The Bible & Homosexuality: How to Respond to Dan Savage’s Attack (VIDEO)

by Jimmy Akin

in +Religion, Apologetics, Bible, Homosexuality, Moral Theology, Video

Homosexual activist Dan Savage recently was invited to give a keynote address to a group of high school students at a high school journalism conference.

You may make your own inferences regarding what this shows about the national associations in question, given the controversial, foul-mouthed history of Savage.

During the course of the event, Savage began a vulgarity-laced rant against the Bible and its teachings on homosexuality.

A significant portion of his audience, which included students from Christian schools, then walked out on him in protest (or disgust, or outrage, etc.).

In response, he suggested they were “pansy *ssed” for being unable to handle his pushback.

According to Focus on the Family’s CitizenLink,

A group of high school journalism students attending a conference called “Journalism on the Edge” in Seattle over the weekend felt they were pushed over the edge by syndicated sex advice columnist Dan Savage.

Savage, the creator of the two-year-old It Gets Better Project, which encourages teens struggling with same-sex attractions to embrace homosexuality, was invited to give a keynote address last Friday at the JEA/NSPA National High School Journalism Convention.

Students were expecting him to talk about bullying. But they also got an earful about birth control, sex, and Savage’s opinions on the Bible.

A 17-year-old from California who was attending with half a dozen other students from her high school yearbook staff, was one of several students to walk out in the middle of Savage’s speech.

“The first thing he told the audience was, ‘I hope you’re all using birth control!’ ” she recalled. Then “he said there are people using the Bible as an excuse for gay bullying, because it says in Leviticus and Romans that being gay is wrong. Right after that, he said we can ignore all the ‘B.S.’ in the Bible.

You can read the CitizenLink article by clicking here.

Savage’s rant was also covered by Fox News. You can read their story by clicking here.

Here is a video clip that captures most of the of the part of Savage’s talk in which he ranted against the Bible (REMINDER: offensive language warning) . . .

(NOTE TO EMAIL READERS: I am still figuring out the best way to handle video links with email. In the meantime, you can click here to go to the original post and watch the videos.)

And here is my video response:

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Kate April 29, 2012 at 8:33 pm

Counter bullying by….bullying. Because aggressive, foul language like that, used to dismiss others, is a kind of bullying, an attempt at intimidation.

Larry April 30, 2012 at 7:11 am

These seem like reasonable responses to some of the things Savage had to say. What about his assertions vis-a-vis slavery and “the Bible got slavery wrong”?

Bucky April 30, 2012 at 10:02 am

Sorry Bud, but Dan got it right – either take it all or take none of it. If you want to be a cafeteria christian run on over to K&W…

Thomas April 30, 2012 at 9:14 pm

Brava! Complex, nuanced, and textured response, Bucky.

Ken Crawford May 1, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Bucky, we DO “take it all”… you just have a very juvenile understanding of the Bible and of salvation history. The Bible is not just a constitution, or a static list of rules. It’s closer to the story of God raising humanity, so that they’ll embrace the fullness of truth, something that he has to do in baby steps over many centuries.

By way of a corollary:

Imagine a young child who writes down everything his parents tell him. Early in the document, when the child is 3 (suspend for a moment that 3 year old children can not write… let’s say a scribe does it for them), the child writes:

-My parents told me never to go anywhere near the street.

As the years go by he writes other things in the document:

My parents told me:
-Never touch a member of the opposite sex on their private parts
-Never argue with an adult
-Don’t stay out past 10 PM at night.

When the child is older, his father sits him down to have a talk with him as he goes off into adulthood. The child then adds to the document:

Now that I am older, my parents have told me that it is not only OK, but good for me to touch my wife, to argue for what is right with my peers, who are all adults, to do good in the world no matter how late I have to stay out doing so.

And thus the document ends.

Who in their right mind would tell that young man that he’s ignoring the advice of his parents from when he was three when he was told to go nowhere near the street, because he drives a car?

Michael May 3, 2012 at 2:08 pm


it is an archaic document/book/text. so why follow ANY of it?

if you’re going to use PART of the bible to condemn a whole community of people, then you’d better be using ALL OF IT to condemn yourself. and just saying “we’re all sinners” is a total copout, and you know it.

All Dan said was that the bible has been used, in the past, to condemn groups of people, and THAT IS A FACT. He asserted his opinion that the practice of using the bible to condemn others was hypocritical, and unfair.

Notice, he also never said this was true of ALL christians…only the bad ones. You and I both know there are people who claim to be christian, yet do not follow the words of Christ… Take Fred Phelps, for instance, who a friend of mine just today compared Dan Savage to as far as being a bully…

We BOTH know that not only recommending, but ENCOURAGING death to all homosexuals in NOT a true Christian value, and yet, Phelps does it all the time. Where’s your outrage there?

Where’s your boycott of Red Lobster, against shellfish? Where’s your rage over men who cut short their hair or beards?

If you TRULY believe in this WHOLE book, then you MUST follow the WHOLE BOOK. Otherwise, you yourself are, by definition, a hypocrite.

And for all the people claiming that the slavery in the bible is different from the slavery our country practiced, SLAVERY IS SLAVERY. I don’t care if you call it indentured servitude. Working without being paid is slavery. It’s really quite simple.

But here’s what REALLY bugs me, Ken…

if a grown man is supposed to understand that the things he wrote down when he was 3 need not apply twenty, thirty years later…why are those things STILL part of the document?

maybe there WAS a time when homosexuality was considered punishable by death. but nowadays, if you kill a homosexual BECAUSE he is homosexual, that’s called murder. And murder, sir, is murder. (It was still murder back then, but go ahead and use a book WRITTEN BY MAN to justify it, even if it was so-called INSPIRED BY GOD).

I once read a book about the bible and homosexuality, and the author (I forget the book or author’s name at the moment) said that if you read the bible in the original greek and hebrew, the word ABOMINATION does not mean what we all think it means. It does not mean an offense to God. It means “out of the general society’s views” or “not within the ‘norm.”

but that’s because people back then weren’t educated about it like we are today.

If you read a medical text from 2000 years ago that taught that leeches and bloodletting were the ONLY way to heal someone from a disease from which there is now a cure, you would say that medical text is old, archaic, and wrong, because WE HAVE LEARNED SO MUCH MORE SINCE THEN.

So why is it different with this book?

I’ll tell you why…because people BELIEVE.

And don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with believing in something. The problem HERE is that sometimes, in fact, most times, people’s BELIEFS are what drive them, and not their common sense.

If you’d never heard of the bible, or Jesus, or anything to do with those things, and you were presented with a homosexual couple just being themselves, can you honestly say what you’d think or do? maybe, just maybe, you’d be like, “oh…okay. not for me, but whatever floats your boat…”

These people are not hurting anyone, and don’t give me that bs about hurting themselves. I have NEVER hurt myself BECAUSE I am gay. I have only hurt myself because how others have TREATED ME because I am gay.

Keep in mind, this was all an opinion. Which Dan is entitled to, as are you. Please, by all means, voice your opinion. But just do me one favor? Sit back and think how WE’VE felt, being maligned all these years by different churches, and so-called men or women of God. think how it must feel for a thirteen year old kid to be told he can’t hang out with his best friend anymore because they think i’ll try to seduce them. or with younger kids, because they think i’ll molest them.

think how it feels when a gay kid, or even someone thought to be gay, gets bullied. the likely odds are that he/she will go home to a family who may try, but cannot understand. if, say, a black kid was getting bullied for being black, not only would it be illegal, but they’d have a whole family who was black (most likely), that could identify with his/her struggles.

but a gay kid usually only has himself, or if he’s lucky, a very understanding family. My mother, God bless her, will love me and defend me till the day she dies, but that doesn’t mean she’ll ever TRULY understand what I’ve gone through.

Just think about that before you go saying someone should keep his mouth shut just because you, or anyone, disagrees.

JohnE May 1, 2012 at 8:17 am

Ah, enlisting Dan Savage to help raise the next generation of “educated” journalists. Not that I was really expecting a whole lot of change in the mass media.

I think it’s cheap and lazy to say the bible got slavery wrong, when we have a notion of slavery in America that is not the same as at the time the New Testament was written. Some “slavery” such as to pay a debt or in restitution for a crime could hardly be considered the slavery that usually comes to mind today. The bible is pretty clear that a slave deserves to be treated with dignity, and not as any other sort of property:

1 Cor 7: 22 For the slave called in the Lord is a freed person in the Lord, just as the free person who has been called is a slave of Christ. 23 You have been purchased at a price. Do not become slaves to human beings.

Ephesians 6:9 – Masters, act in the same way toward them, and stop bullying, knowing that both they and you have a Master in heaven and that with him there is no partiality.

Colossians 3: 22 Slaves, obey your human masters in everything, not only when being watched, as currying favor, but in simplicity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, do from the heart, as for the Lord and not for others, 24 knowing that you will receive from the Lord the due payment of the inheritance; be slaves of the Lord Christ. 25 For the wrongdoer will receive recompense for the wrong he committed, and there is no partiality.


As far, as the stoning of one presenting herself as a virgin when she gets married (Deuteronomy 22), that sounds more like an example of the non-binding civil law that Jimmy spoke of, but which does have a moral principle behind it that still applies. So just because the law to stone such women no longer applies, it doesn’t mean that it’s all of a sudden ok to lie now.

Ken Crawford May 1, 2012 at 11:49 am

Great video Jimmy. The one other thing I would have wished you had addressed was Savage’s claim about slavery. I know it’s hard in a limited time format to cover everything, but it’s the one thing that stands out as conceptually unaddressed by your reply.

Richard Nartia May 1, 2012 at 4:30 pm

Thank you Mr. Akin!

Deeann May 6, 2012 at 7:59 pm

Last I checked, the American Psychological Association took back there scientific statement. No genetic component yet. There is a great part of environment, the family, which must be honestly considered. Anyone know or experience dysfunction within the family lately or 30 years or so ago, especially with the brave new world of contracepting,working moms AND dads, addictions: sports, food, drugs, alcohol ? The more things change, the more things stay the same. The more we need the Word of God and the unselfish love which respects life, endures hardship for even the most ungrateful or uncaring. With addictions children are often neglected. Nothing can replace the security of a loving family which is faithfully united. Living in God’s grace provides the best environment for family happiness- not the easiest way, but most worthwhile things do require effort. Maybe folks need to remember the E word more?

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