Monday, April 30, 2012

It Gets Worse

A few week (or days) ago, Dan Savage, founder of the anti-bully movement "It Gets Better," gave a speech about bullying at a High School Journalism Conference. At some point in his speech he decides to mention the bible and the "contradictions" and hypocrisy of Christians picking and choosing what they want to believe and practice. Then he said "we can ignore the bullshit in the bible" like we ignore shellfish, slavery, masturbation, menstruation, etc. All during this Christian teens started walking out. When he's done he says "the bible guys can come back in" because he was done "beating up the Bible" and described their reaction as "pansy-assed."



 

To call Dan Savage a coward is an understatement. There aren't any proper words in the English language to describe him. He's been getting a lot of heat the past few days, and he did issue an apology. His apology is pansy-assed. He apologizes for hurt feelings, but then continues on to justify what did. That's not an apology. He isn't sincere because he will always be a hypocrite and a bully and he'll never practice what he preaches. The people who held the conference basically said the kids, as journalists, should have been able to take it. How bad has our society become that we should be expected to sit and take disrespect? I'm not going to go on about how much of a hypocrite and a bully he is because this will not be the last time he sticks his foot in his mouth. I want to talk about some of the stuff Savage got wrong in his "old as time" atheist argument. In his apology he says people have said what he said before and probably better, which is true, but they're still wrong.

SHELLFISH
His argument for our own hypocrisy is OLD and outdated. He's repeating what he's been told without looking it up himself. So why do Christians eat shellfish when the Old Testament says not to? Two reasons:

  1. We are "Gentiles." Old Testament law was intended for Israel, the people he chose to bring forth the Messiah. He wanted Israel to be different/stand out from all the other nations.
  2. Jesus fulfilled the law by dying for our sins on the cross (Romans 10:4) and in Mark 7:19 he declares all foods clean. Jesus came to bring ALL MEN to himself, so there's no need for Israel to stand out anymore. And there's no need to concern ourselves with keeping our bodies pure with what we eat because we have the Holy Spirit who does the sanctifying. God is more concerned with the words that come out of mouths than the food that goes in it.
SLAVERY
Here Dan Savage fails to understand the simple concept of "Historical Context," but I digress. No, the Bible doesn't completely outlaw slavery, but the kind of slavery we are most familiar with is different than what is okay in the Bible. What the Bible condones is what we would call "indentured servitude" or something similar to that. People would sell themselves into slavery to pay off a debt or to provide for themselves or their family, but they were never intended to be slaves for a lifetime. Some would choose to stay on, but most of the time it was six or seven years. Deuteronomy 15 lays out how a slave was to be treated and what was to be done when that service ended. Race-based slavery or the sex trade and all the cruelty that comes with it is a no-no. Did Dan really forget about the Hebrews in Egypt? This website lays it out pretty thick about Slavery in the Bible.

THE CRUELTY OF OLD TESTAMENT LAW
Dan Savage made a crude joke about Newt Gingrich's wife citing a verse that states if a women isn't a virgin on her wedding day then she is to be stoned to death. Then he asks why haven't the GOP made laws regarding this. Same as I said before about shellfish: We are Gentiles. These laws were intended for Israel and abolished (or fulfilled) once Jesus died on the cross. These laws were for a specific place and a specific time period, they're no longer necessary. For us to suggest laws that mirror ones under Moses would be to act as if Jesus never rose from the dead. What Dan Savage also fails to understand is that God loves due process, innocent until proven guilty. Evidence and a required number of witnesses must be provided before anyone gets stoned. God's attitudes and feelings towards these actions hasn't changed. The wages of sin is still death (Romans 6:23).

I'm sure Dan Savage will do this kind of slip-up again because he fails to see what he did wrong and where his argument was wrong. People like him will continue to throw shellfish in our Christian faces because they refuse to believe the Bible is that simple. Are there hypocrites in Christianity? Of course. The people who ignore homosexuality in the bible and scream "GOD IS LOVE" ignore the part where it says "If you love me, keep my commands", but Dan Savage loves those people. I've been a Christian since 2006 and it's been a very rough six years. The most important thing I've learned during those six years is that what people do doesn't change what God has said. People who bully homosexuals in the name of God doesn't change how God says we should treat people. And people who say homosexuality isn't a sin doesn't change how God said it is. There's nothing wrong with the bible, but there's plenty wrong with sinful people who want their own way, and plenty wrong with Dan Savage. My God is bigger than Dan Savage, and He'll have words with him one day.

2 comments:

  1. Excellent job! Well written. @JeffersonFrog

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  2. Well said. It is amazing that as Christians we are expected to just take whatever is said about our faith from people like Savage. Yet, we are called every name in the book when we speak out in a manner they don't like. Those that rally for tolerance aren't!

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