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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. kentuckian

    Right now we all operate on faith; either faith in G-d or faith that there is no G-d. One day we will all know who was right. If he is right and I am wrong we will be in the same place and I will have lived a good life. If I am right and he is wrong. I will have lived a good life and be entering an eternity in paradise and he will have a permanent problem. I can't lose either way, he can.

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

      l. stupid.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:16 pm |
    • NotBuyingIt

      So you're totally going to ignore all the other possibilities? I think Zeus would like a word with you...

      April 30, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
  2. The Grim Reaper

    You fairies are all alike. The mind of a demented child inside a man's body. Afraid of women (gynophobia), envious of men, no self-control or discipline, but the stereotypical uncontrolled rage and hysteria you've got down to a fine art.

    The nice thing about our permissive, even sick and indulgent society that celebrates your perversion is that it hastens the day you will all be gone. In years past, you required a beard and maybe one child to prove your manhood. Now you dispense with appearances and thankfully for us, your defective DNA self-purges from the gene pool. Yes little girlie-boyz, you are all Darwinian Dead Ends.

    Eat drink and be merry for tomorrow you die. And, thanks to your militant, intolerant, idiotic but understandable hatred of God, there will be no afterlife for you. This is all you will even have. No heaven, no legacy. Just the living hell of your immature "He Man Women Haters Club" psychosis and the hatred that comes with the territory.

    Party on boyz, to be all the quicker about removing yourselves from civilization once and for all time. Buh-bye!

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

      Oh wow that is just too hilarious. Fairies? Not sure what a comment from a gay man has to do with a being of myth but that wasn't even the most hilarious part. You actually brought up Darwin, a staunch atheist, to make a very erroneous point and then topped it off with a religious statement. I can hardly write this I am laughing so hard right now. Oh you really need to go back to school.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • Brian

      Have you been evaluated by a mental health professional?

      April 30, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • jim

      Wow, I'm not an avid supporter of "gay rights", but you even disgust ME. Frankly I'm not comfortable in the company of people I KNOW to be gay, but I would MUCH rather be among them than around tu r ds like you. P.S. your afterlife is all bullshlt!

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

      You spent a lot of energy in writing a t.rollish post. Just thought I'd point out what you do with your energies.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • The Grim Reaper

      Lol, you schmucks are so predictable, like little wind up dolls with your recycled, mindless retorts. Pull Zippie's string and hear him cry, "Bully!". Push Butch's button and he wallows in his own filth. Put the two together and you've got the start of group hysteria or perhaps mass psychosis. Yes, it's fun to live the gay lifestyle, I can tell. That's why everyone loves you. Uh huh, we do, really we do!

      Oh I lied.

      But it's a trick lie: Which is morally superior?

      Living a lie?

      Or demanding the whole world lie because you can't cope with reality?

      Better make a quick anser of it Skippy. Life is short, more so for partay animalz like you!

      April 30, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
  3. jack

    im with Dan. i would not break bread, go to a concert, picnic, or family gathering or anywhere else with someone who thinks my life is a SIN!! you want tolerance from me? okay, i recognize you exist even with with all the crap you adopt your life around.

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

      Yes, he has the right to believe the way he does. That is the great part of living in the USA.

      However, he does NOT have the right to start BULLYING students in a public school or attack religion. Remember those of you what falsly claim separation of church and state? ESPECIALLY bullying from a person that is suppose to be the leader of a group for anti bullying. Kind of makes him lose ALL credibility......

      April 30, 2012 at 5:20 pm |
    • Juan

      If i told you smoking was wrong, would that mean i hated you? Hardly, in fact likely the opposite. We know the mental and emotional health risks associated with the gay lifestyle [or maybe some of us don't]. There are spiritual risks as well, or so believe the Christians. It's not hate to declare it.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
  4. Sera S pot

    ps. MY eternal soul is safe, how about yours? MUHHHH-HA-HA-HAAAAAA... (me me me)

    April 30, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  5. rodbinnc

    Just in general, the bible is a fantasy story based on non historical events that were made up as time went on. It is NOT the word of God, but the word of man and the Early Catholic Church.

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

      WOW. What book do you call the bible? Because the Bible has been proven TRUE! Read up on your history and science. By the Way. . GOD loves you even if you dont believe.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:28 pm |
  6. RoyBatty

    I was raised catholic and went through all of the assorted rituals and such. Left christianity when I started to really understand Jesus. And how absolutely UNLIKE many of his present day followers are. Jesus said "feed the poor" yet the mega churches spend millions to build temples that look like shopping malls and then blame the poor for their lot. Evangelical preachers on TV taliking more politics than the ACTIONS of Jesus (like kicking the crap out of the money lenders). Jesus is amazing and inspirational for anyone. Yet so many of his loud mouth followers (including all those child molesting priest) seem to select what they want out of the bible these days to support their politics or the bewhavior that best suits them.

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

      And you don't pick and choose which parts you like? Wow, talk about selective outrage.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:19 pm |
    • RoyBatty

      Kendall- I am not trying to direct politics based upon a selective group of writings to make a politcal point to keep others fro m enjoying civil rights. Funny that you would select to comment upon who you think I am and not upon the topic in the article or really my posting at all. Perhaps more time out doors or time well spent reading OTHER books for inspiration may help. Certainly helped me. Good luck!

      April 30, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  7. Mack N. Tosh

    Looks like all the HATE comes from the non believers to me. And Mork, you better hope you right becasue if not you will be HELL for eternity. You seem hate filled.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
    • TruthPrevails :-)

      "you better hope you right becasue if not you will be HELL for eternity"

      Wow, so typical of the so-called good christard to wish suffering upon a person.

      Now provide the evidence that hell exists!

      April 30, 2012 at 5:21 pm |
  8. Jersey Dave

    Wow way to be an anti Bully "Yeah lets make fun of people who are different!" Yeah some anti bully, same way war is peace, freedom is slavery, etc. etc. What a schmoe!

    April 30, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  9. If horses had Gods ... their Gods would be horses

    For all you "believers" out there. If no one else believed in these Abrahamic religions, would you?

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

      Of course they wouldn't. They would just buy in to some alternative BS.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:10 pm |
    • If horses had Gods ... their Gods would be horses

      Agreed Vested ... there's safety in numbers but not necessarily truth, it's just mob mentality.

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

      Yes! The Bible CLEARLY states that the road to heaven is narrow and few find it.

      One you know God, then you don't need to be friends with the world.

      IF you still don't believe me then look at the pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, in Iran that is sentenced to death unless he repents of his faith in Christ. He has been in jail for over 3 years. If you truely believe that Jesus is the son of God, and enternity is the price you would have to be separated from him then life on earth is very short price to pay.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  10. solex

    Mohandus Ghandi had the greatest quote about Christianity. Carl Sagan comes in second.

    First, Ghandi:

    "I like your Christ. I do not like Christians. Christians are so unlike your Christ."

    Second: Carl Sagan (When asked if he believed in god)

    "I don't want to believe. I want to know."

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

      And the Ghandi quote is exactly why we need Christ because we are not like Him. Not that hard to understand really.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:22 pm |
    • jim

      Kendall, I'm not like him, and I don't need him at all.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:25 pm |
    • jim

      solex, Mohandas not Mohandus.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
  11. Billy

    Speaking as an ex christian turned atheist/philosophical Buddhist I have come to terms with the idea that people will believe what they want to regardless of all the overwhelming evidence to the contrary and a single comment in a news section is hardly going to change any belief. That being said I have often wondered just how often people really stop to consider what the bible really says. In my experience not many, because most Christians, especially the angry usually conservative ones generally get their biblical knowledge from one person who is offering their interpretation of scripture. All the hum drum and hypocrisy is what opened up my eyes to how much time I was wasting.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:09 pm |
  12. Sera S pot

    BS in the bible??! What? That couldn't possibly be right. Why that book is just absolutely spot on, on everything! Yes it was written by (no women) a bunch of selfish men and then re-written and edited according to the times countless times over the centuries, but of course it is completely accurate. Gay people, dark skins, women, other faiths, all of these are bad because our sacred text says so, period. Now please excuse me, I have some animals to slaughter because my book says that they were 'put here' for me to use, so they're mine, mine, mine, me, me, me, and I will kill them because I want to, and they taste so good to ME, and I'M important, and what I want is the most important thing as long as I remember to thank Big Sky Dude before I gorge on MY well deserved flesh. I sure don't care much for atheists, but these religious types are even worse. I would suspect that 98% of those that read on here think that all people are one or the other. FOOLS! 🙂

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

      You give yourself FAR too much credit. You're not that bright!

      April 30, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
    • spinnertim

      Sera, exactly what parts of the Bible are you reading? Do you honestly believe that the Bible is as egocentric as you make it out to be? "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends" John 15:13 "Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth." Matthew 5:5 "But many that are first shall be last; and the last shall be first." Matthew 19:30 "Jesus answered, 'If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.'" Matthew 19:21 "If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing." It sounds pretty selfless to me.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:44 pm |
  13. JAANC

    wow, the preachers of tolerance turn around and bash other people (big surprise).. whoever has the "bully" pulpit will do their worst with it, if you want one group to stop bashing another bashing them is not the way to go about it... this is sad and this guy didn't get his point across adn didn't furhter any kind of understanding or resolution to the issue that was at hand by going at it this way..

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

      Opposing parts of the bible for their intolerance is NOT bullying, just like telling slave owners they couldn't own slaves wasn't bullying. If you're refering to his subsequent name-calling of the people who left, then it's a moot point since he already apologized for that.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:29 pm |
  14. klangster

    Jesus save us from your followers!!!!!

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

      No Jesus save us from your non believers!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      April 30, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
  15. A comment

    Dear good grief! – Had you any education of relevance (which you clearly do not), you would know categorically that Scientology has NOTHING to do with Christianity whatsoever. You PAY for those upper "levels" of transegence and it comes not from the Word of God, Einstein, and that's just for starters. You are ignorant. The Book of Mormon was written a couple thousand years after the completion and finished compilation of the Old and New Testaments and was "added" as an additional, uhm, "addendum" (if you will) as Mormonism took hold. That's a fact. When you finally decide to seek the truth of God – open up a copy of the New World Translation of the Holy Bible, and start with the Gospel of John (in the New Testament), and go from there. Get down on your knees, ask God to help you and give you direction in your heart. Read it for yourself instead of blasting what you have never experienced to any depth. Then come back and we'll talk about it. Until then, you don't know what you're talking about, and it's a shame.

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

      SO now some guy named JOHN is the guy to believe?

      Give me a break!! its ALL BULL HOOOEY ALL OF IT!!

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

      the absurdity of mormonism and christian scientists is no more ridiculous than virgin births and resurrections. it's all fiction and fairy tales. why is this fact so hard to grasp???

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

      New World Translation of the Holy Bible? No thanks. A Jehovah's Witness I'm not.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:14 pm |
    • loathstheright

      If you eat enough "Magic Mushrooms" you can make up a religion just like the Mormons have.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:26 pm |
    • Believing in Ghosts is not healthy for children and other living morons

      Totally creepy. Mormons called us "Gentiles" when they made fun of us as kids in southern Idaho.

      So if Christians are Gentiles – what are Mormons?

      April 30, 2012 at 5:32 pm |
  16. Lee

    I don't believe there are any true atheists. Why else do they spend so much of their time going around telling other people that 'there's no g0d,' but that they're trying to convince themselves?

    There are no real atheists.

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

      Sure, Lee, sure.. Keep that head in the sand.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:11 pm |
    • Jim tom

      Ha! Religion only exists because people are terrified out of their gosh darn minds of dying. They made up stories, and other people were so terrified that they believed them.

      April 30, 2012 at 5:15 pm |
  17. Marcus

    Of course he stands by his comment. What he said is what he believes. He will justify his lifestyle at the expense of anyone who gets in his way.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  18. zahbudda

    dan and his Husband are "pansies".... with friends up the "wazoo"...many on this comment board:)

    April 30, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  19. mork

    GOD told me to ignore christians because he thinks they are kinda stupid.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:07 pm |
  20. oakgrovehobbitt

    People like this are all about diversity of opinions, unless you try to present one of your own.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:07 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.