It’s not often you get a person so appropriately named as “Dan Savage”. Savage by name and, sadly, savage by nature.

On last week’s ABC Q&A programme the panellists were asked an intriguing final question based on the cultural “Festival of Dangerous Ideas” that was hosting this week’s episode of the show,

Which so-called dangerous idea do you each think would have the greatest potential to change the world for the better if where implemented?

Dan Savage’s response was, frankly, breathtaking. In all the wrong ways.

Population control. There’s too many goddamn people on the planet. And I don’t know if that’s a – you know, I’m pro-choice. I believe that women should have the right to control their bodies. Sometimes in my darker moments I am anti-choice. I think abortion should be mandatory for about 30 years. That’s a dangerous idea. She wanted a dangerous idea. So throw a chair at me.

Now obviously that’s a quite outrageous thing to say. What staggers me is that the girl who asked the question is on camera smiling and laughing as Savage gives his response and there’s not any discernable outrage from the audience, the same audience who have been cheering Savage along for a good while during the show.

But then we ought not to be surprised because Savage’s extraordinary statement, that he thinks there should be enforced abortion to control population, provided a classic climax to and demonstration of an argument that Peter Hitchens, another panellist on that night, had made during the hour-long discussion. Consider this exchange,

Oh, hi. It’s a question for Peter. I’m fascinated by your conversion from revolutionary to authoritarian and so I wanted to ask how did this turn around in your personal values occur and was it an epiphany or was it a series of doubts that eventually weighed on you and convinced you that you were wrong?

PETER HITCHENS: Well, hang on a minute. First of all revolutionaries are tremendously authoritarian. It’s revolutionaries who build gulags and set up the KGB. Revolutionaries are far more authoritarian than I am …

DAN SAVAGE: How do you hope to bring about the world – to return the world to the state you would like to see it in without authoritarian (indistinct) …

PETER HITCHENS: I gave that up long ago. It would only make me miserable. I know that you people have won. All that I seek to do…

DAN SAVAGE: Which is why you have to be gay married now and do drugs now with the rest of us.

PETER HITCHENS: No, all I seek to do is to tell the truth about you and what you want while it’s still allowed to do so because you are so fantastically intolerant.

TONY JONES: Now, Peter, I’ve got to interrupt. What do you mean when you say “you people”?

PETER HITCHENS: I mean the cultural revolution. I mean the cultural and moral revolution which has swept the western world since the collapse of Christianity.

DAN SAVAGE: I’m not intolerant.

No please understand Hitchen’s argument at this point. He is pointing out that there has been a massive cultural shift that seeks to change not only the way we view morality in our Western society but also is increasingly intolerant of those who disagree and seeks to silence them. And then you get a classic example of such an attempt to silence an opponent…

DAN SAVAGE: I’m not intolerant.

PETER HITCHENS: It changed our societies, as anybody who has lived through it knows, out of all recognition in the course of 50 years and in my view for the worst. He’s part of it. She’s part of it. For all I know you are part of it but I’m not.

DAN SAVAGE: You’re paranoid and you’re projecting by saying we are intolerant. You have…

PETER HITCHENS: See, this is the intolerance. Because I hold an opinion different from his, he has become suddenly a qualified psychoanalyst who can tell me – who can tell me that my opinions which I am entitled to hold.

DAN SAVAGE: You’re entitled to your opinions. You’re not entitled to your smears.

PETER HITCHENS: But are a pathology. And this is the absolute seed bed of totalitarianism. When you start believing that the opinions of other people are a pathology, then you are in the beginning…

DAN SAVAGE: You’re the one standing there pathologising other people’s choices.

PETER HITCHENS: …in the beginning of the stage that leads to the secret police and the Gulags.

DAN SAVAGE: You are the one sitting there saying that society is sick and damaged because other people are now free as white men used to be.

PETER HITCHENS: You’ll have the whole world to yourself soon. You can’t imagine anybody else is entitled to hold a view different from yours without having some kind of personal defect. That’s what’s wrong with you.

Again, you may not like the manner in which Hitchens makes his point (and isn’t it ironic, though, that the apparently condescending tone of voice that he has is exactly that which was lauded as so wonderfully authoritative in his atheist brother) but the force of the argument is clear. Savage doesn’t engage with Hitchens’ argument, instead he seeks to disempower and disqualify his voice by branding him as psychologically sick. Which means that when you look at Hitchens’ statement about the “secret police and the Gulags” it’s actually a fairly accurate assessment of the strategy that Savage is pursuing; what Hitchens calls “the absolute seed bed of totalitarianism” evidenced in what Savage actually says and the methodology of continually reinterpreting what his opponent is saying.

On it goes.

DAN SAVAGE: You sit there pathologising other people’s choices. You sit there saying that other people being free to live their lives by their own light in some way oppresses you, when it oppresses you in no way whatsoever. You are free not to get gay married. You are free not to use drugs. You are free not to drink. You are free to stay married to one person for the rest of your life. You are free to stay home and raise your wife’s children so they always have a parent by their side. You are not free to sit there and say that other people being just as free as you are to live their lives and make their own choices in some way is damaging you personally, in some way is destroying society. People are freer now, happier now. It’s a less intolerant world than it used to be because people like me are now empowered to look at people like you and say you are full of shit.

“You are full of shit”. And there you have it. Here is Dan Savage’s tolerant equality and freedom. He looks to his opponents and publicly denounces them as “you are full of shit” rather than actually engaging in the argument being made. Instead, his M.O. is the very incarnation of that which Hitchens is talking about. Less engagement, then, than illustration.

And what is worth considering at this point is that Savage presents himself as an “anti-bullying campaigner” and yet he has no problem behaving in a bullying way. Here is, as Hitchens points out, a totalitarian authoritarianism. He wants to shut down those who disagree with him; portray them as mentally incapacitated, misrepresent their arugments and then publicly denounce them. It is, not least, the power of the masses. The entire episode is fascinating for the way in which the large Sydney Opera House audience, at least those who supported Savage (and they were the majority, at least the majority of the noise) were glad to become part of the overall strategy. Immediately following on from the above exchange we get this…

PETER HITCHENS: This is so personal. Can I respond to it before the…

(AUDIENCE APPLAUDE AND CHEER)

PETER HITCHENS: It’s a rally.

TONY JONES: Okay.

PETER HITCHENS: It’s a rally.

TONY JONES: Hold on. We actually do need to hear (indistinct)…

PETER HITCHENS: While you do this – while you do this I can’t talk. While you do that – while you do that I can’t talk and you know it and that’s to your – and that’s to your shame because silencing opponents is a very wicked thing to want to do.

DAN SAVAGE: You’ve been a lot of things tonight, but you’ve not been silenced.

But of course there has been every attempt to silence him. It’s just that seeking to silence someone is not simply putting a gag over their mouth. There are many other strategies as described above.

Now what is my point here? Well, as I suggested at the beginning we ought to see Savage’s statement on 30 years of mandatory abortion as the conclusion of a demonstrable authoritarianism. It ought to be no surprise to us that the same man who so readily seeks to silence his opponent, to deny him a genuine freedom of expression, is someone who is prepared to say we ought to force mothers to have their children killed.

The scary thing is that Hitchens is therefore proven right. He’s not only right in showing us what Savage is like but also what we as a culture have become. The response of the audience to Savage’s promotion of mandatory abortion is laughter. That’s where we’re at, my friends.

Which makes Hitchens’ own answer to the original question all the more poignant,

PETER HITCHENS: The most dangerous idea in human history and philosophy remains the belief that Jesus Christ was the son of God and rose from the dead and that is the most dangerous idea you will ever encounter. … It alters the whole of human behaviour and all our responsibilities. It turns the universe from a meaningless chaos into a designed place in which there is justice and there is hope and, therefore, we all have a duty to discover the nature of that justice and work towards that hope. It alters us all. If we reject It, it alters us all was well. It is incredibly dangerous. It’s why so many people turn against it.

And so here is the answer to Savage’s totalitarianism. It’s a different form of authority. It’s the authority of the Son of God who sets out for us very different but very good behaviours and responsibilities. Hitchens’ answer wasn’t an explication of the gospel but it was an appropriate answer to Savage’s assertion of authority. It was the bold answer that there is another ruler who is good and just and whom everyone needs to decide about. As Hitchens’ notes, rejecting this ruler and His rule alters us and Savage has demonstrated it all too well. And take careful note – it’s not just the unborn babies that suffer.

Comments

comments

24 comments on “The Authoritarian Dan Savage – “Compulsory Abortion for 30 Years”

  1. Hey Akos,

    I take your point – ‘Anyone who does not wish to celebrate the homosexual lifestyle is obviously defective in some way.’ That was at least clear from the episode!

    But I guess when we take a moment to walk in their shoes, we might hear what they could hear from us Christians: ‘Anyone who celebrates the homosexual lifestyle is obviously defective in some way.’ Whatever yo may think about homosexuality, this would be hard to hear. I suppose that’s why gays like Savage can be ‘savage’.

    At the very least, hopefully, it’s a reminder to be gentle and sensitive when engaging on this issue.

    • Hey Alex,

      Yep, fully agree.

      It’s a very divisive issue, and we certainly need to be sensitive whenever we talk about it. Apologies if my tone was abrupt (a hurried comment, ’twas all).

  2. Don’t mistake people not wanting to hear Hitchens nonsense as him being silenced. People don’t stand for rubbish talk, plain and simple. That’s all this was. He was speaking hate, and good people don’t take that.

    Poorly written article.

    • hi “smiler”. Thanks for coming and commenting here.
      I think your comment only further serves to make the point. You dismiss Hitchens’ words as “rubbish talk, plain and simple” and then further denounce him as “speaking hate” and therefore a “bad” person.
      And you do this rather than actually engaging with what he said.

      Ditto with my piece. You feel it was a “poorly written article”. I need to ask, in what way? Was the grammar bad? The layout of the argument? Do you have some actual argument behind your assertion or do you intend to simply dismiss me too? It is, after all, (and as Hitchens points out) far easier than actually engaging with what has been written.

  3. No one is forced to celebrate homosexual lifestyles. all that the majority of society is asking is that we allow all people to have equal rights and not be discriminated against. Hitchens is speaking from the belief that Homosexuality is inherently/morally wrong and that we should all believe in the literal interpretation of the bible. he is free to believe that and free to be disgusted when considering homosexual acts but it is his choice to consider it and his right to be disgusted. what he doesnt have is a right to effect others choices or the right to speak them out loud in a public forum and not be ridiculed. this is what a free democratic society needs a free exchange of ideas.

    • thanks for your comment Jegs. Just a couple of observations.

      Last Monday Hitchens made not one comment about homosexual activity from the Bible. His comments were far more about the imposition of a certain way of thinking and the totalitarian way in which is was done.

      You assert on a number of occassions that it is “disgust” that drives him (as did Savage) and yet this wasn’t ever a reason raised by Hitchens himself. Again, this betrays an approach that seeks to misrepresent.

      Last, you seem to draw an equivalence between ridiculing people in public and “a free exchange of ideas”. Hitchens’ entire argument, with which I concur, is that the public ridiculing of those that you disagree with is not “the free exchange of ideas” at all. Far from it, it is a deliberate attempt to demonise and silence people rather than promoting the exchange of ideas.

      It seems we have rapidly moved to the situation where we declare “I disagree with what you say and will fight to the death to remove every opportunity you have to say it”.

      If you honestly can’t see that then I suggest there is a deliberate blindness.

    • “No one is forced to celebrate homosexual lifestyles.”

      At a public high school near where I live a same-sex marriage rally was held. At the end of the rally, the students were asked to sign a petition of support for same sex marriage. A small number of students quietly passed the petition on without signing. These students were outed on social media and ridiculed in the playground.

      The agenda is no longer tolerance of gay people, it is outright affirmation. Anything less is bigoted. This is one of the reasons that gay marriage is so important to them.

      Coming, I fear, is the day when I will not be able to comment as I am even here ….

      There is very little in the way of free public exchange of ideas in regards to sexual identity any more.

    • Hi Jegs,

      Whilst nobody is being sent to jail for not celebrating the homosexual lifestyle or gay marriage, the cultural pressure is mounting against those who hold to Christian beliefs about marriage/sexuality…and if politics is downstream of culture, then it’s only a matter of time before this pressure goes legal.

      Now, let me be clear: no Christian I know of condones hatred of homosexual people, or violence, harrasment, abuse etc against them. Such acts are profoundly wrong.

      But mere disagreement does not equal hate (you can still love someone you disagree with – just ask any parent!).

      Here are a couple of articles that outline the cultural pressure pretty clearly (albeit in the US):

      1) Dan Cathy, the president of Restaurant Chain Chick-Fil-A makes a comment that marriage should be kept defined as between a man and a woman, and people (including political leaders) demand the closure/barring of Chick Fil-A from their areas:

      http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2012/07/31/my-take-chick-fil-a-controversy-reveals-religious-liberty-under-threat/

      2) Lou Giglio, a pastor who was asked to pray at Obama’s 2012 Inauguration, was pressured to step down after it was uncovered that he had preached a sermon against homosexuality 15 years prior:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/11/us/politics/minister-withdraws-from-inaugural-program-after-controversy-over-comments-on-gay-rights.html?_r=0

      Now, no doubt many people will think that Dan Cathy and Lou Giglio are mistaken, if not wrong, in their views: but calling for the closure of the restaurant chain that Cathy is head of, for merely expressed his views on marriage? Isn’t that pressure?

      And demanding that Lou Giglio step down from praying at Obama’s inauguration, for holding to the Christian view of sexuality: isn’t that pressure?

      These are just two very high profile cases: and you can be sure that for every high profile case, there are many, many more ‘everyday’ cases of pressure of one kind or another.

      Akos

  4. My problem with the article was the cherry picking and the intentional miscommunication regarding the tone of the discussion. The dishonesty when it comes to the treatment of Hitchens and the responses of Savage. You have removed every element of this discussion that expresses the abhorrent nature of the things Hitchens put out there and have purposefully manipulated the context of the entire discussion to delude others, and possible yourself, into thinking Hitchens was hard done by. Anyone who has seen this episode in full can see that.

    This entire article is based on a statement regarding mandatory abortion. A statement that was made as a hypothetical answer to a hypothetical question, a question DESIGNED to incite a macabre response. The question was to put forth a dangerous idea, Savage himself says the idea is ‘dark’. But you CHOOSE to ignore this hypothetical context in order to spread hate in the name of your own agenda. You make ludicrous claims about the audiences response of laughter as a sign of where humanity is at, when in reality, the people are laughing in response to the absurdity of this suggestion, because they understand Savage has been asked a question which requires (by definition) a dangerous response – they KNOW not to take it seriously. Obviously, if Savage had come to the table with mandatory abortion as his truthful and honest recommended platform and solution to worldly issues he would have been torn down, the same way Hitchens was, but the audience has obviously been blessed with the gift of common sense, and are able to decipher a statement of conviction from a statement given in response to a hypothetical question.

    Your choice to completely ignore the above in order to spread your hateful message makes the entire article moot and leaves the reader dumber. A terrible shame.

    Christianity is supposed to be about serving others, these dishonest tactics and manipulations serve nobody but yourself. If you want to have an opinion and make a public point, that’s fine, but do it within the confines of honesty, correct context and the intent to serve. If you are not doing these things, and clearly you are not, you need to reevaluate your position as a christian.

    Perhaps when you have done this you will be able to write honest articles, with substance, that can help people find truth rather than just your agenda.

    • thanks Smiler, that’s a helpful engagement. I wonder if you can put some flesh on the bones of your argument?

      You have removed every element of this discussion that expresses the abhorrent nature of the things Hitchens put out there
      OK, that could very well be. In which case do please show everyone here the “abhorrent” things that Hitchens said.

      You make ludicrous claims about the audiences response of laughter as a sign of where humanity is at, when in reality, the people are laughing in response to the absurdity of this suggestion, because they understand Savage has been asked a question which requires (by definition) a dangerous response – they KNOW not to take it seriously.
      You see, I don’t think that’s actually the case. Granted, Savage throws out a notion that on one level he knows will not be enacted but we also have to take on board that the suggestion itself, even if hypothetical, is an appalling one. And, as he said “In my darkest moments…”. So here is something he does contemplate as a possibility. It was a serious question and Savage gave it a serious answer. He wants his suggestion to be added to the marketplace of ideas.

      Your choice to completely ignore the above in order to spread your hateful message …
      I’m sorry, what is it that you understand my “hateful message” to be? Could you set it out clearly for me?

      Christianity is supposed to be about serving others, these dishonest tactics and manipulations serve nobody but yourself.
      I’m more than happy for you to engage me on this. You accuse me of dishonesty and manipulation. Fair enough. I trust that the questions above will give you ample opportunity to demonstrate your case, or retract your accusations.

  5. I really did plan on ‘getting into it’ with you, just expressing what most people who have read this are article are thinking. Please excuse my brief response, and try not to misinterpret it as an unwillingness to engage or a lack of response to give, I just have priorities I need to attend to that rate higher than this discussion.

    Also, your refusal to admit that Savage’s suggestion was purely hypothetical is just further evidence of your need to be dishonest and I don’t find that worth engaging. I already addressed this in my original response, which apparently you’ve chosen to ignore, or only half read, I can’t be sure.

    The question, the answer, the audience response all point to people utilising the faculty of common sense in order to differentiate that statement from one of conviction to one given in response to a question asking for a dangerous hypothetical. Until you can admit you have ignored this context in order to make your point, there’s nothing to discuss. You are the only one choosing to take that statement as one of conviction and conveniently, you also seem to have a vendetta / agenda that can be bolstered by taking that statement out of it’s intended context.

    Or if you REALLY DO believe Savage, if given the choice, would choose for abortion to be mandatory for the next 30 years, that is even worse and you should definitely consider your mind set before making your opinion public again. Your thinking must not be clear if you are unable to discern the obviously hypothetical from the realistic – not healthy!

    So is this what you believe after viewing that discussion, Savage was saying if it was his choice, he would make abortion mandatory for the next 30 years? That is genuinely what you think he would implement as a solution to worldly problems? Despite him labeling this suggestion as ‘dangerous’ (by default), and ‘the darkest’ (by his own admission), you’re sure, he would carry out this plan?

    • thanks again for replying. Totally understand there’s only so many hours in the day although I think that means you ought to retract your accusations against me until you’re prepared to substantiate them.

      I’ll try and address the key issues you raise. Thanks for your perseverance.

      Or if you REALLY DO believe Savage, if given the choice, would choose for abortion to be mandatory for the next 30 years, that is even worse and you should definitely consider your mind set before making your opinion public again. Your thinking must not be clear if you are unable to discern the obviously hypothetical from the realistic – not healthy!

      I think you set up a false dichotomy. It’s not a choice of “either Savage totally meant it or he didn’t mean it at all”. On the contrary, as I have already pointed out, when asked to posit a dangerous idea to solve a major problem he was more than able to articulate it and I don’t think it’s “dishonesty” to take him seriously on this issue.

      What if someone had said “there’s too many Jews, we should make abortion of Jews compulsory for 30 years” would you then say “well, it wasn’t serious so it’s not a problem”? I hardly think so. They may not be actually advocating the wholesale murder of Jews but the fact that they posited such a notion (even if it were a hypothetical) would, I suggest to you, speak volumes. I imagine you would be the first to decry it. At least I hope you would.

      The Festival of Dangerous Ideas is not simply a talk shop without intent. It’s an exchange of ideas that seeks to move our common conversation as a society forwards. Savage’s comments were not without weight or intent. He was asked a serious question and gave a serious answer. Even if you take it as hyperbole it still speaks to a mindset on this issue and a willingness to suggest such things. I don’t think it’s “dishonest” to respond to his suggestion.

      As for the question of whether he would carry out his plan, who can tell? But I do know that The Final Solution was probably once just a hypothetical that many rejected as “just an idea”. Savage sought to put a similar idea “out there”. Labelling it as “dangerous” and “dark” doesn’t excuse him from taking responsibility for it nor make those of us who question it “dishonest”.

      And so I stand by my comment on the audience as well. They laughed at the idea of compulsory abortion. That’s how utterly calloused our consciences have become. Now I’m not going to accuse you of gross dishonesty if you don’t agree with me on this, just ask you to seriously consider the argument I’m making. But then perhaps that’s the difference between you and me. And the difference between me and Savage is that I’m not going to insult and demean you because I think you’re wrong. That might also be well worth considering as we bounce this one back and forth.

  6. Final reply!

    Ok, so you’re determined to refuse to take his statement in it’s implied context that everyone but you seems to understand.

    I don’t fully understand your comparative hypothetical regarding Jews. The problem being addressed was about was population, population does not discriminate between religion or gender – every person alive is part of world population – so minimalising this massive entity to represent one religious sub culture is a bit silly.

    It’s pretty easy really, let me break it down before I leave:

    BLANKET PROBLEM – World population is too big.

    BLANKET SOLUTION BASED ON DANGEROUS THINKING AS REQUIRED BY PRE DEFINED QUESTION – Stop people giving birth / producing people for 30 years.

    Even if we pretend this suggestion in itself isn’t completely unrealistic (obviously it is), the fact that people en masse laugh at it when presented as a solution shows they understand that suggestion in it’s intended hypothetical sense.

    The humor comes into the picture because Savage’s proposed dangerous hypothetical solution would indeed solve the issue but the idea behind it is so ridiculous, it’s obviously been put forward in jest.

    Another example of this humor (without the demand of danger) would be:

    Person a: “We have 50 chocolate cakes but we only need 10!”
    Person b: “Guess we’ll be eating 40 of those chocolate cakes then!”
    Person a: “Hahahaha”
    Person b: “Hahahaha”

    See, problem, too many cakes. Solution, eat heaps of cakes. The idea of someone eating 40 cakes in order solve the problem of having way too many cakes is ridiculous, obviously there are better ways of solving that problem then by stuffing our faces with the excess cake. That solution gets a laugh because it’s obviously unrealistic. The same goes with the audience response to Dan’s solution. The audience know better, they know Dan isn’t really going to eat 40 cakes.

    Or, if you were the one having that discussion and the person suggested you eat the 40 cakes, would have gone off at them for offering such a glutenous solution, OR, would you have gotten the joke?

    No, I am not equating cake to human life. I am giving an example of why people had a laugh at an outrageous idea – not because they are frivolous, but because it is outrageous.

    Bless!

    • The problem is that context also needs to take into account the people you are speaking to; and with a broadcasted discussion that is difficult.
      For instance; my wife is current 12 weeks pregnant with our next daughter/son – I am certainly not amused at Savage’s ‘hypothetical’ and frankly I find it sad that people actually laughed. The same might be the case for those who have felt the pain of a miscarriage or those who have regretted an abortion they did have or for those who deeply desire a child but cannot have one. This is the wider context of Savage’s remarks if you are dealing with a broadcasted discussion.
      The next context relates to people’s views on abortion:
      If absolutely everyone agreed on what abortion means then maybe it might be worthy of a laugh – but they don’t and for a portion of the population what Savage has said is offensive.
      If you believe (as most likely those who laughed did) that an abortion is a chemical or surgical removal of no longer needed or desired cells then you can laugh; it is like he proposed 30 years of mandatory appendectomy.
      But if you believe (as I do, and as I presume by David’s responses so does he) that abortion is the extinguishing of a human life and not something to be taken lightly then it is no laughing matter; it is akin to Savage proposing the compulsory murder of all babies under the age of 1 for the next 30 years – I doubt he would have gotten a laugh with that from ANY audience and he would have felt the digital wrath of millions!
      Context certainly matters – but those involved in an openly broadcasted discussion need to realise that others have differing views and indeed might take offence or hurt at things they regard as laughable.

  7. Ok, so you’re determined to refuse to take his statement in it’s implied context that everyone but you seems to understand.

    No, I’m just not convinced one can reduce it to a meaningless statement because of the context it was delivered in, that’s all. It’s not a “refusal” to see it, but rather trying to point out to you and others that what you see as a statement without real meaning actually does have serious meaning and implications.

    What you think is “implied” is not understood by all of us. The implication rests on certain assumptions that are not universally shared.

    As for your “example” I’m afraid it doesn’t really hit the mark. As you note, the two cannot be compared. The point remains that Savage made a particular point about the use of abortion. You consider that, because of the context, it should not be taken seriously. Many of us disagree. At this point, then, you have a choice – dismiss us because we do not agree with you or engage on the argument being made.

    Believe it or not, I do get it. I just think you’re wrong. I also think Savage is very clever and is very aware of the power of words. Which also means I think your approach to what he says is in danger of being quite naïve. Either that or almost blind to the consequences. Happy to go more rounds on this if you want but I fear that you’re not really interested in striving to understand my position.

  8. I think that this is the nail in Savage’s coffin:
    “You are not free to sit there and say…”
    If people are free to do what they want then this start to the statement where he tells Hitchens that he can’t say certain things shows that he is a hypocrite, a charlatan and has no wish for discourse, only blind obedience to the change he desires.

    If people can’t take criticism of their views, actions and ideologies then they either need to move to a desert island or grow up!

  9. When it comes to public discourse and discussion, the reason I think there is so much ad hominem is that the argument is never about what is true or right and wrong, but rather about how a person feels.

  10. //” Hitchens’ answer wasn’t an explication of the gospel ”
    Actually, while it may not have been quite an explication, I think Hitchen’s final words were an explanation of the gospel. Especially if the explanations of the gospel in the book of Acts is anything to go by.

  11. “Christianity is supposed to be about serving others”
    While it is clear that Christians must have a desire to serve those around them you make it sound as if this is the ultimate goal of Christianity, to serve others. If a Christian has portrayed this to you then they are very mistaken.
    A Christian’s no. 1 priority is to seek to glorify God’s name. This is by knowing Him better by reading what He has revealed about Himself to humanity, by interacting with Him in prayer, by meditating on His character and yes, by serving others with a heart of joy because it is a blessing to love other human’s with the love we have come to know only through the waters of regeneration. So serving others is indeed subservient to the desire to glorify God.

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