Notable News: Week of April 27-May 3, 2012

Here’s what’s been exploding this week:

1. Dan Savage vs. the Christian High Schoolers

It doesn’t matter that the journalism conference at which Savage spoke was last freakin’ month, the video went viral last weekend.  In his typical not-one-to-mince-words fashion, he referred to parts of the Bible as “bullsh*t” and said that walking out during his talk was a “pansy-a**ed” way to react.  Was the well-known activist bullying the students?  You can decide for yourself by reading about it here or watching the video here.

2. Pastor Sean Harris, on How to Keep Your Kids From Turning Gay

In a stellar example of “how not to raise your kids,” Pastor Harris recommends beating the gay out of your son and making sure your daughter smells good.  Good job offending the universe, dude.  Thankfully, some wonderful bloggers have much kinder words for kids.  Alise Wright pens a beautiful Dear Child letter, and Melissa over at Pigtail Pals warns kids to be wary of what adults say to them.  It’s good to know that when someone makes a fool of himself, there will be people there to pick up the pieces.

3. Is Parenting Style a Threat to Feminism?

This fantastic article sums up the debate and offers some further wisdom about why people are reluctant to change their opinions.  Arguing over the “right” way to parent in conjunction with the “right” way to be a feminist seems counterproductive on both fronts.  We need more ways to elevate the conversation.

4. Spiritual Before and After Pictures

The always marvelous Kathy Escobar has been taking us through the process of spiritual rebuilding after deconstruction.  Her post from May 3 invites us to take a look at how far we’ve come and the ways in which we’ve changed.  Be sure to check out all the other posts in the original series on rebuilding, as well as the follow-up posts.

5. The Pineapple Debacle: The Sequel

Actually, less of a sequel than an it-never-really-ended.  Our kids are being used as lab rats, but somehow teachers have gotten the blame.  The pineapple, it appears, isn’t the only Epic Fail that was the NYSED ELA exam.  Hey, NYSED, think we can do better next year?

What’s caught your eye around the Web this week?


4 thoughts on “Notable News: Week of April 27-May 3, 2012

  1. I haven’t watched the whole Dan Savage video, though I’ve read some of the responses to it. I generally like Savage, who has at the very least done a serious mitzvah with the “It Gets Better” project; nonetheless, the guy can be a jerk. At least in the past, he’s written things that were biphobic and transphobic and borderline-misogynistic, and, without too much invoking “tone argument,” there have been times when I think his love of snark has done as much harm as good to the points he makes.

    Nonetheless, it seems mostly uncontroversial to point out that Leviticus is, by and large, The Book of Dumb Rules Almost Nobody Pays Attention To Except for the Gay Thing, and that seriously trying to model your ethics and customs on the culture of Bronze Age Judaea is going to produce some eggregiously f’ed-up stuff. The societies chronicled in the Bible probably were largely homophobic, as well as patriarchal, slave-owning, insular and all the rest. What the Bible says about lots of those things is, I think, a bit more complicated and nuanced than Savage gives it credit for, but that’s almost beside the point. As (IIRC) Bishop Gene Robinson pointed out, once you get to the point in the debate where you’re quoting verses at each other, you’ve already lost the argument.

    • I’ve been telling myself lately that even though there are a lot of people more extreme in their views than I am, we need them or nothing will change. I put Dan Savage in that category. I also remind myself that there are life experiences I will never be able to fully comprehend, and being a gay man is one of them. Not to say I can’t be an ally, or be empathetic, but I can’t actually know what that’s like. But I do agree that he’s not always equally empathetic himself and seems (even now) to have some degree of There Are No Bisexuals. He denies it, but it can be seen in his column and his tweets.

  2. I think the pansie-assed comment was inappropriate. I also think a lot of people will be milking that for all its worth. As to Harris, I can only hope the man has no children.

    • Yeah, Savage isn’t one to shy away from making inappropriate comments. Strangely, most of my friends have been pretty quiet on the issue. Maybe it’s only the fringe religious types that are going after him? Would certainly explain why it took so long for anyone to notice.

      And ditto about Harris. Thank God he isn’t my pastor. Not sure I could have sat through that.

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