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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Filed under: Bible • Charity • Christianity • Homosexuality • Israel • Schools • TV-CNN Newsroom

soundoff (4,113 Responses)
  1. Mike D

    Go Dan! Tell it like it is, brother! Christianity is losing ground in this country, and across the world, but nowhere near fast enough. I'd love to see the day when humanity as a whole sheds religion and instead embraces reason. Sadly it won't happen in my lifetime, but little by little it is ebbing...and good riddance.

    April 30, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • jslab129

      By reason you mean that it is ok for a man to stick his penis in another man's but_t

      April 30, 2012 at 6:10 pm |
    • KCSue

      I'm not Christian, but I would have been insulted by this speech. As a pagan woman I have put up with bullying in the workplace – usually by Christians. However, my honor would not allow me to stoop to the same level by attacking their faith. If they were telling you in a speech that what you believe in is BS you would be insultted & upset too. This is not 'telling it like it is' Faith is complicated – there is culture, family & historical perspective. People have faith & opinions for a variety of reason. What seems like BS to you may be important to them. If he had approached it from the angle that the reasons the Bible state this no longer exist or are out of date beliefs AND backed it up with facts not emotion that would be a different story. But he attacked these young people & bullied them with name calling. I like Dan & I was truly disappointed with his behavior.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
  2. Pey

    How many Christians have committed suicide for being picked on? Give me a break. Christian fundamentalists are a bunch of whiners. Yeah, push back and be hones, be in your face... and they can't stand it.

    April 30, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • mrapilgrim

      You don't do much history do you? How's this for in your face–I forgive you for your being ignorant of the truth and you know what else? I'm going to PRAY for you.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Afterburner

      The Christians quietly left the rude hypocritical absurdity, but liberal Progressives routinely have no problems with shouting down conservative guests on American campuses, so week and fearful are they of the might of free speech. Danny boy, (not behaving like a man) showed himself a bully himself, childishly name calling with a bully pulpit for all to see!

      April 30, 2012 at 6:24 pm |
    • dango

      If you actually do the research you'll find quite a few Christians have done so, I happened to have known one personally. It's interesting danny attacks people for their beliefs in the same way he claims to have been attacked himself. He's showing his true hypocritical colors. So I guess really in his opinion its ok to bully as long as it's not a gay.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:37 pm |
  3. Joe Six Pack

    Religion is used to control dumb people.

    April 30, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
  4. LightShox

    Dan alienated his target audience very quickly in his speech. I don't think that's what he wanted but it happened.

    No one is better than anyone. We are all together on this one planet and our differences should bring us together.

    If we use our differences to alienate, degrade, and fault one another, we are fools with zero hope for any kind of salvation.

    April 30, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
  5. spud384928405853-4

    Who really cares what this moron thinks, except like minded morons.

    April 30, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • Mike D

      Well done, Spud, you've explained the entire history of religion in that sentence.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
  6. Joe Six Pack

    The Bible is Bulls**t.

    April 30, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
  7. blaqcobra

    I think he could have expressed it less flammatory. But I get what he was trying to say. Nobody has a right to bully because someone is gay. To do it using the bible as an excuse to make it alright is ludicrous and just plain bigoted! No where in the bible does it say one can harm some one if they are gay. Hell, they used that argument in the south when they were lynching blacks back in the day even to use the bible to justify slavery.

    April 30, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • 1nd3p3nd3nt

      i cant tell if you are being sarcastic.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:09 pm |
  8. Darwin

    I wrote this prayer after the last NFL season:

    Santa Clause who art in Atlantis
    Hallowed be thy magical flying reigndeer
    Your elves will drum
    On Merlin's bum
    At the North Pole as in the Mall of America
    Give us this day our daily Sports Center
    And forgive me for wiping a booger on my mother in law's couch
    As she is a beyotch
    And lead us not into an embarrassing off-season
    But deliver us from Tebow


    And low and behold, the Lord Santa Clause answered my prayer, ridding my team of Tebow which is nothing the Broncos management could possibly have accomplished without his devine intervention!! Prayer works!!

    April 30, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
  9. David S.

    Really shows the hatred and ignorance of the left. If you don’t believe the way they do you are attacked and humiliated. What right does this person, this adult, can go in and insult and curse out certain segments of the student boy, to minors in a so called anti bullying session. His outright hatred of Christians belongs in his own head and he doesn’t need a bully pulpit in the public schools to tout his beliefs. Who is this guy anyhow and what does he bring to the debate?

    April 30, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • Joel

      Same can be said of the right. They have a superiority complex and must save all of us sinfull people because they "know" what reality is based upon because they have God's word the bible.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • phil

      It takes a truly "Brave" person to stand up and insult a captive group of innocent school children! I wonder if this "Panzy" would have the nads to address adults in a similar venue? Answer: Nope. This is a militant, leftist, gay-rights proponent who spreads his message of HATE ..in our public schools! This...is a coward. Teach your children to THINK for themselves and to be grounded in their faith. Others have a right to disagree, but not to disparage any one, (especially children), for their religious practices or beliefs.
      Hey Dan. Wanna try that stuff in a Muslim school? You'd better be thankful that most Christians are..."Turn the Other Cheek" people.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
  10. Bo

    The students walking out is hilarious. What they did is like walking out on a speaker who was saying that slavery is wrong. The Bible is the most effed up book of all time and easily the most immoral. To the students who walked out: you just revealed yourself as a bunch of religious fools. What a bunch of sheep. Typical Christians...someone speaks the truth and they scream LALALALLALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU! and walk away. Very tolerant I may add! LOL

    April 30, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • David S.

      Just because you believe it isnt real I guess makes it law. Equating slavery with Christianity. Believe what you want but I dont need o to hear your drivel.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • TooDark

      Hey David S. – Take a very close look at what your bible says about the subject. Who can be owned...how much they can be abused, when their life is forfeit, etc.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:14 pm |
    • nondescript

      The students walking out is (not) hilarious. What they did is like walking out on a speaker who was saying that slavery is bull&$@& fu&$#~.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
  11. Joel

    I like how nobody is talking about the other stuff he said, namely all the crap in the bible including slavery and the fact that women who weren't virgins on their wedding day must be stoned just to name a couple things. The God of the old testament is a very spiteful and vengeful God who has no problem killing children. Christians like to pick and choose vesus of the bible the best fit their need. The hypocrisy is very sickening indeed.

    April 30, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • Frank Lee

      What people like you never seem to understand that the old testament is not Christianity. It is a history of the Jews prior to the birth of Christ. The teachings of Christ are Christianity. And just because flawed individuals (and we are all flawed) misuse his teachings is not an indictment of their validity. And most Christians know that a lot of the "tales" in the Bible are parable and not literal, such as the 7-day creation. That cell phone you use and what you can do with it would have been considered magic and completely unbelievable to people as little as 200 or so years ago. To discount things written in the Bible just because you don't have the intelligence to understand them (and to be frank, no one human does) is the trait of a shallow intellect. If God does exist, and I believe he does, then his abilities are as far above your understanding as an amoeba is to us. As John Cleese once said, and i paraphrase, the sad thing about stupid people is they're too stupid to realize they're stupid.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Joel

      It's funny that God was perfect enough to include flawed teachings in his book the Holy bible. I've heard that argument before that the old testament can somehow be ignored because of the new testament. And who are you to decide what to take literal and what not? I don't know what's worse – an extreme creationist or a moderate one who decides for himself how to interpret the Bible to fit his decided worldview. You my friend are the dumb one.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:19 pm |
  12. Galileo

    Funny how Christians have nothing left but to be offended when just a thousand years ago they were burning anybody who tried to progress the human race at the stake.

    Your religion will eventually die out. Stop holding on to modern mythology and start thinking for yourself.

    April 30, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Pavelina

      That was a thousand years ago. The Muslims are doing now.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • David S.

      LOL, you Christian bashers have tried for 2000 years to eradicate the faith, we'll be here and in huge numbers long after you have turned to dust and forgotten totally.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:07 pm |
    • John

      Religions do die out, but Jesus Christ is eternal. And He is not a religion and neither is Christianity. Christianity is Jesus Christ. That's how you tell a true believer from a false believer. You are obviously speaking about false believers. Jesus Christ is Lord, He is eternal, and He is the only way. He also offers salvation to all sinners, even sodomites.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • lathebiosas

      Sorry David, Atheists are the fastest growing faith demographic (Muslim a close second) But as Freud said, "there will always be religion due to man's fear of death and tendency towards wish thinking...". And how long has religion been trying to force itself on people? It's what makes this country great, ain't allowed here!

      April 30, 2012 at 6:15 pm |
    • Galileo

      Real intelligence will be ket in textbooks that we'll pass on to our generations not mythology. Thousands of years from now the Christian God will join Zeus and Thor in the history of human philosophy.

      When you say Christianity isn't a religion you strike me as the kind of person that's never read any of the opposing arguments against your side. The kind of person that is guided by fear of uncertainty that needs deity to get them through the day.

      You're 200,000 years of human evolution – start acting like it.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • TooDark

      John – Just make up the rules as you go along...that's the hallmark of xtianity and it illustrates the insanity quite well.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Snow

      @David.. if christians still had their way, scientists would still have been getting burned at stake.. but it is not happening.. that is called progress.. or religion having lesser influence on people. And if the trend of change continues, guess what happens to religion as a whole? it is called slow progression of world..

      April 30, 2012 at 6:25 pm |
  13. waitasec

    the bible is full of bull***
    he's stating the obvious.

    big deal.

    April 30, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • Nate (Seattle, WA)

      There is no such thing as "obvious" when it comes to religious people.

      Anyone with a fully-functioning brain should be able to tell that a story about a man born of a virgin, with burning bushes, arks with two of each species, men living 3 days inside a big fish, and invisible sky gods is obviously a made up fairy tale.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
  14. AZ Wildcat

    The Romans were right, toss the Christians to the lions.

    April 30, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • just sayin

      Amen, apparently they didn't toss enough...shame d@ mn shame

      April 30, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • jack

      now thats a sporting event i would pay for good seats.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:13 pm |
    • lathebiosas

      Friggin' Constantine. If it weren't for him this thing never would have got traction. Idiot.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:17 pm |

      And biker gangs are right to beat and brutalize fudge packers.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
  15. Dena Kelley

    If his hateful comments had been directed at any other group- gays, muslims, blacks, women, there would be nearly universal condemnation. But because he directed his comments and Christians, a number of people are defending him. If it's wrong to treat any other group like that, it's wrong to treat Christians like that. Bullying is bullying, and wrong is wrong. He should be ashamed of himself, particularly as he was supposed to be giving a speech against bullying. He was seen as a role model.

    April 30, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
  16. frontgate

    Pointing out to Christians the errors in the Bible is not bullying.
    Would you defend slavery because the bible says it is ok?

    April 30, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • Amy Jones

      Why isn't Dan brave enough to point out the same type of stuff in the Qur'an or Hadith?

      April 30, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • Ellen Thompson

      He's a bully and a hypocrite.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • Amy Jones

      and a coward...

      April 30, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • Eric G

      @Amy: What difference would that make? Does that lessen the hateful intollerance of Christians?

      The problem Christians have with what he said is they know he is right.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • SouthernCelt

      Ever read the New Testament? Not only is it a whole lot newer than Leviticus, it is a lot more open minded.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:18 pm |
  17. LibsHateFacts

    Lunatic libs resembling more and more like the Nazis in Germany in the 1930's and 40's. Their hate for others who do not believe in their radical ideas. Their tactics of division and class warfare. Most Americans will not stand up to these gestapo thugs. It did not work in Germany and it will not work in this country!

    April 30, 2012 at 5:59 pm |
    • just sayin

      Fact: Hitler was a Christian

      April 30, 2012 at 6:00 pm |
    • Benjamin

      Mother Teresa was a Christian. Hitler was a mass murderer.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • lairdkeir

      As an history teacher just outside Dachau memorial site, I find your ignorance and wilfully simplistic comment shocking.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:02 pm |
    • broncofanssuck

      Hitler was not a Christian. Hitler was into Mysticism and Occultism

      THAT IS A FACT dummy

      April 30, 2012 at 6:04 pm |
    • just sayin

      Sorry it is a fact. Deal with it. God Bless

      April 30, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • just sayin

      Fact. Mother Teresa was a lesbian who couldn't hold a real job.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • WASP

      @rebshatefacts: here are some facts for you. dems tried to get universal health care for everyone....repubs blocked it and argued against it. dems try to get fair taxes for everyone, repubs want tax breaks for rich. dems want equal marriage rights, repubs thump their bible. dems want to balance budget and foster job growth, repubs fought for corparations to be seen as people. hmmmmm i'm certain you fall in with those ever so intelligent folks that kept screaming" make him a one term president" no plan other than that, just wanted him out of office......too bad obama will get the support he needs to get this country running again. repubs go back to your caves.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:19 pm |
  18. Snow

    out of curiosity, I want to ask the question the dude posed in the article..
    – How many of you are against bullying?
    – and How many of you are ok with a bullying that is motivated by faith (any faith)?

    April 30, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • frontgate

      Believe it or not, I'm sure there are those who defend faith based bullying, just as there are those who would defend faith based slavery.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:01 pm |
    • fred

      Atheists are big on natural selection and claim we are animals. In the animal world that which is not normal is easy to spot even by animals we claim less intelligent than humans. Some birds toss the weak out of the nest. The godless are picked on because it is not normal to claim there is no God.
      Jesus said to love your neighbor and further raised the bar to love your enemy. Picking on anyone is a sin and if you hate that other person it is like murder to God.
      I would think atheists and gays would unite and applaud Jesus if they knew the truth. Instead you attack the foundation of truth and that which makes man more than an animal.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:17 pm |
    • Snow

      "The godless are picked on because it is not normal to claim there is no God"

      In that mishmash of facts, are you seriously supporting the practice of bullying?? really? I would like you to show one.. exactly one atheist that said because natural selection weeds out the weakest, it is ok to pick on weak. where did you think up that from?

      what separates humans from other animals is their power of reason.. that is why you do not see a goat making up new theories in quantum mechanics.. With that power of reason comes moral judgement. which says not to toss the young out of the nest because it seemed weakest.

      Also, a few thousands of years before jesus came with this so called message, the world religions were teaching the same principles.. Hinduism, Buddhism, etc had a lot to say about the very same matter you just attributed to have been "invented" by jesus. He didn't say anythnig new. why follow a dude who simply reiterated what is already written for many thousands of years already?

      April 30, 2012 at 6:35 pm |
    • fred

      “ power of reason.. that is why you do not see a goat making up new theories in quantum mechanics”
      =>Interesting selection of animals as the goats are separated from the sheep in the End of Days

      “ power of reason comes moral judgement….toss the young out of the nest because it seemed weakest”
      =>What moral judgment is it that lets children starve when God has given us the technology and resources to feed starving children 10 times over? What moral judgment says a BMW or I pad is of greater value than feeding 700 children through age 21?

      “a few thousands of years before jesus …..the world religions were teaching the same principles”
      =>What Jesus said was already in the Old Testament so you are correct there is nothing new only modeled in human form so we would have no excuse to say “I didn’t know”.
      Interesting how you claim to have time certain for Hinduism, Buddhism, etc. yet not for the sons of Noah. There is no more evidence that the Hindus or any other religion invented goodness anymore than Abram did.

      “ jesus. He didn't say anythnig new”
      =>however, to this day Jesus remains the most influential figure in the World and the center of your Western World View.

      April 30, 2012 at 7:00 pm |
  19. Benjamin

    290,000 gays have died from HIV/AIDS in the U.S. They are killing themselves by much larger numbers than any bully.

    April 30, 2012 at 5:58 pm |
    • frontgate

      See, here is one example in defense of bullying gays.
      No doubt a right-wing, good christian, republican who gits information from rumbaugh, beck and that o'riley idiot.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • Benjamin

      Where is the information from? Try the CDC Fact Sheet on HIV/AIDS in the gay/bi male population.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
  20. gary

    what exactly ARE "gay rights"? And where is it written?

    April 30, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
    • Zachary

      It's under human rights.
      You know, the ones guaranteed to all humans.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:03 pm |
    • Nonny Mouse

      Oh, you mean it has to be written down somewhere to be a decent human thing to do?

      Okay then: Gay rights are the rights of gay people to be treated with the same respect as full human beings as everyone else.

      There. Now you know it's okay to be nice to people.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:05 pm |
    • Andy Daniel

      "Gay rights" shouldn't have to be written. There are no "left handed person's" rights or "redheaded persons rights" because these groups are not discriminated against, even though redheads form an smaller percentage of the population than to gays. Equal rights for all should be obvious.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:06 pm |
    • chedar888

      I am surprise Gary how you survived without knowing your baisc rights. Maybe you are not human.

      April 30, 2012 at 6:11 pm |
    • Mio51

      Where is it written???? WHERE IS IT WRITTEN?! Are you kidding? It's in our Declaration of Independence! Need a reminder?:
      "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
      So, according to our own Founding Fathers, "their Creator" (which is interpreted by strict constructionists to mean a Christian God, even though it clearly does NOT say that, and is clearly an interpretation (can't have it both ways) endows us ALL with "...certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." And notice that it says "that AMONG these..." which means any as yet undiscovered rights shall remain with THE PEOPLE. And yes, gays happen to be people...just like you and I. I am not religious, and I have no problem with religion, EXCEPT when the words of Jesus are twisted to mean exactly the opposite of what he taught-turn the other cheek and love thy neighbor.

      Shame on you for turning your own savior into a symbol of hatred, discrimination and bigotry. That is NOT what Jesus would do!

      April 30, 2012 at 6:34 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.