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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

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    Even Obama apparently just reversed his position on gay marriage.

    Today Biden said he was "absolutely comfortable" with allowing same-sex couples to marry. Obama's spokesman Axelrod later confirmed that the president agrees with the vice president and that he thinks "committed and loving same-sex couples deserve the same rights and protections enjoyed by all Americans."

    May 7, 2012 at 1:29 am |
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  13. Patrick Ike

    It is absolutely ironic that people who preach tolerance ultimately turn out to be the most intolerant people! In a society that talk talks about difference – let us then be free to speak and reason together. We cannot preach acceptance by then working hard to eradicate others. Religion definitely has a role in our lives and if her message is not your cup of tea then walk away with dignity and respect.

    May 5, 2012 at 1:58 pm |
    • Primewonk

      I'm sorry Patrick, but which group is it again who seek to legalize discrimination against a group of US citizens? Which group is it who denigrates, castigates, beats and bashes gay folks?

      The fundiots have a right to be as ignorant as they want. They do not have a right to try and set up their version of christian taliban sharia law in my country.

      If these folks want to set up a thecracy here, they have to be ready for a bloodbath.

      May 5, 2012 at 2:14 pm |
    • DaLe

      it seems as viral behaviour in the extreme cases, and as leukocytes emulation in other cases. Respectivly, apparently the name-called (virtual) bullies use the Bible to throw it too.
      At least myself, i don't know what verse/s are the ones speared. The word "gay" is by engine search only once in KJV. in James Chapter 2: "gay clothing".

      Tho, if harsh language is the norm in discussion forums of various sorts, it does not apply so everywhere else. To me, it didn't sound that much as biased, but more of being without substance. But from what read here, it is not clear if and when what happened before at same event, and/or before event – e.g. perhaps the speecher before cited the Bible?

      Similarly even though i don't know what was part of a possible discussion perhaps you were at, you sound as a "gay rights" militant or radical, Primewonk, tho you possibly may have posted as stressing the point of "that you going to take a stand if anyone touches anyone gay".

      i think that at the core of the public discussion about it is the issue of "gay culture" – whether it is such at all, and even in context of "lgt culture" (non-gender based) there is the question of how much does it if at all contribute besides being kind of hobby and/or activism, and whether it isn't even contributing to increased segregation. An other topic probably being about what the point is of professional activists who would be jobless if there were not the issue/s they talk in favour and/or against, unless they are as side representatives of the persons they "represent".

      May 5, 2012 at 11:26 pm |
  14. Carol

    Yep, it was an attack on Christians. Whos the bully?

    May 5, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
    • Primewonk

      How is pointing out the hypocrisy of these fundiots (fundamentalist îdiots) an attack on christianity?

      If someone purposefully chooses to be ignorant, why is it wrong to call them on it?

      May 5, 2012 at 1:48 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.