Dan Savage and the Truth

As you may already know, there is just now much controversy swirling around this video of Dan Savage (Savage Love; the It Gets Better Project).

The controversy is due to Mr. Savage calling “bullshit” those parts of the Bible that throughout history been used by “Christians” unworthy of the name to justify the Holocaust, condone slavery, oppress women, and victimize gay people.

He was speaking on April 12 to attendees of the National High School Journalism Conference, sponsored by the Journalism Education Association and the National Scholastic Press Association. The four-day conference, featuring over 200 sessions, two keynote speakers (Dan and Jennifer Sizemore), more than a dozen featured speakers, and more events and activities than you can shake a pen at, was titled Journalism on the Edge.

The conference’s promo material begins with:

You are already on the Edge. Journalists have always lived on the edge. Deadlines, and the edge of time. Facts, and the edge of truth. Authority, and the edge of free expression. We balance on the edge of legitimate public interest and the interests of those who would rather we not publish.

And there, amongst all this journalistic edginess, was Dan Savage, being edgy. 

Just who does this podium-pounding pontificator peddling in people’s perplexingly perverse predilections think he is, anyway?

I, for one, have no idea what the world has come to, when a person who has made his career out of speaking, in the most unadorned language possible, directly to great numbers of young people about some of the most important issues in their lives, dares to speak in unadorned language directly to a great number of young people about one of the most important issues in American life today.

Besides the fact that he was raised in a devoutly Catholic home and is the country’s leading gay activist, who is Dan Savage to say anything at all about the ages-old Christian condemnation of gay people? So what if his claim is manifestly valid that nothing contributes more to the destruction of the lives of gay people than do Christians falsely and hypocritically using the Bible as an instrument of brutality? So what if he believes that among the most egregious of all Christian sins is daring to proclaim that God’s love ends where their own fear and hatred begin? So what if every day, for decades on end, Dan Savage has dealt with young lives obliterated through violence informed and buttressed by the bedrock “Christian” view that gay people are less than human?

So what if any reasonably compassionate person should be expected to vigorously assert that it’s time for all Christians to reject using the Bible as a means of justifying the persecution of an entire population whose only “crime” is to prefer to spend their lives with same-sex partners?

Why should any of that matter? What matters is that Dan Savage cursed. He said bull**** not once, but three times.

Three! That’s one more than two! Which is two too many!

You know, it’s almost like the people who put on this conference, as well as a small but now (thanks, media machine!) significant number of individuals who attended it, don’t even know what the word “journalism” means.

Well, thank you, young people who walked out of Dan’s speech the moment he began talking about the parts of the Bible to which he takes exception, for reminding us of what beats so passionately in the heart and soul of every true journalist. Speaking as a person who for twelve years made his living as a journalist, I admire your dedication to the journalist’s creed: When you personally disagree with something someone is saying, get up and leave.

If that’s not what Jesus meant by, “The truth shall set you free,” I can’t imagine what he did mean.

P.S. What immediately become a meme amongst Dan’s critics is that those who walked out of his talk felt bullied by him. But that’s impossible. People get bullied because of who they are: how they look and act, what they say and do. Perceived as being in some critical way weak or lacking, victims of bullies are selected for persecution; they are pulled from the pack before being pointedly and repeatedly victimized. The people who walked out during Dan’s talk were not separated from their peers by anyone. They were content to do that themselves. They were not frightened or cowed. They were offended. They felt that by disparaging what amounts to their God, Dan had transgressed beyond their capacity for toleration. And they were pleased to show their intolerance of Dan’s words by protesting against them in the manner they did. Theirs was not an act born of suffering. It was a proud show of disdain.

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter. If you shop at Amazon, help support John by entering the site through this link right here--Amazon will then send John 3-4% of the cost of anything you buy before exiting the site again.

 

  • http://www.facebook.com/laura.overstreet Laura Overstreet via Facebook

    Fantastic!

  • Hannah MiamiSun Johnson Baker via Facebook

    Great!!

  • Andie

    Thank you for bringing some reason to this crazy controversy! The Bible is great, but misuse of the Bible is indeed bullshit!

    • Treemeister

      It’s is a problem and Mr. Savage demonstrated that issue in front of everyone.

      • Valerie

        Dude, I have read all your comments on here and I feel you have wandered away from your usual stomping grounds. I am slightly surprised that John as yet to block you. What those kids did was a protest of what Dan was saying not because they felt bullied. I know because I used to be one of those kids. I grew up believing as they do that my religious leaders were right and knew what God wants us to believe. I would have done the same as they did but I wouldn’t have called it bullying. Then something happened to me. I grew up and started using my brain and making my own decisions. I began to see that there were other paths out there. My advice to you: Use your brain for something other than to fill the empty void in your head and question everything. Pray for understanding and guidance, not from a religious leader that is parroting what they learned in seminary, but from God Himself. Pray he speaks to your heart. Then come back here and tell me God hates or that the government of this great nation should be denying anyone the rights that we deny the LGBT community based on poorly translated scriptures interpreted by man.

        • Treemeister

          “Dude, I have read all your comments on here and I feel you have wandered away from your usual stomping grounds. I am slightly surprised that John as yet to block you”

          …there you go. Your solution is to censor opposing points of view. Not what our founding fathers had in mind. I’m sorry you had a negative religious experience growing up. Hope you can heal. Don’t assume that I don’t pray either just because we can disagree on some issues.

  • Mary Wisner Miller via Facebook

    This is the John I love.

  • Shelli Owens

    Aspiring journalists who walk about because the speaker says something they find offensive makes me assume all of those young people want to work for Fox News. As a journalist, your job is the report the news, not agree or disagree with it. If you want to disagree with Dan, stick around to see what he has to say and then write your own OPINION article about it.

    • Leslie Marbach

      Even though tons of kids walked out during his speech (and didn’t they seem to have smug, self-righteous looks on their faces??) there were many, many more who stayed and cheered.

      • LSS

        Yeah i liked that part.

      • Treemeister

        Didn’t see it that way. The smug expressions and comments were primarily coming from Mr. Savage. What the kids did took courage and it’s how they are taught to react to bullying.

        • Gordon

          Bullshit! They were obviously ready and prepared in advance to make their silly, childish statement. Courage would have had them stay, listen and engage intelligently in any Q&A after.

        • http://rindle.blogspot.com Lyn

          The first kids started walking out as soon as he mentioned the Bible, before he’d said word one that was offensive. It was obviously a planned-in-advance ploy for attention and their claim to having been offended is, therefore dishonest and unchristian.

    • LSS

      Also if you were a journalist and never heard anybody cuss you would only be covering stories nobody cared about. Not even the ones you were interviewing.

    • Treemeister

      Don’t you realize that was a put down of anyone who watches Fox News? How would you feel if I was to say, they seem very intolerant, they probably watch MSNBC and Rachel Maddow.

      Can’t we just QUIT demonizing people who disagree with our own point of view? It only entrenched the opposition. Can’t we just openly discuss opposing points of view. Maybe if we keep an open mind we can all learn someting.

      • DR

        Isn’t it fascinating how Christians like Treemeister can toss out a “GLBT activity is sin. Pure and simple.” and then actually turn around and complain that he’s being “demonized” when people are honest about how that kind of judgment impacts them?

        I’ve never encountered a group of people who are so blinded to their impact and feel so entitled to not even listen to it.

        • Treemeister

          That’s why I keep coming back, I’m genuinely trying to understand your points.

      • Christy

        Re: “Can’t we just QUIT demonizing people who disagree with our own point of view? It only entrenched the opposition. Can’t we just openly discuss opposing points of view. Maybe if we keep an open mind we can all learn someting.”

        Isn’t that what we’re asking those who walked out to do?

        • Treemeister

          No, it’s what I’m attempting to do.

    • Soulmentor

      *****As a journalist, your job is the report the news, not agree or disagree with it.******

      What you defined is a Reporter, not a Journalist. A Journalist tells a story and may include interpretations and opinions.

      • Treemeister

        That’s eactly what Iv’e done, you just don’t like my point of view, so you lash out.

  • Wendy

    I’m sharing this! Thanks John.

  • Caroline Miller

    This video makes me so sad. I ache for these kids whose faith is so tenuous that they can’t tolerate anyone speaking candidly and refusing to treat religion with kid gloves when it is killing people. People who feel so threatened by any perceived affront to their faith have often had their beliefs instilled through fear and intimidation, and unless their lives change course dramatically, they will spread their beliefs using the same methods. Dan Savage said the same thing almost verbatim when I heard him speak at the University of Kentucky last month. I didn’t notice if anyone stormed off, but I applauded as loudly as anyone, because in my opinion, religious people should be the ones most appalled by the abuse of their beliefs and most determined to restore the integrity of their faith traditions.

    • Mindy

      Well said, Caroline, well said.

    • LSS

      They were smiling so much. That is the part that makes me sad. It’s like they smiled so big it covered their eyes and their ears.

    • Drew

      …religious people should be the ones most appalled by the abuse of their beliefs and most determined to restore the integrity of their faith traditions.”

      Well said, Caroline!

    • Treemeister

      Victims of bullying are instructed to simply walk away rather than become violent. That’s what they did.

      • http://castlerockbear.tumblr.com Keith Walsh

        No, they were afraid of someone taking on and condemning the HATE, that they are usually promoting! That is the only reason they walked out, THAT and to get attention! Pitiful at best! Walking away from reality is what breeds ignorance!

        • Soulmentor

          It doesn’t breed ignorance. That comes from elsewhere. But it does perpetuate it.

        • Treemeister

          Similar to the type of hate you are displaying now?

          • Christy

            How is what Keith said hateful?

          • Treemeister

            “No, they were afraid of someone taking on and condemning the HATE, that they are usually promoting! That is the only reason they walked out, THAT and to get attention! Pitiful at best! Walking away from reality is what breeds ignorance!”

            Seriously? Accusing a bunch of teenagers of “usually promoting hate” is not a hateful /biased comment? Keith doesn’t know these people.

            Walking away breeds ignorance? That’s not what Scripture teaches. The fool looks for confrontation and disputes, sometimes it is wiser to shake off the dust and walk away. Sometimes you duke it out (like what I’m trying to do now), sometimes it is better to keep going. Why should Keith make that judgement for them?

          • Christy

            I didn’t take his second “they” literally, but in the “ubiquitous they” : Christians who use the Bible to bully gays.

            “The only reason they walked out” = because they didn’t want to hear someone condemning how the Bible is used to bully gays

            “To get attention” = To draw attention to their displeasure with what he was saying. Not attention for themselves as individuals. Many see their reason for leaving as a peaceful protest. I think you or Tim here may have said that. A peaceful protest is attention seeking.

            Pitiful = his opinion. But not hateful.

            “Walking away from reality is what breeds ignorance!” = this is true. It does. He didn’t say walking away. He said walking away from reality. A significant difference. The reality he is referring to is how Leviticus is used to bully gays, but Leviticus is not used to bully non-virgins nor to bully shrimp-eaters. This is the hypocrisy (inconsistency) to which Savage refers.

            Still don’t see hate here. Frustration. Yes. Irritation.

      • Gordon

        Your interpretation of this video that these young people were bullied into leaving a lecture at a public event is disrespectful and offensive to this gay guy who was bullied relentlessly for most of his junior high and high school years.

        They were offended. Their shallow little feelings got hurt. Maybe. Or, maybe they were organized and ready to walk out of a lecture advertised in advance that featured an openly gay journalist who is known to talk straight and use profanity to make his points. I have disagreed with Dan Savage at times over the years, but today he is my hero.

      • Diana A.

        So, those were the students’ only choices–walk away or become violent? Could they not have stayed and stood up for their own viewpoint if they disagreed with Mr. Savage?

        No, I’m inclined to agree with John on this. This was a staged protest designed to show their disapproval of Dan Savage’s viewpoint. There was no bullying here.

        • Treemeister

          There was no opportunity to speak without shouting out and being labeled “rude”. When Savage verbally attacks a bunch of teenagers, then doesn’t give them an opportunity to respond, that is a captive audience and is “bullying” in my view.

          • Christy

            RE: “verbally attacks a bunch of teenagers”

            What did he say that you classify a personal attack?

          • Treemeister

            He called them a “bunch of panty wastes in the lobby”. There are other comments as well.

  • Mindy

    Oh. My. Those poor young people, who believe they know everything, but in reality understand so very little. Hypocrisy, indeed.

    Dan Savage is a gift to our culture of the magnitude of, dare I say it? Yes, of John Shore.

    • Soulmentor

      We would be well advised to use words like Hate and Hypocrisy more carefully. I doubt there were many hypocrites among those young walkouts. A hypocrite is someone like Newt Gingrich who clearly can’t believe anything he says but says it anyway, or the publicly anti-gay religious person or politician who sneaks around being secretly “gay” like so many of those “fallen” during the past decade.

      Those walkout kids haven’t lived enuf yet to be much in the way of hypocrites…..unless, of course, some of them are secretly gay.

      Nah, that wouldn’t be possible, right?

  • Renae Douglas via Facebook

    LOVE

  • http://lasvegasjames.blogspot.com/ James

    Bravo. As for the others? Having your delicate sensibilities offended on occasion is the price you pay to live in a free society.

    • Treemeister

      My issue isn’t having the freedom of dissent. My problem is the mass stereotyping and distortion by Mr. Savage. This guy picks and chooses the sections of scripture that reafirms his position and throws out the rest.

      Christians like William Wilberforce were at the forefront of the abolitionist movement! Most Christians are dead set against ANY form of slavery.

      Savage took a broad brush and painted every Christian in favor of slavery, and that’s just ONE of the issues. This tirade is nothing short of slander and distortion, that’s not responsible “journalism” at all.

      As a Christian in today’s society, I am CONSTANTLY offended every time I watch or listen to the mainstream media with it’s progressive bias. Nothing new in that experience for me, so don’t act like we live sheltered lives.

      • Piet

        Did you listen to Dan, or are you just reacting to what you want to have heard? He didn’t stereotype Christians. He pointed to the fact that the Bible they use to bash the world over the head with is full of strictures that Christians disregard without a second thought while they cling to one verse to justify their treatment of gay people — strictures that appear in the very same purity code. If that wasn’t clear, let me recommend a course of ear-wax removal by your friendly local otolaryngologist and then regular, frequent use of cotton swabs to keep the ear canals open.

        • Treemeister

          I’ll have my ears cleaned out if you agree to use your spell checker next time. It’s “scriptures” not scrictures. ha-ha. I interpreted that section a little differently than you did. it’s OK, really.

          • Fritz Keppler

            The words “strictures” and “scriptures” have quite different meanings.

          • DR

            Well there’s a nasty little shot at someone’s spelling. Always nice to see the Christians start with the low blows . Ugh.

          • http://www.cindymurphythinkingoutloud.blogspot.com Cindy

            Pretty sure Piet did actually mean strictures as he said and spelled correctly. It makes perfect sense in the context in which it was written. Pretty funny really, for a supposed journalist Treemeister doesn’t seem to have much of a vocabulary.

          • Treemeister

            My mistake, you’re right. I learned a new word today.

            Since this converation is one sided, how about twatching this video clip so we can achieve some balance.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxIWf7qrcZM&feature=g-u-u

          • Matthew Tweedell

            The first four and a half minutes seemed reasonable enough. I actually thought it might be a good idea for Dan Savage to address these things. Well before James White here suggests something similar but more formal at the end of the clip, I had even considered that it might be interesting to have a live via web-cam Internet debate between them. As I got further into the video, however, I grew increasingly skeptical of the fruitfulness of any such thing, because, at the heart of it, they appear to be addressing entirely different issues actually.

            In any case, by minute five however, James White seems to demonstrate an (willful?) inability to understand hyperbole and perhaps ignorance of the fact that Dan Savage’s background includes nearly equivalent biblical training to that of a typical Catholic priest.

            And in minute nine—seriously?—he actually tries to defend the owning of your fellow man, provided he’s otherwise indigent and you don’t do it for too long or else succeed in inducing Stockholm syndrome.

            And though he acknowledges in the beginning Dan’s stated purpose in defending himself (and by extension, homosexuality generally), around minute twelve, he talks like Dan was attempting—or that he was trying to trick us into thinking that his argument constituted—“serious scholarship”. The sort of rigor he’s expecting is for adults, while Dan was addressing high school kids in a way they as well as we can understand, assuming, that is, that our education system hasn’t utterly failed them, as it is wont to do regarding religious studies, such that we cannot be sure they necessarily know what “Leviticus” even is!

            And in minute thirteen, James is pointing the finger at the Muslim world and saying, in essence, “those guys are worse”, as if this were any kind of defense! (Good pronunciation of “Qur’an” though!) And again, the place that Dan is coming from on this is the prejudice that he himself has been subject to and which best connects with his audience (whether as inheritors of or victims of such a prejudice).

          • http://www.cindymurphythinkingoutloud.blogspot.com Cindy

            The only thing sadder than somebody falling on the old the “you can’t spell” comeback is when said person does so to point out a word that is actually spelled correctly. You need to broaden your vocabulary before you try to become the grammar police. Get a dictionary. Look up stricture. You’ll see that it was both spelled correctly and the perfect word to use in this case.

        • http://castlerockbear.tumblr.com Keith Walsh

          :)

      • Mindy

        Oh, my. Pot, meet Kettle. Kettle, Pot.

        Treemeister, you missed the point entirely. He in no way stated that ALL Christians did any such thing – not that they supported slavery, nor that they all use the Bible to bash gays. He compared the “clobber passages” to HOW the Bible was used by SOME Christians to justify slavery. He pointed out the hypocrisy of insisting on to-the-letter following of SOME Bible verses, but not all.

        You can be CONSTANTLY offended – I’m often offended by much that I see in the media – but you are distorting Mr. Savage’s statement in the same sentence in which you accuse him of distortion!

        Journalism is about honestly reporting, without bias, the facts. All of them. He is here, but he’s also never claimed to be a journalist. He is an advice guru. Big difference.

        • Treemeister

          Ironic isn’t it, how this expert at the anti-bullying conference bullies the Christians to demonstrate the devastating affect of bullying. Wow, what a genius!

          • DR

            Dan Savage has saved literally, hundreds of lives via the Trevor Project. Given you’re quite adamant about how damaging he is, please provide all of us with the Christian organization that organized around saving gay children from suicide – the #1 at-risk group of teens to do so. Please provide us with those names. Thanks.

          • Christy

            Disagreeing with someone publicly and their views is not bullying. What aspect of what he said do you think qualifies as bullying?

          • Christy

            Because he essentially was saying that it’s bullshit to prohibit people from marrying or having equal rights or holding a job or being a member of a group or patronizing a business or preventing people from renting or buying a house or treating anyone differently at all because they eat shellfish. Also a Levitical abomination.

          • Diana A.

            Thank you, Christy. You said it better than I did.

          • Treemeister

            He mocked them and called them childish names when they went to the lobby, just one example.

          • Christy

            How many Jewish students walked out? It’s Leviticus after all. If we use the same logic, Jewish students would have been offended as well. Right? Why or why not?

          • Treemeister

            How do you know none of these students are Jewish?

          • Diana A.

            How did he bully Christians? By stating his honest opinion? I agree with him. What a bunch of pansy-asses. In fact, that may be too kind a term for them.

          • Nicole

            I’ve walked out of lectures I didn’t agree with before. In no way did I feel bullied. To compare choosing to walk out of a lecture with bullying is ridiclulous. Choosing to walk out of a lecture is an expression of your rights as an individual. Those young people were asserting their rights; they were not in any way being bullied. Forcing them to somehow stay and listen would’ve been bullying. Did you see that happening?

          • Lymis

            You do realize that this wasn’t an anti-bullying conference? It was a journalism conference.

            If those teens were “devastated” then they certainly covered it well. And you have a very strange definition of bullying.

        • Treemeister

          “You are already on the Edge. Journalists have always lived on the edge. Deadlines, and the edge of time. Facts, and the edge of truth. Authority, and the edge of free expression. We balance on the edge of legitimate public interest and the interests of those who would rather we not publish.”

          Yet when I honestly express myself in a way that’s “Edgy”. Most of the people on this blog want to hand my head to me. Why the double standard?

      • DR

        Your issue is that you want to believe that this is a “massive generalization” when in fact, the *majority voting block* that disrupts the legal rights of the GLBT community – including laws that would protect gay kids from specific bullying – are Christian. Every. Single. Organization that rallies around the prevention of gay marriage is Christian. Every single organization that is organized around taking down gay bullying programs in schools? Christian. Who is voting against gay marriage? Christians.

        The majority of Evangelical churches refuse to allow gay men and women to serve in ministry. I could go on and on and on. The majority of Christians in this country are the root cause of this problem. And they – we, actually – should all be willing to hold ourselves personally responsible until we clean up this sickening, evil mess we’ve caused, though our direct behavior, through the passive helplessness as we stand by and watch others publicly abuse gay men and women and the victimization we claim as we are lumped in with “the bad Christians”. All three are toxic.

        • Treemeister

          GLBT’s have full legal rights in this country already. They are protected under the Constitution the same as any other American citize. That’s really not the issue. What the GLBT community really wants is to be condoned by the straight community and to promote their worldview. It just Isn’t going to happen. The activity of a GLBT is sin, plain and simple. It doesn’t mean that person should be discriminated against. It doesn’t mean they should be disrespected. It simply means there is a different point of view. We can agree to disagree in this pluralistic society, but it doesn’t change that basic fact. So, don’t try to demonize the people that disagree with you by stereotyping them as homophobes, or ignorant or cruel. Look past harsh judgement towards people that disagree with you, as we look past your sin (and our own as well), and let’s try to pull it all together and go forward.

          • http://www.exilemusings.blog.com Amaranth

            “GLBT’s have full legal rights in this country already.”

            GLBT people can be fired from a job for no other reason than the fact that they are GLBT. They can be kicked out of their apartment for no other reason than the fact that they are GLBT. Until recently, they could be kicked out of the military for no other reason than the fact that they are GLBT. In most states, they are not allowed to legally marry the person they love…a right afforded to all straight people by virtue of their orientation. And even in the few states that do have marriage equality, the federal government still gets to deny GLBT couples most of the rights and privileges straight married people take for granted. That’s just the tip of the iceberg.

            Not to put too fine a point on it, but what country do YOU live in, where GLBT people have full legal rights? Because it’s certainly not the USA.

          • http://castlerockbear.tumblr.com Keith Walsh

            That is so wrong in so many ways! This goes to show how narrow minded some people are! Being Gay is NOT a Sin! Hate is! Wake up, believe in the WORD, not just a few passages! The world will be better off when LOVE replaces HATE in the rhetoric!

          • DR

            Well dear, you can certainly define what “the issue” is if you want to but you don’t get the last word on that. The GLBT community actually gets the last word on “the issue” as it pertains to them.

            And I know you want to define things in “simplistic” terms but we don’t live in a theocracy. You can’t seem to grasp that your specific theology does not translate into civil and legal codes.

            Nor can you seem to grasp that your conclusion that “GLBT activity is sin, plain and simple” *IS* demonizing a huge group of people. You are either unwilling or incapable of seeing that. You can’t see that you’ve already passed “judgment” on them just by writing all of that down and writing it in a place where literally, thousands of gay men and women read. You just judged them and in the same breath, demanded that you aren’t “demonized” for it when what you just said is a direct causation to gay kids going into despair and killing themselves.

            I’m done dealing with those of you who offer your glossy-coated niceties about not judging anyone as a way of getting out of this conversation which is exactly what you’ve done. Face yourself. Face the consequences of the judgment you throw our their so casually and so declaratively. Face the impact, you’re not getting a pass and you are most certainly, no longer being let off the hook for it. You are responsible for the pain and abuse inflicted on this community in the name of Jesus. Care enough to face it. If you don’t – if you can’t do it – pray for the courage to. Pray for the character to really accept it. Do it quickly.

            I’m

          • Lymis

            “GLBT’s have full legal rights in this country already. They are protected under the Constitution the same as any other American citize. That’s really not the issue.”

            Allow me to quote Dan Savage and say “bullshit.” LGBT people do not have the same rights as other citizens – marriage alone, and at the federal level along conveys over 1100 specifically documented rights to straight couples that gay people cannot get any other way, including things like social security, the right to sponsor a spouse for citizenship, a large number of tax and inheritance situations and so on. Add in no protections at the federal level from being fired for being gay (nor in the majority of states), and a wide variety of other things – in two states, the Republican legislatures are trying pass laws making it illegal to even discuss gay people in public schools. How’s that for equality?

            Damn right we want to be “condoned.” We are citizens. We don’t want our “lifestyle” promoted. We want to be free to live it with the same rights, privileges and obligations of all our fellow citizens.

            We’re not trying “try to demonize the people that disagree with you by stereotyping them as homophobes” – we’re pointing out that people who are behaving like homophobes are, in fact, homophobes.

            Seriously, you pontificate that “gay people want to be condoned, and it just isn’t going to happen” and then get upset that you are seen as a homophobe? What a strange world you seem to live in. Your disagreement with us doesn’t make you a homophobe. Your homophobia does that just fine.

          • Treemeister

            Since this converation is one sided, how about watching this video clip so we can achieve some balance here. We’ll see how tolerant you are.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uxIWf7qrcZM&feature=g-u-u

          • Christy

            There is too much to disagree with via my phone. Christian Apologetics for slavery, be it in the Bible or the Old South, is only secondary to Christian support for slavery in it completely missing an understanding of Divine Justice. It is an unholy and disingeuous argument. And this person’s cherry picking opportunity to employ historical and cultural context on slavery in order to make a nuanced differentiation in support of biblical slavery while refusing to do the same for homosexuality displays the hypocrisy of which Dan Savage speaks.

            Let me be more clear: your guy just made an argument for the use of cultural and historical context in order to justify injustice (slavery) then, but won’t use cultural and historical context to make the case for justice for homosexuals today.

          • Treemeister

            Thanks for taking the time to look at this. You are rare. I will seriously consider your response.

          • Duck

            Which exactly GLBT “activity” is a sin? Is parking my car while gay a sin? Is walking the dog a sin if I am gay? What about mowing the lawn on Tuesday? Showering after an afternoon workout? Working?

            Or could it be that you consider my EXISTENCE as a gay man to be a sin? The mere fact that I happen to be a gay man, regardless of whether or not I am actually doing the nasty with another man, is the problem isn’t it? Admit it, you really wish that you could openly advocate for implementation of Leviticus 20:13 don’t you? You find the existence of openly non-closeted LGBT folks to be an affront to your delicate sensibilities, particularly since we have started getting so uppity lately, hmmm?

          • Soulmentor

            ******o, don’t try to demonize the people that disagree with you by stereotyping them as homophobes, or ignorant or cruel.******

            BUT……they ARE homophobes, generally ignorant of their own religion, and often emotionally if not physically cruel. That’s not stereotyping. It can be illustrated by facts and events……the fruits of their “christian” attitude toward gays.

      • DR

        This kind of victimized response is chilling.

        • Treemeister

          You’re referring to Savage, correct?

          • DR

            I’m referring to you.

      • Soulmentor

        ******This guy picks and chooses the sections of scripture that reafirms his position and throws out the rest.*******

        Christians who criticize gay friendly others as “smorgasbording” the Bible?!!! How enlightening. We are indeed being advised by the experts.

      • Duck

        And you right wingers don’t pick and choose what to follow from your holy text? Why should that privilege strictly belong to the right wing?

        If you claim not to pick and choose, when was the last time a divorcee (of either sex) was executed for remarriage? When was the last time a mouthy teenager was executed for being rebellious and disrespectful to his parents? When was the last time an artist was executed for creating statues, paintings or images of whales?

        See, you DO pick and choose which verses and commandments you follow to justify your position and prejudices, why should someone who doesn’t belong to the same crowd of hateful bigots NOT be allowed to do so as well?

    • Diana A.

      Amen!

  • LSS

    I personally think PantyAssed is way ruder word than BullShit. But then what do i know… (~_^)

    Also that was not a RANT. A rant feels like the person is freaking out and shouting, and you can tell it’s a rant even if you agree with them. That in the video was a deliberate and very nearly calm calling-out of hypocrisy.

    • LSS

      And definitely not a Tirade. Same reason.

    • LSS

      Crap. It was “pansy-assed” which i assume he, as a gay male, was using ironically.

      I really need that hearing aid soon. (>_<)

    • http://www.cindymurphythinkingoutloud.blogspot.com Cindy

      Totally agree. I was stumped when I finally got around to watching the video because I was expecting a rant.

  • http://www.facebook.com/greg.vande.krol Greg Van de Krol via Facebook

    That was just killer John! And I loved your octo-alliterative summation of the Savage himself!

  • Drew

    “podium-pounding pontificator peddling in people’s perplexingly perverse predilections”

    Absolutely delicious, Mr. Shore.

  • Elizabeth

    The GOP line is funny as hell.

    • Treemeister

      Another fine example of mass stereotyping. That’s healthy, constructive …and totally innacurate.

      • DR

        Laughing at a joke is “mass stereotyping”? “Mass stereotyping” is redundant – to “stereotype” is to make a generalization based on large groups of people. Are you really a journalist? With all due respect, you don’t seem to be defining terms with any kind of precision which is exactly what journalists do.

        • Gordon

          Yeah…but this ass-hat’s spelling is flawless.

          • DR

            Journalists have it rough. :D

          • Gordon

            Sorry…I shouldn’t have called someone a nasty name. Just woke up on the wrong side of the bed with a case of the “Monday’s” I guess. Sorry Tree! Hope you can pick up the pieces and go on with your life!

      • Reed

        Do you do anything other than troll? I mean, who’s minding the bridge, Mr. Meister Master Man?

      • Lymis

        Totally inaccurate that we have no idea where the GOP is going to go from where they are?

        Seems pretty dead on to me. My late parents wouldn’t recognize today’s Republican party as the one they supported all their lives.

        And, you can’t argue that the official party platforms in most states and at the federal level are anti-gay, and that Republican lawmakers have recently ramped up anti-sex and anti-contraception legislation.

        Hyperbole, certainly. Snark, definitely. Inaccuracy? Hardly.

    • Gordon

      Calista Gingrich LIVES! Hilarious.

  • http://www.facebook.com/divadarya Darya

    Dan is very much the LGBT equivalent of Bill Maher; he’s going to tell you what he thinks, and if you don’t always agree, he’s good with that. He’s said stronger things than this. He’s called the Old Testament a “book of ancient desert superstitions”, and actually, IMHO, he has a point.

    Thanks for posting this John, as always.

  • http://www.facebook.com/divadarya Darya Teesewell via Facebook

    and AWESOME.

  • Ken Vinsel

    Well said, John! I have seen some of the negative responses to Dan Savage’s words. However, I am a Christian and believe the Bible and heartily applaud Mr. Savage’s words. He knows quite well what he is speaking about–both intellectually and from personal experience. I am quite tired of those Christians who claim to be victimized when challenged concerning their use of Sacred Scripture to foment hatred. They might just try to find out what so many of us Gay people have endured at the hands of these people and, all too often without the ordinary resources which heterosexuals –and especially heterosexual children–take for granted. The bashing can seem utterly relentless–from strangers, school colleagues, work colleagues, co-coreligionists, from the pulpit, Cardinals of the Roman Church (ie. Card. George of Chicago and his “Gay Pride =a KKK rally” remarks), Kirk Cameron’s insensitive and stupid remarks, and on and on………………………..

    The misrepresentation and misuse of the “clobber verses” has had and does have such drastic consequences! And those interpretations are Bul***t.

    • Treemeister

      So if you are so offended, why don’t you lash out at the Muslim community as well? They HATE your activity even more than Christians.

      • DR

        Don’t be ridiculous. Muslims don’t hold the majority voting power in this country, to insert them into the dialogue is only to distract from the points being made.

      • Christy

        And if we are staying on point and being precise, I would have to say I, and many others here, oppose religious extremism and religious Fundamentalism in all of the Abrahamic faiths. Since I am a Christian, I speak out against Christian Fundamentalism because that’s the faith I have some skin in and as a participant I get to have some say in it…. just as we encourage peaceful Muslims to speak out against Islamic Fundamentalism.

      • Ken Vinsel

        “They HATE your activity even more than Christians.”

        First, it is disingenuous to say Muslims or some Christians hate “your activity”. If you mean this personally, you (and they) have no idea of what “my activity” is. WHAT some Christians hate is the sexual orientation of being homosexual. They often try to say it is a choice and therefore blameworthy.

        I know that many homosexuals have been put to death in places where Sharia law prevails. And this is as outrageous as the attempts in Uganda to make homosexuality a capital crime which Scott Lively has aided (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scott_Lively). Dan Savage has also written to condemn these outrages.

        Unfortunately the “haters”continue to tell lies about Gay people and while cloaking their attitude in a “Love the sinner;Hate the sin” rhetoric continue to condemn Gay People for WHO they are. The Phelps religious clan/cult carries signs saying “God Hates Fags!” Not “God hates those who do Faggy things.”

        Second, I have not (yet) seen Muslims in this country carrying such signs, nor am I aware of Muslims –in America–beating up and killing Gay people. Nor am I aware of them taking to the airwaves to lie about LGBTQ people as Falwell, Robertson, Osteen, and many others who claim the title of Christian preacher/minister. The Christians of this ilk are more threatening–and their hateful words do have real consequences for LGBTQ people.

        • Treemeister

          I don’t condone any of the hate-mongers. You assumed way too much.

      • Lymis

        Stop pretending that you speak for all Christians. You’re either uninformed or lying.

      • Soulmentor

        Muslims, for whatever reason, have not injected themselves into our politics. They have not politicized this issue. They are, in fact, surprisingly quiet about it and many other of our social issues, one of which is THEM!!!!!

  • Diana A.

    I think the students were showboating. I think they would have found an excuse to walk out regardless.

    • vj

      I think you are right…. If even PG13 movies are allowed 1 f-bomb, I can’t see how a couple or three BSs should even raise an eyebrow. I thought journalists were supposed to have critical thinking skills?

    • Treemeister

      Pure speculation on your part.

      • Diana A.

        Your point being?

      • http://rindle.blogspot.com Lyn

        Actually, it’s not. You can see the first student walking out at 20 seconds. Savage has yet to say anything remotely offensive. A half dozen other students are headed out before he has finished his first, “You can ignore the bullshit…” sentence. They were out of their seats and walking out before he finished that sentence. This was planned in advance. They were not offended, they were looking for attention.

  • Karla Fisk

    There is a good chance that all of the kids who walked out go to Christian school(s). Likely they were instructed in some way to walk out by their chaperone(s) who were in attendance.

    It’s still a big mistake. How can you be a journalist if you’re unwilling to observe or hear things that disturb you or that you disagree with?

    • Diana A.

      I think you’re probably right.

    • Treemeister

      You have no idea whether they go to Christian schools or not. But that point of view reaffirms your pre-conceived (also called prejudice) point of view rather conveniently.

  • http://www.barnmaven.com Barnmaven

    Dan Savage is the bomb-diggety-bomb. Period, end of story.

  • Grant

    As someone who has the honour of preaching God’s living word each Sunday, I am not surprised that some don’t like Dan’s words.

    But what is more important than those who walked out is those that stayed to hear Dan’s words. In them God is working wonders, in them are God’s shepherds living out not in words but in actions Christ’s life and ministry in the world.

    We are God’s Shepherds who are tasked with taking God’s living word out into the world. For God so loved the world. Period. No conditions. No exceptions.

    Enough said…or else I’ll start sermonizing again…but I am now on study leave so I’ll stop writing.

    • Allen

      Right you are, the people who stayed are the important ones, the people who left are just attention-needy and/or too rigid in their thinking for a journalism career anyway.

      • Treemeister

        By “Rigid” you actually mean, people with deep convictions who felt compelled to protest peacefully. It’s what we are taught to do in this pluralistic society. Don’t be overly presumptious about their motivations. You simply simply don’t know why they got up and left.

        So are you implying that to have a “succesful” journalisn career you have to have the opposite view, accept everything that’s thrown at you without research and discernment? We need to question everything until we do our research.

        So, the people who stayed are “the important ones”, willing to accept this propoganda without question. Now we wonder why our media is so biased. By the way, I have had a successful career in journalism and have learned to question everything.

        • DR

          To have a successful journalistic career, you cannot put your own injured feelings in the way of getting to the truth of someone’s experience. Dan Savage spoke to his and his community’s experience of Christians. He did so honestly. It’s information that is out there and being repeated in a lot of other places, it’s a *pattern* of reaction. And those kids walked away. Journalists don’t walk away from pursuing the actual story. They did and you’re enabling it.

          • Christy

            Exactly.

        • mike

          Listening to whole talk is “accepting … without question”?

          Journalism consists, in large part, of hearing and seeing things you don’t like, things that offend you, so that you can report on them. Paying attention so that you CAN question.

        • Lymis

          Exactly what propaganda. If you listen to the clip, Dan isn’t saying that the Bible as a whole is bullshit, nor, if you listen to what he means, is his point that people shouldn’t be paying attention the Bible.

          He lists a number of things that are far more explicitly condemned in the Bible than anything relating to loving committed same-sex relationships, and then points out that the same people who say that they have to condemn gay people because the Bible says so are perfectly willing to overlook other things that are condemned.

          What propaganda?

          Are you actually saying that you think slavery should be supported and regulated as a Christian activity rather than condemned outright?

          Are you saying that women are unclean during menstruation and cannot even be touched until they are publicly ritually purified?

          Are you saying that eating shellfish or pork is an abomination before God?

          Are you saying that women should be publicly murdered in front of their parents if they are not virgins on their wedding day?

          Because if you aren’t saying those things, then you are agreeing with what Dan said. You might not phrase it the same way, but anyone who knows his work knows that his language was extremely restrained. And if you don’t think a room full of high school students know and use the word “bullshit” on a regular basis, you’re incredibly out of touch.

          So where’s this bullying you speak of?

          Or is it just that you are offended that a gay man dares tell the truth that all of the rest of us agree with?

        • Diana A.

          So were the students who walked out “peacefully protesting” or were they “bullied into leaving”? You can’t have it both ways, dear.

          • Treemeister

            Semantics. Neither of us knows for sure, but that won’t stop you from speculating about it will it?

        • Nicole

          “By “Rigid” you actually mean, people with deep convictions who felt compelled to protest peacefully.”

          I thought you said they were being bullied. There’s a big difference between being bullied and protesting peacefully.

      • Soulmentor

        I’d be very interested to hear the private discussions happening all over that campus now. No doubt that well ordered beehive has been much agitated.

    • DR

      So true. Thanks for that encouragement, much appreciated!!

  • DR

    I’ve already gotten into this on my Facebook.

    First, bullying happens privately. Not in public. People need to educate themselves on what “bullying” is, it doesn’t happen in public while being videotaped, for goodness sake.

    Second – and in the context of this topic – I am shocked at the level of emotional immaturity and low character that Christians who believe homosexuality is wrong demonstrate when directly confronted with the *impact* of their free speech on those at which it is targeted. Can someone explain this to me so it doesn’t make me sick to my stomach each time I see it?

    Jesus Christ is the Son of God. The Holy Spirit lives in us if we have accepted Him as our Savior. Why in God’s green earth are Christians who claim this experience so terrified of conflict and facing the consequences of their behavior (in this instance, free speech)? My experience of Jesus has made me so much bolder in conflict. So much more willing to really listen to the negative impact I’ve had – even if my intent was good – because I’m not afraid of looking at things. Perfect Love casts out all fear. This fear-based response that causes these people to withdraw and isolate is not only dangerous for them, it’s so horrible for the Gospel in general.

    • Treemeister

      Our constitution gives us the right to disagree peacefully. They felt bullied, so they did what they are instructed to do, walk away. Believe me, this what not the first time they have heard this type of propaganda. Some kids are sheltered from these types of comments to some extent, but most young Christians have this party line before. It’s not always immaturity that motivates people to retreat from certain situations. Sometimes it’s the scriptural thing to do. Presumption is a major problem in scripture (Job’s friends). Don’t assume you understood why they needed to get out of there. We can agree to disagree, OK?

      By the way I don’t understand your comment about bullying only occuring privately. I have seen major examples of it out in the open, all my life.

      • DR

        The definition of bullying is when a weaker party is harassed and intimidated within a power structure by those, in that context, who hold power. We as Christians are the majority in this country, we are not “bullied”. As a matter of fact you could walk away from this conversation right now because you’re not being spoken according to your specific terms of being “respected” and your life won’t change. It will go on just like usual. You need to educate yourself on what bullying really is and how power is involved.

        As for the constitution, no, it most certainly does not provide the right for us to disagree “peacefully”. That language is most certainly not in the constitution, you are adding that qualifier because you want to be spoken kindly to – as a matter of fact, most Christians (including these kids who walked out) expect it. You *expect* the Bible to be spoken about respectfully. You *expect* to be spoken to kindly, even when someone disagrees with you.

        Well now you and those kids are facing people who’ve been so damaged by your “right to disagree” and saying so that you’re getting a fateful of their hurt, their injury and their rage at you for how they’ve been abused and oppressed at the hands of your theology. They’re being honest with you. Have the courage of Christ – have the humility to really examine what they are saying to you – the courage to really listen – instead of falling back to “Gosh I’m just talking about my beliefs here and everyone seems to be mad at me for it. That must mean I’m being spiritually attacked.” Let their anger being an activating agent for you instead of defaulting to what is comfortable. Face the fear of realizing you might have gotten this one horribly, horribly wrong. Do it quickly, there’s not a lot of time left.

      • Christy

        Re: “They felt bullied.”

        No. John is right. They were offended that someone called the Bible bullshit. That has nothing to do with demeaning an individual based on who they are, taunting, belittling, emotionally, verbally, or physically intimidating or abusing them. It’s disagreeing with something they believe. Not the same thing.

        Re: “It’s not always immaturity that motivates people to retreat from certain situations.”

        No. But a lot of time it’s a bruised ego.

  • Allie

    Love Dan.

    You’re slightly avoiding the issue here, which isn’t that he cursed, or that he said Christians should stop using the Bible to justify hatred, but that he called parts of the Bible bullshit. Which I happen to agree with. I am not a literalist or a believer that God somehow miraculously preserved the Bible (and apparently nothing else on Earth) in a state of perfection. The Bible is words of people writing about their encounters with God. It’s TESTIMONY. Some of those people were full of shit, and their testimony should be rejected. I can be a Christian and believe that, just as I can believe one side of a court case even though one of the witnesses for that side was obviously lying. Without in the least needing to learn the meanings of obscure ancient words so that I can explain what exactly Paul was thinking when he said (obscure ancient word having to do with homosexuals) weren’t getting into heaven, because I don’t think Paul is God. Paul was mostly a great guy, don’t get me wrong, and inspired, sometimes, by God. But he wasn’t God.

    • vj

      The level of hyper-sensitivity these kids displayed reminds me of the Islamic ‘leaders’ who complained about the ‘blasphemous’ depiction of the Prophet in a Dutch newspaper cartoon a few years ago. Why are people so threatened by the idea that we live in a world where not everyone believes the same things?

      • Treemeister

        It’s OK to diagree, especially under our constituion. What we need to quit doing is demonizing opposing points of view. Mr. Savage was guilty of displaying the same attitude and rhetoric he was accusing the “narrow-minded homophobes, etc…” he was lashing out against of. The kids simply did what they are instructed to do when bullied …walk away.

        • http://www.exilemusings.blog.com Amaranth

          Those “other points of view” are causing children to kill themselves.

          Forgive some of us our unwillingness to hold said points of view as worthy of equal consideration.

          • Drew

            Snap!

        • DR

          You *already* demonize this community when you tell them that God’s Word says they are sinful and evil as a result of something they cannot change. It doesn’t matter how kindly you say it – you do it. Face it, for God’s sake! Face the consequences of your decisions! It’s not spiritual warfare, you’re not being bullied and nor are those kids. They – and you – are being told the TRUTH. Face it! Stop using Jesus to shirk hearing what the GLBT community is telling you.

        • Lymis

          “It’s OK to diagree, especially under our constituion. What we need to quit doing is demonizing opposing points of view”

          You’re quick to claim the cover of the Constitution, while defending discrimination against your fellow citizens.

          Two thirds of the states in the United States have laws or Constitutional Amendments preventing gay citizens from exercising the legal right to choose their spouse that is officially declared to be a fundamental right of all citizens by the US Supreme Court.

          Two states are in the process of passing laws that make it illegal to even mention anything other than heterosexual relationships is public schools – by teachers or students, including by those who are themselves gay, have gay parents, or gay family members.

          All but one of the candidates running for the Presidential nomination of the Republican party signed a pledge supporting permanently preventing gay couples from marrying.

          Gay kids throughout the country are being bullied for being gay, and are killing themselves in record numbers because of it.

          Just what is it that you feel constitutes “demonizing opposing points of view?”

          Because the bar for intolerance is set pretty damn high by the people you are defending. When you feel “At the bare minimum, before you condemn someone else, follow the standards you demand of them, or you’re a hypocrite” is bullying, much less demonizing, you certainly don’t belong making moral assertions about just about anything. You might want to get your moral compass fixed. It isn’t pointing where you think it is.

        • Tim

          Well said tree! Just don’t be surprised by the illogic and fallacious responses you will get here.

          • Lymis

            Snort.

            Pot, may I introduce you to Kettle?

          • Ric Booth

            Tim, are you a tree hugger?

          • DR

            Thankfully the Tims of the world are a dying generation. We need about 5-10 more years until this kind of creepy hostility guised as “the Truth of Jesus” is stamped out. Our priority is getting to the gay kids that Tim is hurting and doesn’t care about and making sure we minimize their contact with him as much as possible while we repair the damage he does.

            This is what I’ve finally come to accept. I didn’t want to because there are so many good people who are still harboring these old, antiquated beliefs. But it’s time to accept that people like Tim Do. Not. Care about gay kids dying. They just don’t. I WANT them to, I want them to see them as Jesus sees them. I want the Tims of the world to be courageous enough to open his eyes and see what he’s doing. But he’s not motivated. He doesn’t care. I don’t want to believe it but it’s time to acknowledge the level of depravity these people have sunk to. It’s made them completely indifferent to the realities of what these kids are experiencing. Our only strategy at this point needs to be protecting the GLBT community from people like this, getting between them whenever possible and offering the face of the true Jesus Christ. It’s going to be very painful but we have to stop expecting anything from these people. They don’t care.

          • Treemeister

            Thanks Tim. I was starting to wonder if anyone else in here elevated God’s opinion over their own.

      • Diana A.

        Exactly!

    • Gordon

      Allie, this is one of the most reasonable things I have ever read about the Bible and modern Christianity in America. The Bible is a historical document; a collection of the writings of many, many people over centuries. While I’m sure much of it is truly inspired, some of it has also been manipulated to support whatever elites were in power at the time. And, probably most importantly, it is in some languages long lost to time, subject to modern interpretations. And, those interpretations can also be manipulated.

      Look: let’s grow up here. We can respect the Bible, while still understanding exactly what it really is. We must stop assuming it is the “unadulterated Word of God.” God is omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent. He can speak for himself.

    • http://rindle.blogspot.com Lyn

      That obscure ancient word had nothing to do with homosexuals, actually. Unless you think men can commit homosexuality with their wives.

  • Matt

    Sometimes I do wish I were cisgendered and straight. Just so I could be free to not care and walk out, like those kids.

    It wasn’t so much their walking out, it was their relaxed smiles and chatter with their friends as they did. Some of them were clearly nervous, but it really meant nothing to them, just a blip on their radar.

    I guess I just run out of ways to say, “This makes me so profoundly sad my extensive vocabulary is powerless to express it. Please stop, guys.”

    But your lovely alliteration did certainly help cheer me up, John. Snappy writing never fails in that regard :).

  • Ric Booth

    This is just awesome. Dan and John, well done. As Dan points out, bullies don’t much like it when the victim hits back.

    What is telling is the fact that so many Christians have elevated the Bible to be the fourth member of the Trinity.

    • Treemeister

      Good thing the offended kids didn’t hit back. They simply walked away, which is what victims of bullying are taught to do. That took more courage than lashing out at Mr. Savage’s free speech rights, who has the right to be wrong.

      If you don’t believe in the inerrancy (sp?) of scripture, that’s your peroggative ( I think I mispelled this word too, ha-ha), but don’t indirectly put down those that do believe this with this type of cynical comment. How about agreeing to disagree?

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

        Tree: Re the absurd assertion that the people who walked out of Dan’s talk felt bullied by him, please see my added P.S. at the end of this post.

        • Diana A.

          Good P.S., John. For that matter, good blog post.

          BTW: Is Tree one of our “brave” friends who posts under a different name everytime s/he posts, or is this a new poster? Or is that none of my business?

      • Ric Booth

        I do believe in the inerrancy of scripture. I simply do not subscribe to the inerrancy of translation.

        Point in fact, no translation of the bible prior to 1950 had the word homosexual. Our parents and grandparents added the 6 clobber verses in the latter half of the last century. Up until then, the “bible” was not very effective at beating back the LGBT community. However, after some (rather blatant) improvements, it became a very effective weapon.

        This obvious, fear-induced editing process that has taken place in the last 50 years has led to (IMHO) incorrect conclusions like Dan’s. It is not that the word of God that is “bullshit”, it’s our poorly motivated attempts at clarifying God that is bullshit.

        The translations into modern American English are good but they are not perfect. If they were perfect, there would only need to be one. When I realized the mistake my parent’s and grandparent’s generation, I was, at first devastated but ultimately encouraged.

        • Susan in NY

          So true, Ric. I often forget about all the translation issues. Thanks!

          • Lymis

            I’ll agree in some cases that the issue is translation. But translation does not cover things like stoning a non-virgin on her wedding night, the uncleanliness of menstruation, or the prohibitions against shellfish and pork. Or the clear thread throughout both the old and new testaments that slavery is a moral neutral if you do it right.

            It’s simply not reasonable to say that there was some eternally valid positive that has simply been mistranslated to give us those ideas.

            The people who wrote the Bible got some things deeply, deeply wrong.

            And you don’t even have to step outside the Bible to recognize that. The New Testament explicitly includes things that bluntly state that they are overriding the old law, and it also includes a clear statement that people weren’t ready for all the lessons God had to teach and that the Holy Spirit would continue our moral education throughout the ages.

            We got the message on slavery and deli selections.

            Now is the time to get the message on sexual orientation, bullying, and the apparently novel concept that love is of God and anyone who loves is born of God and knows God, which, coupled with the concept that in Christ there is neither male nor female, sets the stage for a Christian understanding of same-sex love.

            If pointing out people’s scripture-based hypocrisy is bullying, you might note that Jesus did a lot of that. Was He bullying the Pharisees?

          • Ric Booth

            I agree, Lymis. What survived the cut (canon) is another example of our very human editing process. The mistaken, fear-based bias of every generation from the start are present in the bible. And it shows.

          • http://rindle.blogspot.com Lyn

            It’s important to remember that Old Testament slaves were released every seven years unless they chose to remain. It wasn’t the life-long, race-based slavery of recent history.

            It’s also important to remember that Leviticus was a covenant with the people of Israel to set them apart from the tribes around them and the practices of the Egyptians. Some of the strictures will not make sense to us, ever, because we do not know the sorts of cultures they were immersed in and why those particular acts were so radically different than the other cultures. We also have to remember that this was a ragtag group of people who needed to survive and thrive and grow amidst those hostile tribes. The to’ebah laws weren’t to make people moral, they were to make the Israelites clearly separate. But the requirements of the covenant between God and Israel are no more applicable to non-Jews than my marriage vows to my husband and arrangements with him are applicable to someone not us.

          • Treemeister

            You’re wrong. The Leviticus principles apply to everyone. Christ did not come to remove the obligation of the law, but to fulfil it! We must NOT pick and choose which of God’s principles we apply to our own lives. I understand we’re now under Grace, but we still must honor the spirit of the Law.

            You must realize that Leviticus deals with at least a dozen tenants about living including don’t steal, kill, etc… It not just about dietary issues.

      • DR

        Good Lord, your victimization is so scary. It really is. If you want to raise your children with the belief that homosexuality is against God and also teach them that being obedient means saying so out loud and voting for that religious belief to be part of our legal code? Then get used to people being *angry* with them about that and saying so because it HURTS them. What is so difficult for you to understand about that? It’s so odd to see those of you who are adults actually demand that the people you hurt be kind to you when they are telling you the truth about what your free speech has done to them.

      • Lymis

        Hit back at what? The idea that slavery is wrong? You want a group of high school Christians standing on video screaming that yes, they have a right to own people and that no homo is allowed to tell them not to stone non-virgins to death?

        Really?

        “He has the tight to be wrong.”

        I’ll agree that he has that right. But just what are you asserting that he was wrong about? What is it that we are supposed to agree to disagree with you about? Owning people? Refusing to touch a menstruating woman? Stoning people whose sexual history we disapprove of? Do tell, because I’d had to agree to disagree about any of that.

        • LSS

          i felt bad for the one Black girl that left at the end.

          • Lymis

            Why?

            I feel bad for the gay kids some of the ones who walked out will be bullying.

          • LSS

            you’re right of course.

            what i said wasn’t clear because i didn’t figure out how to put it into words at the time… but let me try now:

            i feel like everybody who belongs to a group that is or has been marginalized should have solidarity (of course really everybody should have solidarity, but you know what i mean) and i felt like she was missing out on that.

            like she stayed for him talking about us figuring out that the Bible got slavery wrong. but then she couldn’t extrapolate from her (probable) ancestors’ struggle to someone else’s struggle.

            like back when i only could understand the civil rights and immigrants’ rights and disability rights movements, but could not see that gay rights was part of that… i was really missing out on something.

            does that make more sense now? re-reading it, maybe it doesn’t after all…

          • Treemeister

            Don’t compare being black with being gay… what an insult!

        • Treemeister

          He failed to point out that Abolishionists (William Wilberforce i.e.) came to a complely different conclusion about the atrocities of slavery than the southern slave owners did …using the Bible. Also, American slavery is a completely different issue than middle eastern endentured slavery, popular in Bible times. One is forced, the other CAN be volunteery for purposes of survival.

    • Soulmentor

      LOVE that analogy. I hope it goes viral.

  • http://www.faithpermeatinglife.com Jessica @ Faith Permeating Life

    The more I think about it, the more it seems that this was a planned walkout.

    The kids got up almost IMMEDIATELY after Dan Savage mentioned the Bible. And none of them looked shocked or offended — as others have noted, many were smiling a self-righteous kind of smile.

    The very few times I’ve been offended enough by someone to leave the room, it was a much more gradual process: “Did he just say what I think he said? OK, where is he going with this… Does anyone else look uncomfortable? I don’t think this is right. OK, now I feel really uncomfortable and offended. I think I’m just going to leave.” And anyone who noticed me would have seen I was visibly shaken/upset.

    They certainly had every right to walk out if they wanted to, but I think it’s a huge stretch to say that they walked out because Dan Savage was “bullying” them.

    • Lymis

      Oh, it’s obviously pre-planned. And the fact that Dan was a keynote speaker just makes it more likely that these kids were prepped to walk out the minute he opened his mouth. They started walking before he said anything other than “Let’s talk about the Bible for a minute.”

      Yeah, that’s being bullied.

  • http://castlerockbear.tumblr.com Keith Walsh

    Thank You John! This is AWESOME!…..Never will a day pass that I won’t read your words of encouragement!

  • Christy

    Absolutely agree 100% with your PS. Offended – yes. Persecuted – not even close.

    I have noticed a pervasive perception among my conservative and traditionalist friends that when people openly disagree with them they throw the persecution/judging card. Disagreement is not persecution. And saying so out loud is not judgement. I’m not sure how we turn this misguided perception and understanding around, but I think it needs addressing.

    • Christy

      To me it is a bruised ego reaction: “How dare you say I am wrong. Or even suggest it. Just – how DARE you!” Folks who are certain of their rightness, and taught to be so, are too easily offended when anyone even breathes the suggestion that their values might be based on inaccurate beliefs or information. Convictions are convictions after all – and they don’t compromise on those. To do so is perceived to be weak in the faith. So to listen to anyone who disagrees with them – Well! They might as well be giving pause to listen the devil himself. This is the great chasm that divides those who have reconciled their faith with reason and self-awareness and those who hold to a faith that shuns reason. When you are taught that reason is the enemy of faith, what hope is there?

      • Susan in NY

        Amen, Christy

      • DR

        Wisely and so insightfully stated. !!

  • Kate Hogeland via Facebook

    i want to make out with dan savage.

    • Gordon

      Me too!

      • Soulmentor

        Me too. His partner is one lucky man!!!!!!!!

        • Susan in NY

          Me too. Totally.

    • DR

      Yes!

  • Susan

    I like Dan Savage. What he says makes me uncomfortable, but I completely understand why he’s asking. Why are we, as the church, so afraid of questions like this? I almost sure God isn’t.

  • Mark

    These students were just practicing “Confirmation bias.” But instead of turning the channel from CNN to Fox News, like they would at home, they just left the room. (Yes, liberals to the same thing)

    I’m sure many who would accuse Dan Savage of being a bully; never complain when Bill O’Reilly refers to his opponents has “pinheads”

    The students who left are cowards! Savage never threatens to get violent. He should have invited the students to a debate. But deep down the students who left know that Bible is full of nonsense that they ignore.

  • Rachel G.

    Brainwashing begins in the crib. Eventually we can no longer think outside of what we ‘know.’

    • Christy

      True. True.

  • Ruthie

    It’s worth mentioning that this conference included children, teens who were being watched by teachers and advisors. That’s not to say that they’re not responsible for their actions or shouldn’t be involved in the conversation, but teens aren’t exactly known for their mature and reasonable reactions to challenges to their beliefs, particularly when adult authority figures are watching.

  • Ben

    Loved this speech, wish i could hear the whole thing.

    • Soulmentor

      Just search Dan Savage on YouTube. It will be there.

  • John C Hoddy via Facebook

    I take no exception to Dan Savage’s message, but I do take exception to the way it was delivered for several reasons. First of all, he was speaking to high school students. If they were adults, fine give ‘em both barrels. Secondly for the message of tolerance, kindness, and equality to truly resonate, we must be better than the bullies. We never win when we use their tactics, never. When we speak the truth w/ grace we can’t lose. Dan Savage broke a cardinal rule of journalism-don’t become the story. People do not generally change their perspective b/c someone yells at them. The power of love is always greater than the power of hate. It is our most potent weapon. Sadly, in this incident, Mr. Savage seems to have forgotten that.

    • Diana A.

      Actually, as a former high school student myself, I really respect Dan Savage’s willingness to speak to them like adults. I think we pamper our teenagers too much as it is.

      I didn’t think that what he said was so terrible. I didn’t hear him yelling. I thought he was very calm, rational and matter-of-fact in his expression.

    • mike

      Dan Savage is not a journalist, he is an advice columnist. And even if he were a journalist by profession, in this context he was not acting as a journalist. He was there as a celebrity – whoever arranged the talk made him the story.

      I really don’t think there IS a nice way to say what he was saying. Kids are dying because of garbage in a book. Whether that garbage is in the original or is a mis-translation or misinterpretation, it is garbage and people are tormenting kids to death with it.

      And if you watch the video, he wasn’t yelling at the kids. He wasn’t bullying anybody. The word “bullying” means something, not just “not being all cuddly”. The fact that that the truth is painful to those who violate the First Commandment by making a strange god out of a book doesn’t make telling that truth in public the same thing as tormenting a lone isolated kid.

    • Soulmentor

      ******First of all, he was speaking to high school students. If they were adults, fine give ‘em both barrels.******

      How utterly silly. So the ears of the 17yo senior should not be assailed with “bad” words, but those of the 18yo by one day are fair game? Don’t bother to explain. You can’t.

    • DR

      He’s not a journalist! He is an activist and writes an advice column, for goodness sake.

    • Lymis

      You may also be overlooking a very important point. Savage was very clear that we was speaking only of people who hypocritically use the Bible to justify hurting others while ignoring similar prohibitions that would apply to themselves.

      So who’s going to be offended? Why would anyone be offended who didn’t feel that the “attack” applied to them? Offended enough to stand up and walk out? To create a media event to complain of being victimized?

      If they felt singled out and yelled at, they need to spend a little time being introspective as to just why that was, when nearly 1800 of their peers didn’t.

  • HJ

    I am not crazy about how Dan Savage usually delivers his message. He is just too off the cuff for me. But the kids attending the speech should have known that. Also, as you pointed out, “hello, *journalism* conference! You’re supposed to be “edgey”. If you can’t stand the heat stay out of… journalism! I can’t feel bad for the kids who walked out, sorry.

    Also, I love what you said: “So what if he believes that among the most egregious of all Christian sins is daring to proclaim that God’s love ends where their own fear and hatred begin? “. May I quote?

    • http://www.cindymurphythinkingoutloud.blogspot.com Cindy

      Given Dan Savage’s reputation, I highly suspect those easily offended bible thumpers attended with full intention of finding something to walk out over. Notice how they started before he said anything other than, “I’m going to talk about the bible for a minute”. Also note the big grins on many of their faces as they walk out. I’d bet dollars to donuts the walkout was planned ahead of time and they were just waiting for the right moment to put on their little show.

      • Diana A.

        You know?

      • HJ

        Interesting thought. I wonder if more will come out later about whether it was indeed staged. One girl looks pretty offended. The others just look bored. But I’d be surprised if they somehow went in not expecting at least *some* offensive material.

        • Lymis

          Watch again. Some of them started walking out before he said much of anything. He certainly hadn’t gotten to anything offensive – unless she was an atheist and was offended by “Let’s talk about the Bible.”

    • Bill

      If ‘Journalism on The Edge’ wasn’t a clear enough indicator to those attending, might I suggest they weren’t intelligent enough to be attending to begin with?

  • http://www.cindymurphythinkingoutloud.blogspot.com Cindy

    So, I finally got around to watching the contested video and I have to say wow. That was so tame. I was really expecting something much more outrageous considering all the hoopla about it. I was actually expecting to think that Dan Savage went too far and really was being at least a little hypocritical in the way he was dealing with Christians. Nope, don’t see it. Very tame. Very reserved. Just calling bulls**t bulls**t. Oh the horrors. Even in my fundamentalist days I would have sat through that. I would have excused Dan Savage for not understanding that we had figured out why those horrible things in the bible about slavery couldn’t be used to justify slavery today and just thinking we were ignoring them instead. LOL Yup, even in my fundie days I would have considered that quite tame and inoffensive.

  • http://thethreews.wordpress.com Ken Leonard

    I’m very sad to say this, but a lot of the way Christians have been relating to the Church’s sins lately has been to claim that we’re victims of the same thing.

    Thus, claiming to be persecuted when businesses don’t give adequate lip service to Christmas during Conspicuous Consumption Season, and now claiming to be bullied when someone says that he disagrees with their ideas.

  • Tim

    Priceless as Dan Savage and those who beleive what he says continue their self destruction. Thanks Dan Savage! You are the best thing that’s happened for those that actually beleive what the bible says. Keep up the old work.

    • Bill

      Your comment is as flatly stupid as your bible, fool.

      • Tim

        Ok. But the future will prove me correct whether you like it or not.

        • Christy

          How will speaking truth to power, holding Christianity accountable,, and following the teachings of Jesus by standing up for Justice, fighting for the cause of the oppressed, and loving our neighbor as ourselves lead to our self-destruction?

          • Tim

            Well there was no truth in what Dan Savage said so we could start there. Second the trajectory seems to be to become more and more vitriolic in the attacks which will only ultimately turn people off. Third emotionalism and youthful immaturity were off.

          • Tim

            *wear

          • Christy

            None? Really? None? Would you like to try that again?

            1) Certain factions of Christianity have chosen to focus on homosexuality and maintain it as an abomination while ignoring the rest of Levitical law. True.

            2) The writers and interpreters of the Bible who condone slavery got the most basic Concept of Justice and Equality wrong. True.

          • Tim

            Let me clarify:

            His stance against bullying is truthful and we all should work towards ending all forms of it.

            As far as the bible he does not know of what he speaks of.

            He is ignorant of Levitcal laws and the meanings behind them. While it is true that some christian wrongly hold practicing homosexuality as a graver sin that other sexual sins, it does not change the fact that it is indeed a sin.

            There have been and will always be people who try and use the bible for their own gain. Those that tried to justify racial based slavery through the bible were wrong. In the same way those that have tried very hard, and failed miserably I might add, to try and say that homosexuality is not a sin according to the bible re just as wrong.

          • Christy

            You seem to be thinking the United States ended slavery and racial discrimination because it is a sin. A grave mistake. We ended those things and others because they were Unjust. Discrimination against homosexuals by legal policy that limits their equal rights is institutionalized discrination and it is Unjust. We seek the end of injustice as Christians because the Bible makes it clear that Injustice is wrong. The prophets before Jesus in the Hebrew Scriptures hammer this theme home time and time again. That this Justice message isn’t preached in most evangelical churches is, itself, it’s own injustice.

            Love mercy, do Justice, and walk humbly with your God says the prophet Micah.

            Slave holders and their apologists who used the Bible to justify their inhumanity Stood on the wrong side of Justice, just as do those who use the Bible to discriminate against gay individuals.

            Time will tell alright when 40 years from now children will be appalled that their God-fearing Christian grandparents didn’t stand up for Justice.

          • Tim

            Christy we agree that legal discrimination is wrong and that we should pursue justice. Civil unions with all the same rights provided for married couples is the inevitable conclusion.

            I also agree that discrimination in the church is something that we all need to work to eradicate but to try and change what scripture says is not the answer. A commiseration that we are all sinners is the answer.

          • Christy

            No one has suggested we aren’t all sinners.

          • Tim

            You refuse to admit the sexual sin of homosexual behavior. You cannot pick and choose what sins you will admit to.

          • DR

            The most recent gallop pull puts 53% of the country in favor of gay marriage. When you do that math, it’s clear that Christians are waking up to how ridiculous it is that they – we – continue to prevent gay men and women from enjoying the same legal rights as well as the social contract of “marriage” vs. a civil union. You’re losing your grip on this country and you can either start educating yourself as to why that is or not, that’s up to you. But you’re fooling yourself if gay men and women want anything to do with you or our faith at this point. You’ve ruined that for all of us by insisting their second class citizenship is God ordained. At this point they want to be in relationship with one another, go to work, pay their taxes and raise their kids and be left alone. We’ve lost any right to be heard by any of them. We as a Church have literally *shoved* them away from Jesus Christ. And we will all be accountable for that on the Last Day. It’s not them you should be worried about, Tim. It’s you.

          • Christy

            You refuse to apply the same level of nuance and biblical scholarship to homosexuality as we have done to several of the Commandments. Thou shalt not kill. Ever? Under no circumstances? What about animals? Does it only apply to people? What about war? What about intruders? What about accidents? What about negligence? What about capital punishment? What about acts of omission that might cause someone to die – like withholding health care or a blood transfusion or a D and C to save a pregnant woman’s life? What about failing to address the starvation in Sudan when grocery stores and homes and restaurants and individuals across our wealthy and bountiful land throw away, literally, tons of food every. Single. Day. Surely God will not hold us guiltless for all these acts of killing.

            Tim, a more informed view of scripture is exactly what we have afforded ourselves and is what we ask of our conservative brethren: to kindly do the same.

            Blessings on your journey, my friend.

          • http://www.cindymurphythinkingoutloud.blogspot.com Cindy

            “Civil unions with all the same rights provided for married couples is the inevitable conclusion”

            Really? Inevitable? How so? The equal but different argument has never worked before, what makes you think it will work for this? It was tried with races, it was tried with women, it has and will continue to fail on all counts. There is no such thing as different but equal when it comes to any form of civil rights.

            Now, if you feel as do some that the solution is for the government to stay out of marriage all together and provide civil unions equally for all, then that would be equality, let the churches decide what to call a marriage (although there are probably many that would be offended by this as marriage has long been a civil institution and not a strictly religious one). Truth is though, if marriage were actually left to the churches there are plenty of churches that would be more than happy to marry same-sex couples, so really I don’t see how that is any different than the government just letting the churches decide who they will marry and having justices of the peace marry any qualified adults who wish to get married, you know, like we do here in Canada.

          • Tim

            Cindy as much as people wish to try and equate a man and woman union and a man/woman/child(ren) family with SSM and SS family structure, they will never be the same. They will always be different or separate. They will never be equal.

            Legalities, taxes, health proxies, insurance, etc… Can all be changed towards equality but the social value of what is known as the traditional family will and should always be, valued, protected and raised up to its unique place in the continuation and success of humanity.

          • Christy

            Tim, you’ve seen that great diagram of what was “traditional maaiage” in the Bible, right? And know others used to make the same statements about inter racial couples?

            Anything that says mine is different and therefore better is inherently prejudiced.

          • Soulmentor

            *****Christy we agree that legal discrimination is wrong and that we should pursue justice. Civil unions with all the same rights provided for married couples is the inevitable conclusion.******

            So that means you have no problem with Civil Unions that provide all the same legal rights as marriage? That suggests that your problem is only with the word marriage with “gay” in front of it. You have undercut your own argument by attempting to make a distinction without a difference.

            The anti-gay religious people make such easy rhetorical targets of themselves.

          • Tim

            Sigh apparently Dan is not the only confused one. Humanity since the fall has created many types of unions practically all were practiced by some throughout time including people in the bible.

            God created them male and female and Sid be fruitful and multiply. Jesus confirmed this.

          • DR

            Tim, your first mistake it defining homosexuality as “behavior”.

          • Tim

            If I have failed to use the term I mean (homosexual behavior) than I apologize. People cannot help what they feel but they choose their behavior. All behavior is a choice unless there is some medical or physiological condition attached to a person so hey can’t control their actions.

          • DR

            Tim, it seems rather obvious that the “behavior” of sex stems from a “desire” for sex. I’m unclear as to how someone who claims to have such authoritative understanding is trying to separate the two. Thinking about sex stems from desire. Having it is the result of the desire and the thinking. The nature of *sin* begins with our desires, Scripture is quite clear on this. You’re trying to isolate homosexual behavior in order to maintain what you believe about it but your approach is not sound biblically or frankly, logically.

          • Diana A.

            Homosexuality isn’t a behavior. It’s an orientation. There are celebate homosexuals, monogamous homosexuals, and not-so-monogamous homosexuals–just like there are celebate heterosexuals, monogamous heterosexuals and not-so-mongamous heterosexuals.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            As I read where Tim wrote, “God created them male and female and Sid …,” I almost started going, “Who’s Sid?” (:

            (Or more exactly, part of me did begin asking that but the rest of me immediately burst out laughing at it. And that made it feel stupid, and it laghed too, in that akwardly embarrassed kind of way.)

          • DR

            It’s fascinating that you’re saying “vitriol” turns people off when you’ve led with vitriol and hostility from your first comment. Where’s treemeister in asking for civil dialogue? I guess when the coin gets flipped and it’s someone on his side doing “rude”, there’s a good reason for it.

          • Nicole

            Well, the Bible condones slavery (or at least Paul does). Today’s Christian church condemns slavery. Why?

          • Lymis

            Blame gay people.

          • Diana A.

            LOL!

        • Melody

          Oh, you’ve seen the future? You must be so enlightened, knowing that the future is exactly what you believe a book says it will be.

        • Lymis

          Tim, next Wednesday won’t prove you correct, much less next year, next decade, or some Golden Age in the far flung future. You have it wrong.

          How does anything you’ve said here even begin to come under the heading of “love your neighbor” and since it doesn’t, how can it possibly be right?

        • Matthew Tweedell

          “Ok. But the future will prove me correct whether you like it or not.”

          Indeed, it shall, only as soon as you change your mind / experience a change of heart, Tim.

  • David in Houston

    I completely agree with Mark. The students were cowards. If their religious beliefs are so fragile that they simply refuse to listen to any differing opinions, then perhaps their beliefs aren’t as strong as they think they are.

    It was clear from the beginning of the video that the walk-out was preplanned. A girl got up to leave before Dan even started talking about the Bible. You really have to hand it the kids’ parents. They did a terrific job indoctrinating them… to the point that they’re completely brainwashed.

  • Kathleen

    As a former Catholic and proud mother of a gay son, I often feel that Christianity has no place for me. Posts like this one force me to keep that door open, at least a little. Thank you.

    • Sharon

      Kathleen, As a Presbyterian and the proud mother of a gay daughter, I hope you find a congregation that will be a family for you. My church has been a source of strength as we’ve gone through this season of discovery. When my daughter’s partner was attacked, it was church friends who were the most loving and supporting.

      There are some wonderful congregations out there, I can’t promise you will never be hurt but that’s never possible.

      Peace,

      Sharon, a sister in motherhood.

  • https://www.facebook.com/mitchellcountygsa Mary Vogel

    I love Dan’s speech. Very tame to me, My wife and I live in the mountains of Western NC fighting for our gay lives over a bigoted amendment to the state constitution which will be voted on by the people next week ( May 8th primary). Guess what? We might

    actually defeat this thing because people are so outraged by the bigotry..but the reason it may be defeated is because there have been countless groups and hours spent working on this. If the kids in the audience didn’t preplan this I’d be surprised because the divisiveness and animosity here over the amendment is loud. But, the support from everywhere is overwhelming..

    • cmh

      I sincerely hope we win this. Many people over at Joemygod are donating. Dan has given a donation towards defeating this measure.

  • cmh

    Well said John & thank you for all you do. This post has been linked at Joemygod, one of the largest gay political blogs. I read over there almost daily. I almost sent Joe a link a while back to this blog as many of his readers as well as Dan Savage have called on Christians who disagree with the mainline evangelical message to speak to it publicly. I am gay and a follower of Christ. I no longer call myself a Christian because of the political implications at this point. But that doesn’t change my beliefs or connection with God which was always a quiet and private relationship for me.

    I really do love the work Dan does; he is funny and off the cuff. I don’t think he ever intentionally signed up to be an official spokesperson for the Gay Cause. To the degree he has become a political figure he makes some mistakes that someone well versed in political beltway damage control would not. I think of West Wing and putting Josh in front of the press as opposed to CJ Craig and you get my meaning. But Dan is honest and I’ve seen him apologize for his mistakes.

  • Amy McLaughlin via Facebook

    You just know those kids say “bull****” on their own when no adults are around, so I have no issue with Savage’s delivery. I rather enjoy his talks and find him refreshingly insightful.
    Great post, John. Although I am no longer a fundy believer and toe the line between agnosticism and atheism, I love your blog.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Reed-Boyer/1019995702 Reed Boyer via Facebook

    Screw accomodationist “nice talk.”
    And, just as a matter of “it drives me mad,” WHY is this being reported as “profanity?” He didn’t say “G-d damn” ONCE. And scatalogical references are NOT profane, since no sacred boundary is being crossed.

    • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

      The kneeslapper is that the Bible has lots of scatlogical references in it, just either cleaned up in translation or made less shocking by overfamiliarity (such as “dung” which was pretty offensive in King Jimmy’s day…).

    • LSS

      I wondered about that, too. Thanks for saying it in the exact words to explain the difference.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Rebecca-Johnson-Lucas/1681387880 Rebecca Johnson Lucas via Facebook

    John, thank you for the millionenth time!!! You and Dan Savage help me hold on to that tiny thread of hope…

  • Tim

    Dan Savage wouldn’t know the truth if he were swimming in it. Every time he opens his mouth more ignorance spews out. How sad!

    • Christy

      What specifically about what he said did you find to be lacking knowledge or awareness in general, uneducated? Perhaps you are right that you found his comments to be discourteous or rude, possibly unsophisticated even. But what about his comments were untrue?

      • Tim

        His ignorance of the bible is painfully apparent.

        And I was not offended at all. Why would a charlatan who doesn’t know what he is talking about be offensive? It’s just sad. His inappropriateness only further elevates his ignorance.

        • Christy

          So you are choosing not to answer my very specific question?

          • Tim

            His ignorance of Levitical law and their meanings. His dismissal of NT text.

            It’s not surprising he is ignorant on these issues as he has also shown his ignoarnce on sexuality in general.

          • DR

            Given Tim’s knowledge on the subject, I’m sure he’s well aware of the epidemic rates of suicide in the GLBT community between the ages of 13-22. Tim, would you please comment on what you and other Christians are doing to mitigate this unintended impact you’ve having on gay kids? No one else besides you is telling them that an indelible part of who they are – a part they cannot change – is sinful and in case they find a way of changing these desires, they’ll go to hell. You’re sending that message (even though you might be trying to say something else) so you’re responsible for the impact. I’m sure the love you have for gay kids – the concern you have for them – is driving you to ensuring they understand *exactly* what you mean. I’m sure you’ve organized around that priority.

            Tell us about it.

          • Tim

            Well it’s quite selfish to coop the truth that kids are bullied and some of them are gay and some of them make the tragic choice to take their own life, in order to promote an agenda.

            These kids are very confused and not emotionally mature enough to make wise decisions, either about themselves or their choices. If we love kids we will always tell them the truth in love. Lying to someone is hating them.

            The answer is to make sure that they know they are loved no matter what choice they make but to suggest fallacious arguments that the are simply born a certain and cannot change is a lie.

            And if you beleive in the bible and respect the text, there is absolutely no credible way to come to an conclusion that homosexual behavior is not sinful. We do not have to beat people up with this fact but denying it is not only dishonest but harmful.

            The people, who are saying that these kids cannot change how they feel are the ones who are confusing them and contributing to their tragic choices.

          • Lymis

            “And if you beleive in the bible and respect the text, there is absolutely no credible way to come to an conclusion that homosexual behavior is not sinful.”

            For love is of God, and ANYONE who loves is born of God and knows God.

            In Christ,….there is neither male nor female…”

            But, even if you do believe that homosexual sex is a sexual sin, you don’t have to go any further than the story of Jesus and the woman caught in adultery to see what your duty to gay people is. Put down your rock and go home.

          • Ashley Cohea

            Had a lot of experience choosing not to be gay, Tim?

          • Tim

            No but I have a lot of experience in making choices about my sexual behavior. I fail probably more often than I succeed but I do not accept my sexual sin as something that God is ok with.

          • Ashley Cohea

            So your stated fact of ‘it is a choice’ is based on what, exactly? Not experience. Not scientific evidence (since there is none). So where does it come from?

          • DR

            Being gay has nothing to do with you choosing to not look at porn, Tim. When did you choose to be attracted to females? Be specific. God would not create a path where some choose their sexuality while others like you just discover it.

          • Soulmentor

            *****And if you beleive in the bible and respect the text, there is absolutely no credible way to come to an conclusion that homosexual behavior is not sinful.******

            “In the case of the Bible and homosexuality in contemporary American culture, the tragic dimensions of this biblically sanctioned prejudice among the most devout and sincere people of religious conviction are all the greater because NO CREDIBLE CASE AGAINST HOMOSEXUALITY OR HOMOSEXUALS CAN BE MADE FROM THE BIBLE UNLESS ONE CHOOSES TO READ SCRIPTURE IN A WAY THAT SIMPLY SUSTAINS THE EXISTING PREJUDICE AGAINST HOMOSEXUALITY AND HOMOSEXUALS. (emphasis mine) The combination of ignorance and prejudice under the guise of morality makes the religious community, and the abuse of scripture in this regard, itself is morally culpable.” Peter Gomes, now deceased, Minister in the Memorial Church and Plummer Professor of Christian Morals at Harvard University, in his book, THE GOOD BOOK. http://www.amazon.com/The-Good-Book-Reading-Bible/dp/0380723239

            Also, WHAT THE BIBLE REALLY SAYS ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY by Daniel Helmeniak, former priest. http://www.amazon.com/What-Bible-Really-about-Homosexuality/dp/188636009X

            See, it isn’t just John Shore that you might choose to easily dismiss because he has no formal creds on this issue. Read these books, both of them, then get back to us. And stifle your ignorant comments until you do. You now have no excuse.

          • Allie

            Look, as a straight woman I am absolutely 100% sure I could not choose to be gay. When I was a teenager my best friend came out to me as a lesbian and told me she was in love with me, and if I could have turned gay for her, it would have been great. Not gonna happen, because I am not gay.

            I assume you’re not gay. (Perhaps wrongly, as a lot of people with your beliefs are closeted.) What would it take to turn you gay? Could you decide, right now, to be gay?

          • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

            “And if you beleive in the bible and respect the text, there is absolutely no credible way to come to an conclusion that homosexual behavior is not sinful.” And you know what the Bible says is even worse than that? Judging people on it ‘cuz we have done far worse things & are far more deserving of judgment.

            Look it up if you don’t believe me. Romans 20:1 “Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.”

          • Tim

            I am not judging anyone. I am simply pointing out what the bible says and pointing out the fallaciy of Dans and others false interpretations. God is the judge.

          • Diana A.

            “God is the judge.” You just like to help God out with his job, right?

          • DR

            What in the world are you talking about? Who is using gay kids dying as “an agenda”? Dan Savage and the Trevor Project *volunteered* to create the system of *volunteer* support where gay kids receive assistance and support. What a perverse suggestion that anyone cares enough about you, frankly, to develop some kind of an “agenda”. These people want to save these kids. All Dan Savage wants to do is never have to deal with you again, he never wants to have to deal with your interpretation of his sexuality again. That’s all he or anyone else who is gay wants. They want to stop being harassed, shamed and oppressed by you. You need to check your ego a bit dear. This isn’t about you.

            And lastly regarding “change”. I find it so interesting that those of you so invested in this belief system have yet to show any kind of substantial data that you can change. All of the stories about repenting from the gay lifestyle and then suddenly being attracted to the opposite sex are so far and flung out, none of you can ever present any compelling data. It just doesn’t exist.

            But here’s what does exist. I volunteered at a teen homeless shelter out of a church years ago. Every week, dozens of kids from Christian homes would show up. Gay and kicked out for not “changing”. I remember holding one little boy – he was 13 years old – he was shaking and sobbing and begging me to pray with him so God would change him so he could go home. That for months he’d been asking God to please, please change him and so far God hadn’t. So maybe God would listen to me because after all I was better than him. I was straight.

            So how about you actually go hang out in that shelter. I’ll give you the contact information off line. Better yet, I’ll give you the contact of a shelter in your own area. I dare you to spend a Saturday a month there listening to all of the Christian kids who ran away or were booted out for the same reasons. Let’s see if the Holy Spirit changes them straight after you’ve spent some time with them. If it happens all the time, then let’s see you put your money where your virtual mouth is.

          • Soulmentor

            *****You need to check your ego a bit dear. This isn’t about you.*****

            Maybe it is?

            I have so much respect for you…………

          • Matthew Tweedell

            “If we love kids we will always tell them the truth in love. Lying to someone is hating them.”

            While it is true that truth and love are inalienably interlinked, it does not follow that lying is necessarily linked to hating. Have you considered that lying is often done rather in indifference, with an eye towards convenience?

            “And if you beleive in the bible and respect the text, there is absolutely no credible way to come to an conclusion that homosexual behavior is not sinful.”

            Um, ok. Could you please provide your credentials in Biblical scholarship to back up your claim? I ask because Soulmentor has cited a source that, to me, does indeed seem at least *credible*, that claims almost exactly the opposite. Or perhaps you are simply mistaken, having misread somewhere (or someone mistyped) “against” as “for” or something? or are making claims with no real basis but your preference for a certain understanding of the text? Well that, my friend, *is* indeed a preference that can be changed—thousands, if not millions, of people have successfully accomplished that one and with no evidence of any lasting psychological damage associated with attempting to do so!

            “We do not have to beat people up with this fact but denying it is not only dishonest but harmful.”

            Apart from the fact that I disagree with this “fact” (and it seems somewhat dishonest to suggest that I cannot do so in all honesty, but I’m willing to just chalk that up to ignorance), perhaps it’s also important to address in what way you might think it is harmful. Do you mean it leads them to hell? I submit that precisely opposite is manifestly the case: that denying them legitimacy in who they are, and in whom they love, and in providing fuel to those who would put them down (to put it mildly) or even disown them—that this is what leads to the true state of hell. But glory to God, for Christ holds the keys to Death and Hades and is coming to set free the spirits imprisoned there!

            “The people, who are saying that these kids cannot change how they feel are the ones who are confusing them and contributing to their tragic choices.”

            This appears to indicate a certain willful ignorance of the consequences of your own declared opinions on the lives of others.

            Think of it this way: There’s no way to be confused if there aren’t at least two different options. If what they feel is defined clearly enough (which it would have to be before it could be willfully changed, if that would be possible), then this is singular and the only confusion that could arise must come from the imposition of an external reason or reasons that argue against the feelings. Is it my opinion or yours that opposes what they might feel about themselves then? If what they feel is telling them their straight, I’m not disagreeing, and neither are you. If what they feel is telling them they are intrinsically gay, I’m also not telling them otherwise, but you are. (Also, if they feel they could go either way, I also do not disagree. Or if their feelings are somehow more complex than this—no arguments here.)

            Now, it is true that we must all take into account restrictions placed upon us by forces outside of ourselves / greater than ourselves, in determining how we’re to *act*, but it is quite psychologically destabilized when “opinions”—which in this case transmogrify into demons—seek to hijack our very, inner *feelings*. What we (willfully) do is the result of a conscious process, but what we will feel is rooted deep in our subconscious where it is best for others not to mess around unless they’re a true, licensed professional and with a patient’s willing consent to do so. (This is not to say that there’s anything wrong in general with acts, either, simply in result of the gender identities or sexual assignments of the parties involved.)

          • Tyrannus Evisceratus

            If these scriptures were always unclear why is this only coming to light now when a political and moral issue is at stake?

            Shouldn’t this have come up earlier?

          • Soulmentor

            Why? Why didn’t slavery and race and misogyny come up til later? For that matter, why didn’t Jesus arrive on earth earlier than he did?

            I suspect you would agree that God’s timing is inerrant. So maybe now it the right time in human history. As simple as that.

          • Christy

            Human equality and Justice didn’t come up in human history as early as we would have liked. That’s a much more modern incarnation. Jesus’ teachings though are timeless and not dependent on cultural norms: Love God, love your neighbor. “Do this,” Jesus said “and you shall live.” “On this,” Rabbi Hillel of the first century said, “hangs the whole of the Torah. Go and learn.”

          • DR

            It’s een here forever it’s just education and awareness doing their job that we are dealing with it. The I teensy has also helped. No more majority contr of the media which is why Christians enjoyed for decades.

          • Christy

            Shoot. The whole notion of marrying for love is a modern incarnation. It seems to me a logical progression from where we came from with arranged marriages all about the merger of families and the acquisition of property to the modern ideal of the autonomy of the individual to pursue true love for love’s sake…that marriage equality is inevitably and necessarily where we are headed – not simply as Americans but as humans.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            To answer your questions, Tyrannus, no one ever interpreted them as saying anything regarding what is today known as being lesbian, gay, or bisexual before there was such a social construct as sexual orientation. This was impossible, and reading such notions into the Scriptures today is an error of anachronism.

            As soon as people started seeing things this way is when the political and moral issues sprang up.

            And as soon as people started seeing it this way, challenges to this reading of the scriptures came up.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            @Christy

            “On this,” Rabbi Hillel of the first century said, “hangs the whole of the Torah. Go and learn.”

            Rabbi Hillel was such a closet Christian: Look at him declaring the preeminence of the cross!

          • Christy

            Actually, Jesus was a Jew. He was a contemporary of Hillel and there is speculation Jesus studied with him. The question being, whose teaching informed who? And since it centers on the Golden Rule we know that moral concept predates both of them to Buddhism and Taoism. So, it might be more historically accurate to say, “Look at Jesus affirming the essence of Judaism, Taoism, Buddhism, Sihkism, the Upanishads …..look at how the most important thing he had to say is similar in all of them.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            I’m aware, Christy. (Although, the golden rule, as expressed in the Far East, is traditionally formulated proscriptively, as I understand it, telling us not to do to others as we would not have them doing to us, whereas the revealed traditions of the Middle East are telling us to get our butts up and actively *do* something.)

            But you have not understood what I’m saying.

            The Torah—Hebrew for the Law, found in the Word, of God—whose fulfillment *is* the true Word of God—hangs (also translates “hinges” in the Bible) on these two: first, a pillar oriented vertically, and second, horizontally.

          • Soulmentor

            I suspect Dan knows the Bible better than you do and I’m guessing you would refuse to face him mano a mano in a discussion of the traditional Biblical history and interpretations in regard to this subject.

            Dan would take you on in any public forum you chose, but would YOU take HIM on like that, instead of here where you know he won’t respond because you know he won’t see it and it’s “safe” for you? But we’re all here with a collective Biblical knowledge that obviously surpasses yours, so maybe not so “safe” after all, eh?

          • Tim

            Please an educated child could run circles around Dnas “wisdom.” It would even be a fair contest.

          • Lymis

            You, apparently, can’t. Perhaps you could dig up an educated child to come and give some of the specifics that seem to be eluding you.

            I’d avoid the ones who walk out on any discussion that doesn’t fit their preconceived worldviews, though. Not all running in circles accomplishes anything meaningful.

          • Tim

            I have no rock. I am not here to condemn anyone except those who misrepresent Gods word.

            Yes people should put down their stones and also go and sin no more. Just like Jesus said.

          • Melody

            You’re the one misrepresenting God’s word, you filthy hypocrite.

          • GBM

            “Yes people should put down their stones and also go and sin no more. Just like Jesus said”

            Except that John 7:53-8:11 is almost certainly a later interpolation seeing as it doesn’t appear in any New Testament manuscript before the late fourth or early fifth century. Oops. What was that you were saying about your biblical expertise?

          • Soulmentor

            Of course he is making that choice. He doesn’t have a rational different one and he knows it. The religiously anti-gay are at last getting talked back to with educated and intelligent responses to their ignorant prejudice and simply don’t have answers to the challenges. Thus, they can only respond with ad hominem attacks and louder shouts of the tired and erroneously interpreted Biblical quotes and references from the bunkers of their ignorantly unexamined “faith”.

            It’s not FAITH. It’s FEAR. The dying gasp of a religious attitude that no longer works and can’t stand up to honest intellectual scrutiny.

          • Treemeister

            You mean kind comments like … “You’re the one misrepresenting God’s word, you filthy hypocrite.” brought to you by Melody.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

            Give it a rest, Tree.

          • Daniel

            Christy, he references the book of Philemon, the shortest book in the Bible. It is not a letter telling a slave owner how to own slaves, it is a plea written by Paul on behalf of a runaway slave asking that the slave be set free (asserting that the slave is no longer less than but equal to the master because they are both Christians and our now brothers). Savage’s remarks in this specific instance (and in many others) were clearly ignorant.

          • Daniel Francis

            That is not true. Paul is not asking that onesimus be freed, but that he should not be punished for running away and be treated nicely as a FAVOR TO PAUL!!!!!!!

            A HUGE difference.

          • Christy

            Thanks.This Daniel is right.

          • Lymis

            Daniel Francis is right – and even politely asking or encouraging a slave owner to free the slave because he is a Christian is recognizing the rights of the owner to make that choice – and compounding it by sending the escaped slave home to face that judgement rather than keeping him safe. And regardless, it’s all about the one slave – not a peep out of Paul about the lave owner freeing all his other property, nor any sweeping statements about the evil of slavery. Even if you see it as a statement that Christians shouldn’t own other Christians, it still doesn’t address slavery in general.

            It’s all about how nice this particular slave is and how great it would be to set him free.

            Dan Savage got it right. It’s about how to own slaves, not whether or not to do so.

        • DR

          Tim,

          I don’t think any of us really care what your opinion is of Dan (including him). What’s demonstrative of the character in all of us are the fruits of our lives.

          Dan Savage’s work has saved hundreds of gay kids a year from committing suicide as a result of the theology they hear Christians express regarding the evils of their sexuality. That’s well documented from both conservatives and liberals, his involvement with the Trevor Project and It Gets Better campaign is known as one of the most powerful support groups for gay kids everywhere.

          Would you let us know about the specific organizations that Christians sponsor to provide this kind of support to gay kids? Gay kids are the #1 at-risk group of teens to commit suicide so I’m sure this is a priority for Evangelical Christians, I’ve just not heard about it. I’m sure you can educate us on who they are. Looking forward to that information. Thanks.

          • Tim

            They should come to the church that does not lie to them.

          • Ashley Cohea

            So your way of helping them NOT commit suicide is to bring them to a church that tells them they are an abomination and destined for hell?

            DR, I think we can safely assume that means Tim and his fellow conservatives don’t actually HAVE a plan for helping these children of God.

          • Tim

            While there are some churches who say those things many do not. There is a false dichotomy that either a church is affirming or condemning. The majority of churches are somewhere in between. Kids deserve the truth . God did not create anyone gay, sin has distorted all sexuality. All of us suffer from sexual sins but God can transform.

          • Melody

            Prove God didn’t make anyone gay, without using the Bible. Do you presume to know God’s mind? You obviously know nothing about the great spectrum that is sexuality, and that God doesn’t make everyone the same. Get some education before you make such obtuse statements.

          • Soulmentor

            He (and millions of others) won’t do that. Education is the bane of “faith” and they fear it.

          • Tim

            Actually I am quite familiar with the broad spectrum of sexuality that sin has created.

            God made them male and female and said be fruitful and multiply.

            I am just waiting for someone to introduce the infertile couple strawman. Who will it be?

          • DR

            I love how this is being characterized as a straw man!

            Tim, when did you choose to be straight? Was it as a teenager or did it happen at a younger age? I think your personal testimony on when you chose to be straight vs gay would be enlightening.

          • Jayke

            I call shenanigans.

            It has been proven, time and time again, that homosexual tendencies are NOT a choice, they are ingrained in our genetics — in other words, GOD MADE US GAY. Or straight. Or bi. At that point, what happens between two consenting adults is not only of no business of yours, it is of no business of yours to say it is a sin.

            Likewise, it has been proven, time and time again, that ‘conversion therapy’ and ‘conversion ministry,’ to ‘turn’ homosexuals into heterosexuals, does not work. It just pushes deeper into the closet, people who have been indoctrinated into thinking homosexuality is wrong. Do you notice the effect here? You are telling people to bury themselves, you are telling them they should be ashamed and telling them to get a deeper closet. And that, mon frere, just leads to humiliation, pain, alienation, and for a tragic number of cases, suicide.

            So unless you are going to go Calvinist and say that people who were made by God to be homosexual are the prime example of predestination trumping faith and works, what do you plan on saying about the people who are born, live, and die homosexual? If you are not okay with gay kids being bullied, mocked, alienated, and cast out of their families, then what are you going to tell them? Here’s a hint: Further alienation is contraindicated.

          • Tim

            Actually science says differently. No gay gene. Sexuality is more fluid than we think. People do change.

            What I am telling people is to trust Gods design, pick up your cross and carry it. That what we are called to do.

          • Lymis

            Wrong again.

            Science has nothing whatsoever like proving that there is no gay gene, much less that homosexuality isn’t genetic, much less that homosexuality isn’t biologically based.

            On the contrary, the only definitive scientific evidence so far shows that since identical twins are far more likely to share a sexual orientation than fraternal twins or other siblings, that there is definite and provable indications that something other than choice is in play in at least some situations.

            What you are misquoting or misinterpreting is that there has been no proof of a single gene that in all cases indicated a homosexual orientation. While even that doesn’t prove that such a single gene won’t be found in the future, it’s just as likely to be an indication that not all gay people are gay for exactly the same genetic reasons. Just, for example, looking at big, muscular burly hairy leathermen and small, delicate, feminine artsy types, it’s not hard to believe that some different mechanism is in play in different gay men.

            And, not all biologically determined factors are purely genetic. Identical twins don’t share fingerprints, but nobody is going to claim our fingerprints are a choice.

            Some people change sometimes, in some ways. That’s no justification for forcing change on everyone else. Some Christians convert to Islam, and that is clearly and purely a choice. Do we justify outlawing Christianity because of it.

            Fail.

          • DR

            Please note your specific citations.

          • Lymis

            I do trust God’s design.

            I’m gay.

            I do pick up my cross and carry it. And, all too often in my life, one of my biggest crosses has, in all seriousness, been dealing with people like you telling me who I am and am not allowed to be, and what the God I speak to every day “really” thinks about me.

            It would be far, far, easier to carry my cross if people like you were not so committed to building additions onto it for your own purposes.

            See also, sheep and goats, and what gets people condemned.

          • http://www.exilemusings.blog.com Amaranth

            What about the “straight” gene? I’m pretty sure that doesn’t exist either.

          • DR

            Over 82% of the Evangelical churches that exist in America do not allow gay men and lesbian women to be in any kind of leadership role because of their belief that you cannot be actively gay and Christian at the same time. So you want these people to go find 8% of the churches? Really??

          • DR

            Well they have gone to churches that have told them they are an abomination for parts of them that truly, cannot change. Like telling someone with blonde hair they are going to hell for having blonde hair. Is your expectation that they – you know – keep going to that place? What is it that you expect them to do? They’re being told they are not holy and that they have to change to become holy or they will be condemned. Do you understand that? I’m not sure you have the capacity to understand but it’s worth trying to educate you a little.

          • http://www.sparrowmilk.blogspot.com Shadsie

            *Gets out a big bag of Troll Chow – Now! With Flavor!*

            I have a story. It’s not about gay kids, but it is about other young “sexual sinners” and a church.

            When I was a teenager living in the middle of nowhere in the desert, I went to a cute little conservative Southern Baptist church. Now, these folks, if I were still in contact with them, just like Past!Shadsie would likely be appalled that Today!Shadsie signed the petition that was posted on this blog earlier this week. This church was pretty big into purity and conservative values and just a little bit into the fear of Hell. I couldn’t join them again, but when I was with them, they were genuinely good people. (They are why I will defend the basic Humanity of conservatives when people say they are not human online). These people may have been ignorant of some things, but they had good hearts.

            Folks showed up for services in T-shirts and jeans. Kids played Gameboys during the sermons and the adults let them. I’d listen to the sermon and draw. We were interracial (make up of white and hispanic and some mixed-marriages). The adult Sunday School teacher was a Theistic Evolutionist. During one of our pot lucks we had doves that one of our scruffy hunter-guys shot that morning (tastes like dark meat turkey, very good). All in all, a conservative-valued but crazy, fun-loving group of people.

            My very best childhood friend and her family were split between our church and their Catholic church. They identified as Catholic but sometimes liked to come to the local church. (Hey! We were somewhat interreligious that way, too)!

            Then there was a time when my best childhood friend stopped coming to my church. She withdrew from me and from everyone. I knew she was avoiding me, but I kind of accepted it sadly because, well.. I’ve always been a weird person (I didn’t find out that the reason for my awkwardness and general social-stink was bipolar disorder until I was 26 ). I was used to friends, cousins, people I loved to hang out with as a kid “growing out of me,” especially if anyone gained any kind of popularity, new friends, or, like in the case of this friend – a boyfriend. My introverted self was used to having cats as close friends, anyway…

            I came back from a Christian youth retreat I’d been on (sponsored by the crazy Fundamentalist pastor we had at the time). My friend called me up and asked to come over and I was suprised – why would she want to see me after we hadn’t talked in so long? She confessed to me that she’d had a baby – premature, and that she’d hid the pregnancy from everyone because “It’s a pretty big sin.”

            She was afraid that I would disown her. That’s why she’d effectively disowned me. She was so scared that since I was “into” my church that I, and everyone in the church would just condemn her for getting pregnant without a ring on her finger.

            I was hurt… but immediately hugged her becuase I understood. It was like “what went wrong with our church that she would think a thought like that?” Her first assuption was a panic – “Oh noes, they’ll disown me for being a sinner.” After all those years of being her friend, even before I had my “conversion experience’ — What did *I* do, what did *we* do to give her so much fear?

            I wish I could say this had a happy ending, but it didn’t. While our church loved her, my friend didn’t get to be a mommy then because the child didn’t make it.

            I know this was a ramble, but… I think my point is… when the church is “too much into the rules” or perecieved to be “really into this or that rule” and “judgemental” – even if the inviduals in it *are* genuinely good people the perception itself, often cultivated by the Church, itself, creates a monster to fear. And that’s when hurt happens.

    • Lymis

      So, to repeat Christy, what do you disagree with Dan on?

      Are you in favor of slavery? Of avoiding menstruating women until their ritual public cleansing? Are pork and shellfish abominations? Should be be stoning harlots over at their parent’s house?

      Or are you denying that people who defended slavery used the Bible to justify that? That people who oppressed the Jews used the Bible to defend their actions?

      Dan’s point was that people who are quick to use the Bible against others and refuse to defend their position (for example, you) still feel perfectly free to violate other parts of the Bible with a clear conscience when they find it convenient. Is that what you’re denying?

      You might want to reevaluate just what it is you are swimming in. It might be great for your lawn, but it isn’t doing you much good otherwise.

      • Soulmentor

        Even too much of that will burn the grass!!!!!!

      • Allie

        Lymis, the standard fundie response to your questions is that those were OT ritual prohibitions, but the NT moral prohibitions remain in place. I’m sure you already know that. But I find it confuses the issue to bring in OT prohibitions when discussing homosexuality, which fundies believe is clearly outlawed in the NT.

        However, it’s rare to find a fundie who is aware of the three things prohibited in the NT when the church was deciding which of the prohibitions to apply to Gentiles. They were eating meat sacrificed to idols, fornication, and eating meat not slaughtered in the kosher manner by having the blood drained from it. I’m not aware of any modern Christian church which observes those prohibitions.

        • Lymis

          The point is that the justification for ignoring the OT food and other ritual prohibitions lies in some of the things said in the New Testament. But very similar things are said that clearly indicate a similar change in viewing how sex and relationships work.

          That anyone who loves is of God. That the faith of a Roman Centurion allowed the healing of his male sexual bodyslave. That people aren’t supposed to stone sexual sinners to death. For that matter, even the very same verse that “justifies” eating pork and shellfish applies – what makes a person impure is not what enters their body from outside, but what comes from within. If that justifies eating food that was an abomination, it’s ridiculous to claim that it can’t apply to other kinds of activities – these people are still claiming that motivations, including love, don’t matter, it is the physical act of penetration that makes homosexuality evil.

          It isn’t that the New Testament doesn’t contain just as many, and just as clear, verses that can be the basis of a new understanding of love and relationship, including same-sex pairings and even marriage (If in Christ there is no distinction between male and female, how can there be in Christianity?).

          No, it’s that these sorts of Christians come into the scripture with their own prejudices already firmly in place, and only see what they are willing to see, and in the process, they condemn their brothers and sisters, and do constant and serious deliberate harm to their neighbors. See the story about the sheep and the goats to see how that turns out.

          This is EXACTLY what Dan Savage was saying. It isn’t that the Bible condemns gay people or gay relationships. It is that there is no stick too small or too awkward to be used to beat gay people with, when someone truly sets their mind to it.

          • vj

            “these people are still claiming that motivations, including love, don’t matter, it is the physical act of penetration that makes homosexuality evil”

            And yet, even though most of them will claim that it is, indeed, the penetrative act that is problematic (ignoring the context of idolatrous prostitution, coercion, etc) – to the best of my knowledge, the Bible neither mandates vaginal-only penetration nor prohibits any other kind of penetration within monogamous heterosexual marriage (being their glorified ‘ideal’). So, what is their Biblical basis for insisting that homosexual acts are inherently sinful? And if the acts themselves are not inherently sinful, how do they justify ignoring that “what comes out of a person’s heart is what defiles”? They are blind to the truth that “man looks at the outside, but God looks at the heart”.

  • http://www.facebook.com/charles.h.adams Charles Adams via Facebook
  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ashley-Cohea/100000024967834 Ashley Cohea via Facebook

    Never been much of a Dan Savage fan (I have little patience for “shock” jocks of any medium unless they’re comedians) but this is ridiculous! I am so tired of conservatives crying out for tolerance of their beliefs and saying they are victims. It’s sickening. Even if I don’t always agree with how Dan expresses his ideas, they’re usually valid, and in this case were spot on. Great writing, as always, John.

    • Ashley Cohea

      I should say I’ve never been much of a fan of reading his column. The work he does is phenomenal.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Natalie-Jones/100001438912549 Natalie Jones via Facebook

    I’m tired of any sort of attempt to argue with them being called intolerant simply because someone chooses to argue using words or methods they don’t approve of or that make them uncomfortable.

  • Mindy Brown Carney via Facebook

    My take on this is that the students who left had every intention of leaving during Mr. Savage’s talk, regardless of what he said, because of who he is. Christian schools or Christian youth groups – they knew he’d “go there,” because that’s who he is and what he does. They took it as an opportunity to make a statement and try to make him look like the bad guy – that is evident from their self-satisfied grins. They weren’t horrified or upset, they were grinning as if in victory. And the “we got bullied” meme was planned right along with it – give the mean ol’ liberal gay guy a taste of his own medicine!

    All they did was look like wimps who will never be actual journalists – how, exactly, could they? Only cover stories that make them feel warm and fuzzy inside? Not how it works, kiddos. Y’all can strive to be the Sarah Palins and Glenn Becks of your generation, sure – but that, my little friends, sure ain’t journalism.

  • http://milestogobeforeisleep1976.tumblr.com/ Luthor Parks

    I used to be a teacher at ACA (Arrowhead Christian Academy). That is the school that these students attend. To make a long story very short, after 8 years in employment, I was wrongfully terminated from my position. What was done to me and my family was disgraceful, wrong, immoral, and unethical. The manner in which I was treated was the farthest thing from what Christ exemplified in His life. I think the students are confused. Yes, they were offended by Savage’s remarks, but that is not bullying or persecution. I know there were other speakers that should have been equally offensive, but I doubt if these students walked out of those presentations. Also, isn’t good journalism supposed to incite a response? I think that is what Savage did. He incited a response by his remarks. I hope the students’ response did not end with just walking out, but I believe sadly it probably did.

  • Soulmentor

    There is much discussion of the appropriateness of Dan’s language before an audience of young people. It is suggested he had no business using language that offended or upset them. Oh please!!!!! As if young people aren’t way ahead of us in that game. If you’ve ever paid attention to the conversations of many young people today, you will know that they talk much worse than that. With their favorite and inappropriately overused adjective and expletive being the F word, it’s simply not possible to shock them anymore.

    Those kids who walked out may have felt offended but they weren’t shocked. They had to know who Dan was before they attended his talk and it’s no stretch to suspect that they expected to be offended and actually planned the walk out in advance. So one was crying?! No sympathy here. That’s a mere silly response compared to the rivers of tears of gay kids and it’s utterly dismissable in a time of gay kids’ suicides. Surely I’m not the only one who noted the self-righteously smug smiles of many of those “good christian” kids as they walked out. They didn’t know it but, with their actions, they were saying more about themselves than about Dan.

    The anti-gay ignorantly religious self-righteous “christians” have controlled the social dialogue for centuries and they aren’t accustomed to being challenged and don’t know how to respond to it with intelligent, rational argument………BECAUSE THEY DON’T HAVE ONE.

    THAT is why that one walkout was crying. THAT is why they walked out. THAT is why we have this ad hominem uproar from them.

    In this particular social/religious discussion, their emperor has no clothes.

    • Lymis

      I’ll add that the majority of kids stayed, and many applauded enthusiastically. People are acting as though the whole group stampeded out of the auditorium.

    • Mindy

      If this were HuffPo, I’d fan and fave you, Soulmentor. :)

      • Soulmentor

        Thank you. You will see me there too. I really to spend too much time between John and Huff Po. In fact, it was HP where I first saw John.

  • http://www.sparrowmilk.blogspot.com Shadsie

    Watched.

    This actually reminded me of stuff that I’ve pulled in my fiction writing and a little personal fantasy I have regarding it… In one of my fantasy novels (something I recently re-edited for the umpteenth time), I constructed a slavery-system for the kingdom I created *based on parts of the Old Testament.* My little stupid personal fantasy is that, if this thing were to ever become published and/or I put it online and it inexplicably becomes popular – I really look forward to sharing that tidbit in interviews, while at the same time making it clear that I’m not an athiest… I’m just a *really* subversive Christian.

    Actually, I remember when I first was writing this, I was still in my conservative days – but cracking. I also remember shocking the poo outta of Christian writer’s club member with a passage in one of my other (bad) novels inspired by a particularly violent Psalm. The thing that “Christians shouldn’t write! Gak!” was inspired by the Bible – go fig.

    As for things said: I’m not sure I would have gone with a Sam Harris quote – I mean, he’s known as one of the Four Horsemen, so I might have chosen a similar quote from the Progressive Christian front, just to have a lambaste of “Biblical morals” from someone “in the club,” but if a more apt quote couldn’t be found… Savage pretty much wins this because I agree with him (see above “really subversive Christian who likes to play with Biblical dubiousness in fiction to make heads spin”). He had a lot finesse – I didn’t see him as attacking Christians or calling for the tearing down of religion, he was just pointing out how much we ignore out of a scared book when it comes to social policy and everyday life because it was written in a different time and place.

    One of my friends was an Orthodox Jew for part of her life… let’s just say, from talking with her and hanging out with her… It’s *hard* to follow all the rules in the modern world.

  • Daniel Francis

    I agree with Dan Savage on this, though I’m glad he apologized for the language and the comment he thew at those kids who walked out.

    The fact remains that those who claim biblical infallibility or inerrancy refuse to live by he Law. They even believe large parts of it would be immoral and unethical if practiced in our world today.Yet the principles, standards, and interpretive methods they use to justify not following portions of the Law fail them when contemplating homosexuals and homosexuality This is wrong and hypocritical. And it is time they changed.

  • Ron Viramontes via Facebook

    Im thankful to both John Shore and CToBM for using their respective “podiums” to publicly counter the knee-jerk reactionary criticisms against Dan Savage. It’s encouraging to those of us without such a publicly visible venue but who share your support for Savage’s observations.

    • Tyrannus Evisceratus

      I am thankful as well this is one of the more polite blogs I have been on.

  • Tyrannus Evsiceratus

    A man claims parts of the bible are wrong. Yes we are to take the words of a mere mortal a creation of God over the words of the creator of the universe.

    He is so confident in his beliefs that he picks on children and outright insults them as “pansy ass”. This is truly the prophet for me(sarcasm). I do not worry for Christianity for the lord protects. I do not worry for myself for the lord gave me scripture that cuts through spiritual deception. Even on a mountain top of false prophets the rightful message of the lord rings true.

    Those children weren’t leaving because they were weak they were leaving because the blasphemy was burning their ears. (I wonder is Satan’s blasphemy has the power to kill some things are better left undiscovered I suppose)

    I worry for the nonbelievers. They have no scripture to cut through spiritual deception with as they have not embraced it yet.

    You could be the most left wing or right wing I live in a cave, because the goverment puts flouride in my water to control my mind wierdo, but I would hope you would still have the sense as a Christian to reject the words of man who outright calls portions of the bible “bullshit.” This is utter blasphemy. May the Lord have mercy on his soul.

    Yes there are parts of the bible I do not understand, but maybe that is because we aren’t meant to understand them. Maybe they are a test of faith. Maybe we just lack God’s own infinite wisdom that is necessary to understand the bible in its entirety.

    • Lymis

      God didn’t write the Bible. Men wrote the Bible in response to their experience of God. Big difference.

      So your basic premise falls apart.

      • Tyrannus Evsiceratus

        So your saying God allowed men to make errors when writing the bible?

        • Melody

          So you’re another inerrantist? Prove God told those men precisely what to write. You can’t.

          • Tyrannus Evsiceratus

            Yes another inerrantist you act like we have a club we go to or something.

            You can’t prove God didn’t. And since those men were actually there and not Dan Savage I am inclined to trust them over him.

            If we had proof of everything in the bible it would be science not faith.

            Nothing in the bible has ever been proved false, and one day everything in it will be proved true just in time for the rapture.

          • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

            Tyrannus, if you don’t want to engage in same sex relations just politely say, “No, but thank you for thinking of me” when offered. You don’t have to get all this worked up about it.

          • Tyrannus Evsiceratus

            I understand that. That really doesn’t bother me.

            I am upset that people forget that Christians were once the persecuted people. People act like Dan Savage can’t bully Christians, because they are Christians.

            Apparently the Roman Empire though differently when it was slaughtering us indescriminately.

            When did we become so mighty that we forgot we are still vulnerable.

            One day the Anti Christ is going to be enthroned over the earth and he is gonna slaughter christians indescriminately ordering them to recant their beliefs under pain of death. We have to stand strong and push that day as far off as possible.

            That Dan Savage is hailed as a her for striking at the Christian establishment means it is gonna be sooner rather than later.

            Dan Savage may have saved thousands of gay teens from suicide, but the bible tells us that many who work miracles in the Lord’s name will not see heaven. Only by having faith in Christ and by asking for forgivness of our sins can we ascend to heaven.

          • Christy

            Until Christianity aligned with Empire and for a far longer period of history we Christians did the slaughtering.

          • Christy

            That’s where the Church continued to follow the wide way of oppression and conquest and Empire rather than the narrow, compassionate way of Jesus. Not a new religion to spread and create converts but a new way of being in the world.

          • Tyrannus Evsiceratus

            Both very true

            All religions have killed and those without religion are equally adept at it.

          • Christy

            No fair then making out Christians as having some special victim status while ignoring how we became and continue to be the oppressors.

          • Diana A.

            “No fair then making out Christians as having some special victim status while ignoring how we became and continue to be the oppressors.”

            Exactly!

          • DR

            The fear of being persecuted for your beliefs is such a deeply-engrained reality that you enter into conversations like these with this default belief; if anyone says anything insulting or offensive to you – if they are honest with you about what your theology has done to them, how your behavior makes them feel – you are being “persecuted”.

            What is really happening is you are being held accountable for your behavior. That’s it. You are simply over-spiritualizing this. There is no demon responsible. *You* are responsible for the impact your theology has on gay people and they are telling you honestly what that is. They are telling you – as a result of how you’ve interpreted Scripture to find them unholy – how damaging it is to them. To the children in the GLBT community. And we a Christians are telling you honestly that we’re sick to death of you thinking you represent “what God thinks” about homosexuality, that we believe you have it all wrong and we’re not going to let you get away with it anymore because we love these people, we respect them and we are committed to protecting them from you if you refuse to listen.

            So wake up. Really. Wake up. You’re not being spiritually attacked, you’re not being persecuted. You’re being treated like a grown up. You are being held responsible for the impact of your right to free expression. Your speech may be protected – it should be. Your right to religious freedom is an absolute protection. It should be. But what you are *not* protected from is those who are impacted by both telling you that. You’re not protected from being offended.

          • Tyrannus Evisceratus

            The Devil does exist, but it is unfair of me to attribute every trial to him since I have no idea what he is doing or up to.

            I am evidently not immune to being offended since Dan Savage offended me.

            Your arguments have shaken my previous belief and that is something that has remained intact for two blogs like this before they evicted me.

            Here is the question are you sure your right?

            Every gay soul in the world is on the line. If the literalists are wrong it means the homosexuals commited no sin in being what they are and that failure to ask forgiveness will result in nothing since there was nothing to ask forgiveness for. 2,000 years of practice will be overturned.

            If your wrong they will fail to ask forgiveness for a sin that our society will say doesn’t exist.

            It is a leap of faith either way. We need to be absolutely certain we are encouraging them to jump the right way.

          • DR

            Believe me my friend – I was just as convicted as you were. I understand what you’re going through. It’s a true follower of Christ that is willing to lay down what he or she has understood the truth to be in light of other evidence. It’s the hardest thing to do in the world and it took me a very long time to find the courage to do it. It shook me! But in my heart, I recognized the truth of what people told me and slowly slowly, I gave up the need to be “right” and in control and I listened. It was terrifying. And I’m so glad I did.

            For me, “do I know” has taken on a deeper meaning. Do I know why those verses exist? No. I don’t. I can only speculate. But what I do know without a doubt is God would never, ever allow a sin to exist without an escape hatch. I also know the fruits of sin are consistent – lying destroys relationships. Adultery destroys trust and respect. Being gay? The only fruit of being gay is falling in love and wanting to be with someone the rest of one’s life.

            Thank you for being here and having the courage of entering into the dialogue.

          • DR

            One other thing to consider – there are thousands of actively gay men and women who also have a relationship with Jesus. Did you know that? Some of them are on this forum. They have not asked forgiveness for being gay. They are not compelled to ask for forgiveness. They certainly have other sin in their life they are condensing with but being gay is not one of them. Think about that. Are they deluded? Or are you? It can only be one.

            “By their fruits, you shall know them”.

          • Soulmentor

            *****The Devil does exist,…..******

            ?? http://www.amazon.com/The-Origin-Satan-Christians-Demonized/dp/0679731180

            The concept does exist. An actual entity? Questionable at best. Read it and get back to us. Meantime, don’t pronounce certainties that aren’t.

          • Diana A.

            God knows our hearts and it is our hearts that God looks at. Failing to ask forgiveness for a sin when one does not believe it is a sin is not anything for which God will condemn us. God sees us as we are and it is the fire of his love that will burn away all falsehood, leaving us with nothing but the truth, the truth which will set us free.

          • vj

            The thing is, it is not OUR job to decide which way someone should jump – we have the Holy Spirit, who convicts us of our sins (whatever they may be). I have *never* repented of any sin told to me by ‘man’, but have certainly felt a conviction within me, which I believe to be the Holy Spirit *gently* pointing out sin in my life. This has happened – sometimes – through hearing a sermon, but more often through private reading of Scripture or other testimony, through circumstances and/or through mulling over things in my mind and suddenly seeing connections. If I can trust God to work that way with me, I can trust Him to work that way with everyone.

            The OT says that God is slow to anger, abounding in love, forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin – yet He does not leave the guilty unpunished (Exodus 34:6&7). The Good News of the NT is that Christ has taken the punishment for the sins of the world upon Himself. When we confess Him as Lord, we are immediately given His righteousness before God. He does not expect us to achieve a state of sinlessness on our own, but guides us daily to shed all that is not of Him. Whatever He wants to deal with in my life, He will do it in His time – and so it is for all of us. All that is left for *us* to do is love and serve one another (even our enemies).

          • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

            “I am upset that people forget that Christians were once the persecuted people.” That was 1700 years ago — GET OVER IT!

          • Tyrannus Evisceratus

            Best not to get to comfortable we are destined to be persecuted again.

            This might be the start of it this might not.

            Christianity certainly isn’t enjoying a high point over this issue.

            People act like we are making huge gains on this issue we aren’t. We’re losing societal approval over it. The pro gay marriage side is winning slowly but surely.

            Why are we doing this unless we truly believe what we are saying.

          • Soulmentor

            How did you get to be so utterly obtuse?

          • DR

            There it is.

            “Losig social approval” is not the same as being persecuted. You are losing social approval much in the way racists who did not support Cicil Rights lost social approval. Because they were on the wrong side of ethics and morality and refused to face it.

          • Christy

            And Justice….on the wrong side of Justice.

          • Soulmentor

            *****Dan Savage may have saved thousands of gay teens from suicide, but the bible tells us that many who work miracles in the Lord’s name will not see heaven****

            Comparing Dan’s social work with “miracles” is transparently disingenuous.

            “By their fruits ye shall know them.” Matt 7:16.

            You are, no doubt, familiar with that verse. You, yourself have acknowledged Dan’s fruits (no pun intended). They are there for all to see.

            What are the fruits of anti-gay “christians”? Need I even answer? Tell us, Tyrannus. What are the “fruits” of your attitude toward gays?

          • DR

            Tyrannus, when did you choose to be straight? Was it in high school or did it happen when you were younger?

          • Tyrannus Evsiceratus

            6th grade I suppose

          • DR

            So at that point, you had crushes on boys and girls, but you decided to have romantic inclinations for girls? Tell us more.

          • Tyrannus Evsiceratus

            I can’t recall ever having a crush on a boy. Before sixth grade I didn’t have a crush on anyone though.

            There was this girl in 6th grade though total crush on her the moment I saw her.

            I appreciate the fact that this process is not as straightforward for everyone as it was for myself.

          • DR

            I’m confused. I thought that being gay was a choice. God wouldn’t create one way for some of us and another way for others. Sexuality is a choice. So please tell us when you chose being straight vs. gay, you’re not actually answering the question. Thanks.

          • DR

            Someone on this once described this same exact thing happening! I remember the story. 6th grade – saw a girl and then *BAM* – instant crush.

            But she was a woman. Are you saying that somehow she *chose* to have that crush on a girl? Because you said for you it was straightforward, you didn’t choose gender. You just had a crush. Please explain why this is different for gay men and women and use specific citations to validate it. Thanks.

          • Tyrannus Evisceratus

            I honestly have no answer for what makes one person gay and one person straight.

          • DR

            God is not a God of confusion. You have created different paths for gay and straight because it fits the theology you want to cling to, period. God would simply not design something as essential as sexuality and make it a choice for some and not for others. You are perverting His creation when you make such a suggestion.

          • Melody

            You’re right. No one can prove one way or another. But based on the history of the Bible and its final canonization, I think it’s rather naive to say without a doubt that God “wrote” the Bible. After all, it wasn’t canonized until hundreds of years after its books were written. Not even the Tanakh/Old Testament was complete at the time of Jesus. So that verse about scripture being God-breathed that inerrantists love to tout as “proof” of God’s authorization is not a reliable source.

          • Diana A.

            And there was a lot of politics involved.

          • Melody

            And I’m not saying you can’t believe the Bible is inerrant. You’re certainly free to believe that. But you don’t have the authority to say one must believe that in order to be a Christian. (I know you didn’t specifically say that, but that’s a typical stance of inerrancy doctrine.)

          • Tyrannus Evsiceratus

            I don’t know what is or isn’t a typical stance of inerrancy since that term is completely new to me.

            It was my understanding that everyone who claimed parts of the bible were untrue at least said that they were symbolic in nature. I have never heard of anyone sans atheists discount portions of the bible.

          • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

            @Melody — there is a difference between inerrancy (meaning the Bible contains the immutable Truth) and literalism (meaning all statements and verses in the Bible are equally factual). One can be an inerrantist and still recognize certain passages are metaphorical, others are just approximations and not absolute confirmed data, and others still may be completely fictitious but used to illustrate a point (viz. Christ’s sundry parables). Inerrantists — honest ones, at least — examine their own bias to make sure they aren’t misreading interpretions into the original text.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            “Yes another inerrantist you act like we have a club we go to or something.”

            Well, you can call it a “church”, but whatever.

            “Nothing in the bible has ever been proved false.”

            Do not tempt me, Satan. I must resist the temptation to bite off more than I presently have time to chew right here. I’ll just say that the Bible proves itself false and direct you to Matthew 20:20 and Matthew 12:40 for instance, noting the mathematical inconsistency of the two (regarding the number of nights between the crucifixion and the resurrection).

        • Lymis

          “So your saying God allowed men to make errors when writing the bible?”

          Yes, I am. Because quite a few of the errors are clear and obvious. You can’t get to page 2 without a few irreconcilable internal contradictions.

          The Bible is a human endeavor. In many places it reflects a deep and abiding genuine experience of personal interaction with God. In other places it’s history, poetry, and repressive religious tyranny trying to keep a nomadic tribe from disappearing into its neighboring cultures.

          And in some places, it is clearly hateful and hurtful. Dashing the children’s skulls against the rocks, killing all the men and raping all the women, for example. That isn’t a genuine interaction with a loving God. It is the record of a people struggling to develop the foundations for learning that “Love your neighbor” is the whole of the law.

          Slavery is wrong, no matter what the Bible says. Eating shellfish or wearing pigskin leather is morally neutral, regardless of what the Bible says.

          And loving, committed same sex relationships are equally as holy and beautiful and favored by God as similar opposite sex relationships, regardless of what the people who wrote the Bible said.

          Remember, the Bible also says that Jesus didn’t teach us things we weren’t yet ready to know, and that the Holy Spirit would continue to teach us. That by itself “proves” that there are things the Bible isn’t the final say about.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            “You can’t get to page 2 without a few irreconcilable internal contradictions.”

            Actually, internally, the scripture of Genesis 1 & 2 IS reconcilable, but this requires laying aside some pretty deep-seated preconceived notions.

    • DR

      Dan Savage has saved hundreds of gay kids from suicide as they try to contend with the “reality” that Christians offer to them – that part of them is evil and despised by God, a part of them they cannot change or “repent” of. That they are not holy enough to be in a blessed union by God and they are destined to live lives of isolation, devoid of romantic and sexual intimacy. That is his priority and he’s done an amazing job. Gay people barely survive us Christians and he is helping that occur all on his own.

      Your priority seems to be making sure that we don’t get called “pansy asses”.

      I wonder what Jesus would say if He compared the two of you.

      • Tyrannus Evsiceratus

        I cannot speculate on what Jesus would say, but what about the pope. He claims to be God’s representative on earth, and he is opposed to same sex marriage.

        • DR

          He is wrong. (and I am a Catholic).

        • DR

          PS. Please read this section on Papal Infallibility. There has been no formalization of homosexuality in accordance to these guidelines of what infallibility is.

          “Papal infallibility is a dogma of the Catholic Church which states that, by action of the Holy Spirit, the Pope is preserved from even the possibility of error[1] when in his official capacity he solemnly declares or promulgates to the universal Church a dogmatic teaching on faith or morals.”

        • Lymis

          The pope, any pope, but especially this pope, gets stuff wrong. And this one is deeply wrong regarding a lot of things about sex, not just homosexuality.

          He seems to be an expert on fancy shoes, though. I’ll defer to him on Prada slippers.

          • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

            Oh, great: Now you’ve got me mentally hearing “The pope is a dope / you hope, you hope” to the tune of the Mr. Ed theme…

          • Sharon

            I wish there was a like button.

          • Diana A.

            Me too!

        • Soulmentor

          Popes have been known to be wrong about things. They have countenanced brutal inquisitions, one kidnapped a Jewish child for conversion and ….well, God knows what else, started wars, lived with mistresses, used prostitutes, covered up sexual abuses which includes this Pope when he was a Bishop and Cardinal……. But you know all that, don’t you. Yet you suggest this Pope’s infallibility on the gay issue.

          You can now remove both feet from your mouth.

    • Ray

      You can only blaspheme God. The Bible cannot be blasphemed at all, it is a thing not a being.

      • Tyrannus Evsiceratus

        It would appear I used the word blasphemy incorrectly.

        • DR

          With all due respect, this is an example of charging into a conversation like this on your white horse of righteousness and not even being able to explain blasphemy which is HUGE. Equate the gravity of an error like this to what you’re telling gay men and women about their salvation. You are tossing out declarative statements about their state of their *spiritual condition* as casually as you made the statement about blasphemy. You are treading into such sacred, personal ground as you do so. It actually makes me a little scared for you, to think you’d be this arrogant that you would have such disregard and disrespect for these people that God has created and loves. Who He desperately wants back, reconciled with Him. Do you understand that you are interfering in that process?

          God have mercy on you. I mean it.

          • Tyrannus Evisceratus

            May god have mercy on us all.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            He will. He looks favorably upon your perseverance, my friend. Your patience will pay off. If you continue to endure the arrows with which you are presently being assailed, though you might be transformed by the marks they inflict upon you, might even given a new, spiritual body, but in the end you will surely be granted the Kingdom.

          • Tyrannus Evisceratus

            I need time to think. I am leaving for awhile.

          • Tyrannus Evisceratus

            No one has the power to interfere in another’s personal connection to God. You can’t take someone else’s faith away they have to let it go.

          • Lymis

            And sometimes, they had it right all along.

          • DR

            Wrong. Millions of gay men and women won’t cOme. Ear a church as a result of your theology. That is indeed, your fault. God is. Of magic, He works through us. You tell gay men and women their sexuality is an abomination, why in the world would they want anything g to do with a God who finds a permanent part of them that is indelible repulsive? You have to start getting practical.

        • Sharon

          TE, It’s interesting that you have a latinish name, thought not actual Latin and yet you are unaware of so many words with Latin origins. It’s possible you need more education before speaking so authoritatively. Just a possibility there. I wish you well on your journey.

          Sharon

          • Tyrannus Evisceratus

            Its a false name I picked up. It has a meaning although I am unaware of it.

          • LSS

            Probably not a good idea.

    • Soulmentor

      ******Yes there are parts of the bible I do not understand, but maybe that is because we aren’t meant to understand them. Maybe they are a test of faith. Maybe we just lack God’s own infinite wisdom that is necessary to understand the bible in its entirety.*******

      How, HOW do you spew that blatant cop out with a str8 face? (Well, I can’t see your eyes, but I strongly suspect they would be averted when you say it.)

      • Tyrannus Evisceratus

        Are you saying you understand all the scriptures or are you saying my reasons why we can’t understand the scriptures are wrong?

        • Soulmentor

          I’m saying it is a cop out to fall back on “mystery” when you have no answers, while you arrogantly suggest you fully understand that which is so obviously open to interpretation.

          I’m saying you are disingenuous. I’m saying you have no creds in this particular gay issue.

          And I am here suggesting, in the words of Shakespeare, you “protest too much”. Are you hiding something, perhaps even from yourself?

          Do some study, Tyrannus, of something besides the Bible. It is simply not true, as my evangelical brother once told me, that the Bible has all the answers. The Biblical authors had no Bible or Bible believing preachers to hand them the “truth”. Where do you imagine they got what they wrote? And do not make a god of Paul’s words about the heart and mind being deceptive. God gave you a heart and intellect and don’t you think it’s a bit of an insult to Him not to use them. How does the Spirit speak to you if not thru them? Thru the Bible, the words of other men (almost exclusively men, by the way) ? Why would they, most of whom never knew Jesus, feel the Spirit and respond to it any better than you? Because God spoke to them? Did he? Audibly? And if so, when did that stop happening? Could this current movement toward accepting gays be the Spirit of God working today? If it happens on slavery and race and women’s issues, why not homosexuality? Are you preventing God’s Spirit from speaking to you on this gay issue? Why?

          Do not make a god of the Bible. Isn’t that idolatry? It’s an intellectual trap. You will not find Truth if you look only there.

          You do indeed have some prayerful introspection to do. Here’s some help for it. WHAT THE BIBLE REALLY SAYS ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY by Daniel Helmeniak. THE GOOD BOOK by Peter Gomes. IS IT A CHOICE by Eric Marcus. THE CHURCH AND THE HOMOSEXUAL by John J McNeill. CHRISTIANITY, SOCIAL TOLERANCE AND HOMOSEXUALITY and SAME SEX UNIONS IN PRE-MODERN EUROPE by John Boswell. THE ORIGIN OF SATAN by Elaine Pagels. THE BIRTH OF CHRISTIANITY by Jon Dominic Crossan. WHY CHRISTIANITY MUST CHANGE OR DIE by Episcopal Bishop John Shelby Spong. STRANGER AT THE GATE by Mel White. STEALING JESUS and A PLACE AT THE TABLE and BEYOND QUEER by Bruce Bawer. THOU SHALT NOT LOVE by Patrick M Chapman. I have read them all an so many more longer than twice my arm span not least John Shore’s books.

          You will not lose your faith. You will find it stronger. The Truth will indeed set you free.

          I wish you Love.

          • vj

            “Could this current movement toward accepting gays be the Spirit of God working today?”

            Oh, I really do hope so!

  • Tim

    The authority on the bible and homosexuality is Robert Gagnon. If you want to know what the bible really says read his book, The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics.

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Bible-Homosexual-Practice-Hermeneutics/dp/0687022797

    • DR

      This has all been so thoroughly debunked that it’s not even worth clicking on the link.

      • Tyrannus Evsiceratus

        Seemed a little to good to be true for $28.95.

      • Tim

        Actually even his critics applaud his scriptural work. He has not been debunked in any way shape or form. His work is so strong that the other side has tried unsuccessfully to discredit him.

        I challenge you to read it for yourself and formulate an intelligent response if you can.

        • http://www.truthwinsout.org Evan Hurst

          Actually, Gagnon’s critics do not applaud his work. Human jokes like Peter LaBarbera SAY that Gagnon’s critics applaud his work. This is their feeble attempt at having a respected theologian among their ranks.

        • DR

          He’s been completely debunked by his detractors and his critics are not at all respectful of his work.

    • Matthew Tweedell

      “The authority on the bible and homosexuality is” God.

      But, granting Gagnon a measure of credibility, then whatsoever elements of the Bible upon which he must rely may be accounted, as Dan Savage would put it, bullshit. So go ahead and eviscerate the intestines in which such crap is found. You don’t actually think you need ink scribblings and parchment to let you know the truth, do you? Go ask God about it. If you’re really looking for truth, you will find it, for it fills all things. (Yes, even the bullshit, if we would not judge it by mere appearances.)

    • Leslie Marbach

      The authority on the bible and homosexuality is John Shore. If you want to know what the bible really says read his book, “Unfair: Why the ‘Christian’ View of Gays Doesn’t Work.”

      http://www.amazon.com/dp/1467950424/?tag=johnshorebook-20

    • Randy E King

      The word “Homosexual” was coined in 1887 in Germany by one person as a discriptive of a new construct; exclusively same gender sexual relations. The Bible says nothing of “Homosexuals” because they did not exist and do not exist today; in that there is still not universally accepted definition.

      A recent – Nov 2011 – finding from the 1st Circuit noted that the plaitiffs own expert witnesses could not even agree on the definitions of the words Homosexual, Lesbian. Gay, Identity, or Orientation. These miscreants may as well call themselves Goony-Ga-Ga’s for all the good it does.

  • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

    Y’know, it would be nice if people actually read the Bible before commenting on it…

    In Exodus 19: 3-6 (KJV) we have the following:

    And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

    This is the set-up to the Decalogue, a.k.a. The Ten Commandments.

    Only they’re not commandments, they’re stipulations in a contract. God is telling Moses that if Israel — not the whole world, just the descendants of Jacob — will do the ten things God asks (or rather, refrain from doing certain things), then God will be their God and look after them. If they refuse to do those things (and they did), God would remove His protection from them (which happened).

    All the laws that sprang up out of these ten maxims (or sayings or words; the Hebrew can be translated a couple of different ways) came from Moses, a man with pretty obvious deep-rooted anger issues. None of those laws apply to Gentiles (i.e., non-Israelites). They are there purely for the benefit of the children of Israel (i.e., descendants of Jacob) and have no authority or jurisdiction over Gentiles, even if those Gentiles are followers of God.

    While there is much for Christians to learn from & be inspired by in the Old Testament, none of it has any moral or legal authority over us. Both Christ and Paul indicated this. Rather, we are living under a new commandment, to love one another the way Christ loved us.

    …and we can’t even seem to get that right…

    • Tyrannus Evsiceratus

      I totally agree with all that except Romans, Timothy, and Corinthians all warn against homosexuality. Those verses are in the new testament not the old testament.

      Why would two thousand years ago when no one so far in history had condemned homosexuality would the 1st century rabbis be hey lets misinterpret what Jesus said in order to keep gays down for two thousand years. They wouldn’t have had a reason to hate gays in the 1st century no one was influencing them.

      People are acting like the religious right in a fit of cruelty suddenly reinterpreted all the scriptures to block gay marriage.

      The scripture are still the same it is society that has changed.

      • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

        Romans warns against gossiping, too, TE; in fact calls it just as bad as homosexual prostitution (which is apparently what Paul was referring to).

        Here’s the list of no-nos listed in Romans 19:

        Homosexual prostitution

        Filled with all unrighteousness

        Fornication (sex outside of marriage, specifically straight prostitution)

        Wickedness (kinda vague, but we’ll go with it)

        Covetousness

        Maliciousness (also kinda vague)

        Full of envy (see covetousness)

        Murder

        Debate (hey, waidaminnit…)

        Deceit

        Malignity

        Whisperers (i.e., gossips)

        Backbiters

        Haters of God

        Despiteful

        Proud

        Boasters

        Inventors of evil things (apparently the military-industrial complex is getting front row seats in Hades)

        Disobedient to parents

        Without understanding

        Covenantbreakers

        Without natural affection (i.e, unkind, tho perhaps could be referring to sociopaths)

        Implacable

        Unmerciful

        Paul then caps this laundry list with Romans 20:1 “Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.”

        • Tyrannus Evsiceratus

          All of those things are in the bible and it shows we are all sinners and that we all need to ask forgiveness.

          I don’t claim to be without sin no man or woman can.

          But are we allowed to throw parts of the bible out and say that part doesn’t count? Those listed sins are less important than the ones writted by Timothy.

          Dan Savage seems to say while since we all gossip we should just not count the sins around it. I am saying we should ask forgiveness for gossiping and all the sins around it.

          When you start picking and choosing where do you start and where do you stop?

          • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

            Both the OT and the NT say that OT Levitical laws do not apply to non-Israelites.

            Period.

            End. Of. Dis. Cussion.

            Christ did say God created males and females and intended for marriage to be the union of one man and one woman. However, God did not specifically forbid or punish Abraham, Jacob, Moses, David, or Solomon for having multiple wives / concubines.

            Hence, God is not a stickler for sexual details.

            Christ taught that it is better not to marry and to devote one’s life to God, but that if one felt sexual desire one should marry rather than be consumed by unrequited lust. He also said — and this is REAL important — not all people are born with “normal” sexual desires. Some are born “eunuchs” which in context means they lack any sexual desire.

            Hence, if one can be born straight and if one can be born asexual, it stands to reasons that one may be born gay as well.

            The NT pretty explicitly states God sees no difference between male and female, Jew and Gentile, slave and free. If God sees no difference, then we should see no difference.

            Hence, either God willfully decides prior to one’s conception what one’s sexual orientation will be, in which case who are we to question His judgment if He wants a certain person to have a same sex orientation or not; or it’s such a trivial random factor that it just doesn’t matter to Him.

          • Treemeister

            Classic example of “rationalizing” the behavior that you ultimately prefer.

          • Allie

            Actually it was Paul, not Christ, who said a lot of what you’re attributing to Christ.

          • Soulmentor

            *****When you start picking and choosing where do you start and where do you stop?*****

            Good question. Where indeed do you stop? Slavery? Women speaking in church? Stoning adulterers and recalcitrant children? Killing every living thing in a country God tells you to destroy? Eating shrimp? Wearing clergy vestments of different materials?

            Where have YOU stopped, Tyrannus? You might be smart to stop using your ironically appropriate moniker.

          • Tyrannus Evisceratus

            lol its imperial gothic from warhammer 40k nothing ironic about it.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            But Gothic is a Germanic language, and this is clearly Latin, with the first word from Greek “tyrannos”, from which we get the English “tyrant”, and the second related to the English word “eviscerate”, which means to remove the guts from something. The irony referring to your allegedly doing this with Bible and, like a tyrant, on the basis of your own authority.

          • Soulmentor

            It wasn’t meant to be humorous. You either missed my point or ignored it. Either way, your response is disingenuous.

            And WHAT?! A good Christian like you familiar with violent computer war games?!!! Help us all resolve that apparent conflict.

      • Soulmentor

        *****The scripture are still the same it is society that has changed.******

        Good Lord! You could not be more wrong. Scripture has done little BUT change over the centuries. I don’t have the time or patience to really get started on that but will make just one relatively recent example. There is a Bible version (read:translation) that has changed the King James word “effeminate” to “homosexual”. Is it really necessary to explain what’s so obviously wrong with that? And the various Bible “versions” (the Catholics even have one with a book not found in others) are replete with such changes. Indeed, the very word used to describe Bibles as “versions” or “translations” clearly indicates CHANGES!!!

        How in God’s name do “bible believing” christians rationalize that reality to pontificate about “the unchanging Word of God?

    • Randy E King

      When Jesus was asked if the laws of Moses no longer aplied he replied that the laws of Moses mean more now than ever; I am here to fulfill those laws. Jesus offers a path to forgiveness; not absolution.

      Repent and Sin no more.

      • Melody

        Get lost and come here no more. Bigot.

  • Soulmentor

    Will everyone please STOP USING THE WORD “HATE” SO CARELESSLY?!! It does not help any discussion of the gay issue to use it as injudiciously as it is currently being used.

    Hate is a conscious emotional response to something. Expressions of disapproval prompted by religious ignorance are not “hate”. My evangelical type sister is the kind of “christian” we could be talking about but she is definitely not hateful and would be deeply hurt by being so labeled.

    Just as such Christians need to know and seek to understand gays, so do those of us who use the word “hate” carelessly need to know and understand gay-disapproving Christians. They are very wrong in their traditional religious approach to this issue and culpable in the social response to gays, and they may indeed be fearful, but most do not HATE. To throw HATE at them merely perplexes them and causes them to be defensive, which obviously will not move the discussion in rational directions.

    • Matthew Tweedell

      Great point, Soulmentor!

    • Tim

      In between some fallacies you make a good point. There is no hating happening and saying it only continues to polarize.

      • Soulmentor

        Do not even TRY to find common ground with me as long as you give with one hand and take with another. And I totally disagree with your last sentence. There IS some real hate toward gays out there and it all leads back to the silent permission that is given to it by the pervasive anti-gay “christian” attitude toward gays. Christian silence in the face of anti-gay verbal violence and harassment is unforgivably culpable in that and the resultant physical anti-gay violence.

        The “fear of the gay” defense attempt didn’t cut it for the boys who brutally murdered Matthew Shepard. Their actions had morphed from simple learned prejudice to sheer evil hatred.

        The irony is that by now they may even be starting to like what they so feared from Matthew.

      • DR

        Yeah, those Christians. Eating up those gay kids? Murdering them? Shouting “faggot” at a stoplight ? Just happened today with a gs co-worker who was screamed at by a guy driving a car with a Christian fish on it). That’s all done out of love, no hate there at a. Let’s just stay focused on the other examples , right? These are just “unfortunate exceptions”. That’s the party line, right Tim?

        • Randy E King

          Religion is as immutable as Race and Gender under the United States Constitution which recogizes that the right of conscience and free exercise thereof is, in fact, who a person is.

          The fact that you miscreants are completley dependent upon the bastardization of the English language just ot lend an appearance of acceptability to your proclivity speaks to your complete lack of credibility. There is no such thing as a “Gay People” and you folks cannot even agree on the definitions of the words you use in defense of your depravity.

          • Melody

            Randy, are you referring to DR and the majority of the readers here? If so, newsflash: you’re in denial. If you don’t believe there are “Gay” people, then you, my friend, have had your head in the sand for years. You can make an alternative reality in your head if you want, but don’t expect any rational person to give you credibility (to use your own words). Time to wake up and face reality. Only a truly depraved person would deny basic rights to all people, regardless their sexuality.

  • Sharon

    While I disagree with “Tim” about homosexuality being sinful and a choice, I do agree that Dan does himself and his listeners a disservice by viewing those Bible verses alone. Jesus and others in the NT add breadth to this message that leaves us understanding it in a whole new way. If the message of the Bible were really what Dan is sharing there wouldn’t be many Christians today.

    Dan and a lot of “Christians” are reading those scriptures in the same way. The difference is that Dan rejects them and Christianity too while those “Christians” embrace them and then distort Christianity into a religion that encourages cruelty.

    Jesus brings the Good News!

    Slavery and abuse of our fellow human beings isn’t good news and isn’t Christian and it isn’t Biblical.

    Love and peace,

    Sharon

    • Lymis

      If you are at all familiar with Dan’s work, he most definitely doesn’t look at those Bible verses alone. But your view that the Bible and Christianity are far more than just those specific verses is right in line with what he was saying.

      His point was that people are able to see that added breadth on just about every topic outside of homosexuality. Dan may reject Christianity as an atheist, but it’s a severe mischaracterization of his views to imply that the verses he cites are the foundation of his disbelief.

      In fact, it’s a pretty severe mischaracterization to claim that what Dan says in this clip even reflects his own personal beliefs, beyond his stated right to defend himself against attacks from others, and that he clearly doesn’t believe in Biblical inerrency. He says that people who claim the Bible forces them to attack gay people are hypocrites unless they follow all these other things too.

      A devout Christian could say the same things. And many do.

      • Sharon

        Well, I’m sorry I wasn’t addressing the whole of Dan’s work or defining the whole of his reasons for rejecting Christianity.

        I was only talking about the content of this video, which I thought was the topic of this conversation.

        I will say that “His point was that people are able to see that added breadth on just about every topic outside of homosexuality.” Really limits the group called “people.”

        So many Christians and others include homosexuality in this grace filled breadth. Why do you think that blogs like this one are popping up all over. It’s because Christians do this thing you and Dan say people don’t do. Why do you think denomination after denomination are making strong statements including homosexuals, even those not celibate, in ordination and leadership?

        It’s because people, even Christian people do this. God loves you, Jesus loves you, we know that!

        I’m sorry that those Christians who don’t get it are so cruel. But please don’t lump everyone who uses the name of Christ in that. You don’t like sweeping statements, please don’t use them on us.

        Something you know about this day of media is that the grossest wheel gets the grease. That’s why the masses think that all Muslims are terrorists, all gays are outrageous, scary people on parade floats, and all Christians are like Pat Robertson and Rick Santorum.

        Let me tell you something, those guys never came to my church and they wouldn’t like it much if they did. Churches like mine aren’t in the media, but we are still a majority among Christians.

        I’m sorry you’ve been hurt, but it wasn’t by people who were following the teachings of Christ.

        Love, really.

        Sharon

        • Matthew Tweedell

          So, could you help get the rest of the silent majority to sign the petition, the link to which you can find at the top of this page, rightmost column, so that we can prove it?

          • Diana A.

            This, indeed!

          • Sharon

            I’m doing what I can!

        • Robin

          Thanks Sharon! I would love your church I am most certain!

          • Sharon

            Robin, there are a lot of great churches out there. You can’t choose strictly by denomination as within each you will find a range. But Episcopal, ELCA Lutheran, UCC United Church of Christ, American Baptist, and PCUSA Presbyterian have all made statements welcoming the ordination of gay people, even if not celibate. The United Methodists are in discussions now. Some of these denominations are in the process of splitting over it. That’s sad, but it’s got a good side too.

            For example, if you are considering a Presbyterian Church ask if they are PCUSA , if not they are probably not very gay friendly. If they are, ask if they are part of the “Fellowship” If they are, leave. That is the group started as a rejection of gay ordination.

            I don’t know the details about the other denoms. but many some Lutherans and Episcopalians can help us out.

            Sharon

          • DR

            You’re being very defensive. It’s not helping move anything forward, particularly those of us in Christianity who are committed to stopping this damage. Insisting that people pay attention to us *good* Christians is making the issue about us when ultimately, we’re not *good* until we’ve stopped this abusive evil in our own Churches. To ask people to pay attention to the good that is happening is natural but it’s actually detrimental. Please consider that seriously.

        • Lymis

          Sharon,

          I’m pretty sure I understand what you think you are doing. If this is your usual approach, you may want to rethink it.

          Just this specific post – your focus is entirely on your feeling wronged that the people who have been hurt by Christians aren’t being sufficiently nuanced and giving you a personal pass. And attacking me for making sweeping statements I was very careful not to make.

          I wonder if you can see how much the way you said what you said contributes to the very problem. This post of yours has nothing to do with the mistreatment of gay people, and everything to do with setting as the first priority that the wrong people don’t get the blame.

          Instead of focusing first on making sure that the people who have been hurt understand where to put the blame (and thereby contributing further to the hurt), perhaps you could shift your focus to actually stopping the hurt that is being caused.

        • kait

          Sharon,

          In addition to agreeing with what Lymis said in comments both above and below, your complaint, “but we aren’t all like that,” has been addressed by Dan more than once. His response in a nutshell is always, “I know. Don’t tell me, I know all Christians aren’t like that.” But he goes on to make the point that the squeaky-wheel-gets-the-grease just is not an acceptable response–not only for gay people, but for Christians who “aren’t like that.” And I actually think that’s kind of an important point for all kinds of people of faith. It is not okay that members of designated hate groups now represent people of faith on media news shows, precisely because they do not represent either an accurate picture of all Christians, or of Christianity. Yet the outcry of wounded Christians never seems to be directed at these Christian hate group members–and Pat Robertson is about the most benign of the examples you could have given–but rather always at those who do have the strength, honesty, and courage to call them out. Why aren’t Christians who “aren’t like that” offended, hurt, and up in arms that their faith is being so publicly and so frequently usurped by extremists voices who claim to represent not only all “true” Christians, but even worse, the ultimate Truth?

          Still, the larger point stands, and I would ask that you as a faithful person, consider it: this is a civil rights, a human rights issue. This is an issue where people get much more than offended feelings. They get everything from discrimination, to homelessness, to injury and death. From my own personal perspective, I believe that the ultimately self-sacrificing Jesus would (as He consistently did by example, and in his teachings) have kept the focus on this.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dkwells Diana Wells Miller via Facebook

    I followed a couple of the links to the fox news-related criticisms of Dan and stupidly browsed through some of the comments. In the span of just a few minutes, I learned that slavery was a blessing for black people because they otherwise would have been wiped out but instead were saved so they could eventually live in the greatest country in the world. That’s because without slavery, you get genocide. Also, the fact that all gay men are pedophiles can be proven by looking at the ancient Greeks. I died a little inside.

    • Lymis

      Cool how the Bible is all about African-American slavery in the US south, rather than, about Hebrew, Greek, or Roman slavery, eh? Such forward thinking writers!

      • Mindy

        LOL!! Exactly.

    • Gordon

      The one time I had the guts to tell my father about what was happening to me at school, he said that I needed to learn how to defend myself and ultimately it would make me stronger. Diana, I died a little inside that day too. Fox News is the poster child for what it means to be a bully.

    • LSS

      Last time i checked, Africa wasn’t very empty.

  • Mindy

    Tim, Tim, Tim. Please, if you are going to jump in with such a thing, do show us where one single critic of Gagnon’s work lauds him. Not where someone says that someone praises him, but where a real person, a respected theological scholar who criticizes Gagnon, then turns around and praises his scriptural work. He is so full of BS that listening to him is downright painful.

    • Mindy

      This wound up in the wrong spot for some reason – should be a response to Tim a few posts back singing the praises of Robert Gagnon. Ick.

    • Tim

      Sure Mindy. Over at Tony Jones blog there were a series of posts about the book. There were many disagreements on some of Gagnons secondary and tertiary conclusions but as to his work with biblical text no one could refute him and many, even though they ultimately disagreed with him for different reason, why begrudgingly acknowledged his very fine scholarly work.

      I suggest that people read the book so that they can accurately and intelligently offer an opinion themselves instead of simply relying on someone else’s assertions or criticisms.

  • http://www.facebook.com/aimsme Amy Rawe via Facebook

    See, I really don’t like Dan Savage, but that’s because he was an utter jackass to a rape victim who wrote to him asking for advice, and because he’s said things that are racist and bi/trans/fatphobic. These are legitimate reasons to dislike him. The fact that he swears and calls mainstream Christianity out on its bullshit is not.

  • Tyrannus Evisceratus

    I need time to think on what we have talked about here. I won’t be back soon.

    • Mindy

      Thanks for letting us know.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JohnShoreFans John Shore via Facebook

    I find it really hard to believe that Dan was ever a jackass to a rape victim who wrote him for advice—for starters. That’s just not who he is, at all. Link, perhaps?

  • Lymis

    You know something that fascinates me? Doesn’t surprise me, but fascinates me?

    Hundreds of comments here, and hundreds more on other sites, and I’ve yet to see a single post from anyone saying “Yes, I agree that Dan Savage is right that the Bible got slavery, menstruation, and shellfish wrong, but the opposition to equal rights for gay people and the opposition to anti-bullying laws aren’t based just on a few texts from the Bible – here is my well-reasoned and logically thought-out justification for disapproving of treating gay people under the law the same way we treat people of other religions or who make other sexual choices we disapprove of.”

    Not a peep. It’s all about how offensive Dan was, without saying precisely why, or simple reiteration of the Bible quotes, or even non-sequiturs like the fact that straight marriage is a good thing. Or deflection that ‘nyah, nyah, see, he’s bullying these kids” which is transparently grasping for desperate straws.

    You can make a purely secular argument for criminalizing murder, or child abuse, or bearing false witness in legal cases.

    There IS no justification for secular discrimination against gay people, and in 51 years of being gay, I’ve yet to hear one, and this brouhaha is no different. Even here, nobody will even say what it is that Dan got wrong, just that it is a given that he is.

    More proof that they’ve got nothing but bigotry.

    • Sharon

      Read my comment I don’t say it exactly like you wish, but I did get the jist of it.

      Sharon

      • Lymis

        Honestly, no you didn’t. Your post didn’t even try.

        I know that you feel you are a supporter of LGBT people in some form, and that’s wonderful if it’s true.

        But your post wasn’t about setting aside the literal text of the Bible and making a case for or against the equal treatment of gay people using the same kind of principled argument we use about other moral issues when it is time to pass laws about them.

        Your post was, pure and simple, all about “not all Christians are like that.” Condemning Dan for actually saying what people get wrong, and claiming that he said all Christians think so, when even in this clip, he specifically says otherwise.

        I appreciate your support, but if your focus really is on making sure that gay people don’t blame all Christians for hurting them rather than making sure that all Christians actually stop hurting people, your aim is off.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JohnShoreFans John Shore via Facebook

    YIKES! That’s so … beyond comment. (Though I certainly liked yours at the end there, Diana. I mean, you know. Sort of.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/aimsme Amy Rawe via Facebook
    • Kathleen

      As a woman and a survivor, I simply do not agree with your characterization of Dan’s comments.

  • Ryan Collins via Facebook

    yeah, so I read through Amy’s link and the post it originated from. Sorry, I have to agree with Dan. She was in an open marriage and was raped by a former lover. Now she claims she can’t have sex with her husband because of the rape and the reactions that are triggered but that sex with her boyfriend feels both safe and has actually improved. Next on Jerry Springer, two brothers find out that they have been married to the same person for ten years.

  • Ryan Collins via Facebook

    But maybe a little less harsh, a marriage tends to exist for either a love contract or a business contract. It sounds like her husband wants to be the primary support system for her in both emotion and sex, but she is not reciprocating that. She needs to figure out what kind of marriage she wants and if her husband is the right man for that.

  • Tyrannus Evisceratus

    I know I said I wouldn’t be back soon, but I figured it out. My false name means prince of evisceration. Rather fearsome, but the setting I pulled it out of is a dark and fearsome place.

    Also I came to 3 important conclusions.

    1. The most important is on whether gay marriage is right or wrong. I thought about it after visiting this site especially after DR asked some tough questions about how I discovered I was straight. I had always assumed that gay marriage was wrong, because the bible said so, but people were pulling out some rather ambiguous scriptures to defend that argument. Then other people were pointing out that we don’t follow other rules from the bible, and I was conflicted how can I justify lying, but condemn gay marriage. Mostly I kept asking myself why is this important now? Why is God asking me to choose right now and why aren’t these scriptures clearer? Then the answer came God never asked me to choose. The only people who are asking me to choose are men like myself. I am not required to answer to men only Jesus Christ who all men answer to. I realized that the decision isn’t one I am required to make. The only people who need to make this decision are gay. They have to decide if what they are doing is wrong not me and they have to choose whether to ask for forgiveness or not. It is their soul not mine. As I was telling DR when she said I was interfering with God’s reconciliation with his gay children that no man can disrupt another man’s personal connection to God even if he tried. That connection is ours to establish and ours to let go of just as our sexuality is ours to establish and ours to let go of. People may be pushing political agendas right now, but since when is that a concern of Christians?

    2. I watched that Dan Savage video two more times and I got a strange feeling like I did the first time. Some people said it was fear or my pride being wounded although(pansy ass did wound my pride) that wasn’t the feeling. I have had my pride wounded I have felt fear this was different it was a sense of revulsion that left me hollow inside. Two words describe it false prophet. I had heard the words of a false prophet and it physically disgusted me. As people pointed out Dan Savage’s knowledge of scripture vastly exceeds my own just as the knowledge of scripture on this site vastly exceeds my own as I discovered when I tried to solo everyone with my what I now see as my half baked views. He could be saying gibberish and I would be none the wiser. All I had left to judge if he was worth listening to was his actions. All Christians can agree that actions should be judged on what would Jesus do. He did offend christians, but I cannot hold that against him as Jesus offended plenty of people in his travels. The thing is he didn’t stop there. He then shamed the Christians. Look at the faces on the people leaving the audience they are not thinking well I suppose I should be held responsible for how my beliefs affect others. They are ostracized from the rest of the group and ashamed of who they are. Jesus never did that. Well the man is imperfect as we all are no use holding that against him. The problem is he keeps going. He has won his critics are literally scattering before him, but he doesn’t stop. He makes jokes at their expense in order to get cheers from his remaining followers. Those kids are not cheering, because they agree with him they are cheering because Christians or maybe kids they don’t like that happen to be Christians are fleeing the scene obviously hurt. It is the same cheering you hear when a playground fight is going down. Hurting others to gain the approval of your followers that is a huge taboo for any Christian. The problem is he keeps going yes his final “pansy ass” remark he smiles during it. He is enjoying himself. He hurt others gained the respect of his followers while laughing. He knew what was going to happen in advance, because he planned his speech around it “you can send the bible kids back in I am done trashing the bible” basically he orchestrated everything. That is the exact opposite of what Jesus would do. It is so inimical to Christianity that the only person I can compare it to is you guessed Lucifer himself. Compare what happened in the garden of Eden to what happened in that Video. Lucifer fresh off his fall to earth discovers God’s two new creations adam and eve. He shames them leaving them utterly fallen from grace and then he goes back to the fallen angels in hell and brags about it to gain their approval while laughing. There is no remorse in either situation. What happened in that video was no Christian deed.

    3. Finally Dan Savage tells us that the bible is “bullshit”, because it didn’t adress societal injustices to the level of satisfaction that we require today. He says it messed up slavery, equality, and homosexuality. We know that Slavery is wrong, equality is good, and that gay marriage should be allowed, because……

    That is what we learned growing up. That is the reason. Our society holds those values dear and they are constantly in flux. Several years ago everyone knew gay marriage was wrong now everyone knows it is right imagine what we will know in a few more years. Dan Savage appeals to our pride that we know everything and that everyone else was wrong. Two thousand years of history are wrong and we know it because we are just that smart. Maybe we know these things are right and wrong, because our ancestors had to trial and error to pass us the morality that we do have? Maybe our advanced technology allows us to be more just and informed? Maybe slavery ended because we no longer needed a slave labor force to harvest crops with advanced farm machinery. No Dan Savage says we are that good just us not the bible. He is appealing to a sin our pride. Jesus never appealed to pride. He appealed to people’s compassion. He appealed to people’s morality and decency. He appealed to his own authority as the son of God, but he never appealed to people’s base instincts, because he didn’t need to.

    If you need to ask whose teaching you should be following. Follow the new testament not men who make gods of themselves with pride.

    • Matthew Tweedell

      “Look at the faces on the people leaving the audience they are not thinking well I suppose I should be held responsible for how my beliefs affect others. They are ostracized from the rest of the group and ashamed of who they are.”

      Look again. I think you might be projecting.

      “It is the same cheering you hear when a playground fight is going down.”

      Ok, so, Dan’s a fighter. Makes it kinda hard to use Scripture regarding “effeminacy” against him, doesn’t it? But I hope you do see that he’s not just going around picking fights over revering the Bible, but defending himself in a fight started by those who interpret the Bible as anti-gay. And it’s not like this sort of thing is peculiar to kids on the playground: ever been to hockey game? or a DNC/GOP convention?

      “He knew what was going to happen in advance, because he planned his speech around it ‘you can send the bible kids back in I am done trashing the bible’ basically he orchestrated everything.”

      I wouldn’t be so sure about that. That line seemed clearly ad-libbed to me.

      “We know that Slavery is wrong, equality is good, and that gay marriage should be allowed, because…… That is what we learned growing up. That is the reason.”

      No! It is because God shows us what is right and wrong—or tries to, anyway, though we can be rather blind sometimes. Are you saying that there is no absolute moral truth to be known? Are you saying there really is no God at all but you’ve chosen for yourself this God-of-convenience?

      “Maybe we know these things are right and wrong, because our ancestors had to trial and error to pass us the morality that we do have? Maybe our advanced technology allows us to be more just and informed? Maybe slavery ended because we no longer needed a slave labor force to harvest crops with advanced farm machinery. No Dan Savage says we are that good just us not the bible.”

      At first, you appear to be talking sense here, but then, I just don’t see where Dan Savage has disagreed with any of that actually.

      “If you need to ask whose teaching you should be following. Follow the new testament not men who make gods of themselves with pride.”

      Amen, brother.

      • Tyrannus Evisceratus

        The idea of an absolute moral truth is novel to me, and my ideas are rather close to moral relativism in hindsight.

        I don’t like the idea that people willfully blinded themselves to God’s will for two thousand years and that we are only now embracing it, but I suppose it is possible humans are stubborn if nothing else.

        The only thing to do is pray for wisdom it seems. Something we should all do more often.

    • Lymis

      It sounds as though you’ve had some breakthroughs, and thank you for being open to even the possibility that God may be speaking in ways you aren’ t used to.

      For what it’s worth, Dan Savage has already apologized for the “pansy-ass” remark, saying that it was taking things to an inappropriate personal level and name calling. He agrees with you, as far as that goes, that he went too far when he did so.

      I’d ask you to rethink your subsequent interpretation that his motivation was literally demonic and that he is the one who orchestrated the situation. I suspect you really have no idea what gay people go through at the hands of Christians, and the often daily pain and drain it has on our self-esteem and our tolerance for the hypocrisy of Christians who give themselves a pass for the most horrible behavior while condemning us simply for loving. Dan is a husband and a father, and his family is under constant attack. He feels very strongly that it is undeserved, and unchristian. And he can get on a roll and take things too far. He stands by everything he said about the Bible, but apologizes for saying personally hurtful things to high school students who probably don’t know any better.

      How many anti-gay Christian public figures would do the same? The stuff they say about gay people makes “pansy-ass” absolutely nothing in comparison. If Dan is demonic for saying that, what are they when they say that we are trying to bring about the end of civilization, attempting to destroy Christianity, and condemned to hell for eternity by definition? I’ve never seen one of them say that maybe they went too far and apologize for being hurtful, even when what they say causes a teenager to kill themselves.

      Please listen to the video again. Dan doesn’t say -ever- that “the Bible is bullshit.” What he says is that we’ve learned to overlook specific bullshit in the Bible. While you may not approve of the phrasing, you can’t disagree with the fact. There are things in the Bible that are absolutely clearly forbidden, like eating pork, and things that are absolutely required, like forcing a rape victim to marry her rapist and stoning children to death who curse their parents. We don’t believe God requires that any more, and we disagree strongly with anyone who says that God does. So we believe that parts of the Bible no longer apply. If all that is making you think that Dan Savage reminds you of a demon from hell is his choice of vocabulary – words these kids say and hear every single day – you might choose to rethink that.

      The overriding theme of Dan’s career body of work is that people need to dig inside themselves and find what works for them, and to be open and honest with the people closest to them about what that truth is. As opinionated as he often is, he makes a very, very, strong effort never to tell people what their own truth is supposed to be, but he will call them out when what they say they believe is clearly BS because it’s internally inconsistent. And that’s as true of religious belief as it is about politics or sexual identity and practice.

      He isn’t calling the Bible bullshit – he’s saying that it is bullshit to claim that it is mandatory to hurt other people purely because of what the Bible says, and then turn around and say that what the Bible says about something else doesn’t apply any more because times have changed and we have a new understanding. On every other issue, these people say “We have to balance what the Bible says with what we know about the world today and what other parts of the Bible and our religious and social history have taught us.” On homosexuality, and often on homosexuality alone, they say “The Bible says it, and that ends it, with no possibility of further discussion.”

      And that’s wrong. And saying so isn’t pride. It’s courage, and truthfulness. And making fun of high school kids who have bought a line of hypocrisy that people taught them is rude, and he apologized.

      But he’s sure as hell not the devil. Lucifer himself? Really? You’ve seen Lucifer give press conferences?

    • DR

      So you essentially made a decision based on how offended you got and based on a thin slice of Dan Savage, despite the hundreds of kids he’s saved ( that Christians like you could give a shit about because if you did, you would prioritize making sure they stay alive and get an added layer of support from you).

      And you can’t answer how and why someone becomes gay – by your own admission – but you call the guy who cls Christians out for our bullshit use of the Bible to make people feel like they are choosing being gay a false prophet.

      Your name is descriptive. Your positions are eviscerated when anyone adds a human litmus test. And then you disappear when it gets too scary for you. You’re no different from any other terrified and confused Christian who is more committed to staying right and in control vs. following Christ. The damage you do is for those of us who actually care about this community to clean up. We will continue to apologize upon your behalf and make amends. I will be here long after you are gone. And God have mercy on you for the destruction you cause and your cowardice that prevents you from truly examining it.

      • Tyrannus Evisceratus

        The problem is I am not judging him based on the video alone. I have read the links about him that people have posted, and they are all about the same thing.

        Dan Savage offends group of people. Now the group changes everytime Christian children, obese people, gay people, rape victims, transexuals(Dan Savage really hates those people) but the story stays the same Dan Savage said something and other people are hurting or angry or both.

        Either he can’t control what he says and he just says what he is thinking(like Joe Biden) or he is addicted to putting other people down so he feels better about himself (a bully).

        You might feel those links are wrong or that the author of them is biased, but I have made my decision on the man. Your view of him is your own to form and keep.

        You are right when you say you will be a follower of this blog a lot longer than I will be since my days of traveling through blogs like this are pretty much at an end. I have been banned from 2 blogs now(both about patriarchal oppression of women) now I do not consider myself a troll since the arguments I put out may be wrong according to the blog I post on but they are legitimately what I believe. I will be exiling myself from this blog.

        None of the blogs ever changed my mind about anything until I came to this one. This worries me since I used to be uncompromising in my beliefs, and now I am on shaky ground. Maybe the pope will make a papal decree and I can put this issue behind me. Right now I am leaving the issue up to the individuals themselves to decide if what they are doing is right or wrong.

        You seem to be holding gay suicides against me and presumably the religious right. Suicide is a terrible tragedy since the life God gives us is not ours to end when we please(I am supportive of family members ending the lives of those in pain or who are no longer sentient(in a coma).

        The thing is that is again individual decision. No one can force someone to kill themselves if they did it would be murder not suicide. We all have to choose life over death.

        You are mad at me and other like me, but you need to be mad at those who chose to end their own lives as their parents are. I have never heard the parents of a suicide victim blame anyone else besides their child or themselves.

        God willing the individuals go to purgatory or are given another chance to choose life over death.

        • Tyrannus Evisceratus

          I read Allie’s comment she had good points about Dan Savage being forced into tight spots and growing up in a different time.

    • Allie

      God bless and keep you. It’s clear you are trying, and that counts for a lot. I’m going to answer your second point by asking to look at a psalm, Psalm 137.

      By the waters of Babylon,

      there we sat down and wept,

      when we remembered Zion.

      On the willows there

      we hung up our lyres.

      For there our captors

      required of us songs,

      and our tormentors, mirth, saying,

      “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!”

      How shall we sing the LORD’s song

      in a foreign land?

      If I forget you, O Jerusalem,

      let my right hand forget its skill!

      Let my tongue stick to the roof of my mouth,

      if I do not remember you,

      if I do not set Jerusalem

      above my highest joy!

      Remember, O LORD, against the Edomites

      the day of Jerusalem,

      how they said, “Lay it bare, lay it bare,

      down to its foundations!”

      O daughter of Babylon, doomed to be destroyed,

      blessed shall he be who repays you

      with what you have done to us!

      Blessed shall he be who takes your little ones

      and dashes them against the rock!

      Here we have a story: the people of a conquered city are led off into slavery in a strange land, and their captors demand that they entertain them by singing songs from their homeland. No doubt the captives did as they were asked to, but later, and in private, the captive songwriter responds by creating this song/poem cursing the captors and wishing death on their children. It’s grim and utterly believable – who could blame the writer for a heartbeat for feeling as he does?

      Do we, as Christians reading this, respond by thinking that God really will bless anyone who smacks an Edomite baby’s brains out against a rock? I don’t think so. Neither do I think that the psalm is awful and of an earlier time and should be disregarded. The feelings it describes are not old fashioned feelings – go to any comments section about a crime and you can see people wishing death in the ugliest terms against the criminals. There was a woman recently who killed a pregnant woman and stole her child, and the comments section had a lady say that she deserved to have her own two children murdered in front of her.

      That’s not a very Christian thought. But it is Christian to understand where she’s coming from, and why she would say that. The lady who said that wasn’t a devil, she wasn’t “Of Lucifer,” she was someone who feels helpless and outraged about a terrible crime.

      Do you see where I’m going here? Dan’s not a bad guy. He’s a very good guy. He’s fighting for people who need his help. Does he enjoy the smackdown perhaps more than a perfect person should? Well… I don’t know anyone living who doesn’t get at least a tiny little rush out of watching bad guys get their comeuppance. It’s really really hard to be someone who fights evil, day in and day out, without also being the kind of person who enjoys fighting.

      He has been wronged, a lot. This is not some theoretical problem to him: he is an adult gay man (which means he grew up during a time period when persecution was even worse than it is today) who is also a father, and a public figure, and someone who reads letters from other gay people. He has had a LOT of shit thrown at him, and he has seen a lot of shit thrown at other people. And he is still in there, fighting. He doesn’t have to do that. It would be much easier for him to use his enormous writing talent doing something that didn’t make him a target. But he is doing it. I want you to think about that, and think about the respect that you owe to a person like that.

      • vj

        [This is slightly off topic]

        Allie, thanks so much for sharing this Psalm, and your insights. I had a situation a year and a half ago that resulted in me confronting the reality that I couldn’t find it in me to wish for the health of a pre-term infant (who is now absolutely fine). How could I be such a terrible person? It was shocking and distressing to me that I was so overwhelmed by negative emotions! For 2 weeks I basically cried myself to sleep every night. There is a long and complex back-story, involving the infant’s mother and a very dear friend of mine, and I was so utterly outraged at the unfairness of the whole thing. My head knew that I was being ridiculous, but my heart was in turmoil. Somehow God got through to me and healed my pain, and of course *now* I’m delighted that the child is fine, but I can totally relate to the despair expressed in this Psalm, and the desire to hit back at their oppressors in the most hurtful way possible….

      • Tyrannus Evisceratus

        Thank you for your blessing. I will keep what you said about Dan’s struggles in mind.

    • http://kellythinkstoomuch.wordpress.com KellyK

      The only people who are asking me to choose are men like myself. I am not required to answer to men only Jesus Christ who all men answer to. I realized that the decision isn’t one I am required to make. The only people who need to make this decision are gay. They have to decide if what they are doing is wrong not me and they have to choose whether to ask for forgiveness or not. It is their soul not mine.

      This is good. Other people already talked about the stuff you said that is still really problematic, but this is awesome. I’ve been in kind of the same spot where you are. It’s hard to try to rethink things you’ve been taught since forever. And it’s even harder to admit that not only do you not have all the answers, but you’re probably never going to, and there are answers that really aren’t yours to get.

      Our first job as Christians is to love people as Christ loved them. Help them, care about them, listen to them. “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:5 Not “because you know all the answers” or “because you win arguments” but “if you love one another.”

      Another thing to remember is that we are taught, as Christians (at least in evangelical and pentecostal circles–I can’t speak for other denominations) to believe that we are persecuted. We’re not persecuted. We’re in the majority, and in practice we have more religious freedom than minority religions or non-religious people. It goes back to what DR said about privilege. We expect our views to be treated with respect that isn’t shown to other beliefs, and we feel that we’re bullied and persecuted if someone even argues with us. I feel persecuted and bullied too, when someone disrespects the Bible, or Christ. But I’m not. I’m upset, but that’s all. If I lost my job because of my faith, or was thrown out of an apartment, or beaten up, that would be bullying. And that happens to gay people all the time. (Incidentally, it happens to minority religions too. If you think Christians are bullied, listen to a Wiccan or other variety of pagan about their experiences some time.)

      To bully someone, you have to have power over them. Maybe it comes from being bigger and stronger, maybe from having them outnumbered, maybe from knowing that you can get away with whatever you want to do. But without a power imbalance, there’s no bullying. I don’t think those kids were bullied. I think some of them may have felt sincerely hurt, rather than offended and self-righteous, but that doesn’t mean they were bullied.

    • LSS

      they’re smirking. i don’t remember smirking when i was bullied in school. they don’t look scared, horrified, blood drained out of them in terror… anything like that.

      he called them a mean name, for a cheap laugh, and he later apologized for that part, publicly, online.

      he didn’t say the Bible was Bullshit. he said there was Bullshit in the Bible. that’s different: like if one of your hairs fell into your spaghetti and you took it out and finished eating the spaghetti, vs. eating a plate of hair.

      also, who is the “we” that needed a slave labour force? it seems like you don’t even include the Black people in your “we” for this country. i guess i see why because you imply that you think all this progress stuff is kind of silly.

      i have no idea if Dan Savage is a nice person, i’m just judging what i saw in this one video.

      i think you saw a different video.

      in the video i saw, he was calling out a big and very current mistake in the church. i think we can take truth as useful, no matter who it comes from.

  • Ted Seeber

    “Besides the fact that he was raised in a devoutly Catholic home”

    No he wasn’t. He was raised in a heterodox home by a mother who was for married, female, and homosexual priests.

    • Lymis

      That means she wasn’t devout? You can’t have a deep, real, and meaningful relationship with God if you feel that your denomination is too restrictive in who they allow to be at the altar?

    • ST

      His mother didn’t hold those beliefs when he was growing up.

  • http://www.facebook.com/dkwells Diana Wells Miller via Facebook

    I don’t understand how Dan saying he hoped she pursued justice against the rapist was telling her what to do. My interpretation of his response is that he hopes the rapist gets the justice he deserves and that while she needs to heal from the rape, having sex with the boyfriend without her husband’s consent isn’t the appropriate way to go about the healing process.

  • Robin

    Dan Savage was inappropriate. His point is valid, but the way he presented it was not. These are high school kids, and he was inappropriate. Belittling anyone is not acceptable. This is like the kid pointing fingers and saying “he did it first”, as if that excuses the behavior. Instead of people focusing on his point, they are focused instead on his superior, arrogant behavior. It is the very reason so many folks are turned off by Christians who act that way. Again, his point is very valid but gets lost in the crappy way he presents it. Personally I am really tired of all of the demagogues blowing hot air for their own aggrandizement, all of them: Liberals, conservatives, religious, or non religious. It does nothing to improve the situation, open dialogue or bring valuable and needed change. All that happens is a loss of focus on the true issue, and uproar over the “controversy” and gives both sides something to be indignant about. One of my favorite passages from 1 Peter chapter 3: 13 – 16 “Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for doing what is right, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened. But in your heart set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who you meet the reason for the hope that is in you. BUT DO THIS WITH GENTLENESS AND RESPECT, keeping a clear conscience so that who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander.” A little humility goes a long way, I feel that Mr. Savage did more harm than good to a very real and valid concern.

    • DR

      During an intervention, family members at the end of their rope are brutally honest with how the addict’s behavior has impacted their life. They hold nothing back.

      Dan Savage – or any gay man or woman for that matter – owe us nothing. Those of you playing the “tone police” are actually demonstrating the tremendous privilege that we as Christians have enjoyed for years as we dominated the media, the educational system and the legal code. You insist to be spoken to kindly and respectfully or you dismiss the point at hand which is exactly what people of privilege get to do, they get to simply walk away if they are being spoken to in a tone that makes them uncomfortable.

      Now that privilege is gone (or it’s going). Anger is an activating agent and we have the honor of people like Dan Savage treating us like the grownups we are who are exercising our free speech in the ways that we do. He is no-holds barred. He is furious with us. He is sickened by us. He is frightened by us. And he SAYING so.

      Adults who are pursuing the real Truth of Christ will look past their injured and offended ego that demands people treat our religion respectfully and start listening to the pain, the fear and the grief in his words. You’ll look past it. Do it quickly. you’re running out of time.

      • Robin

        It’s not ego driven. I don’t care about being offended personally. It is driven by a frustration with a continued bitter and angry discourse that solves nothing but to incite the very people he wants to change. This kind of attitude is wrong, be it from Christians or anyone. I would, and do, say the same of Christians who behave this way. I despise what Christians have done in the name of Christ, and speak against it always. Name calling solves nothing but to distract from the truth of what he is saying. The real truth of Christ is to love, serve, lay down one’s life, sacrifice, forgive, heal, offer grace and speak the truth IN LOVE. Anger is valid. I get anger, I don’t get using it in a negative way to garner attention by belittling others. It doesn’t work in the long run, and centuries of hatred and bitterness – have shown us that. I feel that all people should be treated with kindness and respect, and that is how I try to act as a Christian. He has damaged his cause with his behavior, just as many, many Christians have with their inappropriate graceless behavior. One wrong does not justify another, all you get is a spiral of continued contention and bitterness.

        • DR

          Robin this isn’t personal. This is Christians demanding to be spoken to in a very specific way, or they will not listen. That’s demonstrative of a lack of emotional maturity and willingness to love people exactly where they are at.

          Anger is actually an activating agent and speaking the Truth in Love sometimes involves yelling and profanity. Conflict is extremely productive and when we are disturbed or unsettled, we start paying attention in a more specific way.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            Lord knows, DR, that I wouldn’t want to misdirect your ire unto myself, but, well, maybe you mean “can be”? That is, “Conflict *can be* extremely productive”?

            I say this mostly because I think it’s important to bear in mind that conflict is *not necessarily* productive. Hyperbole has its place, for sure, but I’m not sure what purpose it serves here, other than perhaps to make you come across as maybe a little extreme—as if you’re convinced the path of maximal conflict is always the most productive way of resolving any issue (though I don’t think anyone here will dispute that sometimes—maybe even pretty often—it is).

          • DR

            Those are good points Matthew, appreciate that edit. Good thoughts.

          • Soulmentor

            *****Hyperbole has its place, for sure, but I’m not sure what purpose it serves here, …..*****

            I know you are referring to the comments here, but let me redirect your comment to Dan’s comments. His anger, hyperbole if you will, seems to have indeed served a purpose rather stunningly. Look at all the controversy. It’s gone international for heaven’s sake. The subject of his presentation is getting discussed everywhere Christianity has influence with a focus on the gay social/religious issue. For that subject to be getting so much attention must surely be a problem for the anti-gay religious because discussion produces education and change, both of which are the bane of unexamined “faith” and anathema to the anti-gay religious.

            In that light, Dan’s language has served the pro-gay cause simply by getting it discussed more than it would have been if he had not used the language. Without that language, his talk would likely have not made a ripple anymore than locally. No doubt this uproar has surprised even him. He disturbed the well ordered beehive and it can never be reordered in the same way. I say good for that.

          • DR

            Yes. Exactly this. :D

          • Christy

            Yes. Good for that.

        • Allie

          Dude, he’s not a Christian. He’s in no way obligated to behave as you feel Christians should behave.

          But more than that, it borders on psychopathic to insist that victims of a crime should speak the truth in love to those who injured them.

          • DR

            Ahh. Sanity. (thank you)

          • Christy

            Bingo.

          • Tyrannus Evisceratus

            Wait he isn’t a Christian? I thought he identified as a gay Christian.

            It doesn’t really change my opinion on him, but it surprises me.

        • Christy

          I hear you, and mostly agree. I think his anger is justified. However, you do have to know your intended audience and any good debater knows you have to be able to communicate in ways that your audience can hear, in ways that will be persuasive to them. There is a time for anger. And a time for carefully nuanced conversations. This audience was not specifically religious, but a mixed group.

          • Soulmentor

            He held his audience just fine. Those that walked out were obviously intent on that in advance and are therefore actually quite unimportant. He held his REAL audience, which was most of those who attended. Yes, there is a time for anger and the walkouts prompted one of those times. Why should they have been permitted to make their point without a sharp rejoinder? There was no obligation on anyone’s part to play nice with them. They set the rules with their rudeness and didn’t get away with it.

          • Christy

            I’m not saying he didn’t hold his audience just fine. I’m agreeing with both you and Robin. *If* and *when* he chooses to engage Fundamentalist and Evangelical Conservative anti-gay Christians and they are his target audience and he hopes to actually persuasively achieve some movement from their current position….saying bullshit will not get their attention in the way one might hope to engage them. I have no issues with how he handled this journalism conference.

      • Kathleen

        Right on, DR!

      • Lymis

        DR, thank you so much for understanding and speaking out about this kind of attitude of privilege and what it leads to.

      • Tyrannus Evisceratus

        I think Christians need to defend our privilege against other groups. Now we can do that with the gay Christians or without them(its easier with more), but the day Christianity falls is the day the world falls. The bible is perfectly clear on that part. You seem to think it is too late to reclaim what we have had for centuries, but I think this is a rough spot and we will be back to our old spot soon. This gay marriage issue is somewhat sticky, but we will get past it(the public’s attention span is short).

        Some people like to say that day is far off or the Devil isn’t real, but that is wishful thinking.

        The rapture is coming.

        • Christy

          Re: “I think Christians need to defend our privilege”

          So you’re against equality? In America.

        • Christy

          Do they preach in your church that homosexuality in Roman society is what brought the fall of Rome? It’s a genuine question.

          • Tyrannus Evisceratus

            Rome was brought down by relying on Mercenary forces for its own defence. One of the reasons the United States refuses to use foreign Mercenaries in any of the wars we fight.

            Eventually mercenaries figure out its more profitable to fight the people who are paying them for their money than it is to fight other people and keep getting payed for it.

        • Melody

          Seriously? You’re saying Christians should be privileged above others? I don’t think so. We’re no better than any other religion or school of thought, given our history for the Crusades and other atrocities. That’s not okay, Tyrannus. Last I checked, the Bible said God gives opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. If you’re suggesting Christians are persecuted here, wrong again. You want persecution, go to the Middle East. We need to respect others, not act like martyrs when someone tells us not to shove oppressive beliefs down the world’s collective throats.

          • Tyrannus Evisceratus

            Ok think about who gains ground when we lose it.

            Those worshippers have to go somewhere.

            Do we let them turn to atheism

            Scientology

            Agnosticism

            Marxism

            Outright Satanism?

            These are people’s souls that are on the line.

            We can’t force them to join us, but we can try.

            Its not like we lose worshippers and they turn to other Christian denominations(that is still gaining ground). We lose them and they turn away from the light.

            If they go to a different religion that is ok too. Islam and Judaism are still worshipping the same God we are even though they have a different name for him.

          • Christy

            It’s not a zero sum game. And this: “Its not like we lose worshippers and they turn to other Christian denominations(that is still gaining ground). We lose them and they turn away from the light.” is not accurate.

            Latest research shows that evangelical youth are leaving the faith after college, but return to another Christian denomination once they start having children or later in life. I can’t speak to those leaving Catholicism. The spiritual but not religious crowd is also gaining steam.

            And, I have to give you credit, TE, I didn’t expect you to be so open to the other two Abrahamic faiths. That was a pleasant surprise.

        • Christy

          Re: “to reclaim what we have had for centuries”

          You mean our murderous, patriarchal, authoritarian, autocratic, oppressive convert or die unholy marriage with greed and Empire?

          Because that’s what it sounds like – the good ole days that you are pining for – and, by God, we will never let the faith return to that vile, Satanic period while we still breathe air.

          • Tyrannus Evisceratus

            You make Christianity sound so dark.

            I am not advocating for the return of the spanish inquisition here I am saying we need to restore the public’s faith in Christianity.

            They need to feel like we have the answers, that we are good people, that we are people worth trusting with their immortal souls.

            We need to become the absolute authority on morality again.

            Now maybe we will do that with our new gay christian friends or maybe that friendship isn’t gonna happen, but we need to stop being viewed as behind the times homophobics since that weakens all of the christian cause not just straight Christians.

            The debate is gonna rage for a while just like the temperance movement raged for a while, but after this issue is clarified and decided we can’t be seen as obsolete, because when that happens you won’t like whatever new thing comes to replace it I guarantee you.

          • Tyrannus Evisceratus

            When I say absolute authority on morality I don’t mean that in a opressive sense, but rather from an advertising perspective.

            People looking to buy a fast car buy the fastest car they can afford.

            People looking for spiritual guidance look to the authority on spiritual guidance. We should all be be pushing christianity as that authority just like Rabbis preach that Judaism is that Authority and Imams preach that Islam is that authority.

            Just wanted to clarify that since it sounded a little authoritarian when I reread it.

    • Lymis

      There’s something deeply ironic about your quoting Scripture to complain that the atheist didn’t present his points to your satisfaction.

      You are aware that Dan has already publicly apologized for calling the kids “pansy-assed” for walking out?

      Do you write these same complaints to the legislators, media pundits, and preachers out there saying far, far worse things about gay people?

      • Robin

        Yes, I do.

        • Lymis

          Then thank you. Keep that up. That’s the far more important hurdle. I appreciate your efforts in that direction.

    • LSS

      he apologized for the actual name-calling part.

      • Robin

        Glad to hear. Believe me, I care a lot about this issue, I abhor it when Christians say the things they do to homosexuals, or anyone different from what they deem “acceptable”. I do constantly put that message out there: love, compassion, servanthood, grace…I call these horrid people who call themselves Christians out on their crap. I just get so tired of the name calling, belittling behavior that is so endemic in our culture. ESPECIALLY from people who call themselves Christians, most of all the Christians. I guess I am mainly calling out Christians on their bad behavior. I just feel that this is an important message, and the behavior does not promote anything positive. I get the anger…but I just find belittling the wrong way to go about getting your message across.

        • DR

          Robin, you’re not entirely correct which is the point being made to you. .Some people actually *do* respond to being called a name like “coward” or “arrogant”. I was one of them and there are dozens on this for who would say that getting a full face of hurt, anger and rage (that may include some belittling) is exactly what woke them up.

          Totally understand the spirit of your intent. Your experience is not universal. Please. Policing tone gets irritating and unproductive very quickly. Thank you.

          • Diana A.

            I, on the other hand, tend to get even more stubborn when faced with disapproval by other people. I faced a lot of disapproval growing up, often times not even knowing exactly what I was doing “wrong.” Eventually, I developed a “screw you” kind of attitude. On the other hand, being treated kindly makes me feel obligated to respond with equal kindness. Also, I won’t willfully hurt someone I regard as being weaker than myself. So for some of us, kindness is more effective than name-calling or belittling.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Ashley-Cohea/100000024967834 Ashley Cohea via Facebook

    I think it was telling her she was “being a shit” and calling her cruel and heartless that got people upset. Open relationships are a tricky business and this issue happens a lot withou the added turmoil of sexual assault. Do I agree that she needs help? Yes. But would Dan’s advice have been the same and as harshly doled out if it had been masturbation and not another lover that her husband consented to that she preferred over sex with her husband and he was hurt and upset by it?

  • SquirrelyGirl

    Unfortunately the only local channel I could pick up on my way home from a long business trip today was airing Sean Hannity and they were debating this very thing. Hannity and some lady who proclaimed very loudly that she was a Christian screamed at one poor lady who was trying to make the same points John made, it did not turn out well for her. If I have ever heard “bullying” it was on that program. Once again I wanted to melt into my seat and was horribly ashamed to be considered in the same category of their word “Christian”.

    Why do they always have to bring Bill Maher up in every conversation about free speech? Last time I checked he is a comedian on HBO and does not profess to represent any religious view. But they harped on Bill Maher the entire time and never addressed the question on ‘journalism’ and I thought that was what this was about to begin with??? signed…continually confused….

    • Lymis

      Well, you can at least reassure yourself that they’ll probably leave Bill Maher out of future conversations. Next time, it will be all about Dan Savage.

  • wtll scarlet

    Satan and his servants will NOT appear to the majority of the world or “Church” as angels of darkness, but they will appear as angels of light, inasmuch as they will tell the people what they want to hear.

    “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths.”

    “So then, you will know them by their fruits.

    And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their deeds.”

    • http://kellythinkstoomuch.wordpress.com KellyK

      I think telling people “what they want to hear” applies to telling people that they’re free to treat LGBT people like second-class citizens, because they really are better than them. Telling bullies to keep bullying as long as they can justify it with religion is “tickling their ears.” So is telling people that they’re victimized if someone ever tells them a hard truth, like, oh, your stance on this issue is killing children, you may want to rethink it.

      • vj

        Exactly! We should certainly take heed of these warnings in Scripture, but we shouldn’t be too quick to assume that they are always referring to *others*…

    • Soulmentor

      So what is your point vis-a-vis Dan Savage?

      Yes, by their fruits you will know them. And what are the fruits of the socially pervasive religious anti-gay prejudice? You need only answer that question….HONESTLY……to know who the real angels of darkness are.

    • Tyrannus Evisceratus

      I like that he is worried about the coming of the anti christ like I am.

      Also it is good that he brings up that Satan isn’t gonna pop out of the ground looking like one of H.P. Lovecraft’s creations.

      I mean most people don’t like to live in constant paranoia, but it is good to have a plan in mind just in case.

      Hope that the rapture is a long ways off, but be ready if its tommorow.

  • Christy Caine via Facebook

    Dan’s in good company. Seems storming out when you hear something you don’t like, or someone challenges one’s genteel sensibilities about how the world works – no matter how true it is – is the cause celebre.

    http://www.thinkatheist.com/profiles/blogs/bill-nye-bood-in-texas-for/

    • LSS

      i wish they had spelled booed right in the headline. it’s a real verb, so you can treat it like one. i wouldn’t play grammar nazi, except it was actually confusing for more than half a moment.

      the story was disturbing for much longer, of course. i seriously thought *everybody* in the modern world knew that. even when my family was briefly into Geocentrism (yes, you read that right), we knew that the moon’s light was a reflection of the sun’s light.

    • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

      If the story is accurately reported, then Nye didn’t do his homework. The Hebrew word for sun and moon translated as “light” in KJV English is better translated as “luminary”. Among the ancient Hebrews, it apparently was immaterial whether it was an actual light source or merely one that reflected light. The idea that the verse refers to the moon as an originating source of light is relatively recent.

      His audience remains heavily populated w/idiots, however…

  • DR

    On an earlier thread, Tim talked about this not being about “hate”. Well here we have a gentleman who has identified himself as “Alex Wiles” who shows “how we do things here in North Carolina”.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVfgD66uqgM&list=UUtDRBBmTSRF7DwpdJXlwchw&index=1&feature=plcp

    How many violent, rage-fueled displays will it take until Tim and those of you who are in complete denial about the hostility toward gay men and women in the church will it take until you wake up?

  • timothy conard

    Seems to me Savage was being very biblical.

    He was doing unto them as they do unto others and giving them the measure that they have chosen.

    If they want to be loved and respected, first they need to love and respect…

  • Jeanette

    Good for Dan for having the COURAGE to say what a lot of us are thinking. Although I am a believer in Christ and God, I have NEVER taken every word in the Bible as absolute truth. To do so is madness. There is wisdom in the book, but also philosophies that were created thousands of years ago by human beings. Sometimes it seems to me we are now entering into a new age of persecution by Christians who believe the “good book” gives them the right to torment others for the sake of Christ. We know that’s not really possible. Christ commands us to love and lay down our lives for each other, not make judgements or deify the works of man in the form of the so-called holy book

    Thank you Dan!

  • http://www.facebook.com/KathyBaldock Kathy Verbiest Baldock via Facebook

    CARM, a crazy radio station, thinks you are a “False Believer” CAP F and CAP B–nice. https://www.facebook.com/Carm.org

  • http://www.facebook.com/JohnShoreFans John Shore via Facebook

    Hey, Kathy! I’ll go check it out. What the heck.

    • Gordon

      This controversy is going international!

      • Gordon

        Oops. Sorry, I thought CARM was probably a Canadian radio station.

  • http://www.facebook.com/JohnShoreFans John Shore via Facebook

    Ugh. Never mind. Thanks for very well said defense, K.

  • http://www.facebook.com/greg.vande.krol Greg Van de Krol via Facebook

    That’s awesome! I’m so glad to see it’s getting attention. That was a brilliant piece! Reading the Favortite comments is smile-inducing as well.

  • Renae Douglas via Facebook

    My reply on CARM.org

    Let those among us who are without sin cast the first stone.

    If you’ve never told a white lie (Oh, Aunt Sally…that bright orange and brown sweater you knitted me for my birthday is lovely! I’ll wear it all the time!). Never swore. Never spoke badly against someone (ooops, caught ya there didn’t I?) (Colossians 3:8, Ephesians 4:25, Ephesians 4:31). Never looked at a person of the opposite sex and thought “Man, they’re looking good!” Never saw your neighbor come home with a brand new boat and thought “Wow, wouldn’t that be nice to have?” then throw away…until then put the rocks down.

  • charles m

    I think he needed to be much more articulate in his comments being directed at the inherent hypocracy of the current mainstream church- As I told my pastor this Sunday, who who preached on the first of Jesus miracle’s turning water into wine, Jesus didnt go and throw the money changers and traders out of the tavern- he threw them out of the temple.

    I think Perez Hilton hot the ball out of the park on his video he did in response to Savage.

    • charles m

      I wanted to add- I think Savage is very insightful in his commentaries-

  • http://www.sparrowmilk.blogspot.com Shadsie

    I’ve been thinking about this whole thread/nuclear bomb/post and skimming over some of the “Rwar!” that’s going on and I’ve come up with what I think are somewhat poetic thoughts on it all.

    Earlier this week when I brought up the petition that was on here, before signing it, I paused. I am ashamed of this. I paused because some old thoughts and insecurities came up in me all of a sudden. I’m a very insecure person, you see. I had the thought “What if I’m wrong? What if this is wrong? What if this really isn’t what God wants?” It was pretty much the same kind of thinking that came up in me the time I visited a Methodist church (after having been with Baptists) and seeing a lady-preacher.

    And the same thing happened. “So what? Shut up, brain, this is right!”

    I signed the petition giving my optional reason (probably least 200 other people gave the exact same reason, I’d think?) “Sick of the suicides.” That was it. If on Judgement Day God tells me I pulled an anti-scripture naughty or “accomdated sin,” I think I can live with that, because for now, I’m thinking about lives.

    You can be loyal to pen and ink or flesh and blood, the letter of the law or its spirit, the long-dead or the still living, the back-then or the here-and-now.

    Pen and ink, words, books – you will find no greater advocate of the written word than me. Literacy changed the human mind. Like art, mathematics and abstract thinking in general, it elevates us. In the absence of flux capacitors, magical ocarinas and TARDISes, it is our best chance to travel through time. Words echo to us from the past, from other worlds… But even the most inspired words, even the very words of God – belong primarily to the times in which they were written. To think that God doesn’t still speak today, and furthermore, that he gave us inquistive minds but didn’t want us to actively use them just seems… limiting.

    Humans – living humans, well, I can tell you right now that I don’t like Humanity very much. People are obnoxious, selfish, often hypocritical, prone to things like war or, as one infamous psychological experiment showed, shocking someone to death if a guy in a lab coat tells us to… For me, the company of books is usually preferable to the company of humans… however, when it comes down to it, my loyalty is to those I share Right Now with. I’m just not the kind to say “Oh, no, can’t help you, the book says I can’t” to someone who needs my help. I’d rather be a Chaotic Good than a legalist.

    Pen and Ink of Then or Flesh and Blood and Heart of Now? It seems like I know what choice I make when it comes down to it.

    • Lymis

      That’s profound and beautiful. Thank you.

    • http://www.buzzdixon.com buzz

      There’s no “like” button here, but…Like.

    • Donald Rappe

      Wow! Yes! And love casts out fear.

      • Jeanette

        Well thought out and well said.

  • Matthew Tweedell

    By the way, John, the P.S. is particularly awesome: a superb argument wonderfully worded!

  • Matt

    Commenting again, because something occurred to me.

    This is just classic “model minority” backlash. Dan Savage didn’t keep his temper, didn’t hold his tongue, didn’t ask nicely and grovel. He said a few not-so-very-nice words.

    Does that mean his whole argument is invalid? No.

    But because he’s not straight, it’s automatically a red mark against him.

    I’ve never heard swear words, per se, in inflammatory statements against LGBTQ people. But the things that have been said cut deeper than any knife. They’re things that would never be said, if the sayers were afraid of retaliation. But they’re not. They’re in a privileged majority, they’re safe.

    Dan is somewhat protected by white privilege and male privilege and cis privilege, but I still worry for his safety. He’s out there, public. And he’s not watching his words.

    • ST

      He called bullshit on selectively picking and choosing passages of the Bible. He didn’t call anyone a name or curse anyone. He’s watching his words just fine.

  • otter

    You may have already heard this “sermon”,but if not give this a listen……..then tell me Dan was out of line, if you can…..

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/01/north-carolina-pastor-sea_n_1468618.html?ref=gay-voice

    • otter

      John, I would dearly love to hear you comment on this.

    • Diana A.

      Someone else posted Joe. My. God.’s blog post on that very same sermon on another one of John Shore’s blog posts. This sermon is revolting. I wish I could say it surprises me but it doesn’t. It does, however, make me angry.

      • Matt

        The comments underneath the article are, however, hugely encouraging, as well as the article’s report that support for NC’s proposed anti-same-sex-marriage legislation is at an all-time low.

        People like him can spew hate all they want. We have allies. We have support :).

  • James Glines via Facebook

    taken in context watching the video sounded a lot different than the news media sound bytes. Hearing the whole thing vs the media version is a lot like people using one verse out of context in the Bible. I’m glad people got the visual of the sheeple leaving in protest at the first inclination of non belief when they stand their ground to promote hate and beliefs that harm others. I think Dan Savage was more than justified in ‘defending himself’ in reading the rest of the Bible which apparently was offensive to it’s own supporters

  • Lymis
    • charles m

      very good text.

  • Bob Eastman

    [attempt to try screaming online deleted]

    • mike

      Could you give an example of this extreme intolerance?

      • Bob Eastman

        [something that would embarrass even Glenn Beck deleted]

        • GBM

          Do I sense a little fatwa envy there? lol. You’ll also notice that Muslims in the US lack the political power to enshrine their dogma into law; treating differently situated groups differently =/= hypocrisy.

          • charles m

            we have the First Amendment, which would have to be nullified in order for Sharia, or even Levitical law to be enforced by the government.

          • GBM

            That too. But for the 1st to come into play, you’d need some governmental body willing to cross that line which simply will not happen without some political power.

          • DR

            Oh good Lord.

          • LSS

            that term could go viral (and that would be a pity because there are also good fatwas: example, there are many fatwas against terrorism).

            on another point, there are gay muslims who speak against the homophobia that exists in their culture. this guy comes out of a christian culture, and is in a country where christian culture is dominant, so it makes sense that he speaks out about that.

          • Bob Eastman

            [affront to even fundamentalists deleted]

          • LSS

            Sounding really familiar there….

        • charles m

          Bob, its not a matter of what “they” do, its a matter of what “we” do.

          Do we obey Levitical law on any sort of regular basis? no- not often- what we do might be in sync with the generalities of it, but we sin against it on a moment by moment basis-

          thats one of the reasons why Jesus died on the Cross- it was to save us from judgement which was deserved. If you work backward from the greatest Commandment, we can find that we have GREAT difficulty with that short commentary from Jesus- and until thats squared away, the other stuff pales in importance.

          • Bob Eastman

            [childish spew deleted]

          • charles m

            well that is a common response to the Greatest Commandment I suppose- however, we really dont have Jesus speaking about this particular issue- Paul might, but not Jesus himself… I wonder why that is really? We however are all in sin- and for the most part, it is elected sin, remember the whole “my spirit is willing, but my flesh is weak” thing- – so if we are to cast stones here we might find the biggest target is the one holding that stone.

          • Bob Eastman

            [arrogant insipidness deleted]

          • Melody

            Tell us something we HAVEN’T heard a million times, Imitator Bob. You actually think losers like you haven’t thrown that Romans 1 wall of text at us time and time again? You fail, as do so many other fundy trolls.

          • Bob Eastman

            [semi-literate rant deleted]

          • Sharon

            I know it isn’t a Bible verse, but does the phrase:

            “if you can’t say something nice, say nothing at all”

            mean anything anymore?

          • Melody

            Stupid, foolish robot who can’t think for himself. I noticed you ignored my comment about proving the Bible is God’s “word” (which you can’t do, btw, not even by quoting 2 Timothy 3:16). You just continued spewing your ignorant, brainwashed nonsense. Get a life, please, and go away from here.

          • charles m

            a great deal of commentary has been written regarding what you mention as consequence for idol worship, and that the lusting for u”un-natural” relations was a punishment from God- not the thing that brought judgement.

            but rock on with your world, and please try to resolve that view with Matt. 22:36-40…..

          • charles m

            as well Bob, you do know Jesus was technically speaking illegitimate?

            how very Old Testament….

          • Gary

            No Bob – This entire scene was added to the bible some centuries later. And then the phrase Go and sin no more was not part of it. You have been victim of some bible doctoring by the early church leaders who took it upon themselves to correct Jesus lack of condemnation. See if you can find those words in the authentic encounter between Jesus and the woman at the well.

          • Bob Eastman

            [deleted] you were there [deleted]

          • Gary

            And who the hell are you to declare that your understanding of the gospel (which I believe is a bastardization of Jesus true teaching) is the only one allowed to be called Christian?

          • Bob Eastman

            [clear evidence of a mental breakdown deleted]

          • Melody

            Wrong again, Bob. Nobody cares what YOU think. If there IS a judgment day, then you need to wake up. Spreading hate is no laughing matter (referring to your ridiculous LOLs). Jesus looks for love in people’s hearts, and it is clear you have none. You are a sick, pathetic, little man. I’d feel sorry for you if you weren’t such a jerk.

          • Bob Eastman

            Melody – [barely decipherable trash-talk deleted]

        • DR

          Bringing up Muslims is the Fundamentalist Christian’s version of Godwon’s Law.

          Yes Bob, Christians like you are very loving as you drive gay kiss to suicide as a result of your “theology”.

          • DR

            Godwin ! Kids not kiss! Dang autocorrect.

        • fahima

          I am a Muslim and WE DO condemn those unworthy of being called muslim – the people who use verses from Quran/words of the prophet (sm) to justify actions that aren’t justifiable by logic or conscience – ALL THE TIME. you don’t get to see that because a large part of that debate is happening in other languages (well, at least it’s happening in my language) or offline. But as much as I agree with Savage (Christians need to treat homosexuality-related content of the bible like the slavery-related content and ignore both) I will limit myself to bashing Islam-twisters only and will never extend it to people from other religions. that’s just mean and wrong in the sense that often religion and culture is intertwined so that outsiders have no perspective. if Savage does come after my religion/people, I will stop mid-sentence of my mullah-bashing and advice him to stick to what he knows. Bottom line is we can’t let ANY scripture overrule common sense and conscience. Attacking someone else’s religoin is more than simply bad taste. p.s. please don’t let it mean that people shouldn’t condemn Iran/Soudi Arabia’s treatment of gay people. those are countries, not religions.

          • charles m

            very nice Fahima!

          • fahima

            :-)

          • Matthew Tweedell

            I agree with charles! By the way, fahima, I don’t think I’ve seen you around here before. Welcome!

          • http://kellythinkstoomuch.wordpress.com KellyK

            Hi, Fahima.

            Thank you for this.

            that’s just mean and wrong in the sense that often religion and culture is intertwined so that outsiders have no perspective.

            I agree with this absolutely. If you aren’t either part of the religious community or culturally exposed to it, you don’t have the context to criticize it intelligently.

            I also think it’s a power thing. In areas where Christianity is the dominant culture, Christianity should be the religion that’s getting called out on BS more than the minority religions, even if those religions have similar BS.

          • fahima

            Hey Kelly! Of course BS is BS everywhere, but I totally agree with you on the power thing. Also, isn’t it exasparating how majority-religion people live in such cocoons (I’d know, my whole family’s full of ‘em!)!

  • Bob Eastman

    [ugly raving deleted]

    • LSS

      Did you not read what she said, or were you not capable of understanding it?

  • Bob Eastman

    [comment deleted]

    • Matthew Tweedell

      Bob. Go fuck yourself.

      • Bob Eastman

        How very mature and original. Did you think that up all by yourself LOL LOL!

        • Matthew Tweedell

          No. Your mom helped me.

          • Melody

            BOOM!! You rock, sir. If I ever doubted your intentions here, my doubts are forever erased.

          • Matthew Tweedell

            :twisted:

    • Melody

      Oh, so you know for a FACT that he’s in hell with no other proof than what you THINK the Bible says? You sound just like one of the Westboro cult members. Stop kidding yourself. Ditto Matthew’s comment, btw.

    • LSS

      What was it you were saying about peace and joy earlier? I’ve been in (theoretically) the same religion as you’re in for 35 yrs and people like you are driving me out of it.

    • Matthew Tweedell

      Ok, so, that was the fallen nature’s response to the attacks of this apparent ape on this apparently kind and intelligent woman, on no other basis than her faith and his disbelief, and also upon Muhammad (S.A.W.), through whom a great and good and true religion has been revealed, to which I have family who belong, through my wife’s Tatar heritage. I acted hastily at first, so as Fahima would be more likely to see, before being too disheartened or discouraged, that Bob’s words are no way representative of such opinions as are allowed any standing of legitimacy around here. After that, inasmuch as the damage had been already done, and my doing so appeared to have been well received by others, and Bob continued in his immaturity, I willfully lowered myself to his level, rather in an agnostic spirit than any Christian spirit, and not merely in immaturity but in pride.

      Now, Christ would rather I have said this:

      Bob. Go enlighten yourself.

      Go to Heaven!

      Go and sin no more.

      Fahima (if you’re reading this—I wouldn’t blame you though if you never came back to this site, after being so berated, and your faith so maligned, the first time you ever post a comment, one you had clearly put more than a bit of time, effort, and thought into),

      We apologize for our brother’s arrogance and ignorance. What he was so unskillfully trying to say (and with which many of us disagree, at least in part) is that he has trouble accepting the authenticity of the message which Muhammad is claimed to have received from Gabriel and disapproves of Muhammad’s marriage to Aisha, arranged in accordance with all normative customs of that time and place, and in which we really have no solid evidence for consummation prior to puberty, and which we know ultimately left her feeling not victimized by, but beloved by—not resentful towards, but adoring of—Muhammad, and he takes a critical, though likely uninformed, view towards Muhammad’s role in jihad bis saif, as well, and wants to encourage you not to make an idol of his sayings (even as he does so with the words of his Bible).

      • fahima

        Hey Matthew!

        Sorry I didn’t write earlier, I saw the replies in my inbox but was too busy to think at that moment. also, i didn’t want to reply because, come on! that guy’s using LOL after every argument, i’m guessing he’s a cluless teenager or something. But thanks for defending the prophet better than I would’ve. whenever someone throws the pedophilia thing at me, i say grandmother was 7 when she got married, try telling my father that about his father. Although you’d expect the true religion to rise above context, i’ll let that slide, because there’s so many other, real bones to pick!

        Thanks again for everything!

        • Matthew Tweedell

          :) Then you perhaps have more patience then than I!

          And perhaps, sadly, you’ve just gotten used to it somewhat, while I, as a Christian, don’t too often hear anyone referring to significant religious and historical figures in such crude terms! The worst that people ever say about Jesus (pbuh) is that he lied about being the Son of God, and only a very few ever say that (more often they might say he never really existed, or, as adherents of Islam sometimes do, that those who transcribed the Gospels fabricated such lies themselves).

          By the way, in my believing Jesus Christ to be the Son of God, I do not mean he is a partner of God or a part of God but that He truly is God the Son, as one of the metaphysical persons through whom God is pleased to be made manifest.

          Let me explain this: How would an angel bear God’s word to Muhammad (s.a.w.) or any the many other prophets (as the Qur’an says, there is a prophet to every nation, and I try to make no distinction among them)? How does God manifest even unto angels that which is of and in Himself?

          Either He reveals Himself personally, or else some part of Himself. But we know that God is truly, perfectly one—so He has no parts—which means His true Word (far greater than any utterable by the tongues of men; so the angels convey it to men, and men must simply try the best they can to get it right in their own languages) must be God Himself in His entirety!

          Thus, when God says to a thing, “Be,” and it is so, then it’s being comes from and through His Word; and so it is with any being that God chooses to have at all (which is to say that this is God’s entire existence, if were right to say such a thing, as God is greater even than existence and nonexistence).

          What I mean to say is that, although I am not a disciple of the teachings revealed to you through the Prophet Muhammad, I do not think I contradict anything them in my belief that the Son, co-eternal with the Father (the Source of all things) and the Holy Spirit—One Most High, Most Merciful God (with one power/might and one glory), revealed to us in these three personages—is the Word of God which, through Mary the mother of Jesus, has come in to the flesh of Adam to be the Messiah.

          However, even if the Prophet and I might seem to disagree about something, I think we can agree that surely, God knows best!

          Thank you, fahima, for contributing your unique perspective on things here! And sorry for my comment being so long!

  • Bob Eastman

    [extremely dickish comment deleted. We won't again be hearing from Bob Eastman.]


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