Denny Burk writes:
Over the weekend, I saw the viral video featuring a homosexual activist berating Christian teenagers at a journalism convention. The activist in question is Dan Savage, a columnist and a figure I have written about on this blog before. I won’t embed the video here because it is too foul. If you are so inclined, you can watch it here.
In the video, Savage calls the Bible “Bullsh–” and accuses Christians of hypocrisy for believing what it says about homosexuality while ignoring what it says about shellfish, slavery, adultery, etc. In the middle of his tirade, the video also shows about a hundred Christian students walking out of his speech. Todd Starnes interviewed some of the students here. Joe Carter has an excellent take on the incident here. The Huffington Post is defending Savage here.
For those of you new to this conversation, you may be wondering who Dan Savage is. Here are a couple things you should know:
1. Savage is the founder of the “It Gets Better Project”–a YouTube channel aimed at children to encourage them that they can be happy, gay adults. At this website, homosexual adults can upload videos of themselves talking about how life gets better after high school. It’s aimed to encourage gay children that no matter how unhappy they are now and no matter how much bullying they receive, their lives will be better when they grow up. Many celebrities and politicians have come out of the woodwork to support Dan Savage in this work. Savage’s “It Gets Better” effort has been embraced by that mainstream for a couple of years now. President Obama and many members of his administration filmed their own videos for the effort.
2. Savage is also a purveyor of an unbridled sexual hedonism. This is not a secret, but something that he has written very openly about. Last summer, Mark Oppenheimerprofiled Savage in a lengthy piece for The New York Times Magazine. Oppenheimer’s article focuses on Savage’s prescription for healthy marriages—non-monogamy. Savage argues not only that gay marriage should be legal but also that monogamy should be discarded as a marital norm. From Oppenheimer’s article:
Savage has for 20 years been saying monogamy is harder than we admit and articulating a sexual ethic that he thinks honors the reality, rather than the romantic ideal, of marriage. In Savage Love, his weekly column, he inveighs against the American obsession with strict fidelity. In its place he proposes a sensibility that we might call American Gay Male, after that community’s tolerance for pornography, fetishes and a variety of partnered arrangements, from strict monogamy to wide openness.
Savage believes monogamy is right for many couples. But he believes that our discourse about it, and about sexuality more generally, is dishonest. Some people need more than one partner, he writes, just as some people need flirting, … others need lovers of both sexes. We can’t help our urges, and we should not lie to our partners about them. In some marriages, talking honestly about our needs will forestall or obviate affairs; in other marriages, the conversation may lead to an affair, but with permission. In both cases, honesty is the best policy.
Savage believes that whatever sexual urges one feels should be embraced and pursued. Any marital norms that deny such urges are oppressive and unrealistic. Both gay and straight couples need to consider the possibility of non-monogamy—a mutual agreement that allows occasional infidelity.
What Savage reveals is that controversies about sexuality in our culture are not merely about who can visit who in the hospital. The controversy is about deconstructing what nature and the Bible teach us about the meaning and purpose of our sexuality. Many gay activists like Savage are not simply seeking legally sanctioned gay unions; they want to bring an end to marriage as we know it. Pointing this out is not playing the part of the alarmist. It is just a matter of paying attention to arguments that are entering more and more into cultural mainstream.
You can read Denny Burk’s entire article here: