Atheopagan “Saints”

They are Honored Dead, at the very least.

Giordano Bruno. Galileo Galilei.

Copernicus. Isaac Newton. Aldo Leopold. John Muir. Marie Curie.

Albert Einstein. Richard Feynman. Rachel Carson. Carl Sagan. Ursula K. LeGuin.

Stephen Hawking.

Mary Oliver.

And there will be more, when they go: Jane Goodall. Richard Attenborough. Bill Nye. Wendell Berry.

The work of these people is so powerful that it persists into today. It resonates across the centuries. It inspires us to seek the truth, to honor reality, to celebrate the great circle of blessed Being.

I—only half joking—call them the Atheopagan saints. St. Carl. St. Isaac. St. Rachel. St. Ursula.

And yes, we can all have a chuckle about that.

But wouldn’t you light a candle for St. Carl, who brought us into the magic of the Cosmos? Or St. Isaac, who gave us calculus and modern physics? Or St. Ursula, who shattered the conventions of gender with her wildly humane writing?

Or embattled, suffering St. Charles, who spoke the truth about evolution?

It works for me.

These are my Honored Dead, just as much as those I knew in person. They lifted us all up and helped us to come closer to embrace of reality.

And don’t even get me started on the political saints.

May each of you have the courage of St. Harriet (Tubman) and the awe and wonder of St. Carl.

Happy belated “All Saints” Day!


 

Look! You can even buy candles! But it’s Amazon, so it would be better to make your own.

 

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