Friday, October 15, 2010

Sometimes One Has to Stand Up And Be Counted

It's not my intention to offend anyone with this post. But be prepared that you may. It is my intention that people take a look at both sides of an argument and go from there.


I was reading an article by Dan Savage. He is a writer/advice columnist from Seattle, Washington. He has appeared on CNN a number of times about his views on homosexuality and our culture. He is married to a man and they have a child.


Oh yes, he and his husband started the whole 'It Gets Better' campaign earlier this month to help young gay and lesbian kids cope with their sexuality. It has had a huge response.


Back to the article. I have always tried to articulate the position some religious people take on gay rights and how they can justify their beliefs and still practice their faith with an open mind. Dan has done this in his recent article. 


It is very 'to the point' and he makes no apologies. Nor do I for posting it.


Reader discretion is advised....as the language can be RAW.



In Your Image

October 14, 2010

I heard an interview with you about your It Gets Better campaign. I was saddened and frustrated with your comments regarding people of faith and their perpetuation of bullying. 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 who took his own life.
If your message is that we should not judge people based on their sexual preference, how do you justify judging entire groups of people for any other reason (including their faith)? There is no part of me that took any pleasure in what happened to that young man.
To that end, to imply that I would somehow encourage my children to mock, hurt, or intimidate another person for any reason is completely unfounded and offensive. Being a follower of Christ is, above all things, a recognition that we are all imperfect, fallible, and in desperate need of a savior. We cannot believe that we are better or more worthy than other people.
Please consider your viewpoint, and please be more careful with your words in the future.
L.R.
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.
A question: Do you "support" atheist marriage? Interfaith marriage? Divorce and remarriage? All are legal, all go against Christian and/or traditional ideas about marriage, and yet there's no "Christian" movement to deny marriage rights to atheists or people marrying outside their respective faiths or people divorcing and remarrying. Why the hell not?
Sorry, L.R., but so long as you support the denial of marriage rights to same-sex couples, it's clear that you do believe that some people—straight people—are "better or more worthy" than others.
And—sorry—but you are partly responsible for the bullying and physical violence being visited on vulnerable LGBT children. The kids of people who see gay people as sinful or damaged or disordered and unworthy of full civil equality—even if those people strive to express their bigotry in the politest possible way (at least when they happen to be addressing a gay person)—learn to see gay people as sinful, damaged, disordered, and unworthy. And while there may not be any gay adults or couples where you live, or at your church, or in your workplace, I promise you that there are gay and lesbian children in your schools. And while you can only attack gays and lesbians at the ballot box, nice and impersonally, your children have the option of attacking actual gays and lesbians, in person, in real time.
Real gay and lesbian children. Not political abstractions, not "sinners." Gay and lesbian children.
Try to keep up: The dehumanizing bigotries that fall from the lips of "faithful Christians," and the lies about us that vomit out from the pulpits of churches that "faithful Christians" drag their kids to on Sundays, give your children license to verbally abuse, humiliate, and condemn the gay children they encounter at school. And many of your children—having listened to Mom and Dad talk about how gay marriage is a threat to family and how gay sex makes their magic sky friend Jesus cry—feel justified in physically abusing the LGBT children they encounter in their schools. You don't have to explicitly "encourage [your] children to mock, hurt, or intimidate" queer kids. Your encouragement—along with your hatred and fear—is implicit. It's here, it's clear, and we're seeing the fruits of it:dead children.
Oh, and those same dehumanizing bigotries that fill your straight children with hate? They fill your gay children with suicidal despair. And you have the nerve to ask me to be more careful with my words?
Did that hurt to hear? Good. But it couldn't have hurt nearly as much as what was said and done to Asher Brown and Justin Aaberg and Billy Lucas and Cody Barker and Seth Walsh—day in, day out for years—at schools filled with bigoted little monsters created not in the image of a loving God, but in the image of the hateful and false "followers of Christ" they call Mom and Dad.

17 comments:

  1. Yowza! Dan Savage always tells it like it is! I hope this article gets widely published. It might shock a few people out of their denial about the consequences of their "righteousness."

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  2. A very well composed and presented argument. Some personal background. I am hetrosexual, married and my wife and I have one child, an adult daughter who lives with her male partner. Our daughter has two sons from her previous "legal marriage" and she would dearly love to get them away from their natural father.

    I have worked in health (as a nurse), education (as a school teacher) and local government (as a health and safety adviser.) All those postions required me to keep a non-judgemental stance, an open mind and regard all people I had employment relations with as equals. I encountered LGBT persons (so what?) and I had the pleasure of working with many indigenous people and migrants. I witnessed a lot of bullying and harrassment of all those people. I actively worked to combat incidents of bullying and harrasment based on sexual preferences, gender, religious and racial grounds.

    Its been a long hard battle but I believe there is "light at the end of the tunnel" and society is becoming more tolerant. The mere fact that we are seeing more bigoted, violent actions towards other people based on their sexual preferences, gender, religious beliefs or race means, to me, that we've driven the intolerant out in the open and exposed them through their own behaviour.

    This gives opponents of such abuse something more concrete to work with. The US military is now struggling with the "Don't Ask/Don't Tell" dictum and I suspect that the established hierarhy will fight hard to regain a 'non gay/lesbian' service requirement. I also predict that they will lose, eventually.

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  3. Right On, Dan Savage! And good for you, Jim.--Inger

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  4. Sigh... you know, the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. I don't think people will wise up in my lifetime. Bigoted parents produce bigoted children etc. I wish these parents could live a day as a gay teen and see/feel what it's like.

    It's all just so bleep sad.

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  5. I agree John. It may take some time, as long as it's moving in that direction.

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  6. Jim, I think you are aware that I am Christian. I am not self-righteous, hateful, nor false. I do not hate or fear gays and lesbians, nor do I mock or encourage my (adult) children and grandchildren to do so, as Mr. Savage suggests. It is not my right to judge other people, and Christ would urge us all to love one another and be compassionate. That I try to be. We are all people, imperfect human beings who hopefully strive to live our lives the best we can. My heart goes out to ANY individual who feels the desperate need to commit suicide to end suffering. Can I just be your friend without having to judge?

    Liz

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  7. Liz,you certainly can be my friend. And you certainly are not a 'hateful and false follower of Christ'! But some people are. Not just Christians.
    A lot of my friends are practicing Christians and find room in their faith for everyone and do not spew damaging remarks about people that are different as did L.R.
    I believe what Mr.Savage is saying is that those people of faith who profess publicly that gay rights is wrong and immoral, as L.R. did in the above article, are contributing to the bigotry and sometimes the death of individuals.

    I think the purporters of hatred against gays are on the fringe of all faiths and refuse to, or are unable to let go of their extreme views.

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  8. I have always LOVED that Dan Savage!!! He certainly has a way with words. My wish and prayer is that all LGBT could be filled with the strength and confidence that Dan shows us all...fight on.

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  9. I wish everyone could read that.

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  10. Oh, this is good. Very, very good. I hadn't read this. Thank you for posting it. He says this all in a way that I haven't been able to verbalize.

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  11. Love the post.

    Have to disagree with Mrs. Sharon here a tad. I was raised by a family of card toting members of hate groups, violent abusers, and just sometimes plain out-right degenerates.

    The apple can always roll down the hill.

    I did.

    I do take on part responsibility of allowing bullying to go on. We are carry that shame; as MLK has stated and I paraphrase:

    It's not the outright bigots (bullies) who continue this injustice; it's the silence of the 'good' people.

    Just my humble opinion.
    Mal

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  12. I agree Mal. My parents too were quite bigoted in their views. I often wondered where I came from. I guess I rolled down the hill as well.

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  13. yep i roled down that hill once i "grew up" because i had a gay cousin and growing up that was the worst thing you could be. it took me YEARS to override the repeated shit i would hear in my head from my mother about him and that lifestyle. my point is the apple CAN role down the hill if we invest enough energy to push it. and unfortuneately "gay" wasnt the only minority i was educated on in a perverse way... so many more according to color etc but I AM NOT LIKE THAT. this is a very good article you posted jimbo, and it's YOUR blog to say what ever you want to say. i am thankful you posted that because as jason says i too, never could find the right words to encompass everything that Dan stated. i always felt it, but fell short of expressing it so well.

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  14. I have never heard of this man before but bloody hell, way to go! I love anyone who speaks out.
    I too rolled down that hill! xxx

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  15. Right On! I think people tend to forget we are dealing with a SEXUAL PREFERENCE and not a whole new class of violent drug selling mobsters who are taking over ARIZONA (America).

    Now on the menu for tonights political issues, Gay and Lesbians should not be a Focus of the hate and fear inspired by society. That hate and fear should be aimed towards the Killers of Society!

    It just amazes me how some religions/ beliefs would rather condemn people who want to have a loving commitment to each other rather than condemnig the druglords moving into their neighborhoods! Money Talks, True(ism)takes the hit.

    There are some people who should not have Rights, and they are the ones who infest our children with chemical death.

    The world holds many ugly immoral people, Immoral is what you do to the children, NOT what you do in your own bedroom.

    Keep on Rolling! Great post!

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  16. Everyone is just looking for acceptance. Many times (not always) people will adapt their beliefs and actions that follow, based on wanting to be accepted by those around them. It wasn't until I decided that I didn't need their approval, that I realized that I had been just as unaccepting as they had been to me. I have come to the realization that acceptance from myself is more fulfilling than acceptance from others. And in turn, I have learned to accept others for whomever they may be.

    There is never an excuse for hatred. EVER.

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