(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.