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May 01 2012

Truth will sometimes make you cry

Dan Savage upset some Christian students who walked out on one of his talks when he pointed out the hypocrisy of Christians who cherry-pick which rules to follow…and often seem to pick the worst rules, like “keep slaves” or “beat up gay people”. I thought it was very mild stuff — wait until those craven wimps get a load of me — but it has the right wing in a tizzy, and several of my fellow freethoughtbloggers have commented on it (here, here, here, and here, for instance.)

I just wanted to add one more link to your reading list. Zinnia Jones says Savage is right about the Bible, and she’s exactly right. Fox News can whine that Savage made girls cry (and isn’t that a weird complaint?), but when it gets right down to it, what matters is that what Dan Savage said was true.

71 comments

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  1. 1
    Gregory in Seattle

    Watching the videos, it is very clear that these students had already planned to walk out once the signal was given.

    And anyway, if they can “hate the sin but love the sinner,” that means we can hate the belief but love the believer. Right?

  2. 2
    crocswsocks

    Silly Fox News. We atheists make girls cry for BREAKFAST.

  3. 3
    peterh

    The reaction of some audience members showed plainly some cannot take being tarred with their own brush.

  4. 4
    Ophelia Benson

    Thass bullshit about crying, many of them were smirking and none of them looked teary. They were having a good time being self-righteous.

  5. 5
    Rob in Memphis

    Good thing those journalism students are considering a profession where they’ll never have to interact with people whose viewpoints might differ from theirs. Oh, wait….

  6. 6
    teawithbertrand

    “He was completely insulting and degrading our faith,”

    If someone can insult and degrade your faith in the name of compassion and equality, what does that tell you about your faith?

  7. 7
    dianne

    The odd thing is, I don’t see that Savage said anything all that controversial. He didn’t say that one should use the Bible as toilet paper or delete it from Project Gutenberg or even that it wasn’t true. Just that we can ignore the parts that don’t fit with modern values, pointing out that we already do so. What’s wrong with ignoring a single passage that condemns male homosexuality when we already ignore multiple passages that are pro-slavery, in favor of stoning non-virgins, against eating shrimp, etc? He’s not suggesting anything new or radical but simply extending something that every Christian, no matter how much of a “literalist” he or she claims to be, already does.

  8. 8
    cartomancer

    Of course it was true. But I find the language it was couched in far too much of a concession. What Dan Savage seems to have been saying was “we can learn to ignore the bits of the bible we don’t like”, but that begins from the premise that the book is actually worth paying attention to in the first place. That book belongs nowhere near a discussion of ethics and morality. We don’t “learn to ignore” what Mein Kampf says or what the Anders Brevik manifesto says or what the Nibelungenlied says, we just don’t turn to them in the first place.

  9. 9
    brucegee1962

    April 24, 1850

    Well-known abolitionist Daniel Sauvage inspired a mass walkout among teenaged slaveowners in his audience by suggesting that the Bible was wrong in its repeated and clear recommendations of slavery. One member of his audience among the many who walked out in protest, Miss Scarlett O’Hara began fanning herself and calling aloud for smelling salts. “How dare that man suggest that there’s anything immoral with how I treat my dear servant Topsy,” she complained. “I know from my Bible that abolitionists are wrong, so I didn’t need to listen to him any more.”

  10. 10
    Janstince

    Reading the first thread of comments on that site…

    Honestly, the way they talk about the Bible reminds me of people discussing the finer points of how Harry Dresden magic works. Kind of fun as a mental exercise (hopefully not their only one), but utterly useless in reality.

  11. 11
    Ricardo Lane

    I was just discussing this with one of my token theists on Facebook last night. I almost did a spit take when he said, “Just imagine the reaction if a Christian were ever rude to an atheist like that.”

  12. 12
    a3kr0n

    I guess I’ll have to read more when I’m off work, but what was his talk supposed to be about? Anti-bullying, or gay acceptance, of just whatever was in his head that day?

  13. 13
    dianne

    @8: I agree. And if the bibleists of various sorts are going to object to mild criticism like Savage’s there’s really no reason not to throw the totality of reality at them, is there?

  14. 14
    marko

    The difference between the journalism of the piece and the video is staggering. The article makes it sound like he was some kind of fire and brimstone preacher bringing hellfire and damnation upon the assembled crowds of poor innocent wholesome christian children, the blood of babies dripping from his glistening fangs. Disappointingly, he seems quite calm, reasonable and measured when you watch the video.

  15. 15
    docslacker

    DAN SAVAGE was giving the speech, what the hell did they expect?

  16. 16
    rickschauer

    These are journalism students? Aren’t they supposed to ferret out the truth, be fair and use intellectual standards?

    Ahhh, I hope their instructor gives them the grade they deserve.

  17. 17
    Louis

    How DARE this naughty person tell me I can’t own slaves and hate Teh Gheyz (With their Agenda)? I have just taken a special seminar in being Extra Biblical, and I have been to the local slave mart, picked up a couple of slaves and put them to work stoning Gheyz and unmarried fornicating ladies. Efficiency is next to cleanliness which is next to godliness.

    Now, none of you women on the internet better be menstruating. Why you’re not MAKING ME A SAMMICH™ is frankly beyond me to start with. WHY ARE YOU ALL PERSECUTING ME FOR BEING A CHRISTIAN?*

    Louis

    * Actual personal Christianity does not exist and is merely being used for the sake of convenience and sammiches.

  18. 18
    nooneinparticular

    rickshauer@6 wrote;

    “These are journalism students? Aren’t they supposed to ferret out the truth, be fair and use intellectual standards?

    Well, there’s your problem right there. Journalism has nothing whatever to do with truth, fairness or intellectual standards.

  19. 19
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Get a load of Zuche on Jen’s thread. Using the word “bullshit” in public isn’t OK just because the kids have heard it before; the kids know that domestic violence happens, too! Suspecting that the walkout was planned in advance because some of them were smiling is just like blaming rape victims! Also, naughty words mean your audience won’t hear you as “an adult,” and Jen is really jealous and desperate and is becoming what she hates.

  20. 20
    protopod

    “Zinnia Jones says Savage is right about the Bible, and she’s exactly right.”

    Zinnia Jones is a guy. He just cross-dresses.

  21. 21
    AlanMac

    @Janstince #10

    Honestly, the way they talk about the Bible reminds me of people discussing the finer points of how Harry Dresden magic works.

    Basically, the courtier’s are discussing the emperor’s new cloths.

  22. 22
    Loqi

    @richlane
    I hope you informed your friend that yes, you can imagine the reaction if a Christian were rude to an atheist. It would get a shoulder shrug at most. Know why he/she never hears of a Christian doing something horrible to an atheist on TV? Because it’s not news. Reporting on religious bigotry toward non-believers would be like reporting that a duck quacked. It’s a mundane occurence. How many stories has Fox done about the hate mail and death/rape threats Christians send to Jessica Ahlquist? How many stories about atheist/gay/trans/other minority group being bullied to the point where they have to move? How many stories about religious parents throwing their gay teen out on the street? Zero. But someone daring to do something as simple as pointing out what the bible actually says? OMG THE OUTRAGE!!!

  23. 23
    Akira MacKenzie

    These are journalism students? Aren’t they supposed to ferret out the truth, be fair and use intellectual standards?

    If you desire truth and the use of intellectual standards in journalism, then I’m afraid you’re going to have to toss fairness right out the window (and good riddens). Reality isn’t fair. The facts don’t care if those who deny them are themselves denied “equal time.”

  24. 24
    chigau (違う)

    protopod

    Zinnia Jones is a guy. He just cross-dresses.

    So what?

  25. 25
    soul_biscuit

    Zinnia Jones is a guy. He just cross-dresses.

    Does Zinnia Jones identify as female? If so, Zinnia Jones is a “she.” Not difficult.

  26. 26
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Fuck off and die, Protopod, you transphobic shitbag.

  27. 27
    AlanMac

    Christians are so happy when they are being “persecuted”, I think every Bible should come with a complementary Gimp mask.

  28. 28
    naturalcynic

    After watching the original video and reading the majority of early responses on MSNBC, I almost cannot believe how sheltered the lives those poor students must be. Savage was just sooooo roooood. Maybe his response should have been to go full Col. Jessup: You want the TROOOTH. You can’t handle the TROOOTH”. Now, that would have been roooood.

  29. 29
    Alexandra (née Audley)

    Louis,

    Actual personal Christianity does not exist and is merely being used for the sake of convenience and sammiches.

    Pbbbbblt! The sandwich I brought for lunch is mine, mine, MINE!

  30. 30
    nooneinparticular

    protopod

    Even if it’s true that Zinnia is trans, what the fuck does that have anything to do with what she wrote?

  31. 31
    Worldtraveller

    Louis:

    Actual personal Christianity does not exist and is merely being used for the sake of convenience and sammiches.

    But mostly for the sammiches.

    Mmmm…is it lunch time yet?

  32. 32
    raven

    If the truth is ugly, that isn’t our fault.

    The bible is just a kludgy old book of fairy tales with very little of relevance to modern humans.

    You can keep slaves, men can marry as many wives as they can chase down and keep as many sex slaves as they can afford.* You can sell your kids as sex slaves for a few bucks or stone them to death for being disobedient. There are around 20 death penalty crimes in the OT, most of which are not crimes today. It’s estimated that under OT law, 99% of the US population would be killed.

    *Solomon, one of the heroes of the OT, had 700 wives and 300 sex slaves.

    Even xians know this. Virtually all xian sects hide the bible as much as they can. They quote mine mercilessly and all xians are cafeteria xians including the Pope and Ken Ham. The first person to translate the bible from Latin to English, Tynsdale, was burnt at the stake by the RCC. They clearly didn’t want the common people to know what the magic book said.

    Well, it’s a small point for xians. They are ashamed of what their magic book really says and try to hide it like the crazy uncle locked in the basement.

  33. 33
    soul_biscuit

    Pbbbbblt! The sandwich I brought for lunch is mine, mine, MINE!

    So, hypothetically, if someone already ate it, would that be a problem? Not that I did, of course… just, hypothetically.

    *burp*

  34. 34
    raven

    “Zinnia Jones says Savage is right about the Bible, and she’s exactly right.”

    Zinnia Jones is a guy. He just cross-dresses.

    Irrelevant.

    Zinnia Jones could be a giant squid and it doesn’t change her point.

    Speaking of points and giant slime molds, does protopod have a point or did it just decide to be stupid and boring today?

  35. 35
    Akira MacKenzie

    I’m not offended by the response of these bigoted little Christian fucks. I expect that much from them when their privileged position in this superstitious, pile-of-shit country is challenged. What offends me is that Savage has tucked his proverbial tail between his legs and started to apologize for his comments.

    So please, everyone, save your praise for someone who deserves it, and not for a chicken-shit coward who doesn’t have the gender-appropriate gonads to stand up for what he says.

  36. 36
    nooneinparticular

    Akira MacKensie@35

    I can understand you frustration, but Savage has a good deal of sympathy for the church. He’s no god-botherer, to be sure, but he was raised Catholic and has spoken many times about how he finds solace in the church, even if it has caused him so much pain. If you get the chance, listen to his talk about the death of his mother for some insight.

  37. 37
    naturalcynic

    Something that must be said about those who left: Oh, Ye of Little Faith. If your faith is so weak that it cannot at least hear what Savage is claiming and form an apologetic in response, then you faith is is so weak that you would be better off without it.

  38. 38
    SallyStrange

    There’s a couple of very squeaky Xian chew-toys on Zinnia’s page, and not many other commenters, and no login is required…

    Just sayin’. ;)

  39. 39
    nooneinparticular

    Akira MacKensie

    Here’s a link to a version of the speech I mentioned. Savage’s talk begins about 38:30.

    Having said what I did about Savage, make no mistake. He has no issues calling christians on their bullshit beliefs. But he is careful to distinguish christians from christianity, if you take my meaning.

  40. 40
    Akira MacKenzie

    If you get the chance, listen to his talk about the death of his mother for some insight.

    I don’t think I have to. I suspect it’s the same maudlin story that’s been told over and over and over. “His/Her belief in God helped comfort them in their final, painful, moments.”

    I don’t fucking care.

    There is no god. There is no afterlife. Death is the end. Sentimentality or delusion doesn’t make religion true or right. If you don’t want to spend the last moments of your life to be spent in in pain and fear, then do yourself a favor and have the doctor put you out for the duration, or better yet, euthanize you then and there.

    If he needs religion or superstition for “comfort,” then my original assessment of Mr. Savage stands: He’s a chicken-shit coward.

  41. 41
    nooneinparticular

    oops. Borked the link. Here is the correct one .

  42. 42
    raven

    He’s not suggesting anything new or radical but simply extending something that every Christian, no matter how much of a “literalist” he or she claims to be, already does.

    All xians are cafeteria xians.

    They have to be. Anyone who followed the OT today would be doing multiple life sentences in prison. Warren Jeffs tried it and got life + 20 years.

    Even Ken Ham is a cafeteria xian. He rejects Geocentrism and the Flat Earth while claiming the earth is 6,000 years old.

  43. 43
    nooneinparticular

    Akira MacKensie@40

    Ok, then.

  44. 44
    nooneinparticular

    Sallystrange@38

    “squeaky chew toys” Ha! I envision pharyngulites like my friend Dave’s dog whenever someone says “squirrel”. I’m making me some popcorn and going over to Zinnia’s blog.

  45. 45
    Aratina Cage

    What offends me is that Savage has tucked his proverbial tail between his legs and started to apologize for his comments.

    No he has not. Read this [link to the Slog] and see how wrong you are.

  46. 46
    Menyambal

    “Zinnia … just cross-dresses.” What?!?

    Zinnia identifies as female. That is not JUST playing dress-up.

    Here on the internet we have the chance to avoid a lot of gender-related issues, thanks to the anonymity of each writer. We also have the chance to address a lot of gender-related issues, and to speak up for each other.

    To bring up someone’s gender, in any way, is frakking rude. To be so dismissive of someone else’s issues is worse.

    To assume that none of us knew about Zinnia is rude. To assume we’d care and agree with someone like protopod is just stupid.

  47. 47
    NitricAcid

    @Louis@#17

    What? I signed up for getting stoned with the gays, and fornicating with unmarried women! How’d you go and change the agreement like that?

  48. 48
    Akira MacKenzie

    OK, Anita, Savage is not apologizing.

    I did not attack Christianity. I attacked hypocrisy.

    He’s playing word games and lame excuses as part of a pathetic attempt at damage control. The proper response to the Christian right’s whining should have been much simpler and less pedantic:

    “Fuck off, barbarians!”

    His response still makes him a fucking coward.

  49. 49
    nooneinparticular

    Akira MacKensie@48

    Savage isn’t pure enough for you, eh?

  50. 50
    niftyatheist, perpetually threadrupt

    I was sad to see that Dan seemed to have felt some blowback and apologised. It was he who was owed an apology from those rude students, but as so often happens, it seems he was pressured and/or threatened. Another victory for religious tyranny. Pisses me off, but I don’t blame Dan Savage – who the hell knows what happened to him behind the scenes.

    I think – akira is it? – yes, well Eff off.

    Get a load of Zuche on Jen’s thread. Using the word “bullshit” in public isn’t OK just because the kids have heard it before; the kids know that domestic violence happens, too! Suspecting that the walkout was planned in advance because some of them were smiling is just like blaming rape victims! Also, naughty words mean your audience won’t hear you as “an adult,” and Jen is really jealous and desperate and is becoming what she hates.

    Oh FFS! A tone-trolling, strawmanning, self-righteous scold. Isn’t Jen lucky?

    I was amused to see that my own brief post about Dan Savage attracted visitors from a christian parenting site. Damn, I hope they read some of my original content! (for the Dan Savage post basically, I just linked to Jen and Camels with Hammers because I hoped my 2-3 readers might see and pass them on – I hope the Xians read my posts about casual christian cruelty!).

    Off to work on a barmy bible study post for Wednesday bible class at niftyatheist just in case they wander back again! (evil laughter….)

  51. 51
    lightninlives

    Nicely done, PZ. And your title for this post applies to more than just issues with sexual orientation.

    The likely truth regarding the permanence of physical death can definitely make people cry:
    http://theunconverted.com/why-atheism-makes-my-wife-teary-eyed/

    It’s one of the reasons why my otherwise reasonable wife still clings to some semblance of her theistic upbringing.

  52. 52
    jaranath

    I think Dianne nailed it at #7. The students had no valid excuse. At least one can be seen walking out before Savage even uses the soul-scarring word “bullshit”. And when he does, he couches it immediately in context that makes it clear he’s singling out specific wacky elements of the bible, rather than the whole. Indeed that’s fundamental to the point he’s trying to make: That most Americans are happy to ignore the silly stuff, and the Bible’s homophobia should be placed in that category and ignored like the rest.

    Cursing is a convenient excuse at best and a lie at worst. These are smart high school students; you can’t tell me with a straight face that “bullshit” sent them running, and I’ll bet Savage had already said naughty words before that in the speech. They’ve heard and said far worse. It was too well qualified for them to claim offense at having their FAITH called “bullshit”. It wasn’t. The only thing I see as remotely offensive was “pansy-ass”, which was said after they’d already fled and was not representative of his general tone.

    No. These kids fled because Savage started criticizing passages from the bible. That’s all.

    I don’t entirely buy the pre-planned walkout argument, either. It’s possible, but I don’t see groups or smiles as strong evidence. You could easily have groups of like-minded students attending and then leaving together regardless of explicit plans. And I’ve seen a lot of smiling, laughing and such in awkward or tense situations.

  53. 53
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    nooneinparticular: You have to realize that nobody in the world does things good enough for Akira, which is why he goes on periodic rants about how much he hates other people, when he’s not pissing and moaning about how lonely he is.

  54. 54
    kantalope

    Brilliant just brilliant – it was like those students sent in a video resume to Faux News.

    They are the next generation of Murdochiavellians.

  55. 55
    georgelocke

    BTW: Dan recommended the God is not Great audiobook (read by Christopher Hitchens) in a recent podcast. In glowing terms and without qualification, I might add.

  56. 56
    Aratina Cage

    @Akira MacKenzie

    OK, Anita

    I think you meant me, right? Anyway, I don’t see what Dan is doing as damage control but as him acknowledging that he regrets using one epithet and that he wouldn’t have said bullshit if he had known that it would pain so many in the audience, but that otherwise his point stands and he retracts nothing. He then clarifies what he meant for those who didn’t get it the first time. My, how cowardly!

  57. 57
    A. R

    Hmm, right-wing fundie journalists who make no attempt to understand both sides of a story and only act on their Bronze Age beliefs. Fox News has it’s summer interns for the year.

  58. 58
    ibyea

    Oh, boo hoo. So the Christians takes the worst passage out of the Bible so that they can spread their hate against humanity, and they are hurt that someone insulted them for it?

  59. 59
    gmacs

    Truth will sometimes make you cry

    Imagine how some of these kids felt when they found out there was no Santa…

    I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. Why are the Christians that are so apt to falling faint referring to these young adults as “children”? Are there any other former Christians here? What age were you confirmed? I was 14. That was when they thought I was adult enough to confirm my baptism. That was when they thought I was adult enough, in the church’s eyes, to make adult decisions in the church.

    Funny how that works isn’t it?

  60. 60
    DLC

    Dan, your original comments were right.
    Those who walk out on the truth are pansy-asses.
    Those who spew anti-gay hate are full of bullshit, be they Christian, Muslim, Buddhist or Non-believer.
    Do not apologize.
    Do not waffle over it. Stick by your guns and shoot it out.

    Meanwhile.
    @Louis. you’ll have to make your own sammich. the laydeez has got into the Rum.

  61. 61
    Trickster Goddess

    In defense of protopod @20, please see some of Zinnia’s earlier videos:

    Ain’t I a woman? Well, no.

    Gender FAQ

    Gender-confused?

    Gender ambiguity: Do’s and don’t's

    In a Sept 2010 interview with The Thinking Atheist Podcast in reply to a question about people’s confusion about the gender presentation in the videos, ZJ replied, “It didn’t bother me or anything, that’s just how people are and eventually I just thought it was funny, I mean you really think I’m a girl? So I just started to play along with it.”

    Also, at the beginning of Trans ignorance (April 2011), Zinnia states “I am not transgender”.

    However by August 2011 in Zinnia advisory: Please update your invective, Zinnia starts off: “I don’t know if some people just aren’t paying attention, but in case you haven’t been listening, I’m a lesbian. Apparently not everyone got the memo”

    So please don’t call protopod a homophobe, s/he just may be relying on outdated information.

  62. 62
    Akira MacKenzie

    @Aratina Cage (sorry for the previous fuck up of your handle, my bad)

    I don’t see what Dan is doing as damage control but as him acknowledging that he regrets using one epithet and that he wouldn’t have said bullshit if he had known that it would pain so many in the audience,..

    He regrets using one epithet? He would not have said “bullshit” if he knew it would cause pain to the little Christian fucks who believe that he is going to be tortured for all eternity just because he prefers the intimate company of men?

    Why?

    Causing “pain” and discomfort to the religionist scum who are fucking up this planet with their superstitions by calling them out for their evil and bigoted beliefs should be atheist priority no. 1 and NOTHING to regret at all. I could care less about their pwecious wittle fweewings. Why should any one else?

  63. 63
    Akira MacKenzie

    @Ms. Daisy Cutter

    I think you’ll find that my loneliness has more to do with the fact that I’m fat, ugly, poor, and bi-polar than it does with any negative attitudes I harbor toward humanity.

    Speaking of which, I wouldn’t say I hate people. I’m just very, very disappointed in how our species has turned out and I don’t have any optimism for its future.

    It’s all downhill from here.

  64. 64
    Ms. Daisy Cutter, General Manager for the Cleveland Steamers

    Trickster Goddess, nobody called Protopod a “homophobe.” I called them a transphobe. Not the same thing. And I really doubt they were going off “outdated information.”

    Akira, every time you show up here, you demonstrate that your loneliness has little to do with your misfortunes and a lot to do with your personality. There are various men here who have the same misfortunes, yet aren’t raging assholes. They tend to get laid more often.

  65. 65
    Aratina Cage

    @Akira MacKenzie

    Why?

    Because he has empathy for the former and because he mistakenly thought that word was mild enough for the latter.

    Causing “pain” and discomfort to the religionist scum who are fucking up this planet with their superstitions by calling them out for their evil and bigoted beliefs should be atheist priority no. 1 and NOTHING to regret at all.

    But he wasn’t talking to any particularly evil group of people who would deserve the label scum (like Anita, who I considered you might have been comparing me to up above, which would have been quite the backhand). I think you might be misunderstanding the setting of his speaking engagement.

  66. 66
    Dhorvath, OM

    This:

    They tend to get laid more often.

    Is not something I would accept without some support, plenty of assholes get laid. It’s not helpful to treat having sex as an indication of social success.

  67. 67
    Matt Penfold

    So please don’t call protopod a homophobe, s/he just may be relying on outdated information.

    So what ? The entire point was irrelevant regardless of whether it was accurate.

    Please at pretend to try and understand.

  68. 68
    alligatie

    I didn’t read all the comments, maybe someone already posted it… But nydailynews is running a poll about this:
    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/dan-savage-accused-bullying-journalism-conference-article-1.1071153

    Do you think Dan Savage should have apologized?

    61% Yes, he shouldn’t have called the students names.
    38% No, he wasn’t directly attacking them.
    1% I’m not sure.

  69. 69
    Trickster Goddess

    Previously, Zinnia self-identified as a gay man. This was pointed out and corrected in the first Zinnia post on Phyrangula two years ago.
    http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/2010/07/im_glad_the_fierce_women_are_o.php

    I assumed that this was the correction protopod was again making and felt it unfair for people to jump on him/her and accuse them of raising the point out of animus.

    As a trans woman I am sensitive to identifying people as they identify themselves and it was only proper to make a correction that the OP seemingly got wrong. That’s why protopod’s post was relevant. I was considering making the correction myself until I saw protopod had already done it.

    It was only while researching my first post that I myself learned that Zinnia’s self definition has changed and she now identifies as lesbian, and by implication, female.

  70. 70
    Ingdigo Jump

    @Alligatie

    The pole is inherently biased. By phrasing yes the way they did they activly imply that Savage did indeed bully and the question is whether he should appologize.

    Should Glen Beck Apologize for raping and murdering that girl?

    Yes: it was wrong for Glen to rape that girl
    No: Glen has nothing to apologize for
    I don’t know: I have no opinion but want to voice it anyway because I enjoy taxing servers!

  71. 71
    augustpamplona

    There’s a form at the National Organization for Marriage set up to e-mail the president & your representative. I think it would be good to make use of it. I would suggest a rewording it to show support for Dan Savage. It’s at http://goo.gl/rZAFW

    I reworded mine as follows (I added a sexual orientation category):

    Support Dan Savage against unfair, false demagogic accusations

    I see that Savage’s “It Gets Better” campaign is prominently recognized on the White House website as a model for anti-bullying programs across the nation. I am grateful for the White House’s emphasis on creating a safe and civil school environment for children of all ethnic, social and religious backgrounds and sexual orientations as this is a goal that we all can share.

    This is why I was appalled at the obviously politically motivated accusations of anti-Christian bullying made against him mostly by conservative news outlets with regard to his recent speech at the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention. No fair reading can construe his speech as an attack on Christianity or as “bullying” of Christian students.

    It is clear that certain parties are intentionally distorting the import of his speech for political gain to demagogically fabricate a controversy where none exists.

    I urge you to publicly support Dan Savage, making it clear that your administration stands on principle supporting Dan Savage and does not kowtow to pressures related to this politically motivated attack.

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