You may remember Ender’s Game for its stunning visuals brought to life in the 2013 film adaptation by Gavin Hood. But did you know that the author of this science fiction novel, Orson Scott Card, has published homophobic, transphobic, and racist propaganda? Here are seven facts about this Awful Author.
Orson Scott Card has argued to keep sodomy laws on the books to imprison gay people
Card published an article in 1990 arguing in favor of continued legal restrictions prohibiting homosexual sodomy in both public and private spaces in the United States. These laws policed gay individuals by preventing them from openly identifying themselves as such, lest they find themselves facing charges of sodomy and up to twenty years’ imprisonment, as in the Bowers v. Hardwick 1986 trial. In Card’s article, “The Hypocrites of Homosexuality,” he addresses members of the Mormon Church and claims:
Laws against homosexual behavior should remain on the books . . . 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.
He goes on the refer to homosexual individuals as “sinners” and claims “we do not regard as adult anyone who has not overcome [sexual desires].” In doing so, Card diminishes their human agency and creates a hierarchy of righteousness in which it is the responsibility of the government to dictate moral and immoral sexual acts, even within the privacy of one’s own home.
Card claims it is the responsibility of straight couples to overthrow an unjust government
In response to the increasing legalization of gay marriage across the United States, Card published yet another homophobic article in 2008 with Deseret News, lamenting the “end of democracy in America.” Feeling that the legislation was no longer supporting him, Card calls on straight couples across the country to enforce the “biological imperative” of heterosexual union. He states, “when government is the enemy of marriage, then the people who are actually creating successful marriages have no choice but to change governments, by whatever means is made possible or necessary.” If that wasn’t extremist enough for you, Card continues:
Regardless of law, marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down, so it can be replaced with a government that will respect and support marriage, and help me raise my children in a society where they will expect to marry in their turn.
Card claims homosexual attraction is a “reproductive dysfunction”
Card has made it clear that he does not see same-sex couples as equal to heterosexual relationships, and he has been identified as a frequent activist against gay marriage rights. He continues to assert his assumed superiority over homosexual relationships, claiming, “No matter how sexually attracted a man might be toward other men or a woman toward other women, and no matter how close the bonds of affection and friendship might be within same-sex couples, there is no act of court or Congress that can make these relationships the same as the coupling between a man and a woman.”
He took his conviction to the next level in 2009 when he joined the board for anti-gay lobby, The National Organization for Marriage. You may know this organization for its aggressive support of California’s notorious Proposition 8, which would ban gay marriage in the state. In an article published by Greensboro’s The Rhinoceros Times he claims, “there’s no need to legalize gay marriage.” He goes on to complain, “There are no laws left standing that discriminate against gay couples. They can visit each other in the hospital. They can benefit from each other’s insurance.” As a result of this perceived assault on domestic values, Card has been using his position on the National Organization for Marriage to advocate for the reduction of rights for same-sex couples. However, he appears to hold hope that homosexual individuals will assimilate into heterosexual family models, saying, “a reproductive dysfunction like same-sex attraction is not a death sentence for your DNA or for your desire to have a family in which children grow up with male and female parents to model appropriate gender roles.”
Card believes that homosexuality is caused by sexual assault
Card continues to make sweeping generalizations about the “cause” of homosexual attraction. In his article with The Rhinosorous Times, he states, “The dark secret of homosexual society — the one that dares not speak its name — is how many homosexuals first entered into that world through a disturbing seduction or rape or molestation or abuse, and how many of them yearn to get out of the homosexual community and live normally.”
Orson Scott Card has also been identified as a transphobe
In his article with Deseret, Card states, “Human beings are part of a long mammalian tradition of heterosexuality. No parthenogenic test tube procedure can alter what we, by nature, are. No surgery, no hormone injections, can change X to Y or make the distinction nonexistent.”
He published his conspiratorial views about the Obama administration
As if this wasn’t already enough, Card also has some questionable perspectives on the Obama Administration. Card believed Obama to be a form of dictator, building a secret army, and planning to use future political figures, such as Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama, to control the country. He states, “Obama is, by character and preference, a dictator.” He continues his rant by comparing the President of the United States to Adolf Hitler. He further claims, “Obama will put a thin veneer of training and military structure on urban gangs, and send them out to channel their violence against Obama’s enemies.”
His political writings continue with themes of racism
As he continues his conspiratorial rant against President Obama, he states:
Having been anointed from the start of his career because he was that magical combination — a black man who talks like a white man (that’s what they mean by calling him ‘articulate’ and a ‘great speaker’) — he has never had to work for a living, and he has never had to struggle to accomplish goals. He despises ordinary people, is hostile to any religion that doesn’t have Obama as its deity, and his contempt for the military is complete.
In this excerpt Card implies that being “articulate” and a “great speaker” are definitionally attributes of white men, and he makes unprecedented generalizations about President Obama’s life and behavior based on that claim.
We hope you enjoyed learning about this awful author. While his science fiction stories have been enjoyed worldwide, his nonfiction publications are generally regarded as close-minded and bigoted. So what can you do? If you are interested in reading Card’s novels, I would encourage you to rent the book from a library, buy a used copy, or borrow from a friend so that you aren’t supporting the opinions or agenda of an author you disagree with. I’d also suggest that you read his books with these opinions in mind, knowing that his worldview may impact the way he represents different genders and races.
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