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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.”

Watch CNN Newsroom weekdays 9am to 3pm ET and weekends. For the latest from the CNN Newsroom click here.

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Bible • Charity • Christianity • Homosexuality • Israel • Schools • TV-CNN Newsroom

soundoff (4,113 Responses)
  1. Ed

    I read a column by this guy once and it is funny, he is really sound with his worldy advise. Everything he says has perfect logic and applicability for this world system. He is not, however, one to rely on for such an important issue as our existence, since he was not there when everything came into being. He has further chosen to rule out faith as a catalyst and the Bible as evidence of an almighty God. So Daniel, I understand that you have worked ever so hard trying to justify your existance as the person you are, a sinful wretch, just as I, however, sin in your life has caused you to persist in shaking your tiny fist at an almighty God. I will leave the rest of this conversation between you and your creator.

    April 30, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  2. If horses had Gods ... their Gods would be horses

    Typical, walk out and don't listen (or understand context) to what's being said.

    April 30, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • mork

      I love your name.

      April 30, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • Nick

      The same can be said about people who pick out lines from the Bible but don't quite understand the context.

      April 30, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • If horses had Gods ... their Gods would be horses

      Thanks, pretty much says it all .. to me anyway.
      It's from Xenophanes, a Greek philosopher from 500 BCE.

      April 30, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
  3. Hardy Frager

    God is laughing at all you God haters. You'd like to cast away His laws, but He says to you:
    Psalm 2:2 The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,
    Psalm 2:3 Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us.
    Psalm 2:4 He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.
    Psalm 2:5 Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.

    April 30, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • mork

      I believe in GOD. I just hate Christians, Muslims and Jews.

      April 30, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • sybaris

      People that use quotes from their bible as a defense have no concept of corroborative evidence.

      April 30, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • darkstar

      That's OK. The Flying Spaghetti Monster, Marduk and Sobek-Ra are equally laughing at you.

      April 30, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Darwin

      it doesn't say jack and never has because it isn't.

      April 30, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • mork

      and the facts are HE (SHE?) actually said this but it was written by a guy just like YOU a few thosand years ago? Yah Im going to take THAT to heart. LMFAO

      April 30, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • moses

      I feel sorry for you Hardy, I really do. It must be hard to be ignorant, and to have that ignorance turn to fear, and to then have that fear turn to hate. It's just sad.

      April 30, 2012 at 4:50 pm |
    • W. R. Martin

      That, friends and neighbors, is what is known as a FAIL.
      Please Hardy, tell us you really aren't that stupid. Please.
      Using text from the book of mythology to 'prove' the mythology? Really?
      Spot the possible problem here, if you can–
      My next statement is going to be true.
      Hardy Frager is a moron.

      Prophesy? Or am I just a run-of-the-mill magician?

      April 30, 2012 at 7:13 pm |
    • brain therapist

      @mork
      "I believe in GOD. I just hate Christians, Muslims and Jews."

      Pathetic to know you HATE what amounts to billions of human beings...
      Hw do you find time to do it?
      It must be nice for you to have STEREOTYPING available to make your SHALLOW "thinking" more efficient.

      Could it be that you are convinced that your HATE is less of a personal and societal cancer because your own moral compass is pointed toward the real "true north" Or simply because you are smarter and wiser than ever member of the huge groups of human beings you stereotype and denigrate...?

      Or possibly it is acceptable. to hate them because they hated you first 2,000 years ago...? That's a 3rd grade answer, let's not forget, you're supposed to be occupying the intellectual high ground here.....

      Or maybe you believe that their hate is darkness and yours is righteous...? Since "their" hate is in the name of "their" God.....It doesn't really matter either way, .... By your own admission HATE itself living and breathing inside you now.

      You might want to all get all of the other contributors of vile spewage in this cyber-stoning circle to collectively regurgitate the bile and make a pool for your dunking stool.... surely you'll want enough to immerse them completely ..
      .......and don't forget, if they don't drown, they're real Christians, if they come up lifeless, they were actually closet atheists...

      Best Wishes with trying to cover all of the people who you feel deserve to be hated, you have an enormous task ahead, hope it all works out for you.

      May 2, 2012 at 2:24 am |
  4. mork

    God Dislikes Republicans

    April 30, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • brain therapist

      "God" .....sees human beings filled with HATRED as lost and pathetic. Neo-Pagan/Pseudo-Liberals see them as illuminated crusaders for the development of a modern utopia.

      Indeed, Christians have been trying to convert me to their belief my whole life.
      However, I cannot accept the concept that only Christians shall go to "heaven"
      That does not mean they deserve to be HATED.
      I simply choose to respect their views and am grateful for what truly is a compassionate concern for my eternal soul.

      If, in fact you do stand for TOLERANCE you would adopt a similar perspective.
      But, your own shallow content provided to this cyber-stoning circle proves that you are a hypocrite.

      Since you obviously tell yourself you occupy the intellectual and moral high ground, it should be a simple task for you to reconcile your own bigotry intolerance stereotyping hatred and malevolent feelings towards Christians, Muslims and Jews with the core values of the liberal cause of Peace, Tolerance, etc etc...

      May 2, 2012 at 2:39 am |
  5. Todd

    How would God be just if he didn't punish sin? So many blind people here who think themselves wise, too good to be sinners, too righteous in their own eyes. "God doesn't exist". Ha. It would take God to make such a God-like omniscient statement. Read the Bible before you jump to conclusions on who God is, who God isn't, what Christians believe, what salvation is, etc.

    April 30, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • W. R. Martin

      And, ... an Apologetics FAIL.
      Apologetics: Yes, that's my argument; I apologize.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      I read Alice in Wonderland. I do believe there is a real world on the other side of the Looking Glass.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:17 pm |
  6. Dan

    Remember he is a progressive democrat {far left socialist} Vote for more democrats.

    April 30, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  7. Harry

    Hypocrite It is OK to bully people that do not agree with him. He does not understand the Bible and is bigoted like he clams others are about those who engage in sodomy

    April 30, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  8. Sup

    Go Dan!!! Don't back down!! I support you 100%!!!!!

    April 30, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • Jez

      I like this guy!

      April 30, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • brain therapist

      ohh , you mean your an angry,intolerant attention seeking hate filled parasite...

      Hope that works out well with your overall health both mental and physical.

      Hate is like a cancer you know.

      May 2, 2012 at 2:41 am |
  9. J.W

    I think gays are pretty cool, but so are Christians. So gay Christians are totally awesome.

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

    Had this guy said such a thing about the Koran in a Muslim country, he would not have walked out with his orifices intact. Perhaps he was asking for that here?

    April 30, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • Billy

      He likes getting his orifices reamed

      April 30, 2012 at 4:44 pm |
    • W. R. Martin

      The fatwa-envy thing has been done already but we will give you an F for trying anyway.
      Christianists bully and harass gay people.
      Gay person speaks at school and tells Christianists to stop using their book of mythology as justification for their immoral (you just love some morals from that book, try using some) behavior.
      Christianists get their panties in a wad up their crack, cry like babies, and leave.
      Mike shouts: "Hey, look at the squirrel! I said, "Squirrel!" Everyone! Seriously, squirrel!"
      Thanks, Mike. Without your contribution here today we would never have known about the squirrel. Whew!

      April 30, 2012 at 7:21 pm |
  11. Ralph

    Go ahead, ignore the Bible! Just don't start your OWN crying when you contract HIV. The Bible sez it's wrong and you shouldn't do it, but you think you know better, so have at it. Just remember you were warned. You will have no one to blame but yourselves. The Bible also says "The wages for Sin is death". I guess you don't believe in that one one either. Oh well, it IS your choice to ignore the dangers, all of them.

    April 30, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • darkstar

      Thank you. I will continue to ignore fantasies that have no basis in reality. I'm all grown up now.

      April 30, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • tom

      pull your head out of the dark ages and use your brain for once. the bible is a nice fairy tale indeed

      April 30, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • moses

      I feel sorry for you Ralph, I really do. It must be hard to be ignorant, and to have that ignorance turn to fear, and to then have that fear turned to hate. It's just sad.

      April 30, 2012 at 4:49 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Ralph: You do realize that it is not only gay men who get HIV...right? No-one deserves the disease and no-one deserves to listen to bigots like you. This man is not harming anyone by loving another man, nor is he committing a crime...he did not choose to be gay, he was born that way (science has proven that and it will always trump your buybull). Get your head out of the sand and live in the 21st century.

      April 30, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • HK

      The bible also says you shouldn't touch pigskin or eat shellfish. Hope you don't play football or enjoy lobster.

      April 30, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • W. R. Martin

      Not to mention wearing clothing made from more than one type of fabric. Wearing a cotton/poly blend or your pants and your shirt made from different material? Death.
      Or planting more than one crop in your field. Got tomatoes in there with those peppers? Death.
      Shall we continue down the path of ignorant, Bronze-age, desert-dwelling, goat herders any further? Go right ahead, if you wish. Me, I prefer my reality based in the here and now and my calendar says it's the 21st century.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
  12. JackBeHumble

    This is not a political issue folks, terms like liberal or conservative, republican or democrat, should go trolling elsewhere.

    April 30, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
  13. Patti

    Leviticus also states that adulterers should be put to death. So I guess Christians are able to ignore that "bullsh!t."

    April 30, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • Redford

      Perhaps you should read the Gospels. Christianity is based on those.

      April 30, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • zahbudda

      You should know that we are no longer under the Law..(Leviticus) as no one could keep it... we are now under the Grace and Shed Blood of Jesus... or Christ died in vain... as Paul says,

      April 30, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Patti

      So Redford, are you saying you only believe in some of the bible?

      April 30, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
    • Redford

      If you know anything about the Bible you'll know also that Christ came to correct and to fulfill the law. His own teaching which is the foundation of Christianity. And yes, I am a Christian.

      April 30, 2012 at 4:45 pm |
    • Patti

      zahbudda, then why is it that Christians are forever quoting Leviticus when it comes to denying equal civil rights to gays.

      April 30, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • Redford

      Yes, and in the New Testament the woman taken in adultery was saved from stoning, forgiven, but told to go and sin no more. That was Mary Magdalen

      April 30, 2012 at 4:51 pm |
    • Kenneth E. Lamb

      Patti, it depends on whether you are discussing Jewish, of Gentile, Christians.

      In Acts 15, the Council of Jerusalem rules that Jewish followers of the halacha of Jesus must continue to observe the 613 mitzvahs of the Torah, aka, The Law. It further rules that Gentile Christians are not bound by those mitzvahs; they must instead observe what are now known as the Noahchide Laws.

      Today's mainstream Christianity would not be recognizable to the Apostles. It has undergone so much "Gentilization" that what was originally a Jewish sect is now totally divorced from Judaism. Overwhelmingly, ignorant, hate-inspired rants against Christianity are based on the ignorance of the ranter vis a vis those differentiations, such as stoning adulterers.

      Before you vent your spleen on a comments board, please take time to educate yourself on this aspect of Christian theology.
      -30-

      April 30, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  14. Guest

    Some people hold the bible up as if it were the golden idol when they should be looking higher up.

    April 30, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
    • zahbudda

      In the beginning was the Word. The Word became flesh and dwelt amongst us"....

      April 30, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • Bill C

      Huh? Where do you think the Bible came from. Scripture teaches us that "All Scripture is true and valuable for teaching." It also teachs us that God wrote it. So we can't just arbitrarily say "we don't like that part" and ignore it.

      April 30, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  15. SlaveWorld

    All of the Bible is BS, so?

    April 30, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  16. superflykids

    Stand up against bullying by being a bully. Bullying is wrong, whether your Christian or a keynote speaker. Period.

    April 30, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Who did he bully? His comments were not directed at anyone in particular.

      April 30, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
  17. Sifleut

    Anyone can be spiritual, but religion separates people as evidence in some of these comments.

    April 30, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
  18. tkindsm

    I'm not even what you would call "a believer" but all this anti-religious rhetoric by the Liberals makes me sick. Go live someone else if you don't want to live in the Land of the Free. Freedom of religion is a big part of America’s culture. Go hate somewhere else. Anyone in America has the right to believe what they want. One of my friends who is an Atheist says he hates religion because of people trying to force religion on him... he doesn't even see it that, that it is exactly what the Atheists are doing... Forcing their anti-religious views on others. Taking away pray from those who want it. Trying to take the mention of "God" away from anything relating to America. Atheists are a sad lot of people who just want to spread their misery. Please mind your own business. (Side note; the religious people who think being gay is a choice or curable affliction are idiots as well.)

    April 30, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • Nonimus

      "...that it is exactly what the Atheists are doing... Forcing their anti-religious views on others. Taking away pray from those who want it. Trying to take the mention of "God" away from anything relating to America."
      No atheist, that I'm aware of, is saying one can't pray, just don't force the children to.
      Same with mentioning "God", you can do it all you like, but the government can't promote or endorse any one religion. That is part of the Freedom of Religion you speak of.

      April 30, 2012 at 4:42 pm |
    • God's Oldest Dreamer

      tkindsm,,,,,,,,,,,, ,

      Most one-liners are but from noephite kids who are irking to seek their prey be it christians of be it atheists1 My being 57, I can see their minset ambiguities as being but playfulisms fot they have nothing better to do than become someone's embittered accusers!

      April 30, 2012 at 4:43 pm |
  19. Marie Rench

    Our tax dollars paid for some guy to berate and bully high school students? Yep, that's public education for you!

    April 30, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • Luch

      public education under the Obama administration that is

      April 30, 2012 at 4:39 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      He did not bully anyone or berate anyone. He berated a 2000 year old book, nothing more.

      April 30, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
  20. Jamie

    Remember people, we live in America, so you have to be nice to ALL forms of mental retardation, including religion.

    April 30, 2012 at 4:36 pm |
    • trebor

      I guess you could also add liberalism to the list...as a more serious form of retardation.

      April 30, 2012 at 4:40 pm |
    • Luch

      typical reply from the tolerant liberal minded person that you are...label and belittle all who hold traditional values ...who are the real "phobes" here

      April 30, 2012 at 4:45 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.