Dan Savage discusses Bible, children walk out

It’s still finals week, so short posts will have to do:

Almost sorry

There is an excellent post over at The Stranger by Dan Savage. A listener to his radio show wrote him complaining of the way he placed responsibility on bigots for what happened to Tyler Clementi.

As someone who loves the Lord and does not support gay marriage I can honestly say I was heartbroken to hear about the young man that took his own life after being humiliated by people who should have known better. I think you need to be aware of your own prejuduces and how they might play into your thinking. At best I think your comments were hypocritical.

If your message is that we should not judge people based on their sexual preferance, how do you justify judging entire groups of people for any other reason (including their faith)?

I’ll get to Savage’s response in a second, but he didn’t directly address the listener’s question, so I want to tackle that first.

What is the difference between judging a group based on sexual orientation and judging a group based on any other reason? That question is a non-starter since it’s so incoherent, but the listener does give the specific example of faith. So how is that different? This isn’t that hard. Even though people probably adhere to the same religion as their parents, people do have a choice in their religion. They do choose to have faith, the idea that belief without evidence is a virtue. They choose to base their lives on certain doctrine and dogma. Sexual orientation, on the other hand, is entirely different. That same level of choosing simply does not exist. I can choose to be gay no more than a gay woman can choose to prefer men.

But I like Savage’s response better:

I’m sorry your feelings were hurt by my comments.

No, wait. I’m not. Gay kids are dying. So let’s try to keep things in perspective: fuck your feelings.

Being told that they’re sinful and that their love offends God, and being told that their relationships are unworthy of the civil right that is marriage (not the religious rite that some people use to solemnize their civil marriages), can eat away at the souls of gay kids. It makes them feel like they’re not valued, that their lives are not worth living. And if one of your children is unlucky enough to be gay, the anti-gay bigotry you espouse makes them doubt that their parents truly love them—to say nothing of the gentle “savior” they’ve heard so much about, a gentle and loving father who will condemn them to hell for the sin of falling in love with the wrong person.

I wish we could see a lot more of this in the political realm. Of course, that would require honesty.