Sunday, May 6, 2012

BATTLE OF THE BULLIES!!: Dan Savage and Brian Brown To Fight Over ... "Bullsh*t"

(Author's note: Why didn't I get as much attention for calling some beliefs "crap"? Some people have all the luck!)

At a high school journalism convention, anti-bullying and gay activist Dan Savage (founder, It Gets Better movement and creator of the neologism "Santorum"), as is his want, made a crude remark making a point we all know: parts of the Bible are simply ... bullsh*t. However, he didn't say that the Bible was ALL bullsh*t, just parts of it, especially some of the laws of Leviticus. Some students showed their disdain for Savage's comments by walking out.*

Now people (aka FOX News) are calling Dan Savage a bully
...and THE WAR has begun.

Glenn Beck's THE BLAZE:

Front and center in the phalanx of Christian Right critics is Brian Brown. The National Organization for Marriage's president became absolutely incensed at Savage's "savaging" (Brown's wit is astounding) of the Bible. Yes, that's the same National Organization for Marriage (NOM) that tried unsuccessfully to boycott Starbuck's for its support of same-sex marriage.***
Let me lay down a public challenge to Dan Savage right here and now: You want to savage the Bible? Christian morality? Traditional marriage? Pope Benedict? I’m here, you name the time and the place and let’s see what a big man you are in a debate with someone who can talk back. It’s easy to make high-school girls cry by picking on them. Let’s pick on someone our own size!
You will find out out how venal and ridiculous your views of these things are if you dare to accept a challenge.
The response:

FRIDAY, MAY 4, 2012

Confidential to NOM's Brian Brown: You're On, Motherfucker

posted by  on FRI, MAY 4, 2012 at 2:02 PM

I will name the time and the place, per your offer, as soon as possible. Looking forward to it, NOMnuts.

Lines have been drawn. Souvenir dueling pistals are being made. National bookies are taking bets. People are praying that the event take place near their home so that they won't have to break their bank accounts on airfare to attend the event. Forget the upcoming election debates - this will be the one for the history books.

The uproar even spawned some critics who are usually Savage's biggest allies, but most of that criticism resulted from what they considered Savage's being "crass" and not the message itself: that parts of the Bible are pointedly ignored because they are WRONG. 

But what exactly is this "war" about? The horrendously rotten, bullying, evil, persecuting passage of Dan Savage's speech:

“People often point out that they can’t help it. They can’t help with the anti-gay bullyings because it says right there in Leviticus, it says right there in Timothy, it says right there in Romans that being gay is wrong. We can learn to ignore the bullshit in the Bible about gay people the same way we have learned to ignore the bullshit in the Bible about shellfish, about slavery, about dinner, about farming, about menstruation, about virginity, about masturbation. We ignore bullshit in the Bible about all sorts of things.
The immediate context of the offending speech is here. Savage points out the strict Leviticus laws concerning slavery and stoning women who have been found not to be virgins before marriage ("Calista Gingrich lives") and focuses on the fact that we totally discount such concepts while taking the one concept of homosexuality and making discrimination against gays legitimate. He was making the bullying point of "you're going to hell" ridiculous, i.e:  "bullshit." 

What the incident brought out, however, is that an enormous over-sensitivity to anything dealing with the Bible is...bullshit. Students began walking out once the Bible was mentioned. Their brains shut down before Savage's point could even be formed. The possibility of the entire walk out having been staged has been discussed: knee-jerk reactions can be suspicious.

Note in the clip below, the fact that FOX News' Steve Doocy says nothing about the applause and laughter Savage's speech also created. In fact, the amount of students in agreement far outnumbered the dissidents, conveniently making "Christianity" look like a persecuted minority.

For the convenience of Savage's critics, I created a Wordle with a graphic that NOM can use, it being in the form of a wedge - NOM's favorite shape. It's too bad that the word "bullsh*t" wound up to be so small because Savage only said it about three times. (If you click on the actual Wordle below it, "bullsh*t" is easier to read).


So the uproar is really it's own "bullshit" - but the debate promises to spawn super bullshit from the losers: Odds are on Savage to win, but "belief" and twisted reasoning will belong to Brown in the end. Leave it to the likes of Glenn Beck and Steve Doocy to see to it.  

*Some people think the walk-out was suspiciously contrived since, you will notice in the video, students began to walk out BEFORE the offensive term.
**Evidently being called "pansy-assed" is extreme cursing. (NOTE: this article was posted under the heading of "Science" WTF?)
 *** Starbuck's stock remains at an all-time high.

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