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Advice columnist, television personality, outspoken activist. Dan Savage is a one-man band (and No. 48 on Out's Power List) who, instead of begging for change, begs you to change your mind. About sex, about gay rights, and now about Christianity.
While speaking to a conference of student journalists at the Washington Journalism Education Association on April 13, the Savage Love columnist addressed the issue of homosexuality in the Bible.
"We can learn to ignore the bullshit in the Bible about gay people,” he said, “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.”
Savage also went on to call the holy Christian text a “radically pro-slavery document,” that slave owners waved “over their heads during the Civil War.”
Yikes. We’re guessing that list bit is what encouraged some attendees to leave the speech.
And that also inspired some commentary from Savage.
“It's funny, as someone who's on the receiving end of beatings that are justified by the Bible, how pansy-assed some people react when you push back.”
Savage has since apologized for the “pansy-assed” comments. But he did not quite back down on the rest of his diatribe. “I didn't call anyone's religion bullshit. I did say that there is bullshit-untrue words or ideas-in the Bible.”
Savage’s comments have, predictably, drawn ire from several usual suspects, including Focus on the Family, Fox News, and (rather unusually) this rabbi.
And we can’t one hundred percent disagree that the Savage U star was somewhat lacking in tact. But Savage’s tireless advocacy has long made him a stalwart in the fight for equality and his gasp-producing rants happen to be a part of those efforts.
So, maybe next time he decides to shed light on an age-old hypocrisy he will do so in a way that causes less of a controversy.
But either way, we’ll probably still love Dan Savage.