Orson Scott Card is one of my favorite authors. Yes, he’s Mormon, but the reason I love his writing is because of how clearly he explains complex scientific ideas and philosophical arguments. Sometimes he is so seamlessly convincing that I find myself nodding in agreement before I’ve actually considered the ramifications. Even if I eventually disagree, he shows me why reasonable people might believe differently.
Silly as I feel admitting this, I was surprised the day I found out OSC was a Democrat. Because, you know, I’m not. Maybe it’s just me, but it seems human nature to unconsciously assume people we admire share our beliefs. Or at least, a majority of them.
I’m not the only OSC fan to learn this is not so. For instance, to the horror of fans who interpreted Ender’s Game as an anti-war treatise, he supported the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. (In fact, he still supports intervention in the middle east.) Others who loved Songmaster for its sympathetic portrayal of a gay man were appalled to learn OSC opposes gay marriage and believes homosexual behavior is self-destructive. He seems pretty conservative, but some Republicans may be annoyed by his agreement with President Obama’s executive order halting the deportation of illegal immigrants who entered the country before age 16.
Some people will turn on you if they find out you disagree with them politically. Oh, they’ll accept all manner of religious differences. But it’s as though the majority mindset has become one of “religion doesn’t really matter because it doesn’t affect real life.” Politics, on the other hand? That’s sacred.
I don’t know how to proactively deal with every conflict, but I would like to peacefully co-exist with my loved ones of all political stripes. So I’ve come up with these mantras to remind me:
• I love my friends and family. So I should treat them—and their friends—with kindness.
• They are not stupid. So I shouldn’t talk to them like they are.
• I should keep my temper. If I can’t, I should take a time out.
• Religious values may inform my politics, but politics is not my religion. If it were, I would inevitably be “tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” (Ephesians 4:14)
I’m not perfect in applying these guidelines, but I figure it’s a start. So ... what would you add to the mix?
In the city,
like bitmapped mountains
pulse with interior stars.
Streets flow with headlights
like glowing corpuscles
through webbed capillaries.
My neighborhood crawls
busy enough to fascinate
any ant farm gazer.
My house clings to earth
like mudded swallow’s nest.
I strew colored nothings.
My children, too,
like wild, young larks,
push over the edge