religious concepts

guys can i just talk about andi mack

first, it’s the first disney show to have an asian american as a lead

second, its the first disney show to talk about teen pregnancy, let alone address it as something almost positive, and not a mistake that deserves to be shamed. it shows teem mothers and their children as PEOPLE

third, there is a gay character. cyrus is confirmed gay. he’s a kid. disney is addressing that lgbt isnt a mature adult thing that only has to do with sex- that girls can have crushes on girls and boys can have crushes on boys at a young age. 

if there was a gay character on disney when i was growing up… god, my life would be different. i didn’t know ‘gay’ was a thing until i was 11 and i learned about it from a hateful church, so i was told it was negative, obviously. if i had seen cyrus having a crush on a boy as a good thing and being told by my idols on disney channel that i could like girls, that would have saved so much repression and pain.

and it gets better; he is jewish. DISNEY HAS A GAY JEWISH CHARACTER. I PHYSICALLY CANNOT WRAP MY HEAD AROUND THE CONCEPT. religious lgbt characters are so important because lgbt kids who are religious constantly question if their god loves them. my mom tells me that christianity and lgbt are mutually exclusive and it hurts so fucking much.

thank you, disney. thank you so much.

[Neil Gaiman] was going through a small town in Alabama where he saw a statue of Vulcan. It was a steel town and, as he told the story, there was a factory that had a series of accidents where people were killed on the job and they kept happening because an actuarial had done the numbers and realized that it was cheaper to pay out the damages to the families of people who lost people, rather than to shut down the factory long enough to repair, and that occurred to him as modern a definition of sacrifice as there might be.
—  Michael Green on the genesis of Vulcan in the American Gods adaptation [source]

i’m in my bedroom taking shots of communion wine, peeling off the same skin that you touched and thinking about how you were only holy in small doses.

i remember the time i got high and told myself and everyone else that i am the messiah. i still believe that my body could be divine, but this time around, i realize i’m not pure enough.

but jesus christ, you were dressed in your sunday best, smoking cigarettes in the church parking lot after hours, swearing to me afterwards that you’d quit you’d quit you’d quit. well

angel gabriel came to me in a dream and told me to burn your name off the tip of my tongue with the candle i used to light before each sermon. or maybe it was my lighter from the gas station. i don’t think it really matters anyway.

all i know now is that you will never be holier than thou.

—  honest to god

The situation has deteriorated to the point where people are now seriously arguing that their religious beliefs give them the right not to do jobs they were hired to do.

Pharmacists across the country have refused to fill prescriptions for birth-control or Plan B pills because they say they have a religious freedom right not to. For a time, Muslim taxi drivers at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul airport were refusing to transport anyone carrying bottles of alcohol, even though the bottles were sealed. Wedding planners, florists, bakers, and the owners of bed-and-breakfasts are refusing service to same-sex couples. Again the cry is raised of ‘religious freedom.’

No one is asking the obvious question: Does the private choice of another person prevent you from attending the house of worship of your choice? Further, does it stop you from joining your coreligionists for prayer and worship? Does it require you to bow before an alien god?

The pharmacists, taxi drivers, B&B owners, and so on concede that it does not. But they go on to argue that they don’t wish to be complicit in another’s sin. Putting aside the question of whether the government has any obligation to (or is even legally permitted to) recognize what qualifies as ‘sin,’ the standard being proposed for adoption here is dangerously vague and loose.

‘Sin’ is a notoriously slippery concept. One person’s sin can easily be another’s hobby or harmless preference. Examples include dancing, reading steamy novels, and wearing tight clothing.

A society where a self-asserted claim to religious liberty trumps every other right quickly becomes unworkable. What’s to stop a Muslim store clerk from refusing to ring up your bacon? Don’t laugh—it has happened. Why not allow the clerk in the bookstore to refuse to tell you where the sex manuals are kept because you’re not married? What prevents the woman at the register from turning you away because your skirt is just a little too short?

Some might say these are minor inconveniences. After all, there will always be another store, another clerk, another skirt. Perhaps so.

But what happens when it’s three o’clock in the morning and the only clerk at the only twenty-four-hour pharmacy in town won’t give a victim of sexual assault a pack of Plan B pills sitting six inches away from his hand? What happens when a woman with a problem pregnancy can’t get a taxi driver to take her to an abortion clinic? What happens when an entire family is turned away from a hotel because the owner doesn’t think much of their religion?

More to the point, in such a society, what’s to stop grotesque invasions of privacy under the guise of protecting someone else’s freedom of religion? The owners of secular businesses who don’t want to include birth control in healthcare plans assume that their employees will use it to avoid pregnancy. Indeed, most probably will.

But some will use birth-control pills to shrink ovarian cysts. Some will use them to treat endometriosis. Some will even use them for cases of acne.

Why should an employer’s so-called right to refuse to include birth control in a healthcare plan—a regulation that in no way prevents the employer from attending religious services, praying, or reading the religious texts of choice, or even taking part in numerous other forms of religious expression—override the employee’s right to get and use possibly lifesaving medicine? If these rights are deemed to be in conflict, it would seem the claim for medicine is stronger. After all, the inability to get this medicine can, in some cases, have extremely Serious consequences. (Untreated endometriosis can lead to chronic pain, cysts, infertility, and even cancer.)

Another option is to require women who want birth-control pills for reasons that aren’t related to, well, the control of births to submit a doctor’s note to their employers. How patronizing is that? How much private medical information does that require the employee to divulge? If we accept the proposition that one person must jump through a series of absurd, demeaning hoops so that another person may fully exercise his or her religious liberty, then something is seriously amiss.

The line is drawn exactly where? The Church of Scientology has a well-known animus toward the psychiatric profession. If your boss down at the lumber mill is a Scientologist, can he refuse to cover any employee’s visits to a counselor for any reason? Can he deny couples access to a marriage counselor and cut off paying for drugs that treat things like depression, attention deficit disorder, or schizophrenia?

Can a factory owner who happens to be a Jehovah’s Witness refuse to put surgical procedures into healthcare plans because they involve blood transfusions? More to the point, can a fundamentalist Christian who owns a chain of home-improvement stores announce that the requirement to provide a healthcare plan to employees is, in itself, unconstitutional because no one needs to see a doctor? You just need to pray, and Jesus will heal you.

What about a New Age boss who argues that all healing comes from herbs, vitamins, and crystals, and that’s all that will be covered?

Can these business owners do these things? Why not? How are they different than what Catholic opponents of birth control have asserted? Once a broad right to religious freedom has been asserted—so broad that it gives the boss the right to control the private decisions of others—no distinctions can be made between religions. All must be treated equally.

Here’s a simpler solution: you have no control over others. What medications I use and what I use them for aren’t your business. My need or choice to swallow pill A or get treatment B doesn’t stop you from worshipping, praying, or relating to God in whatever way you see fit.

If you feel these actions endanger my soul, feel free to tell me that. But that’s it. You don’t have a say over me or my soul. Having examined the facts, we are capable of making our own decisions about our souls—where they will end up, how they might get there, and even if they exist.

Williams, Leland, Jefferson, and Madison understood this. At a time when real religious liberty was a rarity in the world, they grasped an important fact: religious liberty is, first and foremost, the right to make decisions for yourself.

This may seem utterly noncontroversial today. It is only because a generation of pioneers paved the way to make it so. Prior to the founders, just about every government in human history assumed it had the right (and the duty) to ‘help’ subjects refrain from making theological mistakes, to prevent them from straying into error.

There were at least two problems with this: First, different nations and leaders had various ideas as to what constituted theological ‘error.’ Catholic France and Protestant England never could quite see eye to eye on this matter. Nor could Orthodox Russia. Or Muslim Turkey, for that matter. You get the idea.

Second, people continued to make it abundantly clear that they did not need, nor did they want, this state-sponsored ‘help’ in matters of religion. They even considered it offensive. And annoying. Even dangerous. The fact that, all too often, those who declined the ‘help’ ended up on the business end of a torture rack only made things worse.

What people sought then, back in the day, was a concept of religious freedom that included the right to dissent. Unfortunately, the first proponents didn’t close the circle. They sought freedom—but only for themselves. America’s Puritan forbearers were known for their intolerance and their insistence that, even though the Church of England had gotten it wrong, they had gotten it right. The reason they threw Williams out was because he dared to tell them that maybe they too had got it wrong.

It took another generation to make the next great leap forward: Perhaps what’s true for me isn’t true for the guy down the street, across town, or even in the next town over. And maybe what he does behind the closed and private doors of his church doesn’t affect me. Maybe his right to worship is as important as mine. Perhaps my right to worship as I see fit and his are strongly linked. Perhaps both will stand or fall together.

Maybe I’m not the best person to make moral decisions for another. Maybe I don’t deserve that role. Maybe that’s for the best.

That’s the first step. Jefferson, Madison, and others took it a long time ago. Our problem today is that instead of trying to advance that step, too many people are working to reverse it.

—  Robert Boston, Taking Liberties: Why Religious Freedom Doesn’t Give You the Right to Tell Other People What to Do (pp. 38–42)
Appropriation and a God's Burden

@spoopernaptime asked: 

Hi, I have a long question about cultural appropriation regarding Native American mythology. The Thunderbird has a long history across various tribes and regions. This pertains to a character who represents a single side of dualist philosophy - i.e concepts of yin, relating to darkness, water, etc. 

This character is an ancient entity currently residing in a form resembling a Native woman - as her most recent ‘role’ in terms of how humans believed in her was the Thunderbird and she still resides in the Pacific Northwest - home to a diversity of tribes and persistent Thunderbird culture. She has an odd relationship with the Native cultures across America in that she feels like she let them down as a God (what with, white imperialism and genocide and all.) Part of her character arc does include starting a blog dedicated to the preservation and education of Native languages but she’s reluctant to engage with the communities - and to a greater extent, pretty much all of humanity. 

The story itself is full of metaphysics brought down to human levels, and I ended up using a Native American concept in the process of embodying a primordial force. I’m aware of the Magical Native American trope and (I think) she sidesteps it well enough but I’d like to know just how terrible an idea this may be. Especially with the latest mess from Rowling.

It’s all a bit weird because the character is technically not even human, much less a Native American, and is older than humanity itself. However, in her acting as a Thunderbird, she was very real in terms of what individual cultures believed her to be (the whole system of magic in the fantasy is based on the power of human faith, so. Due to the nature of what she is I wouldn’t say her character invalidates anyone’s faith and yet!! I don’t really know. So.) Most of her character arc has little to do with Native Americans and everything to do with her own self and relationships to the other non-Native characters. So is this a mess of cultural appropriation and disrespect or what.

So… you have an ancient spirit with no connection to Natives become a sacred religious concept for multiple tribes in order to “help” Natives, then proceed to include no Natives in your plot?

What part of this isn’t appropriation?

You’ve basically come up with a white saviour/guilt plot, using a god instead of white people. The spirit must protect and save Natives! But then the whole plot is her dealing with her own feelings, so the Thunderbird becomes a window decoration to show where her focus is, and what guilt she’s dealing with.

The blog is actually something I’m going to focus on because depending on how you spin it, you can either come across as helpful (re-posting a bunch of stuff that other people have written to defer authority to them— as she should) or steamrolling actual Natives (by writing content in authoritative tone, which is a non-Native being an expert in Native culture). If you don’t play your cards right with this, you will come across as colonialist. 

Even protecting and preserving cultures can have a toxic twist to it, in the form of believing assimilation is inevitable so you should document everything that exists now. It can come across as fetishizing to focus on the resilience of Native culture, because it’s very easy to turn voyeuristic/model minority about it. “Look at all this tragedy, but they’re still fighting and exist!” can be both genuine praise and invalidation for the cultural genocide. Or, if you exclusively go “all this tragedy, imagine the possibilities, poor them” then you can both be validating the pain… or ignoring modern resistance efforts.

Tricky balance to accomplish, and nearly impossible to do so if she doesn’t interact with Natives. Also next to impossible to get sources, because how will she find anything if she doesn’t interact with the community?

Magical Native isn’t your worry, here. The core of that trope is “Native person had special powers because they’re Native”… so the fact your character isn’t Native and has no connection to a tribe means you avoid the trope by default.
What you very much do fall into is a reskin of White Man’s Burden, where an outside character feels pity towards a marginalized group and promptly works to better them, becoming a better person in the process. 

This is very much a white person’s story at the direct expense of Natives. The Thunderbird is nothing but window decoration to give context for what the god is feeling/what their current role is. Instead of exploring or representing Natives, you’ve sidelined our story to have somebody external feel guilty for not treating us right.

And that doesn’t help us at all.

~ Mod Lesya

In the same vein, regarding to the dualist philosophy in this work, I think it would be better if you made sure it wasn’t just a repackaging of Chinese philosophy. Many philosophies and religions deal with dualism/dualities, so I think that you can find ways to build a fictional philosophy/system around dualism that isn’t coded as Chinese, particularly if this work isn’t going to have much Chinese representation.

~Mod Stella

The irony of “Odinism” is that many scholars believe there probably was an actual historical phenomenon wherein the cult of Odin spread rapidly specifically because it was universalist – until that point local religious beliefs were projected onto and sustained by physically present elements in the landscape but at times when people were very mobile the religion had to become mobile as well. It became defined with reference to an omnipresent god (or at least one who could be anywhere at any time) and most likely political leaders who were especially associated with him, maybe by some ritual initiation. Of course, even the non-universalist traditions I’m talking about here would have nothing to do with “race” as it’s understood today as identification with the community would be sustained by living in that landscape and participating in traditions and rituals tied to the land. Obviously I’m not encouraging anyone to revive exactly this situation given that this historical spread of the Odin cult was probably tied to jarls making a claim to autocracy. But the point is that Germanic pagan concepts of religious community have always been varied and negotiable according to the material and social conditions of the time yet have never included anything that we can identify with the modern concept of “race.”

4

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reincarnation

“Reincarnation is the philosophical or religious concept that an aspect of a living being starts a new life in a different physical body or form after each biological death. (…)

The word “reincarnation” derives from Latin, literally meaning, “entering the flesh again”.

The Greek equivalent metempsychosis (μετεμψύχωσις) derives from meta (change) and empsykhoun (to put a soul into), a term attributed to Pythagoras.

An alternate term is transmigration implying migration from one life (body) to another. 

Reincarnation refers to the belief that an aspect of every human being (or all living beings in some cultures) continues to exist after death, this aspect may be the soul or mind or consciousness or something transcendent which is reborn in an interconnected cycle of existence; (…)

Later Jung would emphasise the importance of the persistence of memory and ego in psychological study of reincarnation:

“This concept of rebirth necessarily implies the continuity of personality… (that) one is able, at least potentially, to remember that one has lived through previous existences, and that these existences were one’s own…””

anonymous asked:

could u explain what u mean by "virginity is a social construct". i've heard a lot of people say that but it confuses me. i'm not trying to disagree with u, i'm very sorry if this comes off as rude.

in my opinion, probably because I was not raised with any faith/religious affiliation, the concept of virginity is socially imposed, like made up by society lol.

I just didn’t think of my first time as some huge important pinnacle life changing moment u know? Cuz let me tell ya, it usually isn’t the first time lol.

Israeli concept of religious freedom for Palestinians:

The media caption to this photo said Israeli troops “clashed” with Palestinians who in protest refused to enter the occupied Al Aqsa mosque compound & prayed outside in the streets.

We need to get terminology straight when it comes to occupation & military violence against unarmed worshippers & protesters & not be confused by the obfuscations of language. This is a brutal assault, not a “clash.” This is military occupation, not new security measures.

(Photo from The Independent)

Ritual Purity in Hellenism

Ritual purity featured heavily in worship in ancient Greece, with water basins called perorrhanteria, established near the entrances to temples; and stoas found bearing inscriptions that command visitors to cleanse themselves before entering the sanctuary. The nature of ritual purity changed over time and location, as with most aspects of worship in ancient Greece, but the ritual act of purification remained an important one.

Keep reading

fic rec time!

It’s three days into the New Year of 2017, seconds will be ticking by as we write/read/breathe/blink, and an orange turd will be rolling into the White House with its golden ferrari soon. Thus, I am providing a huge list of recommendations for various fan fiction stories across many fandoms, just for you guys. <3 

(Disclaimer: I have loved almost every fic I’ve read, so there is no favourite and no lesser author/story than the other. Please know that if I don’t recommend a fic or author, I still love you, your writing, and your beautiful hearts.)

Naruto

Originally posted by gif87a-com


Regret by fanofthisfiction 

Summary: Sasuke knows his absence has deeply hurt his daughter Sarada. Now that he’s back, the challenges of mending broken ties is what he must face. An emotional journey with ties to religious concepts along the way.

- Of the hurt/comfort genre, but infinitely deeper and more complex than the classification itself. I love the complexity of each and every character in this story, and the way they deal with their respective trauma and grief. fanofthisfiction is unique in that they add their own take on the Naruto-verse into the story, namely religious concepts, that tie incredibly well into the overarching, highly-intricate nature of the plot. A great read. 

6 Months with the Hyuuga Family by Whipped Coffee

Summary: To be loved by someone, by anyone, it makes life shine, like this. -AU-

(The plot is quite literally, and effectively, summed up by the title) 

- One of the first AU stories that I’ve read in Naruto, and also heartbreakingly unfinished. There is some star-quality character development in this story, as well as beautifully written prose and a divine love line between the lovely NejiTen. I have read this story over and over and over again, and I highly recommend it to everyone in the squadron of NejiTen shippers, and anyone else who I have yet the pleasure to meet. 

Secret Life of Teachers by tabine 

Summary: Romance is a bit difficult to do when you spend a majority of your time within fifty feet of the object of your affections and somehow still don’t quite understand that you’re falling in love with them, if only because being a full-time high school teacher while taking graduate school courses takes precedence over everything else. A Nejiten high school teachers AU

- It goes without saying, @tabine is the supreme ruler of sassy, hilariously-written AUs. I haven’t laughed this much when reading a story in ever, so I highly recommend this read, not only because it’s fantastic inside-out, but also because it’s raw and real and relatable. Teachers aren’t two-dimensional beings that are there for the sake of enforcing rigid disciplinary practices. They have post-grad work to do, they’re struggling to pay the rent in their apartment, they exist outside of classroom doors, and they are ultimately human beings. 

Phone Calls by winternightlullaby

Summary: Hey! It’s Sakura! Sorry I’m not on the phone right now, but leave a message and I’ll try to get back to you! Bye! ‘Beeeeeep’ “It’s Sasuke. I-I wanted to tell you that I miss you. I’m sorry about what happened those few days ago. I want to explain myself, but talking through the phone isn’t the best way. You still have the spare key to my house, I’ll be waiting.” AU

- I thoroughly enjoyed this back in 2012, when it was still in the process of being written. It’s absolutely fabulous, with some hilarious scenes and a great development in plot and in character. Everyone is utterly loveable, in my opinion, because they’re flawed and mostly try their best to make their way through life one step at a time. Highly recommend. 

Venus or Themis by NessieGG

Summary: [NejiTen AU, Story 3 of the New York Society series] It seems doubtful that Neji Hyuuga, an upper level attorney, could make a relationship work with his latest client, rising arms consultant Tenten Long. It’s the personal choices that make the difference

- Because every single line was artfully written and laced with the author’s voice. I honestly felt like the scenes playing out were CW-level (in the good way), and thereby fabulous with a hint of swoon-worthy romanticism. I would’ve liked to read more of it, because the story was a bit rushed at the end to me, but it’s still fantastic nonetheless, and completed, which is also good. 

one and twenty by twinquies

Summary: AU. The numbers are still fresh on her mind — Nejiten & SasuSaku.

- There’s only one chapter so far, but in this chapter, there are 7126 words of intrigue, mystery, a dash of dystopia, romance, and a huge amount of horrifying nuances towards the nature of human breeding factories. This may or may not have been @asiantwinkies‘s intention, but I still love this particular (unfinished) AU because it’s so jarringly real. Highly recommend it, and highly expecting another chapter from twinquies. :) 

Special shout-outs: 

@fruitysmellz who has a wealth of stories on FFN that are filled with NejiTen goodness. They’re retired from the life of fanfics now, and a veteran, but their stories are still locate-able online. 

@keroribbit for their exemplary writing growth, as displayed through all of their stories. Chichue is a personal favourite of mine because it’s adorable, but they’ve written a load of one shots (as well as a Gakuen Alice AU, or two) as well. 

@giada-luna because all of her stories, whether they are one-shots in a collection, or multi-chapter fics, have a rich, highly-researched foundation that allows her to explore all of her characters and settings and universes to the fullest. 

Young Justice

Originally posted by cartoons-asfuk


A Cinderella Story by KairiAngel13

Summary: After the unexpected death of her mother and the abandonment of her older sister, Artemis is uprooted and forced to live with an abusive father. Are a red-headed track star and a simple arrow the keys to bringing her a “Happily Ever After?” Warning: Mentions of Child Abuse and Suggestive Sexual Themes. Spitfire Multiple Parings, AU. COMPLETE

- While the title and overall plot is reminiscent of Hillary Duff’s A Cinderella Story, this one is in no way as lighthearted and adorable as the movie itself. One must absolutely ensure that they’re prepared for the various, highly mature themes that are explored in this story, as they may or may not come out emotionally scarred by Artemis’ plight. That being said, domestic abuse is something that is hidden behind closed doors and a taboo by the media. It is very real, and very traumatic to millions of people around the globe. I love this story because not only does it illustrate the immediate and subsequents effects of trauma on children, it shows that people often struggle to cope with their ordeals. (Also, there is a sequel story.)

Parenthesis by knottedblonde

Summary: “She tries to put a lot of words into the kiss, words she isn’t brave enough to say out loud: She’ll stand by him because she cares about him, and if there’s anything he’s taught her it’s that when you care about people, really care about them, you don’t leave. Not forever.” Sequel to my other story, Artemisia. Artemis-centric; the gap between Season 1 & 2. M in later chapters.

- Definitely read Artemisia before Parenthesis, or else you’ll be completely lost with the story. knottedblonde writes like a poet, follows the canon storyline incredibly well, provides her readers with more insight into the characters of Young Justice (namely, Artemis) and also brings her own ideas to the table as well. I follow Parenthesis religiously, because that 5-year timeskip has left so many questions unanswered, and she’s answering all of my questions, and then making me cry and laugh and cry again, several times over. So, a good read. 

A Hogwarts Story by girlwiththeblackinkpen

Summary: Harry Potter, re-imagined with the YJ characters. An old story being edited and reposted.

- Obligatory Harry Potter AU recommendation. I also LOVE it, for obvious reasons, so you should absolutely get on it right now. 

Ferte in Noctem by Satellites on Parade

Summary: "So you haven’t been sorted yet, then?“ Conner asked. Artemis shrugged, fiddling with her robes. "No,” she replied. “It’s the first on my to-do list, though.” Hogwarts AU.

- Now, @brella has a massive collection of YJ stories, all of which are beautifully-written, with a great representation of each character and their respective backstories (canon or not). I’m recommending this one because I’m a nerd and I love Harry Potter, but as a fan of her work, I’m also inserting:

Royally Flushed because of the AU and because it’s relatable and achingly introspective. Artemis is a teen, she’s still learning about her place in society and who she is, and her life hasn’t been that great, but being made a princess overnight isn’t going to solve all her problems because she’s got to figure them out herself. The themes of friendship, self-identity, cultural identity, and familial bonds are explored thoroughly. 

* The Next Great Adventure because we’re all devastated by (SPOILERS) Wally’s ceasing, and we all want him to come back from wherever he is, so the writers should read this story and follow the exact plot line so that we can all feel happy that spitfire is back and learning how to deal with one of the most horrifying moments of their lives. 

This is the Why by icanhearyouglaring

Summary: It has to be a trick of the mind, or indigestion from last night’s Big Belly Burger, because there is absolutely no way Wally West could have that kind of an effect on her. Ever. (A Spitfire high school AU)

- @icanhearyouglaring has many stories as well, all of which can be found in the links provided, and are also stellar, platinum-quality, fabulous, sassy, and incredibly well-written. I love this for the character growth and the complicated histories of each character. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that one’s life isn’t complete until they make their way through the entire story, and then all the other stories in their collection, and then some more. 

Crock Investigations by eliestarr

Summary: "It’s been six months since her father’s arrest, and Artemis Crock is tired of finding red spray paint on her car.“ or, a Veronica Mars AU, starring our favourite archer and Crock Investigations.

- Mystery is a hard genre to pull off without sounding overly-trope-y and cliche, but eliestarr does that, and then some more. Artemis is undeniably strong, but she’s also young and still vulnerable to the hardships of society as a whole. This story shows both of these sides to her character, which I adore.

Harry Potter

Originally posted by sanctuaryforall1

Newton’s Improbabilities by ksuzu

Summary: You romance a Porpentina the same way you mate a Horntail. With utmost care. [Anthology. Latest: Singing You Know Where]

- As is the case with most authors, ksuzu has written many, many more fbawtf stories. This one is just as great as the others, and it has a great one-shot collection of Newt’s efforts to romance Tina, so 1000% read it. 

milk and honey, tea and scones  by Ali Summerset 

Summary: Newt’s a barista who doesn’t like coffee, Tina’s a RA who likes to bend the rules, Queenie loves to matchmake, and Jacob’s just along for the ride. [University/Coffeeshop AU]

- It’s cute, it has a great representation of each and every character there is, and it has the same exhilarating dynamic between the Fearsome Foursome as the movie does. <3 

Commentarius by B.C. Daily

Summary: Lily has always considered herself ordinary. But as she enters her 7th year, things start changing and Lily starts going a bit mad. Suddenly, she’s Head Girl, her mates are acting strangely, and there’s a new James Potter she can’t seem to get rid of. PRE-HBP

- @bcdaily is one of the many go-to people for Lily-James fics, but they’re great in that each of their stories explores different angles of Lily and James’ respective characters. This one’s unfinished so far, but they and universe have blessed us with a status update on their tumblr page, so there will be more and I am heaps excited. 

The Life and Times by Jewels5

Summary: She was dramatic. He was dynamic. She was precise. He was impulsive. He was James, and she was Lily, and one day they shared a kiss, but before that they shared many arguments, for he was cocky, and she was sweet, and matters of the heart require time.

- Sitting at 10707 reviews, @itreallyatemyhand‘s story has an intricate plot line, great and complex character development and relationships, as well as a somewhat macabre undertone to the onset of Lord Voldemort and the rising war. Unfinished, and unsure if it will be finished, but it’s a great read nonetheless. 

Oh God Not Again! by Sarah1281

Summary: So maybe everything didn’t work out perfectly for Harry. Still, most of his friends survived, he’d gotten married, and was about to become a father. If only he’d have stayed away from the Veil, he wouldn’t have had to go back and do everything AGAIN.

- 429 stories, and a knack for blunt humour in each one. I promise you, this is 50 chapters of hilariousness, addressing almost all the plot holes in Harry Potter, a great deal of fan theories, and just overall a fantastic piece to read if you’re feeling down. 

A Very Decent Man by LadyBaelish27

Summary: Newt comes back to New York with a copy of his book for Tina. But this isn’t the end of a love story; it’s the start of an adventure. After large groups of New Yorkers realize they share identical blank spots and phantom memories, conspiracy theories flourish. The chaos is compounded by rumors of a vicious alligator in the subways. Newt thought he’d come back to New York for a kiss, but nothing’s ever quite that easy. Novel-length action with heavy (read: adult!) Newt/Tina. *COMPLETE*

- The author has a great balance between emotional growth, relationships, romance, adventure, sorrow, sadness, love, and sex, in this story. It’s fantastic to read, with great character dynamics and portrayals that align with the canon-verse incredibly well. Kudos to LadyBaelish27!

Miscellaneous

Life Coach by Dierhart

Summary: Set while Jane and Daria are in Boston; an unlikely agreement is struck between Quinn and Trent to get his life started in the attempts of turning Daria’s head when she comes back to Lawndale.

Once Upon a Time Turner by Scheherezade06

Summary: A collection of drabbles and scenes of Once Upon a Time characters set at Hogwarts. This is a Captain Swan fanfiction, with Killian Jones cast as a Hufflepuff.

The Fellowship Cafe by Boromerely

Summary: In the campus of Middle-Earth University lies the Fellowship Café, the famous coffee and Legolas’s delicious vegan friendly (who knew?) baked goods. Owned by none other than Gandalf the Grey, the café is the employment place of many of the students, and the greatest place to get a rather decent cup of coffee to get students through the misery of University.

On The Prowl by ghostgirl19

Summary: "I’ll be fine, Alya. It’s only a couple blocks.” “But it’s ten at night, it’s not safe. Especially with that Chat Noir prowling around.” AU

Ruffled by The Punch Lord

Summary: It’s hard being a part of the pureblood society. Especially when your secretly half human. But Adrien liked to think he had it down, that he was in control of his heritage. Well, he was. But a chance meeting with a little witch ruffled him up. Veela!Adrien

Crazy by Ascaisil

Summary: You don’t understand!“ Chopper shouted with tears running through his fur. "Robin’s lost her mind! She’s literally been driven insane!”

Before it Froze by anad

Summary: Elsa and Jack, and their seven years at Hogwarts. AU series of interconnected vignettes

Occult Media, Appropriation, and Content Validity

Signposts of questionable content, or How to Use Discernment to Interpret Metaphysical Books for Appropriation and Biases

[LONG POST] As requested by @zeddembi, and as sourced by me literally going through witchcraft, energy magic, and divination books and pulling examples as they show up. These notes are NOT conclusive evidence. They just indicate that you might want to be wary of the content’s validity.

  • Relies on Wicca as the primary system of interpretation. Although Wicca can be good when altered from its original state, it has a history of appropriation and restrictive thinking. Following notes labeled with [W] are issues often found in Wicca.
  • Enforces the gender binary of male/female to the exclusion of any other genders or gender roles. Other signposts for this issue include referring to biological sex or the “energy” of genitalia (i.e. phallic or yonic energy), which often reinforces gender stereotypes as well as implying that Western, US-centric ideas of gender roles are applicable to global individuals. [W]
  • High versus Low, Light versus Dark, Good versus Evil. Although not necessarily bad, these binaries are often applied in a way that can be ableist, racist, and sexist, and all in all exclusionary. Watch out for any media that implies one type of magic is inherently better than another. The magic hierarchy might not be a problem, but it’s almost guaranteed that there will be other hierarchies of power in the media that might be fueled by stereotypes and biases. [W]
  • The Law of Rebound. The Threefold Law. Karma. Etc. If a book states that your negative energy will come back to get you, especially about curses or hexes, odds are that it is based on a misinterpretation of the Wiccan Rede (Harm ye none) and/or the Western bastardization of Karma. Note: Do not separate the religious concept of Karma from its intended religious context. It’s not your convenient shame-tactic to throw at others. [W]
  • The Four [BLANK]. A personal pet peeve of mine. When a book starts to lay down the law about how a practice works by defining a limited number (usually four) of things that you must stick to or else... that’s when you need to rethink the concepts. Examples are: The Four Elements, The Four Planes, The Four Directions, etc. Keep in mind that limitations imposed by others on your practice mean that it’s no longer your practice. Define your own system. 
  • Isolating deities from their pantheons without mention of proper religious context. For example, if a book goes out of it’s way to mention Egyptian deities without saying the words Kemetic, heka, or ma’at, it’s very likely that the author has cherry-picked the deities out of context without respect for their cultural background. Be very aware of this when it comes to deities that belong/ed to primarily POC cultures. [W]
  • Mention of rituals/items from closed practices. Notably: indigenous populations (Native Peoples), voudou/hoodoo, santería, shamanism (esp. Korean shamanism), Africa and the African diaspora, and traditions from closed practices – meaning groups that require initiation to learn/participate.
  • Mention of indigenous items, such as dreamcatchers and totems. For good measure, I recommend googling indigenous items if mentioned in a book to make sure that it’s okay for you to be using said thing/ritual. It may be totally okay in some instances, but you’re better off checking first. 
  • Reiki and chakras, out of context from their original teachings. If a book suddenly switches from mediumship/psychic talk to the necessity of aligning your chakras… be aware. Reiki requires initiation and alignment to properly use, and chakras are specific to various South Asian religions and practices.
  • Rainbow color systems that adhere to a Western standard. Here’s my go-to check for this problem: If your book has a section on the energy color white, does it say it means purity and does not mention any other meanings? In Japanese culture, white signifies death. If a book on energy color correlations is inextricably tied to Western ideas of color meanings, it’s not worth listening to. The energy manipulation techniques might be valid, but I wouldn’t bother with the actual color meanings. [W]
  • Names of practices/exercises that use a deity’s name and an artifact. Although not necessarily bad, I’m always wary when I see exercises in an otherwise irreligious book labeled “Aphrodite’s Shell” or “Nefertari’s Crown”. It’s usually indicative of the isolating deities perk listed above.

Classical Hebrew has no word for spirituality. (The modern Hebrew, ruchaniyut, comes from our English word.) The English word spiritual means immaterial and connotes the religious. The concept comes to us with the heavy baggage of early Christianity that divides the universe into material and spiritual. This tradition teaches how to leave this gross, material world and get to the other real, spiritual, and, therefore, holy one.

Judaism sees only one world, which is material and spiritual at the same time. The material world is always potentially spiritual. For Judaism all things - including, and especially, such apparently non-spiritual and grossly material things such as garbage, sweat, dirt, and bushes - are not impediments to but dimensions of spirituality. To paraphrase the Psalmist, “The whole world is full of God.” [ref. Ps. 24:1] The business of religion is to keep that awesome truth ever before us.

Spirituality is that dimension of living in which we are aware of God’s presence. “It is being concerned with,” in the words of Martin Stresler, “how what we do affects God and how what God does affects us.” It is an ever-present possibility for each individual. Jewish spirituality is about the immediacy of God’s presence everywhere. It is about patience and paying attention, about seeing, feeling, and hearing things that only a moment ago were inaccessible. 

Lawrence Kushner, God Was in This Place & I, i Did Not Know

anonymous asked:

who's doing that??

alright so anne posted this picture on instagram which might seem all cute and aesthetically pleasing but as a Buddhist i’m kinda side eyeing at it

First of all, YOU DON’T PUT THE BUDDHA ON THE GROUND!!!!!!!!! YOU!!!!!!!!!! DON’T!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! PUT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! THE BUDDHA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ON THE GROUND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That’s pretty disrespectful and it just hurts my eyes to look at it. The Buddha statue is not a decoration or a random object for you to put on the ground or in your garden. It really makes me upset.

Second, the caption “calm & karma” like wyd Anne??? “karma” is not a vibe or an atmosphere, or an element, or whatever Anne is trying to say here. Karma is a religious concept, when we Buddhist says “karma is everywhere” is means everything you do affect your life and it’s resulted from something you did before. So I don’t get what does that caption even mean because it doesn’t make sense at all.

anonymous asked:

(1/2) Hey! So I don't feel comfortable with worshiping or anything due to past experiences with the Catholic church but I want to incorporate Greek Gods and Goddesses into my life, but I feel like I would be doing it wrong without worshiping them. Like I basically want them to be there for me and I can give them offerings in return if they want. I just want to live my life for myself and not have it be directed by anyone/anything but I do want them to help guide me of that makes sense. Is it

(2/2) is it okay if my path is so different as long as I’m very upfront about it with the god or goddess I’m talking to? Sorry for the long ask I just came to terms with this. Thank you!

Okay, I’m going to do my best to break this down as simply as I can. I’m going to be very blunt: 

What you are asking is to have deities do things for you without doing the work in return. 

Yes, I see that you said you were willing to offer to them if they want. But by saying you are not interested in worshiping the Theoi, you are essentially saying you want them to “be there” for you without any of the commitment, work, or sweat on your part. And I’m going to blunt again, I think that’s very disrespectful. 

Listen, I understand that past experiences with religion can be very, VERY tough to get over, and that you may never truly be comfortable with organized religion or even religion in general. But if you want deities to look to, if you want to be guided by the Theoi, you must put in the work of worship before they will do anything for you. 

There is a concept in Hellenic Polytheism (worship of the Greek gods, or Theoi) called kharis. Kharis is basically your relationship with any given Theos. It’s sort of like, the brownie points you’ve built up through worship, devotion, and other religious work. This concept is very, very important. Building kharis is crucial to having a healthy relationship with any given Theos, because if you don’t have a lot of it, and simply ask for things, without giving in return, you’re much more likely to either a) not receive the help you are asking for or b) even face consequences for expecting help that hasn’t been earned. 

Now, I do want to emphasize this, after clearing all of that up. Your life still belongs to you. Your life is your own, but as a Hellenic, you also must understand that you are basically signing up to be guided by the Theoi. Ultimately, what you do is up to you, but they sometimes will have a say. How “hardcore” your worship is will determine how much of a say they have. For example, I’m devoted to Apollon, so he has a very large amount of say in what I do in my life. Of course, it’s not like he’s telling me every day what to eat for breakfast, but when I have a problem and ask him for help, and he gives me clear answers, it’s what’s going to happen. He knows better than me. He’s a god. He’s my god. 

I really implore you to look deep within yourself and ask yourself why you want a guiding force in your life if you are not comfortable with traditional worship. If you want to live your life for yourself, without being guided by anyone or anything, why do you want the Theoi to guide you? If it’s just because you believe that there are higher powers and just feel pressured to do something, I would try and come to terms with the fact that it’s okay to believe that higher powers exist without worshiping them or being guided by them. If you want the Theoi’s help and guidance, you’ve gotta do the work. It’s not easy - but there’s no way around it. 

I hope this helps. 

~terebinth

Here’s a support and information board on the polytheist forum for those coming from a monotheistic background into a polytheist one, plus our “conversion” tag.

- mountain hound

‘What if’ challenge

I participated in @sdavid09s ‘What if’ challenge and my prompt was What if instead of hating humanity, Lucifer loved it too much?

It got a bit strange. I mean it. I’m not even tagging the usual suspects, because I don’t know who might not like this.

Warnings: criticism of some religious concepts; samifer if you squint; rewriting of season 5

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