Orson Scott Card — author of many science fiction, contemporary fantasy and biblical novels including the award-winning Ender’s Game series — spoke to the Washington DC Chapter of the BYU Management Society about the ongoing dismantling of the values and culture of America.
In the 1960s, we started listening to stories that struck at the very heart of our Good, Strong Culture. These destructive stories fall into several groups:
1. The old morality is stupid. You can’t stop kids from having sex. Sexual fidelity is old-fashioned and selfish. It will liberate women to let men have sex with them without demanding any kind of commitment from them. Fetuses are not persons and you can kill them without conscience. Men have no right to have opinions about abortion. A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle. Marriage should last only as long as you’re enjoying it and it’s nobody’s fault if it ends. Everybody lies about sex.
2. Amerika isn’t really a good culture. We mistreat other countries. We mistreat the poor. When we’re in conflict with other countries it’s our fault. Of course they hate us — we deserve their hatred. Their cultures are just as good as our culture — in fact, they’re better. Anybody who wants to be a soldier to fight for Amerika is a crypto-fascist, a violent dangerous person. Good people don’t want to be soldiers because soldiers are just killers with permission.
3. God is dead. People who believe in God are ignorant or stupid or, at the very best, deceived. Conservative Jews and Christians who try to promote their values are forcing their religion on other people. Political decisions should all be made without regard to the desires and opinions of religious people.
4. People who don’t have the same political beliefs as me are evil or stupid. They should be fired from their jobs. The law should be whatever I want it to be, and laws I don’t like should be struck down in any way possible. Speakers, writers, and demonstrators on their side are a public danger and must be stopped, but speakers, writers, and demonstrators on my side are exercising their sacred rights. (Please note — it’s easy to see how this paragraph describes your opponents, but you’re not getting the point if you don’t also look at the same attitudes when they show up within your own ideological camp.)
5. My side should have complete control of the education of everybody else’s children. School is only a meal ticket; all education is vocational training.
6. If you don’t give unlimited overtime to the company that hired you, then you’re not serious about your career. If you put your family first, you’re not a team player. The only law in business is do what works, as long as you can get away with it. The answer to all doubts is: It’s business.
7. Forget about the time when the “American dream” was to be independent and self-reliant. Now it’s to have all the same stuff other people have and to be guaranteed that you’ll have the same rewards as people who are luckier or harder working or smarter than you.
Do these stories sound familiar? They should — and because so many people believe them, we have the horrible social chaos that surrounds us. Millions of fatherless children, unwed mothers, broken homes, delayed marriages — in other words: Visible widespread reproductive failure…
If you really believe that all the old American stories were evil and worthless (even though they led to America’s world dominance, economically, militarily, and culturally), then of course you should try to replace that culture with a better one. But it’s a good idea, before striking down the old stories, to be sure you have new stories that will create a culture at least as Good and at least as Strong as the one you’re tearing down.
Read more of Orson Scott Card’s speech here.