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American Savage

Insights, Slights and Fights on Faith, Sex, Love and Politics

By Dan Savage
  • Read in 15 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 9 key ideas
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American Savage by Dan Savage

American Savage (2014) explores some of the most contentious social and political issues in the US today, ranging from religion to gay rights, and from health care to education. It offers a fresh, humorous and unconventional perspective on today’s most divisive subjects, while also sounding a rallying cry to fight oppression and stand up for human rights.

This is a Blinkist staff pick

“Podcast fans will no doubt know Savage from shows like This American Life and his own wildly popular podcast, Savage Love. His unflinching, playful style provokes honest thought about gender, orientation, love, sex, and why we all have a blinkered view of what constitutes a healthy relationship. Read, think, enjoy — and never, ever Google “Santorum”. ”

– Carrie, Managing Editor of Blinkist Magazine

Key idea 1 of 9

Using the Bible to condemn homosexuality and justify antigay bigotry is extremely hypocritical.

Even though the author, Dan Savage, was raised Catholic, he isn’t the kind of man the Church welcomes with open arms.

After all, Savage is a candid sex columnist and outspoken gay rights activist who is happily married to his husband, Terry Miller. Meanwhile, both the Church and the Bible itself openly condemn homosexuality.

Antigay Christians often justify their hatred of LGBT people by citing the Old Testament, which says that any man who “lies with” another man “shall surely be put to death.”

Savage has met with countless people who tell him they can’t help but bully gay people since the Bible says it is wrong to be gay.

The Church also has a long history of persecuting gay people by throwing its significant political power behind antigay legislation. Over the years, the Church has tried to ban gay marriage and same-sex adoption rights, as well as block advances in LGBT civil rights.

What many people don’t realize is that they’re being rather hypocritical when they focus their attention on one part of the Bible.

The Old Testament also advocates for slavery and the stoning of women who have premarital sex. Yet the majority of people are quick to discount these verses and say that the Old Testament isn’t considered a relevant text in modern Christianity.

So there is a choice to be made: people can either accept they are being hypocritical when adhering to one part of the Bible while ignoring others, or we need to agree that the Old Testament is out of touch with the values of modern societies.

Just as we’ve come to accept that the Bible was wrong about slavery, we should agree that the Old Testament is not an appropriate lens through which to interpret something as complex as human sexuality.

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