A Strong Reverence for Life

Carol Hepokoski

Those of us who call ourselves religious Humanists have a strong reverence for life. Many of us experience a deep sense of awe before the mystery of life and death, those powers greater than ourselves. We share a respect for science and reason, and we are willing to live with ambiguity to live without definitive answers. We share a deep concern about injustice and the fate of human life, indeed, of all life on this planet, our home in the universe. We identify with the human story, even as we recognize it as intimately tied to the story of the rest of this world. 

My environmentalism and my Humanism are inextricably related. My Humanism tells me that human life is important and worthy of respect and care. My environmentalism tells me that to be human is to be part of an interdependent circle of all life; it is counterproductive to imagine ourselves as separate. My knowledge of today’s world informs me that Planet Earth and, thus, human life are in danger because of the threat of global warming. I want to see life, including human life, preserved and thriving on our planet. My environmental Humanism compels me to work to reduce the causes of climate change — the human practices that threaten the survival of life on earth.

A red fox looks into the camera, which is positioned on the yellow stripe separating the two sides of a county road. We see the otherwise empty road receding far into the distance, but the fox is prominent in the foreground. Blurred bushes and trees — yellow, orange, and dark green — line the sides of the road.An arc of Earth's surface, blue oceans and swirling white clouds, taken from space