Dan Savage, founder of the “It Gets Better” anti-bullying and self-respect campaign, was speaking to a conference of high school journalists recently. This has been circulating a couple weeks already, but I want to comment on it anyway.
Prepare for outrage.
We can learn to ignore the b***s*** in the Bible about gay people… we ignore b***s*** in the Bible about all sorts of things. The Bible is a radically pro-slavery document. … We ignore what the Bible says about slavery because the Bible got slavery wrong…. The Bible got the easiest moral question that humanity has ever faced wrong–slavery. What are the odds that the Bible got something as complicated as human sexuality wrong? 100%….There is no effort to amend state constitutions to stone women to death on their wedding night if they’re not virgins. At least not yet. We don’t know where the GOP is going these days….
It’s funny as someone who’s on the receiving end of beatings that are justified by the Bible, how pansy-a**ed some people react when pushed back. I apologize if I’ve hurt anyone’s feelings, but I have a right to defend myself, and to point out the hypocrisy of people who justify anti-gay bigotry by pointing to the Bible and insisting we must live by the code of Leviticus on this one issue and no other.
This is what respect looks like? This is what understanding looks like? NO.
Dan Savage doesn’t know how not-obvious the slavery issue was 2,000 years ago, and he doesn’t know what the Bible teaches about it. He doesn’t know what it was in history that has made the right answer obvious. He’s fully ignorant on this, but he pronounces on it anyway. Is that respect? Is that understanding? NO.
Dan Savage doesn’t know what the Bible teaches about “stoning women to death on their wedding night.” He’s fully ignorant on this. Is that respect? Is that understanding? NO.
Dan Savage doesn’t know what Leviticus teaches, or how it related to the culture of its day, or how it relates to today, or why Leviticus isn’t the only text from which Christians gain our understanding of human sexuality. He’s fully ignorant on it, and yet he pronounces on it anyway. Is that respect? Is that understanding? NO.
Dan Savage laughed at the people walking out the door, and called them names. He encouraged the rest of the people there to laugh at them. Is this how you demonstrate a message of anti-bullying? NO.
Dan Savage spoke of hypocrisy at the end of this segment. Is this how you demonstrate that? YES!
Caution: the language in the video is (obviously) no better than what I quoted above.
Follow-up: Savage apologized, admitting that his word choice [pansy-a**ed] “was insulting, it was name-calling, and it was wrong.”
In a blog post on Sunday, Savage wrote that his remark at a conference for the Journalism Education Association and the National Scholastic Press Association was “being spun as an attack on Christianity. Which is bullshhh… which is untrue.”
“I was not attacking the faith in which I was raised,” Savage wrote. “I was attacking the argument that gay people must be discriminated against — and anti-bullying programs that address anti-gay bullying should be blocked (or exceptions should be made for bullying ‘motivated by faith’) — because it says right there in the Bible that being gay is wrong.”
Homosexuals often insist that their sexual orientation can’t be separated from their identity, that it is their identity. That’s a sad message in many ways. It’s ironic, though in light of that, that someone like Dan Savage thinks he can separate out one part of Christian belief, jump all over it with jackbooted feet, and try to convince people he’s not attacking any of it at all. Ironic, and once again, a nice display of hypocrisy.
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