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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. donald

    John78; Do not judge from your own little BLACK HEART! REPENT! And LIVE!

    May 1, 2012 at 4:07 pm |
  2. Lewis

    Hey Dan- the same words are in the Holy Quran. What do you have to say about that? Why don't you tell the same thing to a Muslim ? Doubt you have the eggs.

    May 1, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • momoya

      What's your point, that christians aren't violent like muslims.. Oh gee.. thanks.. How can we ever thank you enough for being so gracious as to not torture and k.i.ll us..

      May 1, 2012 at 4:16 pm |
  3. donald

    God is TRUE and EVERY man a LIAR!

    May 1, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
    • John78

      Let's see, I've got some Lithium, Thorazine, Haldol....what is it that you usually take donald?

      May 1, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  4. donald

    Either he will LOVE the ONE! And HATE the OTHER! Or will HOLD to the ONE and HATE the OTHER!

    May 1, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
  5. Matt

    O God, the everlasting Creator of all things, remember that the souls of unbelievers were made by Thee and formed in Thine own image and likeness. Remember that Jesus, Thy Son, endured a most bitter death for their salvation. Permit not, I beseech Thee, O Lord, that Thy Son should be any longer despised by unbelievers, but do Thou graciously accept the prayers of holy men and of the Church, the Spouse of Thy most holy Son, and be mindful of Thy mercy. Forget their idolatry and unbelief, and grant that they too may some day know Him whom Thou hast sent, even the Lord Jesus Christ, who is our Salvation, our Life and Resurrection, by whom we have been saved and delivered, to whom be glory for endless ages. Amen.

    May 1, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • Samantha

      Matt, I think it's wonderful that you put such a full, dedicated prayer for yourself on here! How's that working out for ya?

      May 1, 2012 at 4:03 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      Tim: Follow. But. Follow only if ye be men of valour, for the entrance to this cave is guarded by a creature so foul, so cruel that no man yet has fought with it and lived. Bones of full fifty men lie strewn about its lair. So, brave knights, if you do doubt your courage or your strength, come no further, for death awaits you all with nasty, big, pointy teeth.
      King Arthur: What an eccentric performance.

      May 1, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  6. donald

    No man can serve two masters.

    May 1, 2012 at 3:59 pm |
    • John78

      It's true donald, so you're gonna have to leave the little in your pants alone for at least an hour...

      May 1, 2012 at 4:04 pm |
  7. mooseinfmp

    Somebody needs to ventilate this phaggot's skull.

    May 1, 2012 at 3:58 pm |
    • tnfreethinker

      I'd be happy to ventilate your skull, moose.

      May 1, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  8. Earnest Thompson

    There are Scriptures in the Bible that Churchs are not going by.. one of them is (call no man father.. for you have but one father.. and he is in Heaven).. all they have to do is call themselves something else.. Like Cardnels or Biships.. or anyone of the other names they use.. Send me an e-mail.. and Ill tell you more.. Regards.

    May 1, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
  9. Reality

    ONLY FOR THE NEWCOMERS–

    One more time: The Facts–

    "Abrahamics" believe that their god created all of us and of course that includes the g-ay members of the human race. Also, those who have studied ho-mo-se-xuality have determined that there is no choice involved therefore ga-ys are ga-y because god made them that way.

    To wit:

    o The Royal College of Psy-chiatrists stated in 2007:

    “ Despite almost a century of psy-choanalytic and psy-chological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person’s fundamental heteros-exual or hom-ose-xual orientation. It would appear that s-exual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of ge-netic factors and the early ut-erine environment. Se-xual orientation is therefore not a choice.[60] "

    "Garcia-Falgueras and Swaab state in the abstract of their 2010 study, "The fe-tal brain develops during the intraut-erine period in the male direction through a direct action of tes-tosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hor-mone surge. In this way, our gender identi-ty (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and s-exual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender ident–ity or s-exual orientation."[8

    See also the Philadelphia Inquirer review “Gay Gene, Deconstructed”, 12/12/2011. Said review addresses the following “How do genes associated with ho-mose-xuality avoid being weeded out by Darwinian evolution?”

    Of course, those gays who belong to Abrahamic religions are supposed to obey the rules of no adu-ltery or for-nication allowed.

    And because of basic biology differences said monogamous ventures should always be called same-s-ex unions not same-s-ex marriages.

    From below, on top, backwards, forwards, from this side of the Moon and from the other side too, gay se-xual activity is still mutual masturbation caused by one or more complex se-xual differences. Some differences are visually obvious in for example the complex maleness of DeGeneres, Billy Jean King and Rosie O'Donnell.

    Yes, heteros-exuals practice many of the same "moves" but there is never a doubt who is the female and who is the male.
    =========================================================================================
    [[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[[

    May 1, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
  10. Me

    Where's the bull***t call for the Quran? People are being killed according the belief in the Quran everyday.

    May 1, 2012 at 3:55 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      You see, I'm not an ignorant person who tries to argue against something when I have no knowledge of it. I don't know much about the Qu'ran. Never had much reason to. Don't know any Muslims or interact with any. I've never had a debate with a Muslim either. Christians make up the majority of religious believers in the US. I'm well-versed in the Bible. This is why I attack the Bible and not the Qu'ran.

      May 1, 2012 at 4:38 pm |
  11. Michael

    Why are gays so thin skinned and whiney?

    May 1, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
    • Acno

      Actually I have great skin and I'm considered a quiet guy. Why do people that generalize usually end up showing how ignorant they are?

      May 1, 2012 at 4:01 pm |
    • Snow

      Why are you christians so defensive about anyone's comment? is your faith so flimsy that you feel threatened by every little provocation?

      May 1, 2012 at 4:12 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      @Snow – that's a rhetorical question, right?

      May 1, 2012 at 4:17 pm |
    • sam stone

      Gays are whiney? Do you not read the other posts here? The Christians are having a hissy fit

      May 1, 2012 at 4:30 pm |
  12. Robin

    The truth hurts, doesn't it Dan

    May 1, 2012 at 3:41 pm |
    • Huh?

      What truth – that many xtians have thin skins and a persecution complex?

      May 1, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Jacksonhey

      What Robin? That Christianity is man-made? I guess that might hurt you since you seem to be a hate monger...the way your religion taught you to be...

      May 1, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • b4bigbang

      Hey gay atheists, maybe Robin's 'truth that hurts Dan' is the fact that he (and you) insert things into your anal cavities – that's gotta hurt eh?
      Btw, I saw something on the internet about 'gay bowel syndrome'. Gay atheists, care to explain it?

      May 1, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • Acno

      bang...the more offensive you are the more you show how sadly ignorant you are. Now go back to your tailor-court and play with your sheep....

      May 1, 2012 at 4:00 pm |
    • Snow

      your christian love at its best, eh, bang? No worries, I understand you are simply being a good sheep and following what you are taught..

      May 1, 2012 at 4:14 pm |
    • sam stone

      bang: still on your knees, begging for salvation like a boot licking slave?

      May 1, 2012 at 4:33 pm |
  13. Jon

    We have the freedom to be religious in this country! so you better not use your freedom to say what you want against what we believe!

    May 1, 2012 at 3:35 pm |
    • mickey1313

      That is exactly the right we do have, if someone has the right to prostalitize, them others have the right to call them crazy, stupid, etc. I hope you were kidding

      May 1, 2012 at 3:40 pm |
  14. Jacksonhey

    Christians that believe in a book that was organized by an openly gay man (King James) are just silly to believe anything anti-gay would be in it. Why look at your sacred book for a reason to hate someone?

    May 1, 2012 at 3:33 pm |
    • GodsPeople

      The KJV bible is completely inaccurate in every way. The only truly accurate translation with the most content and the least missing context is the new Orthodox Study Bible. The Orthodox Church previously utilized the standard Catholic bible, but the church finally released it's bible to the public.

      May 1, 2012 at 3:36 pm |
    • *facepalm*

      @GodsPeople – why is your translation correct and every other one wrong or even 'completely inaccurate in every way'. You've previously said that you don't understand aramaic and don't always get the nuances of the original languages. So what makes you qualified to make such a claim?

      May 1, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      People will lash on to anything to find reasons to hate. Even as a Christian I will admit that the Bible is a formable tool to hate as well as it is to love.

      May 1, 2012 at 3:38 pm |
    • Jacksonhey

      Em....gods...this of course is according to you. A human person. When God comes down and says, "here's my book." I'll believe it. SO much of the bible has been disproven historically and archaeologically. The only people that cling to it are the people that are so afraid of living that they need to be promised that there is something better than this life and that their enemies will burn in hell.

      May 1, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
    • Stormfront Unite!

      @Gods – do you think heaven is segregated?

      Does the orthodox version contain the full greatest commandment – "love your neighbor as yourself ... so long as your neighbor looks like you"?

      May 1, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • GodsPeople

      Because the Orthodox (which WAS 7 Churches, but now is just 6) is the original and true Church of Christ. Peter first ministered to Gentiles about the forgiveness and love of God through Christ in Antioch, where the first Orthodox Church was founded (in a cave, since Christians were heavily persecuted by the Roman Empire at that time)... Not only that, but there's something like 22 books of the bible missing from the KJV, and another 7 or 8 missing from the Catholic Bible.. only the Orthodox contains ALL of these books. No, I don't understand Aramaic (although I'm considering another run at learning it), and I don't understand Hebrew. My priest IS fluent in Hebrew, however, and pretty good with Aramaic. That's why I ask him.

      May 1, 2012 at 3:42 pm |
    • mickey1313

      Jackson and face palm, i agree totally with you. Why can't people just that others right regardless of belief. We are all human after. Ps, this message which allegedly is the base for Christianity, was brought to you today by an atheist.

      May 1, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
    • Huh?

      So, you know it to be a true translation because someone else told you so. Do you also think that the people that translated the other version of the bible simply didn't understand Hebrew or Greek?

      May 1, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
  15. Nemoque

    To atheist Fred, I'm not clear on your question. I stated that you have to interpret the Bible according to its literary genre. You interpret historical genre as non-figurative unless there is a reason to interpret otherwise. If you called someone, and the person that answered the phone said that the person you wanted to speak to was "tied up," would you take that figuratively or non-figurativly? How did you make your choice?

    May 1, 2012 at 3:25 pm |
    • Adam

      How much of your life do you spend doing apologetic gymnastics trying to reconcile your desire to believe the Bible is the revealed word of the Creator of the universe with the manifest fact that it is rife with immoral, nonsensical, flat-out-false, and abhorrent content?

      Any "interpretation" you wish to use necessarily comes from OUTSIDE the Bible. The nutbags have it right in their absolutism. And I'm afraid your religious liberalism only provides the shade under which fanaticism is allowed to grow.

      May 1, 2012 at 3:43 pm |
    • Primewonk

      Nemoque – your god wrote this in his (god-breathed) book –

      Judges 11: 29 Then the Spirit of the Lord came on Jephthah. He crossed Gilead and Manasseh, passed through Mizpah of Gilead, and from there he advanced against the Ammonites. 30 And Jephthah made a vow to the Lord: “If you give the Ammonites into my hands, 31 whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites will be the Lord’s, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering. ”

      32 Then Jephthah went over to fight the Ammonites, and the Lord gave them into his hands. 33 He devastated twenty towns from Aroer to the vicinity of Minnith, as far as Abel Keramim. Thus Israel subdued Ammon.

      34 When Jephthah returned to his home in Mizpah, who should come out to meet him but his daughter, dancing to the sound of timbrels! She was an only child. Except for her he had neither son nor daughter. 35 When he saw her, he tore his clothes and cried, “Oh no, my daughter! You have brought me down and I am devastated. I have made a vow to the Lord that I cannot break. ”

      36 “My father,” she replied, “you have given your word to the Lord. Do to me just as you promised, now that the Lord has avenged you of your enemies, the Ammonites. 37 But grant me this one request,” she said. “Give me two months to roam the hills and weep with my friends, because I will never marry.”

      38 “You may go,” he said. And he let her go for two months. She and her friends went into the hills and wept because she would never marry. 39 After the two months, she returned to her father, and he did to her as he had vowed. And she was a virgin.

      From this comes the Israelite tradition 40 that each year the young women of Israel go out for four days to commemorate the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite.

      So what is the proper way to spin this so that it doesn't mean what it says it means?

      May 1, 2012 at 3:54 pm |
    • fred

      Primework
      No spin necessary. We are not told what Jephthah did to fullfill his vow or if he did. These verses clearly demonstrate the importance of vows to God and the kind of vows made. We know God did not allow the sacrafice of Isaac Abrahams son. We know sacrafice of children is an abomination to God and God woudl not accept it or demand it. God does not go against his own will.

      May 1, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
  16. JJJJJ

    We have taught our children that they can't handle ANYTHING on their own, that they are always a victim, and that EVERYONE needs to accept them. Since when has that ever been true? I don't think people should go out of their way to harass people, but they also don't need to be friends with everyone. Religion, like anything else, can be used for positive AND negative. For this man to use the BIBLE in his speech in the way he did was insulting to some people. So, they did what they should and walked out. Good for them.

    May 1, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • momoya

      I mostly agree, but if you can't handle a few words that tame then you probably shouldn't become a journalist!!! LOL!

      May 1, 2012 at 3:01 pm |
    • Adam

      And good for him for calling out the content of the Bible as some heinously malignant bullsh**t.

      May 1, 2012 at 3:06 pm |
    • Primewonk

      JJJJJJ – In the bible does god command that his followers go and kill gay folks? Does this god also command his followers to kill unruly children? Does this god also command his followers to stone women who are not virgins on their wedding night? And are there numerous other commands from this god to kill various people for various reasons?

      So what is wrong with pointing out the îdiocy here? What is wrong with calling out those who preach hate and intolerance?

      May 1, 2012 at 4:06 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      John 8:4-8

      Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

      Jesus stated the criteria for anyone to carry out such punishments and acts.

      May 1, 2012 at 4:35 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground.

      Jesus stated the criteria for anyone to carry out such punishments and acts."

      This account is only found in John 7:53-8:12 was not originally in the Gospel of John or in any of the Gospels. It was added by later scribes. The story is not found in the oldest and best manuscripts of the Gospel of John. Nor does its writing style comport with the rest of John. Most serious textual critics state that this story should not be considered part of the Bible.

      May 2, 2012 at 10:52 am |
  17. just sayin

    Praying is evidence of psychosis.

    May 1, 2012 at 2:56 pm |
    • JJJJJ

      What a stupid comment.

      May 1, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • kEN

      By a stupid person.

      May 1, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
    • Adam

      Hi J. I suggest you give some critical thought to the belief in the efficacy of prayer, as one example of unsubstantiated dogma, and it's implications in society. Here is a very good short summary on the issue: ytube: watch?v=7qX_d4TDmz0&t=54m52s

      May 1, 2012 at 3:13 pm |
  18. fudge Packer

    Momeya is a moooooooooslam and we know they like little boys

    May 1, 2012 at 2:55 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      momoya is female

      May 1, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • Lucifer's Evil Twin

      and an atheist... but you're definately a retard "fudge packer"

      May 1, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Wait... Momo is a older female and TomTom is also a older female. Interesting.

      May 1, 2012 at 3:44 pm |
  19. fudge Packer

    he should go back in the closet

    May 1, 2012 at 2:54 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      There's room enough for all teh gays in Christ's closet, right?

      May 1, 2012 at 3:02 pm |
  20. jimtanker

    I cant believe how many times you have to post those questions MOMOYA. No one will answer them either because it will show how shallow that they are and how inane that their position is.

    May 1, 2012 at 2:48 pm |
    • momoya

      yeah, but you can't blame the deluded for being deluded, though..

      May 1, 2012 at 2:56 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.