Dan Savage discusses bible at High School Journalism convention

Dan Savage talks about the use of the bible to justify homophobia at a high school journalism conference. Offended christian students leave the room.

Views: 1372

Comment by Ron V on April 29, 2012 at 12:45am
I agree- and these poor brainwashed Christian kids......
Comment by Cameron on April 29, 2012 at 1:11am

 I think that the person who made this video shot the perfect view.  I think that the point he made at the end is the best though, about how people get upset when you try to push back even though they want to use it to justify their actions.

Comment by G. Michael Williams on April 29, 2012 at 1:26am

So, walking out showed they don't want to discuss anything.  Then wonder why anti-theists disrespect them.  Once again, the bible is right until shown wrong.  Not much left now.

Comment by John Holloway on April 29, 2012 at 4:47pm

The thing is, he is very ignorant on what the Bible actually teaches. 

The first thing that needs to be understood is that what he said doesn't reflect biblical teaching. He quotes heavily from the Old Testament Law, which does not apply to Christians. That includes the shellfish, stoning, etc.

The Bible does not condone slavery. It has verses saying what to do if in that situation, but it does not say "slavery is good, do it". On the contrary, 1 Timothy 1:8-10 puts "enslavers" in the same category as murderers and the "ungoldy and profane".

He can say that the Bible is wrong, but he can't just twist verses out of context to try and support his point. That is exactly what people did to try and justify slavery by the Bible. If you actually know what the Bible teaches, it's easy to pick out his ignorance.

Walking out doesn't mean they don't want to discuss anything. It wasn't a discussion to begin with. It was a man on a stage talking about something he obviously knows nothing about. There was no dialogue.

I don't think anyone should bully someone, homosexual or otherwise. But the Bible does call homosexuality a sin, just like lying is a sin.

I'm not trying to be rude or anything, but if you know anything about Christianity or the Bible, it is easy to disprove what he is saying. I realize my beliefs are probably really different from many people here, but he is quoting the holy book of my faith. He is playing in my court, and he doesn't know the rules of the game.

Comment by Cameron on April 29, 2012 at 5:49pm

"But the Bible does call homosexuality a sin, just like lying is a sin."

Ain't he in a pickle?  A double whammy of sinning in one video clip.  A nasty liar he is.

If you look at about 1:00 into the video, he talks about the letter from Paul, which is in the new testament section of the book, not the old testament.

What's more important about the clip, Mr. Holloway, is that he is talking about the justification of homophobia and violence against lgbt people by saying "look, it's in the bible!"  New testament or old, people find these passages and then use them as a way to remove personal responsibility for their thoughts and actions.  As he points out at the end, he is standing up for himself, and has done so for many others who can't, against those who use the bible as justification for bigotry and violence.

Comment by John Holloway on April 29, 2012 at 6:45pm

I am well aware of the location of that book. The letter he refers to is Philemon. It would take about 10 minutes to read (if that), if you would like to check it out. It's incredible to me that he could read Philemon and reach the conclusion that the Bible supports slavery. While Paul doesn't say "slavery is bad, don't do it", he tells Onesimus (the owner of Philemon) to not treat Philemon as a slave, but as a brother, as he would Paul himself. He requests this of Onesimus, but he says that he could demand it as what he should do by the authority of Christ.

I agree that using the Bible as a source to promote homophobia and violence is bad. My point is that his emotionally fueled comments about what the Bible teaches was blatantly wrong and deceptive. It stems from ignorance at best and intentional deception at worst.

"Ain't he in a pickle?  A double whammy of sinning in one video clip.  A nasty liar he is."

Haha, I wasn't actually trying to apply that to him specifically. I was just pointing out another sin for comparison. Many people (Christians included) overemphasize things as sin like homosexuality and fail to realize that their own sin is no better. 

Comment by Mike on April 29, 2012 at 7:04pm

He quotes heavily from the Old Testament Law, which does not apply to Christians.

I seem to remember from my days as an altar boy that the first reading in a catholic mass was a reading from the old testament.  Since most christians are actually judeo-christians then yes, the old testament does apply to them.  There may be strands of evangelicals or others that don't use the old testament but my born again evangelical brother in law is always throwing the old testament out as proof of his arguments.

Paul couldn't bother to explicitly say "slavery is bad don't do it" but he could manage to say homosexuality is bad don't do it.  He may have said treat him as a brother but I guess he never said give him his freedom and make him a brother. 

Though I can't remember where or who wrote it but I have heard about a part of the bible, old or new testament since they are both considered 'the bible' as far as I know where they give explicit directions that if you have to beat your slave don't do it so bad that he dies right away.  If he dies in a day or two that is ok but don't beat him so bad that he dies on the spot.  Maybe someone more biblically literate could fill in the who said it when.

Comment by Mike on April 29, 2012 at 7:07pm

By the way, this is a high school journalism convention?  So these are kids interested in being journalists when they get in the real world?  So what are they going to do when someone says something they don't like when they are journalists?  Put their fingers in their ears and run away again like they did here?  They can't all grow up and work at FAUX News!!

Comment by John Holloway on April 29, 2012 at 7:31pm


You misunderstand. I said the OT Law doesn't apply to Christians. I did not say that the Law makes up all of the OT, nor did I say it is ignored.

I can't speak to what exactly Paul was thinking when he wrote Philemon, but when I read that he wants Onesimus to treat Philemon as he would Paul, to me that translates to "he is not a slave to you". I could be wrong. But, if anything Philemon was in debt to Paul.

"Though I can't remember where or who wrote it..."

That would be the OT.

Comment by Ron V on April 29, 2012 at 7:54pm

@John Holloway

You forget the well documented letters, speeches, and books in the past that used the Bible to justify slavery.  You can say all you want that you, or other Christians today, may not believe the Bible justifies slavery, but that's not what the pro-slavery "Christians" in America believed.

For more commentary:



"The New Testament, unfortunately, is little better. Jesus never even comes close to expressing disapproval of the enslaving of other human beings, and many statements attributed to him reveal a tacit acceptance or even approval of that inhuman institution. Throughout the Gospels we read passages like:

A disciple is not above the teacher, nor a slave above the master (Matt. 10:24)

Who then is the faithful and wise slave, whom his master has put in charge of his household, to give the other slaves their allowance of food at the proper time? Blessed is that slave whom his master will find at work when he arrives. (Matt. 24:45-46)

Although Jesus is using slavery in order to illustrate larger points, the question still remains why he would directly acknowledge the existence of slavery without saying anything negative about it?

The letters (rightly or wrongly) attributed to Paul are even worse, making it clear that the existence of slavery is not only acceptable, but that slaves themselves should not presume to take the idea of freedom and equality preached by Jesus too far by attempting to escape their forced servitude.

Let all who are under the yoke of slavery regard their masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be blasphemed. Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful to them on the ground that they are members of the church; rather they must serve them all the more, since those who benefit by their service are believers and beloved. Teach and urge these duties. Whoever teaches otherwise and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that is in accordance with godliness, is conceited, understanding nothing, and has a morbid craving for controversy and for disputes about words. From these come envy, dissension, slander, base suspicions, and wrangling among those who are depraved in mind and bereft of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. (1Tim. 6:1-5)

Slaves, obey your earthly masters with fear and trembling, in singleness of heart, as you obey Christ; not only while being watched, and in order to please them, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart. (Eph. 6:5-6)

Tell slaves to be submissive to their masters and to give satisfaction in every respect; they are not to talk back, not to pilfer, but to show complete and perfect fidelity, so that in everything they may be an ornament to the doctrine of God our Savior. (Titus 2:9-10)

Slaves, accept the authority of your masters with all deference, not only those who are kind and gentle but also those who are harsh. For it is a credit to you if, being aware of God, you endure pain while suffering unjustly. If you endure when you are beaten for doing wrong, what credit is that? But if you endure when you do right and suffer for it, you have God's approval. (1Pet. 2:18-29)"


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