How To Make Friends By Arguing Religion

Many TV viewers are familiar with Dan Savage’s media project It Gets Better, which is designed to chipper-up downtrodden gay youths. Not terribly surprisingly, Savage is also a partisan Democrat who has courted the support of many top Democrats such as Pres. Obama and Sec. Clinton. In a recent speech to some high school students, Savage outlined perceived injustices against gays at the hands of Christians and the Holy Bible. Sadly, Savage displayed only enough biblical knowledge to be offensive.

Savage’s general theme is that modern society chooses to ignore some things in the Bible, so why not also ignore the proscription against gay sex (although Savage incorrectly states that the Bible forbids being gay, a subtle difference). The Bible forbids shellfish, commands that previously known brides be stoned to death, and these laws are no longer observed, so why not also ignore Leviticus’s gay sex ban? The reason Christians do not generally follow Halakah is they believe that Jesus set them free from the Old Covenant. The Apostle Peter had a vision wherein God freed him to eat unclean foods. Jesus’s parable of the Good Samaritan overrode the rigid cleanliness laws Savage pretends that Christians simply “ignore.” Jesus specifically stopped the practice of executing adulterous women (“Let he who is without sin . . .”). All of Savage’s criticisms of Christians ignoring Old Testament laws are bunk, but to Savage, whipping Christians is more valuable than researching the truth.

By far Savage’s most virulent Christian attack that day was his repeated insistence that Christianity and the Bible are pro-slavery. He argues that the Bible “got it wrong” on slavery, so why cannot Christians believe the Bible “got it wrong” on gay sex? Specifically, Savage cites Paul’s letter to Philemon wherein Savage alleges Paul argues for the good treatment of a slave, but not his release. Savage omits that Paul was then in prison for being different (a Christian), something Savage need not face in today’s dark anti-gay world. In fact, Paul does ask for the slave to be freed, and he was eventually freed because he went on to travel the world as an Apostle. The myth that the New Testament is pro-slavery also is based on various other verses that mention slavery, but do not specifically condemn the institution. However, the theme of these verses is not acceptance of slavery, but stating that Christianity is open to all classes, even slaves.

Further demolishing Savage’s claim that Christianity and the Bible are pro-slavery is the simple history of abolition. The entire human history involves slavery, which was practiced by all major societies, within and between all races and religions. The practice was only abolished throughout the civilized world thanks to Christians. In England, a Christian government bought and freed the slaves. In England’s colonies and former colonies, Baptists and Presbyterians led the fight to end slavery. Christianity was a religion anchored on the lower classes and slaves. Christianity created the concept that even slaves were equal to the rulers in God’s judgment. The Christian abolition movement of the 19th Century was the fulfillment of Christian principles, not a choice to ignore the Bible. Savage’s slandering of one of Christianity’s greatest gifts to mankind is laughable.

Still, Savage’s pathetic pandering to the atheist Left is no justification for bullying gay teens. Of course only about 4% of the population is gay, so the majority of bully victims are straight. Savage is appropriating a dark facet of human nature – bullying – into the Left’s meme that Christians and Republicans are hateful and are to blame for the world’s injustices. If gays are just normal people, then some of them are hateful bullies too. Perhaps the bullying Savage allegedly suffered was not because he was gay but because of his demonstrated need to pick unfair fights with people who really have no interest in harming him.

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