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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. Sarah7

    Something is wrong with a forty seven year old grown man that goes out on a tirade bullying twelve to seventeen year olds.

    April 30, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • RayJacksonMS

      You mean the same 12 to 17 year olds that bully their classmates to death? Yeah harsh language is really going to cause little murderers some real mental issues.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • The O'Really Factor

      I think he was just giving a speech right? Some took offense to some of the things he said and they left. End of story.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
  2. vanillabean

    [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alXxsKLVofM&w=640&h=360]
    If you watch the whole speech, and not just the clips that supplement the media spin here, you'll notice he's attacking people who use the bible to justify bullying gays and lesbians. Seriously I thought Christians would be relieved to see someone say "quit using my bible as justification to bully people to death!" Only a dozen or so teens walked out. These teens don't need to be coddled – they've probably heard worse things come out of their kindergarten teacher's mouths.

    April 30, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • The Dude

      I think he was spot on and made 100% valid comments.

      He has a right to be angry. He is tired of being treated as sub human! Who wouldn't!

      April 30, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • toadears

      I agree with what he is saying. If people spent as much time hunting down people who do things that the Bible says are wrong., they wouldn't get anything else done. The Christian Coalition started this nightmare just so they could channel Christian votes into the White House and they used abortion and gay rights to fuel the flames. It's a disgrace to Christianity, really, much like the Crusades were in the old times.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    Why all the debate about Christianity?
    Islam is the true religion.

    April 30, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
    • Peanut Brittle

      Islam is the religion of Deemonz...

      April 30, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
  4. n8263

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

    April 30, 2012 at 10:07 pm |
  5. toadears

    Once upon a time there was a land close to Egypt and Jordan.

    April 30, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • toadears

      THEY wrote the laws

      April 30, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • BadIdea

      How many gay people will be attacked because of Dan's vile hate speech?

      April 30, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • johnfrichardson

      @Badidea I guess that depends on how many so called Christians are criminally deranged enough to start beating up people because someone else said something that upset them. I suppose it could be quite a few, but I'm holding out hope that sufficiently many Christians are sufficiently civilized to ensure that it will be very few to none,

      April 30, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
  6. toadears

    This horrible website will not allow the truth to be printed. ONE DROP. Just remember that, you who say you are those but are not. Christians did not write the Bible. It was a people who live in a country close to Jordan and Palestinians borders. But CNN won't let it be told because they want gays and Christians to continue bashing each other. One drop.

    April 30, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
  7. kevin

    Why do we believe anything that was written by people that didn't know where the sun went at night?

    April 30, 2012 at 10:04 pm |
    • toadears

      Egypt or Persia?

      April 30, 2012 at 10:06 pm |
    • kevin

      I don't believe the people of Egypt or Persia knew at the time the Bible was written.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • kevin

      The people that built the Pyramids certainly did but they were gone lone before the Bible was written.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
    • toadears

      Proving you talk with emotion and not historical knowledge. The Egyptian gods traveled the heavens in a boat taking the daylight with them. Study RA. The Babylonians god died for six months and was mourned, beginning with the summer solstice.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
  8. Bim Bammy GonnaGitYa

    all the fuss and muss and I bet he's more than tickled pink being in the media's spotlight, albeit a light reflecting that of a disgruntled Christian basher with his knickers in a bunch. The issue is not what he said, it's who he said it to. High School Students... It's also about how he presented this forum under the pretense it was going to be a discussion on Anti Bullying and turned it into exactly the thing it was supposed to be against. What is even worse are the 'educators' in attendance that applauded his comments. but bigotry towards Christians is politically correct and very much the thing to do these days, so who cares, right?

    April 30, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • Jimmy Joe Jim Bob

      Christians have been spreading their own brand of intolerance for a very long time. You hypocrites just can't stand it when someone else does it to you.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • Bim Bammy GonnaGitYa

      great excuse for his actions

      April 30, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
  9. toadears

    My butt is large. let's see them print that

    April 30, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • n8263

      They do not print the internet.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
  10. BloodRedeemed

    Forget these heathens who attack God's Holy Word....and take His Gospel forth. We'll be persecuted by "the world" as the Word has stated, but we're to teach the Salvation through the shed blood of Christ & grace of the Father.

    John 3:36

    April 30, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • johnfrichardson

      Yep, that's some of the BS we're talkin' about right there!

      April 30, 2012 at 10:05 pm |
    • RayJacksonMS

      The best and easiest way to p iss off christians is to do unto them as they have always done unto others. That's all Dan did and he is a hero for doing it.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • Jimmy Joe Jim Bob

      "heathens"

      You hypocrites just can't be tolerant of others, can you?

      April 30, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
  11. squirrell

    He. Likes to take it in the pooper
    Big deal

    April 30, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • BadIdea

      Nobody care about that. They care about him spewing hate towards people not like him. This is going to get some gay people hurt. Thanks to Dan's hate speech.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • dave

      Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord.

      So the butt pirates better get straight soon.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • Observer

      dave,

      Any idea how many of your hetero friends engage in a-nal s-x?

      Ooops.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You think dave has friends? Wow, Observer, you ARE an optimist.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • johnfrichardson

      @Badidea Who exactly is going to go on this thuggish rampage you are predicting? You?

      April 30, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
  12. VegasRage

    Good for him

    April 30, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
  13. Peter Wolfe

    Coming from a former catholic-christian prospective that the irony is that the speaker addressed how it feels when the knife is driven backwwards into the agressors direction. I don't condone it nor should anybody for this level of discourse but maybe it is necessary to address this controvercial issue on the premice of the years of opression? I think that the only way for normal people to know how to change that they must see how it is in reality for a minority in the U.S especially with the hate crimes commited on such groujps of people in the U.S.

    April 30, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • dave

      nah....just so they understand that the tune-ups they receive aren't completely personal...its just business.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
    • ginbhamal

      Is English a second language for you?

      April 30, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
  14. Bob

    hectorious2009, you claimed that your Christian god sacrificed his son for us. That's a silly belief. How is it that an omnipotent being can "sacrifice" anything? The whole son sacrifice thing is bogus out of the gate, when a real god could pop up a replacement son at will with less than a snap of its fingers.

    Furthermore, how is it that your "god" (again, a supposedly all-powerful being) couldn't do the saving, without all the dead son hoopla? Didn't quite have the power to do that? Weird stuff, what you apparently believe.

    Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself there. Care to try again?

    Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement. Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
    http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

    April 30, 2012 at 9:58 pm |
    • BadIdea

      This is not about religion. This is about common sense. Dan did not use any. Verbally abusing your audience and showing extreme hate will not further your cause. Dan's comments may in fact get some gay people injured.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • johnfrichardson

      So, if you're offended by one gay person's WORDS, you beat up other gay people? We've drifted an awful long way from turn the other cheek, no?

      April 30, 2012 at 10:08 pm |
    • toadears

      good luck with that. the people who live in the nation next to Jordan will not like you but they will allow you to comment and post websites. Amazing.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • GinBhamAl

      Bob, it must be really nice to be omniscient. Tell us how you achieved it.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:18 pm |
    • johnfrichardson

      @GinBhamAL No omniscience necessary to see through the absurdities of Christianity.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
  15. Demloather

    Christians are an easy target for db's like this who are too COWARDLY to ever include what other religions, like say Islam, have to say about gays.

    Hope he proves me wrong, stands up in front of Louis Farrakhan's group and cuts loose with a rambling diatribe about Islam, BS and gays.

    April 30, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      do your research. he has said plenty about other religions. we tend to focus on christianity in this country because it's the dominant religion here. all religions are equally ridiculous, and he has said as much.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • Jake

      Christians are an easy target for anyone with a brain who wants to make the world a better place.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • Jake

      (And yes, so are other religions!)

      April 30, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
  16. jack

    This dumbsh!t stand in a school auditorium and bullies anyone who has christians beliefs. This guy needs his F'n head examined. Or knocked off!

    April 30, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • Observer

      How "Christian" of you. Well done.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      i can't believe those students were subjected to a different point of view! they didn't go to college to expand their minds, dammit!

      April 30, 2012 at 10:01 pm |
    • Mark Blaise

      yeah jack, that's just what we need – this should be escalated to violence ... NOT!
      I suppose you think we should go back to the days of the inquisition, killing the heretics?

      April 30, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • n8263

      If you think saying something a few people take offense to is bullying, then you have absolutely no idea what bullying is.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:02 pm |
    • smashicus

      Observer, did he claim he was Christian? Idiot. As far as these kids expanding their minds, I really doubt listening to some fanatic, hateful deviant classifies as a learning experience.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
  17. Dan Jones

    Why is it that gays always accuse Christians of intolerance and then they in turn are the most intolerant and abusive people around? As James Dobson put it once," I never once threatened any gay person, but they have time and again threatened to kill me and my family, I have never tried to intimidate them but they have left burning crosses and caskets in my yard." No one has to be a Christian, no one is constrained to follow the Bible. But no Christian should be made to accept the gay agenda and life style or violate their own consciences by even pretending to agree with the pro-gay rhetoric.

    April 30, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • TR6

      If a dog gets kicked enough time. Do not be surprised if it bites you because you, even if you have never seen him before, if you ware same kind of shoes as his abbuser.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:00 pm |
    • TexasStar

      ...and gays should not have to be routinely subjected to Christian rhetoric, as they are at every GOP debate and Tea Party event – which is FAR mopre common than gays leaving burning crosses in people's yards. That's really more of a Christian Right tactic. I'm so tired of bible-thumpers claiming this country as their own when it was clearly established by liberal deists.

      No one has to be GLBT, no one is constrained to follow thir lifestyle. But no GLBT should be made to accept the Christian agenda or violate their own consciences by even pretending to agree with the gay-bashing vomit they spew.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:09 pm |
    • smashicus

      If that dog bites me, I'm going to launch him like a football.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:11 pm |
  18. AGuest9

    Try, “we can learn to ignore the bulls**t in the Bible", PERIOD!

    April 30, 2012 at 9:53 pm |
    • maggotfist

      AMEN to that,..please note the irony

      April 30, 2012 at 9:56 pm |
    • smashicus

      Feel free to ignore it. You guys would have fit in well with Adolf's crowd. They hated a certain religious group too.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:13 pm |
    • AGuest9

      It's wonderful to no longer allow oneself to be lied to or deluded.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • AGuest9

      Or controlled.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
  19. n8263

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

    April 30, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • DJ

      Oh how i wish I could be a fly on the wall when you are on your knees before God trying to explain this comment! In case you haven't heard, God is perfect. He doesn't debate issues; He doesn't concede His laws. If you reject God and His laws, as is very apparent, you do so at your peril. He doesn't HOPE for obendience; He expects it! Have fun!

      April 30, 2012 at 10:03 pm |
    • AGuest9

      I see the prayer meeting let out early tonight.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
  20. Steve

    I think a good place to start would be in firing the morons who brought this guy in to talk to high school students. A gay activist with a foul mouth. Wonderful! What exacty were they thinking? Or, more accurately, when did they stop?

    April 30, 2012 at 9:52 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      i can't believe those kids were subjected to different viewpoint, one that doesn't support prejudice. just terrible!

      April 30, 2012 at 9:54 pm |
    • n8263

      That is very true. Most highschool students have never heard the word shit. Now they will be saying it all the time. He let the cat out of the bag.

      April 30, 2012 at 9:57 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.