Matt Arnold (matt_arnold) wrote,
Matt Arnold

Brandon Sanderson's Position on Gay Marriage

Brandon Sanderson, a Mormon, a fantasy author (I'll leave off the easy joke), and Penguicon's Author Guest of Honor, recently took a position similar to mine; that the government should get out of the marriage business. Everyone should just get a civil union, and if you want to also get married, you can get that in any ceremony of your choice. If you're religious, you get it through whatever ceremony your religion involves.

He also claimed that homosexuality is sin; but only a minor impediment to spiritual growth, like littering. We see this all the time these days. "I have to say homosex is a minor speed bump on the path of spiritual growth, I guess?" *SHRUG* I think it should be called the Shrug Maneuver. Or maybe the Palms Upturned Shoulder Shrug Evasive Equivocation. I remember being in the same place. I give it ten years, and he'll have changed his mind about this too.

Then there's the second classic maneuver: "But the gays are not nearly as bad as I am! If I call myself bad too, then it's OK!" (Imagine the equivalent: "I think blacks smell funny, but I'm not racist, because smelling bad is not some great evil, and because I think I smell terrible!") It's just not a fact.

No matter how milquetoast and apologetic he is about it, he himself would be outraged at the very thought of such a position if it weren't for his faith shoving this baloney down his reluctant, gagging throat.

He describes the tough place one is in when trying to reconcile tradition. There is a unique irony in this. It's kind of like the way he was chosen to finish Robert Jordan's Wheel of Time series. How many pages long was it when he got it? Like the Book of Mormon, it must have landed on his desk with a thud. Here, Brandon! You're stuck with thousands and thousands of Robert Jordan's judgements and decisions and have to figure out how to work around it. Most of them are pretty good, but none of them perfect, and some of them atrocious. but they're canon now, and you've got to act like God gave the Wheel of Time series to Robert Jordan on gold tablets.

Now, you might think it is consistent with an iconoclastic style to say "screw the Wheel of Time canon" or "Star Trek is better in J.J. Abrams' reboot" or "I like the new Battlestar Galactica". Actually no. I'm just advocating for original work. At the risk of stretching this metaphor too far, atheism means original work. Which is why you can't get atheists to agree on very much.

Trying to retcon stupid doctrines basically constitutes fanservice. In a long history of bad ideas, the idea of a god's perfect word through a prophet is the worst idea this species has ever had. Gods do not hand down perfection to man, whether it's Joseph Smith or anyone else. That just gets in the way of correcting mistakes. God had some good characters but seemed to get lost in a cult of personality bigger than Heinlein, lost the plot, and vanished up his own ass somewhere around Leviticus, when he wasn't even four books into the series. The reboots made some improvements, but not near enough.
Tags: culture, equality, literature, politics, religion

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