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Faith Gets Better

October 14, 2010, 1:14 pm | Posted by Nick Sementelli

The recent rash of LGBTQ youth suicides has served as a tragic catalyst for a discussion about adolescent harassment and bullying. Dan Savage’s It Gets Better Project has served as an inspiring example of a constructive response that is hopefully helpful to the millions of LGBTQ youth out there.

Savage has gotten some pushback, though, from religious readers upset by the criticism of religion in many of the videos. While it’s certainly inaccurate to paint people of faith with a broad brush, it is true that many harassers believe they have explicit or implicit religious approval of their actions. When conservative religious leaders pull support from political candidates who apologize for hateful remarks and peddle pseudo-science lies in major newspapers to exculpate their intolerance from blame, it’s not hard to see why some might look at religion suspiciously.

So while I think there are some fair critiques of Savage’s approach to religion, I think his “don’t tell it to me” response to those of us upset by these abuses of our faiths is right on.

Pro-equality people of faith need to speak out against those leaders who use religion to justify ignoring the real threat of harassment and discrimination. We need to stand up for our values, and spread the message that faith is really about compassion and defending the dignity of all God’s children. That’s why I was excited to see people like Bishop Gene Robinson, Kimberly Knight (videos below) and Jeremy Burton sharing their own powerful stories.

I hope more people of faith, straight and gay, will do the same and I invite them to send us their messages so we can feature them here on the blog.

Check out more inspiring videos at YouTube channel!

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2 Responses to “Faith Gets Better”

  1. Truth be told says:

    Hmmm. It isn’t clear from this article if you are calling the findings of both the American Psychological Association and American Psychiatric Association “pseudo-science lies”, or if that term was aimed at Tony Perkins and his Family “Research” Council.

    It’s never been clear exactly WHAT “research” the Council has ever engaged in at all. They seem merely to spout/repeat their harmful, hateful (imo) religious beliefs (speaking of “pseudo-science”!). I have to, then, agree with your conclusion: “it’s not hard to see why some might look at religion suspiciously”.


  2. Nick says:

    Truth be told,

    Sorry for the confusion. You’re right that the phrase “psuedo-science lies” is directed at the arguments Tony Perkins is making which (as Joe Solemnese points out in the linked article) contradicted the scientific findings of the American Psychiatric Association and American Psychological Association.