The Dan Savage Show

Posted in Religion by chamblee54 on April 28, 2012

Dan Savage is no stranger to controversy. A lot of people don’t like him. A few more wonder when his fifteen minutes will be up. Sometimes a controversy flares up, and PG feels the urge to defend an unpopular person. This is a dangerous activity.

There was a conference of high school journalists in Seattle recently. Mr.Savage spoke, as the embedded video shows. It was a weird image, where what we see is a giant, flat image towering over the audience. There was a comment made about the Bible, and people in the audience started to leave. Many of those who walked were in the front of the auditorium, where the cameras could see them. A substantial part of the audience stayed, and cheered Mr. Savage in his remarks.

There was some unfortunate language used. Mr. Savage said something about “bullshit ” in the Bible. When he was through talking about the bible, Mr. Savage said, regarding the misuse of the Bible, that is funny how “pansy assed” folks were when you pushed back.

Pansies are rugged flowers, which thrive in winter weather. Use of this flower to question the masculinity of queers is highly ironic. For Mr. Savage to use this slur to criticize people, who use the Bible improperly, was in poor taste.

PG ordinarily would not be interested in this matter. It was brought to his attention on facebook. The initial comment was
“Sorry, Dan Savage. I know you’ve been hurt by people in churches using the Bible as a weapon against you (just as I and most other gay people have). But when you call high school students “pansy-assed” for getting up and leaving your profanity-filled lecture, you have crossed the line and become a bully yourself.”
PG looked at the video, and began to wonder what the fuss was about. He made a comment… Thank you for showing a link, so I can *judge* for myself. I didn’t think that what Mr. Savage said was all that bad. It might have been better if he didn’t say bullshit or pansy assed. To use an anti gay slur like pansy assed was inappropriate. If people are going to use the Bible as a weapon, they should not be surprised when people fight back. The remaining students seemed to agree with Mr. Savage.

This comment was recreated from memory. The original was deleted.
“Just deleted two comments and I have a feeling I’ll be deleting more, and possibly defriending some folks. It’s amazing how so many people are willing to “cut some slack” to bullies. Not here, not on MY Facebook Wall.”
The person making this deletion is someone that PG has respect for, and enjoys a”virtual” friendship with. Dan Savage is not worth losing friends over. But at the same time, when people are denouncing other people, sometimes it is necessary to look at the source material, and make up your own mind. The spectacle of George Zimmerman being tried in the court of high octane public opinion comes to mind.

PG is reluctant to use Jesus stories to make a point. The Bible, as Mr. Savage notes in his remarks, is not inerrant. The legends we have about Jesus should be taken with a bit of skepticism. Even if they are not literally true, these stories sometimes have a valuable lesson. With that caveat, here is a story from the book of John.

1 Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.
2 And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him;
and he sat down, and taught them.
3 And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery;
and when they had set her in the midst,
4 They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act.
5 Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou?
6 This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down,
and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not.
7 So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them,
He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.
8 And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.
9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one,
beginning at the eldest, even unto the last:
and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.
10 When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her,
Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee?
11 She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more. 

Defending unpopular people can be a risky business. Jesus was left standing by himself this day. Pictures today are from The Library of Congress. UPDATE Here is part two.

One Response

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  1. Tit For Tat Savagery « Chamblee54 said, on April 29, 2012 at 12:49 pm

    […] you have a life, you may have missed the Dan Savage splatterfest. It seems like the sex advice columnist gone awry got more of the attention that he craves. Facebook […]

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