Wednesday, August 6, 2008

You Might Be a Bigot: Sci-Fi Edition

I honestly don't think most people who act like bigots know that they're bigots. In their minds, [insert group of people] are just morally wrong, inherently bad, and/or inferior to other groups of people. So, when they state these "truths" they don't really see anything wrong with doing so. In their eyes, for one example, it's just the cold hard truth that being gay is "immoral." Furthermore, being called a "bigot" or a "hater" or "intolerant" is something that is bad, and it is a natural human response for the ego to want to disassociate itself from such "bad" things.

For an extreme but relevant example, it bears mentioning that even the KKK similarly justifies its hatred, racism, and bigotry and delusionally states that its "Christian" message is "one of love NOT hate." Likewise, anti-gay hate group Watchmen on the Walls doesn't consider itself a hate group even though it has declared war on "homosexuals," has perpetuated a Holocaust revision whereby "homosexuals" had a central role in Nazism, and has labeled gay people "enemies" of the family.

I cited those examples to give you some perspective on how out of touch with reality a bigot's perception himself is in light of his message. There is some major disassociation going on.

See, it's my theory that such people know that to be a bigot is something of which to be ashamed. We are becoming a more tolerant society, and outright bigotry is something that is no longer as acceptable. Even though hate groups like the KKK and Watchmen are not taken seriously by most people, they do know that if they have any chance at all in successfully spreading their messages, they must disassociate themselves from the "bigot" label.

The purpose of this new series is to point out some bigots who do not know that they are bigots. Some of these people aren't as extreme as, say, the KKK, but their attempts to disassociate their words from the "bigot" label are just as preposterous. Their message, their hateful words, cannot be interpreted as anything other than hatred, bigotry, and/or intolerance. And yet, they balk at the "bigot" label and cry foul when it's applied to them.

But before we begin, it is a very, very common complaint among bigots that their critics merely call them bigots without refuting their points. I think these people are confused. We don't think they're wrong because they're bigots. We think they're wrong because their arguments are idiotic and unsound. It just so happens that they are also bigots in addition to being wrong.

So, here we go with the first installment:

This is a sci-fi edition, in fact. See, I am a dork who likes science fiction. There, I said it. The alternate worlds, ideal utopias, and scary dystopias are easy to get lost in. When I was younger, I enjoyed reading Orson Scott Card's futuristic novel Ender's Game. In fact, I could be persuaded to re-read this book and post a review of it, but I won't. (Oh darn, I know).

See, it's recently come to my attention that Orson Scott Card is adamantly anti-gay. He's not just your run of the mill amateur anti-gay, either. He, like, writes op-ed pieces in The Mormon Times, using his "expertise" as a science fiction writer, to say that that oh no he's not a "homophobe" it's just that gays and lesbians suffer from "sex role dysfunction" and they don't have real relationships but "homosexual liaisons and friendships." He really gets dramatic when he writes that a government that allows same-sex couples to marry would be his "mortal enemy" and that he would "act to destroy that government and bring it down."

Whoa there! See, for us mere Earth-bound mortals, those sorts of sentiments are pretty indicative of bigotry, Mr. Card. Perhaps this is a fitting time to remind everyone that being a bigot generally means regarding or treating members of a group with intolerance or hatred. If one considers a government that tolerates gay people to be his "mortal enemy," that is pretty much akin to treating gay people with intolerance. And, possibly, hatred.

Yet, in nearly every anti-gay article I've read by Mr. Card in which he has denounced gay people, he has taken issue with the "bigot," "homophobe," and "intolerant" label. I'll tell you what, though. If those labels don't fit Mr. Card, then those labels have utterly lost all meaning.

I mean, to give you some more of Mr. Card's definitely-not-bigoted speech, he also wrote:

"Laws against homosexual behavior 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.....Those who are not willing or able to obey the rules should honestly admit the fact and withdraw from membership."

Excuse me? As Mr. Card believes that gays and lesbians deserve to be imprisoned and are not acceptable or equal citizens in our nation, his thoughts just might meet the very definition of bigotry and intolerance. As Mr. Card "respectfully" requests gays and lesbians to either change their "sexual behavior" or withdraw their membership from society, that request meets the very definition of intolerance: I don't agree with you who you are, so leave. I won't tolerate living in the same society as you.

I always find it indicative of dissonance when bigots such as Mr. Card voice more objection to being called a bigot than they do with the fact that they consistently and vocally vilify an entire group of people. So yeah, bigots, we all get it: It's worse to be called a bigot than it is to actually be one.

To end, this science fiction writer promises that:

"In another column I will talk seriously and candidly about the state of scientific research on the causes of homosexuality, and the reasons why homosexuality persists even though it does not provide a reproductive advantage."

Oh joy. Card is a man with no particular expertise in science, law, policy, or research methodology. Yet he seems to be, perhaps because he is a famous science fiction writer, under the mistaken assumption that he is qualified to analyze "the state of scientific research." Nothing in his articles indicates that he is even remotely qualified to do so. For, upon reading them one quickly discover that his opinion pieces are little more than appeal to his Mormon religious beliefs and a smattering of traditional values "common sense" ideas like how marriage is only between a man and a woman because only a man and a woman can get married. Neat. O.

In other words, like so many other anti-gays, what passes for "expertise" among the anti-gay crowd is really nothing more than good 'ol traditional values intuition. That may be convincing to some people, but it sure as shit isn't convincing to most.

So no, I won't be reviewing any of Card's books. Although, perhaps re-reading his books through the lens that this new info would give me a whole different perspective. The name of the alien race in Ender's Game that must be wiped out? "Buggers."

I certainly hope this sci-fi writer never decides to create his own religion. Although, considering how some people have morphed already-existing religions into hateful vehicles of bigotry, "truth" can sometimes be scarier than fiction.

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