The rightwing blogosphere has discovered sex columnist/anti-bullying activist Dan Savage’s rant again the Bible while addressing an audience of high school journalists. And they’re making hay with it:
In the video, Savage is clearly heard saying, “We can learn to ignore the bullshit in the Bible about gay people — the same way we have learned to ignore the bullshit in the Bible about shellfish, about slavery, about dinner, about farming, about menstration about virginity about masturbation…We ignore bullshit in the Bible about all sorts of things.” …
[An offended Christian student] said the speech was laced with vulgarities and “sexual innuendo not appropriate for this age group.” At one point, he said Savage told the teenagers about how good his partner looked in a speedo. … As the [offended] teenagers were walking out, [the student] said that Savage heckled them and called them pansy-assed.
Savage’s substance, about the misuses of Biblical literalism, may be sound. But his hurling of obscenities, particularly given the audience, is the kind of stupid, counter-productive action that elicits cheers from the secular leftwing faithful and appalls those on the other side who we ought to be striving to win over by understanding their worldview and speaking in language that is persuasive to them. Savage, however, certainly is not unique in falling into the trap of insular, echo-chamber activism, alas.
More. Comments reader “jpr”:
Christian abolitionists motivated by their faith were a driving forcing in abolishing slavery in the U.S./U.K., despite some biblical passages condoning slavery. If back then, secular anti-slavery activists had told them the Bible was bs, how would that have helped? [We should] speak to these people in a way that respects their faith and respects the Bible, and make the argument that the spirit of the Bible — and many passages, particularly in the New Testament, condemning bigotry and judgmentalism — can continue to bring more people of faith onboard.
Either we keep speaking to ourselves, or we reach out to people of faith, Republicans, and others that are not now with us. Too many LGBT activists just don’t get this — or don’t care.
Furthermore. Savage issues an apology for his poor choice of words. That’s good, but like Hillary Rosen, would it have dawned on him that his comments were offensive and inappropriate (not to mention counter-productive) if not confronted by an uproar from outside the insular world of the left-liberal echo chamber?
More still. Now he’s standing by his “bs” charge.