Sunday, October 3, 2010

"Fuck Your Feelings!" Dan Savage Responds to a Good Christian

Here is Dan Savage's reply to LR who wrote to him complaining of an anti-Christian bias in his "It Gets Better" campaign and in his comments about the recent spate of gay youth suicides. The letter is reproduced in full. It asks for a measure of civility and respect for Christians who oppose gay marriage. Dan Savage tells LR what to do with that civility.

To my mind, the best and most interesting part of Savage's reply is in the PS:

The religious right points to the suicide rate among gay teenagers—which the religious right works so hard to drive up ... as evidence that the gay lifestyle is destructive. It's like intentionally running someone down with your car and then claiming that it isn't safe to walk the streets.

Which is why I argued that every gay teen suicide is a victory for the religious right. Because, you see, your side does use those suicides to "perpetuate [your] agenda." Tony Perkins and all those other oddly effete defenders of "Chrisitian values" and "traditional marriage" will point to this recent spate of gay teen suicides to argue against gay marriage, anti-bullying programs, against allowing gay people to serve in the military—basically, they'll gleefully use these tragedies to justify what they like to call the "Christian, pro-family agenda."

I've always found it striking that the apologists for gay segregation have such tender feelings, that they do not like being publicly identified with those who do their dirty work of enforcing a dying social norm through intimidation and violence (the very things they would like to see police powers do). They remind me of other segregationists in the past who furiously rejected any accusation that they would have anything to do with lynchings and church bombings.

To LR and all like him/her, the mad mullahs, Ahmedinajad, the Phelps clan, and legions of bullies are on your side and agree with you on this issue. Look around at the company you are keeping and think hard about the rightness of your cause. The guns, the money, and the fists are all on your side. You are hardly in any position to be complaining about being bullied yourselves.

While it is fair for all of us LGBTs (and friends) who call ourselves Christians to complain about being painted with the same brush as the far right, Savage's complaint and his feelings are legitimate. Let's face it. We've all felt this way ourselves. Perhaps our task is not to complain to Dan Savage, but to reclaim our faith from those who want to take out a copyright on it.


JCF said...

While in general I agree w/ Savage, I took him to task for one phrase: "Magic Sky Friend Jesus" (I haven't yet seen if he replied to me or not)

I think it's great Savage gives the Christianists hell.

But don't blame Jesus of Nazareth for the wingnuts' hatred. He had (has) nuthin' to do w/ it . . . or them!

IT said...

Unfortunately, JCF, because the right wingers have been so successful in claiming the term "Christian" for themselves, they set up a false opposition with those not of faith. So faith itself becomes an enemy.

As you know I am reasonably well-educated on matters Christian. It is a constant frustration to me that those who claim "CHristian" so seldom are....and contaminate the rest of you by association.