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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.”

CNN’s Belief Blog: The faith angles behind the biggest stories

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.”

Follow the CNN Belief Blog on Twitter

“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

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  4. DanSavágeIsGay

    Gay

    May 3, 2012 at 6:07 am |
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    May 3, 2012 at 6:04 am |
  6. DaLe

    And yes, i had been a h omo s e xual too, for i had mas t urbated.

    May 3, 2012 at 3:31 am |
  7. DaLe

    While i agree with no bigotry, the rules of supposed engagement can be questionable. Such as that i think that i could point out that it has a nice poetic and funny touch as in connection of the words "bull(y)" and "sh i t", and/or i could respond to perceived notion of (intended) trolling mildly with that he should have kept the Bible in the bookshelf (if has one) or on the table. That is if he even bothered looking before.

    As for Leviticus 18:22 and Leviticus 20:13, both in the sounding of KJV, the meanings seem morefold, particularly "mankind" seems to mean "kind man" and/or "humanity", and/or "any man", and "lie" seems to mean cynically most or all verbal, and/or anything.

    So, based on that, it would be interpreted as,
    – no bis e xuality (which is also cheating),
    – no group s e x,
    – no treating by man of man and/or (male) humanity, as by man of woman (/spouse)

    Arguably also or mainly about relation to spouse and relation to child/ren, and relation/s to everyone else. Point being that within the premise is parent/s, spouse, child/ren, every other male and female, in terms of society.

    Regarding the ones who walked out, it is as these pffft'ed so much that they spilled all their blood pffft'ing.

    May 3, 2012 at 2:17 am |
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  10. Reality

    ONLY FOR THE NEWCOMERS–

    One more time before the topic commentary is sent to Old Posts: 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 2, 2012 at 11:23 pm |
  11. DaLe

    i am still kind of on page one, particularly verse 3, particularly:

    light for every household, without insectification of any kind.
    cooking, and warmth and chill, depending on how it where applies.
    in relation to that, housings of stone (respectivly fest material/s), particularly in regard to windows.

    technical aid to blind persons, probably in the form of sound and/or light feedback system for surrounding (on feet/legs and head and/or hands), "translated" to pressure and/or sound, also with interconnection to map system (help to keep e.g. on pedestrian sidewalks, help with wider orientation – such as picking a destination to go to and being "pinged" there corner by corner). Not meaning that any blind person should have their life centered on such eventual aid, and not meaning dependency on such (dependency here in the meaning of e.g. reliance on it and then it not working for whichever reason and the person not being able to move without it), but it would seem as an useful thing.

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    • n8263

      Thank you robot!

      – Jimmy Buffet

      May 2, 2012 at 9:12 pm |
  13. n8263

    Thank you Dan Savage for telling the truth. There is much bullshit in the Bible and people need to hear it.

    These students were insulting and rude for walking out on your presentation and owe you an apology. They must also walk out in Biology when Evolution is taught, Earth Sciences when they learn there was no big flood and they probably threw a fit when they learned Santa Claus is not real. Fortunately these students that intentionally choose ignorance was a small minority.

    Keep up the good work and thank you!

    May 2, 2012 at 7:26 pm |
    • Keith

      Pro 14:12 There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof [are] the ways of death.
      NO apologies will be forthcoming.

      May 2, 2012 at 7:49 pm |
    • Keith

      The administrators responsible for having him speak should be fired.

      May 2, 2012 at 8:13 pm |
    • momoya

      @Keith

      For which of the following reasons should the organizers be fired?

      1. Dan explaining what was in their own bible that they didn't follow now?
      2. Dan asking that they not follow some verses because they don't follow others right next to them?
      3. Dan calling their BEHAVIOR "pansyazz? (He never said this about any specific person/student, and later apologized for the remark)

      May 2, 2012 at 8:24 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Wow. Keef must be moving his lips and sounding out the syllables. Why would it take him THIS long to respond?

      Or maybe he's just plastered.

      May 2, 2012 at 9:57 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Momo, the moment he decided to call a group of children "pansies" because they chose not to continue to listen to his tirade he became a bully.

      So much so that Dan, himself apologized for his comments, which he defined as "insulting" to the children.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:12 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>"These students were insulting and rude for walking out on your presentation and owe you an apology."

      n8263. You know your argument reminded me of a old Jeffersons episode and to wonder if you would think George Jefferson owed this guy an apology.

      [youtube=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iju7igTfwm8&w=640&h=360]

      May 3, 2012 at 1:31 am |
    • DanSavágeIsGay

      "These students were insulting and rude for walking out on your presentation and owe you an apology."

      Yeah pretty "rude" just like the students Liberty University, right? n8263? They must apologise to Romney!

      May 3, 2012 at 6:03 am |
    • momoya

      n8263.
      Mark, an insult is not the same as bullying. What you are also missing is that he made that comment the next day long after these rude students had walked out on him.

      They insulted him by walking out, he responded with an insult which he apologized for. Have you seen any apologies from these rude students?
      .

      May 3, 2012 at 9:14 am |
    • momoya

      Primewonk.
      @ Mark – Children? Seriously? Most of them were Juniors and Seniors in High School – 17 & 18 year olds. Years older than the little girl your god ra.ped and impregnated with himself. Years older than the kids the religious îdiots sent to die in the crusades. They are the same age as many of the young men we send off to kill and be killed in senseless wars.
      ,

      May 3, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • momoya

      lunchbreaker.
      This argument might go smoother if we stop and define our terms. According to Webster a bully is:

      1archaic a : sweetheart b : a fine chap
      2a : a blustering browbeating person; especially : one habitually cruel to others who are weaker b : pimp
      3: a hired ruffian

      I would think the keyword is "habitually". Making 1 mean comment does not make you a bully, you must do it habitually to be defined as a bully.

      May 3, 2012 at 9:15 am |
    • momoya

      n8263.
      Mark, his speech was not a tirade and he did not apologize for it, and he should not. He stated that people should not use bullsh!t in the Bible to justify bullying.

      He is right.

      Some students then rudely walked out on him in middle of his presentation. These students should offer an apology.

      May 3, 2012 at 9:16 am |
    • Mark from Middle River

      >>>”Mark, an insult is not the same as bullying. What you are also missing is that he made that comment the next day long after these rude students had walked out on him.”

      Momo, … If both of us went to a meeting, for example, a meeting to discuss how we could raise the academic achievement in inner city schools. A cause that most of society supports. We listen to speaker after speaker but then on stage comes a Louis Farrakhan clone.

      In his speech he begins to talk about the evils of the older White community and begins to freely toss around the phrase “White Devils”. He then focuses on African American Republicans. Then terms such as “Uncle Toms” and “traitors to the race”.

      Now I am guessing that you are White, Momo and I know I am a African American Republican so are we to continue to listen to this guys tirade? Remember we came to the conference to see what can be done to help children in the inner cities.

      Everyone is enti'tled to their opinions on a subject, including on how to fix problems, but does that mean that we are all to be held hostage to listen to everyone opinions? This is why I posted the video, that I hoped would make you understand what I felt happened in that auditorium that day.

      Synopsis. There was a increase of crime in the building where George Jefferson lived. Since the minorities, who lived in the Park Ave building were so small,(George and his wife, the maid, and Tom's wife Helen), there was a racist element that was unaware that they lived there. The racist decided to have a tenants meeting that was labeled as to organize to fight the growing crime in the building, something that Jefferson supported. Jefferson comes into the meeting because he thought it was a meeting to “fight crime” not a klan rally. Once seeing Jefferson at the meeting they informed him that it was a gathering to “fight crime” … by making sure that minorities and foreigners were prevented from living there.

      The kids who attended this meeting came because they wanted to stop bullying. What they got was similar to what happened in the Jefferson's episode. Now, there are Atheist that will say that it was not wrong what he said so the student's should have stayed to listen. You need to ask yourself Momo, if the same Atheist would have stayed in their seats or been ok if it was a meeting and a Rev Terry Jones clone came and began to rail against Gay and Lesbian lifestyles.

      It was a ambush Momo, and like George Jefferson we could have seen the same student's rush the stage and whoop Dan's tail, but we did not, they just got up and walked out. Remember the “turn the channel” stance that so many took back in the day, in that each of us are free to not listen or watch subjects or issues that we do not agree with on a moral ground? Did not these children exercise that option by quietly leaving? Are they not free Momo?

      The “bullying” came because he was the speaker in a lecture that was not open to debate. You, I and everyone knows that in such a setting the power is in the speaker. Same could be said of a sermon on Sunday morning. The speaker has the power of “I talk and you listen”... and Dan enjoyed that power over these kids right up until they got up and left at which point he lost power over them. They took away his power over them and Dan got mad. Mad to the point that he had to verbally insult, by his own admission, the children who decided to walk out.

      Last question, if a Christian Gay couple came to a new church, proceeded through the service, right up to the sermon. The pastor then takes the pulpit and begin a sermon in which she attacks the Gay and Lesbian lifestyles as evil. Should the Gay couple be compelled to remain seated and listen to this sermon? If they choose to exercise their freedom and get up and walk out, should they return to the church the next day to apologize to the Pastor?

      L'Chaim.

      May 3, 2012 at 12:02 pm |
    • n8263

      Mark, the disconnect is that it is a completely valid and defensible position, using reason, that there is bullshit in the Bible that some people use to rationalize bullying. Objectively speaking, he is right.

      The KKKs' bigotry is not defensible. Gay bashing is not defensible.

      May 3, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      n8263 . To be fair, what you are attempting to do is rationalize Dan's bullying. Do you not think that the klan offers up negative facts and figures about minorities and then stands on that data to rationalize their hatred?

      Or better n8263, take my black panther guy. Types, such as him, will bring out everything from the colonization of Africa, to Slavery, to Rodney King to issues even closer to today, all to rationalize their vocal hatred for Whites, not only in American society but around the world. For you, I can understand that you find issues with the Bible so this ambush, it appears you feel is ok and the students were wrong not to remain. Now faced with a black panther guy with his issues with White American history and with African American Republicans. Would we be wrong to walk out or should we remain?

      Try, let us go past race and religion and jump into Gender. There is a symposium on spousal abuse. Say, then a group of boys go to this high school lecture because they want to do what they can to end abuse. Then, the lady speaking goes militant Feminist. Starts really insulting all males in society. These same boys choose to leave and she notices them.... singles them out and while they are walking out she calls them pansies and that they can not take it when women push back. Are they wrong to walk out when feeling that since they are males, that the speaker is attacking them as a major part of spousal abuse?

      You declare that the klan bigotry is indefensible. To who? You, me? They will proudly stand by their negative data and say that their position is anything but indefensible. The radical feminist or the black panther guy, I am pretty sure that they will offer up data that ones who are sympathetic to their opinions will say is valid.

      What, I am attempting to say is that when you say “objectively speaking”, do you not feel that the others,.... the klan guy, the black panther guy, and the radical feminist will make that same claim when challenged?

      May 4, 2012 at 3:02 am |
    • n8263

      Mark, see my reply on the next page.

      May 4, 2012 at 1:49 pm |
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    May 2, 2012 at 6:45 pm |
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      An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.

      The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!-

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  17. Idiocy

    Because the best way to get people to stop bullying, insulting and ridiculing you is to bully, insult and ridicule them (or their beliefs, which is practically the same thing).

    May 2, 2012 at 1:25 pm |
    • momoya

      Which of his acts were bullying, insulting and ridiculing?

      1. Explaining what was in their own bible that they didn't follow now?
      2. Asking that they not follow some verses because they don't follow others right next to them?
      3. Calling their BEHAVIOR "pansyazz? (He never said this about any specific person/student, and later apologized for the remark)

      May 2, 2012 at 1:30 pm |
    • n8263

      Idiocy, calling Savage a bully for telling the truth is idiocy. He stated that people should not use bullshit in the Bible to justify bullying.

      He is right and it is dishonest for you to try to twist that into bullying.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Momo, the moment he decided to call a group of children pansies because they chose not to continue to listen to his tirade he became a bully.

      So much so that Dan, himself apologized for his comments to the children.

      May 2, 2012 at 1:47 pm |
    • n8263

      Mark, an insult is not the same as bullying. What you are also missing is that he made that comment the next day long after these rude students had walked out on him.

      They insulted him by walking out, he responded with an insult which he apologized for. Have you seen any apologies from these rude students?

      May 2, 2012 at 2:35 pm |
    • Keith

      n8263
      Are you always in the habit of making up the rules and re-defining terms as you go?

      May 2, 2012 at 2:41 pm |
    • Primewonk

      @ Mark – Children? Seriously? Most of them were Juniors and Seniors in High School – 17 & 18 year olds. Years older than the little girl your god ra.ped and impregnated with himself. Years older than the kids the religious îdiots sent to die in the crusades. They are the same age as many of the young men we send off to kill and be killed in senseless wars.

      May 2, 2012 at 2:57 pm |
    • n8263

      Keith, based on your previous comments it is not worth engaging with you.

      May 2, 2012 at 2:58 pm |
    • momoya

      I've been through all of this already about forty five times with Mark my piddle river; it's the dark spot running down my leg.. He seems not to care about anything ex.ce.pt repeating whatever m.a.nt.ra he made up out of thin air half-way through reading the ti.tle of the article.. Frankly, I wish all christians were as obstinate and ridiculous as him; he's the living embodiment of willful, christian ignorance.. He's a "wra.ng-wra.ng" for ca.su.al christianity.

      wrang-wrang: A person who steers people away from a line of speculation by reducing that line, with the example of the wrang-wrang's own life, to an absurdi.ty.

      May 2, 2012 at 3:07 pm |
    • a person of the Name

      @n8 Words sometimes does more harm then physical abuse. I'm sorry sir but you are wrong.

      May 2, 2012 at 3:23 pm |
    • lunchbreaker

      This argument might go smoother if we stop and define our terms. According to Webster a bully is:

      1archaic a : sweetheart b : a fine chap
      2a : a blustering browbeating person; especially : one habitually cruel to others who are weaker b : pimp
      3: a hired ruffian

      I would think the keyword is "habitually". Making 1 mean comment does not make you a bully, you must do it habitually to be defined as a bully.

      May 2, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
    • Keith

      n8263, That's probably a wise decision on your part.

      May 2, 2012 at 7:51 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Lunchbreaker. This is from the Obama administration's http://www.stopbullying.gov website.

      An Imbalance of Power: Kids who bully use their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.

      Repeti'tion: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.

      Your “habitually” claim, which was similar to the claim of “sustained” abuse, which was offered up earlier is shot down by the “potential to happen more than once”. Once Dan went into his tirade, that was the first instance, then his continual abuse of these kids was enough for them to walk out on his speech at which point he insulted, … by his own admission, the children who walked out.

      Habitual, sustained and repeti'tion was what the children felt was happening in his speech.

      May 3, 2012 at 1:23 am |
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  19. Jen

    Gays have their rights now, so enough whinning about it!! So sick of it being shoved down our throats, move on!

    May 2, 2012 at 1:03 pm |
    • GodPot

      "Gays have their rights now"

      LOL

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      May 2, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
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    • Primewonk

      Did you ever notice that the folks who spend the most time complaining about gay folks are the same ones who seem so fixated on having things shoved down their throats?

      May 2, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
    • sam stone

      Jen: They do not have equal rights to straights. If something is being shoved down your throat, perhaps you should not be spending so much time on your knees

      May 2, 2012 at 2:40 pm |
    • YeahRight

      "Gays have their rights now"

      No they don't marriage is not legal in all 50 states. Their partnerships deserve the same rights as gays.

      These rights include:

      Tax Benefits
      -–Filing joint income tax returns with the IRS and state taxing authorities.
      -–Creating a "family partnership" under federal tax laws, which allows you to divide business income among family members.

      Estate Planning Benefits
      -–Inheriting a share of your spouse's estate.
      -–Receiving an exemption from both estate taxes and gift taxes for all property you give or leave to your spouse.
      -–Creating life estate trusts that are restricted to married couples, including QTIP trusts, QDOT trusts, and marital deduction trusts.
      -–Obtaining priority if a conservator needs to be appointed for your spouse – that is, someone to make financial and/or medical decisions on your spouse's behalf.

      Government Benefits
      -–Receiving Social Security, Medicare, and disability benefits for spouses.
      -–Receiving veterans' and military benefits for spouses, such as those for education, medical care, or special loans.
      -–Receiving public as-sistance benefits.
      -–Employment Benefits
      -–Obtaining insurance benefits through a spouse's employer.
      -–Taking family leave to care for your spouse during an illness.
      -–Receiving wages, workers' compensation, and retirement plan benefits for a deceased spouse.
      -–Taking bereavement leave if your spouse or one of your spouse's close relatives dies.

      Medical Benefits
      -–Visiting your spouse in a hospital intensive care unit or during restricted visiting hours in other parts of a medical facility.
      -–Making medical decisions for your spouse if he or she becomes incapacitated and unable to express wishes for treatment.

      Death Benefits
      -–Consenting to after-death examinations and procedures.
      -–Making burial or other final arrangements.

      Family Benefits
      -–Filing for stepparent or joint adoption.
      -–Applying for joint foster care rights.
      -–Receiving equitable division of property if you divorce.
      -–Receiving spousal or child support, child custody, and visitation if you divorce.

      Housing Benefits
      -–Living in neighborhoods zoned for "families only."
      -–Automatically renewing leases signed by your spouse.

      Consumer Benefits
      -–Receiving family rates for health, homeowners', auto, and other types of insurance.
      -–Receiving tuition discounts and permission to use school facilities.
      -–Other consumer discounts and incentives offered only to married couples or families.
      -–Other Legal Benefits and Protections
      -–Suing a third person for wrongful death of your spouse and loss of consortium (loss of intimacy).
      -–Suing a third person for offenses that interfere with the success of your marriage, such as alienation of affection and criminal conversation (these laws are available in only a few states).
      -–Claiming the marital communications privilege, which means a court can't force you to disclose the contents of confidential communications between you and your spouse during your marriage.
      -–Receiving crime victims' recovery benefits if your spouse is the victim of a crime.
      -–Obtaining immigration and residency benefits for noncitizen spouse.
      -–Visiting rights in jails and other places where visitors are restricted to immediate family.

      May 2, 2012 at 3:10 pm |
    • YeahRight

      LOL oops Their partnerships deserve the same rights as straights. LOL!

      May 2, 2012 at 3:11 pm |
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About this blog

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.