As a journalism student, I fully intend that there are going to be days when I am going to be involved stories that I find objectionable. I fully expect that there will be times when I will cover and event that really gets under my skin, but I will do so with the fullest measure of sincerity and to the best of my ability, because I am interested in what all great journalists are supposed to be interested in – finding out the truth. The truth isn’t something that is only what you want. There will be times when the truth is something that shakes you, and is something that leaves you shaken. That is the nature of the beast with journalism.
However, a number of students at the National High School Journalism convention, this is something that they couldn’t handle. Dan Savage was one of the main speakers there, and he had some comments about Christianity.
We can learn to ignore the bullshit in the Bible about gay people, the same way we have learned to ignore the bullshit in the Bible about shellfish, about slavery, about dinner, about farming, about menstruation, about virginity, about masturbation. We ignore bullshit in the Bible about all sorts of things. The Bible is a radically pro-slavery document.
What he said there is absolutely correct. The Bible is a pro-slavery document. Lincoln could have used some help from the Bible back when he was trying to free the slaves. There is verse after verse in the Bible about how to treat your slaves, what kinds of slaves you can own, and even how you can beat them. Not two words was taken out of context.
We have also learned to ignore a lot of bullshit that is in the Bible for the backwards-ass garbage that it is that is holding back progress, and is making life harder for people. Of course, groups like the Westboro Baptist Church still wants to believe it, but they are nothing more than Christian fundies who are banking off of how much people hate them. They like the hatred of others. It gives them fulfillment, and also helps them earn money when somebody kicks the shit out of one of their people and they can sue the person. Cheap, tasteless, and we ignore it.
Of course, while Savage was explaining this, there were a number of students who got up and walked out, apparently all offended. He had a rather poignant statement about them too -
It’s funny, as someone who’s on the receiving end of beatings that are justified by the Bible, how pansy-ass some people will react when you push back.
Another complete truth. I think a lot of Christians miss the days when you weren’t allowed or it was totally beyond the acceptable norms to argue with a Christian about their beliefs. You couldn’t say that they were full of shit, because the communities at large would go against you. Then came the internet.
On the internet, the Christians have no community backing. Their arguments stand alone, and they have to defend them. Probably 70% of all the Christians who I have seen talk to atheists eventually just give up trying to convince the atheist of their point and end with the statement - I’ll pray for you. An easy way not to have to justify anything.
So now, with the internet, there is a growth of this community in the real world. The atheists on the internet are no longer nameless people. They have faces, vlogs and blogs and are willing to stand up to the Christian intolerance that still massively afflicts this country.
But what does it say about a Christian when they won’t even take criticism? When they won’t even allow their point of view to be debated and question and criticized? I get my point of view criticized all the time. I will sometimes argue, but that is more because I like to argue than I think I should. I have a weird enjoyment of doing it. But Savage’s comments have spread to the Christian right and have been the latest phoned-in controversy that they can use to say that they are somehow being attacked.
The group GOProud said that Savage should apologize for his comments. Why? He wasn’t lying. We have come a long way from when we obeyed ever ridiculous edict in that equally-ridiculous book. The Bible does condone slavery. There is no text in there saying that slavery is wrong. Hell, it describes people as slaves to God. But one Christian blogger wrote that Savage was using this as a means of Christian bullying.
It’s unreal that Christians in this country can ever claim that they are a bullied party. Yes, because being a Christian in America is so fucking hard. Isn’t it? Don’t you feel so oppressed? You get beaten and raped and killed every day, while getting quotes thrown at you from a holy book. You get told that your existence is a sin and that you will burn in Hell for all eternity. You are told that your parents should have their friends come over and “screw her (you) straight.” Oh wait, that’s stuff that happens to members of the LGBT community. My bad.
But let’s ignore that – what kinds of future journalists are these kids? What exactly are they saying when they won’t sit and listen to Savage criticize their book? Guess what, kids, but that is the job. You don’t get to pick and choose the story. You run with what you are presented with, and hopefully it all turns out okay. That is how it works. I guess that you didn’t figure that out.
This is a failure of journalism, and all of it is through faith. Isn’t faith great?
Until next time, a quote,
“So, regardless of Dan Savage’s tone, or how terribly offended some Christians were, his underlying point is completely valid. And it’s impact was only amplified by the incredible sight of devout Christians literally fleeing from the truth about their Bible and their own moral hypocrisy.” -Zinnia Jones, Dan Savage is right about the Bible