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.

Comment by Sean O' Byrne on April 30, 2012 at 12:06pm

@ John Holloway. I was a Christian, brought up in a very Catholic family which including my aunt who is a nun. Your simply wrong when you say that the Old Testament does not apply. From the New Testament in the bible, Matthew 5:17: 

"Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest part or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place"

and from Luke 16:17

"It is easier for the heaven and the earth to pass away than for the smallest letter of the law to become invalid"

This is just a drop in the water of the quotes from the bible saying that the old testament still applies, its only in very recent times that Christians have started to say otherwise. To quote you, "he can't just twist verses out of context to try and support his point", I'm not sorry to say this is exactly what you are doing. 

You quote Timothy 1:8-10, which is correct, but if you'd take a look at Leviticus 25:44-46 or Exodus 21:2-6  or Ephesians 6:5 or my favourite as its just before you reference Timothy 6:1-2 you will see there are an abundance of texts that condone slavery. 

To paraphrase you: I'm not trying to be rude or anything, but if you knew anything about Christianity or the Bible, it is easy to prove what he is saying. I realize my beliefs are probably really similar to many people here, but you are quoting the bullshit book of my ex-faith. You are playing in our court, and you don't know shit about your religion. 

Comment by Jimmy Russell on April 30, 2012 at 1:31pm

What the bible "teaches" is kind of a specious argument in itself isn't it?  The book itself doesn't get up there and spout out what is to be done.  It's done by humans, who cherry pick what the want to enforce what they believe to be true as far as their own reality is concerned.  Mr. Holloway you can not deny that the bible is overwhelmingly used as a device to promote the intollerance of many people and very heavily the lgbt community.  Is it used to do good things?  Of course we can not deny that either.  BUT, those of you that do the good, also do some of the bad and/or stand idle and silent while the bad continues.  The  bible has a lot of fucked up shit in it.  Tell me it doesn't and I'll say that you obviously have either not read it or have your own set of tunnel vision cherry pickin glasses on.  It would be very biblically patriotic of you to admit the obvious faults of the bible and give you a ton of credibillity on here.

Comment by Dale Headley on April 30, 2012 at 4:13pm

John; speaking as someone who HAS read the entire Bible, carefully, from cover to cover, I know whereof I speak, I assure you.

Since you disavow the Old Testament as not being Christian, can I assume you don’t own a copy or carry it with you?  If I believed what you claim to believe, I would tear out all the pages of the Old Testament.  Have you done that?  LOL!  Every single Christian I know carries the Old Testament right along with the New.  And every Christian I know does not hesitate to pick and choose things in the Old Testament that support his/her beliefs.  So don’t try to claim that Christianity is not rooted in part on the Old Testament.  If it weren’t, they wouldn’t keep it in the Bible.     

Do you respect and try to follow the Ten Commandments, including not making “graven images”?  Not working on the Sabbath?  Not letting your cattle work on the Sabbath?  Not coveting your neighbor’s ass (double entendre)? And, especially, “not bearing false witness”?  Your “just like lying is a sin,” comment seems to suggest as much.  Are you aware that the Decalogue comes from the Old Testament - from the same Pentateuchal ravings that glorify the torturing of the Egyptians and the genocide of the Canaanites - men, women, and children?

Dan Savage does not twist the Bible.  He is not picking out verses that support his personal belief; that’s YOUR thing!   He merely points out that many Christians DO use Biblical injunctions against homosexuality to justify bullying gays.  You claim to oppose bullying, but I don’t believe you.  Your New Testament condemns homosexuality, so, if you revere the Bible, you should proudly bully the sinners.  I suspect you supported California’s Prop 8, wherein Christians and Mormons decided to codify their bullying.  Make no mistake: when you deny the right of people to express their love through marriage, you are bullying them.  Why are you afraid to admit it?  

I assume that many of those pious young Christians who stalked out of the auditorium couldn’t take the truth, and believe bullying is God’s will.  These are the same sort of Christians who have been sending death threats to the family of courageous Jessica Ahlquist, just because she objected to a sectarian Christian banner being illegally posted on the gymnasium wall - a stark reminder that Christianity, for many of it adherents, is a religion of sanctimonious, Old Testament  hatred.    

How is it that you seem to know that Savage was not going to allow questions and discussion from the audience following his prepared remarks?  I wasn’t there.  Were you?  I have heard Savage speak on numerous occasions in the past, though, and he has always welcomed dialogue.  It’s those ignorant, teeny-bopper Jesus freaks who are fearful of discussion.  If they wanted discussion, as you speciously claim, they would have stayed and tried to partake in one.  But of course, like most Christians, they are cowards, fearful of being forced to think.  After all, why should they, when they have FAITH?

Comment by Tim on April 30, 2012 at 6:00pm

If you want a good laugh, check out "Dan Savage discusses bible at High School Journalism convention - Christian Response" on youtube.

Comment by Zac Kimmer on April 30, 2012 at 6:35pm

I feel like this is out of place at a journalism conference. I dont know the rest of the story but I feel like he just randomly started talking about it. So, I think I would walk out in a similar situation if someone started a sensitive topic at a completely unrelated event. 

Comment by Unseen on April 30, 2012 at 10:59pm

It seems to me that many fundamentalist Christians haven't fully graduated to The New Testament. When it comes to a license to drastic punishments like stoning or its modern equivalents, they can't quite bring themselves to think that Jesus really meant to take those capital measures away from them.

Comment by G. Michael Williams on April 30, 2012 at 11:44pm

Heard this discussed on a big conservative talk show, they did the classic move of parsing the entire situation down to sub-points, then claimed Xian bashing.  Followed by the bible isn't the reason for gay discrimination, the bible is about loving your neighbor....I had to change the channel.

Comment by Justin Bain on April 30, 2012 at 11:47pm

I don't know how relevant this is but I just wanted to state that the kids that walk out in this video go to the same high school I went to. I graduated in 2011 and so I personally know a lot of the kids that walked out and I can tell you that they are extremely proud of their actions and this school is having a field day from this recognition (It's a rather small school). They honestly believe the Holy Spirit moved them to walk out of the auditorium! I'm not going to defend their actions but I can tell you they are not the kind of Christians who would send death threats to other people, for any reason, although they are definitely self-righteous and arrogant in their beliefs.

Here is an interview of one of the students by Fox News (Hint: It's biased):

http://radio.foxnews.com/toddstarnes/top-stories/christian-teens-sa...

Comment by Tony Moran on May 1, 2012 at 12:51am

I'm a proud gaytheist, but Dan Savage is a harmful person to the LGBTQ community more often than he should be.

I agree with the bullshit comment but he had to know how it would be taken (in a high school, no less) whether or not he meant it. There is a necessity for vocal opposition, but certain ways only make prominent gay rights activists look like bullies themselves (they aren't necessarily, I know, but life isn't fair, and they're categorized that way anyway.)

Comment by Anna Raz on May 1, 2012 at 2:48am

Go Dan Go! 

No need to apologise Dan - if those kids are old enough to decide they believe in the Bible, they are old enough to hear what is in it & defend their position.

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