Savage Love

In Your Image

Comments

1
fantastic response to the "Christ follower"!
2
Way to knock it to 'em Dan! What the sensitive Christian should really be writing in is an apology letter on the behalf of all tolerant and forgiving Christians to gay kids everywhere. Or to kids of color, or kids that speak Spanish at home, or any of the other kids that are routinely harassed at schools because bigotry is tolerated and being anything outside the norm is not.

3
I read the first letter earlier this week because it was already being passed around by friends of mine who don't even read Savage Love. I think this response is really important. People need to reconcile their intentions with the actual effects of their actions. Also,I'm curious to see if any gay guys are going to contradict him on the transgender porn thing.
4
Dan, you put to words all the feelings and emotions I experienced while reading LR's letter: 'look in the mirror first before you start pointing fingers.' You say it best and I'm so glad you do.
6
Bravo Dan!!!
7
Make love, not god!
8
Exactly how does a lesbian use a pillow to dampen her partner's screams if she is fingering or eating her gal out? The screamer must get off at the slightest touch. Just sayin'
9
Powerful response to LR, and great talking points for us in discussions about marriage equality.
10
LR's letter on top of some of the shit we are hearing from Carl Paladino fills me with hurt and anger. Thank you for being a big voice out there, Dan. I do (and I'm sure many other readers do as well) the best I can to be a voice in my community, with my family and friends, but it is heartening to have the affirmation you provide through the work you do on the national stage. Thank you.
11
Jesus, can I write an apology letter on behalf of all sane Christians everywhere? A few points; no Christian who has spent more than thirty seconds contemplating the handful of references to gay sex in the bible believes gay sex to be an abomination because that's a pretty serious mistranslation of the Hebrew word toevah, which essentially just means ritually unclean, just like cheeseburgers, shrimp cocktail, clothes made of flax and wool, and menstruating women.

His blood is upon him may have had something to do with the elevated likelihood of catching some sort of fecal born bacteria such as E. Coli from anal sex in the pre-astroglide pre-enema days. And for fuck's sake Christians don't actually follow Kosher laws anymore, so unless you "smaller government" people want the rest of us telling you that you can't have cheeseburgers or bacon, shut the ever living fuck up already.

12
Dan, next to my Dad, you are my hero. Thanks for your directness and your passion. This first letter is SO important. I have sent it on to my family and friends. It is a discussion that EVERYONE must have.
13
@5 - I think Dan was actually being facetious with the first part of that statement, "there may not be any gay adults or couples where you live, or at your church, or in your workplace." He was highlighting one of the many bricks that L.R. has used to build the Christ=Love fantasy fortress around herself and her family.
14
I don't watch porn... but if I did, I'd probably watch chicks-with-dicks porn. I've always thought trannies were hot. Oh, and I'm a mostly-straight woman.
15
I still wish you'd mention the good Christians more. I'm a member of UCC, and my denomination believes in gay rights and accepts homosexuality. I know you posted the video from a UCC pastor earlier this week, but I think it would be nice to mention in your column that you're not attacking all people of faith, you're specifically attacking people like L.R. who choose to use their religion to justify bigotry. I don't know if you made that clear in the interview they were referencing, I didn't see it. I'm just saying, the good Christians don't get as much press, because peace and non-judgment tend not to be as vocal, although the UCC has been pretty vocal in its support of gay rights.

Also, just want to say. I know tons of straight guys into Futa (dickgirls). So he might not be bi. The way one friend explained it. I like women, but I know how to pleasure a penis since I have one, so girl with penis is appealing. Because I guess girl parts are more of a rubik's cube so it's easier to fantasize about cock, because they know how to get one off. So lots of straight guys like that, and it's generally considered gay. So if the person he hooked up with was trans, he might just have a kink rather than an orientation. Also, if he likes chicks with dicks, as she asked if he'd be into role play with a strap on?
16
@11 thanks for speaking up - that you are speaking out as a Christian is huge. When somebody is getting bullied or bashed there are also the bystanders who do nothing. They can choose to be complicit cowards or they can step in. Likewise in the "grown-up" world of words there are people who may not be active bigots but are complicit by keeping silent. I hope more sane Christians like you will speak out against the fanatics who twist their religion into a perverse joke. I was raised Jewish and am now atheist but the therapist who saved my life was a Christian monk - I have respect for anyone whose faith leads them to do the humane thing.
17
Thanks Dan. The God and His son I believe in and follow are loving. As a Christian, I really do get sooo tired of so-called Christians missing the overall point: "love one another as I have loved you."

We judge each other every day, based on our ACTIONS. That's fine. I do too. Cheating, lying or stealing aren't cool. Jails are full of people who have been judged by others because of their actions. But I don't judge based on who we ARE or what we are composed of. The God I know made all of us, and loves us all. He's with us when we're born and when we check out. Inbetween, we're supposed to be getting it right such as loving our neighbors as much as we love ourselves.
18
The God and His son that I believe in and follow tell me to "love one another as I have loved you."

So, I judge people by their hurtful ACTIONS, not by who they ARE. And I assume and hope they would judge me the same way.
19
BTW -
Thanks Dan. Underlying your answers is always the theme of doing the right thing by each other.
I consider myself a Christian and yes, some of my best friends ARE gay. As MLK said, if I judge at all, I judge people on the content of their character.

Also, the comments here that address those of us who stand on the sidelines not speaking up - you're right. I personally need to do more speaking up.
20
PS. Heaven is Dan on NPR.
21
I'm gay. I fuck and am fucked by men... and every now and then I watch a little trans porn or a little straight porn and get off. Who knows? I even sort of found lesbian porn interesting, once.
22
Someone else already summed the crux of this issue far better than I ever could:

"Dear America, when you tell gay Americans that they can't serve their country openly or marry the person that they love, you're telling that to kids too. So don't be shocked and wonder where all these bullies are coming from that are torturing young kids and driving them to kill themselves because they're different. They learned it from watching you." Sarah Silverman


This is why no one can just sit on their butts and wring their hands over this and expect that to be good enough. The extent of heteronomativity in our society means that fixing things is going to be a matter of getting off your butt and DOING something about it. Churches need to do these things: announce from the pulpit that gay bashing is unacceptable. Put up signs denoting safe spaces. Run short classes for the kids making it clear that bullying and gay bashing are unacceptable. Parents: make it clear to your kids that you would love them, gay or straight. Tell them that everyone is entitled to the same treatment as any one else.

If you are doing nothing, you are part of and complicit with the problem. It really is as simple as that.
23
I'm sorry, but there are no "good Christians." The so-called good Christians are what make the bad Christians possible, by supporting an evil, bigoted book, and going along with a historical and cultural tradition that has caused immense suffering over 2000 years.

If you think of yourself as a "good Christian" who supports gay rights, please do yourself and the rest of us a favor and read a little about your religion and its history. Then actually read your holy book. Read every single word and come back and tell us you're a good Christian.

As much as I hate bigoted, anti-gay Christians, at least they're honest about what their spiritual teachers and the writers of their holy book say. And it's pretty clearly not in support of gay rights.
24
@ BlackRose: Why should some (usually misintepreted) "bad" verses outweigh all of the "good" ones in the Bible? Why should we "good Christians" be judged by the actions of a) a bunch of long-dead people or b) the hateful ones living today? An earlier poster spoke of judging people for what they do, not for what they are; but you are saying we should be judged by what _other_ people do and say?? No.

I write this as a historian and a life-long Christian who is well aware of the atrocities Christians in the past have perpetrated on gays, women, non-whites, non-Christians of every kind, and--heck--other kinds of Christians. Because you know what? Power can do that to all kinds of people, whether they are Christ-followers or not.

The Bible is a complex historical document inspired by God but written by real human beings living in very different societies. This is why hermeneutics for our own modern times is so important: to discover meanings relevant to us today. On the other hand, sometimes it's a question to returning to meanings that would have been obvious to ancient audiences but have been obscured by cultural changes. Just yesterday I read a sermon (http://www.thegodarticle.com/3/post/2010…) based on Walter Wink's idea of "Jesus' Third Way," which explains how turning the other cheek is about leveling differences in power in society. This is the God I follow: the one who created this world and then dropped us, beings with free will, into the middle of it, to speak truth to power.

Life is messy, the Bible contradicts itself, and I will always try to love you as God loves you--by making queer-friendly posts on facebook, by attending rallies, and by being an ally to the queerfolk in my life the best I can. Will I always do it perfectly? No. Do I benefit from our heteronormative culture? Yes. But I am inspired by God to try to join you in making it better.
25
I gotta say, as a straight-identifying male who happens to love the transgender porn and has in the past hooked up with transgender male-to-female hookers, I'm a little insulted at Dans answer.

There's nothing in the mail to indicate the lady in question was the girlfriend he cheated on. I think we've all been in relationships that were just not terribly serious and hence not exclusive. Marriage isn't like that.

It seems like a hell of an assumption to say HE WILL DEFINITELY CHEAT ON YOU.
26
@15: Where are all these straight guys into chicks with dick porn? I've never heard of any of my friends say they dig it and they'll say a lot of things...I find your statement difficult to believe.

Good response to LR, though. It was bitchy, but the "good christian" writer deserved it. I agree; fuck their feelings when kids are dying because of asshole other kids.
27
I think we are allowing our language to get sloppy in this debate.

I don't have a sexual preference I have a sexual orientation. Preference indicates a choice.

The only sexual preference I have is the couch to the bed.

I don't have a homosexual lifestyle. Lifestyle is how I expend my resources. Ergo, I have an urban lifestyle.

And when my partner and I are loud I have been know to finish with a rousing rendition of Trey Songz's "Neighbors Know My Name."

28
Rock on, Dan Savage. Rock on.
29
Regarding taste in porn and sexual leanings, eh, I don't necessarily think it's that cut-and-dried. I'm a dyke and pretty much the only porn I can bear watching is gay male porn. Can't stand the kind of women who perform in straight porn (that is, the women themselves may be fine, but their porn personas are not), and actual lesbian porn leaves me pretty damn indifferent 95% of the time.

That being said, if dude is trying to arrange random hook-ups with other dudes, he's internalising -something-.
30
Anyone who says we are all "in desperate need of a savior" belongs in a fucking mental hospital.
31
Blackrose, not only is that incredibly hypocritical (You're calling all Christians in the world bigoted based on the actions of some? My head kind of exploded at that one) but it alienates important allies. When we stand up for gay rights as non-Christians we are easily dismissed. When a person who actively, openly lives a Christ-based life speaks up for gay rights, it can have a strong impact on fellow Christians for whom the 'us/them' barrier suddenly becomes blurred.

@15 and 17 and the many good Christians everywhere - thank you for 'coming out' as gay supporters!
32
Blackrose, not only is that incredibly hypocritical (You're calling all Christians in the world bigoted based on the actions of some? My head kind of exploded at that one) but it alienates important allies. When we stand up for gay rights as non-Christians we are easily dismissed. When a person who actively, openly lives a Christ-based life speaks up for gay rights, it can have a strong impact on fellow Christians for whom the 'us/them' barrier suddenly becomes blurred.

@15 and 17 and the many good Christians everywhere - thank you for 'coming out' as gay supporters!
33
The answer to LR gets better every time I read it! We need to get that printed everywhere!
34
I'm Quaker, and our Meeting has stopped legalizing marriages for anyone until we can legalize marriages for everyone.

Just as there is great variation among people, there is great variation among Christians and their beliefs. I believe in equal rights, job opportunities, protections, and chances to find and celebrate love for every human being.
35
I hadn't even finished with LR's letter before I thought, "Dan is going to take this person to the cleaners" and he didn't disappoint!!
36
@15 - I think that the reason Dan doesn't acknowledge "good Christians" more is because "bad Christians" have completely co-opted American Christian identity. People who loudly profess their Christianity -- pundits, politicians, power-hungry psychos et al -- and use it to condemn, judge, and litigate against people unlike themselves, have made very sure that their brand of Christianity has become the prevalent one in our country.

So, sure, it would make you and other "good Christians" comfortable if Dan pointed out that you exist, but why should he? It's not his job. If you're upset by the perception of Christians in our culture, blame the "bad Christians" giving you a bad name, not the people they oppress, condemn, and drive to suicide. Organize other "good Christians" to give your faith a new, tolerant face in our media. If these "bad Christians" are really a minority, then why do they get to do all the talking? Why are they your voice in our culture?
37
I saw you early this morning on the Joy Behr show and I want to thank you for all your words. You are correct when you told L.R. to get over it. Their are kids killing themselves because these adults are walking around using the bible as a shield for the hate they speak, and this is picked up by their children and taken to school...I am preaching to the choir, I know. So thank you, Dan , for calling these folks out.
We all need education and tolerance in order for us all to get along... we are not going anywhere...jennifer barge
38
bitchy girlfriend, i had one of what you have. he will lie and he will cheat. dan is spot on. it's not necessarily a "DTMFA" because he may not be a real MF (well, mine was), but he isn't acting in the interest of YOU and YOUR safety. let him go as soon as you can.
39
Dan, you have the support of my family of not-xians here in the midwest, and so does the LBGT community. Thanks for making rational stands against ignorant xian bigotry.
40
I am disgusted with your response to L.R. You have lost a fan. You cant understand Christians (and likewise), so quit over analyzing every aspect or flaw with our society. Its boring and makes for another generic bullshit column. Thanks for the good ones in the past, I am out! ::curtain closes:
41
I enjoyed your response to the first letter. I'm often turned off when you rail against this or that, but this particular argument is especially good. Thanks-
42
"boo hoo hoo, it's sooooooo hard to be a Christian! People say mean things about me!"

Shut the fuck up, asshole. Hope the door hits you (hard) on the way out.
43
Will someone please introduce #40 to the fabulous world of apostrophes? Many thanks!
44
Moofasa: I don't think I need to give a single fuck about "alienating valuable allies." How, exactly, are they valuable? They do wring their hands very nicely, and they do whine and complain in such lovely tones, but that seems to be about it. Until those "valuable allies" start being, I dunno, VALUABLE and screaming EN MASSE at the Christian Right and the bigots and--heaven forbid--do what we did back in the day and REFUSE TO BE PART OF IT (remember Martin Luther?) then they can sit down and shut up and accept that they are implicitly supporting the bigoted right by being Christians. The bigots claim to speak for every christian. You gotta fight that first. You don't get ~super special ally cookies!~ because you support gay marriage in your heart and vote liberal. Stop fucking asking for backpats for being a decent human being. Congrats, you've risen to a level of tolerance that doesn't actively encourage violence and suicide! What a winner you are.
45
For an example of "dehumanizing bigotry," check out this story of an Eastern Washington man who's family threw him out for being gay.

http://wsu-online.blogspot.com/2010/10/s…

46
Dan, excellent response to L.R. Every week I appreciate your column more and more! Thank you!!
47
Yeah, I'm a Christian too. And I say, Dan, you knocked that one out of the park. You said EXACTLY what had to be said, every word of it, and I thank you for it from the bottom of my heart.
48
Let's try a shorter link: http://bit.ly/b3P3e6
49
Excellent response to the follower of Christ, I'm just sick and tired of people who gleefully go about hurting other people through their actions and not taking any responsibility for it and further being completely disconnected from it. Sickening. Then to hide behind this hate under the guise of religion is simply vomit inducing.
50
If I believed in god, I'd say that you are doing "his" work....keep it up
51
I appreciate your reply to LR, I am straight christian and married for 18 years. I have fortunately grown as I have aged. When i was young I too was confused by what I heard in church and from friends, fortunately my parents never said anything and allowed me grow up to form my own decision. Now my children are totally open to everyone. We have taught them that we are all equal and the only thing that matters is if you are a good person with a good heart. Black, white, gay, straight, rich or poor, that does not matter. Since I am not gay I can not feel your pain, but I try through talking to people to at least change others minds for the future, and I am proud my kids feel the same. I have over the years found it harder to go to church because I feel there are to many hypocrites, which I hate that.
Good Luck...Baker
52
Hooray, Dan! What an awesome response to L.R.!
53
The discussion of good v bad christians is a moot point unless the "good christians" are capable of making policy or changing policy within their churches. If you are, for instance, a Catholic and support gay rights it doesn't matter because the Vatican doesn't. Their influence will out-weigh your influence and their/your hateful perspective will be perpetuated. The whole personal nature of faith argument (ie individuals have their own beliefs/practices that may or may not coincide with official doctrine) is a convenient way to absolve yourself of responsibility for historical and contemporary atrocities without having to consider the worldwide outcomes of your faith and its racist, sexist, homophobic policies. It is nice that you have made different choices, but it really means fuck-all when your church is hateful. Stand up against them and fight instead of trying to convince non-believers that "all of you aren't that way."
54
My friend Nate Manske started a site you should all see. He created it to help LGBT youth feel happy with who they are. He gets emails from around the world confirming that it is saving lives.

http://www.imfromdriftwood.com

Click on the "story tour" button at top. He is currently touring the country, collecting video stories from LGBT people in all 50 states. This week he got one from the mayor of Portland!
55
I'm a straight woman who joined the United Church of Christ specifically because it supports gay marriage. If L.R. doesn't believe in gay marriage then he or she can refrain from marrying a member of the same sex. So his or her version of Christianity doesn't approve of it? There are denominations that also don't approve of divorced people getting married, women speaking in church, wearing makeup, or dancing, but last time I checked those rules were just applied to members of those denominations, not forced on all of us through the laws of a country that allegedly does not establish a religion or prohibit the free exercise thereof.
56
So let's focus less on whose feelings are being hurt by whom (evil Christians! mean atheists! oh no!) and more on the 13-year-olds.

Dear 13-year-olds (14, 15, 16, etc):

It doesn't just get better in all the other stuff. It also gets better in religion. If you don't feel a need to have a god in your life, that's fine. But if you do, there are churches (and synagogues, etc.) out there for you. There are Christians like me who accept you the way you are, and support your own choice of who to love and who to marry (and defend it: the local no-on-8 movement was run out of local churches). There is a loving and supportive God for you. If that's something you need or something you're looking for, you'll find it.
57
So let's focus less on whose feelings are being hurt by whom (evil Christians! mean atheists! oh no!) and more on the 13-year-olds.

Dear 13-year-olds (14, 15, 16, etc):

It doesn't just get better in all the other stuff. It also gets better in religion. If you don't feel a need to have a god in your life, that's fine. But if you do, there are churches (and synagogues, etc.) out there for you. There are Christians like me who accept you the way you are, and support your own choice of who to love and who to marry (and defend it: the local no-on-8 movement was run out of the local UCC church). There is a loving and supportive God for you. If that's something you need or something you're looking for, you'll find it.
58
Exactly, MK1 #53.

The Vatican and the Pope doesn't give a flying fuck what lay Catholics think, as long as you keep dropping that twenty in the collection plate every Sunday.

And that goes for every other denomination. Clean up your own houses, Christians. Are you not your brothers' keepers?
59
way to go Dan, I'm sick of all the "Christians" out there saying they have no problem with gay people and then say that they should not be able to marry, serve in the military, adopt etc. 20 years from now or sooner, we will look back at this time in our society and be ashamed. Black people had seperate drinking fountains, schools, no rights just 50 yrs ago. Things progress, these "Christians" will be ashamed of their past. Or the rest of this country will progress and they will regress and dwindle.
60
Fuck Kristaianity and fuck Kristians. I spell it with a K because these assholes have so little to do with Joshua hab Josephus (ie Jesus), anything he may have said or done or believed or fought for. Jesus would be so angry... And the Kristians would nail him to the cross again if they could.
61
The opposite of judgmental Christian is not judgmental non-Christian. Judgmental as I am using it right now means placing judgments on an entire group based on the actions of some. Many, many people who love to point out how judgmental Christians are display eggregious judgmental behaviors themselves. How 'bout we say we disagree with the judgmental actions of people who are judgmental rather than lobbing judgmental attitudes at the entire group we perceive as being judgmental? Just a thought. This argument often gets derailed into, "But I'm not like that," and, "They are all like that!" which, in my mind, is missing the freaking point.

As for the argument made in 53, I believe that standing up for what you believe in in the face of opposition is important. However, I think someone can still consider oneself a member of a powerful group with whom one doesn't 100% agree. I know a lot of Dems who are seriously displeased with our Dem President, but I don't see any of them jumping ship and joining the Repubs. In fact, I would argue that when people form groups, no one in those groups ever 100% agrees with the tennets of those groups. People like to join groups of all kinds, though, because we're a highly social people who've always operated on the supposition that we're better together. There may very well be plenty of stand-up Catholics who are very open about their open-minded views within their community, but I doubt you would be aware of that phenomenon as your response is awfully generalized. I agree with you that the argument is a moot point, but that's because I believe that to argue my "goodness" is worthless. I live the way I live, and you are free to make any judgment on how I live as you see fit--but I would hope that I live in a way that is an inspiration for all people to become more open-minded, Christian or no.
62
Thanks Dan. Amazing and educational. My HERO.
63
I have no problem with gays being gays, just like I have no problem with all people just being themselves. I was saddened to hear about the suicides, but, umm, people kill themselves all the time, for all sorts of reasons. I kind of feel like there is a possibility for the gay pride movement to move towards (like most movements always do), the anti-defamation movement. I.E., whenver a Jew is accused of something, guilty or not, it becomes an anger filled "don't judge me because of my identity you piece of shit" rant, kind of like Dan's first response.
64
@8 - Two women can have sex in a variety of ways, with plenty that would allow for a little pillow smothering.
65
"I read the first letter earlier this week because it was already being passed around by friends of mine who don't even read Savage Love".

Actually Miss Ohio, everyone in the world reads Savage Love (and I sure hope no one missed this week's colunmn).
66
@26, I know several "straight" guys into trannies. If you don't, then go ask a transsexual about her experiences. As kinks go, it's not rare.

@25, were you absent for the monogamy/non-monogamy Slog wars of a few months ago? Dan thinks that over the course of a long marriage, most men will stray a few times. He wants to provide tools to those men and their spouses, so that marriages don't have to end just because of a little infidelity. Does it make you feel better to know that Dan doesn't think guys who like trannies are more likely than other guys to cheat? He thinks that all men are about equally likely to cheat on their spouses.

(The fact that you haven't yet, or won't ever, doesn't mean that Dan is wrong about most men.)

(Full disclosure: my husband did. And thank god for Dan, who helped me see that one infidelity in 14 years was a small mistake, not a reason to end our good marriage.)
67
Dan really grandstands here, doesn't he? What a buffoon. In point of fact, the dialectic of history has operated continuously upon the Christian faith, in a piecemeal fashion, for centuries, all over the world, changing dogma. Per exemplum: Divorce got you excommunicated and jailed in the 15th c., until enough Xtians said enough, and it began to reform (Ireland's Catholics winning the prize for foot-dragging into the 1990's...), first with Prots, then Papists. Ditto marrying outside your faith--big no-no until 20th c.; and so on. So it's safe to assume that Xtian dogma will eventually shift on the topic of same-sexers, ever so slowly, as the dialectic moves it all forward. So why does Dan go out of his way to offend someone, professing to be Xtian and compassionate, impugning both the correspondent's intent and effect? Seems like the gay equivalent of sweeps week on tv--all about the ratings.
68
@singingcynic (#36) YES. That's exactly right. It's amusing and predictable that individuals always want to have their specialness noticed and pointed to by the "everyone says" crew. You nail it, though. Just as many people around the world are PLEADING across the spectrum of believers/followers of Islam...if the minions of evil are not to dominate the media feed/call to fervor action/attitudes that get lots of humans killed and so many more immersed in broken lives of pain and suffering here and now --- it remains the RESPONSIBILITY of self-fashioned "good" believers to carve out the space and promote an over-riding message of tolerance and sanity. By definition, society's outsiders and outliers do NOT have power to promote the niche approach of sane & loving into dominant message. Why is this so hard to notice or remember? Sure there are "good" religious adherents in every creed. But using the rigid parameters of ritual to debase those who are NOT of one's particular religious flavor is the norm everywhere. Adhering to the letter, shall we say, as opposed to the SPIRIT of the creed. And that is uncharitable and leads to the suffering of so many.
69
@singingcynic (#36) YES. That's exactly right. It's amusing and predictable that individuals always want to have their specialness noticed and pointed to by the "everyone says" crew. You nail it, though. Just as many people around the world are PLEADING across the spectrum of believers/followers of Islam...if the minions of evil are not to dominate the media feed/call to fervor action/attitudes that get lots of humans killed and so many more immersed in broken lives of pain and suffering here and now --- it remains the RESPONSIBILITY of self-fashioned "good" believers to carve out the space and promote an over-riding message of tolerance and sanity. By definition, society's outsiders and outliers do NOT have power to promote the niche approach of sane & loving into the dominant message. Why is this so hard to notice or remember? Sure there are "good" religious adherents in every creed. But using the rigid parameters of ritual to debase those who are NOT of one's particular religious flavor is the norm everywhere. Adhering to the letter, shall we say, as opposed to the SPIRIT of the creed. And that is uncharitable and leads to the suffering of so many.
70
Why is this dated Oct 14, 2010? That's tomorrow.
71
Awesome response to the first question. I hope you do feel guilty, because if you believe gays are IN ANY WAY INFERIOR to straight people, the blood of those boys is on your hands. Now it's on your conscience, too.

Not every religious person is also intolerant. If you're religious and pro-gay, then I'm happy for you and wish there were more like you. However, intolerant people can and should die in a fire.
72
For LR and any other folks who would like to explore "Christian" America's opinion on this issue, go no further than Topix. Topix, among other services, provides an anonymous forum for citizens of small to large communities to opine on a variety of issues. For many communities, the content is generally vile, bigoted, hate-filled and slanderous. BUT it certainly gives insight to people's raw, unvarnished opinions on many subjects- from race to sexual orientation.

Here are some examples of Topix discussion threads devoted to gay-bashing from my former hometown in TN. I left this place years ago, and if anything, it has become more bigoted and small-minded:

http://www.topix.com/forum/city/greenevi…

http://www.topix.com/forum/city/greenevi…

***********
Some excerpts:

"God does not love homosexuals. Without a quick Bible reference, I recall homosexuality as the only sin God used the word 'abomination'. He killed hundreds of thousands of homosexuals at a time."

"I think that all of the gay people in the world just need to die...... YOU ARE NOT WANTED, SO CRAWL IN A HOLE WITH YOUR BUTT-BUDDY AND DIE!!"

"There are none. Here in Greeneville, we feed all the gays and lesbians to the wolves."

"We would've beat the shit out of this fairy when I was in school." (In reference to a student from a nearby town running for homecoming queen)
**********

You see, LR, being from this town, I guarantee that each one of the posters, if asked, would claim Christianity as their faith. And yes, some of these posters might even treat a gay, lesbian, or transgendered person politely in person. But, their hearts are corroded with hate. And what of their children?

You don't actively encourage your kids to bully others? Whooptie-doo. I doubt the parents of the tormentors of these recent suicide victims encouraged their children to be abusers either. But they were complicit. Yes they were. Look at the comments above. How are the children of these "God-fearing" people going to treat a gay peer?

That you were offended by Mr. Savage's suggestion that "Christian" America needs to own and address their role in the ongoing and pervasive abuse of gay children, is incredible.

73
@24, 31: Props to you, 24, for being a historian. Why should Christians be judged for what others do and say? Because they're following and giving their life to a movement started and inspired by other people. Because calling yourself a Christian while going against the words of the founding Christians is incredibly disingenuous. Because it's the "good Christians" who make Christianity respectful in today's society. Their existence allows the Christians who actually take the insane, hateful teachings honestly and literally to have power.

Say what you will about hermeneutics and translations, but your holy book is clear what it thinks about human nature (evil, doomed to hell without a savior), sex (bad outside of straight marriage), the meaning of life (to serve the will of a god who brags about committing atrocities), and diversity (only one way to be saved).

If you really want to believe in a god of love, and freedom, and beauty, and human rights, and speaking truth to power... based on what the Bible says, Jesus/Yahweh seems like an odd choice. Why him? Why not choose a different one? I suspect it was because you were raised with Christian traditions, or had powerful experiences in the context of those traditions, which is understandable. I just wish people would be honest and separate out their spiritual values from a religious tradition full of hate and atrocity. You really can have the good stuff without the Jesus/Bible stuff.
74
@23: I'm not a believer in any faith, but I hate to hear statements like yours. It's ridiculous to accuse Dan of anti-Christian bigotry, but you've demonstrated just what such bigotry would look like: Tarring all Christians with guilt by association because of the actions and beliefs of some. Insisting that even if someone doesn't do, say or think anything bigoted, they're still somehow mysteriously a bigot because others who share a category with them are.

I don't want to dispute that the Bible is a "bigoted book," but it's my understand that many thoughtful Christians know the Bible was written by humans at a particular time in history, and that it's an imperfect text. They see it as their responsibility to use their God-given intelligence and judgment to figure out which ideas in the Bible to take to heart, and which to reject. If a religious believer says that hate, bigotry and sex-negativity aren't part of their faith, I see no reason to ignore that in favor of my own preconceptions.

To those who are saying Christians should "clean up their own houses," your points are well taken. But some commenters here are pointing out that their church, and not just themselves personally, is pro-gay rights. And what about a denomination like the Episcopalians, which allows gay priests and bishops? Just another reason not to insist that all Xtians are on the wrong side.
75
"Gay men just aren't into chicks-with-dicks porn; that's a genre that appeals exclusively to straight/straightish/bi male viewers"

Wow, that's a big stereotype.

And guess what? Total bullshit. I'm a gay man who's never had sex or interest in sex with a woman, and I like watching chicks-with-dicks porn. Hell, I like *any* kind of porn.

Porn is good, and Dan Savage making sweeping generalizations is bad.
76
As for the first letter addressed in today’s column:
Unfortunately Christians aren’t the only ones fomenting hate, fear, and bigotry against homosexuals in this country.
Orthodox Jews were expecting NY GOP governor hopeful Carl Paladino to read some anti-homosexual remarks that even he felt went too far, and he already expressed some other outrageous homophobic remarks of his own!
And as for Muslims, I still have to hear a clear acceptance of homosexuality in this country from community leaders. And I mean this country only as I understand that if they did so in the Middle East it could shorten their lives substantially.
It’s funny, sad actually, that conservative Christian politicians in this election season who bash Islam for short political gains aren’t that much better. Right Sarah?

77
@74: It's fair enough to say that not everyone who calls himself a Christian is bigoted in thought, word, or action. But they are supporting bigoted thoughts and harmful organizations, and they are being dishonest in their history and interpretation of their religion.

If I called myself a Phelpsian and went around saying I loved Fred Phelps, but that I thought most of what he said was misinterpreted and it was really all about love and I'm still a big supporter of gay marriage and gay rights... can you see that that would be a little odd and harmful? Even if I wasn't a bigot myself? Jesus and St. Paul wrote down their thoughts and beliefs. They thought people deserved to be punished eternally for sex outside of straight marriage. Or for even thinking about sex outside of straight marriage.

You said: "If a religious believer says that hate, bigotry and sex-negativity aren't part of their faith, I see no reason to ignore that in favor of my own preconceptions."

Fair enough, but then I see no reason for such believers to call themselves Christians.
78
Well, actually Jesus and St. Paul may not have literally written them down, and they may not even have existed, but that's not really the point...
79
@26: I dunno. Maybe they don't want to joke about something they genuinely like, because it might bite them in the ass?

For some reason people like to think so, but our friends aren't statistically reliable focus groups. They know you and you know them, so there's always some kind of agenda when it comes to telling or omitting certain things.

Even aside from all that, saying "Well, Mike has never said he liked trannies" is quite different from "Mike said he doesn't like trannies." I could deduce all kinds of stuff about you based on things you haven't said.

You STILL can be right and not know any guys who are into trannies, but it's possible that people who like and dislike similar things *tend to hang out together.* Yeah? I'm sure there are people out there whose every friend loves the fuck out of trannies.
80
Anger is a good and righteous thing, if used properly. It empowers suppressed people to seize what belongs to them, it sparks discussions, and it is a sign that there is something wrong with 'the system'. It is not a weapon to be pointed at anyone who represents something you don't like.

I'm disappointed in your response to the christian. This is a person who was trying to reach out and show humanity despite political disagreements. You could have made a friend, potentially an ally, but you couldn't see past your own prejudices (Regardless of any that were shown to you-- be the bigger man). You've succeeded either in fully alienating this person, or beating her into submission. How is that any better than the way bigoted assholes have treated you?

The problem, I think, is that you (along with many, many others) have confused personal religion with the force that is nominally religion in politics. The force that assholes use for cover whenever they are too cowardly to stand up for what they believe in alone, and too stupid to come up with a better reason than "the bible says it". A force that should have died out long ago, but that continues because it is a political, financial, and motivational power. And thank god they aren't all as organized as the catholics!

But a person of faith is not to be blamed for the horrors of his given religion. Most every powerful institution has done horrible things, but we all belong to several of them. Each person needs to be aware of the issues, and do what they can to to improve the world as they see it. lots of possible rants here, but that's the gist.

Make friends-- when people show you their fuzzy underbelly of good intent, scratch it, don't stab them.
81
I'm sorry your feelings were hurt by my comments.
No, wait. I'm not.


This is the second time I have seen Dan piss all over an entire group of people.

I wonder if he has the belief that because people pissed all over him because he is gay, he doesn't have to stop to see the humanity in other people when the tables are turned.

Grow Dan, Grow.

82
@ 77 Your idea of what the NT is about is pretty shaky. Jesus said nothing about Homosexuality, ever, not one bloody thing, and Paul (who never actually met Jesus during his life) said not to be "effeminate" which at the time pretty much meant wimpy, and don't be arestenokai, and no one can figure out what the heck that means but there were a bunch of words then for gay effeminate wasn't one of them and neither was arestenokai. Not to mention Jesus didn't write a thing down that we know of, the gospels are other people's recollection of the story of his life, and Paul's letters were to other members of the early church. I've read the book, all the way through, and if it said what you think it says I would have serious issues, but it doesn't.

There are Christian groups that speak out against the oppression of LGBT folks, the Episcopal church being a notable example of that where the Bishop of Los Angeles actively worked against Prop 8, and we marry and ordain LGBT folks. I realize that not a whole lot of pro-LGBT Christian stuff makes it to the media, but it's not because it doesn't happen, it's because it doesn't make for a very sexy news story.
83
Dan 1
LR 0
84
Dan 1
LR 0
85
The member of parliament for my district is Bill Siksay. He is married to Rev. Brian Burke of the United Church of Canada, and is apparently quite active in his church. He is currently in the process of pushing a bill through the Canadian legislature which will protect gender identity and gender expression under our Charter of Rights.

There are Christians who do more than wring their hands and say how sorry they are.
86
The member of parliament for my district is Bill Siksay. He is married to Rev. Brian Burke of the United Church of Canada, and is apparently quite active in his church. He is currently in the process of pushing a bill through the Canadian legislature which will protect gender identity and gender expression under our Charter of Rights.

There are Christians who do more than wring their hands and say how sorry they are.
88
As someone who loves Allah and does not support terrorism I can honestly say I was heartbroken to hear about those killed after being taken hostage by people who should have known better. I think you need to be aware of your own prejudices and how they might play into your thinking. At best I think your comments were hypocritical.

If your message is that we should not judge people based on their religious preference, how do you justify judging entire groups of people for any other reason? There is no part of me that took any pleasure in what happened to those people and I know for a fact that is true of many other people who disagree with your faith. Please be aware that your words are powerful and people are listening to you.

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 Allah is, above all things, a recognition that we are imperfect, fallible and in desperate need of submission. We cannot believe that we are better or more worthy than other people. I have never in my life know someone who loved Allah who wished ill will on other people and certainly not death "so that [we] can perpetuate [our own] agenda."

Please consider your viewpoint and please be more careful with your words in the future.
89
I love you Dan. Your response to LR is spot-on. Thank you for starting It Gets better. I didn't commit suicide as ateenager (obviously), butI was pretty damn miserable and thought about it ALL THE TIME. If there had been something like this back then, it might not have been so bad. Of course, that was before Al Gore invented the Internet. :)
Peace and Love to you and your family.
90
I've said it before and I'll say it again... Jesus would NEVER treat gays the way these so-called Christians do.

Then again, he wouldn't spend other people's money on gold nugget jewelery, expensive make-up and bad toupees either.
91
I am a 40ish lesbian out mom, Sunday School teacher and a screamer. Your It Gets Better videos saved my best friend's kid this week.
His locker mate found a suicide note, due to
all the bullying he has experienced in 6th grade.
The kid reported it to the school, the school contacted the parents and he is in counseling.
I wish I could say an assembly was called for the whole school. It was not, they were in the middle of a health unit on bullying, this was deemed good enough....BF's kid saw the videos and they helped him a lot. I am taking him to my church to meet more adult, successful gay men,
because our church is where I know of a dozen with great husbands, jobs and kids.

You say whatever you need to about Christians and I will disagree, people choose to mis-use the bible like they use guns, knives, marriage and sex as tools to hurt folks; don't blame the gun, blame the shooter.

But you saved a precious boy and so you get a lot of slack from me.

Trying to stifle a scream can be just as sexy as being loud. I am just sayin'.

It Gets Better is a game-changer, I am so grateful for you and your husband's work there.
92
As for the bible, for those who didn’t read the book nor watched the movie:

The reason homosexuality is mentioned in the Old Testament is most likely because apparently it always existed and, one can assume, always will. And despite some of the rules/aspirations mentioned in it, some characters with clear homosexual tendencies come across in a positive way. The most famous one is probably King David and his well-known “boyfriend” Jonathan.

The other one is Joseph, Jacob’s son, who was favored by the father but also had a tendency to wear fancy striped gowns and do other stuff that embarrassed his older brothers. They ended up selling him to nomads, those guys aren’t particularly picky, and they took him to Egypt. Being the only Jew in Egypt at the time he had to take on himself few traditional roles, thus becoming Pharaoh’s both shrink and economic adviser. Thanks to his advice Egypt was still prosperous when famine hit the region. So when the rest of his family arrived there, seeking relief from hunger, he was still kind enough to forgive and accept them.

Other than that the Old Testament is full of shenanigans, temptation stories, and horrendous murders. One shouldn’t single out “anti-homosexuality” message in it in order to foment fear and hatred.

Sorry, not that familiar with the New Testament, but John Waters was quoted few years ago saying the entire Christian religion is based on a homosexual S&M fantasy: a nude man attached to a cross.
93
@82: Could you explain to me what the Greek word 'porneia' (usually translated as "fornication") refers to throughout the New Testament? Also, though he may not have spoken against gay sex specifically, isn't Jesus quoted specifically as telling a prostitute to "sin no more"?
94
I'm not Mr. Savage's biggest fan, but the letter to that self important hypocrite was right on the money. Can't believe that love the sinner hate the sin shit has currency still.
95
anne77 - totally agree with what you are saying, and I support your "worldview" including your support of LGBT rights. I don't agree however, that the bible is neutral (or positive) on the subject of homosexuality. Even if we allow for a hermeneutic that allows us to completely ignore the old testament and the icky passages in the law, there are several troublesome passages in the New Testament, especially Romans 1:26, 27. I agree that some of the other passages could mean effeminate or some other thing. But Romans 1 cant be gotten around.

I have been an evangelical my whole life with hundreds of evangelical friends and family, but more recently, many gay and lesbian friends. For me, I felt that I could not embrace the teaching of the bible and my LGBT friends, so I have rejected the bible and evangelicalism. I posted this on a long thread on Facebook recently and have been catching hell all over the place. We all have to do this differently, and for many, finding (workarounds) in the bible is adequate, but for me I decided that the clear teachings of the bible just didn't square with reality as it is, so I dumped any kind of slavish devotion to the bible.

It's a journey, I came to a fork and took the path less traveled, and I'm OK with that.
96
Sorry to break it to you, all you nice gay-friendly christians out there, but "love the christian, not christianity" doesn't make any more sense than "love the sinner, not the sin".

I don't care what your personal beliefs are, but if you participate in organized christian activities, you're a part of the problem.
97
As a Christian and a student of religious studies, I'd like to point out that the Bible actually says very little about homosexuality, and the VERY few verses that do are taken out of context completely. Also, it's incredibly difficult to find an example of "Christian family values" in the Bible. So, fundies, stop talking about things you don't understand. It's making the rest of us look bad. As an educated and faithful human being, I support gay marriage and don't think homosexuality is a sin at all. I wish more people agreed with me.
98
(Continuing 96) - Of course, that also goes for all other members of any other homophobic religion.
99
Way to go Dan. I don't believe in any church but I do believe that my actions for my family and community are appreciated by those who see the true love in my heart and know that I will always try to accept my mistakes/errors and do better the next time. With that being said, there are groups (wont call them churches) out there who beleive in a deity that loves and accepts all no matter who they are. Some of those groups call them selfs Christians but don't hold to every word of the bible being true. Please keep that in mind when you feel the need to point an accusing finger at "Christians" in general because a number of them have opened their mouths and spewed complete stupidity and shit while saying that they are speaking for God/Jesus.
100
Former evangelical. Romans 1 is Paul's interpretation of the OT, not Christ's, and not being a literalist I am perfectly happy to concede that Paul clung rather too tightly to rules that didn't apply any more, and maybe never did.

As to the "if you are a Christian you are part of the problem" folks. My purpose in replying to this article was not to convert anyone, and I don't really need your permission to lead my life as I see fit anymore than you need mine or anyone else's. My point is that those Christians who use their supposed faith to justify bigotry, and bullying are not only assholes they are shitty theologians who have completely missed the point. And really, that message is more for them than the LGBT community. I get that there is good reason for most of the anger directed at mainstream Christianity. All I can say is that they are wrong and you are absolutely right, and I am in fact incredibly sorry for the evil that these people
Commit against their fellow citizens.

If you still want to believe that progressive Christans are part of the problem, I doubt I can dissuade you, but that's a shame, but I am not going to apologize for being who I am.
101
Well said, Dan! And to LR: When you love people in spite of their "sin", it's second-rate love if it can be called "love" at all. It's forced tolerance, at best. When you really believe that we're all equally deserving of dignity in our less than perfect state ("sinful", in your parlance)and that another's sin is truly no worse than your own... Well, if those were your true beliefs, then you'd be worried about having the "other" finding you lovable, or at least worthy of true tolerance, complete with-- gasp!-- full civil rights. They day you start talking about whether you're worthy to be around gays, then you'll be in a position to talk about Christianity.
102
The thing is, good Christians keep their mouths shut because they feel that religion is *personal* rather than public. So no, you're not going to hear from them. Or rather, you're going to hear from them, know them, see what sorts of stuff they're doing, but not identify them *as* Christians.

And at the end of the day...who these people really are are just good people who choose to subscribe to the parts of Christianity that they feel help them in being good people. But it is a natural human impulse to get offended when someone paints your group with a large brush that doesn't apply to you. Nothing new to see here, really.