Thursday, January 29, 2009

Outrageous verbing? to saddleback

Maybe the worst moment of the Obama administration to date has been his invitation to Rick Warren to deliver the invocation* at the inauguration. In case anybody reads this years from now when it's been forgotten: Warren has railed against equal rights for gays and lesbians and said deeply offensive things about them.

Sex advice columnist Dan Savage coined the noun santorum (if you don't know, you probably don't want to ask) after anti-gay ex-Senator Rick Santorum. Recently, he decided that Warren warranted a verb, and chose the name of his mega-church, Saddleback (image from here). And he ran a piece on the topic and polled readers. The results are in:
Saddlebacking: sad•dle•back•ing \ˈsa-dəl-ˈba-kiŋ\ vb [fr. Saddleback Church] (2009): the phenomenon of Christian teens engaging in unprotected anal sex in order to preserve their virginities

After attending the Purity Ball, Heather and Bill saddlebacked all night because she’s saving herself for marriage.
The most outrageous verbing in a while, surely, but nothing next to the meaning. Say, how are things going on getting sex education going again?

By the way, note a glitch: 'citation forms' of verbs in English are usually infinitives not -ing forms and the definition is of a noun, right?

*I'm not the praying type, but it was pretty generic, and the president's inclusion of 'non-believers' in his speech was more memorable.


Wonks Anonymous said...

Your are going on my favorites. Thank you and thanks to Dan Savage.

The Ridger, FCD said...

He tried to be inclusive but failed, as he probably had to given his tradition. The problem wasn't what he said - which was painfully pedestrian until the end when he went first-person and very Christian - but that he was saying it.

Mr. Verb said...

Thanks, WA, for the kind words, but the credit all goes to Savage here.

Yeah, Ridger, you're right, especially about the core problem.

Richard Hershberger said...

I don't know a great deal about Warren. What little I have seen of him strikes me as coming from a theological lightweight, which is hardly surprising among the megachurch set. On the other hand, he also did some backtracking on the gay issue.

My sense is that he doesn't particularly care about the gay issue. So why did he say those deeply offensive (and silly) things about gays? Because those things are commonplaces in his subculture, and he was mindlessly parroting them.

We all do this sort of thing. There are only so many issues that one can genuinely care and educate oneself about. So we tend to adopt the prevailing attitudes of our subculture about the issues we don't consider central.

There is a cultural shift going on about gays, even with evagelicalism. The young'uns grew up with Will and Grace and the like, and to an increasing degree don't share their elders' prejudices on the subject. I expect that before too long, the old guys will be like the elderly uncle who talks about the Coloreds: a source of embarrassment.

The upshot with regards to Warren is that, assuming I am reading him right, he shouldn't be the target. He seems to be persuadable, or at least willing to stand aside and not try to block progress.

Not that I have sympathy for the guy. I'm just talking strategy here.

(Rick Santorum, on the other hand, was a prime target.)

Reed Boyer said...

Rick Warren was one of the "Missionaries of Hate" responsible for the present atmosphere in Uganda that resulted in the "kill the gays" bill and the death of David Kato.

That vicious prat gets NO sympathy from me. He's an entirely appropriate target.