First and most succinctly, Savage’s historical revisionism is at odds with primary sources that enlighten the events of the past, such as these words penned by former slave Booker T. Washington in his celebrated book, Up From Slavery:
If no other consideration had convinced me of the value of a Christian life, the Christlike work which the Church of all denominations in America has done during the last thirty-five years for the elevation of the black man would have made me a Christian.
In concert with this, when one studies abolition movements, we find that most of the leading figures who made immense personal sacrifices for this cause were dedicated Christians acting in accordance with Biblical principles. These include William Wilberforce, Thomas Clarkson, Granville Sharp, Frederick Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, John Newton, James Ramsay, James Stephen, Elizabeth Heyrick, and many other Christians, whose selfless deeds are chronicled in academic texts like Bury the Chains: Prophets and Rebels in the Fight to Free an Empire’s Slaves.
Also, I wonder how many of the students applauding Savage would have preferred that their parents had followed his sexual ethic in full. (Maybe some of their parents did; I wonder how many of those students were glad about it.) As Mark Oppenheimer writes,
In Savage Love, his weekly column, he inveighs against the American obsession with strict fidelity. In its place he proposes a sensibility that we might call American Gay Male, after that community’s tolerance for pornography, fetishes and a variety of partnered arrangements, from strict monogamy to wide openness….
The view that we need a little less fidelity in marriages is dangerous for a gay-marriage advocate to hold. It feeds into the stereotype of gay men as compulsively promiscuous, and it gives ammunition to all the forces, religious and otherwise, who say that gay families will never be real families and that we had better stop them before they ruin what is left of marriage. But Savage says a more flexible attitude within marriage may be just what the straight community needs. Treating monogamy, rather than honesty or joy or humor, as the main indicator of a successful marriage gives people unrealistic expectations of themselves and their partners. And that, Savage says, destroys more families than it saves….
“The mistake that straight people made,” Savage told me, “was imposing the monogamous expectation on men. Men were never expected to be monogamous. Men had concubines, mistresses and access to prostitutes, until everybody decided marriage had to be egalitarian and fairsey.” In the feminist revolution, rather than extending to women “the same latitude and license and pressure-release valve that men had always enjoyed,” we extended to men the confines women had always endured. “And it’s been a disaster for marriage.”
What do you think, students? Wouldn’t life be better with both Dad and Mom running around?
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