Dan Savage Points Out the Hypocrisy in the Bible… So Young Journalists Walk Out on Him April 29, 2012

Dan Savage Points Out the Hypocrisy in the Bible… So Young Journalists Walk Out on Him

Dan Savage, creator of the It Gets Better Project, gave a talk about anti-gay bullying at a conference for high school journalists a couple of weeks ago. The program listed the goal of the keynote this way: “Students will get ideas on how to cover the topic of bullying in their student media.”

Keep in mind it’s virtually impossible to talk about anti-gay bullying without mentioning the Bible. Those two things go hand-in-hand. Bullying happens all the time, but you don’t need to look much further than Christianity to account for the vitriol directed specifically at gay students.

Once a snippet of the video was uploaded on Friday (4 minutes of a 90 minute lecture), it was evident that students were walking out on him. Conservatives were, not surprisingly, all over it:

Their responses centered around a few things:

Dan Savage is so anti-Christian!

Look at those students walking out on him!

Listen to all those swear words!

Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink couldn’t believe Savage talked about the Bible at all… as if it’s a completely blameless book:

A 17-year-old from California who was attending with half a dozen other students from her high school yearbook staff, was one of several students to walk out in the middle of Savage’s speech.

“The first thing he told the audience was, ‘I hope you’re all using birth control!’ ” she recalled. Then “he said there are people using the Bible as an excuse for gay bullying, because it says in Leviticus and Romans that being gay is wrong. Right after that, he said we can ignore all the ‘B.S.’ in the Bible.

“I was thinking, ‘This is not going a good direction at all,’ Then he started going off about the Bible. He said somehow the Bible was pro-slavery. I’m really shy. I’m not really someone to, like, stir up anything. But all of a sudden I just blurted out, ‘That’s bull!’ ”

Umm… Dan Savage is right about the Bible being pro-slavery. Certainly, it’s not against it.

Let’s dissect this talk a bit more, though.

First, here’s the full transcript of the video (courtesy of Towleroad):

The Bible. We’ll just talk about the Bible for a second. People often point out that they can’t help it — they can’t help with the anti-gay bullying, because it says right there in Leviticus, it says right there in Timothy, it says right there in Romans, that being gay is wrong.

We can learn to ignore the bullshit in the Bible about gay people. The same way, the same way we have learned to ignore the bullshit in the Bible about shellfish, about slavery, about dinner, about farming, about menstruation, about virginity, about masturbation. We ignore bullshit in the Bible about all sorts of things. The Bible is a radically pro-slavery document. Slave owners waved Bibles over their heads during the Civil War and justified it. The shortest book in the New Testament is a letter from Paul to a Christian slave owner about owning his Christian slave. And Paul doesn’t say “Christians don’t own people.” Paul talks about how Christians own people.

We ignore what the Bible says about slavery, because the Bible got slavery wrong. Tim — uh, Sam Harris, in A Letter To A Christian Nation, points out that the Bible got the easiest moral question that humanity has ever faced wrong. Slavery. What’re the odds that the Bible got something as complicated as human sexuality wrong? One hundred percent.

The Bible says that if your daughter’s not a virgin on her wedding night — if a woman isn’t a virgin on her wedding night, she shall be dragged to her father’s doorstep and stoned to death. Callista Gingrich lives. And there is no effort to amend state constitutions to make it legal to stone women to death on their wedding night if they’re not virgins. At least not yet. We don’t know where the GOP is going these days.

People are dying because people can’t clear this one last hurdle. They can’t get past this one last thing in the Bible about homosexuality.

Um, one other thing I wanna talk about is — [chuckles] — so, you can tell the Bible guys in the hall that they can come back now, because I’m done beating up the Bible. It’s funny, as someone who’s on the receiving end of beatings that are justified by the Bible, how pansy-assed some people react when you push back.

I apologize if I hurt anyone’s feelings. But. I have a right to defend myself. And to point out the hypocrisy of people who justify anti-gay bigotry by pointing to the Bible, and insisting we must live by the code of Leviticus on this one issue and no other.

Since I think Savage was mostly in the right with what he said, let me criticize him for a second. No matter the topic, I don’t know why he was compelled to use the words “bullshit” and “pansy-assed.” Right off the bat, he’s alienating the people who believe in the Bible (and, therefore, the people who need to hear this message the most). Plus, when you’re giving a talk about how gay people get treated like shit, don’t use a word like “pansy-assed” to describe the reactions of the kids walking out on you — it just makes you look like a bully yourself, even if you’re not. It would’ve also helped his case to point out that plenty of Christians support gay rights — they might rationalize or ignore what the Bible says, but they are on Savage’s side on this issue.

So did he go too far in talking about the Bible? Nope. If you’re a journalist covering this subject, you should know about the root cause of anti-gay bigotry: The Bible. I don’t know how anyone could give a speech like this without talking about religion.

Does anyone really think another speaker offering virtually the same content — but without the mockery and swearing — would have been perfectly well-received? I don’t. The moment you point out the hypocrisy in the Bible, people are bound to get upset. You’re hurting their brains with your honesty.

I’m actually surprised that those students walked out of the room. Even if you didn’t like what Savage was saying, isn’t that a story worth writing about?! You can’t cover a story if you ignore what your subject is saying, even if it goes against your personal beliefs.

The kids who walked out of that room weren’t “proud Christians.” They were bad journalists.

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  • Gah! Quit beating me to blog topics!

    I was curious as to why all the articles at Citizenlink were so whiny. Then I saw the subtitle. They can dish it out, but they sure can’t take – and Dan is the man for calling them out on it.

  • Glasofruix

    Oh my those students are really something. “But he read those passages of the bible wrong, i’m so out of here”

  • Welcome to the real world kids, where people will talk about things you don’t agree with, you still have to listen to them and write about them. What do you mean you walked out before getting the whole story??

  • aaplfanboi

    I disagree only with the assertion that “pansy-assed” was anything short of the *perfect* description of those idiot Christians. Right on, Dan!! 🙂

  • Heintje_K

    “….If you’re a journalist covering this subject, you should know about the root cause of anti-gay bigotry: The Bible….”
    I disagree, the root causes of anti-gay bigotry is the innate revulsion (solidified by culture) most people have towards sexual practices, particularly homosexual practices; and, the innate tendency for people to mix up disgust and immorality. That is not to exonerate the bible, though, for it exarcebates the bigotry by giving it the divine sanction.

  • Muxika

    Not even reading the passages verbatim without interpretation would’ve kept those offended students in their seats, because they’re hiding from the obvious: the Bible is full of errors that must be exposed and questioned.

  • Awesome. It is FAR too common that media coverage on gay rights, gay bullying, gay suicide, etc., FAILS to point out the Biblical/religious basis for the anti-gay bigotry and anti-gay bullying. 

  • scotm

    Hemant, you are way off base on this one.  Your reaching across the aisle response to Savage’s tone is just plain silly.  There is no reasoning with these brainwashed bigots (em, students) and they would have probably walked without expletives.  They walked because of criticism.  You’re falling into the tolerate the intolerant trap, employing the rather cowardly “but I respect is right to say it” pseudo-supportive “tone” in your post.  I hope there was a participation grade assigned to attending the talk.  These disrespectful students would have all earned a zero.    

  • Nickolas Johnson

    *solidified by the religious culture
    Fixed that for you.

  • Cdunphy

    I agree that he probably shouldn’t have called them pantsy asses and that the bullshit comments were excessive, but if these kids couldn’t put up with Dan’s other comments than they would have also walked out of a biblical studies class.  I am sure their heads would spin if they realized there are two creation myths in genesis, once with Adam and Eve and one without. 

  •  you’d think they would have stayed just so they could smash him to pieces in written articles.

  • Suznmcq

    I agree but the revulsion stems from a bible-based Puritanical attitude in this country toward sex and it’s the bible thumpers who act on their revulsion with the support of the bible through bullying and assault on gay persons.

  • DG

    True.  That would be correct if cultures influenced by the Bible were the only ones that ever disallowed homosexuality.  But they aren’t.  So it’s obviously more than that.

  • DG

    I think our good hosts gets it right.  You can make a point about bullying without becoming one yourself.  For all those saying they don’t care about how he treated those that are obviously disliked, well, there you go.  If it’s only wrong when it applies to those you care about, then it’s never really wrong, just something you don’t like because it applies to to something you care about.  If an adult got up and spoke to young homosexuals in the same way, would folks say ‘oh well, they have to learn to take it, no problem that I see’?  If not, then therein lies the problem.

  • MG

    Swearing is not offensive to me; true swearing is taking “in vain” the name of a mythical entity that I obviously don’t have to worry about offending, and the rest (sexual and scatological references) are just words.

  • Ndonnan

    Sounds to me this man was really pushing his own agenda under the guise of teaching students about journalism.Why would a teacher think it appropriate to use rude and derogitory language in a school setting,he should be more professional,hes not a student,he was looking for a reaction or to have a dig.He did come across as a bully[even if hes not] A more mature person would have been able to get the same message across even using the same examples without the reaction he got by better presentation.The students walking out was the story that got the coverage,so no it wasnt bad journalism,it was poor teaching

  • Dan used strong language, but he wasn’t bullying. Nice try at equating the two though.

  • Please, educate me which cultures ‘disallow’ homosexuality AND where there isn’t a religious reason basis to this?

  • Sometimes honesty comes with an element of brutality.  It takes a great deal of self reflection to changes ones world view and then a great deal of courage to accept and admit that your world view was a bit skewed.  Sometimes the only way to get that message home is to hit it where it hurts.  I don’t agree we should be hateful but I do agree we should be honest.  Maybe Dan could have used a more polite tone but he is coming from a place where kids are committing suicide because other kids are condemning them for their nature based on an ancient text.  Sometimes there are those of us who become frustrated and simply lose it, because it is completely ridiculous and it is wrong.   I am in awe of your ability, Hemant, to keep cool and we (humanists/atheists) need this, but we also need a little vitriol.   It is a tough balance to strike, but strike we must.  

  • AxeGrrl

    I disagree, the root causes of anti-gay bigotry is the innate revulsion (solidified by culture) most people have towards sexual practices, particularly homosexual practices; and, the innate tendency for people to mix up disgust and immorality.

    If that were true, why isn’t there charges of ‘immorality’ against old people or ugly people?

    Surely if homophobes were motivated by ‘revulsion’ primarily, we would see similar bigotry towards old/ugly people who are romantically involved…….

    and yet, we don’t.

  • AxeGrrl

    If an adult got up and spoke to young homosexuals in the same way, would folks say ‘oh well, they have to learn to take it, no problem that I see’?

    Somehow, I think that if it were a group of young homosexual journalists attending the lecture of a homophobe uttering things they found ‘offensive’, they wouldn’t leave before recording/documenting everything the lecturer said ~ if they think he said something ‘offensive’, one would think they would be even more motivated to document it……

    and I don’t particularly like Dan’s use of “pansy-assed” either.  To me, that’s kind of like me or any other woman saying ‘you throw like a girl’ or something.  Why perpetuate the use of a word associated with being gay to mean ‘lame/cowardly’?   The English language is very rich; there are plenty of other great words to use instead……spineless, wimpy, gutless……the list is almost endless 🙂

  •  All of those who walked out should be ashamed of themselves. Hopefully some are.

  • I’ll defend
    Savage’s use of words like “bullshit” and “pansy-assed”.  

    “Bullshit” was exactly the right word to use.   What was the alternative?  “Wrong”?  “Factually in Error”?  “Nonsense”?  C’mon. 

    “Bullshit” implies that the position is not only false, but
    offensive and noxious.  Not just untrue, but deliberately designed to mislead, or at the very least, confuse.  Few other words carry the same clout, and
    Savage was right to use it.

    Gays get called “pansy” every day, as Savage knows.  It’s an insult.  It
    implies weakness—you’ll wilt.  By throwing it back in their faces,
    Savage makes a profound point.   It was they who wilted.  

    Richard, you call your blog The Friendly Atheist.  It acknowledges the way atheists are sometimes portrayed; as heartless, intolerant, amoral—and seeks to correct that portrayal.  Your title does the right thing, on so many levels.

    Gays face the same image problems among some religious folk, as I’m sure you’re aware.  We’re filthy, perverted, conniving, subversive and sick.   Do gays and lesbians proclaim The Friendly Homosexual?

    You bet we do.  Everywhere from Will & Grace to the testimony of Zach Wahls before the Iowa legislature, to the many clips of loving (often elderly) gay couples we saw in the run-up to legalisation in New York, to Savage’s own It Gets Better project.

    It works.  You point out that the majority of Christians make a highly moral choice: they live in bad faith with their doctrine, in order to live in good faith with their deeper human instincts.  And it’s not just Christians. 

    But a hard core of the faithful are immune to a moral calling from within.  They need their noses rubbed it. 

    In spite of mis-steps, the gay community nicely balances its message of love with the occasional rant against hate.  When we do need to rant against hate, Savage often steps up to bat.  Good for him.  He does it well.

    In general, remaining positive earns you the moral high
    ground.  But some use the wiggle room which civil discourse provides, to portray hate as a mere difference of opinion.    That needs to be met with strong words.  One of them is “bullshit”.

  • Patterrssonn

    Innate revulsion? That’s a pretty radical statement. Do you have any references?

  • Tony B

    Listen and understand. Dan Savage is out there. He can’t be bargained with.  He can’t be reasoned with. He doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And he absolutely will not stop until anti-gay bullying is dead. 

  • Patterrssonn

    Sorry DG you’ve got it wrong again. In many cultures hosexuality is/was tolerated or even celebrated ie Two Spirited peoples of NA or the third gendered of India.
    So while biblically influenced cultures may not have special claim to homophobia, that neither excuses the bible nor makes homophobia natural or “innate”.

  • I would hazard a guess that every self righteous Xtian in that room has, at one time or another, used the term “bullshit”. Even my old Sunday school teacher used it once… when I told him that the bible was just historical fiction. 😀

  • You probably should find out if your assumptions are right before spitting out terms like “innate.”

    There are, and historically have been, numerous cultures around the world that have no revulsion over sexual practices, including homosexual ones. It’s remarkably easy to see drastic differences between sexual mores among different cultures, which pretty much destroys the “innate” bit. I assume you haven’t ever heard of National Geographic?

    Hell, sex is the major selling point in advertising throughout the world! This is kind of hard to miss. Unless you’re trying…

  • judetheobtuse

    As much as I enjoyed the “pansy-assed” and “bull shit” comments, I think there’s an improved likelihood of getting new information over to these callow children by clarifying the sociological contexts of the bible. The prejudices expressed in it were societal norms at the time of the writing. You don’t ask these shallow, inexperienced children to throw out the bible wholesale, you educate them as to the sources. Let them try to find the true spiritual message hidden in the texts but give them a way to see through the societal biases at the same time. It would have been much more effective that way.

  • JoeBuddha

    I think you missed the point. He was talking about bullying. What better way to give a visceral understanding of what bullying IS to a group of over-privileged, arrogant bible worshipers than to give them a taste of what it is really like. I would hope that, when those students have a chance to think past their indignation, at least SOME of them would get the point; maybe through dialog with their colleagues who stayed.
    Mind you, I don’t know for sure if this was his intention, but if not it should have been! 😉

  • PJB863

    Has it occurred to anyone that the “walkout” was pre-planned and staged?  I noticed the first person to walk out did so at the first utterance of the word “bible” and before Savage  even said anything negative about it.

    The religious right has it in for Savage in the worst possible way, and likely planted some attendees so they could walk out in feigned disgust. 

  • Thackerie

     + 1000!

  • Thackerie

     Yes! I really admire him, too.

  • I think what Dan was seeing is the exposure of that dirtly little secret in Christianiy, that is that most Christians haven’t actually read the Bible.  I run in to this all the time, so it’s usually my first question. “Have you actually read what’s in there?”

  • AxeGrrl

    Gays get called “pansy” every day, as Savage knows. It’s an insult. Itimplies weakness—you’ll wilt. By throwing it back in their faces, Savage makes a profound point. It was they who wilted.

    Again, I have to disagree here.   What “profound” statement did Dan make by using a word that achieves its ‘insult’ by denigrating gay people?

    Hard for me to offer a ‘Yay!’ to that.

    When fighting back against Rick Santorum, did Dan use a gay slur?  No.  He (and readers) created a new ‘insult’ by using Santorum’s name itself…..so why not do the same here?  

    Instead of perpetuating a word that’s insulting to gay people, why not INVENT a new word to associate being religious with ‘weak/cowardly’?

    What’s “profound” by basically saying “i’m going to insult you by saying that you’re like gay people” ?

  • DG

    So you would be OK with someone addressing a group of homosexuals using the same language and tone?  If kids in a high school hallway speak to homosexuals using the same words and tone, you would not consider that bullying?

  • The only misstep Mr. Savage made was apologizing for potential hurt feelings. 

  • Heintje_K

    I apologize for not having them at hand, and neither can I recall where I might have seen them.

    I can only vaguely remember having heard or read something along that line in Steven Pinker’s books (The Blank Slate or The Stuff of Thought).

  • BeckyK

    I agree with you PJB.  Watching those kids walk out, I saw them smiling as they did so.  They weren’t showing an upset, this is horrible affect.  One of them smiled, and shrugged at a peer who off camera. 

    What was great was the majority of these kids who were cheering and clapping for these lines that are so “offensive” the uber-christian kids had to leave for.

  • Lori See

    I have to agree.  Those kids and their parents know who he is.  Can’t prove it of course but I think they were coached to walk out.  In the point of view I saw it started as soon as the word bible came out of his mouth.  For kids that are supposed to be journalists they’re making a pretty bad job of it.

  • Heintje_K

    The sexual practices I had in mind are anal sex and oral sex. Both involve contact between an organ with whose cleanliness we  are strongly concerned, and an organ which until recent time had been unhygienic.

    But just because something is innate, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be overruled by cultures. 

    I was born into and raised in an overseas chinese family. Even though sexual matters rarely came into conversation, I could infer disgust my parents have towards “deviant” sexual activities, as well as homosexuality, especially male homosexuality. I would wager that this attitude is pervasive in that culture.

    Granted, this is only a single example, and I might have over-generalized. I would be interested if any anthropologist can proffer evidence for/against my assertion.

  •  I think you’re missing the point. “Pansy” in this context implies weakness. He’s not saying that the people that left are gay, or like gay people. He’s saying they react in a weak, lame, cowardly way.

    It’s not even about them being religious. It’s about them walking out in a huff when someone says they don’t need to follow ancient books to the letter.

  • Lori See

    He’s not a teacher and it was a talk on bullying, not journalism.  Christians are at the root of anti-gay bullying.  Sometimes it takes strong language and ignoring social niceties to make social change, in fact, I’d hazard that it is an important part of making change happen.  When I balance children killing themselves because of christian bullying  against a few christians getting miffed over language I think he showed admirable restraint.  Their actions are criminal and their beliefs don’t deserve consideration or respect.

  • DG

    I can see that, but in our present cultural context, if you were a homosexual journalist attending such an event, and someone got up there and went to town on homosexuality, and you recorded it, then the MSM would likely run with it and you’d have a scandal.  Compare to this.  Savage has said darn near similar things on CNN.  No scandal.  Because to say anything you want against people who oppose non-heterosexual normality is acceptable in our modern cultural context.  While to say the exact same thing against homosexuality will get about two weeks of MSM specials about hate and bigotry in America.  So I can see why those walking out figured it was no use.  That staying would do no good. 

  • Heintje_K

    ‘Tendency’ doesn’t mean ‘always happens’.

    It’s interesting that you brought up old or ugly people. Have you noticed that our societies don’t look very kindly towards romantic pairing between people with huge difference in age or attractiveness? This is a genuine question, btw.
    That it is the manifestation of this same tendency is a tantalizing possibility, isn’t it?

  • Lori See

    If those homosexuals were guilty of driving other kids to suicide because of a deeply flawed belief system, then I would have absolutely no problem with it.  As it is, that doesn’t happen.

  • AxeGrrl

    Have you noticed that our societies don’t look very kindly towards romantic pairing between people with huge difference in age or attractiveness? This is a genuine question, btw.

    True, but have human beings created laws or religious creeds that demonize those things?     no.

    Therein lies the true food-for-thought, imo.

  • AxeGrrl

    Because to say anything you want against people who oppose non-heterosexual normality is acceptable in our modern cultural context. While to say the exact same thing against homosexuality will get about two weeks of MSM specials about hate and bigotry in America.

    I will re-state the above using a different ‘maligned group’……

    Because to say anything you want against people who oppose black normality is acceptable in our modern cultural context.  While to say the exact same thing against being black will get about two weeks of MSM specials about hate and bigotry in America”

    Who here would argue that the above is ‘bad’?   So why should we react any differently because we’re talking about homosexuality instead of race?

    We’ve come to vehemently despise racist comments/ideology……and we’re on our way with homosexuality, but aren’t quite there yet.

  • AxeGrrl

    I think you’re missing the point. “Pansy” in this context implies weakness. He’s not saying that the people that left are gay, or like gay people. He’s saying they react in a weak, lame, cowardly way.

    Sorry Paul, but I think you’re the one missing the point here.

    Yes, ‘pansy’ implies weakness.  Why does it imply weakness Paul?

    Answer that and it will hopefully ‘click’ for you.

  • AxeGrrl

    Pansy: 1) Any of various plants of the genera Achimenes or Viola, especially V. tricolor or its hybrids, having flowers with velvety petals of various colors. 2) Used as a disparaging term for a homosexual man or for a man or boy who is considered effeminate.

    Which of the above definitions do you think that Dan Savage is referencing when he’s using the term “pansy-assed” to mean “weak/cowardly” Paul?

  • Fsq

    Oh come on…Savages use of bullshit and pansy-assed is perfect. But by all means, distract from the main issue by trying to follow little red herrings making their way up the stream.

    These little pussy kids get up and walk out at hearing the truth about their cherished bible, and then get indignant because they are being told they cannot bully people and you want to worry that Savage comes off as a bully?

    That is some cognitive dissonance there.

    We need more in your face activism to show these people they no longer get to use a stale and musty book of myths to harm.

    Go Savage.

  • Kevin

    So let me get this straight… These Moderate to Liberal Christians teens who voluntarily came to see an openly gay speaker and were most likely supportive of his cause. They were the ones who bullied him all his life??? HMMMmmm, so I guess it supports his anti-bully cause to attack and make fun of them for their beliefs.

    How many hearts and minds do you think he changed for the better? How many people who were sympathetic to him do you think he turned against Gays and Atheists. How many will those people go on to hurt because they were verbally abused by a (whatever class of bigot they file him under).

    Yes, he was being a bigot towards a group he doesn’t support or care for. Wouldn’t a rational lecture with these young minds have been a better approach for his goals? Better than a surprise bait and switch that will only create enmity and anger. Atheists are continually portrayed and angry, hateful and untrustworthy. Nothing like furthering that stereotype is there?

    I wondering how proud his religious parents are? You know the ones he claims to love.

  • Fsq

    As usual axe, you completely miss the point and create one that suits your needs.

    And this side discussion takes away from the fact that we are trying to stop bullying. You want to worry about delicate little words?

    How is that view from 100 meters?

    Try the view from several hundred kilometers instead.

  • Fsq

    Yes yes one thousand times yes. He does not owe them apology. Stand your ground with these little miscreants.

  • AxeGrrl

    As usual axe, you completely miss the point and create one that suits your needs.

    Pointing out the mere fact that ‘pansy’ is used as a term for gay people and therefore, the term ‘pansy-assed’ is making an association between being gay and being weak/cowardly is “creating a point to suit my needs”?

    Please do elaborate.

  • AxeGrrl

    And this side discussion takes away from the fact that we are trying to stop bullying.

    Horse pucky.

    I can completely support the general point and work that Dan Savage is doing (and I do, I’m one of his biggest fans/supporters) AND express a valid criticism of terminology he uses……

    they’re not mutually exclusive endeavours.

  • If this story does get to mainstream, not just a bunch of LGBT and atheist blogs, then it will a very successful teaching moment.  As it is, you’ll notice from the cheers that the large majority in that room agreed with Dan wholeheartedly.  The small number that walked out merely emphasized Dan’s point.  If Christianity in America spoke out against gay bullying, it would stop.


    This one is yours.  You need to own it.  Whatever your bible says, the fact is two men (or two women) getting physically intimate hurts no one.  What hurts is kids committing suicide, young women and men getting strung up on fences, and a whole host of other anti-gay that is coming predominately (almost exclusively in America) from a not-small segment of Christianity.

    It’s not “which Churches are anti-gay” it’s “which Churches are pro gay rights”.

  • It would be nice to have a wider camera angle to see if they were making a point of walking in front of the camera.  Sure looked like they were, but maybe that was the only exit.

  • The bible *IS* “bullshit”. The most bullshit book I’ve ever read, with possibly the exception of  “Of Human Bondage”. At least I didn’t have to take No-Doz to read the bible.

  • dantresomi

    so because of two words, we are going to ignore the entire 90 MINUTE lecture? wow…

    (Yes i know you mentioned that in the piece, but still…)

  • http://www.addictinginfo.org/2012/04/28/rape-away-the-gay/ 
    (DJ tells father to get friends to ‘screw’ daughter until she’s straight)

    That anyone would think that was ‘ok’ to say, says something about the current climate of ‘ok to be anti-gay’.

  • JoeBuddha

    BTW: Pansies? Some of the hardiest plants in the garden. I’ve had pansies blooming IN A POT, outside, through freezing cold. It’s unfortunate that they have this stigma; pansies are actually, how you say, bad-ass!

  • BeckyK

    How many hearts and minds do you think he changed for the better? How many people who were sympathetic to him do you think he turned against Gays and Atheists. How many will those people go on to hurt because they were verbally abused by a (whatever class of bigot they file him under).

    Did you look at the faces of the kids walking out?  They weren’t upset.  They weren’t offended.  They were smiling.  People who are upset, angry and offended don’t walk out of a meeting smiling like these kids were.  If they go on to hurt someone it won’t be because of anything Dan Savage said in that talk.

  • DG

    OK.  I’ll mark down one ‘yes, bullying and hateful speach are OK, as long as they are aimed at the right type of people.’ 

  • DG

    Oh, I’m fine with the post-modern notion that hating things are OK, as long as you’re hating the right things.  Back in the 70s and 80s, it was all about tolerance, open mindedness, live and let live, agree to disagree and all that.  Thank goodness that incarnation of liberalism has gone away, and we’re getting back to what has always defined civilization: groups clamoring to the top by demanding that their values are the only acceptable values, their values are right and all other truth claims are wrong, and it’s proper to spew contempt, hatred, and loathing down upon those who don’t conform to what is obviously correct.  That is far closer to the ways that societies operate.

  • DG

    Again, if you are 100% sure that you are 100% right, that your truth is the only acceptable truth, and that all competing truth claims are by definition evil, hateful, and stupid, then there’s no problem at all.  It’s what humans have always done, not that silly post-60s notion of love, harmony, tolerance, and diversity.  Thank goodness we’re past that, wouldn’t you say?

  • DG

    Actually no.  As the comments make clear,  most are actually trying to validate and encourage the bullying of the right sort of people.  There is nothing in the Dan’s tirade, or the comments below, that suggests anyone involved has a problem with bullying or speaking hatefully toward people.  Most appear to only want to qualify it.

  • Yukimi

    I think you should study a bit more about that before making blanket statements since precisely homosexual acts were seeing as normal in ancient chinese culture (and the japanese copied form them) and it wasn’t until western (with their chritian morality) influence started seeping in that homsexuality and homosexual acts becaming inmoral. As for sources, you can always check the wikipedia articles on homsexuality in China and Japan.

  • AxeGrrl

    Is that your ‘summary’ of what’s happening when people stand up against racist/homophobic bigotry?


    Are you seriously suggesting that we should all just sit back and do the “live and let live” thing when there are people actively trying to prevent certain groups of people from being treated equally under the law?

    I’m sorry, but when there are people who denigrate and demonize another group of people and actively work to perpetuate ignorant bigotry against that group of people, an “agree to disagree” attitude just doesn’t cut it.

    When there are laws that negatively affect your life directly (as not having access to civil marriage does to gay people) and people labelling you ‘evil’, your suggestion of holding hands and singing ‘kumbaya’ with the people encouraging such discrimination is naive at best.

  • AxeGrrl

    You nailed it, Rich.

  • AxeGrrl

    DG, you’re being incredibly disingenuous by suggesting that standing up to bullying IS “bullying”. 
    It’s not. 
    It’s called defending yourself against bullies.

    When there are specific organizations (like religion(s) that advocate discrimination against a certain group when they’ve offerd absolutely NOTHING to justify such discrimination, and when these organizations attempt to inject their ignorant bigotry into civil law to negatively affect the lives of people, then standing up and speaking out against said organizations isn’t “bullying”……

    So please, spare us.

  • DG

    No, it’s my summary of how people stand up to it.  Understanding that it is NOT some irrefutable scientific fact that being gay is the same as being black, this is still resting on the values and beliefs of substantial segment of the population. 

    As for the rest, of course.  Liberalism in the 70s and 80s was all about live and let live.  Gay rights didn’t rise up like this, it rose up in a decade where people were convinced there were no real absolute morals and values, that society had no right to legislate morality, or force conformity to a ‘normal’ value system, that freedom and a free society meant everyone learning to live and let live, agree to disagree.

    I’m merely pointing out that this incarnation of liberal enlightenment seems to have gone the way of the butter churn, and many who come out of that tradition seem the happier for it. 

    For my part, they are right.  It was always ludicrous to attempt a completely open and tolerant society where everyone just accepts everyone else.  A lie. A dream.  Whatever.  At least the modern incarnation of progressive thought, with a zeal and assurance of its own moral superiority and infallibility, is truer to what humans typically believe:  There is only room for one moral truth in this country partner, and you had best know you reject this absolute truth at your own risk.  Because how we treat you when you don’t conform is, well, going to be justified by the simple fact that not to conform is evil and hate defined.  And we all know where those to things must end up.  

    That’s all I’m saying.

  • DG

    Of course it is.  That’s like saying America bombing cities in WWII wasn’t wrong since they were just fighting people who themselves were bombing cities.  You can stand up against something without acting the same way or using the same tactics you otherwise condemn.  Once you do otherwise, you’ve merely invoked a moral absolute that defines right action by your own superior values system. 

    All anyone on this thread is saying is that their views about the issue are infallible and singularly correct, that all other views are by necessity hateful and wrong, and therefore standards apply differently.  What is wrong in one case is completely justified in this case. 

    As I said before, this merely shows that the thing that was once liberalism as understood in the 70s and 80s is truly dead.  A good thing or not remains to be seen.  But anyone from that time in history knows that this approach was seen, not as progress toward enlightenment, but what defined the status quo that the societal revolution was railing against.  For in those days, there was no better definition of zealotry and fanatical fundamentalism than assuming values only applied to others because I’m obviously 100% right and they are obviously 100% wrong.

  • I acknowledge what Hemant and AxeGrrl are saying, but the sentiment kind of falls flat for me. Anti-gay sentiment and bullying based on scriptural references, needs to be ridiculed and disavowed in the strongest terms. It IS bullshit. It IS pansy-assed. It is cowardly, dishonest, contemptible and wicked. It is hypocrisy of the highest order. The ways those smug little shits walked out ‘in defense of their faith’, says a great deal about the nature of that faith. It is weak minded and crass. I know the definition of bullying casts a pretty wide net now, but this talk should not be included in it. They need to understand that some of their beliefs are unsustainable, capricious, and down right stupid. Religious justification is the final barrier to eliminating institutionalized homophobia as something acceptable.

  • AxeGrrl

    Things are gradually becoming ‘better’……consciousness raising continues and, despite the fact that it might be 3 steps forward, 2 steps back, the general trend (when it comes to people being treated equally and the overall playing field becoming more level) is upwards……

    Society has to really open its collective eyes and see and acknowledge how certain ideologies/institutions have played a part in working against the progress of humanistic justice.

    And that’s precisely what’s happening here.

  • AxeGrrl

    Pansies? Some of the hardiest plants in the garden…..It’s unfortunate that they have this stigma; pansies are actually, how you say, bad-ass!

    Then they’re suffering the same ignorance-based stigma that “pussy” does! 🙂

    It always makes me giggle when someone uses the word “pussy” to mean “lame/weak”……..rrrrrright…….let’s see, it can accommodate fists, cocks of all sizes, it can kick out a 10lb baby (and bigger:) and withstand jackhammer-esque pounding…….

    to anyone who gets called a “pussy”, I say: 

    smile, knowing that the person who called you that inadvertently just decreed you to be tough-as-nails 🙂

  • I think no matter what people say here you are going to hold a certain position, a very dogmatic one – for reasons that are clear from your other comments.

    No, I don’t consider saying someone’s views are ‘bullshit’ – especially when they ARE bullshit – is bullying. I myself have used that word numerous time when discussing people’s views – and not once has their been any ‘bullying’ involved.
    Anyway, you are determined to see Dan as a hypocrite. Too bad your own brand of bullshit makes you think that way.
    BTW, it’s ‘speech’.

  • DG

    That’s, of course, your beliefs and opinions.  And that’s fine. What I’m getting at rather, is that set of comments that appears to suggest that such hateful, abusive language and attitude is fine, as long as it’s done by the right person for the right reason.  That would be no different than anything done in the past that we figure to be bad.  It’s not like religious people burning women at the stake for witchcraft didn’t look at American Indians and condemn their ways as torture.  History is filled with people doing the same exact thing that they condemn in others.  And seldom has it ever turned out for the better, no matter how worthy the initial cause.

  • Lee Miller

    This is the crux of the issue. Christians don’t read the Bible.  It’s used as a symbol to indicate “I/We have the Truth”, but then every sect and denomination develops their own belief system and standards, from Fundamental Baptists to Amish to Orthodox to UCC to whatever.

    People who actually READ the Bible–really read it for understanding, not devotionally or looking for isolated sentences–have to be appalled at what it says if they’re paying attention.

  • AnalogousGumdropDecoder

    Not to mention my house cat.  He’s a stone cold killer.

  • Fsq

    Jesus you are a pussy.

    And you use pussy arguments to try and promote a pussy agenda.

    Stop pussyfooting around and just be bold. Knock off the pussy bullshit and stand tall and strong.

  • DG

    And that’s fine.  If you’re willing to accept folks using such words and phrases and attitudes about homosexuality and speaking to homosexuals, then that’s at least consistent.

    If you think it’s right in one case, but not the other, then you’re simply declaring your values system to be exclusive and superior and the basis upon which treatment and attitudes toward individuals should be measured.  OK.  That’s pretty much the history of humanity there. 
    It’s one or the other. Oh, and it’s hardly a problem that I stand my ground when you more or less point out that everyone answering me is doing the same. 🙂

  • monyNH

     I certainly agree with the content of everything Savage was saying–however, as a parent, I kind of have a problem with his casual use of expletives in front of a group of teenagers. I know this is language they are completely familiar with, but adults speaking in a formal setting should be held to a higher level of discourse. Of course, the people who booked Savage for this conference knew exactly what they were getting–there was no surprise there. But I wonder what we’re teaching kids about what kind of speech is appropriate when presenting information or an argument to a group of people who are not family, friends, or fans.

    These “little pussy kids” you refer to are just young adults, and have a whole lot of growing up to do–they live at home, most probably can’t drive, and some probably still sleep with teddy bears. We’re supposed to be the adults, the ones who set the tone, the ones capable of making a reasoned, if passionate, arguments without resorting to words like “bullshit’ or “pussy”.

  • John PH

    Looks to me like it was a planned walkout. It started after the first utterance of the word “gay,” before he even got to the bible stuff.

    Probably just another political stunt to get supremacists to be seen as the victim.

  • Stev84

    It’s very well documented in fact. There were even times when same-sex marriages were socially accepted in some places, particularly in Fuijan province as late as the 18th century.

  • hoverFrog

    It’s almost as if they planned on walking out.

  • Tomsinclair2003

    Perhaps Savage thinks that the emperor Nero was a much better role model for human conduct than the Apostle Paul. The book which Savage refers to in regards to slavery was the book of Philemon. Do yourself a truth and read it yourself. (written in 60 A.D., when Nero reigned.). Then put slavery in the context of the culture, the Roman culture under Nero. A real sweetheart, that Nero. Read about him after you read Philemon. But do this only if you are interested in putting things in context. Otherwise ignore my comments and blindly applaud Mr. Savage.

    And as to slavery in America? Does everybody who waves a Bible live it’s teachings? Just because you have a Bible in your hand does not make you a Christian. Look at Savage himself; he obviously find some scriptures and repeat them (seriously out of context), but does that make him a Christian? And just who was it that initiated the abolitionist movement? Oh yeah, the actual Bible practicing Christians. But hey, don’t let the facts get in the way of your feelings.

  • hoverFrog

    I actually like his use of “pansy-assed”. Pansy has long been associated with effeminate men and weakness.  It is heartening to see a gay man reclaim the word and apply it to the bigots who lack the strength to even face an outspoken and strong gay man.

    The irony is not unnoticed.

  • Tomsinclair2003

    You agree with his context only because you have put nothing he said in context. Think for yourself. Read the book of Philemon. Read about slavery in the Roman culture. Christianity was only 30 years old when Philemon was written. And it was during the reign of Nero, one of the most degenerate of the emperors. Use your brain, not your feeeeellllings.

  • LifeInTraffic

    And, the Scotsman arrives.

  • Doug

    Wrong. He doesn’t tell them to stop being Christians. He tells them to get over the anti-gay parts of the Bible the same as they are over the anti-shellfish and the pro-slavery parts.

    But your feigned outrage is duly noted.

  • Glasofruix

     Sorry but there’s no truth in religion.

  • Glasofruix

    Our point of view = Gay people are humans and should get the same rights as straght people. That’s an infaillible and sin,gularly correct view of the issue.

    Religious point of view = Gay people are evil, they’ll burn in hell blahblah yada yada jesus, i’m right because the bible says so no rights for fags etc… That’s a hateful and wrong view.

    I’m quite sure Captain Obvious approves of this.

  • Deven_Kale

     DG, telling someone that their views are wrong, hurtful, or even dangerous is quite far from anything any sane person would consider bullying. Even if this is done often and with regularity, even hostility, it is not bullying in any way. All that is being done is talking about something someone thinks. What is being done is simply pointing out (even laughing at) fallacious logic, erroneous thought processes, or even flawed premises.

    This is what is done when atheists criticize christianity and the bible. We are saying nothing of the people who adhere to the philosophy surrounding it’s belief, other than perhaps that we believe their logic is flawed. This is not an insult so much as a correction.

    This is different when it comes to homosexuality though, because homosexuality is not an idea, thought process, nor premise. Homosexuality is a state of being. There is plenty of evidence that shows homosexuality is primarily genetic. Behavioral, genomic, even neurological studies support this.

    Arguing against homosexuality is arguing against a person. Stating that homosexuality is evil is stating that a person is evil. Anything a person can say about homosexuality is a statement about every single homosexual as an individual. Telling homosexuals that their sexual thoughts and behavior are wrong, but they themselves are fine, is just an evasion to make the speaker feel better about their hate speech. This is why it can be, and often is, considered bullying.

    Conflating a state of being with a thought process or premise (such as christianity) is “comparing apples to oranges”, as the saying goes. I believe this is also what they call an “equivocation fallacy.”

  • Deven_Kale


    it is NOT some irrefutable scientific fact that being gay is the same as being black.

    Actually, it is.

  • I tend to avoid inflammatory terms or swearing when trying to persuade people, but in this case, I would not have changed a word of Dan’s remarks. They fit well with the strength of his statement, and they fit well with the principle of not mincing words that he has come to represent.

    You’ll notice in the video that the first student who walked out did so before he used the word “bullshit,” starting a trend to make a statement with the concomitant peer pressure often seen among groups of young Christians, and those who fled had all left before he used the phrase “pansy-assed.”

    The people who walked out are not journalists. They’re thin-skinned  Christian teenagers accustomed to their privilege, who don’t have the courage or integrity necessary to be actual journalists. If they don’t end up going into some other line of work, like say, Sunday School Teacher, they might be able to work for Fox News. But their bosses will expect them to actually sit through the speeches they don’t like before they do the Murdock spin. Poor things.  Life can be so tough.

  • Ndonnan

    A classic case of a bigoted bully talking,justifing bad behavior and attitude by putting others down.

  • Again,

    You should get one of your friends to screw your daughter straight.

  •  “Perhaps Savage thinks that the emperor Nero was a much better role model for human conduct than the Apostle Paul.”

    well, he did less harm.

  • Ndonnan

    I dont think so Rich,ive been in church all my life and never heard a sermon on homo sexuallity[or abortion for that matter]We have a neighbour whos had a sex change who comes to all the community events and goes to church, people dont understand his choice but still love and include him,and i live in a small catholic community set up in the 50s as a self susstaind catholic community,carnt get more insular than that.The only time gays are mentioned is when they are agressively pushing some issue in parliment.That is what was wrong with this mans presentation,he was pushing his agenda.Suicide is a complex issue,to blame it on christians not agreeing with homosexuallity is rubbish,its people despondent at themselves who see no future,thats why i think the highest rate of suicide age group in Australia is men over 85.If you go to a middle eastern country they dont get hung on a fence but by the neck, now theres lack of support right there.To say sex between inderviduals hurts no one ignores the aids eperdemic in Africa and Asia which has now spread to the hetrosexual community from their low moral standard.Western countries may have controled it to a large extent but there are a lot of people still affected by it.Its true very few churches are pro gay but it is also true very few are anti gay,[as in the person] My neice is gay and she is loved dearly, but my agnostic brother is devistated,go figger

  • It will be amazing if this even goes anywhere. We’ve all scene talks like this for a while now. If somehow this becomes a culture war issue bring it on. Savage was criticizing the Bible itself (and not Christianity). They don’t want to hear what some of the angrier atheists have to say here.

  • Zerotarian

    I think he’s a hypocrite for using the term “pansy-assed.” But “bullshit?” That wasn’t directed at Christianity, or the Bible as whole — that was directed at a very small subset of things the Old Testament says, things that any remotely moral person should be perfectly comfortable calling out as utterly reprehensible bullshit. How can that be “anti-Christian” unless a significant proportion of Christians actually think that what the Bible says about those topics is NOT bullshit? That’s a pretty damning admission on the part of Christians.

  • Bcw0

    Anyone who thinks what Dan Savage was doing is bullying,  has never been bullied.  “Bully” implies power: a teacher, a bigger kid,  a cliche or group.  Those kids weren’t in fear – they felt able to stomp out.  Becoming an adult means learning to hear ideas you don’t like.

    I think the use of “pansy-assed” was strategic – the kids who walked out are exactly the ones who think that about gay people, whether they use the word to gay kids  directly or not.  The word equates gay with weak.  Savage’s use of the word points out that the bible kids were being weak themselves and moves them into the humiliated, excluded group the word defines.  Isolation from the group is a powerful force.  Savage is strategically applying that isolation just this once against the oppressors.

  • “The kids who walked out of that room weren’t “proud Christians.” They were bad journalists.” – Couldn’t agree more.

  • Sue Blue

    I’m sure those poor, poor oh-so-easily offended teens have used much stronger terms than “bullshit” and “pansy-assed” while bullying gay students, but their pure little ears and minds will be scarred for life by  hearing that the bible is a big, stinky load of poo?  My heart bleeds purple piss for them.  

  • ive been in church all my life and never heard a sermon on homo sexuallity

    Exactly my point.  Many Christian Churches are actively anti-gay.  A great many more, like yours, have their fingers in their ears singing “LA LA LA Not my problem! Not my problem!”

    And a few speak out explicitly in support of gay rights.

    Suicide is a complex issue,to blame it on christians not agreeing with homosexuallity is rubbish,its people despondent at themselves who see no future

    Yes, it’s complex.  And no by no means is it only Christians hating someone because of what they think their own personal God said, while ignoring what their God said about many other things.

    But the reason many gay teens are so depressed is not because they’re gay.  It’s because they are demonized for who they are.

    I don’t know if you can watch it where you are, but if you can, I’d encourage A Class Divided in which a teacher teaches kids about bigotry by making up brown eye/blue eye divides in the class.  You can make a person depressed by applying group pressure against them.

    That is what was wrong with this mans presentation,he was pushing his agenda.

    His ‘agenda’ was that people use the bible to support anti-gay bullying.  To make his point, he said that people also used to use the bible to support slavery.  Agree or not on the bible’s position on slavery (we’d beaten that horse to glue), I hope you’d agree that the bible was used in that way.  And the bible talks about slavery a lot more than about homosexuality.  At least about male homosexuality.  It’s silent on female homosexuality, and yet people still bully lesbians.

    If you go to a middle eastern country they dont get hung on a fence but by the neck

    a) I was referring to Mathew Shepherd, who ended up as dead as if he’d been hung by his neck- it just too longer.  b) as I pointed out, I’m talking about America.  Make it ‘any Christian majority nation’ if you like.  Islam has its own evils to answer here, but there aren’t enough Muslims in America right now to bother any gay kid.  If you want to defend yourself, or your Church or your religion, saying “ya, but they’re worse” isn’t an argument.

    aids eperdemic

    Really?  From the Church that until 1.5 years ago had the official position that condoms should not be used, even for the purpose of preventing the spread of AIDS?  Sorry, that’s deflecting.  Point is, gay sex doesn’t have to be any less safe than heterosexual sex. And today AIDS is a decidedly non-biased disease.  It’ll take anyone, so really, it’s the sex that’s dangerous.  And that lesbian sex that the bible never mentioned is safer than heterosexual sex.

    from their low moral standard

    I’m not sure who’s moral standard, and what part you’re calling immoral.  But if you’re talking about promiscuity, but for the fact that gay people in some places have to be a lot more secret about it which lends itself to short secret relationships rather than open (as in not hiding) long term relationships, gay people are no more promiscuous than straight people.

    very few are anti gay,[as in the person]

     Hating the sin but loving the sinner is still evil if the person’s ‘sin’ is an innate part of their character.  It’s like loving the left handed person as long as they don’t write with their left hand, and telling them that their desire to do so is a sin.

  • Ndonnan

    Thanks for replying Rich,we will have to agree to disagree

  • Keulan

    I agree with everything you said except your point about tone. First, the students who walked out would likely have left even if he hadn’t used those words. Second, I don’t see what’s wrong with him calling using words like “pansy-assed” and “bullshit”. There’s nothing inherently wrong with swearing.

  • btw, Dan has apologized for ‘

    and on bullshit- oh just go read it if you care.

  • Stev84

    Did you watch the video? Notice the loud cheering and clapping at the end. Most people there agreed strongly with him

  • Stev84

    At least Nero’s destructive influence stopped when he died. Paul is still wrecking lives

  • FTW!

  • Cbarnes111

    The  m e n r i s i n g   website tells the truth behind this story.

  • Cbarnes111

    Mods here not into differing views?  Deleted my comment with an opposing view. Typical.

  • Cbarnes111

    Friendly Atheist.  An oxymoron obviously.

  • Cbarnes111

    Please seek help for your problems people.  Goodnight mods…

  • You have to be pretty off-base to get moderated here.  More likely a disqus glitch.  It happens, I sometimes see things not post or go away.  This what you wanted to say?


  • AxeGrrl

    Bravo, Deven 🙂

  • amycas

     Groups of teenagers use expletives all the time. Really, they do. I’m sure Savage’s use of the word “bullshit” was not the first time that they heard the word. Although I don’t like the use of the insult “pansy” for the same reason that Axxgrl (sp?) has stated. I also have a problem with using the word “pussy” as an insult (it’s inherently demeaning to women the same way that “pansy” is inherently demeaning to gay people). But I”m not going to argue with his tone because I think he said what needs to be said. These kids won’t make it far as journalists if they can’t sit through a lecture they don’t agree with.

  • AxeGrrl

    stand tall and strong.

    I AM standing tall and strong

    I AM being bold

    That’s fucking precisely  what pussies DO, you twit 🙂   perhaps what you need to do is uh, acquaint yourself with more pussy to understand that 😉

  • amycas

     Yes it is acceptable to tell homophobes that what they believe is bullshit. Just like it’s acceptable to tell racists that what they believe is bullshit.

  • AxeGrrl

    Thanks for this, Rich 🙂   Here’s what Dan says:

    “I would like to apologize for describing that walk out as a pansy-assed move. I wasn’t calling the handful of students who left pansies (2800+ students, most of them Christian, stayed and listened), just the walk-out itself. But that’s a distinction without a difference—kinda like when religious conservatives tells their gay friends that they “love the sinner, hate the sin.” They’re often shocked when their gay friends get upset because, hey, they were making a distinction between the person (lovable!) and the person’s actions (not so much!). But gay people feel insulted by “love the sinner, hate the sin” because it is insulting. Likewise, my use of “pansy-assed” was insulting, it was name-calling, and it was wrong. And I apologize for saying it.”

    And that, right there, is yet another reason I fucking love Dan Savage.  He’s secure enough to acknowledge his own potentially questionable tactical choices if/when made aware of them……..

    strong, secure, courageous……he’s a regular pussy, he is 🙂

  • AxeGrrl

    Even Mr Rogers needs to kick some (deserving) ass from time to time 🙂

  • Deven_Kale

     So you’re saying that parent endorsed serial rape of a child is OK, as long as the parents “truth claim” says that homosexuality is hurtful in some way?

  • Fsq

    You know axe, I think you are kind of dumb-ass and have a fucked up agenda, but I respect the fact you are using humor and farce to depower a word you don’t like. This is the way it should be. Depower the word instead of calling and howling to censor it.

    It is akin to the words fag, nigger and queer. They used to have negative power, but the minority groups took control of them and depowered them without resorting to censorship.

    You may have a head injury in your past, but I respect this angle you are using.

  • Fsq

    What the hell is wrong with you? Are you that myopic or deluded by your own lack of a fact filter that you try to spin whatever it is to suit your own vile needs?

  • Fsq

    Oops. That was to the op, dot Doug! I’m still trying to figure out this iPad thing….l

  • Unfortunately, they’re TYPICAL journalists these days.

  • TychoBrahesBladder

    I disagree with your opinion on the swearing. Indeed it may be offensive, but so fucking what? If we can intellectually listen to Penn Jillette, why not this kid? Whats the diff?

  • Chknwrdj

    The pledge promoted by “It Gets Better” calls on supporters to “speak up against hate and intolerance” whenever witnessed, whether at school or at work. “Everyone deserves to be respected for who they are,” the pledge reads.

    Yet he called the students who left “pansy-asses.” Isnt that bullying?

  • To be fair, I don’t think AxeGrrl misses the point that often. I just happen to disagree in this particular case.

  • Gage

    Seriously. Step back and read what you just wrote. I though this site was for people who are rational thinkers. I understand that I topic might strike up some passion, but this is just pure emotional response. Please, name one student that you saw walk away and tell me how they are over-privileged. I won’t hold my my breath though. Name one specific person that you watched in the video and give evidence that you have knowing that they are arrogant. The burden of proof is now on you since you made the claim right? Good luck. I don’t want assumptions either. I don’t want an explanation to fill in the gaps. I want proof!This whole thread is ridiculous. To summarize, the majority of the people here want to teach Christians a lesson because all of them are bullying gays, therefore everyone who is gay, atheist or a combination should bully the Christians back. Yep, because that’s what the voice of reason says. Good without God? Explain to me what about this attitude is good in the eyes of society and not just your own personal view. Thanks.

  • Gage

    FYI, I consider being gay a sin, just like I do lying, cheating, stealing, murder, putting someone down, anything that is unwholesome talk. I have never bullied anyone based off of their sexuality or the view of sexuality. I have friends who are gay. My brother’s best friend growing up is gay. We continued our friendship until he moved away from the small town to a big city, a move that I totally understand.

    So just because one is a Christian, does not mean that they are into bullying gay people or anyone who supports them. It’s just a decision. Just like I decide if I am going to cheat on my wife or remain faithful. Just like I am going to decide if I am going to poket the bill or return it to the person who I saw drop it though I can barely pay my own bills, just like I can give a warm meal and fresh socks and an hour out of my busy day to the homeless guy who hangs out under the overpass near my house or a can hurry home because I’m tired from working 14 hours that day. It’s a decision that one makes.

    The Bible teaches what should be done in each of those cases. Ridicule me if you want, but you won’t find me fighting back. The words that are being tossed around on this site under this thread are full of hate. It is simply full of hate and evil. This makes me so sad to read.

    The speaker had a great opportunity to actually try to open up some minds to a greater audience that he normally would not be able to talk to. So what does he do, he cusses them out. Classy move 🙁

  • Gage

    Then why can’t a six year old go to a rater R movie by themselves?

  • Gage

    I’m a bit confused. If it’s the Christians who are causing such pain via gay bullying, assault and abuse, why are they listening to only THAT part of the Bible and the parts that mention to love even your enemy, not to murder and not to harbor hate? 

  • Gage

    I’m calling you out on this one. Go back to the posts that were made concerning Dawkins speech about mocking Christians for their beleifs. There was a lot of talk about not respecing Christians not to be confused with not respecting their views. There was unequivocal, unapologetic insults thrown at several Christian posters.

    Acting on one’s sexual urges is indeed a thought process. Sadly one that most people do not engage in before a couple of teenagers get together and one ends up pregnant before they are ready to take on that responsibility.

  • Gage

    By equating the two are you saying that being black is partially due to environmental factors? That doesn’t sound like “REAL” science to me :/

  • Gage

    Did anyone in that crowd try to bully Dan before his speech?

  • Deven_Kale

     I’m not talking about that. I’m talking about mocking christianity in the abstract (a belief system) compared to mocking homosexuality in the abstract (a state of being). Dawkins wasn’t talking about an abstract like christianity, but Christians, the group of people who subscribe to the belief system of christianity. This is another false equivocation.

    While acting on ones sexual urges is possibly the result of a thought process, the thought process itself is the inevitable result of physiological and chemical processes within specific brain structures the size and composition of which are brought on by genetics. Implying that everybody, as a teenager, should be able to control their libido simply states that you yourself were lucky enough to not have hormones strong enough to overpower your mental faculties (or you were an asexual teenager like I was). It means nothing to those who aren’t so lucky.

  • Deven_Kale

     That’s a red herring, and you know it.

    The main point is that there is strong evidence showing that homosexuality has many genetic and physiological components. Since there is no way for someone such as you or I to tell whether or not this person is truly gay by birth, the default position is to assume that they are. Until you have solid evidence otherwise, such as a brain scan or DNA sequence, claiming they choose it is a flawed argument. Even then, not everything about homosexuality is known and so we can’t say for sure a negative scan or DNA sample is definitive. There could be genes or brain structures connected to homosexuality as yet unknown that this person would test positive for.

  • Deven_Kale

    He never said the people who were leaving were pansy-asses, he said they reacted in a pansy-assed way. Whether or not criticizing a behavior can be considered bullying can be argued either way and it depends on the circumstances. In this particular case, I don’t have a specific opinion, but I lean towards the side of acceptable.

  • Dan

    Actually, I think those students just wanted to catch the final episode of House, so they left a little early.  Complete misunderstanding.

  • Dan

    Your absolutely right.  Bible-thumping Christians were indeed the force behind the Abolitionist movement.  That just goes to show how the Bible can be interpreted however you feel.  See in it whatever fits your politics.  I think that was one of the points Dan was trying to say.  If we can ignore the Bible’s comments about not eating shellfish, or killing women for lying about not being virgins, why the hell can’t we ignore those embarrassing homophobic comments???

  • Deven_Kale

    Because your average rated R movie has a hell of a lot more in it than a few swear words.

    But mostly because the rules set up by the MPAA are greatly set by the input of moviegoers and those people state they don’t want their children watching a movie with that type of content in it. Movies with swearing that have lower than a rating of PG tend to get them a lot of complaints, so they relegate movies with swearing (among many other criteria) to PG-13 or higher.

    Keulan is saying there’s nothing inherently wrong with swearing, and that’s true. Any value placed upon those words is entirely subjective, either positive or negative.

  • Gage

    I don’t know what a red herring is. I do know that the 2 articles really do not tell me what the evidence is. 

    The first article more shows that there is no defined evidence to prove a whole heck of a lot. 

    The second article tells my that men and women’s brains work differently. 

    That still does not tell me that being gay is not a choice. You claim that there is no way to tell if they are born or conditioned with this in their DNA. So why are we defaulting to one belief over another. Isn’t this EXACTLY what an atheist attacks a Christian for doing when it comes to the creation story?

    Christians get accused of filling in the gaps with God as a Creator and are called ignorant and stupid and are not worthy of being respected. Why is it any different with what you are claiming. You default to a belief without proof. If I played by the atheist rules, I would now call you names and tell you that I have no respect for you because of your futile beliefs. However I do respect you. 

    I respect you for wanting people to be treated as equals despite their lifestyle. I respect you for calling out hypocrisy when you see it. 

    I will however, respectfully disagree with your “default” To make any argument either way would be somewhat flawed, but I believe there is more evidence based from social conditioning that people choose to be gay rather than being born gay. 

    For those who do chose to be gay, I don’t look down on you because of your choice or your beliefs. It’s a decision that you’ve made. 

  • Gage

    If there is nothing wrong with it then why would a parent care if their children watch a movie with swearing in it? 

    You are telling me that there is nothing wrong with it. Society in general says that there is. Why does a child get in trouble when he swears at school?

  • Gage

    I must have missed the part in the Bible that actually tells Christians to take up slaves. Funny huh? 

    That parts that do talk about it refer more to either indebted servitude or to simply a worker and his employer. 

  • why are they listening to only THAT part of the Bible 

    Heck if I know.

    although I suspect what you’re trying to say is that most Christians really are listening to other parts.  I think Dan’s point, and mine, is that they’re not IGNORING a couple of passages, like they do vast other areas of the Bible.  Nobody- even Fred Phelps, really follows the Bible word for word.  So if you can explain away being born into slavery (Exodus 21:4) then surely you can ignore Leviticus 18:22.

  • FYI, I consider being gay a sin, just like I do lying, cheating, stealing, murder, putting someone down, anything that is unwholesome talk.

    I have never bullied anyone based off of their sexuality or the view of sexuality.

    I have friends who are gay.

    And I assume they know your view that they are sinners?  You may not be ‘in your face’ about it, but it sounds to me like that cab driver I had in Atlanta, who at first decided I’d like to hear about how happy he was to know he was picking up a white fare.  And how if he saw a black person, most likely he’d ‘no notice’ them.  You know, just bein’ safe an’ all.  Nothing against black folk, mind you.  There’s good an’ bad in all races.  Just his right to skip the black customers.  Can’t help if they make him uncomfortable.

    You may not see that as bullying, and maybe your gay friends are used to it, but holding a negative opinion about someone based on simply who they are is- you know, I don’t have any other word for it- evil.  I know that’s harsh, but my vocabulary is failing me right now.

    You are making a value judgment on someone based on who they are.  Dan was making a value judgement on people because of a choice they made.  Say all you want about their freedom of speech- their ‘speech’ was rude, and Dan replied in kind.

    I don’t think less of someone because they’re a Christian. I think less of them if they’re the type of Christian who says homosexuality is a sin.  I also think less of people who say being left handed is a sin.

    The words that are being tossed around on this site under this thread are full of hate.

    As Greta Christina says, we’re not angry because there’s something wrong with us, we’re angry because there’s something right with us.

    great opportunity to actually try to open up some minds to a greater audience

     Thirty odd students got up in protest.  Probably would have no matter what Dan had said.  2800+ sat and cheered him.  And if those thirty hadn’t gotten up, we would not be having this discussion now.  I’d say those who got up did a great job of bringing this to a wider audience.

  • Deven_Kale

     Do you know what subjective means? It means that the interpretation of something is not set in stone, but is determined by the individual experiencing it. Whether or not a swear-word is offensive is a subjective matter, meaning some people find them offensive and others don’t.

    This means that there is nothing intrinsically, inherently, objectively wrong with a swear-word. I don’t care if my child watches a movie with swearing in it, but others do. I personally don’t think the words piss, suck, or damn are offensive at all and don’t care if my children of any age say them, others do. That is a textbook example of a subjective circumstance.

    This is all that Keulan and I are saying.

  • That is funny.

    You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance. 

    If his master gave him a wife while he was a slave and they had sons or daughters, then only the man will be free in the seventh year, but his wife and children will still belong to his master. http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Exodus+21%3A2-6&version=NLT 

    When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are.

    they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property 


     Now kill all the boys. And kill every woman who has slept with a man, but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man. 

  • Deven_Kale

     In logic, the “default position” is the position that can most readily be assumed given the currently available evidence on any given topic. Without contradictory evidence, the default should always be assumed. I admit, I didn’t look very hard to find those articles, and there are definitely many articles that could have been better. This doesn’t change the fact that even a cursory search of the internet for scholarly articles (or even reviews/blogs of scholarly articles for those of us without subscriptions) will bring up an overwhelming amount of evidence in favor of the genetic argument for homosexuality. Therefore without evidence to the contrary the most logical assumption, or the default position, is genetic influence. I wish I could believe that you don’t look down on people who you think choose to be gay, but your previous statements to others imply otherwise.

    From Fallacy Files: “a ‘red herring’ argument is one which distracts the audience from the issue in question through the introduction of some irrelevancy,” such as your insertion of Christianity to an argument which had nothing to do with it, but I can’t help biting on that one anyway. (mixed metaphor, sorry)

    Another aspect of the default position is that when there is no evidence, the default is to not believe it. You imply that the existence of a god could arguably be considered a default position in terms of theology, but since there is zero evidence for any (supernatural) gods whatsoever, the default position of any theological argument is disbelief. This includes the argument of the creation story. Until there is any valid objective evidence of the creation story, at all, the default position must be disbelief.

  • Kirkyshooter

    I just want to add my two cents worth. I am a Christin, no,not a “christian” or pseudo-“christian” but someone who tries to live their live the way Christ taught people.

    Anyone who perverts the bible to use as a tool to promote hate, abuse people, and bully is no Christian, they are barely human. As a Christian who has studied the Book of allegories to live by called the Bible, I know there are inconsistencies and outright contradictions in the Bible, on of them is mentioned already, the two concurrant stories in Genesis, the “Jewish” story, and “Sumerian” stories.I personally do not follow “The Law” as it is recorded in Leviticus, parts patently ridiculous by today’s standards, and I am not going to cherry pick so I can abuse people.

    I agree utterly with Mr. Savage and his speech, he was not insulting Christians, but rather, taking to task “christians” for their hypocritical and selective use of the Bibel as a tool of hate. I was not offended by his words either, though I was by the actions of those claiming to be “christian” both in the video, and after.

    Not all people who call themselves Christians are bigots, some of us actually try to live as Christ would want, with love. On day, we will all e equal, until that day I weep for humanity.

  • Gage

    No. I completely disagree with your first point. For me personally, because I cannot speak for others, I do not judge people due to the sin that they are trapped up in. 

    Yes, I see being gay as a sin. But being trapped by gambling is a sin. Being trapped by lust and pornography is a sin too. Not one singe sin is different than another when it comes to the condition of the heart. Some sins might effect other people and some may not. That’s fine, but that’s also not what the measuring stick is judging. It can all be rolled into a single category, rebellion. I’m not gay, but I’ve stuck in other sin patterns. I’m guilty too.  I am no better than anyone else. 

    I am not judging by pointing out someone’s sin. I don’t call people out constantly on it. For my gay friends, we’ve had that conversation in depth once. Since then we might start to talk about it, but NEVER do I try to bully them or try to demean them or make them feel like less of a person. I try and treat them the same way, probably even better, than I would a habitual speeder. A speeder’s actions could potentially harm other people so if anything I would get on their case even more. 

    My point is, according to the Bible, we are ALL sinners. That leaves me no room to look down on someone because of their sin. I’m in the same boat. I have Christian friends who are gay. I have Christian friends who fall short in different areas of their lives too. I treat them as the same. It doesn’t matter what rule is being broken, the fact is that all of us have and continue to break God’s rules. I just try to point that out to my friends when I see it and they do the same for me. It’s called accountability and is a beautiful thing!

    If I held a negative view about someone based off of who they are, yes that would be evil. I have never seen actual evidence that being gay is genetic. I know scientists have/are looked at that, but there has been no proof. I would argue that’s it’s a decision that can be influenced by one’s environment. 

    My wife has a cousin who enjoyed what his father sadly considered to be feminine interests. So, his abusive dad told him that he was gay. Just about every day he told him what he though about his son. Guess what? He is gay. I cannot say from this one instance that it was the social conditioning alone that caused him to make his decision, but there is no evidence to prove that he was born gay either. 

    If people are born gay, then that would make this human condition the first and only time that the Bible says that someone is a sinner because of who they are. Why would that ONE item be chosen? To be honest, the BIble doesn’t actually talk that much about it. It just mentions it a few times and is usually in a laundry list next to other sins.

  • Gage


  • Gage

    Could not the same thing about physiological and chemical processes be said about anger and murder. We all get angry right? Not everyone commits a murder or gets in a fight when they are angry though. 

    Does that mean if someone gets angry enough to kill we can just chalk it up to biology and move on?

  • Gage

    OK. I see where you are coming from. I can see why the default would go to what is easiest to believe. Using logic, that’s where it would have to go. I can see this applying to God if you do not see any evidence for a God. Again, trying to stay with the logic argument. I do not see however why genetic influence and not social influence is the default in determining if someone is gay or not. But that’s okay I guess :/

  • Gage

    So society’s rules are subjective and really do not mean anything as long as you choose to differ from them? Correct? 

    Excuse my ignorance here, could a child or parent get in legal trouble if the child finds their way into a rated R movie? I have no idea if the rating system is just a social norm or a law, but it brings up this question if it is a law: 

    Can any law be treated as society’s subjective opinion? 

    If the rating system is not legally enforced then my question can be disregarded. Does someone smarter than me know?

  • Gage

    But the OT law does not apply to Christians. I don’t think you understand what the point to all of those OT rules was 🙁

  • Deven_Kale

    Actually, you’re right. I have heard of that argument being used as a defense in murder cases, but it unilaterally fails. The difference is pretty obvious really, murder removes the rights of a person without their consent, specifically their right to life. Excessive anger can lead to violence or abuse, which is also removing rights without consent, causing damage to physical, emotional, or mental health. While these people may just be slaves to their biology (and I stress may, I know of no evidence showing murder has a biological cause), they are still dangerous and should be kept out of mainstream society.

    Homosexuality by itself doesn’t remove anyone’s rights. Condemnation of homosexuality, on the other hand, does remove them. Banning gay marriage because it’s “icky” or “sinful” removes a lot of rights inherent in marriage, such as hospital visits and power of attorney when a spouse is ill and unable to make decisions. There’s a key difference there.

  • Deven_Kale

     You’re getting there. It’s not what’s easiest to believe, it’s what’s best supported by the available evidence, or the position that is most likely without additional supporting evidence.

    The genetic argument for homosexuality is strong enough (whether you’ve seen the evidence personally or not) to allow us to assume that it could be true for anyone. The only way to disprove that is with evidence to the contrary. That’s why the default position for homosexuals is genetics, because more evidence must be given to show otherwise.

  • Deven_Kale

    Half right again. The rules of society are fluid, and they change and evolve over time. So acting in a way that doesn’t fit perfectly within the bounds of current norms is actually part of the normal system, since that’s how the changes occur in the first place. People ignoring some societal laws and creating others is just par for the course.

    I’m no legal expert, but I know that if I were to bring my 4 year old into a rated R movie, no charges would be brought against me. I also know that if I brought somebody elses child to a rated R movie, that childs parent could definitely bring charges against me. I just don’t know which law the charges could be brought under.

    Actually any law can be ignored based on the situation. That’s what jury nullification is. The point of a jury is to determine whether or not a person deserves the punishment asked for by the prosecution, regardless of the wording of the actual law. If they don’t believe the person deserves that punishment, they can nullify the law itself for that defendant by ruling them not guilty even if what they did explicitly fits the legal definition of guilt in that case.

    You really seem to like red herrings.

  • Oh you’re right, 
    Matthew 5:17

    Do not think that our loving God decreed that it was permissible to own people as property.  I have come here to set the record straight, all those laws and prophets are all bullshit.  You’re to ignore all of them and instead heed the words of Our Heavenly Father.  Amen, I say to you, at no time may you make a choice that causes more harm than it does good, or delay an action that prevents harm.

  • Twinkie defense.

  • Our fundamental disagreement is over ‘sin’.  Sin is, by definition, something that is wrong because a religious doctrine says it’s wrong.  Some things that are sins are considered wrong in other doctrines and outside of religious doctrine (murder, theft), but some are wrong ONLY because of religious doctrine (homosexuality, working on the Sabbath, coveting a neighbor’s property).  Heck, that last one is a basic principle of capitalism!

    As a Bible believer, you believe in the concept of sin.  As an atheist, I do not.  I think something should actually do harm to be considered wrong.  Now if you’re going to argue that gay sex causes harm, we can have that argument.  I can disagree, but at least we’re on a discussion point.  If homosexuality is wrong just because the Bible says so, then from my POV that’s like quoting Harry Potter, and we’re never going to agree.

    If people are born gay

    I fail to understand how that question can still exist.

    Let’s put it this way, I never chose to be straight.  I assume you didn’t either.  And I’m sure we can find many more people who never chose to be straight.  They just are.  So, we know that some people (probably most) don’t have a choice about their sexuality.  

    this human condition the first and only time that the Bible says that someone is a sinner because of who they are.

    If (probably most) straight people don’t choose their sexuality, then how is it that gay people do?  And the vast majority of gay people say they didn’t choose their sexuality.  If even one of them is right, then you have someone who is a sinner not because of any choice they made, but because of who they are.

    Ah, but gay people can still choose to live straight lives.  Sure.  Can you imagine living your life in an intimate relationship with another man?  (Assuming you’re male).  Celibate would be easier surely.

    Why would that ONE item be chosen?

    I know that’s rhetorical, but MY answer would be pretty close to Dan’s and involve manure.  But you’ll have to work that out for yourself.

    btw, just because they haven’t found a direct genetic marker for homosexuality doesn’t mean it’s any kind of choice.  Having older brothers makes a man more likely to be gay.  That would not be inherited, but a non-choice environmental. I don’t see what the difference would be if you’re concerned about the Bible condemning people for who they are.

  • freemage

     Which is why he apologized for pansy-assed, and not for bullshit.  He admitted an error, and was unequivocal in saying he’d done wrong.  That’s integrity.

  • RealTasteZeroCalories

    Obviously staged.  I used to run with these Christian bible groups in high school.  I know how it works.  All of it is phony.  

  • valerick


    Give up, man. Anyone who believes in the year 2012 that one can decide to be gay is impervious to facts. That is a position that is quite simply not based in reality and is the type of argument that causes serious harm to gay youth who are despondent over their inability to choose otherwise. Do not encourage him. His position is ignorant, hurtful, and flat wrong, but he cannot be won over by persuasion. Instead, you are just reinforcing his position in his own mind and encouraging him to continue sharing it. Be the bigger person and just walk away.

  • I think his critique of Biblical ethics is absolutely on target. Describing the behavior of the kids as panzy-ass was a dick-move though. Of course political Christians are spinning this for all its worth and more., but it’s a shame he gave them the excuse.

  • Milarepa

    The Bible is the single biggest collection of garbage works ever pulled on mankind. Its a lie from start to finish, unprovable and politically motivated. If you cannot see that maybe you should go get a copy and read it… Stop arguing, and just go read it. Go read it… It becomes very apparent who the liars and cheats really are after that… Disgusting!

  • Atendam

    Well Tony, Savage  is a coward,for this reason, he is afraid to call the Koran bullshit ,the Koran does reject homosexuallity,and even suggests that they should be put to death. There are millions of MUSLIM IN THE U.S.A.  All cowards are afraid,I hope you knew that. Today 60 christians were burned to death for their faith,yet Savage is afraid to call the Koran bullshit for their anti gay bullying.
    Yes Tony,Savage is a filthy coward.

  • S Cawthon

    Hi,I am a recovering hypocrite. I was raised around people who threw the words,homo,fagot,and queer,around like they were rubbers in a whorehouse,and I also grew to hate Christians,and a lot of other people ,over time. Not a very nice thing to live with ,knowing I have been that kind of a person. But,I am on my second trip,through a different version of the Bible,now,and I clearly see,where it says things about how being gay,is an abomination. It doesn’t say tie them to trees,and burn them alive or bully them anywhere. God is supposed to be a loving God,even though the bible does have some vicious activity in it. I think the word is still good. Its way better than bullying anyone,whether they be gay,Christian,or Atheist. I’m at a point where I’m still lost. But I know that hate doesn’t feel very good. That’s just my view.

  • Bonnie

    I am a Christian, and feel bad if Dan has been bullied by Christians, for we are told not to judge anyone, for only God can judge, please don’t hate God for what some so called Christians do or say, all I know is everyone in the world has sinned, and that is why our loving God send Jesus to die for our sins, all we have to do is ask him.

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