Sunday, March 9, 2014

Speaker for the Dead, chapter ten, part one, in which that which is not forbidden is mandatory

(Content: marriage coercion, homophobia, slavery, declaration of intent to revolt, and some incidental fat hatred.  Fun content: definitions of adulthood and marriage, and THE BISHOP!)

Speaker for the Dead: pp. 152--158
Chapter Ten: Children of the Mind

This time we open with a delightful Q&A with San Angelo, that not-quite-heretic saint whom I assume is made of wisdom and unicorn giggles since he got Ender’s stamp of approval.  San Angelo founded the Children of the Mind of Christ, and while Rule Two is that you don’t talk about Christ Club, Rule One is that Y’ALL GOTS TO BE MARRIED.  You’re not allowed in the order unless you’re married, but you also must not ever have sex with your spouse to whom you are bonded in holy chains.  (Or anyone else, obvs.)  And the explanation for this is hilarious when you consider the kinds of arguments Card has made against marriage equality.
Question 1: Why is marriage necessary for anyone? 
Fools say, Why should we marry?  Love is the only bond my lover and I need.  To them I say, Marriage is not a covenant between a man and a woman; even the beasts cleave together and produce their young.  Marriage is a covenant between a man and woman on the one side and their community on the other.  To marry according to the law of the community is to become a full citizen; to refuse marriage is to be a stranger, a child, an outlaw, a slave, or a traitor.  The one constant in every society of humankind is that only those who obey the laws, tabus, and customs of marriage are true adults.
 Let's get the obvious point out of the way:

There's so much here I barely know where to start.  I mean, Card's views on same-sex marriage are thoroughly documented and helpfully summarised by GLAAD, so it's kind of hilarious to read him here arguing (through the voice of a literal saint who was a personal friend of Ender Wiggin) that marriage is not about children or even about consecrated hetero fucking, but purely about position in the community.  From this perspective, where marriage is thoroughly detached from sex and signifies only your commitment to maintaining the community, it would seem like we should want everyone to get married, because that represents them stepping up to responsibility.  But then we get to the "laws, tabus, and customs" line and it becomes clear that what Card is arguing for is pure circular privilege.  Male/female couples (I don't say 'different-gender' here simply because there's no way Card thinks there are any other genders) get special privilege because they follow the Marriage Rules, and they should follow the Marriage Rules because they will get special privilege.  It's amazing; he might as well be saying that you're a traitor to the state unless your favourite colour is red, and if your favourite colour isn't red it's obviously because you have willfully chosen to tear down civilisation if it's the last thing you do with the final sinews of your flesh and shards of your bone.  So obviously you couldn't have ever been trusted with the privilege the proper Red-Appreciators have.

(I can't in good conscience recommend that anyone spend their time reading things Orson Scott Card has said, but if you did click on that link there, you'll find the quote where he literally states that marriage equality does nothing to elevate same-sex couples but steals the rightfully-earned privilege of male/female couples.)

I have said all of this without touching on the other patently stupid things that Card asserts in there, like saying that in every culture 'true adults' are the ones who follow the laws of marriage, as if child marriage isn't a thing that has always existed and still exists, as if the Mosuo don't exist, as if the definition of adults haven't been written and rewritten a million times in every different culture.  As if it's meaningful to declare that 'not getting married' defines someone as an outlaw, when the privileges of marriage have been denied to so many people so many times specifically for the purpose of declaring them less-adult, less-human than the people in charge.  (Marriage for enslaved people in the USA's so-recent past leaps to mind.)

It's so, so appropriate that we get this howlingly stupid monastic law in the same book that gives us the Hierarchy of Exclusion, which is supposedly about empathy but is demonstrated to mostly serve to let people say "I don't understand you, so you're not a person".  Card declares groups of people to be traitors and outlaws, then establishes laws that they are forbidden to follow, then declares it's obvious that they're outlaws because they won't follow his laws.  It's like watching a particularly malicious six-year-old inventing new rules halfway through a board game, only it results in couples being denied visitation rights in hospital or being deported.

Anyway.  I'm like 30% sure this blog is actually about eviscerating terrible books.  Don't I have one of those around here?  Hey, look, it's Speaker for the Dead!
Question 2: Why then is celibacy ordained for priests and nuns? 
To separate them from the community.  The priests are servants, not citizens.  They minister to the Church, but they are not the Church.  Mother Church is the bride, and Christ is the bridegroom; the priests and nuns are merely guests at the wedding, for they have rejected citizenship in the community of Christ in order to serve it.
Again, not a Catholic myself, but I'm pretty sure nuns are considered 'married to Christ', even if it's only spiritual and not legal.  (Card is on record that "regardless of law, marriage has only one definition", but apparently changing the definition of 'Catholic nun' is a-okay.)  But now it's time for the best part: Card's obsession with genetic lineage to the exclusion of all other meaning in life, to the point where it requires a special monastic order just to get a footnote.
Question 3: Why then do the Children of the Mind of Christ marry?  Do we not also serve the church? 
We do not serve the Church, except as all women and men serve it through their marriages.  The difference is that where they pass on their genes to the next generation, we pass on our knowledge; their legacy is found in the genetic molecules of generations to come, while we live on in their minds.  Memories are the offspring of our marriages, and they are neither more or less worthy than the flesh-and-blood children conceived in sacramental love.
But by God the only acceptable form of non-child-bearing marriage is a sexless union of woman and man and if the state tries to allow any other kind of legal marriage then Card has literally declared that he will devote himself to destroying that government and re-instituting privilege for himself and his kind.  (Note: making a lifelong loving commitment to someone you're not allowed to marry makes you a disgusting outlaw traitor who wants to destroy society, but living in a society in which marriage is open to all adults requires that you become an outlaw and destroy society.  Don't get those two confused, because they're obviouslly completely different.)

So I'm not sure if the best part of this is the bit where reproductive couples apparently only contribute via genetics, and their intellectual legacy is irrelevant, or if it's the way this whole thing has managed to extensively examine who is not allowed to have sex without actually ever explaining why.  Like, you'd think in a page-long dissertation on priests being forbidden to marry or have sex and the COTMOC being required to marry but not have sex, they might get around to the rationale, but nope.  I wonder at this point vaguely if this is Card trying to be generous (from his perspective) by presenting gay and lesbian people with a socially-acceptable sexless marriage, since remaining unmarried is also considered literal treason.  Speaker is of course almost three decades old; it was published years before his first famous homophobic rants, and he used to occasionally throw a patronising nod in the direction of us queers.  Lacking any indication otherwise, I'm just going to assume that every COTMOC we meet is 100% homosexual.

And that's all I can take of discussing Card's views on marriage, so let's move on to the actual chapter.  We open with some passive-aggression between a priest and Dom Cristão the COTMOC abbot and school principal, which is too boring to detail; the point is that the bishop wants to talk to him.  Dom Cristão follows instantly and obediently, silently predicting what stupid decisions the bishop will have made in response to the rumours about Andrew Wiggin and repeating his monastic name, "Amai a Tudomundo Para Que Deus Vos Ame. Ye Must Love Everyone So That God Will Love You."  It's a tradition to name yourself as a warning against your failings, and Dom Cristão hates stupid people.  That's not a joke; that's the canonical explanation.  Now, don't get me wrong, stupid people frustrate me too, so at first I was going to be totally on-board with this guy, but it turns out he's a colossal jackass

The bishop is waiting with Navio the doctor, whom we are told got fat because he was lazy and is now lazy because he's fat, because fuck you Card, and there is more passive aggression et cetera et cetera.  Navio angrily reports on Ender's threats, and Ye Must Love Dogs silently judges him for his hypocrisy when he won't go to mass every week but he gets so incensed about little things like a total stranger threatening to destabilise the entire colonial government and religious contract resulting in forced deportation of its community.  No priorities, this guy.  Ye Must Love Dogs also doesn't apparently care that Ender literally opened with threats of inquisition, and blames Navio for provoking him and making him more dangerous.  Ye Must Love Dogs says that they should strike first to neutralise the threat, pleasantly surprising the bishop.
"The Filhos are as ardent as any unordained Christian could hope to be," said Dom Cristão. "But since we have no priesthood, we have to make do with reason and logic as poor substitutes for authority." 
Bishop Peregrino suspected irony from time to time, but was never quite able to pin it down.
Oh, please, a stunned duck could spot that insult.  To an ever-increasing degree, I appreciate that Ender's Shadow has an antagonist who's actually as smart as the hero and more charismatic.  The parade of stupid evil people opposing Our Heroes in these books are exhausting.

Of course, Ye Must Love Dogs' secret plan to neutralise the threat from Ender is to do exactly what he says so that he can't call an inquisition.  The bishop is furious and asks if he doesn't see how dangerous Ender is, and Ye Must Love Dogs counters that he does, of course, since COTMOC was founded "precisely because the telling of truth is such a powerful act".  They note how the speakers have cleverly made themselves seem like they aren't a religion, by having no organisation, not performing sacraments, and denying that HQ&H is scripture.  Almost as if they bear no similarity to Catholicism or most religions at all, and calling it a religion is a weird affectation on Card's part.

They discuss the consequences if there was an inquisition and their Catholic License were revoked: immediate recolonisation by twice as many non-Catholics and immediate deportation of a large part of the Catholic population in order to keep the planetary population below the maximum.  There have always been shuttles in orbit ready to cart excess people away, as they expected to start doing in a couple of generations.
"They wouldn't." 
"Starways Congress was formed to stop the jihads and pogroms that were going on in half a dozen places all the time.  An invocation of the religious persecution laws is a serious matter."
Wait, really?  Is the primary purpose of Space Congress supposed to be secular mediation of sectarian violence?  How have there ever been "jihads and pogroms" in this galaxy when every planet has been colonised by a single demographic and official religions are allowed?  Is this book telling me that even thousands of years in the future, when whole planets are up for grabs and colonisation is specifically planned in order to homogenise populations, there is still a Jewish diaspora minority?  (I know 'pogrom' doesn't have to refer to persecuting Jews, but 'jihad' just means 'struggle' and refers to the conflict inherent in trying to balance the practicalities of life with religious duties and virtues, so let's not pretend this isn't racialised and bordering on racist already.)

Ye Must Love Dogs says that no matter how much it sucks, Congress has all the guns, so they've got to do what they say.  He suggests that the bishop, rather than retract his remarks, announce that he has delegated the task of handling the speaker to the COTMOC, so that the rest of the town can go on ignoring him and Card doesn't have to keep coming up with clever name puns in Portuguese.
"In other words," said Peregrino dryly, "the monks of your order will become servants of the infidel." 
Dom Cristão silently chanted his name three times.
I increasingly suspect that Starways Congress has carefully orchestrated the colonisation of Lusitania to put all of their most terrible and incompetent people on one planet and then lock it down forever.  Getting Ender Wiggin in there was a stroke of luck they could never have hoped for, and even now they're preparing the EMP to burn out all of their shuttles.

This is shorter than usual, but that's all I can handle for this week.  Next week Ender meets Ye Must Love Dogs, but it's from Ender's perspective, so we don't get to find out if I'm right that he instantly sees in Ender all of the flawless manly beauty that he joined the COTMOC to get away from.

49 comments:

  1. Lusitania as a B Ark? Makes perfect sense to me.

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  2. Every word of this book is stupid. I cannot wrap my head around how anyone could take this seriously.

    I don't really have anything to add, but I do want to say thanks for linking to the Mosuo Wikipedia page--I'd heard of their marriage practices (or rather, their lack thereof) but didn't know what their name was.

    Wait, no, I do have something else:
    "Starways Congress was formed to stop the jihads and pogroms that were going on in half a dozen places all the time. An invocation of the religious persecution laws is a serious matter."
    So the cure for persecution is segregation? That's repulsive. No no, government, don't bother enforcing your laws and finding a way to prevent people from murdering other peoples because they believe differently than you do--just ship the troublemakers out to another planet! And obviously by "troublemaker" I don't mean "the guys who are running around killing people for being different", but the people who are enraging them to murderous rage with their crime of being different.

    And of course, if they're persecuting others, the solution is to rob them of their own religious freedom and ship in people to make them a religious minority in their own colony? That won't cause any conflicts at all!

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  3. I like the idea that the COTMOC are all lesbian-gay couples. From now on that's my personal head-canon.

    it was published years before his first famous homophobic rants

    Interestingly, no.

    Card's very first published homophobic rant, "The Hypocrites of Homosexuality", which I will not link to because you can easily find it by googling on that one phrase, was published in 1990, in response (Card asserts in his 2003 preface) to the resolution of a court case in 1986, Bowers v. Hardwick. This was a Supreme Court ruling that sodomy laws were constitutional, because there was no "fundamental right to engage in homosexual sodomy" even in the privacy of your own home. The case had been rolling through the courts since 1982, and I gather the ACLU considered they had a fair chance of winning it if the Court ruled on a right to privacy: that could have overtuned all of the sodomy laws in the US. I have no idea if that means Card knew about this possible development when he was writing Speaker, but the dates mean it's at least possible he did.

    Card claims in his preface that he intended the rant to be understood to be internal to Mormon church governance only, but he must have been relying on most people not being able to bear reading his essay for long enough to find the paragraph:

    "This applies also to the polity, the citizens at large. Laws against homosexual behavior should remain on the books, not to be indiscriminately enforced against anyone who happens to be caught violating them, but to be used when necessary to send a clear message that those who flagrantly violate society's regulation of sexual behavior cannot be permitted to remain as acceptable, equal citizens within that society."

    It's interesting to consider the kind of regulated marriages that Card describes in this novel, from the rules about spouses not being allowed to keep secrets from each other onwards, are a direct precursor to Card's first homophobic essay on the necessity of keeping sodomy laws on the books - which was followed, almost immediately after Bowers v. Hardwick was overturned in 2003, by Card's first angry rants about gay marriage. (Even though he had himself been a guest at Janis Ian's marriage to Patricia Snyder in Toronto in August 2003*: by February 2004, Card was ranting that same-sex couples who wanted to call themselves married were children playing dress-up in their parents' clothes, which I think is an actual quote but I can't be bothered to check any more.)

    *(Or so I think I remember hearing, back in 2004 - from someone who assured me that Card *wasn't* homophobic, because look, he had close lesbian friends!)

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  4. I just don't get how he thinks it would work to have all the planets segregated. What happens to all the people of mixed religious/ethnic/sociological background that already exist? I mean my family, working no further out than first cousins, has Jewish, Protestant, Christian Scientist, Baha'i, Atheist/Agnostic, and Muslim. We're less mixed racially, but we still get Vietnamese, every variety of European, and Native American in there. And we're not particularly widely mixed family. You take a picture at a family reunion and we look like the unified white mass.

    And that's now. 3000 years in the future and people have magically resegregated everyone? How many people did they have to kill to do it?

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  5. So the cure for persecution is segregation? That's repulsive.

    There will be no ethnic cleansing if ethnics come pre-cleansed! And fortunately there will be no homegrown schisms on monocultural planets, because cultures and religions never evolve, even after thousands of years.

    And of course, if they're persecuting others, the solution is to rob them of their own religious freedom and ship in people to make them a religious minority in their own colony?


    Can you imagine the recruitment brochures? "Attention all Protestants! Move to scenic Lusitania, where a deadly plague lurks in every native organism but we're pretty sure it won't cause any more trouble! Bask in the resentful glares of your dispossessed Catholic neighbors, still aching from the forced relocation of their loved ones! Establish your own homestead, as long as it's about ten feet across because the colony is forbidden to grow any larger! Raise your children strong and proud, and enjoy them while you can; once the population hits its legal maximum, we'll take them away from you and ship them off to whatever the newest frontier planet might be!"

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  6. Given the character names (Novinha's full name is Portuguese/Russian/German, and she's "black"), I think they just randomly select one of your ancestries and you're legally bound to act like a cartoon of that ethnicity for the rest of your life.

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  7. Yes, that is pretty much it.

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  8. Yes, it does.


    But I used to think Orson Scott Card was OK about LGBT issues and just got worse and more conservative as the years went by. The more I look at even his earlier writings, the more I think no, he was always a mess about "unregulated sex" - by which he seems to mean any sex outside mixed-sex marriage.

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  9. Ah, I understand. I managed to get through my first pass of Ender's Game and most of the Shadow books without learning about any of his spectacular bigotry, but the more I find out the details the more blatant it becomes that he's always had much the same views; they've only gotten louder.

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  10. FWIW, I believe that the particular site you linked to there is a fundamentalist anti-Catholic site,set up to “politely” demonstrate to Catholics how unbiblical their whole way of life is. But yeah, as far as I know most Catholics agree with this particular point.

    Hell's bells. I've removed it and replaced it with a link to a public Catholic forum with actual input from lay Catholics and nuns. (I had to dodge the same with when finding a link for the Mosuo; there are a whole lot of MRA sites out there who are really enthusiastic about the idea of a culture where men can't get 'trapped' in marriage.)

    What you wouldn’t have is Trondheim. There’s no point in a Nordic Theme Planet; Scandinavia has a relatively sparse and slow-growing population, and isn’t well known for its horrible sectarian violence. Leave them on Earth, they’re doing fine.

    This was basically my thinking as well--if there's room for Trondheim in the Hundred Worlds, surely there's at least one Jewish planet. Especially since I would imagine there are, at minimum, a whole lot of non-Israeli Jews who would happily shift to a planet where, if nothing else, they wouldn't have to constantly think about Gentiles. Sure, like fifty of the Hundred Worlds should be Chinese and Indian, but we've already seen that Card doesn't hold with our ivory tower 'sequential counting'. And the Hundred Worlds is such a good name; you've got to figure they'd hold onto it even after they colonised a few more, and then it'd get entrenched, and sooner or later you find out that Lusitania is actually the three-hundred-twenty-eighth planet to join the Hundred Worlds.

    Probably not Cyrillia or (ugh) Divine Wind



    ...What.


    The name--the planet that they named--the people who colonised the planet that was set aside for Japan decided that the best possible name for this world of peace and prosperity and Japanese culture--was KAMIKAZE?!


    I mean, okay, if you go back to the original legend of the Divine Wind that twice saved Japan from invasion by the Mongols by obliterating their fleets in the night, then I guess there's some association to be drawn with the world and the vastness of space that will similarly separate them from outside influences and invaders, much like the mythic storm. But on the other hand, they could also choose literally any other word.

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  11. There's far too much for one Whatnapple here. The insistence that marriage is the only way to adulthood, the Straw Catholics, the Starways Congress supposedly fixing the problem of ethnic and religious tensions by separating everyone to their own planets... it's all bupkis. And the shuttles. The ones that could have easily taken people off of Lusitania at any point. This entire story shouldn't exist because people are generally smarter than this, even when holding the Idiot Ball. What, other than to pay homage to the ego of Ender Wiggin, is the reason that the is still a colony on Lusitania? There's no foreshadowing or anything that suggests Lusitania is somehow essential. Why are they still there?

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  12. "And we're pretty sure the gruesome deaths of two xenobiologists at the hands of the local alien population are not going to be repeated any time soon."

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  13. "And the Hundred Worlds is such a good name; you've got to figure they'd
    hold onto it even after they colonised a few more, and then it'd get
    entrenched, and sooner or later you find out that Lusitania is actually
    the three-hundred-twenty-eighth planet to join the Hundred Worlds."

    Much like the Big 10.

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  14. "Barely one person per decade has been excruciatingly vivisected by the locals, and if it happens again we are willing to consider striking a committee to consider an application to lift the ban on asking them why they keep doing that, because so far we haven't asked or ever discussed it at all or indicated that we don't know why it happened or that we're sad."

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  15. "Enjoy our fine Lusitanian drinking establishments, soon to be serving vodka, in the happy knowledge that if you get violent while drunk nobody's going to give a crap!"

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  16. Well, my ancestry is something along the lines of Welsh and Swiss, and I am neither musical nor neat. Is there a planet for those who Fail Ethnic Stereotype Forever?

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  17. I keep thinking I'd have to set a leftover planet for gays, goths, people who aren't stereotypical and other assorted misfits if I lived in this reality. Our planet would be so fun!

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  18. On reflection, I'm somewhat confused as to whether or not a reason exists. See how you interpret the later passages on this point.

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  19. About the orbiting starships: A while ago I had to get another copy of Speaker when my old one fell apart, and they’re different editions. The passage I quoted last week was from the older edition, but the Author’s Definitive Edition changed it to this:
    Bishop Peregrino fondled his ring. “But would the Starways Congress actually authorize that? They have a fixed limit on the size of this colony—bringing in that many infidels would far exceed that limit.”
    “But you must know that they’ve already made provisions for that. Since a Catholic License guarantees unrestricted population growth, Starways Congress will send starships when it’s necessary to carry off our excess population in forced emigration. They expect to do it in a generation or two—what’s to stop them from beginning now?”
    “They wouldn’t.”

    So for some reason, Card droppped the starships already in place.

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  20. "'In other words,' said Peregrino dryly, 'the monks of your order will become servants of the infidel.'
    Dom Cristão silently chanted his name three times.
    "

    — because Dom Peregrino had proven himself not to be so very stupid after all.

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  21. Yeah, with the original Ark specifically constructed so as to keep afloat and Lusitania...specifically constructed not to (ergo the bad-luck name).

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  22. "So yeah, there probably is a Jewish minority and a Roma minority and a Mayan minority and a Tibetan minority. Perhaps they’re all still stuck on Earth because they weren’t big or important enough to get a planet..."

    Then the meek have inherited the Earth.

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  23. Somehow I got the impression that "the Hundred Worlds" meant the planets with actual representation in the Dark Council Starways Congress. But the text does appear to say otherwise.


    My fan-theory could have explained a few oddities. Maybe the first wave of colonization produced about a hundred worlds of Speaker-followers, or whatever the people who buy Ender's religion call themselves (not "listeners," I'll bet). So it's still "the only religion" for colonists at the end of EG. Then this weird program of forced colonization created most of the communities we actually see or hear about, which seem to have a majority following some other religion even before Ender lectures at them.


    Oh, well.

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  24. I was actually thinking of the Golgafrincham B Ark, which intended to carry away all the people who were entirely useless - management consultants, insurance salesmen, telephone sanitizers, and the like - while everyone else stayed behind. Your point about the name is certainly apt, though.

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  25. Another thing - the user of the word "infidel" is a bit... archaic for these future Catholics, considering that the recommendations of Vatican II have been in existence for twenty years at this point. It's possible that these particular Catholics are members of the Society of Saint Pius X, and have thus not had a legitimate Pope in their eyes for three thousand years, producing this particular anachronism of terminology, but I don't think so. I would more likely believe the Bishop calling the potential colonizers "schismatics" or "apostates" or "heretics", possibly "unbelievers" if they're not Christians than I would believe "infidel". It's probably just another instance of Did Not Do The Research, but if it's intentional, then it's quite odd.

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  26. Which is slightly less in need of an entire grove of whatnaples, but raises other problems like...how do you properly time those starships?

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  27. I think they're juggling an entire set of Idiot Balls.
    I'm also fairly certain one could depopulate the entire Hundred Worlds simply by leaving one of those "Pick Me Up" grenades from Mom and Dad Save the World lying about somewhere.

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  28. Yeah, the entire phrase "servants of the infidel" sounds pretty 1200-ish. I think Card just thought "Hm, what should an angry backwards *cough*darkskinned*cough* religious dude sound like?", consulted a few 50's period movies about the Crusades, and called it a day.

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  29. Also, Divine Wind is a specific noun/event, whereas most Japanese place names tend to be more descriptive and often really literal. Like, 'Tokyo' is literally 'East Capital' because it was the capital that was founded east of Kyoto. (I think Kyoto is literally Capital City but don't quote me, it's been awhile and my Japanese is rusty.) Nihon/Nippon really does mean "source of the sun." Most of the city names translate to something-island, something-river, something-mountain.

    I mean, this is how most places are named, it's just more obvious in Japanese because of the way kanji work. But I would expect a new all-Japanese planet to end up named something like 'New World' or 'New Country.' Definitely not Kamikaze. >_> Not that Card cares.

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  30. Right, because our Portuguese-speaking Brazillian Catholic Expy would sound exactly like an Arabic-speaking Turkish Muslim Expy. Perhaps they are, to Card, because they're both Dark-Skinned-Not-My-Religion.

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  31. Ender also already called himself 'infidel' back a few chapters ago, when he met Olhado, although I don't have the book on hand to check how much he had heard about the bishop's morning demagoguery. I'm not sure if that means Card just thinks 'infidel' is objectively the best term in this situation, or if Ender's simply supposed to have correctly guessed the flavour of bigotry the bishop has espoused.

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  32. From using Google, it seems to me that "infidel" is actually still used frequently by Mormons (and ex-Mormons who proudly call themselves "infidels"). So perhaps this is simply an instance Card thought his own religious vocabulary was still in wider usage.

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  33. The Rhythm Method.

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  34. FWIW, I was raised Mormon and have never heard someone in the church use the word "infidel" seriously. It's always been something like, "That's what I think, but I'm a coffee-drinking infidel." Even then, I've usually heard people say heathen or heretic instead. Of course, it might be different wherever Card is from.

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  35. Honestly, I think even that non-serious usage is more than the word gets among non-Mormons. It shows the word may be dying out, though.

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  36. The deeper we go into this, the more convinced I am that this is just a science-fictiony fanfic of his mission-trip community. Like, what if this village was this village... In Space? What if all this Catholicism all around was... SPACE CATHOLICISM?! What if that asshole alcoholic drunk husband of that one woman I kinda think is hot and wish were single was really a tool in her far-reaching scheme of Science and Infidelity? WHAT IF THOSE IRRITATING PIGS THAT ROAM AROUND SHITTING EVERYWHERE ARE REALLY IN FACT ALIENS?!?!?!? Ad naseum. Which is why none of the pieces of the setting we've been shown fit together or make sense, because they are all hyper-exaggerations or adaptations of a real place, but no effort was put into making that fantasy-version of each thing consistent with any of the other things.

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  38. They discuss the consequences if there was an inquisition and their Catholic License were revoked: immediate recolonisation by twice as many non-Catholics and immediate deportation of a large part of the Catholic population in order to keep the planetary population below the maximum. There have always been shuttles in orbit ready to cart excess people away, as they expected to start doing in a couple of generations.
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  39. You know what you call people who time their starships by the Rhythm Method?
    Late.

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  40. I'm actually a little sad right now on account of not getting to live on the Planet of Misfit People.

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  41. And 'Japan' is the Mandarin[?] pronunciation of the kanji that make up "Nihon", so, that's how that happened.

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  42. The bishop is waiting with Navio the doctor, whom we are told got fat because he was lazy and is now lazy because he's fat, because fuck you Card, and there is more passive aggression et cetera et cetera. Navio angrily reports on Ender's threats, and Ye Must Love Dogs silently judges him for his hypocrisy when he won't go to mass every week but he gets so incensed about little things like a total stranger threatening to destabilise the entire colonial government and religious contract resulting in forced deportation of its community.
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  45. One World Presentation Management. Providing solutions for
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  46. One World Presentation Management. Providing solutions for
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