atheist characters~*~*~~

hey do u ever think about the fact that the 4/5 of the gang was thrown into the brig for various sins (lust, wrath, gluttony) against their will but mac, who’s always been the most aggressively self-flagellating and ardently religious, just walked right in. he strolled in saying ‘well, i’m gay’ for the very first time in his nearly 40 years of living, into a space which arguably exists as a metaphor for hell (given physical location of the brig as well as nature of the ship and recurring themes of the gang goes to hell episodes) and he did it without a care! after so many years of self-hatred and repression the first time he says ‘i’m gay’ out loud is nonchalant and relaxed! he just wanted to hang! and that’s enough to outweigh the years of religious anxiety he’s kept inside himself! and however temporary it is this is SUCH an important character development for mac because while the arguably atheist gang gets thrown into hell against their will, for a brief, blissful moment, mac is so contented with being himself that he willingly walks into hell because he’s not afraid anymore and anyways yeah i think about that a lot

Erasure of Jewish Identity and Culture in Marvel

(Not including X-Men films: I’m not up to discussing the tragedy of the X-Men movies and the complete erasure of all Jewish characters besides Magneto, the villain, today.)


Honestly, as a Jewish person in America this ongoing erasure of Jewish identity and culture Marvel is committing doesn’t even surprise me. This sort of subtle anti-Semitism that Marvel is participating in is par for the course. The erasure of Jewish identity and culture is so common most people don’t even pause to consider it, and if they do they don’t consider it anti-Semitic. After all, they don’t hate Jews, they don’t insult Jews, they don’t attack Jews, they don’t think Jews are bad or evil, so OF COURSE it isn’t anti-Semitism if you just pretend that Jews don’t exist and destroy Jewish character’s identities. It’s just a change of backstory, after all!


The erasure of Jewish characters and the destruction of characters created by Jews is not a change of backstory, Marvel, it is anti-Semitism. Anti-Semitism is defined as hostility, prejudice or discrimination against Jews. By erasing Jewish characters you are discriminating, or participating in unjust treatment, against them on account of their religion. By ignoring the huge contributions of Jewish writers and artists who gave life to so many comics characters you are being prejudiced. Your hostility, or unfriendliness and opposition, to the inclusion of Jewish characters and the defamation of characters created as allegories by Jews are anti-Semitism, Marvel.


Ignoring, or ret-conning, the fact that Wanda and Pietro Maximoff are ethnically half Jewish and Roma, and always have been, is anti-Semitic and racist. Their heritage may not have played a significant plot point, but it certainly influenced their decisions and motivations. Turning Jewish-Roma Wanda and Pietro Maximoff into volunteers for the fascist-Hydra organization headed by von Strucker, a Nazi, to conduct illegal medical experiments on, is wrong.



Turning Steve Rogers, who has always stood as an allegorical shield for the Jewish people against the Nazi’s and fascism in general, into a fascist Hydra member, is disgusting. Turning Steve Rogers’ who served as Erskine’s (a Jewish scientist’s) golem, his creation and stand-in, to defeat the Nazi’s into a member of Hydra, is revolting.


Fun fact: Captain America’s iconic shield is an allegory in and of itself. What in English is called the Jewish Star or Star of David, one of the most recognizable Jewish symbols in the world, is in Hebrew called the Magen David (Yiddish the Mogein Dovid) which translates to the Shield of David. Steve’s shield with the star on it, used to protect him as he fought Hitler and the Nazi’s in the early comics, was an allegory to a powerful and well known Jewish symbol that the Nazi’s were corrupting. It was a ‘spit in your eye, fuck you’ to the Nazi’s and Jack Kirby and Joe Simon knew that their Jewish readers, desperate for news that the Nazi’s would be stopped and their families were safe, would recognize it.



I’ve seen comments on the Jewish actors in the MCU not being allowed to play Jewish characters. I feel that if in canon the characters are actively shown not to be Jewish, or it’s heavily implied at least, then it’s appropriate for the Jewish actors to portray that character as Christian or Muslim or Hindu or Atheist, or whatever that character religiously identifies as. However, for a character like Darcy Lewis, who is not a canon character in the comics at all, how hard would it be to have her say a throwaway line about her Bat Mitzvah? Or to have Jane Foster (whose religion is never mentioned in the comics) mention her Bubbe (grandmother) in a ‘my Bubbe always said’ way?


I have to wonder what would happen if Marvel suddenly decided that Sam Wilson wasn’t black? What if they thought Wakanda would be better served as a European nation? What if Kamala Khan was found to support a fascist regime? Why is it okay to erase and ignore Jews as both characters and creators? Why are Marvel’s actions not being called out as the anti-Semitism it is?



It doesn’t matter what reason Marvel gives for their choice to make Steve Rogers’ a fascist, a Nazi. It doesn’t matter if it’s a plot twist, a time-change, a clone, a triple agent or a cry for attention. Marvel has taken a character that has stood for freedom and doing the right thing, a hero and a symbol of hope not only to Jews but to people around the world that there are people who have the courage to fight back against oppression, and they have destroyed him. They can never take this back, there is no ‘oops’ here. Even if they retcon this arc in the future, like they did with William Burnside, they have destroyed the legacy of Captain America.


Wasn’t it enough to erase Wanda and Pietro Maximoff’s past? Why do you have to ruin Captain America too?


Jack Kirby and Joe Simon received death threats for creating Steve Rogers, Captain America, in a time when many Americans were either Nazi sympathizers or content to keep their head in the sand. It was a time when Jewish families checked their mailboxes every day praying for a letter from their parents, siblings, aunts, uncles and cousins still in Europe. It was a time when the US turned away boatloads of Jewish refugees fleeing Europe.  It was a time when the Third Reich steadily gained more and more land and more and more power, and while many European nations fought back against the rise of fascism the US refused to involve itself in Europe’s war despite knowing the threat Hitler posed. Kirby and Simon were surrounded by this environment of fear, because no one knew what was truly happening in Europe, but knew they had to do something about it. It is an insult to the memories of Jack Kirby and Joe Simon.  It is morally repugnant to make Captain America into a Nazi.



Marvel has erased Jewish identities of characters in both the comics and the films. That was bad enough. But now? Marvel has taken a hero I love, and have loved since I was a child, and perverted it. They have taken Captain America and twisted him around into a parody of all that he has ever stood for. They have taken a character that was literally created by two Jews to stand against the Nazi’s and say ‘screw you’ to Hitler for all the Jews who couldn’t, and made him into a Nazi. As a Jew and a fan of comics for most of my life I feel like I have been spat on and kicked while I’m down. 

anonymous asked:

Is it bad that I'm not really into those "God Movies" (like Gods Not Dead)? I mean, I agree with the fundamentals of it I guess but i always felt that my beliefs were being marketed to me and it never really appealed to me much. I'm afraid to sound like some heretic for not liking it, and that goes for some Christian music too (i.e the pop rocky kind of stuff I always hear) sorrynits not really LGBT+ related, but I'd yet to hear another opinion of this.

Hey there! Honestly, I have never liked these movies either! The vast majority of them are poorly written and poorly executed with overly simplistic plots and characters. On an artistic level alone I find them to be hollow and made solely so that churches can take buses full of young people to the movies. And yes, many people around me were ardent fans of these films and took my disinterest and ultimately opposition to them as an indication of a ~ spiritual problem ~.

Apart from their quality, I also find them to be theologically flawed as well, often depicting a world in which those who are “saved” are immediately freed from their central problem or struggle, whatever that may be. They dishonestly depict the reality of the real world both theologically and in the characters: all atheists are bad, all Christians are good, and every institution outside of the church is out to destroy Christianity. These movies tend to paint Christians in the USA as a persecuted group when we are very much the privileged religion here, and thus these movies often also perpetuate harmful theologies that lead to prejudice, islamophobia, and oppression. 

The same goes for a lot of contemporary Christian music. From what I have heard, they seem shallow and insincere and contrived, built from a place of “God fixes everything if you just do your due diligence and pray.”

There are some outliers in both movies and music. Woodlawn is by far the best “Christian movie” I have ever seen, in part because it is based on historical events surrounding desegregation and does not shy away from the ugliness in people’s hearts.

A good “Christian” movie or musical group would allow space for doubt, for anger, for humanness rather than being “whitewashed tombs” of generalization, misinformation, and intolerance.

Here is a link that further breaks down why these movies are often just a no-go.

“Reasons why Lucifer is a victim” WARNINGS: this must be read in a philosophical way, not religious one. As I’m an atheist, I’m treating this as literature. I love Lucifer’s character as I love Hamlet or Faustus. So don’t call me Satanist or whatever =___= This is purely for intellectual delight. The dualistic battle between “good” and “evil” does not start with monotheistic religions. We can see that evil figures can be found in the Ancient Mesopotamian religion (Nergal), in the Egyptian mythology (Apophis, Set), in the Greco-Roman paganism (Chaos, Erebus, Tartarus, Discordia, Nemesis, Invidia), in the Norse mythology (Hel). The said dichotomy is very common in philosophy, religion, ethics and it was felt in the same way by different people worldwide. While they tried to explain, offer their point of view, or show evil/good in a religious way, everyone would destroy the evil and make the good shine. In a philosophical contest, evil was explained as absence of good, that was its opposite; but some philosopher would argue that both factors (good and evil) were essential to the universe’s unity (like the Taoist Yin, that can’t exist without the Yang and the Yang that can’t be without the Yin). The pre-Socratic Greek philosopher Heraclitus stated that a war comes from opposites, but that this duality is necessary for harmony. He called this “logos” or universal law of the Nature. Later, Spinoza would say that “By good, I understand that which we certainly know is useful to us. By evil, on the contrary I understand that which we certainly know hinders us from possessing anything that is good” But what’s “good”? What’s “evil”? From a non-theological point of view, good can be explained as everything we do that does not harm others or ourselves, helping other people or living beings in the ways we can, respecting others, promoting peace and justice; while evil is basically the opposite: harming others (physically or psychologically), disrespect, injustice, inequality, in short, doing something we know it’s bad. Of course, every person has in itself its own way to explain them, following their own ethics, but, in big lines, this is it. Religions included the good/evil discourse and made it its ethical base, but also changing their connotations. To guide people, they would say to believe in Gods/God and be good, because, only in that way, Heaven would have been reached for sure. As we know, religious power had always been strong, along with the imperial one; what I’m trying to say is that their only power was in the people who believed. If there were no believer, every religious system would have fallen, and so their privileges, and they couldn’t let it to happen. So, often, they would brutally kill or force into conversion or to leave the country who didn’t conform. How did the king make his people follow the rules? By laws. How did institutionalized religions make people follow them and so maintain their power? By a God’s laws. Funnly enough, in the past, State and Religion were so much linked (though often in hostility too) that the King, the Emperor or the Pharaoh was considered chosen by God itself, and so, like a God on Earth. It was a vantage both for the ruler and the religious power. Things got harder and stricter when the institutionalised religion forced conversion on the countries they conquered: just think about the pagans (though they were in their own land), the Saxons, Jews, Muslims, Hindus or the Native Americans. (By Catholics). Examples of forced conversions can be found in religions like Judaism, Hinduism, Islam and Atheism too (though this one is not a religion, of course). It would be too long (I would say, impossible) to talk about how every institutionalized religion had always tried to keep control and power from their birth till now, so I’m going to leave it and reach the main point of my discourse. You will understand why I had to talk about all this before going to the crucial subject. The title was “Reasons why Lucifer is a victim” So now let’s see who Lucifer is and how his figure is portrayed in different religions. “Lucifer” means “the morning star”, “the shining one” (from Latin Lux + Ferre) and we find him first in ancient mythologies (in one of these he attempted to take the Ba'al’s throne, but, since he couldn’t do it, he descended and ruled the underworld.) As the name itself suggests, Lucifer is not a dark, obscure entity; he is something that shines like a star. In ancient and modern connotations, light has always been seen as something positive, something good; while dark as something evil. So Lucifer’s name itself says that he is no evil. - Christianity: in this religion, Lucifer is an angel, I may say, God’s favourite, and becomes “Satan” only after his fall. Why did he rebel? On what? Can an angel rebel? Let’s go with order. After the Creation, God asked the angels to bow to Adam; Lucifer did not, as he was an angel and Adam a human being. For this, he was eternally punished. (Though God is said to be compassionate, merciful, etc) Now, we know that angels have been created with NO free will, unlike human beings; so how did Lucifer “decide” to defy God’s order? The only explanation is that God simply PLANNED it. After the Creation he needed a Hell too (as people have free will and so a possibility to sin) and someone to “inaugurate” it. God created Lucifer in that specific way. After all, God is Omniscient and so he knows the future too. Lucifer was only a valuable, needed piece in his plan. And a victim because of it. Plus, in the Bible (and the Quran too), God explicitly says to bow to him only; bowing to Adam would have been too much for Lucifer, who could only bow to God. When the war started, some angels (always with God previously knowing) fought side by side with their brother Lucifer, but in the end, they were defeated and thrown down from the Heaven. Lucifer, must have felt so betrayed and wronged. He was the way he was and reacted that way ONLY because God created him that way. Also if he didn’t know that. Anyway, he found his newly discover (free will) appealing. Imagine of being a so old angel with no autonomous thoughts and then, suddenly, being awake. Being yourself. Taking decisions. Once he discovered this, he OFFERED (not tempted, but offered), the possibility to decide to Eve. She wanted to grab it too. Who wouldn’t have? (I would have lol). Plus, notice the name of the Tree of Knowledge of good and evil. Ring something? Look at the name carefully. Basically God said it’s a sin to distinguish good from evil and so having a free will. ANYWAY God already knew it would have happened and he wanted it too. But Lucifer is displayed as the bad one and God as the victim and restorer of order and peace. - Islam: in Islam, Lucifer is called Iblīs (there is no consensus for the root the name: it can mean “devil” or “despair”) and is a Jinn (and so created from fire) elevated at an angel state by Allah. This version explains how he could have a free will, unlike the Christian one, as he wasn’t a true angel to begin with. His figure is already much darker than the Christian one. When Allah orders the angels to bow in front of Adam, Iblis says  "I am better than he: Thou didst create me from fire, and him from clay" and refuses to do so, just like Lucifer. And just like him, he respects God so much, that he does not prostrate before anyone else, than his creator, even if ordered. Iblis then asks to have mercy till the Judgment Day, which Allah grants him. In the meanwhile he would offer people “another way”. A REAL free will. (Because, where is free will in “if you don’t believe in me you’ll suffer for eternity”?) Also here we can notice how Allah already foreseen everything; he also brought a Jinn among angels to do so (as angels do not have free will). - Judaism: here there is “Satan” (which means “the adversary”) and we find references of his previous life as an angel with his brothers Uriel, Raphael, Gabriel and Michael. He is also presented as the being who brought death into the world, but that can’t be as God is the only one who can give life and decide for deaths. It’s simple to observe how it was NECESSARY a negative and opposite figure to God’s one. Lucifer was created with the only intent to make the Hell a place where people like him could follow. And, just as in a political campaign, God portrayed Lucifer in a negative light (when the one who created him this way was only him!). In the end, Lucifer was necessary, as in every religion or mythology there is the famous dichotomy good/evil, so I don’t understand why we should demonize him. A character who bravely decided, started a war to defend his right to think and act the way he wanted to and to not be a puppet. He is both a hero and a victim of a God’s absolutism and tyranny. As Milton wrote in his Paradise Lost (though this is REALLY taken out from context, as Milton was a Puritan): “Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heaven”’

Originally posted by strange-life-strange-world

anonymous asked:

Hello, if it's alright, are you familiar with Tenko's backstory? I heard a lot of different sources and I don't know what's canon or not.

I’m not sure if you’ll like the answer because Chabashira’s backstory is kinda dumb, as it’s mostly about her blindly believing what we see as obvious lies because ideas were planted into her head since a very young age. I mean, that parallels the story’s main themes, so I can see clearly why it’s there, but things could be better handled.

Anyways, Chabashira’s backstory. Kid Chabashira was a little bit too hyperactive (volcano level, as her parents put it) and this got to a point where her parents really weren’t able to handle her anymore. Without knowing what else they could, the parents just sent her to live in a Buddhist temple so the religious discipline could make her calm down (ironically, she is the most vocally atheistic character in the game).

The temple was also ineffective in calming kid Chabashira down, so the abbot (an abbot is the chief monk in a Buddhist temple) decided to tell her they would create a new a martial art together in an attempt to keep her under control. That’s how Neo Aikido was born. Unlike regular aikido, Neo Aikido has no formal practice and all of its training consists completely in just actual combat. We can easily deduce that that’s because the abbot has no real aikido experience and is just making stuff up to channel a child’s excessive energy into something constructive, but Chabashira really believes in everything her master taught her no questions asked.

With that, Chabashira’s dream became taking Neo Aikido to its limits and turning it into an official national sport. The abbot used that dream to keep her in line by telling her that her aikido powers would weaken if she did stuff like eating more than 3 sweets a day, touching boys or not cleaning her room, etc. The “touching boys” part was kind of a mistake on the abbot’s part because it caused her to see men as a strong threat to her dream of taking Neo Aikido to its limits, so she started thinking of them only as obstacles to that dream and grew very resentful (yes, that is The Reason ™. I told it was not that good).

Now here’s my favorite part and something I really looking forward to seeing fanart of: another thing the abbot did to kid Chabashira was taking her to the city with both of them dressed as superheroes, mask and everything. And they still do that even at her current age. As superheroes, they do superhero stuff, like helping old ladies carry their grocery bags, helping kids cross the street, cleaning up litter and cheering up heartbroken people. She also casually mentions one time the two heroes actually caught a shoplifter and other time they beat the shit out of a rapist, but she doesn’t go into any further details about any of those cases. That’s basically all about her backstory. 

Character Development Questions #3
  1. How does/would your character react to unwanted sexual advances?
  2. Which does your character value more: loyalty or morality?
  3. Is your character religious? If so, do they follow the (or one of the) major religion(s) of their culture, or a different one? If not, are they more of an atheist, agnostic, or spiritualist (or none of the above)?
  4. Does your character believe in ghosts? (Also, do ghosts actually exist in their world?)
  5. Your character believes something that is at odds with what the rest of their family and/or friends believe. Do they talk about it with them?  If so, how do they approach the subject?
  6. What do you think is your character’s best and worst trait? What do they think is their best and worst trait?
  7. Is your character the type of person to correct someone’s grammar when they’re speaking? Conversely, how would they react to someone correcting their improper grammar?
  8. How does your character feel about the concept of virginity? How does their culture feel about it?
  9. Does your character prefer living alone, or with family, friends/roommates, significant other(s), etc.?
  10. Your character is handed a Rubik’s Cube. Do they try to solve it?  Can they? If so, how quickly?
  11. Just for Fun: Your character just got tickets to their favorite comic/anime/etc. convention! Who do they cosplay?

anonymous asked:

can you explain a little more the Luthor as Satan thing you mentione sometimes?

narratively, if you look at bvs, clark, bruce, and lex can slip into the roles of god, man, and the devil quite well. lex operates and acts in accordance to this role. 

the devil creates conflict between man and God - causing man to question the very divinity, the goodness, and the judgment OF God. which is… literally what lex does in bvs.

the devil provides man with the tools for his destruction and disobedience of god; lex luthor spreads discord where there once was acceptance. lex literally provides bruce, the embittered man who has lost his way, the tools for his destruction through kryptonite.

his goal is to create doubt and uncertainty in the almighty, to exacerbate the suspicion and distrust in the hearts of men. lex orchestrates the africa scheme and the bombing, creating doubt and uncertainty. lex manipulates o’keefe and bruce, exacerbates their hostility towards superman.

he makes himself so important by being the one casting down superman and yet ironically, holding superman up as God.

in this context, Man was only ever an ephemeral pawn in the game played between God and Satan.

it’s obvious that in lex’s perspective he feels like he’s doing mankind a great service. he’s not LITERALLY Satan lmao, he’s a very flawed, very fascinating human character. it’s in the allegorical prometheus speech. he believes himself prometheus (who is still! not human!), saving man from a haughty, vengeful god. but in doing so, he is punished.

he even says it to clark’s face, that he’s doing all this to show humankind how superman is a fraud. lex as a general character is supposed to be the pinnacle of human progress — self-made through hard work and human intellect. next to superman, he’s minimized. his achievement is minimized, all of human progress is meaningless.

so he wants to be the HUMAN hero destroying this threat to humanity. but the narrative role he continues to don in bvs is the tempter, the trickster, the vengeful, jealous Lucifer who orchestrates conflict between man and god, tears down his one almighty enemy, and reaps the reward.

he even raises his hand in acknowledgement when he mentions “the problem of evil in the world” — it’s really interesting how he seems to shift every so often, from this delusional heroism to self-aware fury and malevolence.

Christians have been putting words into the mouth of bible Jesus…ever since they first made up written stories about a bible Jesus…and put written words in his mouth…

Nothing ever written or spoken about bible Jesus…has ever been independently verified…by non-religious-cultists…

…because fictitious characters just cannot speak for themselves…

Character Development Questions Masterpost #1

As promised, here’s a list of all 110 of the character questions so far!  This is a pretty massive post so it’s going in a read-more.

For anyone who hasn’t seen the individual posts: these may not be the best starting point for making a new character from scratch, but they might be helpful for more fully fleshing out an existing character you have! Each set consists of 10 (generally) serious questions followed by a more fun, silly one.

Keep reading

oh i just had an actual good idea for my dnd character


an atheistic paladin who believes that divine magic, and by extension gods themselves, are nothing but belief of masses

her own magical power coming from her conviction in this belief

with an attitude of “gods are shams, if you want help then rely on yourself and the aid of those around you, dont wait for miraculous intervention”

Brandon Sanderson is praised (and rightfully) often enough for his unique magic systems, worldbuilding and unpredictable plot turns but I would like to mark a few other things that I really love about his writing:

  • His way to show evil. The worst person in the Mistborn is not the Lord Ruler, not even Ruin - it’s Straff Venture. The worst characters in SA are not the voidbringers or even Odium - it’s Sadeas and Amaram. Denth and vindictive Bluefingers are the vice in Warbreaker. The most vicious antagonists in Elantris are Dilaf, king Iadon and Fjordell religious extremism, not some grand and mysterious magic forse.  The lesson is - people and their selfish ambitions are an evil enough one doesn’t even have to invent some wanton force of doom to raise the stakes.
  • Respecting young people. Vin and Elend are about two times younger than most of the crue members but noone does ever seriously question their abilities based on their age. Spook is even younger than Vin yet he is trusted with basically delivering a whole city to the emperor (not to even mention what he’s trusted with at the very end of the trilogy). Kaladin and Adolin are both shown to possess high authority among their subordinates, both started leading people into battles at a pretty young age. Shallan is trusted with saving her family (which consists of four her older brothers) based entirely on her intelligence and unque skills. Basically most of the main protagonists of his other books (Raoden, Sarene, Shai, Vivenna, Siri, Marasi) are young, clever and capable, entrusted with leading, fighting and generally saving the day.
  • I’m an atheist, Brandon Sanderson is a mormon and I absolutely love the way he manages matters of faith! He has main characters who are atheists and remain exactly that instead of being used by the author to make a point. He has characters who are overly religious (even fanatical) or misinterpret the religion’s postulates or downright utilize it for their own purposes and it is shown in a strikingly realistic way. He doesn’t shy from showing all sides of a religious movement, doesn’t hesitate to point out flaws in a particular religion or in devoutness in general. And he has ways to show what a truly pious person should be like.
  • Having a lot of main characters who are scholars or researchers of some sorts: Sazed, Tindwyl, Elend, Kaladin, Shallan, Jasnah, Navani, Vasher, Raoden, Sarene. They do all have some good intellectual abilities in various fields of knowledge and skills: political theory, history, religion, surgery, science, etc. They don’t just happen to be ‘chosen‘ - they actually have proper educational background to do the work they do.
  • Humour. Lots and lots of humour: it can be elegant and sharp, naive and adorable, sassy and dark, inappropriate and silly - but it is always really funny.

I did a post on religion a while ago, but I can do a better job with it.

Part I: World Building Considerations: Religious Hierarchies

Part II: World Building Considerations: Deities and Mythologies

THE BASICS

Religion is the belief that supernatural or spiritual powers exist.

There are four “branches” of beliefs that form the way a person feels about their religion (or lack of) and other religions. They are:

  • Theism: A theist believes in a god (or more).
  • Atheism: An atheist lacks the belief in a god (or more).
  • Gnosticism: A gnostic believes it is possible to know that a god (or more) does or does not exist.
  • Agnosticism: An agnostic believes that it is not possible to know that a god (or more) does or does not exist.

These create people who are one of the following (this can change throughout a person’s life):

  • Gnostic Theist: These characters believe in a god (or more) and are absolutely sure that it exists. Depending on the personality of this character, they might take offense if other people tell them they are wrong or that their religion is false. Others will brush it off and not care.
  • Agnostic Theist: These characters believe in a god (or more), but do not claim to know for sure if this god exists. These characters might struggle with their religion if this existence is important to them.
  • Gnostic Atheist: These characters are absolutely sure that there is no god (or more).
  • Agnostic Atheist: These characters do not believe in a god (or more), but do not claim to know of its existence for sure.

THE BEGINNINGS

Most early religions began with animism. This is when supernatural powers, life, souls, or spirits are attributed to the natural world as well as objects.

Sometimes, deities can be created when certain attributes as parts of the natural world are viewed as more important than others. A population may give a name to a particular spirit (like the sun) and thus make a deity out of it. Over time, this leads to polytheism.

The earliest deities were most likely female because back then, humans believed that women had the ability to create life from nothing. This is why “virgin” deities, goddesses, beings, and religious figures are common. They are seen as being able to make life by themselves, but the concept of virginity has changed to being “clean” or “pure”.

Early monotheistic religions often came from polytheism, but not always. What happens is one deity becomes more important than all the others for whatever reason. Here are some reasons for why monotheism might have come up in your world (with the exception of the spread of religion):

  • A person claims that one deity is the true deity. All other deities are slowly forgotten or reassigned as lesser religious beings, but not deities.
  • One deity may be more important than the other deities. Over time, this deity becomes the sole deity. All other deities are slowly forgotten or reassigned as lesser religious beings, but not deities.
  • A historical figure transforms into a deity over time through myth and legend, thus becoming a major deity.
  • One deity might “absorb” other deities and their attributes due to its importance, thus becoming a single deity who is a mixture of other deities.

Religion does not always evolve in this order and it does not have to. There is no “ultimate” form of religion. Monotheism is not “civilized” and animism is not “primitive”. They are both valid religions, they just exist in different ways.

One source of conflict for your story could be the switch from one form of religion to another. If polytheism is moving into monotheism, a minority of the population might be trying hard to hold onto old deities.

Of course, there are more types of religion other than animism, polytheism, and monotheism, such as naturalism. Look around at various religions for some inspiration.

NAME

The name! You have to name your religion. The followers of this religion need a name to refer to themselves by. You can also have names for the various branches of a religion or for the followers of a specific religious figure. If you’ve made up a language, you can use that language to create a name. You can also name the religion after a deity, a historical figure, or a religious figure. You can also name it after the founder of the religion.

ORIGINS

Where did this religion originate? With older religions, it might not be clear. Other religions have a clear start, or at least are known to have started in a specific area or with a specific person. If there is a founder of the religion, create this character and their history.

You also need an origin story for the world. A lot of religions have them.

REASON AND APPEAL

There are three general reasons for why people practice religion:

  1. Sociological: Religion is used for cultural conformity. It unites a community through similar morals and values and can be used to control a population or to bring general peace among worldviews. If you can influence a person’s thoughts, you can control their actions.
  2. Cognitive: Religion has been used to explain the unknown and to help people make sense of the world they live in. Myths, legends, and deities have been used to explain why the seasons change or why storms happen. Religion offers an explanation.
  3. Psychological: People turn to religion in times of need or emotional struggle. They might turn to religion because they have a sick family member or they might turn to religion because they need an end to a drought. Having a reason to hold on (religion) can help people get through the hard times.

It’s common that all three reasons exist together, but one reason may outweigh another in an individual or a population. For example, in a time of famine, the majority of a population might turn to religion for reason 2. In a society with little understanding of science, the majority of the population might use religion for reason 1.

When creating a religion, think about why your characters are religious or why they are not religious. Think about situations that would make them approach religion. All characters will differ based on their personal needs, how religious they are, and how they were raised. Some characters might only turn to religion when they are extremely desperate.

SACRED TEXTS

A sacred text is a general term that refers to a text that is important to a religion. The Bible is an example. Sacred texts do not have to exist in a religion. Oral histories can take their place or exist alongside them.

If there is a sacred text, decide how it is supposed to be read. Some religious texts are meant to be read by a religious official, who teaches others what it says (the Bible). Other texts are meant to be ready by everyone and interpreted on an individual level (the Qur'an).

  • If the sacred text is meant to be read by a religious official and no one else, religious officials will be educated while most of the population will not be (depending on the society, available education, hierarchy, and technology available to spread written texts). Lack of literacy might be used to control the population.

Sacred texts might be a part of the government. If so, create laws carefully and make sure you know all the details about the religion and the government you’ve created.

Another option for a sacred text is one that is created by an individual or by a community. These sacred texts are filled with whatever information a person sees as important to the way they practice their religion. They may collect information through religious officials, oral histories, or their own experiences. These sacred texts can be passed down to another generation.

Here are some things you can put in a sacred text:

  • Historical Accounts: If a sacred text is just a historical account of a religion, you’ll need to come up with mythologies that fit into this text.
  • Laws & Guidelines: Sometimes, a sacred text is used to write down laws and guidelines of a religion.
  • Prayers, Songs, etc.: If prayers, chants, songs, and other spoken words are important to a religion or hold meaning, they might show up in a sacred text.

PLACE OF WORSHIP

Not all religions have a place of worship. However, places of worship can be as grand as the Hagia Sophia or they can be as simple as a personal altar in one’s home.

Within certain religions, such as Catholicism, there can be a hierarchy of places of worship. For example, a Cathedral is a church, but it also acts as the seat of a Bishop for a given area. Places of worship, in times when the majority of the population could not read, used lots of common symbols within the architecture so that people knew it was a place of worship for a certain religion. This is why many medieval religious buildings portray religious stories or figures within the architecture.

If there are places of worship in your world, put them in your story. If they are in a city or near a trading center, they might be more grand than others due to available resources. If a government official commissions one of these buildings, it will likely be large and detailed due to available expenses. Places of worship in isolated areas are likely to be smaller and simpler.

Make these places known in your world. Give them a feel. A lot of religious buildings are meant to give the feeling of grandness and divinity. Some might make a person feel small and insignificant. Give these buildings a demeanor. This will help readers get a feel for this religion while also setting the mood and tone for the scene.

BELIEFS

Create the main beliefs and philosophies of your religion. This will impact your society as a whole. However, there should be differing opinions and beliefs within a religion. People are going to interpret parts of a religion in different ways and will have different opinions on how to approach a religion.

  • Opposing Forces: Some religions have opposing forces within it, such as good vs evil. Some religions don’t have opposing forces and rather see everything just as it is without attributing morality. Decide how your religion views the world.
  • Opposing Forces 2: This refers to the opinions of people within the religion. Having differing opinions within a religion can be mild, but it can also be extreme. The latter can cause lots of conflict and even a split in religion, creating two different branches or a new religion altogether.
  • Common Values: The main values and morals of this religion will affect the way your characters think and behave, even if they are not religious. Being raised around this religion can sway their opinions. This might create conflict for your characters when faced with a decision that goes against what they were raised with.
  • Afterlife: Everyone, at one point, wonders what happens when we die. As I mentioned above, religion is often used to explain the unknown. What is the afterlife in this religion? If there are no opposing forces of good vs evil, there will probably not be a hell-like place.
  • Sins: You don’t need to put sins in your religion, but it can help with conflict and character morals. Decide what this religion has outlawed or what it has looked down upon. If you want, sins can become law through the government.
  • Other Religions: For a post on what happens when other cultures come in contact with each other, look at the lower part of this post. Sometimes, religions can exist peacefully side by side.

Like I said, beliefs will impact your characters and the world they grew up in. People are a part of whatever culture they were raised in and it’s impossible to completely cut off those ties. The morals, values, and beliefs of your world’s religion impacts your characters in a much larger way than you think.

BRANCHES

Lots of religions have different sub-religions, branches, and denominations. If the religion you have created it widespread, it’s likely that this religion will have sub-religions and different forms of worship. If a religion has influence on another religion, those religions might end up combining.

  • Region: Different branches of a religion tend to be dominant in certain regions, even in multi-cultural places. Decide where certain branches are more common or where they are limited to.
  • Interaction: Two different branches within a religion might hate each other to such extremities that war can occur. This is another source of conflict for your fictional world.
  • Difference of Beliefs: If applicable to your story, think up some differences between the branches of religion.

VISIBILITY

Religion should be seen in your story if you make up one. It doesn’t matter if it’s not a huge part or if none of the characters are extremely religious. If you have created a religion, it should  have some visibility. It could influence language, dress, architecture, holidays, and more.

  • Architecture: This will most likely be places of worship, but religion can appear in all types of buildings and structures. Certain symbols might be seen in windows or on doors. Certain architectural styles might hold symbolic meaning, like how tall buildings are seen as reaching up to the heavens and therefore are seen as divine.
  • Clothing: Religious clothing can be obvious or subtle, but it still affects fashion. People might mimic the style of a religious figure or they might wear something that shows which deity they worship. If you show this, you can let the reader know what certain characters value. For example, wearing a certain symbol in the form of a pin might show that a person worships the deity of bravery, thus showing that this character values bravery.
  • Language: People mention parts of their religion in common phrases all the time, sometimes without realizing it. You can come up with exclamations and common phrases in your world through their religion.
  • Calendars: A lot of calendars surround important dates in religion. If you’re looking where to put year zero, go to religion. Did someone important die in that year? Were they born? Did something else important happen?

SYMBOL

Most religions have some kind of symbol. This symbol is often important to that religion (like the cross for Christianity). Creating a symbol can add depth to your world while also bringing reality to this religion. You can put this symbol in various places to help show readers where this religion has spread.

It’s not necessary to have a symbol.

POPULARITY

Decide how far this religion has spread and what people think about it. Religions, if small, are sometimes viewed as cults. If they gain popularity and start overcoming another dominant religion, they might be seen as threats.

  • Region: Know the region that your religion has spread to. There can be small regions within larger regions that resist this religion. If your characters are traveling, knowing the boundaries of this religion can help you create scenes and cultures that have this religious influence.
  • Subscribers: Decide how many people subscribe to this religion. If this is the dominant religion in a region, this religion will be more visible in your world.
  • Influence: Religion has massive influence on culture. If you are writing a world where religion is important, it will greatly influence your characters’ lives and worlds.
  • Spread: Does this religion have a goal to spread to other places? If so, your religious characters might try to convert others or there might be conflict with the spread of religion.

JOINING

Is there a certain way to join this religion? Many religions have rituals, ceremonies, and initiations that are used to accept a person into that religion.

  • Invitation: A few religions are invitation-only. This can be rigid or more free. A rigid invitation means that only a certain person can invite others into this religion. For example, if a person wants to bring a friend into their religion, they might have to bring their friend to a religious official to get permission. Less rigid invitations can be as simple as allowing any member of a religion to bring in others.
  • Open: An open religion allows anyone to join whether they were invited or not. These religions can spread fast while invitation-only religions are able to stay small and private for a longer period of time.
  • The Initiator: Who performs the ceremony? Most often, it is a religious official, but it doesn’t have to be.
  • The Ceremony: How they are brought into a religion? What happens during the ceremony? How long does it take? Are there any preparations that need to be made? Does it have to happen at a certain age? If so, your characters might have to go through this.
  • Birth: Most people are born into a religion. Sometimes, they are given the choice to leave this religion at a certain age or they can be officially initiated (like within some Amish communities). This might cause stress for characters if they come of this age and if their parents or guardians are expecting them to turn a certain way.
  • Forced: Sometimes, people are forced to join a religion.

RELIGIONS IN YOUR WORLD

It’s realistic to have more than one religion present. They don’t have to exist equally and probably won’t.

  • Outlawed: An outlawed religion is one that is not allowed to be practiced. What are the punishments for practicing an outlawed religion? Why are they outlawed?
  • Minority: A minority religion is simply one that has a lesser amount of followers than a dominant religion. They do not have to be oppressed religions.
  • Oppressed: An oppressed religion is one that may or may not have been outlawed and one that is rejected by society as a whole. Practitioners experience discrimination. What this discrimination is depends on you.
  • Dominant: The dominant religion is the one that is most common in a given region. It does not have to be oppressive to other religions.
  • Secret: Secret religions are unknown to the general population and are invitation-only.
  • Mythical: Mythical religions are secret religions that may or may not exist. The general population might have conspiracies about the existence, but they have no hard proof.
  • Dead: These religions are no longer practiced.
  • Revived: These are religions that were previously dead, but revived by a population. The practices in the revival will not be the same as the original religion.

GENERAL QUESTIONS

  • What is the dominant religion in your character’s region? How do they feel about it? Is it their religion? Do they agree with the dominant opinions?
  • How much power does religion have? Are government rulers considered divine or close to divinity? Is religion above the law? Does it dictate your character’s world?
  • What is the most well known story? What does this story explain? Does it give morals or does it explain a natural occurrence? Or something else? How does this story affect your characters and their world?
  • How important is religion to your character? Do they turn to religion in times of need? Do they take offense if someone puts down their religion? Do they try to spread their religion?
  • Why do people follow this religion? Did it appear in a time of need? Or is it used as an explanation? Does it bring a community together? Is there a reward (like in the afterlife)? Were they forced to convert?
  • What sacred days are there? Are there any at all? If so, how are these days viewed? How often do they come along? What do they celebrate?
  • How did this religion spread? Some religions spread unintentionally, as do languages and other cultures. The Phoenicians never had the intention of conquest, only trade. Their trade led to widespread cultural exchange. Was your religion spread on purpose? Is it actively spread? Was it forced upon a population?
  • How does the environment affect religion? Available resource might determine what is used for places of worship. Weather might create deities. Positions of the sun might create holidays. Geography in general might impact the origin story of the world.
  • How does this religion feel about various topics like marriage, death, sex, sexuality, drugs, magic, incest, and murder? What this religion says about such topics will determine what is considered “the norm” in your world and how your characters act. If incest is considered a sin rather than just taboo, people might be afraid to get too close to their sibling.
  • What conflict does this religion create? Does it create internal conflict for your character? Does it create wars or fights between people? Is it dangerous for your character to travel in a certain area because of their religion?
  • How does this religion impact your character’s outlook on life? Religion shapes the way a person perceives the world. It impacts whether they see a person as a villain or as a hero and how they feel about everything in general.
CHIVALRY: A Knight’s simplified take on it, and how to apply it to Real Life and RPG’s

Hi all, Knight is back to bring you another personal scrawling on a chivalric topic, and what is more chivalric than chivalry itself, amirite?

Let’s begin…


WHAT IS IT?

An important question; what exactly IS chivalry?
Well, I decided to look for it as a tag on tumblr a little time ago, and I can safely say that, apart from 60% of it being stuff I post on tumblr, it also appears to be a huge major debate on sexism on tumblr as well.

Originally posted by notttom

Well, I’m going to gloss over that right away, and tell you what Chivalry ISN’T, so we can discuss what it IS.

So first, Chivalry is NOT

- Treating a woman nicely. This is simply called being a decent human being.
- Holding doors open for people. This is politeness.
- Sexist. In it’s original form, this was sexist by modern standards, but the past is a different country and they do things differently there. Originally, it was very progressive, and put into a modern context, is sexless.
- An iron-clad set of rules. It’s not as simple as that; there is no universal form of Chivalry, and it is flexible based upon situation. To steadfastly and stubbornly adhere to a single aspect when it is unreasonable is NOT chivalric; it is suicidal. Honour and reason go together, not one before the other.
- Lawful Stupid. See the above, but it should go without saying; Chivalry demands you use your head, play a pragmatic game, but without falling into outright cruelty, or into overly dishonourable methods.


Now we’ve got that out of the way, what IS Chivalry?

The answer is, unfortunately, not so simple.
It’d be nice to simplify it as “A code of honour set in stone for any REAL knight”, but it’s really not.
Chivalry, like Bushido, is a philosophy. It is flexible and vaguely drawn out through means of stories, poems, songs, art, and personal application. Even the direct writings on the topic have different approaches as to HOW chivalry is practiced, and this changes through time as well as place.

Chivalry is, however, comprised of some traits that are universally acknowledged by authors on the subject matter, Primary and Secondary, whether named or merely referenced.
Those traits can be put down to, at a glance, the following things:

- Compassion
- Politeness
- Honour
- Courage
- Skill at arms
- Religious devotion
- Patience
- Wisdom
- Justice

There are far more things to it than this, however, and indeed, Leon Gautier in “La Chavalerie” emphasised other points such as patriotism, feudal devotion, the utter decimation of infidels, utter dedication to the clergy…

But the answer is actually a bit more straight forward than all these things.

See, Chivalry as a concept is, and always has been, open to interpretation.
Like Bushido, there was no universally accepted, set-in-stone version. Only variations upon an idea based in high-standing and morality.

Chivalry, therefore, is a loose set of moral, social, and religious coding, the actual definition of which is very open to interpretation.


How to define it?

So, Chivalry itself is an open-interpretation, what does this mean?

Well, firstly, it means you have a lot of space to work it into a game, or apply it in a realistic fashion.

Lets say you are playing a chivalrous hero (not just a knight or paladin), what would they be like? What if you play a mage or rogue that is chivalrous?

Well, lets take what is universally accepted as being chivalry and add them up:

- Honour. Be it among thieves as a code toward other fellows, a strong sense of law or justice, or simply a personal code of ethics, this is essential, and a character should be caught dead before violating this.
- Honesty. Harder for rogues, but a word given should be serious and honest, truthful.
- Merciful. Even villains grant mercy when it suits them. A character of a chivalrous background should know when to spare someone, even if for their own ends.
- Courage. A chivalrous type is the one who stands up against something, usually on behalf of others.
- Justice. Be it good or ill, a chivalrous hero pursues justice for the sake of either righting wrongs…or bringing retribution toward old grudges.
- Loyalty. Your character should be able to be trusted by their fellows, even to some extent, their enemies. Even a villainous chivalry character can be trusted to some extent, though in true Lawful Evil fashion, they will likely do this to suit themselves.

Chivalry is very much down to interpretation and setting however. High Middle Age period settings will see characters with strong sense of fuedal fealty and loyalty to their Lords. Later periods will see a focus on more romantic aspects such as personal honour, defence of the people, compassion in war, etc. Crusade periods will see a focus on religious devotion.
Think about your setting and what suits you, and apply Chivalry to it as you think fits. it is very open to interpretation, so always consult a GM.


Tweaked Chivalry for a modern gamer

So, what should we take Chivalry in a modern context to mean? After all, it’s no good for us to suggest that in a modern mindset (which is apparent even in fantasy gaming, or historic base settings), should be entrenched in Victorian emphasis upon courtship and treating the “weaker” sex nicely.

What we can take from this, and what chivalry should and can mean in your games (and in reality):

- Chivalry is genderless and sexless. Anyone can stand up and be a Knight. What matters is not who you outside or how you imagine yourself. What matters is your intentions and devotion to your cause.
- Chivalry is courteous to everyone. Manners are extremely important, but not toward any one group. You should respect everyone.
- Weakness or rather, fragility, in anything and anyone, is worth defending. Not simply for the sake of protecting it, but to inspire greatness in others, and to encourage others to take up your cause because it is right, not because weakness is itself admirable, or because of any sense of pity. Someone, somewhere, must fight monsters.
- Honour and justice matter to the character or person. You hold your moral ground and while not forcing it upon others, do not allow others to commit moral sins. This does not mean preventing them from doing things that are otherwise useful or productive, but means that truly morally dark acts should be opposed. It also means that you have to be a figure others can trust to make the right choice, in troubled times.
- Mercy is something you must exhibit. Even if only for personal reasons, knowing when to stay the blade is important. Sometimes there is more to be gained from an act of mercy than an act of battle.
- Skill at arms is important. Even if your character is not an expert combatant, they should be willing to stand and fight for something. True knightly figures will almost certainly fight for their beliefs.
- Religious devotion is usually important here, but not always as much as a Cleric or Paladin. Even so, your character will have some religious inspiration, even if only as a personal hero. Atheistic characters will often draw inspiration from religious figures anyway, but more usually from a sense of right and wrong, or mundane people that exhibit the traits they find desirable.
- Nobility, both social and moral. Always be the one to demonstrate morality to the others. Inspire them toward greatness. Do not drag them to it; show them your way, and why it is better. Let them develop their own chivalry based upon your own.


Here endeth the lesson…for now.

Politeness and Good Manners

The Prophet (pbuh) showed good manners and was courteous to all, even to children. Once when the Prophet was in a gathering, a drink was brought to the Prophet (pbuh) and he drank from it. On his right side there was a young boy and on his left side were elderly men. Feeling obliged by the respect of elders, and not wanting to hurt the feelings of the child, he asked the young boy:

“Do you mind if I give the drink to them?’ The young boy said: ‘O Prophet of God! By God! I would not prefer anyone to drink from the place you drank. This is my fair share.’ The Messenger of God (pbuh) handed the boy the drink." (Bukhari #2319)

sadiebarrigaofficial  asked:

4, 5, 9, 11, 26

Do you have a NoTP in your fandom? Are they a popular OTP?

I dislike R/0nl/4rs because it makes me feel super invalid and kinda defeats the whole plot point and theme that Lars & Sadie have going on.

Has fandom ever ruined a pairing for you?

Many, many, many. Especially some disk horsey ships I used to love that generated a lot of BS and of course, ostracised many fans.

Most disliked character(s)? Why?

I hate R/0n4/ld0. He just…is so annoying. He reminds me of the guys at school who used to tease me for not liking the right kind of anime or not believing the right atheist vlogger.

Is there an unpopular character you like that the fandom doesn’t? Why?

I really like Pearl? Pearl is pure.

Most shippable character?

I think you can ship Lars with anyone. I’ve seen him with Sadie, Pearl, Buck, Sour Cream, and many others.