A lot has already been said about Mr. Savage's remarks and I don't want to bore anyone by echoing what has already been written on 1,000 other blogs. Suffice it to say that I agree that Mr. Savage has the right to say what he said. I also have the right to call him an idiot. In the arena of free speech, some people say things that will offend others and Savage pushes offensive speech to the extreme. But if he couldn't say it, there wouldn't be “free” speech, would there?
I am a little curious about this venue, though. I've only heard it described as a “conference” for high school journalists. Are these public school students? Is this a government sponsored event? If so, then I most certainly do object to Savage's remarks. Actually, I object to them in any case but if this is a government sponsored event, then I object on the grounds of the free exercise clause in the first amendment. No one would deny that a public school ordinarily shouldn't bring in anyone who speaks to endorse the Bible. Neither should they bring in someone who openly criticizes the Bible. Regardless of that, even if this wasn't a government sponsored event, I still think the language Savage used was not appropriate for high school aged students. Many of these young adults were not old enough to get into an R-rated movie. They didn't need to be hearing R-rated language. However, this isn't really the point of my post.
I'm also a little amused at the irony of the remarks. This alleged “anti-bullying” hero, in the midst of an “anti-bullying” speech, proceeds to verbally bully the Bible believing students in the crowd. Some might say he was simply speaking against those who would use the Bible as grounds to mistreat gays. Really? Who in the audience did that? He didn't know if any of them have ever bullied anyone. It's obvious that his remarks were against all Bible believing Christians. When those students, not guilty of anything Savaged alleged, walked out in protest (at least one in tears), he referred to their protest as a “punk ass move.” It just strikes me as self-defeating that a person would be so intimidating if his objective is to persuade people to stop bullying others. However, this isn't really the point of my post either.
Like I've already said, I don't want to echo what has already been discussed elsewhere on the net and other media. There were at least two things I've not heard being discussed anywhere. First, I was a little surprised at some of the comments made by people who criticized the students! I heard more than a few people say that, if these students are aspiring journalists, they need to learn to be objective. They shouldn't walk out and refuse to listen to points of view they might happen to disagree with. I have to laugh at the insincerity of these critics. I believe the people who make this point are themselves theophobes who are looking for still another excuse to ridicule Christians. Like most people who reject the Bible, they're not rational. They cannot apply their logic consistently nor have they thought through their position. For example, what about the students heard on the tape who hooted, hollered, and applauded Savage's remarks? Where's their objectivity? If a good journalist shouldn't protest views he disagrees with, shouldn't he also not cheer wildly views he does agree with? These amateur critics, who pretend to know what a good journalist should do, haven't picked up on that point.
This is sort of an ancillary point but I believe those students who cheered Savage are representative of the alternative media today. I heard the other day that CNN's viewership has tanked. Newspapers all across the nation are folding. Do you know why? It's because these outlets pretend to report the news objectively but cannot conceal their seething liberalism. Nobody is interested in hearing their bias.
The second thing I noticed about Savage's remarks is the same point I've raised several times before. He said the Bible is “wrong” on human sexuality. Such a notion suggests there is some absolute “right” view of human sexuality. OK, then – where is it? I ask in earnest. Show me where has been written the absolutely true and correct standard of sexual conduct. I don't believe such a thing exists outside of the Bible.
Mr. Savage speaks as though he has authority on the subject yet he has no authority beyond his own opinion. And even though many might laud his opinion, I defy him to lay his finger on some absolute rule that transcends opinion. Without such a transcendent standard, Mr. Savage's opinion carries no more weight than my own. As a matter of fact, my opinion likely carries more weight because mine is the opinion held by the majority of people. If rights are determined by the majority, I don't even need to appeal to the Bible to condemn homosexuality. I could say homosexuality is “wrong” on the simple grounds that most people think it's “icky.”
Mr. Savage has retreated a little from his remarks in the wake of the backlash that followed. However, he will never turn away from his course. I hope he makes more remarks like this because it will only shine more light on his error. It's still sad, though. He doesn't see how wrong he is nor does he know how lost.