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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. Phosphorus

    Dan was completely correct and in the right to say that much of what is in the Bible is bulls**t. I think it's one of the most twisted and perverse collections of writings to ever be assembled and I'm glad Dan called it out in front of the students. Good for him!

    April 30, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • Joe R

      Phosphorus, it's obvious you never read the Bible. You are going on hearsay based on a particular bias. Christians take the Bible at face value eve when it challenges their personal positions. We didn't write the Book. We accept it for what it is, the Creator's Word. That's intellectual honesty. You on the other hand simply do not know what you are talking about. You should get together with Ed and double date with a monkey and a chimpanzee. Your intelligence level would be well matched by them!

      April 30, 2012 at 9:26 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      Hey Joe, how do you know it's the creator's words? Goin' down to shoot yo' ole' lady?

      April 30, 2012 at 9:27 pm |
  2. qedpro

    I am so sick of the faux indignation when anyone says something about the bible.
    Climb down off your crosses – you're not being persecuted.
    Get over it, you're not allowed to point to your idiotic book to justify your bigotry and hatred.
    And people calling you on your bigotry and hatred is not bullying.

    April 30, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • mikstov33

      Pot, meet Kettle. You two have something in common.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • bg

      and what about your bigotry and bullying toward christians? Does that make you better than those you accuse?

      April 30, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
    • John1518

      But it is ok when you do it, right? Hypocrite.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • qedpro

      Bigotry and bullying towards christians.
      that's a joke right.
      do gays submit propositions to take away your rights as a person? No
      Do christians pass laws against gays to make them second class citizens – yes.
      Like i said your faux indignation is pathetic. you have no idea what bigotry and bullying is.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:20 pm |
    • wrussia

      Even the New york reported on the alarming number of Christians being murdered today across the globe. Keep up with news other than that which supports your point of view

      April 30, 2012 at 9:25 pm |
    • sqeptiq

      It's truly amazing that a group which claims to include 90% of Americans is subject to so much bullying from the other 10%. I guess 9 to 1 isn't good enough odds for them.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
  3. marjee123

    If a person does not believe in the Bible, and religion that is his belief and right now this is a free country. It won't be if the republicans gain more control. Why is it that every body HAS to believe in the Bible and religion. this is what is wrong with this country today, the religious nuts want to control every body and everything they do.

    April 30, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • John1518

      Did you even read the story? Funny how you would say that people are "forcing" people to believe in the Bible for a story where a guy BULLIED a group of kids who did believe the Bible. Guess that is ok though in your messed up liberal logic.

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

      Nobody HAS to believe in the Bible – on that you are absolutely correct. But nobody HAS to sit there and listen to it either if they don't want to.

      So he has a right to say what he wants, and I think the anger is understandable. But those who disagree have the right to disagree.

      C'est la vie.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
  4. Ms.Fairfax

    Here's the deal, if God has a problem with the way any one of us lives, let Him tell us. It isn't our place to tell each other that the way we live and what we believe is wrong. If we would all just live and let live, we would be better off.

    April 30, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
  5. F23A4

    ...has no bearing on Revelation 1:7; but he'd better hire a good dentist with respect to Matthew 24:51

    April 30, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
  6. Rodboy

    For you so are history books, the bible has over 50,000 references to it outside the bible, your history book only has 5K what is up with that?

    April 30, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • Eric G

      ?
      Please speak in complete sentences. Have an adult help you next time.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • qedpro

      Hey Rodboy, you just showed everyone how the bible came to be.
      You pulled a bunch of garbage out of your ass and called it divine revelation.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • Skeptical

      Please just watch this...

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

      April 30, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
  7. John1518

    "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.” I challenge anyone to tell me how that is not 100% true. That is really what this story is all about – the gay rights movement thinking it is ok to bully those who would disagree with them.

    April 30, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
  8. mikstov33

    I'll try again....He was only exercising his Freedom of speech.Nothing more,nothing less.Just as I will exercise my Freedom of religion,and my Freedom to ignore those who belittle my faith.Just like the kids who walked out. It seems funny that the loudest critics of Biblical doctrine are those with lifestyles deemed inappropriate. Personally I do not care what a person chooses to be enamoured by, be it man, woman, dog, goat,or anything else. It is not my job to judge. I just wish all the naysayers would allow me and all the other faithful the same consideration.We all are born, we all live, we all die. The next chapter after is the mystery of the ages.

    April 30, 2012 at 9:05 pm |
    • TR6

      “Personally I do not care what a person chooses to be enamoured by, be it man, woman, dog, goat,or anything else. It is not my job to judge. I just wish all the naysayers would allow me and all the other faithful the same consideration.”

      If you could get the “other faithful” to follow you philosophy there wouldn’t be a problem

      April 30, 2012 at 9:31 pm |
    • wow

      I truly hope you're being satirical. You think it's "funny" that innocent people persecuted by religious fanatics are the ones who tend to get defensive? Seems like a logical response to me. And to think that you believe that these people who are persecuted are on the case of the Christians....wow, just wow. Unfortunately a large chunk of the Christian population consists of uneducated/poorly-educated bigots

      April 30, 2012 at 9:32 pm |
    • mikstov33

      @tr6
      most of the other faithful are too hardheaded to listen to reason.They have been compromised by the apostate church.
      @wow
      No satire intended. Maybe odd would have been a better choice of words.And two wrongs will never make anything right.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
  9. Kim Jong Ill

    Another one od dumbazz Obumer thugs. Tank you.

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

      This has nothing to do with President Obama. Is reading comprehension a BIG problem?

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

      I'm sorry, but I could not understand what you typed. I think I have an idea what your message was, but the grammar and spelling was so badly garbled, I just couldn't make it out.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:13 pm |
  10. kate

    This sodomite had an agenda and it was to insult the Christians in the group. Notice he didn't have the guts to say Muslims who would have him killed if they could. His lifestyle is a sin, but he has free choice and will have to live with that choice for all eternity. May he find peace before he dies.

    April 30, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • Observer

      Millions of HETEROS engage in sodomy. What difference does that make?

      April 30, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
    • Phosphorus

      Don't forget, there was a time period in which Christianity wielded enough power that a person like Dan would have been put to death for what he said as well. That was before we put a muzzle on the dog that is Christianity and taught it how to sit like a proper and well-mannered animal.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:15 pm |
    • LinCA

      @kate

      You said, "This sodomite had an agenda and it was to insult the Christians in the group."
      Nice christian manners you show there.

      If it wasn't for christians, there wouldn't be nearly as much hate and bigotry directed at gays. He is simply targeting the source of the evil directed at him.

      You said, "Notice he didn't have the guts to say Muslims who would have him killed if they could."
      Muslims aren't any better than christians. In the US, they just don't have the numbers to cause the misery inflicted by christians.

      You said, "His lifestyle is a sin"
      Sin is reserved for those that follow religion. Those that choose reason are incapable of sin. I'm pretty sure that your rant constitutes a "sin" in certain christian circles.

      You said, "but he has free choice and will have to live with that choice for all eternity. May he find peace before he dies."
      Those that have the capacity for reason typically reject the notion of judgment after death as infantile. There is no reason to fear what doesn't exist. You have to be gullible to believe that nonsense.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:19 pm |
  11. Howard Feinski

    Well, for those that know the bible superficially, it can be embarrassing to geighs, so yeah, it makes sense to stand by the anti-bible remarks. He won't make any friends among Christians, but I'm sure he could care less about that. He will stimulate a plethora of "high-fives" among the other geighs, which might bring on an ephemeral blush of misplaced pride. Still, Jesus continues to love him. . . truly.

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

      Jesus never said anything bad about gays. He never married, never dated, and hung around with a dozen guys nearly all not known to be married.

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

      What's a "geigh?"

      April 30, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • Ed

      La La Land.... truly.

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

      Christians today will not make friends with Jesus! Not many churches he would set foot in.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
  12. n8263

    He is telling the truth. In fact much of the Bible is bullshit. Good for him!

    April 30, 2012 at 9:03 pm |
  13. Nothing new under the sun

    "Bootyfunk" you are right. He certainly has the right say it. They had the right to walk out. Same old argument. Another thought would be just because you CAN say something doesn't mean you HAVE to say something. Same goes for the rest of us.

    April 30, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
  14. Tony

    I don't see what the hubbub is about – the Bible is 99% bullsh!t

    April 30, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • Rodboy

      Your history book has about 5000 refernces ourside itself, the Bible has over 50000 whats up with that?

      April 30, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • Jose Rondon

      Thanks for the 1% benefit of the doubt...It is that 1 eternal % that will sooner or later backfire on you unless you acknowledge the 99 remaining % of the unapologetic validity of God's Word.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:46 pm |
  15. Mirror Mirror

    I don't see what all the fuss is about, Dave was only using the "bully" pulpit.... /sarcasm off

    April 30, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
  16. ch66

    Watching the video I'm laughing at all the coddled students walking out.

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

      They're doing the only thing they can do. They certainly can't sit there and hear the truth about the bible.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • Ken

      The only way the left would be outraged is if he'd preached tolerance for the faithful. God forbid a guest speaker would have asked the captive audience of 15, 16 amd 17 year olds to take JC as their Lord and Savior. LOL. What hypocrisy on the left. terrified of the Muslim. Fearful of the faithful. And hateful of the Christian.

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

      Ken,

      It's Christians who don't believe in equal rights.

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

      Requesting that children take JC as their lord and savior is "tolerance"??? LOL. That would be like gays asking everyone to turn gay. That's not tolerance. That's insane.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:09 pm |
    • ch66

      Ken, you are right I would be outraged if somebody was talking about tolerance for BS.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      It's cracking me up to see how exercised the fundamentalists are when they get their own thrown right back in their faces.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:10 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      cult members don't like hearing someone talk bad about their club.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Hey, when the foo sh!ts, wear it, Christian fundamentalists. You should be required to eat your own dog food regularly. This is just a little taste of what you deserve.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:16 pm |
  17. jamesa46

    Why doesn't he insult the Koran in a public speech? He won't for fear of his decapitated body found floating in a river.

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

      Should we expect to see you floating headless in a river soon then?

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

      Are you saying that christians should repay words with physical violence as the muslims do, or what?

      April 30, 2012 at 9:00 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Jamesa46-
      Perhaps Mr. Sava.ge sees that as a more real possibility than eternal dam.nation. Makes you think, no?

      April 30, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • ch66

      Is that your way of saying Christianity is better than Islam? He has said plenty about Islam, BTW

      April 30, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • Patrick

      Uhhhhhhh.....because the majority of the problems come from Christians in this country since they're the overwhelming majority? That's just my guess though.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:06 pm |
    • Mike

      @ Patrick: you should understand that Chrisitans are the only thing standing between these acts spoken of in the Bible, staying in the Bible instead of becoming an every day reality as they would under Sharia law.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:28 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Do tell how anyone would be able to see any difference between the way Sharia law treats GLBTs and women and the way fundy Christians would like to.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:30 pm |
  18. Bootyfunk

    can't believe he apologized. the bible says to KILL g.a.y.s, but he has to apologize? christians should be apologizing to g.a.y.s, not the other way around. the bible also says to kill non-virgin brides and disobedient children. that book is disgusting. christianity has had a bullet proof vest against criticism. is it realistic for any group that has a rule book that tells its followers to murder people to expect NOT to be criticized?

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

      They only call it class warfare when we fight back.

      And they don't like it when we push back at all.

      We're supposed to keep our heads down and not talk back or didn't you get the memo?

      April 30, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • John1518

      Where exactly does the Bible say it is ok to k1ll gays? Maybe you should know what you are talking about before you start spouting off nonsense.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:04 pm |
    • Patrick

      @john1518 – You're right, it doesn't say to ki11 gays, just adulterers.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:07 pm |
    • liz48

      john1518, you don't kill gays – you leave them to be judged by God....

      April 30, 2012 at 9:11 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      @John
      i suggest you read your bible a little closer, if you've read it at all:
      Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

      there are other passages too. you're sitting in front of a computer but couldn't look them up yourself? LOL, i'm an atheist and i know more about the bible than you?

      April 30, 2012 at 9:17 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @John1518- "Where exactly does the Bible say it is ok to k1ll gays?"

      Dude! Are you serious? I know you have an internet connection. Do you have a bible? Do you know how to use Google? Here's one to get you started...
      Leviticus 20:13 – "If a man has se.xual relations with a man as one does with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They are to be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads."

      April 30, 2012 at 9:21 pm |
    • Really-O?

      Bootyfunk beat me to it.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      no apology, John?

      April 30, 2012 at 9:23 pm |
    • Faith Works For Me

      With Christ came a new covenant between God and man. Instead of looking at the OT, take a peek into the NT and show us where Christ wants gays harmed? It would be hard to call Christians "Christians" if they lived by OT law. That said, I go to church to hear Truth and Love in Christ preached...certainly not murder, lol.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:34 pm |
  19. Nothing new under the sun

    Same old tired arguments from both sides. One says Bible...the other says BS. The two become angrier. We are to love all people. Even those we don't like. Truth be told, we despise in others what exists in ourselves.

    April 30, 2012 at 8:56 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      except the side calling B.S. is right. the bible says to kill g.a.y.s - i think they have a right to say something about that.

      April 30, 2012 at 8:59 pm |
    • Brittanie

      I like the way you phrased that. I'm an atheist myself but I grew up in a christian conservative household and I always strive to be the best person I can. Religion doesn't matter. What does matter is that we are able to think outside ourselves and the world we grew up in and see things from others' perspectives. See the truth.

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

      ask the victims of 911 if religion matters. ask victims of the inquisition or witch burnings if it mattered. ask the people of any country where the dominant religion tries to change the laws to reflect their own crazy dogma if religion matters. unfortunately, it does matter. if people could stop pushing their religious views on others, it wouldn't matter. but that's not the case.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:22 pm |
  20. Rob

    When I was in junior high, there was a black kid that I and my friends picked on all the time. One day, another kid, much bigger than me, picked a fight with me and kicked my ass. Afterwards, that skinny black kid walked up to me and quietly said "I'm sorry that happened to you, but now maybe you have some idea how I feel." After that day, I NEVER picked on him or anyone else ever again. Maybe Dan was wrong for using the language he did, but maybe some of those kids that walked out will think twice before they verbally attack anyone.

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

      actually, i'm hoping they walk out of there agreeing with him. the bible says to kill g.a.y.s, it should be attacked.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:01 pm |
    • Jeanine

      I'm calling bs on Rob.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:02 pm |
    • Reason vs Faith

      I would like to think so, but I'm afraid that their faith may still blind them on what they are really doing. Where you saw the error in your ways, some may not think they are wrong in their thinking because their faith in their bible and/or religion is so strong.

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

      Good comment.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:03 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.