Liberal dilemmas
0 comment Thursday, December 4, 2014 |
Here's a rather interesting situation: author Orson Scott Card is the cause of some liberal handwringing among librarians. It seems he is being given an award by the American Library Association, but this can't be, because the 'library community' (liberals love that word community, don't they?) is in a tizzy over his homophobia. What to do?
This is a difficult issue, as librarians (supposedly) believe that information, in all of its forms, should be available to everyone, regardless of how repugnant we may personally or politically find it to be.
Especially in academic libraries, it behooves us to select things with which we disagree on occasion. The question then becomes, what message does giving Card this award send? I've drawn a couple of conclusions from this whole thing.
1) It is vitally important, when deciding to give someone a really big award, to know as much about that person as possible. Remember, in this case, the award was given to the person, not the work. Librarians involved in this particular award didn't do their homework, which has caused some serious problems for them, as well as a major public relations hit for ALA.
On the other hand, we cannot know that the committee would have decided any differently with the information in hand. 2) Awards for children's and young adult literature are particularly thorny, because there is always a struggle between those who wish to protect children from "bad things" in the world, and those who acknowledge that "bad things" exist, and wish to help their children navigate them through reading and discussion. These two groups, often, also disagree rather violently about which things are defined as "bad."
3) Card's internal, personal feelings about homosexuality are not necessarily the issue; his public statements condoning hatred of homosexuals are. As Karen Schneider pointed out, if Card's statements about homosexuals had replaced the word "homosexual" with any number of racial epithets, there is no way that Card would EVER have been considered for the award. Period. While I try very hard to separate the person from the work when I can, and often do read fiction by folks who are politically different from me, in this particular case, I admit I am less than enthusiastic about the prospect of picking up one of Card's books to read. On the other hand, I firmly believe that his materials belong in our SFWA Collection, if only so that some scholar might, 20 years from now, write a lovely dissertation about this whole event, and how it relates to his work.''
Another liberal librarian blog tsk-tsks over Card's 'homophobia':
Jolly and righteous teen author, Orson Scott Card, is the topic of much discussion as honor bestowed by the ALA�s YALSA has brought to general attention Card�s views against tolerance for homosexuals.
Card is quoted as follows:
We Latter-day Saints know that we are eternal beings who must gain control of our bodies and direct our lives toward the good of others in order to be worthy of an adult role in the hereafter.�Orson Scott Card''
Here is Card writing about tolerance:
Tolerance is not the fundamental virtue, to which all others must give way. The fundamental virtue is to love the Lord with all our heart, might, mind, and strength; and then to love our neighbor as ourself. Despite all the rhetoric of the hypocrites of homosexuality about how if we were true Christians, we would accept them fully without expecting them to change their behavior, we know that the Lord looks upon sin without the least degree of tolerance, and that he expects us to strive for perfection.�Orson Scott Card
I am sure this is especially confusing for the poor dears in the 'library community' because Card otherwise hews to all the politically correct shibboleths when it comes to race and immigration. Oddly, or perhaps not so, considering Card's Mormon beliefs, he has nothing but tolerance for tens of millions of illegal 'immigrants', while withholding 'tolerance' toward homosexuals. The rather surly piece Card wrote in defense of illegal immigration was titled 'Ethnic Cleansing or ''Amnesty'', if that hints at his beliefs.
I hate to link to the source of this insulting piece by Card, but here it is.
Read it, if your blood pressure can stand it.
I suppose, as always, race trumps everything. If white Canadians were hopping our Northern border in droves, I suspect Card would be in favor of deporting them en masse, but because illegals are overwhelmingly non-white, they are automatically to be given special consideration.
Here is an excerpt of Card's hit piece on old-stock Americans Needless to say the 'liberal' seems to represent the sanctimonious Card:
"So lawbreakers don't deserve to live here. Have you ever had a speeding ticket?"
"I'm an American. And I pay my traffic fines."
"But you broke the law."
"I was born here."
"But your ancestors weren't," says the liberal. "Your ancestors, somewhere along the line, were born somewhere else."
"But they came here legally."
"No sir, they did not," says the liberal. "I knew we'd get to this point, so I had your genealogy researched. Here's a list of your German ancestors who broke the law of their German-speaking state by emigrating."
"Those weren't American laws, so they weren't criminals here."
"And here are your Puritan New England ancestors, who came here as criminals because of their defiance of the laws concerning religion in England."
"They wanted freedom of religion."
"But they broke the law. And look � here are your Scotch-Irish and German ancestors who settled in Pennsylvania and North Carolina without getting legal title to their lands. They were all law-breaking squatters, and they kept getting caught farming on other people's land and had to move on."
This, quite honestly, infuriates me. Religious dissent is quite different than breaking and entering, and living a life of chronic lawbreaking as most illegals do. Every day, their whole way of life involves lying, defrauding, and otherwise deceiving, exploiting, and plain old stealing. To compare our ancestors with these unprincipled people, who often commit quite egregious crimes in addition to illegal entry and fraud, is insulting to our forefathers.
Card purports to be a religious man and Mormons protest that they believe in the Bible. Where is his honoring of his fathers and mothers? Card, as a Mormon, must know his own family ancestry; Mormons are quite obsessive about genealogy. Does he consider his ancestors as lawbreakers, on a par with the drug-smugglers and sneaks who enter via our Southern border? Apparently so. Apparently he has no honor for his ancestors, or he foolishly (and quite unbibilically) believes that all 'sin' is equal in the eyes of God; he thinks that people who commit crimes such as smuggling and drug dealing are on a par with people who do not worship as their government insists that they should. He is a moral illiterate if he believes such things.
But let's go back to his nasty little rant against patriotic Americans:
It was wide-open country then, and the laws were different �"
"And look � here are your ancestors who crossed over the Appalachian Mountains like Daniel Boone, into areas that the federal government absolutely declared off-limits to white settlers. Then when the Indians attacked them for illegally trespassing, they demanded that the US Army come and kill Indians so your ancestors could keep their illegally occupied land."
"I know the Indians were badly treated, but �"
"In fact, through most of the territory of the US, the first settlers were illegal immigrants, weren't they? US treaties supersede all other laws except the Constitution. So what about it? Do you favor the expulsion of all these white illegal immigrants to restore the land to the legal titleholders by US treaty?"
I am sick beyond description of this lie that the first settlers were 'illegal immigrants'. How can a supposedly educated, intelligent man promote such rank nonsense? To say that the first settlers or colonists were 'illegal' is idiotic; in order to be illegal, they had to be in violation of some legal code or in defiance of some ruling authority -- which did not exist.
I just want, frankly, to slap people upside the head when they say such imbecilic things; the very fact that they say these things indicates that they are not capable of reason and common sense. You may as well reason with a mule. The only response to idiocy like this is a slap upside the head.
Whose permission did the colonists or settlers need to obtain before immigrating? There were a lot of squabbling tribes and clans scattered across the continent; there was no centralized ruling authority, no king (despite what you read in history books about various Indian chiefs who styled themselves 'Kings'). There were no codified laws. What 'laws' did the settlers break? Who had the authority or the power to forbid them to come here? Whose permission should they have sought, and how, considering that there was no means of communication by which to ask? Could they have written a formal request? To whom? To Indian tribes who had no written language and who, in any case, spoke no English? So all this talk of illegal immigration in that context is just ignorant and obtuse, probably willfully so.
And if Card wants to talk about 'illegal' settlers, my settler ancestors who came to Texas were INVITED by first, the Spanish and then the Mexican officials to settle. They had an invitation. They had paperwork and official documents. There was nothing remotely illegal about their presence in Texas.
And by the way, Mr. Card, whose permission did the Mexicans' ancestors obtain to settle in what is now Mexico?
Whose permission did the so-called 'Native Americans' who came from Asia obtain before they took up residence in North America? If you want to play this game, we are all 'illegal' if you go back some generations. Nobody is really indigenous to their present countries. Not even the hallowed Native Americans. When there was no organized government, whoever was strongest took possession.
But in Card's tendentious diatribe on amnesty, this is supposed to be his blockbuster zinger at the end, with which he thinks he can mortally wound the xenophobe racists:
No, sir, you are the traitor. You're the one who declared that America was no longer a nation built around an idea, which accepted all who embraced that idea. Now it's just like any other nation on Earth. It stands for nothing except for holding on to what we've got and making sure there's no room for the people most desperate to come and join us."
Here we go: the old 'nation built around an idea' nonsense. No, America was not a nation built around an idea. It was a nation built around a group of English colonists, who possessed certain ideas as part of their culture and part of their heritage. Somehow, though, the foolish notion became widespread that we could bring people from many peoples and cultures together and pretend that the 'idea' was all that mattered, and that anybody could be 'American' by giving lip service to that 'idea'. But as it turns out, that hasn't worked at all well; the people who cling desperately to the 'America as an idea' are people, generally, not of the original stock, and because they feel no kinship to the founders of this country, they insist that the Idea is everything. The 'idea' is become an idol for them; the proposition is an empty substitute for kinship to the founding people of this country. Blood is thicker than ideas.
But the 'idea' around which this nation was supposedly built is never clearly defined by these liberals; is the hallowed 'idea' supposed to be freedom? Democracy? Equality?
If we bring together people from drastically different cultures and heritages, we will have many conflicting definitions and interpretations of what 'freedom, democracy, equality' mean to them. To the Latino illegals, 'freedom' means the freedom to sneak into our country and demand special treatment and privileges, paid for by American taxpayers. Freedom seems to mean, to them, their right to disregard the laws of the land, and to trespass on others' property as they trample the border areas. Freedom means the right to speak Spanish and demand that we provide interpreters at our expense and learn their language.
Moslems, in their turn, have their own definitions of 'freedom', as Andrew Bostom points out.
So it's foolish and vain to try to make this country a country based on an idea. What idea? Whose idea? Whose definition? Whose interpretation? We have the Babel situation all over again, when we try to unite the whole world and erase borders. If Card reads and believes the Bible, he knows that God confounded the language of the human race after the hubris of Babel. We now no longer speak the same languages, in more ways than one. Interpreters and translators all do an imperfect job of bridging the linguistic gulf between us. The language barrier only reflects the differences in thought and perceptions among various peoples.
And when we talk about linguistic barriers and thought barriers, Card's diatribe only reminds us of the fact that even among ourselves, we have been divided hopelessly, and our language confounded. When Card talks about 'tolerance' and sin and virtue, it's obvious that those of the liberal persuasion, especially those liberals who are obsessed with re-creating the Tower of Babel in the West, speak a different language that only sounds like English.
I can certainly understand their meaning, although I find their ideas dishonest, spiteful towards their own people, and sanctimonious. However I am convinced that liberals do not understand our side. They have completely rejected the old meanings of words and the traditional understandings underpinning those words. They no longer speak the language of their forefathers, of all the past generations. This is made abundantly clear by the way in which they condemn the morality and the ways of thinking of the past. They have made themselves orphans and strangers in the West because they have disowned the past and their forefathers.
Only by having done so can Card and all others who think as he does believe that wanting to preserve our nation is bad and sinful. Only by cutting themselves off from tradition can they convince themselves that they are the moral betters not only of their traditional contemporaries and countrymen, but the moral superiors of their fathers, grandfathers, and great-grandfathers, who assuredly believed in 'America for Americans', and who believed -- imagine! -- that borders were essential to a nation, and that wholesale violation of laws was not acceptable.
Still Card is in an odd position; on the one hand, the liberal PC police are about to haul him in for failing to hold the correct beliefs on hallowed homosexuality, but on the other hand, how can they condemn him for being a 'right-wing bigot' when he is clearly on their side as regards that other hallowed victim group, illegal 'immigrants'?
I suppose this must cause considerable cognitive dissonance on the part of the orthodox leftists, who studiously follow the party line on who is owed deference. To be a liberal in good standing, one has to truckle to homosexuals but also to people 'of color.' Card is not being consistent.
On the other hand, I think there are quite a few politically correct Christians who think much as Card does: homosexuality bad, but illegal border-jumping good.
But if the leftward trend continues, these little dilemmas will be solved, as the liberalizing churches decide that homosexuality is just another lifestyle choice, just as illegal invaders are making a lifestyle choice in seeking a better life by lawbreaking.
But I can't help feeling a little smug schadenfreude about Card running afoul of the pharisaical PC brigade. He is really a friend, if they but knew it, but for now, he's a transgressor. PC bites.
Forum comments here.

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