Ignoring the bullshit

ŠĒ• Andrew Sullivan

Dan Savage, creator of the It Gets Better Project, was invited to speak as a keynote speaker at NSPA/ JEA’s annual High School Journalism convention, Journalism on the Edge.

During a speech at a high school journalism convention, Dan Savage attacked anti-gay Biblical literalism, which caused some Christian students to walk out.

Perhaps they should have stayed. As Dan Savage explains after the predictable outrage ensued:

I was not attacking the faith in which I was raised. I was attacking the argument that gay people must be discriminated against‚ÄĒand anti-bullying programs that address anti-gay bullying should be blocked (or exceptions should be made for bullying “motivated by faith”)‚ÄĒbecause it says¬†right there¬†in the Bible that being gay is wrong. Yet the same people who make that claim choose to ignore what the Bible has to say about a great deal else.¬†I did not attack¬†Christianity. I attacked¬†hypocrisy.¬†My remarks can only be read as an attack on all Christians if you believe that all Christians are hypocrites. Which I don’t believe.

  • Sarrs

    Why can’t people just live and let live? You want to be gay? Good for you. You want to go to church? Good for you. Don’t tell me what to do and I won’t tell you what to do.

    • Kiwidon

      Absolutely agree! 

    • Neil

      ¬†Will never happen in this country – we’re too much of a busy body nation….

  • St_Hubbins

    Savage sure seems like a lovely guy based on what’s shown in this foul video:

    http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-TV/2012/04/29/Dan-Savage-Bully

    Obviously those stupid Christians took him out of context or something!

    • http://nzconservative.blogspot.com Lucia Maria

       Wow, that guy is something else.  I had to stop listening, it was too disgusting.

    • Isumbras

      Jim Goad rips him a new one online present issue at TakiMag also

      • St_Hubbins

        Thanks Isumbras – haven’t visited TakiMag for a while. Will check it out. Cheers.

  • Kosh103

    There are too many so called christians who are closed minded and use the Bible for hate as opposed to its true reason for being.

    Anyone who refuses to even listen to the whole message before attacking is just a fool.

    • Cato

      There are also too many people who are clearly ignorant of the repository of 6,000 years of carefully developed moral philosophy. As¬†C.S.¬†Lewis noted – “God is love” is hardly the same statement as “Love is God”.

    • accounting101

      Normally I get riled up at everything you say Kosh103, but this time you are entirely correct!

    • Pukakidon

       Kosh get back to teaching.  I am not paying you to be skiving off on the internet!

      • Neil

        ¬†Looking at the timing of his post I suspect it was his/her lunch break….

  • Cato

    See here for a different take from parties not as invested in the matter as Andrew Sullivan and Dan Savage himself. I know this blog is pro-gay marriage but it does seem that the otherwise very sound Mr Oil is adopting the language of the left Рand the bad habits of the MSM Рwhen it comes to the matter matter .

    Dan Savage is hardly the kind of person you want representing the argument for gay marriage.

  • http://nzconservative.blogspot.com Lucia Maria

    Rules aren’t ignored from the Bible.¬† Christians who know and understand the Bible know why we don’t stone women on their wedding nights if they are not virgins.¬† Dan Savage doesn’t know why, therefore he assumes this rule is being ignored just because people don’t want to follow it.¬† He then reasons, if not this rule, then why not the rules on homosexuality?¬† So he tells his audience that the Bible got it wrong.¬† However, the Bible didn’t get it wrong – we get it wrong when we decide to ignore what should not be ignored.

    • Cato

      I keep coming back to the Eagleton quote – “Imagine someone holding forth on biology whose only knowledge of the subject is the Book of British Birds”.

      • http://nzconservative.blogspot.com Lucia Maria

        Doesn’t seem to stop them, though.¬† And they act as if we haven’t heard the same old argument again and again and again to the point where what they are going to say next is entirely predictable.¬† Probably why those kids walked out, they didn’t want to listen to it.¬† I don’t blame them.

    • Whollyghost

      I guess these “Christians” are being selective in what they take and do not take from the bible. They should follow it all or none of it. Anyway, religion is a virus that needs to be exterminated, and “God” is just another human construct. Dawkins has the best take on religion – it is a side-effect of the trust/faith that develops between a child¬†and a¬†parent when the child is young; that trust is needed, but religion is not needed.

      • Cato

        See above. I agree that literalism doesn’t make much sense – but that’s a peculariarly protestant problem – as Hillaire Belloc noted:

        “It had begun by saying, “I deny the authority of the Church: every man must examine the credibility of every doctrine for himself.” But it had taken as a prop (illogically enough) the Catholic doctrine of Scriptural inspiration. That great mass of Jewish folklore, poetry and traditional popular history and proverbial wisdom which we call the Old Testament, that body of records of the Early Church which we call the New Testament, the Catholic Church had declared to be Divinely inspired. Protestantism (as we all know) turned this very doctrine of the Church against the Church herself, and appealed to the Bible against Catholic authority. ”

        I don’t see why Catholics or Orthodox should be required to take all of the bible or none of it – and to say otherwise betrays a profound ignorance of the history of religion – not that I am surprised to see a lot of ignorance on the matter.

        There have been throughout history some very good logical and philosophical objections to religion. Alas, you tend to run into a much poorer quality of atheist these days.

      • Whollyghost

        Cato, I am not so bothered with logical and philosophical objections to religion, as they afford religion some undeserved importance/significance. I am more concerned about whether the beliefs of religionists are true Рand they are not.

      • Cato

        “I am not so bothered¬†with logical and philosophical objections to religion, as they afford religion some undeserved¬†importance/significance. I am more concerned about whether the beliefs of religionists are true – and they are not”

        Give me a break. On what basis can you just make the bald asertion that no religion is true. What is the source of your supposed enlightenment, to the effect that you clearly hold yourself to be more rational and brilliant that such ‘religionists’ as Sir Isaac Newton, Rene Descartes, Nicholas Copernicus, Thomas Aquinas, Kelvin, Kepler, Max Planck, Louis Pastuer, ¬†Sir Francis Bacon, Robert Boyle, Pascal, Gregor Mendel and Michael Faraday?

        Do you have any basis other than some lame appeal to the authority of a middling contemporary biologist who made a widely held to be ignorant foray into the field of cosmology?

        As I said, there have been some brilliant atheists throughout history but, alas, most atheists you encounter are poor specimens. As John Saffran said, you may as well face it – you’re not smart enough to be an atheist.

      • Whollyghost

        Are you referring to THE Copernicus, Kepler, and Newton, who used theoretical and observation evidence to dismiss the religionist view (belief) that Earth was the centre of the universe, and replace it with the atheist alternative? Or are you referring to another group of scientists with the same surnames?

      • Cato

        No, I refer to the self-same scientists who were and remained strong believers in the existence of the supernatural and who knew that no scientific discovery could ‘prove’ the non-existence of God or the untruth of religion – to quote Newton: “Atheism is so senseless and odious to mankind that it never had many professors.”

      • Cato

        I mean, how dense does one have to be to argue that proof of heliocentrism somehow negates religiosity when Galileo was a deeply committed Catholic and Copernicus himself was a Catholic priest.

        So frustrating to argue with those who think reading the Da Vinci Code somehow makes them knowledgeable about history.

    • Dean Gray

      Oh, this should be good. Please explain why Christians who know and understand the Bible don’t think it’s a good idea to stone women who aren’t virgins on their wedding night to death.

      • Cato

        Because the Old Testament is, and has been understood to be since the earliest days of the Church a “great mass of Jewish folklore, poetry and traditional popular history and proverbial wisdom…”

        It is divinely inspired but mediated through imperfect men and women.

        The fact that you, as a clear non-Christian, feel that you can come along and superimpose your theologically unaware reading on the meaning of the Bible and call others to account for it marks you out as a dunderhead.

        Honestly, this is like saying “Please explain why scientists say that the Earth revolves around the Sun when, if the Earth did move, we would be thrown off its face?”

        Read a friggin’ book.

      • Peter Wilson

        Did you ever think that the bible is not supposed to be taken literally? But should be adapted¬†according to the times. If you’re a scientist type, do we hold it against you that you once thought the world was flat?

        That the messages are simply imagery and allusory? Being “stoned to death” is not meant in the literal sense, but simply that a person, through sin, risked being judged by his peers¬†and may be making life harder for himself and his family.

  • Redneck

    Dan Savage is a despicable homosexual malcontent. Hired by Salon.com to infiltrate the presidential campaign of republican Gary Bauer in 1999, on one occasion when gummed up with the flu, Savage proceded secretly to lick all of the doorknobs, and wipe his mucus on pens and other stationery in attempt to do his part to derail the campaign by infecting as many involved as he could with the flu. He wrote:

    I
    went from doorknob to doorknob. They were filthy, no doubt, but there
    wasn’t time to find a rag to spit on. My immune system wasn’t all it
    should be — I was in the grip of the worst flu I had ever had — but I
    was on a mission. If for some reason I didn’t manage to get a pen from
    my mouth to Gary’s hands, I wanted to seed his office with germs, get as
    many of his people sick as I could, and hopefully one of them would
    infect the candidate.

    So, much as it pains me to confirm a hateful stereotype of gay men — we will put anything in our mouths — I started licking doorknobs.
    The front door, office doors, even a bathroom door. When that was done,
    I started in on the staplers, phones and computer keyboards. Then I
    stood in the kitchen and licked the rims of all the clean coffee cups
    drying in the rack.

    Savage even handed Bauer the saliva-coated pen, hoping to infect him with the flu.

    I pulled the pen out of my mouth and handed it to him. Score! My bodily fluids — flu bugs and all — were all over his hand!

    My Slater, and the other dupes of the soft-left / liberal Right need to begin to wise up soon.

  • Peter Wilson

    Oops, another own goal.

    Dan Savage is claiming that: it says right there in the Bible that being gay is wrong.

    This would be disappointing for some homosexuals that challenge pro-society adherents to “show me where in the bible does it say homosexuality is wrong.”

    He’s turned the argument on its head, and brought it crumbling down – on himself.

    He’s opened the argument up to claims that it’s hypcritical and bigoted for homosexuals to quote passages from the bible preaching tolerence etc, and yet ignore passages which condemn homosexuality.

    Oh dear, with friends like these……

  • Blair Mulholland

    Apparently Mr Slater needs to cuddle up to the gay lobby because those are all the folk singing like canaries in the Labour Party.  But what does it profit a man if he gains the most read blog in the nation, yet loses his credibility?

    I don’t care how many doorknobs this man licks – his arguments are old, and they are bad theology.

  • Dean Gray

    “Because the Old Testament is, and has been understood to be since the earliest days of the Church a “great mass of Jewish folklore, poetry and traditional popular history and proverbial wisdom…””
    I notice you haven’t included the 10 commandments in there as folklore, poetry and/or proverbial wisdom and therefore to be ignored. I guess it’s because it either a: suits you, b: is what your church/pastor/whatever preaches to you or a combination of both. Your selective reasoning is both childish and churlish, and it’d do you the world of good to wake up now and then and judge things in a critical manner.
    “It is divinely inspired but mediated through imperfect men and women.”
    So let’s get this straight. You think that stoning women to death in such a manner is just old folksy jewish wisdom, but you think the attitudes towards homosexuals is divinely inspired and the imperfect man/woman that wrote it wasn’t having an off day that day.¬†
    “The fact that you, as a clear non-Christian, feel that you can come along and superimpose¬†your theologically¬†unaware reading on the meaning of the Bible¬†and call others to account for it marks you out as a¬†dunderhead.”
    Raised as a Catholic, went to Catholic high schools, altar boy until I was 16, top marks in RE/Divinity classes. ¬†Wow, you¬†Christians¬†sure are presumptuous when you’re challenged, aren’t you! I guess it’s why you have such a knee-jerk reaction to homosexuals – the parts of the Bible you like tell you you ought to.
    “Honestly, this is like saying “Please explain why scientists say that the Earth revolves around the Sun when, if the Earth did move, we would be thrown off its face?””
    Err.. I think you just lost yourself there. How splendidly ignorant of you.

    • Cato

      Well done on your high marks in RE during secondary school! I guess sense I did pretty well in physics I can count myself as a physicist now – or at least the equal of Stephen Hawking or Hans Henrik Andersen! Going to a Catholic school in this country and being ‘raised’ as a Catholic is a pretty hollow boast.¬†It tells me¬†nothing about why you find the quinque viae¬†so unpersuasive.

      And I don’t see what is so objectionable about being labelled a “non-Christian” – do you believe in the incarnation, the trinity and every thing else in the Nicene Creed? Are you conversant with why the filoque clause is so controversial? If not, why do you feel so aggrieved about being called on your obvious ignorance?

      Why do you feel being ‘raised’ Catholic gives you some ownership over deciding what is and what isn’t the doctrine of the Catholic Church. Why does that give you a right to impose sola scripta as a necessary Christian doctrine when the majority of Christians have never thought that way.

  • Dean Gray

    “Did you ever think that the bible is not supposed to be taken literally? But should be adapted¬†according to the times. If you’re a scientist type, do we hold it against you that you once thought the world was flat?”
    I’m not a scientist type in particular, but at least science knows it doesn’t know everything. In fact, the whole scientific method is based on continually trying to disprove a theory until it cant, and incorporating new evidence, often completely changing it’s ideas as a result, much like the silly example you used above. I do seem to recall the Catholic church burning people at the stake for daring to question it’s authority on such matters however.¬†“That the messages are simply imagery and allusory? Being “stoned to death” is not meant in the literal sense, but simply that a person, through sin, risked being judged by his peers¬†and may be making life harder for himself and his family”Okay then. Let’s get the 10 commandments up to speed for the modern day. I bet you’d love that shit.

    • Cato

      I think you’re right – you’re not much of a scientist type. Under your definition, is Darwinism (i.e. evolution bringing forth separate species) a scientific theory?

      Ultimately it comes down to the fact that the canon Рthough divinely inspired Рwas mediated through men (unlike, say, the Koran in Muslim belief). Because of this, most Christians rely on highly educated theologians and pastors to cautiously interpret them for lay people. Catholics believe also that the Church is protected from making an error of interpretation by the Holy Spirit.

      If you accept that as arguendo, do you see that just citing random bible verses out of context is pretty bone-headed. However, I look forward to your reply if any. I know that it will be more enlightening than anything Thomas Aquinas or Blaise Pascal wrote because you’ve already highlighted that you once got three star stickers in a High School RE project.

  • Info

    dam i get sick of modern day people believing and then trying to convince others of bloody fkn dam hate and war producing religion, ffs ! all they do is show their¬†utmost¬†stupidity¬†and¬†look like¬†medieval¬†lunatics,¬†¬†to everyone else who has an¬†inkling¬†of free thought, ¬† these people should be hidden away on a small island and given no outside world communication systems……except for the following link, and others in the series associated with the same¬†author:

    • Isumbras

      In the Blue corner we have Augustine, Aristotle, Aquinas, C.S Lewis etc etc
      in the Red corner we have…. err, your link
      That wasn’t even funny….¬†The shallow puddle outside my office contains more intellectual content and excitement….

      • Bunswalla

        To use Aquinas’s logic:
        I can see the microwave oven, so I believe in it
        I can see the trees, so I believe in them
        I can see things, and touch them. I have evidence that they exist; therefore I believe in them.
        I cannot see, hear, touch, taste or smell any gods. I have found no evidence that they exist; therefore I don’t believe in them.

        I think the (many different versions and interpretations of the) bible is a made-up collection of stories and rules¬†intended to give people almost 2 millennia ago a set of guiding rules by which to behave. If people follow biblical rules (other than the ones that some people conveniently tell us now are “:not meant to be taken literally”, on which I call bullshit) then the world will supposedly be a better place. Except when you start killing in the name of religion, which happens a lot, and start buggering young boys because your religion tells you to be celibate but you can’t.

        The fact that the collection of stories that ultimately became the bible was written by people that weren’t there and didn’t witness any of the acts described in the bible; the fact that it was written between 200 and 400 years after those events, the fact that it has an incredibly limited world-view, centring all the action around a tiny¬†part of the world (which is natural if you realise it was written by men, but makes no sense if it is the word of god, who made the whole world not just the bits of it that were known at that time) all make me believe that the bible is just a collection of stories.

        I fully understand that people seek meaning to their existence, and that in particular they seek the promise of an eternal reward for good behaviour on earth – even though that seems like a particularly self-serving reason to believe in god.

        But it doesn’t make it true.

      • Isumbras

        Bunswalla, alas I can forward no claim to being overly familiar with the Bible, particularly the old testament. My comment was just expression of disappointment of hitting that link after a build up that promised much, and finding a not very funny stand up comic basically saying God doesn’t exist because I say so….. ¬†Like many comics I’ve heard he probably also has a routine bagging people who are skeptical of AGW or vote conservative….

      • Cato

        There are good theological and philosophical reasons for believing the canon of the Bible is divinely inspired, even if it’s not a word for word manual for devising legal codes in the 21st century. It is annoying, however, when atheist commenters demand to have 6,000 years of carefully developed theology and philosophy explained to them in the comments section¬†of a blog.

        It’s like¬†a six year old demanding to be taught advanced calculus¬†in five minutes and thinking that calculus must be a crock and¬†the teacher¬†stupid for not being able to immediately comply.

      • Jonno142

        here’s a larger version, hilariously skeptical

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