It’s Not Getting Better For Dan Savage

-Submitted by David Drumm (Nal), Guest Blogger

Author and journalist Dan Savage is known for supporting LGBT political issues and founding the It Gets Better project that helps LGBT adults improve their lives after being bullied as kids. More recently, he’s known for a talk he gave as the keynote speaker to a Seattle-area high-school journalism convention.

During the speech Savage said that “We can learn to ignore the bullshit in the Bible about gay people.” Numerous future Fox News journalists got up and walked out rather than listen to something they didn’t want to hear.

From the department of false equivalences, Savage is now being accused of bullying Christians. Savage responds that he doesn’t hate Christians, he just hates their sin (or words to that effect).

Christian pundits are claiming that Savage’s words violate their “religious freedom from offense.” They also accuse Savage of blasphemy and cherry-picking those portions of the Bible that support his claim of “bullshit.”

Christian groups are citing Savage as just another in the long line of anti-Christian persecutions. They are calling for laws against anti-Christian bullying while atheists are lobbying for an exemption on religious grounds.

Let’s clear up any issues regarding Leviticus 18:22. It’s only about men. The Bible nowhere condemns girl-on-girl action. God is cool with girl-on-girl action. House: “maybe there is a god.”

H/T: Amanda Marcotte, Jen McCreight, Ed Brayton, Jay Michaelson, Dan Savage.

52 thoughts on “It’s Not Getting Better For Dan Savage”

  1. “Some of us even believe in oak trees (simplification)” (id707)

    I’m supposed to be descended from Druids who believed in reincarnation and practiced the Ritual of Oak and Mistletoe so watch what you say about we, the original tree huggers. 😉

  2. I hear you junction shamus. I have to stay connected up with my higher power….. whatever she/he it is.

  3. pete and shano,
    you’re just copying the “West Wing” aren’t you. But oh so cleverly.
    particularly pete’s had me stumped (not hard to do).

    For those declaring faith, i say that’s fine, just don’t mess around the laws.

    Keep your own within your religion and within bounds (no freebies for priests or pastors) and within the bounds prescribed by secularism, then we’re OK.

    But that’s not enough, as it seems.

    Some of us even believe in oak trees (simplification), the shintos do in japan. so there’s room for all. But those who deny health in the name of a god are anethema to me.

  4. rcampbell – “What really matters is whether or not Jesus really was crucified, buried and rose from the dead.”

    That’s one of the big elements of bullshit to which Dan Savage was referring.

    “…where we spend eternity is an important issue…”

    More of the utter bullshit Savage discussed.


    Maybe one man’s bullshit is another man’s faith? Who is anyone to question another’s “faith,” or to imply they have a monopoly on what is right or wrong? Seems like Pot v. Kettle, to me.

    Personally, I’ve always thought of the as a fundamental flaw in Atheism, in that empirical evidence is required for the basis of belief. And that may be from the construct that Atheism is no more than a lack of belief in a Supreme Being. If Atheism goes beyond the classical definition, then, like spiritual beliefs, once man enters the equation, things are bound to get screwed up.

    But if faith is the belief in things unseen/unsensed (takes the air out of the “faith as wind/wind as faith” argument, why does it upset Atheists that I might disagree with them so; it’s no skin off their hides, is it? If there is no faith or belief in anything beyond this world, both sides are actually at an impasse to argue with each other.

    Where we on both sides go wrong is when we (the plural, not the royal) bully others, either verbally or physically, into accepting what we believe to be correct, or demand that they deny their own system of beliefs. Or the biggie (particularly from the faith-based side of the equation) of confusing a lack of belief with a lack of morals.

    The syllogism is:

    – I believe in the existence, teachings and relationship of Jesus to God.
    – Jesus taught love and kindness to one’s fellow human beings.
    – To believe in Jesus means to show kindness and love to one’s fellow human beings.

    The syllogism is not:

    – I believe in the existence, teachings and relationship of Jesus to God.
    – Jesus taught love and kindness to one’s fellow human beings.
    – Your Atheist/non-Christian ass is going to hell!

    But here’s the bonus: To this guy, Hell is not fire and brimstone, but separation from God. Sounds like a “win-win” for non-believers who wouldn’t touch God with a 10-foot pole, although your ecclesiastical footage may vary…

    Today’s Christians get blamed for the ills of the world, much the same way as today’s White men get blamed for the sins of slavery in America. Of course, the argument gets extended even closer through Nazi socialism, and Jim Crow laws, but if evil triumphed where good men did nothing, the objectively, Atheists have to share in responsibility for those and other anhiliation programs by non-religious types, as well.

    I guess we’re the whipping boys (and girls) of the new millennium, much the same way so-called Christians blamed others for their ills throughout history. It’s probably time for our comeuppance as a group, but as individuals, let a Christian’s character be judged independently by their own actions.

    I don’t believe I’ve forced my Christian faith on you, and I would ask you to not force any lack of faith you have on me. You can accept it or reject it.

    If I may share this, my faith does three things: (1) keeps me from thinking I’m the “be all, end all” on this astral pebble (though Mespo, NAL, Dredd, SwM, AY, and Blouise have almost the same ability to keep me in check); (2) when all else fails, it’s something I can draw strength from. Perhaps it’s operant conditioning (coming from a long line of Christian folk), but having been through a number of “religions,” I’ve always had the same core “faith”; (3) I like a system of redemption for my transgressions, and not one that just starts with, “Bless me father for I have sinned, and I hope you packed a lunch because we’re going to be here all day…” In my “faith,” redemption also includes atonement and forgiveness for my actions.

    Simple, convenient, stabilizing, and it’s mine. If you want it, okey-dokey; if not, feel free to make your own plan.

    Thanks for listening.

  5. “a talk he gave as the keynote speaker to a Seattle-area high-school journalism convention.”

    So, these would be journalists got upset with the content of a speech and walked out. Exactly who would hire journalists who can’t be objective, who let their own feelings . . . oh, never mind. FOX

  6. A small point – iirc ‘bullying’ requires that the ‘bully’ be the one with the power. As a simple example a boss can bully an underling but the underling can’t bully the boss – the boss could end the problem by simply firing them. If the boss can’t fire the underling then the latter is the one with more power even if it’s indirect, e.g., by manipulating HR rules.

    We often forget that since school yard bullies don’t have much power of their own. However they’re protected by both laws that prevent the school from simply expelling them and the greater fear of lawsuits from the parents of bullies than fear of lawsuits from the victims of bullies. (And hence the parents pass on the knowledge of how to successfully bully…)

    Dan Savage has almost no power. He can’t force people to read his column. He can’t force newspapers to carry his column. What power he has is solely from the persuasiveness of his arguments and that will go away if people think he’s gone off the deep end.

    On the other hand Christian fundamentalists have a significant amount of power. Many hold public office, many believe that they require the support of Christian fundamentalists to remain in office. They can organize protests and rallies that will interfere with other people’s lives.

    So, yeah, when they do it’s bullying but it’s not when he does it.

  7. Malisha do you know Idealist707? You both have similar story’s.

  8. Speaking of transgender/transsexual:

    In 1963 I picked up a transexual in a bar nearby. Lovely girl, wonderful charisma, glowiing with vibes—-and I was only on my first watered down drink. Home to me to bed. Only two blocks away. Surprises awaited.
    Rapidly to bed with ladies was not unusual for me. Nor them either. Some make up their minds fast.

    Operated, usual tale: ballet dancer, injured in lift, etc. I felt neither debased, despoiled, nor defrauded, only de-sexed. Felt instead for her. Tried to do my duty but wasn’t up to it. We slept side by side but separate. Never reflected much on it.
    Just laying it up for perusal. One of life’s gifts, I guess.

    Just like a smuggle trip in 1960 to Tijuana for bensedrine to help an old girlfriend in Seattle. She looked clean and great, but was on full time psychiatric help and an uppers/sleepers yoyo. Crazy me. It was all part of the adventure of life which I knew was somewhere out there.
    Let’s go look, I said to myself. I didn’t think of the holes in the road.

    Talk about “On the Road”. Guess I’ve been there in my way. But they’d already left SF, if they really were there. Some wonder if it all was an invention of the SF Tourist bureau (joke)

  9. Christine Noble 1, May 6, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Wow. Really? HE’S the one cherry picking? Ummmm… wasn’t that the whole point of his comments was that Christians cherry pick what they like out of the Bible. And yes, that includes the people I agree with. They leave out the slavery and even Leviticus 18:22 because they do not like it. Of course those Christian friends of mine also believe that their faith should have fuck all say in public policy.
    You identified yourself as a Canadian to me when you said “fuck all”, or at least someone who has been “subverted” by Canadians. 😉

    The story here is about the sublittlefolks of the god who created sex and the god who is pissed off about it.

    They have a feud going that the Hatfields and McCoys would envy.

  10. AN,
    So right. It’s in the heart, not in the equipment or how it is physically expressed. But you know it. I’m just emphasizing my view.
    I felt what you said. Ain’t it nice to feel?

  11. Actually, I wasn’t aware that there was a ‘Freedom from Offense’. Wouldn’t that be antithetical to the first amendment?

  12. Hey all,

    It can’t be only I who sees the finger of either a smartALEC or Karl “RÖV” consulting for the influence he gets for his prez choice.

    It’s actually too smart for Christians to have come upon it themselves. Anybody who believes in the Bible must be dumb, and their leaders only believe in the Bivinity: Power and greed incarnate.

    MikeS, thanks for acknowledging the need of all to not wed outside the “belief” group. I mean even secular ones express that need.

    I beg to differ, Not attacking, please. Feelings are seldom if never expressed in strong language, but rather in soft. IMHO.

    As for eternity, I gladly donate my molecules to re-cycling. And it something survives otherwise, let us hope we can still communicate. That’s all we have actually.

  13. Wow. Great article David. The sheer hypocrisy of the so-called Christians who are attacking Mr. Savage is amazing. I could have sworn that the First Amendment is for everyone, not just religious believers who may believe something that even they cannot prove.
    I wish you wouldn’t beat around the bush. Tell us what you feel! 🙂

  14. Mike S,

    Some folks just don’t get it it….. There’s more to life than those places that serve eat all you can…..

  15. “Christian pundits are claiming that Savage’s words violate their “religious freedom from offense.” They also accuse Savage of blasphemy …..

    Christian groups are citing Savage as just another in the long line of anti-Christian persecutions. They are calling for laws against anti-Christian bullying ….”

    Remember the “Zombie Mohammed” thread here?
    Presumably the Christian pundits and groups were outraged by the offence given to a devout Muslim.
    Presumably they are actually calling for laws against anti-religion bullying, and not just anti-Christian bullying.

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