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Author Topic: Orson Scott Card Joins NOM Board
El JT de Spang
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I have no doubt OSC thinks he's fighting the good fight here against all those marriage-defiling homos.

I also don't think he's ever going to do anything else as shameful as this, and my only hope is that he one day realizes it and makes amends.

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Grinwell
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I agree with steven, OSC is either pretty damn brave or insane to add these kinds of complications to his life (internet essays, joining NOM board, etc.). Why would he do this?

The evidence behind his actions is all over his novels. The central question that preoccupies OSC is what leads to solid, functioning communities and what leads to their downfall? Communities are built from families, which are built from a man and a woman deciding that they will contribute to the community by reproducing and raising the next generation with moral values. Related to this theme is how do we protect our community from the forces that would destroy it?

Like Ender, Bean, Alvin Maker, etc. OSC is fighting for what he truly believes will ensure the survival and long-term happiness of his community. OSC believes, as all Christians do, that homosexual marriage will weaken traditional marriage, which will weaken families, which will weaken society. He is doing everything in his power to strengthen society. Yes, sometimes his words incite strong feelings on both sides, but that is his gift. That's why we love his characters as if they were part of our own family and hang around this site endlessly talking about him.

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swbarnes2
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quote:
Originally posted by Grinwell:
OSC believes, as all Christians do, that homosexual marriage will weaken traditional marriage, which will weaken families, which will weaken society.

Lots of people who call themselves Christian, who believe that Jesus was the son of God, who rose from the dead, whose death and resurrection redeemed humanity from its sins strongly support marriage equality, believe that gay couples and the children they raise are families, and that supporting them will only be benefical to society

Are you calling them liars?

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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Grinwell:
OSC believes, as all Christians do, that homosexual marriage will weaken traditional marriage, which will weaken families, which will weaken society.

Really, really, not so much. Some Christians are offended by the notion that gay marriage should be considered anything less than straight marriage. And I, personally, am offended at being lumped into such a vile statement. You really, really do not speak for me. Stop pretending that you do.

[ May 06, 2009, 01:20 PM: Message edited by: kmbboots ]

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Samprimary
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quote:
OSC believes, as all Christians do, that homosexual marriage will weaken traditional marriage, which will weaken families, which will weaken society.
There is so much here in this single sentence that individually deserves to be torn apart but it is most important to savage the first part because there's a huge contingent of christians who are being lumped into this belief despite the fact that they actually find this line of thought deluded and/or objectionable.

I mean, what are you supposed to tell them? That they just didn't get the memo? Oops, they had no idea what they actually believed?

quote:
Yes, sometimes his words incite strong feelings on both sides, but that is his gift.
I do not consider his choice to devolve into incendiary, extremist rhetoric to be the product of a 'gift,' considering by all rights it seems to have been a profound mistake. He has demonstrated the 'gift' to devolve into pseudo-scientific pandering as well, but that's only a 'gift' to agitate and disseminate a blatant misappropriation of the facts. It's little different here!
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Synesthesia
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quote:
Originally posted by Grinwell:


Like Ender, Bean, Alvin Maker, etc. OSC is fighting for what he truly believes will ensure the survival and long-term happiness of his community. OSC believes, as all Christians do, that homosexual marriage will weaken traditional marriage, which will weaken families, which will weaken society. He is doing everything in his power to strengthen society. Yes, sometimes his words incite strong feelings on both sides, but that is his gift. That's why we love his characters as if they were part of our own family and hang around this site endlessly talking about him.

Here's the thing. Do people who are against gay marriage for that reason ever look at the REAL things that destroy marriage and society? These things destroy it from the inside, abuse, infidelity, often the very conservative ideas these folks support can put a strain on marriages as well with gender stereotypes and generalizations that aren't helpful to real people.
You really do not see any of these anti-gay marriage people tackling issues like domestic abuse. Some may even support a subtle form of it, claiming that men are innately like that, dominate, which is rather insulting to men I think.
Families and marriage has been changing for thousands of years. Of all the things that weaken so-called traditional marriage, gay marriage isn't one of those things! None of these folks can give solid logical evidence stating just how gay marriage will destroy heterosexual marriages and families that isn't something dippy like sex roles when sex rules have also changed and expanded for people, which is a good thing if you ask me.

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Grinwell
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You're right, there is a difference of opinion about what marriage means, even among Christians. Sorry for lumping all Christians into the same batch. I posted too quickly and really didn't mean to offend anyone. Sorry, I'm new. However, it is true that MANY Christians believe in marriage as being defined by God as between a man and a woman.

If you'll notice, I didn't side with anyone in this thread. I was simply attempting to explain why OSC and NOM seek to protect traditional marriage. I'm certainly not the one to tell you what to think.

Yes, Synesthesia, of course there are many forces which influence marriage and by extension society. Gay marriage is certainly not the only thing that people are concerned about. But it is the hot topic right now.

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Orincoro
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Well Syn, I think the characterization of men as "dominant" is useless in that it is a loaded statement with really far too much meaning to be of use to anyone. Men clearly function a little differently from women, and that difference is appreciable to any person who has men or women in the family, which is most of us.

I was talking to one of my private students today about this difference- we ended up using the example of cooking. She pointed out that her husband was a good cook, and I remembered that my father was a good cook, but that when these two guys cooked, it consumed all their concentration. Was this because "women are better at multi-tasking?" I hardly think so. Men gain a greater sense of satisfaction from achieving goals and presenting them as accomplishments- thus my father tends the barbecue, and my mother doesn't mind making the salad and the pasta, and talking while she does it. If my father talks while he's at the barbecue, he is clearly in charge, usually talking about a meat-related issue with great interest. Does he do this because he is "more dominant?" No, he does it because it is important to his sense of accomplishment that others be aware of his ability to cook the meat well. Why would my mother never do this? Because she gains satisfaction from the act of providing food and conversation to others- the outcome is pretty much the same.

Are the two sets of values that different? They interlock so perfectly, and with such give and take and symmetry, to recognize them and like that they exist seems natural to me. Why we ever arrived at the notion that one way of thinking about your role was better is a mystery to me- I am heartened by the fact that men gain a unique satisfaction, and women gain a unique satisfaction, from essentially the same activities. That shows that we can love each other and still manage to live our own lives according to our own needs, while still providing and caring about each other.

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Puppy
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At least he didn't join the NMA board. THOSE guys are CRAZY.
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Synesthesia
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Folks never seem to look at the differences between individuals instead of lumping them by gender. It kind of bugs me, because I just don't fit neatly into those sort of stereotypes and don't really want to. I just want to be myself.

hehehehe. No mutants

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C3PO the Dragon Slayer
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quote:
You really do not see any of these anti-gay marriage people tackling issues like domestic abuse.
Speak for yourself.
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Puppy
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quote:
You really do not see any of these anti-gay marriage people tackling issues like domestic abuse.
What's with accusations like this? Seriously — do you follow your opponents after a debate to see everything else they do?

I think most people agree about domestic abuse — it's bad. Thus, no big, obvious public debate about it. I doubt your opponents have clear memories of seeing you tackling the issue either. Does that mean you don't care?

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Synesthesia
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I just dont' see any of these pro-marriage mainstream groups focusing on domestic violence as much as they focus on gay marriage.

But they might be, I try to avoid their sites these days.
But just a quick glace at Focus on the Family http://www.focusonthefamily.com/socialissues/marriage_and_family.aspx and their site about marriage and family. There's no mention of domestic violence, just marriage is good for society and that's why we are against gay marriage.
There's not even much of a mention of it in their FAQ page except to say that it's more likely in couples that live together without being married. Domestic violence isn't as much of a hot button issue as gay marriage. Gay marriage is what gets folks in flamed and ready to fight, but domestic violence isn't a simple issue and can happen in just about any couple gay or straight, even in conservative or liberal circles.

i do not like going on that website.

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kmbboots
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A quick* check of the NOM site brought up nothing on domestic abuse and only this about divorce:

"Isn’t divorce the real threat to marriage?

A: “High rates of divorce are one more reason we should be strengthening marriage, not conducting radical social experiments on it.”

It was in the section about how to respond to the very question you are asking, Syn. Nothing else.

*Quick because it felt shameful even reading that evil.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Grinwell:
However, it is true that MANY Christians believe in marriage as being defined by God as between a man and a woman.

The easy thing to do here is to note that a secular nation cannot use a religious test to determine what the definition of marriage is. The difficult part is to note that nobody should be trying anyway, even if they like the idea of reserving marriage for only those who they think desire a God Approved™ marriage.

quote:
"If you put public policy issues to a religious test, you risk becoming a religious party," Schmidt declared. "And in a free country, a political party cannot be viable in the long term if it is seen as a sectarian party."
Now, beyond this, the major problem with the "secular" arguments that people like NOM are bringing to the table is that they are 'secular dressing,' a front of justifications used to cover the real motivations. They are faulty ideas developed using preconclusive bias and strongly selective input, with the expected results. In that sense, most all of them (Including OSC's essays) are as "secular" — and, ultimately, as logically valid — as Intelligent Design could be considered.
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Grinwell
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Those who vote to protect traditional marriage and support organizations like NOM don't have a "front of justifications used to cover the real motivations". Their motivations are clear: marriage is already defined. I believe they try to present marriage and family research as a way to find common ground, not "dress up" their beliefs. If you care to know their personal beliefs, they will be happy to tell you.

Unfortunately, there is not a lot of studies being done with homosexual families, so there is not much to rely on. If the idea that gay marriage will weaken traditional marriage seems biased and "faulty", so does the idea that gay marriage will not affect traditional marriage. Neither side will fully convince the other, so every state will have to settle this issue by the voice of the people. The people will vote their conscience and then the judges will decide what they actually meant.

I applaud OSC for getting involved in something that means so much to him. Just keep those books coming!

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Synesthesia
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It's just when folks like Focus on the Family focus on other issues affecting family they act like violence, alcoholism and drug abuse are things that started in this day and age. They ignore the fact that it's existed for centuries and can happen within some (NOT ALL!) families.
Plus I resent them for claiming that men need to get married to tame them. I don't want to tame a man. I want a mature partner to help me raise future kids.

Quotes like this from that irritating page-

quote:
it is the unmarried male who is the most "out-of-pocket" socially. He is far more likely than unmarried females to be an alcoholic, a drug user, a convicted criminal, or a general ne'er-do-well. Landlords don't want to rent an apartment to him, insurance companies don't like to underwrite him, and loan companies are reluctant to loan him money. He drives too fast, he is more hot-tempered, and he tends to be impulsive.
Are kind of insulting to men and it's not exactly healthy for a woman to be put in that you must tame this guy role along with raising the kids.

I need to get off of this page. It's making me annoyed and that means a stomach ache.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
And, as Syne notes, marries them off to women, enforces celibacy on others, and basically does whatever necessary to ensure that they never actually engage in homosexual sex.
Tom, I'm curious: do you think this means Card condones or suggests that treatment of homosexuals?

Because I'm thinking back, and I can remember two homosexual characters specifically, the ones you're talking about. In Songbird, the enforced celibacy is presented - in my view - as a terribly evil thing to do, on both ends. To Ansett, the Songhouse-created celibacy is awful. To...the other guy, the husband of the girl from Songhouse who shared a brief homosexual encounter with Ansett, the mutilation is not only presented as an incredibly evil thing, but Ansett takes some very serious vengeance for it.

The other homosexual character is another whose name I don't remember, from one of the Homecoming books. The first one, I believe. In that story, in that society, the homosexual man marrying the woman was at least as much necessity as it was anything else.

---

Orincoro, for someone complaining about kacard being passive aggressive, your complaint was itself remarkably passive-aggressive:)

And, of course, I can't imagine why she might be driven to passive-aggressiveness in this thread. The mind boggles.

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Puppy
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quote:
Orincoro, for someone complaining about kacard being passive aggressive, your complaint was itself remarkably passive-aggressive:)

And, of course, I can't imagine why she might be driven to passive-aggressiveness in this thread. The mind boggles.

Seriously. I wonder if OSC's counterparts on the opposite end of the political spectrum have much appreciation for what his opinions have cost him. From what I can tell, most of them manage to have websites devoted to their fans, which are NOT filled with people railing angrily against them every single day for their political views, but rather, are filled almost exclusively with celebration and support.

I understand that OSC is more outspoken than most. But still ... the fact that he keeps this forum going in the face of all the hate he gets day in and day out is a testament, I think, to his belief in free speech and civilized discourse, and his respect for your opinions, even when, at times, some of you show very little respect for his.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
I understand that OSC is more outspoken than most. But still ... the fact that he keeps this forum going in the face of all the hate he gets day in and day out is a testament, I think, to his belief in free speech and civilized discourse, and his respect for your opinions, even when, at times, some of you show very little respect for his.
It's strange. Even if for the sake of argument I accepted that OSC's politics were as thoroughly vile and beyond most redemption as many appear to...his wife gets her chops busted because she's supposedly 'passive-aggressive' in response to a thread talking about how vile and irredeemable her husband is?

Even if you accept that she was being passive-aggressive, which is far from a given, c'mon.

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Synesthesia
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I don't hate him. I just really wish he was not so harsh against gays. But I don't hate him for that. It just frustrates me deeply.
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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Grinwell:
Their motivations are clear: marriage is already defined.

That's their attempt at a secular justification. It is not their motivation.

quote:
the fact that he keeps this forum going in the face of all the hate he gets day in and day out
I see an extraordinarily small amount of hate for him here and a large but completely expectable amount of frustration and vehement disagreement.

I see a whole community of people here who have disagreed with him in rational ways and made fair points against his arguments, and they invariably seem to end up lumped with the vilest assaults on his person. Then, the arguments of those who have been patient and even kind are pretty much ignored in favor of pointing to the hateful arguments as though they constitute his only substantial opposition.

If he was to personally interpret what was going on in this thread, for instance, as 'hate day in and day out' then, well, that's just being unable to tell disagreement from hate, with a tendency to compulsively label the former as the latter.

[ May 07, 2009, 06:19 AM: Message edited by: Samprimary ]

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TomDavidson
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quote:
Tom, I'm curious: do you think this means Card condones or suggests that treatment of homosexuals?
No. I think, though, that he thinks of homosexuality as something unnatural enough that it should only be used as a plot point and never as a perfectly ordinary background behavior. (That he criticized another writer for treating homosexuality in precisely this way suggests that he disapproves of the approach.)

----------

quote:
the fact that he keeps this forum going in the face of all the hate he gets day in and day out is a testament, I think, to his belief in free speech and civilized discourse, and his respect for your opinions
I actually admire your dad a great deal for sticking to his guns and keeping this forum open, although I'm not sure how much actual "hate" he gets. He clearly places a very high value on, as you said, free speech and civilized discourse. I would not willingly extend that to assume respect for my opinions, however. I'm not going to get into individual details on this one, but I think your dad has demonstrated a tendency to cherry-pick his experiences on this forum (and perhaps elsewhere on the Internet) and only winds up remembering the ones he can marginalize.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
I see an extraordinarily small amount of hate for him here and a large but completely expectable amount of frustration and vehement disagreement.
A reasonable person could construe some of what has gone on in this very thread as hate, Samprimary.
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Scott R
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quote:
although I'm not sure how much actual "hate" he gets.
He can no longer hold signings in the Pacific Northwest.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
He can no longer hold signings in the Pacific Northwest.
Really? What prompted that decision? Protests?
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Scott R
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From what I understand, yes.
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TomDavidson
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Are we assuming that protest = hate?
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Scott R
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Not generally, no.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
Are we assuming that protest = hate?
Protest to the point where one fears for their safety?

I think it'd be ridiculous not to assume there was at least some hate in there, Tom. Though I don't know if fear for physical well-being was what motivated the decision not to do signings in the Pac NW.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
I think it'd be ridiculous not to assume there was at least some hate in there, Tom.
Sure. But there are some people who hate me. I think it's ridiculous to assume that you can make it through your life without being hated. Saying that protests in the PacNW or threads here are "hate-filled," though, based on weird little outliers of hate, is ridiculous; it'd be like my saying that Galactic Cactus is "hate-filled," when clearly the opposite is true.

There are things OSC can do -- without changing his positions one whit -- that would reduce the anger against him. Dismissing his opposition as a bunch of ranting, hate-filled idiots is not one of them, and he will actually make it harder for himself to operate normally as an author the more he does it.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Sure. But there are some people who hate me. I think it's ridiculous to assume that you can make it through your life without being hated. Saying that protests in the PacNW or threads here are "hate-filled," though, based on weird little outliers of hate, is ridiculous; it'd be like my saying that Galactic Cactus is "hate-filled," when clearly the opposite is true.
How many people you've never met hate you sufficiently to spend their own free time organizing protests that make you fear for your physical well being, Tom?

I suspect the answer is somewhere between zip and zilch.

Also, I do wonder who exactly is saying Hatrack, or those protests, are 'hate-filled'. I'm certainly not saying that. I'm saying there's hate there. Your blithe dismissal of the obvious is as silly as suggesting that HR is hate-filled.

quote:
Dismissing his opposition as a bunch of ranting, hate-filled idiots is not one of them, and he will actually make it harder for himself to operate normally as an author the more he does it.
Granted. I can only imagine, though, that if I were in his shoes I'd get irritated at rejoinders, "There's not any real hate around here."
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Puppy:

Seriously. I wonder if OSC's counterparts on the opposite end of the political spectrum have much appreciation for what his opinions have cost him. From what I can tell, most of them manage to have websites devoted to their fans, which are NOT filled with people railing angrily against them every single day for their political views, but rather, are filled almost exclusively with celebration and support.


Puppy, I am reasonably sure that if Mr. Card wanted this website to be just about celebration and support for him and he made it clear that the website was only for that purpose, almost everyone would comply with those wishes.

I certainly would.

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Rakeesh
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quote:
Puppy, I am reasonably sure that if Mr. Card wanted this website to be just about celebration and support for him and he made it clear that the website was only for that purpose, almost everyone would comply with those wishes.

I certainly would.

That's not the point.

If someone believes in free speech and community to the point that they're willing to actually pay for speech that, more often than not when it involves them and politics is adversarial at best and deeply, personally insulting at worst, they ought to get at least a little more respect than, "That's what you signed up for, dude."

At least I think so.

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TomDavidson
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quote:
How many people you've never met hate you sufficiently to spend their own free time organizing protests that make you fear for your physical well being, Tom?
The same number of people whose relationships I've belittled in national syndication using terms carefully calculated to offend.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
The same number of people whose relationships I've belittled in national syndication using terms carefully calculated to offend.
I dare you to be more relevant and less contradictory to the points you were making earlier.

On the one hand, you say it's impossible not to be hated by someone somewhere. Fair enough-though that has nothing to do with this.

On the other hand, you also said, "There's not really much hate at all." Which is it, exactly?

And of course there's the problem of responding to hate to the point of danger with, "He's got it coming."

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TomDavidson
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quote:
On the other hand, you also said, "There's not really much hate at all." Which is it, exactly?
Both. There's not really much hate. Certainly more hate is perceived than exists. There is, however, surely some hate, and OSC is acting in ways that will manifestly produce more hate.

Where are you getting the whole "danger" thing, by the way? For my part, I would stop doing signings in an area where I was heavily protested long before I feared for my physical person; the instant the signings stopped being financially worth the emotional drain, I'd be out of there.

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Scott R
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quote:
There's not really much hate. Certainly more hate is perceived than exists.
How do you know?
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Synesthesia
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He's come up with some beautiful lines in books, however, if he's stating things I find rude and wrong in a rude way, I'm not going to be silent about it because that stereotyping of gays is just wrong and highly annoying. I don't really like any group being stereotyped, including Mormons and the like. I don't think that the way he presents his point of view does much good to gays or anyone. I won't drop kick the guy, but I will politely point out that I don't agree with him at all. But when he pushes his point of view like that, I've got to admit it makes me pretty angry and frustrated, and I don't think I'm the only one who feels like that.
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King of Men
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quote:
I don't really like any group being stereotyped.
Eh, that's just what I would expect from you flaky anti-stereotypers.
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kmbboots
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quote:
Originally posted by Rakeesh:
quote:
Puppy, I am reasonably sure that if Mr. Card wanted this website to be just about celebration and support for him and he made it clear that the website was only for that purpose, almost everyone would comply with those wishes.

I certainly would.

That's not the point.

If someone believes in free speech and community to the point that they're willing to actually pay for speech that, more often than not when it involves them and politics is adversarial at best and deeply, personally insulting at worst, they ought to get at least a little more respect than, "That's what you signed up for, dude."

At least I think so.

Not a particularly fair or accurate reading of what I wrote, Rakeesh. Try reading what I actually wrote.
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Grinwell
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Anton is a favorite character in the Shadow series. Even though heterosexual marriage is not his preference, he gives Bean life-changing advice. A few snippets:

"Here is the meaning of life: for a man to find a woman, for a woman to find a man, the creature most unlike you, and then to make babies...so that when you die you know you are permanently a part of the great web of life. That you are not a loose thread, snipped off."

"It's hardwired into all of us. Not just sexual desire--that can be twisted any which way, and it often is. And not just a desire to have children...No, it's a deep hunger to find a person from that strange, terrifyingly other sex and make a life together. Even old people beyond marrying, even people who know they can't have children, there's still a hunger for this. For actual marriage, two unlike creatures becoming as best they can, one."

"The thing that makes us neither herd animals nor solitaries, but something in between. The thing that makes us civilized or civilizable."

This rings very true to me. Thanks Mr. Card.

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scifibum
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I guess the question is whether it rings true to anyone who identifies as gay. Whether they have a non-sexual urge to find an opposite sex partner to have children with. Anton asserts they do. I kind of doubt it. I'm het and I don't think I even had that urge prior to actually having kids I was responsible for.
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Synesthesia
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It doesn't ring true to me. I'm sorry, but I do not view men as a strange terrifyingly other sex but rather interesting and appealing. I totally don't buy that at all.
Plus a person can't be gay and still be apart of that web? It's not as if people in gay relationships get along with each other perfectly because they are the same sex. They have their share of difficulties, they have some difficulties straight couples may not have just because they are gay.
No, I am not exactly sure if that is a healthy point of view when it comes to marriage but this could also be due to my oddness and the fact that I talk to cocoons and chrysalises and if gender was a party where the men were watching football and the women were in the kitchen talking about shoes, I'd be hiding upstairs reading.

Plus it's not totally healthy to be a gay guy and force yourself to marry a heterosexual woman. I think I'd be very cross with a guy for marrying me when he really wants to man, that's kind of wrong.

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kmbboots
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It doesn't ring true; it rings insulting. I am not a "loose thread". Bleh.
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Rakeesh
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quote:
Not a particularly fair or accurate reading of what I wrote, Rakeesh. Try reading what I actually wrote.
I wasn't responding to you-not exactly. Your post made me think of what others have to say on the subject, that's all. No need to seek offense where it isn't given.
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kmbboots
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Okay. I was misled by the fact that you quoted me in your response.
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TomDavidson
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quote:
No, it's a deep hunger to find a person from that strange, terrifyingly other sex and make a life together.
I think it is very true that we, as social creatures, have a deep-seated hunger to make a life among other people. I don't think a hunger to pop out babies is universal, however.
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swbarnes2
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
I guess the question is whether it rings true to anyone who identifies as gay.

I don't think a definition of family and marriage that completely ignores the importance of love rings true for most straight people either.

It seems to be all biological imperatives and urges for OSC. Marry because you hunger for that kind of relationship, not because you love that individual. Have children because you need to stay in the evolution game, not because you want to increase the number of deeply loving bonds in your family.

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Synesthesia
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quote:
Originally posted by swbarnes2:
quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
I guess the question is whether it rings true to anyone who identifies as gay.

I don't think a definition of family and marriage that completely ignores the importance of love rings true for most straight people either.

It seems to be all biological imperatives and urges for OSC. Marry because you hunger for that kind of relationship, not because you love that individual. Have children because you need to stay in the evolution game, not because you want to increase the number of deeply loving bonds in your family.

That has bugged me for years, because that won't always create a healthy family. It's way more important to have for kids to grow up in a healthy family even if it's not a man and a woman but a variation. It makes me think that OSC and other folks who share his view think that a so-called traditional family that is dysfunctional is better than a family that is nontraditional yet healthier which has gotten under my skin like some itchy leech for years.
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