Many messages i get on this blog are things like “My family says homophobic things but i’m still in the closet, i don’t know what to do”,
“My best friend uses transphobic slurs but how do i tell her that it hurts me without telling her i am trans? I can’t come out yet”
or other variants of “How to react to lgbt+-phobia when still in the closet?”.
I’ve been planning to write a letter that answers this question for a while now - but to be honest, i postponed it because it’s a difficult situation to be in and there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. There’s not the one golden perfect solution to it.
Instead, i’ll suggest several different possible solutions as you know your own situation and your family member/friend/the person better than i do.
Without further bla bla, here’s the list:
Possible ways to react to lgbt+-phobia when you’re in the closet:
Example: Person says “I would never date a bi girl, they’re cheaters”
Educate neutrally: “Bi means you’re attracted to two or more genders, it has nothing to do with faithfulness”, state a neutral fact that dismantles the lgbt+phobic statement without talking about yourself at all
May work best if: the person is indeed just uneducated about lgbt+ topics (rather than downright hateful), is okay with being proven wrong, is not overly suspicious of why you defend lgbt+ people (in case them finding out you are lgbt+ would put you in danger)
Play the “good straight ally” card: “That’s not true, one of my friends is bi and she would never cheat”, out yourself as a supporter rather than a member of the lgbt+ community
May work best if: the person doesn’t know all your friends/you can easily make up a friend, the person is one of those people who stop being hateful as soon as their victim has a face
Ignore and change the topic: “Talking about cheating, have you seen the movie You’ve got mail? It’s a romantic comedy, Sarah said it’s really cute but i didn’t watch it yet.”, say nothing in response to the lgbt+-phobia and try to steer the conversation to nicer topics
May work best if: they are too deep down in their hateful views for any of the above strategies to work, defending lgbt+ people would put you in danger
Avoid the person: This is less of a instant response but more a long-term solution that can only work in some cases. Break off the friendship (maybe gently and slowly by spending less and less time with the person).
Only works if: you don’t depend on them (sadly this doesn’t work with parents you still live with or co-workers in a job you can’t quit)
May be necessary if: their lgbt+ phobia negatively impacts your mental health
Agree and silently think “F*ck you”: “Yeah, i understand!”, just agree and keep your thoughts to yourself
This is a painful thing to do and can certainly negatively impact your mental health but it may be necessary if: them finding out or even getting suspicious puts you in danger
Do you have any other advice? Feel free to add your thoughts/experiences to this post!
“My understanding of God has come from my own personal experiences… because I was in trouble so many times in New York that if you were me, you would believe in God too. When things get bad enough, your only resort is to lie in bed and start praying. I dunno about congregating once a week in a church and all that, but when I heard there is a divine power you can call on, I did.“
“Well, I mixed it with my studies in theology, because it was the best school for the Jesuit faith and all of the Jesuits taught philosophy classes. There was just a lot of talk about going back to that basic question: Why do we exist? How did reality come to be? Why do we do what we do? And how not to become the butcher, the baker, the candlestickmaker, the guardians of the middle-class—that really interested me. I don’t know. Yeah, I loved being around people who wondered why we were here.”
“I guess I would say that the beautiful thing about feeling connected to something greater is that even at my lowest point I always have a feeling that I’m being taken care of. “
“And Jesus—I mean, being raised Catholic, it was just a way of life. Spirituality and religion were strong. I was in Catholic school until I was 13. Like a lot of other people, I think foundationally I was hymn inspired—musical hymns, not Him, Jesus. [Laughs.]”
“Like so many people, they always state the difference between faith and religion. The faith that I’ve come to find is a science of my own through lots of trials and errors. I’ve been through so many different walks of life that I’ve needed to ask a lot of questions that no human power can answer. I’ve had to seek a lot of guidance. I’ve had to pray a lot because I’ve been in trouble a lot. But it’s not until you do that that you realize there are answers out there to be found.”
To thine own self be true. Seek and ye shall find. There’s a science to prayer, I would say. I think sometimes when you’re really faced with a huge life dilemma or problem and you’ve turned to every sort of thing for answers, sometimes the last resort is to pray and to put out a question to the universe in your mind. Even when you put your question out there, you ask that invisible whoever “What do I do?” you sort of get answers; you forget the problem all over again.”
“I went to a Catholic school called St. Agnes and I loved going to church. I was very interesting and curious about the idea of a divine plan and that there was something bigger than us out there. I don’t have a traditional Catholic view of religion or God though – but I enjoy the feeling of being looked after in the spiritual sense.”
She attended a Catholic elementary school called St. Agnes, and was the cantor of the church across the street. “I loved church,” says Del Rey. “I loved the mysticism, the idea of something bigger, the idea of a divine plan. For me, the concept of religion transitioned into a really healthy idea of God–I don’t have the traditional views of a conservative Catholic, but my imagination was opened within the big blue-and-gold cathedral walls. I liked the idea of being looked after.”
I would say, ‘I don’t know what’s going to happen.’ She’d say, ‘God didn’t save you from drowning just to beat you up on the shore. All you really need is patience when you have persistence.”
“I feel a strong relationship with God and I feel my ties are with him. That’s how I honestly feel. Everything I do, I do it for somebody I’ve never met before, something in the great beyond. That’s my primary relationship, really, is with something divine. I feel a connection as real with that as I’ve ever had with anybody on this earth.”
“There’s one song called “God Knows I Tried” which has a little gospel feel to it.”
Hello, i was wondering if you could tell me how Konkokyo faith differs from other forms of Shinto?
Everything such as the basic precepts of respecting nature, honoring/worshipp nature/the Universe, living in harmony with everything, honoring and worshipping ancestral spirits, living an honest upright life, sincerity in everything, etc. is the same as Shinto way of living.
Konkokyo is basically Shinto in the broad, and more ancient sense as a way of day to day living, this is because Konkokyo (the faith of the deity Tenchi Kane no Kami) originated before the Meiji Restoration in 1868, (experiences with Tenchi Kane no Kami were recorded to have begun in 1859 or so). In the Meiji reformation, Shinto was segregated into categories, and now was a State Religion, called State (Kokka) Shinto.
In State Shinto, Amaterasu Omikami-sama was required to be worshipped as the highest deity, and only the kami in the Kojiki were allowed to be worshipped - not even Buddhas or Bodhisattvas.
Thus, Buddhist temples began to be shut down or seperated from shrines. For Konkokyo, since Tenchi Kane no Kami, the main deity of Konkokyo, was not a deity formally in the Kojiki, their faith had to be classified as “Sectarian Shinto” to survive the destruction and recieved the name Konko-kyo (金光教) meaning “The teaching of the golden light” (Based off the “Kane”, meaning gold, in Tenchi Kane no Kami’s （天地金乃神） name, the Golden Kami of the Universe)
Kon 金 - Gold Ko 光 - Light Kyo 教 - Teaching
Ten 天 - Heaven Chi 地 - Earth
(Heaven and Earth, or Tenchi together is “Universe”)
Kane (the other pronounciation is Kon) 金 - Gold
Of 乃 - formal の, or “of”
Kami 神 - Spirit/Deity
“kyo” is a suffix meaning “teaching”. Such as the Japanese word for Buddhism is “Bu-kyo” 仏 教 (Teaching of the Buddha)
So, there is why the name is different to begin with .
After WWII, State Shinto changed into the mainstream Shinto we all know, Jinja Shinto. Most Shinto shrines are led by the Association of Shinto Shrines, which controls the precepts and traditions known as Jinja Shinto. It mixes ancient traditions with modern understandings and guidelines for practices and rituals. Konkokyo, as a result of having the same Shinto roots and traditions, follows the same as Jinja Shinto. However, Konkokyo keeps it’s name and status, because Jinja Shinto still heavily stresses to followers the importance of honoring and revering Amaterasu Omikami-sama as the highest deity, and obtain her ofuda, Jingutaima.
In Konkokyo, we have a focus on Tenchi Kane no Kami, but they taught we should be free to honor the deity closest to us with a sincere heart - and we don’t place importance on any deity over the other, since they are all a part of Great Nature/the Universe equally. One cannot exist without the other, everything must live in harmony and balance, and thus one is not seen as greater than the other.
So there’s a main difference between Konkokyo and Jinja Shinto. Minor differences include, due to the nature of Tenchi Kane no Kami-sama being more like conscious universal energy, or a force, and not a supreme deity or even deity as a singular figure, we do not enshrine Tenchi Kane no Kami.
Tenchi Kane no Kami also requested not to create ofuda or omamori for them, since blessings were taught to originate from our inner hearts.
As well, in the past, ofuda and omamori were very expensive. Kami-sama didn’t want people who were poor to feel they could not receive blessings, so Kami-sama taught at places with their (Kami-sama’s) altar present, not to sell ofuda or omamori, but rather give something called “goshinmai” - this is a small packet with blessed sacred rice.
People could eat the rice for their continued health, and recognize the blessings of the Universe symbolically through the rice (which needs sun, rain, the earth, nutrients, and many things all together to grow, and is a staple for human living - in food, and at the time, as commerce like money too).
So, we also don’t have things like ofuda or omamori in Konkokyo. But it’s not bad if someone who follows Konkokyo buys ofuda or omamori from another shrine or kami, in fact it’s encouraged if you sincerely want to, because it reflects a sincere faith, which is honorable and good, and makes you happy, which Kami-sama wants to see. But also not to feel bad or not blessed if you cannot afford them, was the meaning.
We also don’t do things like Setsubun, Yakudoshi (Unlucky ages), or Unlucky/Lucky directions, or Impure/Pure spaces.
Setsubun (which I will write about soon, it’s today!) was practiced to drive out our “inner demons” represented by oni, and negativity and darkness. While this is good and fun too, Kami-sama tries to encourage us to make peace with our inner demons and recognize bad emotions aren’t unhealthy, but natural, and are only unhealthy when they get overwhelming.
Instead of throwing beans to get the “oni” away, we give sacred blessed beans to eat to give us vitality and strength, and to “sit down for tea” with our inner oni, so to speak, and overcome difficulties or sadness that come our way.
We also don’t do unlucky/lucky directions, ages, or pure/impure spaces because we feel everything in the Universe is a part of Kami-sama, all is sacred, and all is pure.
Every direction you go is sacred, Unlucky age is seen more as the age you will have to contribute more to society, or a great spiritual change in Konkokyo that may be difficult, but eventually rewarding. And that there is no distinction between pure or impure spaces, since everywhere is Kami-sama’s body and heart.
We do have a concept of sacred spaces, which means areas with particular high sacred energy, or a place where many kami dwell. But it is not that non-sacred spaces are impure, either.
Then, finally, we also have a unique practice called "Toritsugi“ which means mediation. In Konkokyo, Toritsugi (Mediation) is a spiritual practice for people to establish a communication link between themselves and Tenchi Kane no Kami.
One can receive Toritsugi by a Konkokyo minister, generally at a Konkokyo church. A visitor enters the church, sits in front of the minister, and says whatever is on their mind.
It can be a request to resolve a problem, or a word of thanks. In Toritsugi, after the visitor says everything they have wanted to say, the minister relays the visitor’s words to Tenchi Kane No Kami. Tenchi Kane no Kami then replies their message to the minister, who will then relay it back to the person.
By understanding the message of Tenchi Kane No Kami’s teachings and advice, the visitor can receive guidance to their issues, or feel relieved from anxieties knowing the deity has heard their words.
Toritsugi can help the person put a problem into perspective and find solutions from within their own hearts.Tenchi Kane No Kami asks people to understand their teachings, thus to make people become aware of their relationship with the Universe and the ways of the Universe.
By working within the framework of the laws of the Universe instead of going against it, people can avoid troubles which lead to suffering.
While Toritsugi at churches is typically performed by ministers, followers of Konkokyo are also encouraged to perform Toritsugi in their daily lives to help others.
When they meet people who are suffering, the Konkokyo way is to listen to their problems, support them, and pray for their wellbeing and happiness. Tenchi Kane no Kami wishes for all people to become a mediator and help others.
And that’s mostly it! The main differences between the two. But the best thing is, you also don’t need to choose between the two. You can be both Konkokyo and Jinja Shinto at the same time. You can follow or worship in Tenchi Kane no Kami, while also consider about Yakudoshi age or participate in Setsubun for fun too. It’s not so strict, just some differences in views and interpretations, but ultimately not something like a segregation either. Actually, even as a Konko minister in Japan, you can get a dual license as a Jinja Shinto priest. As well, sometimes Konko priests assist in Jinja Shinto ceremonies, and vice versa.
Members of Iraq’s Christian minority celebrated Palm Sunday in the country’s main Christian town of Qaraqosh for the first time since it was retaken from the Islamic State group.
Hundreds of faithful gathered inside the town’s burnt out Immaculate Conception church for mass before starting the traditional Palm Sunday march, a procession during which palms are carried to commemorate Jesus’s entry to Jerusalem.
“Thank God, we are returning to our towns and churches after two years,” Abu Naimat Anay, an Iraqi priest, said inside the church, which is Iraq’s biggest and where jihadist inscriptions were still visible on the walls.
Qaraqosh, with an overwhelmingly Christian population of around 50,000 before the jihadists took over the area in August 2014, was the largest Christian town in Iraq.
It was retaken by Iraqi forces late last year as part of a massive offensive to wrest back the nearby city of Mosul from IS but it remains almost completely deserted.
The archbishop of Mosul, Yohanna Petros Mouche, moved back to the town last week but it needs to be extensively rebuilt and basic services restored before displaced Christians can return en masse.
…Many of the more than 120,000 Christians believed to have fled their homes when IS swept across the region less than three years ago moved in with relatives or into camps in the nearby autonomous region of Kurdistan.
The celebration in Qaraqosh already had a sombre mood when news broke among the faithful that IS had attacked two churches in Egypt, killing at least 38 people.
“The Christians are persecuted, but no matter how much they target us, our belief in God is great and we will stay here because we are not outsiders, we are the owners of the land,” the archbishop told AFP.
I’ve gotten a lot of prompts requesting a scene between Yousef and Sana that include kissing, usually about their first shared kiss. And those are such sweet prompts about such sweet imaginary scenarios, but out of simple respect for both these characters and their faith, I cannot write them.
Sana and (probably) Yousef are muslims, and their faith has certain rules and expectations about physical touching and intimacy between men and women, especially premarital. I had an important - and educating! - conversation about this topic with @ohstarsishalldefy (as I’m not muslim myself) and she told me about islam’s ways and rules regarding premarital relations. Kissing and “traditional” western dating is kind of off-limits, and I have no doubt that Sana, as a devoted muslim - who even stated that her faith indeed is stronger than her want to get drunk and hook up - wouldn’t want to follow these rules. And I have no intention nor desire to change or twist that.
Now, I do hope and believe in this couple and truly wish they will have a future - and I know that writing their romance will be jus as fun still! - but I will not brush off their faith for my writing or bend their beliefs in order to make my fan fiction “better”. Islam is an important part of both Yousef and Sana’s life, and I support and admire that in every way possible.
I really, really hope you back me up on this and won’t be disappointed in my decision :) xx anna
No one can be compelled to be a Christian … As little as another can go to hell or heaven for me, so little can he believe or disbelieve for me; and as little as he can open or shut heaven or hell for me, so little can he drive me to faith or unbelief. Since, then, belief or unbelief is a matter of everyone’s conscience, and since this is no lessening of the secular power, the latter should be content and attend to his own affairs and permit men to believe one thing or another, as they are able and willing, and constrain no one by force. For faith is a free work, to which no one can be forced. Nay, it is a divine work, done in the Spirit, certainly not a matter which outward authority should compel or create. Hence arises the well-known saying found also in Augustine, ‘No one can or ought to be constrained to believe.’ … It were far better, if their subjects erred, simply to let them err, than that they should constrain them to lie and to say what is not in their hearts…
Namseok, 95, “Could you please stop biting your lip… it’s distracting.”
(college au, 1k)
Group study dates have been a thing for a while now for Hoseok.
It used to just be him and Seokjin, both fretting and swearing they were oh so very fucked with this project holy fuck why did they leave this so late? Lots of energy drinks, a lot of hysterical crying, just all round good times.
After their deadlines had been met and their grades came back with a pass, and all the swearing that they would never leave anything so late ever again (Hoseok still can’t look at a Red Bull can without wanting to projectile vomit) study dates had become a regular occurrence.
Before long, Seokjin was inviting his boyfriend, Min Yoongi and then Yoongi was followed by his “not stalker, I’m just hyung’s biggest fan” KimTaehyung, which meant Park Jimin was there too and he brought some high school kid Jeon Jungkook along for some reason regarding promising someone’s mother they’d see him pass, be a good role-model, etcetera, etcetera.
Hoseok liked the extra company, he was a social person, and having more people around felt more motivating and they’d have snacks and coffee and study and honestly Hoseok’s grades were improving so it was nice. He loved his study dates and was pretty sure they were the reason he was going to pass this course with flying colours.
Until one faithful day when Hoseok agreed to something super fucking dumb on his part.
‘Where are you off to?’ Namjoon, his roommate and boyfriend, asks him on this previously stated faithful day, after Hoseok’s shovelled two books that have no reason being so fucking big into his bag.
‘Study group,’ Hoseok says. ‘Just in the library.’
‘Oh,’ Namjoon says. ‘Is it cool if I tag along?’
And the only reason Hoseok hadn’t asked Namjoon thus far was because well, he was a genius and Hoseok kinda just presumed he was too smart for study groups and because on the occasions Namjoon hang out with the rest of Hoseok’s friends they were just, well, them and it was kind of embarrassing even if Namjoon said he liked them all just fine.
So Hoseok had said yes.
What an idiot.
The study group meets twice a week. Namjoon has been joining them for about three weeks now and Hoseok has never found it harder to concentrate in his damn life.
It all comes down to the fact that Namjoon is evil. So very fucking evil, like seriously how dare he just sit there and exist all perfect and hot and fucking adorable biting his lip in concentration with the damn furrowed brow, what the fuck.
And Hoseok is only a man, and he can only handle so much of that before all his frustrations just come crawling up out of him.
‘Could you please stop biting your lip?’ Hoseok hisses, prodding Namjoon in the arm with his pen so hard he jumps. ‘It’s distracting.’
Everyone looks across at him, Hoseok shifts in his seat feeling like he’s on display and then Taehyung’s leaning towards Jimin.
‘Oh my god,’ Taehyung whispers conspiringly. ‘Hobi-hyung’s got a fixation with Namjoonie’s lips.’
Hoseok feels his face go red about the same time Namjoon pulls a face. ‘I do not!’
‘Please don’t call me Namjoonie.’
‘I mean they’re pretty nice lips, hyung,’ Jungkook says, twirling his pencil between his fingers. ‘You should get snake bites or something, I know a guy.’
‘You are not sticking anything metal through your lips, Kim Namjoon,’ Hoseok says and he’s adamant on that, the last thing he needs is Namjoon tonguing at a lip piercing.
‘But they’d look cool, hyung!’ Jimin says.
‘Yeah, Hoseok,’ Yoongi says, looking thoroughly pleased with himself like the creature of chaos he is. ‘Think of how cool they’d be.’
‘Personally I think you should get one,’ Seokjin says. ‘See how you feel about it and then get another.’
Hoseok runs a hand down his face, kinda wants to punch Namjoon in the arm when he grins big and lets Jungkook and Jimin start prodding at his bottom lip and then other parts of his perfect perfect face saying where he should get all of the piercings. Just all of them.
It’s a perfectly normal thing, to be distracted by your boyfriend’s lip biting habits. But the fact remains that the others don’t know that Namjoon and Hoseok are dating and Hoseok, he’d just like to keep it that way.
It’s something Namjoon’s never really been fussed about. He complains sometimes about not being able to hold Hoseok’s hand when they’re walking down the halls, but if Hoseok kisses him all over his face in the safety of their shared dorm room he gets over it quickly.
And Hoseok isn’t ashamed of Namjoon. He isn’t, Namjoon’s the best and Hoseok will spew poetry about just how fucking amazing he is if given the chance. But the fact remains that Hoseok’s friends group is the actual worst and will breathe down their necks and just make their dating life a living hell with the constant stream of commentary and so Hoseok just wants to keep quiet about it. Maybe tell people in a few months. Or years. Or like, after they’re married and have three adopted kids or something.
Not that Hoseok’s thinking about marrying Namjoon when they’ve only been secretly dating for four months.
(Please don’t tell Namjoon that Hoseok’s thinking about marrying Namjoon when they’ve only been secretly dating for four months and has done so since their one month anniversary).
‘Hobi-hyung has a crush,’ Taehyung coos and if he were closer Hoseok would throw something at him because fuck this little shit and fuck his own cheeks for flushing red when half the table starts giggling. Shit, it ain’t the most obvious thing in the world now–
‘Hey,’ Namjoon says, voice low and he’s somehow managed to escape the prodding so when Hoseok tilts his head over, Namjoon’s face is right there and Hoseok freezes.
Namjoon puts a hand on the back of Hoseok’s neck and guides his head forward, presses a kiss against his lips and Hoseok’s entire world explodes into all the most cliched hearts and flowers and (not the distant sound of wedding bells shut up) he doesn’t even notice all the eyes on them.
When Namjoon pulls away, interlocking their fingers under the table and giving a reassuring squeeze, Hoseok decides that Yoongi is going to be the best man at their wedding considering he is the only one who does not promptly start screaming.
I could be a very different person with my friends( a good one that i always remind them of islam) but when I am not with them,i am not that way,how do I prevent it
That’s natural. Abu Bakr and another companion (may God be pleased with them) complained to the Prophet ﷺ that they felt very spiritual in his presence, but when they were away from him, they started to feel unspiritual and concerned with the worldly life rather than the afterlife. The Prophet ﷺ said this is the natural state of humans.
What you can do is read beneficial books in your alone time, listen to beneficial lectures, read the Quran and worship. You can also spend your time doing things you enjoy, such as a hobby, since Islam does not require you to spend all of your time in worship.
Once you can avoid sins small and great and are able to perform all of the recommended voluntary prayers, then you have reached the proper state of faith and spirituality, and from there on you can spend some of your time seeking knowledge and the rest of it doing things you enjoy.
I was so confused by how they positioned Trish’s relationship with Jessica in the pilot like??
We’re first introduced to Jessica as a badass PI and cynical misanthrope who states that she has no faith in humanity/relationships and thus generally avoids getting “involved” with people??
But then we are shown the huge bus ads and posters with Trish’s face plastered all over them as the literal representation of ~the only exception~?? And we see that Jessica just can’t stop thinking about her??? She sees Trish everywhere, not only in her thoughts but everywhere she turns???
Then Jessica climbs onto Trish’s balcony to ask for help when she finds out that Kilgrave is back, which, correct me if I’m wrong, but aren’t balconies often coded in distinctly romantic ways (also Jessica is almost romantically framed with pretty city lights in the background and both of them have their hair gently blowing in the wind like are you kidding me)????
And their conversation is basically just two former lovers being emotional and talking about their past and their feelings what with “you shut me out” and “you were keeping tabs on me?” and “I was never the hero you wanted me to be”?????
Like, what the fuck were you trying to do show?????? AM I READING TOO MUCH INTO THINGS
1. The classic horror: I’ll never tire of well-done ghost stories and this was soo well executed. The plot was super tropey but Yockey made it feel fresh and had me biting my nails. What really made this part of the ep work though were the astoundingly perfect set design and the perfect pacing and camera work. Those masks and the house! All the kudos!
2. Billie: Holy hell, so good to have her back and as the new Death no less. This twist could easily have felt wonky and strained, but the dialogue was awesome and Lisa Berry carried the rest with her captivating presence. I love this. And I’m looking forward to the role she’ll play in the further proceedings.
3. Deeeeeaaaan: I felt so much for him in this and can’t thank Steve Yockey enough for digging deeper into his state of mind. Dean’s lost faith got translated into not seeing the goal anymore, not believing that the good that comes out of their work is worth the price they have to pay for it. I think it’s good that this got clarified and I have a feeling Dean will carry that doubt with him for a bit longer even now that he gets Cas back. It hurts so much to see Dean at his lowest point, not even angry anymore, just done. The conversation with Billie was especially heartbreaking, and gave me so many feels about 2x09’s “I’m tired of this job, this life” speech. And the moment between Dean and Sam over the car at the end… Jensen once again did an incredible job conveying all the wariness and heartbreak and I, as a sucker for angst, love every second of it.
4. CAS: Well, okay, yeah, it was only a few seconds but still – my heart. Dean’s face when he accepted the call, the music, the ominous street light and then … and then Cas turning to Dean and you can practically hear the “Hello, Dean”, and the camera doesn’t even pretend to be interested in Sam’s reaction an d u gh ..
Bonus points: “Ghostfacers” throwback in the cold open +++ PB & J: He didn’t make it for Cas but I’m sure he made it thinking of him +++ Dean talking to Shawn and being all empathetic and wonderful +++ Evan is the one how wants to hunt monsters, Shawn runs away but gets dragged in against his will – I see you Yockey +++ “I just need a win” – “I needed to come back here with a win for you” (12x19)… I’m fine+++ CAS IS BACK AND NOTHING HURTS
US Model 1902 Army Officer’s Sword, Colt Model 1911 Pistol, and other militaria which belonged to Major General Franklin Wilmer Ward, veteran of the Battle of the Somme and Adjutant-General of the New York State Militia
The City screamed. Lights and factories belted out in a low and drowsy tune, one the tenants had long since tuned out. The cameras and their lousy eyes followed and hummed and the phone booths sung. The people, fuzzy from their latest dose of pills, stumbled dizzily through the streets, their glossy shoes clacking against the harsh concrete paths.
Yes, the City was loud, but to say the desert was quiet would be lie.
The desert was alive and angry, it buzzed with electricity and spat venom made of radio waves. The desert and its rough air was an untamable beast. Thick and woozy with clouds of sand that plumed up with the slightest of movements and pulled you under its grainy surface. It left a stinging tang on the tip of your tongue and could just about melt your skin off.
The desert wasn’t your friend, but under no circumstances were you to make it your enemy.
The droid in the passenger seat bobbed with every movement of the car, comatose and sun baked. Latex and hot plastic met worn leather and some would say she belonged there, splayed out in the seat of a tattered ute going who knows where. Maybe she dreamt of neon streets, maybe she dreamt of nothing at all. Maybe she was just dead.
The girl standing in the tray wasn’t in much better shape. Her skin was slick with the silky perfume she traded her rations for, and it wafted from her neck out into the fiery horizon. Her eyelids were heavy with thick red powder and her lips were sticky with glassy orange paint. She wasn’t there, not in the car, not in the desert. She was groggy with everything the stalls could give her, miles up and tipsy with the thrill of it all. She’d set up her mic that night and tell anyone willing to lend their ears all about it. They’d find a friend in her voice, she said, they’d find comfort in her words.
Behind the wheel sat a girl with a head full of dizzy smoke. It trailed from her brain down her throat and out her mouth. She was smeared with burn holes and dirt, sprayed with blots of colour and acid and she swore she could still feel the pills in her stomach, melting through the bottom and spinning through her veins. She saw teeth, fangs and atom bombs behind her eyelids, she slurred out her visions to the others and they nodded solemnly as if it actually meant anything. She drove fast, in a direction the road picked for them and she held her gun lazily out the window. If anyone came for them they’d be dead, no use trying to fight while in their state.
The radio drawled on, the good doctor spelling out the state of everyone’s faith that night as casually as you would the weather. They’d died about five times according to him, but that kind of thing could never be measured out there, so nobody blamed him. The Witch had her own way, booting the dead back to the living if they didn’t die the way she planned. Old faces swirled back into people’s peripheral vision. ‘I killed you already’ wasn’t an uncommon phrase.
The desert drifted on for what felt like forever, sandy tendrils reaching out to touch the horizon. The sun was setting, and soon the harsh bite of the day would be replaced by the freezing sting of the night.
Maybe it was an angel, one made of torn jeans and empty stomachs, or just the force of the desert, doped up on Crystal Pepsi and giddy with nuclear energy, but it pointed the grotty ute in the right direction. An ancient junkyard, one of the few that survived the bombing. There were scraps and billboards and a lone building, hunched over in what looked like pain.
They’d camp there for the night, broadcast, recharge and sleep. The junk would probably protect them well enough.
“There’s scraps and junk that deserve to be free,” the droid had said once.
imagine being the inquisitor’s family and finding out what happened to them
“well……..your relative is the sole survivor of an apocalyptic explosion and the inadvertent founder of a cult, and has now become the leader of what is essentially a small but well-armed city-state of the faithful”
Where's the Faith in the Great Game? How do they function on a Trans-Westerosi during this time when kingdoms are going at it? Do they stand neutral/No one has tried to get the High Septon on their side?
This is an excellent question!
The pre-unification Faith of the Seven is a topic that I (and others) findto bea fascinatingmystery, because you would expect the Faith to be frequently involved in inter-regional conflict, either as an instigator or a mediator.
Instead, we have a very brief period where the Faith is used to inspire the Andals during their conquest of the Vale, and a little bit of the same in the Riverlands, but little thereafter.
This is strange, for a couple reasons. First, the Faith headquartered themselves in Oldtown, and far from remaining aloof from politics, almost immediately we see the first High Septon serving as the regent of Oldtown for twenty years. As I’ve said, this is going to have regional implications.
Second, the Faith established a standing military arm (the Warrior’s Sons and the Poor Fellows) and you don’t do that just to protect itinerant septons, escort pilgrims, and protect septs. You do that because you’re going to be fighting in wars.
However, we do get one example of the Faith involving themselves in the Great Game, which we can extrapolate from to work out a model of their political behavior. As we learn in the Riverlands chapter, the Faith Militant fought for King Humfrey Teague when the Blackwoods rose up against him and then when Arlan III Durrandon invaded the Riverlands to back them up.
So what can we learn from this?
The Faith of the Seven was active in the Great Game. While not a competitor in its own right because it lacked the equivalent of the Papal States, the Faith acted to promote some kings and, presumably, against others.
This activity extended to military intervention. This is something of a risk, because you can imagine a lot of monarchs who would get very nervous about allowing the Faith Militant to operate in their kingdoms if the Faith Militant was going to get involved in internal politics.
The Faith used their influence to shape religious policy specifically. Humfrey Teague didn’t get the Faith’s support just because he was a charming guy, he got it by building “many septs and motherhouses across the riverlands“ and by seeking to “repress the worship of the old gods within his realm.”
So where would we expect to see the Faith getting involved in the Great Game?
Well, I would be very surprised if the Faith wasn’t involved in persuading Andals to conquer the Iron Islands (given their bloody reputation on the mainland and their religious differences), or in calling for the punitive raid against Hagon the Heartless (both for his crimes against the Mother and the Shrike’s religious purge).
Likewise, I would expect the Faith to have been involved in prolonging the War Across the Water between the North and the Vale once the initial invasions of the North failed, as the best hope for continuing the fight against the pagans.
I could also imagine the Faith to try to use the Great Game to crack down on regional religious divides: are the septons in Sunspear getting a bit too “Rhoynish” for the High Septon’s tastes, or is the Most Devout of the Stormlands getting a bit too big for his britches? Well, a war can turn into a crusade very easily.
And I would definitely imagine that the Great Game would infiltrate into the Faith. Since the Most Devout elect the High Septon, I would imagine that the elections would become very much like the elections to the papacy during the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and Early modern period, where the various nations of Europe would vie to get their candidate on the papal throne as a way to extend their influence and thwart their rivals. Naturally, the Westerlands would have the most cash, the Reach would have the home field advantage, but there’s a lot of votes to be had from the Vale and the Stormlands and the Riverlands and Dorne, so I imagine the competition would get very complicated.