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GOProud Doesn't Like Dan Savage Speech

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Yesterday, I posted a video of portion of a speech delivered by Dan Savage to a conference of high school journalists. Dan's speech was to be about bullying, and anti-gay bullying in particular, and Dan didn't bother being PC: He acknowledged up front that a lot of anti-gay sentiment comes from a literal reading of the Bible, and suggested that it is possible for Christians to learn to ignore that book's seemingly anti-gay sentiment, just as they ignore its prohibitions on the eating of shellfish and repeated endorsements of slavery.

This isn't an anti-Christian message. It's an anti-Biblical literalism message. But GOProud, just like the rightist media reporting on Dan's speech, seems to have missed that point. They released this statement yesterday:

Today, GOProud, a national organization of gay and straight Americans seeking to promote freedom by supporting free markets, limited government, and a respect for individual rights, condemned a speech given by left wing gay activist Dan Savage. "Dan Savage¹s outrageous anti-Christian tirade hurts, not helps, the fight for gay rights in this country," said Jimmy LaSalvia, GOProud Executive Director. "There is nothing incompatible between being a Christian and believing that all people should be treated equally, and Dan Savage¹s attacks on Christianity only fuel those on the extremist fringe who oppose gay rights.

"Dan Savage should apologize for his comments and should apologize to the high school students in attendance whom he called 'pansy-asses,'" continued LaSalvia. "It is ironic that someone whose claim to fame is fighting bullying would resort to bullying tactics in attacking high school students who were offended by his outrageous remarks.

"GOProud works with people of faith every single day gay and straight. We believe strongly that people of faith should be treated with respect," concluded LaSalvia.

... which is a rather gross mischaracterization of what occurred at Dan's speech, but oh well. GOProud's a political organization; good politics are its biz. Dan's a journalist, and his business is to tell the truth to the best of his ability. These ends are not always simpatico. 

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Comments

  1. does anyone really give a flying rat's butt what GOProud says?

    Posted by: Grover Underwood | Apr 29, 2012 2:54:14 PM


  2. They're right. Savage could have gotten his point across without the language he used, which is pretty offensive in public settings, and especially so with young people in the audience.

    Even you made the point in the first paragraph of this post without using profanity.

    Savage was wrong. Stop holding up every word he utters as some kind of pronouncement from above. He made a mistake and should learn from it.

    Peace <3
    Jay

    Posted by: Jay M. | Apr 29, 2012 2:54:24 PM


  3. These are the same freaking Uncle Toms that thought people protesting Scott Lively in Boston a few weeks ago was the work of activists. Screw them. Seriously.

    Posted by: neptune | Apr 29, 2012 2:55:12 PM


  4. I don't like what GOProud says. Do I get a feature listing on towleroad next? After all, in the grand scheme, both of our opinions mean jack.

    Posted by: Joey Y | Apr 29, 2012 2:55:17 PM


  5. When Dan was in college, I was his manager at the restaurant where he was a waiter. He was always very bright, hilariously witty, and it was his nature to blurt out things he thought would get a rise out of people. Back then, before his career as a gay activist, his cause was the victimization of non-smokers in a smoker's world. He said things to provoke the smokers at the workplace, but he was also a good friend to everyone. When I hear him speak as he did to this class, I just hear the Dan I knew 25 years ago....but I agree, he really ought to tone it down, now that he has, whether he likes it or not, become viewed as a spokesperson for so many of us.

    Posted by: Stick | Apr 29, 2012 3:04:27 PM


  6. Oh I am *so* surprised!

    Posted by: Tone | Apr 29, 2012 3:09:18 PM


  7. They invited Dan Savage NOT the Pope.

    Posted by: M. Scott Hernandez | Apr 29, 2012 3:11:45 PM


  8. GOProud is full of idiots.

    Posted by: Reality | Apr 29, 2012 3:12:30 PM


  9. When the misguided individuals in GOProud rush to the defense of homophobic scripture that should be condemned by all people of goodwill, people can't help but wonder why the GOProud partisans are doing this. My own guess is that they are trying to impress their homophobic relatives with how self-loathing they are. They hope that by doing this, their homophobic relatives will hate them less. Someone should tell them that their efforts are in vain. This is a sad cautionary tale.

    Posted by: Artie_in_Lauderdale | Apr 29, 2012 3:14:02 PM


  10. Oh yes, I remember reading everyone clutching their pearls in yesterday's comment thread about his speech in... what was it called? Oh, yes, "Journalism on the Edge".

    Those students knew who he was, what his style is, what his politics are, and what the name of the conference was. All this talk of "offending them" is nonsense.

    As for the substance of what he said, I noticed no one has attempted to refute him.

    Typical right-wing manufactured outrage.

    Posted by: Mike | Apr 29, 2012 3:17:32 PM


  11. The HomoApologist Society (aka GOPROUD) has heaved it's scandalized sigh. Next.

    Posted by: jim | Apr 29, 2012 3:23:45 PM


  12. Oh pleeze. I have to suffer through listening to politicians both in and running for office make all sorts of nasty claims as to my character and sexual proclivities (all of which are flat out lies), yet the moment Dan Savage states something that is 100% the truth, people act all hot and bothered. Where were they went Rick Santorum was on teevee every night rattling off his bullsh--? If the kids at this conference can't take hearing the world bullsh-t then they are ill prepared to go out into the real world. Maybe they should just stay home with their bigoted parents and read their fairy tale Bible book.

    Posted by: Oliver | Apr 29, 2012 3:23:59 PM


  13. Perhaps Dan Savage could have tempered his speech a bit, not so much what he said about the bible, and the christian propensity to project upon the rest of us their religious revelations, and the need to legislate the Christian faith (which, once legislated ,ceases to be faith . . . but try to explain that to them)but the colorful euphemisms . . . but nothing that GOProud has to say is relevant to those gays looking for equal standing with our heterosexual counterparts.

    We need people like Dan, smart, a quick with, who are willing, as he says to push back. And I have to agree with him that considering the beat downs he, myself, and others have gotten . . . both literally and figuratively speaking . . . from those who called themselves the loving disciples of Jesus Christ, they do seem to be a bunch of Pansy A** wimps to walk out when someone pushes back.

    It is outrageous to equate a derogatory oratory on ones faith, one's Holy Book, and the physical and emotional bullying that teens carry out on other teens driving them to suicide. And it is patently ridiculous for the contemporary American christian to speak about being persecuted for their faith.

    It is typical of racists, bullies, and bigots to assume a pretense of being bullied themselves, of being persecuted.

    It could only help those Christian kids who walked out on Dan Savages speech to spend a summer in a Sunni or Shiite neighborhood in either Iraq, Iran, of Afghanistan to gain some perspective on the true nature of religious persecution.

    I am sure a Dan Savage rant would seem tame by comparison.

    But I do have to wonder, will they walk out on an interviewee every time she/he says something which offends their finer Christian sensibilities? I also wonder if they not heard the scripture that says that love is not easily offended?

    These are things those kids are not concerned about. I am sure the will, in the pursuit of their journalistic goals, adopt the Fair and balanced model of Fox news, and put their own special spin on things.

    So, we definitely need our Dan Savages, especially when we have GoProud out there to working so diligently on the behalf of heterosexual rights.

    Posted by: Ricco | Apr 29, 2012 3:44:23 PM


  14. Perhaps Dan Savage could have tempered his speech a bit, not so much what he said about the bible, and the christian propensity to project upon the rest of us their religious revelations, and the need to legislate the Christian faith (which, once legislated ,ceases to be faith . . . but try to explain that to them)but the colorful euphemisms . . . but nothing that GOProud has to say is relevant to those gays looking for equal standing with our heterosexual counterparts.

    We need people like Dan, smart, a quick with, who are willing, as he says to push back. And I have to agree with him that considering the beat downs he, myself, and others have gotten . . . both literally and figuratively speaking . . . from those who called themselves the loving disciples of Jesus Christ, they do seem to be a bunch of Pansy A** wimps to walk out when someone pushes back.

    It is outrageous to equate a derogatory oratory on ones faith, one's Holy Book, and the physical and emotional bullying that teens carry out on other teens driving them to suicide. And it is patently ridiculous for the contemporary American christian to speak about being persecuted for their faith.

    It is typical of racists, bullies, and bigots to assume a pretense of being bullied themselves, of being persecuted.

    It could only help those Christian kids who walked out on Dan Savages speech to spend a summer in a Sunni or Shiite neighborhood in either Iraq, Iran, of Afghanistan to gain some perspective on the true nature of religious persecution.

    I am sure a Dan Savage rant would seem tame by comparison.

    But I do have to wonder, will they walk out on an interviewee every time she/he says something which offends their finer Christian sensibilities? I also wonder if they not heard the scripture that says that love is not easily offended?

    These are things those kids are not concerned about. I am sure the will, in the pursuit of their journalistic goals, adopt the Fair and balanced model of Fox news, and put their own special spin on things.

    So, we definitely need our Dan Savages, especially when we have GoProud out there to working so diligently on the behalf of heterosexual rights.


    Posted by: Ricco | Apr 29, 2012 3:45:12 PM


  15. sorry about the duplicate posting. If anyone is monitoring the blog today, please remove it. Thank you

    Posted by: Ricco | Apr 29, 2012 3:48:40 PM


  16. Dan Savage gets it- TRUTH TO POWER! There is nothing that Savage said that is not true, and that's what really galls the Christianists. One must fully expect that various homocons (in L.A., we have homocon & spokeshole John Phillips who appears to worship Ann Coulter) will use their soapboxes to opine against any LGBT who dares to shake the status quo. Expect more of the same.

    Posted by: Just sayin' | Apr 29, 2012 3:54:55 PM


  17. GOProud, oh dear.
    Dan Savage uses the lanuage, which gets attention.

    Posted by: Matt26 | Apr 29, 2012 3:56:01 PM


  18. Excuse me...what if you don't believe in God? You don't hold the Bible to how we conduct ourselves in secular life? The bigots use the Bible and invoke some fake "God" to attempt to deny GLBT Americans their SECULAR rights. Time and time again marriage bills pass, explicitly exempting religions and churches against things they don't believe in...such as conducting same-sex marriages...and the bigots will STILL vehemently be against these things. Religious bigots hate us. Period. And I'm getting a little tired of catering, of excusing that hate. Good for Dan Savage. And as usual, the quislings of our community, GOProud, really don't give a damn about our equality, anyway.

    Posted by: Terry | Apr 29, 2012 3:57:23 PM


  19. GOProud is a contradiction in terms.

    Posted by: Steve | Apr 29, 2012 3:58:59 PM


  20. Outrage begets outrage, repeat ad infinitum. I really wish we could take a holiday from the feigned hysteria for just one -- oh, I don't know -- week?

    As someone who criticized the tone of Savage's remarks (but NOT the substance -- believe it or not, there is a difference), I'd like to go on the record as saying that GOProud has completely mischaracterized the substantive content of the speech. Thanks, Brandon, for aptly pointing out that Savage's message was anti-literalism, not anti-Christian.

    But whatever. This is the way we talk to each other now. Scoring cheap points rather than giving a flying fig about trying to understand what other people mean to say. It's unfortunate that against this backdrop, style matters all the more.

    Posted by: Rick | Apr 29, 2012 4:00:49 PM


  21. OK, is anyone supposed to take *anything whatsoever* that a gay Republican groups says with any seriousness? If they can't understand that 'gay Republican' is an intellectual and philosopical oxymoron, then really, GIGO.
    I'm not thrilled with Savage's tone to a group of under 18's, but it's not like he said anything that wasn't true. Of course, conservatives always take a page from the FOX News handbook, and take the bits they like, make up the rest, and then lie their asses off at the top of their voices - no matter how obviously inane whatever they end up saying actually is.

    Posted by: Tarc | Apr 29, 2012 4:06:35 PM


  22. GOProud members have deceived themselves into thinking that just because they're out of the closet, they aren't self-loathing.

    Before ANY such organization issues proclamations and demands apologies, they need to apply a very simple litmus test: "Is what he said true?" And if so, STFU.

    What Savage said was absolutely true. Selectively ignoring inconvenient parts of the bible doesn't change the fact that those parts exist; and it certainly doesn't prevent a large number of christians from insisting on adherence to a literal translation (of the parts which which are convenient for them.)

    Posted by: sparks | Apr 29, 2012 4:12:22 PM


  23. @ Rick,

    The main problem with some comments on the other thread was that they addressed only the style rather than the substance of Dan's speech. Teenagers use the word "bullsh*t" all the time, and Dan was speaking to high school students interested in journalism. If Dan's audience had been adult elected officials at a congressional hearing about bullying in schools, I'm sure his language would have been more formal. The principle involved remains the same, regardless of the language style. Secular people have every right to criticize the Bible since Christianists regularly use the Bible to influence public policy, which affects the entire population, not just Christians.

    Posted by: Artie_in_Lauderdale | Apr 29, 2012 4:14:38 PM


  24. Thanks Artie, and I appreciate that many HS kids toss around profanities all day. And lots of kids call each other belittling and hurtful names. On this we can all happily agree.

    But if any of my teachers/invited speakers had said bulls**t to us, or called us pansy-a**ed, they would have been reprimanded. And if any of those figures had used profanity to describe the Koran/Bible/Talmud/etc there would have been zero doubt in any mind that they were over the line.

    Posted by: Rick | Apr 29, 2012 4:33:16 PM


  25. I couldn't care less for GOProud. They're nothing but a bunch of self-loathing twits. The only thing "gay" about them is the tokenism of gay people for the sole purposes of selling out to anti-gay Republicans. They need to learn self-respect. They're utterly pathetic.

    Posted by: Matt | Apr 29, 2012 4:34:39 PM


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