religious part

anonymous asked:

It's really inspiring how you're making religious practice a bigger part of your life to compensate for being a drug-using homosexual slut. I bet Yahweh is totally fooled.

it’s “really inspiring” how you’re making yourself the high and mighty example despite the fact that you stand in judgement of others instead of focusing where you’re missing the mark in your own life, and hide behind anonymity to top it all off. you obviously have no place to speak from in the first place since you posit religious observance as mutually exclusive from transgression (not even gonna confirm, deny or argue what you are accusing me of re: what is and isn’t transgression, you aren’t worth the nuance). observance is not about “fooling” god - it’s about doing what we can to live ethically and practice the mitzvot we can as inherently imperfect individuals and fostering and growing a connection to god and our communities. you aren’t “fooling” god either, with your sanctimony, god sees you being cowardly and petty and standing in judgement without looking at your own miserable conduct. have a wonderful shabbos (even though you are quite blatantly not a jew) <3 <3 <3 

Shit my wife has said to our cat, part 3

- I don’t trust you not to lose your mind, you little sociopath.

- You double assed bitch! (Then, to me) Sorry, but!! She’s on my pillow!!

- I am the queen of bitchdom and this is my liege, heiress to bitchdom.

- Were you spat out from the rain from an evil faerie realm??? One of these days we should give you back to the rain so you can return to your realm to rule.

- Don’t look at me like I committed a crime! You don’t know me!

- If you love a raccoon, we will support you. Have you been dumpster-diving? You’d be a great dad to six raccoons.

- I will love you no matter what pain you cause me. I have had a long and difficult life and kitty nails do not matter to me.

- Ohhhh my gosh, look at your fluffy butt! You brought it with you!!!!

- You look like you’re about to go supernova and consume my face. No face consumption! Let alone from a dying star.

- (Miss Kitty stretches out her paw) Look at this idiot! You reach for things you cannot manage! You’re halfway to the moooooon! Claw your way through space!

- May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest, you tiny fluffy bitch.

- Is this how you’re gonna be? You moldy bread slice.

- You’re fluffy, like you’re made of dreams, but actually you were wrung from the nightmares of a man who has seen too much.

- Can I help you, Miss Kitty? I don’t think I can. I think you’re beyond help.

Part 1 | Part 2

Medical Officer Ch’ch’tk answered the frantic summons to the communal off-duty room. Call-me-Betty-Jo had come back from visiting home and according to Lrangaka, she was injured. Ch’ch’tk was not in a great hurry as Lrangaka tended to lose fur every time CallMeBettyJo did anything other than eat or sleep. And sometimes then. Xi shuddered at the memory of the C18H27NO3 incident. Xi thought Lrangaka was going to end up bald, not an attractive look.

Xi heard CallMeBettyJo’s adorable utterances, “I’m fine, I’ll be glad to show you as soon as it’s healed up some.” That did sound alarming. Xi hurried a bit more. Lrangaka was shedding fur again as CallMeBettyJo was fending off Xir’s truhands. Xi was wringing xir’s falsehands and reaching for what looked like a bandage on CallMeBettyJo.

“CallMeBettyJo, you are injured! Why was I not informed!”

“I’m not injured. I just got a [no translation]. It just needs a little more time to heal. But to ease y’all’s minds, I’ll show you.”

CallMeBettyJo peeled off part of her bandage; that couldn’t be safe. Her skin was colored underneath it.

“Y’all like it? It’s a [flying avian] on a [mammal plantfiber]. A little touch of home.”

Ch’ch’tk tried to understand. “You painted your epidermis?”

“I did for awhile, to see if I liked it enough to make it permanent. This last trip home, I took the plunge.”

Almost afraid to ask, but bearing up to xi’s responsibility to the health of the crew, “How is it made permanent?”

“Oh, the artist sticks a needle feeding ink into my dermis. Once the skin heals, it’s all good. I can’t wait.”

“Is this a rite of passage? Religious significance? Part of adulthood?”

“Naw, I was just a little homesick.”

With a sigh, Ch’ch’tk began xi’s efforts to soothe Lrangaka and prevent further fur loss.

Portuguese Influence on Japanese

I’m pretty sure I have a similar post on this, but this post is much more in depth because I wrote a whole term paper about this. If you love BOTH of these languages like I do or if you want to learn more about Japanese, stay tuned: 

Some (very brief) History:
In about 1543, the Portuguese arrived on the island of Tanegashima (off the coast of Kyushu) in Japan. The contact of the Portuguese and Japanese resulted in a lot of trade and religious conversion (on the part of the Japanese). For a pop culture context, look up the movie “Silence” with Andrew Garfield. At one point the daimyos promoted having the Portuguese in Japan, but at a later date they didn’t really like them anymore because he wanted to “nationalize” Nagasaki. So they kicked the Portuguese out. 

Linguistics!
Changes from Portuguese → Japanese

Some phonological changes:

Nasality

Portuguese nasal ending -ão translates to Japanese ending -an. Where do you think the word bread (pan パン) in Japanese comes from? Portuguese ‘pão’ bread! 

Epenthesis (insertion)

A consonant-vowel syllable type is the most frequent syllable pattern in Portuguese, however, Portuguese does allow consonant clusters at the beginnings and the ends of syllables. Japanese can only have consonant-vowel structures, but Japanese can also have 1consonant-vowel-2consonant syllable structures IF the second consonant is a nasal ‘n.’ Because of these differences in structure, Japanese has to change something about these words from Portuguese in order for them to fit into the language. One of these repair mechanisms is vowel epenthesis (or insertion). For example, Portuguese ‘cruz’ has a complex onset (’cr’) and a final consonant (’s’) which is not allowed in Japanese. To repair this, Japanese inserts a ‘u’ between the ‘k’ and ‘r’ sound, and an ‘u’ after the ‘s’ which makes it ku.ru.su. 

Consonant changes

Portuguese and Japanese differ on a couple of consonants (i.e. Portuguese has some consonants that “don’t exist” in Japanese phonology, so Japanese has to change these consonants to fit theirs). Some of these changes include:
Portuguese f → h sound 
Portuguese l and r → r (because Japanese has to l/r distinction)
Portuguese v → b when at the beginning of a word (my data had no examples of v or b in the middle of a word so I only placed the conditions that exist). 

I have more data regarding semantic change and orthographic choices (i.e. how Japanese chose to represent certain loan words in kanji). If you’re interested in seeing some of that, let me know. 

But one last interesting point: 

Did you know Japanese kabocha (pumpkin) comes from the Portuguese word for Cambodia? 

Before the Portuguese arrived in Japan, they were in Goa (India) and Macao (China). Supposedly on their route from Goa to Macau, they stopped in Cambodia. I’m thinking that maybe “kabocha” used to be “pumpkin of Cambodia” where, when the Japanese received these pumpkins from the Portuguese, just clipped it and ended up using “kabocha” to refer to the pumpkin. 

Just a fun fact. Because I was floored when I learned this. 

Edit: All data based on romanized orthographic recordings so orthography may not actually correspond with phonemes, etc.

Adult Home Study for Hellenic and Roman Polytheists 

How do we know what we know about the gods? Much of our knowledge comes from mythology: ancient tales about the gods, fantastic creatures, heroes, and mortals.

There is another meaning of the word “myth”: “widely held, but false, ideas or beliefs,” and all too many of the readily available sources of information about mythology fit that definition. A vast majority of the general population discovers Greek and Roman mythology from motion pictures, video games, and general texts like D'Aulaires Book of Greek Myths and Edith Hamilton’s Mythology. A few more have read Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, Virgil’s Aeneid, Ovid’s Metamorphosis, and Apuleius’ Golden Ass.

Yet more scholarly, in-depth resources are available to polytheists who want to learn about mythology. The fields of history, archaeology, anthropology, religion, literary criticism, art history and psychology all look at mythology from different perspectives.

  • History examines how the myths were composed, who told or wrote them, and what people said about them.
  • Archaeology identifies mythological motifs found on objects and structures, and tries to determine their meaning to those who viewed and used them.
  • Anthropology seeks to understand the cultural reasons for the creation and  transmission of myths, and the relation of myth to rituals such as rites of passage such as the transition to adulthood, marriage, and death.
  • Religion regards myths as sacred stories that explain the creation of the universe, and teach moral truths, and seeks to understand the relationship between mythology, belief, and ritual.
  • Literary criticism investigates the sources of myths, the oral art of storytelling, motifs and themes, the composition of texts, style, meaning, and comparison of different versions.
  • Art history focuses on images from mythology throughout history, the religious and symbolic meanings, and artistic techniques. 
  • Psychology delves into the myths as archetypes and symbols, expressions of the collective unconscious, or as a symbolic language to help individuals find meaning and negotiate challenges.

You’ll notice there’s some overlap between these fields. And you should remember that scholars don’t talk to people outside their fields as much as they should.

Many people are initially drawn to the gods after viewing a work of art or reading a story. Some of us have an experience in nature, or in an altered state of consciousness. Becoming aware of a deity is known as an ephipany or personal gnosis, a subjective perception or experience of the presence of the divine. It can be a feeling that a place is sacred, a sense that there is a greater power than ourselves in the universe, or a realization that a higher power has brought about a particular situation.

So, how we know what we know about the gods is…complicated. To really know something, one must regard it from different angles, and take time to understand it. Taken altogether, it’s fairly obvious that each of us necessarily has a different interpretation of mythology, depending on our personal study and experiences.

Unfortunately, many Hellenic and Roman and polytheists have only read the basic mythology titles listed above in their study of the gods. A few more have read books on devotional practice, but most of us haven’t gone much further in our studies. And, because the sources we’ve read just scratch the surface of available knowledge about the gods, our understanding is so superficial that many of us lack the vocabulary to describe our beliefs, and may even harbor misconceptions about one or more gods that harms our relationship with them. Not only does this impede our spiritual progress, but it makes it difficult to talk about our religion to another person. “I worship the gods of the ancient Greeks,” really tells them nothing, except that one is a polytheist.

Since you’re reading this, I assume your religion is an important part of your life, and, if so, your understanding of it deserves to be developed to the best of your ability. I realize not everyone is interested in or has the temperament for research, and that books can be expensive and difficult to obtain. However, most libraries have sections on the fields above, quite a lot of solid information is available online, and it can be done in easy-to-digest bites.

Here are some ideas for study that can help to enrich your understanding and interpretation of mythology:

  • Read about a Mystery cult, a hero cult, the cult of the nymphs, the Roman Imperial cult or the deified personifications of the virtues in ancient Greece and Rome.
  • Visit a museum and learn about the archaeology of the regions in which your deities were historically worshiped.
  • Learn the names and significant events of the different time periods in the ancient Mediterranean. How did agriculture, literacy, mathematics and theater affect society and religion?
  • Mark the locations of temples dedicated to one of your deities on a map. Are they focused in one area, or are they widespread? What conclusions can you make based on this information?
  • Read the Orphic hymn(s) about a deity to whom you feel little connection, and read a list of their epithets and cult titles. Think about whether the deity seems more approachable, or just as inaccessible.
  • Study a work of mythological art. What does it tell you about the meaning of the subject in the era in which it was created?
  • Read an article on Hellenic or Roman mythology from the viewpoint of of a modern monotheistic or polytheistic religion.  
  • Learn a bit about C.G. Jung’s psychological theories and use of mythic symbols, or Joseph Campbell’s monomyth.
  • Choose a favorite myth and see how many different versions you can find. Are the versions from different times, different places? Do they  have similar or different meanings?
  • Learn some of the terms used by scholars to describe key concepts in the study of religion. Which of the concepts applies to your own beliefs and practice?
  • Prepare a meal from an ancient recipe using ingredients that were available in antiquity.
  • Find out what the ancient philosophers and critics thought about an epic poem or drama.  
  • Select an art or skill favored by one of your gods, study it, and try applying in your own life. For instance, you could dedicate a study of strategy in honor of Minerva and apply one of the techniques to help win a game, or learn a little about weaving to make a wall hanging to honor Athena.
  • Choose an ancient war. What issue(s) led to conflict? How was it resolved? What were the chief deities of each side? Did religion, omens, or religious rites play any part in the warfare? Were there heroes of the war? Were legends told about them? Were they given offerings such as a monument or hero-shrine? 

The more one studies, the more one can deepen their relationship with their deities, the more clearly one may be able to explain their religion to others, and the better equipped one may become to counter criticism of their beliefs.

Question. So I’m writing about Rick Riordan’s books and minority representation in them. 

ADHD and Dyslexia- more of a neurodivergence thing or a disability thing? Both? 

Like, if I say that  most YA protagonists are white, straight, cis, able bodied, neurotypical children or young adults with an unstated or vague religious affiliation, which part of that is Rick Riordan averting by including so many heroes with ADHD or Dyslexia? 

Or do I need to revise how I’m phrasing that all together? 

One Day at a Time is the newest Latinx family sitcom which features a very important LGBT storyline. Latinx LGBT characters are still rare in today’s media even while LGBT stories are being featured more and more. One of the most recent Latinx LGBT characters was Santana Lopez from Glee. Santana Lopez’s storyline was one of the most amazing that I’ve seen in a long time. First off, Santana was played by Latina actor Naya Rivera. Something The L Word failed to do not once, but twice, casting non-Latinx actors for both Carmen and Papi.

Santana Lopez was a Latinx character, but unfortunately being Latinx wasn’t a part of her except for random references and poorly used Spanish that was played for laughs. The one instance that I think many gay Latinxs can relate to was her coming out scene with her grandmother. The first time I watched it (cause I have seen it more than once) was something many of us have either faced or dreaded. Coming out and having the person you loved the most reject you because of who you are and who you love.

In that coming out scene I found one common thread between many Latinx coming out stories. That part of being rejected was the religious part and how being gay was wrong, but also in being out. It became a problem when you told people and were out. For some gay Latinxs they are out to their families, but it isn’t something you speak about. The family pretends it doesn’t exist and instead your boyfriend/girlfriend/partner turns into your best friend of seven years.

This is where One Day at a Time deviates. Elena Alvarez is the daughter of Penelope and is seen as a smart young woman who understands what she wants from the world. Elena’s coming out process begins in the middle of the season when she begins to wonder how to come out to her family. How to explain that she might like guys and girls and eventually her acceptance that she only likes girls. Her fear of coming out and Penelope’s reaction to her is one of the most touching that I’ve seen. You understand it from both sides. Elena’s need to be accepted and Penelope’s fear for her daughter and their own relationship.
The line that hit me the most was when Penelope says “It’s just that now that it’s my daughter. It’s different,” because that’s how my mom reacts to gay things. In high school I had two gay friends, at least two that were out, and she loved them. The problem was that as I got older she began making it clear that other people could be gay, but I couldn’t be. I’m still not out to her because I know the problems it would cause. Penelope eventually talks to friends and  does research on Autostraddle to try and educate herself more so she can be comfortable with it, but it’s a process. The most important thing is that she makes it clear that she doesn’t love Elena any less, but Penelope worries about her Lydia will react.

Lydia’s reaction and eventual acceptance is one of my favorite parts because Lydia has been established as a devout Catholic. Being Catholic is a big part of her Cuban identity and homosexuality is considered a sin in Catholicism. But her own process is intertwined with her religious beliefs. She believes that God makes everyone in his image and he doesn’t make mistakes along with Pope Francis who stated “Who am I to judge?” She uses her religious beliefs to accept Elena instead of judging her and it shows a new side to the argument. One that Latinxs don’t usually face. One where religion is used to support them instead of shun them.

Storylines like these are important because Latinxs, and especially young Latinxs, need to see that they can be accepted and loved by their families. That when they come out they won’t be immediately kicked out of their families for who they are. One Day at a Time in the end shows that above all families love each other no matter who they are.

pacific northwestern gothic:

  • you drive an eco-friendly car and you recycle, but you leave the lights on all night, just in case. 
  • you find yourself lost in an endless sea of coffee shops, unable to tell corners apart, trapped in a tightly woven web of independently owned shops next to smaller chains, kiosks in every open place they can be wedged. you lose time, lose sleep, and in your delirium, you fill another bunch card, redeem your free latte, and continue your fruitless search for a way out.
  • there’s a new starbucks down the street. there’s always a new starbucks down the street. 
  • no one’s ever heard of your favourite band, because they don’t exist. you could’ve sworn they did, you had all their records - real records, on vinyl, you’re a collector - just last week, but they’re gone now. you try telling a friend to look them up, but you find yourself unable to remember their name. 
  • on sunny days, you feel ill at ease. some things should not be seen in such clear light. your eyes are not adjusted to such brightness.
  • children on a field trip watch the salmon run, their flesh deteriorating from their living bodies as they beat themselves against rocks in a macabre last battle upstream to lay their eggs where they first hatched. the children watch for hours in the cold as the fish, some almost as big as they are, fight to reach their spawning grounds before their bodies fail and fall to pieces. on the bus ride home, they laugh as if they had seen nothing. 
  • your neighbours, your friends, even you, discuss proudly how progressive and open-minded you are, how different this place is from the rest of america - as they decline, we shake our heads, grateful to live in such a liberal utopia. here, things are greener. here, people are kinder. we don’t have dark secrets. you smile, because the state history curriculum doesn’t talk about the laws that stayed on book for far longer than we care to admit. you laugh, blissful in ignorance, or in avoidance, of the fact that we are no better, no brighter, than anywhere else. 
  • you’re tell yourself you’re a good person, who doesn’t judge on appearances. you applaud yourself for your open-mindedness. there must be another reason you feel so disquieted when someone who looks too different from you gets too close to you in public.
  • mount st. helens begins to smoke. something stirs at the bottom of crater lake. there’s a wailing sound coming from behind multnomah falls. 
  • a friend mentions that they’ve been hiking a lot lately, and you say you’d love to get out there more, it’s just hard to find the time. the truth is, you’ll never forget what you saw out there, in that deep part of the woods, at twilight, having long lost the trail. 
  • there’s a flavour you just can’t place in the newest limited edition holiday ale from your favourite microbrewery. you buy another six pack, and drink until you can’t taste it anymore.
  • you laugh at the religious, but some part of you wonders if it would be easier to sleep at night, believing something, anything, was looking out for you.
Humans Are Weird/Special Notion: Talking

What if the specialty of humans is that they are (by comparison to other spacefaring species) really good at public speaking?  They’re not the best strategists or scientists or warriors, but if you need an inspiring speech to rally the troops or a coherent infodump or a funny story to break the tension, the Terrans are the ones you turn to.

Humans make the best newscasters, public relations people and masters of ceremony.  Shy alien scientists (which is the vast majority of them) hire human “translators” to present their results and funding requests.  Even humans who aren’t good at public speaking by Earth standards are above average by Galactic standards, so they’re in demand if they haven’t got something better to do.

Of course, there is also a dark side to this gift.  Humans make the best snake oil salespeople, spokespersons for dictators, and religious demagogues.  In some parts of the galaxy, that kind of humans got there first, so human speakers are viewed with suspicion.  But usually a Terran can talk them around….

Take it away, folks! 

Challenge Fifty Six

So today’s challenge is to create a safety plan or a self care plan.

So a self care plan would be something like this:
When I am feeling depressed/anxious/ other emotion that is hard to deal with, I will…
-Listen to soothing music
-Lay in bed and cuddle with my dog
-Talk to my best friend
-Meditate

A self care plan is aimed towards people who are suicidal or have been suicidal in the past. I haven’t ever had many suicidal thoughts, so my example might not be at all accurate to what you have experienced.

Part 1: Warning signs that a crisis might be developing (thoughts, moods, behaviors, images, situations)
-Thinking about suicide
-Planning ways to commit suicide
-High levels of depression
-Talking to others who are suicidal
-Self harming

Part 2: Internal coping strategies– things I can do to take my mind off my problems without having to contact another person (relaxation technique, physical activity).
-These would be things yoy could do for self care
-Coloring
-Listening to music
-Taking a bath
-Working out

Part 3: People and social settings that provide distractions
-Best friend (phone #)
-Parent (#)
-Other friends (#’s)
-Class
-Coffee shop

Part 4: People I can ask for help.
-Friends
-Family
-School counselor
-Religious leader

Part 5: Professionals and agencies I can ask for help
-Primary care doctor
-Therapist or psychiatrist
-National suicide hotline (US): 1-800-273-8255
-911 if you are actively worried you will commit suicide

Part 6: Making the environment safe
-Lock up firearms
-Lock up prescription drugs
-Move knives/ other danger items for you into a shared space
-If possible, ask people you share the space with to keep an eye out for you.

Again, I haven’t experienced suicidal thoughts, so my examples likely won’t line up with yours.

This should link you to the source I used; it is a pdf. I copied the parts/steps directly, and added my examples.

I know this isn’t my standard thing. I try to keep from doing too much mental health stuff, because I know not everyone is here for that. I, however, think mental health is extremely important and I will talk about it aaaalllllll day long.
One thing: If you are currently in therapy and are feeling suicidal, you may want to bring up a safety plan with your therapist before just doing it on your own.
I hope you all have a WONDERFUL day. If anyone wants to share one of there plans, you can submit it! Also, if you want to message it to me I can look, at it privately if you want to do that.
Have a wonderful day, lovelies!!

2

who run the world?
cordelia chase

“This has nothing to do with purity. This is all about dominance, buddy. You can bet if someone ordered a male body part for religious sacrifice, the world would be atheist like that.”

But scripture burns holy
between our bodies and I know,
any hell would be heaven if I went for you.
—  I love you more than god and maybe that means you’re divine, maybe it means I’m not | p.d (via phi dean vulpe)
An excerpt from the zoological text The Hunter’s Encyclopedia of Animals (First Edition).


CHAPTER V: An overview of the white kirin

The kirin (Psevdaisthisi chaetes) is an electrogenic ungulate, and one of two species in the genus Psevdaisthisi. The commonly used term white kirin collectively refers to the three recognized subspecies. Despite numerous references to it being an equid, the kirin is not a true horse, but rather a phylogenetic relative belonging to the suborder Hippomorpha. While horses and their immediate relatives adapted to grasslands, the kirin diverged away from the equid lineage, instead retaining its ancestral traits for woodland dwelling. A combination of folivorous dentition and leg morphology allowed the kirin to flourish in forest ecosystems. To date, the kirin’s range includes the jungles, temperate forests, and taiga of Goldorolis. Wide distribution across several biogeographic realms has resulted in many genetically diverse subpopulations. Proximity to the equator, ecotone habitation, and climatic conditions influence exaggeration of phenotypes, and greatly restrict polymorphism. An adult kirin can measure from 494 to 676 centimeters in length and weigh between 317 to 476 kilograms (roughly 700 to 1050 pounds), depending on the subpopulation. Both sexes can live between 30 to 34 years of age.

Because the jaw morphology is suited for non-graminoid mastication, kirins primarily eat soft plant matter. Subtropical and temperate kirins consume 60% fruit and 25% leaves. The remaining 15% includes a combination of seeds, shoots, flowers, and nuts. Kirins found 40° N of the equator depend almost exclusively on the foliage of deciduous trees, perennial herbaceous plants, and berries endemic to middle boreal forests. Kirins live in small nuclear families year-round that consist of the parents and biological offspring. Largescale aggregation only occurs in the early spring, when kirin natal herds and bachelor herds convene in one location to reform their seasonal breeding herd. Reformation of the breeding herd begins in the spring, and coincides with the onset of the female’s estrous cycle. Herd dissimilation back into separate family units occurs at the beginning of autumn, when anestrus begins.

Remarkably among mammals, the kirin is bioelectrogenic, capable of discharging up to 600 V from the apex of its horn. The only other mammal to share this feature with P. chaetes is the rajang (Rakshasa pugilis). The eastern jinouga (Hoplycan orientalis)—once thought to be another electrogenic mammal—was found to rely on a symbiotic relationship with fulgurbugs (Lampyris tonans). The kirin’s silverhorn serves a secondary function as a defense mechanism for goring predators. Because of the horn’s value in traditional medicine and as part of religious ceremonies, there was a sharp population decline 125 years ago. Management efforts through the CDIHG in the last twenty years have restored the species’ numbers to an estimated 300,000 individuals globally. Although classified as near threatened, hunting is still legal during the fall and winter. Hunting bans are placed on kirins during the reformation of the breeding herd, in order to limit human casualties and avoid disruptions to their reproduction.

Unlike other so-called “elder dragons,” the kirin isn’t widely associated with malignant characteristics. It’s often regarded as a symbol of luck, wit, and merciful judgment, and has strong ties to alchemy. Body parts are used in a range of products, from braided kinhair jewelry, to alicorn-fashioned hunting equipment, to even home decor.

Keep reading

Asking Maggie

She’s asked her the thing that was hard.

Kara told her to never let Maggie go, and Alex never was one for hesitation.

So she’s already asked her the thing that was hard.

The whole ‘marry me’ thing.

But after that comes a slew of other questions. A slew of questions that maybe should have come before the first question, but hey, they wanted a lifetime of firsts; they never said they had to be in a particular order.

So they’d stayed up late – so many late, late, beautiful nights – curled in each other’s arms and asking soft questions and giving thoughtful answers about what marriage means to each of them. If they want children. What their finances will look like. House or apartment. Put roots down in National City before traveling, or life a lot of places. Combining health insurance plans. Taxes. Monogamy. The eventuality of getting crushes on other women, and how they’ll deal with it. 

But in the midst of all that, Alex hasn’t asked Maggie about the ceremony itself. About whether they can have a service that incorporates whatever’s important to Maggie, of course, but also Kryptonian elements to honor Kara, and Jewish elements to honor Alex.

She’s always been embarrassed about her faith. 

About how proud she was the first time her father let her wear a kippah and led her through making kiddush in Hebrew. 

About how meaningful it had been, how painful but how fitting, when she’d taken her father’s place at the head of the table, the year he’d disappeared from her life, and led the sedar in a shaky voice, with trembling hands and wet eyes. 

The way Eliza had held her when Kara went to search for the afikoman – no x-ray vision allowed – and told her that she was proud of her.

She’s always been embarrassed, because faith is incongruous with being a scientist, isn’t it?

And now, isn’t it incongruous with being… well, with being a lesbian?

So she paces and she wrings her hands, and when the door finally cracks open, she jumps, and she gulps and she turns, but it isn’t Maggie that steps into the apartment.

It’s Adrian.

“Hey Agent Danvers, sorry, Maggie said I could come over to study, I – hey, you okay? You’re doing that nervous pacing thing Maggie talks about.”

“Maggie told you about my – “

“Maggie tells me everything. Everything,” he emphasizes with a cheeky wink, and Alex laughs despite herself as she tugs him in for a hug.

“What are you studying, Ade?” she asks, but he shakes his head resolutely as he shrugs his saddle bag onto the floor and kicks off his converse.

“Nope. We can do that later. Something’s wrong. Talk to Uncle Adrian.”

Alex furrows her brow at him and he shrugs. “Listen, you two might be my queer mamas, but I’m a big boy, I can dispense advice like a champ.”

“You are a champ, kid,” she nudges him with her shoulder, and he nudges her back proudly.

“Seriously, Alex. What’s up?”

He grabs two bottles of root beer out of the fridge, tosses her one, and strides over to collapse onto the couch.

Alex thinks about how tall he’s getting, and she sighs as she sits down next to him.

“You know I’m Jewish, right?”

Adrian sips while he nods. “Kara was telling me about how you all used to combine Kryptonian and Jewish stuff for holidays.”

Alex grins. “Yeah. I… for the wedding, I want to… do you know what a chuppah is?”

Adrian shakes his head, and Alex takes another swig of her root beer.

“It’s like this canopy thing. Jewish couples get married under it. And I know Maggie’s not Jewish, but I… I never really thought about getting married. As a kid. I wasn’t one of those girls who fantasized about it, you know?”

“Probably because you couldn’t imagine yourself with some man,” Adrian nods knowingly, and Alex clinks her bottle against his.

“Probably. But for some reason, I don’t know. Some of those things are… are important to me, but I don’t want to… I’m gay, we’re gay, lesbians, you know – “

“Yes, incidentally, I’m aware – hey!”

He swats away the pillow she hits him with.

“I just… I don’t want to offend Maggie, or hurt her, or something. By asking to have something religious part of our ceremony. Especially a religion that’s not hers. I don’t – “

“Alex, hey, hey, you don’t have to cry. She loves you. Maggie loves you so damn much it’s almost annoying, always Alex this and Danvers that and yes god Danvers don’t stop – “

“Ade!”

“I mean, that last one was a guess. Which I imagine was pretty accurate – ow! no more pillow attacks, not all of us have DEO training! – but really, Alex. Tell her exactly that – that you don’t want to trigger her, and you’re open to compromise and all that, but this is important to you.”

“But it’s… it’s stupid that it’s important to me. Isn’t it? Religion? And science, and… and lesbianness?”

Adrian sighs and shakes his head. “You know my folks are really religious, right? But you know what they get from their religion? That they should love their damn kid. Unconditionally. And Alex, Maggie… you know, I think that’s what Maggie loves most about you. The way you’re like, super hard and scary – Winn’s words, not mine – but also kind and soft and bottom-y and stuff. Ow! Not all the time, I know – hey! – I’m just saying, she loves how you’re both. How you’re everything, you know? She’ll love that you’re all hardcore sciencey and yet your Jewishness is important to you, and she’ll love that you’re a religious, or spiritual, or cultural, whatever word you want, lesbian. She’ll love it because she loves you. How much you hold in your personality. You know?”

“Couldn’t have said it better myself, Danvers.”

Maggie’s voice in the doorway makes them both jump slightly. 

“Hey babe!”

“Maggie! We were just talking about you.”

“Yes, I hear that.”

“Oh, you detected that, did you?”

“Wise guy. Come here.” She wraps Adrian in a deep, hard hug, whispering a thank you in his ear. For his kindness, his intelligence, his sensitivity and his insight. 

“And I feel like you have something you want to talk to me about, sweetie,” she pulls Alex in for a soft, tender kiss that makes Adrian awwww and Alex swoon.

“Yeah,” she whispers, breathless, her fear evaporating, because Adrian’s right.

Maggie loves her so damn much. All of her. 

So maybe asking her about their ceremony will only bring them closer.

Maybe asking her will be another beautiful, beautiful first.

As Jews, I feel that many of us struggle with internalizing the Christian worldview to the point of denying the felt and lived reality of HaShem in our lives. We face the now-universal injunction for those who consider themselves “religious” (there has never been such a thing on the face of this Earth before Christianity; Christianity is the first and the last ‘religion’) of “but do I really believe in G-d?” This injunction, this “test of faith” is part and parcel to a Christian mode of subjectivity which has made the (simultaneous) production of, and disavowal of doubt–the challenge of “true faith” versus “hypocrisy”, “heresy”, and “unbelief” which together form the Christian problematic–an integral part of religious experience. The need to identify true faith qua true belief was historically the need to identify the class of true believers, as opposed to those (indigenous, Muslim, Jewish, pagan, heretical) nonbelievers who constituted the body of the unassimilated Christian faith. This became the Christian West’s means of constituting itself both internally and externally; it was inherently a theology of and constituted by antisemitism, orientalism, and colonialism. Even all of the secular, Western atheisms and philosophies uphold this reality.

Today, we feel the effects of this and the pressure to view ourselves and our religious practice in terms of belief and to deny the living, communal, and practical reality of HaShem in our lives. HaShem is there in Jewish practice, in prayer, when we kiss the mezuzah, when we lift up the Torah scroll, when we light the holiday candles. HaShem is the smell of besamim during Havdalah, HaShem is the soft glow of Shabbos candles on a child’s hands, HaShem is the Brahcot we whisper to ourselves when we are filled with joy or sadness, celebration or grief, with the profound sense of wonder that clings to every scrap of this world.

HaShem is not a free-floating metaphysical entity. HaShem is not the object of belief, for HaShem is not an object. Neither is HaShem an all-seeing or universal subject constructed in our own image, nor is HaShem an abstraction such as Reason or Justice. HaShem is the ontological grounding of our being in this world, the very breath of our life and striving. HaShem is the shattered and scattered presence of divinity which unfolds daily, a divinity to which all of creation sings praise continually (Psalms 66:4). To be Jewish is to access and actualize this already-present divinity. HaShem is never beyond our reach, HaShem is never something to “come to” in a moment of revelation as for the Christians. We can only ever return (l'shuv, teshuvah) to HaShem (I believe Herman Wouk pointed out in “This is My God” how strange the Christian phrase “I found G-d” is to Jewish ears. Was G-d hiding from you?). When we affirm the name 'HaShem’, we are not affirming our undiscerning yet firm conviction in a reality that exists beyond some uncrossable divide between the physical and the metaphysical. Rather, we are affirming a reality that is brought forth in each gesture of our practice, a reality which “lo b'shamayim hi” (“it is not in the heavens” -Deut. 30:12). To be Jewish is to unfold this reality and bring about the redemption of the world (tikkun olam), a process that is not metaphysical but deeply, richly, and intimately physical.

It is significant that seldom in Jewish history have we drawn lines around the 'community of believers’ in contradistinction to the apostates and the heretics. If anything, we only ever condemned those who refuse the work, a term in Hebrew (avodah) which has nothing to do with our capitalist understanding of labor but instead refers to the act of bringing about that which underlies and redeems the world, of performing mitzvot (commandments), of tzedek, tzedek tirdof (“Justice, justice you shall pursue,” Deut. 16:20). As our sages said, “It is not your responsibility to finish the work [of perfecting the world], but you are not free to desist from it either” (Rabbi Tarfun, Pirkei Avot 2:16).

To this day I still answer the question “do you believe in G-d” in the negative, because there is no part of me that can affirm my faith in such terms. I simply say, 'oh no, I’m Jewish!’

Refuse to assimilate. The question of faith will never be answered in terms of a verbal affirmation of belief, but in the existential and practical orientation towards the shattered divinity of a broken world. Judaism always responds to a world in crisis. This is our G-d, this is our faith, this is our work and life as Jews.