By Lee Christie
Dan Savage is an award-winning American author, public speaker, and activist, who famously started the “It Gets Better” project in 2010 with his husband Terry Miller. The project aimed to prevent suicide among LGBT youth and garnered the support of many famous people, including President Obama.
During his invited talk at a NSPA/JEA’s annual high-school-journalism convention in Seattle, WA, Savage, who was raised Catholic, attacted some controversy with an impassioned speech on learning to ignore the content of the bible:
“… 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 bible is a radically pro-slavery document. Slave-owners waved bibles over their heads during the civil war and justified it. …”
The response to this was mixed with many cheering and applauding contrasted with dozens of teenagers slowly filing their way out of the room all thoughout this section of the talk, presumably having taken offense at Dan’s remarks on the bible. His speech continued, and before moving on to the next topic, he invited those who had walked out to return, calling them “pansy-ass”, and justifying why he brought up the topic:
“You can tell the bible guys in the hall they can come back now, because I’m done beating up the bible. It’s funny as someone who’s on the receiving end of beatings that are justified by the bible, how pansy-ass some people react when pushed back. I apologise if I’ve hurt anyone’s feelings, but, I have a right to defend myself and to point out the hypocrisy of people who justify anti-gay bigotry by pointing to the bible and insisting we must live by the code of Leviticus on this one issue and no other.”
You can view a recording of Dan’s talk here uploaded by YouTube user bandroadie95: