Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Orson Scott Card speaks.... maybe....

Back in the fall, I commented on a Deseret News article by Orson Scott Card. He was responding to some of the criticisms of Mitt Romney's Mormonism. His defense of Mormonism slipped over into a critique of Christianity. I felt he did this in a rather caustic way, choosing to take the route of an eye for an eye. His tone reminded me of the anti-Mormon folk who picket at various Mormon centered events here in Utah.

Well today he responded to that blog. At least I think he did. How does one know if it is really him? How does one respond when you question the identity? I tend to think it is him, but I suppose it could just be someone arguing his case.

In any event, he was responding to some things said in the comment section, but one slight seemed reserved for me. I had stated in my post that he painted Christianity with a broad brush. I said, for example, that I do not buy into the creeds and many Christians do not. He said:

If you don't accept the Nicene creed, then obviously you're not one of the Christians I was talking about. Most Christian denominations, however, representing the vast majority of Christians, do. Read a book now and then, and you'll find out what mainline Christianity believes.

I think what bothers me most about his insult is how feeble it is. This is a published author. He is a wordsmith by trade. THIS is the best he hits me with?? This is the blog equivalent of sticking your palms to your ears and saying "Na-na-na-nyah-nyah!" I mean, preferably, I would have liked to have done without the low brow insults and instead had a discussion of the issues.

Here is the link to the original post and comments (click here). I still don't know if it was really Orson Scott Card, and if it isn't, I am probably being a little lame in even responding. So what do you think? Maybe I should just delete this post.....

6 comments:

Redlefty said...

I wouldn't worry about it. And yes, maybe even delete the post unless you can find something positive and useful to glean from a continued dialogue.

Mystical Seeker said...

The comment from "Card" about reading a book on mainline Christianity was snide and insulting. He assumes you know nothing about the subject, which is clearly not true.

I am guessing that it really was him, although it is hard to know for sure. I once commented on an author's letter to the New York Times Sunday magazine and got a response from someone purporting to be the author. I had no reason to doubt it was him.

didymus said...

As I skim read over things, it just looks like Card (if it is him) simply misunderstood you. You don’t fit his idea of a normal “non-Mormon” Christian, which he seems to think represents most professing Christians, and he maybe interpreting your difference from his ideas as naivety on your part. But I don’t think Card realizes that his ideas on what represents “non-Mormon” Christians are gross over generalizations, that are more than a little bit distorted, and therefore don’t give a clear picture of reality.

Brook said...

good going. you went and pissed off a major science fiction writer. I wouldn't worry about him too much, but a writer of that magnitude in the sci-fi field has followers...rabid, crazy followers. given that he's a Mormon, some of those followers are probably your neighbors. All I'm saying is watch your back, dude, especially for mormons dressed up as aliens. their anal probes will NOT be fun...

societyvs said...

The comment was rather juvenile in response and could of easily come from a 18 year old - which doesn't say much for Card if this is the case.

But it does raise a good point - about credibility. What seems to be happening in the comment is the writer trying to dis-credit your credibility - thus giving him the advantage over you on the subject at hand...petty way of arguing but happens a lot in religious circles.

As for the Nicene Creed - he is right about mainstream faith accepting this creed - what is the problem with that is the majority rules in declaring religious dogma. I tend not to adhere to that creed (or the other one) for this very reason - they were voted on by a majority and then passed as 'law' so to speak. Are they truth is the big question? Truth is not determined by a vote.

Andrew said...

Yeah, I agree that much of Christianity may take that view (of the creeds), but I never denied it in my original article. I just told him I didn't (though out the gate, most Mormons think I do). My larger point was that it is always problematic to define someone else's position. Worse yet, to then base your argument on your view of the other's position. I am not sure if Card notices that he is doing that, or perhaps he does and doesn't care.

I think this is one of the great things about being a minority (liberal Christian surrounded by conservative Mormons) in a community, is that I am getting a little flavor of what it is like. No one likes being stereotyped.

I am getting to see the good and bad practices of my faith reflected in the Mormon community. Now having experienced the other end of evangelism (bleech!) I am very reluctant to engage in the practice myself.

I think Card, unless he is in dialogue, would be more effective defining Mormon beliefs and making those understandable to those outside his community. His view of Christians sounds a little jaded.

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