In defense of Orison Scott Card.

Maybe it’s me. Maybe I need to take a look in the mirror.

I was on YouTube the other day and I discovered there’s been some controversy over Ender’s Game, the movie and book, because the author Orison Scott Card is against homosexuality.

Now I’m not at all surprised that he made a lot of people mad with that, but what does bug me is the eye-roll and sarcastic tone that accompany these people who were talking about it.

They imply that Card’s fatal flaw is this, and you have to take it or leave it, but they never seem to entertain for a second the idea that maybe Card has a good reason for what he thinks. No, he’s just a Mormon blindly following his doctrine.

Because obviously an intelligent man who could write a best selling book and have it made into a hit movie has no basis for his beliefs…right?

Ugh. I guess he could, but I’d hope not.

Now the truth is, I don’t like Card either. For widely different reasons that I’m surprised no one else is mentioning. I hated both the movie, and the sequel/parallel series Ender’s Shadow.

I have actually never hated a book more then that one.

But whatever my opinions are of his writing, I wouldn’t say the man is stupid or even conventional. Among other Mormons he has quite a few who are dubious about him.

But I should try to be fair here. If I were in the place of the people criticizing his beliefs, and I thought homosexuality was normal, then he would seem archaic to me.

But here’s the thing, I can’t actually just change my beliefs on a dime.

You see, contrary to what the country at large seems to think now, I don’t find it rational to change your beliefs just to match the times. Not every “new” discovery can be trusted. Not all theories are justified and proven. And a lot of what is dubbed science is based on what people want to think is true.

Back when the country looked down on homosexuals, the AIDS crisis was seen as God’s judgment. And as incurable, untreatable, or else too much trouble to fix. The people got what they deserved, in the majority’s mind.

I think it would be a mistake to rule out God as the cause, but it also would be a mistake to assume he caused it. Either way, I believe in helping people.

It’s not like if a gay person was drowning you’d refuse a life-vest because of your worldview. Right?

Well, that’s how I see it.

But there is a line. We can’t pretend it’s not there.

Just because the country now holds the opposite view of homosexuality doesn’t mean any actual facts about it have changed. It proves nothing.

But I suspect those who are attacking Card, or rolling their eyes, don’t care about facts or proof. Their self-avowed thinking is that you should let people do whatever they want and ignore it if you don’t like it.

Which sounds good for about two seconds until you apply it to just about any crime you can think of.

My point is not that these people are evil. But that they need to check their logic. IF we dismiss everything as dependent only on our point of view, then what becomes of things like protecting ourselves from criminals? Or from each other. How do we stop children from doing stupid things?

The reason this bothers me so much is not because I have a political axe to  grind. It is because I don’t like how we shield ourselves from truly learning and seeking out truth by these phrases and attitudes that really mean nothing.

If a hater was to claim Card was a hater himself, but have no basis other than that it’s accepted that homosexuality is normal and good, then that person has no real grounds except their own opinion.

But what about the non-hater? The person who feels uncomfortable with Card’s beliefs, but still thinks he’s a good writer.

Which category I fall into by the way, since I loathed the ideas in his books, but I won’t deny he draws you into the story…in a bad way.

Well, my solution was to to read them. But if you enjoyed it…still don’t read it, please.

But if they are determined, then the only thing they can do is accept that Card has reasons for what he thinks. Now if they are good or bad, I can’t even say. You can believe the right thing for the wrong reason. And the wrong thing for the right reason.

In the end it’s up to the person what they’ll tolerate.

But anyone could have pointed that out.

I guess my defense of Card is that his beliefs don’t have to be popular to have merit. Popular beliefs rarely have real merit. Because if everyone believes something, it’s generally been too twisted around to have real weight.

Believing the earth is round has no weight now, because it’s no longer in controversy.

I just wish that the myth that some beliefs are unimportant would get debunked. Plenty of beliefs are stupid, but the stupider it is, the more important it is. Because beliefs matter. They change the world.

We can roll our eyes, but we are in denial if we think it won’t make a difference how we handle this problem.

I care what Card believes because I know it’s important, especially considering how many people he influences.

If you’re reading this you must care a little bit about what I believe. And I obviously about what you believe.

Frankly, we couldn’t have much of a conversation if we didn’t.

That’s all for now, until next time–Natasha.



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