ATHEISM: “There Are No Gods; Religion is Man-made; Faith Can be a Force for Good or Evil” / Dan Savage ☮

Dan Savage“My father was a Catholic deacon, my mother was a lay minister and I thought about becoming a priest. I was in church every Sunday for the first 15 years of my life. Now I spend my Sundays on my bike, on my snowboard or on my husband. I haven’t spent my post-Catholic decades in a sulk, wishing the church would come around on the issue of homosexuality so that I could start attending Mass again. I didn’t abandon my faith. I saw through it. The conflict between my faith and my sexuality set that process in motion, but the conclusions I reached at the end of that process—there are no gods, religion is man-made, faith can be a force for good or evil—improved my life. I’m grateful that my sexuality prompted me to think critically about faith. Pushed out? No. I walked out.”

—–Dan Savage in the Book Review section of The New York Times, “What God Wants,” April 14, 2013.

On this date in 1964, gay rights activist and writer Dan Savage was born in Chicago. Savage is famous for his sex advice column, “Savage Love,” which is syndicated in more than 70 publications. He is also known and respected for his longtime advocacy for LGBT rights. Savage earned degrees in theater and history from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He later moved to Madison, Wis., where he met Tim Keck, the co-founder of the popular satirical newspaper, The Onion, in 1991. Keck asked Savage to write an advice column for the paper. Savage agreed, and his advice column eventually became “Savage Love.” Savage is known for being outspoken in his advocacy for LGBT rights. He drew attention from the media in 2012 when he gave a talk to a conference of high school students and encouraged them to “ignore the bullshit in the bible about gay people.”

In 2010 Savage and his husband Terry Miller started the It Gets Better Project in response to a series of teens who committed suicide because they were bullied about their sexual orientation. Over 50,000 people have submitted videos encouraging LGBT teens that their lives will improve and they will find acceptance. The website’s videos have received over 50 million views and many prominent people, such as President Barack Obama, Ke$ha and Ellen Degeneres, have submitted videos. Savage has been married to Miller since 2005. They have one son together, D.J., and live in Seattle.

h/t: Freedom From Religion Foundation