The Anti-Bullying Guru From Bizarro World

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©Jack Cashill - May 2, 2012

In 1958, to jazz up the Superman comic franchise, the publishers introduced a new character. Writer Alvin Schwartz describes his genesis:

“I was striving, you might say, for that mirror-image, that opposite. And out of a machine which would reveal the negative Superman, came the mirror image — always remembering that in a mirror everything is reversed.”

They called him “Bizarro.” He did everything the exact opposite of the way Superman would have. On one occasion, at least, he explained why: “Me unhappy! Me don't belong in world of living people! Me don't know difference between right and wrong — good and evil!”

When I went looking for a prism through which to view anti-bullying guru Dan Savage’s wildly inappropriate sliming of the Christian teens in his audience at the National High School Journalism Conference last week in Seattle, I was initially flummoxed.

“Orwellian” came to mind, but that word implies a certain logic, however backward. Same is true for the logic of “Kafkaesque,” however twisted.

What Savage did went well beyond either. What he did, in fact, was the full-blown opposite of logic, the perfect mirror of what an anti-bullying activist should have done.

Indeed, Savage had gone whole hog Bizarro on his audience, and he did so because “ me don't know difference between right and wrong — good and evil!”

The real activist honors the pledge of his own “It Gets Better” project: “I'll speak up against hate and intolerance whenever I see it, at school and at work.”

The Bizarro activist goes on a rant so crazily hateful it would make a Jeremiah Wright homily sound like the Sermon on the Mount.

The real activist, not wanting to make anyone uncomfortable—“uncomfortable” being the “hate” trigger in many a speech code—avoids the subject of religion altogether.

The Bizarro activist attacks young Christians more lustily than the lions did in the Coliseum.

If reflecting on Christian ethics, the real activist thinks of Jesus. The Bizarro activist thinks of his fellow Democrat and Al Gore supporter—look it up--Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist.

If speaking of Jesus, the real anti-bullying activist acknowledges the Christians’ inner censor, the voice that asks them, “What would Jesus do?”

The real activist cites Matthew 7:12, “Do unto others whatever you would like them to do to you” or Matthew 22:39, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” and asks the Christian teens to heed Jesus’s words.

The Bizarro activist disregards the Gospels’ historically unique testament to the power of love, imagines Jesus as some gay-bashing thug, and claims that violence against gays was “justified by the Bible.”

The real activist asks the Christian teens to honor the biblical plea for compassionate outreach to all people. The Bizarro activist says, “We can learn to ignore the bull**** in the Bible about gay people.”

The real activist confesses his ignorance of the full scope of Christian thought on sexual issues. The Bizarro activist asks, “What are the odds that the Bible got something as complicated as human sexuality wrong?” He answers, “100 percent.”

Bizarro then mockingly compares the Bible’s sanctions on homosexuality to those on masturbation, menstruation, and eating shellfish.

To win the teens’ good graces, the real activist reminds them that the abolition of slavery was a uniquely Christian enterprise, both in England and in the United States. He conjures the iconic image of John Brown, gun in one hand, Bible in the other.

Bizarro makes the extravagantly false claim that “the Bible is a radically pro-slavery document” and cites notorious atheist Sam Harris to confirm his point.

When the Christian teens stream out in disgust, the real activist apologizes for offending them and acknowledges their duty to protest “hate and intolerance” when they see it.

The Bizarro activist, perhaps projecting from his own troubled past, calls them “pansy-assed.” Yes, Bizarro, we know, “Me unhappy! Me don't belong in world of living people!”

In sum, the real activist acknowledges the differences between his perspective on homosexuality and the Christian one and asks for tolerance and respect.

The Bizarro activist unwittingly alerts America’s parents to the kind of gay rights bullying their kids face on a routine basis. He reminds them too that, if unanswered, this bullying will culminate with the loss of religious freedom for all.

“People are dying because people can’t clear this one last hurdle,” said Savage. That “hurdle,” of course, is Christianity.

Kudos to the kids who walked out. You may have started something.


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Editor's note: For a more complete account of this phenomenon, read Jack Cashill's amazing book, "Hoodwinked: How Intellectual Hucksters Have Hijacked American Culture.


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