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. apostate

    lol butthurt Christians.

    April 30, 2012 at 11:09 pm |
    • danielwalldammit

      They've a right to be angry in this instance. ...but of course lots of folks are spinning that into as much as they can make out of it.

      April 30, 2012 at 11:39 pm |
  2. GinBhamAl

    Can't we all just get along?

    April 30, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
  3. Orion

    He's just one more anti-Christian bigot. Seems the entire Left is populated by people who preach tolerance but act in the most intolerant manner. What's most amazing is that they're completely blind to their boundless hypocrisy. If they want to see bigots, racists, hate mongers they need only look in the mirror.

    April 30, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
    • Observer

      When you start advocating equal rights for gays and all Americans, your credibility will increase.

      April 30, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • normane3d

      Maybe some one should have listened to him instead of made judgement against him. He believes in Christ just not the bulls*it they teach in fundamental churches. Isn't that right Pharisees?

      April 30, 2012 at 11:25 pm |
    • danielwalldammit

      No, he isn't. he is a man with a legitimate beef with Christianity. He didn't acquit himself well in this instance, but his rudeness does not change the fact that he makes a lot of good points. Calling them lies doesn't change that fact either.

      April 30, 2012 at 11:32 pm |
    • sam stone

      And the right is tolerant?

      May 1, 2012 at 3:43 am |
    • sam stone

      While we are at it, Orion, you categorize the ENTIRE left that way? My gosh, pull your head out of your a$$ and see that there are hateful people on both sides of the aisle

      May 1, 2012 at 3:45 am |
  4. Fred

    For a "writer" he doesn't have much of a vocabulary.

    April 30, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • DanisNOTtheMan

      Dan should apologize to all the gay people that will be hurt because of his hateful words.

      April 30, 2012 at 11:06 pm |
    • SuperStew

      But it is a mighty big axe he has to grind.

      April 30, 2012 at 11:19 pm |
    • danielwalldammit

      Why, because he swore? Tell me you have more than that.

      April 30, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
    • Paul

      And does anyone REALLY give 2 hoots what this pillow biter has to say??? About ANYTHING??? Since when did he become an authority. Just another loser with no job going around making money off of other people. Doing NOTHING.

      April 30, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
    • Observer


      "Just another loser with no job going around making money off of other people. Doing NOTHING."

      He's a columnist and a speaker. Now let's talk about "losers" with major reading comprehension problems.

      April 30, 2012 at 11:38 pm |
    • sam stone

      Paul: He likely earns more money than you do. Categorizing him as a "pillow biters"? Looking forward to 9th grade, are ya?

      May 1, 2012 at 3:47 am |
  5. n8263

    Most of them will lose their religion in college anyway. They will look back and laugh about how they were once offended by someone who was only trying to educate them about the problems religion causes.

    April 30, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • ray

      educate them in what? foul language , religious intolerance? if this low life was allowed to spew his liberal bloviating in my children's school I would have the responsible party for bringing him in suspended for poor judgment.
      by the way does he ever bad mouth the Koran? or is that politically incorrect?
      he should pick on people his own size.

      April 30, 2012 at 11:15 pm |
    • bayhuntr


      This isn't your kids school and these young adults were not forced to go to this event.

      I have no doubt if he was speaking to a predominantly Islamic audience, he would have called out their hypocrisy.

      The only people he was "picking on" were hypocrites, why did they not stay and defend their hypocrisy? They don't know how.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:04 am |
  6. Liz

    He bullied some of his audience! Everyone should have walked out.

    April 30, 2012 at 10:59 pm |
    • n8263

      If you think saying something a few people take offense to is bullying, you have no idea what bullying is.

      April 30, 2012 at 11:01 pm |
    • The O'Really Factor

      No he didn't. You are saying that because he was giving a speech about bullying. Some students didn't like some of the tings he said and they left. So what? If someone doesn't like the content of a movie and they get up and walk out, that doesn't mean that the movie bullied them. Now he did make a comment after they left, but they weren't in the room and that wasn't the reason for them leaving. Maybe he was offended that they left and he took a shot like a comedian might do in that situation.

      April 30, 2012 at 11:12 pm |
    • SuperStew

      I agree. In fact it was the bully pulpit.

      April 30, 2012 at 11:21 pm |
  7. Mallen

    So much atheist ignorance in this comment section. It's both sad and pitiful. Sad because of the ignorance of what the Bible actually says and pitiful because I see so many people cut off from God. Atheist fool themselves to live with themselves. I pray you will find salvation before the Day of Judgment, because you and I and everyone on earth will be judged. Trying to sear your conscience to delude yourself that you aren't a sinner won't even fool you in your heart. Why try to fool others?

    April 30, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • DanisNOTtheMan

      Dan should have directed his comments to a group of Muslim students. That would have been something.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:58 pm |
    • Observer

      Speaking of ignorance, a recent poll/test showed that the average atheist and average agnostic know MORE about the Bible than the average Christian. Oooops.

      April 30, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • Mike

      Really? It's the atheists fooling themselves to live with themselves? I'm pretty sure atheists don't have the burden of proof here.

      April 30, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
    • reglrguy

      Amen, speak the truth. In any other area in life there are rules and you are held accountable by. But when it comes to the most important question in life; which concerns our mortality, folks are content make up there own truth to feel good.

      April 30, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
    • sam stone

      And you are a subservient little dweeb. Get back on your knees, b1tch

      May 1, 2012 at 3:50 am |
    • sam stone

      "But when it comes to the most important question in life; which concerns our mortality, folks are content make up there own truth to feel good."

      And others are content to follow the truths of edited, translated iron age hearsay to feel good

      May 1, 2012 at 3:52 am |
  8. kevin

    This was fun! lets just all try love for a change 🙂 wwjd

    April 30, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • DanisNOTtheMan

      I think Dan's hate speech will have very negative effects out in the real world. The number of gay bashing incidents will increase greatly in the short term because of this guy.

      April 30, 2012 at 11:00 pm |
    • momoya


      Go get the night duty nurse at the station at the end of the hall, you're having a reaction to one of your meds, it seems.. If you can't speak, just have him/her read your posts here and they'll figure it out.. Good luck.

      April 30, 2012 at 11:54 pm |
  9. Mallen

    Thank God for sending us his Word in the Bible and for the ultimate revelation in sending His Son, Jesus, to save us from our sins and reconcile us to the Father. You can read Scripture and remove your ignorance but God wants you to first REPENT of our sins.

    April 30, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • Ting

      Whew! It's a good thing your weren't born in India and brought up Hindu. Lucky you.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • Phosphorus

      The god of the Bible has more collective blood on his hands and sins on its conscience than the whole lot of human kind. If anyone should ask for forgiveness, it should be the Christian god asking us for forgiveness.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • reglrguy

      Phosphorus, you are not alone in your opinion. Sadly there may be generations who concur with you. What would you do if you stood face to face with the creator?

      April 30, 2012 at 11:33 pm |
    • Phosphorus

      If there is a single intelligent creator, which is a huge uncertainty and leap of faith, I would find it highly probable to be far more intelligent and sophisticated than what so-called holy texts describe it as. If it is the spoiled brat that is described in the Old Testament and a creature demanding of our unthinking slavery else we suffer an eternity in torment, my choices would be thus: spend eternity with a spoiled brat deity that demands my strict obedience and that of all of those around me. This would be abominable for it would be like living with a tyrant in a country full of deluded yes-men and yes-women that are without backbone. My other alternative would be to spend eternity away from this totalitarian creature, with others that had the backbone to call this creature out for what it is, and those that would prefer the pain and suffering that comes with freedom opposed to the boot-licking and groveling of obedient slaves, I would be honored to call them my brothers and sisters.

      The way I see it is this scenario is far too primitive and archaic to even have a remotely slim possibility of being realistic. This is bronze-age, pastoralist human thinking, and is just as silly as all of the other mythologies out there. When you can honestly answer to yourself why you find all of the other mythologies ridiculous and silly, and in no way even slightly possible, then you will understand why I find the Christian mythology to be ridiculous and silly as well.

      April 30, 2012 at 11:45 pm |
    • sam stone

      "What would you do if you stood face to face with the creator?"

      What would you do if you stood face to face with the creator, and it was NOT the one you had believed in?

      Lots of cultures have creation stories.

      What you see as the ultimate truth depends largely on where you stand on this big blue marble

      May 1, 2012 at 4:06 am |
    • sam stone

      Phosphorus: Good post.

      May 1, 2012 at 4:09 am |
    • sam stone

      Also, Mallen, why do you feel that bronze age man had the key to morality?

      May 1, 2012 at 4:12 am |
  10. dove


    He wasn't educating anyone, he was using profanities to demean Christian kids. I'll make sure to pray for you also.

    April 30, 2012 at 10:47 pm |
    • Observer


      Please also pray for all the Christian HYPOCRITES who trash people while PRETENDING that the Bible actually talks about abortions.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:52 pm |
    • n8263

      He was educating them about some of the bullshit in the Bible.

      Statistics show most of them will lose their religion in college. One day they may be thanking him.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
  11. glenn

    im not sure what position he plays so il just call him (this fellow ) seems to have a very low opinion of himself ,so he takes it out on every thing else in this world. his disrespect for the audience as well as himself demonstrates that he has some serious self esteem issues.

    April 30, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
  12. Lilith

    It's nice to know how easy it is to get them out of a room meant for education.

    April 30, 2012 at 10:46 pm |
  13. n8263

    It was rude for those students to walk out on him while he was trying to educate them. They should apologize.

    April 30, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • glenn

      if you sit in a room with anyone who is offensive in tone and manor you have every right to get up and leave. thats called self esteem.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
    • Lilith

      It's also called self rightous grandstanding! If your "faith" can't stand a little negative truth, it's not much very stong now is it.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:54 pm |
    • T8

      Was he trying to educate them about how good his boyfriend looked in a speedo?

      April 30, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • amitorelocato

      Educate them on what? How to be a pervert? This behavior is so perverted,that you do not even see it among the animal kingdom.Do you see a male dog looking to mate with another male dog?or a bull with another bull,or a cow with another cow?

      April 30, 2012 at 11:05 pm |
    • Observer


      It's highly likely that you know heteros who engage in a-nal s-x. Get serious.

      April 30, 2012 at 11:08 pm |
    • ray

      apologize for what? having a mind of their own and at a young age recognize a smoldering pantload?

      April 30, 2012 at 11:18 pm |
    • sam stone

      glenn: true self-esteem would involve listening to opposing viewpoints

      May 1, 2012 at 4:15 am |
    • sam stone

      "This behavior is so perverted,that you do not even see it among the animal kingdom."

      It happens all the time in the animal kingdom. My gosh, are you dumb

      May 1, 2012 at 4:18 am |
  14. Patrick

    Funny how christians can dish it out but cab't take it!!!!!

    April 30, 2012 at 10:42 pm |
    • Pat

      My thoughts exactly

      April 30, 2012 at 11:02 pm |
    • ray

      dish out what? was he "offended" or bullied when they walked out on a waste of their valuable time in school? are you offended? poor baby

      April 30, 2012 at 11:20 pm |
    • sam stone

      ray: they had already allocated that time. they were just having a hissy fit because they disagreed.

      May 1, 2012 at 4:21 am |
  15. n8263

    It was rude for those students to walk out on him while he was trying to educate them. They should apologize.

    April 30, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
    • DanisNOTtheMan

      I would have removed him from the stage before he could spew any more hate. Wonder how many gay kids will get beaten for his words.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • Wonders

      WOW! Really?

      April 30, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
  16. dove

    Dan is a twisted man and now all can see it, pray for him and make sure to vote for a president who will bring back morality to our nation.

    April 30, 2012 at 10:40 pm |
    • n8263

      Was that sarcasm?

      April 30, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • If horses had Gods .. their Gods would be horses

      Good suggestion dove, we do need a President with morals .. it's about time for an Atheist President!

      April 30, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • Observer

      Yes. Recent Republican candidates have included a load of guys with "family values" problems like John McCain, Rudy Giuliani, Fred Thompson, Herman Cain and Newt Gingrich.

      Vote for President Obama.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
    • DanisNOTtheMan

      Yes. Absolutely.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • Hawk

      Did someone nominate Richard Dawkins and I wasn't told?

      April 30, 2012 at 10:55 pm |
    • sam stone

      tell us all, dove...when did we have (your version of) morality in this nation? when we could own other people? when people were lynched in the bible belt? when women could not vote? when others have lesser civil rights? where is this shangri-la you point to as a moral apex in our nation's history?

      May 1, 2012 at 12:27 pm |
  17. barry

    This man needs a cutting rebuke from Mitt Romney and every true christian's sincere prayers for his salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ. Pray for him!

    April 30, 2012 at 10:39 pm |
    • Father G

      Yes let him be dipped in vat of blood so he shall be made pure.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:43 pm |
  18. Wonders

    Another reprobate!

    (Rom 1:20) For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:
    (Rom 1:21) Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened.
    (Rom 1:22) Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,
    (Rom 1:23) And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.
    (Rom 1:24) Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:
    (Rom 1:25) Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
    (Rom 1:26) For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:
    (Rom 1:27) And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
    (Rom 1:28) And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;
    (Rom 1:29) Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,
    (Rom 1:30) Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,
    (Rom 1:31) Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
    (Rom 1:32) Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.

    April 30, 2012 at 10:35 pm |
    • Observer

      Romans (12:20) also says “If your enemies are hungry, feed them. If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.”

      Do you believe and practice EVERYTHING that Romans says?

      Or do you just PICK what you like?

      April 30, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • We will see.

      Perfect Post. The simple truth.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:38 pm |
    • Wonders

      I follow the ENTIRE TRUTH of God's word. I don't pick and choose anything. Problem with most people is that the word of God is offensive. God's intention for what HE says, thus saith the Lord, to illuminate His holy light on S-I-N.

      Gen 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:45 pm |
    • Rock

      Exactly. But chose wisely. Always finish the thought.

      Romans 12:15-21

      15 Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep. 16 Be of the same mind toward one another. Do not set your mind on high things, but associate with the humble. Do not be wise in your own opinion.

      17 Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men. 18 If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men. 19 Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,”[a] says the Lord. 20 Therefore

      “If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
      If he is thirsty, give him a drink;
      For in so doing you will heap coals of fire on his head.”[b]

      21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:48 pm |
    • Observer


      You left out the rest of the passage. Jesus said that what God has joined, man should not separate.

      So do you criticize ALL your friends who are divorced and tell them they are bound for h-ll?

      April 30, 2012 at 10:49 pm |
    • Wonders

      No sir.... I didn't say that. Had nothing to do with what you are saying. I simply put that God INTENDS for marriage to be between 1 man and 1 woman. Folks who are not saved by the blood of Jesus Christ are bound for hell; married, divorced, gay or straight. God has called me to preach the whole council of God, that includes crying out against those things that our society has put a stamp of approval that God disproves of.

      Unrighteousness is why God destroyed Soddom and that is exactly what I will plead with people to move away from.

      Hope all of you have made your calling and election sure.... Jesus Saves!

      April 30, 2012 at 10:57 pm |
    • sam stone

      "Folks who are not saved by the blood of Jesus Christ are bound for hell; married, divorced, gay or straight."

      Another inbred mother scratcher speaking for god.

      Wonders....your empty proxy threats are laughable.

      Get back on your knees, B1tch

      May 1, 2012 at 12:34 pm |
  19. kevin

    No human can reveal what God believes or cares about, anymore than I can look at a cat and know what it's thinking.

    April 30, 2012 at 10:34 pm |
    • johnfrichardson

      I know exactly what my cats are thinking when I get home: Hand over the FOOD!!!

      April 30, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • Bambi

      Kindly refrain, for your own good, from taking the Lord's name in vain. Mother Earth!

      April 30, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • kevin

      Thank you Bambi I won't make that JFC GD mistake again

      April 30, 2012 at 10:41 pm |
  20. Rock

    You should not quote the Bible if you haven't read it and/or don't know what you are talking about. There are a lot of people posting what they think the Bible says or what someone has told them what the Bible says. You accuse Christians of being hateful through your ignorance. Ignorance by choice is the definition of stupidity.

    April 30, 2012 at 10:31 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Piper's Son

      Gee, funny how you're all put out when the people here who've been lectured to about how the Bible despises ho-mos3xuality are under the impression that it does just that, dear. Maybe you should set your own kind straight, so to speak.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • DanisNOTtheMan

      Dan is not going to be welcome near the circles of power any more being a hate monger and all.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:33 pm |
    • Phosphorus

      Crusades, Inquisitions, Witch Hunts, Exorcisms...these must have been conducted out of love, peace, and harmony with their fellow man.

      April 30, 2012 at 10:36 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.