Sunday, October 29, 2017

All Hail!

Yesterday, a lone cyclist gave the presidential motorcade the salute it deserves.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Saints and Others 2017

It is All Saints and All Souls again this year, the time when Christians remember their dead.

Albrecht Dürer, "The Adoration of the Lamb" from The Apocalypse, woodcut, 1498

As I usually do every year, I honor those saints on all the official Christian calendars (Roman Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican, Episcopalian, Lutheran, etc.).  In addition, I keep my own list of people to remember and be grateful for, my own list of saints, heroes, and remarkable people.

 Some of those people on my list are Christian saints.  A lot of them are not.  Some were people of great religious faith.  Others were courageous skeptics.  Some of them were ascetics.  Others were sybarites.  Some were soldiers, and others were pacifists.  Some were rich, others were poor.  Some became poor so that others might become rich.  Some were very highly educated, and others were barely literate.  Some were famous in their time.  Others lived marginal lives in obscurity.  Some were honored, others despised.  Some were celebrated for their courage.  Others were arrested for their temerity.  Some were pleasant folks to be around, and others were downright insufferable.  Some were famous for their sense of humor.  Others were deadly serious.  Some lived long productive lives.  Others saw their lives cut short and gave the last full measure of their devotion.  None of these people were angels.  They were all deeply flawed human beings with their weaknesses and moral blind spots.  Just about all of them would be surprised (and not always pleased) to find each other on the same list.

All of the people on this list in one way or another were on the side of angels whether they believed in them or not.  They stood up and fought against the forces of death and evil.  They liberated the oppressed and defended the downtrodden.  They relieved the suffering and the poor.  They worked for freedom and dignity for all.  They bore witness to truth as best they understood it.  They made discoveries and blazed trails for all the rest of us to follow.  They made life happier and more glorious for everyone in their lifetimes and beyond.

All of these people mean a lot to me and continue to influence and shape my life.   I am grateful for the life and work of each and every one of them.
And now, they rest in peace from all of their labors.

We will all pass away ourselves some day.  May we to Heaven late return, and let us live our lives so that those who come after us will remember us with gratitude.

Aelred of Rievaulx

Mordechai Anielewicz

Susan B. Anthony

Hannah Arendt

Willem Arondeus

W.H. Auden

Johan Sebastian Bach

Josephine Baker

James Baldwin

Karl Barth

Bela Bartok

Bartolome de las Casas

Max Beckmann

Ludwig Van Beethoven

George Bell*

*I'm mindful of the controversy that now surrounds him.  Whatever evil he may have done, the good he did was very good, even if it might not be enough to redeem him.

Isaiah Berlin

Joseph Beuys

William Blake

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

David Bowie

James Brady

Jacob Bronowski

Roscoe Brown

Pieter Brueghel the Elder

Filippo Brunelleschi

Martin Buber

Paul Cadmus

Michael Callen

Albert Camus

Rachel Carson

Johnny Cash

Mary Cassatt

Cesar Chavez

Thomas Clarkson

Jonathan Mirick Daniels

Charles Darwin

Dorothy Day

Eugene V. Debs

Claude Debussy

Hans von Dohnanyi


John Donne

Frederick Douglas

WEB DuBois

Albrecht Dürer

Mary Dyer

Thomas Eakins

Fanny Ann Eddy

Albert Einstein

Erasmus of Rotterdam

Max Ernst

Jan Van Eyck

Fang Li Xhi

Leslie Feinberg

Francis of Assisi

Anne Frank

Caspar David Friedrich

Galileo Galilei

Mohandas Gandhi

Artemisia Gentilleschi


Barbara Gittings

Vincent Van Gogh

Emma Goldman

Francisco Goya

Philip Guston

Woody Guthrie

Fanny Lou Hamer

Dag Hammarskjöld

Michael Harrington

Franz Joseph Haydn

George Herbert

Joe Hill

Magnus Hirschfeld

Billy Holiday

James Otis Huntington

Anne Hutchinson

George Inness

Mahalia Jackson

Thomas Jefferson

Edward Jenner

John of the Cross

Marsha P. Johnson

Mother Jones (Mary Harris Jones)

Janis Joplin

Chief Joseph

Mychal Judge

Julian of Norwich

Frida Kahlo

Frank Kameny

David Kato

John Frederick Kensett

Yevgeny Kharitonov

Martin Luther King Jr.

Käthe Kollwitz

Marquis de Lafayette

August Landmesser

Jacob Lawrence

Leonardo da Vinci

CS Lewis

Bernhard Lichtenberg

Abraham Lincoln

Liu Xiaobo

Elijah Lovejoy

Patrice Lumumba

Martin Luther

Gustav Mahler

Nelson Mandela

Thomas Mann

Thurgood Marshall

Del Martin (with Phyllis Lyon who still lives)

Masaccio (on the left looking at us)

Frederick Denison Maurice

Morris Meister

Thomas Merton

Harvey Milk

Michel de Montaigne


Lucretia Mott

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Isaac Newton

Jack Nichols and Frank Kameny

Reinhold Niebuhr

Martin Niemöller

Felix Nussbaum

Origen of Alexandria

George Orwell

Thomas Paine

Quanah Parker

Blaise Pascal

Frances Perkins

Nicholas Poussin

Rabia al Basri

Yitzahk Rabin

Maurice Ravel

Rembrandt van Rijn

Walter Reuther and Richard Frankensteen in 1937 after being beaten up by Ford company goons.

William Richardson

Sally Ride

Sylvia Rivera

Marty Robinson and Tom Doerr in 1970 during an occupation of Rockefeller campaign HQ

Craig Rodwell

Oscar Romero

Eleanor Roosevelt

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Bayard Rustin

Carl Sagan

Andre Sakharov

Jonas Salk

Matthew Shepard

Nina Simone

Elliott Smith

John Steinbeck

Joe Strummer

Jonathan Swift

Leo Szilard

Henry Ossawa Tanner

William Temple

Paul Tillich

Toussaint L'Ouverture

Sojourner Truth

Harriet Tubman

Alan Turing

Mark Twain

Karl Heinrich Ulrichs

Alfred Russel Wallace

Simone Weil

John Wesley

Rogier Van Der Weyden

Walt Whitman

Elie Wiesel

William Wilberforce

David Wojnarowicz

Tomas Young

Frank Zappa

Some personal ones:

JeDon Washington, the man who inspired me to become an artist.
Charles Bewick
Lawrence D. Steefel