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RIP, John Glenn: ‘One of the great people of our time’—and a man of faith

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Deacon Greg Kandra - published on 12/08/16

The hero of the space age has died:

John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth and former U.S. senator, has died, according to Ohio State University. “The Ohio State University community deeply mourns the loss of John Glenn, Ohio’s consummate public servant and a true American hero. He leaves an undiminished legacy as one of the great people of our time,” Michael Drake, president of Ohio State University, said in a statement. Drake described Glenn as a “decorated U.S. Marine aviator, legendary NASA astronaut, tireless public servant, and an unparalleled supporter of The John Glenn College of Public Affairs at Ohio State, where he served actively as an adjunct professor until just recently.” The 95-year-old former Marine had been hospitalized more than a week ago, a spokesman for the John Glenn College of Public Affairs said in a statement to NBC News. Glenn suffered a stroke two years ago after having heart valve replacement surgery, but it was not clear what caused him to be taken to the James Cancer Hospital at Ohio State.

He was also a man of deep faith:

John Glenn, who declared as a 77-year-old in a news conference from space that “to look out at this kind of creation out here and not believe in God is to me impossible,” says facts about scientific discovery should be taught in schools — and that includes evolution. The astronaut, now 93 with fading eyesight and hearing, told The Associated Press in a recent interview that he sees no contradiction between believing in God and believing in evolution. “I don’t see that I’m any less religious by the fact that I can appreciate the fact that science just records that we change with evolution and time, and that’s a fact,” said Glenn, a Presbyterian. “It doesn’t mean it’s less wondrous and it doesn’t mean that there can’t be some power greater than any of us that has been behind and is behind whatever is going on.”

Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him…

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