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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. toldya

    A lot of muslim countries execute gays for being... gay. Did Dan spread the hate equally or did his radical lefty side prevent him from being all inclusive?

    April 30, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • momoya

      It seems you don't understand what occurred, give it another read & listen, why dontcha?

      April 30, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
  2. Father Time

    Good start with his comment. Now end with realzing the whole Bible, and religion itslef, is bu!!sh!t.

    April 30, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • Joe Peterson

      Father time cannot life n be seen as Bulls*&? Do you believe in Mao Stalin an other great moralists of the 2oth cent. Do not be surprised if your hatred for those of faith lead down very dark corridors.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • Father Time

      NO hatred of people but I rebuke the call of religion and the intolerance and hate that it breeds amongst people. Humanity would advance much farther with the bigotries associated with religion. Not just Christian based religions, but all religions. Every reliogn is intolerant of other groups and that intolerance always leads to discrimination and violence.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • Father Time

      The human race will only make the next great leap forward by first acknowledging religion as a mere fairy tale. And that true humanity and peace amongst mankind can only be achieved through the works of mankind.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • Father Time

      The human race will only make the next great leap forward by first acknowledging religion as being a mere fairy tale. True humanity and peace amongst mankind can only be achieved through the works of mankind.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
    • Joe Peterson

      Intolerance of others ideas ..What does that mean? Complete acceptance of what you want me to believe/think or coming to a realization that others have a right to believe as they do and agree to disagree. I prefer the second type of tolerance. The other smacks to much of totalitarians and the lack of true freedom If you pay attention to history no group or person religious or not is free from the prejudices of life. The news peak will lead to its own horrors as I said for every Tomás de Torquemada there is a Mao or a Stalin. If theological purity is sought by atheist agnostic or christian someone will suffer and in the end we all suffer. What else might ones anger speak of?

      April 30, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • Joe Peterson

      Love to chat have to go......

      April 30, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
  3. RealityChecker

    Dan Who? He's an irrelevant turd that gets excited smelling guys butt cracks, so he's clearly mentally ill.

    April 30, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • Stan

      Dogs do it. You do it too.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • Total idiot

      I completely agree with the words you just said right there.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
  4. Greyman

    @Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Show me one instance when prayer was definitively proven to change things for the better. I can show you instances in which prayer was proven to be counterproductive. One pair of hands at work (usually belonging to someone who realizes religion is folly) accomplishes more than a million clasped in prayer. Every. Single. Time.

    April 30, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • Observer

      Atheism is apparently INCAPABLE of anything but cut-and-paste. Very limited knowledge.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • mark

      obviously your two hands at work couldn't produce anything other than cliche, so technically...prayer would have been better.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • Stan

      Greyman, so true. So much time has been wasted on prayer. Prayer has never had a positive result, nor has it ever produced a divine intervention. Ever.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • PantyRaid

      Ever since the beginning when the books were written, they have promoted slavery and inequality.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • Joe Peterson

      "Prayer has never had a positive result"
      I can understand skepticism but this is blatantly false, if for no other reason then the hope prayer gives one (false or true) does result in some possible effects.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • Father Time

      For all of you Believers: How does an all loving God condemn those that do not belive in Jesus to enternal Hell? Whgat about the kid raised in Irag and dead at age 8 with only exposure to the Koran? What about predetermintaion which states that God has planned all that has been and all that will be? Why would he plan things so that so many people spend eternity in Hell writhing in agony? And on the other hand, who would really want to spend eternity praising a God like that??

      April 30, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • Joe Peterson

      Oh father time not all of Christendom believes as you say.... There are many other ideas on this subject about those who have not heard and the general idea of hell.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • It comes down to this...

      @Greyman – what you say may be true to some degree within the minuscule circle you abide in because a person who doesn't really have a relationship with GOD sometimes wishfully will pray something like "oh god please help me" perhaps with their fingers crossed and really just hoping somehow their " prayer" will be answered. You, clearly, know nothing about the value and workings of prayer. I can tell you GOD, through prayer, instantly healed me of a condition that doctors could only manage with drugs. Thirty-five years later I am still symptom free of the disease I once suffered from. The woman who prayed for me, in the name of Jesus, was a "born again" Christian (FYI -it was Jesus who first used the term born again). Just because you and other unbelievers have not yet discovered the truth about GOD and prayer does not mean that He does not exist and prayer is of no value. I am telling the truth and you can believe it or not but I will continue to tell the truth because I know it is true and to be at peace with GOD is something worth telling.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • russ in nc

      The fool says in his heart "There is no God".

      April 30, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
    • Greyman

      @ It comes down to this....

      I stand by my original statement, as your example does nothing to disprove what I said. Can you DEFINITIVELY PROVE that prayer was the root cause of the disease's disappearance? Of course not, but faithheads always think that if there's no ready scientific explanation, their religion automatically wins by default. So things turned out just the way some random woman prayed they would. Big deal. How many more instances are there involving the hopelessly ill in which prayers ARE NOT answered? So tell your imaginary god to shove it.

      @russ in nc
      Boo-hoo-hoo, a book that talks about talking snakes and burning bushes, splashing sacrificed bird blood on people's faces and stoning adulterers says I'm a fool. In that case, I'll gladly puff up my chest and wear the moniker 'fool' like a badge of honor.

      May 1, 2012 at 9:50 am |
  5. JUGGERNAUT

    THE BIBLE IS BULL S**T.......i dont even know why blacks practice Christianity, in the old testament it says that dark skin people are inferior.

    April 30, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • DadCoach

      A racist atheist? Stereotyping a group of people because of their skin color? Shame on you.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • PantyRaid

      It's because those larger black women love to sing and their really good at it too.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:35 pm |
    • Michael

      Read the Bible first before making such a stupid and false comment. no where does the Bible say dark color people are inferior. State the exact chapter and verse where it says that...

      Why do so many morons want to argue with a presumed level of knowledge about something they have never even read!?

      April 30, 2012 at 8:37 pm |
    • 1ofTheFallen

      Juggernaut – Where exactly does it say in the bible that dark skinned people are inferior?

      April 30, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • aginghippy

      @Michael,
      You are correct that the Bible does not clearly indicate that dark skinned people are inferior. However, many people throughout the ages have INTERPRETED the "mark of Cain" or the "curse of Ham" to mean that black skin was a curse, or that God condones enslaving black people. Then, of course, you have the many Christian folk who believed the pseudo-scientific theory that Blacks had smaller brains or were descended from an inferior evolutionary branch.
      How many Christians, who profess to believe that "God created man in his image" really believe that to include black men and women? The KKK and neo-nazis are made up of good old Christian boys.
      So, who is the true moron, the atheist who says that the Bible inspires bigotry, or the Christian who fails to realize that their holy book has failed, for generations, to discourage it?

      April 30, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
  6. Forgiven

    Someone who believes there is "bullish**t in the Bible isn't a Christian. He or she isn't even close.

    April 30, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • momoya

      Well, either way'll do.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:30 pm |
    • Stan

      Well, yeah, anyone who can comprehend that the bible is a steaming pile is too smart to be a Christian.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
    • Father Time

      They may not be Christian, but they logically grounded and correct in their belief.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
    • satanlovesvulva

      Oh yeah! Tell me something I don't know. You and your book are full of a lot of stinky crap.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
  7. n8263

    The ones who should apologize are the arrogant pricks who walked out on him.

    April 30, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • Brandon

      Because you would stay if you were being berated, right? No, I know your type. You'd whine to the media about it.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
  8. carm

    This guy is a huge a*hole. He has nothing good to say. He makes gays look bad.

    April 30, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
  9. jwss1987

    It is so unbelievable to see how people have no respect what so ever not even for our Lord and Creator Jehovah and for his son Jesus. 2 Timothy 3:16 says; "All Scripture is inspired of God and beneficial for teaching, for reproving, for setting things straight." How can this individual say the contrary. This is why so many people today have no respect for God or religion because individuals such as this one have been nothing but a bad influence on others that don't know any better. What a shame!

    April 30, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • Observer

      There's probably no chance that you believe and support everything in the Bible, so just pick and choose what you like.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • n8263

      jwss1987, how much respect do you have for Allah?

      April 30, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • satanlovesvulva

      When you say "our lord and creator" you must be talking about you and the rest of the nutty doofuses that believe in this mumble jumbo. I'm going to read a verse from my book "2 satan 3:17 all scripture is full of crap and is not inspired by anyone. this is beneficial for teaching, reproving and setting things straight. "3 satan 4:19 god and his son jesus are both bi and they love doing 69".

      satan's out of here. I smell the sweet scent of mrs. satan's vulva and I must go home and eat some. ciao

      April 30, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • Skeptical

      Ya, its a real shame having such little respect for fiction...

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MvleOBYTrDE&w=640&h=360]

      April 30, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
  10. Wilson

    this guy bullies , as do a majorities of gay people! They want to have the right to think their way, but they bullies those that think otherwise! He has the right to have any lifestyle he want, but we have the right to spouse what the Holy Bible say about.

    April 30, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
    • Nicole

      Right and his point was that people pick what they chose to live by when it comes to the Bible. There are plenty of things it condones that people would never consider doing today. But when it's something that fits your agenda, then it's all about what the Bible says.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • ch66

      You're bullied by the words of gay people.. yeah, ok

      April 30, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
  11. Political Cynic

    We are so politically divided and the environment in this country is so charged many, if a few, can post comments related to specific topics. I think if you listen to the words Dan chose to convey his message with he was using a bully tactic to defend his position about the GLBT being bullied by the religious right. After listening he was. I don't see his comments any different than his views that christian's believe that those that are GLBT are committing a sin as bullying by voice their opinions as such. Others justify his comments because the GLBT community have been targeted with hate speech and bullying by religious zealots, so it's ok for Dan to bully them back. Other's imply that because one would disagree with whether or not he is seen as a bully you are dense because you simply don't agree with theirs or Dan's side. Most of these blogs are rife with bullying others simply because we have become one of the most intolerant societies that I can recall in my 52 years. I don't Dan's behaviro any different than a overweight child saying he's had enough and decides to turn the tables and begin picking on others in his peer group that are different than he/she to pick to make themselves feel better. Dan has a point that Gays unfairly get picked on and bullied because of their lifestyles but turning the tables on your perceived enemy doesn't elevate the dialogue. It actually detracts from the discussion because the person who is against bullying of his group has now become the bully. Any disagreement we may have with one another these days invariably get escalated to the context of war. Tomorrow the headlines will read there is a War on GLBT community because many in this country will disagree with Dan. It will go nicely with the War on Women, the War on Religion, the War on Banking, the War on Capitalism etc. You get the picture.

    April 30, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
  12. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things .

    April 30, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
    • Nicole

      I didn't know "other living things" can be atheist. Does that mean there are atheist vegetables? Please tell me so I boycott eating them!

      April 30, 2012 at 8:27 pm |
    • Observer

      It's pathetic when someone can't do anything but cut-and-paste like a 6-year-old.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:29 pm |
    • PantyRaid

      I'm Buddhist and my cat is Atheist. What should I do father??

      April 30, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
  13. Hector Victorious

    Eh, if some students were really that upset about it, should we delve into how exactly they live their religious lives? I mean, unless these kids are prefect christians (if there is such a thing) these kids are getting upset about having to ignore hateful passages while choosing to ignore other passages that just don't jive with today's lifestyle.

    Hypocrites I say!

    April 30, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
  14. PantyRaid

    Maybe he should just realize that he's not Christian. I can't understand the hypocrisy with religion now days. Everyone has their own interpretations for rationalizing everything they do. Then they repent and go do it again.

    I guess I can do whatever I want as long as I believe in Jesus and confess afterwards. Bazaar thinking we humans have built upon ourselves in the last 3,000 years.

    April 30, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • mema

      How hard is it to understand? You give a speech on bullying and you speak as a bully. Its common sense. Does not matter if you believe or not. If it acts like a bully, talks like a bully, it IS a bully. He is a hypocrite!

      April 30, 2012 at 8:28 pm |
    • momoya

      You must be working with an odd definition of "bully."

      April 30, 2012 at 8:31 pm |
  15. n8263

    The ones who should apologize are the arrogant pricks who walked out on him.

    April 30, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • Billy

      More name calling? How free thinking and open minded of you.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
  16. Matt

    America: the land of diversity and tolerance unless you disagree with anything Christian.

    April 30, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • Observer

      America: the land where Christian hypocrites pick on gays while ignoring the MUCH MUCH GREATER number of Christians who commit adultery by divorcing and remarrying.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
  17. menoc

    Who would want to believe in a GOD that allows a human to be born in a certain way then turns around and discriminates against it's own creation . . .

    GOD IS A BIGOT. HOW ABOUT THAT.

    April 30, 2012 at 8:22 pm |
    • Trust me

      "born that way" that's the biggest cop-out ever.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:25 pm |
  18. Joe B

    This kind of makes you hate gay people.

    April 30, 2012 at 8:20 pm |
  19. VA Teacher

    Hmmm. At an anti-bullying convention, this guy bullies those with Christian beliefs. That was unacceptable and he should have apologized for it. He was there to discuss what kids can do to stop bullying, helping those who have been bullied and educating others about it.

    April 30, 2012 at 8:19 pm |
    • Trust me

      agreed

      April 30, 2012 at 8:23 pm |
  20. Charles

    This guy is a complete idiot. He should be bullied.

    April 30, 2012 at 8:18 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.