Has anyone else been disappointed by an author?

Discussion in 'Orson Scott Card' started by the smiling weirwood, Nov 17, 2008.

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    the smiling weirwood

    the smiling weirwood Axes and Saws Prohibited

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    I wonder if it's just me, or if someone else has discovered something about someone for whom they formerly had a great deal of respect that has totally put them off of that person's work. That has happened to me recently regarding Mr. Card.

    I loved the Ender books, Alvin Maker, and the Earthcoming series despite some of the more or less blatant Mormon ideology permeating the latter two. Then a friend showed me an interesting essay written by Mr. Card that is just so full of intolerance and the worst kind of moralistic judgement...I can't stand to look at one of his books anymore.

    Here's the link. I'm interested to know if something like this impacts anyone else's opinion of his work or if you all are able to separate the two.

    The Hypocrites of Homosexuality - Orson Scott Card
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    dustinzgirl

    dustinzgirl Mod of Awesome

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    He does not disappoint me anymore than that Scientology nutcase...whats his name? Oh yeah, L. Ron Hubbard.

    It does not impact my opinion of his work at all. What he states is an opinion, and he is exercising his free speech, which he has a right to do. Whether I agree with all or part or none of his statements, he's still a great author, and the world would be a bit sadder without Ender's Game.

    And, Card is also going against the Church in that article, which since he's been an LDS member since forever and ever ago, is pretty impressive. His statement of counseling over excommunication is important, and should be looked at as a point of respect. He is writing from his personal religious convictions, he is not condemning individuals, and I think that if anyone is to really understand the whole gay argument thing, then one has to understand the perceptions of both sides. Automatically discounting Card's statements as intolerance shows that you did not read the article at all.

    He very specifically says that being homosexual doesn't make a bad person, but that from his religious views, it is a sin equivocal to all other sins (like adultery, gossiping, ect) which is what I have also said, but this is also from a religious viewpoint. Hence, homosexual persons not wanting to be counseled or communicated by the LDS should not JOIN the LDS, but should be aware of their position on the subject. Last time I checked, that was a good thing...freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and all that....

    However, his statements on polity rather infuriate me. I don't think that the LDS should be in the business of law-making, although I do think they have an equal right (as much as homosexuals and anyone else) to attempt to get a law passed through votership. Card states that for the larger community blah blah blah...um, who is he, or the Mormons, to dictate what is good for the larger community? Last time I checked, the larger community was Catholic, and there's a lot of homoerotica going on there (no offense to Catholics in general, just an observation from my tiny corner of the planet).
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    the smiling weirwood

    the smiling weirwood Axes and Saws Prohibited

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    Well that's what I meant. He opines that LGBT individuals should be refused certain rights and relegated to positions as second-class citizens because of their sexual orientation. That's what really got to me. You might as well legislate against black people, or redheads, or people who can't roll their tongues. It doesn't matter if your religion claims those things are sins, it's still not very responsible to advocate legal action against them, ignoring the basic principle of equality for *ALL* people under the law. If you do follow a religion like that, I'm sorry, but its a shitty religion.

    I cannot understand the position that some people take that because others don't share *their* beliefs, and *their* values that those other people shouldn't be treated equally, or even as real people.

    It was really pretty upsetting to find out that someone for whom I had great personal respect for thought that I was not equal to other people without ever having met me.
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    J-WO

    J-WO Pretentious Avatar Alert.

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    Just looked at Orson's column (No inuendo intended- actually, NO, I do!); really quite terrifying, especially the bit where homosexuality and pederasty are mentioned in the same breath.
    Personally, I'll talk to homophobes like Card but I wouldn't let them near my kids.
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    The Procrastinator

    The Procrastinator 1 Candlepower Brain

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    It must be extremely frustrating to be LGBT and have a genuine faith in Christ, with this kind of attitude around. Card seems to think the two are mutually exclusive, or at least that one can't be LGBT and have a genuine need to belong to a church. Of course he would say that of course they can, as long as they remain non-practising. If the shoe was on the other foot and hetero sex was seen as sinful, in and of itself and in all circumstances, there might blossom a bit more understanding of the issues involved for gays.

    Card:
    The argument by the hypocrites of homosexuality that homosexual tendencies are genetically ingrained in some individuals is almost laughably irrelevant. We are all genetically predisposed toward some sin or another; we are all expected to control those genetic predispositions when it is possible.

    We are sexual beings. There is no other "sin" that fits so closely under the skin of each and every one of us as the attempt to so label someones sexuality. Not adultery, gluttony, murder, unfaithfulness, or hatred. Are these the products of a well-adjusted and healthy mind? But homosexuality can be, oddly enough. Why, in this day and age, do educated people refuse to accept that there are more biologically normal expressions of sexuality in the human species than just heterosexuality?

    The article doesn't make me any less appreciative of Card's novels (haven't read many, mind you), but it does make me think its a pity when smart people feel the need to wear blinkers.
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    Lobolover

    Lobolover New Member

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    Could someone quote said passages when he speaks of limiting their rights?Its rather lengthy and I generaly dislike waddling through pseudo scientific theses.
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    jojajihisc

    jojajihisc vast and cool

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    Interesting that he concedes this point. Although how it is "laughably irrelevant" is less clear. Especially when he expects everyone to accept the idea of "sin" and who is it for exactly that "we are expected to control" our sexual desires?

    He's a kook alright. He has a creepy obsession with guilt. It is also interesting to note how he tries to preempt attacks of "homophobia." He does it twice in fact, like he knows that is precisely what his essay amounts to.
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    QSR Joshua

    QSR Joshua New Member

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    I am truly beginning to see what I didn't a few years ago. Why does anyone who opposes homosexuality have to be labeled intolerant? He is expressing his personal views as a Mormon, many of which probably have caused him to receive the counseling he advised for homosexuals. It amazes me that people truly do not see the hypocrisy they advocate in suppressing a view just because it opposes their world view.

    And exactly where did he advocate denying them rights and turning them into second class citizens? The closest I saw for that was his idea that the laws making homosexual behavior remain on the books in order to discourage the practice of what he considers an unnatural and immoral act. Then he advocates counseling to help them control their behavior and to encourage them to keep it in their bedrooms. Personally I think that all sexual behavior should be kept behind closed doors, so I tend to agree with that, at least in part.

    The fact is that a disproportionate number of science fition authors are Mormons. The best explanation for that I ever heard was that what Mormons believe is so close to science fiction that it is not hard for them to take that last step and right this stuff. If you are going to start judging writers based on their opinions I am going to insist that you be diligent about it and reseaarch every writer before you declare his works fit to read.

    Climb down off you soap box and live in the real world. Everyone has an opnion, and some point or another it is going to disagree with yours. This does not make you right in any way shape or form. It does not make them right either. It just makes your opinions different.
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    The Procrastinator

    The Procrastinator 1 Candlepower Brain

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    Opinions being different is fine, everyone has a right to an opinion. As I said I think its a shame, but I wouldn't try to stop him expressing his opinion, and his opinion doesn't put me off his stories. I don't see why, though, homosexuality should be illegal (enforced or not). The position that homosexuality is morally wrong is a religious position and I don't think it belongs in any law book.
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    pyan

    pyan Fortiter et recte! Staff Member

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    Agreed - there can be very few authors who line up exactly with what their readers opinions are on things. And some of the greatest ever writers were pretty unpleasant in real life...
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    the smiling weirwood

    the smiling weirwood Axes and Saws Prohibited

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    I asked if anyone else had been disappointed to learn unpleasant things about an author whose works they had enjoyed. That is all.
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    dustinzgirl

    dustinzgirl Mod of Awesome

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    But people choose to be in LDS, its not like you HAVE to be in it. Thats why it doesn't bother me. If this was like, constitutional then it would bother me but otherwise its a group of private citizens excersizing their opinions in a group which, last time I looked, was what freedom of speech was about.

    PS: QSR...dude, calm down. You don't have to be rude.

    PPS: Wow I should really start looking at post dates.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2009
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    sloweye

    sloweye Lord Shaman.

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    Bernard cronwell disappointed me a little, i really really like his books but thought Stonehenge was complete rubbish, so bad i gave up half way through.
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    Contrary Mary

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    With as many authors as I read, it would be very unlikely for me to agree with the personal opinions of all of them.

    However, a person's perosnal opinion, imho, does not invaldiate the quality of their work---or at least not always.

    For another obvious example, many people do not agreen with Heinlein's political views. Despite that, he was, without a doubt, a major influence in sciencfiction for many years. Like him or leathe him, he--and Card--and L. Ron Hubbard--any many other authors do influence sf.
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    KESpires

    KESpires wordwatchers.boards.net

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    I think that being geared towards homosexuality doesn't make you a morally wrong person. Some people absolutely have those tendencies from a very early age. I just think that there is an implied wrongness, an against the grain of natural law, that homosexuality embodies.

    It's not much different than our diet, when we really get right down to it. Our diets are atrocious and far from what our bodies are intended to digest. The same goes with homosexual activity. Clearly it isn't what our bodies are designed to do. It isn't our sexual organs' natural function.

    So to say that it is a sin... yes, that is a religious standpoint. To say that it is wrong, or morally wrong, isn't necessarily. We either have to assume an implied ethics in being a human being. Most people's biological imperative gears them towards feeling sexually attracted to the opposite sex with an aim towards procreation. What gets lost in the argument, or never gets said for politically correct reasons, is why are people being born with a wrong biological imperative?

    I'm not one of those people whose religious views makes them ignore that some people are no doubt born homosexuals. That doesn't make them bad people. They didn't choose that life and I can't imagine a worse hell than trying to force yourself to pretend not to be gay when you're so clearly are. But why are they born that way? That has to be something that savvy scientist can figure out. Because clearly, they aren't supposed to be.
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    The Procrastinator

    The Procrastinator 1 Candlepower Brain

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    Why are people born with malfunctioning reproductive systems? Unable to have children for various physical reasons, both male and female? Why are hermaphrodites born? How about those who don't feel strong sexual attraction at all? Those who go for both? Those who don't want kids and never did? There's a lot of people like this around, all over the place, aside from homosexuals. As far as I can see it's all part of the diversity of our species. We are more than our physiology, at least I hope we are.

    Mother Nature doesn't really seem to operate within our little list of rules of "what is natural". Somewhere, somewhen, people have done it all - cannibalism, human sacrifice, ritual rape, torture, socially acceptable homosexuality, socially acceptable maiming or execution, polygamy, polyandry, abortion, culling of the weak (young or old), you name it. What's natural? Ask those to whom it was normal, and they'll tell you. And that's not even considering the behaviour of our fellow mammals, with whom we have so much in common. Throughout the entire animal kingdom, some are "born different" - its just part of life's diversity. Everything is vastly more complex than we first imagine, when you look into it. It all seems to muddle through in the end.

    PS - thank god some people are born with a "wrong biological imperative" - should be more of it. We're getting a wee bit overpopulated, don't you think?
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    KESpires

    KESpires wordwatchers.boards.net

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    I don't think it's a population issue. I also don't think that letting homosexuality continue will somehow "lead to extinction" as some nutjobs do.

    I do wonder if we'll stumble onto it though. Hermaphrodites aren't a good comparison unless you want to concede the point that it is in fact a "condition" they're born with.

    Of course we're more than our physiology. We create art; we lead vastly different lives; our experiences and memories make us much more than say, a bird or a tree, or any of the other millions of organisms we share traits or chromosomes with. But, the discussion, the cold, distant discussion that I never hear anyone having, is when are we going to stumble onto the "gay defect"?

    If we do, what then? Do we start practicing eugenics? Or do doctors just let parents know way ahead of time that, "Hey, when you son/daughter starts dating, most likely it'll be the same sex. Prepare for that now so you'll cause as little pain to them as possible."
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    The Procrastinator

    The Procrastinator 1 Candlepower Brain

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    I'm still not really with you on the defect thing. There isn't a species around that has 100% of its population "able to reproduce" or anywhere near, for various reasons including homosexuality. Like I said, this is natural, its part of the diversity of any complex species. I don't see it as something we need to "fix" or "defeat", even if we could. A better way to spend our energies would be "fixing" why so many people still get so hung up about it. ;) Cultural things like being uncomfortable with homosexuality can be changed, given time and education. Trying to "perfect" the human species so that every single person wants to put their bits and pieces to the use prescribed in the manual is a of a reach. Wouldn't it be better to alter society so that gays aren't given such hassle just for existing?
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    KESpires

    KESpires wordwatchers.boards.net

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    What I'm aiming towards here isn't whether we should hunt for it, but what should we do should a researcher stumble upon it?

    I mean, if Dr. John Doe came out tomorrow and said that he'd found, without a shadow of a doubt, that drinking coca-cola contributed to the number of homosexuals born, what would people do?

    Or to be even more specific, if Dr. John Doe said that he'd found a foolproof way to test pregnant women at a VERY early stage (like say, while it's still legal to abort) and determine if the child was going to be gay, what would people do?

    I'd like to think that people would just be happy with the child they get. But I don't think that every person would make that choice.
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    The Procrastinator

    The Procrastinator 1 Candlepower Brain

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    Ah, with you now. Yes that would be interesting. I would imagine it depends where you live to an extent. The good thing is that isn't likely to happen for a while, so maybe by the time it does we will have matured socially a little more. I mean we can't do that for something as "simple" as hair colour or eye colour yet, let alone sexual orientation. The thing is, sexual orientation is not a "deformity" or a disease in the same way as Down's Syndrome or the like. I can't imagine that it is going to be simple to spot.

    If it did happen now I think some people would opt for abortion, sadly. More so in America than Australia, but still. Actually that would be a pretty quandary for the religious right, come to think of it...

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