Jon Rowe is guest blogging at Sandefur’s place this week, which is great because I only have to go to one place to find both of their posts for a while. Already, Jon has a great post up about Harry Jaffa and his views of homosexuality, and Timothy has a follow-up to it extending one of the arguments with a wonderful passage on the “nudist fallacy” from Daniel Dennett’s amazing book, Freedom Evolves.
Meanwhile, Jason Kuznicki is back from his family Christmas with a post about the anti-gay views of Orson Scott Card that reminds us once again what a gifted writer he really is. The first part, about a proposed boycott of a comic book company, isn’t all that interesting to me, but once you get past that, you cannot help but be struck by the eloquence of his arguments and his incredible sense of fair evaluation of both the views of others and his own. Just look at this passage, written after he has deftly shredded some of Card’s virulent anti-gay writing:
Now I could rant about Orson Scott Card’s anti-gay views forever, but that’s not what I really want to do here. What struck me most about Card’s stance is not how differently we see things–but how much we are the same. In a world not so far removed from our own, in a world where I had turned out straight instead of gay, I would most certainly be writing on his side. If, that is, I bothered to write about those irresponsible gays at all.
Perversely, Card diagnoses the problems before our society with perfect accuracy: The American family really is disintegrating. All too often, homosexuals really are isolated from the mainline of human life. Far more than we like to admit, gays come from broken homes and don’t have a mom or dad to spend the holidays with. A great many of us are lonely and unhappy.
And in a world not so far removed from our own, a straighter Jason would lay the blame for all of this at the feet of the gays themselves. After all, they–and not I–had broken nature’s laws. In a world not so very different, it would be easy for me to spend Christmas with my less tolerant biological parents, who would still welcome a girlfriend or a fiancée, but who turn my husband away at the door. In a world not so different, it would be so easy for me to think in Card’s terms.
I suspect it would be easy for many of you, too.
Don’t tell me that you and I are too intelligent for such homophobia, or that we have some higher moral sense than a certain bigoted idiot. Orson Scott Card is neither an idiot nor a bigot. He has one of the finest ethical sensibilities of any writer I have ever encountered; he is a thinker of surpassing discernment with a profound understanding of the human condition.
And I have effectively bet my life that here, this one time, he is flat-out wrong.
Please go read the rest. I said before that Jason’s page had become a must-read blog and this is exactly why. I am often struck by the knowledge and intellectual rigor of other writers; it is rare that I am struck by the depth of their humanity at the same time.