One of the reasons I love reading Orson Scott Card is because it’s fun to see LDS church references in some of his books. He isn’t always overt about it (although anyone who has even started reading 1st and 2nd Nephi can’t miss it when they begin reading the Homecoming series), and lots of people don’t realize they’re in there sometimes. It makes me feel like I’m in on some sort of an inside joke. Maybe I am.
I recently finished reading his new book, Empire, and in light of current events, it seemed relevant.
The book is set at some point in the relatively near future. Political rhetoric and divisiveness have led to a small-scale civil war. Of course this happens right after the president and vice president have been assassinated. And who happens to be the Speaker of the House? Why, a Mormon boy from Idaho! And what is the Constitution doing? Why, it’s hanging by a thread!
A reference to the Constitution hanging by a thread, in those words, is used in this book. Classic! It’s what sustained me when Card killed off my favorite character.
This is reference, of course, to the infamous White Horse Prophecy, which LDS folks (especially here in Utah) quote around election time. And I’ve heard it bandied about this go by hopelessly hopeful Mitt Romney supporters. Of course, the White Horse Prophecy was one dismissed by Joseph Fielding Smith as “trash,” but one can see the appeal.
Empire itself was okay. A little melodramatic, and Card’s obvious conservative leanings are apparent. But he does try, and he seems to be trying hard to depict most liberals as reasonable people (the baddies are radical liberals, still smarting over the 2000 election, who have taken over New York City). But, there are always some good action scenes in Card’s books, and I do like his delving into questions of history and politics.
And I had a great time with the whole Mormon president and Constitution thing. And — spoiler alert! — the Mormon president does usher the country through this crisis, saving the Constitution and decently not running for re-election.
Tags: Orson Scott Card, Mormon president, White Horse Prophecy, Constitution hanging by a thread