The novel’s author feels that doing so is to indulge in bigotry against him, and has publicly pleaded for tolerance.
Long ago, and on the recommendation of a friend, I bought a used copy of it for my son–another avid reader who devoured books at such a fast clip that trips tot he library were a biweekly affair (once with me, once with his father). He liked it enough that I got him a couple of the sequels, then he moved on and I pretty much forgot about the novel.
Until a few years ago, when I started seeing comments about the author’s homophobia and general bigotry. After following links to articles written entirely by OSC himself–please keep in mind, I’m not talking about bits of text quoted out of context, but the man’s own words–I decided I’ll never read any of his books.
Yes, I may be missing out on great writing–or even just good writing–but I have the right to choose how I spend my time and how I spend my money, and the right to whichever criteria I want to use to make those choices.
I don’t see how exercising my right to free association–which includes the freedom NOT to associate, in any way, shape or form, with those whose views and beliefs I find abhorrent–means that I’m intolerant.
I am not advocating for people who share OSC’s beliefs to be deprived of their rights to believe what they will, or to express their views, or to marry who they wish*. I am not advocating for them to be viewed and treated as subhuman, nor am I lobbying for legislation to make it illegal for them to find personal happiness and live lives free of harassment. (Interestingly, OSC and many who share his beliefs, do advocate for all of the above.)
So let’s be clear:
Choosing not to associate with people I find abhorrent, and expressing such views publicly while not campaigning for laws that will deprive them of their civil rights, is tolerance.
Actively working towards making it legal to deprive whole segments of humanity of their freedoms based on the color of their skin, their religious beliefs, their national origin or their place in the gender/sex continuum is bigotry.
Orson Scott Card, the National Organization for Marriage, the Tea Party, WBC and others are bigots. I tolerate their right to believe what they will and to spew what they do spew, while exercising my right not to associate with them, my right to believe what I choose and my right to express those views.
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* So long as both parties are legally able to consent, that is.
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ETA: oh, and this awesome post by Chuck Wendig (tip of the hat to Estara Swamberg, over at Dear Author’s comment thread)