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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. squirrell

    I am catholic
    37 years I never heard one word against gays
    Stop judging yourselves

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

      Glad to hear that your church supports equal rights for all Americans.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @squirrell –
      You haven't been listening closely enough:
      http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/01/09/us-pope-gay-idUSTRE8081RM20120109

      April 30, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • kevin

      I sleep in church too

      April 30, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • Kathy M

      I am a Catholic as well. I never heard one word against gays from anyone in all my years being a Catholic. I am almost 60. Perhaps I was fortunate that the parish priests and nuns I had contact with were/are enlightened. It saddens me that anyone who calls themselves Christian would bully, hate, discriminate or despise anyone. Call me crazy but I always thought Jesus' message was to love one another. Did I miss something?

      April 30, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @Kathy M-
      All that you missed is that there is a disconnect between what is preached and what is practiced.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
  2. Mominvolved

    I hope the parents of the kids who were subjected to the vile verbal abuse that man spewed come together to denounce him, and all who give him access to any venue with minors in it. He should not be allowed to come nowhere near anyone underage.

    April 30, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • n8263

      He is telling the truth. In fact much of the Bible is bullshit.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      You should "not be allowed to come nowhere near anyone". Period.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • DanisNOTtheMan

      He will never be invited to speak to minors again. That is for sure. He has said there are "good pedophiles" in the past. Makes you wonder how he got this engagement at all.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • The O'Really Factor

      If that applies to priests as well then I'm all for it.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • kevin

      seriously? you are ill honey seek help

      April 30, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
  3. toadears

    Dear people of the book who live close to Jordan...johnfrick somethin or other.. will blow you for free if you will only introduce him to someone famous. Thank you for reading.

    April 30, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • DanisNOTtheMan

      It is amazing that Dan was not physically assaulted. If someone attacked my religion, then proceeded to call me names, I would certainly be sure he stopped.

      It goes without saying that a lot people are not as level headed and may take revenge on the gay people in their community for Dan's hateful words.

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

      So words justify violence? Wow, you are a really creepy person.

      Todears, stop projecting,

      April 30, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
  4. mountmom5280

    My personal experience as an adult experimenting with the Christian religion, was no less outspoken and outragous than this speech. Regularly requesting signatures against gay marriage and publicly denouncing anyone and everyone (family included) who disagreed with their beliefs. Christianity is a farce and its followers showed me the right path to get on. Make a right at the fork in the road.

    April 30, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • DanisNOTtheMan

      Never heard a preacher or priest preach the kind of HATE coming out of Dan's mouth. I am concerned about the violence towards gays his words might cause.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • Phosphorus

      Christian preachers across the US say far worse things than Dan. I used to visit churches of different denominations, just to see what messages they spread. To be fair, there were some good and positive messages, but more often than not, I heard intolerance, segregation, discrimination, and fear. It's about time mirrors were held to the face of this ghastly religion and its bony, pointed finger was bent backward!

      April 30, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • n8263

      Why do you think what he is saying is hateful?

      He is just telling truth, much of the Bible is bullshit.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:27 pm |
    • johnfrichardson

      Why are you worried about violence towards gays that this speech might provoke. Are Christians so uncivilized that they can be expected to react to mere words with violence?

      April 30, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
  5. Bootyfunk

    Bootyfunk

    It comes down to this... , you wrote:
    "@Bootyfunk – you have no clue what this is all about and you never will unless you stop fighting the Creator who you keep bashing. The scripture in Leviticus that you posted pertains to the old Levitical Law. God provided the way to redemption through Christ. You have no idea what the bible is really all about so spare those who are searching for the truth or join them. You would be amazed if you really understood the God who created you and offers you the incredible opportunity to someday join Him in heaven after providing you peace here on this sin infested world."

    wrong. i was a christian myself, raised in a chrstian household, went to church on sundays. i've read the bible from cover to cover, with religious, historic and skeptical study guides. i've deeply considered my belief/non-belief. i decided to sever the mental shackles, to think for myself. i am an atheist and a humanist. i care deeply for my fellow man. i don't want you to be in a cult any more. it's not healthy for numerous reasons. think of your nephew joining a cult – would you be happy about it? christianity is a cult like any other.

    and read what i wrote above. jesus says you can't drop the OT. also, the NT has all sorts of evil views/behavior, including supporting slavery. Humanism offers a much more logical and compassionate ethical view. i challenge you to show how christianity, with it's misogyny, h.omophobia, etc. offers a better guide to living a good life.

    April 30, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
  6. smashicus

    LOL. Look, the gays and their lackeys acting like N_A_Z_I_S. Apparently being a radical LGBT affects the brain in a very negative way.

    April 30, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • Bootyfunk

      ummm... overreact much? acting like a nazi because he pointed out that it says he should be killed in the bible and called it bullsh.it? yeah, what a nazi, lol.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
  7. squirrell

    I am Catholic married to a woman
    I personally do not appreciate the odorous of poop
    Being hugged or else by a dude
    Or try to wear pantyes
    I go to church every Sunday with my family
    And I dont care what you do
    Gay people...
    get over it
    Nobody. Cares.
    White people get beat up
    Brown people get beat up
    black people get beat up
    Asian people get beat up
    Man up dudes
    and how did I get in here from youtube?

    April 30, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • DanisNOTtheMan

      Right on! Great post.

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

      you must have liked the link that said if you are D bag click here

      April 30, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
  8. Ed

    The bible is correct and gays will be judged.

    April 30, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • DanisNOTtheMan

      Dan should be held responsible for any harm that is caused by his hate speech.

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

      That'll be a neat trick. Your god judging it's own creation.

      Guess he tried that once before with the "flood" and failed.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • sybaris

      That'll be a neat trick. Your god judging it's own creation.

      Guess it tried that once before with the "flood" and failed.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:23 pm |
    • Observer

      IF you actually care about curing sinners, there are FAR FAR MORE Christians who are adulterers.

      So why are you so concerned about just gays?

      See any HYPOCRISY?

      April 30, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • Hawk

      The bible is a book of fairy tales. No more real than Mother Goose.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
  9. kevin

    All that left the room were self righteous ,bigoted,little programmed freaks that needed most to hear his message.

    April 30, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • n8263

      They were cheating themselves out of their own high school education.

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

      Or they were courageous little robots. I would be proud of my child for leaving.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:20 pm |
    • kevin

      guestioh I would be proud if you ended yourself,:)

      April 30, 2012 at 10:22 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      Nothing but an attempt to gain "brownie points for God". See, look how rightous I am, look at meeeee!

      April 30, 2012 at 10:24 pm |
    • kevin

      If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses < nailed it to the cross O my pardon the pun....

      April 30, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • pugilist66

      Kevin- did you get your ass beat alot as a kid? Yeah, I thought so.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • sam stone

      Wow, pugilist, you must be a really tough guy, Too bad about that brain damage, though

      May 1, 2012 at 12:41 pm |
  10. TMan

    Wow Bob. I've been in your shoes. You are as ripe as it gets. I love it. You don't know what you don't know. But you'll know it when you find it. Just like a light was turned on in the middle of the desert.

    April 30, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
  11. n8263

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

    April 30, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
  12. History Major

    Why is it that the people who are most adamant about being "Christians" are the ones who support a vengeful, hating god, not the loving god the gentle christians are taught to believe in. "For God so loved the World.." Not a tiny part of it, not just the ones that look or think like you, But The WORLD. Any religion that preaches hate or discrimination should be declared not to be a religion and forfeit its tax exempt status. Bet that would shut up a lot of the pulpit pounders and haters if they had to pay corporate taxes on the money in the collection plate and if their donors could no longer deduct their donations.

    April 30, 2012 at 10:14 pm |
    • guestioh

      Wow, that idea sounds pretty scary.

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

      History,
      Do you hate murder, child molesting, stealing, etc. Do you hate any laws? Do you have any morals? Is there such a thing as sin? Do you believe that every person has the right to decide what is "right" for them regardless of anyone else? Who sets the bounds that allow us to live in peace? Our governments? As a history major you should know better.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • johnfrichardson

      If no one is harmed, it's not a crime, or a sin. Two gay living their lives together are not hurting anyone.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
  13. Bob

    Good for him. The bible is bull and so are the people who believe it.

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

      yeah well you are bull. Which one of you is the pitcher and which the catcher? Who is giving who aids today?

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

      Fubo,

      It's not too bright to assume that anyone supporting gay rights is gay. Think next time.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • chris

      It is a shame that the weak minded defend idiolgy only on emotion and not fact. Anyone; anyone who would speak to children in such an agressive obtuse manner has no business sharing shallowness and hate. Bob, you probably share the hate of your brothers; dont ever justify your own shortcoming by trampling on the backs of others.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:26 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      That always makes me giggle, Observer. The idiots who think anyone who supports gay rights must be gay as well–do they think anyone who supports equal rights for women must be female? That anyone who supports equal rights for minorities must be a part of a minority group?

      Can you say MO RON? I knew you could.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
    • Observer

      chris,

      I don't support his crudeness. It was out of place.

      That still has nothing to do with the fact that his statement had some truth to it. The Bible does have errors, contradictions and nonsense in it besides the morals.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:32 pm |
    • johnfrichardson

      That seals it, Tom Tom! I must be a lesbian!

      April 30, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • chris

      Observer
      Nothing is perfect! But a Bigot is a Bigot and hate is hate, it wears no mask and its purpose can always be seen. We can diasgree with our brothers; because we all are but to attack the framework of another person to justify your own belife is wrong. ( no matter what the discourse ). this was a matter of hate and emotion, not looking a flawed work of the beautifull history of a gathering of theology that clearly shaped our nation. His accouts are also taken our of context and poorly understood. I wonder if his emotion would be so strong to offend the belivers of Islam with the same reverence he would offend children the mirrors biblical theology in the old test.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
  14. Geewizz

    Well nobody should be bullied. No matter what,who,where you are. Like the saying goes " Can't we just all get along?" It only takes your faith in Jesus and then all is set. I'm reading a book called Jesus + Nothing = Everything. Really ah ha type book.

    April 30, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      If you want a real Ah Ha book you should read any of the following. The Evolution of God, The Moral Animal or The God Delusion. Once you read any or all of those books you'll realize you've known the truth all along & it was obvious.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:21 pm |
    • Really-O?

      @If horses had Gods –
      I also recommend "God: The Failed Hypothesis: How Science Shows That God Does Not Exist" by Victor Stenger.

      Cheers.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
  15. 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. You'll see a lot more of this now that he has shown us the way.

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

      He certainly got a reaction from the fundies, didn't he?

      They don't like getting a taste of their own medicine at all. Poor widdle things.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:19 pm |
    • GinBhamAl

      That's pretty wide brush you're using, Ray. You're at least as bad as the false christians you're complaining about.

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

      Funny, according the the Fundies, YOU are the false Christian, Gin. It gets to where you need a scorecard to figure out who is whose false prophet.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
  16. uponthisrock

    Excuse me, as Jesus was hanging on the Cross His last words were to His Father to forgive those who put Him on the Cross. Those that could not tolerate His teachings. He never forced anyone to do anything. If indeed He is the Son of God
    (which I believe He is) there are a lot of "posters" here who must take a second look at their beliefs.Why? I He indeed is the Son of God and you go to the grave and find out that it is true both you and I will be exposed for our beliefs here and I will be a winner. You will be dammed as told in the Scriptures. If it is not true neither of us will ever ever know. I will "error"
    on the side of "Everlasting life after death"

    April 30, 2012 at 10:12 pm |
    • The O'Really Factor

      I could be wrong, but I don't think "error" is believing. I'll give you the last word.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:15 pm |
    • johnfrichardson

      I understand that Yahweh can get REALLY cranky about people saying that a person is god or the son of god. So if the Old Testament is correct, Christians may be among the very few people going to hell.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:17 pm |
    • toadears

      JOhn, the suck up.....the people of the land close to Jordan don't call him that. Try rastafarians. Your ignorance is complete.

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

      Todears, what ridiculous form of aphasia do you have that makes you circu-mlocute with such phrases as "the land close to Jordon". Meanwhile, the Rastafarian word for god is Jah, not Yahweh, idiot.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:29 pm |
  17. toadears

    You will never stand up against the people of the book. They own the entertainment business in America and that and money are your only gods now. You will cower under their lash. And you probably think I am talking about Christians because you don't seem to be able to understand who really wrote down all the laws from the book.

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

      Oh, shut up.

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

      I am done fighting with ignorant Americans. I hope you all kill each other off like your murder rates reflect to the people of the FREE world who are soon to rid themselves of your dirty dollars as currency. Now, isn't it time for one of your stupid reality shows to come on, PUNK? I mean that in the prison sense of the word because you are a kid.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:25 pm |
    • johnfrichardson

      Actually, I don't have a TV, toadears. Well, I have one, but it isn't hooked up. Anyway, go sit in a corner and tremble in fear over who "controls" the entertainment industry. Yeah, there's a huge issue for ya!

      April 30, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
  18. Marc

    Basic man point of view:
    1. He could have made a point about tolerance without showing intolerance towards Christians...but didn't
    2. He could have avoided using offensive language in front of minors...but didn't
    3. The organizers could have shut him down as soon as the first BS bomb left his mouth...but didn't

    Stop making this about the Bible, LGBT, or any other ancillary issue. It is about one man who couldn't control himself in a public setting and organizers of a conference who lacked the moral courage to stop him...not for his view points...but for his inarticulate and inappropriate manner in which he voiced those view points. Stay above the hate...

    By the way...what does he do with that spring in his hand?

    April 30, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
  19. Whynot11

    Good to see that he is standing against bulls***. Personally, I think the entire concept of religion is a joke. If you don't like my opinions you can play in traffic.

    April 30, 2012 at 10:10 pm |
  20. chief

    the people that are bashing him are right wing, deep fried fat chicken eating, greasy haired, passage memorizers that blaspheme God by picking out the things in the Bible to prove their narrowminded stance about life..... might as well be from westboro

    April 30, 2012 at 10:10 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.