Kirsten Andersen

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Under fire from gay activists, DC Comics shelves Superman project by Mormon ‘Ender’s Game’ author

Kirsten Andersen
Kirsten Andersen
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NEW YORK CITY, March 12, 2013 (LifeSiteNews) – After pro-homosexual activists promoted an online petition demanding the firing of award-winning speculative fiction writer Orson Scott Card from an upcoming Superman comic anthology, DC Comics confirmed that Card’s portion of the project has been shelved indefinitely. 

Card, who is Mormon, sits on the board of the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) and has been outspoken about his opposition to redefining marriage to include same-sex couples. 

In an opinion piece for the Mormon Times, he wrote, “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.” 

In another commentary for Sunstone Magazine, he wrote, “[G]ay activism as a movement is no longer looking for civil rights, which by and large homosexuals already have. Rather they are seeking to enforce acceptance of their sexual liaisons as having equal validity with heterosexual marriages, to the point of having legal rights as spouses, the right to adopt children, and the right to insist that their behavior be taught to children in public schools as a completely acceptable ‘alternative lifestyle.’”

“It does not take a homophobe to recognize how destructive such a program will be in a society already reeling from the terrible consequences of ‘no-fault’ divorce, social tolerance of extramarital promiscuity, and failing to protect our adolescents until they can channel their sexual passions in a socially productive way,” Card continued.  “Having already lost control of the car, we now find the gay activists screaming at us to speed up as we drive headlong toward the cliff.”

Homosexual activists said his views should have disqualified him from being hired in the first place.  While his Superman short story was not expected to touch on gay issues, activists argued that to give him a paycheck for his work was tantamount to funding NOM directly.

The petition demanding his firing said, “To DC Comics: By hiring Orson Scott Card despite his anti-gay efforts you are giving him a new platform and supporting his hate.  Make sure your brand stands for equality and drop Orson Scott Card now.”

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DC’s decision to shelve Card’s portion of the project came after illustrator Chris Sprouse backed out of doing the art for Card’s short story under heavy pressure from gay advocates and the media.  “The media surrounding this story reached the point where it took away from the actual work, and that’s something I wasn’t comfortable with,” Sprouse said. 

In a statement, DC Comics said the company “fully supports, understands and respects” Sprouse’s decision to abandon the project.  They said they would “re-solicit the story at a later date when a new artist is hired.”  However, most industry insiders speculate that DC will be in no rush to replace Sprouse as an artist, allowing them to let Card’s story die a quiet death without actually firing him and opening themselves up to a discrimination lawsuit.  (It is illegal in the state of New York to fire an employee for his religious beliefs.)

Homosexual outcry over Card’s views is expected to reach a fever pitch in the coming year as the film version of his classic 1985 novel “Ender’s Game” is released.

The move toward blacklisting writers who fail to support homosexual causes has caused some controversy in speculative and licensed fiction circles.  While many in the publishing industry support same-sex “marriage,” some say they are uncomfortable with the idea of banning opposing thought outright. 

“I think it is dangerous to support any blacklist of any creative for any reason,” John Ordover, former editor of the Star Trek series at Pocket Books and open supporter of gay marriage, wrote on his Facebook page.  “It's validating the entire concept of blacklists. To oppose blacklists, we have to stand against blacklisting those whose opinions we find abhorrent as well as those we agree with.”  Ordover, who now owns and operates the SoHo Gallery for Digital Art, is hosting a roundtable debate on the issue at the gallery on April 10, called “Superman vs. Orson Scott Card.” 

Scott M. Roberts, assistant editor at Card’s own “Intergalactic Medicine Show” online magazine, also took to Facebook to voice his concerns over the apparent blacklisting, but his concerns were much wider than just this single incident’s effect on his boss. 

Roberts said the obsession with political correctness is ruining the genre by banning entire points of view from existence in fictional universes, making for bland, repetitive storytelling.  “This is a plea for the speculative fiction community to stop obsessing over race, sexuality, gender, and political affiliation and which author (and which characters) are on the right side of the dividing line between moral bankruptcy and sainthood,” Roberts wrote.

“The obsession with correct political belief and expression in art is stultifying the genre as it is necessarily exclusive. We are losing our voice in artificial, forced homogeny posing as tolerance. Propaganda-disguised-as-story drives readers away as agenda takes the place of wonder, excitement, character, and conflict.”

Brad Torgersen, award-winning speculative fiction author, built on Roberts’s Facebook musings in a blog post, saying, “Science fiction is supposedly the ‘dangerous’ genre, but I’ve found this to be a largely toothless claim, based on past glory. Science fiction in the 21st century doesn’t want to be dangerous. Science fiction wants to be safe – at any speed … let any author or editor fall foul of the signposted sins – ist and ism — and it’s a cause for significant outrage. How dare someone let a scoundrel into our beloved genre!? Someone fetch the smelling salts! Vapors! Gnashing of teeth!”

Added Torgersen, “The quest for tolerance has led us down a very odd road where the proper enacting of tolerance is to be, well, intolerant. To not tolerate the ‘intolerable’ according to trendy or arbitrary or otherwise assigned values of correctness: correct thought, correct speech, correct action. Not only must the stories themselves hew to this rigid correctness calculus, authors themselves must hew to this rigid correctness calculus.”

“There is no room in 21st century science fiction for real people,” Torgersen alleged, “(b)ecause sooner or later the ist and the ism are exposed — both real and, as often as not, imagined — and the evil-doer is punished and/or cast out.”

Whether Card will be punished and/or cast out from the November release of the long-awaited film adaptation of his best-known work, “Ender’s Game,” remains to be seen.  The Hollywood Reporter says executives at Summit are dithering over whether or not to include him in the summer’s main fan gathering and press junket, San Diego Comic-Con.

“I don't think you take him to any fanboy event,” said one unnamed studio executive. “This will definitely take away from their creative and their property.”  Another insider said the same: “Keep him out of the limelight as much as possible.”

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Dr. Miriam Grossman speaks to large audience in Mississauga, Ontario Steve Jalsevac/LifeSite
Lianne Laurence

VIDEO: How DO you to talk to kids about sex? US sex-ed critic gives practical tips

Lianne Laurence
By Lianne Laurence

MISSISSAUGA, ON, August 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Talking to their children about sex is “anxiety provoking to say the least,” for parents, says American sex-ed expert, Dr. Miriam Grossman.

“Some people just can’t even do it, and that’s okay,” the New York-based psychiatrist told the crowd of 1,000 who packed a Mississauga conference hall August 18 to hear her critique of the Ontario Liberal government’s controversial sex-ed curriculum.

After Grossman explained how the Liberal sex-ed curriculum is dangerously flawed and ideologically driven, she used the question-and-answer session to give parents much appreciated and sometimes humorous practical advice on how to teach their children about “the birds and the bees.”

“If you feel you can’t do it, maybe there’s someone else in the family or in the constellation of people that you know you can trust that could do it,” said Grossman, author of “You’re teaching my child WHAT?” and an internationally sought-after speaker on sex education.

A child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist with 12 years’ clinical experience treating students at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) clinic, Grossman said explaining sexuality and procreation to children is “a process,” that “shouldn’t ideally happen all at once. A child is not a miniature adult, and absorbs…new information differently than adults do.”

And parents need to be sure just what their child wants to know.

To illustrate this, Grossman referred to her earlier story about a father who gave his son every detail on human procreation after the boy asked him, “Dad, where do I come from?”

After the father finished, his son replied, “Well, that’s funny, because Johnny told me that he came from Montreal.”

“Try to find out what your child is really getting at, and, don’t give it all at once,” Grossman said. “You start with a little bit at a time…and you know, there’s so many variables here, and people have their own traditions and their own ways of explaining things, and something that might be right for my family might not be right for your family.”

She also advised that, when confronted with a four, five, six or seven-year-old asking about a pregnant woman, or where babies come, a parent can ask, “What a good question that is. What do you think?”

And parents can also legitimately put off the discussion when appropriate, telling the child, “That’s really not something you need to know about right now.”

“Wow, what a novel idea: Telling a child that they could wait until they’re older to discuss that subject,” Grossman said, adding that parents wouldn’t brook a six- or even fifteen-year-old child asking how much money they made or had in the bank. “Excuse me? Not every subject has to be an open book.”

However, the time will come when a child needs to know “about how her body’s going to change, about reproduction, about how a new life is created.”

That time, Grossman advised, is puberty, or “as puberty is beginning,” and this is especially so for girls, who, if unprepared for the surprise onset of menstruation “might think [they’re] dying.”

“The actual nitty-gritty about the birds and the bees and intercourse” can “be told in bits and pieces, or it can be told all at once, if you feel it’s necessary,” she said, adding that it’s beneficial if the parent acknowledges his or her awkwardness, because the child will think: “This must be such an important subject that my mother or my father is sitting there squirming, but he’s doing it anyway. I’m really loved.”

“And the children need to understand that as you grow up, you change a lot, not only physically but emotionally,” Grossman said, “and what may seem odd or disgusting when you’re ten years old, or whatever age, it becomes something very special and beautiful when you’re older and you’ll understand it later. You don’t have to understand it now.”


Know your child and guard your home

But as an essential foundation for this discussion, parents must both know their children and guard their home from the encroachments of a culture that Grossman described as “very, very sexualized” and “really horrible.”

“Children need parents who are loving but are also firm and authoritative,” she asserted.  “They don’t need best friends. They need us to guide them, to know what they’re doing, to be on top of what they’re doing.

So parents need to be aware of whom their child is “hanging around with, and what kind of movies are they watching…what’s going on with your child.”

“You need to know that anyway, even if it’s not about sex education,” she pointed out. “Try and know your child. Every child is different.”

And Grossman emphasized that it is “extremely important to be careful about what your child is exposed to in the home, in terms of television and Internet, obviously.”

Children need to understand that “just like you have garbage you take out of the house, you put it in the garbage bin, it’s dirty, it smells…there are other things that also don’t belong in the house.”

And children learn quickly what is, and is not, permissible inside the home, Grossman said. “Me, I keep kosher…If I go into a store, my kids know from a very young age, we don’t eat that.”

So they are used to the idea of “the world outside and the inside world, of inside your home, and inside your heart as well.”

Parents can also convey this by telling their children that “the world is an upside-down place, and sometimes the most special, holy subjects are…just thrown in the gutter. And that’s a bad thing. In our family, in our tradition, we don’t do that.”

“Sexuality is one of the subjects that in this upside-down world, it is sometimes just in the gutter,” she said. “And so I want you to tell your child to come to me when you have questions, I will give you the straight story about it.”

Grossman herself is “not even sure,” as she stated in her seminar, that sex education should be in the schools: “I believe sex education should be at home for those parents that want to do it.”

She also noted that parents “can make mistakes. We all make lots of mistakes but it’s okay, you can always come back and do it differently,” adding that this is “another wonderful message for your child. You know what, it’s okay to make mistakes, you can always go back and try and fix it.”

Grossman urged parents to visit her Facebook page, website and blog. “I have so much information you can get there that you’ll find useful,” and added that she will be publishing books for children, and has posted her critique of New York City’s sex-ed curriculum, which is similar to Ontario’s.

The parental backlash to that sex-ed curriculum, set to roll out in the province’s publicly funded schools this September, has been “amazing” Grossman noted.

Grossman’s seminar was sponsored by Mississauga-based HOWA Voice of Change along with the Canadian Families Alliance, an umbrella group representing more than 25 associations and 200,000 Ontarians opposed to the curriculum. The report on her devastating critique of the sex-ed curriculum can be found here, and the video here.

Ontario readers may find information and sign up for a September 2 province-wide protests at MPPs offices here. So far, there are protests planned for 92 of Ontario’s 107 constituencies. The parents’ movement seeking removal of the curriculum is urging all concerned citizens to join this special effort to influence individual Ontario legislators.

See related reports:

Ontario’s dangerous sex-ed is indoctrination not science says U.S. psychiatrist to large audience

Videos: US psychiatrist tells parents “stand firm” against dangerous sex-ed

See the LifeSiteNews feature page on the Ontario sex-ed curriculum containing nearly 100 LifeSite articles related to the issue

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Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete

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Did the pope just endorse a gay children’s book? Of course not, says Vatican

Pete Baklinski Pete Baklinski Follow Pete
By Pete Baklinski

ROME, August 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- While mainstream media is gushing with news today that Pope Francis allegedly praised a children’s book that promotes gender theory, the Vatican is decrying what they called the "manipulation" of a cordial letter from an official in the Secretariat of State to suggest that the Vatican is promoting teachings contrary to the Gospel.

Italian children’s author Francesca Pardi was reported by The Guardian to have submitted a parcel of children’s books promoting the acceptance of homosexuality and gender theory to Pope Francis in June after Venice’s mayor Luigi Brugnaro publicly banned the author’s newest book, Piccolo Uovo (Little Egg), from children’s schools. The book was criticized by pro-family leaders for promoting non-natural family structures of two men and two women.

In a letter accompanying the books, Pardi wrote: “Many parishes across the country are in this period sullying our name and telling falsehoods about our work which deeply offends us. We have respect for Catholics. ... A lot of Catholics give back the same respect, why can’t we have the whole hierarchy of the church behind us?”

The Guardian is reporting that Pardi has now “found an unlikely supporter in Pope Francis,” who through his staff has responded to the author and is presented as “praising her work.” It quotes the following from a July 9 letter to Pardi from the Vatican.

“His holiness is grateful for the thoughtful gesture and for the feelings which it evoked, hoping for an always more fruitful activity in the service of young generations and the spread of genuine human and Christian values,” wrote Peter B. Wells, a senior official at the Vatican Secretariat of State, in a the letter The Guardian is reporting it has seen.  

While the letter gently calls the author to use her talents to spread “genuine human and Christian values,” The Guardian takes it as the pope’s endorsement of gender theory.

“Pope Francis sends letter praising gay children's book,” the paper’s headline states. “Italian book that explores different family types including same sex was banned by mayor of Venice, but pontiff becomes unlikely supporter,” reads the subtitle.

In a press release that Vatican spokesman Fr. Federico Lombardi sent to LifeSiteNews on Friday, the vice speaker of the Vatican, Ciro Benedettini, made clear that the friendly reply letter to the author in no way approves of attitudes or positions that are contrary to Catholic teaching and the Gospels.

The Vatican's statement also says that in the original letter from the secretariat of state Wells merely "acknowledged receipt" of the materials sent by Pardi, and also made clear that the letter was private and not meant for publication. 

"In no way does a letter from the Secretary of State intend to endorse behaviors and teachings not in keeping with the Gospel," says the statement, decrying the "manipulation" of the letter.

Benedettini said the blessing of the pope at the end of the letter was meant to be for the author herself, and not to affirm positions concerning gender theory that are contrary to the Church's teaching. Using the letter to this end is erroneous, he said.

Pope Francis has strongly condemned the notion of “gender theory” on numerous occasions, saying that it is an “error of the human mind that leads to so much confusion.”

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Lisa Bourne

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Poll suggests most US Catholics wrongly believe Pope Francis backs gay ‘marriage’

Lisa Bourne
By Lisa Bourne

August 28, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- A considerable majority of U.S. Catholics are in conflict with Church teaching on abortion and marriage, a new study says, and a startling number of those also believe Pope Francis backs homosexual “marriage.”

Despite Church teachings, Catholics in America also closely parallel the general populace in their support for abortion and homosexual “marriage,” falling short in the Biblical call to be “in the world but not of the world.”

The findings suggest what many Catholics have said is a climate of confusion in the midst of the Francis pontificate. Concerns over that confusion prompted a coalition of pro-family groups to respond with an international petition effort asking the pope to reaffirm Church teaching, drawing more than a half-million signatures.

The survey, conducted by Public Religions Research Institute, found that 60 percent of all U.S. Catholics favor legalized homosexual “marriage,” compared to 55 percent of all Americans. Likewise, 51 percent of Catholics think that abortion should be legal in all or most cases, with 53 percent of the general population holding this view.

The Catholic Church teaches that marriage is a sacramental union between one man and one woman, mirroring Christ and the Church respectively as bridegroom and bride.

The Church also teaches that life begins at conception, that each human life possesses dignity as a child of God and is to be afforded protection, making abortion an intrinsic evil.

Catholics, accounting for 22 percent of adults in the U.S. population, have a favorable view of Pope Francis, the study said, but they are very confused about his take on homosexual “marriage.”

Of the Catholics who back homosexual “marriage,” 49-percent also think the leader of the Catholic Church backs it along with them. Fifteen percent of those Catholics who oppose homosexual “marriage” also mistakenly believe Pope Francis supports it.

Pope Francis has made numerous statements in support of life, marriage and family, but the confusion remains.

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"After Ireland and the U.S. Supreme Court both approved same-sex 'marriage,' a strong reaffirmation of Church teaching could save the sacred institution of marriage, strengthen the family and dispel the lies of the homosexual revolution," TFP Student Action Director John Ritchie stated.  "Young Catholics -- even non-Catholics -- look to the Church as a beacon of morality and stability in our Godless culture, but some of our shepherds have issued confusing statements."

TFP Student Action is a part of the lay Catholic organization American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property, and is part of the alliance behind the Filial Appeal, the petition asking the Holy Father to reinforce Catholic teaching at the Vatican’s upcoming Synod on the Family in October.

Ritchie explained how the confusion was aiding the Church’s enemies, and warned of the potential consequences.

"This prayerful petition asks Pope Francis to clear up the moral confusion that's been spreading against Natural and Divine Law," he said. "If the enemies of the family continue to chip away at holy matrimony, the future of the family and civilization itself will be in even more serious peril."

At press time more than 500,000 signature had been gathered for the appeal, including five cardinals, 117 bishops and hundreds of well-known civic leaders.

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