Orson Scott Card is one of my roll models as an author, but not necessarily as anything beyond that. Specifically, I do not agree with his position against gay marriage, nor do I condone his vehement and sometimes hateful attempts to stop it. Now there’s a movie coming out based on his greatest book, Ender’s Game (I wrote a post on that yesterday), and there’s an effort to boycott the movie because of Card’s controversial political views.
Card’s views can be extreme, even to those who favor traditional marriage. According to the website skipendersgame.com, Card once said that people in the LGBT community “[…] cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens within [a] society.” As a bookworm, especially a bookworm of Science Fiction books, this puts me in a difficult position. I love Ender’s Game, but I have far too many gay friends for me to be neutral, and even if that weren’t the case… really, you don’t think they should be citizens?
But Ender’s Game isn’t about this at all. It has nothing to do with marriage equality. In fact, it’s a book about learning to understand another person’s point of view, no matter how “alien” that person may seem to you. It’s about looking at someone you think of as an enemy and finding only a reflection of yourself. In other words, it’s about tolerance.
It’s strange to get this message of tolerance from a man who, by all appearances, is not very tolerant himself. So where should we draw the line between an author and the stories he writes? How much do the political views of writers, actors, artists, or musicians affect the way we perceive and enjoy their work?