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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. Prescott

    I'm sure it's been said already many of times; I'm arriving late to this article. I wonder if he would have the guts to say the same thing about the K*ran. And if he did, I wonder if CNN would have the guts to enjoy it as much as they enjoyed this one.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • Eric G

      Would it bother you if he did say it about the Quran? I notice you do not deny what he said, only that you are upset that he said it.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
  2. Stacey

    If the roles were reversed and a LGBT crowd were listening to someone bashing the bullsh** doctrine of theirs, they would of taken the stage and ripped down the podium while forcing the speaker to run for his life (ala Columbia U.). Sometimes walking out is the more peaceful option.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • Marshal

      Being gay is not a religion so what are you talking about?

      April 30, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
  3. DJ

    I only hope I get the chance someday to bully this pathetic, ant-bullying bully. That would be fun.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
  4. André

    God is imaginary.
    Religion poisons everything !

    April 30, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • Prescott

      Funny. I was just thinking the same thing about trolls.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • MarkJ

      You're in good company. Hitler, Stalin, and Mao thought exactly the same way as you do. I'm sure you're very proud.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Ace

      Who made you king of truth?

      April 30, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • broncofanssuck

      Atheists invited Eugenics the pseudo science of racial superiority

      A lot of black and jews got killed because of you atheists

      So who poisons everything?

      April 30, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
  5. Salvador

    The one's that pick on others are being picked on but there are more of them so their cry's are heard more.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
  6. sharky

    Funny enough, this guy got off easy. I don't bother with the Bible, or really subscribing to any religion, but given all he had were people walking on on him nothing more whereas if he maybe spoke about the Koran he would probably receive a lot worse.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • Arya Abadsafian

      I couldn't agree with you more sharky. If he mentioned the Koran, there would be a target on his head.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • Prescott

      And the media would not be talking about it. They would be hiding in the basement, and the president would have already issued a formal apology denouncing him.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • gwtars

      Which is irrelevant because it's not Muslims that are pro-gay bashing, it's Christians in this country that wish for a special exemption to be bullies based upon their religious beliefs.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
  7. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    April 30, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      I non-concur; you're still alive and I specifically requested otherwise.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • uhh

      like...

      April 30, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Joel

      I like how nobody is talking about the other stuff he said, namely all the crap in the bible including slavery and the fact that women who weren't virgins on their wedding day must be stoned just to name a couple things. The God of the old testament is a very spiteful and vengeful God who has no problem killing children. Christians like to pick and choose vesus of the bible the best fit their need. The hypocrisy is very sickening indeed.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Heath

      (In regards to your screen name) To a point, you are right. It helps instill morals at a young age. Then again, so does Santa and the Easter Bunny. Just sayin'....

      April 30, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • just sayin

      Prayer is evidence of psychosis.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • Galileo

      Atheism isn't health for our children? Our children were born Atheists. Logic flies you to the moon, religion flies you into buildings.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
  8. Dan

    Many of you have skewed the argument to fit your own needs. Not about religion at all. It's about bullying. This is supposed to be an anti-bullying summit or whatever you would like to call it. In your definition, the anti-bullier, started to bully, at an anti-bullying rally. Don't tell me why this, or why that, blah, blah, blah, fact is he bullied. HYPOCRITE!!

    April 30, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
  9. toadears

    That's rich. From a gay guy in a country that has only be existence for less than 300 years. I hope how soon like Communist Russia, Nazi Germany, and The dead Roman Empire this country discards God and the Bible altogether. The world is sick of Yanks anyway. Soon, yanks, soon.........................

    April 30, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • sharky

      Hmmm Jealous much?

      April 30, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • hawkiz

      I wonder if toadears is a Brit? If so he has forgotten that the "Yanks" he says the world is sick of pulled the UK and all of Europe out from under Hitler's boot. Maybe he'd prefer that Iran or North Korea, or even Russia be the night watchman.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • SouthernCelt

      Please keep in mind that "Yanks" are from North of Maryland. Do not lump us in with them, we don't care much for them either.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • Galileo

      Hmm discarding the bible killed communist Russia and the Roman Empire? Yeah that must have been it.

      Go read Mein Kampf and let me know how genocide-free your bible is.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:08 pm |
    • WASP

      @toad: how does it feel knowing your colonies revolted and are a more successful country than your own and don't even get me started on the penial colony ya'll had that is now a vacation destination for most of the world and is still doing better than your little island. lmfao wonder if your queen has problems sleeping at night knowign her chirstian ancestors totally messed up. lmfao

      April 30, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
  10. jack

    would jesus have walked out... hail no.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • MarkJ

      jack,

      Your comments say more about your impoverished intellectual and spiritual life than it does about Christians or special-needs children. It must be really difficult to walk through doorways carrying that gigantic chip on your shoulder.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
  11. Zoney

    Liberals are funny. They seem to think the rules - the very laws of nature and physics, the concepts of right and wrong, sublime and perverse, knowledge and ignorance - will change and are flippable based on their current political agenda.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • robert frost

      Jesus is a liberal. And he is funny 🙂

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

      robert frost–

      The stand-up comedian jesus on the street corner doesn't count.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:43 pm |
  12. robert frost

    Let's face the truth: the bible is full of it. Stone women for adultery and not men? Slavery is sanctioned? Yeah, call it for what it is: Silly B S

    April 30, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • eddieca

      it's also full of mercy, kindness, forgiveness, patience, long-suffering, understanding, slow to anger, mildness, happiness, humility, peace, goodness, rightheouness, joy, and above all love.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
    • SouthernCelt

      If you can't tell the historical account from the philosophical lessons, please get someone to explain them to you.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
  13. AnThOnY

    God,
    Thank you for this day and the air we breath. Thanks for letting us wake up today with a roof over our head and cloths on our backs. God even if nobody else on this planet believes in you. . I do. Who really cares what everyboudy else thinks because all we ( I) care about is my own opnion anyways. God help us Christian that bash the non-believers instead of praying for them. God you know our thoughts and how we lives our lives behind closed doors. We have no room to judge or point fingers. All will see you God one day. . like it or not, believe it or not . . we will see you. Thanks for the freedom to chose You or our own path. We know that outcome of our choice. Heaven or Hell. God Bless everyone. Aman

    April 30, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
  14. begreen3850

    I agree. I believe in gay rights but bullying the Christians is disrespectful, cruel, hateful, and unnecessary.

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

      its very necessary begreen. bullying christians isn't bullying. it's like helping a special needs child to function in the real world.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • robert frost

      Christianity bullies. Standing up to Christian is standing up against bullies. Someone should!

      April 30, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
  15. jaketinback

    Just curious why when a subject about religion comes up that either side posts their position. Those who believe in God and the Bible are never going to convince those that dont of anything and vice versa. Both sides are wasting their time.

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

      that is true

      April 30, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • A priest walks into a gay bar, the bartender says...

      You are correct.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • Norman

      not true-education actually turns people from religion-the most religious peopel are the least educated and most athesits are very educated

      April 30, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • Oops

      Norman, it doesn't make your point very well when you misspell 'atheists' and say how they're 'educated.'

      April 30, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
  16. 1nd3p3nd3nt

    and yet it's ok for that same religion to advocate for less rights for gays.
    that's not offensive, only the fact that bible has some bs in it, right?

    like the tower babel was too tall and god decided to punish mankind by splitting us up in different languages. Even though we have towers much, much taller nowadays and fly in planes and have been in space.

    forget logic, right, let's focus on how we 'feel.' bs is right.

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

      You're cuckoo for crapola.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:52 pm |
    • sipsen1

      I think you missed the point in that bible story. God wasn't mad the tower was too high, he was upset that humans were trying to build a tower to get into heaven rather than by living righteously.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • 1nd3p3nd3nt

      sure zoney. I'm sure all the ridiculousness in the bible should be taken for policy decisions 2k years later.
      here's an idea, how about we ask the question 'why?' why does the bible say men should not lay with men, or women with women?

      i suppose all women should have to cover their heads too, or have their hair shaved off, says that in the bible too.
      i love how religious groups cherry pick what they believe and what they don't believe and then justify their policy on said cherry picking.

      i suppose rain falls out of the sky when the water gates open too. And eve is the first woman, even though in the torah it's lilith. but go ahead and call people names, i'm sure that's what god would do ; p

      April 30, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • 1nd3p3nd3nt

      oh i see, i missed the point. it wasn't that god was mad we made a tower too tall, it was because god was offended we could get into heaven by building a tower? because heaven is above us in the clouds, right?

      why punish us for something that was ineffective?
      and I'M missing the point, lol?

      April 30, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
  17. druffmaul

    I support the Christians in their walkout. Keep walking, Christians. Right off the face of the earth, please.

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

      Very doable since it's flat.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:53 pm |
    • steve

      Instead of walking off the face of the earth, how about I walk to you and introduce your ignorant uneducated ass to lefty and righty?

      April 30, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • Hmmm

      That might be a bit hard, druffy.

      In case you didn't know, the world is round and it's therefore hard to walk off of.

      BTW, your post sound very tolerant....very typically, 'progressive'-style tolerance.

      Death to any and all who would ever disagree with you...such as me (a non-Christian, btw).

      April 30, 2012 at 5:54 pm |
    • sam stone

      steve: wow, what an insightful response. thanks for that bit of wisdom

      April 30, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • DKafka

      But the earth's not flat!

      April 30, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • druffmaul

      "BTW, your post sound very tolerant....very typically, 'progressive'-style tolerance."

      That's odd, because I'm the first to admit that I've reached the limit of what I can tolerate from Christians any other religious people who can only cope by willfully believing a comforting lie rather than face up to a harsh reality.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
  18. johntdavenport

    This whole anti-bullying agenda is just a big facade. This guy is not about stopping bullies, he is about getting the bully stick himself and using it for his own purposes. This guy defines PROPAGANDA. Makes me barf.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:51 pm |
  19. Johnjon

    oh, what do we know anyway? my partner and I are just fudge packers, and that's according to our christian neighbor 2 doors away.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:50 pm |
    • Darwin

      Lol, sorry about your neighbor, man.

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

      So you are saying all Gays are Mensa members? Yeah Right! It is interesting that Gay bashing is so wrong but Christian bashing is ok? Do people ever listen to their own reasoning? Shame on him, He should know better.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:55 pm |
    • Miss Trixie

      So what's your point?

      April 30, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
  20. TMA1

    Any Atheist,Co** S***ing, Communist A***ole, Bible Ignonoramus would take the same stance.
    So why is this news?

    April 30, 2012 at 5:49 pm |
    • A priest walks into a gay bar, the bartender says...

      You're not very smart.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • Darwin

      ... just to pi$$ you off

      April 30, 2012 at 5:56 pm |
    • sam stone

      Communist? I would imagine that he is doing much better than you financially

      April 30, 2012 at 6:00 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.