Dan Savage Was Not 'Bullying' Christian Teens But Apologizes Anyway

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

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nonmember avatar zach

He didn't owe anyone an apology, other than maybe for using a curse word out of frustration. And he is correct that hypocrisy should be called out whenever we see it. Good for him, and I hope he continues to spread his message of love and tolerance throughout our land.

nonmember avatar Lisa

Bravo to you and Dan Savage. Also he was 100% right and those people who walked out need to get over it!

femal... femaleMIKE

wow, he was bold in telling people to forget what the bible said about homsexuality.

instead of saying that next time when confronted by christians he should say "do what the bible says about loving and not judging others"

your not suppose to ignore any parts of the bible.  This is how I look at homosexuality.  If its a sin, its not my sin.  so I am just going to not judge, leave it alone and spread love.  Jesus i love not hate. Jesus is forgiveness not hating and condeming.

nonmember avatar Brittany

My biggest problem with what he said was that he seemed to be attacking the religion itself. He said, and I quote, "We can learn to ignore the bulls*** in the Bible about gay people. The same way we have learned to ignore the bulls*** in the Bible about shellfish, about slavery, about dinner, about farming, about menstruation, about virginity, about masturbation. We ignore bulls*** in the Bible about all sorts of things." Saying that anything in the Bible is bulls*** feels like a direct attack on the very foundation of my beliefs. And besides that, nothing in that quote is factual. The laws he is referring to there are from the Old Testament, which was overridden by Jesus' sacrifice on the cross. However, sexual sin, which includes homosexuality, is still considered a sin according to the New Testament. If he wanted to attack hypocrisy in general, I think he should have used accurate statements, and made that more clear, especially because he was addressing an audience full of KIDS. If he were addressing an audience of adults who can more easily distinguish between an attack on a part of a group as opposed to the whole, I think people's reactions would have been much different.

femal... femaleMIKE

The bible does not teach to hate gays. People and their interpretations. 

Flori... Floridamom96

I have always found that the easiest and most effective way to teach behavior is to exhibit that which you'd like to see in others. In other words, the best way to teach tolerance is to be tolerant. A lesson that this man and many, many others on this site have yet to learn. People will learn far more from your example than from your words. If this man truly wanted people to listen to him he should have treated their views with as much respect as he wanted from them.

nonmember avatar NY Mom

Dan Savage shouldn't have resorted to name calling, he should have apologized and I'm glad he did. It's unfortunate that this has distracted from his original statements, which were valid and his opinion. The people who walked out during his speech certainly had every right to do also, and that isn't bullying either.

It's unfortunate that the term bullying is thrown around so much it now means if you disagree with someone you're a bully. The reality is the battle for gay and lesbian rights is a civil rights issue, not a religious one. You disagree with me, I disagree with you, but neither of us has a right to trample on the other's civil rights.

mustb... mustbeGRACE

He's a dick.

Pitchin' his TWISTED crap to a captive audience.


nonmember avatar zach

@Brittany, I understand that you feel defensive about the bible, but let's be realistic. Do you really take everything the bible says literally? There's so much in there that we discount every day! Even people who say they do take the bible literally can't say that they follow all the rules in there. If you believe in the concept of the bible and that God gave us the 10 commandments, that's very different than saying you believe and follow every word of the bible. Do you pick and choose what to believe and what rules to follow? Of course you do, we all do!

nonmember avatar zach

To mustbeGRACE: just lovely. You add so much to a conversation.

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