Orson Scott Card on controversy and 'Ender's Game': 'I’ve had no criticism. I’ve had ... personal attacks'

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  • Ceasar Carriere, MS
    Sept. 3, 2014 10:31 a.m.

    Those who have read some of Card's works will understand his genius. In my opinion, Card has been turned into a target, one who's "evil intents" have been overplayed to make him look like a heartless monster. The drama, the beautiful sense of rebellion that comes from a movement adds fuel to the fire. The idea of a boycott is tempting and lustrous, but this is the ignorance among those that wish to be apart of something bigger and better than just them. Truly, Card's opinions are blown out of proportion by those who wish to start trouble. His books should be praised as they are amazing, and the movie should not be persecuted because of their writer's beliefs.

  • JonathanMeson San Francisco, CA
    Nov. 8, 2013 4:08 p.m.

    Regardless of your worldview, Card's right on this. Personal attacks, of the kind we are witnessing, are simply fallacious, visceral reactions, not true discourse based on reason. Labeling someone as homophobic, Christophobic, Islamophobic, racist, a bigot, hateful or intolerant and leaving it at that requires no effort and is little more than a therapeutic and fallacious self-justification of an ill- or un-defined felt moral system. Any one can do it, regardless of who they are or what they believe. I haven't personally read all of Card's writing on this topic, but if a person or group of people disagrees with Card, and additionally wishes to be taken seriously--i.e. to be truly persuasive rather than coercive--by a mind like Card's on the issue of same-sex marriage then they will need to take up his challenge and provide a convincing, coherent argument that at least covers:

    1 Mormonism and/or Christianity are most reasonably false (or justify same-sex marriage as morally good).
    2 And instead there is good reason to believe same-sex marriage is objectively morally praiseworthy, reasonable and honorable by means of a new, clearly defined, intrinsically coherent, moral system.

  • Tyler Ray Taylorsville, UT
    Nov. 1, 2013 11:22 a.m.

    He's outspoken about his opinions but that's his right. And it's the right of anyone to boycott the movie. God bless America.

  • greatbam22 andrews afb, MD
    Nov. 1, 2013 9:34 a.m.

    Mukkake - I think you meant to say "I'll just steal the movie buy downloading it illegally online."

  • Contrariusest Nashville, TN
    Nov. 1, 2013 8:03 a.m.

    @One Angry Salebarn Worker --

    "Not normally my viewing fare, but I will see Enders Game because of type of people who oppose it--and encourage others to do the same."

    Great. Support gay rights, and recruit others to do the same. It's great to hear that you'll be with us on this! :-)

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Nov. 1, 2013 6:52 a.m.

    Bigotry and discrimination have no place in our society. Those who practice it should be criticized for it; including Scott Card.

  • Ranch Here, UT
    Nov. 1, 2013 6:39 a.m.

    Poor Scotty. It isn't "lying, deceptive, personal attacks" to criticize you for your own words.

  • Jeff Temple City, CA
    Oct. 31, 2013 6:40 p.m.

    I am totally in favor of boycotts. I boycott R-rated films, and I frequently boycott films that are made by people whose political views I oppose. I have no problem whatsoever with anyone declaring a boycott of Orson Scott Card, Utah, Temple Square, or even me.

    I will not join the boycott of "Ender's Game." I would have privately boycotted the film if it had been rated R, and it isn't. Further, I love the book. I consider it one of the best science fiction books of the 20th Century. It is a profound book and deeply moving. I hope the film does it justice.

    Besides, in Card's case, I find that I agree with his politics anyway, so I'm inclined to support him for political reasons. I don't want that to color my appraisal of the film, but I can't escape the fact that it might.

    Artistically, I hope the film is successful. Politically, I really hope the film is successful. But if a boycott is successful (which I doubt), or if the film is no good (which I hope not), then I still have that wonderful book.

  • One Angry Salebarn Worker Madison, SD
    Oct. 31, 2013 6:28 p.m.

    Not normally my viewing fare, but I will see Enders Game because of type of people who oppose it--and encourage others to do the same.

  • 1978 Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 1:54 p.m.

    "Whenever the left chooses to boycott something (such as Chick-Fil-A or Hobby Lobby), the right complains that their freedom of speech is being violated."

    No not really - We just end up shopping there. By the way thanks for the information on Hobby Lobby. Looks like I am going to be eating more chicken and now buying some "hobby" stuff.

  • Contrariusiest mid-state, TN
    Oct. 31, 2013 12:35 p.m.

    @Duckhunter --

    "He said "sexual behavior" you added the "gay" part."

    No, I didn't. He wasn't talking about rape or incest -- he was talking about gay people. It was an article about the Lawrence SCOTUS case. He thought that sodomy laws should have remained on the books. He specifically said: " Laws against homosexual behavior should remain on the books" -- and yes, that's a direct quote. Again, he wants gays to be treated as second-class citizens.

    Nice try at obfuscation, though. ;-)

    I'l repeat: Card has advocated insurrection because of gay marriage. He has accused gays of stealing from him. He has accused gays of wanting to devour the Church flock. He has specifically declared that gays should be treated as second-class citizens.

    How is any of that NOT hateful?

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Oct. 31, 2013 11:19 a.m.


    Most of those you took completely out of context and ommitted key parts of them.

    Let's take #4

    "those who flagrantly violate society's regulation of sexual behavior cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens within that society."

    He said "sexual behavior" you added the "gay" part. Certainly gay acts can be included in any explanantion of "sexual behavior" but what about rape? What about incest? What about beastiality? What about pedophilia?

    All of those are also "sexual behavior" and I'm just wondering if practitioners of those things should be "permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens within that society." or if Mr. Card is correct in saying that "those who flagrantly violate society's regulation of sexual behavior cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens within that society."

    Yes i know you are going to exempt homosexual behavior from the others, that is the gay narrative afterall, but Mr. card is correct when he references "society's regulation". Obviously society should regulate sexual behavior shouldn't it? Or are you suggessting that all of those other forms be allowed as well?

  • NC Rick Chapel Hill, NC
    Oct. 31, 2013 9:44 a.m.

    What a minute now, Orson Scott Card is decrying "personal attacks" against him? Talk about the pot calling the kettle black. He's been launching personal attacks against the President and any and all people who do not share his extreme political views on his blog (The Ornery American) and the Rhino Times for many years.

    “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....Character assassination seems to be the only political method that is in use today, and I don’t play that game..."

    Excuse me OSC, but you are a master at that game and have been for years. So many of your posts are just that, character assassinations devoid of cogent thought or valid criticism. Wow, talk about hypocritical. If you are going to dish out the hate it seems reasonable to expect you are going to get some of it back.

  • Contrariusier mid-state, TN
    Oct. 31, 2013 8:42 a.m.

    @Duckhunter --

    "Once again the Dnews is very inconsistent"

    I agree with you there, at least.

    Trying again --

    1. "Regardless of law, marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down..."
    -- He didn't say "vote the bums out of office" or "we'll get em at the next election" -- He said "destroy" that government "and bring it down" -- and earlier in that passage he also said "by whatever means".
    -- That's insurrection. Card is actually willing to incite the destruction of the Federal government.

    2. Married gays: "They steal from me what I treasure most".
    -- Are married gay people somehow forcing him to get divorced?? How do gay people "steal" anything??

    3. Gays in church: "They are wolves in sheep's clothing, preaching meekness while attempting to devour the flock."
    -- Gay people want to "devour" Christians??

    4. Gays in general: "those who flagrantly violate society's regulation of sexual behavior cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens within that society."
    -- Yup, he specifically wants second class citizenship for gays.

    How are these statements NOT hateful?

  • SlopJ30 St Louis, MO
    Oct. 31, 2013 8:18 a.m.

    Jim says "So much for First amendment rights."

    You clearly do not understand the concept of "freedom of speech." If the government were attempting to suppress Mr. Card or passing laws saying citizent couldn't speak or write in opposition of gay marriage, then you would have a point. That's not happening, all theoretical hysterical, hand-wringing predictions about the future of the US aside.

    Are you suggesting that private citizens should not be allowed to organize a boycott of a movie or say they think Mr. Card and his agenda are wrong and harmful? Essentially, a gay-rights opponent can cloak themselves in the First Amendment, but proponents can't, is that it?

    I cringed when I read Card's views, but I think a boycott is ineffectual at best, counterproductive at worst. If there's anything I'm sure about, it's that this has nothing to do with the First Amendment.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 30, 2013 8:56 p.m.


    three times I have tried to post his quotes and been denied. You re right some of his quotes have been published but the most hateful have not appeared in this paper, the question is why does the DN want to keep it secret if its not hateful?

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 4:41 p.m.


    No they are not denying your post because it quotes Card, his comments have been printed in this very paper. They obviously think the manner you are trying to post them, your spin on them, is either faulty or else argumentative.

    Once again the Dnews is very inconsistent with how they moderate things around here but it is what it is, they own the site.

    That said I do not agree with your spin on Card's comments in the slightest, I have read them and he is reasonable and persuasive as well as being forthright. You just don't like them so you want to paint them as bigoted.

    Any comment opposing gay marriage is going to be spun as "hateful" or bigoted by people such as yourself that support gay marriage. That is your agenda, that is how you want to debate this subject, those are your talking points. No one can oppose it without being painted as a bigot because that is your narrative. Opposition to gay marriage is bigotry, hate, and oppression, is that not what the gay marriage supporters claim?

    All opposition is bigotry, we get it.

  • Contrariusier mid-state, TN
    Oct. 30, 2013 12:49 p.m.

    @Duckhunter --

    "I doubt your comment was denied because it quoted Card"

    Actually, Spring Street is correct. I have also tried, twice, to post quotes from Card to this thread. Evidently the DN moderators really do think that Card's comments are too hateful to be suitable for posting.

    "Certainly he differs on the subject than you do but that doesn't mean he is filled with hate."

    Card has specifically advocated insurrection against the Federal government (he did that right here in the Deseret News) over the issue of gay marriage, and he has specifically stated that gay people should be treated as second-class citizens. What is not hateful about such statements?

  • Mukkake Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 11:48 a.m.

    [That's called pirating and is punishable by significant fines and imprisonment.]

    I've been doing it for 15 years and have yet to see either.

    [Another word for it is theft.]

    Only because corporations convinced the government to call it that.

  • The Skeptical Chymist SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 11:27 a.m.

    Those who claim that Mr. Card's first amendment rights are being violated have a poor understanding of the first amendment. The first amendment proclaims that "Congress shall make no law ... abridging the freedom of speech." The government has done absolutely nothing to limit Mr. Card's freedom of speech, so there has been no violation of his freedom of speech. If individuals choose not to listen to him, that is certainly their right. Likewise, it is their right not to attend a movie based on his book.

    Whenever the left chooses to boycott something (such as Chick-Fil-A or Hobby Lobby), the right complains that their freedom of speech is being violated. Nonsense! Likewise, if the right chooses to boycott J.C.Penney's for its support of same-sex marriage, that is no violation of the free speech rights of J.C.Penney's executives either.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 10:38 a.m.

    @spring street

    I doubt your comment was denied because it quoted Card, the dnews has a very inconsistent manner of moderating the site, they've denied comments of mine that weren't argumentative or offensive in the least. If you look above you'll see they've now gone back and erased the post with the question I aked you were trying to reply to, such is their inconsistency.

    That said I have read Card's comments and they are not in the least bit hate filled. Certainly he differs on the subject than you do but that doesn't mean he is filled with hate. I also oppose gay marriage but I certainly don't hate gays and I won't be intimidated into shutting up my opinions on the matter.

    I understand that the pro gay agenda's method is to marginalize and intimidate those that oppose their agenda, paint them as bigots and homophobes, by doing that they think it will shut them up. Sadly they have had some success doing it, but some of us won't shut up, some of us won't be intimidated, Scott card is one of those people. Good for him.

  • Contrarius mid-state, TN
    Oct. 30, 2013 9:12 a.m.

    @Jim --

    "So much for First amendment rights."

    NOM is currently running TWO boycotts, against companies with pro-gay policies. Why is it okay for them to boycott, but not for anyone else?

    As for me, I encourage everyone to go see "Ender's Game".

    EVERYONE who supports gay rights should go to see this movie.

    The production company in charge of the movie, Lionsgate Films, is being honored by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network for its extensive pro-gay policies.

    The studio is an industry leader in ensuring workplace protections and benefits for LGBT people, including benefits for same-sex couples. It has also previously produced excellent gay-inclusive movies like "Gods and Monsters" and "The Perks of Being a Wallflower. Additionally, Lionsgate plans to host an LGBT-oriented fundraiser in association with the opening of the film.

    So we can choose to boycott one guy who made anti-gay remarks, or we can support a pro-gay company that employs hundreds.

    Support gay rights! Go see "Ender's Game"!

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 9:04 a.m.


    So I tried last night to post a response to you. I quoted from Mr. Card but the DN found them to offensive to post, which pretty much proves the point. When someone buts that kind of hatred out into the world they are likely to receive hatred back.

  • kiddsport Fairview, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 8:42 a.m.

    That's called pirating and is punishable by significant fines and imprisonment. Another word for it is theft. Are we still allowed to use those terms? Do we still understand their moral significance?
    To LGBTs:
    Perhaps OSCs remarks were driven by the counsel, "it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor." Not out of hate but of love and concern, "in mildness and in meekness." I didn't see OSCs comments but I would hope they were characterized as such.
    We can treat others who are different with all respect due while holding true to our own moral dictates.

  • Mukkake Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 7:40 a.m.

    I'll just download the movie online. That way I can watch it, but not add to any of the revenue. I'll also make sure to share, share, share, so others can do the same.

  • amagnetick AV, CA
    Oct. 30, 2013 7:30 a.m.

    Time for the perpetually offended to rear their ugly heads again I guess. Whatever happened to the First Amendment? Anyway, don't know much about Mr. Card or his books other than a couple of my kids like his stuff. I think I'll go see Ender's Game even though I have no idea what it's about. That's about the best way I can think of to support Mr. Card and let those whiny babies know I don't like what they're attempting.

  • The Scientist Provo, UT
    Oct. 30, 2013 6:39 a.m.

    Ender's Game is a story that wrestles with how to treat others who are different. As such, it is highly ironic that Mr. Card should express such insights in his fiction novels (and film), but so completely fail to learn the same lessons in his personal expressions of belief. And it is disingenuous of him to declare that his ideas have not been countered, but only his character has been attacked. Nothing could be further from the truth.

  • ClarkHippo Tooele, UT
    Oct. 29, 2013 11:23 p.m.

    There was a time when boycotts had a true affect in changing laws and practices. But over the last decade or two, it appears to me the term "boycott" has been thrown around so much it has truly lost its effectiveness.

    I remember awhile back when a number of conservative churches and organizations announced they were boycotting Disney because of their so-called "pro gay" agenda. Did it work? Did the boycott have the desired effect?

    Then there was the NRA's list of celebrities, activists, newspapers and businesses they felt were "anti-second amendment" which they wanted their members to boycott. How did that turn out?

    Of course this is not exclusive to the right. After Prop 8 passed in California, some in the LGBT community called for a boycott of all things Utah and all things LDS.

    As someone who works closely in the hotel business in Salt Lake, from my point of view if there's been a downturn in tourism in Utah, it has been tied much more to the recession than to anything having to do with Prop 8.

  • Kalindra Salt Lake City, Utah
    Oct. 29, 2013 10:20 p.m.


    When you make comments such as "sodomy laws should have been left in place to punish unruly gays," "homosexuals are self loathing victims of child abuse," and "homosexuality is a tragic genetic mix up," you may just find that people get really offended and personally attacked by you, so no Mr Card is not an innocent victim and yes he reaps what he sews.

  • LifeLibertyHappiness Draper, UT
    Oct. 29, 2013 9:51 p.m.

    The boycott is silly, but if that's what people want to do, fine. Mr. Card is an excellent author. As Jim said, first amendment rights are often not respected by the left. It's not okay to have an opinion different from theirs. It extends from being politically correct which is a tremendous cancer in our society that stifles free speech along with open, candid, respectful discourse and debate.

  • christoph Brigham City, UT
    Oct. 29, 2013 9:39 p.m.

    Christianity is 2,000 years old and getting stronger thanks to art and morality and new scripture. Hollywood is dying and dull, no new ideas.

  • RBN Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 29, 2013 9:22 p.m.

    Did Chris B and Duckhunter really agree with each other?

  • Jim Mesa, Az
    Oct. 29, 2013 8:57 p.m.

    So much for First amendment rights. Mr Card expressed an opinion, his own opinion. And people want to punish all. It appears that one group want to force the majority to think the same way as they do. They movie is just a movie and doesn't promote hate mongering, unlike those who want to boycott it,

  • Stenar Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 29, 2013 8:49 p.m.

    He's being disingenuous. I've seen a lot of the criticisms of Card online and I haven't seen anyone attacking him personally, only attacking his racism and homophobia. I think he made that up to try and discredit those who are opposed to him.

    Oct. 29, 2013 8:10 p.m.

    I visited the Skip Ender's Game site to see what he might have said that was out of line. According to that site, he said: “So if [they] insist on calling what they do 'marriage,' they are not turning their relationship into what my wife and I have created, because no court has the power to change what their relationship actually is.

    "Instead they are attempting to strike a death blow against the well-earned protected status of our, and every other, real marriage.

    "They steal from me what I treasure most, and gain for themselves nothing at all. They won't be married. They'll just be playing dress-up in their parents' clothes.”

    Sounds correct to me. How is the union of two homosexual individuals the equivalent of marriage? The latter is the joining of the complementary in a synergistic relationship, while the former is the non-synergistic joining of the similar. Someone ought to address that and Scott's other ideas instead of resorting to personal attacks.

  • Henry Drummond San Jose, CA
    Oct. 29, 2013 7:35 p.m.

    First of all I think the boycott is out of line. If this newspaper called for a boycott of Amazon.com or some other organization because they support Gay Marriage, I think these boards would light up with criticism of the move.

    I would suggest however, that Orson Scott Card's speech has been out of line as well. Those who want to find out what he said can visit the Skip Ender's Game site and find out. I have not seen KSL's actual interview, but I would hope they called on him to be accountable for his harsh language.

  • Lagomorph Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 29, 2013 6:11 p.m.

    Boycotts need to be carefully targeted to be effective. In this case, Card's involvement in the film is dilute enough that a) a decrease in box office receipts won't affect his residuals very much and b) a lot of LGBT-supportive people involved in the film's production WILL be adversely affected. A boycott of his book would be a better strategy, but even then it would only make much of a dent in sales if timed to the original release.

    Card, quoted in article: "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 has apparently not read the online comments to his former DesNews columns. As I recall, there were many cogent critiques and rebuttals of his opinions on SSM and few personal attacks. I was disappointed that he never followed through with a promised multi-part series of columns on SSM. The one column he wrote rehashed the usual tepid arguments and presented nothing original or persuasive. The online commentary easily refuted them. Perhaps he could revisit the topic in these pages.

  • TheWalker Saratoga Springs, UT
    Oct. 29, 2013 5:54 p.m.

    Homosexuality has been declared by the prophets, both ancient and modern, to be a sin of enormous moral magnitude. It is a sad day when a popular artist is targeted for religious beliefs which align with the scriptures. Even worse, some of those doing the targeting call themselves LDS.

    Kudos to Scott for standing on a firm foundation.

  • islandboy Honolulu, HI
    Oct. 29, 2013 5:38 p.m.

    I'm looking forward to seeing Ender's Game. I'm intrigued by the story line. The actors involved are top notch. As far as I know, this is still America and people have the right to express their opinion as they choose. If you don't agree, then you don't. Good on you.

  • UtahDemocrat Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 29, 2013 5:03 p.m.

    Personal attacks? "That a few individuals suffer from tragic genetic mixups does not affect the differences between genetically distinct males and females." Orson Scott Card, Deseret News, July 24, 2008.

    "Many people have homosexual experiences or desires and fantasies in adolescence, yet grow up to be fully functional, at least for a time..." Orson Scott Card, Deseret News, August 8, 2008.

    When I'm called a dysfunctional tragic genetic mixup, that's supposedly a criticism based on ideas? But when I discourage people from lining the pockets of the man who calls me this, I'm engaged in a personal attack? Talk about calling evil good and good evil.

  • spring street SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Oct. 29, 2013 4:45 p.m.

    Obviously it would be sad if people really are making "personal attacks" against Mr Card but lets be honest, right or wrong, you reap what you sow in this world.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    Oct. 29, 2013 3:49 p.m.

    Great author. Even better person.

  • Alex 1 Tucson, AZ
    Oct. 29, 2013 3:41 p.m.

    It is amazing how having your own opinion on gay marriage will get the LGBT zealots frothing at the mouth trying to enforce their groupthink. Forget the fact that the movie has absolutely nothing to do with gay marriage. You would think these "intellectual" and "artistic" LGBT giants would be capable of offering criticism of the movie on the merits. How disappointing their only method of communication is to belch personal attacks. Nice tolerance there.

  • Duckhunter Highland, UT
    Oct. 29, 2013 3:24 p.m.

    I love the book, I love Orson Scott Card, and I'm really looking forward to the movie.

    You know I have a lot of disagreements with the political and social views and opinions of a lot of artists, especially musicians that I adore and listen to. But that doesn't stop me from listening to their music, and really enjoying it.

    Why is it that some cannot find value in some of the art and things others do even if they disagree with them on other things? Why must everything be a political or social statement and why must they be so personal about them?

    Why seek to destroy the good a person has done, the actual joy and pleasure they have provided to so many, just because they disagree with something else that person did?

    What bigotry that is, very shameful.