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April 30th, 2012

The Gutter Takes Offense

They’re saying Dan Savage has stirred up a hornet’s nest…

Dan Savage Speech Controversy: ‘It Gets Better’ Creator Offends Christian Students

Dan Savage offended some Christian teens when he told them “We can learn to ignore the bull—t in the Bible about gay people.”

After many students walked out of the speech, one of whom appeared to be crying, Savage said, “It’s funny, as someone who’s on the receiving end of beatings that are justified by the bible, how pansy-assed some people react when you push back.”

Right on cue the usual suspects wing up the noise machine…

Fox News reports that Savage’s comments upset the executive director of GOProud, a gay conservative group.

“Dan Savage should apologize for his comments and should apologize to the high school students in attendance whom he called ‘pansy-asses,’” Jimmy LaSalvia told Fox. “It is ironic that someone whose claim to fame is fighting bullying would resort to bullying tactics in attacking high school students who were offended by his outrageous remarks.”

There is so much to unpack here.  Firstly, the headline.  This is that right wing propaganda everyone has bought into over the years, that the only authentic Christians are the right wing bigots and everyone else is just faking it.  How many of the kids who stayed to hear what Savage had to say, regardless of what they thought of it, also identified as Christian?  We don’t get that information in any of the mainstream news stories I’ve seen on this.  No, no…it was Christians, capital ‘C’ who walked out and who Savage tossed a going away insult at.  Those were the only Christians in that auditorium that day.

Secondly, Savage didn’t stir up anything…that bubbling open sewer that calls itself the moral majority needs no stirring, it is always on the boil.  This incident wouldn’t look more like the usual case of right wing manufactured outrage if those kids were wearing t-shirts that said “We Are Here To Take Offense At Anything You Have To Say”.  I am expected to believe that none of the kids in that group who walked out knew who Dan Savage was or what his positions were on sex, gay sex, and the bible am I?  Right.  Pull the other one.

Suddenly it’s We’re Not The Bullies, Dan Savage Is The Bully, Because He Insulted Us!!! Yes.  Yes he did.  And a well earned insult it was too.  In the Twitter fury that followed, LOLGOP Tweeted: “I’ve not yet met one conservative Christian who is considering suicide because of bullying as thousands of LGBT youth do every day.”  Just so.  It is grotesque to watch the right wing noise machine compare Dan Savage’s crack about the kids walking out of his talk to what gay kids deal with every day of their lives, usually at the hands of kids like the ones who walked out.  This from The Christian Post:

The 17-year-old California student, whose name was not given, told CitizenLink’s Karla Dial that Savage said people using the Bible to justify their views on homosexuality being a sin often cite Leviticus and Romans in saying that “being gay is wrong.”

“Right after that, he said we can ignore all the ‘B.S.’ in the Bible,” the student told CitizenLink, which is affiliated with faith-based organization Focus on the Family.

The student said she suddenly reacted by blurting out “That’s bull!” before storming out of the auditorium along with several other students. Savage reportedly called the students pansies upon noticing their exit.

That passage in Leviticus Savage was telling them was BS, and which the student there is righteously affirming, calls for homosexuals to be put to death, adding “Their blood is upon them”.  Yes, we can throw death threats at our classmates and we’re just quoting the bible, but if you call us pansies you’re a bully.

Look at what this tells you about the mindset here.  It was a rash of gay kids killing themselves at the beginning of the previous school year that prompted Savage to start his “It Get’s Better” campaign, which has never gotten anything but raspberries from the wingers.  Yet now they rise in a righteous howl of anger at a small group of fundamentalist kids being called pansies.  Look at it.  No…really look at it.  These are people who just can’t figure out why tormenting gay kids to death would be such a big deal with anyone other then it’s some kind of political posturing. The way they see it we’re posturing so they get to posture too. That gay kids are being made so miserable by the torrent of hatred being directed at them that they want to kill themselves just doesn’t seem like it should be such a big deal to the wingers.

And the reason for that is simple, obvious, and sickening.  The way the right wing sees it, if the kid is gay then being treated like human garbage is what they should expect.  Because they are.

Think I’m engaging in hyperbole there?  When did you ever see the kind of outrage on the right toward the tormenting of gay kids that you are seeing now being directed at Dan Savage after he called the fundamentalists who walked out of his talk “pansies”.  When have you ever heard a winger get upset at gay kids being called that?  Cut me a break.  They call gay people that and worse all the fucking time and they don’t particularly care if gay kids get called names or not.  Who is fighting tooth and nail to prevent anti-bullying campaigns from specifically protecting gay kids from being bullied?  The same people who are bellyaching about what Dan Savage said to a group of fundamentalists, that’s who.

How often do I have to see this before I’m allowed to call it what it is?  The way the right wing sees it, the way fundamentalist bigots see it, it is only natural to treat gay kids like human garbage.  Because they are.  God hates them.  My bible tells me so and if yours doesn’t you are not a Christian.  Make no mistake, the outrage here isn’t entirely manufactured, but if you think it’s out of sympathy for the kids Savage insulted you are still not getting it.  The problem isn’t that Dan Savage insulted a group of fundamentalist kids.  It’s that he told them to leave their gay peers alone, using language they routinely use against their gay peers.  He stood up for the gay kids.  There’s where the anger is coming from.

Brutalizing gay people is one of their most cherished religious sacraments.  You mess with that and you will hear the gutter scream like they are being crucified.

[Update...] “Theirs was not an act born of suffering. It was a proud show of disdain.” – Christian author John Shore.

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