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April 30th, 2012
12:24 PM ET

Columnist Dan Savage stands by comments on 'bulls**t in the Bible'

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - Columnist and gay-rights advocate Dan Savage is standing by his comment that “we can learn to ignore the bulls**t in the Bible about gay people” at a recent conference for high school students, a line that prompted some to walk out and spurred intense online debate.

In a blog post on Sunday, Savage wrote that his remark at a conference for the Journalism Education Association and the National Scholastic Press Association was "being spun as an attack on Christianity. Which is bullshhh… which is untrue.”

“I was not attacking the faith in which I was raised," Savage wrote. "I was attacking the argument that gay people must be discriminated against — and anti-bullying programs that address anti-gay bullying should be blocked (or exceptions should be made for bullying 'motivated by faith') — because it says right there in the Bible that being gay is wrong.”

Some Christian students walked out of the Seattle speech, prompting another controversial line from Savage: “It’s funny to someone who is on the receiving end of beatings that are justified by the Bible how pansya**ed people react when you push back.”

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Savage apologized for that specific remark in Sunday’s blog post, writing that his word choice “was insulting, it was name-calling, and it was wrong.”

One of the teachers attending the speech with his students told CNN’s Carol Costello on Monday that he was taken aback by the speech and that he supported the decision of some of his students to walk out of it.

“It took a real dark, hostile turn, certainly, as I saw it,” said Rick Tuttle, a teacher at Sutter Union High School in Southern California. “It became very hostile toward Christianity, to the point that many students did walk out, including some of my students.”

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“They felt that they were attacked … a very pointed, direct attack on one particular group of students. It’s amazing that we go to an anti-bullying speech and one group of students is picked on in particular, with harsh, profane language.”

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- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Bible • Charity • Christianity • Homosexuality • Israel • Schools • TV-CNN Newsroom

soundoff (4,113 Responses)
  1. Greg

    So, why do you attack me? Go ahead and take a guy's tool up uranus and lick it, too if that's what you are compelled to do. You are so miliant and full of hate of your Creator. Why do you attack me? You are full of so much venom, perhaps you should have some guy suck it out of you.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • Worship Poseidon

      So if Megan Fox and Scarlett Johansson started to eat each others tacos you would be grossed out? That makes you gay.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • StevenR

      So how overweight are you, Greg?

      More than FIVE POUNDS and you are breaking the OLD TESTAMENT ADMONITION AGAINST GLUTTONY.

      FAT can be cured and if you don't you will GO TO HELL, according to YOU LINE OF REASONING.

      And I use the word REASONING with a TON of SALT!

      April 30, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • Someone

      Is projecting a lot of closeted christian fantasies......

      April 30, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  2. Worship Poseidon

    Paradox: Religious people hate gays. What straight man hates lesbians?

    April 30, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • RiadaKram

      I do. At least the hotties!

      April 30, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • God eats little children

      It's ll in the programming. Straight men like women, regardless of their confusion. And they have aversions to gay males. Why waste szexual energy on a dud?

      April 30, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • John Philby

      1) Be careful not to generalize
      2) Unfortunately in some Religions hate is pervasive.
      2) A Christian could love a gay person, but not what they do. Christ came to redeem! But we have to choose!

      April 30, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • Peace and Love

      @Worship Poseidon There is a saying, "hate the sin, love the sinner". Maybe that's the misunderstanding you have when you say "Religious people hate gays". Is it really your experience? They all hate gays? That's not my experience. Of course there are jerks in every group, it's too bad that a few spoil the bunch in your view. It seems like you've been hurt by religious people, if that's true I'm really sorry about that but something is fueling your anger and defiance of "religious people"

      April 30, 2012 at 6:38 pm |
  3. mike nelson

    'bulls**t in the Bible?
    Then caca in the Koran.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  4. God eats little children

    Being gay is a birth defect. But they are here, just like people with harelips and Downs syndrome. SZhit happens.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • Peace and Love

      There may be an argument for a certain percentage of gay people. You can see it in some, where for example a lesbian with very thin lips (a sign of low estrogen), masculine features and body type look like the body went one way but the genitals and preference went the other way. Look up "Gender bending chemicals" about BPA. With others, it maybe a choice. Either way, God loves all of us.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
  5. Gaunt

    And now we see the most absurd and self destructive of all the desperate zealot arguments: that morality comes from the bible or from god. This doesnt even pass the laugh test.

    Bad news zealots: every single moral you have, every one, is a secular humanist moral. EVERY one. After all, answer me this: has the bible changed significantly in the last 1700 years, since the canon were laid down? No. Has morality changed significantly since then? Enormously. But how is that possible if all morality comes from god the unchanging?

    ALL modern morals come from the age of reason, a pushback against the thousand years of theocracy referred to as the 'dark ages'. Humanists decided slavery was wrong, thoughj it is CONDONED in the bible. Humanists decided men and women are equal, though women are subservient in the bible.

    You look at some of the rules of the bible, like say, not wearing clothing of two different cloths, or not eating shellfish, and you ignore them. Why? because your modern HUMANIST morals ell you THOSE bible rules you can ignore as absurd.

    Oh but wait, says the desperate zealot, what about those very few core rules like not killing which still apply? Yes, there are a COUPLE rules of the bible (out of thousands) that still apply, but every ONE of those laws existed previously, in legal texts long predating the bible. Oops, you lose again zealots.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • Jim

      If 'morals' are the sole construct of man then they are malleable. If they are malleable then today's moral code can be turned on its head tomorrow. Love they neighbor could just as easily be eat thy neighbor. It just takes acceptance of that as the norm. The fact that our basic foundation of morality has been unchanged for so long is not a fault. It is evidence of a real foundational reason for morality that extends beyond popular opinion and the whims of you or me.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • Hembloche

      Well said my friend, well said.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
    • sam stone

      jim. it is cultural stagnation under the guise of piety

      April 30, 2012 at 5:41 pm |
    • sam stone

      jim: is it your contention that morality is the same for us now (in a 21st century techological age) as it was for a iron age, middle eastern agrarian society?

      April 30, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
    • Norman

      Jim, dont be an idiot-absolute morals are contsant-basically, dont hurt another person-pretty simple-not malleable at all

      April 30, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • Fred

      Seems like we have another winner here who failed to take his meds today.
      People on here seem to be confused on one major point: the law of Moses does not and never has
      been for Christians. Christians are under grace, not under the law.
      Humanism is responsible for morality? On what planet is that true? Your argument is laughable at best and
      horribly misguided at worst.
      Have a blessed day.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • steve

      uh... men and women aren't equal.
      men have more muscle tissue. Grow taller. Have different private parts than women. Chemical makeup is different. Why assume that such physical differences cannot be signs of differences in other areas? On what basis are men and women equal as you say? What scientific grounds or cerebral gounrds do you say so? Just a current fad in thinking that you happen to like?
      Brother and sister children of G-d; yes. The same – no.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • kirk

      You really need to study history more.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
  6. PieintheSkyWhenYouDie

    The days of getting away with the racism, hate, chauvinism in the bible are over. How does religious dogma hurt??? For one, you trash the Earth because JeeeSuzzz will come again. Rapture this!

    Dangerous crap. Glad dude called it right! .....................BS

    April 30, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  7. Worship Poseidon

    Religious people, if anyone, deserve to be bullied and called names. Lesbians rule!!

    April 30, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • Open Minded Christian

      You're an idiot.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • sdriders

      All religious people do not hate gay people. How juvenile.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  8. Pope on a Rope

    The bible is BS. Funny how people are attacked for telling the truth.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • RiadaKram

      You're bul*shi*!

      April 30, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • Open Minded Christian

      Funny how people are attacked for having beliefs.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • RE-examine

      So...what you call BS can be seen as a truth to someone else. I'm sure there is something that you believe that someone else may consider to be BS. So...according to you, they can bash your belief. Have I got that right?

      April 30, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
    • sam stone

      "Funny how people are attacked for having beliefs."

      Yeah, it's not like THAT has happened before, right?

      April 30, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
    • Norman

      dont be silly sheep, guys-all religion is just nonsense passed down by your parents-all religion comes from fear of death-no basis in fact-its nice to think we go on, but most likely we dont-so be kidn to each otehr and live a good life-thats it-

      April 30, 2012 at 5:47 pm |
    • kirk

      So when are you and all of the other humanists going to round up all of us Christians and send us to the gas chambers? And what's to stop you? God loves YOU anyway.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
  9. Moe

    He is right, Christians choose to ignore a lot of things in the bible, like killing anyone working on a sunday, why now ignore this one, the longer they try justify being anti-gay with the bible, the worse it is for their religion, it just doesn't make religion appealing to people when every discrimination is justified by the bible. You want to draw people to religion? then get with the time, I don't like religion so I don't mind seeing religion go down

    April 30, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • James PDX

      You have to remember that all of those eye for an eye and violent type of punishments originated in the Old Testament. Christians would have you believe that Jesus was God's new covenant with man and invalidated the previous one. In other words, a reboot. So it magically went from being OK to stone people to death for just about every crime to being appropriate to allow people to commit crimes against you and love them while turning the other cheek. Stupid.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  10. Here is a good question for the group

    Which religion is right? I mean some of these other religions would have to be bulls**t all together right?

    I mean if we have one god, with one voice for all the people of earth, how did so many other gods and religions spring up?

    Shouldn't he (or she) have been able to go "No, No, No, your are all on the same team. Same beliefs, same message. No big deal"

    April 30, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • sam stone

      it seems to me that faith is personal. everyone should have a personal god. no texts (except perhaps a diary), no churches. top down faith is toxic.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
  11. James PDX

    What's wrong, were they out of cheeks to turn?

    April 30, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • NonAtheist

      I think that is what they did.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • James PDX

      Nah, they took their cheeks and ran like they were afraid he wanted to physically pentrate them.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:37 pm |
  12. Bob Lewis

    Jesus was a simple teacher with a profound teaching for total transformation to become one with God. To this clear, simple message was added layers of misunderstanding, ritual, dogma, hierarchy, opulence and mythology. The original message is long forgotten or ignored. People are holy; the Bible is just a book.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • James PDX

      Spot on. How anyone could believe any different with the preponderance of evidence showing that powerful religious men had a say in what was added to or left out of the Bible is beyond explanation. Power corrupts and the corrupt seek power. Religion is a great power among mankind. Therefore, you should expect to find corrupt people in much greater percentages leading countries and religions.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • sam stone

      Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we're looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power.
      P. J. O'Rourke

      April 30, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  13. biffula

    Gotta love a nimrod who is talking about stopping people from bullying and him start bullying. Oh the irony.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • NonAtheist

      That is the jaw-dropping factor for me. As a Christian who has supported gay rights, I am shocked and offended.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
    • James PDX

      As much as I agree with him, he wasn't exactly tactful. Then again, our thin skinned PC modern society really needs to be able to hear some harsh words and examine them without getting their panties all in a bunch.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
    • Norman

      shutup, nonatheist-gays are not equal under teh law-your offense is meaningless

      April 30, 2012 at 5:48 pm |
    • NonAtheist

      @norman – I did try, but I have absolutely no idea what you are trying to tell me. Except that I think you are hostile. Do you have issues?

      April 30, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
    • sam stone

      issues? i think he/she/it has SUBSCRIPTIONS

      April 30, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
  14. Worship Poseidon

    Tim Tebow and Kirk Cameron are gay lovers. They do each while reading the good book.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • sam stone

      well, you DO know that it is blessed to **** in the name of the lord

      April 30, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  15. Sun_Tzu

    Ugh everyone insulting each other in these comments is pointless. No one is going to convince the other of anything so why bother?

    April 30, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • GoRemote

      Boredom?

      April 30, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • just sayin

      Well we can't feed them to lions anymore...this is all we have for entertainment.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:30 pm |
    • BillyBaroo

      The real Sun Tzu was a warrior not a peace maker!

      April 30, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  16. SurelyUjest

    @Sarcasmo – Wow! hate much? All my gay friends seem to have more intelligence than this stuff you are spewing.

    The Bible is full of BS and it has some good stuff too! Unfortunately he didn't talk about the Torah or the Koran as well for there written hate against anyone different.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • sam stone

      Surely, well, when Judaism or Islam gets to be the major religion in the country, the comments will come out. Do you feel persecuted like Jeebus?

      April 30, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
  17. Worship Poseidon

    Jesus was a long haired hippy sissy. Allah would destroy him in a fight one on one.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
    • GoRemote

      Allah was a midget........

      April 30, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • BillyBaroo

      Allah = Christian God = Jewish God.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • GoRemote

      My bad, I was thinking you said Mohammad..........Jesus is/was Allah.......Jesus = GOD = Allah........

      April 30, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
    • Moe

      And your buddy would probably cut off your head what a laughing stock in these comments. I haven't had so much entertainment in reading comments like these in quite some time but then again this is about a big bully bullying others because he is just an angry man.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
  18. Kendall

    To "truth prevails" You have a similar task...provide the evidence that hell doesn't exist. Or that the big bang was some accident. You know just like cars just ooze up out of the pavement...no inventor, no manufacturer, no designer...they just ooze up out of the pavement.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • Pastafarian

      w, lame, pointless argument. the burden of proof is on the believer. it is not the non-believers job to prove a negative. take a high school science class some day.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
    • sam stone

      kenall: proving something doesn't exist? okay, prove odin doesn't exist, or the flying spaghetti monster

      April 30, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • Co-Signing

      @Kendall that is the TRUTH...since when does chaos produce divine order? Since when does anything just explode randomly and create an intelligent design that is infinitely intricate?

      April 30, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
    • Pastafarian

      lol @ "infinitely intricate". Just because you don't understand genetics, developmental physiology, and biochemistry doesn't mean god did it!

      April 30, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  19. PLEASE

    If you are a Christian you need to stop arguing about the bible or Christ or God. State why you believe and leave it alone. Let people make up their own mind about God. Jesus didn't argue about who He is, so we shouldn't either. It's pointless....

    April 30, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • rj

      well said Please. Till the soil God will bring the rain.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:45 pm |
  20. Worship Poseidon

    Keep Honking-this is not Fox News. By the way, guns are for tiny little men.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.