A Contrarian View of Dan Savage’s Rant

On May 1, three days after the video of Savage’s rude and crude talk to teens was posted, Leftist gay blogger Jeremy Hooper of Good As You served up a video of Pastor Sean Harris of Berean Baptist Church in Fayetteville, North Carolina, telling his flock to beat their effeminate four-year-old gay sons into godly masculinity and to “rein in” their daughters if they start to act “butch.” Pastor Harris’s 55-minute sermon was part of the Marriage Sunday campaign on April 29 put together by Vote for Marriage NC.

Hooper provides the following transcript of Pastor Harris’ sermon:

So your little son starts to act a little girlish when he is four years old and instead of squashing that like a cockroach and saying, “Man up, son, get that dress off you and get outside and dig a ditch, because that is what boys do,” you get out the camera and you start taking pictures of Johnny acting like a female and then you upload it to YouTube and everybody laughs about it and the next thing you know, this dude, this kid is acting out childhood fantasies that should have been squashed.

Can I make it any clearer? Dads, the second you see your son dropping the limp wrist, you walk over there and crack that wrist. Man up. Give him a good punch. Ok? You are not going to act like that. You were made by God to be a male and you are going to be a male.

And when your daughter starts acting too butch you rein her in. And you say, “Oh, no, sweetheart. You can play sports. Play them to the glory of God. But sometimes you are going to act like a girl and walk like a girl and talk like a girl and smell like a girl and that means you are going to be beautiful. You are going to be attractive. You are going to dress yourself up.”

You say, “Can I take charge like that as a parent?” Yeah, you can. You are authorized. I just gave you a special dispensation this morning to do that.

Prominent conservative bloggers, radio talk show hosts, and TV commentators chewed the scenery for days over Dan Savage’s “bullying” and “hypocrisy.” However, we don’t know where they stand on Pastor Harris’s admonition to beat up four-year-old boys, force them to dig ditches and to humiliate them on YouTube in order to make them masculine because: crickets.

So here’s the thing. Dan Savage was rude to some teenagers contemplating entering a profession where the easily offended usually wash out before they’ve begun. He was every kind of wrong.

However, unlike the gay and lesbian children in Pastor Harris’s congregation -- and believe me, they were there -- at no time did those insulted Christian teenagers have a reason to fear that Dan had the power to destroy their lives or that he believed it was his God-given duty to do so. At no time did they have a reason to believe Dan had the power to declare them intrinsically evil or deserving of physical abuse, humiliation, and rejection by their own families, their religion, by their government, or by everyone in the world for choosing to be anti-gay Christians.

Pastor Harris now says he meant his remarks as hyperbole. But to the gay and lesbian children out of their minds with fear sitting in Pastor Harris’s congregation and those of his ilk, it is Dan Savage who has thrown them over 10,000 lifelines in the form of YouTube videos of adults telling them to hang on through their teen years because “it gets better.” Certainly, when he sticks to this message, it is Dan who is preaching a sermon of salvation, personal transformation for the better, and affirmation of life.