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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. Thomas

    Christianity along with any system based upon certain rules, conditions, ethics, morals should be criticized and questioned. What ever happened to the mantra of "questioning authority" ? Regardless if you consider the "authority" to be of a higher power or what have you, critical thinking is a skill lacking and sometimes discouraged in matters of religion and faith. Blindly obeying orders "just because" or "this is the way it is...it says so in the bible..." sounds more like borderline lunacy and as one who has been raised in a religious household myself, even as a child there were important questions I had and sometimes the answer given to me was "oh, it just is that way..." That never quite stuck with me, and as I grew up, the more questions I had, the more aggravated or defensive senior church staff became. In matters of faith, each to their own, but I think if organized religion and Christianity step forward only with the "the bible is the literal word of god," and I'm expected to then put my trust in man (man is flawed) in believing the words in the bible have never been changed to push an agenda of any kind whatsoever - I think ultimately the church is likely to perish over time and the mantra of "if you believe, you are saved" shall diminish as well.

    April 30, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • Gina

      Iam sorry that nobody gave you a better answer than that. I also have been raised in a christian home and questioned it myself. I turned my back on "religion" since I coudn't come up with logical answers that made sense or even fit in what I thought or felt. I can tell you that whether you believe it or not, you should at least look into it. Don't go by what someone else says, as you have mentioned. Look for yourself. I recently read a book by C.S. Lewis that I believe someone like yourself who is stimulated to search, beyond what the average person finds comfortable. If you lay in bed at night thinking at all that this can't be it...read "mere christianity". Or don't, because someone told you to. But if you indeed do read it, you might find some of the answers that you did not get from the people who refused to explain something so deep to the human existence, God bless your journey

      April 30, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
  2. Dave, Central Illinois

    Too bad Aids didn't thin the pink herd a little more....

    April 30, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      too bad you are a h.omophobic turd.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • momoya

      And what do you believe about god, Dave?

      April 30, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • Observer

      Christians must be proud of your statement. Well done.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
  3. j

    so the Christians walked out peacefully, and this gay fool attacked... hmmm...

    April 30, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • The Dude

      So If you were treated as sub-Human you would not fight back?

      April 30, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • kishke

      The kids he attacked treated him as a sub-human? Really?

      April 30, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      "attacked"... that's hilarious. their books says to kill g.a.y.s. if it didn't tell it's cult followers to murder people, there wouldn't be an issue. but yeah, the g.a.y guy is wrong. so ridiculous.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • ch66

      Weird to see the gay guy striking back, huh? Probably the first time you've ever seen it

      April 30, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
  4. toddingeorgia

    Matthew 5:44-45 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.

    April 30, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • Mark9988

      The same book says "Be ye holy."

      April 30, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • maggotfist

      reported for abuse

      April 30, 2012 at 8:53 pm |
    • RdWhtNBlu

      The main character in your book was born in the year 0. 1492 years later many thought Columbus would sail off of the flat Earth. In 1616 the Catholic church found Galileo guilty of heresy and spent the rest of his life under house arrest for proving that the Earth was not the center of the Universe, but it was the Sun. Please quit wasting your life on such ideas written at a time when mankind was nothing but primitive, had a life expectency of 35 and thought thunder was God's anger. We've figured it out! Now you can catch up on your rest on Sunday mornings and have a nice breakfast when you get up! Have a nice day!

      April 30, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
  5. John Galt

    Gee...turning away from God has been the most beneficial thing America has done! Just look at how well we're doing without Him in our lives!!
    And no, I don't need your useless comments, atheists, (or whatever you call yourselves these days) on just why I'm wrong. It will just be wasted words because ultimately God has the final say, whether you believe it or not. You can call a rock a marshmallow all you want, but when it smacks you in the face, the reality of it is painfully clear.

    April 30, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • BlatantAtheist

      pansy azz!

      April 30, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • maggotfist

      "God" would prefer kind Atheists over hateful christians, I'm sure. I'm betting Jesus would too, he was a cool dude. 🙂

      April 30, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @John Gault- "You can call a rock a mashmallow"

      Or, you can call a delusion "god". Take you pick.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @John Gault- "You can call a rock a mashmallow"

      Or, you can call a delusion "god". Take your pick.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @John Galt- Sorry I misspelled your name.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:58 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      the less religious we've gotten, the better. churches fought for slavery, segregation and against the right to vote for women and blacks. seems the more we've moved away from religion, the more compassionate and kind we've become.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • Jeanine

      Ahhh
      Is this Mark's white Stormfront secret ident.ty?

      So similar in some ways. Definitely looser in speech. Says basically some of the same things the same way. Hmm.
      Are you ready to kill some o dem darkies, John Galt? And wipe out all the f.ags? Are you ready yet?

      April 30, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      This is off this topic, Jeanine, but I am wondering why you berated me in another thread.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • RdWhtNBlu

      Please see my post directly above, you poor thing. Your parents probably did this to you, but there's still hope! All you have to do is pull your head out and the truth comes a rushing in!

      April 30, 2012 at 9:18 pm |
  6. Matt

    Hate towards Christians shows liberals are full of it in thinking they are a tolerant group of people. Liberals have their gay marriage & abortion agenda and if a Christian says they disagree liberals play the educated card yet liberals only believe in what liberal columnists rights and are hardly free thinkers.

    April 30, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
    • Matt

      *writes

      April 30, 2012 at 8:50 pm |
    • Observer

      Liberals aren't denying equal rights to all Americans including all the gay soldiers, policemen, firemen, etc. who have sacrificed their lives for many INGRATES.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • V01D

      Hate towards gays/lesbians/divorcees/poor people/immigrants shows conservatives are full of it in thinking they are a tolerant group of people. Conservatives have their anti gay marriage & anti abortion agenda and if a rational human says they disagree Conservatives play the traditional values card yet Conservatives only believe in what Conservative columnists write and are hardly free thinkers.

      See how easy that is?

      April 30, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      when liberals "attack" christians for their prejudice views, they call foul. LOL.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
  7. Gina

    There is nothing in the bible that isn't true. It is God's Word. NOWHERE in there, however, does it say that people should beat up or bully someone because of their lifestyle. Jesus stood before a woman who was about to be stoned for adultery. There is no truth in the fact that the bible or christianity condones any kind of bullying. God wants us to ask forgiveness, love our neighbor as ourselves. He said to turn the other cheek. If people are doing these things in the name of God then they are wrong. I feel sorry for this man that he has to speak poorly about the bible. It is not religion, It is a book written by GOd for us. Not one person in there was perfect besides Jesus. We need to follow his example: love one another.

    April 30, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • n8263

      Snakes do not talk.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:49 pm |
    • maggotfist

      lol

      April 30, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • profwiggins

      True true. I find it alarming how many people openly support this man for bashing other peoples beliefs. And being a bully victim himself you think Dan would be a bit more sensitive to the issue of bullying.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:51 pm |
    • Observer

      Gina,

      Get serious. The Bible says serpents understand language and can talk. It talks about unicorns. It even says that the ratio pi is equal to 3.0. Read it sometime.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • Shmeepy

      Correction. It is a Bible written by HUMANS who believe that they were inspired by God. There is nothing that proves this claim to be true, other than your own faith.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • n8263

      Telling people the truth about religion is not bullying.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • Eric

      You're an idiot.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • Sandra

      Really? Bats aren't birds, the world isn't flat, the earth isn't the center of the universe, rabbits do not chew cuds, and that's just a few of them.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
    • Ting

      Gina you sound like a nice person, but I hate to tell you that even your pastor, if he's being honest, will tell you that not everything in the Bible is true. The very parable that you mention about the adulterer was added by scribes in the 10th century, almost a millennium after Jesus died.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:08 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      well i just can't wait to ride a unicorn, party with a satyr and fly on a dragon. yup, unicorns, satyrs and dragons are all in the bible. LOL. c.ockatrice too. but that's true?

      April 30, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
  8. Trueview

    I am going to write my own bible and tell everyone that they will go the heaven if they give me all of their money. I think there are enough weak minded idiots out there that will do it.

    April 30, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • Some Guy

      L. Ron Hubbard beat you to it, sorry.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:52 pm |
    • Jeff

      Too late. L. Ron Hubbard already did it.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:54 pm |
    • hal9thou

      Amen, Brother? What's that number again???

      April 30, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Some Guy

      You said, "L. Ron Hubbard beat you to it, sorry."
      There are plenty Oves Aries Sapiens to go around.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:55 pm |
    • Pbnj

      I wouldn't open with that line.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • JT

      And Joseph Smith beat L. Ron Hubbard.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
  9. ReligionisInsanity

    People have a right to believe whatever they want, but when they use their make believe fairy tales about a magical sky father to persecute, kill, bully, discriminate against, hate, make fun of, and hurt others who are different, then people who have some intelligence and are not brain damaged also have a right to point out their b*llSh1t. No religion has a right to promote hate, and deserves to be protected from criticism.

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

      they can point out their sick and twisted sodomy acts and ill-will toward the Bible to people who want to hear them...a high school program is not that place.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:46 pm |
  10. gerard

    Amazing how far some will go to defend sodomy.

    April 30, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • momoya

      Saying words, you mean.. Oh my.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • Observer

      Millions of heteros engage in sodomy.

      Did you have ANY point at all?

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

      Oh, you'll do it to your wife and act like your such a stud. Or you're not married and still a virgin.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:44 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      it's even more amazing how far christians will go to attack sodomy. me thinks the lady doth protest too much...

      April 30, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
  11. Humanist

    So Christians walk out in fury when their book is insulted, but not when another (gay) human being is insulted? What hypocrisy!

    April 30, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
    • jorline

      Which one of these kids insulted gays?

      April 30, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • Kirk

      no one in this group insulted gays.

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

      The same people did both? Are rather are you just lumping all Christians into one big pile and they function as a single unit. Weak argument, dude.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
    • The Mad Jewess

      What makes you think that Christians are supposed to tolerate the insults that this IDIOT attacked them with? Christians are not going around hurting 'gays'.
      Militant 'gays' are the ones SHOVING THEIR SHOW all over Christians.
      Moron

      April 30, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
    • Observer

      The Mad Jewess,

      Guess again. Christians are denying equal rights to others and trying to impose their religion on others. The opposite isn't true.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:48 pm |
    • jorline

      Observer

      Guess again! Through gay activist, the MSM and the "Arts", everyone is forced to accept the "Gay Agenda"...Christian or not!

      April 30, 2012 at 8:57 pm |
    • Observer

      jorline,

      Apparently you define "the gay agenda" as the existence of gays in the world.

      Wrong.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • blake

      @Humanist – Look at the video again. The kids aren't leaving mad, they're just leaving, several are smiling. Nobody is in a rage.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
  12. n8263

    It is sad when it is controversial to state facts. The Bible, and all religions, are FULL of bullshit.

    April 30, 2012 at 8:39 pm |
    • erk

      What 'facts' are you refering to, and why is the Bible a source of irritation to you, wussy?

      April 30, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • DadCoach

      Isn't the Bible filled with the story about the life of Jesus Christ and a belief system and moral guidelines for Christians? They certainly aren't filled with profanity. Nice discourse!

      April 30, 2012 at 8:43 pm |
    • n8263

      It is obvious to anyone who looks at the Bible objectively that it contains a lot of bullshit.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:47 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      @erk
      there are so many reasons the bible sux it's hard to know where to start.
      i guess we could start with the bible telling it's cult members to kill g.a.y.s, non-virgin brides and disobedient children. it also supports slavery, even gives rules for how badly you can beat your slaves. the list goes on and on and on. the bible is disgusting.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:14 pm |
    • Skeptical

      For Erk:

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

      April 30, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
  13. Sam

    Dan is a phagot

    April 30, 2012 at 8:38 pm |
    • Observer

      Bigots are extremely IGNORANT.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • ned

      That's actually the name he goes by in his column. Only he doesn't spell it all geigh like you do.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
    • Total idiot

      Another home run Sam! You are the man!!! or woman.

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

      your dad is a phagot and so are you and your mythical and invisible god is also gay.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:45 pm |
  14. Gavin Ford

    He should stand by his comments. He's right.

    April 30, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • n8263

      He said nothing wrong and there is no need to apologize.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:40 pm |
  15. here we go agagin

    its funny how people get worked up over someone taking a stand against the bible. Religion isnt for everyone (myself included) yet when bible thumpers attack others and call themselves christian its ok. I believe that all people have the right to live how they want. Life is too short to do otherwise. Dans antics may not have been the best but ive seen a lot worse from self rightious christians smh the world we live in today.

    April 30, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
  16. b d

    The anti-bullying crusader is in trouble for bullying.. how wonderfully ironic

    April 30, 2012 at 8:34 pm |
  17. un10able

    Judging by this idiots demeanor, packing fudge must be one of the most stressful jobs on the planet. Oh there's a picture of Anderson Cooper. I'm beginning to think that a loot of guys turn gay once they realize that their name sounds gay.

    April 30, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
    • Observer

      Millions of heteros engage in sodomy.

      Did you have a point?

      April 30, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • Brandon

      Where are you getting these statistics from?

      April 30, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
    • Observer

      Sodomy is defined as oral and an-l intercourse. Get a dictionary.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:42 pm |
  18. Mitch Greene

    I agree I am so completely over the whole Christian Movement. Christian Faith based on Feelings not Facts... Don't waste the time trying to flame me and Please don't pray for me... I think you need spend the energy on yourself.

    April 30, 2012 at 8:32 pm |
    • russ in nc

      Every knee shall bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. That includes you.

      April 30, 2012 at 11:17 pm |
  19. Joe Peterson

    I wish people of faith would stop bothering the peace-loving, non-bigoted brethren.....Just look at Stalin, Pot, Mao great lovers of humanity and atheism, who wished to see Christianity stamped out...Where they not correct? Off to the camps with those disposable backward people of faith.... Down with ignorance up with reason.....

    The beginning of the end
    Concerned

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

      You seem a bit tangled there Joe. Give it another twist.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:33 pm |
    • Joe Peterson

      lol Stan i thought I did quite well... Peace

      Make a new plan
      Joe

      April 30, 2012 at 8:41 pm |
  20. Tom

    No surprise here. Liberal atheists hate Christians and Jews. They are also hypocrites for criticizing religious "speech" while condoning athiests "speech."

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

      HYPOCRISY: Christians who trash gays without trashing all the Christian ADULTERERS.

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

      I'm pretty sure it's the Christians that hate the Jews. They may say they like them, but deep down inside there's a little Hitler just dying to come out.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:36 pm |
    • jschmo123

      John 15:18-19 If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:45 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.