Fighting The Bad Fight: Christian Vs Gay (Again)

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Fighting The Bad Fight: Christian Vs Gay (Again)

Earlier this month, Dan Savage said some things that offended fundamentalist Christians (again). He was speaking at a high school journalists conference in Seattle when he got onto the subject of what the Bible says about homosexuality. As a part of what he was saying he described Old Testament laws about shellfish, slavery, menstruation, and so forth as “bullshit”.  Then some (presumably Christian) students got up and ostentatiously walked out. Then Dan called the walk-out “pansy-assed.”

Everyone knows Dan Savage makes a career of saying potentially offensive things using offensive language. That is why we love him. So unless these students were too lazy to google him before attending his lecture, this walk-out was staged. The uproar caused Dan to state in his blog that he apologized for the “pansy-assed” thing.  Although he was referring to homophobe hypocrites in general, not these students in particular, he said it was like when right wingers stay to gay people that they “love the sinner, but hate the sin." It is a distinction without a difference and therefore insulting.

However, Dan went on to say that he doesn't apologize for the “bullshit” statements, since he wasn't insulting anyone's religion, just portions of the Bible that, in a literal reading, are not relevant in modern society.  Now fundamentalist Christians try to claim that is another distinction without a difference, since their religion is supposedly based on the literal words of the Bible. I say “supposedly”, because I don't know any fundamentalists who actually abstain from eating shellfish or pork, and advocate stoning adulterers. Which nullifies their right to protest any “Bible bullshit” statements by Dan. (And since they reject a literal interpretation of these parts of the Bible, I feel free to reject a literal interpretation of the parts about gay “abominations.") 

Meanwhile, one the other side of the country, fuel was added to the North Carolina gay marriage debate by Baptist pastor Sean Harris. In a sermon he instructed his congregation to slap their gay son's limp wrist and tell him to “man up,” and to rein in their overly sporty daughter and make her wear more lipstick.  Pastor Harris apologized for advocating corporal punishment, but not for his homophobia.  Truthfully, a huge percentage of Christian ministers everywhere advocate corporal punishment.  They are just not careless enough to get recorded and posted on the web. Enforcing gender-normativity in children to



Comments [3]

Robin Rigby's picture

I posted this on my Facebook

I posted this on my Facebook a couple of weeks ago- "I saw a vehicle today with a supposed bible quote John 2:16-17. It said "Life's short. Heaven's forever." I thought that sounded decidedly non-biblical so I looked it up. My King James bible says chapter 2 of John is all about Jesus kicking the money-lenders out of the church. I know some of these supposed Christians are uneducated about their own religion but really?" Nothing that a fundamentalist says or does is really surprising to me considering how completely clueless they are.

Oh, and today someone I know posted a link on FB to a post about a study that shows that athiests are more compassionate and generous than highly religious people. 

Conlite's picture

I'm guessing the bumper

I'm guessing the bumper sticker wasn't intended to be a quote, but a comment, based on the Bible verses, that spirituality should trump materialism (which is why Jesus rioted in the temple).  It is a little bit too much of an intuitive leap for a bumper sticker targeted at non-Christians though.  A lot of Christians have trouble communicating effectively outside of their own culture!

I would agree with the atheists vs highly religious study, depending on your definition of "highly religious".  Would you call Mother Theresa (who gave the whole world a lesson in compassion) highly religious or a woman of faith?  The distinction between faith and religion is often overlooked in studies about Christians and those of other faiths.

Robin Rigby's picture

I think you might be

I think you might be stretching it a bit on your interpretation. Most of the Christians I've met who are hardcore enough to have bible verses on their cars aren't aware enough to make those sorts of connections/leaps. 

As to Mother Teresa, of course studies like that are making broad strokes and there will always be plenty of exceptions. I think of it more like plotting all of these folks' levels of compassion and generosity on a bell curve. The athiest curve would peak a little higher or be a little broader.