A longtime gay and anti-bullying activist who in early April premiered the sex-advice series "Savage U" on the cable network, Savage earlier this month spoke at the National High School Journalism Convention in Seattle. Many students applauded — but many others walked out — after he attacked those who defended anti-gay attitudes by citing biblical scripture.
"People often point out that they can't help it, they can't help with the anti-gay bullying, because it says right there in Leviticus, it says right there in Timothy, it says right there in Romans, that being gay is wrong," Savage told the crowd. He counseled the students to ignore biblical teachings on homosexuality and noted that defenders of slavery once used Scripture for similar purposes. He also ridiculed the students who walked out of the auditorium during his speech.
Over the last few days, the speech unleashed a torrent of invective from conservatives, who argued that an anti-bullying activist was now bullying Christians. On Monday, the the Parents Television Council — which relentlessly attacks networks for programs it deems overly sexual or otherwise unfit for families — weighed in, calling "Savage U" "a campaign to promote promiscuity on college campuses."
PTC even took its protest a step further, saying Savage's series illustrates why cable customers should be allowed to strip out objectionable programs and networks from their bundled monthly packages — a longtime pet issue for some conservative commentators who hope that such "cable choice" can erode Hollywood's power.
Savage has since apologized for some of the strong language he used during the speech, but says his intention all along was to attack hypocrisy rather than the Bible itself.
What do you think of Savage's views and the reaction to them?
— Scott Collins (twitter.com/scottcollinsLAT)
Photo: Columnist Dan Savage has drawn ire for his remarks about the Bible earlier this month. Credit: Charles Sykes / Associated Press.