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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. Michael500ca

    Excellent job. The days of the christian bullying and christian fundamentalism are coming to an end. The bible is less realistic than the Harry Potter novels and the bible, and its followers, are being called out to answer for their crimes against other humans. Some people walked out, that is what we call denial. You christians will have to stop this BS and apologize to other religions, seculars, gays, atheists and agnostics. That would be the christian thing to do, would it not?

    April 30, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • Don in NY

      Michael...one of these days you might get and honest secular education and not act in ignorance to which you speak.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
  2. aidsisgood

    OK, seriously...let's simplify this! Christians are fighting for the right to teach their children abstinence in the public consciousness, and Gays are fighting for the right to put their penis in another man's anus. Now, who's gonna sell more cookies to support their cause?

    April 30, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • Paula

      And we know how well teaching abstinence works.

      Careful with those cookies. You never know what's in them.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • danielwalldammit

      Today's dishonest account of the issues, brought to you by the main who celebrates aids.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • aidsisgood

      It's very amusing seeing the so called "gay community" throwing hissy fit's with each other here. "Take you flat earth talk elsewhere! Well, yes ma'am! Ha!

      April 30, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
  3. Ting

    Over the years the human rights in this country have not progressed because of Christianity, they have progressed in spite of it.

    April 30, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • Paula

      Precisely.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • William

      Christians burned the library of Alexandria. Knowledge is evil.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • mygyro

      Ahhh...so enlightening to know that the church had nothing to do with the Civil Rights movement, or Abolition, or the Child Labor Laws, or or or... Revisionist history is such a wonderful thing; you can use it to support your position, no matter what your position is.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • danielwalldammit

      There was a time, not long ago, when Christianity was a positive force for social change. Then evangelicals took over.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • Oneserus

      Your statement is totally and completely untrue – it is the exact opposite of the truth.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • mygyro

      I can hardly wait to hear what you have to say about what the Jews did to world progress.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • fred

      Ting
      Get real our world still runs on the Western World View which is Judeo Christian. Lucky for you Jesus said love your neighbor not kill and take what you can from your neighbor or his rights. It was Jesus that turned our world into a caring place not the godless who have goal of global tyrany.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
    • Lee

      Yep Ping, we should all switch over to that religion of brotherly love, Islam.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • Ting

      Ahhh...so enlightening to know that the church had nothing to do with the Civil Rights movement, or Abolition, or the Child Labor Laws, or or or.

      Who were they fighting? Christians still stuck in their old world views. Ask any atheist if they care if gays have equal rights.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:56 pm |
    • drloko

      You can't be serious?

      Reverend Martin Luther King
      Reverend Al Sharpton
      Reverend Jesse Jackson

      Ever hear of the Civil Rights Movement?
      Do you know who the abolitionism were?

      April 30, 2012 at 7:59 pm |
    • mygyro

      Ting,

      I'd like to give you credit for knowing who the church was actually fighting in each of those conflicts. Slavery: wealthy landholders and slavetraders all worried they would lose their fortunes. Child labor: wealthy industrialists, worried they would lose their fortunes. Civil Rights: political power brokers, worried they would lose their political power base.

      "False association" is the term for taking something most people agree is bad, and associating it with a group you want to attack. Homework: read up on kristallnacht. You are keeping some very bad company in resorting to this technique to make your point.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:15 pm |
  4. Bobo

    What was then needs to be addressed now. The world is not flat., and being gay is not a choice. This is clear an understood. God created us all as equals.

    April 30, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • Paula

      You had me until your last line, which is false.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • Don in NY

      ...and other than your feelings there is zero to base that on. Don't be dishonest, there is nothing to back up this "feeling" other than just that...a Feeling. Go trash talk the flat earth lines elsewhere.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • Gila Chi

      It's a choice

      April 30, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      Gila, let's say you're right. So what? Suppose someone CHOOSES to be gay. Why does that justify picking on them or treating them as 2nd-class citizens (let alone beating them up or firing them or murdering them)?

      April 30, 2012 at 7:42 pm |
    • Ting

      "What was then needs to be addressed now. The world is not flat., and being gay is not a choice. This is clear an understood. God created us all as equals."

      Like Paula, I don't agree with the last line, but I can live with that. Gila Chi, read a book sometime.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:45 pm |
    • flannerys2003

      So if I get the urge to defecate in public because every feeling inside me tells me it's right, does that make it "right"?

      April 30, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
  5. ross

    What does Dan have to say about the Koran or is he a little timid when it comes to a group of people that will take him out without blinking an eye. He is so outspoken about Christians because he knows that they can be dumped upon without any danger to himself. Let's see him take a real stand on descrimination and not just one that will be applauded by his like minded media buds.

    April 30, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • DEEZNUTZ

      Muslims might be rather barbaric...but they'd tighten "precious" and his psuedo-husband up REAL quick.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • Paula

      He just took a stand, a brave one when there are so many Christian wingnuts out there. Get over yourself, you wimp.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      If the Koran were cited in America with 1/10 of 1% of the frequency of the Bible, you can bet Dan Sa√age would jump all over it as well.
       
      What's with this stuff about Islam and the Koran anyway? Does it somehow make Dan's comments about the Bible any LESS true just because he didn't also condemn every OTHER bigot or bigoted text under the Sun? He correctly identified the one that's responsible for 90% of the problem.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • Larry L

      "Dumped upon without any danger to himself"... The Crusades weren't exactly "eco-tourism"! Ever see the films of a Klan rally? How did that Inquisition work out for disenters? Salen witch trials? Bombs in abortion clinics? Abortion docs shot down in the street? Black churches burned in the South? The Cristian Spanish explorers conducting genocide and taking slaves in the New World? Hitler was a strong Christian and a good right-winger!

      April 30, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
    • jim

      Agree 100%. Paula get a life

      April 30, 2012 at 7:53 pm |
    • mygyro

      Hitler...a strong Christian? Bwahahahahaha!!!! Have you even read any of Mein Kampf? It's amazing to hear people saying things with such authority...when it's clear they are completely ignorant. Maybe just saying it loudly enough will get people to believe them. Oh wait...who was it who said that? Oh yes; Hitler! The "super Christian."

      Get your facts straight before you make authoritative statements...

      April 30, 2012 at 8:00 pm |
  6. JRZKNIGHT

    Dan! I love you!

    April 30, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • mygyro

      Gotta love "tolerance." What does it take to qualify as "hate speech" these days? Or put it another way, what is the one group you can always diss, feel self-righteous about doing so, and never be accused of "hate speech" for it? Hint: read the article at top to find out.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:04 pm |
  7. The Other White Meat

    "Let He who is without Sin cast the first Stone" John 8:7 OMG! What did I just say... Oh NOs! I just blew most people's "arguments" posted RIGHT HERE out of the water! And to think, I even referenced the BIBLE! ITS RIGHT THERE!

    April 30, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • momoya

      I think most of the believers we've seen here today would have simply turned their stones on Jesus before finishing with the woman.. They certainly don't seem much on forgiveness.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • barkallnight

      Give em' Hell Dan!

      April 30, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • mygyro

      Give 'em heil, Dan!

      April 30, 2012 at 8:06 pm |
  8. Daws

    That's the fundamental problem with christianity or any religion with a book, you are ultimately unable to divorce yourself from the bs parts no matter how much times changed. We know now that literal interpretation of genesis is bs, but many still hang on to it because the dogma is, everything in there is true, it's no different from the gay question, we learned more in respect to what's moral...but just because a passage in the book says otherwise people wont divorce themselves from it, no matter how obvious it is. I'm actually sort of surprised people don't still protest blended fabrics, but I suppose it can only go so far...

    April 30, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • CHRIS

      This was not about Christians or our religion. This is about a man who went to a school to talk about bullying and decided to bully and call a bunch of kids names why are you defending him? why is it ok to attack Christian kids at a anti-bullying event? Please sir tell me why.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • momoya

      No, this was about kids being uncomfortable when presented with facts from their own bible.. His point was clear, and right on the money: Unless you agree with the bible on sla.very and child abuse in the OT, don't beat up on g.a.ys because of the OT.. What's wrong with it?

      April 30, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
  9. Geno

    Stand up, kids! Good for you – walk out on the fool!

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

      Kiddies, the whole bible is mostly bullsh**t. The sooner in life you learn that, the better for you.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • Michael500ca

      Yes kids, walk out when confronted by reality.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:47 pm |
  10. Randy

    Why are us Christians and conservatives always told we have to be tolerant of other people's beliefs when the left never is?

    April 30, 2012 at 7:30 pm |
    • Daws

      Because tolerance of intolerance can be contradictory and self-defeating.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • stevetall

      Because, dim-bulb. That's what Jesus preached and that's what is says in the Bible: "Love thy neighbor as thy self", not "Love thy neighbor only if he's a conservative, intolerant, prejudiced pinhead like thy self".

      April 30, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • Paula

      Randy, it's not a conservative thing, so don't feel bad about that part. It's because Christians are stupid, right or left.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:34 pm |
    • iRex

      Because the guy you supposedly believe in, you know, Jesus Christ, told you to be.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • RichardSRussell

      If you want to say grace before every meal, there's not a leftist on the planet who would deny you the right. In fact, almost all of us would go to bat for you if someone tried to take that right away.
       
      But if you want to hide behind your religion in order to pick on minority kids, don't expect leftists to trot out the 1st Amendment's "free exercise" clause to justify your bigoted behavior.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • Abe Vegoda

      Thank you Randy...

      April 30, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • sybaris

      Hmmmm OK, I'll play the tolerant game. Let's see we have:

      Bibles in every motel room
      God on our money
      Moments of silence (prayer) before public events
      Christian cable networks 24/7
      Radioeveangelists 24/7
      Televangelists 24/7
      Discounts on insurance for being christian
      Churches every 6 blocks in every city over 100,000
      Christian bookstores in every town over 12,000
      Christian billboards along the highway advertising Vacation Brainwashing School (VBS) for your children
      Federally recognized Christian holiday
      Religious organizations are tax free
      Oh, at least 75% of the population claims to be Christian
      Want more?

      Please, take the persecuted christian whine line somewhere else.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • physnchips

      I'm a Christian and on the left. What now? Christians should love gays as they love everyone else. Since we throw away tons of other laws from exodus and leviticus, it's a really silly to harp on the two bits about gays.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
    • timmy

      Because it shows how much better we are than other religions.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • Dar

      Time tells all...

      April 30, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
    • sybaris

      Actually Timmy, you are wrong and obviously have never studied any other religions

      April 30, 2012 at 7:43 pm |
    • Reality

      The left is only tolerant of leftist beliefs. They liberally bully and trample on anyone who does not agree with them and then other leftists pat them on their back for doing so.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:46 pm |
    • Michael500ca

      FYI conservatives do not have a monopoly on christianity. On top of that, neither christians nor conservatives are tolerant about other people's beliefs.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
  11. immobee

    bullying is wrong. ho.mo.se.xu.al is wrong. we should love everyone. and also teach them the truth from the bible and show them the benefits of living by bible standards.

    April 30, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • momoya

      Well, I'm still not gonna sell my children and own slaves and kill people who work on the sabbath-even if the bible does give me instruction for doing those things properly

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

      momoya: Learn before you speak.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:35 pm |
    • momoya

      You too.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:37 pm |
    • Paula

      momoya is correct. That stuff and other horrors are all in the bible. Look it up.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • sybaris

      immobee, by your logic countries that are not christian should be in chaos. That is simply not the case.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:41 pm |
    • LinCA

      @immobee

      You said, "bullying is wrong."
      Absolutely true.

      You said, "ho.mo.se.xu.al is wrong."
      Bullshit. You don't have to participate if you prefer not to. You have no right whatsoever to tell anyone else what they can or can't do.

      You said, "we should love everyone."
      That would be a start.

      You said, "and also teach them the truth from the bible and show them the benefits of living by bible standards."
      The problem is that the "truth" from the bible is that it is a fairy tale cobbled together over hundreds of years from tribal myths and edited to be politically expedient.

      While you are free to believe the nonsense and live your life according to it, you have no right to expect anyone else to do the same. If you choose to believe that nonsense, you can expect to be ridiculed for it.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:50 pm |
  12. aidsisgood

    @hawkeyeted....it's gays that are killing gays! Not that I'm complaining!

    April 30, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
  13. CHRIS

    This man was wrong he was speaking to children about bullying and decide it was ok to bully and call the christian children names. May god bless him and warm his heart. To those who support his comments ask your self if it was a conservative bashing atheists in a school would you still support him? In your heart of hearts you know you would not. God bless you all

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

      He wasn't bashing christians, but yes, I would prefer that a believer "bashed" my grandkids at school.. I want them to know exactly what they're dealing with in this culture that raises so many judgmental religious people that try to micromanage morality..

      April 30, 2012 at 7:32 pm |
    • YBP

      Oh, the poor bullied Christians! Whatever will they do?

      April 30, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • Daws

      If he made it clear he wasn't bashing atheists themselves, but parts of atheism that they endorse just because fractions of one book says so, I wouldn't mind.

      I favor looking at all claims individually and independently, and basically that's what he advocated albeit in a poor choice of words. No claim in a book should go unevaluated simply because it's grouped in with other completely unrelated claims of scripture. And no this isn't picking and choosing, it's honestly evaluating everything and sincerely asking if it makes sense or not.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
    • CHRIS

      As i said this was not about our religion, and i feel no need to defend my belief. This man was speaking to children about bullying and when some of those children walked out because they were offended he called them names a bur-rated them why is this ok?

      April 30, 2012 at 7:44 pm |
    • Bubbatroid

      YBP I noticed you didn't answer the question, just more name calling from the "tolerant" left.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • momoya

      CHRIS

      He didn't call them names, he described their behavior.. I appreciate his honesty; it's only words, after all.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
  14. Candace Clough

    Let me know when Christians stop defending bad Christian behavior? Don't apologize Dan, until they apologize to Gays

    April 30, 2012 at 7:27 pm |
  15. topdecker

    The only good christian is a dead christian.

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

      and jehovah's witnesses.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • ursusindomitus

      Nice athie moonbat tolerance.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:28 pm |
    • Ann

      AFTER YOU!!!

      April 30, 2012 at 7:38 pm |
  16. FastLightning

    The bible IS bulls***. All of it.

    April 30, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • momoya

      I think I remember two verses that seemed okay..

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

      Prove it.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:29 pm |
    • Ann

      HOW WOULD YOU KNOW???

      April 30, 2012 at 7:39 pm |
  17. ursusindomitus

    More BS from the Communitarian "News" Network.

    April 30, 2012 at 7:24 pm |
  18. Shawn L

    He's completely right. A lot of stuff in the bible is complete BS

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

      Yup. That's why there are so many fundies on here having total meltdowns.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:25 pm |
    • Wade

      Do you make the same comment about the Quran?

      April 30, 2012 at 7:33 pm |
    • Ann

      HOW WOULD YOU KNOW - PLEASE BEFORE YOU SPEW HAVE PROOF

      April 30, 2012 at 7:40 pm |
    • TR

      It seems that atheists just can't stop hating on the "make believe." One would think that a rational person would have much better things to do than to invest time in something they believe to be a fairy tale. I know the story of the boy who cried wolf is nothing but fiction yet I don't spend my time decrying (or praising) the values the story promotes.

      So if these people who claim to embrace a rational approach waste so much time behaving irrationally, one must conclude that they have no clue what they're talking about or are simply mentally afflicted.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
  19. Steve

    After all the years of hateful comments by pat robertson and jerry falwell now christians dont like it when someone makes hurtful comments about them. Christians dont like it when someone makes fun of or says something hateful about them but they have all the right in the world to condemn anyone they choose. Yeah right

    April 30, 2012 at 7:23 pm |
  20. robert frost

    BBS: Bible B S. I like the ring of it. LOL :)

    April 30, 2012 at 7:20 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 and Eric Marrapodi with daily contributions from CNN's worldwide newsgathering team.