An Open Letter to Orson Scott Card

Enders-Game-2013-Movie-Poster-600x937A good friend and long-time Orson Scott Card fan penned an open letter regarding Mr. Card’s stance on marriage equality and freedom of speech.  Reposted with his permission and without further ado, here’s the letter in its entirety.

Dear Orson Scott Card,

Your writing has made me the person I am today. In a time when I was troubled and confused and trying desperately to find my way in life, your books helped me to form an identity. …Through your characters I learned about the value of creativity, independence, and the importance of always questioning what I was taught.

As a young adolescent, some of my most traumatic experiences came from being sent away to summer camp, where I was alone and often friendless, at the mercy of cruel boys and neglectful counselors. One summer, on the first day, I decided to abandon my own identity and introduce myself as Ender. That name was like a shield for me – no matter what abuse and ridicule I suffered that summer, I drew strength from the knowledge that Ender would be able to survive whatever the ignorance of other people heaped upon him. Although I haven’t read any of your works since I was a teenager, even as an adult, I still think of them as very personal and close to my heart.

I haven’t read any of your works since I was a teenager, because I cannot as an adult continue to support you.

You have chosen to take a public stand, working actively to oppress others. Many of the people you’ve taken a stand against are people I care about. How can I possibly look those people in the eye while I give money to support a man who would deprive them of their liberties, who would see them silenced and shamed by our government, who openly advocates violent opposition to any administration that acknowledges my friends as my equals. How could the married same-sex couples I know still consider me a friend, knowing that I support, through you, an organization that has fought tirelessly to keep them from having the same rights I enjoy?

So I’ll be skipping Ender’s Game (, though I wish I didn’t have to.

However, Mr. Card, I want you to understand that I don’t hate you, and this isn’t a matter of intolerance. I tolerate you. I do not hate you. I do not, in fact think you are vile or ignorant, but I do think you are dead wrong. I will never take any action that deprives you of your basic rights, and I will never support any movement that attempts to do so. I will never silence you, and I would stand against any move made to deprive you of your free speech. But I will never knowingly support you. You have used your free speech in the manner you felt best, and I am doing no less.

You have implied that you believe that this boycott of your works is about being on the opposite side of a political debate. You are of course wrong – this has nothing to do with politics for the people who are actually affected by it. You also seem to think that the gay marriage debate is now “moot.” Which is, I suppose, about as true as saying that the abortion debate has been settled since the supreme court established a woman’s right to choose in 1973. However, if you really believe this – if you honestly believe that the question of gay rights has been settled, and that you have lost the public debate, then I make you an offer.

Use the public platform and national attention you enjoy for the short time that you still have it to declare your defeat. Announce to America that you accept that, regardless of what was said before, same-sex marriage is on its way to being accepted as normal, that there is no longer any point in trying to fight it. Tell the other board members of the National Organization for Marriage that it is time to pack up and go home. Tell the other members of your church that it’s time to start putting their money towards other worthy causes, since the tide of history has turned against them on this issue. Tell America that regardless of your personal beliefs on this issue, not one more penny of your own money or one minute of your time will be spent on fighting against the equal rights of gay citizens, because it can do nothing at this point but drag out the inevitable and cause unnecessary pain and anguish to millions of families who have done nothing to deserve it.

You make that statement. Admit no wrong, make no apology, just swear that it is your belief that this battle is over and you will never again act to persecute or oppress the people I care about.

And then I’ll buy my ticket to see your movie.

With love,
A man who was once proud to be known as Ender


Update: it turns out Orson Scott Card is even crazier than I thought.  Click here for the details.

Categories: Random Rant

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