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Dan Savage, the writer and activist who launched the 'It Gets Better' project and has been outspoken about gay rights, caused a huge stir at the National High School Journalist Conference in Seattle when he openly bashed the parts of the bible that say being gay is "wrong." A number of kids walked out of the speech, some even cried, but Savage kept on going.
To those who walked out, I say this: Boo hoo. The truth hurts. We ignore so many parts of the bible in our daily lives it would make a person's head spin to count them all and yet we focus on this? We focus on the few lines that justify persecuting an entire group of people?
Those who do so are wrong and ignorant and deserve to be called out and no one should ever apologize for doing so. See Savage's comments below:
We can learn to ignore the bulls*** in the Bible about gay people. The same way we have learned to ignore the bulls*** in the Bible about shellfish, about slavery, about dinner, about farming, about menstruation, about virginity, about masturbation. We ignore bulls*** in the Bible about all sorts of things.
As the students reacted with varying degrees of horror, Savage responded with:
It’s funny, as someone who’s on the receiving end of beatings that are justified by the bible, how pansy-assed some people react when you push back.
Go Dan Savage! It is impressive that he had the courage to say and do what he did and for those who are offended, I ask you this: Why? What is the problem? Is it that he is pointing out the truth about the incredible hypocrisy of using religion to justify hating gay people?
Any time a book (or anything else) is used as an excuse to persecute people, we ought to be questioning it. But, in our culture, it is verboten to openly question the teachings of religion. We claim this is "religious freedom," which is all fine and good, but the second someone's freedom to practice their religion hurts someone else's freedom just to exist and love and grow as a human, then it is wrong.
It is so wrong that we need to call it out. But it takes tremendous courage to do so. Savage is smart and he is witty and most of all, he is RIGHT. He is righteous. And he is spreading the truth. If he changed one mind, if he made one person realize just how wrong it is to use religion to justify persecution, then he has done something important.
Sometimes some people have to be offended, especially if they are wrong. Savage should never apologize for speaking the truth.
Do you think Savage's comments were wrong?