Dan-Savage

It Gets Better…Unless You Disagree with Dan Savage

Before I say one more word, I’d like to officially take the pledge found on Dan Savage’s It Gets Better website:

Everyone deserves to be respected for who they are. I pledge to spread this message to my friends, family and neighbors. I’ll speak up against hate and intolerance whenever I see it, at school and at work. I’ll provide hope for lesbian, gay, bi, trans and other bullied teens by letting them know that “It Gets Better.”

Hopefully it counts, even though I’m a conservative.

Right now, at this moment, I should be studying for finals. I should be writing a paper. I should be finishing a research project. I should be finalizing my bar application, or memorizing my commencement speech, or maybe even getting 5 or 6 hours of sleep. Yet here I sit, staring at the walls and listening to this video with a broken heart:

Dan, you talk an awful lot of trash for someone so opposed to intolerance.

On Sunday, Savage made an attempt at apologizing for bullying the children who chose to walk out on his speech. Since he apologized for calling a group of children “pansy-asses,” I’ve chosen to apologize for a few comments I myself recently made about Savage:

It was wrong for me to post these things, and I apologize for doing it. Had I let it stand, what I said in those posts would have cheapened everything I feel about what happened to the kids Savage targeted with his hateful words.

I’m not here for the “doesn’t Dan Savage advocate against bullying?” attack–Jimmy LaSalvia already hit the nail on the head with GOProud’s response to Savage’s remarks:

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

No, my real issue with this whole situation is that this man was allowed to address a group of children. This is the same man who cyberbullied Rick Santorum by associating Rick’s last name with “the frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex.” The same man who publicly stated that a Green Party candidate for Senate should be “dragged behind a pickup truck until there’s nothing left but the rope.
The same man who sat down with Bill Maher and made crude comments about Michele Bachmann’s husband:

This man was allowed a bully pulpit to address a room full of impressionable children. This is the outrage. This is the scandal. Who associated with the National Scholastic Press Association and/or the Journalism Education Assocation is responsible for inviting a man who makes a living pontificating on the follies of “the f*ckable world” to speak to a captive audience full of high school journalists? We’ve been dealing with Dan Savage’s word vomit for years, now. We’ve known who he is, what he believes, and what he believes is and is not acceptable activism.

Now, thanks to the incompetence at the NSPA and/or JEA, we know a little bit more about Dan Savage. We know that he thinks it’s acceptable to curse at teenagers in a professional setting. We know that he thinks it’s acceptable to selectively interpret and misrepresent the teachings of the Bible (a practice he abhors in Christians) in order to make a shock-point. We know that he thinks it’s acceptable to say things that hurt and humiliate children who love Jesus, and we know that he thinks it’s acceptable to keep verbally flogging those children when his hateful remarks earn him applause.

The pledge I posed at the beginning is a promise:
I will do more than speak up against hate and intolerance–I will fight against it with every fiber of my being.

I will do more than provide hope for lesbian, gay, bi, trans, and other bullied teens–I will joyfully offer love, open arms, and protection from harm.

I will do more than let someone who is suffering emotionally or physically know that it gets better–I will help make it better.

Keeping that promise means sticking up for those kids, and speaking out against Dan Savage–and anyone who breathed an “amen” after hearing what he said, because no one deserves to be humiliated in front of their peers, or made to feel small and stupid and low because of what they believe.

No one.

Not even Dan Savage.

Amy Miller | Michigan State University College of Law | East Lansing, Michigan | @Amyvrwc

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49 Responses

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  1. Dean Paul Larsh
    May 15, 2012 - 07:14 PM

    My thanks to you, Amy Miller, for showing grace and tact in your truly honest analysis of the shameful display by one (a.k.a.) Dan Savage. You have indeed done more of a service for giving rare, objective clarity to this incident than all the eloquence that could be rendered it. I’ve voiced my own opinion on youtube with regard to his diatribe, but I’d just like to say, here, that his presentation (to use the term beyond all recognition) was an affront to journalism and journalists everywhere – myself included. Let his example be lesson to all aspiring journalists everywhere in what not to do in the profession that subscribes to the five ‘w’s – who, what, when, where, why/how.
    After watching this and seeing what has been going on in our schools, governance, judiciary, workplace and society for over 30 years, I’m glad to have been transplanted to the united states where, for at least a little while yet, I can be a husband and father. And, for these two roles and what they represent – the family – I’ll provide all I can, teach to the baby our Faith with real tolerance to different peoples, and defend to the death what The Lord has blessed us with.
    sincerely, Dean Paul Larsh – a.k.a. ‘Dean from Canada’

    Reply
  2. Joe S.
    May 01, 2012 - 08:47 PM

    And, of course, there are 40,000 Christian denominations (not an exaggeration) in part because even when Christians agree on what the Bible says, we usually don’t agree on what it means. For example the prohibition of divorce. Ask a Christian in Rome, or in Dallas, or in Kenya, or in Berkeley and you are likely to get four different takes on what Jesus was really requiring.

    The prohibition of homosexual activity is a curious one to me. Every other sexual act that we, as Christians, would call “immoral” has a clear cut victim. Pornography, adultery, incest, bestiality, promiscuity, rape, masturbation etc. all have at their core a dehumanizing element. We know these “by their fruit.” On the other hand, homosexual love in the context of a life-long, monogamous, romantic relationship (such as in a same-sex marriage) seems to be as open to the same unitive joy that comes from heterosexual intimacy, and certainly no more open to corruption.

    So why do we heterosexual Christians carve it out and target it so vehemently…much more so than the aforementioned issue of divorce? My guess is that it is easy to make it the king of all sexual sins because it is not likely to happen to us.

    Reply
    • Amir
      May 01, 2012 - 09:00 PM

      Go Joe!!! Are you a writer? If so, I wanna read your stuff! That was certainly poignant and insightful.

      Reply
    • Shadi Sidarous
      May 01, 2012 - 11:09 PM

      I would have to disagree with your conclusion. The first victim is the person engaged in the lifestyle. They have allowed themselves to be controlled by their desires. They have released all moral and natural inhibitions to take part. It is similar to a person’s first encounter with heroin. They are looking to “scratch an itch” as it were; curious as to this forbidden fruit. The result is the same. A line crossed that cannot be undone, making it easier to return again and again. The second victim is society. A moral society based on a common belief of right and wrong becomes weakened and splintered and ultimately destroyed. Heterosexual marriage results in the production of offspring that, in turn, ground a family unit into a purpose for life and work greater than themselves. They are now responsible for the life of another; a helpless, innocent soul that gives a couple new purpose and just the tiniest of glimpses of the love of the Father for each of us. I do not believe that a homosexual couple could ever have such an experience.

      Once again, I agree with you that we do not put the same emphasis on promiscuity and divorce even though they, too, result in corrupting the moral fabric of society. But, because we, as a society failed in one aspect, must we abandon all moral absolutes or can we, at some point, draw a line in the sand and say, “This far and no further.” Because if we can’t, we need only to return a few centuries to see just how far depravity and take a society.

      Reply
      • Joe S.
        May 02, 2012 - 03:19 PM

        “They have allowed themselves to be controlled by their desires.” Yes, in the kind of relationship that I am talking about, they are controlled by the desire for intimate, unitive, agape love.

        The problem is, most people associate the physical expression of homosexual love with promiscuity…airport bathrooms and such. However, despite the fact that homosexuals have been pushed to the very fringes of society, there is no evidence that they participate in this sort of promiscuity any more than their heterosexual counterparts.

        I ask you…in the case of a monogamous, loving, committed homosexual couple who are in love and choose to express that love in a physical way…who is it that is harmed again? And again, “the Bible says so” is not the answer… because as I pointed out, every other example of sexual immorality that we hold to has a clear victim that can be established even free from Biblical mandate.

      • Shadi Sidarous
        May 03, 2012 - 05:00 PM

        Homosexuality erodes the moral fabric that makes a society. God ordained marriage between a man and woman for several reasons. 1. It weaves the fabric of society together; when one man from a family or clan takes a woman from another family or clan to be his wife, those 2 do not become a separate unit, but they unite their 2 family units as well, giving them all a common bond. 2. The Male/female relationship creates offspring which give new purpose to the couple, one that involves caring for, protecting, and raising a fragile, innocent new soul.

        You make it sound like we are discussing whether homosexuals have the right to live or not. That’s not what we are talking about. We are not even talking about whether homosexuals should be ridiculed or bullied. No human being should have to endure such abuse. The problem is that homosexuals demand that we accept them for who they are and what they do. As a free man in a free society, we decide as a whole what will be deemed acceptable and what is not. If we choose to accept drug addicts and drug dealers as acceptable members of our society, we will. If we choose to accept bestiality as an acceptable practice in society, we will, if we choose to prohibit smoking in public in our society we will. And if we choose to accept homosexuality as acceptable behavior in our society, we will do that also. Isn’t freedom such a wonderful concept?

      • Joe S.
        May 03, 2012 - 08:15 PM

        First, What is your proof that “Homosexuality erodes the moral fabric that makes a society?” How does two people in a committed, monogamous, loving relationship” erode” anything?

        Your point about “peace between the clans” might explain why societies have “ordained” marriage as being between a man and a woman, but it does not prove that God did so. Lots of examples of male female relationships in Scripture, and most of them…from Genesis through Paul…well, let’s just say it ain’t Ozzy and Harriet.

        The offspring example is true for most heterosexual couples, but not all. What about a heterosexual couple that cannot procreate? Should they be allowed to marry?

        I applaud your desire to allow homosexuals to live and to be free from ridicule. Of course comparing them, even tangentially, to drug addicts and those who take part in bestiality makes me wonder how deep this conviction runs. Freedom is indeed a wonderful concept when it is rooted in justice.

        It is easy to prove why accepting bestiality or rampant drug use would be detrimental to a society but you (and don’t feel bad no one else has either) have yet to explain how the aforementioned loving, same sex couple in any way harms anyone. So are we back to the Bibles says to again? Because it says (from Jesus’s own lips) that we will know them by their fruit…and anyone who have been around a couple like I mention can tell you that they are more together than they are apart.

      • Joe S.
        May 03, 2012 - 08:48 PM

        To put it another way, I have seen no evidence that the plentiful “goods” that come from heterosexual marriage will be/are in any way lessened or voided by allowing same-gender couples to marry as well.

        I often wonder if homosexual marriage is so attractive that some people think that heterosexuals will stop getting married to each other in order to give it a try?

        Honestly, I cannot come up with a single way that more people committing to life-long partnerships in the presence of God and God’s church can do anything but strengthen marriage.

    • Matthew Mason
      May 02, 2012 - 05:15 AM

      Joe S:

      Are you a Christian? I’d say no. Let me spell it out for you.

      The Bible condemns homosexuality. Period. It doesn’t condemn divorce in cases of adultery.

      Divorcees are not looking to boff little kids. Homosexuals are.

      The reason why you would get differing opinions on homosexuality from people who call themselves Christian is because there are many differing versions of the Bible out there. (There is only one that has stood the test of time of 400 years: The King James Bible.) This is by Satan’s design. He is the author of confusion, not God.

      But then there are those who those who twist God’s word to suit their own needs. They are liars, not Christians.

      Reply
      • shadi sidarous
        May 02, 2012 - 07:19 AM

        Sorry Matthew, you are mistaken. There aren’t “many differing versions of the Bible out there.” There are many translations, but the differences are based on a better understanding of the original text. All translations keep to the original concepts. The King James Cambridge edition happens to use the term “bondsmaid” and “bondsmen” while the original KJV uses slaves. The wording has changed to better fit the original concept.

        As to your point about divorce… God makes exception for cases of adultery or abuse, but He nonetheless hates it’s use, particularly the way our society uses it today without the required adultery or abuse.

      • Matthew Mason
        May 03, 2012 - 03:20 AM

        Shadi:

        First off, you are full of crap. You have the NIV, RSV, NLT, THE MESSAGE…need I say more? And what’s more, versions that are NOT the King James alter meanings of verses, sometimes even leaving verses out. And watch out for those that refer to Mary as a woman and not a virgin. That removes the divinity of Jesus Christ.

        Second, who are you to speak for God? The Bible doesn’t address divorce other than in the context of adultery. Abuse is not mentioned. I seriously doubt God took the time to clarify divorce with you.

      • Shadi Sidarous
        May 03, 2012 - 05:04 PM

        Matthew, I doubt your abuse way of conversation is what Jesus had in mind when dealing with instruction. Nice to see the world’s condoning of foul language has not corrupted your clearly holy speech!

      • Shadi Sidarous
        May 03, 2012 - 06:21 PM

        Actually, a person is allowed to divorce when an unbelieving spouse initiates it.

      • Shadi Sidarous
        May 03, 2012 - 06:26 PM

        Matthew, if you are such a purist, you should read the text the way it was originally written, go learn Aramaic, Hebrew and Greek, because, after all, even the King James Version is someone’s interpretation of the original language! LOL

      • Shadi Sidarous
        May 03, 2012 - 06:26 PM

        Or do you actually believe Jesus spoke English?

      • Matthew Mason
        May 04, 2012 - 08:06 AM

        By being facetious, you are only showing your stupidity. FAIL.

      • Shadi Sidarous
        May 04, 2012 - 01:45 PM

        I’m not being facetious, I’m exposing your ignorance. All English versions of the Bible use language scholars to translate from the original language. They go to painstaking lengths to ensure that they translate the words exactly or the intended meaning of a particular phrase into modern English. Except for The Message which is not intended to be a direct translation but a modern paraphrase. I don’t need that, you seemingly don’t either? Then don’t use it! But you know nothing about Biblical versions except what you’ve been spoonfed by your Catholic priest who probably has no expertise in Bible versions since he’s only read the KJV his whole life. Try to not overreach or risk exposing your lack of knowledge. And let’s grow up a little, “Fail” is what my 10 year old son says. I hope you’re more mature than that.

      • Joe S.
        May 02, 2012 - 03:13 PM

        Well, glad that’s settled. Not a Christian…so I can stop tithing. Whew.

        Actually, since you are not the arbiter, I think I’ll keep showing up on Sundays. Your lack of information about Homosexuality vs. Pedophilia makes any further discussion useless. Sorry.

      • Matthew Mason
        May 03, 2012 - 03:27 AM

        If you call yourself a Christian, then why do you have no problem with homosexuality?

        News flash: If you read the Bible, if you believe what it says, it is impossible for you to hold liberal ideas. Christianity and conservatism are NOT mutually exclusive.

        And the Bible condemns homosexuality. Period.

        And what information do you need re: homosexuality and pedophilia? The existence of NAMBLA? The fact Larry Kramer espouses the sexual abuse of children? Or how about Dan Savage, who actually said, “There are good pedophiles and bad pedophiles?”

      • Matthew Mason
        May 04, 2012 - 07:53 PM

        Shadi:

        I am not a Catholic. I am a Christian. I have read the Bible and I know what it says and doesn’t say.

        When something that is supposed to be God’s word leaves out an entire verse of the Lord’s Prayer and changes a word in 1 Corinthians 7:1 that not only completely alters the meaning of that verse, but also leaves it open to contradiction in the very next verse as the NIV does, that is not a translation. That is a deliberate attempt to distort, confuse and obfuscate. And God doesn’t do that. Satan, the prince of lies and lord of confusion, does.

        I find it rather amusing how people who try so painfully and pitifully to cast all of the various versions of the Bible as the same miss something a tad important:

        “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and [from] the things which are written in this book. (Rev. 22:18-19 KJV).”

        If the Bible says homosexuality is a sin, then it is a sin. Period. Take it to the bank.

      • Shadi Sidarous
        May 04, 2012 - 10:18 PM

        1 cor. 7:1
        NASB
        Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is good for a man not to touch a woman.

        KJV
        Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.

        Wow, I never saw the discrepancy before! Thank you for enlightening this blatant blasphemy!

      • Chelle
        May 07, 2012 - 02:46 PM

        So I guess Red Lobsters are sinful too.

  3. Joe S.
    May 01, 2012 - 04:59 PM

    It is very amusing to see the “left” and “right” taking turns being outraged at each other’s sound bytes. It is also a very convenient way to avoid the real issues. Savage was wrong in the way he presented his case, but the case itself…that even the most committed bible-believer picks and chooses among the various prohibitions in Scripture, is one that is unassailable. Christians, like myself, can explain the reasons that we find ourselves bound by one but not another, but what we can’t do is put our hands over our ears and say “nanananana I can’t hear you” whenever someone raises the question. Especially if we actually want to be taken seriously in a culture that no longer accepts “the bible says so” as any reasonable explanation of moral judgement.

    Reply
    • Shadi Sidarous
      May 01, 2012 - 06:10 PM

      People who use, “the Bible says so.” Should be ridiculed. God did not make the rules simply to make life hard on us down here, His commands are or were intended to make life better for us. When He commanded that man not eat pork, it was because He knew that pigs carried worms that would make us sick and could kill us. He later gave Peter the command that there is no clean or unclean food. The rules on how to treat bond servants or slaves, with respect and to obey the rules of releasing them within 7 years, then He tells Paul that it would be better for Christians to not enslave themselves, as in agreeing to bond servanthood (gives a whole new perspective on what slavery was) or to agree to take on bond servants. But, what should stand out is that The Old and New Testament do not change with respect to sexual immorality. They both treat homosexuality and promiscuity/adultery with the same attitude: have nothing to do with it, or the people that engage in it. Ironically, the very thing God had warned against the most, is the very thing we today have made acceptable. The reason: we consider them a victimless crime. It’s something you do to yourself or to others with their consent. But what we fail to realize is that this “victimless” crime was the most powerful destroyer of our morality, and through it, all other forms of moral compromise have become easier to accept. I agree with you, Joe, we as Christians have “picked and chosen” from the various prohibitions in the Bible. And that has not only been to our own detriment, but ultimately to God’s glory as well.

      Reply
  4. Paul B.
    May 01, 2012 - 02:55 PM

    Great article Amy.

    > Hopefully it counts, even though I’m a conservative.

    It doesn’t. The Left is not about tolerance, it is about dominance. Dan Savage’s attitude and behavior is a case in point. And let it not be missed that somehow Obama believes that Savage is the ideal point man on bullying.

    Reply
  5. Sophie
    May 01, 2012 - 01:25 PM

    Theoretically, he agrees that insulting Christianity is wrong. For all practical purposes though, it’s just fine. I feel sorry for the columnists who have to read this troll’s bile every single article. It’s like he has nothing better to do than play devil’s advocate with people who have a different view than him. Great post, Amy. Bullying doesn’t fix bullying.

    Reply
  6. Jared Cowan
    May 01, 2012 - 06:19 AM

    While I agree in principle that insulting people is not the best way to get your point across, you shouldn’t hide behind your religion as some sort of shield. He isn’t unjustified in attacking your beliefs, since they don’t absolutely determine you as a person or correlate to your identity as a whole. Beliefs can change, people have feelings.

    Bottom line, Christianity isn’t above reproach and Dan Savage is hardly out of line criticizing Christianity. And bringing up the hypocrisy of people attacking gay people and then not being able to take someone responding in their defense is fairly apt when you consider that gay people are some of the easiest targets for anyone, religious or not. If they don’t defend themselves, they’ll just get walked all over. He’s not calling all Christians pansy asses, only those that make derogatory and patently false claims about gay people and then cry persecution when someone returns that line of attack in kind. Why not just ignore them if they’re not directly affecting you? Are gay people such a problem?

    Protecting them is an admirable practice, I’ll grant you that. But trying to save them through any form of therapy or notions that they can just be celibate the rest of their lives is not even remotely the way to go about it.

    While you might not advocate anything like that, it’s that sort of practice that makes Dan Savage and others furious that those same people cry foul if their negative traits are brought up. It’s about equality at the end of the day

    Reply
    • Amy Miller
      May 01, 2012 - 07:16 AM

      Thanks for being such a dedicated troll, Jared. I cherish you.

      Reply
    • Thomas
      May 01, 2012 - 12:13 PM

      “It’s about equality at the end of the day”

      And some animals are more equal than others. Orwell was right about the Left.

      Reply
      • Jared Cowan
        May 05, 2012 - 06:24 AM

        I certainly hope you didn’t think I was saying gay people deserve special treatment, because that’s not the case.

        Equality implies fairness, which is not how it is done today, even in terms of civil marriage, because of an unconstitutional wedding of religion and politics when it comes to something that isn’t solely about supernatural beliefs or sacraments or any such nonsense. If marriage is to be equal, then the entire country should do it the same and not pick and choose who it will and will not marry as long as both parties can consent and arrange nuptials accordingly.

        Is it really a stretch to include monogamous same sex couples? Polygamy’s another animal entirely and I admit I’m ambivalent about that myself, but not on something that is fundamentally the same as my own parents’ coupling, except the sexes are the same instead of opposite.

      • clownlucky
        May 10, 2012 - 06:29 PM

        If you’re talking about the prospect of us being a utopian society, it won’t happen. Sorry to break it to you but such a thing is unrealistic.

    • Shadi Sidarous
      May 01, 2012 - 02:03 PM

      Really? Celibacy is an unreasonable expectation? Are we mere animals controlled by our desires? Christianity (and many other religions, atheists, and secular laws, for that matter) demands restraint to our desires as a form of empowerment and control as a sign of being higher life forms. Human beings have reason and are greater than their desires. It’s what separates us from the animals. It’s that very idea that secular scientists are out to destroy, making it easy to justify all the amoral activities the world desires. We show that restraint when it comes to taking things without paying for them; it’s called stealing; it’s in the Bible, and it’s wrong. We show restraint when it comes to doing drugs; it’s in the the Bible, too. And it’s wrong, not because it hurts someone else, but because it hurts the user; it weakens mental faculties, it reduces a person to a state of addiction, and the chemical imbalance is all but irreversible. Homosexuality, sexual promiscuity, and pornography do the exact same thing to a person. So why should we not be as concerned about it?

      As a side note, Savage compares the Bible’s stance on slavery being wrong as an excuse to dismiss everything the Bible teaches. First, you can’t do that. If I were to say, The sky is blue, the sun is yellow and the earth is green.” The fact that some parts of the earth are blue (oceans) and yellow (deserts) does not make my whole statement false, the sky is blue and the sun is yellow. Second, slavery as we know it today was not what the Bible was talking about. The early translators of the Bible did not have words such as “bond servant” – a person who willingly put himself in the service of a rich family for the purpose of feeding, clothing, and housing that person for a period not to exceed 7 years, at which point that person was to be freed. Think of it as a 7 year contract between you and your employer. It was common for a person with no land to farm and no skill to sell themselves to earn some money for a future of freedom to buy land or whatever they wanted. Those that practiced the inhumane form of lifetime slavery of the pre-civil war era, were misinformed or ignorant about the subject as even then, the Bible was not widely available yet and therefore, not read and understood as well as today. It should be pointed out that in the New Testament, Paul says it would be better if there were no slavery at all. So, Mr. Savage’s ( as use the term “Mr.” loosely, as he seemingly does not deserve a term of humanity the depraved animal he espouses to be) example and conclusion are both false.

      Reply
      • Amir
        May 01, 2012 - 07:46 PM

        Shadi, do you believe being gay is a choice? I’m just trying to understand your mindset.

      • Shadi Sidarous
        May 01, 2012 - 11:13 PM

        Only as much as you believe being obese, promiscuity, porn addict, serial killer, or drug addict is a choice.

      • Chelle
        May 07, 2012 - 02:41 PM

        obese = genetics can contribute
        promiscuity = defined by who? You?
        porn addict = varies
        serial killer = some people are born more distrubed then others but it is a choice to act on it
        drug addict = again, genetics

      • Jared Cowan
        May 02, 2012 - 02:54 AM

        I am saying celibacy is not something you should expect of everyone, gay or straight. Sex should be an act done with safety and responsibility to prevent STDs and the like, of course. To suggest I imply otherwise is making a large leap of logic that has no support behind it.

        Homosexuality is not the same thing as promiscuity or pornography. Pornography is a matter of moderation in usage and understanding that it is not based in reality even remotely is a start to finding realistic pornography or at least recognizing the distinction. Couples making pornography for each other is a solution I would bring up to bridge the gap.

        Sexual promiscuity is a habit that is encouraged, not something even remotely inborn and chemical as is the case with both homosexuality and heterosexuality.

        Sexual promiscuity has the greatest damage potential, followed by pornography and homosexuality at the bottom.

        Savage’s critique still brings up the fact that people were ignorant enough to use the bible as their basis for morality when it can be construed for such things. Even if the bible didn’t support slavery as we understand it today, there are rules involved in Leviticus and such that involve limits on how much you can beat your slave and the like. They are considered property and not always because they put themselves in your employ. If I’m not mistaken, enemies were made slaves in war time, so there is that to consider as well.

      • shadi sidarous
        May 02, 2012 - 06:52 AM

        First, we are not talking about perpetual celibacy. Paul made that clear when he instructed Christians that it would be better to marry than burn with desire. Second, sex should only be an act done within the parameters of a traditional marriage! Anything else was sin that denigrates both persons.

        Slaves of conquered nations were to be treated like Jews. They could not be killed or even forced to work on the Sabbath. They were, in fact, allowed to celebrate the Passover as though a family member. Non-Jewish slaves were encouraged to convert, and if they did, they were to be released after 7 years of service also.

      • Jared Cowan
        May 03, 2012 - 07:50 AM

        But in the case of homosexuals, I don’t think many, if any, traditional Christians on the position of sexuality would ever permit homosexuals to have sex, even if it was in a committed monogamous relationship, because they view the very act as disordered and sinful.

        If you believe otherwise, that’s a different story, but perpetual celibacy seems to be the norm expected for homosexuals on the grounds that, while they may not be evil in being attracted to the same sex, they would be under most Christian perspectives if they act on it or try to be in a relationship, even if it basically mirrors that of opposite sex couples in fidelity to each other and only each other.

        Perhaps the slavery thing went that way, but if anything, this is a cultural gap that few laypeople understood, and unfortunately, pastors and such could not apparently communicate that difference well enough, either because they didn’t know themselves or it wasn’t well communicated amongst seminaries in any sense. In either case, the problem remains that slavery as a practice is not something the bible seems to talk about in the sense we understand it today, but is nonetheless censured as something permissible with strong limitations upon it. If a person willingly does this, that’s one thing, but even if you are in a temporary position of indentured servitude, this hardly seems to reflect any idea of equality under God that both the Jewish and Christian religions advocate ultimately in their eschatology and soteriology. Why not simply request instead of placing someone in the position?

        God is fairly incompetent in general when it uses people to try to communicate what is a fairly important issue alongside those of murder, theft, deceit, etc. Why wasn’t that one of the commandments? Thou shalt not own another person, period.

      • Shadi Sidarous
        May 03, 2012 - 02:47 PM

        I see nothing incompetent in God’s design. We do not know His full purpose or will. We are all slaves to someone or something; money, pleasure, alcohol… We are not robots. We are all free. If a slave chose to disobey, they could be killed. But is that really worse than living to obey another? I choose to work for a company where I must temporarily compromise my freedom to do whatever I want for a paycheck that feeds, clothes, and houses me and my family. Indentured servitude was the same way. Could slaves rebel? Yes, they are free beings with wills of their own. They chose to stay and serve out their allotted time for the comforts they received. Does a butler today do any less than an indentured servant did ages ago? (We are not talking about civil war slavery here. The best explanation for that would be Stockholm Syndrome where they were systematically stripped of the concept of free-will. Yes, some rebelled, ran away, and some were killed. But their release was more merciful than enduring the hardships of slavery)

    • Matthew Mason
      May 02, 2012 - 04:59 AM

      Jared:

      First off, get stuffed. Christians have every right to attack homosexuals. If the homosexuals kept their mouths shut and kept their behavior in the bedroom where it belongs, there wouldn’t be a problem. But that is not what’s happening. They have decided to create a world around their behavior, shove both that world and their behavior into our faces through various ways, not the least of which is dressing like a bunch of sissified clowns and marching down a public street in broad daylight.

      You do your best to invade every single facet of life, forcing yourselves into places where you know you are not welcome, demanding special treatment based solely on your behavior.

      And then you go after our kids. Did you think people were going to forget about Fistgate? You write books for kids under the age of ten like KING & KING and IT’S PERFECTLY NORMAL and find it perfectly acceptable teaching your sexual point of view to 5-year-olds.

      (It’s hardly a coinicidence you refuse to distance yourselves from NAMBLA or even acknowledge its existence.)

      And if someone happens to disagree with any part of your obvious goal to destroy this country’s moral fabric? At the very least, we get called names. At most, we get Dan Savage.

      You seem to forget we have every right to say NO. But you do NOT have the right to try to make me feel guilty. You don’t get to define morality. You don’t get to define Christianity. You don’t get to define anything.

      The only thing you have the right to do, the only thing you get to do, is go to hell. Which is exactly where you are going as long as you keep giving the finger to the One who can keep you out.

      Reply
      • Jared Cowan
        May 03, 2012 - 08:06 AM

        Sexual behavior is one thing, but being open about your sexuality is not something that should be prohibited in the sense of being able to say you are gay or bisexual without the threat of being beaten to death by people that supposedly love you in Jesus’ name. If they get a permit to do a gay pride parade, you have no real opposition, especially if there is no real damage to children that you can demonstrate. I saw a gay pride parade in high school and I was no worse for the wear afterwards. One is not forcing one’s sexuality upon others if the parade is purely voluntary in its attendance and in people viewing it in general. You have blinds, close them if you don’t want to see it. They’re not invading your homes in those costumes, they’re just going down main street. And just because you can’t pull off the outfit doesn’t mean you should knock it. It’s purely aesthetic in that regard. You think it’s sissified, they think its’ fashionable, I think it’s merely different and not something I’d do, but fine for them to do within reason.

        First off, let me make it clear I’m not a homosexual, so don’t try to associate me with the community at large as if I’m biased in trying to support them, because I am not. I support them because they have been persecuted for no other reason than the same thing we all possess; they simply are attracted to the same sex, not the opposite sex. Is this a reason to hurt them? No. Is this a reason to even insult them? No. You may have the right within reason, but it doesn’t make it right.

        Pedophilia and pederasty are not things unique to NAMBLA or the like. It is considered damaging because children cannot consent to sexual activity. I’m not in any way trying to support NAMBLA or anything like that because I think that it has more damaging potential than the minority of situations where it isn’t.

        Telling children about differences is not the same as forcing them to accept those differences without getting to know those groups. Gay people are hardly trying to convert children to homosexuality, because that isn’t really feasible when you consider homosexuality has a biological factor to it.

        I don’t think one is unjustified in attacking your flawed character when you flaunt it so obviously in terms of abusing people emotionally. And don’t try to reverse that on homosexuals as a whole, since you cannot judge the group by individuals and their flaws anymore than I can judge believers in God by the Westboro Baptist Church.

        Gays do not deserve your criticism unless they are being forceful, which I will admit is the case for some groups, but not the general population of homosexuals.
        No one said you couldn’t disagree. That’s perfectly fine. But if you do so in an uncivil manner, then one understandably has a problem with you and has a right to defend themselves against your libel and slander to one degree or another. Dan Savage happens to be more aggressive in it than others.

        I am not making you feel guilty, I am making you see reason. If you cannot respond with facts and rational arguments as to why homosexuality is wrong, you have no real leg to stand on except your faith based religious beliefs which are individual and subjective by nature. If you can’t handle Christianity being criticized, don’t use Christianity as the basis of your anti gay arguments.

        I am not defining Christianity, culture does that plenty, not to mention theology and academics. Don’t pin this on me as if I claimed to be an authority, which I’m not. And I can define things, no question, but I’m also very likely to change my definition if facts and arguments can be brought forth to show how the definition is mistaken, not unlike how scientific theoretical models adjust with new considerations, etc.

        If hell is so real, I think it’s quite preferable to a place where a great deal of self serving, self righteous, holier than thou bigots mingle in with otherwise good people who are deceived by this ridiculous rhetoric that tries to guilt trip people into surrendering a great deal of their rationality and critical thinking to just get an easy answer, even if you don’t get all the details at once.

        God is your answer for any mystery we might yet solve in the future. And when God is made impotent, you just shrivel back a little bit more. Your right to religious exercise stops at the point where you behave in an uncivil and/or illegal manner towards fellow citizens who either agree or disagree in part or whole with your religious beliefs. No right is absolute in America, it’s a basic fact of how liberty works. No one’s making you be gay, you just have to tolerate gay people getting equality. Don’t marry them in your churches, don’t accept them into your family, fine. But don’t try to deny them equality under some guise of morality.

        The only thing you have the right to do, the only thing you get to do, is go to hell. Which is exactly where you are going as long as you keep giving the finger to the One who can keep you out.

      • Jared Cowan
        May 03, 2012 - 08:08 AM

        Minus that very last paragraph, of course.

      • Matthew Mason
        May 04, 2012 - 08:35 AM

        Jared:

        Are you seriously kidding me?

        I am sick and tired of people showing up and defending homosexuality and telling me there is something wrong with me because I do not agree.

        You said: “If hell is so real, I think it’s quite preferable to a place where a great deal of self serving, self righteous, holier than thou bigots mingle in with otherwise good people who are deceived by this ridiculous rhetoric that tries to guilt trip people into surrendering a great deal of their rationality and critical thinking to just get an easy answer, even if you don’t get all the details at once.”

        So again, because I do not think homosexuals should be given carte blanche to do whatever the hell they please you haul out the typical “bigot” BS.

        You think hell would be preferable? You don’t even know what hell is. But, if you wish to go there, I am not going to stand in your way.

      • Jared Cowan
        May 05, 2012 - 06:36 AM

        Yeah, I’m totally yanking your chain. I’m absolutely for denying people basic rights of marriage equality because they happen to have different sexual chemistry. That’s real American values right there.

        The only thing wrong with you is habit, not psychology. Unless you really are homophobic, which is probably unlikely if we’re being strict on that. You have a perspective that you refuse to even consider whether it’s wrong. And you consider it just because you are told by a divine creator and thus it’s inscrutable and unquestionable as to its truth overall. If you could consider how gay people feel in this climate where people still think they shouldn’t get married either because they think they’ll corrupt children or just make people take marriage seriously.

        Well let me remind you of something that’s existed since the early 80s that’s done way more damage to marriage than any idea of same sex marriage: no fault divorce laws. If you understand that you can basically divorce for no reason whatsoever or even for pittances of complaints, as Brittney Spears and Kim Kardashian demonstrated in the last few years, then why would you take marriage seriously? You can just drop it at a whim and it’s completely legal. If you really want to enhance marriage, give gays the right and they’ll show straights what it means to be committed, since they’ve had to wait so long to even get the chance and probably worked out many relationship problems in the meantime. Is that hurting marriage if more people want to get married?

        First of all, I never said homosexuals should get license to do anything they want. But I don’t think most homosexuals are like that anyway. The minority you see that are being forceful do not represent the entirety of the demographic, no more than Westboro Baptist does for Christians. Get my parallel?

        If we take C.S. Lewis’ idea of hell as a generally accepted idea, then I put myself in hell, God already set it up. So it’s not like I have your God to blame, though with this scenario, it’s not as if I have to care about your God, since it’s apparently out of the equation anyway besides the whole construction of an afterlife sorting machine.

        You respect my free will, but you seem to think I deserve hell because I disagree with what you believe this deity says? Your deity is one of many, therefore I don’t take it any more seriously than others, since they’re all fundamentally psychological first and foremost, conceptual, not actual.

      • clownlucky
        May 08, 2012 - 01:09 AM

        You’ll go there, too, Jared.

    • clownlucky
      May 10, 2012 - 06:26 PM

      Why don’t you chase something else besides equality?

      Reply
    • clownlucky
      Jun 06, 2012 - 04:36 AM

      Not always, Jared, not always.

      Reply

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