On NPR Station, Dan Savage Whacks Mormons, Catholics for Belief That Sex Is Only for Making 'Zombie-eyed Followers for Jesus'

NPR has been a breeze beneath the wings of snarky gay advice columnist/MTV host Dan Savage on his book tour for “American Savage.” NPR White House correspondent Ari Shapiro hosted a book event in his hometown of Seattle. Now, Savage is denouncing traditional Mormons and Catholics on the NPR station KCPW in Salt Lake City.

The local NPR drone Ryan Cunningham wished him a happy birthday, and led him through a softball interview. Savage (inaccurately) trashed both Mormons and Catholics on this so-called network of civility for believing that sex is only for providing more “zombie-eyed followers for Jesus”:

NPR could say it was only one media outlet spreading the Gospel of Savage. The Salt Lake Tribune also published that scripted attack without any apparent attempt at fairness or balance:

"We’ve seen the Mormon church call off its dogs in marriage equality," he said in an interview before his speech. But he didn’t exempt the Salt Lake City-based LDS Church from his take on religion and sexuality, noting that sex has been around a lot longer than the Mormon church.

"Sex is for pleasure," he said, "and the Mormon church has always taken the position that sex is for creating more worshipful, zombie-eyed followers for Jesus."

Savage expressed hope to KCPW that “Increasingly, people are not willing to sacrifice their children on the altar of this dated dogma and this hateful ideology...It would be nice for the leader of the Mormon Church, as the leader of the Catholic Church seems to be doing, to draw a distinction between Mormon doctrine and civil law, religious law and civil law.”


Cunningham pitched a slow one: “Why is that so hard for the LDS church?”

SAVAGE: Because of sex, and Christianity’s eternal problem with what sex actually is. It’s not just about gay people and gay sex. It’s about non-procreative sex. It’s about sex for pleasure, which is most of the sex straight people have. Straight people have a lot of sex and a couple of children – unless they’re Mormons, and they really bang ‘em out. Or traditional Catholics, and they really bang ‘em out. But sex is for pleasure, and you know, the church – my church, the Catholic Church, the Mormon church, has always taken this position that sex is for providing more worshipful, sort of zombie-eyed followers for Jesus.

And not what it is actually for, which is cementing human relationships, for intimacy, for release, and occasionally for making a baby. Humans have thousands of sexual contacts for every live birth. Clearly, human sexuality is not about babies. It’s about connection. And it’s about connection for gay people the same way it’s about connection for straight people. And churches can’t reconcile the facts. They run around saying ‘only for procreation’ when they know that’s not true.

But Savage is the one who’s untrue. The Catechism of the Catholic Church clearly states that sex (within marriage) is for pleasure and joy and “The spouses’ union achieves the twofold end of marriage: the good of the spouses themselves and the transmission of life.” (2362-63, emphasis mine.)

Savage insisted that when he realized the church was “wrong” about homosexuality, it wasn’t long before God crumbled as false: “When I pulled that thread, the entire garment unraveled.” Religion “can’t stand intellectual scrutiny.”

This is what NPR spreads with taxpayer dollars, even in Utah.

Savage announced sex always beats God: “Sex has lasted longer than Christianity, existed longer than our species, longer than the current arrangement of the continents. Sex is older and stronger and more powerful than your faith, and sex will win in the end. Look at Ted Haggard. So in a battle between your faith and your sexuality, your sexuality will win. So you need to come to some sort of rational accommodation for your sexuality.”

Cunningham then asked, “Would you feel comfortable living in Utah?” Savage cracked he might be able to hang out with the “freaks and the refugees” in Salt Lake City: “Everything I hear from people who live here is that is it’s very diverse, it’s very tolerant, everything a city is supposed to be. It’s just surrounded by a sea of nutcases – and I say that in the same way I would say it about Catholic nutcases.”'

Tim Graham
Tim Graham
Tim Graham is Executive Editor of NewsBusters and is the Media Research Center’s Director of Media Analysis