One of the front-page stories of today's edition of the (Greensboro, North Carolina) News & Record is about DC Comics delaying publication of science-fiction writer Orson Scott Card's story for the upcoming first issue of DC Comics' Adventures of Superman anthology. Chris Sprouse, the artist assigned to illustrate the story, is refusing to work on grounds that the "controversy" about Card's publicly-stated beliefs that homosexuality is wrong. Especially his opposition to "gay marriage" during the lead-up to last year's amendment to North Carolina's constitution affirming that legal marriage is between one man and one woman.
You won't find it in the story posted on the News & Record's website, but the article's synopsis in the print edition reads thusly: "An uproar over author Orson Scott Card's homophobic views leads illustrator to withdraw."
"Homophobic" As in, literally, "Orson Scott Card is in fear of homosexuals". The implication being that if he is in fear of homosexuals, Card also harbors hate of homosexuals. That is certainly how such things are associated in the minds of too many journalists these days.
I don't know if Robert C. Lopez - the News & Record reporter who wrote the story - is responsible for his article's print synopsis. Regardless, whoever wrote it is either terminologically ignorant or journalistically negligent. Or, inexcusably driven by agenda.
But that's not the point of this post...
There is a difference between disapproving of a person's activity and disapproving of that person as a whole. I know many homosexual individuals. I sincerely believe that their behavior is wrong and even self-destructive. But I have never hated them. Some are even good friends who I have worked with and acted alongside on stage. I like to think that they can disagree with me as well without harboring any animosity.
But through the prism most politicians and journalists and media "personalities" have demanded we see reality through, a failure to endorse the lifestyle of others is indicative of hatred toward others.
No wonder the political climate of this country is so polarized. How can there possibly be earnest and sincere discussion about anything at all, when any side sees others as deserving scorn and ridicule, and lacking merit enough to be heard out?
Orson Scott Card is being charged - whether or not it will be admitted aloud - with inciting fear, hatred and intolerance toward homosexuals. Curiously, the irony has gone woefully under-appreciated that those levelling such claims are inciting fear, hatred and intolerance toward Card and anyone else who believes homosexuality is wrong. At the Mysticon science-fiction convention in Roanoke last weekend, my girlfriend overheard two people conversing with each other about how Card - the literary guest of honor - wasn't "very Christian" because of his statements against homosexuality. I also heard one attendee claim that it was wrong for Card to have been invited because he was, quote, "hateful of people like me".
The only people I see demonstrating legitimate hatred of others are those who want there to be hatred of others. When all else fails in an attempt at persuasion, hate is the time-tested tool of evoking deceit, distrust and division. It is a coward's tool. It is a tool of men of barbarity, not men of intellect.
The News & Record writers and editorial staff should bear that in mind, pertaining as much to their personal predilections as their professional ones.