home
RSS
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.”

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

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.”

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

“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.”

Watch CNN Newsroom weekdays 9am to 3pm ET and weekends. For the latest from the CNN Newsroom click here.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

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

soundoff (4,113 Responses)
  1. lifeisgood

    He's in it for the shock value. Let's face it....he knows he's irrelevant and therefore looking for 15 minutes of fame. That's what you do when you have no talent or creativity.

    April 30, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • AthensGuy

      15 minutes of fame? you dont know who he is, right?

      April 30, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
  2. AthensGuy

    hey, if you ignore the BS in the Bible, only 5 pages will be left (counting covers and printing info)

    April 30, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • Kristi

      Haha I literally laughed out loud at your comment. I think people forget that the bible was written by man. Times change and much of the book is irrelevant now.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
  3. Joe

    Wow christians are so sensitive. They can diss any other religion or even paganism. Last I checked is that Christianity is a fairly tail people. Christianity was written 75 years after Jesus died. You all are fools. Paganism, Egyptian Gods, hell even native american's beliefs are all the same. So when a gay man says all the crap in the bible about being gay is crap, everyone crys? Funny seeing all these christian priest raping little boys. You all destroy the very aspect of religion when you change the words around and then go and steal or show your child things unholy. You that worship are a bunch of fakes. True followers stick to the book. There are very few that would make it to heaven nowadays!

    April 30, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • Joe

      Not saying i believe in the bible but i am tried of seeing people take about the bible and get it all wrong because they think it means this and that.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Jeff R

      'Fairly tail'?? You should skip religion and start out with understanding spelling first.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      How do you know they're wrong? There are thousands and thousands of scholars who debate the meaning of everything in the Bible. They don't agree on what is meant by almost everything in it. Which of them is wrong? Right? How would you know? Who says you're an authority?

      April 30, 2012 at 7:06 pm |
    • Filtered

      The 75-year figure is inaccurate, so using that as your argument does not serve your cause. So even And even if you use a 50-year figure as your argument, it's still flawed – when my parents tell me stories about things that happened when they were kids, I have no reason to question that they are true because they are.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • CJ

      Tom. Actually, there is a lot of scholarship on the bible, both new and old testament, and scholars do have many positions about the bible that are almost consensus views. And among these views is that jesus' message is best understood as a jewish apocolapytic prophet who felt that this world was going to end in the lifetime of his listeners and a new kingdom was coming to this earth. He says this repeatedly in the oldest gospels, ex Mark 9, v1 and again Mark 13. This is the view of Paul as he explains in 1st thessalonians. This is the view of John the baptist as well as the jewish sect known as the essenes (authors of the dead sea scrolls). This event never happened and so what you see in later gospels, such as John, is later re-engineering of the message. So now it is about the afterlife cuz the first prophecy is failed. This is the view that biblical scholars have understood for over a hundred years since real work on the subject began, largely with german historians.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      So, you're going to pick ONE issue that scholar agree upon and pretend that's a sign that they are in agreement on the meaning of most of the Bible? Yeah, sure. That's why there are so many denominations, right? Because they all agree on what the Bible means?

      Tell me another joke.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Oh, and really? "CUZ"? Please.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
  4. tom-ay

    he was making a point that the bible interprtations and following changes over time. did you read the entire speech? women are not property anymore, we eat shellfish, women are not unclean during thier period and are not isolated until they are, divorce happens and it is not supposed to either... He didn't write the bible, he was merely saying: hey, if all this stuff can be overlooked, why can't the gay stuff?

    April 30, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
    • Filtered

      I'm a Christian, and I think he made some great points (although I also think some of his arguments were flawed when you take the bible and what it says in whole).

      April 30, 2012 at 7:14 pm |
    • ADA

      Because the Bible itself hasn't changed its standing on it. Go and look it up yourself. You should read different versions, go back to the greek root of the words in the versions and you'll see it isn't a matter of translation, it is just what the Bible says.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
  5. User2012

    I agree with him.

    April 30, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • Nana1954

      then you too are a bully

      April 30, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
  6. Darwin

    Well, I'm off to perform my nightly drinking, drug use, beastiality, and human sacrifice that my godless, immoral existence inspires. You all have a great evening!

    April 30, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
  7. User2012

    I agree with Dan.

    April 30, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • albert321

      IDIOT!

      April 30, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
    • jack

      i agree with dan to.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
  8. adamjw2

    Anti-religion bigotry is still bigotry.

    April 30, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
    • CJ

      No it isn't. Just as it isn't 'just as racist' for the civil rights amendment to say that blacks should not be discriminated against and treated as inferior to whites.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
  9. Taylor

    Really? Seriously? I really don't like commenting, because of good ole' internet trolls (please, before negatively responding to my message, go to youtube and look that up, it's you!). This is so hypocritical it is ridiculous! This man is asked to speak at a conference about not bullying, and then ends up bullying. Hmmm. Hilarious. I don't care what your beliefs are, you cannot deny that he called out those kids and bullied them. Wow. If the gay community would like to be accepted, I highly suggest getting behind leaders that can be respected by both sides... think Malcolm X versus Martin Luther King. Which one did more good?

    April 30, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • thewarpedpen

      The gay community should just be accepted period, but yes, he shouldn't have made those remarks. It simply discredits any good he had to say.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
  10. Brandon

    I'm an atheist and I disagree with this guy. Not because of what he said (The Bible is indeed chock-full of BS), but because he's trying to cherrypick what parts of the Bible he wants to follow and conveniently get rid of the anti-gay stuff. Look, we don't need the Bible PERIOD, and if you're for throwing out this nonsense religious crap altogether I'm all for it. But what you can't do is ignore the very clear Bible verses that say if a man should lay with another man, then it's an abomination.

    April 30, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • JP

      You're a piece of crap and you're very confused. Go to church buddy, get those demons out of your system....

      April 30, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • Candace Clough

      Christians are already cherry picking the Bible when they decide that slavery and stonings are no longer appropriate and women are equal to men, can control when they have children, make their own decisions.. so when you find one that doesn't, you can judge Gay Christians

      April 30, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • Brandon

      JP, you're proving my point exactly. Don't debate the tons of BS found in the Bible, just tell me I'm going to hell. Typical Christian.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
    • Frank

      I believe JP is just showing you some of that Christian 'love'.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
  11. lluna001

    Don't apologize Dan....It it (the bible) so much hooey!
    Grow up Christian, didn't your mama tell you to quit picking on people.

    April 30, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • albert321

      IDIOT! IDIOT!

      April 30, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • jack

      dont apoligz DAN. ME 2

      April 30, 2012 at 7:18 pm |
    • Karen Chang

      Don't apologize – Dan3

      April 30, 2012 at 7:22 pm |
  12. clabern

    clabern

    The old covenant laws were only to be applied to those who agreed to abide by them within the land given to the jews. Anyone who did not want to be apart of it was free to go somewhere else to live however they chose. It was not a set of laws that New Testament Believers were required to impose on others around them.

    1. New testament believers (Christians) are told to live among those who don't believe in Christ, peaceably. The only instruction for them to seperate themselves was from other people who claimed to be Christians but who engaged in certain behavior)

    2. Matt 5:17 passage was a reminder that the law was the measure of a righteous man, and that Jesus Himself fulfilled it. Again, it was not a requirement that all others need be held to (because Jesus did it for them).

    3. Arguing with those who do not agree is purposeless as there are those who even God is content to let believe what they want (someone who does want to know will search it out):

    2 Thessalonians 2:09-11, New King James Version (NKJV)

    9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie,...

    4. In response to the often heard complaint of Throat Shoving:

    Free Speech and Caring For Your neighbor do not have to be mutually exclusive.

    April 30, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • Joe Rodgers

      Your comments were very accurate and totally biblical. Many who are biblically iliterate will agree with you.
      Thank you for showing me that there are others who are given more understanding by the spirit of our Creator and his Son.
      Thanks much.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:04 pm |
    • Jim Stanek

      Here's an interesting and relevant discussion from a few pages back:

      Gumbo Ya-Ya

      Please take a moment and picture an America where the K KK, Na z is, A l Qu aeda, and Southern slaveowners were dominant forces in American society, and all vociferously pushed their beliefs regarding women, ho mose xuals, bla cks, je ws, etc. in the public sphere.

      Now imagine that all or some of these groups started screaming and whining that they were unjustifiably under attack and discriminated against every time someone publicly pushed back at their big oted beliefs. Rather than hearing or accepting any form of criticism (regardless of whether they felt the criticism was valid), these groups just stood on the grounds that they are somehow immune from criticism, with the strong implication that their immunity stems from their worldviews being a. morally superior, and/or b. mandated from G od. Coupled with the "fact" that they are self-proclaimed "good people" who are supporting "family values" and "not trying to hurt anybody."

      Knowing what you know now, would any person here HONESTLY advocate for these groups, or criticize the critics of these groups for being "too harsh," "bullying," or "disc riminatory?" Most people, obviously, would not, but would join in the criticism until the darkness inherent in these groups was eradicated or contained. If you would, however, criticize the critics, in my opinion you are a frightening person, but at least you would not lack the courage of your convictions. I would beg you, however, to reconsider your own moral worldview.

      In my opinion, this is precisely what the Fundam entalist/Evang elical "Ch ristians" are doing today. Just because someone SAYS that they follow a religion of peace, or that they strive to be good, nice, moral people, or that the founder of their religion taught love and in fact loves the entire world, AND backs it up by citing examples of when they or their religion donated to charities, gave to the poor, etc, DOES NOT MEAN that a. they are "good" people, b. their religion is "good" and founded on "truth" and "love," c. that any of what they say is true or meritorious, and/or d. that they are in any way immune from honest criticism and stark confrontation in the public sphere which they have so readily thrust themselves into.

      Fire away, oh you people who love decency, who love virtue, who admire honesty and courage, and who LOVE your fellow man. And don't stop fighting until the world rises up to join you against this darkness. In my opinion, it's better to stand and fight for what these people consider a "he llish" and "de monic" cause than to adopt their hypocritical forms of "goodness" and "love."

      And if you don't believe me, fine. Tell it to Joseph K ony.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Report abuse | Reply

      Jim Stanek

      Great post. Couldn't agree with you more.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |

      mike

      hate to admit it, but what you say is true. i disagree with your negative portrayal of Christians and Christianity though, but certainly would acknowledge that the Bible has a lot of dark, violent, and very old things in it that most Christians today don't like to/know how to face and incorporate it into their faith.

      I appreciate your message, however. Cheers!

      April 30, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |

      April 30, 2012 at 7:09 pm |
    • Frank

      Problem:

      There is also anti-gay rhetoric in the New Testament, so your OT argument is a moot point.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
  13. christianluvsgod

    A true Christian believes that Jesus Christ died on the cross for all sins and if you accept Jesus as your savior you are forgiven for you sins. Why, because God sent his Son Jesus because no man can keep all of Gods laws because we are from sin thanks to adam and eve. I pray for anyone who feels that the Bible indicates that being gay will condem you to hell, you are truelly loved no matter what and one that hate you for it are putting themselves beside God as judges. NOT ALL Christians are like that like not all Muslims are extremists. Love one another and for those who will mock this post I hope you can find peace in your heart because you are loved

    April 30, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • Karen Chang

      I hope you really learn to love yourself apart from a negative conception of yourself as a sinful human being in need of redemption. And all because you believe some talking snake told a naked chick to eat an apple.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
  14. rueiowt86

    I just think it's great to see the masks of humanists fall off, showing all their hate against Christianity.

    So religion is the real evil.. really?

    What about the secular humanist French revolution?
    What about all the communist revolutions (Russian, Chinese, Cuban, etc, etc) around the world, that already tried to wipe out that "evil" in the name of "humanism", killing not thousands, but hundreds of millions of people?

    You are all perverted souls who talk about peace, but in your hearts you are full of real hatred and evil.

    April 30, 2012 at 6:57 pm |
    • Karen Chang

      Hey dum bass, that "secular French revolution" got you the freedom to practice your hate-filled totalitarian religion in this country without fear of physical persecution by the government. So be grateful and STFU.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • Karen Chang

      Hey dum ba ss, that "secular French revolution" got you the freedom to practice your hate-filled totalitarian religion in this country without fear of physical persecution by the government. So be grateful and STF U.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
  15. TonyK

    I really can't help wondering how such an audience would receive Jesus' uncompromising teachings were he to give them in person today–"if you want to follow me, sell all you have and the money to the poor, blessed are meek, what you have done for the least of my brothers (rapists, thieves, child-molesters) you have done to me, etc., etc.

    We dont like THAT Jesus, only the Republican one.

    April 30, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • Stacey

      Give unto Caesar what is Caesar's. Remember that one?

      April 30, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • Jeff R

      Where's the part about selling everything you own and giving it to the poor? I missed that section.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • Ohnoetry

      @JeffR, Luke 12:33. And a few other places it is inferred, such as Matthew 19:24, where rich men are said to have the ease of getting into heaven as camels have of passing through the eye of a needle.

      I like when Christians get all shocked and offended when they hear what's actually in the Bible. It makes me giggle.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:10 pm |
    • Dee

      Actually, Jesus said that to ONE man, because Jesus knew that riches were this particular person's stumbling block. There's a real lack of understanding scripture when you cherry-pick verses.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:15 pm |
    • Ohnoetry

      The verse from Matthew was said to all of the disciples. The point still stands, however, that it was said by Jesus, which was in question. I do like that slippery way that some Christians have of getting out of doing very hard things, like giving up riches, caring for the poor, or turning the other cheek.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • I LOVE TOILET PAPER

      Dee, it would appear that you are the one cherry picking... because you won't want it to have to apply to everyone. Guilty?

      I figured as much.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:31 pm |
    • Dee

      You're words contradict the NT as a whole. Christians are supposed to be good stewards of their money. So how am I supposed to feed my family if I give every penny away? Also, scripture states that it is very wrong not to provide for your family. Jesus wasn't saying riches were off-limits for believers. Some believers are rich and some are poor. You two have it all figured out, I'm sure, though. Good luck. You're going to need it.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
  16. mh

    I am an agnostic, but I realize people get strength and peace with the thought of a God. What's wrong with that. The hatred in his speech to high school students is frightening. There may be or may not be a deity being out there, no one knows, thats why it is faith. To ridicule youth in front of others is classless. He should have used another venue. As for me, I don't begrudge anyone from trying to have peace in this world. Mine just doesn't come from a God.

    April 30, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • momoya

      mh, could you point me to the words he said that were "hatred?" thanks.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:58 pm |
    • mh

      you dont have to say hatred to feel it

      April 30, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • Jeff R

      momoya- You could start with 'bullsh** in the Bible' and 'pansy-a$$'. If someone said something similar to a gay person it would definitely be hate speech.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • mh

      i never said he said it, but i could feel it

      April 30, 2012 at 7:01 pm |
    • rightmostofthetime

      Hey mamoya, It isn't hatred if a lefty says it, right?

      April 30, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
    • momoya

      It's not hatred to give your opinion.. The issue here is very clear.. Christians do NOT stand behind the old testament when it demands you kill your children when they disobey or when it commands you to kill anyone who works on the sabbath, when it commands you how to treat your slaves..

      The speaker was simply pointing out that bible believers aren't killing kids who talk back to their parents (because it's obviously bull sh!t) and therefore they should see the g.ay stuff the same way–as the same type of bible bull sh!t that condones sla.very.

      Also, I don't think he called anybody a "pansyazz," I think he just called the behavior "pansyazz.".. Christians are always looking for whatever they can twist their way.. Persecution? yeah, right, like how every president and almost every other politician is a christian.. Yeah, all that persecution is so bad that people plaster their car with bumper stickers and make being a believer part of getting a job and all those christian churches on every street corner.. Please, you guys are deluded bigtime.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
  17. Discussion

    This guy went before a bunch of teenagers and cursed out what he thinks is in the Bible. When a bunch of them had enough and quietly got up and walked out of his presentation, he called them "Pansy-Asses" (a derogatory term against gay men.) THAT is what was really insulting. The gay bully lecturing teenagers on the evils of bullying gays... go figure...

    April 30, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • momoya

      I am so thankful that he did.. In no way does it make up for me being fired and harassed and threatened until I moved to a completely different city–after I told some people that I had lost my faith and was an atheist, but at least it's getting the conversation going in the right direction at last.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:11 pm |
    • Dee

      momoya,
      I will pray for you because you need it.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
  18. Varun

    Bible is boolsheet.

    April 30, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • vietnavyvet1

      he's a lunatic quirrr...forget him because he's lost in his own misery and has no sense of soul, value or meaning.. he's a ship without an oar or moral compass...a loser destined to live an unfilled life until his death...He can keep searchin for self idenity and never find it, he has no faith period.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:05 pm |
  19. PeteH

    Certain people can say whatever they want, no matter how offensive they are. They are the flavor of the month....

    April 30, 2012 at 6:56 pm |
    • cherisea

      Are you speaking of Christians?

      April 30, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
  20. RS

    Why shouldn't the Bible be against these people? Why would you stand for those who slap you in the face? Maybe the Bible is onto something here.

    April 30, 2012 at 6:55 pm |
    • sam stone

      "Why would you stand for those who slap you in the face?"

      Like those who deny you the same civil rights as they enjoy?

      April 30, 2012 at 6:59 pm |
    • Dumb and Dumber

      I'm with you RS. It's time we take this country back. If you ain't a straight white male then you git no rights. Yeeee

      April 30, 2012 at 7:08 pm |
    • Ohnoetry

      Hilariously, doesn't the Bible say to turn the other cheek when slapped? It's ironic that your reaction was that the Bible says to do the opposite.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:12 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55
Advertisement
About this blog

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.