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. jack

    The bible is a collection of primitive myths, made up history, contradictions and moral teachings on how one nation should treat it's would be e n e m i e s that would make even Stalin, Mao and H i t l e r blush. It calls on its believers to s t o ne to d e a t h those who work on the sabbath, c u r se their parents, committ ad ult ery, or worship gods other than the I srae lite tribal god yah weh. This is not a duplicate posting!!!!

    May 1, 2012 at 3:08 am |
    • amitorelocato

      To all the God and Bible haters: The Bible is the most sold book in the world.People thru the centuries had tried to destroy it, and have not been able to do it.Your words and hatred is meaningless, God still on his trone.Heavens and earth will pass away,but my word will not pass away.

      May 1, 2012 at 8:12 am |
  2. jack

    The bible is a collection of primitive myths, made up history, contradictions and moral teachings on how one nation should treat it's would be e n e m i e s that would make even Stalin, Mao and H i t l e r blush. It calls on its believers to s t o ne to d e a t h those who work on the sabbath, c u r se their parents, committ ad ult ery, or worship gods other than the I srae lite tribal god yah weh.

    May 1, 2012 at 3:07 am |
  3. brad

    Wow, lots of angry christians here. So much for turn the other cheek.

    May 1, 2012 at 2:46 am |
    • glennrobertg

      Hang in there Dan! Everyone should read the book "AMERICAN THEOCRACY" by Kevin Phillips who is a forty year conservative with brains. The Southern Baptists Convention almost ended up running this country under George W.

      May 1, 2012 at 3:05 am |
  4. Tom

    So, the lesson here is, bullying is bad EXCEPT when its done to a christian, conservative, pro-American type. Why do people take liberals seriously anymore? Its just Anti-American rhetoric.

    May 1, 2012 at 2:16 am |
    • Observer

      A liberal has loudly told people what he thinks. They had the RIGHT to leave an did.

      A conservative doesn't let gays have RIGHTS.

      See the difference?

      May 1, 2012 at 2:21 am |
    • glennrobertg

      You are really not paying attention are you. Seen any good christians beaten to death and hung from a fence lately?

      May 1, 2012 at 3:09 am |
    • sam stone

      Tom: What did he say that was anti-American?

      May 1, 2012 at 3:25 am |
    • sam stone

      "...a christian, conservative, pro-American type. "

      Okay, now I deciphered the description. You mean a bigot.

      May 1, 2012 at 3:33 am |
    • danielwalldammit

      No, apparently the lesson is that if your critic screws up and does something wrong, then you and yours are off the hook for any of the rest of his criticisms.

      May 1, 2012 at 3:39 am |
  5. Dorian Grey

    What’s pure nonsense, as well as biased, is this singling out of one religion as being Bull S__T over another.

    The truth of the matter is, Judaism, Christianity and Islam are all Bull S__T! How so you ask?? Well, have you actually spent the time studying the origin of these three (3) Bull S__T religions and how they came into being??

    All three (3) religions initially came into existence by a lone individual having gone to bed one night, and while asleep (according to the written record), claimed an angel appeared to them and gave them a list of instructions that they wrote down. That is what Judaism, Christianity and Islam all have in common. That is how they were all started. They were started by no less than three (3) people who went to bed one night and had a dream (How laughable).

    History Folks:

    Before there was Judaism, you had Abraham. A sheep and goat herding nomad living in the desert. His hobby was as an astrologer. He worshiped the stars. This was before the word Judaism was ever introduced into the lexicon of the day. You are talking somewhere in the vicinity of 1872 BC. In this instance, on an ordinary night, Abraham went to bed. And while sleeping, claimed an angel appeared to him and gave him an instructional list of things he was supposed to do. One month later (give or take a month or so) numerous men, who had never heard the word yarmulke before, let alone knew how to spell the word yarmulke, had their foreskins lopped off. Thus was the birth of Judaism.

    Flash forward a millennium and a few centuries to the year 26 BC and we find Mary, a young Jewish woman, who, like Abraham, went to bed as a virgin one evening and claimed an angel of God appeared to her as well. Her angel gave her a completely different set of instructions that were in direct conflict with the set of instructions Abraham’s angel gave him a millennium and a few centuries prior (Divinely inspired? Or pure manmade Bull S__T).

    In this instance, Mary’s angel told her that she, as a virgin, was going to give birth to the son of God. And with the birth of Jesus, a Jew, a whole new set of “other” instructions were going to be established. And with the birth of Jesus, came the birth of Christianity as well. This was also the very first time in the historical record that friction between Jewish belief (a belief that had more than a millenniums jump of practice and indoctrination on Christianity), and Christian belief was established.

    Flash forward again a number of centuries into the future and you are now at the year 527 AD or there about. Around this time, a guy who went by the name of Muhammad, in addition to having married his nine (9) year old first cousin (a pedophile by today’s standards), also went to bed on the desert floor as a nomad one evening.And like Abraham and Mary before him, and while asleep, he, too, claimed an angel, not from God, but from Allah, gave him a whole new set of instructions that he began to write down in great haste the very next morning.

    One month later (give or take a month or so) numerous camel jockeys, who had never heard the word jihad before, let alone knew how to spell the word jihad, accepted the set of instructions as they were introduced by Muhammad . And thus was the birth of Islam. And in one fell swoop, two (2) arch enemies, who had never been enemies before, were created. And like a bunch of idiots, they have been killing one another ever since.

    In summation, what did Abraham, Mary and Muhammad all have in common? They were three people who went to bed one evening and claimed an angel appeared to them while in a “dream state”. And while in this dreamlike state, gave them a list of instructions all of which contradicted one another. (That is your first clue they were NOT divinely inspired by God).

    Secondly, what Abraham, Mary and Muhammad all had in common was that they were the world’s greatest marketers and salespeople. And why? Because they were able to convince a bunch of very stupid and ignorant people into believing in these most asinine of doctrines. And here we are Millenniums into the future, and you have millions of idiots running around and not only believing in this Bull S__T, but they are indoctrinating their children into this Bull S__T as well. And so it goes. On, and on, and on throughout the ages.

    In closing, Judaism, Christianity and Islam are all Bull S__T! And all three (3) religions are responsible for more human suffering, human despair and human deaths combined than all the known conventional wars over the last 5000 years. For this reason and this reason alone, these three (3) Bull S__T religions should be outlawed forever!

    May 1, 2012 at 1:13 am |
    • Daniel

      (4) your wish will be granted

      May 1, 2012 at 2:05 am |
  6. Fr33th1nk3r

    Nothing new...Christians have ALWAYS been able to dish it out, but have NEVER been able to take it at all.

    May 1, 2012 at 1:06 am |
    • Fr33th1nk3r

      Now, due to political correctness, he is going to have to apologize for speaking the truth...

      May 1, 2012 at 1:07 am |
    • Fr33th1nk3r

      If those Christian kids felt the Bible as "under attack", then maybe they should offer an intelligent counter-argument, instead of just walking out? Maybe one of those Christian kids should redirect some of their anger towards actually explaining what the Bible means when it says we are supposed to burn people to death for being gay?

      But that would actually involve Christians being accountable for the horros in their own book of fairy tales....we can't have that now....

      May 1, 2012 at 1:11 am |
    • Mark

      That's right. Christians can't take it... their leader was only crucified, the first 30 some popes were all martyred, and there's been more martyrs in the past century than all the other centuries combined.

      It is curious how those who accuse Christians of hatred and intolerance are often the most venomous in
      tone and intent. It is the most obvious—and easily over-looked hypocrisy of our times.

      May 1, 2012 at 1:43 am |
    • Observer


      Speaking of hatred, I don't see any atheists or agnostics claiming that you guys deserve to spend eternity burning in a fire.

      May 1, 2012 at 1:49 am |
    • Tidmore


      There never was a Jesus Christ. It is all make-believe. All objective historians, archeologists and anthropologists agree that there is virtually zero evidence for Jesus. Get over it and grow up.

      May 1, 2012 at 2:47 am |
  7. muneshadowe

    Some dysfunctional children just never ever grow up, they just act up.

    May 1, 2012 at 12:52 am |
    • sam stone

      Sometimes they do so in church.....holding their hands up....."throw me the ball, Jesus,I'm open"

      May 1, 2012 at 3:36 am |
  8. Dick Korose

    Factual correction: Sutter Union High is in Nnorthern California, about 45 miles north of Sacramento.

    May 1, 2012 at 12:15 am |
  9. Dick Korose

    Poinn of correction: Sutter Union High School is in northern California, about 45 miles north of Sacramento.

    May 1, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • Okey Dokey

      I'm not sure that the specific location of self-righteoously indignant zealot dingbats really matters much, but thanks for the clarification. Sound like a great place to not send your kid to high school.

      May 1, 2012 at 2:09 am |
  10. Phosphorus


    April 30, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
  11. Noah

    Anger issues, self hate, low self esteem...here he is blathering on about rights and equality, while scolding and bashing people who don't think the way he does.

    It's a shame that we even give mindless toads like him a forum.

    April 30, 2012 at 11:58 pm |
    • Chris


      This is the definition of bullying.

      Bully says mean things to another kid they know will take offense at.
      Kid is hurt and walks away, or tries to.
      Bully then further hurles insults at the kid as he's walking away.

      This psychological bullying occurs for a long period of time until eventually the kid commits suicide.

      Bullying isn't always physical. More often then not, it's psychological.

      This guy is a joke. Get him out of our highschools and back into a McDonalds where he can flip burgers for life.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:04 am |
    • Fr33th1nk3r

      Uh-oh, Bible-thumpers are getting mad because someone was not afraid to call their game.....

      May 1, 2012 at 1:09 am |
    • tallulah13

      Awww. Poor babies. It must really hurt your feelings when someone who has faced discrimination, and possibly violence because of your bible, actually speaks out against that sort of hate. How awful that you actually might have to face some of the pain you so happily dish out. How brave and mature of you to lash out with name calling. How very christian of you to wish to silence him.

      May 1, 2012 at 2:43 am |
  12. TR

    Its funny that progressives get whipped into a "separation of church and state" frenzy any time something even remotely pro-christian is said before students yet they don't even consider it when Christianity is being attacked (also religious speech) in a similar forum. Progressive hypocrisy never ceases to amaze.

    April 30, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
    • Chris

      Oh, but it's OK for them 😉 Because it's "education" .......... LOL.

      Somebody needs to let the atheists know that a recent research study shows atheism is DECLINING rapidly over the past decade. Seems like the more intelligent and informed we become, we start losing stupid. PAss the memo around and let's get stupid off the stage.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:06 am |
    • Observer

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

      May 1, 2012 at 12:10 am |
    • Chris

      That whole "study" is a joke. 30% – 50% of people who call themselves "Christians" also attend church once a year, and never read their Bible.

      Do a true study and compare actual practicing Christians. And atheists I talk to "think" they understand the Bible, but 10 times out of 10, they have no clue what they're talking about. I have debates ALL the time, and they are always clueless.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:12 am |
    • Observer


      Please list your educational background and knowledge of statistical methods to show you have any clue in claiming that you know more about a professional survey that the professionals that conducted it.

      Answer please.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:17 am |
    • danielwalldammit

      It's also interesting to see how often the charge of hypocrisy facilitates the same.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:21 am |
    • Observer

      Fascinating statistics:

      So apparently 30% to 50% of the Christians who claim this is a Christian nation aren't REAL Christians?

      May 1, 2012 at 12:28 am |
    • Phosphorus

      46.791% of all statistics are made up.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:36 am |
    • Observer


      Don't worry about it. We already knew the answer.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:52 am |
  13. Reality


    One more time: The Facts–

    "Abrahamics" believe that their god created all of us and of course that includes the g-ay members of the human race. Also, those who have studied ho-mo-se-xuality have determined that there is no choice involved therefore ga-ys are ga-y because god made them that way.

    To wit:

    o The Royal College of Psy-chiatrists stated in 2007:

    “ Despite almost a century of psy-choanalytic and psy-chological speculation, there is no substantive evidence to support the suggestion that the nature of parenting or early childhood experiences play any role in the formation of a person’s fundamental heteros-exual or hom-ose-xual orientation. It would appear that s-exual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of ge-netic factors and the early ut-erine environment. Se-xual orientation is therefore not a choice.[60] "

    "Garcia-Falgueras and Swaab state in the abstract of their 2010 study, "The fe-tal brain develops during the intraut-erine period in the male direction through a direct action of tes-tosterone on the developing nerve cells, or in the female direction through the absence of this hor-mone surge. In this way, our gender identi-ty (the conviction of belonging to the male or female gender) and s-exual orientation are programmed or organized into our brain structures when we are still in the womb. There is no indication that social environment after birth has an effect on gender ident–ity or s-exual orientation."[8

    See also the Philadelphia Inquirer review “Gay Gene, Deconstructed”, 12/12/2011. Said review addresses the following “How do genes associated with ho-mose-xuality avoid being weeded out by Darwinian evolution?”

    Of course, those gays who belong to Abrahamic religions are supposed to obey the rules of no adu-ltery or for-nication allowed.

    And because of basic biology differences said monogamous ventures should always be called same-s-ex unions not same-s-ex marriages.

    From below, on top, backwards, forwards, from this side of the Moon and from the other side too, gay se-xual activity is still mutual masturbation caused by one or more complex se-xual differences. Some differences are visually obvious in for example the complex maleness of DeGeneres, Billy Jean King and Rosie O'Donnell.

    Yes, heteros-exuals practice many of the same "moves" but there is never a doubt who is the female and who is the male.

    April 30, 2012 at 11:56 pm |
  14. Somatic60

    Good old Danny Boy. Karma won't be nice to him for this. Maybe he just needs a hug like most haters. He had a bad childhood, now his psychopathy is on public display. At least he has high school kids to work his issues out on, and make him feel masculine.

    April 30, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
  15. saduslover

    Lots of angry contentious posts on this article! I do not think that the core principles of religion can ever be proven, or disproven, intellectually. That's probably why they call it "faith". And the Savior has taught us that contention is not "of Him", so I discourage the type of pointless arguments we see here. It proves nothing either way. I have wondered why those who profess Atheism seem so determined to ridicule and "convert" those who have religious beliefs. Why is this important to them? If religion gives comfort and strength to those who believe, why would you want to take that away from them? What harm is there in others having their own beliefs? And....honestly...if YOU do NOT believe in God...if you believe that your life is purely the result of chance and therefore has absolutely no purpose or future...what motivates you to get up in the morning? What's the point? Actually...maybe that is why you are so angry...you want others to feel useless and without purpose too!?

    April 30, 2012 at 11:51 pm |
    • DanisNOTtheMan

      This is not about religion, but about hate. Dan is an extremely hateful and bigoted person. He hates all those of differing beliefs. He not only hurt those in attendance with his hate, but has probably caused the harm of young gay people who will now be targets.

      April 30, 2012 at 11:55 pm |
    • Observer

      "What harm is there in others having their own beliefs?"

      None, unless the beliefs mean things like depriving others of equal rights. or calling doctors "murderers" for doing legal work, or telling other people that if they don't do exactly as told they deserve to go to h-ll. Understand now?

      May 1, 2012 at 12:07 am |
    • Jan

      what motivates you to get up in the morning? What's the point?

      Are you serious? Knowing that this is it is enough. Imagine if someone thinks that there is an afterlife and decides to waste their life away or commit suicide because it's going to be better in the afterlife. In reality there is no afterlife and they just wasted the one and only chance they had to live, laugh, and love.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:36 am |
    • fluffy

      You're exactly right. These are the same people risking precious earth to find the Higgs-Boson, yet stop short of finding proof of God. Unfortunately there's nothing that can change their minds to have faith in something they choose to ignore. Private schools are well worth the money; they're not agenda driven. Say what you will haters...got better things to do. Oh, and may God bless you.

      May 1, 2012 at 10:11 am |
    • danielwalldammit

      Lol, why don't you guys stop fighting? You're so angry and mean. ...that's precious.

      May 1, 2012 at 12:31 pm |
  16. roll up display banner

    I've been browsing online more than three hours today, but I never discovered any fascinating article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if all website owners and bloggers made good content material as you did, the web might be much more useful than ever before.

    April 30, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
  17. pepper

    Only a crappy person would wear a shirt like that.

    April 30, 2012 at 11:47 pm |
  18. b4bigbang

    Does anyone here know if foul language is now allowed at student gatherings? Aside from Bible being included in the remark (putting that aside for the moment), is foul language now allowed?
    Forget the religious connotations; at my public HS in the early '70s, a speaker would've been in hot water with the people in charge of the event immediately if they used toilet words at a gathering of high school students.
    I am curious if anyone here knows if their school district now allows this language.

    April 30, 2012 at 11:43 pm |
    • sam stone

      things have changed since the early 70's

      May 1, 2012 at 3:41 am |
  19. Robert

    Crucified, dead, and Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ the Lamb of God. Martyrs welcome by the blood of the persecuted in the past, present and future saints. Jesus Christ said Rejoice when you suffer for His sake what a blessing to suffer for His namesake. Jesus is still openly welcoming whosoever receive Him and He will praise that person for being a righteous who carries HI

    April 30, 2012 at 11:31 pm |
    • danielwalldammit

      Yes, but of course Jesus isn't the only person to suffer for the sins of Christians, is he? The blood of the lamb has never been enough for some. They need other forms of sacrifice.

      April 30, 2012 at 11:36 pm |
    • momoya

      Somebody suffered?? A blister on a heel while walking out or what?

      April 30, 2012 at 11:44 pm |
    • Phosphorus

      Your Jesus is as real as the wee-little leprechauns in the forest that hide their gold in little pots at the end of the rainbow.

      April 30, 2012 at 11:48 pm |
  20. Somatic60

    Poor Danny boy. We know what you said; you can't spin your way out. You are good at spewing hate and weaving lies–that's who you are. It takes an incredibly small person for a grown man to bully high school students. But, we understand. You were screwed up in your youth and now you spend your days trying to work your personal issues out publicly. Poor guy. I'd feel sorry for you if you weren't such an unlikeable sort.

    April 30, 2012 at 11:27 pm |
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About this blog

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.