59 of 68 people found the following review helpful
Refocusing Our Sights On the Bill of RIghts,
This review is from: Skipping Towards Gomorrah: The Seven Deadly Sins and the Pursuit of Happiness in America (Hardcover)
In Skipping `Toward Gomorrah, nationally syndicated sex advice columnist, Dan Savage brings us an intelligent and reasoned voice of counterbalance to the many current (and extremely conservative) voices that cry out for Americans to "change their wicked ways and return to 'right living.'"
In Skipping, Savage takes the creative route of investigating the Seven Deadly Sins as a lens through which to examine the U.S. Bill of Rights. His "sinning" is far from the real thing in my estimation and his experiences provide for some of the most entertaining illustrations of his points.
Savage does an outstanding job of serving as a voice of counterbalance to the doomsayers among a rather large current crop of "conservatives" who tell us that society is going to "hell in a handbasket", and who set out to limit the rights of others and to define acceptable behavior for all "good" people. While anyone can invite others to a point of view, these neo-conservatives walk all over the Bill of Rights and insist that "good and right living" is defined on their terms and within their definitions of right and good and acceptable, and should be mandatory for all Americans. Those extremes I can live without!
While often hysterically funny in the reading, the content of Skippingh Toward Gomorrah is, at its very heart, a soberingly serious discussion of the intentions of our founding fathers of our country. Savage brings a refreshingly honest voice to countering fundamentalists who -- n the name of morality, decency and all that is supposedly American, feel free to trample all over the Bill of Rights.
Savage accurately argues the dangers of any kind of extremism. At its worst, it is a cancer fermenting within individuals and groups that seems to allow them to presume the right to act in reckless ways in the effort to "control others" beliefs and behavior for the "good of all American people".
The most frightening realization that Savage very plainly articulates is the fact that Americans too easily allow extreme positions to go unchallenged. In a democratic nation where we have voice and vote, we are far too often docile, polite or silent (or absent from the polls) in facing down messages that challenge the foundations of our democracy. We fail to challenge those who tell us how to live, or to defend the foundational principles of our Constitution.
From Jimmy Swaggert to Dr. Laura Slessinger to William Bennett, to Patrick Buchanan, to Robert Bork, we are inundated with non-negotiable voices for "right moral living". Savage, quite accurately, lets us know that when any individual, or group, tells us that theirs is the "only correct view," they become dangerous.
Skipping Toward Gomorrah is a book to be taken seriously. Dan Savage provides us with a thought provoking and insightful books that ask us to question how easily we allow ourselves to be taken in by those who want to run our lives. He urges our greater personal decision-making and participation in the dialogue of the nation. He smartly cautions us on the importance of being unselective on the voices we are willing to listen to in contemporary politics, religion and in the media.
Highly recommended. Savage is an excellent contemporary voice of reason!
Daniel J. Maloney
Saint Paul, Minnesota USA