Why did “anti-bullying” youth convention speaker bully Christian teens?
The ironies are incredible. Anti-bullying role model Dan Savage ridicules the Bible, then humiliates Christian kids walking out of his keynote address at a national youth journalism symposium
BY: Rob Kerby, Senior Editor
weird feeling I just had to get out,” Naman said. “I didn’t want to cause a scene but I really could not stand to be in that room anymore.”
“If Dan Savage had gotten up there and said ‘God hates homosexuals and they’re all going to hell,’ there would have been huge outrage from that crowd,” Naman said. But on the other hand, “When our faith is attacked like that — we are ridiculed for taking a stand against it.”
Although Naman thought he was alone in walking out of the event, when he got to the lobby, he realized that others had joined him. Among them was 17-year-old Haley Mulder.
“I never felt more hurt, felt persecuted,” Mulder told Hallowell. “For me, my faith is what I want to be defined by. For someone to say it was B.S. is really hurtful. I felt put down and bullied.”
Why Savage would be chosen as the keynote speaker is questionable. On the one hand, his anti-bullying program’s website declares: “Everyone deserves to be respected for who they are. I pledge to spread this message to my friends, family and neighbors. I’ll speak up against hate and intolerance whenever I see it, at school and at work. I’ll provide hope for lesbian, gay, bi, trans and other bullied teens by letting them know that ‘It Gets Better.’”
However, this is the same Dan Savage who in 2000 gained notoriety by posing as a supporter of conservative Republican presidential hopeful Gary Bauer during his primary campaign and bragged to the news media of trying to give Bauer a cold by sneezing and licking items which Bauer might come in contact with.
Currently Savage maintains an attack website deceptively called www.santorum.com in which he defines former presidential candidate Rick Santorum in the filthiest shock language possible and posts sophomoric graphics that feature four-letter-word slurs and depict Santorum as bodily waste. Such a lack of judgment would seem sufficient to disqualify him from being put in front of a convention of adolescents – and prompts concern about the wisdom of the sponsors of National High School Journalism Convention.
“They used to arrest middle-aged perverts who get their jollies from talking dirty to children,” writes Matt Barber. “Today, they get a television show, a nationally syndicated column, a lecture circuit and multiple visits to the Obama White House.
“The irony is palpable.”