About 100 students walked out of a speech given by Dan Savage when he criticized the Bible at a high school journalism conference. (Source: YouTube/CitzenLink)
(RNN) - The founder of the anti-bullying campaign It Gets Better has apologized for using an expletive after Christian journalism students walked out of his speech, but not for the message behind the remark.
Dan Savage was speaking at the conference in Seattle in mid-April when he began discussing how the Bible treats homosexuality. Savage said it is important to ignore the "bull(expletive)" in the Bible about gay people because society ignores that women should be stoned if they're not virgins and that slavery is OK.
"The Bible is a radically pro-slavery document. Slave owners waved Bibles over their heads during the Civil War and justified it," Savage said. "The shortest book in the New Testament is a letter from Paul to a Christian slave owner about owning his Christian slave. And Paul doesn't say, 'Christians don't own people.' Paul talks about how Christians own people."
About 100 students got up and walked out of the auditorium when he began discussing the Bible.
"You can tell the Bible guys in the hall that they can come back now, because I'm done beating up the Bible," Savage said after the walk-out. "It's funny, as someone who's on the receiving end of beatings that are justified by the Bible, how pansy-(expletive) some people react when you push back."
He apologized later in his speech for using the term, "pansy(expletive)."
However, that did not placate the backlash.
Conservative groups, such as Citizen Link, the public policy affiliate for Focus on the Family, are angry at Savage, and are accusing him of being the bully for not being tolerant of Christianity.
"It's too bad the Christian kids left the hall. They're supposed to be journalists, and we in the journalism biz must often dirty our ears with others' distasteful utterances," a post on Towleroad, a gay advocacy blog.
On his blog, Savage apologized for his choice of words – but not for his remarks at the conference.
"All Christians read the Bible selectively. Some read it hypocritically - and the hypocrites react very angrily when anyone has the nerve to point that out," Savage said on his blog.
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Dan Savage angers Christian students at journalism converence