Fighting The Bad Fight: Christian Vs Gay (Again)
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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