I am kind of sad I won’t be seeing “Ender’s Game.” I’ve heard it’s a very cool story, that I would really enjoy it – if I knew less about Orson Scott Card. As most folk are aware, Card is involved in anti-gay politics; he has made no secret of his opinion and his efforts to influence others in these matters. I’ve heard that Orson Scott Card sold the rights for a lump sum, so he doesn’t REALLY get a direct portion of my movie ticket (though it’s arguable that the future sales of other rights could be increased when this movie does well.) It’s also arguable that I should try to enjoy his work on its own merit, rather than judge it based on the nature of its creator. After all, aren’t we all about tolerance these days?
Here’s the thing about “tolerating” anti-gay beliefs. It’s pretty much the same as tolerating racism, sexism, ageism, etc. I might agree to disagree with those people, I might be compassionate and try to see them as whole, flawed people like the rest of us, but I will still be standing on the opposite side of the issue when it comes up. And it will come up. When it does, it’s not one side with legitimate beliefs against an equal side with legitimate beliefs, like a Methodists vs Baptists showdown, “West Side Story” style. It’s one large group with power against a small group without power. And on the side of the powerless are people like me, who don’t have to live with the consequences of the discrimination in question, but still recognize it as wrong. When we get involved, and the discriminatory group finds themselves in the minority, then, oh THEN they start crying victim, claiming THEY are the ones being targeted and persecuted. Because clearly, their right to treat someone else like crap is being reined in.
A person can believe homosexuality is wrong if they want to. That’s their decision. But as soon as they start getting involved in politics promoting anti-gay legislation, they make their private beliefs a public matter. They make it my business. And it is MY choice whether to engage people who hold those kinds of beliefs. The character of the individual comes through their work, their art. I have seen a part of Card’s character that is repulsive, condemning, and ugly. “Ender’s Game” may be a fine story, but I cannot engage art made by a mind like that. If I watched the movie, or read the book, I couldn’t enjoy it. I would only be filled with a melancholy sadness that the man behind this great work would meet me with hatred in his heart.