"I would put out this challenge to folks who are listening: to put Dan Savage on the top of your prayer list and pray for him because I believe he has the potential to be a modern day Saul of Tarsus. I mean, just think if the Lord got a hold of his heart and changed him and turned him from persecuting Christians to being an advocate of Christianity and morality, what a huge impact that would have. So don't get angry at Dan Savage; he's doing what people do when they're lost. Pray for him that he would see the light, be blinded by the light, and come to know Christ as his personal savior."
Oh, Tony. If quoting their own scriptures to Christians amounts to "persecuting Christians," then every Baptist minister in the country is guilty of persecuting Christians.
And Saul of Tarsus? That would be Paul, of course, author of huge chunks of the New Testament and the creep responsible for its most misogynistic and homophobic bits. (Jesus didn't say anything about homosexuality, and Jesus never asked his mother or Mary Magdalene to "keep silent.") And here's the generally accepted thinking about Paul:
Paul has been perceived as basically negative toward women. He did write that "it is well for a man not to touch a woman" (1 Cor. 7:1). The passion that burned so deeply in Paul did not seem to be related to the desire for union with a woman.... Paul felt tremendous guilt and shame, which produced in him self-loathing. The presence of homosexuality would have created this response among Jewish people in that period of history. Nothing else, in my opinion, could account for Paul's self-judging rhetoric, his negative feeling toward his own body, and his sense of being controlled by something he had no power to change. The war that went on between what he desired with his mind and what he desired with his body, his drivenness to a legalistic religion of control, his fear when that system was threatened, his attitude toward women, his refusal to seek marriage .as an outlet for his passion-nothing else accounts for this data as well as the possibility that Paul was a gay male.
So Paul was a tortured closet case, which is the kind of Christian I would have to be to meet with the approval of someone like Tony Perkins. You know, a Christian in the style of Marcus Bachmann or Ted Haggard or Benedict XVI. And let's not forget what "I'll pray for you" means when someone like Tony Perkins says it:
Every one knows, "I'll pray for you," is how Baptists say, "Fuck you."