his whole attitude to and struggles with his faith and his god

sl-walker  asked:

I'm enjoying the heck out of your old meta. Re: Obi-Wan and snobbery -- and I say this as a huge fan of his -- holy god is he. The whole Order, though, have the hypocrisy thing down to a fine art: They, all of them, dehumanize the Nightbrothers, who they *know* are born slaves on Dathomir. Yet they're very quick to call Maul and Savage animals, monsters, etc. (And Maul's another Force-powered mechanic, like Anakin; also another one who gets a LOT of shit about being half cybernetic from the-

-so called good guys. I dunno, that’s always drove me bonkers. It seems that the line between ugly ableism and when you’re considered a living thing with feelings is where you are in league with the Jedi. And the second Anakin isn’t under their control, the entirety of humanity is written off and he isn’t given a clean death, either.


Thanks for the compliment! I’m glad you’re enjoying the meta. ;)

I absolutely agree that the Order as a whole suffers from snobbery. Obi-Wan’s attitude isn’t something he just picked up out of nowhere; it is a product of the environment he grew up in. I think the problem all comes down to complacency. The Jedi Order grew comfortable on Coruscant. They started to confuse the Light Side with Core World centrism. There is no Ignorance; there is knowledge: Alright, let’s “educate” those Outer Rimmers! I’m sure many people in the EduCorps got it right, but others would have used that platform as a means to enforce cultural colonialism. 

As for the sense of superiority over the Nightbrothers, and the treatment of cyborgs, and fallen individuals, that is entirely rooted in fear of the Dark Side, I feel. Most of the Jedi were so afraid of any hint of Darkness, they refused to see the individual who manifested it as sentient, or human. It’s understandable, (even if it isn’t acceptable), as before the Republic that lasted “a thousand years” was formed with the Jedi to defend it, (the Ruusan Reformation), they had won a centuries long war against the Dark Side, and went overboard trying to prevent it from ever happening again. It is easier to look at the enemy, and see the few differences you condemn, rather than to look, and see the many commonalities you share. This fear of darkness is what had them blind to the plight of the Nightbrothers, and is also what Obi-Wan was drawing from when he faced Vaderkin. If you fall, you cannot be saved. You are lost. It is easier to fight an adversary if you believe that you cannot help them, and as Obi-Wan was raised that way, so he believed. He was wrong. Having said that, I believe the reason Anakin’s death was slow was that Obi-Wan partially couldn’t bring himself to do it, and was partially just so enraged at Anakin, and so hurt by him, he also felt Anakin might deserve to burn. Ideally, I think most Jedi would kill the Sith they encountered quickly and cleanly. That Anakin burned on Mustafar was a by-product of the brokenness of his relationship with Obi-Wan, and the brokenness of Obi-Wan himself. 

On that note, I wouldn’t go so far to say that the Jedi were ableist, as that suggests discrimination of all disabilities. I don’t think the Jedi would take issue with the blind or the deaf, for instance. However, they are discriminatory against cyborgs, and even most forms of technology. Anything that does not have the Force, they will dismiss. I discuss these issues in Mechu-Deru: Anakin’s Relationships With Machines and the Force, and Flesh and the Force. Essentially, the Force is the Jedi’s deity, for lack of a better term. Thus, the lightsaber is sacred technology, as it has the Force in it, and everything else is “uncivilised.” However, as I point out in the Mechu-Deru post, Anakin and other Forcefuls can channel the Force into technology. Hence, while it is not organic, and is not a part of the Force, it can have the Force deposited in it, and it can flow through it. Most Jedi don’t have the talent though, and even if they did, most wouldn’t know as they are very skeptical of it. Why interact with it if it doesn’t have the Force? Worse still, the Sith used the technique to mix metal and flesh in grotesque ways, and as a result Jedi view people with cybernetics with either pity, disgust, or disdain. Adding metal to your body like that must diminish your ability to touch the Force. It must, because it’s “unnatural.” Worst case scenario you’re “more machine now than man, twisted and evil.” Cyborgs are associated with the Dark Side, as far as the Jedi are concerned, and the Jedi struggle to remain rational where the Dark Side is even remotely associated. (For more details read the linked meta.)

It’s quite ironic really. The Jedi say “fear is a path to the Dark Side,” and it is. What they don’t realise is that their own fear of Darkness is what lead to their destruction by it. Sure Anakin was afraid, but so were they, and they handled it poorly. If they hadn’t feared the Darkness, would they have rejected Anakin? He was only a child, when he first came to them. If they hadn’t feared the Darkness would they have manipulated him, gas-lighted him, shown no faith in him, and beaten down his self-esteem? Most of their flaws, at least in regard to Anakin, are rooted in their own, refused-to-be-acknowledge-or-at-least-talked-about, fear of the Dark Side. I will never go so far as to say they deserved it. My goodness! (I like these characters too.) The children especially didn’t, but the Council, and the majority of the Order that followed them definitely created the toxic environment that lead to Operation Knightfall. 

What the Braavosi Think: About Courtesans, For Instance

Sometime ago we had a little back and forth with Steven Atwell about the social status possessed by the courtesans of Braavos. He believes they have a parallel in the cortigiana onesta of Renaissance Italy, while we think the closest resemblance is to found in 20th and 21st century celebrity culture. In our view, drawing on Renaissance parallels leads one to ignore major differences between fantasy Braavosi and historical Venice, as well as overlook how the courtesans are actually presented within the story. This in turn leads one to miss how the courtesans fit into Braavosi culture as a whole.

Where Braavos is concerned one should not make too much of any Venetian similarities. Medieval and Renaissance Venice was a worldly, commercial city but a Roman Catholic society. In A Song of Ice and Fire the closest equivalent to Catholicism is the Westerosi Faith of the Seven, so this takes us not to Braavos but west Across the Water. Now, Renaissance distinctions between the cortigiana onesta and the cortigiana di lume might have some parallel in what socially separates the paramours from the prostitutes in Dorne, where the strictures of the Faith are leavened by worldly Rhoynish customs and a very hot climate. Ellaria Sand, the one lifelong paramour we’ve gotten a very good look at, is not a wellborn lady. Rather, she’s Lord Harmen Uller’s bastard daughter. She is educated (knows her history), sophisticated (worships a Lysene love goddess), and confident (looks Cersei in the eye), but can only rise so high because she is baseborn. Rather revealing, for all that Prince Oberyn loves her and their children, they never formally marry, suggesting a social taboo that even the bad-boy Red Viper cannot bring himself to defy. Yet the Dornish consider paramours very different from whores, and hence owed a certain degree of respect; when the Queen of Thorns calls Ellaria “the Serpent’s whore” it results in an “ugly confrontation in the yard” (SoS, Tyrion VI). Presumably any man who dared say what Lady Olenna had said would have received a challenge from Prince Oberyn in short order. Of course this insult to Ellaria’s status is also an insult to Oberyn’s honor, because paramours, unlike whores, are not dishonorable to maintain and favor (in Dorne at least):

“So do others,” suggested Gerris Drinkwater. “Naharis, for one. The queen’s …”

… paramour,” Ser Barristan finished, before the Dornish knight could say anything that might besmirch the queen’s honor. “That is what you call them down in Dorne, is it not?” He did not wait for a reply. (DwD, The Discarded Knight)

Barristan’s interjection highlights that not all paramours are women. Princess Arianne effectively takes Ser Arys Oakheart as her paramour (although the Princess only ever applies the title to him in jest, it essentially is what he becomes regardless). One can’t help but notice that, whenever paramours are mentioned, the one constant in each and every case is that the relationship cannot travel through the sept to the marriage bed owing to distinctions in birth, vows of celibacy, political undesirability or a preexisting spouse. No matter one’s qualities, to be a paramour is to occupy an intermediate position, above a whore, below a wife or husband.

But the courtesans of Braavos are not lovers or mistresses, as the Dornish paramours are. The most successful courtesan is an independent figure; her status does not come about through a long-term relationship with a high ranking man who she cannot marry. Nor is the courtesan a fixture or inhabitant of some lord or merchant prince’s court or salon. The relationships that make the courtesan who she is are multiple, fluid, complex, public, and predominately commercial. But she is not selling her body; she is selling the character, the image, the aura she has constructed using her mind and body. Now, most Andals would see no real difference between a courtesan and a prostitute, just as most Andals see no real difference between a paramour and a prostitute. The popular and metaphysical dichotomy between good women (maids, mothers, crones) and whores is just too deeply embedded in Andal culture for it to be otherwise. But the Braavosi are not Andals. So the question becomes: what sort of culture do the Braavosi have? Is there any reason to think they would be unable to draw the same distinction we just made, a distinction that is completely foreign to Andal society?

Religiously, Braavos is another world from Westeros. The city’s founding laws grant complete freedom of religion and there is no formally established faith. In theory all gods are honored in Braavos. This secularism, this transference of the duties of faith from the state machinery to the private realm, is something alien to the Classical or Medieval world. In our own history this is unique to the modern era, and it makes Braavosi society very different from both Andal Westeros and Renaissance Italy. Within Braavos there is a no single, state sanctioned religious authority but rather a mélange of competing or coexisting private creeds. Yandal says the city’s numerous temples shelter around one hundred different deities (World Book 275). The two greatest faiths, those of the Moonsingers and R’hllorites, are eastern in origin. The Moonsinger faith originated in the steppe lands east of the Bone Mountains, while the worship of R’hllor seems to have emerged in the Summer Sea during the later Valyrian empire.

The Moonsingers have the largest temple in Braavos, a prestigious history, and presumably a plurality of the city’s worshippers. What the Braavosi Moonsinger religion has to say on sexual matters is almost completely unknown. Among the Jogos Nhai, women bind their heads and shave all the hair from their bodies, are expected to abduct their husbands, and are allowed to take men’s occupations if they dress and live as men.* The Jogos Nhai priesthood is also composed entirely of women and crossdressing men. But we do not know to what degree the original traditions of the steppe dwelling, zorse riding Jogos Nhai have been retained among the lagoon dwelling, nautical Braavosi. The Braavosi are not renowned for head binding, cross dressing or hairlessness, unlike the Jogos Nhai, which suggests that the original religion has indeed undergone some changes. In any case, their tenets are probably a bit different from those of the all-male Septans in the Sept-Across-the-Sea.

Close behind the Moonsingers in adherents, dwellings, and prestige is Red R’hllor, the Lord of Light, Heart of Flame, and God of Fire and Shadow. This deity’s militaristic Manichean morality, which includes child sacrifice, is fairly…different, in-universe and out. Based on Melisandre’s wedding sermon we know that R’hllor is apparently something of a fertility god:

“R’hllor,” sang Melisandre, her arms upraised against the falling snow, “you are the light in our eyes, the fire in our hearts, the heat in our loins. Yours is the sun that warms our days, yours the stars that guard us in the dark of night.” (DwD, Jon X)

Fittingly, the R’hllorites wholeheartedly embrace magically-weaponized sex in their struggle against the Great Other:

“The Lord of Light in his wisdom made us male and female, two parts of a greater whole. In our joining there is power. Power to make life. Power to make light. Power to cast shadows.” (DwD Jon VI)

More mundane is the practice of sacred prostitution within R’hllor’s Red Temples:

“The red temple buys [its slaves] as children and makes them priests or temple prostitutes or warriors.” (DwD, Tyrion VII)

The R’hllorite’s are not unique in this. Summer Islanders and many other Eastern faiths also practice sacred prostitution. When Tyrion spies some ladies in colored silks at his auction, knowledge of temple prostitution leads him to muse that the women are “Whores or priestesses, most like; this far east it was hard to tell the two apart” (DwD, Tyrion X). The R’hllorite’s sacred prostitutes do not, however, give us much insight into their attitudes regarding sex in everyday society. Is Red Temple prostitution the only morally-approved prostitution or does the Red Temple give moral approval to secular prostitution also, provided the prostitutes tithe R’hllor and thus side with the Lord over his Great Opposite? Is it a minor sin that can be burned away through adherence and sacrifice to R’hllor? What should we make of the fact that, outside of Braavos, many of R’hllor’s adherents are women brutally forced into lives of sexual slavery? (It certainly adds a whole new dimension to Melisandre’s shadow babies.) We suspect that the priests of the R’hllorite faith are rather understanding of the compromises the corrupt world forces upon its parishioners, provided said parishioners support and obey the Lord of Light, otherwise why would the religion be so popular? But really, how the sexual aspect of a R’hlloirte courtesan’s profession would fit in with her private faith is anyone’s guess.

This naturally leads us to the simple fact that religions are not all-or-nothing institutions, however much religious leaders like to pretend that they are. The Sailor’s Wife’s faux-weddings are often presided over by Ezzelyno, a drunken red priest. It’s hard to imagine his superiors approving of such blasphemous conduct, but Ezzelyno seems cheerful. He might actually believe that he is doing the Lord’s work. Alternatively he doesn’t believe anymore and has, like Thoros of Myr, fallen into a life of idle hedonism, living off the tricks he learned in the Red Temple. It is possible that disestablishmentarianism and attitudes of atheism, agnosticism, skepticism, and moral relativism largely unique to Braavos have weakened or diluted the power of traditional moral strictures (if the Father Above says one thing and the Summer Gods another…). And then what are we to make of widespread Braavosi acceptance for the Faceless Men and their ecumenical house of suicide and murder?

So, in terms of religion, Braavos doesn’t bare much similarity to Medieval and Renaissance Italy. To parallel Braavos, Renaissance Venice would have to be filled with Greek, Norse, Slavic, Celtic, Mesopotamian and even East Asian temples, with a large section of its population split between an urbanized Tengerism and a very militant Manichaeism, all while a very small but very active and notorious Thuggee cult operates with general license and approval. When it comes to Braavosi morals and social acceptability we’re very much in a pure fantasy world, where the standard historical parallels lose their power. Unfortunately, while the Martin has made pains to emphasize Braavos’ religious diversity, he hasn’t seen fit to really get into the content of said religions.

Fortunately, this question is somewhat moot, as we know quite a bit about the social activity of the courtesans and how they are perceived by the average Braavosi. We know that the courtesans are afforded a great deal of public deference (Arya is told to be polite to them). We know that they practice noblesse oblige (the Black Pearl pays more than Arya’s cockles are worth). We know that they set upper-class fashion trends by modeling dresses and jewels (the obvious reason jewelers shower them with gifts and craftsmen beg them for their custom). We know their movements and activities are by design extremely public (Arya often sees their barges floating by while selling her clams, oysters, and cockles — it would be impossible to keep a tryst secret while traveling in one of those). We know that singers regularly write songs about the beauty of the courtesans, that bourgeois men like being seen with them and visited by them, that theaters want them in their audience, that bravos often kill each other over which is more beautiful, and that bronze and marble statues commemorate the most famous. It’s very clear from all this that the courtesans receive a great deal of public respect, even homage, from all levels of society. They are not shown discretely selling sex to general disapproval, nor are they closely identified with some nobleman’s court or patronage network. This is why we think that they should be considered celebrities rather than prostitutes or courtiers.

We also know that the unique courtesans of Braavos have been around for a while. The second Black Pearl won her courtesanship in the last two decades of the second century AC and there were definitely courtesans before her (as the Black Pearl is never identified as the first of the courtesans, only the most storied). The courtesans should not therefore be viewed in isolation but considered in tandem with the rest of Braavosi history. Given the religious and ethnic diversity of early Braavos, there would have been a real need for non-sectarian symbols and traditions around which the whole city could unite as a single people. Over the centuries these symbols were artfully built and fashioned to commemorate the city’s humble past and celebrate its growing prosperity.

For foreigners, the most visible symbols of the city are the ubiquitous and far-sailing merchant ships with their purple sails, purple hulls and purple garbed captains, a deliberate harking back to the very first Braavosi merchant marine, stolen slave ships disguised with purple dye (no other country seems to make such a standardized show of ornamenting its civilian ships as does Braavos). Within Braavos itself the city’s power upon the oceans is the subject of many a monument. The foremost of these is the mighty, fearsome, and unconquerable yet welcoming Titan, the fortress lighthouse that protects the city even as it guides Braavosi ships home. Presiding over the Purple Harbor and its purple sails is the Sealord’s Palace and its enormous menagerie of exotic animals; curiosity testifying to the world-spanning success of the city’s trading fleets and the power of Braavos and its Sealord. The Braavosi merchant, fishing, and war fleets are further celebrated in the numerous fountains and pools that can found throughout the city (World Book 274).

More terrestrial monuments and symbols are similarly collective in nature. Representing the power and independence of the republic’s civil government is the rather Orwellian sounding Palace of Truth, a great green domed edifice that towers over every temple and all but the grandest of private mansions.** Twin to the Palace of Truth is the Iron Bank, an institution of equal importance that both maintains and symbolizes Braavosi predominance across the Narrow Sea’s financial markets. The bank’s name pays tribute to its humble beginnings, when twenty three Braavosi gathered together to lock their valuables in an abandoned iron mine, the city’s first and greatest corporate endeavor. So seminal is this institution that the descendants of the twenty-three original keyholders were able to establish themselves as the city’s new blue-blooded aristocracy. They treasure their aging iron keys in much the same way that Westerosi nobility treasure their Valyrian steel swords and chart their family’s lines of descent from the twenty-three as assiduously as Westerosi highlords trace their origins back to the Age of Heroes.*** Yet far more important than official symbols, monuments and family honors is the culture of everyday life, where one finds the inner spirit of the city.

While the city’s ships and monuments commemorate past beginnings and present day power, the holidays, entertainments and diversions of Braavos celebrate and reinforce a culture of deception, simulation and transformation.**** During the great masked revelry that is the Unveiling of Uthero the entire population symbolically reenacts over eleven days the founding of the city, its century of secrecy, and its eventual revelation to the world.***** On more ordinary evenings Braavosi of every class and description flock to the Blue Lantern, the Dome, the Gate, and the Ship to see the city’s unique brand of live theater. Within, they watch and listen as the mummers transform themselves into mythological, historical, fictional and still-living characters, an art practiced nowhere else. After dark, those with more martial inclinations can frequent the ritualized water dancing that takes place upon the Moon Pool. There swordsmen seek to convey through grace and darkness the illusion that they barely skim the pool’s surface as they battle one another. When the water dance is successfully performed the duelists actually appear to walk on water.

Not only do the courtesans fit right in, they are arguably greater than all the other civic symbols combined, synthesizing in their persons every aspect of Braavosi culture identified above. The courtesans are socially unifying; everyone in Braavos, regardless of class, ethnicity, politics or religion, enjoys discussing them. The courtesans “[are] famed across the world,” same as the Titan and the purple-sailed ships, and in this way speak to the importance of Braavos (FfC Cat of the Canals). Each courtesan has her own barge and in this way they pay homage to the city’s ultimate dependence upon the sea. Through their opulent couture the courtesans display their city’s ever growing prosperity. Most importantly, they are transformers. As Sophie Turner recently observed, fashion is inherently about personal transmutation:

“I’m pretty young and still trying to figure out-with the help of my stylist, Alex Breed-what my signature style is. Some days I want to look like a hipster kid, and then other days I want to be prim and proper. I really wish I had, like, seven lives so I could go from being a hipster one day to a punk the next. But that’s the great thing about fashion. In a way, it’s like acting, because you can try on all these different roles.”

Each courtesan in her rise from obscurity and poverty to fame and fortune acts out her city’s rise as it is celebrated in the Unveiling of Uthero. The courtesan dresses up and assumes the role of the Daughter of the Dusk or the Nightingale, and by this play profits; while the early Braavosi dyed their sails purple and pretended to be from somewhere that wasn’t Braavos, and through this deception profited immensely. Each courtesan is an actress playing a single role on a world stage. Each courtesan is an illusionist whose aura can even make lamps appear to glow brighter. The courtesans are not a mere detail of the city; they are the key to unlocking its nature.

Where we agree with Steven is that wellborn Braavosi women are very unlikely to become courtesans, and that most courtesans have their origins in the poor and working classes. This, however, is not because the courtesan lifestyle is considered morally shameful. If you told a wellborn Braavosi woman that she was as beautiful or poised as the Nightingale or the Merling Queen, she would definitely take that as a compliment (taking offense would be odd given that she emulates them in dress). Rather, the aversion of the wellborn would have to do with how the courtesan industry can be a really awful and unfulfilling experience for those young girls striving to attain, or maintain, celebrity status. Even for the most successful and accomplished courtesans, courtesanship is extremely demanding work. A courtesan must to stay in character whenever she is in public, negotiate endlessly with craftsmen, patronize singers, train and recruit lesser courtesans, sell her company and body to wealthy men, and show herself constantly, all while the days are counting down until she is too old to continue. Why would beautiful rich girls subject themselves to this when they can already enjoy the most glamorous aspects of the courtesanship: the jewels and the clothes? Rich women need merely take their fashion cues from the Black Pearl, Nightingale, Moonshadow or Daughter of the Dusk, and patronize the jewelers, dress makers, cobblers and hair stylists whose creations are being modeled by them. In this way, bourgeois women may simulate some of the courtesan’s glamour while doing none of the truly exacting work. Poor women on the other hand have no way of attaining the glamour of courtesanship short of becoming rich or briefly becoming a courtesan.

We know this response was a long time in coming, but better late than never.

*The Jogos Nhai’s cross dressing, where a man can become a woman and a woman a man by taking on their opposite’s appearance and social life, might be yet another source of the Braavosi love for self-conscious transformation, role playing and masquerade.

**Is Palace of Truth’s name supposed to be serious, or was it meant to be ironic? Or is it a boast that the Braavosi can perceive the truth, even in politics? As this is where the Sealord is chosen, perhaps it refers to the ideal of selecting the man who is truly the best candidate for the job? Who knows with this city…

***This is not dissimilar from New Englanders who trace their ancestry back to the Mayflower and Plymouth Plantation.

****The Braavosi’s ships and monuments say: “Look at us! Look how far we’ve come! Look how powerful and wealthy we are now!” But the Braavosi’s ships, holidays and amusements then remind them: “You are a city of actors, liars, illusionists and sneaks. When your ancestors arrived here they were slaves and they escaped recapture by hiding in the fog and disguising themselves as different peoples whenever they ventured outside. That is how you came to have everything you have now.”

***** Braavos was unveiled by Sealord Uthero on its 111th anniversary, which roughly translates to one festival day per decade. It should not be forgotten that Braavos initiated several years of secret negotiations with the Valyrians before officially ending its secrecy.

First day: foundation of the secret city (the event that the original celebration commemorated).
Second through tenth days: the time of secrecy.
Midnight (start of the eleventh day): the decade of the unveiling.

compleatmoon  asked:

If you're still doing the impression thing, Scarecrow pls ^^

FIRST IMPRESSION

Ok…it was s a long journey of rant and despise, actually (a friend of mine knows how much I complained about him for a month X°D) I simply hated him. With all my heart. I don’t remember if my first approach to his character was through the comics or the games (I think comics), but I know I despised him XD it was the most intense feeling towards him. I found him horrible. I know he was a villain and a villain doesn’t certainly require a pleasant personality but…he was actually an awful person. I despised his attitude and I despised his philosophy, he made me angry XD I really felt the desire to fight him XD

I know Edward is a villain too, but he has a precise psychological background, and then he has a condition he hardly can fight, so I felt more sensible towards him rather than Crane who simply chose to follow a vengeful path and chose to be an asshole AHAHAHAH. I was very angry with him, because he was an intelligent man, a professor, a psychiatrist, a man who loves the knowledge, who loves the mind, who should loves to be a mentor to the others, an inspiration…but no, he chose to be the Master of Fear and a misanthropic grumpy man. Actually, he chose to let his aggressors win in a manner of speak, because the path he chose was the most destructive and he knows, he certainly knows he stuck in this kind of life because of his terrible choice, but he is stubborn and still too angry to become really aware of this…? Even if he seems to enjoy to be an asshole he has always a choice, because for me he has his own problems of course, but he isn’t a madman or a real sadist, or a psychopath etc…

These were my thought at the beginning…


IMPRESSION NOW

…and now I I still think in this way, but now I’m aware of my love for him. You know, no? When you hate someone too much, apparently, in a very irrational way, it’s because you recognize some traits of your personality (unconscious or conscious, defeated or forgotten). In this case I dreamed of him a lot. And those dreams help me to accept him like one of my fav character. Seriously.AHAHAHAH(I actually have a wonderful relationship with my dreams, because I studied and I’m still studying the subject. So I always analyze my dreams…even these kind of dreams, apparently stupid AHAHAH)

So…after a month of complaints I began to appreciate some shade of his personality, I began to understand his motives and everything because I know how it feels to be vindictive and angry with everyone, but I overcame these feelings during my life and I took a philanthropic path. He remembered me those past feelings and I hated it. So I hated him and his choices. And when I acknowledged this without saying it loud to myself, I began to dream of him and so my Unconscious chose The Scarecrow like his champion for scold me.

The end of the story is: I hate/love him. I want to punch him in the face. Stupid grumpy old man…

If I was a villain I would be him.

Ah! the irony…


FAVORITE MOMENT(S) STORIES

“Fear of Faith” - One of the best stories with him. Set on the storyline of “No Man’s Land”, Crane wants to play the part of the Devil and wants to destruct everyone’s hope, without his toxin. Because he is a lovely man as always. But in the end he just take what he deserves: a lot of love, compassion and forgiveness and these things make him go in tilt. Priceless.

“Year One: Scarecrow Master of Fear” (1995) - a classic. One of the best artist and design, in my opinion. Thanks Bret Blevins

“Batman Shadow of the Bat: The God of Fear” - Storyline: Nightfall - Our lovely Crane wants to become a God. A classic.

But the honorary mention goes to Gordon:

Crane: “Had enough? Is the City prepared to declare me God yet?”

Gordon: “Listen to me, you murdering maniac! I—“

Crane: “No, Gordon! You will listen to ME— i have a tanker full of fear-gas centrally positioned! Unless you officially announce my godhood, it will be detonated at midnight precisely! Time is running out, Gordon. This is your last warning!”

Gordon (in his precious naivety): “Scarecrow, you’re being illogical! How on earth can we make you a god…?!*CLICK* Scarecrow…?”


“Absolute Terror” - An other precious story with him without the toxin.

“Mistress of Fear” - This is an interesting story because it serves a purpose, in my opinion: to highlights his wrong choices and his, in a manner of speak, irrational consciousness of this. He is adamantine about them, they are the certainties of his life, but Becky…she was a mirror image of himself, she was the other path. The one he could have chose. The right path. She was everything he hate but also everything he fear because her presence invalidated his belief. That’s why he tried to make her his Mistress of Fear: to destroy her and restore the perfect reflection.

“Batman Adventures Annual - Study Hall” This is the Crane in whom I want to believe. The academic. I like him in his all villainy glory, but sometimes some writers forget this aspect of his life, of his forma mentis, in favor of a more sadistic attitude. But he was a professor and this is a vocation, I don’t think is something you can delete from him.

I also love the other BTAS comics with him, where you can see again the inner struggle and the tragedy of this man.

And last but not least, of course one of the best moments in the history:

Crane: I am the master of fear! The lord of despair! Cower before me and witness terror!
Harley: Hi, Professor Crane!
Crane: (normal voice) Good evening, child. (then) Worship me, fools! Worship me! Scream hosannas of anguish to Scarecrow, the all-terrible god of fear!
Robin: I think he’s getting better.


IDEA FOR A STORY

Crane is a professor again and teach again. I want him with his students. ahahah


UNPOPULAR OPINION

- I don’t really like Year One Scarecrow and his background. I loved the southern gothic setting, it was suggestive, but I think his whole past was an exaggeration, a bit over the top…? I don’t appreciate too much when the writers insert family issues to trigger the psychological development of a character, I think is overused and boring (even if I can understand the reason d’être of this) I also think the art style, chosen for this comic, it wasn’t good for this kind of story. It’s beautiful, but is…cute, and also the Scarecrow is extremely cute, even in his costume (which seems a costume from some RPG XD) so when I read it I’m always distracted by its cuteness X°D I don’t know…I don’t think this is a good thing for the master of fear and his background?

But I would love to see this story illustrated by Finch.

Actually I would love to see everything about Scarecrow illustrated by him…


- I like the New52 Scarecrow, his background, even here, is boring and I don’t like it, but I think for the rest was quite vivid and well…Scarecrow. I also appreciated the Cycle of violence, despite the story, because I fell in love with the art of David Finch (I ADORE the pages of Crane’s past) and I loved the moment when he cried with the girl’s drawing in his hands.

I don’t know…if I ignore his background (but even the Cycle of violence AHAHAH) I can say I’m quite satisfied for his appearances during the new52.


FAVORITE RELATIONSHIP

Crane/Jervis | Crane/Riddler | (and I appreciate some interaction with Harley, Selina and Ivy. At least I love to read fic with them XD)


FAVORITE HEADCANON

- I think the change of the Scarecrow’s behavior, during the games, is a precise intention of him.

I mean, during Asylum he was clearly over the top because he needed to be a madman to scare the doctors and maybe to experiment on what kind of behavior was more effective. In fact, he was always polite and irreproachable during his session with Young but harsh and sassy during the other sessions with other doctors. After the incident, he decided to change strategy and became what we saw in Arkham Knight (Actually I think it was the REAL Crane)


- Ok…this is a stupid headcanon but I need to say it:

I think his hair do the “Studio Ghibli’s thing” when he his angry. And one day I will do an animation of this.

VIVEKANANDA’S 15 LAWS OF LIFE

1. Love Is The Law Of Life: All love is expansion, all selfishness is contraction. Love is therefore the only law of life. He who loves lives, he who is selfish is dying. Therefore, love for love’s
 sake, because it is law of life, just as you breathe to live.

2. It’s Your Outlook That Matters: It is our own mental attitude, which makes the world what it is for us. Our thoughts make things beautiful, our thoughts make things ugly. The whole world is in our own minds. Learn to see things in the proper light.

3. Life is Beautiful: First, believe in this world - that there is meaning behind everything. Everything in the world is good, is holy and beautiful. If you see something evil, think that you do not understand it in the right light. Throw the burden on yourselves!

4. It’s the Way You Feel: Feel like Christ and you will be a Christ; feel like Buddha and you will be a Buddha. It is feeling that is the life, the strength, the vitality, without which no amount of intellectual activity can reach God.

5. Set Yourself Free: The moment I have realized God sitting in the temple of every human body, the moment I stand in reverence before every human being and see God in him - that moment I am free from bondage, everything that binds vanishes, and I am free.

6. Don’t Play the Blame Game: Condemn none: if you can stretch out a helping hand, do so. If you cannot, fold your hands, bless your brothers, and let them go their own way.

7. Help Others: If money helps a man to do good to others, it is of some value; but if not, it is simply a mass of evil, and the sooner it is got rid of, the better.

8. Uphold Your Ideals: Our duty is to encourage everyone in his struggle to live up to his own highest idea, and strive at the same time to make the ideal as near as possible to the Truth.

9. Listen ro Your Soul: You have to grow from the inside out. None can teach you, none can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul.

10. Be Yourself: The greatest religion is to be true to your own nature. Have faith in yourselves!

11. Nothing Is Impossible: Never think there is anything impossible for the soul. It is the greatest heresy to think so. If there is sin, this is the only sin - to say that you are weak, or others are weak.

12. You Have the Power: All the powers in the universe are already ours. It is we who have put our hands before our eyes and cry that it is dark.

13. Learn Everyday: The goal of mankind is knowledge… now this knowledge is inherent in man. No knowledge comes from outside: it is all inside. What we say a man ‘knows’, should, in strict psychological language, be what he 'discovers’ or 'unveils’; what man 'learns’ is really what he discovers by taking the cover off his own soul, which is a mine of infinite knowledge.

14. Be Truthful: Everything can be sacrificed for truth, but truth cannot be sacrificed for anything.

15. Think Different: All differences in this world are of degree, and not of kind, because oneness is the secret of everything.

By K.Nagori

Who has never wondered why is it that such bad things happen to good people, and good things happen to such bad people?

First, we need to rethink our definitions of “good” and “bad.” According to the Bible, there are no truly “good” people. Remember that “good” does not refer to the nice guy who walks his dog daily, helps old ladies across the street, and serves at the local homeless shelter. When we are talking about “good” in this context, we are referring to righteousness. To be righteous means that you are blameless before God. Strictly speaking, instead of saying, “that person is good,” it actually would be more accurate to say, “that person is less bad.”

The Bible is incredibly clear in that there is no one who is righteous before God because we are all tainted by sin from birth. We are completely unable to rid ourselves of that sin without accepting Christ as our Savior. Sin is what He is saving us from:

Romans 3:10-18
There is none righteous not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; All have turned aside together they have become useless; There is none who does good, there is not even one. Their throat is an open grave, with their tongues they keep deceiving, the poison of asps is under their lips; whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness; their feet are swift to shed blood, destruction and misery are in their paths, and the path of peace they have not known. There is no fear of God before their eyes.”

You can also look up Ecclesiastes 7:20Romans 3:23, and 1 John 1:8 to see more passages that clearly express how there is no one who is naturally righteous or good. That includes you and me.

All of this boils down to one terrifying truth: we deserve Hell. That is the harsh truth of life. There is no sin, no fib, and no bad attitude so small that does not sentence you to that fate. God is a righteous, holy God who cannot tolerate even what we feel is the smallest sin. And this is why the gospel is called the Good News. Christ was the only One who could pay the price for our sin. And He did. And then freely offers us our salvation from what we deserve. All we have to do is receive Him as our Lord and Savior (John 3:16Romans 6:23Romans 10:9Romans 5:8) and follow Him.

Now, let’s go back to the original question and tweak it slightly: “Why does God allow bad things to happen?” In the same way that “good” isn’t the same to us as it is to God, what seems “bad” to us is not necessarily what is “bad” to God. His perspective is so much bigger than ours, and He knows a lot more about the big picture than we do.

We cannot know everything that is inside the mind of God, but what we do know is that God is good (in the definition established above) though our minds cannot fully grasp Him. We live in a fallen world, all of which is touched by sin. But we can rest assured that nothing is outside of God’s control. And He knows the whole story from beginning to end and what will happen after the smoke has cleared. We do not know how the Lord will use certain events to shape the future.

Follow the instructions in Proverbs 3:5-6, which says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

Being angry (and staying angry) with God will get us nowhere fast. So we must trust in the Lord, know He is in control, and know that no matter how bleak things may seem, nothing can change His goodness, or tear His children away from His gift of salvation and eternal life.

We live in a fallen world ever since Adam and Eve sinned in the garden. The word fallen is used in the Bible to describe someone or something spiritually and morally degraded. Israel is described as “fallen” (Amos 5:2), as are angels (Isaiah 14:12Revelation 12:4) and the glory of mankind (1 Peter 1:24). Each of these has fallen away from the heights of God’s good will for them, fallen into sin, and therefore fallen under the just wrath of God. Those in a fallen state suffer the degrading and deadly spiritual, moral, and social consequences of sinfulness.

Several Bible passages speak of this kind of downfall: 1 Corinthians 10:12 warns Christ’s followers, “Be careful that you do not fall.” Falling into sin is the opposite of growing up in righteousness. In Revelation 2:5, Jesus speaks to the church of Ephesus, which had left its first love: “Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent, and do the works you did at first.”

The whole world of mankind has fallen:

  • from friendship with God into proud estrangement from Him and enmity with Him; this leaves us diseased and dying in every part of our personalities and bodies (Genesis 2:16; 3:2–9; Exodus 15:26; Deuteronomy 30:15–20)
  • from our full reflection of His likeness into shattered, distorted images, suffering the results of our brokenness (Genesis 6:5; Matthew 15:19; Romans 1:14-2:16; Romans 3:9–20)
  • from joyful obedience to God’s rules so as to fulfill His superlative design for our lives into lawless rebellion and constant frustration and warfare at every level of society (Genesis 3:14–16; James 4:1–10)
  • from the beauty, tranquility, and vitality of godly family life into a cesspool of sexual-identity confusion, domestic strife, and aimlessness (Genesis 3:16; Romans 1:14-2:16; Galatians 5:19–21)
  • from dominion as trustees of God’s world into a selfish exploitation of the land and the resulting ecological disaster (Genesis 3:17–19; Ecclesiastes 5:8–17; Haggai 1:6)
  • from knowledge of God’s enlightening truth into the darkness of ignorance and the confusion of depraved minds (Genesis 2:17; Proverbs 1-31; Judges 1-21; Romans 1:28)

To live in a fallen world means we struggle with sin on a daily basis. We experience heartache and pain. We witness natural disasters and staggering loss. Injustice, inhumanity, and falsehood seem to hold sway. Discord and trouble are commonplace. None of this was God’s original plan for humanity. We fell from our original position in the Garden of Eden. We now live in a fallen world, and all creation “groans” under the consequences of our sin (Romans 8:22).

The good news is that God does not intend His world to forever groan. Through Jesus Christ, God is repairing His creation:

  • restoring friendship with Himself in Jesus Christ, giving us eternal life (John 10:10; 15:15; Romans 3:21–31; 5:1–11; 6:1–14; 8:1–4; 8:22–23; 1 Corinthians 15:26; Ephesians 1:3-2:22; Colossians 1:15-22)
  • restoring the reflection of God’s likeness in Jesus Christ (Romans 8:28–32; 1 Corinthians 6:11)
  • restoring His rules for a fulfilling life in Jesus Christ, resulting in true peace and prosperity (Matthew 5-7; Ephesians 5:15–21; James 2:8)
  • restoring His design for the family through Jesus Christ (Luke 1:17; 1 Corinthians 6:11; Ephesians 5:21-6:4; Colossians 3:18–21)
  • restoring man’s proper dominion in caring for God’s world (Romans 8:18–21)

Jesus Christ has promised to return, and when He comes back, He will finish setting everything right forever (Isaiah 2:2–425:6–965:17–25Revelation 20-22). Don’t miss God’s final invitation to all fallen people: “Come!” (Revelation 22:17). All who come to God by faith in Jesus Christ will be restored.

As a pastor once said: “Why do bad things happen to good people? That only happened once, and He volunteered.” The only good person to have ever lived was Christ. None of us are “good”, yet God so loves us, His creation, that He allowed Christ to die for us so we can be saved if we choose to be.

Also, please read Psalm 73 and see the futility of being successful and having all these “good” things happen to us without faith. See how the author expresses his doubts and discontentment only to come figure out that success in this life means absolutely nothing without God. Be like him who can proudly say to God: “I desire nothing on earth but You.

anonymous asked:

Mod Z I need a hug. I keep seeing Yoosung hate, all the people I talk to either hate on him or try to change how he is and even got mean anons for drawing him. If you could spare the time, could you tell us what you like about him and how your feels for him sent as you got to know him better? :c I just really love the puppy and want to bond with those who love him too.

COME HERE I’LL GIVE YOU THE BIGGEST HUG! -sweeps into arms- this got really long because i got carried away but i just love this boy so much god;;


Okay, Yoosung is a sweetheart. He’s so transparent and full to the brim with emotions. Yes, this can come with jealousy, but when he’s bright, he’s so wonderfully sweet and loving. With Yoosung, he’s still got this faith in him that things can be good - he wants to be your prince, to take on all your burden and to give you all his love. He believes that you are good, amazing, and does everything he can to make you feel like that. Even before he gets to know you, he’s so open and genuinely nice to everybody, he gives people a chance. When he does get to know you, he’s so eager for attention - to receive attention, to give attention, he doesn’t ever want you to feel lonely. Sometimes it can come off wrong, but you’re the light of his life and he tries to do everything to make sure you know that.

From the very beginning, I have loved Yoosung the most. He’s seriously my type. Have you ever just met a person and felt so instantly accepted? That’s what I loved most about him.

As the game went on, I could almost relate to his struggle to express his feelings. He’s never been in a serious relationship, he’s been almost sheltered and right as he thinks he’s found his dream… the one person that really pushed him towards it died. And everybody else seems to move on, there’s nobody that really supports him or understands his grief. I think as everybody “recovered”, Yoosung tried to bottle it all up. Outside of the RFA, nobody really understood the connection - so it’s not like he could talk to his friends. And the others had already… gotten over it. So having somebody new to talk about this whole thing with Rika shows a whole new side to him that he’s never had a chance to explore.

It’s awkward, and at times, painful. He obviously admired Rika so much and he genuinely believes that, since she was such a great person, being like her was good. He wants to be that person for somebody, and he wants somebody to be that person for him. And his approach to it is clumsy - what is love, what is a meaningful relationship, what is all this? He doesn’t know, it’s his first time, but he tries really hard. He wants to be the very best for you.

Yoosung is precious and I love him so much oh my god, if he existed in real life, I’d be smitten.

I’m sorry the people are you are bothering you, giving you attitude over a fictional character, but I hope you find something that helps you get through it. I always appreciate Yoosung fanart when I scroll through my dash, so please, keep at it! <3

A Response to Larry Tomczak's Response to Ellen's Response to Larry's Article on How She's Helping Turn Children Gay

Mr. Tomczak’s original letter will appear in bold, while my response will not.

Dear Ellen,

Yesterday morning, I awoke to discover you spoke to me directly on your nationally syndicated, award-winning talk show. I was stunned and humbled because I believe you are such an incredibly gifted comedian with a God-given gift to entertain and make people feel genuinely valued. You also have a megawatt smile that simply makes people feel happy.

I love that you’re obviously trying to butter her up with compliments before you systematically explain why she’s “oh so wrong” about literally everything she believes in.

You concluded your remarks to me and the audience by saying, “The only way I’m trying to influence people is to be more kind and compassionate with one another.” That’s one of my goals as well, and in that same spirit, can I appeal to you to consider some thoughts although we share different worldviews?

Yes, you can, because unlike some people, she’s a reasonable person, and I’m sure she can see more than just her side of an argument.

Contrary to what many may think having heard some quotes from my article, I approach you not as an angry, mean-spirited “fundamentalist” but rather in a spirit of humility as a would-be friend. I’d love to chat with you one day over a cup of coffee.

But you do come as a fundamentalist, because that’s exactly what you are. You’re not trying to befriend her. You’re being dishonest in that. You simply don’t like her. It’s okay to not like someone, but don’t lie about it.

You once said, “Stay true to yourself. Never follow someone else’s path unless you’re in the woods and you’re lost and you see a path.” Years ago I really was lost, playing in a band ironically called “The Lost Souls,” but I found a path of redemption in a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Forty-five years later I continue to follow Him and His revolutionary teachings. What I share with you is out of a commitment to be a faithful servant who upholds those teachings.

Her quote had nothing to do with you finding Jesus. You just had to shoehorn that in there didn’t ya?

You were raised Christian Scientist and maybe you saw similar blemishes that I did and still do in the Christian church. I admit we’ve unfortunately fallen far short in our testimony due to divorce, hypocrisy, scandals and uncharitable attitudes in our ranks.

Yeah, she probably did see problems in the church, mostly because there are, as you acknowledge. So good on you for that, I guess.

In the area of sexuality, we’re all broken and have temptations and struggles to overcome. I sincerely want to help people by being authentic and a part of a generation not imposing but rather proposing a better way that really does lead to peace, freedom, stability and long-term happiness.

But you are imposing. You and people of your ilk impose your way of life on others every day, whether it’s voting for congressmen who try to impose your way of life on others for you or actively participating in the legislative process or picketing funerals.

Also, I’m sure it’s better, considering that around half of “God-ordained” marriages end in divorce, and Christians have one of, if not the highest divorce rates in the nation.

To give you a glimpse into my life, awhile back my friend John wrestled with his sexual identity until he found the path to wholeness and healing in Christ. We walked the journey together as he battled the ravages of AIDS. I listened, encouraged and reassured him along with his precious daughter prior to his premature death. Later, I was able to take care of his memorial service in a way that I trust inspired all of his former gay friends who attended to reflect on his life and theirs.

So John got AIDS, stopped having sex, and turned to religion. That for sure means he “prayed the gay away” doesn’t it?

Ellen, hasn’t the time arrived for everyone involved in this dialogue on gay-related issues to lower our voices and approach one another with respect and civility though we have our differences? I know there’s a lot of shouting and accusation and name calling on all sides of the gay debate, but how about you and I model something positive?

You already fucked that up by accusing her of trying to turn young girls into lesbians.

Let me put you to the test. Even though you’ll probably disagree passionately on what I say, can you grant me the freedom to be forthright with you and faithful to biblical teaching for which I’ll one day give an account?

Okay, here goes…

You said, “I don’t have an agenda!” If I was sitting across from you right now, you might give me a fist bump along with a wink and a nod in telling me that was just a joke.

She probably wouldn’t actually, because it’s not a joke. Gay people don’t have some secret “agenda” where their goal is to turn tons of people gay. It’s tiring to deal with that accusation and it’s patently false. It’s not like we have a quota to meet.

Where I cited you “celebrating your lesbianism” you said, “I don’t know what it means to celebrate my lesbianism!” Then you quickly added, “I guess I do” and “I’m gay!”

You forgot the celebratory party popper in there. There’s no “celebrating lesbianism”. There aren’t coming out parties or “Happy Lesbian Day!” celebrations. In fact, quite the opposite; when some kids come out as a member of the LGBT community, their parents may flat out reject it and kick them out of the house to live on the street or disown them. “Celebrating lesbianism”, indeed.

Remember the premise of my article was that Hollywood has a definite gay agenda and you’re aligned with it. In 1997 you were on the cover of Time magazine declaring “Yes I’m Gay” after declaring it on your sitcom. You’re an outspoken representative for the Human Rights Campaign “Coming Out Project” and member of the advocacy group PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays).

Again, there is no “gay agenda”. The term is made up by people like you who claim that homosexuality is evil and should be reviled by society just because a book says so. And of course she would be a member of those groups; she actually accepts and loves herself for who she is and wants to help other people do the same.

In the quote you shared on TV I want to reassure you that I never thought or implied that you were trying to purposefully influence young girls into lesbianism. Instead, my point was that, as an out and proud lesbian woman - probably the best known and most-loved in the world - you wield tremendous influence over these girls, and your influence is decidedly pro-lesbian. Wouldn’t you agree?

Your exact quote was that “’Ellen DeGeneres’ celebrates her lesbianism and ‘marriage’ in between appearances of guests like Taylor Swift to attract young girls.” In addition, at the top of your list, you said that Hollywood was “promoting homosexuality.” This can be interpreted to imply the all of the people on the list are trying to turn kids gay. If you did not intend it that way, then you should have been more specific instead of leaving the reader to interpret your ambiguous writing.

Also, when you say you “don’t have an agenda,” I understand you are a committed vegan who promotes the lifestyle on your website and encourages adopting turkeys rather then (sic) eating them at Thanksgiving; you stand strongly for animal rights by having the Humane Society leaders on your show along with once being PETA’s “Woman of the Year;” plus, you promote and raise funds for Transcendental Meditation.

This article was about none of those things. You were specifically talking about a “gay agenda”, which doesn’t exist.

Also, there’s that word again: “promote”. Am I to take away from your previous explanation that she is not trying to influence people to try Transcendental Meditation? Or is she? Because I’m pretty sure that’s the purpose of promoting something.

I don’t begrudge you these involvements indicative of your personal agenda, I only appeal that you shoot straight, okay?

I honestly don’t know if your wording is an inadvertent joke here, an intentional joke, or neither.

Secondly, you said that “Larry is watching a lot of gay TV” because I cited a partial list of television programming with gay characters. Truth be known, I don’t watch much TV at all, let alone gay TV, but you sure don’t need to search very far to understand what I called this “avalanche” today.

But it’s not an “avalanche”. It’s an accurate representation of a population. 1.6% of the population of the United States identify as gay or lesbian, and that doesn’t take into account any other non-heterosexual orientations. 1.6% may sound like a small number of people, but when the number of people in the United States is around 320,061,700, that means that there are over 5 million gay and lesbian people in the US. That’s hardly a small number.

Regarding my suggestion that responsible parents take advantage of wholesome classic shows to supplement their TV viewing, you got some laughs by mocking this idea and then jokingly portrayed Lucy and Ethel as possible lesbians.

She pointed out how ridiculous the idea is. You’re telling these parents to isolate their kids from the culture around them. This never works. Children are always exposed to things parents don’t want them to, whether they like it or not.

Being 56 years old, childless and with your third “partner,” you may not understand the awesome responsibility it is to shape impressionable and vulnerable children. I’ve done it with children and grandchildren plus helped parents for over 42 years with this most challenging task.

And now you’ve moved on to attacking her way of life. You bring up her age, which certainly has nothing to do with her TV segment or your assertion that she has a “gay agenda”. You mock her for not having children by implying that she doesn’t understand what an “awesome responsibility” it is to have a kid, and saying that you know better than her because you’ve had kids. This is clearly an attempt to make readers think that you have a moral high ground because she doesn’t have the “experience” of raising a child and therefore doesn’t know that what she says and does can influence people.

Plus, you call Portia her “partner”, complete with quotation marks around it. Portia is her wife. Not partner. Not girlfriend. Wife. I know this might blow your mind. And what business of yours is it if Portia is her third wife or not? Besides, Ellen has only been married once: to Portia.

You once said, “I don’t need a baby growing inside me for nine months. If I’m going to feel nauseous and achy when I wake up, I want to achieve that state the old-fashioned way-getting drunk the night before!”

Ellen, those of us raising children and grandchildren make lots of responsible choices to ensure the little ones entrusted to our care become productive, healthy individuals. In that spirit of kindness and compassion you advocate, give us the space we need here.

So, essentially, what you’re saying is “You don’t have kids, so back off”? That really doesn’t make sense. I understand that you might not want her telling you how to raise your children, and rightfully so, but she’s not doing that.

Finally, and this will probably be your biggest test with what I share, you obviously disagreed with the fact that I referred to your “marriage” in quotation marks. I am not trying to be offensive, yet appeal that you recognize truth can offend sensibilities of those choosing to reject it.

Because it is a legal marriage. What your god does or doesn’t say about it is irrelevant.

Ellen, a nation rises or falls on marriage. If we dismantle this pillar of society, as it has existed for over 5000 years of Western civilization and redefine it to accommodate other arrangements such as yours (or those advocating for polyamorous, polygamous or other configurations) what will be the consequences for this sacred institution and the future of our nation?

Marriage has beenredefined, several times. Even since 1900, it has gone from being an institution in which only men could own property to one in which women can own property as well. In 1967, marriage was again “redefined” to include couples that had different skin colors. Don’t say that marriage is the same as it has always been, because it hasn’t, and it is that sort of historical revisionism that confuses and misleads people.

The true Christian Church must stand as a “sign of contradiction” amidst ever-changing cultural trends. With kindness and courage we must remain faithful to the truth, whether it is popular or not. We must honor a higher law than man, just as Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. expressed in his classic, “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” and is magnificently portrayed in the film “Selma.”

This is the same “Christian church” that opposed civil rights for black people in the 60’s, right? Or are you referring to another one of the approximately 41,000 denominations of Christianity that interpret the Bible differently?

Christians have flip flopped on positions for years. In the 1860’s God was totally cool with owning slaves. After it became illegal, God was staunchly against it. God was against women owning property until it became the law that women were allowed to own property.  Christians decried the civil rights movement until it became clear that the law was on the side of activists in favor of civil rights, then suddenly God said black people and white people marrying was totally okay. Don’t say that the church has always stayed the same. It’s dishonest.

In his song “Mercy,” Bono stated that love is “charity and brings with it a clarity.” So let me close by submitting to you with charity and clarity that marriage is and throughout history has always been the union of a man and a woman, regardless of what the courts say and regardless of how much you and Portia feel affection for each other. Here are just five of many reasons why gay “marriage” is morally wrong and cannot be called a righteous, authentic marital union.

“Here, Ellen. Let me give you a list of why you’re wrong and you’ll burn in Hell.”

This should be good.

1. It violates the clear and unambiguous moral teaching of the Scriptures, which serve as the basis for our Judeo Christian laws and foundations as a nation.

The United States was not founded as a Christian nation. Period. The Treaty of Tripoli, Thomas Jefferson, and several other founding fathers all say it. Stop the historical revisionism.

Not everyone follows “Judeo-Christian laws”. Deal with it.

2. It is contradictory to the self-evident truths of “Mother Nature” or “Nature’s God” (as our Founding Fathers expressed it) wherein men and women are designed and function differently, complement and complete each other, and through the wonder of marital union are able to procreate to perpetuate the human race.

“God” is never mentioned in the founding documents of America. Besides, if “Mother Nature” intended for animals to reproduce with a male and a female, what about the asexual organisms? What about all the examples of observed homosexuality in animals in nature?

Marriage is not designed for procreation. That would be heterosexual sex that you’re thinking of, which, surprise, you don’t have to be married to have.

3. It is contrary to the explicit teaching of every major world religion, which upholds the integrity of marriage and family.

“Everyone else says it’s wrong!” So, suddenly consensus means that that consensus is right? Sounds like you’ll have to go back on global warming, evolution, and the age of the Earth, if consensus is an indicator of truth.

4. It is an injustice and unequivocally harmful arrangement wherein our most precious entrustment, our children, are denied the love and nurture of a father and a mother who complement each other in a healthy family.

Why aren’t you talking about the “avalanche” of single-parent home television programs then? Why aren’t you so vehemently against divorce or deadbeat dads? Why aren’t you trying to make either of those illegal?

Besides, it isn’t “unequivocally harmful” to have two parents of the same sex; studies have been done and shown that no harm is done when same-sex parents raise a child.

5. It redefines and devalues the sacred institution of marriage exclusively between a man and a woman, opens the floodgates for other arrangements and legitimizes a lifestyle replete with dangerous, at-risk sexual behavior such as HIV/AIDS and over 30 STDs that are endangering lives, jeopardizing healthcare and impacting our economy.

You don’t have to be gay to get AIDS, HIV, or any STDs. You know what “lifestyle” fosters those? Unsafe sex practices (which aren’t even a lifestyle). In addition, lesbians are least likely to contract HIV or AIDS, so where does that leave this argument?

Legal marriage (read as: the kind of marriage LGBT activists are fighting for) is not sacred; it’s a legal contract between two individuals. There’s nothing about any god or gods in the legal definition of marriage, so please stop calling legal marriage sacred.

6. There are multiple times in the Hebrew-Christian Bible where homosexual behavior is explicitly prohibited as dishonoring to God and natural order plus destructive to those involved with them. Scripture throughout forbids us to be sexually involved with:

Parents

Children

Siblings

Another spouse

Animals

Deceased

Same-sex

Again, not everyone follows Judeo-Christian laws. Not everyone who follows any Judeo-Christian laws even interpret the laws the same way. I don’t think you understand that.

I know that the verses about having sex with one’s parents, children, siblings, animals, deceased, and the same sex are all in Leviticus, a book out of which people pick and choose which laws they want to follow anyway, but what is the verse about “another spouse”? Do you mean multiple spouses, or another person’s spouse? I’m beginning to think that you’re being intentionally ambiguous, and that’s not okay, because this one can mean whatever the reader wants it to. You need to stop being ambiguous and clarify your writing before publishing it, so that differences in interpretation don’t exist.

Ellen, thank you for opening up this door of communication and for hearing my perspective. Thank you also for demonstrating the kindness and compassion in this interchange that you try to bring to millions through your influence today.

With warm regards,

Larry Tomczak

I’m sure your regards are the warmest, Larry. Pretty much all you accomplished was some backtracking from your original purpose to tell people about Hollywood influencing children to become gay (or maybe it wasn’t), in conjunction with talking down to Ellen while saying you come as a friend. Your writing is, I feel, intentionally ambiguous, mostly due to the fact that “promote” means “to encourage something to grow”. That would mean that Hollywood would be encouraging the “gay agenda” to grow, which would surely mean people joining in the “gay agenda”. So either you have a very different definition of “promote”, or you just don’t know what it means.

In your section on why legal same-sex marriage is morally wrong, you gave 6 reasons why it’s wrong, as opposed to the 5 you said you would give. Or maybe you did only give 5, but failed to conclude the section of your letter where the reasons were given. I honestly can’t tell. Again, ambiguity. Anyway, the 6 reasons are as follows:

  1. The Bible says it’s wrong
  2. The Judeo-Christian God designed men and women
  3. Religions teach that it’s wrong
  4. A mother and father are needed in all children’s lives
  5. Gays get STDs (just like the rest of the population)
  6. The Bible says it’s wrong

So you can see that 4 of your 6 reasons were “Because my religion says so”, another reason was false, and reason number 5 is true of all people who practice unsafe sex. These are not reasons why same-sex marriage is unambiguously wrong, but why you don’t like it.

Regardless, I’m sure that you won’t read this response, but I will still post it online for the world to see, in order to demonstrate to people that you are wrong, Larry. Conservative Christians have lost this one, like they lost the women’s suffrage movement and the civil rights movement of the 60’s. No doubt you and others like you will try to retroactively revise your position once same-sex marriage becomes law.

With warm regards,

Joe Lippard

15 Laws of Life by Swami Vivekananda

1. Love Is The Law Of Life 
All love is expansion, all selfishness is contraction. Love is therefore the only law of life. He who loves lives, he who is selfish is dying. Therefore, love for love’s sake, because it is the law of life, just as you breathe to live. 

2. It’s Your Outlook That Matters 
It is our own mental attitude, which makes the world what it is for us. Our thoughts make things beautiful, our thoughts make things ugly. The whole world is in our own minds. Learn to see things in the proper light. 

3. Life is Beautiful 
First, believe in this world - that there is meaning behind everything. Everything in the world is good, is holy and beautiful. If you see something evil, think that you do not understand it in the right light. Throw the burden on yourselves. 

4. It’s The Way You Feel 
Feel like Christ and you will be a Christ; feel like Buddha and you will be a Buddha. It is feeling that is the life, the strength, the vitality, without which no amount of intellectual activity can reach God. 

5. Set Yourself Free 
The moment I have realized God sitting in the temple of every human body, the moment I stand in reverence before every human being and see God in him - that moment I am free from bondage, everything that binds vanishes, and I am free. 

6. Don’t Play The Blame Game 
Condemn none: if you can stretch out a helping hand, do so. If you cannot, fold your hands, bless your brothers, and let them go their own way. 

7. Help Others 
If money helps a man to do good to others, it is of some value; but if not, it is simply a mass of evil, and the sooner it is got rid of, the better. 

8. Uphold Your Ideals 
Our duty is to encourage every one in his struggle to live up to his own highest idea, and strive at the same time to make the ideal as near as possible to the Truth. 

9. Listen To Your Soul 
You have to grow from the inside out. No one can teach you, no one can make you spiritual. There is no other teacher but your own soul. 

10. Be Yourself 
The greatest religion is to be true to your own nature. Have faith in yourselves. 

11. Nothing Is Impossible 
Never think there is anything impossible for the soul. It is the greatest heresy to think so. If there is sin, this is the only sin - to say that you are weak, or others are weak. 

12. You Have The Power 
All the powers in the universe are already ours. It is we who have put our hands before our eyes and cry that it is dark. 

13. Learn Everyday 
The goal of mankind is knowledge … now this knowledge is inherent in man. No knowledge comes from outside: it is all inside. What we say a man knows, should, in strict psychological language, be what he discovers or unveils; what man learns is really what he discovers by taking the cover off his own soul, which is a mine of infinite knowledge. 

14. Be Truthful 
Everything can be sacrificed for truth, but truth cannot be sacrificed for anything. 

15. Think Different 
All differences in this world are of degree, and not of kind, because oneness is the secret of everything.