Implied Dissent

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Card Short

Orson Scott Card, writing in the Moron Times, I mean the Mormon Times, lays out an argument against gay marriage. I actually agree with it. Certainly not the conclusion nor all of the sub-arguments, but there are smart things in there. Unfortunately, he has no recognition of the actually implications of what he does get right, but hopefully I can help a little.

He says that “marriage is older than government”. Absolutely right. And because of this, like he says, government can’t redefine what marriage is. One man and one woman is just such a redefinition. Contrary to what he claims, marriage does not universally mean “the permanent or semipermanent bond between a man and a woman, establishing responsibilities between the couple and any children that ensue”. How do I know that? Because some people disagree. Hence, there is no universal definition.

He argues that we must destroy governments that act in insane and destructive ways. And that “authority extends only as far as people choose to obey”. Again, absolutely correct. If Card wants to leave the authority of the US government, I fully support his right to do so. I don’t support his right to impose a government on me that won’t let my gay friends marry each other if they so choose.

A point he never explicitly makes, but that is clear throughout, is that he doesn’t think that gay people can love each other. They can be friends and affectionate and attracted to each other, but not in love. In a word, bullshit. He clearly has had very little in the way of interaction with gay people, and filters what he has had through his Moron faith. Sorry again, his Mormon faith. OSC, stop believing in transparent fairy tales, and start living in the real world.

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  • I agree - there's some good stuff in there - but it's totally overbalanced by narrow-minded thinking. I could spend days picking apart each paragraph, but it's something of a waste of time. You can never convince someone who contradicts themselves and believes that they have just won their point with that contradiction.

    I find this quote particularly self-contradictory:

    "Biological imperatives trump laws. "

    Card admits that homosexuality is a biological state, yet doesn't think that this biological reality "counts" the same way that the need to reproduce inside a legally sanctioned narrowly defined bubble does. He conveniently supports the marriage of heterosexuals who are unable to bear children (and even who choose not to adopt under those circumstances) because those marriages apparently support other heterosexual marriages. I'm not clear on how that works... I'm also not clear on who some societies killing women accused of adultery is an argument in favor of straight marriage only.

    I do agree that the term "homophobe" is misleading. I've never felt comfortable using the concept of a phobia to describe those members of our society who hate, refuse to acknowledge, attack and discriminate against homosexuals. Phobias are serious mental health issues, as Card points out, and although I do believe that hate and fear are closely related, I don't like to mix the sympathy I have for people with genuine phobias with the disgust and confusion I feel about those who hate gays.

    By Blogger P-Money, at Jul 31, 2008, 9:07:00 AM  

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