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Remember when Orson Scott Card stuck to novels?

March 25, 2009

Now he has articles like this one: Are the New Puritans gaining?

I guess I keep falling for these things because of his masterful way at creating suspense and intrigue…just read this:

The two groups that showed the largest growth in numbers — by far — were “no religion” and “don’t know/refused.”

The report in USA Today on March 9 thought this meant that America is becoming “less religious.”

I don’t think so. I think that hiding within those “no religion” and “don’t know/refused” categories we can see the growth of a powerful new religion.

Oh, wow, what kind of religious group could it be? More tantalizing was the way he described it — that “fanatical religion. It is “a religion at war with all others,” “confident of victory,” “contemptuous of any church that does not fight them,” etc., Oh wow, this group must be incredible! Who are they?

…It was when he referred to this group as post-religious that I began to wonder if I were falling for an Orson Scott Cardist propaganda piece.

And then he said:

Instead, they claim to believe in “science,” though they have no idea what the methodology of good science is, and reject the findings of science when they contradict treasured dogmas.

and I knew I should’ve quit RIGHT THEN AND THERE, but I was feeling gluttonous for pain. After all, how would he make the case that this group would be Puritan-like?!

Well, he did. Through his own history lesson.

Throughout the history of the movement, it had no hierarchy, no organization, and in some senses could be said never to have existed at all. When it fell from power, Puritanism quickly evaporated — as if it had never existed at all.

…The astonishing thing was that active Puritans were never very numerous. But few dared to argue against them, so they carried the day as if their numbers were far greater than they really were.

Today, the New Puritans embrace a hodgepodge of dogmas drawn from feminism, environmentalism, gay activism and militant atheism.

I think the best part about this article is how he is trying to villify and show the “great excesses” of things like…feminism…and gay activism. I mean, of course, under his worldview, I’m playing right into his scheme, being so confident of victory and dogmatic in my principles (or whatever).

Believing in no god, they have no law to check them; whatever they think to do, they will try to do, and their fury when they are resisted knows no restraint.

Yet when you ask them why their vision of the public good is better than any other, they have no reasons. They can produce no viable evidence of superiority.

They gesture toward “science” as their authority, but refuse to allow anyone to conduct or report research that might contradict their absurdest claims.

There you have it. Godless atheists, feminists, and gay rights activists will do anything to get our way. We definitely could not be motivating by things like fairness and compassion for our fellow man when we try to argue for things like equal rights, anti-discrimination laws, or even *gasp*, gay marriage. And Card probably confuses the idea that shoddy research becomes the laughingstock of the scientific community when he claims instead that people “refuse” to “report research that might contradict…absurdest claims.” But…I think that was an argument that Ben Stein made, right In Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, right?

Where they have prevailed, only misery follows.

It’s that familiar stereotypical message — you know, about those darn bitter fruits of apostasy?

And yet they are the majority almost nowhere. They prevail because they have no restraints — their attack on their enemies is instant and savage, and ordinary people, wishing only to be left alone, keep their heads down and try to stay out of the way.Except a few. We hold up our hands and speak of democracy, of tradition, of the need to know where we’re going before we race there. We speak of evidence and logic, and we are answered, not with argument, but with screaming; for asking questions or contributing money to a cause, we are threatened with boycott, fired from jobs, denied tenure.

…are you…kidding me? I don’t know about no restraint, and I really should not be entreating this, but what seemed like an instant and savage attack on enemies was the LDS church’s fantastic coordinated contribution to the Proposition 8 campaign. The Mormon church’s missionary work is a fantastic coordinated effort at disturbing “ordinary people, wishing only to be left alone.”

I like his nerve to speak about democracy. Because we all know that democracy is 100% ok to serve as a tyranny of the majority against the minority. I wonder why they ever decided on a Bill of Rights or a Judiciary in the first place, if democracy were meant to supersede it all?


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  1. I agree with pretty much everything you said. I love Card’s sci-fi, but damn, man… this is some pretty crazy shit.

    He’s wrong when he says the Puritans were never particularly numerous. They didn’t evaporate after their fall from power, either, though disillusionment with their rule certainly diminished their influence. Actually, that very disillusionment is a very important reason for the stridency of modern secularism. We don’t have Puritans today in the historical sense, but we have a hell of a lot of religious people who fit the general Puritan mold, and the world is suffering as a result.

    I love the scare quotes around “science”. Does he really think he’s going to score any points with that?

    Love the portrayal of religious people as just keeping their heads down, wanting to be left alone. Yeah right. The most militant political activists I know are all religious people fighting the horrors of the secular Left and the apocalypse heralded thereby.

    I was discussing just the other day with a friend how poorly designed the California Constitution is, since it can be amended by 51% and thus becomes an instrument for mob rule rather than a safeguard against it. All this worship of “democracy” ignores the fact that what makes this country so great is that we’re a CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC that protects the rights of minorities against Puritan majorities. Someday, the Puritans will be glad of that, because they won’t be the majority any longer, and they won’t have made themselves any friends, either.

  2. I think he’s been supplementing with dispatches from fantasy universe for some time now. The thing is that his skill and fame as a novelist give him a platform to use to pronounce on other subjects.

  3. The little speck of a man has serious issues. I stopped reading his crap when he castrated and killed off the main character in “Songmaster.”

    Card would have a more believable venue as a disgraced, come-out-of-the-closet priest.

  4. The thing that got me was how he used Songmaster to fuel his agenda against homosexuality (after someone called him out on it).

    I mean, seriously.

  5. We tend to listen to and accept what celebrities say. Bro. Card and Sean Penn – opposite sides of the same coin.

    Giving extra weight to the religious musings of Card or Penn is like giving extra weight to the scientific musings of Young or McConkie. Both tendencies drive me nuts.

  6. But Ray, that’s because in their celebrity status, they get a kind of “implied” authority. In the same way, Brigham Young or Bruce McConkie. We’ve already elevated them past “mere mortal” (with “celebrity” and “General Authority”), so it’s natural that that spills over into other things.

  7. If their status can be elevated, they can also be lowered by the bloat and bile of their own ego.

    Of modern day writers, Card is one man I loathe intensely.

  8. I just can’t bring myself to loathe the author of Ender’s Game and Speaker for the Dead, however, misguided his political and religious alarmism may be.

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