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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Christian clerk fights on as Sixth Circuit orders her to issue gay ‘marriage’ licenses

Dustin Siggins Dustin Siggins Follow Dustin
By Dustin Siggins

ROWAN COUNTY, KY, August 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- A federal appeals court has ordered Christian clerk Kim Davis to provide same-sex “marriage” licenses, but she’s refusing to give in.

Davis, a Democrat, says that her Christian beliefs will not allow her to issue licenses for same-sex “marriages.” Despite pressure from Democrat Gov. Steve Beshear, a lawsuit from the ACLU, and two federal court rulings, Davis has refused to issue any licenses while the matter is still working its way through the courts.

However, the Sixth District Court of Appeals said Davis must issue the licenses.

While critics say Davis must follow the law as a public employee, she says the First Amendment protects her decision even as a government worker. In addition to being sued by the ACLU, she has pro-actively taken her case to court.

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Beshear told all government employees that "you can continue to have your own personal beliefs, but, you’re also taking an oath to fulfill the duties prescribed by law, and if you are at that point to where your personal convictions tell you that you simply cannot fulfill your duties that you were elected to do, then obviously an honorable course to take is to resign and let someone else step in who feels that they can fulfill those duties.”

The initial court decision against Davis was stayed 10 days ago. Liberty Counsel's Mat Staver, whose organization represents Davis, told CNN that they might appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court and are hoping the high court would issue a stay of the Sixth Circuit ruling in the interim.

A poll of Kentucky voters that was released last month found that 50 percent of the state backs natural marriage, while only 37 percent supported its redefinition. 

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Christians at Duke U refuse to read lesbian porn novel assignment

Steve Weatherbe
By Steve Weatherbe

DURHAM, NC, August 27, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) -- Christian freshmen at Duke University are refusing to read an assigned graphic novel depicting masturbation and homosexual intercourse. The university says the assignment was optional and won’t discipline the holdouts.

Brian Grasso emerged as the spokesperson for the dissenters after he posted his decision on the Class of 2019’s closed Facebook page. Opponents have done their best to mock and deride the holdouts as ignoramuses who don’t belong at Duke, but Grasso has addressed all their jibes, first to Duke’s student paper and then in an op-ed in the Washington Post, intelligently and engagingly.

The book at issue is Fun Home, a fictional depiction by lesbian artist Alison Bechdel of growing up with a homosexual, suicidal dad and discovering sex with other girls. “After researching the book’s content and reading a portion of it, I chose to opt out of the assignment,” Grasso told Post readers, explaining he was not opposed to learning about homosexuality any more than he would be with the ideas of “Freud, Marx or Darwin,” though he might find them immoral too.

“But in the Bible,” he went on, “Jesus forbids his followers from exposing themselves to anything pornographic. ‘But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart,’ he says in Matthew 5:28-29. ‘If your right eye causes you to stumble, gouge it out and throw it away.’” He then cited St. Paul to support his argument.

Grasso knew Christians would be in the minority at Duke, he admitted, but what surprised him was that Duke would blithely assign something so obviously offensive to this minority. “Duke did not seem to have people like me in mind. It was like Duke didn’t know we existed, which surprises me.”

But Patrick Reilly, the president of the Cardinal Newman Society, an organization devoted to promoting American Catholic orthodoxy at Catholic universities, isn’t surprised. “American society has been moving away from Christian values or even neutrality, especially at secular institutions but even at Catholic and other Christian schools,” Reilly told LifeSiteNews. He urged Catholic and other Christian parents and high school students to choose their universities carefully.

Other freshmen have supported Grasso: Bianca d’Souza said the novel’s ideas were important but the salacious content unnecessary and offensive. Jeffrey Wubbenhorst wrote, “”The nature of ‘Fun Home’ means that the content that I might have consented to read in print now violates my conscience due to its pornographic content.”

But others from the class of 2019 responded, “Reading the book will allow you to open your mind to a new perspective and to examine a way of life and thinking with which you are unfamiliar.”

In the same vein students wrote the Duke student newspaper Chronicle, mocking the dissenters with references to a Dr. Seuss children’s book. “Mermaid Warrior,” for example, wrote, “I’m sure there are people who think Cat in the Hat sends bad messages. That’s a big problem I have with complaints like these, ‘I shouldn’t be expected to read stuff I disagree with!’ It’s like, guess what, there’s no way to find something that everyone will agree with.”

But Grasso makes clear his issue isn’t with disagreeable ideas at all. “I think there is an important distinction between images and written words. If the book explored the same themes without sexual images or erotic language, I would have read it. But viewing pictures of sexual acts, regardless of the genders of the people involved, conflict with the inherent sacredness of sex. My beliefs extend to pop culture and even Renaissance art depicting sex.”

Inevitably, Duke itself weighed in. The book was selected for summer reading by the freshman class, explained Duke’s vice president or public affairs, Michael Schoenfeld, “because it is a unique and moving book that transcends genres and explores issues that students are likely to confront.”

After touting its artistic value and noting that a Broadway adaptation won the Best Musical award for 2015, he noted that the book was not a requirement and there would be no examination or grading. He expressed the hope that Duke’s 1,750 freshmen would arrive with open minds willing to “explore new ideas.”

But for all that, Schoenfeld did not explore the issues raised by Grasso: morality, pornography and the sexualization of relations.

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John Jalsevac John Jalsevac Follow John

Aborted babies’ hands too disturbing? Solution: chop them off before shipping the bodies

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By John Jalsevac
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August 26, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) - As if we needed more evidence that many of those in the abortion industry know perfectly well what they are doing, along comes the latest undercover video from the Center for Medical Progress (CMP).

The video includes disturbing undercover footage of a conversation with Cate Dyer, the CEO of StemExpress, a biomedical firm that acquires the bodies of aborted babies from Planned Parenthood clinics.

During that conversation Dyer infamously jokes with an undercover investigator about the need to warn lab techs ahead of time when a fully “intact” aborted baby's cadaver is being shipped to them.

But there it is: that hand, in all of its beauty, and its horror. Beautiful, as every hand is beautiful. Horrific, in that it is attached to a dismembered arm, yanked out of its socket, and swimming in a pool of the baby’s intestines and other body parts, to be bartered over and sold. 

“If you have intact cases, which we’ve done a lot, we sometimes ship those back to our lab in its entirety,” she says. "Tell the lab it's coming, so they don't open the box and" scream. "Their lab techs freak out and have meltdowns."

"Academic labs cannot fly like that, they are just not capable," Dyer adds condescendingly. "It's almost like they don't want to know where it comes from. I can see that."

But don’t worry, Dyer makes it clear she knows exactly where fetal tissue comes from, and isn't bothered in the least.  However, she agrees with a joke made by the undercover investigator, that if you’re going to be shipping the intact body of an aborted baby, it would be best to always make sure that the “eyes are closed.”

But surely the saddest part of the conversation comes when Dyer reveals how some of those squeamish lab techs manage to get around their natural repugnance at receiving little, perfectly-formed babies’ bodies in the mail, which they will then slice and dice – all in the name of “medical progress,” of course.

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She says that she often receives instructions from scientists who experiment on aborted babies that, "We need limbs, but no hands and feet need to be attached."

A curious request, no? But then again, there is something especially pesky about those tiny hands and feet, isn’t there?

Human hands are, after all, a true marvel of nature – so far surpassing in dexterity the appendages of any other mammal, the unparalleled tools that have enabled human beings to build empires, create art of breathtaking beauty, and to express themselves in myriad different ways. So marvelous, in fact, that Isaac Newton is reported to have said, “In the absence of any other proof, the thumb alone would convince me of God’s existence.”

Not only are hands and feet useful, but they knit human beings together in intimacy: lovers will hold or squeeze their beloved's hands, and friends will soothe their friends in time of sorrow by taking their hands. And then there is the case of new parents, who will go into raptures over the hands and feet of their newborn babies, and speak, using the foolish language of love, of wanting to “eat” them. Mothers will shower their newborn babies’ feet with kisses, and tickle them, and will study and fall in love with every dimple, every crease.

Perhaps that is why so many people found the fifth (or was it the sixth? I’m losing track of the horrors) video so disturbing: that footage inside the lab, when the man behind the camera uses his tweezers to delicately lift up a dismembered arm, with the hand still attached.

That arm, it is true, would not have been half so disturbing, were it not for the hand. But there it is: that hand, in all of its beauty, and its horror. Beautiful, as every hand is beautiful. Horrific, in that it is attached to a dismembered arm, yanked out of its socket, and swimming in a pool of the baby’s intestines and other body parts, to be bartered over and sold. 

Before this, we have heard the lab techs on camera identifying the baby as a twin, at about 20-weeks gestation. In other words, a baby on the very verge of viability.

But no mother will gaze in raptures at those hands and those feet. Instead, Planned Parenthood will discuss how much they can “get” for each "specimen." And perhaps Cate Dyer will instruct her staff to cut off the hands or the feet before shipping the limbs to those too-tender-hearted lab techs who might “freak out” and “have a meltdown” at being forced to see too much of the truth.

But what does it say about us, and our politicians, that the videos with those pesky hands and feet are out there circulating, watched by millions, and yet we are not “freaking out” or having any meltdowns?

Instead, our politicians are dismissing the video as being "highly edited," as if David Daleiden of CMP is a CGI wizard who can conjure up dismembered limbs at will, and even though even Planned Parenthood has never denied the existence of those dismembered arms and legs, but has only implausibly denied that they are illegally "profiting" from the sale of the appendages - as if illegally profiting from the sale is somehow worse than the fact that they have dismembered the babies in the first place. 

If the dismembered hands and feet aren't enough to awaken our consciences, and to force our politicians to stop the massacre, what will be? I fear the answer to that question. 

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