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A Bigot Writes Superman: Should We Care?

Adventures of SupermanA Bigot Writes Superman: Should We Care? by Jerry Whitworth


Recently, science fiction novelist and anti-homosexuality rights advocate Orson Scott Card has been announced to be one of the first contributors to the digital-first comic series Adventures of Superman by DC Comics. Since the story broke, many comic book fans and blogs have raised the debate if readers should purchase a product based on its content or on the beliefs of the work’s creator. Card, a practitioner of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and board member of the National Organization for Marriage (who oppose gay marriage and child adoption for homosexuals), is most well known for his award-winning books Ender’s Game and its sequel Speaker for the Dead (both of which have been adapted for comics) but has started branching out into comics like Ultimate Iron Man and the adaptation for the video game Dragon Age.

Comic books, and media in general in the United States, has been slanted towards liberal beliefs for several decades where many creators who have conservative views have been forced to hide their beliefs in fear of reprisal by publishers and/or fans. Some creators, like Steve Ditko (Amazing Spider-Man), Frank Miller (Dark Knight Returns), John Byrne (Uncanny X-Men), Ethan Van Sciver (Green Lantern), Chuck Dixon (Detective Comics), Bill Willingham (Fables), Billy Tucci (Shi), and Mike S. Miller (George R. R. Martin’s The Hedge Knight), generally enjoy a large enough fan base to be able to put their conservative views out there without a great fear of backlash. Some well known liberal creators include Jack Kirby, Dennis O’Neil (Batman), Neal Adams (Green Lantern/Green Arrow), Gail Simone (Birds of Prey), Ed Brubaker (Captain America), Howard Chaykin (American Flagg!), Judd Winick (Green Arrow), Norm Breyfogle (Detective Comics), Tony Isabella (Black Lightning), John Ostrander (Suicide Squad), and Moose Baumann (Green Lantern).


Green Team and the MovementThe question posed is an old one whether we judge the work or the person. One can liken the argument to having a relative you love deeply but who has a hateful doctrine towards others. Do you remember the loved one for how they treated you or for the terrible things they said or did to others? Of course, the original question is likely an easier one to answer. What it may ultimately come down to is the precise reason why you may find a creator undesirable. If someone simply has an opinion differing from your own (liberal versus conservative, for example), you could likely overlook the creator’s beliefs provided their work isn’t entrenched in their doctrine. But, contributing to a creator who will ultimately use either the funds or prestige provided by their work to actively perpetuate hate could be something else altogether.

Humanity has long segregated elements different from the particular society in power seemingly since our start. Differing religion, a person’s skin color, and gender are only some of the hurdles mankind has tried to make illegal to oppress someone for in recent history (especially true for the United States). Many consider homosexual segregation to be this generation’s oppression to overcome. With several states making gay marriage legal and polls finding about half of Americans in favor of gay marriage (with polls showing the issue is exponentially becoming more accepted recently), at this point it only seems like a matter of time before this dark chapter could be abandoned. And yet, despite being on the losing end of this trend, groups promoting hate nonetheless continue to push their agenda which at least prolongs the suffering of the gay men and women of America but at worst has perpetuated a culture where gays are bullied, at times driven to suicide or severely beaten (sometimes killed). Though people are allowed to believe whatever they want, they must be held accountable for their actions. Orson Scott Card doesn’t simply disapprove of homosexuality, he actively pursues oppressing the rights of gay Americans.

Perhaps the simplest way to put this is to ask if you would support a religious fanatic who rallies against infidels who are less deserving of equal treatment? Would you support a racist? Would you support a misogynist? Then, why would you support a homophobe?



[zstore contributorhandle=”superman” showhowmany=”12″]

Author: Terry at Comic Art Community

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  1. My first glimpse into politics within comics came about when Stan Lee explained when creating the X-Men that he wanted them to be a representation of the outcast, their struggle being synonymous with human rights. But for hypothetical purposes, if you where to tell me Charles Dickens didn't believe in gay marriage it wouldn't make "A Tale Of Two Cities" any less meaningful. Plus, comic editors are there to reign authors back in if they get too outrageous or tasteless. I'll preview it like most comics.

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  2. The composer Vagner was well known as a German nationalist with strong anti semitic views, but he also produced some of the most beautiful and stirring music of the period. I think this might be a case of liking the author's work even if you don't necessarily agree with their personal philosophy.

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  3. Wagner was a product of his time. Card on the other hand is a product of Wagner's time as well, a vile little man with vile ideas who while he should be free to express them, a company that's trying to paint itself as progressve and open-minded should stay the hell away from.

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  4. I am no fan of his personal beliefs, but if the company (DC) was to try and oust him because of his beliefs, wouldn't that contravene his right to "Free Speech", a right enshrined in their constitution. I think a can of worms would be opened very quickly if they were to try and get rid of him.

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  5. As I said in the article, it's not simply an argument that Card has differing beliefs than the majority of readers. It's that he uses his funds and fame to actively oppress gay people. At the very least, they campaign to stop gay marriage and adoption for gay parents. But its come to light as coverage has examined Card, he actually petitioned to make homosexual acts illegal and his organization perpetuates a misconception that homosexuality and child molestation is connected. A dollar to Card is a dollar to a machine that seeks to take away freedom to American people for simply being who they are. Ethan Van Sciver recently commented on the issue stating Card is a vile human being and he fully supports the fight against him. It's beyond liberal/conservative, it's pure hatred.

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  6. The man's a professional hate-monger. DC shouldn't have hired him in the first place.

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  7. I take your point, Jerry. I don't support bigots, whether they are religious or otherwise (my family came to Australia in the first place because of religious bigotry), but I also support free speech. I think someone on another forum had the idea. Let the dollar speak. If you don't like what he says, you won't buy his stuff. That will hurt him more than anything else.

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  8. No matter your opinion, simply vote with your wallet. I could criticise people who are attacking Card (hate begets hate, after all), but I that would be hypocritical. Honestly, I can seperate the art from the artist, so long as they aren't using their art to shove an agenda down my throat, I'm fine with it. Still, if he were against gay marriage because of religious reasons, that's his opinion and his view, but the fact that he is a board member actively working to stop gay marriage in all its forms, I would say for everyone to trust your guts. Personally…I just don't read Superman, anyways. Non-issue for me.

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  9. Morgan Talley
    Regarding the Free Speech argument, lets not forget, that only a government can suppress free speech, meaning the first amendment was to protect citizens from persecution/prosecution from a government that didn't like what an individual or group says(Pussy Riot vs. Putin for example). When all have the right to think, believe or say what we want. However, if you use your beliefs and act to deny someone their rights that crosses the line. Remember, we are a country of civil laws not religious beliefs.

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  10. wow. So now the man shouldn't get a job because he is not 'pro-gay marriage'? awesome. I, for once, don't see why he can't be in a totally legal organization (or am I missing something here?) against what he believes to be wrong. How do they promote hate? because this article has nothing specific and the homepage of that group has nothing to sustain that either. they're just trying to make a point, just like some other people with their pride's parades. This is SO stupid. Talking about agendas… geez.

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  11. I don’t feel like this article is written without bias toward one party. Clearly from the title which is insulting, and also a clear example why there will never be a fairness in expressing one’s opinion. What does it matter what his belief is, he is entitled as a human being to believe what he wants, and that entitlement extends to the right to fight for what you believe as well. As someone said in the earlier comment, as long as the persons agenda is not being cramped down my throat in the story who cares. The interesting thing about oppression is it has a door that can swing both ways, it’s wise to realize how quick roles can reverse and the oppressed can become the oppressor seeking to silent the other party from their basic rights.

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