Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Orson Scott Card Being Persecuted

March 07th, 2013 by G.

The Tolerance Inquisition has won a significant victory against Card.

Comments (28)
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March 07th, 2013 09:42:10
28 comments

Ask a Liberal Mormon
March 7, 2013

I am very briefly, mildly almost-imperceptibly-but-not-quite bothered.


Anne Frank
March 7, 2013

You call that persecution?


Zen
March 7, 2013

“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”

Have you not noticed the level of venom and spite that he gets every time his name comes up? It might have been easier on the persecutor’s souls if his book Ender’s Game wasn’t such a classic of Sci-fi, and an upcoming movie. The post at Slashdot was quite mild in comparison to many of the denunciations I have heard of him. The current generation can not conceive of how anyone could possibly disagree without being the worst kind of degenerate. This is going to get ugly, real fast. And it honestly terrifies me.


Vader
March 7, 2013

Being denied work opportunities due to third-party pressure from folks who disagree with your political, social, or religious views falls comfortably within the definition of persecution.

It is not, of course, genocide.

It is frightening to encounter people who think persecution is nothing to worry about so long as it does not rise to the level of genocide.


Zen
March 7, 2013

True, but I really should have noticed the name of the person I responding to.

Still, I have seen that attitude on more than one occasion.


Bookslinger
March 7, 2013

I side mostly with Card in regard to his opinions on the subject of SSM. His rhetoric did go a little over the top, and I think he should have measured his speech a bit more.

However, in the Marvel comic affair Card was not denied work or income. He gets, or got, paid whether or not it was published. His contract with Marvel still stands even if Marvel doesn’t publish it.

Card has not even been censored (yet), as censorship is when someone, generally a government, says _you_ can’t publish something. Marvel may be in breach of contract, depending on the terms of their contract with Card, but we don’t know what those terms are, or what the remedies stipulated in the contract would be.

So far, Card has been _reviled_, like the prophets, but he has yet to be persecuted.

Loss of employment/income, being forced to move, harassed in person, physical attacks… those things qualify as persecution. Revilings, either in print or via electrons, as long as they are not done in person or face to face, in my opinion, don’t rise to the level of persecution.

I agree that persecution doesn’t have to rise to the level of murder to be persecution. But Anne Frank was not genocided, she was murdered. Genocide describes an aggregation of individual murders.


Zen
March 7, 2013

Using Strongs Exhaustive Concordance, the pertinent part of the definition of the greek word for persecute is

1) to make to run or flee, put to flight, drive away
2) to run swiftly in order to catch a person or thing, to run after
a) to press on: figuratively of one who in a race runs swiftly to reach the goal
b) to pursue (in a hostile manner)
3) in any way whatever to harass, trouble, molest one
a) to persecute
b) to be mistreated, suffer persecution on account of something
http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/lexicon.cfm?Strongs=G1377&t=KJV

And while, he has not had to flee, and any business/money lost is more a problem for Marvel than Card, the rest of the definition fits with Card’s experience just fine. In the sci-fi sites I frequent, any time Card’s name comes up, the level of hatred and spite never ceases to amaze me. And there are always people who swear to never read another book by Card because they think he is some amazing bigot. So yes, this is persecution (at least by the definition of the ancient greek) and it is a matter of time before this starts getting more physical for the rest of us. But maybe I split too many hairs.

And sorry, Books, but Anne Frank died in a concentration camp, so she was definitely genocided.


Bookslinger
March 7, 2013

Zen, you wrest the words. Card has been the subject of disagreement, vituperation, excoriation, hatred, slander, and libel. But the mere verbal application of those things, from a remote, is not harassment. If someone were to yell in his face, then I’d concede that would be harassment. If he had such vituperations snail mailed or emailed to him, then I’d concede. But for people to revile him in forums where he has no control or ownership is the exercise of free speech.

If I were to call you a poopy-head on my own blog or wherever the blog owner allows me, that would be an exercise in freedom of speech. Only if I were to call you a poopy-head in snail mail, email, (somehow delivering it to your person on your territory or in your personal space, or to your face would it be harassment or persecution.

The reason this is important is because we must also claim the right to communicate unpleasant truths to our cultural and spiritual adversaries. We must maintain the right to call evil evil. Our beliefs, even though hated, and incorrectly taken as hatred by our opponents, must be heard.
If we disallow our opponents their freedom of speech, they will deny us ours.

I have been online since 1976. Online opinions and insults are not harassment, unless you want to get into actionable threats or libel. You have to be very thick skinned, and prove some kind of real harm beyond bruised feelings.

You wrest genocide too. Are you Jewish? If you were maybe you’d understand better that the holocaust was a series of millions of individual murders. Treating it soley as a collective denigrates the individuals.

I would venture that Joseph Smith admires Card’s hutzpah, but would also say that Card has gotten of lightly so far.


Adam G.
March 7, 2013

For a writer, not being allowed to publish their work is persecution.


Bookslinger
March 8, 2013

Counselor, you misrepresent the facts. No one is preventing or disallowing _Card_ from publishing anything. Marvel is the publisher in this case. Marvel is apparently saying “_We_ aren’t going to publish it.” If Card has already been paid for his work, then he has no say in the matter, unless otherwise stipulated in his contract with Marvel.

Card did not hire Marvel to publish his work. It was the other way around, Marvel hired (contracted with) Card to write the piece. Was a promise of publication made in the contract? We don’t know. Did the contract contain a promise of payment of royalties to Card based on sales, or was the remuneration a fixed sum regardless of the sales? We don’t know. If it was a fixed sum, has Card been paid that amount? We don’t know, but so far no reportage of the matter has mentioned any failure of Marvel to pay Card for his work.

No person or entity has an obligation to publish someone else’s work unless they have entered into a contract to do so. If Marvel violated a contractual obligation, let Card seek remedy in a court that has jurisdiction.

This isn’t persecution. This isn’t even censorship. At worst, it might be getting screwed out of promised royalties, but only if royalties were in the contract. If he has already been fully compensated according to his contract’s terms, then this is absolutely nothing.


twiceuponatime
March 8, 2013

Um – DC is the publisher, not Marvel. Marvel did once publish “Ultimate Iron Man” by Card, and if that series had any political/social meaning, it was anti-capitalist. There was a similar furor, but it was mostly ignored because and alternate universe Iron Man (before the movie made him bigger) isn’t as big a deal as the flagship character of DC comics.


Zen
March 8, 2013

Bookslinger – If we are going by the 21st century definition of persecution, then yes, you are correct. However, I was referring to how it was used in Matt 5:10-12. A verse similar in spirit would be

Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake. Luke 6:22

And yes, by those standards, it would be persecution. But I suspect this is just so much splitting hairs and we will shortly see things none of us would argue about.

Ok, I never could keep DC and Marvel straight. I love Superman and have since I was a child, but I never could really get into reading comics.


MC
March 8, 2013

It sounds to me from the reports that DC is still going to publish Card, but they have to find a new illustrator.

Bookslinger is looking at this too short-sightedly. Even if DC paid Card all his money to go away, what’s going to happen the next time Card is looking for work? Most likely, publishers will look at this incident and assume it isn’t worth the trouble. And young artists who support traditional values learn that they can speak freely or be employed, but not both.

If Card were Jewish, and were fired for expressing support for keeping Kosher, no one would wonder whether he was being persecuted.


Bookslinger
March 8, 2013

MC, good point, you beat me to it. It’s called the chilling effect. But it is another example of the double-edged sword of freedom of speech.

Do we want to maintain the right to call poornography vile and harmful? Do we want to maintain the right to describe Hefner, Flynt, et al, as dangerous to society? Do we want to maintain the right to tell hoteliers that we will not patronize their businesses (ie, boycott) if they offer xrated movies?

I agree with whoever it was that said that the proper response to those who abuse their freedom of speech or abuse with their freedom to speak, is to counter with more speech.

Zen, and I’ll counter with Strong’s too.. Revile is a separate word, with a definition that seems to be limited to verbal only.

http://www.blueletterbible.org/lang/lexicon/Lexicon.cfm?strongs=G3679

I agree that things will escalate.


Adam G.
March 8, 2013

I have considered the arguments and I am ruling it to be a form of persecution.

It is not a form of legal censorship or an attack on the First Amendment, however, though I don’t know that anyone has claimed otherwise.


Bookslinger
March 9, 2013

I shall appeal to Mr. Card.


Adam G.
March 10, 2013

Please don’t, Books. Mr. Card is a homophobe, so we’re boycotting him as an appellate authority.


Bookslinger
March 11, 2013

Ummmmmm….


Zen
March 11, 2013

As a mean of settling this tea-time disagreement on what is persecution, I propose the BookSlinger Persecution Index, based off of Helaman 13:24

Yea, wo unto this people, because of this time which has arrived, that ye do cast out the prophets, and do mock them, and cast stones at them, and do slay them, and do all manner of iniquity unto them, even as they did of old time.

Based on this, I would say the persecution is a 2/5 but may be due to rise in the future.


Bookslinger
March 12, 2013

I have to admit that my reviling versus persecution distinction is a bit like the hair-splitting in Monty Python’s argument versus abuse sketch.

However, the point that the anal-retentive Asperger’s part of my twisted personality wishes to belabor, (and I had hoped that the lawyer in Adam would appreciate the distinction , but he apparently takes off his lawyer hat before getting on the blog, or is just plain doggedly snarky) is that there is a line between words and deeds. As in “sticks and stones may break your bones but words will never (physically) hurt you.”

I suffered reviling* from grade school age for my family origin and my various changing/evolving religious beliefs. The latter sometimes from various close family and relatives. But I was never physically beaten up, and to my knowledge I’ve never suffered financial or career set-back.

Card is a long-time online denizen. He has long been outspoken on moral issues. He has waged a good fight. He has virtually spit in Satan’s eye. I assume he understands the details and nuances of speech, freedom of speech, censorship (what it is and isn’t), and the lines between words versus deeds, opinions versus actions, virtual world of print and electrons versus real world posessions and property lines, public square versus private property.

So that is why I say that, based on the sketchy details of the DC comic affair that have been released so far, that the recent events of this subject haven’t quite crossed those lines. I do admit that these events are pushing right up against the lines. And if he fails to receive the agreed-upon consideration for the work he has done so far for DC, then I’ll concede.

But let us remember the golden rule, and the law of the harvest, because we are claiming the same rights and privileges as our opponents: to publicly declare our beliefs, to denounce what we consider wickedness and corruption, and to patronize or avoid patronizing who we will in the marketplace.

*(And I confess to sinning in that I have at times “reviled again”, even recently online in my pathetic attempts to defend the church and the gospel.)


Adam G.
March 12, 2013

“Plain doggedly snarky” is the encomium I’ve been waiting all my life for.


Bookslinger
March 12, 2013

The Ender’s Game movie is in the can and awaiting release on November 1, 2013. I wonder if the anti-Cardites will attempt a boycott.

My guess is that Card will be laughing all the way to the bank.


Zen
March 12, 2013

It is a cruel irony that Ender’s Game is a such a classic of SF, and that it is going to involve such luminaries at Harrison Ford. The more they complain about a boycott, the more they will talk about it, and the more they do, the better buzz it will get. It will be the Streisand Effect all over again.


DAVID ELLIS
March 27, 2013

“My guess is that Card will be laughing all the way to the bank.”

Oh, Card has and will do quite well financially, I’m sure. He will also become more widely known and reviled for his anti-gay statements (currently I doubt many people outside of SF fandom know who he is, much less what he’s said on homosexuality).


Vader
March 27, 2013

So, David, was your contribution intended to be persecution, reviling, or a mere chilling effect?


Ask a Liberal Mormon
March 28, 2013

Mr Vader: You seem to be in a pissy mood.

I shall write your name on a piece of paper and stomp on it.


Vader
March 28, 2013

Please to turn the paper upside down first. Peter had the right idea.

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