Thursday, October 9, 2008

Dan Savage on I-1000

A very personal column in today's issue of The Stranger. Dan Savage writes about his support of I-1000, in light of his mother's recent death from polmonary fibrosis.

Here is a particularly Dan Savegey excerpt from the piece:

"If religious people believe assisted suicide is wrong, they have a right to say so. Same for gay marriage and abortion. They oppose them for religious reasons, but it's somehow not enough for them to deny those things to themselves. They have to rush into your intimate life and deny them to you, too—deny you control over your own reproductive organs, deny you the spouse of your choosing, condemn you to pain (or the terror of it) at the end of your life.

The proper response to religious opposition to choice or love or death can be reduced to a series of bumper stickers: Don't approve of abortion? Don't have one. Don't approve of gay marriage? Don't have one. Don't approve of physician-assisted suicide? For Christ's sake, don't have one. But don't tell me I can't have one—each one—because it offends your God.

Fuck your God."


exurgency/Spectacularrr said...

Amen to that, and to Dan Savage.

Savage is a great spokesperson for progressive values. Unlike outrageous egomaniacs such as Michael Moore, Savage always speaks empathetically and pragmatically. And especially when he's able to draw on personal experience to boot, he can make a powerful statement. He's a great representative for pragmatic progressives. I think he's got this issue nailed.

I don't have a problem with someone's religion until they insist I need to know about it. Why is that predominantly Protestant Christianity?

Just this month I yet again got the classic bigoted insult, "You're an atheist?! But you seem like a good person? How can you have morals?" "Fuck your god" seems like an incredibly suitable response to such questions.

Bigotry starts with the paranoid certainty that you know "the Truth about things."

I'm proud to be part of the least trusted demographic in America, (atheists, according to repeated survey findings) but assholes like Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins give atheists a bad name. They are as offensive and bigoted as the religious proselytizers. Hitchens in particular may as well be the Pat Robertson of the non-religious community; if he didn't have straw men to beat up, I suppose he'd be bullying kids for their lunch money.

Oh well, I'm wandering into an unrelated tirade, apologies. To return to the issue at hand: the West Coast is possessed of many irritating qualities, but I hope it continues to be a beacon for liberal progress in this country. Here's hoping for the success of this initiative in Washington state.

Jessica Knapp said...

Yes, no one else writes with the same inflamed, impassioned sense of rationality that Dan Savage manages to capture. He's great at it. He makes me feel good about being a progressive. Especially, as you point out, in contrast to Michael Moore ... or blech, Christopher Hitchens.

Oregon has had this law for about 10 years now, and no state has manged to pass another one. I hope it finally flies here. Oregon has a strange history with initiatives and passes some things out of left field that just wouldn't work in any other state. I hope that's not the case with Death with Dignity.

I saw one poll that indicated it has 51% support, to something in the 30s against the initiative, which is great. But there were still a lot of people undecided. And it was before the Martin Sheen ad came out. And I really wonder it that sways people, or if it turns them off.