Dan Savage’s words were harsh, but he’s right

Dan Savage has apologized for using some harsh language when referring to the Bible’s provisions calling for the murder of gay people and the endorsement of slavery.  Understandable since Dan has been pro-gay and anti-slavery all his life.

The question remains, is it ever okay to say that the Bible’s provisions endorsing the murder of gays and the enslaving of blacks (and others) to be “bullsh*t”"?  And if not, why not?

Surely no one thinks the Bible got it right on slavery?  Nor on its admonition to stone gays to death.  What other word to use for anything, even a holy book, that endorses slavery and the murder of an entire people?  Let me walk you through what 15 different English language versions of the Bible have to say, supposedly, about homosexuality:

New International Version (©1984)
“‘If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

New Living Translation (©2007)
“If a man practices homosexuality, having sex with another man as with a woman, both men have committed a detestable act. They must both be put to death, for they are guilty of a capital offense.

English Standard Version (©2001)
If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall surely be put to death; their blood is upon them.

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them.

GOD’S WORD® Translation (©1995)
When a man has sexual intercourse with another man as with a woman, both men are doing something disgusting and must be put to death. They deserve to die.

King James Bible
If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood [shall be] upon them.

American King James Version
If a man also lie with mankind, as he lies with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be on them.

American Standard Version
And if a man lie with mankind, as with womankind, both of them have committed abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

Bible in Basic English
And if a man has sex relations with a man, the two of them have done a disgusting thing: let them be put to death; their blood will be on them.

Douay-Rheims Bible
If any one lie with a man se with a woman, both have committed an abomination, let them be put to death: their blood be upon them.

Darby Bible Translation
And if a man lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall certainly be put to death; their blood is upon them.

English Revised Version
And if a man lie with mankind, as with womankind, both of them have committed abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

Webster’s Bible Translation
If a man also shall lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

World English Bible
“‘If a man lies with a male, as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

Young’s Literal Translation
And a man who lieth with a male as one lieth with a woman; abomination both of them have done; they are certainly put to death; their blood is on them.

While I, as a Christian, would likely avoid using the word “bullsh*t” when referring to anything in the Bible, the generic notion that God wants gays put to death is absurd. And if you disagree, I cant wait to hear your argument for why God wants to mass murder gays.

The simple fact is that the Bible got it wrong on gays. It also got it wrong on slavery (it’s interesting that one of the things that most upset the kids who walked out on Dan’s talk was his explanation that the Bible was used to justify slavery – do your homework kids, it was).

Now, did God or man get it wrong – meaning, did God get it wrong when he inspired the Bible, or did man misinterpret God’s words? That’s a distinction without a difference since many religions, and certainly America’s legislators, look at the word of the Bible literally (which is odd since the Bible wasn’t written in English, so the word “literal” has little meaning).

Many religions treat the Bible as an inviolate document, but the simple fact remains that the document is wrong when it comes to a few things, including the mass murder of gay people and the notion that it’s okay to enslave others. Dan Savage said just that. And anyone stil upset with Dan, even after he’s now apologized for using harsh, if not incorrect, language, needs to explain why they’re defending the Bible’s provisions about murdering gays and enslaving blacks.


Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Google+. John Aravosis is the editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown (1989); and worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, and as a stringer for the Economist. Frequent TV pundit: O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline & Reliable Sources. Bio, .

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  • Truth

    And if you don’t understand what I even mean by that then you only prove my point further. It’s like trying to say that you know what to do if someone is choking because you have seen a picture, yet you haven’t really read what was inside the book to understand the procedure.

    You sir, must be vary careful in what you say, especially when you “claim” to be a Christian. It’s a fair warning nothing else I cannot judge your eternity that is up to God but I can keep you accountable for the things that you don’t know or understand.

  • truth

    John you misunderstand the Bible and the difference between the New and Old Testament.

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