Should We Boycott Art Because of the Politics of the Artists?

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300 Responses

  1. Kirk Taylor says:

    I have neither the time, nor the inclination to vet all artists who's work I might consume. I have even less desire to allow the group with the biggest loudspeaker to vet them for me.

  2. PalMD says:

    Meh. Respectfully, you've got this all wrong. You're interpreting this, if I understand, as both a speech vs speech issue and a "mwahh I can read whatever I want" issue.

    Using your own glass, speech v speech is precisely what many are promoting, also speech via consumption, or lack of it.

    Card's fortunes are hardly going to rise and fall based on what a few of us decide to do re the movie, but the statement and discussion helps combat the prejudiced beliefs of OSC. It's a statement of opinion, a call to action, albeit a small action, and one that may have a positive effect, not of silencing a bigot, but of engaging and combatting his bigotry. To not speak out vigorously would be, IMO, a poor choice, and the "boycott" is simply part of that speech.

    This is not an issue of depriving OSC of his platform or his livelihood, since that is unlikely. But if it were, I would endorse it. No one has the right to an elevated platform to dispense their ideas, just a platform. There are consequences to speech, social consequences, not legal (we hope) and we are right to try to bring them about.

  3. oldirishpig says:

    You mean, beside the fact that they are going to totally screw up the story?

  4. a_random_guy says:

    Let us assume, for the sake of argument, that we are not supposed to patronize artists or businesses that hold views we disagree with. Where does this lead us? Did you interview the owner of the last store you shopped in? What are the views of the chef in the last restaurant that you visited?

    If we become aware of someone's political views, and find ourselves in disagreement, we should meet and counter those views on the political field. I see no obligation to tie political viewpoints to simple business transactions.

    The exception, of course, is when the artist or business does this first. A bakery refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding? Fine, but then expect gays to boycott the bakery. If a KKK shop owner refuses to serve blacks, then expect non-KKK members to boycott the shop.

    OSC did not embed his political views into Ender's Game. I see no reason why politics should play a role in choosing whether or not to see it.

  5. Kevin Kirkpatrick says:

    Well put, PalMD. Nothing to add.

  6. JT says:

    My politics are liberal/progressive, yet I cannot stand boycotting and other intolerant language/thought police tactics. I don't like OSC's stance on marriage, but think all this denouncing is going to have little effect on the movie's ticket sales, nor should it. I teach literature, and if you used the same standard that some of my colleagues use to "boycott" current pop-culture artifacts, we'd lose much of the canon. For instance, I had a colleague who was shocked that I was showing Mel Gibson's Hamlet in class because of Gibson's anti-semitism, yet had no issues with T.S. Eliot or Ezra Pound.

    I am far more interested in genuine dialogue than using true-believer tactics. I have unqualified support for same-sex marriage, and my instinct is to think most of the opposition is silly at best and morally reprehensible at worst. Yet I try to understand opposing arguments and non-arguments (why some people dislike homosexuality without having though much about why).

    I teach a course that is overtly political, and in order to teach and not preach, I have to take an approach that seeks understanding of political positions and the context from which those positions evolve. For me, the learning happens when students think through the consequences of their political stances rather than having them pretend to adopt the "correct" stances.

    That being said, I totally boycott Jay Leno because he fucked Conan over.

  7. STrRedWolf says:

    I tend to look at the works, not at the person himself, but how said person pushes his agenda through the works.

    Yes, OSC pushed an anti-gay agenda but knows when to stop. When the Supreme Court ruled DoMA dead, OSC stopped. He knows the writing is on the wall. (Pope Francis also sees the writing, but also has a ton of church dogma to deal with. However, he has that style and willpower that makes the Vatican crazy.)

    The question is, did he push it in his stories he's written? If his work were compiled into an omnibus and called a bible, would such an anti-gay bias be apparent?

    If an artist is injecting his personal religious beliefs in a work so hard and heavy that it's clear he's mixing up religion for politics, then the artist and art should be condemned. But if the artist knows that other beliefs and opinions are perfectly valid, and doesn't let his own views infect the work, then the artist should be recognized as such.

    In other words: If Ender's Game pushes it, even in the movie, then condemn OSC and the movie for being hidden anti-gay propoganda. If Ender's Game doesn't, or even doesn't even touch the subject, then enjoy the work.

    I'm going to believe that it's the latter, to be honest; from info on Wikipedia, OSC's earlier scripts didn't make it to the final used in the movie, and in his scripts, he was already filtering out non-essential bits.

  8. Lucky Zealot says:

    Respectfully, I think you should support a form of the Index Librorum Prohibitorum. I think such a tool, when wielded in an advisory capacity (though it historically has never been "just advice") is useful for believers.
    On the proverbial dominant hand, thoughtful engagement with others is useful. On the imaginary Other, entertaining ideas based upon false, misleading, or otherwise manipulative premises can lead someone to believe things based upon evidence that is not borne out by the alleged facts.
    I say that because the original intent of the Index was to protect believers from heresy in fact and in form, as well as from beliefs that were wrong. This wasn't necessarily out of some sort of lust for power (at least in my opinion), but instead because scholars relied upon each other to be honest, and for the Church to check facts. At least that's what I got from the excellent series that you posted a few weeks ago.
    That's tangentially related to your question, though, so to address that, I would say no, you are not wrong for your consumption and patronage of art if the evil isn't too evil. What that amount equals is up to you, thankfully. :)

  9. Kathryn says:

    Coming out to lurkdom, because…wow. Let me first say that I support your right to see or not see Ender's Game in spite of (or not!) OSC's views. Also, I agree with you entirely about the government getting out of the marriage game. I tend more liberal than libertarian, but on that topic, I am solidly the latter.

    That said, you're WILDLY mischaracterizing OSC's view on homosexuality. There are literally millions of people who manage to be against gay marriage without being ignorant asshats about it; Orson Scott Card is not one of them. A selection of quotes, just from his Wikipedia page…

    He has written that sodomy laws 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." (So he doesn't want to punish all gay people…just the ones who are a little too gay for him. You know, the ones who are being uppity about it. IANAL, but that sounds like a fascinating legal standard. He claims that he no longer advocates this, but come on. That's a far cry from simply being against gay marriage.)

    "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." (If only there were some sort of research that could disprove this notion…hmmmm…)

    "…it is hard to make a case for the naturalness of such an obviously counter-evolutionary trend as same-sex mating." (So basically: gay sex is icky, and he is apparently ignorant of the mountain of research regarding same-sex mating in other mammalian species. I guess that must be unnatural as well?)

    He has backed off these views a bit since LGBTQ groups got really vocal about them in recent years, and he claims that he now considers gay marriage a "moot point," but I still think it's pretty ridiculous to imply that his views are no different than 2008 Obama's. This whole thing is an excellent example of remedying speech with more speech, and like I said, I personally couldn't care less if you see or don't see the movie. But if we're going to mock people for practicing speech against OSC (More speech remedying speech! Also great!), let's at least be honest about what his views actually are/were.

    And finally…10% of $2.00 is $0.20, not $0.10. ;)

  10. Urbear says:

    There's a point being missed here. The problem isn't so much Card's vigorous opposition to gay marriage, as odious as many of us find that… it's his long-standing attitude toward homosexuality, and his enthusiastic promotion of said attitude. He's repeatedly made it clear that he loathes homosexuals and wishes them ill. While he's been smart enough to keep that position out of his fiction, more or less, my personal disgust with him makes it impossible for me to enjoy his work, regardless of its quality, or to endorse it in any way.

    Is my refusal to see Ender's Game a reasoned, rational attempt to promote my own position? Probably not. I don't care. I will not spend a penny of my money on anything connected with him, or do anything that might be construed as supporting him or his work.

  11. SassQueen says:

    You guys need to quit using "logic" and "reason" to change my mind and make me go see this movie, which in my heart of hearts I wanted to do all along.

    I don't think boycotting is uniformly a weapon of the "thought police", whoever they are. I'm boycotting CVS because they destroyed a building in my town listed on the National Register of Historic Places, despite their agreement just 10 years before not to, and despite there being nearby corner locations without such buildings on them. Lots of people in my community are boycotting them. I'm suffering under no delusions that this is actually going to hurt their bottom line, but you have to start somewhere, right?

    Is that kind of boycott acceptable?

  12. John says:

    Kathryn: I came here to post pretty much that. There's also the fact that Card was until very recently a board member of the National Organisation for Marriage, which is again a massive pack of bigots regardless of your view on the topic. There's a reason the SPLC classifies them and them alone as a hate group, out of all the anti-gay marriage groups out there.

    Let me put it like this: statistically, even allowing for artist-types having a liberal bias, you'd at least 30% of authors to be anti-gay marriage. But Card is the only one who gets major boycott campaigns. There's a reason for that, and the reason is that he's not just anti-marriage.

    Two more points, then I'm done. The first is that this is all entirely separate from whether you should read Card's books and enjoy them. Second-hand bookstores and libraries both exist, and neither give money to Card and NOM. I personally love Ender's Game as a book. Donating money to a non-toxic charity after buying a first-hand copy is also a pretty valid option.

    Secondly, it should go without saying, but you have the absolute right to buy whatever you want, just as I have the absolute right to think less of you for it. (Although if you boycott China, my reaction will mostly be wry amusement that you think socialism is an actual political force in the UK…)

  13. David says:

    Clark, I just wanted to let you know that I read your posts for one of the reasons that you mention.

    Namely, "I like the idea of actively challenging my preconceptions and tentatively held opinions with new viewpoints."

    Also because they're entertaining.

  14. Keileya says:

    Buying a ticket to see Ender's Game puts money in Orson Scott Card's pocket, both directly (if he owns residuals in the movie) and indirectly through allowing the studio to recoup the money they paid him for the rights to film the book and in drumming up interest for sales of the book. It's less direct than the royalties he receives for book sales, but it's still my money.

    I feel no obligation to put money in the pocket of someone who will use that money, both directly and through his tithes to the Mormon Church, to fund his crusade to have me enshrined in law as a second-class citizen and my marriage declared invalid.

    Other people can do whatever they'd like with their money, but there are thousands of movies and books out there made by people who aren't funding bigotry, and I'd much rather choose them, thank you very much. My choosing not to buy a $15 movie ticket will have negligible impact on OSC's bottom line, but it means that I'm not indirectly funding advocacy against my own best interests. I have no problem with others choosing to do the same.

  15. amblingon says:

    This is ridiculously (and, I have to believe, purposefully) misleading. OSC doesn't just happen not to believe in gay marriage; he's served on the board of directors for the National Organization for Marriage, a group that actively demonizes homosexuals. He's written columns calling for the criminalization of gay sex, comparing gay people to pedophiles. He's argued that most gay people are gay people they were molested as children. And he's done this all as publicly and loudly as possible- with resources that are available to him largely because he's a successful writer.

    So no, I don't particular advocate boycotting his art, but seriously Clark, that was pretty openly dishonest.

  16. Justin Kittredge says:

    I intended to boycott Passion of the Christ because of Gibson's racist/other rants, I believe I eventually saw a bootleg stream of the movie online. I have since seen other movies Gibson is in, so my resolve was not too strong on the issue. He did take plenty of lumps / public scrutiny over his behavior. Maybe after that I ceased to care. I had not known of Orson Scott Card's views on gay marriage, saw the movie last night, never read the book. My choice to see the flick might've been affected if he was/is vocal against gay marriage & I'd known this. But I certainly would not have been against watching a bootleg stream of it.

    Religion itself would never cause me to not enjoy some kind of art. I'm sort of used to ignoring it until they start yapping hate comments. Also I have nothing against the idea itself of communism. I believe it has gotten a bad rap because so far everyone has fucked up the implementation of such a system. Other then Chik-fil-A I can't think of anything I am actively boycotting. (it's no effort, never been in one to begin with)
    Also I'm boycotting Andy Garcia movies where he is the lead. Because he is a horrible fucking actor.

    I hold an unfair prejudice against Alastair Reynolds. Maybe someone can help me with this. I bought and read a little (very little) into Revelation Space and (it's been years) was reminded of Excession to a degree where I decided he stole ideas from Banks and was a bore to read anyhow, and I therefore hated him. If you can convince me I am wrong about this I might be grateful, as some seem to think he is a decent read.
    If this comment was not up to some intellectual standard, then I must admit it's 6-7 am, I haven't slept, and my main motivator to write this was boredom.

  17. SirWired says:

    OSC's views on gay marriage go a bit beyond "not endorsing" it. He has plainly stated that he believed a government that allowed gay marriage deserved to be overthrown by force for that reason alone. He clearly believes that gay people are sub-human and deserve nothing but withering contempt, criminal prosecution, and ostracizing from society. He's more than welcome to have those views, and I feel more than welcome to not financially support such an odious man.

    As a side note, after the Supreme Court ruling against DOMA, he decided, in the fashion of celebrities that stubbornly keep NOT moving to out of the country after the candidate of their choice fails to be elected, stated that we should just let bygones be bygones, and clearly his side "lost" and we should all deal with the result. Translation: He's just another bigoted asshole blowhard who doesn't stand behind his words.

    In any case, FWIW, OSC has stated that he won't receive any money no matter if the movie makes millions or is a flop, as he sold off the rights for a flat fee decades ago. (And the sequels to the original book are not really filmable; they are rather sedate. However the side-series featuring Ender's friends would be doable.)

    P.S. I can say that I knew the basic plot elements of final book in the original series many years before just about anybody else; I exchanged several e-mail messages with him on the Prodigy on-line service when it was in its infancy (and I was about 10) and he told me his plans for the series and the basic concept for "Children of the Mind"; this was about six or seven years before the book was released.

  18. Tarrou says:

    Let me make this easier.

    1: I wholeheartedly hate those nekulturny cretins who cannot separate art from artist. Get over yourselves. Shakespeare was a loan shark and small-time hood. Lewis Carroll had a disturbing penchant for naked little girls. Hemmingway, Camus and Bukowski had attitudes toward women best described as Pleistocene. Many, if not most of our greatest artists are disturbed and disturbing individuals. To boycott their work because we disapprove of their lives is idiocy of the highest order, only superseded by boycotting their work based on their political opinions.

    2: Still don't go see the movie, it sucks serious donkey balls. If you love the book, by all that is holy and profane, avoid the movie. It is the most rage-inducing perversion of a beloved story I can think of. Flat, cribbed dialogue, shitty sets, unrelatable characters, no emotional impact, rushed pacing, nonsensical narrative, overactive foreshadowing. It is a bloody disaster.

  19. That Anonymous Coward says:

    @a_random_guy – "If a KKK shop owner refuses to serve blacks, then expect non-KKK members to boycott the shop."
    And there are also laws in society that allow them to be sued for violating a protected groups rights. Society has decided that this behavior is illegal and there is to be punishment beyond the non-KKK people boycotting the shop.

    I dislike this authors views, and find him to be lacking as a human.
    Have not read his books, and have less desire to.
    I'm not going to demand others avoid his work, they get to make their own choices.

    A boycott is a societal reaction of we should do something. And often with these sort of knee jerk reactions people seem to think if they fill out the web petition the problem is solved and we can move onto the next injustice that can be solved by making a post on Facebook.

    I would rather people be made aware of his views (and possibly some of their own incorrect views) and engage in a discussion on the topic rather than pillory this author. He is a famous bigot, but there are plenty of people just like him. Seeing the movie isn't going to fund the opening of death camps for gays, so I'm not going to be crushed if a freind goes to see it.

    As with many things in the world, the knee jerk reaction is almost always the wrong choice.
    - Patriot Act
    - TSA
    - DHS
    - Gun violence of the week
    - War on Drugs

    We would do ourselves a favor to have discussions beyond shouting rhetoric at each other, and work towards a compromise rather than expect a single silver bullet solution. These are big topics, there isn't a single simple solution. If we spent less time screaming why we are right, and tried to understand the other side of the issue we might be able to find the real stumbling points. We might even have to agree to disagree, but at least we understand why.

    Much of the 'anti-gay' agenda seems to be based on the idea that if you can keep someone else down you somehow lift yourself up, which when couched in a 'religious' banner is pretty funny. That if you treat them like real people you are violating their right to practice their religion.
    Anything to distract from a couple basic ideas…
    - How can I be better than them if you don't hold them down to lift me up?
    - I find them icky, and I spend way to much time thinking about what they might do in their lives.
    - I can't ignore that it doesn't actually effect my life, but if anyone tried this tactic on me I'd scream bloody murder.
    - I was taught to hate them by those in power over me.

  20. Joe Decker says:

    It seems just a tad misleading to describe the boycott attempts as being because "Card believes in Mormonism", or that he doesn't endorse gay marriage. His sitting for years on the board of directors of the largest US organization opposing same-sex marriage (he stepped down when this whole hullabaloo got started), and reports of his statements (accurate or not) regarding re-criminializing homosexuality are, as near as I can tell, more at the center of the calls to boycott I've seen.

    But even when the debate is more neutrally framed, I'd agree not only with "it's complicated" but most of the principles you describe here.

  21. Waldo says:

    Was going to make the point about Clark being disingenuous in arguing that OSC is being targeted simply for not endorsing same sex marriage. But see that others have already taken him to the woodshed on this matter. It's difficult to engage the rest of the argument when it starts out so poorly.

    BTW, I intend to see the movie.

  22. Ken White says:

    I wrote http://www.popehat.com/2013/07/09/ive-decided-to-give-orson-scott-card-the-benefit-of-the-doubt/ a few months ago.

    One difference between Card and my friend Clark is that Clark doesn't want the government to impose his religious views on the populace by force and doesn't think that the government should be overthrown if it fails to do so. (He thinks it should be overthrown for using TOO MUCH force illegitimately.). That said, Clark is understating Card's totalitarian views to make a point.

    I am upfront about the fact that my reaction to an artist's politics is personal and idiosyncratic. I can appreciate anti-Semite Wagner but not anti-Semite Pound. Why? Beats me. It's art. Our reactions won't be objective.

    I will say that my appreciation of art is far more likely to be blocked when an artist is not merely someone with awful views, but is IRRITATING about it. Card, with his plea for tolerance for himself after an adult life struggling against it for others, irritates me. So I won't see the movie, even if I liked the books, which I found only meh.

  23. Ryan says:

    There are a bunch of people who have hit on precisely my views, but I'm going to repeat them because it bears mentioning.

    I have never purchased and read Ender's Game – despite many recommendations that I do so. I will not be seeing the movie.

    The reason I do this is because by doing so, I put a tiny, tiny amount of money in OSC's pocket. Now, ordinarily I don't get very uppity about an author's political and social views if they are not strongly reflected in their work. I make an exception for Card – and the reason I make exception for Card is because his views go beyond stating the point, they range well into the realm of advocacy and influence over others.

    OSC has called for criminal prohibitions of homosexuality to remain on the books and enforced. He has regularly written or spoken about his views with the intent of advocacy and influencing other people, and briefly served on the Board of the National Organization for Marriage, which espouses similar views.

    OSC's influence is derived from the popularity of his work, which is sustained by the money he makes from doing it. Less money given to OSC reduces his influence (however infintesimally).

    When someone's views are so incompatible with liberty and my politics, and are made public and influential due to the way he makes his livelihood, I will refrain from supporting that livelihood if at all possible.

    In short – OSC is not merely a bigoted douchebag, he is a liberty-hating douchebag who can be in part impeded in his political actions by refusing to support his livelihood – that is, refusing to pay to read/view his art, despite whatever merits it has in its own right. This isn't a position I exercise very often and I've debated whether its worth it on this particular issue, but OSC's views and advocacy work do not deserve support, and if that means boycotting something I'd otherwise be very interested in, that's the tack I'll take.

  24. Kevin Kirkpatrick says:

    OP:

    Nor do I post in defense of his anti-gay marriage stance (as an voluntaryist / anarchist, I'm against the state recognizing any marriage, because I'm in favor of the state – if it exists at all – defending the country from invasion and nothing else).

    Kathryn:

    Also, I agree with you entirely about the government getting out of the marriage game. I tend more liberal than libertarian, but on that topic, I am solidly the latter.

    I do want to address this. In the context of the debate over gay marriage, expressing these sentiments – to the exclusion of standing against anti-gay marriage laws – has an effect that is no less detrimental than direct advocation of such bigoted laws. It may not be your intent, but intent is not magic. Gay men, women, children, and their families are being actively harmed, in the present, by laws forbidding same sex marriage. Not standing in support of overturning such laws contributes to that harm. It is entirely consistent to both believe that our system of marriage is fundamentally flawed; and yet, as long as the system is in place, fight to make it as least-harmful as possible.

    When the issue at hand is, "should the current system of marriage be left as is, or fixed to allow equal access for gay men and women", a refusal to take a stance at all benefits those fighting for the status quo. Masking such refusals with bloviations on Libertarian utopia fantasies is, IMO, utterly transparent in this regard.

    Also, Kathryn:

    There are literally millions of people who manage to be against gay marriage without being ignorant asshats about it

    I disagree. IMO, taking a stand against gay marriage is itself ignorant asshattery.

  25. Mote Redux says:

    First time I've ever seen anyone use "on the gripping hand" in writing since reading the Niven and Pournelle novel, The Mote In God's Eye, back in the 70's. I've always liked that phrase, but it's a tough one to use in conversation with two-armed (or one-armed or even no-armed) beings. I have no idea what the politics or religion of Niven and Pournelle were, though I could probably get a snapshot of them from Wikipedia. Knowing that Niven was an adviser to the brilliant intellectual Ronald Regan might shade my opinion of the author, but not diminish my enjoyment of the book he co-wrote.

    Clark goes way beyond the gripping hand to the fifth hand, which could cause me to suspect him of being a participant of the Hindu religion. Still, it did not lessen my enjoyment of this blog post.

  26. Ken White says:

    Also:

    I dislike the snark, moral posturing, and self-satisfaction that is so deeply entwined with telling other people who is inside the circle of civilization (me, you, him) and who is outside (Orson Scott Card, practicing members of religion X and Y).

    I find that–particularly when combined with the progresso-sphere sneer in the lede — internally contradictory. Am I part of the progressosphere? It's so hard to keep track.

  27. That Anonymous Coward says:

    I’ve had no criticism. I’ve had savage, lying, deceptive personal attacks, but no actual criticism because they’ve never addressed any of my actual ideas,” Card told the Utah publication. “Character assassination seems to be the only political method that is in use today, and I don’t play that game, and you can’t defend against it. All you can do is try to offer ideas, and for those who want to listen to ideas, great. For those who simply want to punish you for not falling in line with their dogmas, there’s really not much you can do about it.”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/10/31/orson-scott-card-anti-gay_n_4180780.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular

    I do believe he is in need of a mirror.

  28. Tarrou says:

    @Ryan,

    Can we also put you on the list to boycott Socrates, Seneca, Shakespeare, Freud, Hobbes, Dante, Twain, Rousseau and Cervantes?

    Each of them supported part or all of the positions you criticize in Card.

    Once you start sifting your approved artists by politics, you are basically advertising your lack of culture. If you don't like Card's books, hell, don't read them. I like a couple of his books, and dislike the rest. I think he's way up his own ass half the time (ironic, no?). But to choose which books you will read based on whether the author agrees with your politics is cultural totalitarianism. What is worse is picking just one area (gay rights) which is the litmus test, rather than all the other possible political problems with authors, then applying it inconsistently. That's hypocritical cultural totalitarianism.

  29. ketchup says:

    OSC is advocating that certain people he dislikes should not be treated as well as other people, even if they have committed no crime.

    Those that boycott OSC are advocating that we treat him differently because they do not like him, even though he has committed no crime.

    What is the difference? Who decides which views are allowed, and which views are "boycott-able"?

    By the way, it is irrelevant that OSC also advocates changing criminal law. Would any of you argue that a citizen who advocates a law of which you disapprove should be boycotted? Who decides which proposed laws are merely a bad idea, and which ones deserve a boycott

  30. BBnet3000 says:

    If there is a line, it is when the money you pay for that art is going toward a bad end. This is where we would be if Card were giving monetary support for anti-gay marriage campaigns.

    This is also how I feel about Roman Polanski movies. Great movies, and a great director, but I haven't paid a dime when ive seen them because it supports the continued lifestyle of a rapist eluding the law.

    edit:@ketchup

    What is the difference? Who decides which views are allowed, and which views are "boycott-able"?

    The people OSC doesn't like didnt choose to be gay. OSC chooses the views he has, and they're shitty ones that cause harm.

  31. Kevin Kirkpatrick says:

    @ketchup:
    OSC is advocating for the use of the power of the state government to delineate its citizens into two social classes: (1) the class of people who can marry those of the gender to which they are romantically attracted and (2) the class of people who cannot.
    Boycotters are not advocating for the use of the power of state in any capacity. The asymmetry is so clear that I'm surprised it needs to be pointed out.

    ETA: Symmetry would be if OSC were simply advocating against attending gay wedding ceremonies; refusing to address gay couples with "spousal" words; etc.

  32. picklefactory says:

    @Tarrou

    Can we also put you on the list to boycott Socrates, Seneca, Shakespeare, Freud, Hobbes, Dante, Twain, Rousseau and Cervantes?

    I should hardly need to point out that all of those people are dead. You can really only boycott someone who actually has something to lose.

  33. The Catholic/Mormon backed proposition 8 (ban on gay marriage, with a comical legal defense) here in California has made me a lot less tolerant of them. Their speech in totality matters, so it would matter somewhat.

  34. John says:

    Heh… my mother boycotted Elizabeth Taylor films because she didn't like Taylor's serial divorces. It made my mother feel better, but had no effect on Taylor or her income.

    Luckily for my mother, she died before Lindsey Lohan became a thing. That would have killed her anyway.

  35. Ryan says:

    @Tarrou

    Perhaps I wasn't entirely clear.

    I make exception for OSC – willingness to boycott work based on politics – because of his willingness to use his influence to not only state his ideas, but directly fund and advocate against certain freedoms based upon them. He has done that in today's world.

    The other authors you've mentioned [either] did not cross the line into active political work beyond their writing, and/OR are so far removed from contemporary politics that while their works remain influential, their individual political ideals do not.

    Ten, twenty years from now I may be willing to engage with OSC's work after firmly knowing that giving so much as a cent in his direction will have no bearing on his political advocacy bearing fruit. However, in the contemporary USA, that is still far from certain. Granted, OSCs work has no bearing on my country, where the Constitutional validity of same-sex marriage has been upheld by the courts for the better part of a decade, but I have a strange fondness for the citizenry of the US and seeing that minorities there receive equal treatment under the law.

    While I see the value in the expression and knowledge of all ideas, no matter how firmly we disagree with them, I also recognize that economics is an ideal way to ensure the political advocacy work with certain idea sets that run contrary to your personal belief set remain unsupported.

    To use another hypothetical example: if the fellow who runs the gas station in my small town privately expressed bigotry toward homosexuals, I would disagree with his ideals but I wouldn't stop buying things from him. On the other hand, if he used a portion of his profits to support advocacy work to prevent equal treatment of homosexuals before the law, I would drive the 10 km into the nearest town to buy my gas there before giving the bigoted asshat one red cent.

  36. Emma says:

    Cultural totalitarianism seems a bit disingenuous! Life is finite, and the time available to read books in is even more so. Sometimes I do indeed choose to read books by people I find abhorrent because I've heard it's a good book; sometimes the converse. I don't think it's inconsistent to 1) choose to not give money to living people who will use the money to hurt me and mine (or at least to try to find the avenue which gives less money, e.g., the library), and 2) to sometimes choose not to read a book because I know that my enjoyment of the book will be completely ruined by the knowledge that the author of the book hates me and wants me dead. Any absolutist moral stance on the authors of whatever is silly, but it's equally not silly to select your material for your leisure time– OSC is a mediocre sci-fi writer, not Socrates– with an eye to maximum enjoyment as well as maximum edification.

  37. Shane says:

    Hmmmm I have been having a similar quandry. I know what I feel but I don't know if it is right. The issue that I am responding to is Ray Kelly being shouted down at Brown. I first picked it up at Legal Insurrection and I was surprised because Jacobson has a definite libertarian bent. I also saw it on Fox and they were all over it because Kelly is some kind of police hero. Blah. I think you know where I stand on Kelly, and I definitely stand on the side of free speech so the mob at Brown is definitely not on my cool list … but … but.

    The comments on the link that are intelligent provide two sides. The one side is free speech is really important because knowing the intricacies of evil is important knowledge to obtain. How to challenge and defend against those evil nuances are invaluable. The other side is that on it's face evil is evil and therefore there is nothing to see, and anything other than violent repulsion toward that evil is condoning it.

    Still trying to process how and why but I thought this might be useful fodder.

    On a lighter note and a point that you may have missed (the other other other other hand) the Mormon Church is softening their stance on gays. Maybe because being exposed to the "evil" of good people that are gay has shown the church something that it missed.

    EDIT

    Off to play Pathfinder D&D from the commies in Seattle. Thanks Clark now I feel guilty.

  38. Clark says:

    @Ken White:

    That said, Clark is understating Card's totalitarian views to make a point.

    Actually, it's worse than that – I was ignorant of Card's full set of views.

    I'm still mostly ignorant, because there are too many stupid views and too many people holding them to waste too much of my time researching it, but if reports in this thread are correct that OSC wants to keep sodomy laws on the books (i.e. he wants to use violence against consenting adults who engage in non procreative acts), then I put him firmly in the villain camp.

    Card, with his plea for tolerance for himself after an adult life struggling against it for others, irritates me.

    Agreed.

    I find that–particularly when combined with the progresso-sphere sneer in the lede — internally contradictory.

    Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
    some dude OSC would, it seems, like to jail

  39. Liza says:

    As an author, this topic always baffles me. Clark might not want to read me because I write romance. Or because my husband works for the government. Or because my politics are, largely, in stark contrast with his. I just don't care and, truthfully, I resent anyone else telling him that he ought to buy my books despite finding my politics objectionable. I am not entitled to his six dollars. If he wants to read me despite those things that's cool. I'm always happy to find a new reader. But if he doesn't, that's equally cool. Clark may buy or not buy any book he chooses for any reason he chooses and I don't think anyone has the authority to tell him those reasons are invalid.

    I do absolutely agree with your fifth point, Clark. We should engage with media and ideas we disagree with, for all the reasons you state. But I still don't think that creates an obligation to purchase media you disagree with. I can read OSC's books, without putting a penny in his pocket, at the library. I can wait for the movie to become available on Hulu or cable. Not to mention, there are as many people who disagree with me on some topic or another as there are people on this earth. There simply isn't time to engage with all of them. As long as I don't become insular, living only in my own echo chamber, I don't have an obligation to any specific person. In OSC's case, I can engage his same objectionable (to me) ideas by talking with several members of my own family. Why pay to do it when I can do the same thing for free!

    Finally, I reject the idea that boycotts are the instrument of the thought police because that knife cuts both ways. If Clark wants to boycott my books because of my politics and someone tells him that's an invalid reason and he ought buy my books despite my politics, that someone is, as far as I can tell, policing Clark's thoughts just as surely as he is policing mine.

  40. Jack B. says:

    I always get this about Ted Nugent. Yes, I am fully aware that his politics are only slightly more sophisticated than Hank Williams Junior or Charlie Daniels, but that doesn't change the fact that I enjoy the hell out his albums from the seventies.

    For that matter, Paul Robeson went to his grave as one of Stalin's useful idiots. He's still one of the greatest baritone voices of the 20th Century. I'm not going to sign any petitions for schools to be named after him, but I'll still listen to — and enjoy — his music.

  41. Ken White says:

    Shane: I don't think the Brown thuggery is comparable to a boycott. It would only be comparable if Card opponents shouted in the theater so no one else could hear the movie. Card boycotts don't prevent Card's movie from being seen or prevent others who want to hear Card from seeing it.

  42. LongStrider says:

    People are choosing to not go see Ender's Game because of Card's horrific statements, desire to see the state enforce his personal peccadilloes on everyone and his tenure on NoM's board, not because his is a Mormon. If it were because of his religion you'd see those people making similar calls in relation to Brandon Sanderson, Stephanie Meyer and other Morman authors as well. I regularly read several blogs where the authors have stated they won't be going to see the movie and have not seen any of them make similar statements about Sanderson or Meyer (reasons of quality on the other hand…)

  43. exploderator says:

    @ Clark:

    You juggle eloquently with this dilemma, but I would not even think to seek "firm answers" in a general sense; each case here needs a personal and custom solution. I suggest these decisions should be carefully weighed by each of us personally, so that the outcome is an appropriate expression / communication of where we actually personally stand on the issue, and is a specific and accurate response to the specific situation. Having any kind of blanket policy risks over-generalizing a diverse field of situations that merits our closer attention.

    With this movie and OSC, trying not to fund him is probably a relative waste of effort in pure economic terms, and any protest energy might have been better spent fighting a more effective fight. But if defending gay rights was already your intended cause, then this might be a great chance to piggyback on the moment of publicity, seize the chance to draw people's attention to the gay rights issue. If piggybacking is your strategy, then maybe it doesn't much matter if you seem to be advocating an obviously low-value boycott, that message is just an excuse to talk, and maybe a hook, while the real message is that OSC is anti-gay and that's not OK. Attention stolen and message delivered = success, regardless of dubious boycott. That is probably a key distinction in a huge number of cases similar to this particular OSC movie boycott ruckus.

    In a different case, like slavery grown cotton, perhaps boycott makes a strong direct impact on the producers, and perhaps the issue is so dire that only a strict maximum response is conscionable, for every reason.

    Each person and each case merits its own custom built response. I think the most important accomplishment is to have actually spent the effort to think through your actions and their wider consequences, and to actually apply your own conclusions in the budgeting of your efforts in life. The usual alternative is to act obliviously, as so many do so often. Some causes merit our maximum resolve, while some may only be minor issues that we need not actively campaign on, but can opportunistically work on at little cost of effort if we at least are mindful.

    A final point of consideration when weighing the merits of boycott: the idea of people I disagree with being able to make a fair living does not bother me. If I buy their product, and that mostly just keeps them alive (eg many artists), then cheers to a viable economy, and lets argue our disagreements with civility elsewhere, which is ever more possible the less desperate we all are. But if my spend mostly just funds their objectionable efforts, and their security is not at stake, then I have much stronger reason to withhold. Finally, if my best chance to fight is to attempt what I feel is a justified economic annihilation of my opponent, then of course a strict boycott is the solution.

  44. PZ Myers says:

    I'm skipping Ender's Game not because Card is anti-gay (although that is troubling) or because he is Mormon, but because the story is an artificial contrivance designed to put the author's child-proxy in a situation in which he can commit mass murder and not get blamed for it — in fact, to be regarded as a hero.

    The premise of the movie itself is evil. And it will be happily gobbled up by an American public that already sees no harm in committing mass murder in the name of "freedom".

  45. Tarrou says:

    I should hardly need to point out that all of those people are dead. You can really only boycott someone who actually has something to lose.

    You're just bigoted against the differently-animated. The dead are people just like us, only less mobile. I, for one, am outraged by your insensitivity to the otherly-extant. I will no longer be purchasing any of your fine products, as I would not want my money to fund discrimination against the trans-zoedic.

  46. Tarrou says:

    @PZ Myers,

    You invert the entire point of the book. Ender's Game is not Starship Troopers. The whole book is a critique of that tendency of humanity to first exalt the perpetrators of an atrocity (provided they win) and later denigrate them without understanding the circumstances surrounding it.

    To say that the book is about inventing a situation so someone can kill aliens guilt-free is like saying the parable of the woman taken in adultery is about how it's cool by Jesus to cheat on your spouse. You could not possibly be more wrong about the book. The whole point of the book is the long guilt associated with violence, the price the perpetrators pay, and the role of society in encouraging and then denying the crimes committed in their name.

    Try reading a book before you criticize it. I think you'll find it adds to the experience.

  47. BobN says:

    As many have pointed out, Card's views are far more anti-gay than just opposing SSM.

    What's odd to me about this "debate" about boycotting is that no one takes into account NOM's own position on boycotts — which is that you can't have too many of them! — while Card was a board member. NOM launched dozens of boycotts of corporations and individuals for policy (recognizing same-sex spousal benefits) and political positions (favoring civil unions, etc.) Presumably Card voted in favor of them, repeatedly. Let's have someone at least ask him.

  48. Justin Kittredge says:

    @ PZ Myers
    the movie ends on a question of ethics – not an answer
    Seemed a warning more then a definitive statement

    I took from it the opposite of what you think it will deliver on the viewer.

    The main character comes to a moral destination at odds with your takeaway from it

    I have no idea how exactly the book ended, so maybe something has been emphasized or altered, or leans in a new direction.

  49. PZ Myers says:

    I have read the book. It is a step-by-step exercise in excusing murder with ignorance: he kills classmates, he climbs the ladder of the military to become their number one killing machine, and all along, his innocence is maintained by carefully keeping the consequences of his actions from him.

    Your excuses might have some credibility if Ender weren't the hero of the story, who then got a series of sequels that made him out to be a revered saint. He got to mouth the words of guilt while never feeling their sting.

  50. jimmythefly says:

    I am often struck by how talks of boycotting are similar to talks of voting for some 3rd party candidate.

    The aspects of "one solitary person's actions won't really have a meaningful impact on the outcome" seem very similar.

    Except that, with enough solitary individuals, outcomes can actually be changed, or at the least become visible enough to stir the country to dialogue.

  51. Jon L. says:

    This falls under 'other' as a response type, I guess, since it's a tangent to the question of whether one should boycott things based based on their creators/backers in general or not. But while we're talking about it…

    One of the things that bothers me most about the whole boycott-or-don't question in this particular instance is that it has more or less buried discussion about the potential problems within Ender's Game as its own story under the much more openly hideous issues with Card's stated opinions on homosexuals.

    The book – and presumably the movie – is an uncompromising argument for 'intent' utterly overruling 'results' and even 'the actual facts' in a moral and ethical context. If you mean to do good, it doesn't actually matter how much horror, pain and evil you inflict in the process – you're good at heart, and that's what matters. That's a plot framework that seems like a fertile ground for debate on its own merits, and depending on your stance on the matter could constitute a reason to skip the movie for its own sake rather than for the author.

  52. En Passant says:

    JT Nov 2, 2013 @6:01 am:

    … I teach literature, and if you used the same standard that some of my colleagues use to "boycott" current pop-culture artifacts, we'd lose much of the canon. For instance, I had a colleague who was shocked that I was showing Mel Gibson's Hamlet in class because of Gibson's anti-semitism, yet had no issues with T.S. Eliot or Ezra Pound.

    Exactly.

    With Pound the disease was virulent and fluorescent, perhaps aggravated by his delusion that he was an economist; but with Eliot it was more a persistently erupting infection, like herpes.

    A purge of all English speaking authors and poets who ever penned a tired antisemitic trope would eliminate some Jewish authors as well. Perhaps the thing that earnest young students of arts and literature have greatest difficulty learning is that idols tend to have clay feet.

  53. C. S. P. Schofield says:

    Ender's Game is a cheat; not because Ender gets to be a hero in spite of being a genocide, but because Card gets to write slam-bang military adventure story (the kind that sells) and still some off as sanctimoniously anti-war.

  54. wanfuforever says:

    The whole anti-SSM part does not bother me a much as the crazypants screeds he posts about the subject. People should not be forced to move lockstep with the majority, but put out a rational reasoning on your views. I think Mike Huckabee would be a fascinating person to have a lunch with, even if he's diamentrically opposed to me on SSM. We'll fight in teh marketplace of ideas but that does not preclude an inability to be civil with one another. Histrionic responses from any side turn me off, and I have no compunctions about biting either way, right or left. At the time "gay leaders" (whom I never voted to represent me) are willing to through transpeople under the bus to advance gays and lesbian, something I vehemently oppose. "GLBT" is four letters, not two. So I guess the whole point of this is to reiterate the old adage the not what you say, it's how you say it; and also I don't care about right and left as much as right and wrong, which is a very apolitical concept.

  55. Shane says:

    @Ken

    It wasn't the thuggery that I was trying to relate it was the support of evil. In the article the Biology professor talks about his experience in the face of a facist of an earlier time. He also talks about the largely peaceful protesters that were holocaust survivors that were telling him that by watching the lecture he was supporting evil.

    EDIT

    Ok now D&D, ride is here.

  56. That Anonymous Coward says:

    @BobN – as can be seen in the interview he gave the media that I quoted…
    What is okay for him is not okay for others.
    When he does it he is exercising his rights, when anyone does it they are attacking him unjustly.

  57. Trumwill says:

    Your excuses might have some credibility if Ender weren't the hero of the story, who then got a series of sequels that made him out to be a revered saint.

    Does having one's name considered a vile insult akin to mass-murder and barbarism qualify as being "revered"? That's a curious reading. Ender was essentially made the scapegoat for doing what he was manipulated to do. The book went out of its way to fashion the extermination of the Formics as being a moral horror.

    If there is an angle here, it's that Card went so overboard in his depiction of society's damning of Ender for doing what he did that it added reader sympathy.

    To the extent that Ender was celebrated, it wasn't as Ender for killing for the Formics. It was as Speaker for mourning their massacre.

  58. David C says:

    Maybe the solution is this: If you really want to see a movie but don't like the author's politics, then donate a sum approximately equal to what that person would get to an organization in opposition to those politics.

    If that little bit would make the movie too expensive to see, then you really didn't want to see it that much anyway. And heck, in an environment where Return of the Jedi did not officially make a profit, that amount is likely going to be VERY tiny.

    I also have the thought: Everyone boycotting this movie is also boycotting oil, right? Because even most DOMA supporters aren't in favor of beheadings.

  59. RKN says:

    Many years ago I was smeared by someone on a USENET thread for admitting that I enjoyed my experiences in national parks, several in Utah in particular, because, this person argued (roughly): Come on, you claim you're a libertarian, think all property should be private, how can you live with yourself knowing you paid a fee to access "public" property (taken by force and maintained by the same) and go on to claim you enjoyed it!

    I replied that there are occasional bridges one can use to get over Is-Ought gap.

    By analogy, I suppose, the moral dilemma is: How can one patronize and possibly enjoy certain a la carte products of a man's mind when so many others may be, in principle, abhorrent? One could certainly argue doing so requires some measure of cognitive dissonance; it doesn't feel that way to me but I don't think I have a persuasive counter argument.

  60. tim says:

    This is not about him being mormon. Its about him being a bigoted moron who used his money and name to push an agenda that most of his fans would disagree with. OSC has openly and actively participated in the same sex marriage battles by writing blazingly ignorant screeds on marriage and, until recently, was on the board of directors of National Organization for Marriage. So I disagree with your premise that he is just a "conservative" writer.

  61. Tarrou says:

    Your excuses might have some credibility if Ender weren't the hero of the story, who then got a series of sequels that made him out to be a revered saint.

    Revered? Now I know you didn't read the books. In Speaker for the Dead, he is referred to as the Xenocide, the murderer of a whole species. People talk about him the way we talk about Hitler. His identity is carefully hidden to protect his life, because the people would form a mob and lynch him if they found out who he really was. If that's "revered" in your book, we have different definitions of the word.

  62. Mark - Lord of the Albino Squirrels says:

    I will say that my appreciation of art is far more likely to be blocked when an artist is not merely someone with awful views, but is IRRITATING about it.

    This. In a nutshell.

    To take two examples I can think of two artists whose work I used to enjoy: Dennis Miller and Janeane Garofalo. Neither of them holds a stance that I would find as repulsive as Card's or *is* as repulsive as, say, Roman Pulanski. That said, both of them have become so intertwined with their political rants in my perception that the static overwhelms the signal of their comedy.

    On a possibly related note, I always thought Penn Jillette managed to walk the line between his comedic work and political stances quite well. Then I read Sock which – whether you agree with Jillette's ideas or not – comes across as a strident and annoying screed. To me anyway. In that case though, Sock is a bit isolated so I still enjoy Jillette's work – even with the touch of static added by Sock.

  63. Xenocles says:

    I am mulling a clearer guide to when a boycott is appropriate. The first criterion that came to mind is that a boycott is always appropriate when the thing you oppose is integral to the product to be boycotted. If you oppose slavery, you have no business buying slave-made cotton.

    I am having trouble going further with any bright-line definitions. The potential discomfort of the protesters resulting from the protest has no place in what is fundamentally a moral discussion – say for instance slave cotton is the best cloth on the market; that's still no excuse for an abolitionist to buy it. But what if we're talking about a commodity that's pretty well-mixed with respect to source by the time it gets to you? I can't tell the difference between Sharia-gas, Chavista-gas, and Canada-gas at the pump.

    What if the product really is good for you? We can argue about taste, but a lot of people consider Card to be a good artist with valuable commentary in his art, commentary that could improve us as human beings. Does that move the impact of the protest from discomfort to actual self-harm? Are we obligated to hurt ourselves in pursuit of the protest if necessary?

    Does the impact matter? How much does Card really stand to lose from this venture? He keeps turning out books but I don't think that's because he's some starving artist – he probably just has the writer's bug. If he misses out on ten thousand dollars (I don't have a high-fidelity number) in residuals does that really matter?

    Do you have to be part of the target market for a boycott to even be effective? I see this in advertising sometimes. Famous Dave's likes to take shots at vegetarians in its menu – but they certainly don't care if vegetarians avoid a barbeque restaurant. All they've done is taken a gamble that they can attract more customers than they lose by appealing to exclusivity. See also the Chick-fil-A boycott.

    There are too many question marks in this post. All I know for sure is that I've never seen these odious sides of Card in his work, so it doesn't seem to be integral to his creative process. As it happens I haven't bought a book of his in years but I still own several and I do check them out from the library from time to time. That's mostly because of the general way I am spending my money these days, though. I don't know if I'll see the movie in theaters – I don't generally anyway, and reviews haven't been promising. That makes the decision somewhat easier.

  64. Jon L. says:

    With regard to him being revered by society at large or not, that's not the point. He's the POV character, and the person whose opinion is most relevant is his own; plenty of hero-stories have society at large lined up against him. Heck, looking at Card's depictions of himself as a persecuted innocent are as relevant to Ender as any of his intolerant screeds. "The masses see me as a villain, but look at how good I am underneath. I am the one who really understood the 'enemy', and loved them for what they were. Loved them in a way that negates them utterly, of course, but it's still love because you're inside my head seeing so!"

    Even when he does see himself as a bad person people (the important people, the other people whose names we know, not the faceless masses) line up around him to tell him that no, he's not, he's good, he's a saint.

  65. Al says:

    Actually, it's worse than that – I was ignorant of Card's full set of views.

    Whoa, whoa, whoa. So you wrote a thousand some odd word post decrying the boycott of Ender's Game without understanding the boycotters' grievance? Really? Clark, there are many ways I'd describe your positions but even at their most unflattering "ignorant" and "under prepared" aren't among them.

  66. Azathoh says:

    @Clark

    I dislike the idea of Index Librorum Prohibitorum, whether it is run by a Church, a State, or a decentralized Github-of-received-opinion.

    I find such lists an excellent source of reading suggestions…
    PS. Have you read "Railsea"?

  67. Clark says:

    @Azathoh

    PS. Have you read "Railsea"?

    Not yet.

    On the list.

  68. Clark says:

    @Al

    you wrote a thousand some odd word post decrying the boycott of Ender's Game without understanding the boycotters' grievance?

    No. Next question?

    Or, to be more specific:

    * this post did not decry the boycott; it explored my moral conflict and lack of firm conclusion about the idea.
    * this post was not primarily concerned with the OSC boycott, but instead used that as a springboard to a more general discussion.

  69. pjcamp says:

    Personal decision?

    I find Card reprehensible personally and I hate him as an author. Not wasting my money on him is an easy choice to make.

    We are all free to make different choices. I promise not to gainsay yours if you do the same favor for me.

  70. James Pope says:

    It's not about him being Mormon, it's about me finding the guy to be an odious piece of crap. He's welcome to boycott whatever I do in life and disassociate himself with me in any way he desires too, as long as the government is not involved it's all free speech.

  71. Sunhawk says:

    It's something that I've thought about at various times – sometimes in the context of Orson Scott Card, even.

    I guess it ends up feeling a bit awkward to me – that when I read an author's works [insert view I disagree with strongly enough] occasionally float through my mind and disrupts my enjoyment.

    But boycotting an author for their views? That's somewhat absurd.

    On the other hand, take Goodkind's "Sword of Truth" books. They start out generically enough, but a couple of the ones in the middle/towards the end start to become a vessel for his views on assorted things, which *really* disrupts my enjoyment of the story. I guess that ends up being a 'sort-of' boycott (in that it's because of his political/philosophical views)…

  72. Jimmie says:

    If you don't like an artist's views of politics or the world, don't patronize the artist. Or patronize the artist. Whatever you want to do. I may or may not agree with you. So what?

    If you feel strongly enough about the artist's views that you want to ask others not to patronize the artist, knock yourself out. Or not. Whatever you want to do. I may or may not agree with you. I may ask people to consider your advice or I may ask people to ignore you. So what?

    If you gather your friends about you and try to hound the artist out of the marketplace for his art, you are a thug. I will surely ask people to consider you a thug and treat you the same way you would treat the artist.

  73. ketchup says:

    edit:@ketchup

    What is the difference? Who decides which views are allowed, and which views are "boycott-able"?

    The people OSC doesn't like didnt choose to be gay. OSC chooses the views he has, and they're shitty ones that cause harm.

    @ketchup:
    OSC is advocating for the use of the power of the state government to delineate its citizens into two social classes: (1) the class of people who can marry those of the gender to which they are romantically attracted and (2) the class of people who cannot.
    Boycotters are not advocating for the use of the power of state in any capacity. The asymmetry is so clear that I'm surprised it needs to be pointed out.

    OK, first of all I was doing yard work so it may have been so long since these responses that no one is paying attention anymore. If so, c'est la vie.
    But neither of these asymmetries can provide a rational basis for the boycott of OSC. I say this because the same asymmetries exist in many other circumstances in which no boycott is advocated. Take for example the assertion that the US military action in Iraq was illegal and resulted in significant harm to civilians. That is a case in which the opinion in question advocated using the power of the state to harm innocents. Also, people who supported the Iraq war did so by choice.
    However, I am not aware of a large-scale movement to boycott the art of any supporter of the Iraq war (for example, the songs or concerts of certain country music singers). There are multiple additional examples of people advocating the use of state power to harm others.
    My point is that in most cases, when we disagree with someone, even if we think their opinion is harmful to society, we limit our disagreement to the opinion in question. We may work against them politically, but we do not try to harm them economically. If we did, many republicans would have to avoid most Hollywood movies, and many democrats would have to avoid most chain stores.
    Why is OSC's opinion on gay marriage more worthy of a boycott than any other harmful opinion?
    Who gets to decide that an opinion is so wrong that it deserves a mass boycott?

  74. Xenocles says:

    "Who gets to decide that an opinion is so wrong that it deserves a mass boycott?"

    Each opinion holder is so entitled; he is also entitled to attempt to enact his mass boycott by convincing others to join him.

  75. Golden Boy says:

    The way I see it is that every single time I give money to another person they will use a small portion of that to do something I don't like. Maybe it's as simple as them buying Pepsi over Coke, but some purchase of their's will irk me. So if I think I'll like the good/product/service I'll buy it. If not, I won't. In some instances I am deterred from certain establishments or people and I cannot see why, as a result I refuse to give them my business. For instance Apple, Starbucks, Pepsi, Matt Damon, Alec Baldwin and anything related to France will never see a dime of my money. But much of what I read is written by liberals.
    If you want it, get it, I guess.

    Best Wishes,
    Golden

  76. luagha says:

    If you read a reasonable amount of Orson Scott Card's work, it is pretty obvious that he was personally homosexually abused at a young age.

    Maybe some day he'll come clean about it and tell what he remembers, as opposed to putting it in so many of his books. It would probably be good for him.

    Given that, his current attitudes are completely understandable as a survivor of abuse.

  77. Curmudgeonly Ex-Clerk says:

    I am unpersuaded of the merit of these sorts of boycotts (whether advanced by the left or right) for a multitude of reasons. As an initial matter, it is difficult to hear the arguments of their advocates, because their self-righteousness is so unattractive.

    The self-righteousness might be easier to stomach if there were any consistently applied moral principle at work here, but it is hard to detect one. Ken's first comment in this thread is illustrative. He appreciates Wagner, but not Pound, though both were anti-Semites. There's no principle here, just a judgment about their artistic merits. Not that I begrudge Ken or others their predilections. Folks can spend money on whatever they want, or not, as they see fit. But I do not see why I should accord any moral weight to such idiosyncratic judgments.

    In addition, I tend to discount the opinions of boycotters because they often seem like they are not boycotting in any meaningful sense. If Starbucks, which I patronize, did something so disagreeable that I felt I could not in good conscious purchase its products, I effectively would be boycotting it. But if I had never patronized it in the first place and had no real intention to do so, then I would be incapable of boycotting it. It seems like a lot of vocal "boycotters" fall into this latter category. How many among the anti-Cardites, for example, have a burning desire to see Ender's Game but have decided they just cannot do so, or intended to do so only to discover Card's views preclude doing so? I am not certain I can articulate why, but such cost-free street preaching rubs me the wrong way.

    I have not read Card's books, and don't have any plans to see this movie in theaters. Perhaps, when it makes it to cable, I'll watch it. Questions for ostensible boycotters: When cable channels inevitably air Ender's Game, are you planning on boycotting the channels that do so, or perhaps even the cable provider? What about the stores that stock the Blu-Ray or DVDs on the shelves? Ender's Game and numerous other Card novels are sitting on the shelves at your local Barnes & Noble, which frequently incorporates a Starbucks at the same location. Are you boycotting these businesses as well? What about the publishing house the issues his works? If not, why not?

    One of the objections offered regarding Card in the comments above is that he not only opposes gay marriage and holds derogatory views of gays, he wants the government to enact policies in accord with these views. It's all so totalitarian, quelle horror. I actually might not disagree, depending on what specific policies we're talking about. Yet, I'd wager that a good many of the horrified are delighted when state governments command cake makers and photographers to provide their services to gay wedding celebrants.

  78. "If you love the book, by all that is holy and profane, avoid the movie."

    That makes me want to see the movie, because when I read the book I found it massively underwhelming, and nowhere near as good as the hype suggested. Maybe special effects and a faster pace will make it more entertaining.

    If I do go see it, I may drive there in a car I bought from a dealership owned by someone whose thinks Obama is a secret commie-Muslim. On the way, I may stop for dinner at a restaurant that for all I know is operated by someone with reprehensible attitudes toward Mexicans, and tip a waitress who might very well give the money to Stormfront. The theater could be owned buy a guy who hates Jews. On the way back, I may stop at a convenience store owned by a guy who runs an anti-feminist hate blog. Sales taxes on my purchases may be used to fund the local War on Drugs.

    There's a big gulf between donating to the KKK or Hezbollah, and worrying about where you spend every single dime. There's nothing wrong with boycotting Ender's Game, but people who throw stones at those who don't are being inconsistent unless they also watch every dime they spend everywhere else.

  79. CJColucci says:

    As Yogi Berra once said, "if people don't want to come to the ballpark, you can't stop them." If someone doesn't want to spend his hard-earned money patronizing an artist he thinks obnoxious, for whatever reason, that's nobody else's business. If enough people think that way and the artist becomes box office poison, that's just the breaks. I don't know why we need some general rule on the subject. I do get pissed off if someone with his hand on the distribution spigot makes that decision for me, cutting off my access o an otherwise commercially viable artist, but that's a different issue.

  80. Dion starfire says:

    I'm going to have to go with Ken's (and, I think, Clark's, though to a lesser extent) general principle on this: "more speech is better". And I consider boycotting a form of speech.

    Even if it has no practical effect on the original artist it still says to the world "I consider the artist's attitudes* unacceptable". This is one of the checks of our system of free speech. And you, Clark, are acting as a check on that check. So we go around and around on the issue until we eventually come up with some general (and a buttload of other qualifiers) consensus on the issue.

    And last I checked, the majority opinion on homosexuality, gay marriage (and many similar issues) is: if you don't agree with it, don't support or participate in it**, but you can't*** stop others from participating in or supporting it.

    *or behavior or values promoted by the artistic work.

    ** the laws about protected classes doesn't really agree with this idea, but the oft-stated intention of those is to keep individuals in small groups from exerting undue influence against these groups (e.g. "the only florist/baker/photographer in town" argument)

    *** actually it's more we'll stop you from …

    Oh, and is it possible for we commenters to do footnotes like Ken's done in a few posts? if so, how?

  81. PRW says:

    Card [...] has gay friends

    Are you actually trotting out this tired trope seriously!?

  82. htom says:

    I suspect we'll see it at the budget theater. I have low hopes for it; Hollywood usually does a poor job of bringing the ideas and ideals of science fiction to the screen. My understanding of the story of Ender's Game comes by having read the short story, then the novel, then some of the other works in that universe.

    I suppose it is a boycott, but it sounds like a shrieking demand that I conform; as such, it does not inspire me to participate. OSC has rights to believe and speak as he chooses, as do I, and demands that I conform to the mob's attempt to suppress OSC's beliefs feels a whole lot like they're trying to suppress mine, even though I have advocated gay marriage for decades. "First they came …" and all that.

  83. Stephen H says:

    The Orson Scott Card issue is not that he is a Mormon. He can choose his religion, and while I may think he's crazy for believing in an invisible friend I will continue to read his books. Personal beliefs are personal.

    I threw out my collection of his books after hearing him publicly discuss his homophobic views, and then complain that people needed to show some respect (for his views, not for homosexuals). By publicly discussing his prejudices, and trying to sell them to his readers, he has chosen to make them a part of his marketing. At that point, I chose to dismiss his reality and substitute my own.

    Let's have a very brief look at a couple of his public pronouncements. Married gay people "won't be married, they'll just be playing dress-up in their parents' clothes". If gay marriage is legalised, "society will bend all its efforts to seize upon any hint of homosexuality in our young people and encourage it".

    Card has chosen to wrap himself in bigotry. This is not a man who privately dresses in a Nazi uniform; it is someone who has power over readers and who has chosen to use that power for hate. I do not like what he stands for, and will not buy his books/watch his movies.

  84. Xennady says:

    A few years ago Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit recommended a book by an author I had never heard of named John Scalzi. I bought that book, enjoyed it, and eventually discovered Mr. Scalzi had a blog.

    Yikes. I quit reading and lost interest in buying any more of his books quite soon after I read Mr. Scalzi wish that all right-wingers would be exiled to a desert, presumably to die horribly. I wondered, then and still now, if that included Glenn Reynolds, whose recommendations had surely garnered Mr. Scalzi some coin.

    I'm not going to claim I'm doing anything as grandiose as boycotting Mr. Scalzi. But I have a hard time enjoying anything written by a guy who quite openly wishes me dead. Now perhaps you guys who loath OSC feel about him the same way I feel about Scalzi. Hey, that's ok. To each his own.

    But I don't think OSC advocates exiling gays to a desert to die, like the fate John Scalzi wished upon right-wingers. At least no one has noted here that OSC advocates mass-murder.

    I beg pardon if I'm just rambling off topic, but I detect a stunning double standard. Somehow Orson Scott Card became persona non grata because he opposes gay marriage and holds doubleplusungood thoughts about all that- yet John Scalzi can openly pine for genocide, and he becomes president of the Science Fiction Writers of America.

    Go figure.

  85. ZK says:

    Volokh has a pretty interesting blog post about this last week, here.

    I don't see a ton of problems with mass-boycotting views one finds objectionable, but I think the point Bernstein makes, that mass-boycotting Communists has been portrayed as a grave injustice, is a fair one.

  86. Malc says:

    Ignoring Card's personal failings (and why not?), it seems to me that boycotts are usually a tool of the less-powerful against the more-powerful. In this case, it's not really Card-the-author that's being boycotted, but the power of the Hollywood Lion's Gate/Summit machine that, despite Card's claims, is enthusiastically and deliberately promoting the whole "Enders Game" franchise, which will sell stuff that Card directly benefits from.

    To put it another way, the motivating factor is not that a bunch of people woke up one day and decided that Card is an excrescence deserving of a boycott, but that a wealthy organization (a movie studio) decided to promote him (via his work).

    Anyway, my general thoughts about boycotts seem to crystallize around this observation: they are, in general, a tool of the less powerful against the more. Sure, some examples (like the Gleneagles Agreement) may appear to be boycotts by the powerful against the weak, but in that case, short of invading South Africa, there was little that could be done; the boycotters lacked real power against South African apartheid.

    And that leads me to the conclusion that I want to known about boycotts. If someone cares enough to boycott, well, I want to know. I may not agree with it (e.g. the "friends don't let friends go to Starbucks failed on the grounds that Starbucks, while being less hip, treated their staff better, were better furnished and were basically nicer as long as you don't drink the coffee), but I want to know.

    So, in this specific case, knowing that Card is a tool of the highest order is something that came about because of this fuss. And I'm glad to know, because it means I now don't want to read/watch anything from him.

    And that's OK by me.

  87. derp says:

    Don't worry Ender's Game the movie will self boycott because the dialogue is unbearable.

  88. Chris C. says:

    I tend to "boycott" a particular artist based mainly on having had an unpleasant experience after paying money for one of their works. As in, I won't watch a movie with Nicholas Cage in it, nor Jim Carrey. I don't like pop music, so there goes scores of individuals and groups, some of which must have political and/or religious views completely different from some others. Although I will agree with Xennady about Scalzi. I will not sell him the rope to hang me.

  89. Anonsters says:

    Consider me amused at the people above who self-righteously comment about personally disapproving of the self-righteousness of people who are freely choosing to do what they want with their money (not see a movie) and their time (try to convince others—however unconvincing they may be—not to see a movie), because they're so inconsistent and unprincipled, unlike, presumably, said commenters above. Oh, self-reflection, where art thou?

  90. Dan says:

    I'm boycotting the film, even though I want to see it, because of Mr. Card's view on the humanity (or lack thereof) of homosexuals. But that's my choice; I don't care if you go see it or not. I simply don't wish to give money to the guy.

    But…as an interesting aside, here's an essay that proposes that Ender's Game was an apologia for Hitler. Did that just trigger Godwin's Law?

    (Please note that this is an older essay, from before all the "boycott" stuff; it's almost 10 years old.)

  91. EAB says:

    I quit reading and lost interest in buying any more of his books quite soon after I read Mr. Scalzi wish that all right-wingers would be exiled to a desert, presumably to die horribly

    I've been reading Scalzi for a dozen years now, and have never heard him express any such sentiment — rather the opposite. I actually searched his blog for desert + exile, and the only thing that came up was this: The Canadian Example. You do realize that "Perhaps a few years wandering in the desert is exactly what [the GOP] needs as well" is a metaphorical statement wishing them out of political power, not an actual desire to physically send all conservatives to starve in Death Valley?

    I only mention it because OSC is speaking very literally and seriously about his desire to see gay people be imprisoned for sodomy, whereas Scalzi's using a very common metaphor. You have a perfect right to avoid Scalzi's blog for whatever reasons you like, of course, but saying that he wishes you literally dead based on the post in question is a pretty obvious misinterpretation.

  92. Ken White says:

    Consider me amused at the people above who self-righteously comment about personally disapproving of the self-righteousness of people who are freely choosing to do what they want with their money (not see a movie) and their time (try to convince others—however unconvincing they may be—not to see a movie), because they're so inconsistent and unprincipled, unlike, presumably, said commenters above. Oh, self-reflection, where art thou?

    brb diagramming that

  93. Nicho says:

    Should We Boycott Art Because of the politics of the artist ?
    No. When those beliefs translate into objectionable actions, then yes.

  94. Nigel Declan says:

    Clark, the question is not whether or not you are supporting evil. The question is whether you believe that the value you receive or may receive from reading, watching, listening to or consuming a particular good outweighs any moral compunction you may feel as a result of the fact that some or all of the money you pay goes directly or indirectly towards an author (or musician or whomever) whose views you disagree with. It's a strictly utilitarian analysis.

  95. teiglin says:

    Just as an interesting aside, either I'm confused as to what "boycott" means, or many of the commenters who use it here are. Is boycotting something one person can do? If I don't want to support OSC, I choose not to buy any of his products; this, to my mind, is not a boycott. However, if I get together with my friends and rally them to the anti-OSC cause, we can collectively choose to boycott his works, or I can run a campaign to organize a larger-scale boycott (as many are currently doing because of his anti-gay views).

    Basically, it feels odd to me to hear one person saying "I am boycotting " because I think of a boycott as a group exercise. Am I the only one? If not, let's boycott the use of boycott to describe a single person's actions! >.>

  96. Xenocles says:

    "The question is whether you believe that the value you receive or may receive from reading, watching, listening to or consuming a particular good outweighs any moral compunction you may feel as a result of the fact that some or all of the money you pay goes directly or indirectly towards an author (or musician or whomever) whose views you disagree with. It's a strictly utilitarian analysis."

    If I recall correctly, this was Heinlein's rationale for taking a trip through the Soviet Union. He reasoned that the relatively small amount of money he would introduce into their economy would be outweighed by his gain in knowledge from the direct experience of Soviet communism.

  97. OngChotwI says:

    I've read a number of the books in the Ender's series; and found them much different than the lunatic rantings being shared on Facebook as proof that Ender's War should be boycotted. But then, I'm used to seeing diametrically opposed statements about the same thing being shared as pics. One side as Dems, one side as Reps. Off to Google.. One of the first choices was the interview that T.A.C. shared. I'm shocked that when you advocate for overthrowing the government if they don't legislate your views .. that they don't drag you off to hidden prison camps as some of these FB items claim. *snicker* To find out how you can compose books describing how understanding is a much better course than hatred – yet post such wacky hate speech – makes no sense. Days ago, I found a link to contact him (500 char max) to ask him what his game plan was… but he didn't drop everything and write me a response yet. *sniff*

  98. Rob says:

    teiglin • Nov 2, 2013 @7:48 pm
    Basically, it feels odd to me to hear one person saying "I am boycotting " because I think of a boycott as a group exercise. Am I the only one? If not, let's boycott the use of boycott to describe a single person's actions! >.>

    I've always seen it as simply a decision not to purchase certain goods or services for political reasons. I don't really think of it as having an exclusively collective quality.

    A check of a couple different dictionaries confirms this notion, at least as far as the dictionary defines it.

    Personally, I really don't have a problem with boycotts. Boycotts are one of the most important tools for dealing with bad actors in the commercial arena. I don't see it as censorship or a form of bullying; nobody is entitled to your business or your money. The only one who can decide how and why to spend it is you.

  99. Third News says:

    I've read most of the comments -the repetitious nature makes certainty difficult- and I agree with Clark, though not his reasoning.

    I don't boycott, and I purposefully read blogs outside my politics, art, knowledge –it is a personal entelechy. I have no interest in regulating myself to people who have twinned my thoughts, experiences, and I want to know why people think as they sincerely do. In particular, why they, or even you, designate yourself as the custos morum for me.

    On a side note, the comments with the implications assigned to his Mormonism, the irony of boycotting a movie in an industry that has historically advanced civil rights, employed gays, minorities, and the 'substitute morality' involved in purchasing illegal downloads –piracy is linked to organized crime, and notably, kills the production of art, are at best phatic

  100. Xennady says:

    EAB,

    My recollection of that comment by Mr. Scalzi was that he was referencing some unpleasant event involving desert exile, and offhandedly remarked that he wished "rightwingers" would share the same fate. It was absolutely not rhetorical, which was what shocked me.

    That said, I may well be the only person in the universe who was offended enough by that offhand remark by Scalzi to even remember it- and I can't even place the year.

    Which is why I bring it up here. Somehow obscure science fiction writer Orson Scott Card has become the Emmanuel Goldstein of the day- subject to a nasty campaign to destroy his career, merely because he has the temerity to oppose gay marriage- yet when leftists like John Scalzi openly pine for genocide no one even notices.

    Again, go figure.

  101. Lago says:

    To start, I'm a visual effects artist, and I have, while maybe not a personal stake, an emotional stake in the success of the movie.

    This movie is being partly produced by the visual effects company that worked on it, Digital Domain, so that they could work reasonably within the meager budget and be able to capitalize on it. This is not typical. Normally, visual effects studios get paid upfront for their work. While it means the studios are buffered against unsuccessful films they work on, it's unfortunately not a profitable business model. What Ender's Game's relationship with Digital Domain means if it's successful is that Digital Domain has a profitable asset. If the move does badly, the studio is likely just going to be closed.

    If this movie is profitable, it could also mean production studios might do this more with visual effects studios. The production studio won't get as big of a piece of the pie, but they also won't need massively bloated budgets just to pay for the VFX. Also, the VFX artists WANT the movie to do well, they have a stake in its success, you can bet the VFX are going to be better.

    So bear this in mind. If you're boycotting the movie on principle, you're also boycotting a movie that hundreds of not so rich people have a stake in, who likely had no idea of OSC's views when they made the investment, and a movie that the entire VFX industry is keeping a hopeful eye on.

  102. Anony Mouse says:

    Buying a ticket to see Ender's Game puts money in Orson Scott Card's pocket, both directly (if he owns residuals in the movie) and indirectly through allowing the studio to recoup the money they paid him for the rights to film the book and in drumming up interest for sales of the book.

    Expect… that's not true at all.

    Card got paid, ages ago, when he sold the rights to the book. The success or failure of the movie had no impact on Card's checking account.

    Furthermore, you seeing or not seeing the movie has no impact on book sales. Short of being a record-smashing blockbuster, the success of the movie will have minimal impact on book sales. Considering the apparent quality of the movie, I doubt it'll be a smash. The effect on book sales has already happened from all the advertising.

    Well, that and all the people who hear about the boycott and decided to pick up the book to see what all the fuss is about. My personal sense of irony actually hope this silly boycott is responsible for more sales than would have otherwise happened.

    Although I'm sure you'll be teaching Adam Harrison quite the lesson. You'd think the best boy rigging electric would know better than to support such a monster.

  103. david says:

    1) Kraken is the best thing Mieville had written side Perdido St Station
    2) How can you not like Ezra Pound's work?
    3) Wagner? Puhlease . . .
    4) Card is a 'stain, but don't see the movie because its shit, not because of politics. Boycott his biopic, boycott a pro Card polemic, but let Ender play his game in obscurity, where the movie deserves to be.

  104. Clark says:

    @david

    1) Kraken is the best thing Mieville had written side Perdido St Station

    I'm a 1/4 of the way through it. My thoughts are … mixed.

    As always, Mieville shows his genius. The problem with Mieville and his genius is that he doesn't always direct it towards creating entertaining books. _City and the City_ and _Embassytown_ both aimed and and partially accomplished Important Things…but neither was all that much fun to read. I fear that Kraken is heading in the same direction.

  105. XS says:

    I don't believe boycotts work as well as folks seem to think.
    Witness Cuba. Embargoed by this country since 1962 or maybe a little before…and yet Cuba has formal relations with 160 of ~196 countries in the world. The embargo is not working as the leaders of this country thought then and now.
    I don't believe boycotts work as well as folks seem to think.

  106. Dan says:

    Hey Clark, great article, seriously. Good food for thought. Thanks :)

    I am actually a big fan of OSC's writing, although the later Ender books kind of sucked. I really like Pastwatch: The Redemption of Christopher Columbus; even though the entire book to some extent is a torturous attempt to justify the European takeover of the Americas, it's still an engaging piece of sci-fi.

    Lots of my favorite authors are weirdos with goofy politics I don't agree with (looking at you, Heinlein). I've never hesitated to read or even buy a book by someone I don't agree with.

    But to be honest, I find myself hesitant to go see the Ender's Game movie (though as a teenager I told anyone who would listen that they should make an Ender's Game movie) because of Card's assholish behavior now. Clark's article makes a persuasive point that this is illogical.

    The truth is the question is moot because it's too expensive to go to the movies. I might check it out on Netflix one day.

    @XS: The embargo has really hurt Cubans by destroying a lot of economic opportunity. No, it did not harm Fidel in the slightest. The embargo is a pointless relic of the Cold War, like Charles Krauthammer.

  107. Clark says:

    @Lago:

    If you're boycotting the movie … you're also boycotting a movie
    that hundreds of not so rich people have a stake in, who likely
    had no idea of OSC's views when they made the investment

    @Dan:

    The embargo has really hurt Cubans by destroying a lot of economic opportunity. No, it did not harm Fidel in the slightest.

    These two comments are nice bookends.

    Moral, perhaps:

    * boycotts are aimed at high profile thought-criminals
    * …but mostly hurt Joe Sixpack

  108. Amadan says:

    @Xennady That's pretty willfully disingenuous. John Scalzi can be awfully smug about his politics, but he's always smugly "rational-middle" – in his own post about OSC, for example, he's gotten flack from some of his commenters for daring to say that OSC is not a horrible fellow in person.

    It's already been pointed out to you that the post you are referring to could only be read as "not rhetorical" by someone going out of his way to misconstrue it. Or perhaps you're remembering some other post that no one else in the universe remembers in which Scalzi wished genocide upon people? It would be totally inconsistent with everything else he's ever posted, but maybe you alone in all the world have seen through his clever mask.

    I'm not Scalzi's biggest fan, but come on now. The Vox Day anti-Scalzi campaign to link him to sentiments he's never expressed is even pettier than the people demanding no one ever read or watch movies based on books by bad people.

    I was nonplussed at Clark's eliding of some crucial details about OSC's worldview, though I'll take him at his word that he was genuinely unaware that Card's opposition to gay people goes well beyond simply being a Mormon.

  109. Vruhj says:

    Probably a bit late to the discussion, but I disagree with starting this discussion as "It's art."

    The movie is being packaged and sold as entertainment. As entertainment I can decide if I would be entertained or not by it. I probably would be. However, there are a multitude of ways I can be entertained by said movie without seeing it on opening weekend.

    I can go see it at the dollar show. I can wait for the DvD to hit the bargain bin. I can buy it used. I could borrow the DvD from a friend. These are all ways of having the entertainment without endorsing it which are legal.

    Just because I wish not to see it on opening night doesn't mean I don't wish to see it. I know that's a conflicting view, but that's how it goes.

  110. Erwin says:

    Dunno. Generally, my personal algorithm has me applying reprehensible political views and the exercise thereof as a weighting factor rather than a binary test. Honestly, for Card's case, I only knew of the anti-marriage views and sort of thought the reprehensible nonsense was more the purview of john c wright.

    Anyways, for Card, the answer was pretty simple – I did not like his books…so…yah…easy choice. I might see his movie, as there is nothing good out and i might like the Hollywood adaptation better. For Wright, I am torn – I have not bought his books past the first two series (when I read some of his rants)- and there was a bored period where I probably would have, but I probably would if he came out with something more my cup of tea. Perhaps moral weakness on my part. Perhaps simply being accustomed to a culture wherein homosexuality is exclusive with being considered human in the elder generation.

    Generally speaking, I find his advocacy troubling – particularly of anti-sodomy laws.
    Perhaps the way I look at it is that, for views within the mainstream, including a thirty year range, I am uncomfortable with boycotts – as they tend to undermine civil discourse. For further out views, i am comfortable with squashing crazy people. OTOH, Card's behavior is, I would guess, closer to 60 years out…has he recanted? It seems like a reasonable metric. And yes, sometimes means supporting evil. Evil is part of our society – and ripping it out will cause more harm than good.

    –Erwin
    -

  111. Troutwaxer says:

    @ James Pope

    It's not about him being Mormon, it's about me finding the guy to be an odious piece of crap.

    Exactly. And it's not just the "I hate Gays" thing. It's the "I'm good for hating Gays, and you're bad for criticizing my hate" thing. On a personal level, I'm not going to this movie because I hate the dude!

    @ luagha

    If you read a reasonable amount of Orson Scott Card's work, it is pretty obvious that he was personally homosexually abused at a young age… Given that, his current attitudes are completely understandable as a survivor of abuse.

    I disagree. I was also homosexually abused at a young age. But I hate child molesters, not Gay people – and OSC is certainly smart enough to make that distinction.

    @ Xennady

    I quit reading and lost interest in buying any more of his books quite soon after I read Mr. Scalzi wish that all right-wingers would be exiled to a desert…"

    Like EAB above, I've been reading Scalzi's blog for a couple years, and while he's unabashedly liberal, I can't help but wonder whether you misread. I've never seen him express anything so strongly as to say anything like "exiled to a desert" without it being obviously exaggerated or humorous. Can you provide a URL?

  112. Mark - Lord of the Albino Squirrels says:

    @Clark

    These two comments are nice bookends.

    Moral, perhaps:

    * boycotts are aimed at high profile thought-criminals
    * …but mostly hurt Joe Sixpack

    This is a little confusing, considering the two comments. The Producers (Digital Domain, Summit Entertainment, etc) of a movie are Joe Sixpack and one of the writers (Card) is analogous to Castro then?

    I would have thought the Producers – as the group who oversee all aspects of the film, control the purse strings and receive most of the profit – would be the analogue to the ruler of a authoritarian country, not one of the writers. Perhaps you could elaborate on this parallel?

  113. Molnar says:

    The high profile of the movie does provide an opportunity to expose and discuss Card's retrograde opinions about gays, morality, and science. There is value in that discussion, irrespective of whether boycotting the movie has any tangible financial effect on Card. Long before the movie came out there were those who claimed that Card has always been an asshat.

    Regarding Ender's Game itself, while I loved the book when I was in grade school, after a second and third reading, I have come to wonder whether it might have problems I didn't notice during my first reading.

  114. Ken says:

    One can make the choice not to patronize the artist because of the artist's politics, but if I did that, I'd have to give up both Wagner and the Dixie Chicks, so no.

  115. Jimko says:

    I wish people would get as upset about the American penchant for electing cowardly murderers of innocents to office as they do about the politics of who is having relations with whom. The trivialization of justice into nothingness is the disease of Empire.

    "Ender's Game" is a great SF book. I don't care who wrote it, though I won't be going to see the movie because I have lost the desire to sit in dark rooms with strangers anymore. Someone is still making money on "Mein Kampf" (that's German for "bombastic spew") and I don't hear any protests, though the book in question isn't art unless one has a fetish for steel and leather.

    I love this blog, btw. Please carry on with your bad selves.

  116. Nat Gertler says:

    "The success or failure of the movie had no impact on Card's checking account."

    Accepting the claims that he does not have a back-end deal on this film, that still doesn't necessarily hold true.
    * From what I've seen of Hollywood contracts of this sort, even with a flat rate for the rights to make this film, that doesn't preclude there being a separate payment for the filming of a sequel, should box office warrant doing one. (And before anyone repeats objection to Speaker For The Dead not being the same genre: a sequel of an adaptation does not need to be an adaptation of the sequel. If you don't believe me, see the movie Psycho II, and read the book Psycho II.)
    * A successful film is more likely to interest Hollywood in adapting his other works, and give him more leverage in such deals.

    While I'm not personally taking a boycott stance (I don't want my art to all come from the same viewpoint, but I can certainly see drawing a line not just between those who simply hold a view and those who take action to advance their cause against others, but a line between those whose attempts actually have some impact such a OSC via NOM, and those who have no visible effect, such as the talented and smart but not always wise Dave Sim), I tend to find those voicing objection to the boycott either do not know or choose to misdescribe the full reasons for the boycott call, so I find myself correcting/addressing such statements. Lucky for me, many have already done so here.

    I will note that any harm coming to OSC himself (in contrast to the other folks involved in the film) via the boycott could not be reasonably claimed by him to be -unjust-, not just because as a board member of NOM he would be very much part of the boycotting of others and the attempt to remove people from jobs for acting on views he did not share, but also because he seems smart enough a man to know that an author's name is his brand, and by joining that board he chose to ally his brand with their inherently controversial brand and their actions.

  117. mud man says:

    malc:

    it seems to me that boycotts are usually a tool of the less-powerful against the more-powerfu

    A good point, and considering how little effective the run-of-the-mill boycott (such as that proposed hereabouts) is, the reaction of many that boycotts are de natura wrongwrongwrong is rather startling. I take it as an example of the masses rallying to the elite against their own self-interest. The same urge that leads people to say "That cop wouldn't have beat that homeless person if he hadn't been doing something awful."

    Maybe I'll have a chance to write a paper about it for my Sociology class.

  118. Nat Gertler says:

    Oh, I will also counterbalance someone's complaint against Sock; yes, it is strident, but one expects a strongly presented point of view from any book narrated by a sock monkey. Also, it is a fun book to read out loud,

  119. mud man says:

    @Clark:

    @Lago: … boycotting …
    @Dan: … embargo …

    These two comments are nice bookends.

    Moral, perhaps:

    * boycotts are aimed at high profile thought-criminals
    * …but mostly hurt Joe Sixpack

    A boycott is a voluntary association, an embargo is an imposition of state power. Those bookends belong on different shelves.

  120. LrdDimwit says:

    Basically, here's how I see it. It comes down to the central question of "When is it okay to tell other people what to do?" Fundamentally, total freedom includes the freedom to be a bad person and to do bad things. This is the reason I cannot agree with the principles behind voluntaryism. It inevitably leads to oppression of the weak, the unpopular, and the powerless because the government cannot do anything about (for example) big business blacklisting 'undesirables' from any kind of job, or real estate brokers forming cliques to refuse to sell property to the 'wrong buyer'.

    If you think that there ought not be any boycotts of businesses based on politics, then you are definitely calling for government intervention to that effect. It will never happen otherwise. And when you go there, very bad things will probably happen. The existence of such a rule would probably have changed the outcome of , for example.

    People are going to try to force others to live the way they think everyone ought to live. Always have, always will. Some try to do it with the power of government. Others use religion, economics … Any organization that has ever existed has, at one time or another, been attempted to be used by the people making it up in this way. Why else would so many charitable organizations have to explicitly spell out in their rules that they don't do that?

    If enough people care enough about something, they will even form a group dedicated just to that cause (see for example the ACLU and the KKK)

    So really the question I think is this: What is an acceptable way to try to influence others, and what is not? Because 'none is ever acceptable' simply will not fly in practice.

    Is it okay for me to boycott OSC's movie? Yes, because telling me I'm not allowed to consume ideas as I see fit violates my rights. Full stop. Would it be okay for me to get a bunch of other people together who don't like him, pool our resources, and hire an army of protesters to follow OSC around and (for example) try to ruin his life by destroying businesses he frequently patronized, in an effort to force everyone else to shun him? No, it certainly would not.

  121. Grifter says:

    Everyone "boycotts" based on personal opinion. If someone met OSC and found him to be a jerk, I don't think anyone would fault that person for saying "Fuck that guy" and not buying his work. If the baker on the corner is an asshole, you're going to go down the street to a different baker.

    Seeing other views is good, sure, but that doesn't translate into "therefore buy all their stuff".

    OSC is an asshole, so I'm going down the street to someone who isn't.

  122. Xenocles says:

    "If you think that there ought not be any boycotts of businesses based on politics, then you are definitely calling for government intervention to that effect."

    This is categorically untrue. Wanting something does not obligate you to purchase it at any price. It may simply be the case that one such person wants freedom of action more than a world free of boycotts.

  123. Brad Hutchings (@BradHutchings) says:

    I have recently lost a couple of software developer customers, and several "potential customers" have vowed to not do business with me, because I disagreed with (and yes, openly mocked) their silly, whiny protests against a mutual software tools vendor. Do I think that's wrong or feel hurt by it? Not at all. In my business, whiny customers are a time sink, always looking for you to do them a favor at low or no cost, and never willing or able to provide reciprocal value. So on balance, the drama is just noise.

    Applied to a wider "boycott" like this one. While I take a view of state sanctioned marriage similar to Clark's, I'm probably more inclined to go see this movie than I otherwise might be due to the "boycott". It's like grocery store strikes. I'm on a first name basis with the union guy who helicopters over the self-checkout. He's a friendly guy who nervously chuckles at my obscure sports jokes even if he doesn't get them. But if his local union went on strike against Ralph's, I wouldn't hesitate to shop there when I need groceries and incur picketer wrath. The drama is just noise.

  124. Clark says:

    @Grifter

    Everyone "boycotts" based on personal opinion. If someone met OSC and found him to be a jerk, I don't think anyone would fault that person for saying "Fuck that guy"

    I met David Brin once at a book signing.

    I listened to his condescention and rudeness for about ten minutes and decided that I'd never but another book from him.

  125. TM says:

    Ultimately, I'm of the opinion that if I never watched, payed for or otherwise consumed any art by artists who oppose me politically or who have at some point advocated or actively participated in using government force* to punish me or criminalize some part of my lifestyle or that of one of my friends, I would never actually consume any art at all. This may or may not be a good thing given the state of a lot of modern media, but at least for the time being I consider it a net negative. That isn't to say I don't and haven't allowed artists political views to prevent me from consuming their art, but usually this happens when those views start bleeding into the art and take away (in my opinion) from the artistic value. That said, when given a choice between two artists, I will likely choose the one who as a whole I like more, and since politics enters into that whole, I guess that means sometimes I don't buy art because of the artists politics.

    * Sure, they may not all be chairmen of PACs, but what do you think they're doing when they walk into a voting both and pull the lever for "do something" on a given issue?

  126. Clark says:

    @Mark – Lord of the Albino Squirrels

    @Clark

    These two comments are nice bookends.

    Moral, perhaps:

    * boycotts are aimed at high profile thought-criminals
    * …but mostly hurt Joe Sixpack

    This is a little confusing, considering the two comments. The Producers (Digital Domain, Summit Entertainment, etc) of a movie are Joe Sixpack and one of the writers (Card) is analogous to Castro then?

    I would have thought the Producers – as the group who oversee

    Valid point.

    Let me restate:

    I have heard it argued that cutting off trade (via boycotts or embargos) hurt the working stiff more than the elites. E.g. Cuba / pre-9/11 Iraq / South Africa / some random retail chain.

  127. Clark says:

    @Erwin

    Dunno. Generally, my personal algorithm has me applying reprehensible political views and the exercise thereof as a weighting factor rather than a binary test.

    Same here. I think.

    I've only ever gone on a full-out boytcott of one author and that was, as I mentioned, Brin…and not because I thought that a dollar put in his pocket would make the world a worse place, but because I utterly couldn't stand the man personally.

  128. Kirk Taylor says:

    Damn you Clark! I love Brin's books and had no idea he was a jerk! Now I can never buy anything of his ever again!

    Though I probably should have boycotted him for letting The Postman movie happen…

  129. Christopher says:

    A boycott is a voluntary association, an embargo is an imposition of state power. Those bookends belong on different shelves.

    QFT.

    I'm sorry, Clark, but this is one of the most poorly-thought-out posts I've ever seen on this site. I cannot fathom why people look at boycotts they don't approve of, and then decide to make a quixotic argument against the concept of boycotts in general, rather than the specific one they disagree with.

    A boycott is the voluntary decision by those participating to refrain from purchasing something.

    If nothing else, we aren't immortal; we must make choices about what art we are going to view and what art we aren't. There just isn't time to watch every single movie that comes out.

    I didn't see Iron Man 3 because the Marvel superhero movies have been reliably mediocre and I just didn't particularly feel the need. Are my actions hurting the poor VFX people who toiled away on that movie, taking food out of the mouths of joe sixpack because of my selfish, high-minded desire not to spend $14 on something I won't particularly enjoy?

    Thinking and talking about art is an act of discernment and discrimination. You are going to make the decision that some art is not worth your time or your money. You just are. And you will explain these decisions to the people you talk to, and make recommendations about what would be worth their time and money.

    How, and I ask this seriously, is a person calling for you not to see a movie because it has reprehensible politics different from a person like Roger Ebert telling you not to see a movie because it sucks?

    Both people are saying, "Skip this, you won't enjoy it." If that's illegitimate, where does that leave us?

    Now, can you argue with the reasons people decide not to see art? Can you say, "Hey, I don't think you're right about skipping this movie, it might actually be worthwhile because [Insert reason here]"?

    Of course!

    But to do that you'd actually have to understand why a person wanted to skip it in the first place.

    And Clark, when you wrote this post you clearly didn't have any idea what Orson Scott Card's views on gay people actually are, which means that any arguments you make here against this particular boycott are mushy and unconvincing.

    In short, I think it's impossible to argue against boycotts in general, and you've done a terrible job arguing about this one in specific.

  130. Lago says:

    @Christopher:

    I didn't see Iron Man 3 because the Marvel superhero movies have been reliably mediocre and I just didn't particularly feel the need. Are my actions hurting the poor VFX people who toiled away on that movie, taking food out of the mouths of joe sixpack because of my selfish, high-minded desire not to spend $14 on something I won't particularly enjoy?

    I'm responding to people who are saying things like:

    I'm boycotting the film, even though I want to see it, because of Mr. Card's view on the humanity (or lack thereof) of homosexuals.

    I'm not trying to guilt you into seeing the movie because some starving artists worked on it, I'm specifically appealing to anybody who would otherwise go see it, but will boycott over OSC's views. It doesn't mean you need to soften your convictions because the poor VFX people, and it certainly doesn't mean you need to go see a movie you don't want to see because the poor VFX people.

  131. AlphaCentauri says:

    There's theory, and then there's practical application. If you have an active boycott of OSC, you're going to give him and his film extra publicity. It will probably make much more money than it otherwise would.

    Ignore it? yes, fine. Publicize your opposition to it? That puts money in his pocket.

    Then tell us about books and movies written by people who are good citizens that we might not otherwise hear of, so we can put money in their pockets.

  132. Dan says:

    If the VFX people didn't want to be associated with OSC and his rather poisonous views…perhaps they shouldn't have associated with him.

    And I'm not saying that they're "guilty" of anything. But they did choose to work on a project that's considered OSC's seminal work, and that carries some risk with it. It really sucks that they might have to pay some of the cost of that, but it is something they chose to do. And actions have consequences.

  133. david says:

    To all the pro-boycotters – you guys do know that Walt Disney was pro-fascist, perhaps even pro-Nazi pre WWII? And Florence Nightingale was a racist anti-feminist? Just saying . . .

  134. Edward says:

    My stance on this is quite simple (or so it seems to me).

    I support any individual's right to believe what they want and to speak about it to anyone who will listen, regardless of how repulsive I may consider said views to be.

    What that person espouses in their free time is their business, and I have no right to tell them otherwise.

    It is one thing to refuse to give direct monetary support to a cause you disagree with. But by watching/purchasing Ender's Game, you do none of that, because the themes people object to are not present there. What the man does with the money from my purchase after that is not my responsibility. It is only mine if he states beforehand that proceeds will go to something, which he has not done to my knowledge.

    Boycotting something is not 'just' speech vs. speech as some would have it; it is in fact a passive action aimed at inflicting economic harm in order to change or suppress specific behavior or speech. Making it, in this case, indirectly a form of censorship specifically targeting a man for his religious views and speech a particular subject. Which I will not support, ever.

  135. TM says:

    @Edward

    Boycotting something is not 'just' speech vs. speech as some would have it; it is in fact a passive action aimed at inflicting economic harm in order to change or suppress specific behavior or speech. Making it, in this case, indirectly a form of censorship specifically targeting a man for his religious views and speech a particular subject. Which I will not support, ever.

    Eh, this goes a bit far in my opinion. Ignoring for the moment the whole "private people with no direct authority over your printing press can't censor you" bit, I am extremely resistant to classify inaction on the part of people as harming others. Ultimately, you are a free individual to do as you will or won't as long as you don't harm other people. This should include (barring circumstances where you are the direct or immediately proximate cause of harm) not acting, even if by not acting another individual experiences more harm than if you had acted. In this case, OSC wrote a book. He also chose to express and act on his political views. He placed his own livelihood in harms way, and you as an individual should feel no legal or moral pressure to ease that harm if his political views disincline you from acting.

  136. Lago says:

    If the VFX people didn't want to be associated with OSC and his rather poisonous views…perhaps they shouldn't have associated with him.

    Digital Domain signed on for Ender's Game in April 2011. Did you know about the Orson Scott Card controversy two and a half years ago? I didn't.

  137. Erwin says:

    Dunno. In terms of boycotts, overall, my feeling is that they are effective as an imposition of majority opinion.

    Eg, being a Nazi is hazardous to your career.

    30 years ago, being anti-homosexual was not.

    Nowadays, the average of public opinion is such that boycotts may be effective.

    For some reason, I don't care about ineffective boycotts.

    Effective boycotts, OTOH, seem reasonable to me. I think my rationale is that, when choosing between being lynched and being boycotted, I prefer the boycott. I just suspect that hoping to restrain majority actions is fairly hopeless once >75% of the country agrees. That said, I won't participate in a boycott lightly.

    –Erwin

  138. Anonsters says:

    brb diagramming that

    Take your time, and please wear a helmet. I wouldn't want you to hurt yourself. :)

  139. Ken White says:

    Take your time, and please wear a helmet. I wouldn't want you to hurt yourself. :)

    I hurt myself on the helmet. :(

  140. Anonsters says:

    @LrdDimwit:

    Basically, here's how I see it. It comes down to the central question of "When is it okay to tell other people what to do?"

    Any time you want, provided you're simply telling them what to do (as opposed to, say, putting a gun to their head and telling them what to do). Just like those people you tell what to do are free, any time, to tell you what you should go do with yourself. This is why free speech is so important. If they can convince you that you should do what they say, great; if not, fine. If people want to couch their opinions about what actions people should take in terms of commands, so be it. That's usually not the most effective way to get people to agree with you.

    @Edward:

    I support any individual's right to believe what they want and to speak about it to anyone who will listen, regardless of how repulsive I may consider said views to be. What that person espouses in their free time is their business, and I have no right to tell them otherwise.

    Except, apparently, when people believe a voluntary boycott of someone else's business is warranted and publicly advocate for it, which you "will not support, ever."

    This is why I'm a free speech absolutist. Once people start making distinctions and start drawing lines, they've pretty much given up the fundamental principle they claim to believe in and stand on.

  141. Anonsters says:

    I hurt myself on the helmet. :(

    I hate when that happens. :(

  142. Dan says:

    I support any individual's right to believe what they want and to speak about it to anyone who will listen, regardless of how repulsive I may consider said views to be….It is one thing to refuse to give direct monetary support to a cause you disagree with. But by watching/purchasing Ender's Game, you do none of that, because the themes people object to are not present there. What the man does with the money from my purchase after that is not my responsibility.

    I support everybody's right to speak their mind, as well. However, I disagree with you on the second point.

    My money probably won't go to OSC's "cause", true; but my money can help keep him in the public eye, and can help give him a platform to speak his repulsive words. OSC might also choose to donate his money to causes I disagree with. How OSC spends his money is not my responsibility, but I think it's my responsibility to not give money to people who might use it to forward causes I despise.

    I'm not calling for a boycott; I could care less if other people choose to see the movie or not. I, however, won't be going to see it.

  143. Dan says:

    Digital Domain signed on for Ender's Game in April 2011. Did you know about the Orson Scott Card controversy two and a half years ago? I didn't.

    I did. He's been pretty vocal about this stuff for quite some time.

  144. Marconi Darwin says:

    I do not see why not. We encourage watching a talk show or a news show based on the politics of the host, so boycotting or encouraging others into boycotting it is fair game.

    I do not agree that the government should do it, but citizens uniting and influencing others? Why not?

    Incidentally, where is the proportionatehue and cry on Clarkhat when churches or million moms (church-going) encourage the boycott of Ellen Degeneres, for example?

  145. Charley says:

    @Kathryn
    re: That said, you're WILDLY mischaracterizing OSC's view on homosexuality. There are literally millions of people who manage to be against gay marriage without being ignorant asshats about it; Orson Scott Card is not one of them.

    I was tempted to come of my own lurkdom here as well for the same reason. He's not just anti-SSM; his attitude is simply intolerable.

  146. Xennady says:

    Amadan,

    That comment presented by EAB absolutely was not the comment by Scalzi that I recall advocating my demise- although rereading what I wrote I can see why you thought that.

    Troutwaxer,

    No, I can't provide an url and it would be churlish as well as false for me to claim that my memory is so perfect that I couldn't have misread Scalzi. As I said I can't even recall the year. But- again- it was enough to convince me I had no interest in reading anything Scalzi had to say, ever again.

  147. Demosthenes says:

    I was going to respond to some of these posts, because everyone knew where this comment thread was going. But after reading someone's belief upthread that Ender's Game actually endorses mass murder (!), I haven't the heart. So I'm just going to cut and paste part of a comment I put on another site two months ago into this thread, and let that stand as my response.

    "As far as the boycott goes, I find myself depressed by the general tone of comments on this thread, as on most threads. Too many people seem to be unwilling to separate their distaste for Card's sociopolitical beliefs and activism from the actual work/s in question. To be perfectly fair to those people, it is a difficult question to grapple with, and I would have agreed with their principle at one time — X can say what he wants, but I won't subsidize his speech, etc. Maybe that's why hearing that line of reasoning depresses me so…because I'm well aware of how much I used to use it.

    "If Card had actually done something illegal, or gone past advocacy, that would be a separate issue — I boycott any work of the statutory rapist Roman Polanksi, for example. But when it comes to simple expression, and I include use of one's money and time under the word 'expression'…well, I guess it comes down to a simple application of the Golden Rule. I ultimately decided that I wouldn't like it very much if people decided not to spend money at my business just because they had a political disagreement with me, and so I couldn't in good conscience treat others that way.

    "And I haven't since. I find Adam McKay's politics distasteful, but I'm not going to miss Anchorman 2. Joss Whedon's faux-feminism and latte liberalism range from tiring to irritating, but I'm not throwing away my DVDs of Buffy, Angel, Firefly, Serenity, The Avengers…and I'll see every episode of his new Avengers show. Heck, I wouldn't even chuck Dollhouse or Alien Resurrection. Of course, YMMV. "

  148. Demosthenes says:

    Well…maybe one response, @ Dan, who sez:

    "How OSC spends his money is not my responsibility, but I think it's my responsibility to not give money to people who might use it to forward causes I despise."

    I assume that you do detailed and thorough investigations on every single person with whom you might even be considering doing business. Well, I certainly commend you on your diligence, but is that the way you want to live? It must suck having to spend a day or so checking up on a food vendor with a street cart just to make sure you're not subsidizing the views of someone who promotes a cause you consider evil…especially when you want that taquito, like, now.

    Or did you just mean to say, as most people do when they utter these "high-minded"* words, that you refuse to do business with people who actually put their "disagreeable"** views out where you can see them? Because if so, that's fine, man. I mean, I think you're wrong as hell, but it's your legal right to boycott people should you so choose, for whatever reason you choose, and I support your exercise of that right in any way you see fit. Do us a favor, though, if that's the case — don't pretend that you act as you do based on some kind of principled stand for your values.

    * Sarcastic quote marks.

    ** Non-sarcastic quote marks. Hey, I don't know what you find disagreeable — I might agree with you.

  149. Dan says:

    I assume that you do detailed and thorough investigations on every single person with whom you might even be considering doing business. Well, I certainly commend you on your diligence, but is that the way you want to live?

    I am only human; I don't investigate every single business I come into contact with, but when something comes to my attention, I do what limited investigation I can and make my decision based on that. I am not omniscient, and not every "disagreeable" person or business entity makes their beliefs and/or agendas public.

    However, my lack of omniscience doesn't mean that choosing how I spend my money is not taking a "principled stand". Honestly, I don't even look at it that way. I just want to put my money where it can benefit both myself and "society" the most. If that means avoiding buying the products of people that I think are trying to actively hurt a section of society, so be it.

    I'm not sure why my methodology for choosing how to spend my money is so offensive to you, however. I'm not asking you to follow it; in fact, I don't really care if you follow it.

  150. Gorshkov says:

    My idea about "artists" – be they actors, writers, producers, painters, etc is this:

    I don't give a crap about their politics unless THEY make it an issue. For example – if I happen to know that XXX has opinions diametrically opposed to my own, I don't care. If, however, XXX goes out of his/her way to use their celebrity to expound on their view – if THEY make it political – then I reserve the right to make a decision on a political basis, and will ignore their work.

    As a general rule, though, I hold ALL "celebs" in contempt if they think their fame gives them the right to expound on issues like an expert when they know no more than the average layman, regardless of their specific views.

  151. Artifex says:

    @Clark

    An interesting exercise is to compare your thoughts on boycotts in conjunction with another figure who seems to me a more archetypical character than Orson Scott Card: W.E.B. Du Bois.

    W.E.B Du Bois was arguably a vastly more talented literary figure than OSC and as a committed Stalinist was seriously in the grip of a far more powerful and pervasive evil. His writing is powerful, compelling and in the exposition of "Jim Crow", indispensable. Do we remove him from the pantheon of the great American writers because of his embrace of one of the great evils of the 20th century ? How does one justify a boycott of OSC and not the boycotting W.E.B. Du Bois ?

    Also, if we boycott OSC and his political organizations do we also boycott W.E.B. Du Bois's organization (who to my knowledge has never repudiated his positions) ? Am I then morally justified in refusing to hire or do business with NAACP members ? Card vs Du Bois is interesting in that Card is certainly a lesser talent than Du Bois, but his transgression seems trivial in comparison.

    I like to think my little world is a more nuanced place than the realm inhabited by the shallow and angry tribalists. Not only can one separate the artist and art, one can separate various aspects of the artists work. They just have to be talented enough to make it worthwhile. In Du Bois's case, Souls of the Black Folk is sublime as is much of his writing but his politics are pure evil. In Card's case, Ender's Game is a good yarn but Card as a man is a bit banal. I doubt I will let Card's politics change whether or not I see the movie any more than I stop insisting my children read Du Bois.

  152. Steve says:

    There are things about art I have found to work for me. I do not try and find out too much about artists themselves. I tend to create a mental image of who is behind the creation and coming into contact with the real thing may be disappointment — what I find is a human much like my neighbor.

    I look at this like a fig – I like them a lot but I do not think too deeply about them. “Why” you might ask? For a fig to grow into a fruit, a wasp needs to crawl into it, lays its eggs, and die inside of it. Sorry, does this spoil it for you? I do not care and I will eat my figs and ignore the bug in it. OSC’s views are just a bug in something I enjoy

  153. Demosthenes says:

    @ Dan, who said: "I'm not sure why my methodology for choosing how to spend my money is so offensive to you, however."

    I said I thought your rationalization (which does not rise to the level of methodology, believe me) was wrong. I did not say I was offended by it. But thank you for making clear that as I suspected, you do not seriously think you have a "responsibility" to know what your money is going toward, which is what you initially said.

    I will apologize for one thing, though. Your response leads me to believe that you have made an honest mistake in confusing what you described yourself as doing and what you actually do, so I'm certain I mischaracterized you when I all but said you were "pretending" toward the stronger stance. Hopefully, you will one day realize the difference, as I did — and then you'll probably be in for an interesting battle with yourself over how responsible you are for the behavior of others, as I was. Sincerely, I wish you the best of luck with that one. It's a tough problem to solve.

  154. Dan says:

    @Demosthenes: I do realize the difference, and thanks for the apology. The English language is a clumsy thing.

    I apologize for jumping to conclusions. I think we're agreeing on a few things (while still disagreeing on others).

  155. Palimpsest says:

    I'll skip the argument about OSC just being persecuted for being Mormon, earlier posters have pointed out his virulent efforts to prevent gay marriage and want to leave laws on the books to criminalize sodomy.

    Orson Scott Card may have left the Board of NOM but despite his bogus claims that it's all ancient history, NOM is still organizing to fight Gay Marriage in the State by State battle to allow it. I haven't heard him disclaim that he's not still giving them money. I'm already giving money to groups that are fighting NOM so the suggestion that I fund both sides of the fight are silly.

    I'm not going to go see Ender's Game in the theater. If you tell me it's not going to hurt OSC, then you can't complain it's anything but a highly effective symbolic protest. I think the boycott will make future potential producers be much less likely to give OSC money to make films of his books if Ender's Game does poorly. As for poor Joe Six pack working on the film; Hollywood is rather thoroughly organized so that Joe doesn't get any compensation that's tied to the box office of the film, that's reserved for the powerful who can negotiate a slice of the action.

    I also don't think that responding to OSC means I have to make sure everything I see is made by ethical means and no writers were harmed in the making of the film. It's been pointed out he's involved and I reserve the right to arbitrarily not support him and ask my friends to do the same. I'm sorry that Asa Butterfield was wasted in this film, I really enjoyed his performance in Hugo. But there will be other films to see him in, and at some point I can get this from the library. I would have probably gone to the film otherwise. I can't really boycott Mel Gibson films, because I would not want to go see them for their terrible weirdness, not because I don't like anti-semites.

    As for the bogus cries of censorship because I decline to give OSC a portion of my entertainment budget; censorship would be arguing that he should not be allowed to make films or have his books published. If you think it's censorship, I'm going to point out that you have to go watch all the Twilight films or you're nastily censoring poor little Mormons making their vampire films. Have fun.

  156. Lago says:

    As for poor Joe Six pack working on the film; Hollywood is rather thoroughly organized so that Joe doesn't get any compensation that's tied to the box office of the film, that's reserved for the powerful who can negotiate a slice of the action.

    Normally this is true. However this time, Digital Domain, a company that is not doing so good, is co-producing this movie. Joe Sixpack who works at DD might not see any royalties personally, but if Ender's Game does badly, Joe loses his job and has to move to Vancouver to work at some upstart studio that will also go under in a few years.

    People do have a stake in this movie. Boycotting it has its merits, but pretending it doesn't matter to anybody based on a false generalization about Hollywood is willfully ignorant.

  157. I tend toward Cat Valente's Fuckmuppetry theory. Limited time and limited money means that if you act like enough of a fuckmuppet, I won't spend my money to benefit you. I barely have enough time and cash to support the people I like.

    My Card dilemma came not with this movie – because I never read the book and don't care to see it – but with the collection FEDERATIONS. OSC and Bujold were the two "name" authors used to sell the collection. I don't care for either of them and don't buy their solo works. But two lesser known and very talented authors also had stories in that collection. Ultimately I decided that the benefit to their fledging careers from supporting the anthology and giving their awesome stories excellent reviews outweighed the distastefulness of supporting Card and Bujold at the same time, especially because the anthologists had already been paid the same amount whether I bought or not. Had they been getting royalties the balance might have fallen differently.

    I find that balancing is often where I end up. I fully admit that I cannot vet where every dollar I spend goes. But when I can – which is most often when I am using my entertainment dollars – I do give some consideration to who and what I'm supporting with them. In the same way that I'll delay buying something I really want from an author I like to be sure that I get it from a source that makes them money, I'll either buy used to avoid giving someone I don't like my dollar, or if they're repugnant enough, not buy at all.

    Just differing from me politically isn't enough for me to choose not to support you. Actively espousing legal oppression (Card), engaging in apologia for your buddy the child rapist (Depp), obliquely calling a Black woman the n-word for having ideas you don't like (Ellison)…these are things that piss me off bad enough to deny myself entertainment I might otherwise enjoy. So I don't judge anyone else for making similar (or different) choices. It's their dollar; they have to spend it in ways they can live with, whatever those are.

  158. whheydt says:

    Somebody brought up Niven & Pournelle. Pournelle is quite conservation, though in the "traditional" sense. Not sure how he sees the modern/"social" conservatives. last time I spoke with him was at a memorial for Poul Anderson. (Pournelle has been on and off the wagon a few times. When he's in his cups, he thinks he can win a debate point by being louder than his opponent. It's not too bad once the audience figures out what he's doing, if a little disconcerting if you *are* on the other side of the discussion.)

    Niven's position is somewhat simpler. He has money. Quite a bit of it. He once convinced a hotel manager not to hassle some people at an SF con in the hotel by pointing that he didn't *own* the hotel, but that it was built on land leased from him. For those into trivia, his maternal grandfather was a guy named Doheny…of Teapot Dome scandal fame. (Niven has also been known the claim that writing SF about pays his bar bill.)

    As for OSC…he's been loudly outspoken and anti-gay for *years*. It's just gotten somewhat worse recently. Then he started whining about not wanting people to avoid the movie made from his book because that would be so unfair.

    Sorry. I don't buy it. Nor do I buy his books. Nor will I go see the movie. I'm not "boycotting" his books or the film. I'm just not spending my money in that direction. If Card wants to be a public asshole bigot, that's up to him. It makes so many other people look quite reasonable by comparison.

    The idea was brought up that Card isn't really spending *his* money on anti-gay causes. That's not really true. He donates substantial sums to the Mormon Church and not only did the church spend quite a bit of money to get Prop. 8 passed, but they also lied about spending that money (directly) on campaign reports to the Calif. Fair Political Practices Commission.

    So…yeah…Card *is* putting his money where his mouth is.

  159. James Pollock says:

    But where does it end? Your plumber might have political views you despise, or your car mechanic, or the guy who takes orders at the drive-thru down at burger hut. If you patronize any of these businesses, you may be putting money in the hands of people who could possibly use it for political purposes to which you are opposed.

    So you should just send all your money to me, and I'll make absolutely sure it doesn't get used for any political purpose you disapprove of, guaranteed. Better safe than sorry.

  160. Daniel Schealler says:

    I find Death of the Author to be very helpful in these situations for separating the art from the artist.

    As far as I'm concerned, if I'm paying the artist for their art, then my moral culpability ends where the artist's freedom of choice begins.

    It doesn't bother me at all that Terry Goodkind's politics actually are. However, the excessive pro-capitalist preachiness that crept into his Wizard's First Rule series wore thin for me really fast.

    Another one was Piers Anthony's Mode series. I'm not entirely sure if the sexism espoused by some of the characters (and at times, the narrator) of the first two novels was meant to be an exploration of sexism rather than an example of it. But I didn't care. By the end of the second novel I was too uncomfortable with the material to continue.

    I have no idea how that reflects on either Piers Anthony or Terry Goodkind. And I don't care. It's the books that put me off. I don't know the authors well enough to have anything like an informed opinion on them.

  161. @James Pollock : down the street from my office is a print shop whose owner doesn't like the President. Lots of people don't like the President, including all of my bosses. The difference between them & the print shop owner is that the latter has put up signs like "Fire the President," while our office doesn't make political statements in common areas. It seems unsurprising to me that people who don't agree with the print shop guy might not want to walk past his signs and thus choose to do business elsewhere. It's pretty common local knowledge the overwhelming political bent of my firm – but they don't push the issue. That's their choice, in order to make people of all political persuasions more comfortable working with us. Are there people who don't work with my bosses because they know their politics? Absolutely. That's their choice, and they're welcome to it.

    I don't generally ask my plumber or my mechanic to discuss politics. If they choose to inject politics into our transaction, this may affect my future business depending on the political question involved. This is why the most political question I ever ask a client is "do you know who the President is?" when establishing competence. I'd rather people feel comfortable working with me than spend all day every day being a poster child for my views. But if someone knows my views from outside the office and doesn't want to give me their business because of it? Hooray for freedom of conscience!

  162. spinetingler says:

    @ Chris C.
    I won't watch a movie with Nicholas Cage in it

    So, you've decided to skip 50% of the films produced in Hollywood?

    :)

  163. Christopher says:

    Artifex: How does one justify a boycott of OSC and not the boycotting W.E.B. Du Bois?

    Stalin and W.E.B. DuBois are both dead. Neither is likely to be actively working for the Soviet Union right now.

    There. Justification complete.

    Also, if we boycott OSC and his political organizations do we also boycott W.E.B. Du Bois's organization (who to my knowledge has never repudiated his positions) ? Am I then morally justified in refusing to hire or do business with NAACP members ?

    I don't know, are you?

    Making an argument there would involve thinking about how and whether the NAACP still advocates for Stalinism, or positions that you believe are as dangerous as Stalinism.

    I mean, that's not a brain stumper; the answer is dirt simple: How much do you disagree with the NAACP?

    Some people seem to think that, if we boycott one person whom we disagree with, then in order to be consistent we must boycott every person we have any disagreements with whatsoever on any topic.

    That viewpoint is… well, insane. Some disagreements are more important than others. I might very well stop being friends with somebody who was a member of the KKK. I wouldn't stop being friends with somebody because they disagree with me about Obamacare.

    Why? Well, the same reason I would stop being friends with a sociopathic serial killer but I wouldn't stop being friends with somebody because they constantly show up late to meetings.

    Yes, both people show a disregard for the feelings of others, but there is nothing hypocritical, ignorant, or unexamined about declaring that serial murder is worth breaking friendships over while chronic lateness is not.

    This is discernment. In order to be human we have to act as though different things are different. I've never seen an argument against the concept of boycotts that doesn't also imply an argument against the general concept of discernment.

    And arguing that we shouldn't discern differences between things that are different is… Well, I can't even imagine how we could stop.

    Lago: People do have a stake in this movie. Boycotting it has its merits, but pretending it doesn't matter to anybody based on a false generalization about Hollywood is willfully ignorant.

    That's a very fair point.

    I guess what I'm getting at is that a lot of people seem to think there's a difference between saying "I don't think my money ought to go to VFX companies that associate with mediocre writers and directors" and saying, "I don't think my money ought to go to VFX companies that associate with homophobes"

    I don't think there is; I don't think there's any way to distinguish between those two positions: Both involve you trying to change the direction of a large business, therefore making speech you don't care for less profitable and less likely to succeed.

    Why is it okay to do that to artists that bore you, but not okay to do the exact same thing to the ones that offend you?

    I don't see how one can be damned without damning the other.

    Now, if you want to say "There are reasons to hope that Ender's Game succeeds, and I think it's success won't particularly help Orson Scott Card to advance his retrograde views, so I hope it does well"

    That's a perfectly fine argument.

    But as I've been saying, that's an argument about this specific boycott, not the concept of boycotts in general, and making it involves weighing the specifics of this particular situation, which Clark certainly did not do here; He was in fact quite ignorant about the specifics.

  164. Demosthenes says:

    Fortunately, this whole discussion is now moot, because weekend figures for "Ender's Game" have been released, and it is pretty much on track with what the box-office experts thought it would do — around $28 million (a decent, if not world-beating, opening) and the winner of the weekend.

    Proponents of Card can now crow about how the boycott was ineffectual. Opponents of Card can now crow about how the figures would have been higher if not for them. And I'll be over here, shaking my head at all y'all, while buying my ticket to Thor next weekend.

    And what the hell. I'll go see Ender's Game again too. It was a good, though not great, movie. AND THAT IS WHAT MATTERS HERE.

  165. Anony Mouse says:

    If the VFX people didn't want to be associated with OSC and his rather poisonous views…perhaps they shouldn't have associated with him.

    It's Clerks talking about the second Death Star all over again.

  166. Sheriff Fathead says:

    Sorry if this has been said earlier (it's a long thread and I'm feeling lazy), but: read or don't read (or watch, etc.) whatever you like, according to whatever criteria please you.

    That's said, it's probably more important to follow the work of obnoxious a-holes: viz. the anecdote that Churchhill was [Godwin alert] the only major pre-war British politician who'd read Mein Kampf.

  167. Adrienne says:

    Two possibly useful links for people in this discussion follow.

    First, for everyone confused about what a 'boycott' is, Nick Mamatas pulls no punches in using spectacular clarity (and snark) to define it for you.

    Second, anyone who is interested in a critical textual analysis of Ender's Game, as well as all the overgrown geek boys who think it was the Best Book Ever, should run, not walk, over to John Kessel's marvelous essay Creating the Innocent Killer. This is an explication of what P.Z. Myers was saying in an early comment, to the effect that the text sets Ender up to kill and kill and nonetheless receive the reader's utter loyalty.

  168. Clark says:

    @Anony Mouse

    If the VFX people didn't want to be associated with OSC and his rather poisonous views…perhaps they shouldn't have associated with him.

    It's Clerks talking about the second Death Star all over again.

    Ha! Genius.

  169. CJK Fossman says:

    @demosthenes

    It was a good, though not great, movie. AND THAT IS WHAT MATTERS HERE.

    By "HERE," you must mean "within the confines of my own head."

  170. Skip Intro says:

    I am suprised that one with self-described anarcho-capitalist leanings doesn't have an other hand that argues that people can and should spend their money where they like and use the freedoms of speech and assembly to encourage others to do the same.

  171. Nat Gertler says:

    "Some people seem to think that, if we boycott one person whom we disagree with, then in order to be consistent we must boycott every person we have any disagreements with whatsoever on any topic."

    Not only that, we need not boycott everyone with whom we have the same disagreement with. Consistency is required only if we are operating from a simple moral or ethical logic, "it is wrong to give money to people such as X who support Y." However, most boycotts seem driven not by seeking inner moral clarity, but by seeking to create change; "if we boycott X, this will discourage X and others from supporting Y." The policewoman need not pull over every person speeding to have an effect; by demonstrating a willingness to pull over speeders, she discourages all of them. (Yes, yes, I crossed the line from individual to government action; no, it does not interfere with the analogy.)

    (The strategy question then becomes what one does when one has an effective boycott. If the pasta company starts running an ad in which Tony and Freddie go all Lady-and-the-Tramp over their product, and gives $100,000 to the "It Gets Better" Foundation, are they forgiven for their past statements while buying patterns return to normal? Or is that merely showing others not to worry about it, if one gets in trouble it is easy to get out of it, so it's not much of a problem to get in trouble in the first place? Does one aim to bring the company down in total no matter their reaction, to leave them as the proverbial head on the spike?)

  172. WDO says:

    If the VFX people didn't want to be associated with OSC and his rather poisonous views…perhaps they shouldn't have associated with him.

    Wouldn't that be a Title VII violation?

  173. Clark says:

    @Skip

    I am suprised that one with self-described anarcho-capitalist leanings doesn't have an other hand that argues that people can and should spend their money where they like and use the freedoms of speech and assembly to encourage others to do the same.

    I thought that was so utterly obvious as to not need mentioning.

    But, for the record: yes.

  174. Kiklion says:

    I don't see much of a difference between this boycott of OSC because he is a Mormon and a skinhead boycotting Spielberg because he is a Jew.

    Though I would say don't see it because it isn't a good movie. Book was good, movie was not.

  175. Ken White says:

    @Kiklion:

    I don't see much of a difference between this boycott of OSC because he is a Mormon and a skinhead boycotting Spielberg because he is a Jew.

    That's swell, except it's bullshit and nobody has said they are boycotting because he's Mormon.

    I, for one, am boycotting because he irritates me, because he thinks that the government should be overthrown if it doesn't use force to enforce his specific religious beliefs upon consenting adults, yet he offers passive-aggressive requests for tolerance for himself.

  176. Ryan says:

    By far the bulk of those boycotting the film – myself included – have indicated that they are doing so not because of OSC's beliefs, but because of his actions.

    There is a big difference between someone who says they agree with using criminal legislation to oppress and other legal tactics to deny rights to certain minorities, and someone who actually goes out and tries to make it happen. OSC is one of the matter, which makes him part of a special and elite class of douchebag. Oh, and as a few people have said, a complete and total hypocrite when he objects to people wanting him censured for his views.

  177. Ryan says:

    One the latter. Curses, what happened to the edit button?

  178. You seem to stand firmly in favour, in this post and others, of evaluating the opinions of others and perhaps, if the arguments are good, changing your mind. I applaud that. Yet you take a gratuitous swipe at Barack Obama for doing what appears to be that very thing with regard to his stance on gay marriage. We all change our minds as we time-travel to the future. Why shouldn't he?

  179. TM says:

    @ Adrienne

    Second, anyone who is interested in a critical textual analysis of Ender's Game, as well as all the overgrown geek boys who think it was the Best Book Ever, should run, not walk, over to John Kessel's marvelous essay Creating the Innocent Killer. This is an explication of what P.Z. Myers was saying in an early comment, to the effect that the text sets Ender up to kill and kill and nonetheless receive the reader's utter loyalty.

    So full disclosure, I read the short story in Analog and subsequently bought the book when I saw it in a store and enjoyed them both and think they are excellent stories. I have not read any other books in the series. On to the response:

    The essay is interesting a makes some very strong points, but I think it ultimately falls flat. The essay author appears to want books where bad people are explicitly called out to the reader. Over and over the essay author asserts that characters do bad things, and then immediately proclaim their innocence, and therefore we readers are supposed to accept their innocence. To do this, is to me, a failure on the part of the reader. The simplest example is Graff and the author pointing out that Graff insists he is Ender's friend. Bad people, people who commit horrible crimes claim all the time that they are good people at heart, who had a really valid reason for doing what they did, and that the the people they are torturing they are torturing for their own good. These people are lying or at a minimum wrong, and it should not be necessary for any reader familiar with complex tales to separate the lies and the truth, even without the author explicitly calling them out.

    The same goes for Ender directly. Yes, Ender is set up to be sympathetic, and purposefully so. But anyone who reaches the end of that book thinking Ender is a completely good person, without sin or blemish has not actually read the book or allowed themselves to form any opinions which were not spoon fed to them by the author. Additionally, the author seems surprised that the book is largely non critical of Ender, but fails to note that at least some of this would have to be because the book is primarily written from Ender's perspective. Sure, from time to time it breaks to follow other characters, but other than these short breaks and the chapter opening, the book rarely ventures from the view of Ender, and rarer still allows us to see into the thoughts of any of the other characters. It should therefore be unsurprising that it lacks criticism of Ender, beyond what Ender heaps upon himself.

    That isn't to say the issues raised in the essay are not ones that shouldn't be considered by the reader. Is Ender truly a good person? Can he really be exonerated for what he did? These are all questions that any reader should be asking themselves, and to me it does not detract from the book that the author declined to answer or call those questions out for the reader. It is not the job of the author to do the thinking for the reader. In fact, in my opinion, it is the very fact that the thinking is not done for the reader that helps keep Ender's Game popular. It does seem that a lot of fiction these days comes with a moral and hammers it home. This might work well for a short fable, but at novel length, this becomes tiring and irritating to the reader. I much prefer my stories to tell a story and leave the moral judgements to the reader, and I would wager most readers do too.

  180. melK says:

    On the thought of "don't support person X because he espouses opinion Y"…

    An Ad Absurdem extension of "boycotting a movie" is "make the person entirely unemployable". Of such cloth was the Hollywood Blacklist made.

    This falls somewhere on the continuum of "consequences of speech", sure. But I don't know that I can support "suppress the message by destroying the speaker". After all, you never know when you might be the speaker in question.

  181. Clark says:

    @Jonathan Gladstone

    You seem to stand firmly in favour, in this post and others, of evaluating the opinions of others and perhaps, if the arguments are good, changing your mind. I applaud that. Yet you take a gratuitous swipe at Barack Obama for doing what appears to be that very thing with regard to his stance on gay marriage. We all change our minds as we time-travel to the future. Why shouldn't he?

    I would defend Obama if I thought he had actually changed his mind about what was right or just.

    In fact, he changed his mind about whether he had to lie or not.

    I have no tolerance for the fair weather patriot or the supporter of a cause who comes out in favor of it after it becomes "safe".

    Also, let us remember that Obama is a murderer, and ideally one should spit on the ground whenever his name is mentioned.

  182. test

    Curses, what happened to the edit button?

    Edit: Click to-edit with a 10-minute timeout seems to be working fine.

  183. @Clark, It was still a gratuitous swipe at someone for appearing to change his mind, which IMHO weakened your otherwise thought- (and comment-) provoking discussion. I'll stop now, as you and I are probably both more interested in the discussion of the real issue at hand than in this side track.

    This is a very interesting issue, precisely because the positions at either end are ridiculous and unsupportable. It's all grey area, which is to me a lot like the argument between anarchism and totalitarian statism.

  184. Orson Scott Card and his recent actions made me hesitant to see the movie. But I loved the book back in the day and just enjoyed the movie. If there had been more overt political statements in the script I would have stayed home.

  185. David says:

    @melK

    An ad absurdum extension of "boycotting a movie" is "make the person entirely unemployable". Of such cloth was the Hollywood Blacklist made.

    Isn't it, rather, a case of "making the person unemployable in that industry, and perhaps related industries"? After all, the blacklisted editor can still open a charcuterie.

    In any case, it might be helpful for you to explain what you dislike about the cloth of which the Hollywood Blacklist was made. In organizing your thoughts, perhaps you can address the contrary position that David Bernstein expressed over at Volokh.

    (Note well: your declining to engage in commerce with purveyors of Bubba's speech doesn't curtail Bubba's right to freedom of expression, for Bubba holds no right to communicate with you in particular through the given medium.)

  186. Clark says:

    @Jonathan Gladstone

    @Clark, It was still a gratuitous swipe at someone for appearing to change his mind,

    Find me someone who thinks that Obama honestly changed his mind. Seriously.

    Every single person I know – left, right, and center – thinks that Obama felt this way all along and lied about his position for political expediency.

  187. Clark says:

    @David

    the blacklisted editor can still open a charcuterie.

    As a huge fan of preserved meats, David has convinced me that we need to boycott more movies.

  188. David says:

    Anarchism is totalitarianism atomized to the particular encounter. Totalitarianism is anarchism consolidated for the general theater of encounter. A polity that fails to provide structures mediating the different scopes of this single approach to authority condemns its people either to abuse at the hands of the one or abuse at the hands of the many.

  189. Xenocles says:

    David-

    Should it really be called totalitarianism when the authority being exercised is within that person's natural rights? I suppose it could meet a technical definition but to use that word makes it sound like a bad thing. I am unapologetically totalitarian, for instance, when it comes to my sexual autonomy. Likewise with my spending choices (following the unfortunate though arguably necessary intrusion from the government). But both of those things are within my rights. It seems like there should be a different word, or perhaps it's just the the juxtaposition is inappropriate. Would you expand on those sentences?

  190. @David: Yes! Hooray for compromise, and for checks and balances.

    @Clark: Still seems a gratuitous swipe, and I think you're doubling down. What had Obama's change of position, or his sincerity in that change, to do with the politics of boycott? I'm not defending Obama here. I just don't see why you drew us off of what I think is a much more interesting main topic with that aside. Am I missing something?

  191. Owen says:

    David:

    Anarchism is totalitarianism atomized to the particular encounter. Totalitarianism is anarchism consolidated for the general theater of encounter. A polity that fails to provide structures mediating the different scopes of this single approach to authority condemns its people either to abuse at the hands of the one or abuse at the hands of the many.

    Wonderful turn of phrase. Thank you.

  192. Clark says:

    @Jonathan Gladstone

    @Clark: Still seems a gratuitous swipe, and I think you're doubling down.

    Is tripling down an option? Because I'm so there.

    I just don't see why you drew us off of what I think is a much more interesting main topic with that aside.

    I didn't draw you (plural) off the main topic. You (singular) chose to abandon the main topic because you wanted to lecture me about this. Seriously: note that there are 193 comments and you're the only one who cared.

    …Which is fine, you're free to do that. And now you've done that.

  193. Xenocles says:

    @JG-

    Consider this, perhaps (not meaning to speak for Clark): Many of the people who object to forking over a fraction of a movie ticket price to Card seemingly had no problem with giving one of the most powerful positions in the world to a man who openly believed things similar to what they object to in Card (though not to the same degree).

  194. @Xenocles: Interesting thought, and it does establish a (somewhat tenuous) link. Though if you're going with Clark's thesis about Obama's sincerity (which I personally am not taking a position on one way or the other), that would have to be "openly claimed to believe".

  195. azazel1024 says:

    Meh. I think people should do what they want.

    I personally don't feel like seeing a movie based upon a written work by someone who holds beliefs antithetical to many of mine. Card isn't simply a Mormon. He has been very outspoken in his hatred of Gay people.

    I find that generally abhorant. So I don't read his books (okay, I'll cop to reading Ender's Game when I was young and didn't know anything about OSC).

    A person's beliefs don't necessarily sway me in how I react to something they've produced. Except when it does.

    I think that makes me human.

  196. azazel1024 says:

    @Xenocles.

    I'd disagree. In the scenario you are stating, you are effectively presented with two choices of movie and you must watch one. You get some very small say in which one will be screened. There are mention of some other movies that the cinema has, but realistically you no they won't have a chance of being screened.

    Whether you like it or not, you WILL be sitting through the movie.

    So now, under that scenario…do you pick the director who has an opinion you don't like? Or the direct who embodies most of what you think is wrong with movie directing?

    I'd say casting a vote for the movie with the director who has an opinion you don't like is better than casting a vote for the movie with the director that embodies everything wrong with cinema and directing.

  197. Kirk Taylor says:

    Will we be boycotting Harrison Ford?

  198. rabbitscribe says:

    Yes, David, I agree: that's very good.

  199. corporal lint says:

    This whole debate reminds me of why I only read books published before 1928 (or whatever the date is) and therefore in the public domain. When you pick up a 19th century book, it's a good bet that the author was (by our standards) a sexist, racist, homophobic cretin. He probably didn't think Catholics should be allowed to vote, and lets not even get started on the Jews. But you don't have to worry about it — those were different times, and ain't no money changing hands, so who cares?

  200. Xtifr says:

    Hmm, like Clark, I support many artists whose views I strongly disagree with. That's never been a question for me. However, I think it may be possible for an artist to act so reprehensibly that I cannot in good conscience continue to support them. Now, whether Card has crossed that boundary for you or anyone else is clearly a personal decision. But trying to make out that anyone who has decided to boycott Ender's Game must necessarily want to boycott anyone they disagree with is disingenuous.

    I also have no problem with the general concept of a boycott, as long as participation remains voluntary, so I think the analogy of the Index is likewise disingenuous. If anyone was trying to force others not to see the movie (or whatever), I would strongly object, but I have no problem with someone asking.

    Note: I'm still undecided as to whether Card has gone beyond my personal pale. Fortunately, my interest in seeing the movie is low enough, for other reasons, that I don't really have to decide right away.

    p.s. Completely off-topic: I'm so glad this blog allows me to use "em" tags for emphasis and "i" tags for italics. They're not the same thing, and I hate forums that only support one or the other.

  201. RKN says:

    But you don't have to worry about it — those were different times, and ain't no money changing hands, so who cares?

    Plus, as has already been pointed out up-thread somewhere, even in this modern example the money has long ago changed hands, when OSC sold the rights to the IP. Boycotting at this point is purely on principle, which is fine, just realize that OSC's time on the beach sipping tropical cocktails embellished with paper umbrellas ain't gonna be reduced by one nanosecond because of it.

  202. Xenocles says:

    @azazel-

    I assume you're talking about my comparison between voting with votes and voting with dollars. As a routine third-party voter I am well aware of the feeling of inevitability. That said, there is a difference between resigning yourself to an outcome when you are powerless to change it (as I do) and explicitly voicing your consent for that outcome (as Obama voters did). Every Obama voter in 2008 voted for a man who said that marriage was for one man and one woman only. I'm not here to judge their individual reasons for their votes. Maybe they didn't do their due diligence and cast their vote in ignorance; maybe they believed the ups outweighed the downs; maybe they liked that about him. The bottom line is that they, when given the chance, said with their vote that a man who opposed same sex marriage should be president. To me that's a lot worse than putting a few pennies in Card's pocket in exchange for watching a movie that has nothing to do with the subject, and the boycotters who voted for Senator Obama owe themselves some introspection.

  203. Marconi Darwin says:

    Every Obama voter in 2008 voted for a man who said that marriage was for one man and one woman only.

    Almost correct. They voted for a man who thought this of Prop 8

    I’ve stated my opposition to this. I think Prop 8 is unnecessary. I believe marriage is between a man and a woman. I am not in favor of gay marriage. But when you start playing around with constitutions, just to prohibit somebody who cares about another person, it just seems to me that’s not what America’s about. Usually, our constitutions expand liberties, they don’t contract them.

    That is a far cry even if you consider it as a matter of degrees between Obama's stance on gay marriage in 2008 and Card's over the years.

    But every Obama voter in 2012 voted for a man who wanted gays to be able to marry, except that he wanted it to be left to the states. Which does not seem like a change of heart in any meaningful way. Just imagine if the issue of slavery were left to the states.

    So I sorta agree with Clark. Obama has not really changed his mind: he is OK with gay marriage as long as he does not have to spend political capital on it, but will take credit if gay rights advance

  204. GoddessMER says:

    While I disagree with Card's stance on gay marriage/homosexuality, it is not up to me to decide what he can, or cannot, say. I believe that any funds of mine that I use to purchase his books, while they may go towards something that I disagree with (trying to make same-sex marriage illegal) are going to be minimal and me, or someone else boycotting, is not going to make that much of a difference.

    Why I am going to recommend someone not go see the movie is because it just wasn't that good. I haven't finished the book yet, but it was glaringly obvious that there were huge chunks of the story that were missing. While the special effects were visually stimulating, the story was…. meh….

    It's one of my son's favorite books, and anything that gets him to read is a good thing (heck, I'd even get excited about him reading "Twilight").

  205. Christopher says:

    Asking "If you support the Ender's Game boycott, then don't you also have to support the Hollywood Blacklist?" is the equivalent of asking, "If you support the imprisonment of murderers, than don't you also have to support the imprisonment of jaywalkers?"

  206. Anonsters says:

    @GoddessMER:

    (heck, I'd even get excited about him reading "Twilight").

    Let me be the first to say it: you're a terrible mother. :P

    @Christopher:

    "If you support the imprisonment of murderers, than don't you also have to support the imprisonment of jaywalkers?"

    Imprison jaywalkers? Why are you so soft on crime? BEHEADINGS IN THE PUBLIC SQUARE!

  207. whheydt says:

    As regards voting for Obama… In 2000, I thought McCain was a reasonable candidate that I could see voting for, depending on who he was running against. In 2004, he started brown-nosing the religious right wackos, which made him unpalatable. In 2008, he chose Palin as a VP candidate, with the potential of putting a real nutcase a heartbeat away from the Presidency.

    That made it a choice between voting "for" Obama in what was expected to be a narrow race, or voting for a 3rd party candidate as a "neither of the above" choice. In the end, I voted for Obama, not because I was voting for him, but I was voting *against* McCain and–especially–Palin.

    By 2012, it was apparent that Obama was continuing and intended to keep on with a number of The Shrub's nastier policies, so the vote became a vote for the lesser of two evils, which was–again–Obama.

    It's not that I particularly *like* most of the Democrats that run, it's because the Republicans keep nominating completely unacceptable candidates.

    If I lived in Virginia, I would vote for MacAuliffe…but not because I like him.

    As for OSC and money from the movie deal…maybe. Hollywood takes out options on a lot of works, many of which never get filmed. (And it would be almost astonishing if no one took an option on a Hugo+Nebula winner.) *If* a company actually decides to base a film on a given work, *then* a deal is cut and more money changes hands. What the details of that deal are depends a lot the people involved and the presumed value of the written work for film purposes. Card *may* have a piece of the proceeds from the film. (And if he's smart, it's be a piece of the gross, not the net…net tends to be zero if you're not a studio.) Without seeing the actual contract, none of us will ever know, but it's not unusual for a deal to be structured that way. So, I wouldn't discount–at least not completely–the idea that OSC will get additional money depending on how the film does. If the film does well, there is also the potential for future films deals, and if it does really well, he could cut a much more favorable deal.

    In the mean time, I can't help but wonder if someone at the production company got a look at what Card was saying in public and told him to either shut up or they would drop the project with the result being his "notpology" after the DOMA decision and his plea not to use his–loud and persistent–personal opinions to have any influence over decisions regarding the movie.

    As for me…I really can't say that I'm boycotting the movie. I see very, very few movies. Maybe one every two or three years. This will not be one of those. If someone asked me if I *wanted* to see it, I would say no and cite Card's public statements as a reason, though.

    I will admit some sympathy for the VFX company, but only some. It looks to me like a failure to do "due diligence" since Card's statements have been pretty common knowledge around SF fandom for many years. If the company doesn't do a little "background" checking (a Google search would suffice) to find out what they may be walking into, then one might well question the wisdom of other business decisions they make.

  208. Xenocles says:

    @Marconi-

    I welcome the correction.

  209. nyarlathotep says:

    I don't bother boycotting works works because I find the views of someone associated with it abhorrent. Maybe I am cynical, but I think there are enough abhorrent people in the world that my money would go some place I would rather it not no matter what I chose to watch or read. Even if the director, writer and stars of a film are all 'acceptable' to me politically, for all I know, the second unit director is a member of the American Nazi Party and the Key Grip plans on contributing half his pay to NAMBLA. Thus I just accept that a certain portion of my money will end up in 'wrong' hands, move on with my life and watch the movie if I care to.

    That being said, I am not watching Ender's Game because I didn't really care for the book and I doubt the movie will be any better.

  210. Mike B says:

    At the end of the day, he didn't just hold "morman views" disapproving of gay marriage. He barely stopped short of suggesting they be rounded up in camps and be shot. He later recanted, halfheartedly, but honestly what he said and the way he said it was to me, reprehensible, enough that as a personal choice, I don't care for my money going to him in any possible way if I can avoid it.

  211. KRy says:

    @Lago,
    My company gets about 2/3 of its business from the US government, my own expertise is in an area largely outsourced overseas in the commercial world. My wife is employed as a government contractor in a field with no commercial equivalent. A shutdown or drastic reduction in government function would be a severe impact to my family financially.

    So dies that mean Clark should shut up about his hatred if the gov't and not "boycott" it at every opportunity for my sake? Let's just say my expectations – and preferences – are pretty well in line with reality…

  212. xtmar says:

    @KRy

    Entirely different issue. Clark posits, more or less, that you should judge a work on it's own merit, not the merit of its creators. This doesn't mean that you have to read a bad book, if you think it's crap, any more then Ken should be forced to read "My Little Pony" stories.

    Government, because it can force you to pay taxes and support it, is essentially saying that no matter how crappy the product is (and it's crapitude in many different areas is regularly attested to in many places, as a quick perusal of this blog or Radley Balko or any number of other places will show you), you still must consume it.

    If government were to produce more useful things, on balance, then I think it would be harder for him to oppose it, even if it is still underlaid by a foundation of coercion.

    IOW: It's wrong for government to force you to watch Godfather III, but if the government only produced Godfather I, perhaps its coercive force would be less objectionable.

  213. Tarrou says:

    Asking "If you support the Ender's Game boycott, then don't you also have to support the Hollywood Blacklist?" is the equivalent of asking, "If you support the imprisonment of murderers, than don't you also have to support the imprisonment of jaywalkers?"

    In this analogy, a guy making first Amendment political speech that roughly half the nation agrees with is the "murderer", and soviet agents directly in the pay of the Stalin-era KGB are the "jaywalkers". I think that tells me what I need to know.

    For the record, I don't agree with Card, but all the things he's said are well within the american mainstream. And thinking gay people shouldn't marry, or even that they be jailed, is not even in the same ballpark as actively working to bring the tender mercies of Josef Stalin to the US. It's like some people have no sense of history.

  214. Daniel Taylor says:

    The funny thing about all this was I read the book back when it came out, and liked it, so I read the sequel.

    Then I never picked up anything by OSC ever again.

    Given that at the time I was reading several books a week, being picky wasn't exactly in the cards, as it were.

    I won't be going to see this movie in the theater, and I'll probably always have something I'd rather watch on Netflix when it finally makes it there.

  215. GuestPoster says:

    I look at it this way. Unlike a lot of horrible people who happen to make art, Card actually spends a rather large amount of his time and income income (certainly more than many others could afford) preventing equal rights for people. He actually uses his money to do this. And money talks. He helps to run NOM, one of the big groups preventing equal rights. And their money talks.

    The average person doesn't have that kind of wealth. They simply can't counter Card one-on-one. But the boycott? That's a time-honored mechanism for large masses of people to make their money talk. Sure, they might want to see Ender's Game – but they can spend that same $10 consuming some other art instead. And if enough people do that, those on top are eventually forced to listen.

    Nobody is saying that Card can't say whatever he wants. But those in the boycott ARE holding him accountable for the awful policies he pursues via his speech. And the movie looks like it might not even pay for its production – this may let the movie execs know that they can't get away with enriching horrible bigot activists, even if the movie being produced doesn't actually say anything about that subject matter.

    Card says the battle is already won by those he opposes, and wants them to leave him in peace. All the while, he keeps working towards making them lose. Those involved as culture warriors for homosexual equality know that those who fought similar battles, 'won' decades ago, are STILL fighting for their equality. Something tells me that they are wise in not simply accepting Card's statement of their victory, and in continuing to move forward, rather than letting themselves fall to nothingness again.

    If boycotts work well enough, they force change through economics – it's a free market solution, right? If the boycott fails, or if a counter-economic-protest succeeds, it lets people know that they can keep on doing what they're doing. Same principle. Most people can't make a big difference, but a whole lot of small people making a whole lot of small differences can, occasionally, add up to some reasonably large changes.

  216. Clark says:

    @xtmar:

    Clark posits, more or less, that you should judge a work on it's own merit,

    I really don't.

    My post is about the fact that I am missing a coherent ideological framework with which to evaluate the question and currently fall back on ad hoc considerations, which I find intellectually insufficient.

  217. Tarrou says:

    I think my biggest problem with the pro-boycott forces is the myopic focus on gay issues and the use of a relatively harmless social shibboleth as a litmus test for social acceptability.

    Whether you agree with Card on his positions or not, he's right that the pro-gay-marriage side is winning. And the pro-not-locking-gays-up won a long time ago.

    I'm pretty pro-gay, I think that these processes indicate progress. But I also want them to be done correctly, so the gains will be more lasting. And I really don't understand those who think gay issues are the most important thing facing us politically today. Realistically, we are talking about ~3% of the population. Not jailing them was a bit more pressing, but that happened. While I want them to be able to marry, I don't see how that is the be-all and end-all of the political discussion.

    Surely the War on Drugs, Global Warming, Privacy in the internet age, the foreign turmoil of the Arab Spring, are all more pressing, important and prominent political issues. So why are gay rights at the top of the list? Why are people bitching about Card while Saudi Arabia and Syria funds universities, American ambassadors are murdered, and the US taps the phones of everyone, ever? Even if gay rights are the msot important thing to a person, there are far worse things done to gays in the world than restricting marriage. Surely this political will is misplaced?

    I have a theory. And surprise to those who read my posts, it involves tribalism. The logic of tiny differences. To make it short and vulgar, the argument over gay rights is an internal pissing match between various sorts of privileged SWPL jackasses. Prickwaving for the overly comfortable. If a sci-fi author opposing gay marriage is the big motivator in your life, to the point you need to go on the intarwubs to try to convince people to boycott movies based on his work….well, it must be nice.

  218. @Clark,

    I am missing a coherent ideological framework with which to evaluate the question and currently fall back on ad hoc considerations, which I find intellectually insufficient.

    I sympathize. I feel the same way, sort of. I don't feel that I am missing a framework, but rather that the framework isn't helping me develop responses. I approve of some boycotts, but not of others… mostly as you say for ad hoc and often idiosyncratic reasons. But in general, I think it comes down to this: anyone is free to say what they think we should or should not watch, to propose whatever boycott they like of whatever goods and/or services, for whatever reason they want, as long as they are not trying to impose their will by force or coercion. And if you don't agree with them, you're free to object, as loudly and strenuously as you care to, under the same constraints. Free speech… and its remedy, more free speech. That, I can live by.

  219. azazel1024 says:

    @Tarrou

    I think the reason why it is so important to so many is because it some some way directly impacts them, they feel it directly impacts them or it is one step removed.

    The number is also 3.8% of self identified individuals in the US who are Gay, bisexual or transgender.

    Yes, everything you have listed in someways IS more important, but it is also more removed from every day life of most Americans. My cousin is gay, I have several friends and close family friends who are gay. So it is an issue that is front an present for me. Just like I have a number of friends and family members who don't happen to be male caucasians. I dislike seeing friends and family members treated like second class citizens. Its something I see and experience second hand a lot of days.

    Its hard not being emotionally invested in an issue when I see some blowhard step up and talk about how "da gays" need to just stop being gay before they burn in hell and maybe we should lock them up for being gay. It arises signficant ire in me. Just like when some muck head steps up and says there is pretty much isn't such a thing as legitimate rape, or "little women" shouldn't be making decisions for themselves or whites are better than everyone else.

    Two of those three happen to be relatively mainstream postions. The last still tees me off, but at least it isn't a generally common held belief or something that gets tons and tons of air time anymore. Still an issue that is important to me though.

    Part of it too is that large segments of the general populace often attempts to and DOES continue to enact laws either directly through ballot or indirectly through choosen representatives that restrict the rights of large groups of Americans making them second class citizens. A lot of the other issues you mentioned are possibly more important, except that it isn't the general voter base PUSHING for the gov't to violate our 4th ammendment rights. That is something that hopefully can be rolled back, at least to some degree, same with attention on Syria, war on drugs, etc.

    They aren't maybe the most commonly held beliefs anymore, but that doesn't prevent large minorities of the populace from making smaller minorities of the populace second class citizens.

  220. xtmar says:

    @Clark

    Respectfully, I think that the thoughts in your conclusion put you fairly strongly in the "don't boycott" camp, while at the same time concedeing that you probably won't support the Ender's Game movie because it looks bad, rather than any higher moral stance.

  221. James Pollock says:

    "So, I wouldn't discount–at least not completely–the idea that OSC will get additional money depending on how the film does."

    If nothing else, he gets paid more if they license his sequels to be movie sequels. (Although movie studios often write their contracts so that they can create sequels independently of the literary sequels… see, for example, Starship Trioopers II. Or rather, don't see it, so that Mr. Heinlein can stop rolling over.)

  222. AB says:

    Orson Scott Card isn't just a non-embracer of equal homosexual rights, he has been virulently anti-gay, and was the main composer of the first campaigns to link normal gays with child molestation. He has shit all over these people at every opportunity with quite a lot of gusto.

    If his public comments about gays amounted to, "I don't support them marrying," I might be okay with consuming his media. His body of work on this issue though is much closer to, "They are monsters who should be fired out of a cannon into the sun before they fuck your children, as they all long to do with every fiber of their beings, and invest countless hours plotting each night."

    If his movie were to flop from a boycott, rights to his other content probably won't be picked up by anybody.

  223. Lago says:

    I really don't.

    My post is about the fact that I am missing a coherent ideological framework with which to evaluate the question and currently fall back on ad hoc considerations, which I find intellectually insufficient.

    Is this undesirable? I suppose it isn't an easy simple way to approach how you're going to fight something you are opposed to, but my whole point has been that *in this circumstance* there are more things to consider than OSC's point of view. Applying an ideological framework like "I oppose all government spending" to it sounds nice, but isn't fair on a case by case basis. You have even said before you think that what, 2% of government spending is good?

  224. NRG says:

    10% of $2 is $0.20 or 20 cents, not ten.

  225. Jim B says:

    I acknowledge that most people on this blog will disagree with my point of view before I post it. But I feel that it needs to be said.
    I am not a Mormon, but a Lutheran and a very orthodox one at that. I disagree with a lot of the teachings of the Mormons. But I stand behind the right of those that follow that faith to practice it in the way they wish and to speak out against something they disagree with. Those are rights we in America should uphold even if we disagree with the person.
    Now I will post a few things some of you may not agree with, but its exactly how most people who consider themselves Christians view this world. Not the so called Christians that think that its loving to pretend that pointing out sin is hurtful, but the true Christians that think pointing out sin is loving because it may save that person from eternal damnation. America has become to politically correct. We as a whole are afraid to speak the plain truth we believe because it might hurt others feelings. But sometimes what needs to be said is better said if it changes the road someone is on.
    I believe that the Bible is the very word of God. Dont think that some logical argument will change that. Its built on faith "Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen". Dont think some scientific proof you think is correct will change that faith which I have had for 40 years. It won't. Dont fool yourself into thinking I just am some uneducated person who has been duped, I am a collage graduate.

    Back to the politically correct, I am against it. Because it forces people to engage in outright lies. Lies are sinful and I wont be part of it.
    Every one of us has sinned, including myself. No sin is any worse than another. They will all damn you to hell. Homosexuality is sinful. Those that engage in it are committing sin according to the Bible. Romans chapter 1 can explain to anyone interested that its sin, I am not here to argue that.
    The politically correct will say "But thats how the gay people are made, you cant fault them for that." Yes I can. The Bible says we are all corrupted by sin. That we are "drawn away of our own lusts and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived it bringeth forth sin". We are all corrupted by some sin, those that live a gay lifestyle are just following the sin their flesh finds most appealing. Just like every other sinner. But by continuing in that sin they will be on the road to hell with no chance.

    OSC has spoken out against the sin. So for that those that find the sin of homosexuality appealing are against him. Why? Because no one by nature likes to have their sins pointed out. The flesh rebels against it. Will it hurt OSC in the end? Not really because I strongly believe that for every gay person who stays away a person like myself will go and see this movie because of why the boycott is being done. Everyone has a right to their faith and to speak out on what they think. Trying to shove PC thought lies on people is just wrong.

    Now I will go back to lurking and hopefully read more posts on this blog dealing with the law and less with politically correct lies.

  226. @Jim B:

    Do you think that anyone who, according to your view of the Bible (which isn't the only one by a long shot), sins, should be locked up by the state?

    Do you think that the government allowing people you perceive to be sinning to marry is the "end of democracy"?

    Do you think that you have the right and/or obligation to overthrow the government if they fail to punish sinners to your specifications?

    If not, congratulations. You're not espousing the same beliefs as Card, even if the two of you share the core (and, incidentally, not supported by all Biblical exegesis, including my own) belief that gay people are sinners. It's not "political correctness" to say that advocating the government should punish people according to the dictates of your particular religion or be overthrown is…problematic. Problematic is a good word.

    I'm also curious as to your digression on everyone having the right to their faith and the ability to speak out about it, since I've been following this post from the beginning and can't put my finger on who said otherwise…

  227. Christopher says:

    And the pro-not-locking-gays-up won a long time ago.

    In the mythical, long-lost year of 2003 CE. It's always a pleasure when I get to talk to one of the few old-timers who's still alive from back then; it was such a different time, from our vantage point today it's almost impossible to imagine living in those times. It was almost like an alien world, or a fantasy novel.

    So… yeah. I think one of us is ignorant about history, but I rather strongly disagree about who.

    Putting aside the fact that boycotting OSC doesn't mean you aren't also concerned about spying, the argument "Why are you doing this good thing, when you should be doing this better thing?" is a terrible one.

    For example, why are you so concerned about embassies and spying when those are ultimately short term problems that are dwarfed by the dangers of global warming? Who's going to care about any of that when Manhattan is underwater?

    That's a terrible argument I just made; suffering and virtue are not races. You don't say, "Why did you open up a soup kitchen for the homeless in New York when the homeless in New Dehli have it so much worse?"

  228. James Pollock says:

    Whether you agree with Card on his positions or not, he's right that the pro-gay-marriage side is winning. And the pro-not-locking-gays-up won a long time ago.

    13 states allow gay marriage. 37 do not. Who's "winning"? At this point, the "expand marriage to allow same sex couples to marry" has gone from the plucky 5-touchdown underdog that shows up, plays well, and beats the spread to the plucky one-touchdown underdog that just might have a shot at winning this thing. But they're still behind. When same-sex marriage looks like it might become legal in Wyoming, South Carolina, or Alabama, then there's room for talk about who's "winning".
    As for not locking up the gays being won "a long time ago", Lawrence v. Texas is… ten years old.

  229. James Pollock says:

    "I approve of some boycotts, but not of others… mostly as you say for ad hoc and often idiosyncratic reasons."

    Another problem with boycotts amongst relatively evenly-balanced social positions is that you can have the call for a boycott actually trigger an anti-boycott by the "other side", and all that results is further driving a wedge between "us" and "them".

    So, it goes like this:
    "we" disapprove of position X, while "they" approve. So some merchant, for whatever reason, stakes out a position on X. "We" don't like it, and decide to reduce or eliminate our acts of commerce with that merchant, but "they" react to "our" call to boycott by increasingly supporting the merchant. The net result is that the merchant sees a flat or even improved revenue.
    Meanwhile, the line that divides "us" and "them" is made more noticeable. It can get to incredibly stupid heights… witness the mania for flag lapel pins a while back.

  230. 205guy says:

    Sorry, TL;DR all the comments (only made it half-way through). I did a quick search, though, and I'm surprised no-one mentioned Cat Stevens. Perhaps the most recent example of a left-leaning artist totally flopping to a religious and controversial opposite:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat_Stevens#Muslim_faith_and_musical_career

    Some people stopped listening to records of his they had previously bought, some only bought the old records (as if that didn't pay the convert any royalties).

    As for people like Heinlein and Dubois in Soviet Russia, I give them some slack because they went to look at the ideology, and not only were the horrors of Leninism/Stalinism still unknown (or mostly) at the time, they were also duped and shown only an idealized Russia (the Potemkin Village tradition runs deep).

  231. Xenocles says:

    @205guy-

    Heinlein was far from duped. See for example his articles "Pravda Means Truth" and "Inside Intourist," both of which appeared in "Expanded Universe."

  232. whheydt says:

    Re James Pollock

    Actually…it's currently 14 that allow SSM and Illinois legislature just passed a bill to allow SSM and the governor has said he'll sign it, so as of next 1 June, it'll be at least 15.

    Hawaii legislature is–apparently–working of a bill, too. And New Mexico is kind of up in the air. about 1/4 of the NM counties issues license to same-sex couples and the rest don't. The state courts are thinking about which way they'll jump. In the mean time NM could be counted as "1/4".

    Expanding the topic a bit…it is sobering to realize that I was 18 when the USSC decided Loving v. Virginia and made inter-racial marriage legal across the US in 1967.

  233. Tarrou says:

    @ James Pollock,

    Yes, the number is 13, or 14 now, and it was one five years ago. By the time I hit enter it could be more. And yes, there were a few benighted parts of the country that would still lock up gays into the 21st century. Nine states out of fifty (with most of those having little to no enforcement for years before that). If 41 states approved gay marriage would that issue be "winning"?

    I guess I either don't understand your criticism, or it's fairly pedantic.

  234. Jim B says:

    @Elizabeth McClellan

    Do you think that anyone who, according to your view of the Bible (which isn't the only one by a long shot), sins, should be locked up by the state?

    You have packed a lot into one sentence. First off I feel that I need to set forth a few things. Above I said I was a very orthodox Lutheran. By saying that I strictly adhere to the three solas or "only's".
    1. Grace Alone
    2. Faith Alone
    3. Scripture Alone
    As such it is not my view that matters but the clear simple plain words of the Bible that must be put forth, not my own. Sadly few today would agree with me, or if they did would only agree in word, but not in practice. As such any reading of the Bible and any exegesis must follow firm hermeneutics to eliminate all external bias. The book Theological Hermeneutics by L.E. Fuerbringer (1924) would be a good example of such rules. Second they would need to read and understand Koine Greek and a copy of the Textus Receptus of 1611 for any serious exegesis. But since few could do that the closest english text I would support is the KJV, it does have some archaic terms but is closer to the greek than most modern versions with human bias.
    But to simply answer your question, no I do not believe that those that practice homosexuality should be locked up. Neither do I think they deserve recognition or rewriting of any laws to give them credibility.

    Do you think that the government allowing people you perceive to be sinning to marry is the "end of democracy"?

    No, but I do not believe they have a right to marry, or that we have a right to redefine marriage. I have no problem with civil unions or some other term or contract being used to give them some form civil union.

    Do you think that you have the right and/or obligation to overthrow the government if they fail to punish sinners to your specifications?

    I would be against overthrowing the government because they are God's ministers and every soul should be subject unto the "higher powers" (Romans 13:1ff). But under our system of government Christians should voice their opinions to those they have elected and those that have been elected and that we as Christians should vote for those that in our opinion follow closest to what God teaches. Sadly this can't always be done as the choice sometimes is between two evil people.

    If not, congratulations. You're not espousing the same beliefs as Card, even if the two of you share the core (and, incidentally, not supported by all Biblical exegesis, including my own) belief that gay people are sinners.

    I cant see how, following firm hermeneutical rules you can say that
    the plain reading of Romans 1:27 and Leviticus 18:22 (Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.) is so clear it is hard to say it means otherwise. Remember II Peter 1:20
    "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation." Which says you can't put spin on scripture and call it exegesis.

    It's not "political correctness" to say that advocating the government should punish people according to the dictates of your particular religion or be overthrown is…problematic. Problematic is a good word.

    Sadly its also problematic to be hushed into silence because if not you will be accused of hatred and bias. The way its heading it will soon be a crime to speak against homosexuality because it will be a hate crime. Dont think it can happen? You might want to take a look at Canada. The path we are following is so closely mirrored its scary.

    I'm also curious as to your digression on everyone having the right to their faith and the ability to speak out about it, since I've been following this post from the beginning and can't put my finger on who said otherwise…

    Then you must have missed numerous posts that plan to boycott OSC That may not come out and say he should not have those rights but that he should not have said said what he did or suggest that he should not believe what he does. But have a air of political correctness that would try to force a limit on speech and faith.

  235. Nat Gertler says:

    Jim B: "following firm hermeneutical rules you can say that
    the plain reading of Romans 1:27 and Leviticus 18:22 (Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.) is so clear it is hard to say it means otherwise."

    I dunno; while I'm not the sort of guy who uses the word "hermeneutical", applying straightforward logical interpretation, if one does not lie with womankind, then you are not lying with mankind as with womankind. So to me, this always reads as a prohibition of bisexuality rather than homosexuality.

    "Sadly its also problematic to be hushed into silence because if not you will be accused of hatred and bias."

    Are people not supposed to notice hatred and bias? Isn't it much the same thing for you to accuse others of sins you perceive in them, and for others to accuse you of certain sins they perceive in you for your having done so?

  236. @Jim B:

    You didn't respond to what I said. Which is what I expected.

    If all sins are equally bad, then any punishment Card would like the government to execute against homosexuals should be executed against all sinners. That's why I phrased my questions as I did.

    Card thinks people should be locked up for gay sex. Card thinks gay marriage is the "end of democracy." Card thinks it is his right and duty as well as that of his fellow believers to overthrow the secular government for recognizing gay marriage. Not to vote against it. Not to vote for politicians who won't support it. He wants the state to punish homosexuals by force and, if it won't, believes it should be overthrown by superior force in favor of one that will.

    That's a difference in both kind and degree from the average person who is against gays and/or gay marriage. Everyone I work for is against gay marriage, for example. They don't advocate overthrowing the United States government because of Lawrence v. Texas or because of multiple states approving gay marriage through the democratic process. They vote their consciences, yes. That doesn't bother me, as I treasure my ability to do the same. They don't advocate armed insurrection as the solution if they don't get their way. If they did, I would look for a new job, because I could not work in that environment. (In the interest of scrupulous fairness, I've never been confronted with the prospect of working for people who agree with me on social issues but also believe in armed insurrection rather than democracy as the means to implement those views. I like to think that, given my reticence to adopt armed insurrection as a political solution for the vast majority of things, that I'd still seek out a somewhat less militant group of people to work for.)

    I won't even address your biblical "scholarship" because anyone who thinks that the KJV is the best translation despite being undertaken by poets at the behest of a king rather than religious scholars, or who talks about the meaning of Leviticus without mentioning Hebrew, simply isn't worth the effort. Scholars differ, but there is legitimate exegesis – undertaken by people who know that the OT isn't written in Greek – that doesn't support your conclusions. Look into that, perhaps.

    Your last tells me this: People who agree with you get to speak. People who don't agree with you don't get to speak because by speaking (and making economic choices in line with their views) they might infringe on Card's ability to hold his views with no consequences whatsoever.

    You claim to lurk on Popehat. I am forced to wonder what you get out of a blog with the underlying mantra "the solution to speech is more speech" if you think that people who share your opinion are entitled to social-consequence-free, opprobrium-free existences while people who disagree with you should apparently financially support things they oppose – or at the very least not speak about opposing them or encourage others to do likewise – because doing so "force[s] a limit on speech and faith." You don't seem to understand the difference between actually limiting speech (which is generally done by government and backed by violence) and social consequences for unpopular speech (which is the natural consequence of free speech and free association – people disagreeing, often loudly and often backed by associative action). That's a common error, but even a limited perusal of this blog's "free speech" tag ought to clear up the distinction for you…that is, if you can stomach the "politically correct" idea that the ideas you hold aren't privileged or uniquely worthy of protection from disagreement simply because you believe them.

  237. Christopher says:

    Yes, the number is 13, or 14 now, and it was one five years ago. By the time I hit enter it could be more. And yes, there were a few benighted parts of the country that would still lock up gays into the 21st century. Nine states out of fifty (with most of those having little to no enforcement for years before that). If 41 states approved gay marriage would that issue be "winning"?

    I guess I either don't understand your criticism, or it's fairly pedantic.

    It's disingenuous to go "Gay people have won! They won a long time ago! They should stop rubbing it in our faces all the time now that they're secure in their victory!" when

    1. Many of the battles you're talking about happened within the last five or ten years;

    and

    2. Many of these battles are still being fought. It's glib to just assume that now that a handful of states have gay marriage, the gay rights battle is completely finished and nobody needs to expend any effort on it ever again.

  238. Jim B says:

    @Elizabeth McClellan

    Thank you for pointing out that you are playing word games. Exactly what I thought you would do. Thats why I expressly took the time to lay out the reasoning behind what I wrote. But still you tried to play spin games. Thats just sad.

    I do support the KJV, I also know Koine Greek, the language that the new testament was written in. The KJV isnt perfect by any means but it is as closer to the original than any modern version. It is an accurate translation for the most part. The few areas I know it to have issues in are not found in the passages I used in my response to you.
    I never said that the OT was written in greek. But the verse in Leviticus is correctly translated from what I know of Hebrew. Also the Jews were meticulous in copying the OT because they rightly knew was the word of God and man had no right to change it. It also says the same thing in the Septuagint, an early greek translation of the OT that Christ referred to.
    You seem to be the victim of talking points that are used to discredit the KJV in support of modern versions with more human bias. I fear you have little knowledge on your own as to what is and isnt a accurate translation. In any event a translation is not a good basis for exegesis. If you wish to argue from the original language please do so. Exactly what words were incorrectly translated in either Romans 1:27 or Leviticus 18:22?

    As to what I get out of popehat? I find this blog interesting when its topics are about the law and the abuses that happen with law enforcement. Also the legal abuse that is prenda law. I dislike the comments in this specific topic, and I understand the difference between forbidding and limiting. Sadly you dont seem to understand that sometimes the political correctness of society is used to limit the freedom we have, that I find sad. As I find people who brush that idea away as if it were not important to recognize.

  239. Jim B says:

    @Nat Gertler

    I dunno; while I'm not the sort of guy who uses the word "hermeneutical", applying straightforward logical interpretation,

    Hermeneutical rules are rules designed to allow a person to get the God intended meaning from scripture. I think you might want to learn one right off the bat. Scripture interprets Scripture your logic has no place in getting the meaning out, because mans logic is largely corrupted by sin and rationalization. Another is that some texts are so simple and clear that to try and apply logic to them twists them. As evident below.

    if one does not lie with womankind, then you are not lying with mankind as with womankind.

    You inject into the reading a rationalization designed to spin the plain reading 180 degrees from what it says. There is no question of "if" in the passage. It is a prohibition "Thou shall not" not a question.

    So to me, this always reads as a prohibition of bisexuality rather than homosexuality.

    There is no prohibition of lying with womankind in this verse, that is limited in other verses. But you also are violating I Peter 1:20
    "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation." Which says you can't put personal spin on scripture.

    "Sadly its also problematic to be hushed into silence because if not you will be accused of hatred and bias."

    Are people not supposed to notice hatred and bias? Isn't it much the same thing for you to accuse others of sins you perceive in them, and for others to accuse you of certain sins they perceive in you for your having done so?

    Nice try at spin and attempting to turn the tables. But sin is the transgression of Gods commands. God has not commanded us to be silent but to tell others they are involved in a sin in the hopes of getting them to stop. There is no hatred in telling a person about a problem in hopes of stopping them from hurting themselves with sin, that shows care about the person. If you see a person walking towards a cliff, its not hatred to stop them.

  240. Rob says:

    You know, I can't help but wonder what would have happened if there had been Mormon activists defending polygamy in the early 19th century. Maybe the Mormon attitude toward gay marriage would be different than the one-man, one-woman legislative definition.

  241. Tarrou says:

    It's disingenuous to go "Gay people have won! They won a long time ago! They should stop rubbing it in our faces all the time now that they're secure in their victory!"

    And that isn't what I said. Pollock picked a bone with my statement that the gay marriage issue was "winning". It lost for a lot of years, but it's been racking up wins pretty quickly in the past three years. Prior to 2008, no gay marriage proposition had ever passed a popular vote. After 2010, no gay marriage proposition has failed, to my knowledge (could be wrong there, but even if so, the win percentage is up by orders of magnitude).

    Card, seeing this trend, has accepted his defeat in public statements. He can think gays should be locked up all he likes, the Supreme Court says he can't do it. He sees the writing on the wall for gay marriage. So those who are predicating their boycott on his financial support of anti-gay marriage causes are being disingenuous. He quit as head of NOM. There's no evidence I've seen he still gives money, although he may.

    The contest should go on where it hasn't reached yet, that's fine. But it seems mean-spirited and petty to go after opponents personally after they've publicly conceded defeat. And, as I said earlier, it's uncultured bullshit to boycott art based on politics. But even were in not art, but say….contracting. Shall we hunt down everyone who opposed interracial marriage in the '50s and boycott any business that gives them income? Or can we accept that people we oppose politically are generally well-intentioned and we still have to live in the same country with them?

  242. James Pollock says:

    "Pollock picked a bone with my statement that the gay marriage issue was "winning". "

    If the score is 35-15, which side is "winning"?

    Yes, the marriage equality side has had some victories. No, they aren't winning.
    When there's talk of marriage equality passing in Wyoming, South Carolina, or Alabama, then it's fair to talk about marriage equality "winning".
    (yes, I think it will happen. No, it won't be easy. Yes, there will be sore losers. No, they won't actually be harmed.)

  243. Xenocles says:

    Your analogy is all wrong, James. It's not a scoreboard, it's a tide. The tide is clearly moving in one direction on this issue. That is a win for that side.

  244. James Pollock says:

    Your analogy is all wrong, James. It's not a scoreboard, it's a tide. The tide is clearly moving in one direction on this issue. That is a win for that side.

    I'm going to Godwin all over your argument.
    Would it be premature to say the Nazis win World War II because they achieved a string of successes collectively known as the battle of the bulge?

    You don't get to put it in the "win" column until you actually WIN. (Notify Charlie Sheen).
    To return to my earlier football metaphor, it's great if the 5 touchdown underdog manages to score a touchdown late in the fourth quarter to cut the deficit to only 28 points. Scoring a touchdown is certainly an accomplishment, and it is non-trivial to achieve. But scoring a touchdown, even a couple of touchdowns, doesn't mean you win. You have to score more touchdowns than the other guys, and marriage equality proponents have not yet done so.
    (Again, I think they will, and I think they should, but they haven't "won" yet.)

  245. 205guy says:

    I would say the tide analogy is equally wrong. The tide will sweep over the flat (centrist) land, but its momentum will not cover the high ground (conservative states). Look at the struggle and drama in HI, a state where the lower-middle class is dominant and unionized (solid blue state) but plenty religious enough to put up a big fight against marriage equality:

    http://www.hawaiinewsnow.com/story/23865833/cheating-allegations-at-capitol-during-same-sex-marriage-public-hearing

    Rob: no need for an alternative reality. I wonder what Mormon leaders would say if polygamy, polyandry, and same-sex marriage were all deemed equivalent and bundled together today. Theoretically, I have nothing against the polys, but in practice, I think it is used as part of an oppressive social order that does not allow equal chances to all members. (but most of what I know comes from Krakauer's "Under the Banner of Heaven," which may be biased).

    Re: Heinlein and the USSR, I don't know the details so I'm willing to defer to your examples. While I'm sure some visitors would've agreed with Stalin's methods, and others might've looked the other way (if they had known, which they most likely didn't), I think the majority were simply shown the ideal Soviet, and they wanted to believe so bad that they repeated the naive propaganda abroad.

  246. Xenocles says:

    @JP-

    The point is that this is a game of trends, and victory is rarely final. Until recently the cause of SSM was at a standstill as far as policy results went. Now it's on a streak. If we look for a historical analogue we might choose interracial marriage, which has not ceded any ground it gained the last time its popularity surged. For a victory to be final you typically have to annihilate one side, which is difficult and rarely desirable (to say the least) with ideological battles.

    @205guy-

    To put it briefly, Heinlein was unambiguously hawkish toward the USSR at least following WWII (perhaps he was before that, but he seems to have been too busy with his wartime work for the Navy Department to comment). He excoriated Eisenhower for being too dovish on nuclear weapons development and he wrote several pieces calling for re-organizing the country's infrastructure and living space in order to minimize the effects of Soviet first strike (essentially forced relocation to disperse the populace), which he seemed to feel was inevitable. His trips to the USSR were pretty much for the purpose of exposing the way things were there. He writes that he got the official run-around but through his wife, who learned Russian, he was able to get perspective from the people.

    He was never a Soviet stooge. He played around with socialism when Upton Sinclair was campaigning in California, but that's about as far as it went.

  247. James Pollock says:

    " Until recently the cause of SSM was at a standstill as far as policy results went. Now it's on a streak."

    Staying with football metaphors, the Kansas City Chiefs are on a streak. Should we just hand them the Lombardi trophy now? Or do we say, "Yeah, they've had some success… but they haven't reached the Super Bowl yet, much less won it." I could point out any number of historical cases where a pretty strong trend existed… right up until it didn't. You can pull up plenty of counter-examples where a pretty strong trend existed… and still does. The point is that the fight is still in the early stages, and talk of "winning" on this issue is premature.

    "If we look for a historical analogue we might choose interracial marriage, which has not ceded any ground it gained the last time its popularity surged."

    Interracial marriage has more similarities with the end of mandatory segregation. Loving, like Brown before it, was broadly applied by the USSC from the top down, not broadly approved by the people from the bottom up. The USSC wouldn't even touch Perry. One possible reason for that is that the ninth circuit got it right, and the issue at hand is not (yet) broadly applicable… the question in Perry was whether a popular vote could strip the right to same-sex marriage from those who wanted one, not whether the state was required to offer it in the first place.
    Segregation still exists. Not in the mandatory way it existed pre-Brown, but in a very real way. The popularity of mandatory segregation is low, and most people hold its proponents in low regard… but then they go ahead and self-segregate.

  248. Xenocles says:

    The football metaphor only goes so far, which is my point. You play the Super Bowl once and it's over. There is no limit to the number of times this issue can come up for a vote. SSM used to lose all the time. Now it's winning consistently. Each time a vote changes the outcome in a jurisdiction it gives the winning side extra force at the expense of the other side. This is why I maintain that the trend is the important metric, not the overall count.

  249. Nat Gertler says:

    Well, Jim B, you seem to be ignoring the very rules you lay down. It is your personal interpretation of Scripture, not Scripture itself, that my interpretation is in conflict. Your interpretation actually requires that part of Scripture be considered extraneous, that a man who layeth with mankind, whether or not he layeth with womankind, it is an abomination. I choose not to ignore the clause that you ignore to justify your logic.

    "God has not commanded us to be silent but to tell others they are involved in a sin in the hopes of getting them to stop." But apparently that is only supposed to apply that the sins that you see in others, and not the sins that others see in you. Perhaps someone ought warn you that judging others may lead to you being judged yourself…

  250. Jim B says:

    @Nat Gertler

    Perhaps someone ought warn you that judging others may lead to you being judged yourself…

    I was just checking back one last time to this topic. Only to see that the most abused and twisted passage of scripture is again being abused and twisted by your paraphrase of it.
    The sermon of Christ that it is taken from can be found in both Mathew 7 and Luke 6. Most people are familiar with it.

    Luke 6:37 "Judge not, and ye shall not be judged"

    The problem is, you cant just pluck out a few words from a section and put your own spin on them. Thats a private interpretation in violation of II Peter 1:20-21 "Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost". These are Gods words, not yours, you have no right to place a personal meaning on them. This is the second time I have pointed this out to you.
    The verse isn't a prohibition against judging, but hypocritical judging. A sin on top of a sin. The verse is part of a parable. Its about a mote, splinter, or a speck of dust in your brothers eye, a tiny piece of wood, and a beam or board in your own eye, a giant piece of wood. Its saying don't judge others on sins you are committing even in the smallest bit.
    That fails in this case for a few reasons.
    1. I have not accused anyone of being a homosexual here. I have only said that such actions are sinful. That in itself it righteous judgement, hating or judging the sin and not appearances of the person (John 7:24).
    2. To be a hypocrite I would have to be involved in the sin. Saying one thing and doing another. I am not in any way shape of form involved in homosexual sin.
    3. I will be judged one day regardless. We all will. The only difference is I have faith that Jesus paid the penalty for my sins, I trust in Him for forgiveness. So my sins are wiped clean and I struggle against sin. Those that do not have such faith will be held accountable for their sins.

  251. Nat Gertler says:

    "These are Gods words, not yours, you have no right to place a personal meaning on them. This is the second time I have pointed this out to you."

    Yup. And you do so by explaining what you personally find the meaning of them to be.

    "Its saying don't judge others on sins you are committing even in the smallest bit."

    Yeah, like that. Personal interpretation. I can just as easily point out that most dust is not wood, that to assume that it is wood is to add your own level of interpretation onto it. But because that does not fit into what you want the parable to be about, you twist it and, by doing so, do the exact thing that you are accusing me of doing. Which curiously means that the parable as you interpret it applies.

  252. Daniel says:

    I've found that many of the people who oppose OSC and are the most vitriolic are those who are so immensely put off by not just his stance on gay marriage but also his politics. His Empire novels are really enough to make you throw up in your mouth a little bit if you're not balls to the wall loony about politics, and the evils of Democrats, as he is. But I think the key part there is that we as a country should always protest something we don't agree with. The only way to protest against someone who provides a product is to not purchase the product. It might not affect his pocketbook but it will at least hopefully stain his products so they lose value. Get it through a free format like the library or Netflix instead of paying for it if you're that offended.

    I always try to decide for myself when someone has gone too far into their personal mania. As a general rule I tend to have the mindset that I don't care at all what a person believes as long as its not being thrown at me. In Card's case his political lunacy and religious views have been thrown up enough around me that I try to stay the hell away from anything he writes. I just hold out hope that if enough people spurn his works due to his running his mouth he will stop being hired for future work. It's unlikely but hey, a man can hope.

  253. James Pollock says:

    "The football metaphor only goes so far, which is my point. You play the Super Bowl once and it's over."

    Huh? We've had a Super Bowl every year of my life.

    "There is no limit to the number of times this issue can come up for a vote. SSM used to lose all the time. Now it's winning consistently."

    No, it isn't. It's still losing more than it's winning. You're being selective. SSM activists pick only those areas where they think they have a shot at prevailing, and they don't bother in those areas where they don't. When you count those places where the issue isn't even in controversy because the outcome is foregone, I think you'll come to another opinion of who's currently "winning".

    The danger to anti-SSM forces is, and always has been, that if SSM ever became legal, people would see exactly how big a deal it isn't. Oppositionists have used some pretty ridiculous fear-mongering as their main arguments (ranging from slippery slope arguments involving housepets, to fears that religious folks would be arrested and punished for failing to sanction SSM in their religious traditions.)
    So, IMO, SSM will eventually win not because there's a rising tide of support for it (although there is), but rather because the opposition to it looks increasingly foolish as it becomes obvious that allowing persons of the same gender to get married at the courthouse has no impact at all on people whose religion (and personal bias) opposes homosexuality.
    There are people who find that thinking about homsexual sex makes them feel all icky inside, just as there are still people who find the idea of people of different races sharing a marital bed makes them feel icky. That isn't going to change, and there isn't any reason why it should change. What will change is whether the rest of us let their icky feelings determine how society treats its citizens.

  254. James Pollock says:

    "Yup. And you do so by explaining what you personally find the meaning of them to be. "

    The fact that someone else behaves hypocritically doesn't make you less of one.

    Didn't your mama ever teach you that "they did it, too!" is NOT an excuse for wrongdoing?

  255. GuestPoster says:

    Since the question was asked and all… both of the bible phrases being quoted in defense of homophobia and homohatred are, arguably, badly translated. Let's look at Leviticus 18:22 for example –

    In many of the more 'original' scripts, it translates roughly as: thou shalt not rape a male prostitute in your wife's bed – it is an abomination.

    In the Luther Bibel of 1545, the exact text is: "Du sollst nicht beim Knaben liegen wie beim Weibe; denn es ist ein Greuel." Here, Knaben is very specifically boys, or lads. That is to say: don't touch the kiddies like you'd touch your wife.

    According to the contemporary english version: "It is disgusting for a man to have sex with another man." Which is entirely true. But then, it's disgusting for a man to have sex with a woman too – it's an intrinsically dirty act, with fluids and sweat and grunting and all sorts of bestial natures all over the place.

    Even those far more typical, admittedly, english translations as are provided by the college graduate who doesn't care about facts which disprove the bible in question, come out to "Do not have sex with a man as you would with a woman". Now, taken most literally, putting no personal spin into that as all, as long as you don't put your penis into a man's vagina, or lick his breasts, or whatnot, you're living by the letter of the law. And while you could use that as a reason to hate trans-sexuals (please don't, btw), it's utterly impossible to use it as a reason to hate homosexuals – at least, unless you WANT a reason to hate them, and are willing to squeeze anything you can find to make it work.

    Now let's look at Romans 1:27 -

    New International Version – "In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error." Ok, one COULD take that to mean that homosexuality is wrong, I guess. But if one looks at the context, one learns that God CAUSED this. He tweaked their minds and FORCED them to do it. It was a punishment, not something being punished. That's like saying that people living in prison are sinning by living behind bars – the sin came first, the behind bars was, frankly, a perfectly ethical way to live from that point going forward.

    You get pretty similar translations in the bibles I cared to check. That being said though, the context is really what counts here. God wasn't disgusted by homosexuality, and then punishing us because of it. God was annoyed at us, and used homosexuality as a punishment – he added it to the human condition manually! Just like how it now hurts when women squeeze a baby the size of a watermelon through a vagina the size of a lemon – that isn't a sinful act, it's the punishment FOR a sinful act.

    Though really, one has to wonder why you'd worship a guy who thinks that if humans screw up once, all future generations should be punished for that.

    And regardless – if this is the BEST the bible has to offer in condemnation of homosexuality – one passage about not raping boys in your wife's bed, and one about how God manually added homosexuality to the human condition to have himself a nice porn-show, one can only assume that the bible totally supports the 'homosexual lifestyle'. That's what an HONEST reading gets you, anyways. You can get anywhere you like by taking stuff out of context, and reading just the words you want to, of course. But that's not honest by any stretch, is it?

  256. Xenocles says:

    James-

    If it wasn't obvious, I was saying that there is only one game to determine the champion of that season. We don't go back and revisit the matter of who the champion of the 2007 season should be. It's one and done. The next season is a new issue – the teams are often radically different.
    Now imagine a setup where the champion gets first draft pick the following year. It's not a lock, but it's a powerful advantage with the potential to propagate into quasi-permanent dominance. That's how these issues work.

    "SSM activists pick only those areas where they think they have a shot at prevailing…"

    As any competent general would. Since politics is war by other means, there's no reason to expect otherwise. You don't fight just because, you fight to achieve something.

    "When you count those places where the issue isn't even in controversy because the outcome is foregone, I think you'll come to another opinion of who's currently "winning"."

    By this logic an offense should yield because they get the ball inside their ten yard line. Look at all the ground they have to gain! It's impossible! By this logic World War II ended with the conquest of France – that territory was taken, there was no doubt about who was in control.

    But of course things change. The offense makes some plays and moves the line forward. They wear the defense down, or lull them into expecting the wrong thing. The Allies grind it out in Africa and bomb the infrastructure in Europe. Suddenly what was unthinkable is happening. Except it's not sudden; all sorts of things happen in the interim to make such a shift possible.

    You look at the massed D-Day fleet and say "We're doomed. This landing is next to impossible and even then it will only make a small dent in occupied Europe." I look at it and see that even getting to the point where invasion is an option constitutes a substantial victory, even if there is much more to do. This is what all campaigns to effect major changes go through.

  257. Nat Gertler says:

    James Pollock:

    It's not hypocritical of me to "place a personal meaning on" the words of the Bible, because I've not said that is something one is not to be done. (Unless you interpret that as what I was "yup"ing; it was not, I was yupping his claim that he'd told me twice.)

    If you have some other basis for claiming that I'm being a hypocrite, I'd appreciate hearing it.

  258. Nat Gertler says:

    Defining "is winning" depends on what it means to have "won", and if you argue that tides may turn, then one side can never be claimed to have "won", since laws can always be changed after. But since the status quo was clearly that no same-sex couple could marry in the US, and now one third of the country (measured by population) live where same-sex marriage is available to them, and those marriages are recognized by the federal government. In places where SSM is not legal, the most the anti-SSM can do is maintain the status quo, so it's hard to call that a win or loss. In places where SSM is legal, the anti-forces can "win" by changing that status… and in this battle by that measure, the anti forces have had one statewide win (California, 2008), and even that ground was then lost to them.

  259. babaganusz says:

    Dont fool yourself into thinking I just am some uneducated person who has been duped, I am a collage graduate.

    now that's precious.

  260. whheydt says:

    Re: Jim B.

    I really don't care how you slice, dice, fold, spindle or mutilate the Bible to support what you otherwise believe, for whatever reasons.

    I don't not try to conform my ethics to those of Bronze Age nomadic mythology. Times have changed. We are no longer (mostly) herding sheep and goats in the desert. We know more about universe than those nomads did 3000 years ago, and we know more about *people* than was known then as well.

    Basing ones life on an ancient work of fiction could be a fun exercise but it's a lousy way to get by in the modern world.

  261. James Pollock says:

    "Now imagine a setup where the champion gets first draft pick the following year."

    It's not hard to imagine; that's pretty much how college football works. If your program is a winning one (Note that it takes way more than one successful season to be considered such), then the top players want to play there. Conversely, if you have a losing tradition, it's hard to recruit top players.

    "As any competent general would. Since politics is war by other means, there's no reason to expect otherwise."
    Depends on whether you're attacking or defending. And that doesn't change the fact that you're being selective. Yes, SSM advocates have achieved some successes. But looking at ONLY the areas where they've had successes and ignoring the areas where they have not and then declaring them "winning" is how you get situations like Karl Rove last November… Romney ALSO had some successes, but he was not "winning". Tactical success does not always create strategic success.

    "By this logic an offense should yield because they get the ball inside their ten yard line. Look at all the ground they have to gain! It's impossible!"
    I don't understand what logic you're referring to here. Try again.
    My logic lies along the lines of "If you're behind by five touchdowns, and there's two minutes left on the game clock, and you score a touchdown, that doesn't mean you're winning the game. It means you've narrowed the margin by which you're losing. For a topical reference, see Stanford/Oregon, 11/7/13. Oregon failed to score for three quarters of the game, then they scored 20 points in the fourth quarter. But they didn't win because the other team still had more points than them.

  262. James Pollock says:

    "Defining "is winning" depends on what it means to have "won""

    True. How many SSM advocates would answer "yes" to the question "Have you won if a minority of Americans have SSM available to them if they choose to enter one"? (True, the converse is different… I would guess that a very high percentage of SSM opponents would answer "yes" to "have you lost if SSM is available to any single person in the U.S., but their actions wouldn't match their words… they won't surrender.)

    "if you argue that tides may turn, then one side can never be claimed to have "won", since laws can always be changed after."

    That's not my argument, and it's wrong regardless. The Constitutional right to an interracial marriage might be overturned, but at present nobody believes that the integrationists "won" on this issue and the segregationists "lost".

    "one third of the country (measured by population) live where same-sex marriage is available to them"

    Check my math. One third of the population has SSM available to them. That suggests that two-thirds do not. 2/3 > 1/3. Therefore, SSM is losing. (By comparison, 100% of the population has opposite-sex marriage available to them, discounting for this argument that segment of the population which is ineligible for marriage by reason of age or incapacity.)

    "In places where SSM is not legal, the most the anti-SSM can do is maintain the status quo, so it's hard to call that a win or loss."

    No it isn't; it's remarkably simple. SSM advocates win if the status quo changes to allow SSM, and SSM opponents win if it doesn't.

    "In places where SSM is legal, the anti-forces can "win" by changing that status… and in this battle by that measure, the anti forces have had one statewide win (California, 2008), and even that ground was then lost to them."

    The "anti" forces have a statewide win, as well, In Oregon, not only did the issuing of marriage licenses to same-sex couples get squashed in court, invalidating all such licenses issued, but it also prompted a state constitutional amendment (One that will probably be repealed next year… but what exactly your position on whether or not things that can be changed later count as wins and losses?)

    (As noted above, Perry doesn't address the question of whether or not states must extend marriage to same-sex couples, it considers the question of under what conditions such rights may be revoked.)

  263. James Pollock says:

    "Basing ones life on an ancient work of fiction could be a fun exercise but it's a lousy way to get by in the modern world."

    I disagree. A substantial number of people do so entirely without incident. Not just in the Judeo-Christian realm, either… Confucianism has a good many happy, well-adjusted adherents.

    And using a more modern work of fiction as source material doesn't produce substantially better results… ask Leah Remini.

    A closer examination will usually show that the problems don't arise from the source material, but from misunderstandings about its meaning(s). For example, the ancient people saw people eat pork, and subsequently get sick. The prevailing opinion on the subject, of course, was "God punishes people who eat pork. Therefore, God doesn't want people to eat pork." Now we now that what God actually wants us to do is to cook the pork thoroughly before eating it. It's a similar story for shellfish.

    (I don't have an explanation for the mixed-fibers thing. I suspect that one came about as a result of lobbying from the clothing-fibers interests.)

  264. Jim B says:

    @Nat Gertler

    Since you and others want to resist the truth and follow a path of your own making to destruction, I leave you to it. This isnt some argument you can win by spin. You and others that think this is some argument that can be won, I feel sorry for.

    Matthew 7:6
    Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

  265. Nat Gertler says:

    Oregon never had statewide SSM, so they cannot have a statewide loss; it was only one county (out of 36) that was issuing the marriage licenses. If that gets to be counted as a statewide victory, then the more general status of SSM in this country would be a nationwide victory.

    " One third of the population has SSM available to them."

    No, 1/3 live in a state where the state will grant that marriage. The other 2/3s live in a country where they can go to another state, get married, then come back to their home state and still have their marriage recognized by the federal government. Some of those 2/3s live in a state where after marrying elsewhere, they can come back to the state and have it recognized as marriage there (Oregon's that way) while others live in a state where they can bring their marriage back and have their marriage recognized as something-akin-to-marriage (such as Hawaii).

    A couple states are likely (in one case, basically guaranteed) to be added to the full marriage list this month; there is no probable movement in the other direction, although it is certainly possible. Unlike the football game, there is no fixed end time.

    " The Constitutional right to an interracial marriage might be overturned, but at present nobody believes that the integrationists "won" on this issue and the segregationists "lost"."

    Well, if it's what people believe that counts, polls indicate that folks believe that SSM is pretty much a done deal, if not yet in place.

  266. Jim B says:

    @Nat Gertler

    I forgot to add this to my last reply. This is not to try and convince anyone, but to address your accusation of private interpretation by me.

    Yeah, like that. Personal interpretation. I can just as easily point out that most dust is not wood, that to assume that it is wood is to add your own level of interpretation onto it. But because that does not fit into what you want the parable to be about, you twist it and, by doing so, do the exact thing that you are accusing me of doing. Which curiously means that the parable as you interpret it applies.

    The translators of the KJV translated the koine greek word καρφος as mote. In konie greek the word καρφος is a small piece of wood, a stalk a twig, splinter or it could be a speck of sawdust. It is not a private interpretation to say the mote is wood dust.
    I expect a retraction of the accusation, if not, I know what kind of person I have been dealing with.

  267. James Pollock says:

    "Well, if it's what people believe that counts, polls indicate that folks believe that SSM is pretty much a done deal, if not yet in place."

    Oh. Then angels, ghosts, and UFOs all exist, since it's what people believe that counts.

  268. Nat Gertler says:

    "In konie greek the word καρφος is a small piece of wood, a stalk a twig, splinter or it could be a speck of sawdust. It is not a private interpretation to say the mote is wood dust."

    No, actually, it means "any small dry body", so even if you're going to the Greek, it is interpretation to claim it's wood, and that's before you step beyond that to suggest that wood must represent a specific sin rather than, say, sin in general.

  269. Jim B says:

    @Nat Gertler

    Perhaps if you had said any small amount of dry plant material. But you ignore the konie greek grammar and syntax. The things are being compared and are both in the same form, neuter nouns, in the same sentence. This is not modern english with the same rules. The grammar would not allow you to positively compare two different things as examples. Add to the fact that the person speaking, Christ is a carpenter by trade and the idea that he is referring to something other than wood isnt likely.
    In doing so I know exactly what kind of person you are, an untruthful natural man on the path to hell. You would call white, black. You are a liar that seeks to twist the plain reading. As such I am done with you and shake the dust off my feet (Matt 10:14-15). Your false accusation is bound on you (Matt 18:18).

  270. whheydt says:

    Re: Jim B.

    You are welcome to believe whatever you wish and I will defend your right to do so. You are welcome to say whatever you wish within very broad limits, and I will defend your right to do so.

    However, that doesn't mean that I won't counter those beliefs or words when I think they are wrong or silly. In your posts in this thread you are being, at best, silly.

    You are attempting to assert a truth with no evidence to back it up.

    I am sure that you think that nearly all gods that humans have talked about ever since our species came into existence are false and fictional. As it happens, I agree with you…mostly. It's just that I believe in the existence of one (or three, depending on your theology) god less than you do.

  271. Nat Gertler says:

    "Perhaps if you had said any small amount of dry plant material." Had I said that, I would've been ignoring the plain language of the respected source to which I had linked, which not only didn't specify the word being used only for plant material, but used among its examples a non-plant material ("bits of wool").

    If you are concerned with untruthful men, you may wish to consider the person who is insisting that his personal interpretations of the Bible are no such thing.

  272. TPRJones says:

    I have no good response to the "this puts a nickel in the pocket of bad-group-X" other than, perhaps, donating a quarter to good-group-Y.

    I believe this is the only answer, really. It's the method I use.

    I love Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwhiches, and at no point have I been willing to stop eating them for political or moral reasons. Not even during the height of the whole recent madness. But ever since I discovered that a portion of the proceeds would be going to anti-gay organizations of various sorts, I've started making a habit of the "Lunchtime Bigotry Offset Credit". For every penny I spend at Chick-Fil-A, I make an equal donation to Marriage Equality USA. I get to eat delicious Chick-Fil-A, Chick-Fil-A gets my business, and Marriage Equality USA gets a donation that is greater than the one Chick-Fil-A is giving to the other side. Everyone wins.

    Except the chicken. The chicken does not win. But that's the cost of being delicious.

  273. Jim B says:

    I would've been ignoring the plain language of the respected source to which I had linked,

    The only problem is the site you are relying on for a lexicon uses the "Henry George Liddell. Robert Scott. A Greek-English Lexicon" for ancient greek, not konie greek . I invite you to learn the difference, here is a Wikipedia page but the information is available all over the net. There is a difference in the grammar and language because of the time and location the languages were spoken. Its like using a dictionary from the UK at time the king James bible was written to talk about works in english written in America in the 1940's.

    In other words, your definition is wrong, you quoted a bad source, time to admit your mistake. You might want to look in Thayer's lexicon, a Konie Greek lexicon and the recognized gold standard.

  274. whheydt says:

    Re: Jim B.

    I would be a lot easier to take your linguistic arguments seriously if you knew how to spell "Koine" correctly.

  275. Jim B says:

    Yes, I do that typo a lot, I am not a professional at typing and have never claimed to be. That doesn't make the point that Nat Gertler used the wrong lexicon to come to his conclusions any less valid.

  276. whheydt says:

    Normally, I wouldn't have posted, but you made the same mistake twice in a short post. Sure…comment posts on blogs tend to be "off-hand" remarks, but there is still the chance to look over what you've written, plus the formatted display and a 10 minute window to make corrections *after* posting.

    You have been making points that hinge of fine details, yet you haven't paid attention to fine details in your posts.

    If you are as careless about other aspects of the discussion as you are about spelling "Koine", then one might well suspect the quality of your research or depth on knowledge on the relevant subjects.

  277. Jim B says:

    I think that people often want to place the topics they don't agree with into a fine details category. That way they look for the little bits to argue as a way of discounting what they do not want to hear. They will complain that something isn't clear when it is as clear as the nose on their face.
    This whole discussion on if something is wood or not is a distraction. The reason is that those involved in a sin want to find a way to ignore or discount that fact. So they play word games and interpretation games. Trying to point out that someone else may have sinned is another game. One that fails on a simple truth that their mothers probably taught them a long time ago, two wrongs don't make a right.

  278. whheydt says:

    Re; Jim B

    It is pointless to argue whether or not something is a "sin" before you can demonstrate the existence of some god who defines what is or is not "sin". No existence demonstration for the relevant god, no determination of "sin".

    There is a second point here as well. "Sin", being a purely theological construct, is outside of (or certainly should be outside of) secular law. Secular law deals in lawful/unlawful. No sin either way. Since we have a state that is defined as secular, there should be no attempt to enforce anyone's version of "sin".

    If you want to enforce rules against sin, go live in a theocracy. There are several available to choose from.

    So…feel free to tell me that I "sin". I don't care. Feel free to tell me that I'll spend eternity in "Hell". I don't care. Until you can demonstrate their actual existence, my default position is that your "Hell", your "Heaven", and your "God" do not exist.

  279. Jim B says:

    Its called faith, not fact. The idea that God can be proved by facts to someone who is opposed to God is funny in the sad way. If you think its somehow my job to prove or convince you God exists, you are mistaken. Only He can do that and those that harden their heart against Him will never come to faith.
    Science cant prove everything, but those opposed to God swallow what it teaches hook line and sinker. Evolution, the origin of the universe, etc are all impossible to prove, thats why they call the explanations about them theories.
    What is lawful today is often unlawful the next and the same in reverse. But the law written in mans heart that shows us what sin is, not to steal, not to kill, don't engage in perverted sex acts, etc doesn't change. Only those that want to continue doing these things find ways to rationalize their behavior. Its because of those like this that we need laws at all.
    Enjoy what time you have left on this earth, because you are playing a very dangerous game with eternal consequences. Keep playing the fine details game to your own eternal destruction. It isnt those that tell you these things that will somehow win something, but you can surely lose.

  280. whheydt says:

    Re Jim B

    What you write would be tragic if it weren't so funny.

    First off, science does not deal in "proof". So rather than anyone thinking that "science can't prove everything", the reality is that science doesn't *prove* anything. It can, however, gather enough evidence to make doubting the conclusions of that evidence a matter of sheerest arrogance.

    It is also clear that you do not understand what "theory" means in science.

    As for evolution…it has be shown to happen in both the laboratory and the wild. While there are disputes over some of the fine details of *how* evolution happens, *that* evolution happens is not in doubt.

    I would point out that many things that, in the past were asserted to be based on Biblical divine law, are now held not to be by nearly everyone. I trust that you are aware, for instance, that the Bible was used to justify the existence and maintenance of slavery. I suggest you go read the original decision handed down in Loving v. Virginia, in which the judge upheld Virginia's anti-miscegination laws by citing the Bible (the US Supreme Court disagreed).

    As I noted initially, the Bible is the morality of Bronze Age nomadic sheepherders. We do not live in the Bronze Age and very, very few of us survive by herding sheep.

    And as I said before, in order to claim eternal consequences, *first* you have to demonstrate the reality of your god, your heaven and your hell. If that entity and those places don't exist–and available evidence is that they don't–then the consequences you claim are unsupportable.

    If you think the "laws" laid down in the Bible are universally and eternally applicable, you might want to look at this list: http://uglicoyote.wordpress.com/2012/05/27/76-things-banned-in-leviticus/ and see how many of them you have violated today.

  281. Jim B says:

    I don't have to prove to you one thing, so you might as well drop that. You seem to think that its my job to prove God exists and bring you to faith. I am a Lutheran, not a member of the synergistic reformed. The verse I rely on for that is.

    Philippians 2:13 For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure.

    My only role is to warn you and point out that you are a sinner, something you have denied. Keep denying it and you will one day learn you were wrong and end up in hell. Repent now before its to late.

    Your talking points past that are just that talking points and of no interest to me.

    But if you think evolution is proved explain how we went from one cell creatures to many celled creatures when in nature everything tends to break down. In a lab make many celled creatures from one celled. Better yet, recreate life in a laboratory, even one celled life.

    But these are just distractions. I will not be caught up in them. This isn't a debate. Again, it isn't my job to prove with facts God exists. Why don't you prove to me he doesn't exist? Go on, with facts prove God doesn't exist. You are relying on that for eternity, the proof must be strong.
    I have never said that the all the laws in the Bible are universally accepted. Nice of you to compare ceremonial law of the Jewish religion that were abolished when Christ finished his work with civil law. Thats comparing apples and grapefruit. But I dont have to worry about laws in the Bible, I know no one can keep them, read Romans 7 from verse 5 on..

    All men have sinned, everyone. At one point we have lied, cheated, taken something that didn't belong to us, had lust in our heart. Even if we just thought about doing it, its a sin. Sin once and go to hell if you don't repent of those sins and believe in Christs work of redemption. This isn't open for discussion, and God will not care if you believed in Him when you die, into hell you go.

  282. Jim B says:

    Clarifying the last line, it should read.

    This isn't open for discussion, and God will not care if you did not believed in Him when you die, into hell you go.

  283. whheydt says:

    Re; Jim B

    You are asserting the existence of a god. As the one making that assertion, it is your job to bring some evidence to the table. At present, everything else you are nattering on about can be summed up as depending on "facts not in evidence".

    FYI…there are (at last count) in excess of 40,000 distinct Christian sects. All of them disagree with one another of various points. Therefore, even within Christianity, why should anyone take your particular beliefs as any more true that those of any other Christian group?

    As I said earlier…you reject all gods but one. I see no evidence to support the thesis that the one you believe in is any more real than any of the others, and you have presented nothing that could be used to revise that.

  284. Jim B says:

    @whheydt

    I don't need to prove God exists.

    Life itself proves it, its His creation.

    Now if you know of proof that life can be created through science that's reproducible in a laboratory, refute it.

    The Universe declares the glory of God, He created it.

    Prove the Universe came about some other way.

    You again are under some strange idea that I need to prove that God exists. I don't, I know he does, I don't need to prove anything. Its a fruit of faith. So until you prove he doesn't we are at a stalemate. That is until we die. Then one of us will be proven wrong. But you have a lot riding on it, so you better be right. Other wise its an eternity of suffering.

  285. whheydt says:

    Re: Jim B

    I didn't say "prove", I said "demonstrate". There's a difference.

    For your own belief, of course you need neither proof nor demonstration. If you want to convince me that your god exists, then you do need to put some evidence on the table. Bald assertion won't do the trick.

    And then you pull one of the standard creationist goalpost moves. Evolution is not a theory that deals with the origin of life. The origin of life is subject to a different set of hypostheses (there is no theory, at least yet) called "abiogenesis". Evolution only deals with what happens once there is life. (Note, by the way, that this means that even of the existence of a god that created life on Earth was conclusively shown to be true, the Theory of Evolution would still hold.)

    Since I have told you that science does not deal in "proof" (all scientific conclusions are tentative, subject to more evidence), by continuing to make "proof" an issue, you are "bearing false witness". If I'm not too much mistaken, your religion has rules about that.

    Also, you might want to go look up what Paul had to say about people that went around trying to convert others and made stupid statements about what was true about the world and then claimed they knew because the Bible said so. I'll just note here that Paul Did Not Approve.

    I don't need to demonstrate how the universe came to be. I can observe that it exists and that a lot about it's history has been observed and deduced. It does not distress me to answer a question like that: I don't know. But one thing I *do* know is that there is no evidence supporting creation by a god or gods.

    I cannot prove your god doesn't exist. I can't prove that Thor, Zeus, or any other god doesn't exist, either. You, however, are making some extraordinary claims. The onus is not on me to prove that something for which there is no evidence does not exist, but on you to present evidence that it does.

    That last bit looks a lot like Pascal's Wager. The problem with Pascal's analysis is that it presumes that the choice is the Christian god or none. The field is much wider than that. If the consequences of making the wrong choice are dire, then the odds of picking correctly are extremely low.

    Suppose for a minute that you are correct. There is one or more god. Might it be a trifle uncomfortable for you if the One True God turns out to Kali?

  286. Jim B says:

    @whheydt

    Psalms 53:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.

    I have said a number of times. Perhaps you cant read. I don't have to prove God exists to you with facts or with anything. That is your requirement, one designed to keep you on the path to damnation. Keep saying it and all that will happen is I will point out again I do not and will not even go down that path.
    Your response is exactly what I expected. But my last post was to see if you would go on some argument against what was posted. Thanks for proving me right.

    I never strayed into Pascal's wager. It says to just "say you believe" in a hypocritical way. That wont work, its a fake faith that God, who can see into your heart, will know is fake. I have never brought up any such thing. I only to pointed out your denial had better be founded on some fantastic information to deny God exists, when the end result will be your eternal punishment for denying Him.

    Prove other gods exist. I know they dont for the Bible teaches there is only one God.

    Repent now and believe in the work of Jesus Christ.

  287. whheydt says:

    Re: Jim B

    I understand what you're saying, but I don't agree with it.

    For you, your god exists without question purely on faith even in the face of no evidence at all. You are unwilling to accept the existence of any other gods, even though there is the same lack of evidence for them…you faith doesn't extend there.

    For me, that there is no evidence for the existence of any gods–yours included–infers that none of them–including yours–exists. Everything else follows logically and reasonably from there.

    What I would suggest, though, is that you pay a visit to the Panda's Thumb site. The folks there could use a new "chew toy" since the ones they already have are rather predictable and repetitive.

  288. Jim B says:

    @whheydt

    Psalms 53:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.

    Keep looking for evidence, perhaps you will find it one day. But sometimes when people harden their heart against God, he allows it to stay hardened as punishment in this lifetime.
    That people all over this world seek for God is not surprising to me. That the devil has deluded them to find false gods is not a surprise to me. Perhaps you should ask yourself why so many are looking for God, even without the proof you require, and fewer deny God.

    All men have sinned, it doesn't matter if you acknowledge sin as sin. Just as in a human court ignorance of the law will be no exception.

    If you don't repent of those sins, and believe on Christs substitutional work of redemption you are bound for hell.

    If your only proof that God doesn't exist is your own thoughts and a need to continue in some activity that is sin, you are taking a huge risk with your eternal soul.

    Visit a Lutheran church near you. Perhaps it will make sense to you after being there.

  289. whheydt says:

    (My apologies to everyone else…and if the blogs owners want me to quit this conversation, just let me know. It's got to be pretty dull for everyone else.)

    Re: Jim B

    You keep going on about "proof". Proof has nothing to do with it. I cannot prove your god doesn't exist. Nor can I prove Bigfoot, Nessie, or pink unicorns don't exist. Aside from the general difficulty of even attempting to prove a negative, proof isn't the point.

    The point is that that you cannot demonstrate any validity to your positive assertion that your god does exist. If you can't do that, then the rest of what you're going on about is so much hot air.

    And, by the way, I *have* been to a Lutheran service. And, no, your claims don't hold any more water for having done so than they did before.

    Basically…you've got faith, and *nothing* else. Faith by itself is not a compelling argument. When you have some *evidence*, then you might have something worth taking a closer look..

  290. TPRJones says:

    Jim, whheydt isn't going to be taking your faith seriously. Faith is not evidence, and it is evidence that he requires. He's also not really trying to convince you of anything nor is he the devil sent to tempt you. He's just going to keep making the same points because he is enjoying that the responses they illicit make you look like some sort of hyper-religious maniac.

    whheydt, Jim has no interest in changing your mind on anything and isn't really trying. He's just here to feel superior by pointing out how he's one of God's chosen faithful and to derive perverse glee from telling you that you are going to roast in hell for all of eternity and that this will somehow be a just and proper end for you because you are so wicked.

    Clearly I'm not unbiased here, but equally clearly neither of you are approaching this with the wide-eyed sincerity that you seem to be trying to convey. Admit that you are each trying to "score points" on the other in your own perverse way instead of having an actual meaningful discourse. It's really more like mutual masturbation than conversation at this point.

    Now, can we move on?

  291. Jim B says:

    @whheydt

    Psalms 53:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.

    Matthew 7:6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

    Mark 6:11 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear you, when ye depart thence, shake off the dust under your feet for a testimony against them.

    @TPRJones

    I don't care about points, I was just following The Word and spreading its message. I had come to the conclusion that whheydt appears to have hardened his heart against God in my previous post. As such I will not cast my pearls before him, but shake the dust off as a testimony against him.
    Though I doubt this thread is still alive.

  292. David says:

    @Jim B,
    Apologetics ain't your gift. You should consider intaglio printing or pickling instead.

  293. whheydt says:

    @Jim B

    Perhaps that is part of the problem… I don't think with my heart. My heart's job is to pump blood. When I think, I use my brain, since my brain has that task.

    But remember one thing… Out of over 40,000 different versions of Christianity on Earth, has is ever occurred to you that you might be adhering to the wrong one?

  294. Jim B says:

    @David

    I have found that sometimes in life you find yourself in a position where there is no choice and you have to speak up. Sadly all I could do was keep hammering with the law by condemning sin.
    The printing sounds interesting, I am horrid at food prep, my chosen art is watchmaking. I find restoring 100+ year old antique time pieces fun.

  295. whheydt says:

    @Jim B

    I'm afraid that David was playing kick-ball with the inside of your head. If I'm not to greatly mistaken, intaglio is the printing technology that the US Government uses for paper money. He has just invited you to take up counterfeiting.

  296. Jim B says:

    @whheydt

    μὴ ἀποκρίνου ἄφρονι πρὸς τὴν ἐκείνου ἀφροσύνην ἵνα μὴ ὅμοιος γένῃ αὐτῷ

    εἰς ὦτα ἄφρονος μηδὲν λέγε μήποτε μυκτηρίσῃ τοὺς συνετοὺς λόγους σου

  297. whheydt says:

    Re: Jim B

    Uebersetzen Sie, bitte, auf FORTRAN.