A recent video of Dan Savage's talk about homosexuality at the National High School Journalist Conference shows students leaving the room as he describes how we need to get over "the bull---t in the Bible." The star of MTV's "Savage U" points out that Christians no longer stone women to death, no longer ban shellfish as God in the Old Testament commands it. Yet, many Christians will point to the Old Testament to justify homophobia and bigotry. Dan Savage used his usual salty language and spoke with passion as some students cheered, and others got up to leave. When he was done with his comments, he noted, "It's funny, as someone who's on the receiving end of beatings that are justified by the bible, how pansy ... some people react when you push back."
Who is Dan Savage? Dan Savage has long been doling out sex-positive advice in the public arena. He has a regular column in The Stranger and an incredibly popular weekly podcast called "The Savage Lovecast." He and his partner started the It Gets Better Project that has garnered international recognition. Recently, his popularity has increased due to his very own show called "Savage U," which premiered last month on MTV. The show features the sex guru giving talks and advice to a variety of college students.
Why Invite Savage? Fans of Savage and the show "Savage U" will not be surprised at the views he espoused at the National High School Journalist Conference. What is puzzling, however, is that organizers of the event would book Dan Savage, an outspoken supporter of gay rights, if they knew their demographic would more than likely be offended by his views and manner of speaking. It makes no sense to invite Dan Savage to talk about his views and then demand an apology when he does.
Savage Apologizes for "Pansy" Comment: In his column, Savage made an apology for his remarks, but defended his views about the Bible. "I would like to apologize for describing that walk out as a pansy ... move. I wasn't calling the handful of students who left pansies (2800+ students, most of them Christian, stayed and listened), just the walk-out itself… my use of 'pansy ...' was insulting, it was name-calling, and it was wrong. And I apologize for saying it."
Whether the apology will satisfy those he offended will be seen. More than likely, those who were offended by the comments have more problems with Savage than his name-calling. While he could have chosen his words more carefully, I think Savage got it completely right on this one. The students who walked away and the adults who encourage them to walk away when someone disagrees with them, only perpetuates the discord and misunderstanding that is so rife in the political and religious arenas.
Sources for this article:
- Society & Culture
- Arts & Entertainment
- Dan Savage