SEATTLE — A national journalism conference for high school students quickly turned ugly as an anti-bullying advocate viciously attacks the Bible and Christians in the audience.
Dan Savage, the person behind the “It Gets Better” Campaign that purportedly provides support and guidance for LGBT teens who are bullied, provided the keynote lecture on Friday of a high school journalism conference. Savage is also a “syndicated relationship and sex advice columnist”.
So what exactly happened that has sparked such little outrage from the mainstream media and no response from the White House (who supports Savage), but an uproar of abhorrence from Christian leaders and conservative media outlets?
Here’s the video [WARNING: Explicit Language] that shows Savage sharing his skewed take on the bible and attacking Christian beliefs at the JEA/NSPA Seattle Convention. The students leaving are Christian students, some of which were in tears due to the nature of the harassment coming from the stage.
Every time I watch that video, I am infuriated because I am both a devout Christian and a journalist. The cheers that ring out from the audience are disgusting. The number of harassed Christian students walking out compared to the cheering in the audience, I feel, is a scary representation of our future media professionals.
After conservative media outlets picked up on this story, Savage took to his blog to talk about the issue. After explaining his actions, his only apology was this:
My use of “pansy-a**ed” was insulting, it was name-calling, and it was wrong. And I apologize for saying it. ~ Dan Savage, slog.thestranger.com
As to referring to the bible as “bull****”, Savage stood by his words, only saying it was “a regrettable word choice”. He continued on in the post to reiterate, not apologize for, his take on the Bible:
There are untrue things in the Bible—and the Koran and the Book of Mormon and every other “sacred” text—and you don’t have to take my word for it: just look at all the biblical “shoulds,” “shall nots,” and “abominations” that religious conservatives already choose to ignore. All Christians read the Bible selectively. Some read it hypocritically—and the hypocrites react very angrily when anyone has the nerve to point that out. ~ Dan Savage, slog.thestranger.com
As a follower of Christ, I follow the rules that he and his disciples laid out for the early church. As such the “old law” (or “Old Covenant”) as referred to by Savage in the video in Leviticus, does not apply to New Testament Christians (along with other laws regarding slavery as he points out often). It is a history if you will, that Christ used as a building block for the “New Covenant” which was established through his death and resurrection. It is that covenant that my faith follows. There is no authority on Earth greater than God, and as such, Mr. Savage, who are you to deem what is true and untrue in the bible? Blasphemer…
Along with Savage’s “apology”, the NSPA also issued a statement in regards to Savage’s comments:
NSPA and JEA consider Mr. Savage’s use of harsh language and profanity to be inappropriate and offensive to many in attendance. This is not what our organizations expected. In his attempt to denounce bullying, Mr. Savage belittled the faith of others – an action that we do not support. Ridicule of others’ faith has no place in our programs, any more than ridicule of the LGBT community would.
The last sentence in that quote is the key. Savage and his “It Gets Better” campaign (which the White House fully supports and has dedicated a portion of its website to) only supports an effort to stop bullying against LGBT teens, not bullying as a whole. Christians were bullied at this convention, as well as every day in schools across the country. Why not support an end to bullying as a whole rather than picking one group out to focus on. Is that not a form of segregation?
The national media has picked up on this a little, but not one Columbus station has put anything up in connection to this story . The only station that has anything related to Dan Savage on their website is NBC 4. In an article posted last November about a new study that says Ohio schools have an anti-gay bias, Savage is only referred to as the person who started “It Gets Better”.
Bottom line, our Christian youth and our faith are being misled and misrepresented, respectively, by someone who clearly has an agenda that he is pushing on anyone who will listen, including the White House.