It is mean and insulting and completely outside of the realm of polite behavior to ask that fundamentalist Christians explain why the “plain text” of the book they use to justify treating queer people as second-class citizens is different from the plain text of the same book that enthusiastically endorses slavery, genocide, and apalling mistreatment of women.
Especially when, as Dan Savage did, you have the nerve to call that hateful interpretive double-standard “bullshit.”
Of course, the point of all this is not that it was rude for him to use the word “bullshit,” or even to describe those poor, defenseless Christian teenagers who walked out rather than engage with a perfectly legitimate theological question as “pansy-assed.” It was rude of Dan to confront those kids—and, now, the universe of fundamentalist offense-addicts who are giving him their undivided attention—with the fact that no matter what they claim, their “literalism” is a tangled mess of specific interpretive decisions that have nothing to do with the “plain text” of the Bible. It’s never been about adhering to the superficial meaning of the King James (or any other) text; it’s about putting their own mean little prejudices in the mouth of an unassailable, inaccessible, invisible Creator.
In other words, Dan told those kids that if they’ve been mean to gay people, it’s because they wanted to be mean to gay people. And they didn’t have a word to say in their own defense.◼