Dan Savage really is a nasty little creep. After using his bully pulpit to call the Bible “bulls**t” and mock teenagers who quietly left his talk, he decided he liked all the extra attention he got for attacking religion. In his circumscribed little world, there is no good or bad press: just people paying attention to him.
How do you follow-up insulting a text held sacred by roughly 2/3rds of the world’s population? Why, you go to the great old standby: mock the pope! And go ahead and call him gay while you’re at it!
Here’s what Savage had to say:
“The Pope recently said that gay marriage is a threat to the survival of the human race, because once gay marriage is legal, everybody’s gonna get gay married. What the Pope is saying is there is no such thing as a straight person. There’s only people who wish they were gay but the can’t get married. What the Pope is saying is the only thing that stands between my d**k and Brad Pitt’s mouth is a piece of paper. I love that thought… I don’t understand why straight people don’t get mad. The Pope is projecting in saying nobody’s straight – not the Pope, not anybody else. What the pope is saying is that once we’re all gay married, we’re gonna go extinct in a generation, because once we’re all married, we’re gonna forget which hole s**ts babies… Kids watch their parents beat up gay people from afar with their checkbooks and their votes … they feel entitled to beat up that gay kid in that school, because the adults in their lives are doing and giving their blessing to it, because of religion.”
Obviously, that wasn’t even close to what Benedict said, but Savage knows the hooting masses who show up to listen to him won’t bother to fact check, and he wouldn’t want to pass up a good laugh line that reinforces the bias and ignorance of his audience. You really can’t go wrong mocking Catholics and their ancient and deeply held faith to the kind of college audience that would show up to listen to Dan Savage in the first place.
Here’s what Benedict actually said: “Sexual differences cannot be dismissed as irrelevant to the definition of marriage. Defending the institution of marriage as a social reality is ultimately a question of justice, since it entails safeguarding the good of the entire human community and the rights of parents and children alike.”
In the same talk, Benedict also criticized heterosexual couples who live together.
I know: shocka! Catholic pope repeats Catholic teachings held by the Catholic faith for a couple thousand years! That certainly called for a public smackdown that somehow involves a mention of Brad Pitt’s penis. (I’m still puzzling over that one.)
What kind of person describes the miracle of life with the phrase “which hole s**ts babies”? Memo to Dan Savage: if you’re wondering why a large swath of the American public is not on board with your agenda, you may want to look at the image you project to the public.
And whether the gay rights movement realizes it or not, Dan Savage is their public face right now, if only by virtue of his relentless self-promotion and towering narcissism. Let’s take a look at what that means:
This is a man who boasted about licking doorknobs and pens at conservative Gary Bauer’s election headquarters in order to give the campaign staff his cold. This is a man whose life experience led him to coin a word (named after Rick Santorum) for a combination of fecal matter and lube. (Here’s a free tip for gay guys: the vast, vast majority of people cannot relate to a sexuality that involves using the words “fecal matter” and “lube” in the same sentence. In fact, we don’t make up cute little words for it: we find it completely disgusting, even your progressive, pro-gay friends. They just don’t admit it. In other words: keep it to yourself.) This is a man who routinely wishes violent death on his enemies, or fantasizes about raping them. This is a man who talks and writes–incessantly–about his penis and rectum, like some toddler who’s just discovered them.
In short, this is a deeply disturbed, mean little man. Yet he commands a national stage and huge speaking fees across the country, bringing a message of vitriol and hate everywhere he goes.
And that’s the leading voice of the gay rights movement in modern America.
UPDATE: Alan Yoshioka wrote to offer a different perspective on Dan Savage. Written by his wife Theresa, this piece urges a more charitable, Christian response to this kind of outburst. I urge you to read it, and agree with Alan’s “plea for prayers and fasting for [Savage's] reversion to a Catholic faith that still has a remarkable hold on his imagination. Like me a decade and a half ago, Savage now fulminates against the Church because it *matters*, so I won’t be surprised if our collective prayers eventually (Lord, haste the day!) turn him around.” Read Alan and Theresa’s site and you’ll see why they have a special understanding of this subject.