Dan Savage and Brian Brown did it.
They sat down and debated the topics of same-sex marriage and the Bible. After eating dinner together. With Mark Oppenheimer.
The challenge came up earlier this year when Dan Savage said to a group of high school students that it was possible to ignore “the bullshit” in the Bible, and then called students who walked out of his lecture “pansy-assed.” Brian Brown—ever the crusader for civility—said, “I’m here, any time, any place you name, Dan Savage. You will find out out how venal and ridiculous your views of these things are if you dare to accept a challenge.”
Well, Savage named it: his home, at dinnertime. And after months of radio silence, Brown accepted.
During the debate, Brown tends to shift away from discussions about gay people, instead focusing on “policy” and “ideas.” He also implies that Savage lacks decorum, calling him “dismissive,” and says he overlooks the majority of biblical scholars. He’s also particularly peeved by Savage’s description of biblical perspectives of slavery: “If we want to have a debate let’s do it civilly,” he says. “Let’s look at the best scripture scholar. Sam Harris is not one of the best scripture scholars.”
I wouldn’t go so far as to say someone who invites you into their home is lacking civility when they quote a writer you don’t like.
Check out the video for yourself: