As we walked out to the car this morning, there was a gentle rain starting, with a roll of thunder far in the distance. One minute later it was cats and dogs with lightning everywhere. Lovely.
At work, it was unusually solemn. Like nobody really knew how to start things off. Everybody with under 200 hours (including the new cutters) got the golden toe Friday, so it was especially quiet in my area with new cutter (call her J) gone. We pretty much were having the smartass olympics at our end for the last 3 weeks, with cameo appearances by mechanic "Joe" who was developing an interest in J. One after another, people wandered over and chatted about the situation throughout the day, and though it was still kinda sad (I told my boss I didn't know if I needed a grief counselor or an anger manager, or just something more distracting than work), things started to relax.
Best line of the day: I was asked why cushions I cut 1500 of last week didn't have corners cut out. (Answer: They don't get corner cut-outs.) "Well, the sewer said they got corners, and we don't have the pattern in the book". Later, I came up to the lady and said, "Given that heart failure is an apropriate alternative to finding another job, I wasn't looking at having the coronary right off the bat!"
J texted Joe and said, "Tell Chris I miss him." I said, "Text her, 'Back atcha- and are you hungry yet!' " (J would say "I'm hungry!" every morning between 7 and 7:30 without fail.) Later, she texted Joe "Tell Chris, 'Sing it!' " (Another of our favorite running gags, usually said when the company CD player was playing somebody's cheap knockoff of Beat It.) That made me laugh loud and really cheer up- until I heard the next lines on the song playing:
You can't be 20, on Sugar Mountain
though you're thinking that you're leaving there too soon
you're leaving there too soon...
Arriving home, we had a "parcel at the office" note. Scrappy and I decided to hoof it down there to see what it was, as it wasn't raining yet. But thanks to Mr. I-must-check-out-every-insignificant-scent stopping to take a poop that I thought I might have to midwife, we got wet most of the way home. Perfect ending to the day.
Now comes the something really stupid.
Jake Naman knew something was about to happen.
The 18-year-old from Redlands, Calif., was sitting inside a cavernous building in Seattle waiting to hear from Dan Savage, the founder of the “It Gets Better” anti-bullying campaign.
Savage had been invited to speak to several thousand high school journalists attending a national conference hosted by the National Scholastic Press Association and the Journalism Education Association.
Naman, who is a yearbook photographer at Arrowhead Christian Academy, thought Savage was going to talk about his anti-bullying campaign. But the Christian teenager soon learned that Savage had a very different message for the students.
“I hope you’re all using birth control,” Savage told the teenagers as he began his remarks. From there, he regaled the young people who stories about his husband, describing how he looked in a Speedo. At one point, Savage imagined what it would be like with his husband on stage – telling the kids that they would have to pry him off his partner.
Naman was growing increasingly uncomfortable with the tone and tenor of Savage’s remarks. There were more lewd comments, profane words and innuendo. And then, Savage said something that made Naman take notice.
“The Bible,” Savage said with a elongated pause.
“”The very second he said the Bible and paused, I knew it was going to get ugly,” Naman told Fox News. “It was about to be a bashing.”
And Naman was absolutely correct.
“We can learn to ignore the bullshit in the Bible about gay people – the same way we have learned to ignore the bullshit in the Bible about shellfish, about slavery, about dinner, about farming, about menstruation, about virginity, about masturbation,” he told the young students. “We ignore bullshit in the Bible about all sorts of things.”
Some will say what happened next took courage – but Naman said he was simply following the prompting of the Holy Spirit. And the entire moment was captured on a video that has now gone viral on YouTube.
The 18-year-old Eagle Scout and captain of the high school track team rose to his feet – and walked out – passing by hundreds of other students who were cheering the anti-bullying advocate’s profanity-laced rant.
“I felt like in my heart I couldn’t just stay there at all,” he said. “It was a really weird feeling I just had to get out. I didn’t want to cause a scene but I really could not stand to be in that room anymore.”
Jake Naman said he felt – bullied.
“If Dan Savage had gotten up there and said ‘God hates homosexuals and they’re all going to hell,’ there would have been huge outrage from that crowd,” he said. “As Christians we get the other side of that. When our faith is attacked like that – we are ridiculed for taking a stand against it.”
Naman thought that he was the only person who walked out – but when he got to the lobby – he learned that was far from the case. Arrowhead’s entire yearbook staff followed his lead – including his 16-year-old sister.
“I was shaking,” Julia Naman told Fox News. “I saw my brother pop up and leave and I took off after him.”
So did 17-year-old Haley Mulder.
“I never felt more hurt, felt persecuted,” Mulder said. “For me, my faith is what I Want to be defined by. For someone to say it was B.S. is really hurtful. I felt put down and bullied because of my faith.”
And then it got worse for the Christian teenagers. Savage directly targeted them with his remarks.
“You can tell the Bible guys in the hall they can come back now because I’m done beating up the Bible,” he said. “It’s funny as someone on the receiving end of beatings that are justified by the Bible how pansy-assed people react when you push back.”
Naman said a number of the girls began crying. He said it seemed like such a safe environment “But then Dan Savage went off and it didn’t seem that way anymore.”
“He had a position of power as a speaker and he was using that against a group of students who had never done anything to him,” Naman said. “I would consider that bullying.”
“He was completely insulting and degrading our faith,” his sister said.
Mulder said Savage needed to practice what he preaches.
“I felt it was ironic coming from a person who was talking about not bullying,” she said.
In all about a hundred students walked out of the speech, but Naman said many others wanted to. He said some Christian teenagers felt intimidated and were afraid of what might happen if they had left.
Still, the 18-year-old said one thing was certainly obvious – “The majority of the students did not support us at all,” he said.
Savage issued a partial apology over the weekend, saying he was referring to the walk-out as “pansy-assed” and not the students. However, he stood by his profane references to the Bible.
And there you have it, all the intellect and courage of the atheist movement. I know, before you comment, that many atheist don't act like this in real life. But a lot do. Put a kind comment on the Freedom From Religion Facebook page and see what it gets you. So tell me- would you want to support an anti-bullying campaign led by this "gentleman?" Point being, there are people who genuinely believe that there is no God, that logic and science tell them so. But they are being led by those who live their lives to attack "something that doesn't exist." And I know that their are those who would say, "I just want to make sure my children aren't exposed to the brainwashing of Christians." But you'd rather cheer this guy. Something's wrong with the picture, dudes.