then I think you picked the wrong example in Orson Scott Card. His rhetoric is so ?strong and occasionally insensitive? that he comes across not only as a bigot, but down right ignorant. I am not surprised he is called homophobic. I do not believe he is ignorant on most subjects. In fact I think he is very talented. I think he does his cause more harm than good every time I have read his writing on the subject of homosexuality.

  17. avatar

    G, I don’t except the race-gender comparison as being easily interchangeable. There may be some similar aspects, but there are also significant differences.

    And, G, what constitutes “prejudice” in your Princeton lexicon? I believe certain traditional Christian views as erroneous—and, some, perhaps, even harmful; does that make me a [Nicene Christian]ophobe? I believe that it’s better for children to be raised in nurturing two-parent homes than a nurturing single-parent homes (I remind you I was raised in a single-parent home, and I think I turned out reasonable well, though that’s debateble); am I prejudiced against single-parent families? Am I a [single-parent]ophobe?

    Concerning your other point, I would agree with any criticism that Latter-day Saints equate anyone who disagrees as “anti”. I believe there are plenty of people of other faiths systems who strongly oppose certain LDS doctrines but who sincerely strive to be honest in their characterizations of LDS beliefs and respectful and civil in their statements and discussions. I wouldn’t characterize these people as “anti-Mormon” any more than I would consider myself “anti-[any religious philosophy/system/community I don’t believe in].” Many of those who protest on Temple Square, however, I might consider anti, but perhaps not all.

    GFB, I didn’t say I agreed with everything OSC has said. But there are some things I would agree with. There are also things I agree and disagree with on the side of various gay activists and reorientation therapists. What makes someone a bigot, I suppose, is when they are so steeped in their prejudices that they are unwilling to admit any time they might be wrong or consider other perspectives as valid, even if they might personally disagree.

    Again, my point is that too many gay-identified folk are quick to accuse people who disagree with them as being “homophobic.”

  18. avatar

    Ty:

    Yes, the word “homophobe” is purely a pejorative, just as “racist” and “sexist” are, and yet there are instances where those are appropriately applied. That’s not really my point though. My point is that in this case, I believe it is justified when being applied to Mr. Card. I believe his own words paint him as a homophobe.

    You said,

    ?I believe homosexual behavior out of harmony with God?s plan for His children?; reply: ?You?re homophobic!?

    ?I believe research and experience convincingly demonstrates that it?s most developmentally healthy for a child to be raised in a home with an active, nurturing presence of both a mother and a father, and that social policy to promote this?; reply: ?You?re homophobic!?

    It?s purely inane diatribe?usually used by those who don?t know how to have intelligent conversation; it?s much easier to call people names.

    I am not saying that anyone who express or espouses either of the above opinions is a homophobe. If you look at what Mr. Card says, you’ll see he goes far, far beyond those sorts of statements.

    Secondly, I greatly debate the veracity of the second statement, but you know that. I don’t know of any research that actually demonstrates that two, differently gendered parents are better, but I still don’t think of such a viewpoint as homophobic – prejudiced, perhaps, but not outright homophobia.

    Thirdly, It seems you think it never appropriate to call someone’s actions or beliefs homophobic. Is it similarly never appropriate to label something as sexist or racist? I believe that homophobia is just as wrong and immoral as those two things, and needs to be fought and corrected when possible.

    You seem to be suggesting/implying that I, or those who might agree with me, are among those who don’t know how to have an intelligent conversation, and resort to name-calling. That’s at least how the structure of your comment made it look.

    Ty, I think you are combining two entirely different situations. What Mr. Card has written and what he advocates is clearly homophobic bigotry, as much as he tries to hide behind religion to excuse it. His views on homosexuality are in clear conflict with those of the church, and what he advocates is purely unhuman and immoral. He has gone far beyond “strong” or “insensitive” in his views against homosexuality.

    As per your above statement,

    What makes someone a bigot, I suppose, is when they are so steeped in their prejudices that they are unwilling to admit any time they might be wrong or consider other perspectives as valid, even if they might personally disagree.

    I would indeed brand Mr. Card as a bigot, and a homophobe. I don’t think he has evidenced any behaviour that shows he is not steeped in prejudice or is at all willing to consider his viewpoint as wrong.

    As G said, I too am frightened of this man, and more so of how much creedence his views are being given.

  19. avatar

    And Ty, I’d say that it is just as likely that too many who aren’t gay-identified are loath to agree that homophobia is taking place in this instance.

  20. avatar

    Thirdly, It seems you think it never appropriate to call someone?s actions or beliefs homophobic. Is it similarly never appropriate to label something as sexist or racist? I believe that homophobia is just as wrong and immoral as those two things, and needs to be fought and corrected when possible.

    You seem to be suggesting/implying that I, or those who might agree with me, are among those who don?t know how to have an intelligent conversation, and resort to name-calling. That?s at least how the structure of your comment made it look.

    “Homophobic” just strikes me as incredibly inane, always, but I would be willing to suggest that there are times it might be appropriately applied—though rarely, if ever, as a technical term, since many people may have deep prejudices against homosexuals but not have a pathological fear of them. And I do think there are times when racist and sexist could be accurately applied, but I believe those, too, are too often simply pejorative and accusatory.

    In any case, I would first rather see individual’s engage in intelligent discussion and dialogue and simply acknowledge and engage both similarities and differences before they start name-calling and throwing out emotionally-charged and reactionary accusations. Are there Latter-day Saints who are deeply prejudiced and bigoted? Sure. Even leaders? Perhaps, but I suggest much less so, if at all. Is the Church’s position on homosexual behavior and relationships inherently bigoted or “homophobic”? Absolutely not. And I would suggest and anyone who does suggest the latter take a deep look at their own prejudices and bigotry.

    As for the latter suggestion, I wasn’t referring to specific individuals. I was referring to the a phenomenon that I see all-too-often in cyberspace and elsewhere. If you feel it’s true for you, then that’s something for you to take a look at, but I would suggest that most comments on this thread have been reasonable and respectful, including yours. My hope is that conversation on these matters would continue to follow more in that vein than simply to resort to the cheap and empty accusations. Again, I want to reiterate that I don’t agree with everything Brother Card has suggested—and some things I would strongly disagree—but I honestly feel I could engage those differences without reactionary emotion charge.

  21. avatar

    Robert

    If there is a “cultural movement”, it is technology and not “gay” which defines the movement. Gays are simply more visible and as a result more people are learning about the subject, reordering their thoughts about it, listening to others and quite frankly, some are actually changing their minds about gay identified persons.

    There is also no shortage of “homo” and “that’s so gay” references. Its all out there. At the same time, technology allows many gays who would otherwise live in quiet desperation to connect with others. It also allows individuals like Card to grandstand, but not without comment or dispute. Bigotry and hypocrisy are difficult to hide in this age.
    I do not see moral degradation but moral transparency.

    Could this lead to revelation? Who knows? Certainly culture is “moving” at a rate of speed previously unknown in human history. Perhaps God is moving with Godspeed?

  22. avatar

    A.J.

    how ’bout hetrosexist isstead of homophobic?

  23. avatar
  24. avatar

    GFB

    Ty Ray,

    You state the point your arguing is:

    Again, my point is that too many gay-identified folk are quick to accuse people who disagree with them as being ?homophobic.?

    If this is your point so far it seems the only evidence for this is the fact that people call Mr. Card a Homophobe.

    My point is not that I disagree with Mr. Card, all though I do, my point is people do not call him a homophobe because they disagree with him they do so because based on his writing you can make a reasonable argument that he is bigoted or fear full of homosexuality. Based on his writing you could reasonably make the argument that he hates unwed mothers and is ignorant of church history. He may not be any of this, but based on what he writes you can make a reasonable argument that he is.

    How about an example of someone you can?t reasonably argue that they are bigoted or fearful of homosexuality that people call homophobic. Otherwise you have no case.

  25. avatar

    Borealis

    Playa #23, he wrote his “hypocrites of homosexuality” before his kids were old enough to know if they were gay, I think. I didn’t know he had any gay kids? He could have other reasons for thinking what he does. He started as a playwright at BYU, so he could have come across many homosexuals through the theater.

    But I think we can engage him on his arguments, rather than needing to personalize it. Just as I wouldn’t say that everyone who is in favor of gay marriage is really just a horny pervert. There are good, solid, legitimate reasons for people to favor gay marriage. I can admit that without agreeing with those reasons or saying they are made out of bad faith or they emerge from some kind of mental disorder.

  26. avatar

    GFB, I’ve already used the Church as an example. There are plenty of cases; I’m not going to go into all sorts of examples for you. But, concerning the Church, again, I think it’s fair to say that there are many members of the Church who have personal prejudices against gays that are not necessarily a reflection of pure doctrine. Rather, they may use doctrine or the Church’s policies to justify their prejudice. I think that’s fair to suggest. On the other hand, though, opposition to social sanction of homosexual relationships, or subscription to a spiritual or religious worldview that holds that homosexual behavior is a sin, are not inherently “homophobic.”

    I’m going to assume you’ve read the article “The Divine Institution of Marriage.” Whether with the Church or with OSC, I think it’s fair—and certainly more productive—to go through and look at specific arguments and suggests reasonable responses as you why you don’t agree. Some on this thread have done that—for example, point out a legitimate weakness in research cited that was contextually related to single-parent mothers (It doesn’t fully negate the overall argument; they would just need more solid citations to support it). But to start name-calling is cheap. It’s the easy response. I’m suggesting that we start being more responsible and intelligent and mature in our responses, rather than spewing out broad-stroked accusations that “the Church,” or Orson Scott Card, or whoever, is “homophobic.” You can do that if you like, but people who do that lose all credibility in my eyes.

    When I engage in interfaith discussion, those who I engage with may sincerely believe I’m not saved and am going to hell, or they can disbelieve every doctrine of Mormonism, and I’d be happy to engage in discussion with them IF they were willing to dissect and engage the issues and have a mature and intelligent dialogue. But I won’t have a discussion with ignorant, close-minded folk who are going to naively toss out pejoratives like “cult,” stick their finger in their ears, and tell me they know more about my faith than I do.

    I think in many cases that’s a fair analogy to some who like to ascribe “homophobia” to those they don’t like or disagree with.

  27. avatar

    Robert

    We need the same public protection of marriage that we have of property. If we did not all agree that people continue to own things that are not in their immediate possession, then you could not reasonably expect to come home and find your house unoccupied.

    This statement on Card’s part does nothing for his argument, and increases the likelihood that he is not dealing with a full deck. I see nothing “faithful’ about Mr Card’s reasoning (in general) in the article, as he diverts loudly away from Church policy on the matter of homosexuals and homosexuality. The fact that the article was published in an LDS approved publication says a great deal about the “faithfulness” of the publisher to accept pejorative views on the issue. One must ask: “Who is pulling the strings here?”

    While Ty Ray is requesting tolerance for Mr Card’s views, the newspaper is pressing forward with a political effort that undermines its own seven recent statements on the subject of homosexuality. Does this make any sense?

  28. avatar

    Robert

    Ty Ray said:
    On the other hand, though, opposition to social sanction of homosexual relationships, or subscription to a spiritual or religious worldview that holds that homosexual behavior is a sin, are not inherently ?homophobic.?

    Both slavery and segregation were based upon religious beliefs; it would have been easy for slavers or segregationists to make the same argument: it?s incompatible with our religious worldview to treat blacks like equal human beings or equal citizens or allow interracial marriage.(oh wait, that already happened)

    Ultimately, they lost the cultural, social, and political arguments. Society changed, and today both slavery and segregation are wrong. People who argue that whites are superior to others and should have access to special privileges unavailable to non-whites ? even if they base their claim on religious beliefs ? are labeled racists and ejected from polite company.

    The same will eventually happen with gays in America. Even today, it?s harder to be openly bigoted against gays than it was a couple of decades ago, with the main exception being bigotry framed in religious terms. At some point, though, such bigotry will be treated with the same contempt as racial bigotry framed in religious terms.

    Christians will have to choose between social ostracization or modifying their views ? just as they have had to do on racial issues. This isn?t a threat to religious liberty because no one has a religious ?right? to hold and advocate views without social consequences.

    Christians who think that equal rights for gays is a threat to their religious beliefs are sincere, but are also sincerely wrong. People like this have opposed justice and liberty throughout American history ? always for other people, of course, and always on the basis of their religious traditions.

  29. avatar

    Socal

    Since when is the Deseret News considered an LDS Approved publication? Just because the Church owns the newspaper doesn’t make it LDS Approved. The Church has very little to do with the actual content of the paper. You make it sound like the Church runs all potential articles through its correlation committee. They don’t. For the most part, the Church keeps a very hands-off approach to the management and content of the Deseret News.

  30. avatar

    Robert

    Since when is the Deseret News considered an LDS Approved publication? Just because the Church owns the newspaper doesn?t make it LDS Approved.
    huh? I saw this article on an LDS sponsored website link on this blog.

  31. avatar

    Socal

    The link here goes to the Deseret News which refers you to Mormon Times which is a Deseret News blog with topics of interest to members of the Church. Once again, this goes back to my question, since when is the Mormon Times blog or the Deseret News, for that matter, and LDS approved publication as you refer to in post #27. Just because something happens to be owned by the Church, namely the Deseret News which sponsors the blog, does not make it Church approved. You seem to infer by that statement that posts, articles, comments, etc. posted on the blog are Church approved statements – which they are not. I firmly believe that the Church does not perform any review of what is posted on the blog or what is printed in the newspaper. It’s a Church owned business. Nothing more. Please don’t take statements made in either as being church approved.

  32. avatar

    Socal

    Sorry for the grammatical typos. The interface on my screen cuts off some of what I can see as I type. Consequently errors exist.

  33. avatar

    GFB

    Borealis and Ty Ray make a good point I have said things that could come across as personal to Mr. Card, I also on another discussion line done the same to Borealis. I am wrong in doing this and I apologize.

    I want to point out that I do not believe Mr. Card or Borealis are bad people or even unintelligent. I believe their writing speaks for itself. I think it is clear if you have read my posts they are both more talented and probably smarter than I.

    Mr. Card in particular I have always had respect for. In fact I grown up dyslexic. I made it through school on pure will power. In my last year of my under graduate degree I was introduced to Enders Game by wife. Understand at this point in my life I had never read a book on my own. My text books in college I listened to on tape. I never had the time to listen to the whole assignment. When I picked up Enders Game a 300 + page book seemed huge. It intrigued me so much I read it in less than a week. This was a seemingly impossible thing to me, but it turned me on to reading. This one event I believe has down more for my education than anything else in my whole life.

    Mr. Card in some ways is responsible for me submitting on this blog. Not just because without the interest in reading he implanted I would not have developed the ability to read and write well enough to interact in a written format, but also because of his influence on my philosophy. About 8 years ago I attended a lecture at BYU by Mr. Card on scriptures and fiction. He mentioned how he was a Democrat living in a very liberal area and he could not understand why the democrats had such a huge problem with the republican candidate George W. Bush, because he was about as moderate as he came. I found this very interesting, because I was a republican living in Utah valley and could not understand why Al Gore was talked about like satin or the beast. I have always been fascinated by Mr. Card talking as a person. I always read his introductions and afterwards or any comments he writes about his writing. This struck me most in the book Empire. This is a book about a civil war that took place right before the 2008 election. What he wrote in the afterward I believe that we are too polarized as a nation and the answer is for us to work on moderating our own side of the debate. We should help our side from getting too extreme. This is a pretty lose memory, but it had a big effect on me.

    I believe we often as conservative Mormons are extreme in our language on this issue. Even the church has this problem. I do believe the danger is when we have no compassion about the realities of what our position means to real people. Mr. Card has spoken about the issue of choice. I agree with the argument he makes about we all have control of our behavior. But the reality of sexual orientation is not that simple. Let us put the shoe on the other foot. What if the gospel required we straight people to either live celibate lives or have sexual monogamous relationships with someone of the same sex. How difficult would that be? And how many of us would continue activity in the church? I do suspect many of us would, but it would be very difficult. This is the reality of the position gay people are in with respect to living the churches law. When putting forth our position is there compassion for this reality. Many times yes, Elder Holland?s comments in November Ensign, yes, interview with Elder Oaks and Wickman, no, The Divine Institution of Marriage, no. And sadly when I read Mr. Card on this subject I feel no compassion. The truth is I am guilty of the same thing. My writing on this blog has had no compassion for anyone that I have not understood their arguments. I once again apologize.

    I believe when ignoring how massively our position will affect someone?s life it can come across bigoted. Do I believe Mr. Card is prejudice against gay people? No. Do I believe he hates unwed mothers? No. Do I believe he is ignorant of church history? No. I do believe he could come across this way. In fact the people I know that have grown up in the church and are now living gay lifestyles do not say anything about Mr. Card being a homophobe. What they say is the wonder about his orientation. I personally believe in my limited knowledge of Mr. Card that he is a very self aware person, and I think he accepts himself for who he is.

    I choose to blog here because I wish to have a dialogue with my own people and in doing so I hope my views and maybe others can become less extreme. I could find a more liberal place to express my view and I would just be commiserating and probably becoming more and more liberal, never seeing any flows in my own thinking.

    Ty Ray you asked me about my thoughts on The Divine Institution of Marriage and why I disagree. I am happy to do this. And here it is.

    As I read and reread ?The Divine Institution of Marriage? I find it very disturbing. I think there are three things in particular that are disturbing me.

    First, the brethren have no theological basis for their actions. Yes, we do believe in continuing revelation and priesthood authority. This authority typically is used in one of two ways. One in speaking about pasted revelations by use of scriptural sources; or two, by receiving new revelation and saying thus sayeth the Lord. I believe most LDS people believe God?s position on homosexuality and by association same sex marriage is strongly established in all the standard works. If you read a few scriptures in isolation you could get this impression. But as President Packer said in the Word Wide Training ?Our position on such things as divorce, abortion, and gender issues are stated and outlined in the revelations, and the proclamation on the family is the clearest statement that we find of those issues.? Notice that he states our position is stated clearest in the proclamation. If you note as you read ?The Divine Institution of Marriage? and other publications of the church about homosexuality the brethren almost exclusively quote from the Proclamation. This I believe is because there is little of worth in the scriptures to quote about on the subject. You find nothing in the D&C and nothing in the Book of Mormon. The two sources of any clarity are first Leviticus and second Paul. As you read the book of Leviticus it is very difficult to find anything we as a church live by besides the condemnation of homosexuality. There are a few times one of the Ten Commandments are quoted, but that is the extent of anything besides the condemnation we would ever follow. This is a book in the Old Testament we almost completely ignore, but we choose to keep the condemnation of homosexuality. When we look at the teachings of Paul there are many things we as a church we also disregard, one being his statements about being able to serve God better as a single person. We also disregard when he teaches that the only reason to get married is if you can not control your sexual impulses. There are others. But there is one issue of sexuality we do not disregard all of Paul?s statements about homosexuality. He also explains if your belief is not strong enough God may punish you with homosexuality. This is also disregarded in our theology.

    We see God?s will is not made clear in the standard works. Even we have nothing in later day in the form of a revelation to clarify this important topic. The things I have heard and read about receiving the revelation on the priesthood in 1978 seem very different than the process President Packer described in the Training to the World on the Family. ?Not too many years ago there came a movement in the world having to do with the family. The United Nations called a council on the family in Beijing, China. We sent delegations to that council on the family and to other councils that were held. And then it was announced that one of them would be held near our headquarters, and we thought, ?Well, if they are coming here, we had better proclaim ourselves.? Even with its differences let?s take this statement by President Packer?s on face value:

    ?A proclamation in the Church is a significant, major announcement. Very few of them have been issued from the beginning of the Church. They are significant; they are revelatory. And at that time, this was a little more than 10 years ago, the Brethren issued ?The Family: A Proclamation to the World.? It is scripture-like in its power?

    So let us look at what the Brethren quote from the proclamation as if it were a revelation canonized by the church. Still, it does not seem to say anything directly about homosexuality or gay marriage. For instance when they quote:

    ?We, the First Presidency and the Council of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, solemnly proclaim that marriage between a man and a woman is ordained of God and that the family is central to the Creator?s plan for the eternal destiny of His children . . . The family is ordained of God. Marriage between man and woman is essential to His eternal plan. Children are entitled to birth within the bonds of matrimony, and to be reared by a father and a mother who honor marital vows with complete fidelity.?

    How does this say anything about homosexuality or about not allowing it to be legal for same-sex couples to call their unions? marriage?

    Another example is:

    ?Gender is an essential characteristic of individual premortal, mortal, and eternal identity and purpose.?

    What does this say about homosexuality or gay marriage? Nothing. A gay man?s gender can be strongly male or female. A straight man?s gender can be the same. The same goes for women. Gender has nothing to do with sexual orientation. Even so this statement is so generic it does not even answer any theological questions about transgender people or those with genetic make up other than xx or xy.

    Even the last line I do not believe gives a reason to fight gay marriage.

    ?We call upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.?

    Gay marriage I believe is a step in keeping marriage and family as the fundamental unit of society. Without gay marriage many same sex couples raising children are forced to do so with out the benefits of this fundamental unit of society. I believe these children would be more likely to peruse a monogamous relationship in forming families if they were raised by a married couple instead of a couple just living together. What we tend to ignore as a church is these same sex couples raise just as many healthy heterosexual children proportionally as opposite sex couples do. Also, if same-sex marriage is made illegal it will spur many different laws on different types of domestic partnerships and civil unions, the result will be that marriage will no longer be the ideal form of coupling it will only be one of many forms of coupling.

    Remember what President Packer said: ?? the proclamation on the family is the clearest statement that we find of those issues.? So if this is the best source on what has God?s position is what do we really know?

    My point is that the brethren are not quoting God?s authority from a previously given scripture or as we see when reading ?The Divine Institution of Marriage? giving new revelation in this document as they try to justify their actions against same sex marriage. They are acting alone.

    Second, their argument that a same sex relationships are inherently based on selfishness and an opposite sex relationship are inherently based on selflessness is wrong. Some same-sex couples are just as dedicated to raising children as opposite sex couple. Many romantic relationships without children are selfless either by loving and supporting each other as partners or by dedicating their lives to different forms of selfless service. This can be true for couples regardless of their sexual orientation. Yes, there are selfish couples, but what reason do we have to believe that same sex couples are more selfish than oppose couples? Certainly not the fact that they cannot have children that both people?s genetics contribute, has this ever been a prerequisite to selfless behavior?

    Third, to argue that the fear of having our tax exempt status may be taken away as justification for fighting to take away the constitutionally protected rights of a minority of California?s citizens seems like bullying. Why would God?s church persecute a minority to protect it?s money? Why are we being asked as members to participate in this bullying?

  34. avatar

    Robert

    GFB:
    THANK YOU!

  35. avatar

    GFB

    Upon reflection I would like to add one more thought to my last post. I spoken about what make something come across bigoted or not. Compassion I believe is the factor that is our greatest indicator of of bigotrey. I think that what is behind this is if our possition is based on theological or cultral reasons. If they are purely theological than nothing should stop us from showing compation when we share our possition. If there are cultral factors than it becomes much more difficult. As we look back on our history as a church prior to 1978 I see little compation in our talk about blacks and the presthood and temple blessings. In fact in the years that followed I still heard reasoning that came accross to me as very bigoted. To me this is an indication that our possition had more to do with cultral factors than it did to theological.

  36. avatar

    -L-

    Man, that’s a good article by Card (Aug 7). As you say, Ty, Card may or may not be a homophobe, but this article certainly gives ample evidence to me that he is not. Sure, it’ll infuriate the folks whose fallacies it foils, but that’s life.

    I find it interesting that Card’s writings were the source of some of my adolescent gay exploration. There’s some book about boys who wield power to sing mind-influencing songs that includes a gay character who is a victim of the futuristic society’s homophobia. (I also remember that my gay cousin was fond of that book too!) Card seems to show quite ably that he understands the injustice of homophobia.

    I also found this section of the article interesting:

    After a lifetime spent in theater and the arts, of course, I am well-acquainted with many homosexuals; and because of who they are and who I am, I am close friends with several.

    They have never directly harmed me, nor I them. Many have helped me in my life — and I them. We get along just fine.

    After saying this, it’s interesting that so many people still shriek “homophobe,” but then I should hardly be surprised when I’ve been called a homophobe for some of my statements and beliefs by folks who know that I’m gay. I’m just repressed or kidding myself or self-hating, or [insert whatever character flaw that will distract from the irrefutable argument that I’ve made.] So, it’s no shocker to me that the homophobe hysteria comes out whenever Card puts a well thought phrase out into the online ether.

  37. avatar

    Robert

    Socal said:
    I firmly believe that the Church does not perform any review of what is posted on the blog or what is printed in the newspaper. It?s a Church owned business. Nothing more. Please don?t take statements made in either as being church approved.

    To your point, I believe that if the Church OWNS the newspaper, it is highly unlikely for the publication to stray from its source. One does not read non-Mormon viewpoints there. Anti-Mormon rhetoric is not sanctioned. The publication is Dedicated to a Mormon audience. (Few others are interested.) To place an unapproved message in that paper, one would have to tackle and gag the Mormon editorial staff. It isn’t going to happen. I think one is being disingenuous to suggest that the paper and its blog are NOT mouthpieces for the Church.

  38. avatar
  39. avatar

    GFB

    AJ,

    This is great!

    Thank you.

    Borealis you said:
    “But I think we can engage him on his arguments, rather than needing to personalize it.”

    Can we engage Playa #23 I really want to hear his reasoning instead of hypothesizes on what he may mean.