Dan Savage discusses bible at High School Journalism convention

Almira
Broadway Star
joined:12/6/09
I disagree. Savage seems like a total bottom.


Which is fine by me.
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. - Eleanor Roosevelt
Almira
Broadway Star
joined:12/6/09
I disagree. Savage seems like a total bottom.


Which is fine by me.
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. - Eleanor Roosevelt
Phyllis Rogers Stone
Broadway Legend
joined:9/16/07
People should just Google for more information. It seems like the speech (perhaps the entire conference?) was about anti-bullying. How do you expect a prominent gay speaker to talk about anti-bullying and NOT talk about the bible? Especially since - with perhaps the exception of his terrible terrible mistake to use the awful terrible world-ending word "bull****" - is pretty much the same thing all gay people say when they are faced with deflecting homophobia.

I don't know, maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the best tack is to attack Savage, make allusions to him being like Perez Hilton, complain about how he's making it worse for all of us because by him being out there he's steamrolling all the good gays who know how to kowtow to the Religionists. Maybe Savage really is the problem.

At the very least, with Christians being so persecuted and so unheard in this nation, it's best to just pull out all the stops and go after Savage, without asking any real questions or digging any deeper.




Updated On: 5/5/12 at 04:08 PM
EricMontreal22
Broadway Legend
joined:10/31/11
His apology for saying pansyass was good I felt--much better than most times celebs apologize for saying such things.
Phyllis Rogers Stone
Broadway Legend
joined:9/16/07
"I was not attacking the faith in which I was raised. 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. Yet the same people who make that claim choose to ignore what the Bible has to say about a great deal else. I did not attack Christianity. I attacked hypocrisy. My remarks can only be read as an attack on all Christians if you believe that all Christians are hypocrites. Which I don’t believe."
Phyllis Rogers Stone
Broadway Legend
joined:9/16/07
Is it possible the the female students leaving weren't offended, but just realized they hadn't been ritually purified after their last menstruation?
Reginald Tresilian
Broadway Legend
joined:6/12/08
Phyllis Rogers Stone
Broadway Legend
joined:9/16/07
The manufactured outrage over Dan Savage's remarks about the Bible that inspired what appears to be a staged walkout at a high school journalism conference may appear on its surface mostly to be a last stand of the anti-gay movement to regain ground by attacking one of the most compelling pro-gay activists in the country. And it is, but winning the immediate battle is really only the tip of the iceberg of what the right is trying to accomplish with this feigned outrage and claims that Savage is a "bully" because he accurately recounted what is in the Bible. It's an attempt to redefine acceptable discourse so that statement of uncomfortable facts is considered off-limits, and, in fact, is redefined as "bigotry." Unfortunately, some people are taking the bait, such as Jay Michaelson writing for the Daily Beast, in a tone that made it clear he would prefer to write from a prone position on his fainting couch, smelling salts strapped to his laptop. See, Michaelson is incredibly concerned that criticizing Christian teachings on homosexuality is bad for the gays.

Michaelson would be easy to write off as a concern troll, but to make things worse, he speaks a falsehood about Savage's remarks. He says Savage's remarks "represented a notable gay leader affirming that one must choose between sexuality and religion, between God and gay." This is demonstrably untrue. In fact, if you actually read Savage's remarks, he said the opposite:

"We can learn to ignore the bull**** in the Bible about gay people. The same way, the same way we have learned to ignore the bull**** in the Bible about shellfish, about slavery, about dinner, about farming, about menstruation, about virginity, about masturbation. We ignore bull**** in the Bible about all sorts of things."

What Savage was clearly saying was that it's homophobes who are presenting a false dilemma with their claims that you have to denounce homosexuality to be a Christian. He was pointing out that it's easy to reconcile pro-gay sentiment and Christianity by just doing what Christians are already doing when it comes to shellfish and slavery, which is preferring their own moral judgment over the Bible. So either Michaelson is lying about what Savage said, or he didn't bother to read the comments he's denouncing, or he has poor reading comprehension.

He does try to suggest that it's the last one when he claims that the Bible's condemnations of homosexuality "can be understood literally, narrowly, and with virtually no application to loving, same-sex relationships." Well, no, not if you have basic reading comprehension skills. Leviticus is straightforward on this: "Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination." Unless Michaelson believes that sexual penetration between a man and a woman can't be loving, then this is straightforward: Gay sex is like straight sex, and therefore it's an abomination by Biblical standards. (Plus, is Michaelson suggesting that it's okay to be anti-gay in those cases where gay sex, as straight sex often is, isn't in the context of committed, loving relationships?) Savage is closer to the truth of how Christians (and Jews, too) handle these kind of Biblical verses they don't agree with: They ignore them. His advice is how religious people actually reconcile their faith to reality; Michaelson taking umbrage is, at best, nonsensical, and at worst, some kind of weird ax-grinding that has no respect for the truth.

Which is basically what this entire Savage dust-up is about. The American right is undertaking a huge project of trying to put right-wing politics beyond criticism by shouting "religious bigotry" any time someone gets in the way of their political agenda. If they can create a consensus that it's somehow off-limits to criticize teaching that gay people are subhuman as long as you wrap it up in religion, that gives them a huge political advantage. Taken far enough, merely stating out loud in public that you don't believe gay people are evil could be cause for the fainting couches to be pulled out and accusations that Christians are being oppressed. Sounds ludicrous? Well, consider that we're currently debating whether or not it's oppressing Christians to accurately state what's in the Bible. Anyone who is actually supportive of gay rights shouldn't be playing along with this feigned umbrage. It won't stop until opposing anti-gay actions is considered completely off-bounds on the grounds that it's an attack on religion.



Accurately Describing the Bible Is Not Oppression
Updated On: 5/4/12 at 05:06 PM
TheatreDiva90016
Broadway Legend
joined:4/10/04
“No. He was being inflammatory and the students who disagreed with him walked out silently without disrupting him.”
He didn’t make the “pansy ass” comment until well after the kids walked out.
And my question is, they knew who Dan was when they went (or else they are just kids looking for a place to hang out), so why are they walking out? Were they trying to make a statement? Because all I saw were intolerant assholes who didn’t like what they were hearing.

And, as far as the ‘It Gets Better’ program… I’ve always hated it. Don’t tell kids in a small town, to post the videos and expect themselves to be treated any better because they are announcing they are gay. Tell them to keep their heads down, and their mouths shut until they move out of Redneckville and into a city that is tolerant.

“Also, I agree that perhaps we need to stop referring to every action we don't like by someone as "bullying."

THANK YOU! There was just a story on the news about a dolphin who is trapped in low waters off of our coast and they are saying that the dolphin was ‘probably bullied’… Really?! STFU.
"TheatreDiva90016 - another good reason to frequent these boards less."<<>> “I hesitate to give this line of discussion the validation it so desperately craves by perpetuating it, but the light from logic is getting further and further away with your every successive post.” <<>> -whatever2
romantico
Broadway Legend
joined:3/6/05
'There are three sides to every story. My side, your side, and the truth. And no one is lying. Memories shared serve each one differently' -Robert Evans-
Phyllis Rogers Stone
Broadway Legend
joined:9/16/07
JoeKv99
Broadway Legend
joined:12/27/04
I really don't get the vehemence of the hatred for Dan Savage. He's an advice columnist. He's not a gay role model and never said he was. He was invited to speak at a journalism conference- the kids walked out (hard to believe spontaneously) and he called them pansy-assed for doing so. One can question his prudence in saying it, but truly, if they expect to be journalists, they are going to hear a lot worse than that on a regular basis. Being a journalist is all about challenging beliefs, investigating rumors, not letting your personal dogma influence your writing. Sounds like having Savage there was just the lesson these kids needed to learn.
No good can possibly come from using this vast wasteland of error and deliberate deceit. You should get off of it and warn others away. You should make sure your children and grandchildren know what a corrupt and morally bankrupt institution it truly is.
Phyllis Rogers Stone
Broadway Legend
joined:9/16/07
And again - the horrible, deplorable use of the word "bullsh*t" aside - what he said wasn't all that bad. It just wasn't.

I still wish I could find the whole speech, though.
JoeKv99
Broadway Legend
joined:12/27/04
It's the right-wing outrage machine at work. Just like when Barack Obama talks about how he ordered Bin Laden killed and the fact that Willard Romney said it "wasn't worth moving heaven and earth" to kill one guy and the right wing can whip up that that is somehow offensive and people buy into it.

I'm with Almira. The bible is full of bull**** and someone who is afraid to hear that discussion is a pansy ass. Might as well say it.
No good can possibly come from using this vast wasteland of error and deliberate deceit. You should get off of it and warn others away. You should make sure your children and grandchildren know what a corrupt and morally bankrupt institution it truly is.
SNAFU
Broadway Legend
joined:4/20/04
I also agree that the walkout was staged. The camera angle was too perfect to record every tortured look of the crucifix clutching believers as the tears ran down their young cheeks.
Those Blocked: SueStorm. N2N Nate. Good riddence to stupid! Rad-Z, shill begone!
PalJoey
Broadway Legend
joined:3/11/04
I have high hopes for Dan in this debate. It's the sort of thing he does well, and Brian Brown is a nincompoop.

As long as he stays away from invective and just debates the issues, he'll win the debate handily.
yr pal,
joey




Blocked so far: suestorm, Master Bates
FindingNamo
Broadway Legend
joined:7/22/03
"Tell them to keep their heads down, and their mouths shut until they move out of Redneckville and into a city that is tolerant."

I think that is what they say.
"Colbert is toast after this latest flap." -- Mr Roxy "Read 'Atlas Shrugged'." -- Gothampc
TheatreDiva90016
Broadway Legend
joined:4/10/04
No, they seem to make the kids think they are going to be safe after they post a video of themselves online, coming out to the world.

All it does is out a great big target on their backs.
"TheatreDiva90016 - another good reason to frequent these boards less."<<>> “I hesitate to give this line of discussion the validation it so desperately craves by perpetuating it, but the light from logic is getting further and further away with your every successive post.” <<>> -whatever2
xxdrewboy85xx
Broadway Star
joined:5/17/07
I applaud the school ( public school?) for allowing Dan Savage to even speak.

I agree with his points, I can see how some here find his tone jack-assy, and I didn't really think the "pansy-ass" comment was really bullying at all.

Dan Savage should, however, take note from Martin Sheen President Jed Bartlet on talking about the bible!
Bible Lesson
ray-andallthatjazz86
Broadway Legend
joined:8/2/05
TheatreDiva, I have to agree with you about the "It Gets Better" campaign, for me it just comes off as a bunch of overprivileged white people--usually celebrities of sorts or some other version of upper middle class white gay men--talking about how they are doing so well. I don't find that message necessarily useful for the kids (many of whom belong to racial minorities and/or are working class) who deal with every day bullying that it just "gets better," because actually for many of them it doesn't.
"Some people can thrive and bloom living life in a living room, that's perfect for some people of one hundred and five. But I at least gotta try, when I think of all the sights that I gotta see, all the places I gotta play, all the things that I gotta be at"
Borstalboy
Broadway Legend
joined:2/9/04
"It Gets Better" was a really well-intentioned undertaking that went off the rails and through sheer repetition, became empty.

Did Dan ever say himself that it wasn't that all that well thought-out?
"It's now rather very common to hear people say 'I'm rather offended by that'. As if that gives them certain rights. It's actually nothing more than a whine. It has no meaning, no purpose. It has no reason to be respected as a phrase. 'I am offended by that'. Well, so f**king what?"--Stephen Fry
TheatreDiva90016
Broadway Legend
joined:4/10/04
No, but I'm just waiting for the video footage of him running around San Diego while naked and screaming at passing cars.
"TheatreDiva90016 - another good reason to frequent these boards less."<<>> “I hesitate to give this line of discussion the validation it so desperately craves by perpetuating it, but the light from logic is getting further and further away with your every successive post.” <<>> -whatever2
Phyllis Rogers Stone
Broadway Legend
joined:9/16/07
Last week, as you've no doubt heard, Dan Savage gave a speech to a national convention of high school journalists in which he criticized Christians' use of the Bible to excuse mistreatment and discrimination aimed at gays. This spurred a walkout by a small group of Christian students who were in attendance, followed by a frenzy of accusations that he was "bullying" them.

I have to admit, when I first read this, it was hard for me to see why anyone was upset. Savage correctly pointed out that the Bible contains many immoral rules which are widely ignored by Christians today: rules that permit slavery, for example. He did use a mild profanity, "bullshi*", which I'm sure high schoolers hear worse than every day. His use of the term "pansy-assed" to describe the students who fled was less defensible, but he's already apologized for that, and it wasn't what prompted the walkout; they were already walking out when he said it. To his credit, he's refused to retract the rest of his remarks. And why should he? They were indisputably true!

But what I overlooked was the vast persecution complex and almost parodic sense of victimhood possessed by Christian apologists, who in response to Savage's speech have collectively lost their minds. They have such a palpable need to be the victims that, whenever anything happens that looks even slightly like persecution, they immediately whip themselves into a shrieking frenzy and exaggerate what they've suffered beyond all recognition.

For instance, the apologist Mark Shea made a beeline to the Nazi comparisons, because calling the Bible "bull****" is exactly the same as sending Christian families to death camps. Another commenter, Ted Seeber (the Inquisition fan I discussed earlier this week), said that gay people want "the extinction of all who oppose them" and threw in some bonus panic over the concentration camps he assumes gays are building.

What this comes down to is that the self-appointed defenders of Christianity can't tell the difference between criticism of their ideas and hateful attacks on individual believers. This is nothing new, but since anti-bullying campaigns are in vogue, they've wrapped themselves in that mantle, as demonstrated by Fox News in their usual manner. We saw this as well in the Christian responses to the Reason Rally, where Richard Dawkins' call to mock and scorn irrational beliefs was immediately and universally interpreted by Christian apologists as a call to bully religious people.

So, for the professionally confused, let's clarify some things: Bullying is a form of emotional abuse which takes the form of targeted coercion, harassment, intimidation, and violence against people who lack power to fight back. Savage had no special power over the people at his talk; they weren't a captive audience. And his speech neither coerced Christians to do anything, nor harassed or intimidated them, nor called for any violence. It was, again, a criticism of bad ideas in the book they claim to believe in. When Christian teenagers are committing suicide in despair over being bullied by atheists and atheist school administrators are fighting efforts to do something about it, or when gay advocates are counseling parents to beat their children until they renounce Christianity, then these Christians will have a valid complaint, but obviously nothing like this has happened.

I think that this hysteria arises partly from cognitive dissonance. As I said, the religious right has a need to be the victims; their holy book predicts that they will be. But this clashes with the uncomfortable reality that Christians, far from being an oppressed minority, are instead a powerful and dominant majority, and are using their power to vigorously fight minorities who are seeking equal rights. Obviously, Christians don't like thinking of themselves in the role of Rome. Their subconscious awareness of that fact creates cognitive dissonance, which they resolve by seizing on any perceived persecution, however flimsy, and frantically brandishing it. Crass political calculation doubtless plays a part as well; the religious right, stung by accusations that they encourage bullying of gay teenagers, thinks the best way to fight back is by claiming to be victims of exactly equal and opposite mistreatment.

There's one more thing I want to say, which is that what most stands out about these Christians is - and there's really no nice way to put this - their remarkably whiny and self-pitying response to criticism. Historical Christianity exalts its martyrs, to the point of lovingly cataloging their gruesome deaths and tortures, like this saint who's often depicted holding her own eyes. The Bible instructs Christians to rejoice and consider themselves blessed when they're persecuted (Matthew 5:11-12). Does this sound even remotely like the behavior of these modern-day Christians, who aren't experiencing anything nearly as bad?

On Dan Savage and Martyrology
Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
The religious right is the most paranoid majority I can think of in history. Everything is an attack on them, threatening to loosen their tenuous hold... but nothing actually is attacking them, and they've actually got a vice grip on society.

Anyone who advocates atheism is attacking them.
Anyone who is not heteronormative is attacking them.
Anyone who dares to be inclusive of other religions is attacking them.
Anyone who questions them is attacking them.
Phyllis Rogers Stone
Broadway Legend
joined:9/16/07
And yet, all Dan Savage has to do is say what the bible says about gay people is bullsh*t and they have lots of gay folks clamoring for their defense.
Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
Unfortunately, I think the religious right's resurgence in this election cycle has a lot of people in the gay community trying to either lay low or appease them.

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