Agreed. Still, that meeting sounds fascinating, and if no one else wants to do it, I'll do it by myself. (Or maybe with Our Worst Enemy?)
A perfect response. Honestly, how *would* a meeting help them?
What the fuck is there to discuss?
Make the deal that Rev. Ken Hutch has to be there and sell tickets.
I kind of wish you'd taken them up on it.
Set up the meeting for ...let's say 11pm, Friday, at R Place.
And then videotape it.
You are horribly arrogant.
Somebody asks to have a conversation and you slap them down. Gee, what about reasonable dialogue? Can't a journalist learn anything?
Your logic is this: I won't meet with them because I never asked for a meeting when I had an issue. Nobody should talk, or learn, or understand. Everybody just fire away.
Sandy Brown is a great person, and you just smacked him in public.
Geez. Grow up.
It seems that you just pissed away a potential opportunity by being nearly as provincial and narrow minded as the pastors are. Divisiveness is the way of the present! Way to go Dan! I'm sure proud of you.
WHAT FUCKING ISSUE?!
David Schmader @ 2,
That is so awesome. Yes, this is a job for the fabulous Cienna Madrid!
What @1 said.
It's good to be The King.
There is simply no point in discussing anything with religious folk. When your arguments bottom out at unquestionable missives from a god, you've pretty much taken yourself off the playing field of communal discussions of anything.
What would they argue anyways, that one should respect religious belief and such. That's all rubbish, or at least arguably rubbish.
None of the articles recommended attacking religious folk physically, verbally or politically. None of the articles indicated that religious children should be reformed. As such the articles showed a hell of a lot more respect for religious behavior than religious folk show toward homosexuals.
They should just have a meeting with the guy from Quest Church so he can tell them to lighten the hell up. Perfect response, Dan.
Who the hell is Cienna Madrid and what's so great about her?
You are beautifully arrogant.
Somebody asks to have a conversation and since they are religious you're supposed to automatically be nicer to them. Gee, what about every other story subject in the paper? Does everybody get to schedule meetings?
Your logic is this: I'm dealing with illogical religious leaders, I don't need logic. Nobody is gonna talk, or learn, or understand.
Gays are great people, and they are tired of being smacked around in public.
Geez. Outgrow religion.
I think they should meet at The Cuff on Saturday night around 12:30 am.
I thought there was a lot of helpful, constructive criticism in the article. I'm guessing those churches don't get a lot of criticism from their members.
Absolutely perfect response, Dan.
Dan says some crazy things here and there, but at the same time, sometimes he is sharp as a tack and nails it right on the head, much like he did with his response to this letter.
Perfectly done, Dan, and exactly. They're not interested in anything other than a concession or a conversion. No discussion with religious officials is ever objective.
Nice - I think that deserves a boo-yah! On the other hand, I think if you were to host a "Stranger Presents" gathering similar to the VDay bash or Gong show, only have it be The Stranger vs. Seattle Pastors. I would attend, and it would be hilarious. Maybe you could have a jello wrestling pit on the side... eh?
These religious folks are naive, if they think this meeting would result in The Stranger having a different view of churches...I'm not in Seattle, but I assume from the slogs/articles online that I've read that The Stranger's never been exactly pro-religion--and its readers prefer it that way.
Once again logic, reason, and honesty trump the religious mindset of so many religious leaders in Seattle (if not the world). Dan you dun good my man. When the Seattle Religious entities stop saying hurtful things about people they disagree with, when the religious entities in Seattle stand up and DEMAND that all Americans be afforded the same legal rights, respect, and dignity then and only then can there be dialouge, discussion, and meetings amoung equals. They want to change The Stranger's viewpoint not their own. They need to remove the rafter from their own eye before they remove the straw from the eye of another.
Half the articles were centered on how uncomfortable agnostics and atheists are in classical religious settings, and the other half was making fun of the fact that many churches have cheapened and demeaned their services by including crappy music, big screen TVs and motorcycles.
If they were offended, then perhaps they need to think why they *wouldn't* be attractive to the casual visitor from The Stranger, instead of getting up in your grille with this passive-aggressive crap.
If there was any doubt that you are a prick, this removes it.
Your agenda in clear, the stranger displays it openly. Someone wants to discuss a hit piece you did. Then, all of a sudden, you throw on a journalist uniform.
No, what you are is a insecure loudmouth who excells at discussing the various permutation of "poop play".
Kudos to you. The rest of us in the family appreciate all your hard work at doing such a piss poor job representing us to the strait community.
At least Dan can spell "straight community."
Great response, Dan. The religious among us need to be reminded that they no longer can call the shots in discussions about religion.
Why have a conversation when you already know the content? Life is short.
Stranger: "But... sanity."
Pastors: "But.... gawd."
Stranger: "It's our fucking newspaper... blah blah, sanity."
Pastors: "Harrumph." **scamper off like little girls only without the awesome**
Hey #24, choke on a dick and die. Dan doesn't have to be a "journalist" in your book to be unapologetic. It's a mostly free country, at least until you fundie assholes ruin it.
Sandy Brown would be a great porn name, I would look it up if I weren’t at work...I originally thought it was a woman.
The Church Council is actually pretty good group. They are very active in King County's Ten Year plan on homelessness and other social justice issues. They tend to shy away from the contentious issues and you know help the poor and stuff. If all Christians could do that they would be far less annoying.
The church council of greater seattle is hardly a fundy group. Stick to talking about the White stripes latest abortion. At least you won't look as stupid.
The difference between Dan and the pastor(s) in question is that Dan is not burdened by CVC (Christian Victim Complex).
But CVC is helpful to them in that it helps fill the pews, so I guess it's worth the discomfort.
Oh, as an aside.
You want to be equal, to be embraced by the larger community and have your relationship validated by society.
Yet you do nothing but spit in the eye of those who you want to emulate more than anything else in your life.
Oh, and if you want to know, the are many members of the Curch council of greater seattle that are working hard towards the acceptance of gays and lesbians by mainstream society as well as chuches. You just took a big ole' dump in their face for all their efforts.
You should just stick to talking about doodie and lube.
Kudos, Dan. You gave the perfect response. Why on earth would you want to talk with them about this?
I am so sick and tired of religious people who are "hurt" and "disappointed" over every little thing. I am no longer willing to be so kind of "religious sensibilities" and prefer to speak my mind. So long as other people feel free to vote on my human and civil rights, declare that I cannot marry the partner of my choice, deny me the same rights and privileges as other American citizens, etc. I have no problem hurting their feelings. Mine are crushed each and every day by the hatred promoted in the name of God. Turnabout is fair play, eh?
Keep it up, Dan. You're my hero!
It shouldn't matter whether or not you agree with religion/spirituality in the broad sense or organized religion in the firs place. If you are going to take up issues with religion in the first place, it is responsibility to allow the religious population a chance to discuss the issues with which you have problem. I have serious misgivings about religion, but I'm at least open minded. If you are not going to be open-minded than you shouldn't be a journalist.
Because outside of a meeting in the offices of The Stranger the religious community really hasn't had a chance to be heard. They lack a bully pulpit.
Oh wait. Never mind. They have plenty of pulpits and there's not shortage of bullies screaming from them.
Who ever said anything about Journalism and the Stranger. It's primarily opinion driven, often written in attempt to inflame. Again Dan, well done on that front. Keep pissing people off and making these kinds of comments, just so no one ever gets the idea that they're reading anything that reeks of journalistic integrity.
ecce homo You seem a little obsessed with the poopoo. Maybe we can set up a meeting and talk about it.
Yes! Send Cienna!!!
Dear Stranger Editor,
I have recently read your article "Tolerance Almost Full," regarding the release of my new album. I am disappointed, hurt and angry. Would it be possible to have a meeting with Dan Savage and Sean Nelson so we could discuss this and other issues? My hope is that it would be possible to build a more positive relationship between myself, Hearmusic, Starbucks and The Stranger newspaper, and I believe a meeting could help. It looks to me like we could gather ten or more baristas of the stores you covered and that a meeting might be very helpful to us all.
Thank you for your consideration of this request. I look forward to your response.
why should dan have this conversation? haven't we heard it before? if not -- if there is somehow something new -- then let us know what that would be.
maybe dan would be willing to meet for an apology. or for a plan to get churches to support gay rights. maybe. maybe they could just do that sort of thing on thier own.
that said, if you interpret it as Jonathon@34 it comes back to that be careful not to become a monster when fighting them idea. turn about is fair play? i really don't agree... especially when some people who are "innocent" get the turn about on them.
OK, I lol'ed up at "executives." Anyone else?
This is why Gays will NEVER get the right to marry.
Its really quite sad.
The churches should pray that God will help them drop the issue. What do they care what The Stranger writes? They've got GOD on their side, right? ... They'll be fine, Christians love persecution. Nothing better for Sunday numbers than some good ol persecution.
Looks like someone didn't bother reading the articles.
No, Dan wants equal rights. He's made it clear that he doesn't care if homobigots exist in the world, as long as they mind their own business.
Actually, ecce, you worthless nag, gays already have the right to marry in several places all over the world, just not in your bigoted little corner of it.
Personally, I found the church series to be lame on a literary/journalistic level. Too many of the entries smacked of "gee, my editor made me go to church and gosh it sucked just like I expected". I would have preferred something more informative and less apathetic. If you don't give a crap about something, why write about it?
That said, Dan's right to smack down the council. It sounds like he was being set up for some sort of intervention. Lame or not, he has a right to publish what he wants to about Seattle's houses of worship.
That's great if the Church Council of Greater Seattle are working hard for the acceptance of gays and lesbians, unfortunately they are a minority within this country's church councils. Acceptance for a lot of these churches means "Hate the sin, not the sinner" which puts religious gays and lesbians back in the closet. The ONLY reason Dan should sit down and have a conversation with these folks is so the rest of the world can see how hypocritical and deluded they are.
Has ecce homo always been this stubbornly combative about the religious issue? Have I just never noticed?
ecce: They sent 30 atheists to churches to observe services. They wrote about it, in a mostly objective tone. The officials of said churches were upset that non-loyalists gave an objective assessment of their services. One official seriously thought she and others could coerce Dan into offering a nonsensical apology that wasn't warranted for perceived offenses that weren't 'offenses' at all but an objective look at their practices. Dan called bullshit, and posted the exchange for us to see.
I'm not sure what your beef is, but the sooner you get over it, the more we'll think of you. You're raising hell over hogwash.
ecce homo @24:
Small detail - there is no such thing as the "straight community," no matter how you spell it. There are straight people and mostly straight people. Some of them commune, some don't.
The same can be said of the gays, and the highly vaunted, and entirely fictional, "gay community."
No worries - it took me a while to learn this too. But it really is a helpful lesson.
Well, I doubt this one response from Dan is responsible for gays never getting the right to marry. I think Dan actually had a pretty respectful tone here - he offered to print response letters from the pastors, reminded Sandy of what the piece was and was not, and left the door open for clarification on what a meeting might accomplish.
This wasn't a hit and run piece - it was what it was. If anyone thinking of going to one of these churches decides not to because of a humorous review in the Stranger, they're an idiot. If anyone who attends one of these churches stops going because of a humorous review in the Stranger, they probably don't have any idea what they believe anyway.
Fucking exactly on the money, dude. As usual.
"There is simply no point in discussing anything with religious folk"
There is certainly no point in discussing things with people who cling to dogma in the face of all evidence...like those who proceed from the assumption that "religious folk" all cling to dogma in the face of all evidence.
Never mind that different religious folk might even have different dogmas to which they assign a greater or lesser importance in their own personal spiritual journeys.
Nope. Never mind trying to find common ground. Never mind trying to understand things from somebody else's perspective. Somebody who claimed to be religious said something mean to me once, so that means that everybody who thinks church is a good idea is Teh Evils. Flame away!
I add my congratulations on a perfect response.
I'm glad I live in a city where an "alternative" weekly can send the religious community to their knees.
Yes, pun intended.
Dan, don't go, it's a trap! They're gonna tie you down and try exorcise the gayness out of you. For christ fucking sake, don't go!
did the owners of Club Z ask for a meeting after the article exposing that fine establishment ran a year or so ago? That one was far more critical and damaging than Month of Sundays. That was an expose, and this was really just entertainment.
I think Dan's response was spot-on.
The Stranger calls 'em like it sees 'em... warts, worms, and all.
You are forgiven for not knowing who Cienna Madrid is because The Stranger under utilizes her to the point they should be brought up on charges for crimes against humanity. She is probably the best pure writer they have. she is Seattle's Sarah Vowell, but prettier and with a less grating voice.
Dan Savage- Singlehandedly foils SSM with a few keystrokes. Does he get a medal for this, ecce, or just a lifetime all-you-can-eat at spaghetti suppers?
@48: Jesus, thank you. Perfect reply.
And to Dan as well. The response was respectful and spot-on, and, frankly, the original piece wasn't that fucking bad to begin with. If I had a dollar every time some group of Christians was "disappointed and hurt" over something so relatively benign...
best discussion thread, ever.
(also, ditto on Cienna = SV)
gomez, you are one dumb fuck. sandy brown (a man, by the way) did NOT ask for an apology. he merely asked for a meeting. and anyone who thinks the purpose of the meeting is to convert dan or make him straight, well, you're as fulla shit as rev. hutcherson.
they prolly just wanna tell 'em that their houses of worship aren't just there for sunday services, but a lot more (like feeding the hungry, helping the poor, advocating for the marginalized, giving shelter for the homeless). the church council folk aren't into aggressive proselytizing. got that? good.
the real reason dan doesn't want a meeting is because he is just too fucking chickenshit to meet face to face with these pastors. it's one thing to send an email, quite another to defend your position in person. after all, dan went on bill o'reilly and got CREAMED.
sandy, if you're reading this, don't feel bad that dan refused a meeting. his bark is far far worse than his bite.
"she is Seattle's Sarah Vowell, but prettier and with a less grating voice."
Ouch. Talk about damning with faint praise...
Amen Scary @61!!!
What a bunch of entitled yahoos. The assumption that religion is owed respect simply for being religion is dangerous and outdated.
61. Dense, and you could have come up with a better sock puppet name than scary tyler moore.
I grew up among religious conservatives. The reason for the meeting, no matter what the peripheral topics of discussion are, was to try and coerce a public apology for writing the article and some sort of renouncement. They aren't interested in his side of the story, 'discussion' or mediation. They're pissed and they want him to take it back, so they pour on some sugar to get him in the door so they can chisel and hammer away.
Dan grew up in a Catholic househould, so I'm sure he understands how these guys roll.
These comments are on par with Chris Crocker Fan rhetoric.
Dear Stranger Editor,
I’ve now spoken to several bar owners whose customers were featured as part of your “Drunk of the Week” article. Most of the bar owners are hungover, some wonder why it burns when they pee, others are left to mop up the vomit. Would it be possible to have a meeting with Dan Savage and other Stranger executives so we could discuss this and other issues, maybe over a couple of beers? My hope is that it would be possible to build a more positive relationship between drunks in Seattle and The Stranger newspaper, and I believe a meeting could help. It looks to me like we could gather ten or more drunks from the bars you covered and that a meeting might be very helpful to us all.
I disagree with your response, Dan.
I would have set up a meeting with them and Mudede, then Slogged the transcript.
I will just point out that the Church Council of Greater Seattle is super liberal and was involved on the front lines of fighting the right wing anti gay initiatives, is active in the environmental community and works for social justice.
I am an atheist who believes MANY christians are hateful bigots but I know how valuable these good people were/are in fighting the bigots on their own playing field.
I am not saying this b/c i think the Stranger should meet with them (that's there decision), I am just saying this b/c the comments on this thread seem to indicate most folks think the Church Council of Greater Seattle is the enemy and I just want to point out that they are not.
That would require people here to put their bigotry behind them, and pull together for the good of the community.
But being ascerbic assholes is much more fun.
They don't know who their friends are and have no clue about their enemies. Truly a great way to win the good fight...
Uh huh, right, that's why you posted your contradictory post with an anonymous sock puppet name, because you're here to tell the truth and make us believe that Sandy's group wasn't trying to be at all adversarial.
Nice try, dude.
#67 just won this comments thread.
(and yeah, Dan nailed it)
#72 Gomez - First off, I am not a "dude" and second off I am an atheist and I did work on campaigns to defeat anti gay initiatives. I met a lot of the 'people of faith against bigotry' types' and I did see that they tried to have an effect and provide a different viewpoint to people about gays and being religious. Like, the bible does not actually say it’s wrong. Atheists like me don't have much ability to talk little Grandma Millie Voter who loves her lesbian granddaughter (or really likes those nice boys next door who help her with her lawn) and the conflicts she feels because she has only heard one fucked up interpretation of the bible.
PS - I always post anonymously as is my choice.
PPS - I don't know Sandy personally but I did know John Boonstra and that guy worked his ass off for queer rights.
PPPS - I thought the letter seemed sincere and I thought Dan's response also seemed sincere.
Tell me, ecce: You think the Council is working soooo hard that they'll meet with Dan to pitch him a consulting job to help them formulate their new outreach strategy? I, uh, doubt they're coming to Dan to see how they should change their ways.
Wipe the swear words off your teddy bear and YOU go meet with them, ya crybaby.
Geez Ecce Homo et alia, all he did was decline Sandy's invitation. You make it sound like he burned the church down and planted a pride flag in the ashes. This is not a war-inciting incident, and sure as hell not the reason why gays will never have the right to marry in this country. It seems like we're getting closer and closer to gay marriage every day, incidentally, but that's besides the point. The point is, settle down. Dan is not obligated to sit down with religious leaders whenever they have a bone to pick with him.
I suspect they are trying to let the paper (and Dan, because he's the editor) that not all christians are your enemy.
And they aren't.
I also suspect that when you finally grow the fuck up, you might realize this. With Dan, his income is dependant upon not realizing it.
Maybe she'd be better off talking to the pastors who make assholes of themselves on such a regular basis.
Thank you matthew fisher wilder [sic]
ecce - well-spoken.
My mommy is a Christian. So is my daddy, my sister, and one of my brothers, and so was I, once upon a time. I know there are liberal progressive Christians out there, EH, which is why I made sure to assign writers to attend services at liberal, progressive churches.
Here's something hilarious: Today at KUOW a member of one of the liberal, progressive churches--a guy that works at KUOW--let me know how much his congregation loved the package, and the attention. And their write-up--#1 in the package--was one of the snarkier ones. (G-d bless Ari Spool, Jewess.)
But, hey, I've been hearing for the last 15 years about how I've managed to set the gay pride movement back 10, 20, 50 years all by my lonesome, just me, a computer, a column, and a newspaper.
And yet if you read the piece by Matt Foreman, ED of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, in the Queer Issue... you'll learn that we've made remarkable progress despite me, my mouth, my computer, my newspaper, etc., etc. Here's the link:
And if me and my mouth were so singularly destructive, EH, do you think Foreman--to say nothing of Bruce Bawer, Andrew Sullivan, Michelle Tea, Edmund White, Andrew Tobias, et all--would write for us when I asked? I think they're all pretty good judges of who is helping and who is harming our Glorious Struggle for Full Equality.
Over and out!
The Horse fucker comment was for lloyd, not Dan...
Just a point of clarification.
I loved Month of Sundays. I finished wishing it was 2 months.
I do think it might be worthwhile to meet. Maybe you have an outside chance of altering some views for those on the fence. Over the years I've been amazed at the power to change opinions just by normal face to face interaction.
Also you would have the power. It could be on your terms and you could walk at the first sign or disrespect. Then again, part of me loved your FU to the Church Council.
Gomez @ 65 - Do you really think the Seattle Church Council and the Catholic Church (particularly as practiced in the Seattle area) are fundamentalists?
I was raised in a fundamentalist church. I was taught that Catholics could be Christians, but that most really weren't, because they A) weren't Born Again B) weren't serious about Jesus, they were just into "ritual" C) they used liturgy instead of "praying from their hearts" D) they prayed to Mary and the saints instead of God, and E) it was very possible, indeed likely, that one of the Popes would be the Antichrist.
I am not joking.
Some of the churches profiled in the piece have partnered gay pastors or priests. Some organize busloads of parishioners to lobby for gay marriage in Olympia. I realize that identifying which churches are welcoming of various demographics wasn't the point of the "Month of Sundays" piece, and I also think that being offended by the piece is a serious overreaction (I was disappointed that the new church I've been attending wasn't profiled, and pleased that the one I used to attend was.) But I do think that assuming all xtians think the same way is like assuming all lesbians really do show up on the second date with a U-Haul.
Excellent response, Dan. Don't let the bastards get you down.
I agree with others-- Schmader has the best idea @ #2
and #67 wins.
Right on, Dan Savage. I am enjoying The Stranger more and more each week. "Month of Sundays" was funny and bold and irreverent and important!
Someone mentioned at Dan got CREAMED (their use of caps, not mine) on Bill O'Reilly (wait, that didn't sound right). Can someone tell me what happened or send me a link to the video? I missed it and would LOVE to see someone as well-spoken as Dan on Fox News (I have a hard time believing he got creamed or whatever).
Someone mentioned that Dan was Bill O'Reilly's show and got CREAMED (their use of caps, not mine). I didn't see it and can't find it on Youtube. Does someone have a link to the video? I'd love to see someone as well-spoken as Dan on Fox News. I have a hard time believing he got creamed or whatever.
Sorry to interrupt the 2min of hate. But neither Dan nor anyone here has any idea what those pastors wanted to say. There's a large variation in beliefs between churches on many social issues.
Dan and others have immediately assumed that this was going to be an angry confrontation and there's no evidence of that. Why do you put "discuss" is quotes? I personally know many pastors who would want to do exactly that, discuss. Not every church is run by Falwell.
Refusing to listen? Refusing to have a dialogue? I thought you were a better person than that Dan.
Dan has made the correct response.
When you strike a chord with a review, people will object.
I remember in high school, I got hit pretty hard for writing a very slightly negative review of a play. I tried to explain myself, but got absolutely nowhere.
A few years later, I wrote a slightly negative review of a well-known writer's work for a magazine with a tiny circulation. Said writer called and berated the editor.
Writers have to let go of being worried about peoples' responses.
Now, it would be one thing if the Stranger published lies about churches ("and there was child rape going on on the altar during the service"). If something like that happened, it's a different situation. I don't believe there was any lying going on in any of the reviews.
People were reviewing what they saw and what they heard. If a few local clergy can't put up with that, that's their problem.
Maybe if a polite dialogue was possible, it's too little too late. But then again, Seattle has got to be TOUGH town to run a church. You might have to give them a LOT credit in that they have to be somewhat flexible to deal with the realities of modern life AND have "faith".
And like everyone else, and then what? At the root of it, I guess religion has less to do with "spirituality" and more to do with community building. Which I'm actually cool with, but let us not confuse "self rightous asshole" with being "spiritual". I always got the impression its the feeling of being connected to a higher power, and not forcing your agenda down someone's throat.
But as a born again atheist, I suppose I'll never know.
And seriously, if it wasn't for us straight people making their lives miserable, gay people would have it MADE! Disposable income, better reproductive choices, AND more power to create yourself as someone you are attracted to, all this while not overpopulating the planet. And we straight people have to make you people feel like shit?
Loved the response Dan! Since when is it reasonable for the subject of a review to be granted a meeting to discuss issues? For those who rushed to the defense of the Church Council of Greater Seattle...should there be a meeting for everyone who doesn't agree with what The Stranger prints? Dan had highlighted some fairly hideous public art...should the artists all be given meetings so that Dan and the artists can "build a more positive relationship"?
We all know the Church Council is a bunch of nice folks blah blah blah, but did you read that letter? Sandy was going to invite TEN OR MORE PASTORS (yes, I'm shouting) into the Stranger offices to have a little chat. Ten. Not just Sandy representing ten, but all freakin' ten. He wanted AT LEAST ten people crammed in a tiny conference room to gang up on the editor of a newspaper and gently tell the editor how much his feature damaged the community, etc, etc...of course they would ask for equal time, an apology, anything. They don't bring 10 pastors over for nothing.
With all due respect to the nice people at the Church Council (and I know they are nice): Bullshit.
Dan did the right thing by nipping this ambush in the bud.
You're a bully. Maybe you think it's okay to be a bully because you're GAY and OPPRESSED.
But you're still a bully. And it's still ugly.
I had thought better of you Dan, that article was written at the high school newspaper level.
lcjen ueagsrzh kgyiubzn rqypkwo ieacuf udhjf irltbzj
I agree that a meeting would be pointless and accomplish nothing, however I don't think that believing in a higher power (yes, even the "Chrisitan God") means a person has abandoned all logic, reason and/or sanity. That claim is just as ignorant as non-believers claim most christians are. I think there is a middle ground that is more interesting and thought provoking than either of these polar opposites.
In order to combat spam, we are no longer accepting comments on this post (or any post more than 45 days old).