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Friday News: To boycott or not to boycott, Orson Scott Card...

In fact, he writes a long essay on the intolerance of GLBT advocates  just a few months ago for Sunstone magazine. This is what  Card says about tolerating homosexuals:

Laws against homosexual behavior should remain on the books, not to be indiscriminately enforced against anyone who happens to be caught violating them, but to be used when necessary to send a clear message that those who flagrantly violate society’s regulation of sexual behavior cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens within that society.

The goal of the polity is not to put homosexuals in jail. The goal is to discourage people from engaging in homosexual practices in the first place, and, when they nevertheless proceed in their homosexual behavior, to encourage them to do so discreetly, so as not to shake the confidence of the community in the polity’s ability to provide rules for safe, stable, dependable marriage and family relationships.

The hypocrites of homosexuality are, of course, already preparing to answer these statements by accusing me of homophobia, gay-bashing, bigotry, intolerance; but nothing that I have said here — and nothing that has been said by any of the prophets or any of the Church leaders who have dealt with this issue — can be construed as advocating, encouraging, or even allowing harsh personal treatment of individuals who are unable to resist the temptation to have sexual relations with persons of the same sex. On the contrary, the teachings of the Lord are clear in regard to the way we must deal with sinners. Christ treated them with compassion — as long as they confessed that their sin was a sin. Only when they attempted to pretend that their sin was righteousness did he harshly name them for what they were: fools, hypocrites, sinners.

Using Card’s words and behaviors as an example, it makes sense to participate in the boycott, right?


But one thing that ESPN does really well is the Emmy nominated 30 for 30 series. The Bo Jackson one was great as was the scandal at Southern Methodist University. Even if you don’t like sports, 30 on 30 is great program. Until recently, only a tiny portion of 30 on 30 has been about female athletes. To address this, ESPN is launching a Nine for IX documentary series to celebrate female athletes such as Billy Jean King and Venus Williams. Buzzfeed

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Jayne
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 06:26:34

    I love the 30 for 30 series. Some of them have been better than others for me but they’ve all been interesting. The Band that Wouldn’t Die, Reggie Miller vs New York, The Guru of Go, The U, Silly Little Game, Pony Excess, and 4 Days in October are among my favorites.

  2. Kaetrin
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 06:46:06

    Bigotry and homophobia disguised (poorly) as piety makes me want to hurl.

  3. cleo
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 06:46:17

    I have such mixed feelings about the Orson Scott Card thing. On the one hand I believe that art should be judged on its own merits. I generally don’t choose movies / books / art shows based on whether or not I approve of the personal life or politics of the artist. I make my choices based on reviews and of mouth about the work, and my response to trailers/excerpts etc. I get why some people boycott work by authors that behave badly or actors with dif political beliefs, etc but I usually don’t.

    On the other hand, OSC is making it hard for me because he keeps saying things that make me mad. And eventually I may not be able to separate the artist from the art. Right now I’m up in the air re Ender’s Game. I loved it when I read it some 20 years ago and I don’t remember any homophobia in it, but I haven’t re-read it and have no idea how well it holds up. I’ve been burned before by movie versions of beloved books from my youth (cough hitchhiker’s guide *cough*). As a bisexual sf fan, part of me feels like I should boycott Ender’s Game, but honestly unless the reviews are terrible, I’ll probably go, not because I like or approve of OSC but because I loved EG and because one of my buddies from grad school worked on the special effects.

  4. mari
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 06:46:44

    Wasn’t planning on seeing this movie, but now I will. Orson Scott Card’s thoughtful, religous response to the vicious anti-religous bigotry being spewed at him has made me even more of a fan than before.

  5. Kati
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 06:58:11

    @Jayne: Did you see Broke? It’s about professional athletes who lose their fortunes either while playing or after. It was actually an hour, but is classified as a 30 for 30. Amazing!

  6. Lammie
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 07:02:12

    I live in the same town as Orson Scott Card. When we first moved here, I thought it was neat, because I had read and loved Ender’s Game. Unfortunately, he wrote a column for a local independent newspaper that very recently folded. This was a right wing paper that I found objectionable in a lot of ways, but they had great coverage of the school board and local issues. Unfortunately, after almost ten years of reading Orson Scott Card’s reviews of movies, and thoughts on politics, I had to stop reading his columns even before the paper went out of business. He claimed to be a lifelong Democrat, but his views would be very welcome in the Tea Party fringe – being homophobic is only part of it, he is also anti-Muslim, and very intolerant of anything not from a 1950s white male mindset. To me he has become the poster chilother not knowing anything personal about an author or actor, because you might not like it and it will ruin their art for you.

  7. Patricia Eimer
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 07:16:28

    I’d heard before that OSC had some pretty extreme views that were rooted in his faith but I’d never actually read any of them. He has the right to his opinions and his beliefs and I have the right to think those rights are misguided, outdated and just plain wrong. The difference is? I’m not trying to persuade him to buy books and tickets to movies, he’s trying to sell those things to me and just like I choose not to shop in stores or from suppliers that endorse hate I won’t buy books or tickets to movies by those who endorse it either.

  8. Jayne
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 07:21:46

    @Kati: Not yet but I just saved a bunch of newer 30 for 30s to my Netflix queue.

  9. Rosario
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 07:32:00

    @cleo: I do believe in judging art on its own merits (and I didn’t see any homophobia in Ender’s Game either), but to me, the problem is putting money into this vile person’s pocket, money he has a history of donating to organisations doing very real harm. That’s why I won’t go to the cinema to watch Ender’s Game, even though I really want to watch it.

  10. jmc
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 07:33:53

    I’d give ESPN’s Nine for IX show about Pat Summit two thumbs up. And I’m not even a basketball fan.

    On OSC…I haven’t read his work, so I would not be predisposed to seeing the movie. But I find his plea for tolerance ridiculous given his own intolerance. I ran across a link on twitter to an editorial (can’t find the link right now) pointing out that OSC has the right to his opinion and freedom to speak as he chooses, but he’s not free of the consequences of his speech which in this case are people thinking he’s a bigot and declining to buy his book or see his movie. Which is the key for me.

  11. Cleo
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 07:47:59

    @rosario – yeah, I think that’s the dilemma and certainly one of the main arguments for the boycott. I don’t have any idea how much money he’ll actually get from ticket sales but I get not wanting to give him $ to do harm. I read a blog post somewhere about this – it had suggestions for people who want to see the movie but don’t agree w OSC. Things like go to the movie but donate to marriage equality etc. Which I may end up doing.

  12. Mike Cane
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 07:54:52

    >>>Christ treated them with compassion — as long as they confessed that their sin was a sin.

    That’s just not true. In all the accounts of Jesus dining with sinners — and it was used as a slander against him — there is absolutely no mention of any of those sinners repenting or admitting they *were* sinners. Jesus in fact saved his most damning judgments for those who used the cover of religion to condemn others for being “unholy” — the Pharisees. Jesus also healed people and many of those people didn’t even have the courtesy to thank him. Yet there’s no account of those healings being revoked on the basis of ingratitude. OSC needs to read the Bible without the lens of someone else’s interpretation in the way.

  13. Mireya
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 07:55:15

    Not particularly interested on “Ender’s Game”, and I can’t say I’ve ever read anything by that author as the genre he writes does not appeal to me. That being said, it’s pretty interesting to see how someone who spews such beliefs, now is asking for “tolerance”, because it is convenient for him, when he has zero tolerance in his own heart. If I see the movie it will be when it’s shown on regular T.V., that’s all.

  14. Spinster
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 07:58:06

    I’m definitely not one of those people who can separate the artist from their art. I can’t watch movies with Mel Gibson or Tom Cruise anymore because I can’t stop thinking “Hey, it’s that screaming wackaloon!” long enough to believe in the character they’re playing.

    I do love how OSC’s idea of tolerance for homosexuality is to not throw you in jail if you’re discreet enough about it, but tolerance for his views involves giving him your money. I think I’ll pass. I’ve got better things to spend my money on. In fact, I think I’ll send the price of a non-matinee movie ticket to the Human Rights Campaign…

  15. Jia
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 07:58:53

    @jmc: Maybe this is the editorial you’re referring to?

  16. Kaetrin
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 07:59:10

    @Mike Cane +1

  17. cead
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 08:02:42

    I saw OSC speak in person at an SF/F con about five years ago, and it was so horrifying that I nearly walked out. In a curious way, I had to respect him for it: he was speaking to an audience in a place he had to know would be hostile to his opinions, but he didn’t try to soft-pedal it or make it more appealing the way many keynote speakers would, and, well, that’s integrity all right. But the content was just… vile. His speech was on general issues and not LGBT-specific, so there were like forty-six different kinds of bigotry, and it was extremely upsetting to listen to. I heard from a few of the people who dealt with him at the rest of the con (including some of the organisers) that he was generally unpleasant and hard to deal with, too… unlike Guy Gavriel Kay, who had been the previous year’s Guest of Honour and who was evidently a total class act.

  18. jmc
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 08:14:06

    @Jia: Thank you for the link! That’s pretty consistent with the editorial I read but it wasn’t at io9. I think it came through GeeksOUT but am not sure. And am blocked from many sites by my work filter, so I’ll have to wait until I’m at home to find it again.

  19. John
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 08:45:17

    I know that I am expected to say that readers should make their own judgments on what to do about OSC and his film and his book. And a strong part of me wants to say that anyway.

    But…as an LGBTQ teenager who has gone through a decent stratum of negativity, who has grown up in negativity, I find it appalling that someone could go see that film or recommend that book without suggesting a format that gives OSC no financial gain whatsoever. I believe the man is a member of a group that is anti-LGBTQ marriage. He regularly writes articles addressing it and speaks about it. If we give him money, he has made it very clear that he is passionate about stopping it. As someone who is LGBTQ, the thought of willingly supporting anything that could lead to that direct prejudice just seems wrong to me. I don’t blame people for wanting to go see it – but why is it so important that it’s a movie that must be seen? Why must people recommend EG anyway when there are thousands of other YA titles, many sf or fantasy, that also have the additive of being more diverse and inclusive?

    I get separation of an author and his views – but his bigotry is not his religion (I know several LDS people, and several have expressed a great dislike of him because he sets the worst example for what being LDS can be). His bigotry is him, and it’s harmful, and it could all too easily be found by a curious young reader of his who reads/watches EG. And there is no assurance that said young reader will understand it or get that it’s bigotry. That is what I’m afraid of. So, I support the boycott of him in its entirety.

  20. Jane Davitt
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 08:58:17

    I read and loved Ender’s Game as a child and my friend and I adored his Seventh Son series and I’ve read many of his less-known books — but we were teenagers and reading with blinkers. As an adult I can say that he has a knack for writing, but I’m more able to see insidious threads of bigotry and homophobia that I completely missed initially. Like the enemy being called ‘Buggers’. Yeah, I’m sure that’s a coincidence… And there are some disturbing undercurrents in Lost Boys. Haven’t read it for years but I seem to recall the young boys are raped as well as murdered in it.

    When I found out just how deep his feelings went I stopped buying his books and donated most of them to charity.

    I’ve been burned by movies of books so often that when I heard about the movie I would’ve cringed anyway. My husband and daughter have read and enjoyed the book but I’ve said flatly I’m not going to see it and in any way endorse OSC’s opinions. This isn’t a book where no one really knows the author that well because they’re very private or they’re long dead; OSC is very much alive and still spouting intolerance.

    Does he get money from ticket sales? Not sure. Maybe he’s already reaped the cash from selling the movie rights and it’s a done deal and my boycott won’t hurt his pocket at all. I don’t care.

    And for him to say as he did in a recent interview that all us gay marriage advocates have gotten our way so it’s time to be gracious winners and stop being mean to him makes me so angry I can barely be coherent. To compare denying a group of people equality to denying a movie company some revenue as matching injustices is laughable.

    If I choose not to pay to see this movie, I’m hurting no one. I’m exercising my right as a consumer to spend my money where I see fit.

  21. Alix Nowarra
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 09:13:25

    I consider myself a fairly tolerant person and believe in tolerance, but I also believe in drawing a line and taking a stance against behavior I find inacceptable and against people who stand for political or social views and systems I find inacceptable. Tolerance needs to be answered or met with tolerance. I find it impossible to meet hate-speech with tolerance.

    In a world where OSC and people like him were in control me and many of my friends wouldn’t be treated with tolerance. We wouldn’t even be able to ask for tolerance because they would do their utmost to silence us, if not destroy us completely in one form or another.

    I give them the right to voice their opinions but then they also have to face the consequences (legal, financial, societal) of their words and actions.

    I read Ender’s Game when I was a teenager and I still own the book, but the moment I learned about his homophobia he went on my no-buy list. I also won’t go and see the movie. I feel sorry for all the other people involved in the project because they will suffer from this as well, but I try hard to avoid giving money to people or organizations with a worldview like OSC’s.

  22. Anya
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 09:49:30

    OSC is a board member of the National Organization for Marriage, one of the most well-known anti-gay marriage/gay rights organizations in the U.S. This means he’s not just saying gay people shouldn’t have rights; he’s actively working to prevent gay people from gaining equal rights, as well as to take away what rights gay people do have now. And unlike some other members of NOM and other well known anti-gay rights activists who at least pretend “to hate the sin, not the sinner”, OSC pretty clearly wouldn’t be opposed to implementing in the US a version of the proposed anti-gay rights bill in Uganda (Link:, that among other things, includes the death penalty for “repeat offenders”.

    In a lot of cases, I’m torn about tolerating people whose beliefs run counter to mine/hurt me and people I care about. Often the clarifying issue for me is how involved are they in movements I disagree with? Will buying their books/seeing their movies/etc. mean I’m putting money in their pocket to use against me and people I care about? Will it mean I’m giving them a larger platform from which to advocate/implement their ideas? If yes, I avoid them.

    As for the religious argument, I’m tired of it. I know several LDS members who are active members of Mormons for Marriage (which, despite sounding like NOM, actually supports gay marriage/gay rights). There are many religions/religious denominations that oppose gay marriage; there are also many religions/religious denominations that support gay marriage. This is not a defining issue for a religion (except maybe the Westboro Baptist Church).

    Sorry for the mini rant; I have the impression that many readers here support gay marriage/gay rights (or at least, don’t oppose them), which is really great. And the level of discourse when this issue (and other hot-button topics) have come up has always been very impressive.

    To summarize, I won’t be seeing this movie (well maybe I’ll pirate it or watch it on Netflix in a couple of years if its apparently really good). Words and actions have consequences.

  23. azteclady
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 10:32:32

    @mari: OSC and people who share his beliefs advocate for real consequences for people who “act” gay–a behaviour he finds sinful and offensive.

    How is it hypocritical or indeed intolerant to agree with real consequences, in the form of a boycott of anything sporting his name, if we find his beliefs offensive?

  24. Jenna
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 10:52:30

    The only thing I’d read until recently about Orson Scott Card was a really lovely opinion piece he did about not expecting God to make your novels a success. It was well reasoned and very clear. I didn’t really look into more of his stuff and so reading all of this has been a real shock. I’m honestly trying not to take too much of it in because I really enjoy his novels.

  25. Darlynne
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 10:54:44

    I try to separate the artist from the work, but his rants and writings are just too vile to ignore. This is a point of no return.

  26. Anonymous in this case
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 10:56:11

    I actually think that Orson Scott Card is justified in feeling threatened by gay rights. This is not to say that he is RIGHT–but that there is a historical basis for his bigoted opinion that the things he holds dear will alter if gays are given rights.

    Until 1978, Blacks were excluded from the Mormon priesthood. (It’s a little more complicated than that, but whatever).

    One way you can look at it is that God really felt that Black people would be punished for Cain’s sins and not for their own transgressions, and until God decided to change that, they were just doing the will of God. No racism at all!

    But as a historical matter, it’s hard to ignore the increasing pressure that the church felt as civil rights era legislation came into effect, as increasing awareness of, and disdain for, overt racism came into play. Unless you are extremely non-cynical, it is hard to escape the fact that religions that have doctrines that look like overt bigotry suffer, no matter how much they claim it’s the word of God, and that a religion looking to expand worldwide was going to have issues.

    And so one reading of the historical record is that the Mormon church flip-flopped on a civil rights issue in response to public pressure.

    That’s what I think is underlying his vituperation: He doesn’t want gays and lesbians to be accepted because it will put pressure on those who continue to practice bigotry. And he doesn’t want bigots called out, because he’s seen how calling out bigotry has resulted in change.

  27. Tamara
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 10:59:41

    I’ve only purchased and read non-fiction by OSC and if I’d known then what I know now, I wouldn’t have. As far as I’m concerned, putting my money in his hands is the same as putting it into the hands of hate groups, myself. How he can demand tolerance after spewing such intolerance–it just boggles my mind. It reveals an arrogant, self-serving nature and indicates to me that the man still has a lot of growing up to do.

    And for those who say I must separate the art from the artist’s views–no, I really don’t have to. Being in possession of imagination and creativity does not give you a pass when you’re the sort of miserable SOB who feels he has the right to determine how other people should fall in love and live their lives. To say I should overlook it–that’s nonsense. If anything, I would expect *greater* tolerance and open-mindedness from an artist or writer, because they have the imagination to see beyond the out-of-date dictates of organized religions and to better understand and empathise with their fellow human beings. At least, they should.

    And now I’m going to look up how much I spent on that OSC book I bought so many years ago and add fifty bucks to it to make a donation to the most lgbt-positive support group I can find.

    OSC should be purely ashamed of himself.

  28. Lindsay
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 11:02:38

    OSC’s books are ones that I enjoyed before I knew anything about his views on other human beings, and since then have bought used if at all and tend to recommend the same. In his case specifically he holds a lot of power due to his books and sales and status within the SF/F community, so the more people someone can reach the more I tend to push back against giving them more power to hurt people.

    There are a lot of things I can enjoy while acknowledging they are problematic, and tend to involve conversations involving the problematic elements with people before or after but I can still enjoy during… but I don’t know if this can be one of them. A lot of my friends are boycotting this movie, we’re doing karaoke instead opening night. However a lot of our friends DO want to see the movie because they enjoyed the book, and nobody is saying they shouldn’t. What I think is awesome is that everyone I know who does plan to see the movie plans to see it after opening week, and have already made donations to PFLAGG and similar organizations for the cost of the movie ticket (or more).

  29. Jody W.
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 11:08:56

    I’m not going to boycott the movie. I’m going to catcott the movie, which is, pretend it doesn’t even exist. Then at 2 am, probably on Twitter, I’m going to run amuck in a crazed yowling fit that isn’t necessarily connected to the catcott but is just because I feel like it.

  30. hapax
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 11:38:38

    As far as not finishing books goes, I still remember the very first book I did not finish. I won’t name the book because it’s one beloved by many people here and that’s not the point; but I do remember the feeling of astonished relief that I could simply stop reading a book and nothing bad happened.

    I’ve kept that book on my shelves, bookmark still in place, through many moves, just to remind me of that liberating epiphany.

    As far as the ENDERS GAME film goes, I’m not “boycotting” EG because of OSC’s stand. I’m refusing to see it because I hated the book. I can’t think of any way to read the story except as a very subtly and cleverly written justification of how a person could be a vicious murdering genocidal monster and still view himself as “the victim” and a Nice Guy.

    Perhaps OSC subconsciously thought that he would need to make that case some day…

    Anyways, if the reviews indicate that the filmmakers picked up on this obvious (to me) subtext, that would change my mind.

    Then I’ll switch to actually boycotting the film because it’s got OSC’s name on it.

    (After all, if I don’t eat at Chick-Fil-A because I don’t like what the CEO does with the company profits, or if I don’t eat there because their sandwiches are fattening and make me queasy — either way, Chick-Fil-A doesn’t get my money)

  31. Estara Swanberg
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 11:40:23

    @Jody W.: +1 for a getting a chuckle out of me in connection with this whole bloody mess

    And to offer something on topic: Author Chuck Wendig explains why he also won’t see the movie:

    In my 20s I read Ender’s Game and some of the early Alvin Maker books but I didn’t like his depiction of females and when I was able to find easier access to female sf&f writers I left him behind with no regret. I never reread, either, so he’s fairly forgettable to me.

    Unlike David Eddings ^^ – whose series work I still enjoy despite the portrayal of X’Nedra. Polgara forever!

  32. SAO
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 13:35:15

    @Anon in this case

    Almost all religions follow, rather than lead, changes in social mores. If you actually read the bible, you will discover it never says owning slaves is a sin, but it talks at great length about the sin of non-marital sex. I don’t think very many people who call themselves Christians today would share those values. 96% of Americans have had non-marital sex.

  33. Maria M.
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 14:35:49

    I bought and enjoyed several of OSCs books in earlier years, notably the 7th Son series. He certainly can write.

    However, I independenty arrived at a negative opinion of the man during the 2003 period when many of us were trying to stop the impending Iraq war. I read a pro-war article by him then that was so redolent of fascist and racist ideology, attacking anyone against the war as traitors etc., that I was deeply shocked and decided to boycott his products from that day forward.

    His other opinions discussed here fit with my conclusions then. This man should be boycotted by any person with a conscience.

  34. P. Kirby
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 14:44:03

    The hypocrites of homosexuality…

    Oh, lookie, OSC has discovered alliteration. How droll.

    Honestly, given that I have Ender’s Game on my Over-rated shelf at Goodreads, the movie adaptation of the same was never destined to get my hard-earned, cashy money.

    As with most bigots, he’s all for free speech when it’s his hate-filled blather that’s filling the air, but gets his knickers in a knot when someone actually takes umbrage and exercises their own right to free speech and freedom to speak via their discretionary spending.

    As for tolerance, I see no reason to be tolerant of someone who actively seeks to oppress other human beings.

    And no, I have no obligation to separate the “artist’s” (and I use the term generously when it comes to Card) opinions from his/her work any more than I am obligated ignore the bigoted dealings of Chick-Fil-A. My money, my choice.

  35. Sirius
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 14:45:25

    Count me amongst those who loved Ender game and even read sequels and also amongst those who does not have a dilemma – no, the moment I learned that OSC is not just an awesome writer but a vicious homophobe was the moment when I decided that he is not getting one cent of my money. Ever.

  36. Sunita
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 14:53:36

    If you read the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on “toleration,” it appears that Card’s idea of tolerance/toleration falls under the category of “permissive toleration,” which is actually the most restrictive and limited type. He wants LGBTQ people to keep their desires and preferences private and away from where he can see them, away from where they can affect policy.

    I’m more than willing to extend him the same level of toleration: I ask that he keep his beliefs about homosexuality private, away from where I can see them, and away from where they can affect policy.

  37. Cleo
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 15:20:51

    @sunita – well put

  38. Jenny
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 15:42:24

    After reading that OSC essay , I’m so overwhelmingly disgusted, that there is no way I would ever see the movie.

  39. Cassandra B.
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 16:03:59

    I would never defend OSC’s views and likely will not see the movie, but I clicked through the link to the original article and it was written in 1990, not recently. There is a brief description prior to the article describing the context in which it was written — although OSC does say his views are largely unchanged. I just thought that was important information to add.

  40. txvoodoo
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 16:27:25

    Re OSC, I’ll let works stand on their own, yes. I enjoyed his books in the past, before I knew about his views.

    Since then, however, I will not do anything that will lead to a single cent going from my pocket to his. To me, it would feel like tacit endorsement of his hatemongering.

  41. Angela
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 16:44:02

    @Cassandra B.: This is a link to his more recent statement.

    I always wanted to read Ender’s Game – it was one of those books I’d planned to get to – one day. And then I learned what an awful person OSC is. How he can demand tolerance for his views and not want to give any to anyone else, well I just don’t know what to do with that. Besides ensuring that he never makes a cent off of me.

    I’m not standing in his way of being a Mormon. I’m not trying to take any rights away from him. Letting LGBT have the same rights as heterosexuals is the right thing to do, and it doesn’t affect OSC in the slightest. If his religion decides to bow to societal pressure, he can fight that within the church, NOT within law. Or in other words, as Sunita said:

    If you read the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on “toleration,” it appears that Card’s idea of tolerance/toleration falls under the category of “permissive toleration,” which is actually the most restrictive and limited type. He wants LGBTQ people to keep their desires and preferences private and away from where he can see them, away from where they can affect policy.

    I’m more than willing to extend him the same level of toleration: I ask that he keep his beliefs about homosexuality private, away from where I can see them, and away from where they can affect policy.

  42. Susan
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 18:48:06

    @Maria M.: “This man should be boycotted by any person with a conscience.”

    Um, I have a conscience, and I’m a bit miffed by your implication that it requires me to boycott this movie. You don’t get to be the arbiter of what “people of conscience” do or don’t do. I’m perfectly capable of making my own decisions on the matter, and my conscience will be intact regardless of what I decide, thank you. Sorry if I’m taking it the wrong way or being overly harsh here, but this hit a nerve with me.

    That said, I’m one of those people that’s a bit conflicted about the question about separating art from the artist. We don’t usually know as much about the personal beliefs and actions of most artists (writers, musicians, painters, etc.) as we do about actors because the latter are just so much more in the public eye. And there are probably scores of actors that I have a “personal” beef with because of their political/social views or bad behavior. (Heck, I loathe Gwyneth Paltrow simply because, in my eyes, she’s so insufferably smug and self-absorbed.) For the most part, tho, I’ll still watch them in a movie if I like it, even if it’s just on TV. I just can’t give up Mel Gibson, can’t resist watching that stupid War of the Worlds with Tom Cruise every time it’s on, and love GP in Sliding Doors. If I had to evaluate every artist before I ever read their book/watched their film/listened to their music, I’d probably be living in a world without any art at all.

    (But then there’s Roman Polanski. There’s no forgiveness or acceptance in me for him or anything he touches. He’s dead to me. Maybe it’s the difference between words/demeanor and actual actions.)

    I was the wrong generation to read Ender’s Game when it came out. I’ve always been curious about it but, even if I read it now, I doubt it would resonate with me the way it did for young readers. The movie doesn’t hold much appeal for me, either, but I don’t think it means I’m a morally bankrupt individual if I do wind up buying a ticket.

  43. Jorrie Spencer
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 18:54:43

    @Sunita: “I’m more than willing to extend him the same level of toleration: I ask that he keep his beliefs about homosexuality private, away from where I can see them, and away from where they can affect policy.”

    Love it.

    I actually didn’t buy into Ender’s Game at any level, perhaps, because I read it too late. But I did read a How To book of his (before I knew of any of his views) that was very useful to me—and introduced me to Octavia Butler’s Wild Seed, for which I will be forever grateful. That book was worth the price of admission for the excerpt and his description of why it was so brilliant.

    So, some regret that he holds these views, for sure. And NO INTENTION WHATSOEVER to support him financially in any way.

  44. Heller
    Jul 12, 2013 @ 19:47:39



  45. Christine Kimbrough
    Jul 13, 2013 @ 12:46:11

    Boycott or don’t boycott. It makes no difference to me. If you cannot tolerate OSC’s beliefs then by all means you are free to boycott his books and movie. Do you know what his beliefs truly are or are you just taking others word for it? Do you boycott all other authors, entertainers, companies, corporations and public entities whose known beliefs on homosexuality differ from yours?

    Shame on you Dear Author, because the quote from OSC is incomplete and taken out of context. It was NOT written a few months ago. In fact the quote you included specifically addressed issues relevant to the time. Here is the context description for the article(which is included in the link you provided to the full article) . . .

    This essay was published in February of 1990, in the following context: The Supreme Court had declared in 1986 (Bowers v. Hardwick) that a Georgia law prohibiting sodomy even in the privacy of one’s own home was constitutional. I was also writing this essay to a conservative Mormon audience that at the time would have felt no interest in decriminalizing homosexual acts. In that context, my call to “leave the laws on the books” was simply recognizing the law at that time, and my call to not enforce it except in flagrant cases was actually, within that context, a liberal and tolerant view — for which I was roundly criticized in conservative Mormon circles as being “pro-gay.” Those who now use this essay to attack me as a “homophobe” deceptively ignore the context and treat the essay as if I had written it yesterday afternoon. That is absurd — now that the law has changed (the decision was overturned in 2003) I have no interest in criminalizing homosexual acts and would never call for such a thing, any more than I wanted such laws enforced back when they were still on the books. But I stand by the main points of this essay, which concerns matters internal to the Mormon Church.

    This is what I think is the best quote from the article . . .

    Tolerance is not the fundamental virtue, to which all others must give way. The fundamental virtue is to love the Lord with all our heart, might, mind, and strength; and then to love our neighbor as ourself. Despite all the rhetoric of the hypocrites of homosexuality about how if we were true Christians, we would accept them fully without expecting them to change their behavior, we know that the Lord looks upon sin without the least degree of tolerance, and that he expects us to strive for perfection.

    That we must treat sinners kindly is true; that we must courageously and firmly reject sin is also true. Those whose “kindness” causes them to wink at sin are not being kind at all, for the only hope of joy that these people have is to recognize their sin and repent of it. True kindness is to be ever courteous and warm toward individuals, while confronting them always with our rejection of any argument justifying their self-gratification. That will earn us their love and gratitude in the day of their repentance, even if during the time they still embrace their sins they lash out at us as if we were their enemies.

    And if it happens that they never repent, then in the day of their grief they cannot blame us for helping them deceive and destroy themselves. That is how we keep ourselves unspotted by the blood of this generation, even as we labor to help our brothers and sisters free themselves from the tyranny of sin.

  46. Carrie G
    Jul 13, 2013 @ 14:50:58

    @Mike Cane: Yes. Thank you.

  47. Carrie G
    Jul 13, 2013 @ 15:09:45

    @Christine Kimbrough:

    This is always the dilemma. People who truly believe homosexuality (or abortion, or premarital sex, etc.) is a sin against God can’t just wink at it and say it doesn’t matter. They truly believe the sinner is going to hell and it is their calling, straight from Christ, to preach the gospel to these “sinners” and help them on their path to heaven.

    To allow people to persist in their sin without helping is to be complicit with the sinner’s sin. In other words, God expects Christians to help others avoid hell. If they aren’t trying to convince sinners of their sin, they aren’t showing tolerance or love, they’re actually showing hatred by not caring that these people go to hell.

    So, there it is. I’ve spent most of my adult life in evangelical and reformed churches. I completely understand the motivations of many of the people opposed to gay rights and abortion. They literally *hurt* for the people involved because they think they are going to hell. Of course, not every anti-gay, anti-abortion believer feels this kind of compassion, but many really do.

    My own beliefs have changed radically over the last decade, and I’m now sitting on the outside of circle I’ve known for years wondering where I fit in.

  48. Cassandra B.
    Jul 13, 2013 @ 17:21:43

    Growing up in the conservative Midwest, I too struggled with people who truly believe that the only right path is to call out the sin and help people reform. I grew up and worked with people whose beliefs were basically the opposite of mine, but they are my friends and family and I know they are good people. My grandmother is not a horrible, evil person because she believes homosexuality is a sin. Do I think she is wrong? Yes, but I love her and she loves me despite my liberal, “sinning” ways.

    I once heard a minister speak about ministry and sins. He said that Christians are called to bring people into the religion and point out sins, but they are also called to help the poor and needy. He believed this was by far the more important duty and he would not worry about pointing out personal sins until there was no one on Earth hungry or in need. (He said this a whole lot better than me!) Anyway, it gave me renewed faith and a belief that I didn’t have to accept someone else’s definition of what a proper Christian should or should not do.

  49. hapax
    Jul 13, 2013 @ 20:40:14

    There are many things that I think are “sinful”, because they violate the second of the Great Commandments, which is “love your neighbor as you love yourself.” Among these are refusing to give to panhandlers, undertipping, and laughing at cringe comics such as Sasha Baron Cohen.

    There are many things I find “disgusting” and “against nature”, such as posting “boob shots” on FaceBook, eating lima beans and raw oysters, and wearing white shoes after Labor Day.

    Nonetheless, I am understand my responsibilities as a proud citizen of a constitutional democracy, and don’t try to enshrine my religious beliefs and personal tastes into law.

    Anyone can disapprove of anything they darn well want. OSC can dislike GBLT people; I can dislike his books. He is free to think I am going to burn in Hell, and feel bad about it; I am free to think that he is wasting a superior talent on increasingly fascist books, and feel bad about that.

    But there is a difference between holding an opinion — even holding it passionately and sincerely, even loudly proclaiming it as often and as persuasively as possible — and actively campaigning to have one’s personal opinions made the law of the land.

    This really isn’t a tough distinction.

  50. azteclady
    Jul 13, 2013 @ 21:04:23

    Shame on Dear Author, indeed.

    How dare we be allowed to make up our own minds by following links and figuring out what we want to do.


  51. hapax
    Jul 13, 2013 @ 21:09:10

    I’m baffled why my comment was caught for moderation.

    If it was the “b-00-b” word, I do apologize, but sheesh…. your filter is stricter than my Grandmother!

  52. Kaetrin
    Jul 13, 2013 @ 21:19:46

    @Christine Kimbrough: You haven’t convinced me I’m afraid. I still think OSC is a homophobic bigot, no matter the genesis of his beliefs. Religion is no excuse. And I say this as a Christian.

  53. DeeCee
    Jul 13, 2013 @ 22:41:04

    I don’t support OSC. I think he’s a bigot and have since he wrote an article when Prop 8 was being mulled over and I couldn’t get past his holier-than-thou attitude. It’s not his beliefs I have a problem with, it is him actively working to ensure another human being has less rights than him because of a belief that he deserves more because of his bible or his god.

    I think I have a copy of Ender’s Game somewhere in my many boxes of TBR books, but it’s not a priority for me. I will eventually read it (not for a burning need, but simply so I can debate it with a bff of mine who has loved it for over a decade).

    As for the movie….I’m not going to go out of my way to see it. If it’s on tv in a few years, maybe, but I sure as heck am not going to spend $10 on it.

    And I don’t support Chick-fil-A either (though I do love their commercials on ESPN).

  54. MaryK
    Jul 13, 2013 @ 23:19:23


    no matter the genesis of his beliefs. Religion is no excuse.

    If religion doesn’t guide a person’s beliefs and day-to-day actions, what’s the point of religion? Is popular morality the only true religion?

  55. Jane
    Jul 13, 2013 @ 23:32:53

    Here’s the biggest problem I have with use religion as the basis of hate against homosexuals – the inconsistency of it. I’m not familiar with the Mormon religion so I am not sure what it’s dictates are but, like Carrie, I grew up in a fundamentalist Christian household and am very familiar with the teachings of that particular sect of Christianity.

    A fundamentalist believes that the Old Testament is a type and shadow of the New Testament thus the Jonah and the Whale story is allegorical for Christ’s death and resurrection three days later (the same time spent in the belly of the whale). Jonah is the type and shadow (OT) of Jesus (NT). This is the way that fundamentalists get away with eating pork and not stoning their daughters because they argue the old Testament is formalistic and legalistic and that the precepts of the New Testament require you to follow only two simple principles:

    Love the Lord your God with all your heart, might and soul; and love your neighbor as yourself.

    In following this principle, then you will actually abide by the Ten Commandments. There is nothing in that foregoing principle which calls for homosexuals to be deemed sinners. Nothing.

    But let’s look at this from the Ten Commandments, OT-style. There’s nothing there about sexual intercourse EXCEPT for You shall not commit adultery and You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife.

    So if the Ten Commandments are the guiding principles of OT Christianity, why are there laws NOT outlawing adultery? Why are adulterers, like 50% of the male married population – or whatever the statistic – subject to laws prohibiting them from marrying. Isn’t adultery a greater threat to the consecrated state of marriage?

    Or how about the old Commandment “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” Let’s outlaw that. Working on Sunday and doing anything that is not Christ related should be outlawed. Surely *that* venal sin should require us to hold our neighbor’s actions as so sinful that it must be stamped out.

    For some reason, there is this idea amongst Christians that homosexuality is one of the most evil acts to have ever been devised when it isn’t even listed as violating one of the Ten Commandments or the new rules of Christ like behavior.

    So anytime I see someone using “religion” as the excuse to hate on homosexuals and homosexuality, I know it is an excuse because if they were truly so religious that they would foment action against their neighbor out of some belief that they are saving their neighbor’s souls, they would do the same thing for anyone who coveted, worked on Sunday, or was unfaithful (in deed or in heart).

    That they are not shows the dark utter hypocrisy of “religion” as the excuse for oppression.

  56. Kaetrin
    Jul 14, 2013 @ 03:03:52

    Like Jane, I don’t know the ins and outs of LDS/Mormonism (or any other religion for that matter). I am familiar with Christianity, so I can only speak to that.

    There are (only) 6 verses in the (entire) bible which refer (arguably) to homosexuality). 3 are in the Old Testament and 3 in the New. I believe 2 of the OT references are about Sodom and Gomorrah which is more about not giving hospitality to strangers and raping them instead, than homosexuality. In ancient times, rape of men by men was common following war/a battle and was an act of agression and domination by the victors. (And, at that time there was no such thing as a homosexual identity. That is a more modern idea. In fact some cultures still do not have a concept of homosexuality as an identity.) The other reference is in (I believe) Leviticus which describes men having sex with men as an “abomination”. So too was eating shellfish. The Old Testament (Deuteronomy) is also the place where women are to be put to death (by stoning) if they are not virgins on their wedding night. (I don’t support that either.)

    Modern day Christians believe that the OT no longer sets the rules because of the redemptive work of Jesus – that is why they can eat shellfish etc., because Jesus brought in the new covenant. Christians are to live by the tenets of the New Testament (“Love God. Love your neighbours as yourself.”) There are 3 verses which (arguably) refer to homosexuality in the New Testament. They are all from Paul’s writings. None are the words of Jesus. 1 of the references is as regards Sodom and Gomorrah and as per the above, that wasn’t really about homosexuality at all. It was about not raping people. The other 2 references are unclear in the original text because the word there isn’t used in many other places but the best approximation is that there is an “economic” context to the word so it could very well be that it is a prohibition against male prostitution.

    In any event, in the New Testament of course, women were still property and had no rights. In the New Testament, indentured servitude/slavery is explicitly endorsed (again, by Paul – “slaves, obey your masters”). The bible is a book which reflects the times in which it was written. This is why, scholars these days (who aren misogynistic a**holes at least) agree that women and men are equal. Not everything in the bible holds true today. Times have changed. So, *even if* those last 2 NT references to homosexuality *are* actually about homosexuality, I don’t think it holds water today in exactly the same way I don’t think it’s okay to own people.

    I think using the bible as a basis to say that being LGBTQ is wrong/sinful is misguided.

    I’m a Christian. I’m a supporter of marriage equality and equal rights for everyone. I don’t think it is a sin to be queer.

    I’ll say it again, religion is not an excuse for bigotry.

    Much of the above information is from a video from Matthew Vine , a gay Christian from Kansas who eloquently spoke in his church not too long ago. I can’t take credit for the research.

  57. Meri
    Jul 14, 2013 @ 06:30:33


    Or how about the old Commandment “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” Let’s outlaw that. Working on Sunday and doing anything that is not Christ related should be outlawed.

    If the goal is to follow the original text of the ten commandments, that would actually be Saturday, not Sunday ;)

    Otherwise I very much agree with your post and with Kaetrin’s. I live in a country that does not have separation of religion from state, and would much rather that it did. I respect other people’s rights to hold whatever religious beliefs they have, but I do not agree with those who seem to think that respect for such beliefs means that all of society should be required to follow them as well.

    The book of Leviticus includes numerous rules that aren’t even followed by most Jews, let alone by Christians, whose relationship to the Old Testament is different from ours to the Tanakh.

    It is a pity that OSC acts on such unfortunate beliefs, and chooses to use his fame and fortune to advance such an agenda. Though I enjoyed Ender’s Game when I first read it, at this point, I cannot consider the art separately from the artist.

  58. azteclady
    Jul 14, 2013 @ 09:57:48

    @Kaetrin: Thank you so much for that link! I just watched it and I’m in awe of this young man.

    ETA: for anyone curious, be warned that it’s over an hour long.

  59. Cleo
    Jul 14, 2013 @ 17:26:55

    John Corvino (the gay moralist) also addresses this in his short video, Homosexuality & The Bible I. Actually, all of his videos are great – humorous and logical dissections of common arguments against marriage equality and gay rights.

  60. persnickety
    Jul 14, 2013 @ 19:21:23

    I have had some (not much) interaction with LDS, and the misfortune of reading one of OSC books aimed at Mormon readers. Kind of like Left Behind, but for mormons.

    Essentially the LDS teachings (similar to early christianity based on my reading of Dante) if you don’t accept their particular religious vision you are not going to heaven. ever. The eternal afterlife is not spent in hell, but in purgatory. There is a bit of a variant, in that if you accept LDS teachings you can graduate into heaven (maybe). So effectively, it isn’t just the LBTQ community that are doomed, but the rest of us as well- but if he said that, no one would buy his books.

    I know I read the book that gave me this disturbing insight in high school, but I continued to read OSC for some years, and EG is a book that I read a lot in my early 20s. I can read his books, but there is always a commentary in my head that his beliefs are counter to mine, in the same way I read other books, despite the fact that I think the author is not a nice person, i can give myself that counter opinion while reading. That is much much harder to do in the movie theater, so yes, probably not watching the movie anytime soon.

  61. reader
    Jul 15, 2013 @ 11:34:25

    “Do you boycott all other authors, entertainers, companies, corporations and public entities whose known beliefs on homosexuality differ from yours?”

    As a matter of fact, yes, I do.

    Awfully quick to assume we wouldn’t have the integrity to do so, aren’t you?

  62. txvoodoo
    Jul 15, 2013 @ 16:58:08

    Yup, I’m for consistency, too. There’s one difference for me, though. I don’t boycot those who aren’t actively trying to harm others, either via legislation, or through public discourse.

    I do believe everyone has the right to their own opinions and beliefs. They do, I do. If they aren’t trying to advance some sort of agenda in their works, that’s fine. If they’re not using their fame as a platform from which to spread hate and divisiveness, I’m ok with that.

    OSC, however, does. And there are others who do. I avoid and/or boycott these people. They have a right to say what they think, and I have a right to not enrich them or broaden their platform.

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