LGBT activist wages war on the Bible
American author, journalist and newspaper editor Dan Savage founded the “It Gets Better” project in 2010, a project that aims to prevent suicide among LGBT youth. Savage recently spoke at a high school journalism convention in Seattle, Wash. where students expected him to talk about bullying. Instead, Savage targeted the Bible in his speech, which unsettled the audience and many uncomfortable students ended up walking out. In his speech, Savage stated, “We can ignore the bullshit in the Bible” and pointed out practices in the Bible that our society no longer complies with today, such as human slavery and the stoning of a young woman who is not a virgin at marriage.
Caitlyn Sternerson, ’14, finds two problems with Savage’s speech—first, his pledge on the “It Gets Better” website says, “Everyone deserves to be respected for who they are. I pledge to spread this message to my friends, family and neighbors. I’ll speak up against hate and intolerance whenever I see it, at school and at work.”
Savage promotes an anti-bullying philosophy and believes strongly in creating a safe zone for people, but he publically contradicts this philosophy and bashes Christianity with blatant disregard for the feelings and beliefs of the members of the audience, even referring to those who chose to walk out as “pansy-ass.”
The second problem Sternerson found with Savage’s convention speech was that he spoke as if were an expert in theology, when he has no theological background. He was tying together things from the Old and New Testaments, when Christians recognize a divide between them. The Old Testament is regarded as revelations that no longer need to be followed because they have been amended; When Jesus came he created a new covenant, superseding the old covenant and the rules of Leviticus.
However, Josh Baker, ’12, believes that Savage’s speech, as well as the number of people who walked out during it illustrates the divide on the issue of homosexuality. A lot of people obtain their sense of morality from a historic doctrine such as the Bible, which leaves little for interpretation when it comes to issues such as homosexuality. Baker finds it disrespectful of the students to walk out without listening to Savage’s interpretation of the issue, because the minorities (homosexuals) are forced to listen to the majority’s reasoning.
Baker also believes that Savage portrays the hypocrisy of the Bible well, leaving the audience with some tough questions on where morality should be taken from and how dangerous it might be to rely on something that has not evolved with the surrounding changes of the world.