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Celebrity Veneration


In my practice there is hero veneration, but those of us in the western world with no heroes use celebrity worship as an alternative. It's taboo to attribute deity status or venerate a living person, but there are many dead celebrities to venerate and emulate the positive characteristics of. It also has the benefit of not being political.

Does anyone else practice that? I wrote a whole newsletter about how the media misrepresents celebrities and stuff. It's shameful that so many of our dead celebrities are being misrepresented and desecrated by Netflix documentaries trying to push their own interpretations and agendas.


Veteran Member
It's all within the realm of mythology, I think. Real people, real events, and real motives get selected by a culture or sub-culture because they represent something to that culture that it feels is important, or significant. Something "emblematic" of their specific priorities and beliefs. The 'rock and roll star' to their teenage audience. The investment mogul to the young capitalist 'Turks'. Populist Preachers to the moral crusaders, and so on. Our heroes are representations of our idealized selves. And we choose to focus on whatever aspects of them, and their life stories, fit that representational function, best.

The truth, of course, is that we don't really know our heroes at all. But that isn't important because it's not who they really were that matters to us. It's what they represent to us that matters to us. And often the truth of them would just get in the way. And so is disregarded.
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sun rise

The world is on fire
Premium Member
The problem with picking an imperfect individual to venerate is that, of course, the person is imperfect. And some of those imperfections can be made worse by hero worship.


Consults with Trees
Staff member
Premium Member
It isn't considered taboo in my tradition to decide what you want to deify and develop a practice accordingly. If anything, it's considered an obligation to explore and discover what it is you deem worthy of worship to appropriately articulate your deeply held values and practices. Being honest with yourself about who and what you are, what you do, and where you belong is the foundation of right religion. If part of that involves religious-level devotion to a fandom or personality, so be it! Take it and run with it, without shame and without remorse; be who you are.

I don't personally engage in worship of human persons on any regular basis, with the notable and very important exception of ancestors. Humans are just not that important in my religion - my practice is ecocentric, not anthropocentric. Ancestor worship is present in part because it's yet another way of acknowledging interrelatedness and developing a non-egoistic practice; it is less about the humans than it is about seeing that who I am is a direct and total product of what came before me.

Exaltist Ethan

Bridging the Gap Between Believers and Skeptics
I tried to venerate less-than-celebrity status people in this thread, which turned out to be a failure, because as you and other people have pointed out, it's taboo, especially for the atheist and skeptical community to commit divinity towards any individuals, no matter how perfect or imperfect of a person they may have been.

I personally have no problem recognizing how special people are, that's why I consider myself an Exaltist. I like to exalt things, it's one of my passions, no matter how many people feel uncomfortable with the idea. Every person could be a God of something if you really think about it.