I found out about this from David Powers King, one of the co-authors, whose blog I visit sporadically (yeah, I'm such a bad blog reader) and also because we were specifically pointed that way by DL Hammons, who runs a really cool Blog Blitz thing. So I'm writing this now, because I will forget, as all the world forgets, the bigotry religious people have against people who don't believe in the same things that they do. It's easy to decry the hate that is thrown at your community whilst forgetting the hatred you show the people who believe things which are against your views and your religion.
I'm not LDS (Latter Day Saints / Mormon).
But I am a Christian and I am all too aware of the things Christians do and say against the LGBT community. I haven't quite figured out whether being gay is nature or nurture, or all the rights and wrongs and nuances that come with it, but you know what? I don't think I really need to figure that out to remember that they are people too, and ultimately, it's people we're called to love, not what they stand for.
Also, as Rushdie said:
"I do think that one of the characteristics of our age is the growth of this culture of offendedness. It has to do with the rise of identity politics, where you're invited to define your identity quite narrowly – you know, Western, Islamic, whatever it might be."The thing is, in a way, I do understand where Mortimer and Cedar Fort is coming from. They seem to be taking a stand that "no, this is not what our business stands for and this is what we do not want to do/be seen to promote." Which is fine, if you weren't already in a contract and weren't already going to publish the book in like, what, two months. To be that far into the deal before bringing up the fact that you have a problem with who the author is is just... stupid.
He continued: "Classically, we have defined ourselves by the things we love. By the place which is our home, by our family, by our friends. But in this age we're asked to define ourselves by hate. That what defines you is what pisses you off. And if nothing pisses you off, who are you?"
The other problem is that they are using stupid reasons such as "we will have much better sales if we can get into Deseret Book and Seagull" which they should have thought of even before signing the book deal, since Michael Jensen isn't exactly quiet about his orientation. It wasn't like a secret that popped out of nowhere. I mean, if they had taken the bother to find out a little more about the authors, they wouldn't even be in this situation.
Also, spewing homophobic speech doesn't actually help you make a point. Ever.
On the other hand, does refusing to change your biography to something more "politically correct" count as pushing the LGBT agenda? I don't think so. And at any rate, from what the comments say, the story itself is perfectly clean. It was, after all, co-authored by King, who is also LDS, and it features a heterosexual relationship. Also as many commenters have pointed out, how many people actually read the author biographies anyway?
I guess the question is this (okay, sorry, many questions):
How fairly do you treat people who aren't in your "camp"? Does the fact that they are not Christians (or LDS or Muslims or Hindus or whatever) change the way you perceive them? Does it change the way you do business with them? Are you able to still love them and treat them with dignity and respect even if you don't agree with their lifestyle?
Or are you just going to write them off as "sinners" and say they get what they deserve?
Kudos to David Powers King for standing up for his friend and co-author.
Press release here.
Also excellently covered by Amber Argyle and Larry Correia.