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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. Chucky

    Last time I checked the US is a free country. If christians can talk smack about gays and atheists guess what, man up christians and stop being hypocritical idiots, unless you'd rather this not be a free country, which would make you al queda and/or the new taliban, which, in many xtian hearts with your little narrow minds, you most certainly are.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  2. Donald

    Article with Christianity as a topic... It is like a fog horn calling all angry and bitter atheist (no complaints about the "happy to live my life and you live yours" atheist or Christians) to come out and call those who believe in a God stupid. Never fails. Oh well… nothing speaks intellectual enlightenment like going through life angry and bitter attacking everyone you disagree with.

    April 30, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • QS

      "nothing speaks intellectual enlightenment like going through life angry and bitter attacking everyone you disagree with."

      And if anybody would understand this, it would be a Christian. 😉

      April 30, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  3. Marty

    Man, that last paragraph really is a great summary to that article. I am all for an intelligent conversation. I hate to see the pendulum swing from one side to the other, rather than the attempts being focused on bringing it to the middle.

    April 30, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • 316

      Superb analysis. They went to a bully speech, and got bullied.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  4. jdub87

    I think we can ignore the bull@#$% in the Bible about the other things too.

    April 30, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  5. The One True God

    Seriously, I didn't write that thing. I dont know why people think I did, but I didn't. Everybody just be good to each other.
    So chill out, have a burrito and make with the nice nice.

    April 30, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • Rev. Jason

      Ok, I'm a minister, but when I saw what you wrote I really laughed... hard, for a long time. LOL.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • RoyBatty

      AMEN!

      April 30, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • mickey1313

      The only " evidence" for god comes from man made books. If people need a fake book to tell them to be nice, they are not worth saving.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  6. Pastafarian

    just another example of how stupid any religous beliefs are.

    April 30, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
  7. grahamman74

    who is the bully now !!hypocrite

    April 30, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • Eric of Reseda

      Hypocrite? What, are gay people NOT to defend themselves from the crimes of Christianity? Typical Christian bull...

      April 30, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  8. Stryker_CV

    True believers in Christ will forgive and pray for those that speak hostility towards God...had he spoke this way toward mohammed, he would be in hiding. The speaker is merely ignorant and really hasn't a clue what he's talking about.

    April 30, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • Pastafarian

      says the poster who believes in magic sky fairies...

      April 30, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • Stryker_CV

      No sky fairies...the Son of God, Jesus Christ, that was crucified, buried and rose on the 3rd day and is alive now, and residing in those that accept Him through faith. If you don't believe that, what is the reason to belittle those that do? You can justify yourself in your unbelief, but ridicule is pretty immature and shows a lack of self-confidence.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  9. sam8131

    He must not be gettin enough at home.

    April 30, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • Gaucho420

      Yeah, cuz Christians are the aces in the sack? PLEASE!

      April 30, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  10. Brett

    After he said that Dan should have added "Does that make you feel uncomfortable? Does that make you feel angry? Does that make you want to do something? Welcome to my world."

    April 30, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • Pastafarian

      well said.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • Solidroque

      Right, because that is the best way to show that bullying is wrong: by bullying another group.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  11. al in memphis

    @ Ting. Looks like every Christian you've met or heard of as been a scholar on the Bible. I think not, in fact I'm certain they have been just plain people (with strengths and weaknesses) that are on a journey to know more about the Living God they believe in. Do you believe that every chemistry teacher knows everything there has ever been taught about chemistry? We only know about what we have been exposed too.

    Based on your reference that Christian hate, I guess you would consider teachers, professors some of the most hate filled people in existence. Like a true Christian, all a teacher can do is share knowledge with you. You don't have to believe what is being said. What is so hateful and frightening about being told there are consequences to our choices.
    BTW, the Bible is very clear that man ought to love his neighbor just like he love himself.

    April 30, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • Reggie

      Christians are just jews who sprinkle themselves with toilet water. There is really no difference between the two. They are both responsible for more death and destruction than any other group in the history of the world.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
  12. Jan Smith

    Jesus did not preach an unconditional love and acceptance. He told the woman at the well to "Go and sin no more". He was furiious over people making the synagogue into a merchant place. He told everyone how hard it would be to get into heaven, like a camel going thru the eye of a needle (and yes I understand what needle he was referring to.) Being a follower of Christ is not an easy choice. You must die to your own self involvment, and be ready to serve others. I don't think God hates gay people, just like he doesn't "hate" other sinners, but HE does command us to stop doing what HE told us not to do. It's meant to protect us. Boundaries.

    April 30, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • mork

      HE didnt tell ME anything. HE supposedly told some old bearded hippy guy in the desert. Well, Im not taking THAT guys word for it. If GOD wants me to hear his message HE should tell me himself!

      April 30, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • Matt

      Awesome comment, and understanding of the Christian stance, Jan.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • webknight18

      The prob is when u think u know what Gods plan is. Did u he personally tell u about it? The Bible has been edited and revised plenty of times, so if u want to take everything in the bible literally then u r just dumb.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • JCL13

      Mork, he has been telling you. Perhaps you aren't listening or reading? Or, perhaps like most of us, it's uncomfortable to make that leap and confessing that the way we've been living our lives was just wrong.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • brett

      Yea i agree, I think god talks to me directly and has never told me that being gay is wrong. if im made in his image than he must be a bit gay too; though since God isn't really a person I doubt any of us are made in his image. Oh yea remember the bible wasn't written by Jesus or God, it was written by a bunch of bigoted men.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @JCL13,
      "Mork, he has been telling you. "
      Oh, the arrogance... how can you possibly *know* that. Even if God did exist, you wouldn't know His activities. Perhaps He is pulling another "Job" and has never said anything to Mork.

      Worry about your own, supposed, soul!

      April 30, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
    • Nonimus

      @JCL13,
      Isn't God supposed to be the only omniscient being? Or are you claiming that ability now?

      Christians talking about hypocrisy is just hilarious.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:33 pm |
  13. mork

    A magical invisible cloud riding guy that looks like santa pointed his finger at space and in 7 days created the entire universe and earth. Then using a rib he created a human and then a TALKING SNAKE?! spoke to the human and tricked them into eating a sacred apple (a SACRED APPLE?) and the rest is history.

    Makes WAY more sense to me than all that DNA and Big Bang hoooey.

    April 30, 2012 at 4:57 pm |
    • i12bphil

      I see the Ignorant Atheists League has picked their champion...

      April 30, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • JCL13

      DNA and the Big Bang Theory do not discount the existence of God. Where did the Big Bang come from? There is no record of observable spontaneous generation by man which is what the Big Bang would have to be – something coming out of nothing. Yet, there are human witnesses who saw and knew Jesus Christ, his miracles and his resurrection.

      Which one sounds phooey now?

      April 30, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • webknight18

      Why don't u retards go back to hugging your guns and masturbating to ur bible. Best way to get world peace is kill all religious morons.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  14. Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things

    Prayer changes things.

    April 30, 2012 at 4:56 pm |
    • mork

      So does Santa Clause

      April 30, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • If horses had Gods ... their Gods would be horses

      Just like crossing your fingers or wishing on a star or blowing out candles ... yes all PROVEN.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • Sarah in Vegas

      It won't change me from liking boobies. And why should I want it to?

      April 30, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  15. keith

    Christians are some of the biggest whiners out there. Preach it Dan!

    April 30, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  16. Undeniable99

    Dinesh D'Souza has written an excellent book on Christianity – "What's So Great About Christianity". He has also debated RIchard Dawkins. The clear truth, for those looking for it, is that the Bible's accuracy is far better than an other historical account of it's time, and is backed up by other historical accounts of it's time, which covers a broad span of time. Many Christians who were former Bible bashers, admit their primary motivation was to keep doing the things they were told not to do by Christianity, and ultimately by God. My point being, ultimately we ALL meet our maker. Will we have made the right choices in the short time we are here, or will be sacrifice our long futures for a very short time of instant gratification, as dismal as that gratification may be?

    April 30, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • If horses had Gods ... their Gods would be horses

      Historical fact and supernatural magical folklore are two very different things. Historical fact does not prove God or supernatural existence ... just thought you'd like to know.

      April 30, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • Learn the Bible

      Actually historical texts from the time have done more to "disprove the Bible."

      April 30, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • Jacques Strappe, World Famous French Ball Juggler

      I like the part in the Bible where it says that the city of Tyre would be destroyed and never rebuilt. Well it is a bustling city even today. So much for accuracy in the Bible.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
  17. SacredRoach

    Typical liberal. Likes to bully people, can't stand up to his own hypocrasy, name calls when he loses an argument, just a general failure. Oddly enough, I probably would never have heard about this human failure had he not made a spectacle of himself.

    Another facet of the Obama team.

    April 30, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • Eric

      He wasn't in a debate, he was giving a lecture, therefore there was no argument to "lose."

      April 30, 2012 at 4:58 pm |
    • G-G-G

      You having never heard of DS says more about you than him. You should try reading more.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
  18. Christian mom

    1 Corinthians 6:9
    Romans 1:28-32
    John 3:16 – I am sure you know this one.... one point in the scripture..... "whoever" believes. There is no exclusion here folks. We are all part of whoever.
    The choice is yours for eternity. Do you want your room "smoking" or "non". Hell was created by God but He doesn't send you there.... you do that yourself.

    April 30, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
    • momoya

      I'm as worried about the threats of the christian god as you are of the Islam god, or the muslim is of your god.. It must be such a cool thing to be born in the right culture and time period you were in order to worship the real god correctly.. To bad for those folks born in the middle east, huh?

      April 30, 2012 at 4:59 pm |
    • Tom

      It's pathetic that you believe that.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:00 pm |
    • G-G-G

      Wow, you are so down to earth. You must be really easy to talk to.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
  19. RC

    Do what I say, not what I do.

    April 30, 2012 at 4:55 pm |
  20. R Danger

    The bottom line on this is, instead of using a book to make proper judgements on someone based on their diffrences, why don't we just use are freaking commom sence. This is what makes me so mad about the bible, the fact that the bible can justify bad behavior just dosn't make any sense to me. And when you try to point this out, people just shut down and don't want anything to do with you, because that's somthing Jesus would do.

    April 30, 2012 at 4:54 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.