An Ode to Marie Alena Castle –



Marie Alena Castle was the communications director for Atheists for Human Rights. She was elevated Roman Catholic. She became an atheist afterwards in lifetime.

She has considering that been an important determine within the atheist movement through her involvement with Minnesota Atheists, The Ethical Atheist, National Organization of Gals, and in writing Tradition Wars: The Threat to Your Household and Your Flexibility (2013). 

You should read some former publications, likely her last, concerning the two of us: Session 1, Session 2, and Session 3.

I have loved and like a lot of men and women, in different methods and so not simply just its intimate or sinewy heartthrob manifestations. Some, as you stay some tad longer, turn out to be seen as liked only via their absence, from time to time everlasting departure. Marie Alena Castle was born on December 20, 1926 and died on May well 25, 2018.

In the tone specified in title and prior paragraph, I truly feel a correct reduction nowadays. I only discovered out about a quarter of a day back now.

Castle realized tons. She worked from a spot of authority. Her do the job spanned numerous domains of activism, exactly where most activists target on a certain situation such as children’s rights, human rights, Indigenous legal rights, labor legal rights, reproductive legal rights, or women’s rights, and so on. In fact, her work spanned many of these parts, which would seem remarkable in distinction to the monochrome activism outstanding in the contemporary working day.

I uncovered the perform with her, in her 90s, effective. She spoke with an authority, which I did not obtain feigned or unwell-conceived. There was a remarkable pounds of right seriousness offered from deep time professional, assiduous perform in producing, and serious suffering and striving from activism where by the stakes ended up better than now. Our latest era basically activities the initial retraction in various domains in our lifetimes in, for example, women’s rights.

We stand atop a pile of bodies, literal and metaphorical – usually gals, who fought for equality. In my individual region, women of all ages earned the right to legal legal rights as individuals in a democracy by means of the proper to vote much less than a century ago: staggering, accurate, and unsurprising. Castle understood this. I know this. To give a glimpse, make sure you give a fantastic ol’ gander at a person query-and-respond to banter regarding inculcation of protecting vital thinking and schooling for the younger in this article:

What can be some buffers, or defenses, in opposition to these immediate assaults on the new media and communications systems, e.g. to teach and inoculate new generations?

Marie Alena Castle:

  1. No a person cares about any social effects so this has to be produced individually self-serving. Start out with sex/contraceptive instruction in educational institutions. Impress the girls that they are NOT a general public utility and no matter if or not to terminate a being pregnant is fully their organization, not the church’s, not the state’s, not their sexual partner’s and not the Roe v. Wade restrictions. Impress the boys with the simple fact that if they get a girl expecting they are liable for 18 several years of kid support. Use social media to move this all over so it will get to the pupils at religious educational institutions.
  2. Check out for some social effects by contacting to account the “pro-life” propagandists as misogynistic, ignorant liars. (They make outrageously stupid promises about embryos and fetuses.) Place up billboards next to their 6-thirty day period-previous-white-newborn ads exhibiting ladies (numerous ethnicities) inquiring why it is anyone’s company but hers and declaring she is not a community utility and inquiring what the “pro-lifers” have performed for real babies lately other than only opposing welfare/baby care/educational aid.
  3. Run anti-terrorist adverts all over the place pointing out the group that has carried out and is performing the most hurt – the anti-abortion violence inclined clinic vandals, loss of life-threateners, bombers, murderers (give the figures given that 1973). Note the clinics’ require for too much security, bullet evidence vests, randomized health practitioner routes to get to clinics, and many others.
  4. Okay to observe the desperate circumstance gals uncover on their own in and needing an abortion (rape, abusive romantic relationship, wellness challenges, fetal deformity, poverty, etc.) but really do not do significantly of this for the reason that the basic general public doesn’t treatment.

The clarity of imagined, the ethical authority, the extensive time point of view portrayed, the realism without the need of getting to be a cynic, the optimism inherent in the provision of actionable activism items, and the straightforward simple comprehension of progressive improve going on from individuals, from human beings, behaving in coordinated means to increase their lot around extensive periods of time.

It does not come from on superior. It comes from down small, of people dead, forgotten, and wasted absent with a hope for a far better tomorrow – for peace amongst the “races” and “ethnicities,” between adult men and girls, between sexual and gender minorities and majorities, and these at war in several ways about territory, suggestions, faiths, politics, and means.

I truly feel correct decline listed here.

Even even though, 150,000 individuals or much more die each individual day. Particular person human beings become the terrific resource of inspiration, affect, and emotionally salutary parts of lifestyle. Life becomes course of action. Individuals develop into a section of it for a single one more. Activism is the kind in which everyday living and persons coalesce to make transform alongside one another for a shared, optimistic upcoming.


In personalized life, most deep, close, authentic close friends fairly than by title, have been aged females. I do not know why, nor do I figure any answer to this quandary of particular lifetime in the in the vicinity of potential either, for me.

In the correct decline, I really feel right enjoy. I beloved interviewing her. I beloved reading the force of the considering and the evocative ability of the phrasing with the spirit or breathe of daily life in systematic illustration. I have beloved many men and women in a related way, who remaining waves in my psychological daily life of solitude. It results in being both equally sufferings for the loss and realizations of the reduction as fundamental enjoy.

I sense a good appreciate there.

Her obituary statement was as follows:

I have liked staying a person of the luckiest persons on Earth. Destiny gave me a 91-yr crack from usually countless oblivion and a existence filled with political skullduggery and social activism for the rights of workers, gals, gays, and anti-war attempts. I built a dome household, raised five great young ones, designed atheist and political companies, labored as a journalist, and wrote Divided We Drop: Faith, Sex and Politics, and the Political Blunder That Introduced Religion into Community Everyday living and Opened the Door to Trump. None of this uphill climbing has been particularly nice, but it has been appealing.

Gals in most societies eliminate prominence past prime reproductive age. Why? Gals get noticed as vessels for new lifestyle on your own. As Castle pointed out from practically a century of practical experience, girls and women get observed as general public utilities. By implication, and as a testable hypothesis, their benefit to the general public ought to decrease proportionally about time, especially as they come to be more mature.

As girls age into the darker decades and depart into the yonder twilight, societies lose keep track of of them we stop keeping monitor of them: “How was your day? How are you sensation? What is new with the cat(s)? (As one particular stereotype may possibly go.)”

As girls enter the deep night time of societal notion, I can reflect on the affect of Castle and other aged women who produced a remarkable influence on me. Their reduction brings a sense of appreciate remaining very best to people influenced by them. There is a power in the decades-long activism and persistence – a particular hopeful ebullience about lifestyle and its good elements aside from the negative.

Its hardships and complications.

And its losses,

and from there a realization of odes to appreciate.

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An Ode to Marie Alena Castle –