Republican Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey signed a bill allowing adoption agencies throughout the state to reject gay couples looking to adopt a child, and, more generally, reject any applying parents who conflict with their stated religious beliefs, AL.comreported Wednesday.
The law disallows the state from “refusing to license or renew the license” of any adoption agencies which cite religious beliefs when refusing child placements.
While it does not actually prevent gay couples or other LGBTQ individuals from adopting a child in the state, it does protect faith-based groups from retaliation for discriminating against them when choosing prospecting parents. Read more (5/3/17 11:30 PM)
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.”
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…
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.
There’s also something to say about the fact that it was in front of a playground where Cas first confessed to Dean about his doubts, and that now it’s at another playground where Cas tells him, in his mind-controlled state, that he has ‘faith’…
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”
What happens to everyone who died before Christ was crucified? They of course wouldn't have been able to accept God's love in the form of Jesus' death if it hadn't happened yet. And along the same line of questioning, what happens to everyone who dies never knowing about God at all? Like if there's some island out in the Pacific Ocean that's inhabited, but no one knows about it, what happens when they die? If they never hear His Word, then they never have the chance to repent.
These are some of my favorite questions to answer!
1.) Salvation before crucifixion
Let’s take a look at Hebrews 11:1-2, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony.” The elders it refers to here are people like Abraham, Moses, ect. which the chapter talks about later on. The Bible states that it was through faith that they received favour in God’s sight, just as today “It is by grace you have been saved through faith.” (Ephesians 2:8). We see the evidence of their faith in the sacrifices they made, the obedience they demonstrated, but that faith, believing in God, that is what saved them, just as that is what saves us now. We believe that God is who He says He is and we trust Him to fulfill His promises. Hebrews 11:5-6 says, “By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, ‘and was not found, because God had taken him’; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.“ Galatians 3 also reiterates that it was only by faith and not through their works that the predecessors were saved, as it is only by faith that we are saved today.
2.) Those who have never heard about God
Romans 1:20 answers this by saying, “For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse.“ God says that creation alone is proof enough that there is an almighty God, so that no one can say they didn’t know God existed. Not only that, but God has given us a basic understanding of morality, so we can neither plead ignorance in that way (Romans 2). Furthermore, God promises to reveal Himself to all those who diligently seek Him. “And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.“ (Jeremiah 29:13)
Regardless of some obviously glaring mistakes in Sana’s portrayal of Salah, which I’m sure were made on purpose due to time constraints, I’m really glad they showed her praying.
From season 1 Sana has stated that her faith is a choice. Her not drinking, not having sex is a choice, it’s not forced on her.
Then you see her brother and his friends.
They chose to party while she chose to pray. Mikael was drinking while Sana didn’t even want to be touched by those who were drinking when she was in a state of purity (the ritual she did in the bathroom).
These are all choices they made despite Sana having the same up bringing as her brother and most probably his friends.
Middle Eastern (Omani), Muslim, MLM (Specific sexuality not stated)
Salim is introduced as an immigrant from Oman struggling through his first week in the United States. He arranges meetings with American businessmen whom waste his time by never showing up, and deals with anger from his brother-in-law for not having made a successful sale since he’s arrived in the U.S. He explains his struggles to his cab driver on his way home one night, before realizing that the cab driver is an Ifrit, a mythological entity from Arabian folklore. He and the Jinn connect romantically, and portray a sex scene between Middle Eastern men on screen, which is still very rare in the Western media. Salim and the Jinn also represent one of the few non-white gay couples shown on American television.
Salim is described by Neil Gaiman and Bryan Fuller as Muslim, but he does not actively state his faith within the episode in which he is introduced.
The presence of the Jinn, an entity from the folklore of an active religion, in a fictional show about mythical forgotten deities from dead religions, could be seen as sacrilegious. A scene between this entity and a human could also be seen as sacrilegious.
Salim appears to be closeted, which is logical considering that in his country of origin, Oman, expression of homosexuality is illegal by up to three years in prison. However, the Jinn appears to grant Salim’s “wish” by completely erasing his identity and connection to his family, which suggests that even his family in the United States is unaware of his sexual orientation. This reinforces the stereotype that Muslims in the west are intolerant of homosexuality.
Clarice Lispector, born in 1920 in Ukraine, arrived in Brazil with her parents when she was only two months old. She was a Jewish writer, who authored mostly novels and short stories, all written in Brazilian Portuguese. Her characters were mostly women, but she always said she “belonged to both genders”. Her books were very mystical, and very focused on inner states, deep emotions, and faith. And she was gorgeous of course.