Dan Savage Apologizes for Bullying During Anti-Bullying Speech

The 'It Gets Better' founder is backpedaling -- sort of -- after a speech to high school journalists turned into an anti-Christian screed.

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Lucas Jackson / Reuters

Columnist Dan Savage accepts a special recognition award for the "It Gets Better Project" during the 15th annual Webby Awards in New York June 13, 2011.

Advice columnist Dan Savage, the founder of the ‘It Gets Better’ project — a series of web videos devoted to helping victims of bullying — is facing charges of bullying himself after a speech to a group of high school journalists in Seattle turned into a rant at several students who walked out in protest mid-speech.

Focusing on what he called the “hypocrisy” of Christians who wouldn’t condemn anti-gay bullying because of Biblical strictures on homosexuality, Savage said:

“We can learn to ignore the bulls— in the Bible about gay people… the same way we have learned to ignore the bulls— in the Bible about shellfish, about slavery, about dinner, about farming, about menstruation, about virginity, about masturbation. We ignore bulls— in the Bible about all sorts of things.”

(MORE: 10 Questions for Dan Savage)

That was the point at which a group of about 20 or 30 students and advisors quietly stood up and walked out of the auditorium. “It’s funny, as someone who is the receiving end of beatings that are justified by the Bible, how pansy-assed some people react when you push back,” Savage said after they had left.

One of the attendees, Rick Tuttle, a journalism advisor from Sutter Union High School in California, told Fox News his students were surprised that instead of an anti-bullying message, they received “a vulgar, profanity-laced attack on Christians.”

On Monday, the event’s organizers, the National Scholastic Press Association and Journalism Education Association, called out Savage for having “belittled the faith of others.” Student journalism, they said,  “should not shy away from controversial topics and viewpoints. But it should promote and engage in civil discourse. Mr. Savage’s speech fell short of that standard, and for this our organizations apologize.”

In a statement published on the website of the Seattle newspaper The Stranger, Savage tried to make amends, sort of:

I would like to apologize for describing that walk out as a pansy-assed move. I wasn’t calling the handful of students who left pansies (2800+ students, most of them Christian, stayed and listened), just the walk-out itself. But that’s a distinction without a difference — kinda like when religious conservatives tells their gay friends that they ‘love the sinner, hate the sin. They’re often shocked when their gay friends get upset because, hey, they were making a distinction between the person (lovable!) and the person’s actions (not so much!). But gay people feel insulted by ‘love the sinner, hate the sin’ because it is insulting. Likewise, my use of ‘pansy-assed’ was insulting, it was name-calling, and it was wrong. And I apologize for saying it.

He also claimed that he was not targeting Christianity, as some said, but “hypocrisy.” NewsFeed thinks he probably also shouldn’t have used the term ‘bulls—‘ quite so often in a speech to a group of teenagers.

VIDEO: Dan Savage Leaves Colbert Speechless


I am proud of my country. Finally, we have come to see that "political correctness" is BULLYING in and of itself and we should STAND UP PROUDLY FOR OUR WAY OF LIFE! As Barack Obama and his massive love for Islam has obliterated Christianity from our military and atheists have invaded our schools we Christians have watched our society spiral out of control. We are looking into the abyss deeper than ever before. Thank you Americans and Christians for finding your courage to stand by your convictions. Christianity is NOTHING to be ashamed of-on the contrary it should be worn like a badge-a badge that will protect you when the evil agenda of these people is in your own small town rural America. The ridiculous angry, aggressive protests in Ferguson/StLouis are being fueled by Nation of Islam and New Black Panther Party. These are people who want Christians dead and white America subjugated to the worst. We must stand proud as Christians, black, white, middle eastern CHRISTIANS and protect our country and our WAY OF LIFE! Hollywood has been the worst in destroying the moral fabric of our society. I have refused to give anymore money to actors who spout politics or put out propaganda movies against conservative values. All of those Hollywood types are in love with money not their spiritual nature. STOP GIVING HOLLYWOOD MONEY AND THEY WILL STOP THEIR ASSAULT ON OUR CONSERVATIVE, GOD LOVING, PEACE PROMOTING AMERICA! Stop paying $$$ to the people who are trying to destroy your CHRISTIAN BELIEFS & YOUR FREEDOM OF ASSEMBLY!


PBS disseminates a lot of false science information. I'm well versed in science and I catch blatant false assertions of fact all the time in their science programming. It's not hard; however, when they make statements like "our entire universe is teeming with advanced extraterrestrial life." Any serious astronomer today knows that simply isn't the case. And NPR has an obvious modern liberal slant.

Why should I be forcibly taxed to pay for false science information and leftist bias? That's wrong in and of itself. But the government also forcibly taxes me to give my money to organizations like Media Matters that was organized as an anti-Christian political attack tool which they clearly state in their application for non-profit status.

Persecution madness. Our government forcibly removes money from Christians and then uses that same money to fund anti-Christian propaganda organizations. They ignore state atheism, all other religions, and solely target Christians. How hateful. How unethical. How unAmerican. There is no separation of church and state in that.

Here the government forcibly takes my money and uses it to pay a guy named Dan Savage to bully kids in the most hateful name-calling way as he totally misinterprets and mischaracterizes their worldview under the facade of non-bullying. It's sickening. It's government totalitarianism applied to bullying young people, that I am forced to pay for, undercover. All this evil government forced redistribution of taxpayer money to hateful leftist attack groups should be immediately defunded.