religious paraphernalia

Creating Strict Religions

I would first like to state that a strict religion is not synonymous with a cruel religion, neither is it synonymous with an unaccepting one.

In most cases, in order to be considered a strict religion, if must be strict on one or more of the following ways:

Moral codes
>This includes things like not being selfish or boastful, and any other morals taught by the religion
Behavior codes
>This includes things like donating, tithing, not working on holy days, and other such things
Dress codes
>This includes things such as religious paraphernalia, fabric type, garment type, and other such things
>This includes things such as not eating certain foods (usually ones considered unclean), not eating at certain times, or only eating animal products that were made from animals sacrificed in the name of the religion

The strictness can come in the form of requirements or restrictions
>Requirements: things followers must do (followers must pray, must donate, must wear prayer beads, etc)
>Restrictions: things followers are not allowed to do (followers must not break the rules, followers must not work on certain days, followers must not wear certain types of clothing, etc)

The concept of the chosen people
This concept usually appeals to ego (“only the worthy will receive salvation/paradise/etc”)

Is it conditional?
>What are the conditions?
>>Do you have to be birthed in, no exceptions? If they are born of two converts, does it still count, or does it have to be from a long line of followers?
>>Do you have to be birthed in or converted?
>>Do you just have to follow the required behaviors (and nothing else)?
>>Do you just have to believe in the religious teachings (even if you don’t follow the rules)?
>>Do you have to be born in, follow the behaviors, and believe?
>>Do you have to complete a spiritual quest/religious rite?
>>Do you have to convert others and spread the word?

What is the treatment of converts compared to the treatment of those born in the religion?
>Are converts given further rules and restrictions?
>Are converts considered better due to their conscious decision to follow the religion?

What is believed to happen to those who are not chosen?
>>Is this the same thing they believe happens to those who do not follow the rules?
>>>After one has broken a rule, what happens?
>>>>Is it believed they will receive punishment after death, or are they required to repent in life?
>>>>>Is it believed that repenting will completely absolve them, or that iit will only lessen their punishment after death?
>>>>If they cannot be absolved completely, how do they convince a person not to break any further rules?
>>>>>Threats? (Ex. "If you don’t behave it’ll be even worse.”)
>>>>>Bribes? (Ex. “If you behave perfectly from now on, there’s a chance your punishment will be lessened.”)
>Do they not get an afterlife?
>Do they receive eternal damnation and suffering?
>>Are there different levels of punishment?
>Is there just a longer waiting period before they are accepted into the afterlife?
>>Is this done in a limbo-like place, or in the same place as sinners?
The more severe the religion, the more severe the punishments will be for not following the requirements and restrictions.

This is a continuation of Creating Cults and Raising Religions.

In regards to all this Rapture business...

It makes me really sad to know that there are ministers out there who are telling their congregations that if they aren’t raptured, it means they weren’t chosen and they will be living in Hell on Earth. 

It makes me sad and it makes me angry– it’s abusive, for these men to be telling these pious and often good people that they are in fact unfit for admittance into Heaven. It will destroy these people. Instead of admitting that they might be wrong about the apocalypse, they’d rather fucking destroy lives of people who are just trying to live good lives in accordance to their faith.

Well, enough of my rambling about the abuse of power in religion. In any case, we’ll see what happens in oh, a little under two hours from now*.

*Nothing’s going to happen, by the way. But I’m sure you already knew that.


But what about the ministers who ALSO won’t be raptured? Won’t they feel bad too? :P I also have a feeling people will just use the excuse they got the date wrong again and say ANOTHER day is the end of the world :P

I think in terms of the ministers themselves, it’s different. It’s their congregations I’m worried about, the people who see these men as role models, as authority figures, as people who tell them the truth. As for them not being raptured, who knows. Perhaps they’ll just say that they must have been left behind to help their congregations cope…
"I Felt Set Up": Why More Women Seeking Abortions Are Ending Up at Anti-Abortion Pregnancy Centers
"Medical" pregnancy centers are starting to look more like abortion clinics, and some women feel misled.

“Last year I attended Heartbeat International’s annual conference in Charleston, South Carolina, where roughly 1,000 crisis pregnancy center staff and anti-abortion leaders gathered for training and networking. There, I heard movement leaders directly instruct pregnancy center workers to “compete with the abortion industry” by concealing their religiously motivated anti-contraception and anti-abortion mandates. Suggested tactics included operating multiple websites with different messaging, choosing pro-choice seeming names like “pregnancy options,” removing religious paraphernalia from waiting rooms, and advertising free medical services and counseling.

The day Alison came in for her appointment, knowing already that she wanted an abortion, Pregnancy Decision staff treated her very differently than when she’d arrived excited to be pregnant. A counselor, nurse, and ultrasound technician read Alison Bible passages, as she cried, and urged her to carry the pregnancy to term. She remembers the women saying, “Being a single mom is the toughest thing you can do, and you already did it. God won’t give you anything you can’t handle.”

“It was almost like bullying,” Alison says. “I felt set up. The name is Pregnancy Decision. I didn’t know they were against abortion. It was intimidating. They tried to make me feel extremely wrong, like I was sinning.”

Interfering with a woman’s right to to choice and her own bodily autonomy shouldn’t be such a widespread and manipulative problem. Learn to respect my reproductive rights, no matter your religious beliefs; they’re yours, not mine.


i just had a fairly bizarre experience. my aunt and i went to go get pastries at this bavarian restaurant/bakery for my grandpa’s b day. the store looks like it hasnt been patronized by other human beings since 1979. some things i saw:

  • completely empty restaurant despite being 5:30 pm. 0 patrons. checkered plastic tableclothes and plastic vines adorned the walls. the restaurant side is extremely badly lit.
  • entire place had a foul smell not unlike the smell of every grandma ever pushed together into close proximity. i think i accidentally discovered the source of this; more on that next
  • left image: an extremely odd, eclectic sort of thrift/gift shop which sold chocolates you can purchase at literally any store in america (lindt, toblerone), several dozen cheaply made wicker baskets, porcelain religious paraphernalia, several bottles of alcohol that had labels that looked suspiciously similar to the bottles in my parents house that lived through the cold war, an enormous bucket full of 1 dollar greeting cards that looked like they were from 1958 and, the thing that finally drove me out of the aisles, two large jars of rank mushrooms suspended in some kind of oil. made my stomach turn and when i went outside i was grateful for the smoke filled air and sweet scent of a nearby apartment fire
  • middle image: most of the shelves were empty. the top two shelves of the counter had pastries spread out very thin to give the illusion of being well stocked. the bottom shelf is empty except for some scattered pretzels (3), some large loaves of bread that looked like that had been shotput into the case if their haphazard arrangement was any indication, and store bought cookies still in the box
  • 2 dollars for a cookie the size of a half dollar
  • right image: i have no idea what the fuck this is. theyre the only things in the entire case

well, thats my adventure