Culture Challenge of the Week: Being Christian
It’s a story that’s been largely ignored by the mainstream press--perhaps because it challenges the politically correct storyline that it’s gay teens who are persecuted and bullied. Or perhaps it’s because the bully is a man welcomed at the White House—the creator of the LGBT video crusade against bullying, “It Gets Better.”
On April 16, hundreds of teenage journalists gathered at a conference sponsored by The National Scholastic Press Association and the Journalism Education Association. Their speaker? Dan Savage, the sex columnist and gay advocate who conceived of the “It Gets Better” video campaign. His topic? Bullying.
The “It Gets Better” campaign, which aims to give gay teens an anti-suicide message—that life as an LGBT person “gets better”--has come under fire for promoting the homosexual lifestyle and normalizing deviant behavior.
But it wasn’t the video series or its message that created the problem at the event. Savage—a speaker notorious for using expletives and degrading references to sexuality—used his platform to send teens a different kind of message: that they should “ignore” the “bullsh—“ in the Bible where homosexuality is condemned. To loud applause, he mocked Scripture and called it “100%” wrong on sexual morality. (He opened his speech saying he hoped everyone in the room was using birth control.) As his vitriol increased, Christian teens rose and left the room. (See the video of Savage’s remarks here.)
Savage continued his attacks on the Bible and then made pointed, offensive remarks ridiculing the Christian students who had left the room. Nearly one hundred courageous kids had walked out feeling, ironically, “bullied” by the the anti-bullying crusader who had no qualms about mocking them for their Christian beliefs.
Savage is a sad and angry man, teeming with hatred for the Christianity in which he was raised. His past is no mystery and he never should have been invited in the first place—no matter how much these organization wanted to encourage tolerance and compassion for the victims of bullying. Savage has a history of vulgar, obscene speech and a track record, as an advice columnist, of promoting all sorts of unhealthy behaviors. The adults in charge were so eager to support the LGBT agenda that they neglected to do basic due diligence to consider whether this speaker was appropriate at all.
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The parents of the teens who left Savage’s talk should stand proud of their children’s courage. The Christian students who left were clearly in the minority—and showed great courage in risking the contempt of the speaker and the mocking laughs of their peers. This kind of courage—to stand strong in the face of Christian-bashing--is needed now more than ever.
One of the saddest aspects of this situation is the number of teens who did NOT protest—even if only out of a shared decency or concern for the disrespect shown to their peers. Instead, Savage had the audience eating out of the palm of his hand. They laughed at his crude comments and cheered at his putdowns of Christianity and his disdain for the Bible. These are the future journalists of America? Tolerance, for liberals, extends only so far.
The sponsoring associations originally defended Savage’s remarks for their “thoughtfulness and deliberation,” but eventually reversed course and condemned his “use of harsh language and profanity” as “inappropriate and offensive.” They also distanced themselves from Savage’s Christian-bashing remarks, saying that “ridicule” which “belittled” believers in the Bible, “has no place in our program.”
It’s a case of too little, too late.
The image of Dan Savage--calling the Bible “bullsh—“ because of its teaching against homosexuality—is one seared forever in the minds of those teens.
And that’s just the way he planned it.
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