“Point/Counterpoint” with “Max” on my Dan Savage post

Maximilian Schell in “Judgment at Nuremberg”

I got a couple of very polite responses from a commenter named “Max” on my post the other day about Dan Savage’s speech in Seattle a couple of weeks ago. My response to one of his comments started getting rather long, so I figured, “What the heck? Make it a post!”

I don’t know Max personally – I would love to get to know him better – but as I said, he has been very polite in his comments, and he makes some very valid points. I appreciate his candor and his willingness to put forth his opinions. (If Max is a “she”, my apologies in advance!)

First, a little background – here is Max’s first comment and my response to it. If you are interested, please feel free to read those comments first – as I said, Max has been gracious and kind in his responses, and I appreciate that very much.

Max responded back last night (after I had shut down my computer for the night), and I wanted to respond to what he wrote.  As I said, I appreciate his civility – he seems like a very nice person.

I hope that my response is taken in the civil manner in which I intended to have it read – sometimes it’s hard to make things sound reasonable without having people misinterpret one’s meaning.

Max says:
May 1, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Thank you Teresa for your response and for being willing to have a dialog with me

I agree with you about several things. Students have every right to walk out in protest for any speaker they find offensive. And I agree that Mr. Savage was rude and wrong to attack them personally. I disagree with you about a couple of things too. Dan Savage is a known commodity who has been talking directly on these issues for years. Whoever chose him to speak knew exactly what they were getting. But then again, I think young adults who are interested in journalism should be exposed to ideas especially when they deal with areas of rapid social change. But that’s just my opinion and I am not here to argue.

I do want to offer another perspective. The message of Dan Savage is a lot deeper than you are giving it credit. It is a message that millions of Americans cheer. Sure, he is expressing anger and yes he is consciously offending people. That is part of what people relate to.

If you want to understand what it is like to grow up homosexual in modern middle America, there is no one who can articulate this better than Dan Savage. The anger is part of this (and if you think about it, it is understandable if not justified). You hear the cheering in the video… that isn’t trivial. There are millions of Americans who relate to exactly what he is saying.

And if you want to find an advocate for homosexual teens (and our homosexual teens desperately need advocates) there is none better than Dan Savage. This is why he is given national prominence in spite of the fact he offends people.

You can choose to see this as a juvenile squabble where two competing sides accuse each other of bullying. Any parent knows the “he started it, no she started” game. But then you will miss the deeper message.

Have you been willing to listen to his broader message particularly as it relates to your family? I am not suggesting you should accept it wholesale, but understanding is often very meaningful. This means being willing to listen to a very different perspective from yours. Once you get past the initial surface conflict, Dan Savage might be just the person to help you do this… that is if you want to.

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My reply was much too long to post as a comment, so here goes:
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Dan Savage is well-known in the LGBT community
Another 300 million people in the US have no idea who he is.

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Dan Savage is a known commodity

I would submit to you that Mr. Savage is a “known commodity” to a very SPECIFIC group of people which only comprises about 3.8% of the entire American population (although there are pockets where the percentage of the LOCAL community are much larger ).

I would also submit to you that an OVERWHELMING majority of the homosexual population is over the age of 18; I’m guessing very few of the students at that particular conference were over the age of 18.

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Whoever chose him to speak knew exactly what they were getting

I think that even they were shocked at what they “got”. There is an expectation that a professional speaker will know how to tailor his/her message to the audience they are addressing – in this case, Mr. Savage was speaking to a group of teenagers, most of whom were probably NOT homosexual.

I’m guessing many students in that audience were as young as 14 years of age – barely out of childhood. As adults, we have an obligation to protect children and to give them a safe and secure environment in which to grow and develop. “Shock troop” tactics are not the way to treat impressionable young people.

There is an expectation on the part of parents when they send their kids off to a conference like this that their children will be protected. What Mr. Savage doesn’t seem to realize is that he has also tarnished the reputation of the organization who sponsored this conference.

Mr. Savage is “about” Mr. Savage, and he doesn’t appear to understand that he has a responsibility to respect the integrity of the organizations which invite him to speak at their functions.

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Sure, he is expressing anger and yes he is consciously offending people. That is part of what people relate to.

That is what people who don’t care about the feelings of others “relate” to. Part of being a kind human being is understanding that you DON’T go out of your way to offend people.
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The young lady on the right grew up gay in middle America.
The young lady on the left is growing up with Down syndrome in middle America.

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If you want to understand what it is like to grow up homosexual in modern middle America, there is no one who can articulate this better than Dan Savage.

Perhaps you weren’t paying attention to what I said in my post – MY DAUGHTER IS GAY. We suspected it for a very long time before she came out – but she had to reconcile herself with that reality BEFORE she could come out. We accept her for who she is – I have never had a problem with her.

The problem that I had was coming to grips with the fact that many things that I had taken for granted about her future weren’t going to be what I had assumed. Believe it or not, it takes a long time to work through that “grief” stage – but I did my best to shelter her from that.

Her youngest sister has Down syndrome, and Michelle couldn’t understand why it was harder for me to accept the “transition” when she told us she was gay.

I explained to her that we knew Rebecca’s condition from birth – we knew what we were dealing with from the start. And Rebecca was a baby, so she didn’t know about the months and months that I grieved for an uncertain future. Michelle was in school most days at that time, so she never saw the tears that I shed coming to grips with a different future for her sister than I had been expecting – one filled with many challenges for her.

By the time Michelle announced that she was gay, she was 14 or 15 years old. By that time, she had been telling us for at least 3 or 4 years that she WASN’T gay. Perhaps you cannot fully understand what a shock it is to be told that something you accepted at face value all of a sudden isn’t. I’m only human – I don’t turn on a dime. I had to re-set everything. That takes time.

When a child is 15 years old, they see all of that happening in front of them and they assume that they are being rejected.

I explained to Michelle that I wasn’t rejecting HER – I was recalibrating all of my internal expectations, in much the same way that I had to recalibrate all of my expectations for our youngest daughter when she was diagnosed with Down syndrome.

And I hurt for Michelle – in much the same way that I hurt for Rebecca – because I knew that she was going to be facing some real challenges as a gay person, and I wasn’t always going to be there to help her fight her battles.  It’s hard enough being a teenager – I knew that it was going to be even harder for her.
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Just a little slice of “middle America”

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The anger is part of this (and if you think about it, it is understandable if not justified).

Funny – my daughter also grew up gay in “middle America” – she doesn’t act like Mr. Savage at all. So, no – his anger is not understandable, and it is not justified. He just wants to be able to throw a temper tantrum and he wants the rest of the world to be forced to watch.

When my kids threw temper tantrums, my reaction to that was, “You want to throw a hissy fit, that’s fine – but I don’t have to listen to it.” They were sent to their rooms until they calmed down. When they were ready to behave like civilized people, they were allowed to rejoin the family.

Amazingly enough, they appreciate that now.  I am quite proud of all of them.

*************************************

You hear the cheering in the video… that isn’t trivial.

You’re right – that is the cheering of children who think that they are “sticking it” to the people in charge.

We accept that that is how children act, and we do our best to teach them that adults don’t act that way. Most of them eventually learn.

And what they were “cheering” wasn’t the gay message, what they were cheering was Mr. Savage calling the Bible “Bullshit” and ridiculing those who don’t agree with him.

It’s somewhat surprising that someone who was raised Catholic doesn’t remember that Leviticus is in the Old Testament, and the New Testament supercedes that.  The Levitican laws were written to help people survive in the desert – they seem antiquated to us nowadays because we have modern conveniences, but they helped keep people from dying from hunger and disease back in the days before refrigeration and vaccinations.

Funny that he doesn’t make those same claims about the Koran – the part that supercedes their equivalent of the New Testament is QUITE harsh and unequivocal about the treatment of gay people; interestingly enough, it has a lot in common with Leviticus.

Would that same crowd of children be cheering Mr. Savage if he were to talk about the Koran and the Muslim people in the same derisive manner in which he speaks about Christians?

Or would they accuse him of being intolerant?
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Max von Sydow in “The Greatest Story Ever Told”

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There are millions of Americans who relate to exactly what he is saying.

And there are many, many millions MORE who can’t relate at all to what he is saying, and who don’t spend any time thinking about it in the first place.  Many of those millions feel that the methods that he (and others) chooses to use to express his message do a lot of damage to his cause.

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And if you want to find an advocate for homosexual teens (and our homosexual teens desperately need advocates) there is none better than Dan Savage.

As the mother of a gay teen (now young adult), I’m afraid I’m going to have to disagree with you on that point.

Mr. Savage has a chip the size of Texas on his shoulder, and he is perfectly willing to burn the whole system down in order to exact his revenge.

That’s not who you want for an “advocate”.

I don’t want my child to learn to be bitter – it’s hard enough to make one’s way in the world, but it is hundreds of times harder to make it when you carry a grudge.

There is a reason that people LIKE Ellen DeGeneres – have you ever taken the time to wonder why that is?
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She’s cute, she’s funny, and she treats everyone with kindness.  What’s not to like?

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You can choose to see this as a juvenile squabble where two competing sides accuse each other of bullying.

I don’t see it as a squabble at all.

Mr. Savage is the one who started a project against bullying.

I’m merely pointing out the hypocrisy of that when juxtaposed against his behavior.

Tolerance is a two-way street – and Mr. Savage doesn’t appear to want to be held accountable for his intolerance.

That’s not how it works.

If he expects people to “tolerate” his message, he damn well had better hold himself to that same standard. If he isn’t willing to do that, then he needs to understand that people are not going to feel obligated to listen to him.

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Have you been willing to listen to his broader message particularly as it relates to your family?

It’s hard to know what his “broader message” is when he is so busy denigrating the very people that he claims to be trying to convince.

Frankly, I am not willing to even start a conversation with someone who calls my religion “bullshit” – I’m not going to give that person the time of day.

I’ve got better things to do with my time than to allow someone to abuse me like that.
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Words can hurt, no matter who says them

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I am not suggesting you should accept it wholesale, understanding is often very meaningful. This means being willing to listen to a very different perspective from yours.

And yet, Mr. Savage is not willing to extend that same courtesy to those who have a different perspective from his.

Ironic, isn’t it?

*************************************

Once you get past the initial surface conflict, Dan Savage might be just the person to help you do this… that is if you want to.

Perhaps you don’t get the jist of my post.

I don’t have a problem with my daughter being gay.  I love my daughter – always have, always will.

I do, however, have a problem with activists of ANY ilk who presume to come in and tell me that I have to change my life to accommodate them.  These same people get upset when I turn around and tell them that if they want me to accept them as they are, then they have to also be willing to accept me as I am.

You see, Mr. Savage wants to be accepted for who he is; he does not want to have to change who he is.

Fair enough.

But that street runs both ways.

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[Cross-posted at RedState]
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About Teresa in Fort Worth, TX

A short, fat, middle-aged, happily-married, mother of 4 daughters. A former high school valedictorian (way back in the Stone Age), a Civil Engineering major in college, a middle-of-the-road Conservative, and a moderate Methodist. I know just enough to get myself in trouble....
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19 Responses to “Point/Counterpoint” with “Max” on my Dan Savage post

  1. Very nice post, Teresa. I appreciate the time you took to write it. I understand what Max is trying to articulate. But I can’t understand how anyone can defend and anti-bullying speaker when he bullies others.

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  2. Actually, I think Mr. Savage does represent a face of the LBGT “community” (I really hate these ephemisms). It is a face that we saw in the Prop 8 controversy in California. It represents the idea that tolerance is simply not enough, and that those who hold to different ideas must be forced, by one means or another, not just to tolerate, not just to “accept”, but to embrace that which they hold moral objection to. I think Mr. Savage’s statements make clear that he is angry at those who have no desire to embrace what he espouses, and believes that gives him license to attack the center of those beliefs. While that brand of vinegar certainly isn’t catching any flies for him, it is clear that he takes some measure of satisfaction from it, or else he would have toned it down a long time ago.

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  3. Bob says:

    Very well done, Teresa.

    Bullying is like racism: it’s wrong no matter who does it. It doesn’t become more or less acceptable based on the status, skin color, or sexual orientation of the perpetrator.

    That speech by Mr. Savage would have been condemned as a hate crime if it had been about Muslims and the Koran rather than Christians and the Bible.

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  4. Pingback: The patronising saintliness over a few bad words from Savage « Colinology

  5. GMLand says:

    Excellent post Tifw, very well done.

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  6. GMLand says:

    My favorite part of (if it can be called that) of Savage’s rant is where is says he has the ‘right to defend himself’. Would that be one of those ugly unalienable rights afforded us by our creator? His whole argument falls apart at that point for me and just becomes more meaningless babble.

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  7. T L C says:

    Thank you Teresa for your story. Too often people live in their own little world where they wish for life to be perfect for everyone. Life is never perfect. People are different for many reasons. Sometimes it’s through birth like both of your daughters, or it can come through disfigurement through fire.

    Those that live in their little perfect world have trouble dealing with these differences. I guess I am replying to tell you that there are many of us out here who do understand these differences.

    Because of recent events I have been trying to find the correct words for a new post to my blog on this same subject.. You have given me some help with this task.

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    • Thank you for your kind words.

      Yep, the world is a messy place, full of lots of people – none of whom are perfect. (The only “perfect” people are fictional characters or “theoretical cases” in a classroom…..)

      Glad I could be of some small assistance – please pass along your post when you finish it!

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  8. Wraith says:

    This post ranks as one of your best. Well done, indeed.

    I’ll be very interested to see what Max has to say in rebuttal.

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    • Thank you! It’s possible that he won’t do a rebuttal of any kind – I wasn’t trying to “win” an argument, I just had a lot to say….. (what else is new? 😛 )

      I just hope that if/when he reads it, he understands that I am just expressing my opinion – I understand that there are some in the gay community who like Mr. Savage and the methods he uses to get his message across. If he had been delivering this to a predominantly gay audience – who knew what they were going to hear – it would have been different.

      I just feel that this was not the right venue for this particular outburst, and this particular method will not win the LGBT community much sympathy with a majority of people who aren’t gay.

      I’m so glad that you liked this one – thanks for the kind words!

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  9. wpdunn74136 says:

    EXCELLENT POST
    as with my rebuttals, the opposition will not afford us the courtesy that they loudly, rudely and infinitely demand
    i dont know michelle or rebecca, but they are much loved, i couldnt care less about the lack of hetero in one or the genetic “Purity” (oh HOW i despise those who would say that Becca has no worth)
    they Are Human
    thats damn well good enough for me

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  10. cmcnutt1 says:

    “Dan Savage is well-known in the LGBT community. Another 300 million people in the US have no idea who he is.”

    I’m a straight female Christian conservative young adult raised in the south. I attended the University of Tennessee and I honestly don’t know anyone that doesn’t know who Dan Savage is. My parents even know who he is and they are old folks that are generally out of the loop! I’ve seen him on multiple national news networks, he tours the nation and his sessions sell out, he has a rabid readership–most of whom are straight. He is really popular for his column and youtube videos on sexuality (straight, gay, etc), which is an opinion column. So, I think if you invite someone who writes an opinion column you can expect them to a) share their opinion and b) not really know that much about hard-hitting journalism. That isn’t what he does.

    His message really struck a cord with me and has made me a more loving, tolerant, true Christian than many a Sunday spent in the pews. He challenged me to question things I’d never questioned and to truly embrace my faith, something I had trouble with before I understood that not every verse in the Bible is divine law. I had always eaten shellfish, been a bit of a feminist, believed people red and yellow, black and white deserved love and equality, but homosexuals–oh how bad they were. Now I can walk the walk and be a light in the darkness.

    I live a life of love and I mess up, like we all do, but I know that my place is not to judge but to love and to share His message in a positive way. I can only do that by truly getting to know those that are different than myself, learning to love them because each person on this earth deserves love, and through that love sharing my message of His love with an understanding that not everyone can accept it right away. All we can do is plant the seed and water it by being an example of Christ’s love trying to follow in His footsteps.

    PS At the start of writing this response I posted “I love Dan Savage” as my facebook status and got 11 likes and 6 comments in the time I wrote this post–all from straight friends. I consider myself a scientist, so I wouldn’t call it conclusive, but I think that he is well known.

    “I would also submit to you that an OVERWHELMING majority of the homosexual population is over the age of 18.”

    I’m not sure what data you are basing this statement on. I only did a quick Google search, but couldn’t find any conclusive numbers to back this up. But even if I had, I would have to look at the data with a scientific eye, which has taught me to question, question, question. And my question would be… how many kids are getting the chance to take the surveys for these studies and if they are what steps are being taken to make them feel safe in answering honestly. And let’s not even get into the number of kids who hope its a phase or that they are just bi or are in denial or whatever. A lot of homosexual kids don’t come out until they are 18 because of the fear of being bullied, kicked out of their homes, cut off financially by their parents, etc. So, I question the validity of that statement. You could have just have easily said that <4% of the kids in that room are likely to be gay. But that brings me to another point–Dan wants to reach heterosexual kids because they are the kids bullying homosexual kids. So an audience filled with 95% straight kids is a target audience for his message.

    I’m guessing many students in that audience were as young as 14 years of age – barely out of childhood.

    I went to a lot of medical conferences in high school, but mostly in my junior and senior years. My friends went to business conferences, which were available to them in their upper years. I think that tends to be when kids have figured out a direction they might want to go and decide to further their education in those fields. I would say it would be bold to say that even 1/4th of the kids in that room were freshmen. I would add to this that most 14-year-old kids have watched a PG13 movie (which could have the word bullshit) or heard their Uncle Bob use some of those 4 letter words. I hope that if it is important to their parents, their morals, and their culture that they not use those words that a speaker (or even a number of speakers) using a curse word wouldn't shatter their beliefs. Other than cursing, I didn't find his message particularly rude or offensive. Controversial? Yes.

    That is what people who don’t care about the feelings of others ”relate” to.

    I consider myself a very caring, compassionate, empathic person. I am in medical school and hope to be a psychiatrist. My friends find me very warm and comforting. I relate to Dan Savage. The way he is so real about his feelings speaks to me. Is it how I would act one-on-one with someone? No, but it is part of him being in an entertainment industry. There are plenty of extremely polite gay bloggers, but they aren't being seen on CNN. Why do people our age relate to his edge and condescending ways? I'm not sure. I'll have to do a research study on it! But I don't think only rude offensive people relate to Dan.

    Funny – my daughter also grew up gay in “middle America” – she doesn’t act like Mr. Savage at all."

    That is truly great that your daughter never had to act out her feelings of anger. I think that says a lot about the love and support she had from her family. So way to go on that! For some it is not so easy. And I truly do not think it's fair though to equate the hurt and anger produced by something as hard as being rejected by society and for some their loved ones and family members to a toddler's tantrums. I have seen case studies of kids that cut themselves, mutilate their genitals, journal and see therapists and tried to hold it all in, but that is asking so much of someone who is still developing. I love when Dan talks about LBGT kids' "heroe's journeys." It is so moving and I know my own sexual struggles as a result of being raised in a conservative culture and I can only imagine the pain, heartache, grief, confusion, and anger associated with the realization that you are gay, that your dreams as you knew them are gone, and the pain of experiencing intolerance and bigotry.

    ****************

    I don't think the cheering was insignificant. So many young people have become disillusioned with the church because a lot of the stuff we were asked to swallow growing up just doesn't make sense. Can you really be that surprised that kids have negative feelings about the Bible? I love the Bible. It has beautiful messages in it, but it took me a long time to heal from the "religious abuse" (as Dan calls it) that I was subjected to. My upbringing wasn't uncommon, but I will concede that it also wasn't truly Christian. True Christianity is about love and I know that now. But I've been inside too many churches where love was the last thing on the agenda.

    I think the reason Dan mostly focuses on Christianity is because he was raised Catholic and most of the bullying he faced was by Christians. Most of his bullied readers are bullied by Christians. Most of what we see in the media in this country is conservative Christians who have anti gay sentiments. So in an effort to speak on what he knows and what his audience is dealing with he speaks on the Bible. He has actually read it, cover to cover. I'm guessing he hasn't read the Koran or the Book of Mormon, and I respect him for not trying to speak about religions he isn't familiar with.

    And to address the comment(s) about Islam… I attended a mosque for a year in college. I first went to an event that was sponsored by the university. It was called "Islam 101" and was put on to enlighten students about Islam and allow us to get to know Muslim kids like us. I continued to attend because the hospitality, warmth, and love were such that I had never experienced going to a new church for the first time. I was worried that when I actually went to a service it would be different, but it was only better. I was respected. My ideas were actually listened to and responded to with love and genuine care. I finally found a religious group that practiced love. Yes, their moral code is strict, but the Muslims I met simply try to live by that moral code in their own lives. What is the point of pushing a moral code on someone else? You can make someone act a certain way, but only through love can you help them to feel a certain way. Insight that I had never heard at church. I find it very insulting and offensive the way so many have insinuated negativity around the Islamic faith. I'll say it again, I respect Dan for only speaking on a religion he is familiar and knowledgeable about.

    Here is a video where he addresses a more balanced view of Christianity. I've heard him speak many times of his respect for religion and religious people. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KcK1NqZ-elQ&list=UUAAMxPPYxyAE27svqW7zw4A&index=1&feature=plcp

    "And there are many, many millions MORE who can’t relate at all to what he is saying, and who don’t spend any time thinking about it in the first place."

    Those are the people he wants to reach. Because every American should spend time thinking about this issue. Atheists can get married and sterile people can get married–and yet the arguments to deny homosexuals that right is because it is a religious institution and one that supports procreation. Whether homosexuality is something that touches your life or not, you should want every individual in this country to have the rights they deserve and those rights should not be denied because of any religious institution.

    That’s not who you want for an “advocate”.

    Dan may have an edge and he certainly isn't happy about our country denying him his right to marry, but to me he seems like a relatively happy, laid-back, well-adjusted individual. I think you can see more of his personality in this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7IcVyvg2Qlo

    You'll notice it's an It Gets Better message and he started the It Gets Better campaign. In my opinion, that is a great advocate for LGBT teens. He is also a huge supporter of Pflag–a great organization.

    Mr. Savage is the one who started a project against bullying. I’m merely pointing out the hypocrisy of that when juxtaposed against his behavior.

    My brother was bullied. It wasn't in a group. He couldn't leave the room. It was face-to-face, it was personal, it was physical and it was akin to torture. He came home almost every day crying. He came home a lot of days with a bloody nose or broken glasses. It was repeated and habitual. To equate a speaker being harsh in front of a large group to bullying is a bit of an exaggeration and if I'm honest, it is offensive to me as the loving family member of a bullied kid. Dan Savage has meant a lot to my brother and other kids who were bullied. If Dan thought he was causing any kid in that room anywhere close to the same kind of torment he endured in school, I have read his column enough to know that he would apologize and truly feel remorseful. I saw a lot of kids leaving, but none of them crying or looking particularly distressed. And quite a few of them smiling or laughing.

    Frankly, I am not willing to even start a conversation with someone who calls my religion “bullshit” – I’m not going to give that person the time of day.

    But you did give him the time of day. Enough time to write an entire post, now 2 about him. You want to put him down and let people know his message is flawed, without actually giving him a chance. He may not be your style, but his message may touch the hearts of others. That is meaningful and as the parent of a daughter who is gay I would think you would want people of all different backgrounds to be touched by the message of equality.

    I'm not saying you should listen to him. I don't think his style is for you, but he is not intolerant of religion. I have heard him speak many times and I find him to be extremely tolerant and even respectful of religion. However, when people use religion to deny him rights, well he lets them know where they can stick it. And it ain't pretty. But as Christians we have to realize that we have a lot of really bad spokespeople. We have people out there spewing hate and bigotry and calling it Christianity and God's message. As a Christian, I try to be aware of how that label makes some people feel because of the way they may have been treated by others claiming the same label. I think it is naive to think that the judgement and hate and intolerance that many Christians practice shouldn't affect the way Christianity is perceived.

    I do, however, have a problem with activists of ANY ilk who presume to come in and tell me that I have to change my life to accommodate them.

    I did not hear Dan demand that any Christian change their life to accommodate him. I think his point was simply to address the hypocrisy present in modern day Christianity.

    Yes, he cusses and has an edge, but that is why people my age listen to him. And thank goodness for him. My upbringing had me completely confused and ashamed about sexuality so much so that even after marrying my husband I felt immense guilt and shame for my sexual feelings. Dan Savage helped me to feel comfortable being me and to know that no matter how many Christians tried to tell me that there was something wrong and bad and shameful about being sexual–it just isn't true.

    I'm glad that Dan Savage speaks out because he is changing peoples perception of sexuality and we need that. Yes, some may find him rude and offensive, but at least in part because of him this new generation can look forward to a future where we are tolerant of each individual's autonomy and their right to live according to their own moral truths where those truths do not harm another individual's autonomy. If every gay person just kept to themselves, with as you shared a <4% homosexual population, they would never get the rights they deserve in this country.

    I certainly don't have all the answers. I doubt I have many to be honest. But I just know that I am Christian. I try to be a loving good person. I don't know why there are confusing and contradictory statements in the Bible, but I find most of the teachings touch my heart and guide me to a relationship with God that fills my heart and soul and molds me into a loving instrument for him. As for the other passages, I don't know, but I feel the Holy Spirit within me and I have never felt right being aggressive toward or controlling of or judgmental of another human being. I think we all have to live what is true for us as long as we do not harm others. I can only judge what is in my own heart. Those beliefs have allowed me to be loving and tolerant and have given me the opportunity to open my mind to those that are different from myself and sometimes I am shocked at how beautifully I am affected by a message that can at first seem too radically different from my own.

    All that being said, I was led to this post (I was actually trying to find a specific Dan Savage post that I thought would help a friend) and I wanted to take the time to share my thoughts. I hope my comment is not offensive or upsetting.

    Please try not to be too harsh on my grammar! It is late and I'm a sleep deprived med student! Capitalization was asking a lot of me tonight 🙂

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    • I love your response and your passion – thank you so much! I started to write a response, and it turned into a blog post…..

      It’s not quite ready for publication (and it may be several days before I get it fleshed out); when it is, I’ll let you know!

      In the meantime, thank you so much for taking the time to write such a thoughtful comment, and best of luck in your endeavors. If you are indicative of the “next generation”, our future is in the best of hands!

      Like

  11. cmcnutt1 says:

    I can’t wait to see the blog! This time I’ll actually check to the box for follow-up comments. For a young person I’m a bit lost in the blogosphere!

    Like

    • Please – this old person is just as lost….

      (At least my blinker is still on, though…. 😛 )

      Like

    • It may be a while – I just realized I’ve got a full calendar for the next couple of weeks….

      I did enjoy reading your comment – you’ve got a good head on your shoulders, and can articulate your thoughts very well. I’m glad to know that we’ve got young people like you coming along behind us!

      Please stay in touch, and let us know how you are doing –

      Like

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