Discussions of Book of Mormon issues and evidences, plus other topics related to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Saturday, June 02, 2012

Orson Scott Card's LDS Project: The Nauvoo Times

Orson Scott Card's interesting LDS project, The Nauvoo Times, is now out on the web. For reasons I can't comprehend, yours truly has been included among the group of contributing authors for this online magazine on LDS topics. I'd be recommending it even if I weren't slightly involved. One of my contributions, "Notes from the Ministry of Shoes," appears to be featured on the home page today, next to Orson's column. "Notes from the Ministry of Shoes" shares an experience from a Christian friend of mine here in Shanghai. It was through a local musician and night club owner that I was introduced to Jeff Fletcher, a black musician and multidisciplinary talent that I wanted to interview for a future book on a secular topic. But in the interview, he shared a dramatic story with religious value that I am able to share with his kind permission. I hope you'll check it out along with all the other content at The Nauvoo Times. Another post of mine you may wish to read is "Finding Moses." True story, and a bit embarrassing, but I hope you'll learn from my foolishness.


Nick Literski said...

Jeff, I've always considered you a thoughtful, reasonable person. The fact that you would allow your name to be associated with Mr. Card, however, is disappointing. Do you really consider yourself in the same league as someone who has called for the overthrow of the government "by any means necessary" in the event that civil marriage equality is considered the law of the land? I'd expect you to distance yourself from such extremists in a hurry, not join them in their projects.

Dave said...

Jeff, I've always considered you a thoughtful, reasonable person. I'm glad OSC thinks so, too. But do you really consider yourself in the same league with they guy who wrote Ender's Game? I expect you will now be devoting your spare time to writing an equivalent sci-fi adventure "by any means necessary." I'll bet there's a Chinese angle in the plot.

Anonymous said...

Card is a great sci fi writer, no doubt about that, but I don't see him as an extremist. Here's the "by any means necessary" quote from his 2009 Deseret Times article:

"[W]hen government is the enemy of marriage, then the people who are actually creating successful marriages have no choice but to change governments, by whatever means is made possible or necessary."

The problem with this statement is not that it's extreme, but that it's poorly written. It's ambiguous and it muddies the question of agency. "Made possible" by whom or what? If Card means "whatever means made possible by the Constitution," then he's calling for nothing more radical than voting in a new government or Constitutional amendment.

Of course, there are other, more sinister ways to construe this passage, but I think we should give Card the benefit of a friendly reading.

What bothers me more about the muddied writing in Card's article is its blatant rejection of LDS history and doctrine. Consider statements such as this:

"Wives need to have the whole society agree that when they marry, their husband is off limits to all other females. All of his protection and earning power will be devoted to her and her children, and will not be divided with other women and their children. These two premises are so basic that they preexist any known government."

Has Card never heard of Brigham Young? Of Abraham?

-- Eveningsun

Jeff Lindsay said...

Dave, I hope nothing I said implies in anyway that I consider myself in the same league as Orson. I didn't choose to put my photo next to his and, as I tried to say in my post, am still not sure why I've been included in his project because I'm acutely aware of my weakness in writing, especially relative to his prowess.

Forgive me if my post made you think I've promoted myself to yet another league I don't deserve to be in.

Nick Literski said...

Eveningsun, why do you selectively quote only the "slightly-less-direct" part of Card's call for revolution? Here's part of the essay that you (and other apologists?) evidently didn't want anyone to see:

"How long before married people answer the dictators thus: Regardless of law, marriage has only one definition, and any government that attempts to change it is my mortal enemy. I will act to destroy that government and bring it down, so it can be replaced with a government that will respect and support marriage, and help me raise my children in a society where they will expect to marry in their turn."

That, coupled with the part you quoted, is not a call to the ballot box.

Anonymous said...

You're right, Nick--the passage you quoted is not a call to the ballot box. But it's not a call for revolution, either. It's hyperbole and bluster. To say How long before people start talking about revolution? is not the same as Revolt! To the barricades! Ready, aim, fire!

Lest I be misconstrued here, let me say that I think Card's statements about marriage are ignorant, hypocritical, bigoted, and amazingly anti-Mormon. But he's no revolutionary, just a tough-talking wimp.

-- Eveningsun

Anonymous said...

...hypocritical, bigoted, and amazingly anti-Mormon ... tough-talking wimp

Sounds like projection.

Anonymous said...

Nick, can't you see that your judgments are reflective of how you judge yourself? You, sir, are the apologist...and so am I apparently: We are all one and equal!