southern church

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Mummies in a church in southern Norway posted by reddit user sourcreamking. Wealthy people were buried in a small crypt directly below the altar. The little girl is simply known as the Little Princess. The crypt has been sealed since 1973, For those interested, the church is called Oddernes Kirke.

Dear Dream Daddy Devs,

@dreamdaddygame

Hello, my name is James. You don’t know me, but hopefully this ‘letter’ reaches you and you get to know me. You recently held an interview admitting that Joseph was intentionally written to have no good ending, and that you were taken aback by the fact that so many people wanted him to have one.

While I understand that you wanted to put a fun twist on things and I respect you for it, making the twist be “well, you shouldn’t have dated him anyway” is probably the most offensive thing you could have possibly done. I’ll delve into why a bit more in a second, but first I want to point out that creating a dating sim where you can’t date one of the characters is basically akin to having the final boss in a FPS one you have to fight entirely through melee. While it sounds like an interesting idea, there’s a reason no FPS has done that before.

I was raised in the middle of Montgomery, Alabama. My father, the man that I am still afraid to come out to, took me to a southern Baptist church every Sunday. It was there that I learned that being gay was a sin, that I should repress any feelings I have and, if I didn’t, I was a disgusting sinner and I deserved to go to hell. I still to this day have trouble admitting that I am a Christian because I have so many terrible memories about that church.

So, you can only imagine how amazingly happy I was that you created a game that had so much diversity that it even included a gay Christian character. I was fucking ecstatic, even! I felt like someone was finally acknowledging me as a person who exists rather than a joke on TV. It was amazing! And then you had a trans dad! And a gay black man!! My God!! It had everything!! I had to buy this game when it came out because it not only spoke to me, but to other minorities that exist that I saw in some of my friends.

And then I finished Joseph’s route. I was shocked, at first, thinking maybe I did something wrong? I mean, my character prompted me to try again, after all. So I played it again. And again, and again. Still, no better ending than him staying with his wife and you either being dumped or a ‘side piece’. Researching the game only made it worse, because now not only was I upset that I couldn’t get a good ending with a character that resonates with me, but so much of the fandom had started spreading posts about Joseph being a terrible man for cheating on his wife.

Let’s actually talk about Mary real fast; you say she was your favorite character and that you wrote her to be misunderstood in the end, and I get that. She’s a really good person, but surely you realize you wrote her as an alcoholic, neglectful wife that actively cheats on her husband? Like, on Robert’s third date, she walks away with a man hand in hand. If that wasn’t you trying to imply that she was going home with him, then maybe you should consider re-writing that entire interaction. You wrote Joseph and Mary into a knowingly toxic marriage, but decided that, in the end, you weren’t going to give either of them a good ending. By not letting Joseph have a good ending, you’ve trapped Mary into a marriage that she in not happy in. You did both say she was your favorite character, yes? Give her a happy ending, then.

Oh, and also while we’re on the morally grey characters, uh, you gave Robert a good ending while one of his routes is basically him sexually manipulating you? You gave him a good ending. Why can’t Joseph get one where he divorces Mary, says that he may need a break, but he still wants to be with you? Like, how is that any different than Robert’s “okay I need a break but I still want to be with you”? But, I digress.

My name is James. I am a gay, Christian man that was raised to believe that there was something wrong with him. I am a man who was absofuckinglutely ecstatic that there was a gay dating sim that featured a gay Christian character in it. A gay Christian character in a failing marriage that reads, at least at first, like so many of the stories you hear from the south where gay men are forced into straight relationships because otherwise they might get fucking attacked in the street for daring to be queer. I’m serious, I remember my mom telling me a story about how a gay club got attacked by someone when I was six/seven years old. Christian gay men getting attacked by another Christian man who couldn’t stand the fact that they existed.

Joseph was my representation, and you wrote him to be a character that you intentionally could not date because you wanted to make a dating sim with an interesting plot twist for, I don’t know, social allegory or whatever.

Thank you for making a game with an amazing amount of diversity. I have so many trans friends that are beyond excited that there’s a mainstream game with a transgender character that you can actually date. I’ve seen black men online go crazy because they have representation in a video game.

But I am not going to thank you for Joseph Christiansen. I am not going to thank you for creating a character that I know resonated with so many other gay Christians out there that you admit was in there to basically just make the player feel bad.

I don’t want my money back because I still want to support you and I’m glad I did because you’ve done so much good with this game. You’ve given representation to people who normally don’t get any of it at all, and that’s amazing! All I want is for you to, please, at least read this and consider adding in a good ending for Joseph. Consider giving him an ending similar to Robert and having him admit that the marriage wasn’t good for him or Mary. Consider giving Mary and Joseph the good endings that they deserve.

Thank you very much for reading,

- James

flickr

Bamberg is a town in Oberfranken, Bayern (Bavaria) on the river Regnitz. Its historic center is a UNESCO world heritage site. During the post-Roman centuries of Germanic migration and settlement, the region included in the Diocese of Bamberg was inhabited for the most part by Slavs. The town, first mentioned in 902, grew up by the castle Babenberch, which gave its name to the Babenberg family. On their extinction it passed to the Saxon house. The area was Christianized chiefly by the monks of the Benedictine Fulda Abbey, and the land was under the spiritual authority of the Diocese of Würzburg. In 1007, Holy Roman Emperor Henry II made Bamberg a family inheritance, the seat of a separate diocese. The purpose was to make the Diocese of Würzburg less unwieldy in size and to give Christianity a firmer footing. In 1008, after long negotiations with the Bishops of Würzburg and Eichstätt, the boundaries of the new diocese were defined. Pope John XVIII granted papal confirmation the same year. Henry II ordered the building of a new cathedral, which was consecrated in 1012. From the mid-13th century onward the bishops were princes of the Empire and ruled Bamberg, overseeing the construction of monumental buildings. In the 1200′s, the see obtained large portions of the estates of the Counts of Meran. The old Bishopric of Bamberg was composed of an unbroken territory extending from Schlüsselfeld to the Franconian Forest, and possessed estates in the Duchies of Carinthia and Salzburg, in the Nordgau (now Upper Palatinate), in Thuringia, and on the Danube. By the changes resulting from the Reformation, the territory was reduced nearly one half in extent. 

The witch trials of the 17th century claimed about 1000 victims in Bamberg - the famous Drudenhaus witch prison is no longer standing today. In 1647, the University of Bamberg was founded. Bambrzy (Posen Bambergers) are German Poles, descended from settlers in villages around Posen in the 1700′s. When the secularization of church lands took place (1802) the diocese had a population of 207,000. Bamberg lost its independence in 1802, becoming part of Bavaria in 1803. It was first connected to the German rail system in 1844, which has been an important part of its infrastructure since. After a communist uprising took control over Bavaria in the years following WW1, the state government fled to Bamberg and stayed there for 2 years before the Bavarian capital of Munich was retaken by Freikorps units. The first republican constitution of Bavaria was passed in Bamberg. In 1926 Bamberg served as the venue for the Bamberg Conference, convened by Adolf Hitler in his attempt to foster unity and to stifle dissent within the then-young Nazi party. Bamberg was chosen for its location in Upper Franconia, reasonably close to the residences of the members of the dissident northern Nazi faction but still within Bavaria. In 1973, the town celebrated its 1000th anniversary. 

Thinking a bit more about @bittitilate‘s post about Bitty and church, and even as a not-actually-Christian raised in the South, here are some ways church ended up in my life anyway, in a non-negative, that’s just life kind of way:

(Context: My grandparents on both sides were devout Methodists, even though very few of their children were as adults.)

  • My grandfather was the one who headed up the Christmas tree sale as the primary fundraiser for the men’s group at his church, which they used for service projects throughout the year. As a result, we bought our Christmas tree there every year, even though we weren’t members.
  • Also related to the Christmas tree sale, their sales office was my grandparents’ old camping trailer, which I was fascinated with as a kid because it was like a little house!!! so there were… a few times I strategically “got sick” in the middle of the day at school and knew my parents wouldn’t be able to leave work to come get me, but it was fine because I could just call Grandma! And she could drop me off with Granddaddy at the Christmas tree lot for the afternoon, because it was her garden club meeting, oh darn.
  • I attended preschool for a little while at my other grandparents’ church, where they invited the Easter bunny to visit all the classes, and when the giant 8′ tall monster came in on roller skates, I screamed and wouldn’t stop crying until the teacher took me into another room. I wouldn’t come out until he left. (I mean, I guess this is a negative church impact on my life, but it’s funny as an adult.)
  • My brother went to preschool at a totally different Methodist church, and thus forever after we got the annual invitation to their giant fundraising barbecue dinner at the fairgrounds. It was such a well-known local event that my dad would just ask how many members of our extended family wanted plates so he could pick them up all at once and bring them back to the house, because the line was atrocious and there was never enough seating.
  • (Idk if this is common in other parts of the country, but so many preschools around here are in churches, even when they’re entirely secular, because churches have so many unused classroom spaces available during the week.)
  • Constant people trying to recruit you to come work on their Habitat for Humanity project.
  • That one guy in my high school carpool who insisted we had to get to school early on certain days so he could pray around the flag pole. (I take it back, this was a totally negative impact of church on my youth; nothing is worth getting up that early.)
  • Pretty much all my grandparents’ friends being identified as “so-and-so from church.”
  • Having to schedule things around choir practices and Bible study groups.

There are probably more, but they happened so often, they don’t really stand out, but maybe this gives an idea.

Never ever forget that
  • Steve Rogers was raised by an Irish-catholic single mom in New York in the Depression era
  • Steve Rogers grew up with a ton of disabilities
  • Steve Rogers had an apartment in an incredibly gay section of New York
  • Steve Rogers was a fine arts student
  • Steve Rogers completely missed the Red Scare, McCarthyism, the Cold War, Vietnam, Korea, etc.
  • Steve Rogers was written by two Jewish guys
  • Steve Rogers had a gay best friend and did not consider his love to be any less valid or less real
  • Steve Rogers worked with Japanese-American and black soldiers in, again, the Second World War
  • Steve Rogers was just in a movie about how utterly fucked up the military-industrial complex is

Basically if your Steve Rogers is a conservative commie-hating uberChristian who would be at home in a racist southern church, you’re doing something wrong.