(This is the first, in what may be 2 or 3 posts on this issue. This is a general response, next I will respond to the rest of his speech, and perhaps another post to deal with some of the responses that liberals have had to the completely justified outrage that conservatives are feeling about this.)
I spent most of the day, yesterday, trying to figure out how to start this post.
I’m usually quite witty (if I do say so myself), but I’m honestly just very angry about this. Wit has deserted me in favor of mental equivalent of “HULK SMASH!”
Now let me preface this with something that I don’t talk about often.
I am not a Christian. Let’s get that out of the way so that I won’t be categorized as a “religious bigot”, “butthurt Christian”, “conservative fundie”, or any of the other terribly tolerant language that the liberal blogs have been categorizing anyone who takes issue with Savage’s language as.
Yes, that’s right, I’m personally pro-life and extremely conservative in most other ways…but I don’t believe that Jesus Christ rode into Jerusalem on a donkey, ate the last supper with the 12 apostles, or died on a cross and rose again 3 days later.
I do believe that the Bible has some good stories and some good lessons to teach, just as I believe about many religions. I believe that it shows a unique look at a society (or a religious history, for the Jewish people, if you are looking at the Old Testament) and it must be read in the context of its time, as a form of history. (Something even my mother who, unlike my father, can be a bit of a Biblical literalist, freely admitted in a conversation with me last night).
The Bible, similar to most other philosophies and religions, has some bad parts as well. The large portion of the Old Testament is history and some truly awful shit has gone down in every society/religion at some point.
Now, having said that.
What Dan Savage said in his rant (yes, that’s what I categorize it as. Lot’s of anger, no real substance) just made him a bully and destroyed his credibility as a promoter of “anti-bullying” views.
Yes, calling a holy book, or part of it’s contents, “bullshit” is sometimes accurate (I often say similar words about things that about the Q’ran) however, saying the things he said in a pre-planned speech, to a group of high school students, was bullying. This wasn’t said in the heat of the moment, when he was angry at someone coming after him personally, this was pre-meditated and there is no way he did not know that many students and teachers in that crowd would be Christians. That would be a statistical improbability.
Then, of course, he took it a step further and called those who did the mature and walked out (rather than I would have done, even as a non-Christian, which would have been stand up and take him to task…or possibly pop him in the mouth…depending on my mood) “pansy assed”. Which, unless I’m wrong, is a pejorative used to refer to effeminate gay men.
Oh the irony inherent in a man who hates the bullying of gay people, using a gay slur to insult others.
Maybe he should have just called them faggots and gotten it over with.
I have an intense problem with hypocrisy. It is the one thing that will automatically make me lose all respect for you.
I may not like the views of certain groups (PETA, liberals in general, the Taliban, etc) but if you can remain consistent in your views and actions, I can at least respect that you know your own mind…even if I can’t stand the way your mind works.
It is the hypocrisy of Dan Savage’s views that kills me.
You cannot truly know yourself or your beliefs if you believe that bullying of one group is wrong, but bullying of some other group is fine…because you don’t like them.
You can’t be believed or respected if you say “It Gets Better” from one side of your mouth, while the other side says that you wish an entire political group was “just fucking dead”.*
You can’t demand respect for gay people, while using gay slurs to categorize those that you don”t like.
You can’t demand change and respect from people, when your actions against those who disagree with you is to make up vile uses for their name.
Not only has he shown his hypocrisy, but Savage has once again shown his sheer lack of intelligence (Yes, I think you are unintelligent if you can’t hold consistent beliefs, it isn’t hard to do) and his immaturity.
Is this really the person the gay community wants to represent the great future that is in store for young GLBT people?
How can life “get better” if the role model for a better life is so filled with anger, so bitter and hurtful to others?
You can’t fight fire with fire Mr. Savage. Perhaps it was your intent to live up to your name, but you are doing a great disservice to those you claim to be trying to help.
As Perez Hilton said** “Can’t we just be good and kind to each other? Isn’t faith in love and honesty and kindness all any of us really need?”
That is what will get our world where it needs to be, not divisive language and anger towards anyone who doesn’t fall in line with your ideal.
*As a gay conservative/Republican I would like to know what that means for me. Should I just die to make Savage happy? Or does life get better for me too, since I’m gay?
**Yes, I was shocked that he was one of the people to speak out about this.
My day could not possibly get any better.
(okay, I’m a crazy political fangirl. Getting my picture taken with a political figure is cooler than meeting an actor in my book.)
I had the good fortune to be able to attend a meeting of the ASU College Republicans this afternoon and Maricopa county Sheriff, Joe Arpaio, was the guest speaker.
He is nothing like the papers describe him, and he had more than a few comments on journalistic bias and the press in general.
He is a very funny, personable man, with an extremely “no non-sense” point of view and an awesome tie pin.
He joked a lot, took some (extremely polite) jabs at democrats, and refused to comment on “operation fast and furious” because he doesn’t like to talk badly about other law enforcement agencies.
He cares a lot about his deputies and their families and about his duty as Sheriff, to the people if his county and to the laws of our country and state.
I was amazed to hear how many years he has worked in law enforcement and how diverse his background is. He’s worked in numerous countries and spent many years protecting the Texas/Mexico border.
If I hadn’t been planning to vote for him already, I would be now.
It was a great honor to meet him and I hope that I will get to hear him speak again.
I say Merry Christmas.
I don’t do it to offend people.
You are perfectly welcome to say Happy Chanukah, Happy Holidays, Happy Kwanzah, Merry Festivus, Happy Wintereenmas, or Happy Winter Solstice depending on your religion, political leanings, etc.
I say Merry Christmas for two very simple reasons.
The first being obviously that I was raised celebrating Christmas and I have an impressive number of happy memories and feelings from all those years of family Christmases. I put up a Christmas tree, I give Christmas presents, I put up Christmas lights and Christmas decorations. I’m fully aware of the pagan background of many of these traditions and I accept them. However they are part of what I call ‘Christmas’. That’s my family tradition. I don’t see Christmas as some sort of political piece in a power struggle between Christians and Atheists, I just see it as a time for my family to come together and be happy. I get to buy presents for people and see their face when they open it.
I love Christmas.
I know, I’ve already said that, but it will probably get repeated several more times between now and December 25th, so you might as well get used to it.
The second reason is one that I know a couple of my readers will disagree with. They know who they are.
Have you ever had someone of a different faith tell you that are going to pray for you? Not in that condescending way where they are clearly insulting you as they say it (i.e. ‘I will pray that you stop being an idiot, come to your senses and become a Christian’ or ‘I will pray for you to stop sinning and become straight instead of gay’). I’m talking about the sort of prayer where someone is trying to bring you goodwill and happiness in the best way they know how. The kind of prayer that someone makes when they find out you are sick and they want you get better, or when you’ve lost your job and they want you to find a new one. It doesn’t matter if you don’t believe in their religions, they believe it and that’s what matters. “It’s the thought that counts” as they say.
I’ll never get upset with someone who is only trying to bring a little good will into my life.
That’s how I feel about wishing people Merry Christmas at this time of year. It’s also how I feel when someone wishes me Happy Chanukah or any of the others I mentioned.
Because when I say ‘Merry Christmas’ I’m wishing that they will have good fortune, a happy family get together, good food, good presents, and everything else that I associate with Christmas. I’m not telling them how to live their lives, what god to worship, or how they should celebrate. I’m just wishing them what I would want them to wish me, even if they would phrase it differently.
So yes, I say Merry Christmas.
And if you have a problem with that, I hope Santa leaves nothing but coal in your stocking because you, sir or ma’am, have no Christmas/Chanuka/Kwanzaa/Festivus/Wintereenmas/Solstice spirit.
Thanks to Rechabite for inspiring me to write this post with his own post on why he says Merry Christmas.
So this stupid ad campaign for a clothing company I’ve never heard of has world leaders who by all rights should be at each other’s throats (because in almost all of them there is at least one person who makes the Who’s Who of World Most Evil Tyrants). The stupid statement on all of these is the non-word “Unhate.” Not anything as usual as maybe “Depose tyrants” or “Stand up to evil” or maybe even “Evil must be opposed”…no Unhate. That’s right you should be deeply offended and disgusted by the numerous crimes against humanity that this lot has racked up—it’s wrong to not have revulsion at the sight of butchers like Mahmoud Abbas, Hu Jintao, Kim Jung Il, Hugo Chavez and the like.
Affirmative Action Bullshit and You CAN actually still write objectively while holding personal opinions on a topic
I have a feeling that my Beginning Journalism class is going to be the topic of many rants on this blog, this will only be the first.
Yesterday one of the deans came in to finish giving a lecture on “What is News”. The things that make a story newsworthy, important elements of journalism, etc. etc. if you have ever studied journalism you know the drill. If you haven’t studied journalism, but you have a shred of common sense you can understand the concept. It’s a Freshman level class, I’m the oldest person in it….partly because I’m a sophomore and partly because I’m old even for a sophomore. Ugh.
Anyway, one of the things that we talked about was the differences between the people who are commonly the editors in charge of major newspapers and news networks, as opposed to the rest of society. Now I’m not quoting the dean verbatim, I completely admit that, I was not taking detailed enough notes at this point in the lecture to do this. I will tell you the gist of what he said in his lecture and go from there.
The first point I want to address is one that he made when he said that Journalism would be a very tough field for us if we held any strong political beliefs in either direction. Now I will fully admit that my bias (and my knowledge of the majority of Journalism outlets) heard that as “you will have a lot of trouble in this field if you have any strong conservative political beliefs.” You can believe what you will about media and journalism bias that skews the field ever to the left, but I believe it is there even if you don’t.
The dean made this point because my school of Journalism teaches “objective journalism” in which you report the facts of the story, what really happened, where and to whom and how and why…if you can discern the why objectively. This is done in such a way as to remove personal bias from the equation. I like that sort of News reporting…it’s sadly not available on most major news outlets anymore *coughCNNcough* though the News shows on Fox (not the opinion shows, there is a distinction) still manage it quite well.
Now I’ve never pretended that this blog wasn’t biased. You read a few posts and you will realized pretty quickly that I’m a conservative first and foremost and a gay women somewhere far below that on the list.
I don’t write objectively on this blog. Now I do try to make sure I check and double check my facts because I strive for accuracy in my writing, but I will call Liberals idiots, I will call Islam evil, I will call pretty much everything as I see it…usually through the lens of my bias. Now do I think that my bias is the correct and rational way to think? Yes, most definitely. Why else would I think that way?
So I do have some very strongly held political views. Does that impair my ability to write objectively? No.
If you are a good journalist you will know how to separate your biases from the facts and still be able to write objectively. So I can write an objective article about Obama while somewhere, locked in a closet in my brain, my conservative self is rocking back and forth muttering “this President is a moron, this President is a moron” over and over. It can be done.
If you are reading this and shaking your head, saying it can’t be done. That you couldn’t possibly write about something objectively if you felt strongly about it. If that’s the case then you have one of two problems, you are either a very bad writer or you are very weak minded…possibly both, hopefully only the first one…you can be trained out of that one.
The second point he made was one that, upon looking back at it, completely contradicts the previous statement about not holding strong personal biases on “big issues”. He said that there was a need to “diversify” the pool of journalists and editors working at major news outlets (paper and media) because without more females, or homosexuals or people of minority background, the news will not be “understandable and clear” to those who read it.
I thought the whole point of journalism was to not write using your bias. If you are writing something one way, only because you are a women, or black, or gay, then isn’t that writing going to be biased in that direction?
Oh wait. I forgot.
This is the liberal media. The only direction something is allowed to be biased in is toward the “minority”.
Another point, harkening back to post I made about how I didn’t realize I had a separate history from the rest of the world just because I was gay. History is history and news is news people. If it’s important to one group it should be important to every other person living in that area as well.
Stories about gay rights do not just affect gay people. I don’t need a gay journalist to write those articles, because, theoretically, the journalist writing it should be so objective that I shouldn’t be able to tell if they are gay, straight, asexual, or poly-sexual. Unless it’s an editorial, I don’t give a crap about their personal opinion on gay rights. I want to know the facts, minus their opinion on conservative or liberal politics or the morality, or lack thereof, of gay marriage. Besides, gay rights are not any issue that only affect gay men and women. It is a civil rights issue and it does affect the nation in general. We should all be keeping ourselves informed about the topic.
Do you think that women’s suffrage only affected women? No, it had widespread affect on men, women, children, corporations, and the government. That’s why it doesn’t have to be written about by a woman, for women. It’s important, it’s news, it’s for everyone.
There is no need to “diversify” the journalism workforce, there is a need to hire good journalists, objective journalists, no matter their race, gender, or sexual orientation. “Diversifying” the workforce is just Affirmative Action all over again and I bet you can guess how I felt about that. I want to know that I got my job because I’m good at what I do, not because I’m gay and female and the news outlet needed to fill a quota of “minorities”. I want people to get jobs because they deserve them, not because they “need” the job because they are an “oppressed minority”.
And anyone with a conscience and a scrap of dignity should feel the same.
Okay, so I’m sick today and just laying around in my dorm room. I tried to do homework or write a real blog, but my brain is so scrambled from congestion and a fever that it was impossible.
I went on to the GayPatriot website, a website which is an independent blog for gay conservative issues. I generally find interesting articles to read there, but today I found this video.
This is ridiculously accurate, I’m sad to say.
Anyway, that’s all I have for today. I think it’s time for a nap.