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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. realist

    For all you Bible haters out there – back down. It takes more than self serving dogmatic statements that rattle off comments with no examples, foundation, or solid argument. Anybody can shout out their anger against Christianity, but it takes a person of integrity that's willing to back up their garbage with a little more than a mouthful of angst to impress people. Stop wasting your time here, and sign up for some counseling. It would be time better spent. You're probably the same people that would cut off your right arm to defend a Muslim, or a Hindu, but you just can't wait to crush a Christian.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • The 666 Club

      Bite me. It's YOU that has to come back with some solid foundation of facts in an argument. All you have is faith, but faith is far from the actual truth of the matter.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • realist

      Bite me? See what I mean.

      Call your counselor today.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • just sayin

      It takes a sound mind to to not hear Gods talking to them

      April 30, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
    • just sayin

      "It takes more than self serving dogmatic statements that rattle off comments with no examples, foundation, or solid argument"
      .
      When talking about how real your God and his Word, please remember what you wrote.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
    • Atheist

      If Christians weren't so quick to judge others, they wouldn't be such an easy target. Your religion follows a 2,000 year old book that has been edited for content many, many times (so you don't learn the real truth) and has never had one story proven true, yet Christians love to point their fingers at others and quote that book. It's a joke to the rest of us. Muslims, Catholics, and Jews are just as big of a joke as Christians with their outdated religious guides.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
  2. hereistand

    Evidently, there are quite number of people who think they are smarter than God. History is littered with the bones and tragic accounts of people with reprobate minds who shake their defiant fists in the face of God and His Word. I suppose we must put up with you in this life and love you just the same. Yes, God loves you, too and His "thous shalt nots" are the same kind of expressions of love that any decent father gives to his children to protect them. Sad that this life is the only chance we get to express the real love of God to you. After this physical life is over (for either of us) we shall not see you again. Ever.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Believing in Ghosts is not healthy for children and other living morons

      What did God say about being judgmental? Sanctimonious, self-righteous "Christians" are a hoot.

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

      the earth is equally littered with the bones of those who believe in te fairy tales preached about by religion. ironic,no?

      April 30, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • If horses had Gods ... their Gods would be horses

      Yup .. God loves me soooo much his followers litter our non believing bones accross the sands.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • mork

      History is littered with the bones of every creature that ever existed, except maybe the ones that were cremated.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • WASP

      @would be horses: lmfao yeah so friendly this god of theirs.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • just sayin

      Our history is littered with myths that used to be religions. It is unsound and childish for adults to still believe in myths.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • Jim tom

      If he is any god worth believing in, he would not care 2 sh!ts whether or not anyone did or didn't belive in him. He would care that people tried to be the best people they could, and were good to others. Not whether they read a stupid book that he didn't even write.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
  3. StlMelz

    There is no place in the Bible that tells people to bully gays. Any individual who uses the Bible to justify their choice to behave in an ugly and hateful manner is doing so simply to do just that: justify their actions. The Bible actually teaches to love: love God and love people. True Christians will be known for their love, not for their hate.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      Leviticus 20:13 If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood [shall be] upon them.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • Jim tom

      Rofl TruthPrevails. Are we quoting the infallible Bible now? "And the pig, because it parts the hoof and is cloven-footed but does not chew the cud, is unclean to you. You shall not eat any of their flesh, and you shall not touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you." I hope you haven't been eating any bacon. It's strange, isn't it? This quote would almost make you think that the Bible was written thousands of years ago, and that parts of it are simply irrelevant today. Huh. Or rather, it would make you think that, if the Bible weren't absolute.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
  4. sancho

    If he can't articulate an argument intelligently, why should I take his argument seriously? He does not help his cause by talking like a 7th grader.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
  5. lunchbreaker

    When's the last time you have seen a Christian group freak out and have a rally because of other Christians misinterpreting the Bible?

    April 30, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • just sayin

      lol good point

      April 30, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  6. loathstheright

    The Bible is just full of BS, only ignorant rubes would believe that some magical, invisible faerie in the sky existed....sorta like "Atheism is not healthy for children and other living things", simple minded cretins.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • Lee

      You're boring, sir/madam.

      You're a bigoted, boring person.

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

      I don't know. If someone is brainwashed as a child, and most religious devotees are, is it really their fault?

      April 30, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • Hugh Beaumont

      Right – but you believe in evolution and ET's though you've never seen a missing link or any signs of life beyond earth.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • GCA

      I've read the Bible through several times and have yet to come across a passage that makes reference to an invisible fairy in the sky. Perhaps you can enlighten me.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  7. Shouldn't all the Christians...

    be forgiving him?
    Isn't that the Christian thing to do?
    Turn the other cheek and whatnot?

    April 30, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • Believing in Ghosts is not healthy for children and other living morons

      lol – Obviously there is zero reading and comprehension ability in Bible thumpers. Any wonder?

      April 30, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • knucklecheese

      That's NOT what "turn the other cheek" means. Look it up. Jesus wasn't telling people to smile and take it. He was, for all intents and purposes, telling people to flip their aggressors the "bird".

      April 30, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
  8. Lazarus

    Can you imagine is someone said we must ignore the bull**it we hear from the gay people in America. They would hang that messenger from the highest tree. Then why not him?? He wants us to put away our faith and rely on his learning.. Better luck next time..I think it is all too convenient that you can blame your shameful behaviour and acts and the fact that the regular world doesn't want a damn thing to do with you on Christians; when it is you that is the reason you aren't "included". Not faith...You!!

    April 30, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  9. grahamman74

    it must be ruff to become the very thing u hate, a bully!!

    April 30, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
  10. Lee

    So WHAT if this man stands by his religious bigotry? I say he and his entire, discredited political system are bullchit, if anything.

    Do these hypocrite 'progressives' have even the slightest, tiniest clue how bad they're making their reputation (saying they're 'tolerant' and 'diverse' but really being anything but), by acting this way?

    And before yet another one of you 'tolerant, diverse' 'progressives' does more of the same and jumps on ME, too...I just happen to be an independent, who didn't like Bush and who's NEVER been involved with the Tea Party movement, either.

    Oh, and I'm not even remotely a Xtian (in fact I'm not even excessively religious, at all).

    So, take your 'tolerance' and your 'diversity' and your LIES that you are either one of those, and park 'em where the sun don't shine.

    You guys are a bunch of phony drips.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • Jim tom

      If people want to believe a book of fiction, I have no problem with it. I have a problem when people use the book to support their ideas that some people are beneath other people. That some are less than human, or are evil incarnate.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • Cedar Rapids

      if you want to claim to be independant, and not christian, then you also need to point out that so called tolerant, loving, forgiving christians, that are also anything but, give them a bad name as well.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • loling

      Haha...well said!

      April 30, 2012 at 5:08 pm |
    • NotBuyingIt

      There's a saying about a pot and a kettle that could be used here, but it might just be over your head...

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

      I don't get it. You're an independent, but you're shooting out some pretty strong words against (only?) liberals. So what exactly are your beliefs that are so superior to so-called progressive ones?

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

      Cedar Rapids, I don't know of ANY Xtians, ANYwhere, who are going around telling me that I'm somehow inferior to them.

      You cannot detract from the behavior of 'progressives' by trying to point to others.

      Every word I said stands, and you know it.

      'Progressives' are dirty, lying bigots...who sneer down at anyone else.

      They also have a distinct problem with antisemitism, too (my family are Jewish and I know this, first hand).

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

      Ben, paron me but I don't understand YOU.

      What, exactly, do you think an independent SHOULD think like?

      Come on, what?

      A LIBERAL?

      Exactly how would that be any more 'independent?'

      You seem to think independents are automatically suspect if they don't embrace the hard left, Ben.

      Seems to ME that an independent can think any way they want...and no matter what they think, someone in SOME camp will think they're really just the other camp.

      So it really doesn't matter much, does it?

      April 30, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • Ben

      Maybe like someone who looks at multiple sides to a debate and comes to thoughtful, rational conclusions? I find independents suspect when they bash one side of the spectrum only.
      Also I'm curious where you got the hard left part from. I'm a (Jewish, if that matters) unenrolled voter

      April 30, 2012 at 5:17 pm |
    • TX1980

      ...ok Lee. I think it's time to come out of the conservative closet now. I have never seen a more lopsided "independent" in my life.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
  11. Believing in Ghosts is not healthy for children and other living morons

    The religious right is full of spite. They hate other humans so much it's really sad. Anybody who isn't a white protestant.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • Diane

      Gosh, couldn't paint with a bit broader brush?

      April 30, 2012 at 5:13 pm |
    • :-)

      ...said the guy spending his entire day on a blog spitting venom at christians who he has never even personally met.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • Believing in Ghosts is not healthy for children and other living morons

      Uh oh. I've been judgmental too. But I don't have to say any Hail Marys'.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:40 pm |
  12. DT

    All religons are STUPID.
    Men wearing dresses, telling men not to waer dresses.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  13. self righteousness is a sin.

    I don't have a problem with religion.....it's the fan club .Funny how everyone has a right to freedom of speech, unless you disagree with what they say.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  14. G-G-G

    The Bible: An Incredible Work of Fiction

    April 30, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
  15. K

    The argument against gay people is often "Well the Bible says it's a sin, so I guess it is." That is what he is making his argument against. I totally agree with him. Who cares if someone loves someone else? It should not be their place to pass judgement! What if I thought my friend's girlfriend was ugly? Would I say "Hey your girlfriend is ugly. Don't date her even though you love her."? People need to back off and let others live their live! I'm not gay but do I care if a man loves another man or a women loves another women? No. If that person makes them happy, you should not care either.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:02 pm |
    • Calamity Jim

      Hey man, you are right. But don't you think the B-hole is a pretty nasty place to demonstrate your love? Just asking. I mean,what do you do with the poop on your stick if that happens?"

      April 30, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • Calamity Jim

      No, sorry man. You ARE gay. No question about it.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
    • just sayin

      Calamity Jim

      Hey man, you are right. But don't you think the B-hole is a pretty nasty place to demonstrate your love? Just asking. I mean,what do you do with the poop on your stick if that happens?"
      .
      There is strong evidence that points to Jesus being gay. What do you think was going on when he layed with his 12 buddies???

      April 30, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • just sayin

      PS what does your God have to do with people's rights anyway????

      April 30, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  16. Right-is-right

    Anyone who speaks to a classroom of students like this man did should be forcibly removed and banned for ever speaking at such functions again. I believe in freedom of speech, but I also believe you are solely and absolutely responsible for what comes out of your mouth, and his words (and actions) have no place in the instruction of children.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • momoya

      And I think that if parents convince their children that they might wind up in a pit of eternal, fiery torture made and maintained by a "loving" god, those parents should be put in prison for about two decades or so.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • nonimus

      Forcibly removed for what?

      April 30, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • :-)

      Yes, Mamoya, and those who ensure that will happen should get a gold medal. Idiot.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
    • So you are somehow

      Both for and against the freedom of speech.....

      April 30, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  17. tcat117

    I notice a lot of "atheists" are really more anti christian than truly atheist.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • Pastafarian

      aan atheist, I am not anti-christian, but I am anti-hypocrisy. The two just seem to go hand-in-hand so often.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:03 pm |
    • nonimus

      Not much call to defend civil rights against Druids.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • momoya

      You must not have seen my railing against the "Thor believers" over on the Thor blogs, then.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:05 pm |
    • Donald

      Pastafarian, either you are delusional or just a liar. I have read some of your comments below. Just admit that you hate Christians and stop being a coward about it.

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

      No I would not say anti-Christian. Are we against Christian influenced government? Yes. Are Christians against Muslim influenced government? You betcha.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:12 pm |
  18. Gaucho420

    He only said the truth. I applaud him for having the guts to say what he did.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • Calamity Jim

      Do you also applaud the fact that he has a compulsion to place his pen!s in another man's primary excretory organ and call it born that way normal?

      April 30, 2012 at 5:04 pm |
    • nonimus

      Jim,
      You seem awfully interested in men's behinds. Care to share something?

      April 30, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  19. Sean Patriot

    I stopped reading at " gay-rights advocate".

    April 30, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • nonimus

      Wish you would have stopped writting there too.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:06 pm |
    • Is that because after that the words got to big

      or simply got to scary?

      April 30, 2012 at 5:35 pm |
  20. 316

    Just another Tolerate person who is intolerant of those he deems intolerant. Total hypocrite on the bully stuff, and now disqualified from being taken seriously about standing up for others, as he is now the attacker. Nice one Dan.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:01 pm |
    • QS

      I see, so as long as someone is sticking up for others against anything else they're doing good....but when somebody sticks up for those being bullied by religion, that person is not to be taken seriously and is disqualified from ever sticking up for others again.

      Got it – religion should simply be given a free pass on everything just because it's religion and we should all, of course, be expected to respect religion just for being religion.

      Wanna know what I think cannot, and should not be taken seriously.....? 🙂

      April 30, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • 316

      @QS – I'm all for open discussion in the market place of ideas. I do not condone bullying, by anyone, against anyone. Dan merely shows his intolerant, hypocritical stripes.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:17 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.