Dan Savage–I Blame the Fundies

Dan Savage is a person who bullies high school students when he gives speeches against bullying.

If you haven’t seen it already, there’s a video clip of him giving a speech to some high school students in which he attacks Christianity relentlessly.  Some Christian teens walk out and he gets even nastier about them. You can find the clip if you’re interested.  I’m not going to embed it or even link to it, because the language is disgusting and I don’t want to give this aggressive sodomite any more publicity.

What interests me in this savage attack on Christianity is that his attack is against Scripture. His essential argument is, “We don’t take any notice of the Old Testament’s prohibitions on eating shellfish or crustaceans. We ignore the fact that the New Testament allows for slavery. We overlook the polygamy amongst the patriarchs. We have learned that the Old Testament’s rules on eating pork are not to be taken seriously, so we’ll soon learn that the rules against homosexuality are also something we can safely ignore.

Where does he get that method of arguing? It can only come from a set of assumptions about the Christian faith which he has picked up from fundamentalism. So, although this guy is a pretty unpleasant and aggressive piece of work there is more at work here. Read more.


  • http://quamangustaporta.blogspot.co.uk/ Malvenu

    Father, thank you for a clear Catholic position on this. I’ve no interest in watching the video, but isn’t it interesting how support for the Catholic Church’s clear position can be found in such unexpected places?

    My experience of having been an English evangelical Protestant 15-years ago is almost exactly as you describe: fundamentalist, legalistic, puritanical and deeply anti-Catholic. However, I would disagree with you on the point of it being anti-intellectual. Now, as a Catholic, I would whole-heartedly agree with you that, ‘the sola Scriptura fundamentalist position is stupid,’ but back then the Christianity I was introduced to and my understanding of it was intellectual – I’m talking, J.I. Packer, Calvinistic systematic theology and sermons like Bible-studies, etc. It may have been based on a stupid Protestant idea (sola scriptura), but my experience was that it was TOO intellectual.

    I’m intrigued that you say it is ‘deliberately anti-intellectual’. I’ve often thought that there must be something ‘deliberate’ to explain how Protestant denominations, and highly educated individuals within them, can ignore passages like John 6 and Matthew 16 that so clearly support the teaching of the Catholic Church and undermine the Protestant theology of their particular “denomination” and Bible College.

    “Deliberately Misleading”?

    • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

      There are many different strands of Evangelicalism of course. I’m thinking of some of the fundamentalist preachers who preached ‘against all them innalleckshuls’

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  • joe

    Your experience is valid, but I think it is presumptuous to think it is defining. Thirty years ago I grew up in an Evangelical — not Fundie — community. Catholics and Protestants attended YoungLife together, and the kids getting disaffected from the faith were Catholics who were poorly catechized and thought religion was all ritual. Europe, very Catholic… swoosh, all lost the faith. And yet you think Fundamentalist kids are the ones whose faith is gutted and not Catholics. Maybe in rare churches likes yours in Greenville, but not necessarily elsewhere. AT Regent University, rather Fundie, Neuhaus gave the commencement speech. At The Falls CHurch Episcopal, where I worshipped, Peter Kreeft spoke. So I think it is wrong to conflate Fundie and Evangelical. Most Protestantism in the US is a loose version of the latter these days, not Fundamentalist. As a Catholic you may find their theology impossible, but they do make a case: See http://www.crossway.org/books/canon-revisited-case/ All of which is to say, don’t go blaming fudnamentalist for Dan Savage. DO you honeslty think a group of Catholic students would respond any differently? No way. Look at how New York went on gay marriage, witrh Catholics all falling lin line. It is just not that simple.

    • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

      These are good points. Thanks for commenting.

  • akaVarmint

    I am living the “deliberately anti-intellectual. It is also deeply anti-Catholic” right now. I am going to Liberty University online. It is an excellent school and I can’t believe how much I am learning! However, I had to endure being taught by the head of the theology department that Catholicism is a cult and unworthy of even being studied in my philosophy class. His reasons as to why it is a cult was easily proven false with a quick ‘copy and paste’ of a specific section of the Catechism. Many students did NOT want to hear the truth and completely went into hysterics when it stared them in the face. My comments were deleted – of course.

    Liberty University is the largest Evangelical Christian university in the world, and this is what they taught. (That teacher was demoted – for lying about his Christian conversion from Islam, not for his lies about my faith – and he finally left the school.) I usually do not point out all their anti-Catholic teachings because I chose to go to their school. (They give great discounts for military vets and spouse – something Catholic University’s should be considering!) But even if I hint that what we are learning about Catholicism is wrong, they close their ears and move along.

    It’s very frustrating. I have been learning about their belief’s and faith and have been completely fascinated. I LOVED their Bible class. It was straight forward, which surprised me. The people there know their Bible – they quote it all the time. However, they only know verses. When I bring up what the entire chapter is about – they close their ears again. This is what I call anti-intellectual. It doesn’t really matter how much they study the Bible or how smart they are – but that they refuse to listen to anything that contradicts what ONE person has said. We have 2,000 years of scholars, theologians, scientists and others to lean on when we have questions. Who do they go to?

    • Fr. Dwight Longenecker

      Thank you for your comment. This is exactly the sort of closed minded anti intellectualism that abounds in fundamentalist Protestantism, and this is the reason so many of their kids with brains take off.

  • Al Bergstrazer

    Respectfully I must say that Fundamentalism and the doctrine of Sola Scriptura are not synonymous. Sola Scriptura is the formal principle of the Lutheran church, which confesses that the prophetic and apostolic writings of the Old and New Testaments are the norm according to which all teachers and teachings of the church are to be judged and evaluated. Fundamentalism is a 20th century religious/political polemic opposed to liberalism and modernism. It is distinguished from the Lutheranism in that fundamentalism uses the Bible as a code for the role of Christianity in the culture. That being said, Dan Savage’s riff on the Bible is the all too predictable endless rote hyperbole of the left and a fine example of the hypocrisy of the liberal intellectual who is tollerant of all save the Christian. It is not enough for him to simply disagree, he must browbeat these students. It would never occur to him to do the same to a Buddhist student, and he would be too cowardly to ever chastize a Muslim for their practices. But evangelical Christians, like Catholics are fair game. The irony of it all is the students who remained and approved of Dan Savages rant don’t realize that they approved of bullying at a speech against bullying.

  • Gregg the Obscure

    Probably because so few people know even a tiny bit of history, no one mentions that the Mosaic law is remarkable in how merciful it is relative to anything that came before it. “An eye for an eye” is very restrained when compared with other ancient codes that were much more bloody and vengeful. Even the outcasts of society were treated with respect in the Mosaic code. Lepers were allowed to live, simply not in a way so as to endanger the rest of the community. Debts would eventually be erased in the Jubilee. Just as in contemporary law, some laws are of greater weight than others.

    In that vein, it’s worth considering that only four crimes “cry to heaven for vengance”:
    1. oppressing widows and orphans;
    2. depriving workers of their wages; and
    3. homicide;
    4. the most depraved of all crimes – Sodomy.
    Each of those four crimes is a crime against the dignity of all human beings who have ever lived and who may ever live. It’s common for folks to accuse others of offenses against the first and second of the above. It’s also overly common for folks to recognize some forms of homicide as wrong while calling others necessary. Only now the world has gone so mad as to claim that sodomy is a good thing, while opposition to it is bad, hence “it gets better”.

    Mentally healthy people don’t kill themselves. Homosexuals still kill themselves at higher rates than the rest of the population, even discounting those who intentionally acquire HIV. That disparity can’t be due to “bullying” given the decades of pro-homosexual propaganda that have pervaded every aspect of current western culture. It is due to homosexual acts being completely evil so that when the last vestiges of conscience that stir within the souls of some of the most direct victims of homosexuality, the only relief they can dare to hope for is Hell.

  • Gregg the Obscure

    I neglected to mention above that heterosexual sodomy is also reprehensible, be it in one of the varieties routinely historically described as sodomy or genital activity marred by contraception.

  • Kevin

    I suggest creating a bully-related definition for Dan Savage, a verb:
    To dansavage = the term for the phenomenon of Atheists or gay activists engaging in bullying Christians.
    For example: Richard was arrested for dansavaging young teens in Bay City.