A friend just passed along a link to a disturbing blog post by Orson Scott Card re: the gay marriage debate. I promise I’ll get back to non-sexual-political-religious topics in the media soon enough, but I must, in good conscience, respond, even as it delays my considerable grad school work. If you can stomach the piece, it is worth a full read. I address his particularly insulting conclusion here.
Dear Mr. Card,
“What’s the hurry? Why the hostility toward even the slightest opposition? Can’t our opponents wait to get their way until they have persuaded a clear majority? Can’t they listen to people with ideas that are different from theirs?”-Orson Scott Card
While you wrote these sentences, I’m sure a same-sex partner somewhere was denied visitation rights (afforded by marriage) while their dearest died. How dare we be in a rush? How dare we seem upset? How dare you, a member of a faith subjected to violent persecution in history, a fellow minority, seek to disguise your prejudice and justify your political gamesmanship in the name of religious freedom? Your ancestors fled to Utah to build your own community away from the tyranny you found in Missouri. Now you seek to actively interfere with a different community in California. Where would you have them go to seek equality under law? I’m afraid I already know the answer to that, and I’m not a fan of your brand of heat.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies. Thou restoreth my soul. -Psalm, 23:5
While you execute your own brand of tyranny in the name of majority rule, you ignore your own history and the countless examples of minority triumph in American politics, often gained through the courts first, and later society at large. I would still not have the right to vote were it for people espousing the kind of arguments you make. Black people would still not be a part of your congregation, I venture to guess, had the courts not first established that such prejudice was unlawful. The Southern states, most notably, made similar pleas about their autonomy with religious zeal and even violence, yet through the courage of a few and the slow moral hand of the law such offensive bigotry (notice I do not say intolerance) is at least somewhat pushed to the fringes of our society. The KKK wears veils now less for the attraction of a secret club, and more out of fear of discovery, less they be lynched in the court of public opinion.
Anything that can be used for good, can also be used for harm. The law is far from above this basic fact. To suggest that we homosexuals, of ALL people, should be keenly aware of this, seems silly, especially coming from a Mormon. Mormons have found themselves on the “wrong” side of the law for their beliefs throughout their history, yet you still fight for your freedom with all urgency, as you should. I accept that I will not change your mind about homosexuality, and I acknowledge your right to public dissent. What I object to is a religious organization throwing around financial weight in a civil matter, especially with funds largely from Utah, a far cry from the community of California.
I realize the LDS church is not alone in such manuevers. Catholics have intervened in health care/reproductive law time and time again, for example. You claim the lack of majority in California as some sign of societal norm, yet by flooding Prop 8 with Utah/LDS dollars you showed little faith in the majority opinion you so prize. You obscure the actual will of Californians. I am sure many other groups, including pro-Gay ones, pour money into questions outside of their jurisdictions, too. Yet I would expect you to stop pretending like your church dollars do not hold sway in the majority when you actively seek to control that majority. If the majority in California has spoken, it is partially because the LDS church in Utah tampered with the majority.
On Easter, I am reminded that our, yes our, Lord and Savior Jesus Christ rolled the stone away from his tomb, overcoming the ultimate persecution, on this you and I no doubt agree. He preached a gospel of love, teaching us to go after the lost sheep, not fence them in, preventing them from leaving in the first place. This is what you seek to do by blocking, through political/religious rhetoric and cold hard cash, the benefits of a legal contract to a different kind of family. I happen to think I am not a lost little lamb, but let’s say you’re right and I am wrong; why not follow Christ’s example and allow the freedom I seek?
Expanding the definition of marriage does no harm to your reproductive agenda, anymore than a new bar opening in San Francisco hurts your ability to teach your flock to “choose the right” and eschew alcohol. To say otherwise is to bear false witness against your neighbor, and frankly, sir, you should know better.