Brian Brown to Dan Savage: "Game On!"


Dan -- I accept and will look forward to debating you at your dining room table. As I said in my challenge to you, anytime, any place.

While I appreciate the invitation that you have extended to my wife, she will not be able to attend. She is a full-time mom with seven beautiful children and an eighth on the way.

I have no objection to Mark Oppenheimer from the New York Times covering the discussion, nor to you hiring your own video crew to film the event, provided that I am able to hire my own video crew to be sure there is no creative editing of the discussion.

Not that a New York Times reporter would slant the news, mind you! 🙂

This will be fun!


  1. Posted May 30, 2012 at 6:57 pm | Permalink

    @Johan #25 - you are right, this will accomplish nothing, they will rehash the same old arguments and just waste time and money and energy. These guys are professionals, they get paid more the more they waste time and accomplish nothing.

    @OvercameSSA "Remember, Brian, that marriage is for men and women because men and women are the only combination of sexes that can create a baby."

    And to this Savage will bring up elderly and infertile couples that cannot create a baby, like Johan says. And Brian won't challenge him, he will just talk about "in principle blah blah" like Keyes did six years ago. But the fact is, Dan Savage, like John Corvino and all the rest, secretly believe that same-sex couples will soon be able to make babies together, and they very much demand to be allowed to do that, they can't wait. If Brian would just say "that would be unethical and should not be allowed" we'd finally get somewhere. But I'm not sure he believes that, I think he might agree with Savage. Wish I knew.

  2. Arlekin
    Posted May 30, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

    The point of this dinner and debate is for the two sides to come together and see the humanity in one another. It's hard to wish somebody ill will when you can see them as a living, breathing human being and not just the talking head for an opinion you disagree with. As others have pointed out, this debate isn't going to change the minds of anybody who's all ready decided one way or the other. It's for everyone else who's still trying to make up their minds. To that end, I hope both sides can present their arguments in a mature, cogent manner that doesn't rely on silly tricks or irrational rhetoric. And I hope that Brian and Dan can find some humanity in one another and have a good dinner. 🙂

  3. Little Man
    Posted May 30, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    'Anytime, anyplace'? In his shower?

  4. Ash
    Posted May 30, 2012 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    That was funny, Little Man. And I don't even know if you were trying to be funny.

  5. leo
    Posted May 30, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Permalink


    Your rebuttals are weak, typical off the marriage opposition...

    "Leo (#29): The vast majority of people is right handed. In fact, in the Middle Ages left-handed people where often considered to be possesed by the devil. “
    JDV, we're not in the Middle Ages, so no comment on your non-comparison analogy to my last post.
    "Yet nowadays we don't consider left-handedness not normal."
    Again I can't comment much on something I don't know to be true. However, assuming what you say to be factual, will only say this: being left handed don't causes HIV/AID; left handed people are not now trying to create laws to marry only left handed people; you did not establish any proof that left handed people were trying to indoctrinate and enforce right handed people to eat with their left hand and if they didn’t they were considered bigots (participating in coercion into accepting left handed people)? Or, maybe those who oppose lefties realized over time that lefties don't cause warm to society at large, thus, they contributed to humanity.

  6. leo
    Posted May 30, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    "Saying right is right and wrong is wrong is meaningless, because the majority of people have no issues with people who have a same sex attraction. Are all of those people wrong? Why should I take your "right" at face value?"
    Now you are attempting to state a fact without any evidence. I'll only say this to your opinion, I'' bet your wrong, in fact I'll bet the masses tolerance for gay people is wearing thin and is reaching the boiling point.
    Instead of damning religion, you should be embracing Christians whole heartedly. If it wasn't for them there wouldn’t be a gay population percentage to talk about... Your food for thought!


  7. leo
    Posted May 30, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

    NOM, sorry about my last post(s) I wasn't sure the first post got through..

  8. Judy
    Posted May 31, 2012 at 2:21 am | Permalink

    I think Dan is being very kind to extend this invitation. Have an enjoyable evening.

  9. mominvermont
    Posted May 31, 2012 at 2:44 am | Permalink

    Will Savage's children be at the dinner? Will that make it more difficult for Brian to advocate for a child's right to both a mother and a father?

  10. Johan de Vries
    Posted May 31, 2012 at 3:51 am | Permalink

    Leo (#55): I'll agree that the left-handed argument came out a bit constrained and not as I intended. My intention was to indicate that "normal" (which the comment was about) can be defined in many, many ways, biologically being one of them. I also indicated that same sex attraction being normal can be indicated by public majority feelings, which is true in most, if not all, western countries. Defining normal is simply not a black and white issue but a grayscale at best. You are somewhere along that grayscale line and I am somewhere else, even though we both consider our opposing views normal.

  11. Little Man
    Posted May 31, 2012 at 7:17 am | Permalink

    I would take body guards - at least to protect the video track. Aside from that peril, it will be mostly about The Bible. It is much easier to critique by taking passages out of context or historical context than it is to interpret the writings for what they mean, in context. They will try clout the issue pointing to 300 translations, and then to one obscure 'expert' interpreter who knows Greek and has come up with an elaborate (yet erratic) construct to admit homosexuality as God created into the churches. That 'expert' has been debunked, and he didn't like that at all 🙂

  12. Chairm
    Posted June 1, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Savage's invite included this bit of idicoy"

    "And the trick here is you have to knowledge my humanity by accepting my hospitality and I have to acknowledge yours by extending my hospitality to you."

    What a crock.

    Savage's humanity is not the issue. Nor is Brown's humanity.

    The issue is a conflcit of ideas.

    My advice to Mr Brown is not to make this a couple's meeting. Make it a meeting of two minds in discussion about the two ideas in conflict: the marriage idea versus the SSM idea.

    This is not a dinner but a debate. What part does Savage expect his friend and Brown's wife to play in that?

  13. Chairm
    Posted June 1, 2012 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

    Johan de Vries

    Same-sex sexual behavior is not normal based on biology, based on morality, based on reason.

    Rather than make the discussion about defining normal, start by defining same-sex sexual behavior. Then proceed to stating the criteria for moral assessment of that behavior.

    If you would distinguish between biology (and human physiology perhaps) and human morality, then, the next step would be to explain such a distinction. If you would not so distinguish, then, you would need to explain same-sex sexual behavior in other terms exclusive of biology (and human physiology perhaps).

    Of course, on each step, human reason needs to be used carefully. In the course of taking such steps you might discover that your own reasoning is lacking and then you would need not further trouble yourself with conjuring up a range of views of what is and is not normal.

    You said, for instance, that "If you imply that you can choose to be gay you must also imply a second option: in this case not to be gay."

    Gay is a socio-political identity. No socio-political identity is inborn. It is a choice.

    Likewise, same-sex sexual behavior is a choice.

    You might object that same-sex sexual attraction does not feel like a choice. Okay, but that is quite a different matter.

    If you are starting with your conclusion and working backwards in search of a rationale to support that conclusion, then, you are not really here to make normality the basis for assessing same-sex sexual behavior, same-sex sexual attraction, or gay identity.

    If you think about that, you might consider what is the basis you would use to assess behavior and how does that basis fit same-sex sexual behavior.

  14. RR
    Posted June 4, 2012 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

    Will you people please use your own brains instead of parroting what you hear from your father, K-Love, your pastor or Bill O? Not that these people or institutions are bad or wrong in and of themselves, but c'mon.

    Breaking bread with others is a peaceful and common way to acknowledge each other (remember - Christ did that ...), and offering the invitation to the spouse is not only common but courteous and expected. It's a bigger deal that she has rejected the invitation. There are still baby-sitters these days (even for all eight ... and of course we all hope they have more because the world isn't populated enough quite yet and we all know that the one more baby thing has worked so well. But I digress).

    Savage can be a dick (no pun intended) but so was Jesus from time to time in order to make his point (see passages about the money-changers etc). On the other hand, Brian is a pompous bible thumper who gives the rest of you a bad name. This is not going to be a logical debate. How can it be? It's fact, in the real world, vs belief in the infallibility of a book written by many people, long ago, with a vested interest in it's outcome, and based only partially in fact (please tell me you understand that there is a great deal of myth as the basis of the Bible, or there is indeed no way to have a logical debate even on this thread. See also the many myths pre and post Christianity that have similar stories and basis).

    BTW, I'm not anti-spirituality. I am anti-dogma with no basis other than to make people feel good, righteous, and defensive when reality sets in.

    Relax. The debate should be interesting and hopefully productive. I don't expect Brian to change his mind or concede the debate. How could he? It would be an admission of error in his position which would, by default, let everyone down - from his kids, his wife, you people who hang on many of his words, and God hisself - or maybe herself - we don't really know do we? (And don't be so arrogant as to assume you do know, or use the Bible as a crutch on this issue. It's a belief and we all know that. What we don't know is if your belief is any more accurate than other beliefs)

    Nor will Savage concede. How could he? He lives among those who actually love each other without condition, so accepting limitations imposed by Christianity isn't going to happen.

    One last rant: Will you people drop the "there is no basis of morality without Christianity" stuff. There is indeed much empirical evidence that this isn't true and, in fact, some of the greatest atrocities have been committed by folks claiming to act in the name of God, or by such people who "sin" in much worse ways than most unbelievers

    BTW, over 1/2 of America believes the world would be better off without religion. This, contrary to your canned response, isn't because the devil or people like Savage have influenced us and that armageddon is upon us as a result of our turning our back on God, but because people are waking up to fact and to the damage done by people who espouse religion. i.e. it's your own fault that your religion is damned to fail.


  15. Chairm
    Posted June 8, 2012 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

    RR., it is a discussion of the conflict of ideas, not a dinner party.

    You said: "offering the invitation to the spouse is not only common but courteous and expected".

    Not to a debate of ideas.

    And there is only one set of spouses (i.e. husband and wife) amongst the four persons that Savage suggested attend the encounter.

    You have indicated the game that Savage is playing on that note.

    _ _ _ _

    And then you amplified it by proposing that Savage is closely analogous with Jesus and that Brown is despicable in some way that you deem to be worthy of an ad hom attack -- as a courtesy no doubt.

    And your anti-religious bigotry was thrown in as an appetizer. How wonderful of you to drop by, RR, sit down and make yourself comfortable -- perhaps later you will piss on the carpet and spit on the sald.

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