WARNING: Political opinions and positions lie herein! I'm just hoping to stimulate conversations if I can though.
I do not honestly begin this with the intention of telling people what to think or state emphatically that my positions are unassailable. All I want to do is make mention of my understanding and support that with evidence.
If I veer from the rails correct me and I'll attempt to readjust.
If you dispute any points too, PLEASE state them below!
I want to talk about it.
Just to make it clear though, some of these positions will be objective.
Dan Savage (the man who shares the unfortunate distinction of being the chief editor of a local Seattle publication called The Stranger) recently gave a speech at a high school as part of his anti-gay-bullying series It Gets Better. In addition to encouraging homosexuals on their lifestyles he made a point of calling out what he saw as Christian hypocrisy...or to put it in his own words 'Bullshit'.
To paraphrase, he brought up the point that The Bible is often invoked by antagonists to the gay and lesbian lifestyle. He went on to say that The Bible was 'wrong' about its condemnation of homosexuality, just as it had been wrong about shellfish, virginity, masturbation, and slavery.
"We ignore the bullshit in the Bible about all sorts of things." Savage said with a smile.
In the speech, Savage, citing Sam Harris' "Letter to a Christian Nation," said the Bible gave instructions about how to treat slaves. If the Bible erred "on the easiest moral question that humanity has ever faced ... What are the odds that the Bible got something as complicated as human sexuality wrong? 100 percent."
Several students walked out in protest of their religion being attacked in such a flippant and insulting way.
Savage after he was done with his screed invited these students back in, stating...
"It's funny, as someone who is the receiving end of beatings that are justified by the Bible, how pansy-assed some people react when you push back."
Of course recently he apologized for his statement...sort of.
Much the way he also 'apologized' for his statement on Real Time With Bill Maher in 2011 that
"I wish Republicans were all fucking dead."
And by apologize of course I mean not apologizing at all. It's all excuses.
Dan stated that he was invited to give the speech, that he asked the student body if he should alter his speech and their statements were 'just be yourself, don't censor anything'.
He also tried to make it clear that his statements about 'pansy-asses' were directed at the walkout, not the majority of the student body.
'Pansies are some of my favorite people' Savage admitted.
So yes. This is the vanguard of the Anti-Gay-Bully movement.
The Huffington Post of course leapt in quickly to claim that Dan Savage is not in fact a bully...
'What immediately become a meme amongst Dan's critics is that those who walked out of his talk felt bullied by him. But that's impossible. People get bullied because of who they are: how they look and act, what they say and do. Perceived as being in some critical way weak or lacking, victims of bullies are selected for persecution; they are pulled from the pack before being pointedly and repeatedly victimized. The people who walked out during Dan's talk were not separated from their peers by anyone. They were content to do that themselves. They were not frightened or cowed. They were offended. They felt that by disparaging what amounts to their God, Dan had transgressed beyond their capacity for toleration. And they were pleased to show their intolerance of Dan's words by protesting against them in the manner they did. Theirs was not an act born of suffering. It was a proud show of disdain.'
I don't mean to attack Dan here based on his stances or his beliefs, but he fully and soundly deserves reprimand for his blatant and remorseless hypocrisy of both him and those who claim he's somehow in the right with his speech.
Considering point by point.
First of all he sites The Bible as intrinsically condoning slavery and banning things that he personally feels are unjust to ban. These quotations he sites are the ritual observances of Orthodox Hassidic Jewish tradition.
Literally, Dan Savage's rant is anti-semetic.
I wonder if he could really justify the concept here that Jews have suffered less then homosexuals.
Can you really claim after every genocide that: 'Theirs is not an act born of suffering. It was a proud show of disdain'?
If Dan is some how unaware of the Jewish nature of The Bible, one wonders why he's so free in his criticizing something he knows clearly so little about.
Isn't attacking someone based on what they believe called 'bullying'?
Secondly, Dan is most likely a rational atheist. In that case he believes in subjectivism because by logical inference there can be no objective truths in a world where experiences and perceptions define morality. Dan is arguing that homosexuality, viewed by many negatively, is not negative because there is no objective moral argument that can be made against it. Homosexuality, like anything, is a lifestyle choice and a set of beliefs and should be left alone and/or honored simply because it like any other human decision is instinctual. He would argue being gay isn't a choice.
So wait a moment...being gay isn't a choice because, like all human actions, its driven by internal chemical forces. Why doesn't this apply to religion? Would his argument by that religion too is an internal biologically created set of beliefs and choices?
Apparently not because The Bible is 'wrong'.
So being gay is perfectly moral by virtue of subjectivism making nothing right or wrong...but slavery is so wrong that The Bible itself is wrong across the board because it seems to be in favor of slavery.
Apparently you can have your cake and eat it too:
-Homosexuality is not wrong because nothing is right or wrong...except Christianity
-Homosexuality is morally justified by being a human decision...but Christianity is not.
What we come back to is that the one determining what is right or wrong objectively...is Dan Savage himself.
What's it called when you judge another based on your own principals without logical inference and then attack that them personally because you disagree with them?
Thirdly Dan Savage is complaining about how marginalized and censored and unheard gay advocacy is...while giving a speech at a high school he was invited to.
This man has a New York Times best selling book, a cross-country lecture series, and is supported by major news advocacy groups while he travels to give speeches by request at schools, and these speeches are all about how little respect the country as a whole has for him and his cause.
He also uses the opportunity of this platform to attack a minority of students who came to see his speech and then verbally attacks them when they return to the room after leaving in silent protest.
What's it called when you use a position of power to browbeat people with less power in front of others who agree with you without threat of reprisal?
Fourthly the verbal attack itself is fascinating. Blind rage can lead to really stupid statements and although no one seems to be calling out Savage for this one, its a bit of a doozy.
The first insult he can think of and uses without thinking twice about it is 'pansy-ass'.
This is of course a homosexual slur. 'Pansy' is a derogatory term for a gay man and relates to how they might be perceived as weak and emotional. Its a very hurtful claim and is used far too offhandedly, especially on the internet.
But Savage not only uses the term he uses it in its original context: essentially saying that the walkout protesters are weak by comparing them to how pathetic a stereotypical gay person is viewed by homophobes. This is like a Chinese person insulting someone by using the term 'slant eyes' or 'yellow skin'.
Its awe inspiring that Savage felt he could get away with this or how he still doesn't seem to realize the hypocrisy of his anti-gay-bully speech containing him insulting others with a gay slur.
Even more revealing is his back-peddling statement 'some of my best friends are pansies'.
So Savage KNOWS the implications of the insult...and used it anyway.
Dan Savage is not only willing to verbally insult people who came to his speech by their own choice just because he disagrees with them, and insult them in a public venue so they can be laughed at, he insults them using a term he would say in the rest of his lectures was inexcusably cruel.
What's the term for someone who verbally attacks others using hateful and off-the-cuff slurs?
And this galling double-talk extends to The Huffington Post as well.
Point by point.
What immediately become a meme amongst Dan's critics is that those who walked out of his talk felt bullied by him. But that's impossible.
(Impossible because The Huffington Post supports Dan Savage and doesn't support Christians.)
People get bullied because of who they are: how they look and act, what they say and do. Perceived as being in some critical way weak or lacking, victims of bullies are selected for persecution; they are pulled from the pack before being pointedly and repeatedly victimized.
(Like, say, being singled out at a speech to be laughed at and repeatedly insulted verbally?)
The people who walked out during Dan's talk were not separated from their peers by anyone.
(Because Christians suffer no persecution in school or society)
They were content to do that themselves.
(Just because they were singled out by Dan Savage, doesn't mean they were singled out...apparently)
They were not frightened or cowed. They were offended.
(Most of the bullying Dan Savage attacks is purely verbal)
They felt that by disparaging what amounts to their God
(Or Dan Savage's ignorant perspective on The Bible and vindictive statements about Christians)
Dan had transgressed beyond their capacity for toleration.
(Imagine...a panel devoted to ending bullying being upset by...bullying!)
And they were pleased to show their intolerance of Dan's words by protesting against them in the manner they did.
(Intolerance of intolerance? I had supposed Dan was suggesting people 'push back' against intolerance)
Theirs was not an act born of suffering. It was a proud show of disdain
(As you can see protest against bullying by gays is 'born of suffering'
Protest against bullying by Jews and Christians is a mere 'proud show of disdain'
Apparently changing the terminology changes the very nature of things.
And you can't be a hypocrite if you change the definition of bullying in the context of your enemies...right?)
So did my little rant here say anything personal about Dan Savage he didn't make clear with his own words?
Did I decry homosexuality or the anti-bullying campaign?
Unlike Dan Savage I don't feel the actions of a hateful radical reflect on the entirety of a movement.
But I'm one of those fellows who feel that fighting fire with fire leads to a higher fire, not putting it out.
You can't attack bullying with bullying, especially if you and your supporters don't have the decency to even admit that you are practicing the very thing you decry.
I'm very hopeful that other proponents learn by the example of Dan Savage.
If you're going to single out hypocrisy, be wary. You might serve as a fine example yourself.