Bullying… At An Anti-Bullying Conference

From Todd Starnes:

As many as 100 high school students walked out of a national journalism conference after an anti-bullying speaker began cursing, attacked the Bible and reportedly called those who refused to listen to his rant “pansy assed.”

Writer and speaker Dan Savage was apparently asked to give a speech on anti-bullying at the National High School Journalism Conference. Instead, it turned into a “pointed attack on Christian beliefs.”

See the video clip below (language warning):


There’s so much in this tirade that ought to be addressed. So much. For now, however, I’ll content myself with making one observation: isn’t it a little ironic that this anti-bullying activist is using the very tactics he supposedly decries?

Linden Wolfe observes,

No one feels bullying is more wrong than I do (I know what it feels like to be bullied). So for all of us, Dan Savage included, I thought I’d share some information from a US Government website on bullying (Bullying Definition | StopBullying.gov). According to this group there are 3 types of bullying; verbal, social, and physical. Here are the some examples of the first 2:

Verbal bullying is saying or writing mean things. Verbal bullying includes:

  • Teasing
  • Name-calling
  • Inappropriate sexual comments
  • Taunting
  • Threatening to cause harm

Social bullying, sometimes referred to as relational bullying, involves hurting someone’s reputation or relationships. Social bullying includes:

  • Leaving someone out on purpose
  • Telling other children not to be friends with someone
  • Spreading rumors about someone
  • Embarrassing someone in public

Based on this, I think it’s safe to say that Dan Savage was acting the bully or, at the very least, using bullying tactics. Yes, there is such a thing as righteous indignation but I don’t think this tirade qualifies.

Nope. Nothing righteous about it at all. “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Matthew 12:34)

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How Terrifying A Prospect

“It astounds me, given the overwhelming use of psalms as central to gathered worship in the first four centuries, the absolute importance given to psalmody for the first two centuries of the post-Reformation Reformed churches, and the fact that the Book of Psalms is the only hymn book which can claim to be universal in its acceptance by the whole of Christendom and utterly inspired in all of its statements – it astounds me, I say, that so few psalms are sung in our worship services today. Moreover, often nothing seems to earn the scorn and derision of others more than the suggestion that more psalms should be sung in worship. Indeed, the last few years have seen a number of writers strike out against exclusive psalmody. Given that life is too short to engage in pointless polemics, I am left wondering which parallel universe these guys come from, where the most pressing and dangerous worship issue is clearly that people sing too much of the Bible in their services. How terrifying a prospect that would be! Imagine: people actually singing songs that express the full range of human emotion in their worship using words of which God has explicitly said ‘These are mine!'”

~ Carl Trueman, The Wages of Spin (p. 167)

Book Review: The Wages of Spin

Ever notice the increasing tendency in Evangelical circles to view disagreement as a troublesome, intrinsically oppressive thing? Fence-sitting is much more popular; that, and ignorance (or dismissal) of Christianity’s deep historical roots.

And of course, as Carl Trueman wryly observes, the point of having a debate is not to have “a conversation, and then to agree to differ as we all sit around in a mutually affirming, self-congratulatory love-fest.” The point is to establish which position is right (as the Apostle Paul repeatedly points out in Acts).

With The Wages of Spin, Carl Trueman delivers twelve critical essays on historic and contemporary evangelicalism. They’re short, they’re sharp, and they’ll challenge you to think about – and to have an opinion on – things that matter.

Oh, and your vocabulary will probably be tested, too.

It’s only April, so I can’t really start nominating for Best of the Year award; that said, I have the sneaking suspicion that The Wages of Spin will prove to be the best piece of non-fiction I read in 2012. Yes, it’s that good.

Anyone who has read Trueman will know that he’s about as far removed from “easy reading” as the east is from the west. I mean that as a compliment. This guy will truly stretch your brain, and in all the right ways. Just lend him your time and attention. Both will be well spent.

Continue reading Book Review: The Wages of Spin

Flotsam & Jetsam (4/26)

Reel Quick – Click here to read my review of The Descendants (2011).

The Ironies of Real Marriage – A helpful and well-reasoned critique of Mark Driscoll’s book. Heath Lambert writes, “The first time I heard Mark Driscoll speak, I cried. To be very honest, I also cried when I read his book on marriage. Unfortunately, my tears in each case were for very different reasons.” [Note: This article deals with very mature sexual subjects, so caution is strongly advised]

Quick Selection of Movies – Kim Shay shares her favorite films (several of which I have added to the Netflix queue). Also, be sure to check out Persis’ favorites: Copy-Catting.

Moral Ambiguity and The Hunger Games – An excellent post from Staci Eastin.

The Legacy of Charles Colson – Challies is spot-on here: “To portray Charles Colson as all villain is unfair to the man; to portray him as all spiritual giant is unfair to the church. Let’s not be afraid to call it as it is.”

The Avengers – Anybody else excited for Marvel’s latest film? I know I am.

“Learn from other people’s mistakes. You don’t have nearly enough time to make them all yourself.” ~ Groucho Marx

Top 10 Favorite Films


Saving Private Ryan (1998)
If you’re a movie-watcher, it’s probably not hard for you to pick out an all-time favorite – a film that has affected you, and still affects you, in a uniquely powerful way. For me, that special film is Saving Private Ryan. Nothing else I’ve seen has quite matched it in terms of sheer magnificence. It’s brutal. It’s heartbreaking. It’s inspiring. And there’s a reason it’s often considered the greatest war film ever made.

Inception (2010)
Christopher Nolan is one of my favorite directors, and science fiction is one of my favorite genres. Put the two together, and what do you get? Inception – a thoughtful, stimulating, and utterly gripping Sci-Fi film that ranks among the best of this decade or any decade. To borrow the words of another critic, “Inception is proof that people are not stupid, that cinema is not trash, and that it is possible for blockbusters and art to be the same thing.”

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2000-2003)
Rich, captivating, epic, and breathtaking – just like Tolkien’s books. With a perfect cast, brilliant special effects, and energetic storytelling, this is a masterful fantasy film trilogy. Director Peter Jackson’s book-to-screen adaption is one of the best I’ve ever encountered, and he is to be highly commended for staying so faithful to Tolkien’s vision.

Continue reading Top 10 Favorite Films