Turns out, the biggest bully is the man leading the anti-bullying campaign. For the thousands of high schoolers at Dan Savage's speech in April, It Didn't Get Better--at least not for Christians. Savage, whose anti-bullying videos are a favorite of the President's and Hollywood , used his platform in Seattle as an opportunity to humiliate students and curse faith. The tirade was so fiercely personal and vulgar, students said, that it reduced some girls to tears. "...[W]e can learn to ignore the [expletive] in the Bible about gay people," Savage said, before launching into a three-minute lashing of Christianity--during which several students got up and walked out.
When Savage was finished, he told the crowd, "You can tell the Bible guys in the hall they can come back now because I'm done beating up the Bible," he said. "It's funny to someone who is on the receiving end of beatings that are justified by the Bible how [expletive] people react when you push back." Teachers were stunned. "It took a real dark, hostile turn..." said Rick Tuttle. His class "felt that they were attacked... a very pointed, direct attack on one particular group of students. It's amazing that we go to an anti-bullying speech, and one group of students is picked on in particular with harsh, profane language."
Savage has apologized for the anti-gay slur he hurled at kids (irony alert) but claims that his speech is being "spun" as an attack on Christianity. Judge for yourself. (Warning: Savage does use profanity.) The conference sponsor, National Scholastic Press Association, was so taken aback that it issued a public statement distancing itself from the remarks. "This is not what our organizations expected. In his attempt to denounce bullying, Mr. Savage belittled the faith of others--an action that we do not support. Ridicule of others' faith has no place in our programs, any more than ridicule of the LGBT community would."
How the sponsors could not have expected this is beyond me. Savage's presentation was not an anomaly. Maybe, like so many schools, they saw the White House's endorsement and thought he was safe. But what did organizers expect to gain by inviting a self-described "sex therapist" to address a room full of children? Their error in judgment was painfully obvious in the first five minutes of Savage's speech when he described how his "husband" looked in a Speedo and told teenagers that they would have to "pry him off his partner" if he were on stage.
Then, of course, there's the matter of germ warfare. This is a man so mentally unstable that he infiltrated Gary Bauer's campaign office in 2000 and licked the doorknobs to infect people with his flu. "The front door, office doors, even a bathroom door. When that was done, I started in on the staplers, phones and computer keyboards. Then I stood in the kitchen and licked the rims of all the clean coffee cups drying in the rack." And this is who the President trusts with his anti-bullying campaign? A grown man who, when he isn't busy engaging in bioterrorism, attacks children? It's beyond irresponsible.
As I told Mike Huckabee during an interview yesterday, the White House has given Savage a platform through his "It Gets Better" campaign to be an apostle of division and intolerance. By lending him that legitimacy, he's gaining access to schools across America for what is ultimately a one-sided, hate-filled assault on free speech. And in the end, it's the children who suffer. People like Dan Savage are putting so much attention on homosexuality that it's actually preventing us from dealing with the real problems of bullying. Even liberal surveys show that " students are more often bullied, called names, or harassed because of 'the way they look or their body size' than because of their sexual orientation."
FRC is strongly opposed to bullying for any reason. And I would extend an invitation to any reasonable person to sit down and have a civil discussion about how we can create a safe and positive environment for all children--one free of the harassment and abuse Savage encourages.