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Thread: Orson Scott Card and me

  1. #1
    janisian's Avatar
    janisian is offline Will save the world one day through the internet
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    Default Orson Scott Card and me

    Okay, I give up. I'm sick of people sending me links to a year-old blog by Scott ranting about gay marriage, and demanding to know why I don't at the least stop reading/visiting/talking to him, or at the most don't burn all his books and take a public stance against him.
    For the record, most of the people who send me those links don't know how to spell, or use grammar.
    Meanwhile, here is my standard response, in an exchange that took place over a year ago with an ostensible "fan" who won't give their name.
    Please, if someone asks you why I'm friends with him or still read him, feel free to pass this on instead of sending it to me...

    -----------------------------------------------------------------------
    From: Anonymous Anonymous [mailto:uplift23@gmail.com]
    Sent: Friday, February 13, 2009 12:36 PM
    To: janisianmail@earthlink.net
    Subject: Orson Scott Card, really?
    Janis, I love your work. But I'm shocked that you're spending time with Orson Scott Card (mentioned on WUNC). Truly shocked. The man is a bigot, plain and simple, deeply and crazily homophobic. His editorial in the Mormon Times is especially lunatic: http://mormontimes.com/ME_blogs.php?id=1586 It's not only borderline insane on its own terms, but then there's the delicious irony of a Mormon - a member of a Church that was founded 150 years by a polygamist - lecturing anyone else about the sanctity of marriage. Especially using
    such atrocious logic and at least one flat-out lie ("it is now illegal even to kneel and pray in front of a clinic that performs abortion").
    Do I need more tolerance of the man? Were you unaware of his homophobia? (And if so, should I be sorry that I drew your attention to it?) If you can change his mind, then terrific - but I am a bit mystified as to why you'd give this bigot any of your time.
    You don't need to justify it to me, of course. I just was shocked and surprised. I'd be interested in what you have to say, though I don't expect a reponse.
    Best.
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------
    Well, it's awkward to respond to someone who doesn't sign their real name...
    Let me say first that I consider Scott a close friend; the time we don't have together physically, we make up through the heart. If I had to lean on someone, or needed an ear, I would think of him. And if you've read my
    autobiography, you'll know that in a time of great trouble, he was very, very, good to me.
    By the way, the gay community was nowhere to be seen when I was at my lowest.
    Scott does get very passionate about things. Sometimes you have to read his words pretty carefully to get the
    whole drift. And on this subject, he's been misquoted and mis-read a lot. But I can't personally recall seeing anything nasty that he's written about being gay per se, and I'd want to know he wrote it, rather than taking the
    chance on a misquote.
    Given that he's a devout Mormon, of course he doesn't think gay marriage is a good thing. Let's face it - a lot of people feel that way! His article - your URL below - speaks more to the courts and the separation of church and state than my own relationship with my partner - or for that matter, Scott's other gay friends.
    And speaking of my partner... Scott has never treated my relationship, or my partner, with anything but the utmost respect. We've been welcomed into his home, invited to his childrens' weddings, sent announcements of births and deaths - all to both of us, as a family unit. His children regard us as a family unit, and I've never heard or felt the slightest breath of censure from any one of them.
    Scott's also a Republican, while I'm a Democrat - and we manage to discuss our differences over the table without ever getting loud or crazy. Personally, I think if more people did that, the world would be a better place.
    I'm sorry you appear ready to discount or avoid a writer of Card's stature, because I consider Scott one of the finest writers of my generation, period. His short stories about musicians and music are the best I've ever read. What a pity, to deny yourself and your friends the illumination that level of artistry can provide!
    I suppose we'd also have to discount Wagner because of the Nazi connection? James Joyce and Ezra Pound for their anti-Semitism? Thomas Jefferson, who believed slavery was God-intended? Most, if not all, of the founding fathers, who considered black Africans sub-human?
    Continuing in that vein, we should probably discount Picasso, a sexist pig. And Beethoven, a royalist and a snob if you ever met one - and if memory serves, an anti-Semite.
    Not to mention the current pope, who's called homosexuality as big a threat to the world as global warming, and warned that it would destroy civilization as we know it if gays were allowed to marry.
    Should I discount every faithful Catholic writer, dump Tennessee Williams, Madeleine L'Engel, Flannery O'Connor, because their religion's figurehead is a lunatic?
    Sorry if you're Catholic...
    <grin>
    Scratch any artist, in any form, and you'll find things you don't like. You can't judge art by the artist; it has to be judged seperately, on its own merits. The artist himself has to be taken in the context of his times, and of his own culture, including his religion.
    So long as that art isn't being used to actively cause or promote harm to someone, as in a "Triumph of the Will," I don't think anyone has the right to judge the work by the artist's personal beliefs.
    But that's my own take.
    Just for the record, as a gay person who campaigned for and voted for Obama - Obama doesn't think we should be able to marry, either. For many of the same reasons. And I'm sure you're aware of his former pastor's views on not just gays, but whites, and Jews. I have no idea what Obama thinks about gay people, and I fear it's "hate the sin, love the sinner," which I find condescending and disrespectful in the extreme. I'm still glad he's president, and I still think he's an honorable man.
    Again, I'd hate to think anyone avoided great art just because they disagreed with the artist...
    On a last note, to say someone is "crazy" or a "lunatic" because they deeply disagree with you, well, that's just as narrow, isn't it?
    Janis
    Last edited by janisian; 04-22-2009 at 04:55 PM.

  2. #2
    Jim in Chattanooga, TN is offline I'm really not posting just to see mine get bumped to the top...
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    Right on, Janis! I have many friends who have very different opinions than I but I would never discount their friendship or the fact that they have been there for me through the years, invited me to their family functions, included me in their weddings, dealt with my mood swings and tolerated my passionate views on certain subjects. It all comes down to a matter of respect and breaking down the narrow-minded walls. We simply agree to disagree. I know many people who feel their way is the only way but have never taken the time to see the other side of things, Catholics included -- and I am a practicing Catholic. At least I have attended church services of other denominatons to see the differences and the similarities. No need to give up, Janis, or apologize, and I'm glad you didn't. You cannot please everyone and no one says you have to.

    Jim

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    Roady's Avatar
    Roady is offline Really ought to get married and settle down
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    If people like your music why should they care who you hang out with? Or what do they hope to accomplish by emailing you abou it? Sorry you have to be bothered by such crap.

    Uncle Orson's Review was the one of the first I read of Janis' book. He obviously thinks the world of Janis, in addition to liking her book and music.

    http://hatrack.com/osc/reviews/every...08-10-12.shtml

    http://hatrack.com/osc/reviews/every...08-07-27.shtml

    I read another article of his recently, that I can't find, that said you really need to see Janis in an intimate venue. And he's a David Cook fan!

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    Janis, You rock! I must laugh because if i were to disown every person who was against my sexuality, my take on religion and on and on, i would have no family left! and i love my family very dearly, i believe if there were more people like them around, the world would be a better place. thanks for your words that speak always so true.
    peace
    little hoopie
    VIBE THE JOY!

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    leslie's Avatar
    leslie is offline I'm definitely getting a reputation around here...
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    A wise person once told me to love harder those people who would "hate me". If it doesn't convert them, it will either wear them out or make them nuts!

    Leslie

    BTW I'm not very successful at this - but when it works, your blood pressure goes down! LOL

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    sure does leslie
    VIBE THE JOY!

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    Jim AKA JTigre99's Avatar
    Jim AKA JTigre99 is offline Will meet a tall dark stranger who does not post here
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    I think the World would be a boring place if we were all the same, all thought exactly the same and only made friends and got along with those who thought exactly like me. I learn so much from people who are different and who have different ideas or opinions- I also hope they learn a little from me, too.
    Dreams do come true, sometimes people stop dreaming.

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    A more than sufficient response, I should say.

    By the way, Madeline L'Engel was Episcopalian (admittedly, Catholic Lite), and was artist in residence at the Cathedral Of St. John The Divine for some years.

    Thomas Jefferson freed all of his slaves in his will and incorporated anti-slavery language into his first draft of the Constitution, removing only under protest since doing so would have led to the Constitution not being ratified (we as a nation paid a powerful price for his refusal to hold out during the Civil War). Jefferson also traveled with and fathered several children by one of his slaves, Sally Hemmings. Many indications exist which suggest that they truly cared for each other, but at the time, they could only be together as master and slave, not as a white man and a black woman.

    A sad commentary which will ring true as long as anyone is regarded as a second-class citizen anywhere. Don't even get me started on Mormons....
    This nut won't crack.

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    Quote Originally Posted by janisian View Post
    I have no idea what Obama thinks about gay people, and I fear it's "hate the sin, love the sinner," which I find condescending and disrespectful in the extreme. I'm still glad he's president, and I still think he's an honorable man.
    Again, I'd hate to think anyone avoided great art just because they disagreed with the artist...
    On a last note, to say someone is "crazy" or a "lunatic" because they deeply disagree with you, well, that's just as narrow, isn't it?
    Janis
    Oddly enough, my ex of 10 years has become one of those love the sinner types. It irks me no end, but he's still a friend whom I love despite that. I also have other friends whose views are not mine, but as you imply Janis, why throw the baby out with the bathwater, as the saying goes?
    Dee / Daniel

  10. #10
    gisli is offline On the verge of losing spouse because I post so much!
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    Quote Originally Posted by janisian View Post
    From: Anonymous Anonymous [mailto:uplift23@gmail.com]
    Sent: Friday, February 13, 2009 12:36 PM
    To: janisianmail@earthlink.net
    Subject: Orson Scott Card, really?
    Janis, I love your work. But I'm shocked that you're spending time with Orson Scott Card (mentioned on WUNC). Truly shocked. The man is a bigot, plain and simple, deeply and crazily homophobic. His editorial in the Mormon Times is especially lunatic: http://mormontimes.com/ME_blogs.php?id=1586 It's not only borderline insane on its own terms, but then there's the delicious irony of a Mormon - a member of a Church that was founded 150 years by a polygamist - lecturing anyone else about the sanctity of marriage. Especially using
    such atrocious logic and at least one flat-out lie ("it is now illegal even to kneel and pray in front of a clinic that performs abortion").
    Do I need more tolerance of the man? Were you unaware of his homophobia? (And if so, should I be sorry that I drew your attention to it?) If you can change his mind, then terrific - but I am a bit mystified as to why you'd give this bigot any of your time.
    You don't need to justify it to me, of course. I just was shocked and surprised. I'd be interested in what you have to say, though I don't expect a reponse.
    Best.
    Wow the signature is Best...but it wasnīt me.......I swear.

    Seriously, First thank you Rody for the links to Mr Scottīs reviews, they truly are wonderful and it is obvious he writes in the deepest respect for the artist. It was really enjoyable to read what he writes cause for sure he is good with words and there are not all that to many who write in a way you read every word and after finishing want to read more by that writer........this guy is a great writer.

    Second........about what Janis says..I really hate that, ban someone to talk to someone because....well just because he is “marked as” and handing those information out to another person with the information that he/she should be banned or ignored. Well it is really something very difficult to understand why someone does such a thing, very judgemental attitude, not in anyway a very humane one.

    But this is all to common. Talking behind ones back is truly something to fight and fight hard against. Bad versus good works both ways you know.

    A little story.

    When we moved and our youngest went to a new school he found a new friend. It didnīt take long for someone in a friendly manner point out that his new friend wasnīt the best one to have.....our son could do better....
    Well this new friend was aggressive and they got in many fights...bruses, torn cloths, boys stuff you know.........even decided to be enemies for a while.........didnīt last for long, something drew them together and they are the best of friends now and spend all the time they can together, playing in a helthy way and the fighting is no more.

    It turns out that the other kid was influenced by friends who are aggressive and he so much wanted to fit in somewere, plus had domestical problems at home.

    Now the teacher says he is a different person, more silent in class, polite and stuff and my boy learned to stand firm on his believes.

    Numerous of times have I had “advice” not to work with or hire someone because they are lazy or something else......well it turns out none have lived up to those expectations, strange isnīt it?

    Teenagers can be so great, they are like this this year but completly different the next.......itīs called growing up and no one should be denied of that..........becase growing up is what we need to do all our lives. You canīt give yourself the privelige of judging someone for life because of some one mishap this person did way back in the sixties......or because you think you know better

    ...........and most surdenly do you not judge someone for his/hers opinions though they may not match yours...........it is just plain crap to do so and itīs stupid.....Well immature at least.

    Best.......it wasnīt me I swear.



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