Comments

  1. Paul R says

    I’ve grown so tired of reading anything related to religion, and Towleroad has been fixated on it recently.

    People in most foreign countries don’t understand the US obsession with it, and neither do I. It comes up way too much.

  2. TJ says

    PAUL R – you’re right. It comes up way too much. Which is precisely why Towleroad posts about it.

  3. Mike says

    @ Paul R:

    Religion has been used as the basis for anti-gay discrimination so it is a very relevant topic to a “site with homosexual tendencies”. Kind of bizarre that you don’t get that.

  4. Frank S. says

    I’ll just repeat part of a comment I left at Real Sceptic blog:

    It’s a matter of propriety and effective communication. A talk on bullying and homophobia is not the place to put teens on the spot about their faith on matters far beyond homosexuality. A direct attack on the notion of Biblical literal inerrancy, using mockery and curse words, seems less effective than emphasizing a message of love, tolerance, and justice found across faiths. And then he taunts those offended by using a term used to attack gays, “pansy”. Perhaps he thought that he was being cleverly ironic and turning the tables, but those on the other side of the political/cultural divide just see an adult verbally bullying teenagers. I hope Savage found this long-delayed revenge on his own high school tormenters cathartic, because it’s a big fat gift to the anti-gay religious right.

  5. Daniel says

    While I do not necessarily disagree with the substance of Dan Savage’s comments, I think he went too far here. His comments — and similar comments that others have made — run the risk of creating a war between LGBT individuals and Christians. Not only is this unwinnable, but it’s unnecessary. Studies have shown that even conservative Christian youth are supportive of same-sex marriage. They have learned to evolve their thinking beyond a few bible verses on this issue, similar to the pioneers that Savage refers to regarding slavery, virginity etc.

    These Evangelical young people can be leaders in their respective organizations and we should seek to form an open dialogue with them. However, Savage’s comments risk alienating them and driving them away from support of LGBT causes.

  6. LiamB says

    Because ignoring religion magically makes it a problem that goes away? The reason this site focuses so much on religion, is because there are so many religious groups who are attacking gays, justifying it with their religion. Not many non-religious people out there going after us.

  7. Artie_in_Lauderdale says

    The Bible, both Old and New Testaments, is very clearly pro-slavery. The pro-slavery verses of the Bible, including one quote from Jesus, are very easily to find on the Internet. There’s really no need for Chistianist nutcases to lie about it.

  8. Rick says

    I like Dan Savage (some days more than others) but I really think he hurts his cause and ours by stirring up this kind of press. The medium is becoming the story, in place of the message. And that’s a shameful lost opportunity.

    Moreover, on what planet is it ok for an authority figure to attack kids with offensive name calling, and trash their religion with profanities? If he keeps this up, he’s likely to inspire some sort of It Gets Better project within faith communities. The last thing we need is to give victimizers more fodder for recasting themselves as victims.

  9. Joey says

    The Christians have always insisted on special rights beyond those granted in the Constitution. They insist that we must all treat their beliefs as sacred. But they do not extend that respect. They feel they can say anything about LGBT people they want. The difference is that we don’t believe in Gay Rights, such as they believe in the Bible. We ARE LGBT and demand our equal rights. Thanks Dan for breaking the cultural taboo by treating Christians in the way they treat everyone else.

  10. RyanInSacto says

    Rick, you may be right, but those It Gets Better videos would be the most boring things ever posted to YouTube. Here’s a sample script of the narration:

    “When I was growing up as a Christian kid, my parents and nearly everyone around me shared my faith and reinforced my self-worth. The politicians that we elected to high office all professed the same faith as I professed. Nearly everyone, whether religious or not, celebrated the major holidays of my religion. Then, one day, I went to a journalism conference and a meanie named Dan Savage told me that some of the things in my holy book were BS. I was so hurt. But then, I went home and my parents and siblings told me they felt the same way as I did. And the television station we watch for our news also told me they felt the same way. The end.”

  11. Paul R says

    Well goodness! I certainly never understood that religion is considered important. Thanks so much for pointing that out.

    Perhaps I wasn’t clear. I find many other topics far more interesting. I couldn’t care less about organized religion. Whatever is said by the Catholic church, Westboro “church,” and myriad other entities means nothing to me. I just don’t care, and would prefer to have separation of church and state.

  12. Jeff NYC says

    Dan Savage has to decide whether he wants to be “irreverent” or “important.” And if he wants to be both, he has to learn to figure out when to be which.

    Dan also needs to learn something else: Public speakers, in discussing oratorical techniques, have a principle called “Reading the Room.” You read the room as you begin to speak and adapt your usual talk for what you perceive the audience to be, the object being always: to get your message across.

    Dan needs to learn to read a room better.

    Unless, of course, his goal was to incite controversy and get attention, in which case, he was 100% successful.

  13. Greg says

    The Bible is not pro-slavery. Slavery is a condition that has existed in history since the Fall, and the Bible gave clear guidelines to the Hebrews in the Hebrew Scriptures and Christians of the New Testament of Jesus Christ how to behave when dealing within a socio-political system with slavery as a component. Here’s a link for a book written by an abolitionist in the 18th century which does a better job of explaining this than I can in this space: http://docsouth.unc.edu/church/bourne/bourne.html
    I have a problem with people on either side of the issue trying to use the Bible to advocate being pro or con any political issue. The Bible is a religious document to help guide those of the Christian religion in spiritual matters. The basic laws found in the Ten Commandments are those universal laws (also found in the earliest law codes such as Hammurabi’s Code) which we have all agreed on. Beyond that, the Bible is a spiritual guide and shouldn’t be treated as a social studies text book.

  14. cloistered1 says

    “Generally, Christians believe that the epoch of the New Covenant began at the first coming of Jesus, who began his ministry saying “the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel” -Wikipedia
    Hence, Jesus came to abolish the LAW and usher us into a new age. Leviticus quoters have no validity.The New Covenant is considered “a bond in blood sovereignly administered by God.” The connection between the blood of Jesus and the New Covenant is seen at the Last Supper where Jesus institutes the rite of Communion saying “this cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood”.

  15. Paul R says

    Also, when I said it comes up too much, I wasn’t referring entirely to Towleroad. Mainly to TV shows and other media, though Towleroad is also focused on it.

    I don’t give a damn about religion, so it seems to me like the hypocritical protests of supposedly religious people against gay rights should just be ignored. It’s always the same story, and I can’t keep from rolling my eyes.

  16. Miguel says

    I love him.Those silly christians that walked out,could’nt handle the truth about their own religion.Dan talking about some of the verses in the bible that they like to ignore and addressing their hypocrisy,made the morons uncomfortable.Pathetic.

  17. mary says

    Frank, Daniel, and Rick are making sense here. And the ironic thing is that I’ve become more sympathetic to Dan Savage over time, despite the “Santorum” controversy. Certainly Dan should speak his mind, and yes, these kids shouldn’t walk out of every discussion where a speaker is offering dissenting views on a religious issue – we all have to face diversity. But calling the kids walking out “pansies” is an immature act – and won’t help Dan at all. A lot of these kids could become more tolerant and help the conservative segment of society transition to a pro-gay culture. They should be approached firmly, but courteously.

    I mean I was close to 50 when my views on gay rights started to change. And this was after 30 years as a social conservative. I’m at the point now where hearing about the breakup of a gay couple I like actually bothers me. Imagine where these kids could be in even 10 years if the gay rights movement operates strategically. Best to minimize alienation among evangelicals. They have larger families than most people and they aren’t dying out of the population, as some seem to think.

  18. TJ says

    I appreciate the comments that Savage may have gone too far – for some of those in attendance. For others, they may have been appropriately challenged. Still others may have been thrilled. That many left is important to note. It’s also important to note that many more stayed.

    As for the language used, I don’t know. It doesn’t seem like anything a 17 year-old hasn’t heard, or said, daily.

  19. coward says

    I am a conservative Christian personally. I appreciate all the decent people on here who have pointed out that while Mr. Savage’s remarks would be fine as part of a debate they were not at all appropriate for the topic being covered or for the audience.

    I would never dream of attacking youth for their sexual behavior (heterosexually promiscuity, homosexuality, or both.) In the proper context I might have conversations about those topics but it would not be an ambush and it would not be an attack.

    Thanks to all of the wonderful people on here who can see that this was wrong even if what he says is has some truth to it. (We can disagree how much at a later time.)

  20. tomjck22112 says

    You know, it really bugs me when a well-meaning individual like Dan Savage, and a well-meaning, GENTLE audience, like the Christian high school kids, can’t even connect for one speech, whether they agree or not.

    I find both sides somewhat at fault here. Dan doesn’t understand where these kids are coming from, and seems to assume they are either enlightened individuals (they are not, yet) or are bigoted rednecks banging a Bible. They are not. Dan also needs to get some of his Christian interpretation of the Bible corrected. Christians incorrectly interpreted the Bible to support segregation and slavery. That doesn’t make the Bible “bu¡¡$it”. It makes the interpreters guilty. I think Dan would have made more progress if he’d taken a more academic and humble approach.

    Thanks anyway, Dan. Hope you learned something here. And I doubt any one of those kids were nasty to you on your way out.

  21. GeorgeM says

    Towns bring in Dean (I Think that’s his last name) to do anti gay assemblies, maybe less now then before. I wonder if these kids would walk out during that. He talks about the bible condemning this and that

    Who care, next story

  22. tomjck22112 says

    And btw, all that nasty stuff Dan says the Bible supports is actually from the Old Testament, and there are direct, precise passages in the New Testament disqualifying all of that crazy stoning and shellfish stuff. I’m shocked Dan used such a lame argument.

  23. TJ says

    PAUL R – you may not care about religion, or find it interesting, but it cares about you. Rather, it’s practitioners do. And some of them don’t like you at all, and are willing to go to great lengths to demonize you, which justifies denying rights and worse.

  24. Steve says

    It’s mind-boggling to see people defend the Bible here. It’s unabashedly and undeniably pro slavery. Sure, slavery was normal back then, so it’s not surprising. But don’t deny it and try to explain it away. There is no way to “interpret” it any other way. The pro slavery passages are some of the more obvious stuff in the Bible. If anything it means that it’s outdated, ancient document that shouldn’t be taken seriously.

  25. Steve says

    @tomjck22112
    There are pro slavery statements from Jesus himself! Jesus told slaves to obey their masters. Paul was in favor of slavery too. But it’s not surprising that Christians don’t actually know their book.

  26. Rick says

    @TOMJCK22112: I don’t think you carefully read the article. Savage specifically cited the NEW Testament to demonstrate the Bible’s approving posture toward slavery.

    “It is for slaves to submit to their masters in everything; to satisfy their wants and not to be refractory.” Titus 2:9. And so on.

    Christians have happily ‘interpreted away’ this and other problematic passages (again, from the NEW Testament) and Savage’s point was that it is beyond time to start ‘interpreting away’ the homophobic bits (in Corinthians, etc) as well. But as I stated above, he did his message a disservice by becoming the story himself.

  27. mary says

    “Mary” we know you’re a Fundie Troll.”

    David, I checked your website. You seem like a very talented and accomplished individual. I’ll look into your work. But I would think that someone of your age and sophistication would be able to tell a “troll” from someone who is trying hard to shed the vestiges of homophobia and develop pro-gay values.

  28. Gaylib says

    Oh please. Did he say any of those kids was an abomination?  Did he suggest that their “lifestyle” should be criminalized?  Did he suggest that they were mentally impaired?  Did he compare them to child molesters?  Did he call them deviants?   Did he suggest that christianity shouldn’t be mentioned in school?  Did he suggest that christians should be deported?  Did he say that Christians kill themselves because they are sinners? Did he blame the parents of those dead kids for not instilling proper values in them???  Well every one of those things and WORSE has been said by CHRISTIANS about gay people, even gay children.  So spare me the fainting couch bit by a bunch of know it all teenagers who were inspired by bigoted, hate filled mentors.  Does anybody really think this was some spontaneous act?  Do you really think these kids were damaged by what Dan said, or did they take the opportunity to AGAIN inflict their hate filled ideology on the rest of the world and scream FOUL when somebody has the audacity to push back.  And shame on you idiotic queens who think you’re being clever by taking sides with them.  You’re nothing but tools being used to continue to dig graves that these same little punks will gladly push our gay children into at the drop of the hat.  Dan is 100% right, and the people who used these children to push their hatred of gay kids should have their teaching privileges revoked.

  29. Malcolm says

    Bad choice for a speaker. Savage is known for vulgar and irreverent tirades that really make him sound unhinged and vicious. Why would anyone invite him to speak to children, high school or otherwise? He is a lightening rod whose brand of foul language is not appropriate for underage audiences. Now, he is fodder for those who say anti-bullying efforts are anti-Christian, vulgar, sex-focused, and profane. Savage is irresponsible and reckless.

  30. DannyEastVillage says

    I’ve said it of Savage before and I’ll say it again: What a man. What a madly sexy man.

  31. Gaylib says

    And, I might add, that no one is addressing the elephant in the room which is at the core of Dans message: that Christians have a history of bigoted theology when it comes to minority ir oppressed groups. And that in addition to being homobigots, the vast majority of white Christians are racist as well.

  32. DannyEastVillage says

    Daniel, your comment is reminiscent of the figure in Dickens who comes (hat in hand) to the master plaintively asking, “Please Sir, may I have some more?”

    As long as your attitude prevails we will be fighting for ourselves on THEIR TERMS. Enough. It’s gone on way too long and IT HASN’T WORKED.

    Meanwhile, how is it going to hurt evangelical Christian kids to get the cultural reality underlying much the Bible rubbed in their faces?

  33. Caliban says

    Someone please point out a SINGLE thing Dan Savage said that isn’t absolutely 100% correct.

    Considering that those who were “offended” went to a speech by Dan Savage of their own volition, what did they expect? They heard some “dirty words”? Boo effing Hoo! Call me when Dan Savage starts trying to enact legislation that takes away their rights THEN we’ll talk!

    For once in their precious little lives someone didn’t coddle them about their precious faith, said things about the Bible and religion that are absolutely true and they needed to hear.

  34. NullNaught says

    It seems to me that to the extent he was using impolite language, he was venting rather than communicating. Reading the article I felt a certain schadenfreude. Such displays are fun and look bad, but can Dan Savage’s behaviour here actually change the course of the history of gay rights? I think not. He was being self-indulgent and I can’t see what it actually hurts other than his reputation. He already has a reputation for behaviour like this (did those students forsee a chance to make a dramatic walk-out?). I don’t see what this changes.

  35. Rick says

    @Gaylib: what you call ‘clever’ I call tactical.

    Savage’s message about Biblical interpretation was precisely spot on. The problem was that he made himself, the messenger, the story by calling kids offensive names and throwing profanity at their religion. He became a distraction from the conversation that should have taken place: eradicating Biblical justifications for homophobia.

    In the end both sides assume their usual battle positions, and we’re none the better for it.

  36. Ben says

    Those kids planned to walk out if Dan Savage said anything about the Bible or Christianity. That was way too quick for that many people to walk out, considering he hadn’t even said anything remotely offensive by the time the first people started leaving.

  37. Daniel says

    They don’t teach you to think critically in religious institutions. I know this because I attended a ‘liberal’ Pentecostal college. Get to big for your britches and they get rid of you. Bravo Dan Savage. I like his take no prisoners style.

  38. David Hearn says

    Yay! Caliban.

    This is my favorite internet response to the pansy assed amongst our own: What did he say which was not true?

  39. says

    @ GASYLIB : You are beautiful. Dan savage you are beautiful.

    Those poor little apprentice haters should have stayed and learned the truth about their brain washing from Savage.

    Walking out of what was an accurate rebuttal of bigoted propaganda did not help the kids understand what is going on on “faith” societies.

  40. DannyEastVillage says

    well, Mary, it sounds like you’ve come a long way. Keep it up.

    meanwhile, I don’t see ANYTHING wrong with his calling those kids pansies. In fact, I believe it was a well-chosen rhetorical device.

  41. Mk_Ultra_Again says

    Social conservatives who choose to interpret the bible in a social conservative way need to realize that it is a choice, much like vegan-ism that one makes for oneself.
    There needs to be mutual respect. NO one is telling them to be gay, or perform gay weddings.
    They don’t reciprocate. They want to be in charge of all the private details of our lives. Who we can marry, if we can have families, what rights we have in regard to work, housing, health care, if we can be by our partners side in the hospital. Some even blatantly abuse religion to justify it.
    That’s wrong.

    I agree with many commentators here. The message was to inspire kids to think critically, maybe challenge their beliefs. But the delivery, that was completely wrong. He basically went against every rule of pubic speaking.
    Bad messenger = message not received.

  42. Jay says

    Savage is exactly right. The “walk out” by so-called Christians was pre-planned in any case. I hope this does go viral. I think it will blow up in the right-wing’s face.

  43. says

    Yeah the planned walk out was pathetic and included many closet cases who wanted to bolster their ‘straight’ credentials !

    What a pathetic closed minded bunch of young people. But I still believe the young generation are all together much better and more tolerant than the older generations.

  44. Artie_in_Lauderdale says

    @ Mary,

    I have followed your history of comments here, and I do believe that you, like many Americans, are making an honest effort to learn how Americans, wherever they fall on the Kinsey scale of sexuality, can peacefully coexist with each other. My suggestion to you is this. The U.S. Constitution gives Americans the freedom to believe any religious creed they choose, including a literal interpretation of the Christian Bible, but the Constitution does not give them freedom from the consequences of those beliefs.

    If a person believes the Bible literally (of course, focusing on the anti-gay sexual injunctions), they will be looked on with contempt by most of their fellow Americans. That is just part of the world we have to wake up to every morning, and no constitution or government can ever give anyone freedom from those consequences. Make sense?

  45. David T says

    Thank you, Dan. It was the right thing to do, in my opinion. After all the christian “pansies” get over their hurt feelings, I think many of them will see the ridiculousness of their belief system, even if they don’t readily admit it. I for one applaud you, and I think it was about time.

  46. Artie_in_Lauderdale says

    @ Mary again,

    Many have often offered similar observations regarding the freedom of speech that fundamentalist Christians use to attack gay and bisexual people with. Those Christians have freedom of speech, but they don’t have freedom from the consequences of that speech, ESPECIALLY when they are employed as educators.

  47. happyday says

    I have been a vocal critic of Savage on other issues, but on this one I support him 110 percent! These kids need a dose of reality thrown in their faces. Of course, it all went right over their heads, and will end up being another crazy liberal homo crucified in the press. The politicians will line up to distance themselves from the remark, and the so-called Christians will succeed in making it an attack on them – because that is what they do. But these same student journalists are the ones espousing the Bible-inspired rhetoric that is poisoning too many lives. *And yes, ignore the bogus trolls trawling their filth here.

  48. Oliver says

    @Mk_Ultra_Again, “He basically went against every rule of pubic speaking.”

    Are you some kind of authority on Public Speaking? Cite your credentials.

    Can you please list the Rules, I’d love to know them since I myself do quite a bit of public speaking. Additionally, where I come from, when you motivate an audience in some way then you are giving a great talk. When the audience sits there and doesn’t respond, doesn’t applaud, nods off, then you are a lousy speaker. In this case Savage motivated his audience, some disagreed to such an extent that they walked out, many others (more than that which walked out) applauded. And at the end of the day he got a hell of a lot of press.

  49. BushPalin2012 says

    Dan Savage should quit being so butt-hurt over what happened to him in high school and stop being such a little girl about everything. He has been such a prick since Queer Eye got cancelled

  50. Artie_in_Lauderdale says

    @ BushPalin2012,

    Your username is seriously BushPalin2012? What planet are you on? Surely there are people that would like to see you back down here on earth with the rest of us.

  51. DannyEastVillage says

    BTW to those who objected to Dan’s use of the phrase, “pansy-assed,” he didn’t call those kids “pansy-assed;” he remarked on how “pansy-assed” their reaction is “when we push back.”

    Considering the amount of violence perpetrated against gay people historically and right this very minute, calling a reaction to push-back against violence “pansy-assed” seems very, very understated.

    Perhaps you who don’t like that term think we should just say, “please sir: would you mind, please, taking your boot off my face?”

  52. Joe M. says

    “They’re supposed to be journalists, and we in the journalism biz must often dirty our ears with others’ distasteful utterances.”

    They were excellent journalists. Walking out provided a story for all of the conservative rags. Go look over at FOX News. An article about their top executive admitting to knowledge about the hacking of the phones of fallen soldiers and murder victims in the UK? ~6 hours, in an article linked at the bottom. The article about this? “Bold” (“top”) story. It’s been up for about a day and a half.

    They’re excellent journalists.

  53. Keepin' It Straight says

    Dan Savage is a gay saint! We need more Dan Savage’s to slap back at the smug little air-headed Christians filled with the rhetoric of their air-headed preachers.

    God Bless Dan Savage!

    When you’re slapped, don’t turn the other cheek, slap back twice as hard. Put them in their place. “They” don’t own “us,” biblical approval of slavery notwithstanding.

  54. Ty says

    He messed up, plain and simple. He’s a grown man cursing at kids and calling them names. Nothing that most of us haven’t fantasized about doing. But we use restraint if not for decency’s sake for the practical sake of prioritizing the effective communication of our message over the emotional desire to tell a bunch of pansy self-important highschool kids sucking on the teat of their parents religion to pull their heads out of their rear-ends and deal with the world and society like thinking adults.

    Beyond the PR and messaging consequences of Dan’s immature outburst is the under-developed familiarity with how ancient texts are properly exegeted. His is no worse than the bible-bangers he is opposing, but its a bit ironic to point out one side’s over-simplified treatment of the text by erring in the same fashion on the opposite side. That said, his assertion is absolutely spot-on that Christians who irresponsibly throw around Bible passages they are woefully ignorant concerning just to put other in their place should show some thick skin when someone gives them a taste of their own medicine. The feigned incredulity of these kids (and the inevitable religious right response that is surely coming) is laughable given that they feel they have carte blanche to alienate every one else in the name of their religious liberty.

    In the end, Dan’s off-base assertions about the Bible simply highlight that it is not his job to correct people as to the Bible, as he is not someone who is concerned with the text beyond the fact that it is used to hurt him and the people he advocates (usually much more effectively) for.

    That job falls to those Christians and other Bible scholars who have done the academic work necessary to counter the claims of the religious right about what the Bible actually reads, the various ways it can be legitimately interpreted, and the critical thinking skills that should be engaged whenever one endeavors to apply its messages to life given the cultural, historical and language gaps involved.

    In other words, the job of disempowering the religious right’s claims about the Bible does not fall to those who would concede the latter’s point on what it does and does not say. Such people can do no more than Dan has done here; namely point out the hypocritical way in which the RR applies what the Bible appears to teach.

    But young people of faith who are sorting out which of their parents’ teachings to hold onto, what to discard and what to adapt need to hear from those who can offer an alternative way to read and understand ancient sacred texts altogether. This will ultimately have a far better chance of promoting a healthy integration of faith values with acceptable social values. Simply telling them to grow up and realize that the Bible needs to be read with a grain of salt if at all will only alienate young people of faith, be they gay or straight. That does none of us any good at all.

    Read more: http://www.towleroad.com/2012/04/dan_savage_journalism_conference.html#ixzz1tNJsbpzb

  55. Artie_in_Lauderdale says

    @ Ty,

    Secular people have every right to point out the hate and hypocrisy in the Bible. I hope more secular people continue to do that in the future. Don’t like it? Too bad.

  56. jim says

    Ok, what are the numbers here? This was a “thousands strong” audience and how many offended, tearful young’uns walked out? Probably a very small percent. What’s the big deal, that they were poor teenagers, and Savage used the term “bullsh*t” in reference to their bible? And these students want to be JOURNALISTS? How about focusing on the vast majority of students who not only stayed to listen, but enthusiastically CHEERED what Savage said, over and over? And yet the focus of this entire situation is the tempest in the teapot of the poor-me Christian Victims. How ironic that some here are tsk-ing Savage for calling the walkouts “pansies”–a word that was used as a slam against gay men for DECADES. In my opinion, it’s high time these kids got a taste of the real world! I think it’s quite telling that those who walked out chose to flee, rather than having the courage to stay and LISTEN…typical.

  57. mike128 says

    I agree with those who have posted that we have no obligation to refrain from criticizing those institutions that continue to criticize us.

  58. Tone says

    I have NOT ONE CRITICAL WORD for Dan Savage on this one. It’s about time people started pointing out that the emperor has no clothes. Good for you Dan. You’re on the right side of history.

  59. Oliver says

    Wow, leave it to a post about gay, bullying, and religion to bring out all the trolls and woo-ew-woo psychos.

    Once again, Dan Savage wins and wins BIG. Kudos to Dan (and intelligence).

  60. john patrick says

    Maybe the way Dan said what he said wasn’t the most tactical way to say things. And maybe he should not have used the term “pansy-assed” to describe the kids who walked out. It does come awfully close to bullying and name-calling. But they sure seemed to be shrinking violets, leaving when he said the Bible was pro-slavery. It is pro-slavery. Jesus never criticized slavery. Paul told slaves to obey their masters. That is in the New Testament.

    Dan spoke the truth about things the Bible says – inconvenient things that people have decided no longer apply. And the Bible has been used by so many “Christian” leaders to condemn LGBT people and to justify discrimination and to declare that we are by our nature disordered.

    Maybe Dan could have been more diplomatic. But Dan was not calling for the kids to be condemned, or damned, or discriminated against. He was not saying that god hates them, or that they were going to hell, or that no one, not even the church should be surprised when people reacted violently against them, like Ratzinger said. Or that they should not be married or that they do emotional violence to the children they raise. He has not been leading any campaigns against their rights.

    He was pointing out how selective some Christians are in using certain verses of the Bible to condemn LGBT people while overlooking other passages. He was saying that we need to stop using a selective reading of the Bible to condemn and bully and oppress LGBT students.

    The student that called his comments about the Bible being pro-slavery “bull” seems not to have read the Bible. I wonder how many of the students that left have read the whole Bible.

    Dan was invited to address these students. Someone invited him and surely many if not all of the students knew of his reputation before he appeared.

    I also wonder what the full context of the talk was. Did he say more before this clip and after it? What did he say? It is too easy to take some snippets to condemn his message without knowing the whole message he delivered – as was done with the sermon of Jeremiah Wright when Obama was running for president.

  61. Tarc says

    Well, God forbid the little zombies straying from the FOX News model: only hear exactly what you want to hear, make up the rest, and then report it like you are the victim. It’s seems to work (for a certain segement of the low IQ/previously brainwashed population).

  62. mary says

    DannyEastVillage and Artie, thank you for your kind words.

    There seems to be some confusion about the goal of Dan’s speech. I would think that his goal would be to try to soften these students’ opposition to gay rights or get them to accept that gay rights are inevitable. But it seems as if his goal is to convince them that the Bible in bunk. The first goal he could possibly have some success in achieving. The second goal is utopian and is likely to HARM gay rights. It’s unnecessary to essentially ask these students to change their theology – Dan is not even a theologian who can offer them an alternative. His goals are secular, and the students know this. To them it will look as if their religion is being attacked so that Dan can score political victories. Exoect intense hostility when using this approach.

    A better strategy would be to explain to these kids that American law has never been based on the Bible, that there are too many different versions of the Bible and scholars don’t all agree on what they mean. Ask the students to think of how a theocracy might work even if it were run by two groups that are extremely close theologically (like, say Baptist and Pentecostal.) The history of Fundamentalism is filled with people calling each other “Judas-Goat” and “pseudo-Fundamentalist.” Students could be made to see that a government made up of “God-fearing” people, even all of them evangelical, wouldn’t be able to agree on Biblically based laws.

    The second approach leaves students free to believe what they want, but more likely to be tolerant in terms of public policy.

  63. gomez says

    on the one hand, using a insult like “pansy-assed” is both ironic, in the homophobic and bullying senses of the word and the uproar overshadows his message and undermines his mission of persuasion

    on the other hand, he’s right, the students are cowardly (which is how he should have phrased it) to intellectually examine their own holy book. also, the controversy is free pr for his message, which will now reach more people online

  64. Lance says

    The convention was entitled “Journalism On The Edge,” No one should be upset or offended. I wonder if those students also walked out of “Gore Fest 5″ because it was too gory?

    What dweebs!

  65. IAN F says

    God that felt good to watch.

    You could see the moment where he is about to move on and then decides to call out the people who walked out. I’m so glad he did.

    Also, bravo to all the cheering kids. The times are changing and the youth are leading the way more and more.

  66. antisaint says

    Nuts!!! Totally nuts!! I love Dan Savage. I’m *slightly* torn on this one, only because I went to Christian schools up until high school.

    When I imagine myself at 14-15, with my faith still strong, I think I and probably most of the Christian kids that left would probably leave the room if we heard “The Bible” and “Bulls*t” in the same sentence, regardless of what he said or what he meant. That combination alone would be enough to get me thinking, “This is of the devil!!” and leave the room.

    The context of HOW he used those two words together is important, but I think that got lost on the ones who chose not to stay.

    But having said all that — it’s Dan Savage. He has a column, a podcast, a youtube channel, and a show on MTV. Most of those kids know who he is, how he is, and have a vague idea of what to expect from him.

    Anyone look at the comments on that fox site? Jeez.

  67. wtf says

    It’s unbelievable to me how many apologists are commenting on here criticizing Dan Savage for standing up for YOUR rights, for YOUR life. Time to go back to school, losers. Apparently you didn’t learn that an oppressed population is NEVER ‘GIVEN’ their rights; THEY FIGHT FOR THEM. Get a f#$%ing clue!

  68. Francis says

    Most of the kids cheered. I talked to a kid who was at the event and said it wasn’t more than one/two dozen journalists/students who walked out. This is all right-wing fabrication. Dan Savage’s MTV show is a hit, and he’s huge with teens and young adults. Right-wing anti-gays can’t handle this and are trying to flip the script, create a view that they are the victims, and garner sympathy on that basis. It’s pathetic, and their guilt trips are not going to work.

    It’s GOOD to see that our community, and especially Dan, in this case, is finally ready to fight back against the injustices done against us. We are NOT going to take this verbal abuse from so-called Christians anymore, nor should we. Dan didn’t even attack all Christians, or really even Christianity in general. This is COMPLETE fabrication and we cannot allow the right-wingers to dictate the terms of this war. And yes, we are at WAR with social conservatives (not Christians, since there *is* a difference between Christianity and Christianism). Don’t ever believe otherwise.

  69. says

    Some of these posts seem oblivious to the concerted action being taken by the Right against us. Even the report yesterday of the Catholics/Anglicans/Jews/Islamics all cooperating to defeat our rights to equality seem to be going over some of your heads.

    Dan Savage’s remarks were a straight forward retort to the hocus-pocus of desert inspired ancient story telling……all of it with the usual high dramatics, eg trumpets knocking down walls of cities etc.

    We need to do less naval gazing on the appropriateness of his stand……and a hell of a lot more organizing to rebut the gathering storm being prepared by the churches and the evangelicals against same sex marriage, against repealing DOMA, and against ENDA.
    And if we don’t cop on to the current real-politique, then we will have an extreme right wing SCOTUS for a generation………and all that within four years.

  70. R says

    There is nothing he said that was wrong. The bible is a pro-slavery document, written by men at a time when slavery was fully accepted by society. Thankfully, we’ve evolved since then. It’s time to fully “evolve” on glbt issues, as well. It’s basic human decency.

    People who are religious are usually very prickly about their religion, though, and don’t want to hear anything that goes against the grain or what they’ve accepted as what their religion stands for, even those who are otherwise highly intelligent and trained in critical thinking.

    It’s cognitive dissonance at its worst.

  71. Lymis says

    Unsurprisingly to me, a lot of the “pro-Bible” people here have utterly missed the point. Dan Savage didn’t do a speech on “why the Bible is BS” at all, and to the degree he made the point that specific points in the Bible are BS it was in direct response to what he said in the beginning.

    Christians use the Bible as the sole excuse why they attack gay people, especially gay kids. “The Bible says it, and that’s all there is to it. I can’t help myself. I have to be hateful.” And yet, on all these other issues, Christians are perfectly happy to have a different perspective, that that was a different time, that the rules have changed, that we know better now.

    There is just as much New Testament justification for setting aside the Levitical prohibitions on homosexual love as there is on eating pork or shellfish or ending slavery. And people aren’t willing to see that.

    And that IS BS. It’s not following the Bible, it’s using the Bible to justify bigotry. And Dan’s right, when people use the Bible to bash him, he has a right to defend himself.

  72. Alan says

    Dan Savage is gross. He makes me want to puke. Who the hell is this guy anyway speaking for me as a gay man? Gag and throwing up now.

  73. says

    @LYMIS :
    Nor are people willing to concede that David and Jonathan were gay( “with a love that passeth the love of women”) , as were Naomi and Ruth(“Entreat me not to leave thee”)……….and what about Jesus and John, (“the disciple Jesus loved”).

    Did you say ‘selective’ reading ?
    These Christians are selectively brainwashed with the man/shellfish nonsense……ACT UP Dan Savage !

  74. Seattle Mike says

    Dan had the opportunity to do a lot of good there. He blew it. Previous commenters have done an excellent job of explaining how he blew it. Christians cannot be painted with a broad brush any more than gay people can be (and don’t forget the overlap – Gay Christians). He had an opportunity to appeal to the conservative Christian teens’ sense of fairness and respect, and instead he used obscenities and an approach that was guaranteed to feed the “victim” mentality that many conservative Christians thrive on.

    This event was a setback for gay rights. We’ll continue to make progress, but despite this, not because of this.

  75. epic says

    @ alan pls gtfo and stfu we don’t need you here making a mess because you have poor social skills and a terrible grasp of what actually took place, troll

  76. Polyboy says

    Those so-called Christian journalists that ran away aren’t journalists, they want to be propagandists and their actions illustrate the ugly future more than any thing.

  77. Rick says

    @ WTF: Yeah, we’re FIGHTING in a lot of different arenas. One of them being the court of public opinion. And we don’t do ourselves favors by calling kids pansy-a**ed or labeling their religion with profanities. Those tactics might make us feel self-satisfaction (returning fire with fire), but that’s a shallow (non)victory. It gives Fox News and Citizen Link something to get all hysterical about, and then we get hysterical about their hysteria…and so on.

    The worst part is that Savage’s entirely correct takedown of Biblically justified homophobia has been obscured by this stupid sideshow. It’s a sad irony that his speech would have been MUCH more disarming if he hadn’t delivered a minor faux controversy to Fox News on a platter.

  78. Boss says

    What a complete bigot!!! Liberals like this are total hypocrites. Where outside the Christian world do gays have rights? Jesus welcomed everyone. This hypocrite attacks on the Bible are ignorant misconceptions. He was supposed to speak about tolerance and what does he do?

    Time after time, the most bigoted, intolerant, narrow-minded culture over and over ends up being the liberal progressives. Have at it bigots!!!!

  79. Simon says

    The sad thing about the Bible is that it can’t be amended like the Constitution. Slavery is a good example. It makes itself more and more irrelevant as the world changes.

  80. Boss says

    BTW, If one disagrees with another does this mean that it is hate? Absolutely not!!! If a mother disagrees with her daughter on an issue, does this mean that the mother hates the daughter? LOL!!!! NO!!!!!

    If I choose to disagree with the homosexual lifestyle. Why is this hate? I have several gay friends. I love them as fellow human beings. The real hate is from the gay community who attack Christians like this. Pure hypocrisy!!!!!

  81. candideinncc says

    Yay Dan. I usually don’t like the man, but he is SO right on this issue. The pansy Xtians that want to beat up on gays and deprive us of equality are SUCH hypocrites when they have to confront the puerile nonsense that is in their “Holy” books. Sorry guys, but Christianity says some truly, truly dumb things that you are way too willing to overlook. And if you can’t confront the fact that you are hypocrites for ignoring the stuff about slavery and women and marriage and seafood and polygamy and war and so forth in that BuyBull, too bad. It is there in black and white. Walk away. The stupid monkeys with their hands over their eyes and ears come to mind.

  82. JONES says

    Fox News is going to hate on Dan Savage no matter what he says. F**k the Faux Nation.

    Stop placating these jackasses. Call them out EVERY single time they try to use ‘the Bible’ or their ‘faith’ as a defense for their bigotry. Point it out to them that no matter where they get their teachings from it is still the very definition of bigotry.

    These are our and our children’s lives were fighting for. They need to see the graphic evidence of the beatings and deaths caused by the teachings of their ‘faith’.

  83. VSo says

    A hypothesis for thee, Boss: Mr Mephistopheles disagrees that black people should have the same rights as white people. He likes them enough, and even has one or two as “friends.” But he just disagrees with their using his drinking fountain. Is this hate?

  84. TJ says

    I simply don’t understand all of the focus on those who left versus those who stayed, and even cheered the presentation. It’s as if the apologists actually believe the Fox news crap. Call out the riight wing media for the negative spin, not Savage.

  85. David Comfort says

    I cringe whenever people seem to equate Dan Savage as somehow being a spokesperson for the LGBT community. I am not sure what bright person invited him to speak at a High School journalism conference in the first place. Obviously his statements were meant to inflame rather than provoke, well demonstrated by the walk-out of Christian students. How can you get your opponents to listen and contemplate, let alone win them over when you browbeat them and verbally attack them? Perhaps in different circumstances it might have been more appropriate (for instance, if were challenging people in positions of authority), but this was entirely inappropriate. It is NOT “It gets better.” It is “We MAKE it better.” Can the LGBT community please get other spokespeople!

  86. jrex says

    This is nothing but a setup. Dan Savage is a known commodity and not shy about his opinions. These kids had to have known he would say something they could make a scene about for their christianist propaganda.

  87. says

    “I would think that his goal would be to try to soften these students’ opposition to gay rights or get them to accept that gay rights are inevitable.”

    You would be mistaken. If they’re not on board now they never will be.

    “Dan Savage is gross. He makes me want to puke. Who the hell is this guy anyway speaking for me as a gay man? Gag and throwing up now.”

    Get a barf-bag, Troll!

  88. says

    “I cringe whenever people seem to equate Dan Savage as somehow being a spokesperson for the LGBT community.”

    Internalized Homophobia can be deadly dear. Seek help.

  89. GeorgeM says

    Boss If your so called gay friends are real (i say that because everyone has a gay or black or white friend) why would they want people in their lives who dont accept who they are. Help me understand this

    If a gay friend was getting married would you go? If no would they have a right to angry or disappointed? And if you dont go to theirs then later they decide not to go to yours would you be mad?

    Another questions why are you reading a gay blog?

  90. HERMES says

    @LANCE:
    Brilliant of you to point this out, this may be the most important point of all.

    Everyone who is lamenting for these kids, the offense to their delicate religious sensibilities—or even the opportunity wasted because DS isn’t one to soft-pedal his message—is forgetting the fact that this is a journalism convention titled “Journalism on the Edge” for chrissakes!

    These weren’t by any means hapless, innocent students being forced to listen to a meanie liberal speaker with a radical agenda, his ‘hateful words’ sprung on them without warning.

    These kids were all smart enough to google the speaker in advance, and I bet they all suspected what Savage would be talking about.

    Smart enough also to realize that a walkout would make a statement—perhaps even be newsworthy—but apparently they weren’t smart enough to realize that the statement they would end up making was about themselves.

    One by one the camera showed us the faces of young people announcing that they don’t have what it takes to be journalists. Well done, it’s on public record now, guys!

    Hey, in a room full of thousands, there are bound to be people who didn’t belong there in the first place. DS was doing them a service, anyone who can’t listen to a viewpoint different from their own should realize they aren’t cut out for journalism, and the sooner they know that, the better for them too.

  91. says

    We should all stand in adoration of Dan Savage. We haven’t had such an outspoken truthful openly gay married man as we have with Mr. Savage. Round of applause and hats in the air. The guy is a hero.

    (BTW, good to be home. We took our son to France to visit my relatives and had a wonderful romantic six weeks. For me it was another honeymoon – there is no place like Chantilly, France, to wake up to and make love to your husband.)

  92. GeorgeM says

    A few stories ago they talked about anti gay folks (all str8) trolling pro gay blogs and FB pages…. Maybe some here. Who knows

  93. My2cents says

    DAN SAVAGE WAS RIGHT-ON TARGET! So many of us have become too careful to avoid offending, that we wind-up trying to find an inoffensive way to allow hate speech (and Leviticus is sh*t speech of the first order), giving Xtians an unimpeded right to preach to us, insisting that we believe the most disgusting and despicable bullsh*t in the “holy” bible. The bible is hurtful to gays and is still being used to deprive us of our rights. THERE ISN’T ONE THING THAT DAN SAVAGE SAID THAT ISN’T TRUE.

  94. says

    I find it hilarious that people are so offended by being taught what their religion actually teaches. The seemingly sweet girl who never causes trouble but couldn’t help but mutter “That’s bull!” has no idea. Read the Bible, fools! Spoiler alert: It’s not pretty.

  95. Skooter McGoo says

    I think that they should have been ready for whatever he was presenting which in my opinion he stated quite nicely. None of what he said was untrue when it comes down to the Bible’s 1400 acts of violence, cruelty, rape, murder and slavery, shellfish and the lot. Maybe now those that left understand what is feels like to be called “unnatural, damaged, broken deviants worse than maggots” by Christians. Works for me. Treat others as you would hope to be treated takes no religion to understand, only human.

  96. Andrew says

    Geez. I had no idea that The Way Of Dan Savage was so sacrosanct. How dare anyone suggest a departure in tone from Our Dear Leader. Oh what fun it is to buy into the groupthink of this great monolith known as the The Gay Community.

    Seriously. Some of you guys need to get a grip. It’s no sin to suggest that a hero of the anti-bullying movement maybe shouldn’t be calling a bunch of high school kids pansy-a**es.

    For what it’s worth, I love his contributions to This American Life. The story about his mom passing away had me in tears.

  97. Caliban says

    You’ll notice that the first student leaves when the word “bible” is first spoken, before the BS word ever left his mouth. I think it’s quite likely a “walk-out” was planned before this speech ever started.

    And when you go see Dan Savage, is it really reasonable to expect that only “clean” language will be used? That’s like going to a concert and acting surprised when the music starts!

    The type of thinking these kids have can only exist in an echo chamber. That’s the way they live their entire lives, never having their beliefs challenged or questioned. There’s a hands off policy whereby the moment someone says “well the Bible says…” or “my religion says” everyone else is supposed to hold up their hands and say “well OK then!” and drop it.

    No. Not any longer. For all the reasons Dan Savage mentions and many more the vast majority of self-professed religious folks are hypocrites. If a rule from their holy book inconveniences THEM then it’s just a guideline or a helpful hint. But if it applies to someone else then it’s suddenly THE WORD OF GOD and there is no compromise.

    I support every word Dan Savage said and can’t wait until he’s asked to defend them or apologize, because I doubt he will back down in the least.

  98. Bp says

    What bothers me about your argument that the Christian kids should have been more objective as journalists is that then the pro-Dan kids should not have been cheering on his comments. If this was truly an objective journalistic forum, then all of him comments should have been met with silence and objective integrity. They clearly weren’t. Honestly, the Christian kids may have been just as uncomfortable in a crowd of people cheering against them as anything. That can feel like hostile territory, not like an objective journalist forum, and many people feel compelled to leave hostile environments.
    If it had been a Fox news contributor up there and he said gays just need to stop whining and half the crowd cheered, people would have walked out as well and would have been right to do so.
    The point is that this clearly wasn’t some objective journalist forum. The end.

  99. Cassandra says

    How long till Dan’s little act shows up in a Yes on Amendment 1 ad? A week? How fast can they turn this stuff around now with computer editing?

    Didn’t anyone learn anything from the Prop 8 battle? SF Mayor Gavin Newsom said something far less impolite, and it hindered the no on 8 campaign to the bitter end.

    “In the months leading up to Election Day, Proposition 8 supporters released a commercial featuring Newsom saying the following words in a speech regarding same-sex marriage: “This door’s wide open now. It’s going to happen, whether you like it or not.”[48] Some observers noted that polls shifted in favor of Proposition 8 following the release of the commercial; this, in turn, led to speculation that Newsom unwittingly played a role in the passage of the amendment.”

    Dan, if you’re reading – Maggie owes you some serious money, you’ve given her a fundraising gold mine.

  100. says

    Savage thinks that everyone shares the same “nudge nudge wink wink.” It’s the everyone masterbates routine that is utilized to create a unity bond, but just freaks some people out. Just knowing a real gay person was talking to them was probably enough. That walk out of students pretty much sums up how the gay issues are going to go in the country. It is our battle, we discuss it, read about it daily. It is not an issue for so many others. We underestimate what we’re up against. If only the issue wasn’t sex. We think equality, but to them it’s about the sex.

  101. Brandon K. Thorp says

    BP:

    Thanks for reading. But — who said anything about objectivity?

    The point is: you’re a journalist. You live and die by free expression — your right to it, your respect of others’ right to it, and your appreciation of its use. In the immediate context, you’re a journalist in a room, with a notepad, listening to speakers speak. What they say might delight you, it might offend you — but a young journalist should *always* want to hear what’s being said. If blasphemy bothers them sufficiently to push them from a room, where shall they ply their trade? Even an entertainment writer on the Oscar beat must occasionally sit through an offensive acceptance speech. It doesn’t mean they don’t stick around to find out who won “Best Picture.”

    Anyway — your premise is that Dan’s was an anti-Christian speech, which it wasn’t. It was a speech pointing out that the Bible contains some text which even the very “best” Christians believe to be incorrect, which isn’t a controversial point. (Most good Christians agree, including the Pope.) The people who left the hall weren’t discerning enough to note that point, even though they themselves almost certainly agree with it. (Presumably they weren’t leaving the hall to make sure their slaves were fed and watered.) The correct comparison isn’t to a bunch of gay people leaving a speech in which a speaker is ragingly anti-gay; a more apt comparison is to gay people leaving a speech in which the speaker points out that some of what goes on in the gay community might be unhealthy. It would, in other words, be rather like gay people walking out of a speech by Larry Kramer. Which is their right. But it would mark them as incurious, and probably not cut out for journalism.

    – BKT

  102. Bill says

    Gee, why is anyone surprised at the reaction Savage got when basically his delivery was a big FU to them? You don’t persuade by insulting them. He clearly doesn’t give a rip about our cause, because if he did, he would act like an adult rather than a child.

  103. TJ says

    CALIBAN – I love you, but then that’s nothing new. The echo chamber, the place of zero dissonance, the place with no critical thinking. it’s a comfortable place to be. But no one is guaranteed comfort in this life. Nor should they be. An oft-told tale: Grad School. Cross-cultural counseling class. Sheltered Christian students confronted, perhaps for the first time, by those not sharing their world view. My point to them at the time: Remember this feeling. Use it empathetically. Because this is how you make others feel.

    Oh, and Fundemental Attribution Error stuff: When I don’t follow the rules, it’s because of circumstance. When you don’t follow the rules, it’s because of inherent evil. For me, following the rules is optional. For you, it is mandatory.

  104. truthreller says

    @ BOSS
    Can you please define this “gay lifestyle” you speak of. You also mention you have gay friends, I would make you part of the “gay lifestyle,” doesn’t it?

  105. truthreller says

    * I would make you part of the “gay lifestyle,”… should have read: That would make you part of the “gay lifestyle,” doesn’t it?

  106. says

    @BOSS :

    “The real hate is from the gay community “.

    So you are part of the ‘attack the victims’ brigade . well we knew that was coming, we just didn’t expect it from our own team.

    “If I choose to disagree with the homosexual lifestyle…..”

    What are you…..a spokesman for Bachman ?
    The very fact of you using such a phrase defines your platform.

    From reading all these posts I am surprised that we have made the advances that we have.
    No doubt the same trolls had the vitriolic criticisms of ACT UP when they had an energetic activist campaign.
    You go for it Dan Savage !

  107. wtf says

    Rick? You totally missed the point, as per usual. Concerned troll is concerned. Just shut up already. We all know your views since they’re the same as the far right: gay people should shut up and be grateful we’re not killed. Newsflash: it’s 2012 and you’re a quisling.

  108. says

    Pace…..PaulR…i will be short !

    Let our battle cry against the religious bigots be:
    “The bible and New Testament both support slavery…….now let’s move on !”

  109. Artie_in_Lauderdale says

    @ Rick & other concerned with use of the word “bullsh*t”,

    Savage was speaking to an audience of teenagers. If he were speaking to adult elected officials, maybe more formal language would be in order. For example, “The Bible is filled with lies on a number of topics.” Then list the pertinent examples from the Bible.

    There. Is that better? Is the language more formal? I’ll say this again. Secular people have every right to expose the lies in the Bible, lies that Christianists use to influence public policy, which affects the entire population. Don’t like the fact that secular people have the same freedom of speech that Christianists do? Too 2 too bad. Move to another country.

  110. Steven says

    @GAYLIB Bravo! Your one statement rendered every apologist statement on here completely moot and irrelevant. Well done.

  111. Andrew says

    I agree that this walkout appears to have been totally pre-planned. Which is why it’s too bad that Savage dutifully played his part. Cue the angry mean Gay who’s gonna call you names and toss around profanities.

    As has been already noted: his talk would have been much more disarming if he hadn’t given them such a beautiful opportunity for faux outrage.

  112. DVDINORL says

    I happily choose to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ.

    It’s too bad that a lot of church goer’s do not.

  113. UFFDA says

    OS2GUY – you were missed.

    Dan Savage is usually too savage for me but this time I appreciated his “attack” on Christian history and Biblical inconsistencies with modern sentiment. It was tough talk but the fundies have it coming. We should all really harp on the cherry picking nature of what Christians choose to believe. Savage has rather brilliantly pilloried the Right for its outright prejudice. The kids who walked out nevertheless got a good dose of the world they are about to encounter.

  114. Tim says

    Savage went too far? Anyone even slightly familiar with Dan Savage and his brand of communicating would have and should have known what to expect.

    Personally I thought he was too tame. The Bible is a book. Nothing more. The fact that people take that book and use it to justify harming others is criminal, just like we can all agree that the 19 hijackers who used their book to justify massive terror attacks on 9/11/01 were criminal.

  115. Paul Keckonen says

    Oh laws have mercy pass me the smellin’ salts and my fan! Dan Savage used a bad word for “poop” in front of innocent christianist children!
    As Caliban has already pointed out the girl who lead this totally spontaneous and unplanned walk-out was already on her feet well before Dan said anything but “The bible.” That I am assuming was the cue. And watching those tens of faces as they left I saw very little that could be interpreted as offended outrage, quite the contrary in fact.
    At no time in his speech did Dan call the “protesters” pansies or pansy-assed, he said the “the bible guys can come back in…”
    He did talk about that when being beaten – figuratively or literally – some of us no longer cower in fear but we push back. Those who have used the bible as justification for beating us often then cry “victim” when we do push back. THAT was what he was referring to when he said “pansy-assed” not this limp protest by a few children.
    As for “vulgar” words…how childish and prudish to complain about using “bad” words.
    Who here will faint and protest if I use the word “merde”? or “scheisse” or “stronzo”?

  116. Artie_in_Lauderdale says

    @ Tim,

    I’m glad you made the connection between the 19 Al-Qaeda hijackers who use the Koran for their purposes and the Christianists who their Bible for their purposes. What the two groups have in common is simple: to harm American citizens that they personally dislike. It’s really just as petty as that, and intelligent Americans should rebut both hateful doctrines.

  117. Artie_in_Lauderdale says

    Having watched the video again, I can see the source of the tumult. Dan Savage is a charismatic speaker, and he’s clearly taking America by storm, which is exactly what upsets his Christianist critics, whether on Fox News or Towleroad.

  118. Jay says

    The little bigots had planned to walk out from the very beginning. They are the bullies, not Dan Savage. Of course, the dummies have been so brainwashed, they wouldn’t have benefited from staying in any case.

  119. Mawm says

    F*** Christians. I’m so sick of intelligent people having to pretend like these nutcases have a point.

    You are going to die. You are not coming back. Live life to the fullest while you can.

  120. woodroad34d says

    My mom was very active in the Methodist Church (as were her sisters –my aunts-in the Baptist Church). She decided to get a doctorate in Theology at the ripe old age of 75. All the while she was going to school she acted as a Diaconal Minister (being a female minister was somewhat taboo in the methodist church in Michigan). She made one statement in the 70’s that stuck with me about religion, which she took to be more spiritual than earthly: “I had no idea that religion was so political”. At that point I came out to her and when she died, my sister found all these books about religion and homosexuality she had accumulated–she had been trying to set up AIDs programs within the Church. It seems Dan Savage is doing these kids a hard favor (tough love): it’s not about spirituality, it’s about politics and power. Religion is cruel, dictatorial and terrorizing — the antithesis of it’s PR.

  121. says

    This is very simple. Dan used offensive language and basically bullied the kids in just the way he says we should not be bullied. He could have made his point with much better chosen words that did not treat these students like they were stupid for their beliefs. I understand more now why people don’t care for Mr. Savage. His heart may be in the right place, but he sure needs to learn delivery techniques that will persuade and convince as opposed to offending and hurting people.

  122. Rick says

    Applying nuance and trying to be tactical doesn’t make one an apologist or a troll. And disagreeing with Savage’s style (while wholeheartedly agreeing withe substance of his talk) doesn’t make me a right-winger. As I type this I’m wearing my Obama ’08 t-shirt.

  123. BobN says

    More than 30 years into the “conservative revolution” and I find myself in the sorry state of having to explain to young people that people who believed in the the LITERAL truth of the Bible were ridiculed by left AND right just 35 short years ago.

  124. says

    Dan should have wiped his ass with the hate filled book. In the United States all violence and discrimination against Gays and Lesbians has it roots in the christian bible.

    The christian bible is not about love and compassion…it’s about controlling a population. Thank you Dan Savage for pointing out christian hypocrisy once again.

  125. says

    I have my disagreements with Dan Savage, but he’s totally 100% right on this. I’ve had my run-ins with Xtians online and when you point out just how ludicrous the “laws” in Leviticus really ARE, they flee. So, he’s right. They ARE pansy assed when they are confronted with the BS in the Bible.

  126. Peter M. says

    Dan Savage has hit the nail on the head:
    “It’s funny, as someone who’s on the receiving end of beatings that are justified by the Bible, how pansy-assed some people react when you push back.”

    Conservative Christians have absolutely no problem to discriminate gay people by citing some bible verses but they get all touchy when someone dares to point out other verses to them they’ve chosen to ignore because it suits them and their bigotry.

  127. Jersey Mom says

    The author says that Christians should know that the argument against Savage’s rant against Christianity is that: “Jesus’s “new covenant” rendered the Old Testament’s “ceremonial law” meaningless (making it okay for humans to eat shellfish and pork) but left in place the Old Testament’s “moral laws,” which include prohibitions against homosexuality.” (Trust me, they do know this.)

    He goes on to say: “And smart people in general should know the counter-argument to that counter-argument, which is: Really? Stoning women to death isn’t a moral issue?”

    Uh…that EXACT issue is discussed by Jesus. Jesus embraces the *minimum* moral law of the OT and then “raises” it a level. (“Moses said unto you…but *I* say unto you…) Ever hear “let he who is without sin cast the first stone?” This guy is ignorant beyond belief. So is Savage. He read “the Bible for dummies” and didn’t get past page 12.

  128. bobbyjoe says

    The argument that the bible can’t be pro-slavery because slavery was already in existence and the bible is just clarifying the rules– is laughably insane.

    The bible is supposed to be about the Super High Holy Infallible Creator and Runner of All Things Ever (and his Super Duper Holy Son), but God and Jesus just couldn’t offer any visions or clues to any of the various writers of the bible whatsoever that slavery is, like, MAJORLY, TERRIBLY, INCREDIBLY EVIL and must be stopped, like, right away?

    God flooded the entire world and Jesus popped back up from the dead– you’d think they might also have the ability to tell the writers of Leviticus and Mr.-I-Wrote-Most-of-the-New-Testament Paul to lay off all those “hey, slavery’s fine, and it’s just the way God wants it” arguments, eh? And it’s not like there wasn’t any push-back against slavery in those days (SPOILER ALERT, Spartacus fans).

    The bible’s pro-slavery and it can’t hide behind the “product of its time” argument. At least not if you want to try and simultaneously make an argument that the bible is in any shape, form, or fashion, also the actual word of a God (at least one who’s not despicably evil).

  129. jack says

    I am a gay man, a former Catholic and not a fan of Dan Savage. However his comments about that vile collection of writings called the “holy” bible were right on target. That book is one of the main reasons for much of the hate still remaining in our Western Civilization.

  130. Janet Loeffler says

    Savage obviously does not know that when the Bible talks of slavery, it is not the kind of slavery our nation got involved in, by stealing people and forcing them to labor. In the Bible, they are really employee’s. People who work for other people. Not people who are bought and sold on a market like animals. They owed debts they could not pay, and gave themselves over to work the debt off, or it was the only kind of employment they could get. The fact that Savage does not know this, and Fox exploiting the ignorance, like many other outlets, is sad.

    The Bible is clear that gay behavior is a sin. ALSO, just cause the Jews practiced a bad behavior in the Bible, such as stoning wives and children, does NOT mean that God condoned it!! It is giving you history, not examples of how to behave. However, that is not the case when it comes to gay behavior, it is telling us it is a sin.

  131. Peter M. says

    So Janet Loeffler, you are basically saying that everthing in the bible that we would condemn today like slavery and stoning wives and children is just “bad behavior” that can be ignored (it’s the Jews fault…) and something that must be placed in the social and historical context of the time when it was written, but everything that is supposedly referring to homosexuality must be taken literally as a moral compass to judge gay people of today’s world.
    I have two questions for you:
    1) Where in the bible is homosexuality, as we understand it today (two people of the same sex living in a committed relationship), condemned or even mentioned?
    2) Where does Jesus condemn homosexuality and gay people? Where does he say that loving someone is a sin?

  132. Chad says

    I applaud Dan for having the balls to deliver this speech. The number one threat against gay rights in America is a religious one and it’s powered by the crap in the Bible. Religious people have a bizarre expectation that their beliefs are above reproach and that if we are to discuss the Bible, we must use kid gloves, speak in soft respectful tones…. WHY? When the very real threat of equality hangs in the balance? Gay lives hang ion the balance… it’s time to to speak the truth and if that offends people, so be it.

  133. Monrob says

    Dan Savage did not take the argument where it should be. The Bible is a fairy tale book. It is not written by God, it is not inspired by God. We do not know if God exists.

    Jesus did not walk on water or was borne of a virgin. He was born from Mary who fornicated with someone. For all we know, Jesus may be a bastard!

    I was watching a program on the Jews on PBS. God spoke to Abraham and a covenant was reached to cut the foreskin on boys. Abraham was a pervert; mentally challenged at best.

    It is time to stop debating our problems by quoting the bible.

  134. says

    Dan, you delivered the Sword of Truth to these cowardly, itchy-eared Christian believers. They went back to their comfortable collective darkness. Christians – good and bad – need to hear the blunt told from people like you every single day. Thank you.

  135. Chuck Mielke says

    It’s interesting how people conflate the buybull with christianity. It’s also surprising that the students who walked out seem not to know what their “sacred text” actually says. Clearly, these youngsters have been taught that they should respect only the “good” things in the “Good Book” and ignore all of the hateful and ugly things. Therein lies hypocrisy.

    Given what is visible in the timing of the walk-out, I would guess that it was pre-arranged; many of those leaving were smiling and chatting as if part of a plan, not as if individually protesting the speech. It would have been useful to see how much of the original audience remained. Lastly, it is way too typical of our “news” media to pay extraordinary attention to those who walked out — those who, apparently, WANTED to hear personal attack and criticism of christianity in Dan’s words.

    Those who are not blindly biased must recognize that Dan said nothing critical of christianity or the buybull. His criticism was clearly to the misuse of both items.

  136. Heinrich Himmler says

    Jawohl! The SS tried for years to fight back against the corrupting influences of Jews and other religious pansies clinging to their bibles and sticking to their guns. Their narrow minded beliefs are a corrupting influence on society and must be crushed. A conference on journalism is the perfect place to portray religious beliefs as evil and hypocritical and then attack the people who hold them. Might I suggest you set up a work/reeducation facility modeled after Auschwitz? We found it the best way to rid society of the corrupting influences of religion. Do not debate them, it is much more effective to set up a straw man of their beliefs and then knock it down, especially if they are high school kids we found it effective to mock them. The goal is not to change the minds of a few hundred pansies, rather to pave the way for the SS to rid society of these undesirables and achieve our final solution.. Ausgescheitnet! Sieg Heil!

  137. says

    What he said was “materially true?”However, you proceed to set Savage’s theological perspective at odds with the proper Biblical perspective that does distinguish between moral and ceremonial law. Savage is undeniably a theological neophyte who makes no such distinction, but you somehow think he keeps his integrity intact. I don’t get it.

    As for stoning, I’m sorry you find it to be so distasteful, but your counter-argument isn’t really one at all. You aren’t appealing to reason there, just the arbitrary emotions that well up from your gut. So what’s so sophisticated about that? Anyway, I wonder what you’d say if homosexuals were to walk out of a church service if the sin of homosexuality were being preached about. Granted, you did chide Savage for his poor choice of words, but would you consider them to be “pansy asses,” too?

  138. Paul Keckonen says

    Ah poor little christianists getting all upset when somebody challenges your hegemony.
    How many short months ago did one of your shamans burn or attempt to burn a koran? How many times are other beliefs ridiculed and labeled not “real religions”? Every thing from anabaptism to zoroastrianism is dismissed as a crazy cult by so many mainstream christianists. Yet when any of your sacred cows does not get the respect YOU think is deserved – watch out! Whether an atheist or non-superstitious not everybody wants to be forced to say or hear “merry christmas!” “happy easter!” “bless you!” I find it offensive and obnoxious yet so many christianist resemble the taliban in this respect, trying to force everybody to live by christianist rules, customs and mores.
    Call it a “war” if you want, but your stranglehold is slipping away and your sense of entitlement is being challenged. Christianists are reacting just like WASP men did in the 60’s and 70’s as they kicked and screamed and cried foul when women,people of color and yes gays too stopped saying “please sir, may I have some rights too?” and started saying “BullS**T” That is what we are saying now, BS to your delicate sensibilities, BS to your superiority complex, BS to your offended outrage when we call you on your abundant BS.

  139. newportjoey says

    If I had dared walk out on a speaker when I was in Parochial School, a Nun would have knocked me on my ass and back in my seat. These “delicate young flowers” represent failure on their parents to raise objective adults….God isn’t going to take care of their parents in the nursing homes….watch them walk away from that final unpleasant reality

  140. StevyD says

    By the response of the walk-out children, this must have been a high school journalism class. College or University level journalism students would have prepared for this lecture by doing a little background exploration about the guest speaker, Dan Savage. They would have discovered his beliefs and previous actions, notably his role as an open and honest sex advice columnist and about his infamous online Rick Santorum site. By knowing some background they would have been better prepared for his talk and ready to present challenging questions afterwards. However since they are merely mindless children this could not be expected.
    Dan on the other hand seems to have gone off on an unprepared rant of deeply felt but caustically expressed biblical observations. He must know by now that insulting someone’s faith never facilitates heartfelt rational discourse. This is especially true when dealing with an audience of inexperienced and immature children.

  141. says

    http://www.calltoawareness.blogspot.com/2012/04/dan-savage-and-bible.html

    Dan Savage has no clue what the Bible teaches about slavery. He cannot make the distinction between prescriptive and descriptive laws, and God’s temporal and specific commands, versus general fixed ones. Why is this? Because he has no desire to learn what the Bible actually says, he just knows that the Bible condemns sex between people of the same gender, and he does not like that particular doctrine. Rather that listen to a raunchy sex columnist, why not learn from Paul Copan, Daniel B Wallace, Tom Gilson, and Crag Blomberg who are all actually knowledgeable in this area?

  142. john says

    I have always thought this funny: we have the right to bash the overweight, the near sightged, the Christians, and anyone we want to…but if you do it to us–how dare you! the people who claim the biggest discrimination are the first to do it to others at any given chance. Can you please accept dan–people don’t hate your sexuality, it is your people skills, nothing more. A news flash,Dan, it is you not your sexuality.

  143. Kevin says

    Eric Miller: GFY and then die in a fire. Thanks very much.

    Ian Robertson: Well, let’s see. This was a presentation in which the main speaker was DAN SAVAGE. Unless he was a surprise, the students should have been on notice that his style is what it is. If you don’t think you will appreciate his rhetoric, then don’t attend.

    Your — I’ll be kind — strained comparison to a church service is a poor analogy, at best.

  144. Liam says

    As a student journalist myself, while I feel that Savage did go a bit too far in some parts of his speech (this is also coming from someone who generally agrees with him), I also believe that it was not right of the students to walk out. This is a person’s opinion, which we’re taught to respect even if we disagree. Savage is just presenting another side of the issue. Besides, journalists are supposed to pay attention to everything the speaker says, regardless of their views, and not let their personal beliefs get in the way of the story. These students may have thought they were making a point, but they were really just exhibiting poor journalism skills.

  145. daws says

    You just can’t apply rationality to religion. I’ve tried it before with friends and co-workers and they either completely tune me out or get enraged. They can’t articulate why…when I try to apply reason to their hypocritical faith, they just refuse to wrap their minds around how ridiculous it all is.

    Those kids that walked out didn’t have a rebuttal to Savage’s attack on the Bible. What can you say? He’s right! We’ll agree on the gay stufff, because it’s not dealing with us, but the virginity stuff…nah, that’s nonsense because I like having pre-marital sex! I like cursing too.

  146. Tracy says

    Dan,

    The message was fine. The evangelical “cherry-picking” is absolutely hypocrisy at it’s finest.
    Maybe the swearing was a bit unnecessary, but I understand it gets to you after a while- the constant anti-gay attacks & the constant elitist attitudes of the Xtian h8ters.
    To those who walked out- too bad your belief system is so like a house of cards that you didn’t bother to stick around to express your views to the contrary. You know, substantiate whatever it is that you believe? Explain your position and how your religious beliefs give you authority over other people (ignoring the separation of church/state because it suits you)?
    But no. Far easier to play the victim…In fact, I believe that you were planted & instructed to leave at any point you could- citing a “plausible (for fundies) outrage.” Truly pathetic.

  147. bobbyjoe says

    So, Eric Miller, please point to the verse in the Bible where God and his spokespeople specifically (not in some veiled or obscurely metaphoric way) condemn slavery as evil and something that should be immediately abolished.

    We’ll wait.

    If you can’t do it, then all you’re doing is trying to disgustingly give “nuance” to slavery, a subject where there’s none to be had (much like one can’t say “I’m a little bit pregnant”). Who gives a sh*t about nuance or creatively parsing language– slavery was either wrong or it wasn’t. And when you have chapters like Leviticus 25 specifically stating who can own whom, then if you’re going to claim that source isn’t majorly pro-slavery that source material better be a helluva lot entirely more direct than wispy linguistic rhetorically-relative arguments about the difference between “prescriptive” and “descriptive.” This isn’t a subject where there’s a lot of wiggle-room.

    Oh, and Janet Loeffler, I certainly hope you’re a parody troll (like Betty Bowers or Christwire), because claiming that slaves from biblical times were just “employees” is 100% certifiable and really, dear, have at least some degree of shame and/or sanity.

  148. Book 7 says

    Dan Savage is amazing. I love the way he speaks with such forthrightness. And I love that he speaks at colleges, to young minds who might learn something and have time in their lives to change their world.
    I wonder if Dan has security. With the severe polarization of sides, I’m afraid that someone will decide to silence his message because the truth is too dangerous. Seriously, seeing all those christians walk out on his words (journalism students, no less) lest they hear a dissenting opinion is disgusting and frightening.

  149. rob says

    This website, as well as the scumbag Dan Savage, are guilty of the very hate-filled bigotry they accuse Christians of. Sorry, weak-minded morons….no matter how hard you try through your hate speech and shallow arguments, you will not shape the minds of all young people to conform to your own twisted sense of self-righteousness.

  150. says

    Some people also use science to justify their anti-gay stance, but it would clearly only be a lunatic who would denounce the entirety because of this. You should be fighting against the individuals who twist the context of the Bible to support their anti-gay stance, not fighting the Bible itself. Otherwise, you’ll be turning away pro-gay Christians.

  151. MikeT-NYC says

    I’m a gay Christian, and I love Dan Savage, but what he says about the supposed anti-gay remarks in the first chapter of Romans is just plain wrong.

    It’s not Dan’s fault — anti-gay preachers have been misrepresenting this passage for years. Butf you read the ENTIRE section, starting at verse 18, it’s very obvious that the passage is not about modern gay relationships at all. It’s about practicing heterosexual idol-worshippers who offended God so much with their idol-worship that He changed their sexual-orientation and filled them with “all manner of wickedness” [RSV] as punishment.

    Personally, I’m not a practicing heterosexual and I’ve never been an idol worshipper, so this passage says nothing at all about God’s attitude toward me and others like me who were born GLBT.

    Of course, the passage also suggests that Paul’s attitude toward homosexuality was generally negative, but modern readers have to cut him a little slack, because the only homosexual practices known in the ancient world were male prostitutes in pagan temple worship and the Greek practice of married men keeping boys as lovers on the side.

    There was no such thing as committed gay relationships in Paul’s era, and if he had known about modern relationships like Dan’s, I think his attitude would have been different. But whatever you think of Paul’s attitude toward homosexuality, the first chapter of Romans says nothing about GOD’S attitude.

  152. zinelondonIf  says

    If Christians can preach homosexuality is wrong Dan Savage can say that some parts of the Bible are wrong. If these kids are mature enough to choose a religious faith they deserve to hear its flaws. I’m shocked that people are against Savage on this one. All he’s doing is offering a counterpoint for a lifetimes worth of Christian indoctrination. It’s only fair people are allowed to hear both sides of the story.

  153. billmiller says

    The typical Bible ontains over one million words. Only a handful of those are generally observed, quoted, or pressed as issues. I just love shrimp and mussels, am I wrong?

  154. greg says

    Reason and critical thinking skills are now the Anti-Christ; has nothing changed since Salem, MA ???