Dan Savage, the writer and activist who launched the 'It Gets Better' project and has been outspoken about gay rights, has apologized for some of his comments last week to the National High School Journalist Conference in Seattle. It's a shame it came to that, but to those who says he was "bullying," it seems they need to redefine the word.
"Bullying" is oppressing and hurting and assaulting a person. What Savage said initially wasn't bullying at all. Basically he said that we should learn to ignore the parts of the Bible that teach us to hate gays. He was pointing out hypocrisy. That is not "bullying" unless you are a hypocrite.
A number of kids walked out of the speech (see it in this video), some even cried, but Savage kept on going. The NEXT part of what he said, when he essentially called those who walked out "pansy-***ed," is the part for which he apologized. And he was right to do so. He spoke out of anger and frustration.
It's infuriating to hear people who believe that their religion -- something that is a choice -- somehow trumps someone's right to be gay, something they are born being. Your religion is all fine and lovely until it infringes on MY rights to live MY life the way I want to live.
It isn't "bullying" to point out hypocrisy, ignorance, and flat out stupidity. It's amazing that people who would use religion to persecute or hurt others would then turn around and whine when someone points out the truth.
Could he have said it better? Sure. But let's stop accusing everyone who says something we don't agree with of "bullying." Savage wasn't bullying anything. If anything, getting up and walking out of his speech was bullying and disrespectful.
In his post, he apologized for the name calling flat out. But he also said:
I did not attack Christianity. I attacked hypocrisy. My remarks can only be read as an attack on all Christians if you believe that all Christians are hypocrites. Which I don’t believe.
So there you go. Being emphatic or passionate or even "mean" isn't ALWAYS bullying. Sometimes it's just the truth and attacking ideas isn't the same thing as attacking people.
Let's all put on our big boy pants and our glasses and really examine who is attacking who. Stop whining and grow up, people. Savage didn't owe anyone an apology, but if he regretted his choice of words, then fine.
Meanwhile, those who DO owe an apology are too busy whining about mean old bully Dan Savage to do any self reflection.
Do you think Savage owed an apology?
Image via bandroadie95/YouTube