This news story has arrested my attention this week. It is about a national journalism conference for high school-aged teens in Seattle hosted by National Scholastic Press Association and the Journalism Education Association. The hosts invited anti-bullying speaker Dan Savage as the keynote speak for their conference.
Savage is the founder of the “It Gets Better” Project, a resource created “to show young LGBT people the levels of happiness, potential, and positivity their lives will reach – if they can just get through their teen years.” In colorfully inappropriate language, Savage voices his contempt for the Bible’s position on homosexuality, slavery, virginity, menstruation, masturbation, and shellfish, among other things. Towards the end of the clip below, Mr Savage reveals where the real tension lies: “I have a right to defend myself and to point out the hypocrisy of people who justify anti-gay bigotry by pointing to the Bible….”
Click here to view the portion of Dan’s speech that generated the controversy. (Be advised. This video contains adult language and content.)
Hypocrisy. That’s the real rub (in my humble opinion). Hypocrisy appears to fuel Dan’s distain towards God and Scripture and all who adhere to it. He sees Christians selectively upholding God’s commands in Leviticus and Romans while ignoring others.
Hypocrisy is “the practice of claiming to have moral standards or beliefs to which one’s own behavior does not conform.” In a word, hypocrisy is pretense, an attempt to make something that is not the case appear true. Dan’s jaded commentary on the Bible is simply a “pretense” to justify his homosexuality, for he mentions not the teachings of other world religions who equally condemn the life-style. Let’s be fair, Dan! The Bible is not the only religious text opposed to homosexuality.
Nevertheless, consider how his self-righteous animosity toward hypocritical Christians and teachings from the Bible causes him to violate his own standards of bigotry and hatred. Mr. Savage abuses the authority and power granted to him for the purpose of bullying those who dissent from his homosexual life-style.
So what you have is a nationally recognized, Obama-endorsed, anti-bullying advocate for lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender teens bullying, slandering, and name-calling Christians at a conference geared for aspiring journalists.
Is the irony not dripping like cheese from a tortilla chip?
Here’s the reality: all of us are hypocrites to one degree or another. All of us fail to live up to our own standards. Christians, Mormons, Muslims, Jews, homosexuals. But the thing that really grinds my gears here is Mr. Savage’s inability to square with this foundational truth. His own arrogant pride blinds him from seeing his sins of bigotry and hate.
There is a proverbial saying appropriate to this news story: “There are none so blind as those who will not see.” Being a Christian is anything but “pansy ass,” as Dan claims. For the hard truth is that Scripture shows humanity its dirty, rotten, hypocritical, sinful nature. With each turn of the page, the Bible poignantly reminds us of who we really are. Through the Bible, God shows us our spoiled, naked self in the mirror – and it ain’t pretty! He puts us down-wind from ourselves.
Let’s face it folks, we’re all pretty messed up. Myself, Dan, and you. In more ways than I care to admit, I violate my own standards all the time. How much more do I violate God’s?
We are all in a bad shape. We are all in need of Divine Rescue.
The question is, “Are we honest enough to ‘see’ the obvious?”