The Book Is the Problem

I haven’t posted lately, a little thing called “life” (manifest as job interviews, work, family stuff, and a friend’s bachelor party) got in the way. I’ll try to not let that happen again.

Anyways, this story caught my eye as I was sitting in a doctor’s office waiting room this morning. Apparently Dan Savage, the brains behind the It Gets Better Project and the definition of Santorum (Google at your own risk–it’s a few results down now), offended people when, while giving a speech to High School-age journalists, he pointed out that there is a bunch of homophobic bullshit (my paraphrase, but I’m not far off) in the Bible. This upset some in the audience, even leading many to walk out of the speech.

Were those comments hurtful? Definitely. Were they brash and disrespectful? Uh huh. Were they inappropriate? Definitely not.

Around the country, state and local governments have been passing legislation with the intention of reducing the bullying of school children after several highly-publicized cases of bullying-related suicide. Now, whether or not these laws are necessary or even beneficial is up for debate (I was bullied mercilessly in Middle School, and I think I’m better for it), but one thing is for certain: If a law is passed, it should apply equally to all bullies, regardless of their motivations. Such a provision follows quite logically from the concept of Equal Protection under the law–the victim doesn’t care where their bully draws their motivations, it hurts either way.

However, the GOP (especially in Michigan) has been trying to carve out exceptions for bullies that are motivated by what they read in a book, and, presumably, that book is the Bible. I could write a full book’s worth of information about why that is a terrible idea (you can justify most forms of bigotry with the Bible, just ask me how!). It’s more of that Freedom for Me but Not for Thee crap.

So, in the context of these laws being passed around the country, and the ridiculous exceptions that the religious right is trying to insert into such laws, preserving bigotry and hate from that vile Bible of theirs, it is easy to see why a homosexual like Dan Savage would get frustrated and state, unequivocally, that there is some disgusting homophobic (not to mention, racist, misogynistic, etc) things in the Bible, and those need to be addressed if we are going to address bigotry and bullying.

So yes, it was mean, and it was insensitive. It was, and is, also completely necessary. The Bible is a vile book, and those who claim to think that it is moral need to be held accountable for those beliefs.



Filed under Anti-Apologia, War on Magical Thinking

2 responses to “The Book Is the Problem

  1. Daz

    You can blame gays for tsunamis, that’s fine.
    You can sling words like ‘perverts’ and ‘unnatural’ around from your religiously protected pulpit, that’s fine.
    You can equate homosexuality to paedophilia and bestiality, and claim that it’s the slippery slope to polygamy (which is bad, ’cause, erm…), that’s fine.

    Say a nasty word about the Bible, though, and you’re a bigot.

    Yep, I think that just about covers it.

  2. I have heard about these fundamentalists decrying the anti bullying movement because they believe it “promotes the gay agenda” (whatever that means), but this is a new one to me.
    However, it’s not the book that’s the problem – it’s the people who read and interpret that book. The book can be a source of inspiration in the right hands and a deadly weapon in another.

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