Concept: immortal vampire scion of a dying royal line going to increasingly desperate lengths to get their various relations married off in a way that keeps themselves as far from the line of succession as possible, because the peculiar interaction between holy symbols and the vampiric condition means that if they ever actually inherit the divine right of kings, they’ll immediately explode.
Parts of the internet are completely freaking out about how this woman thinks Squidward qualifies as a demonic entity and I’m just like “welcome to America’s religious rhetoric circa 1991.” This is the first person like this in the public eye since I was a kid but there used to be thousands of them and they were gravely respected by the Christians and Catholics I was exposed to. They’d ban their kids from watching the Lion King because talking animals in “real life” would “most likely” be a demonic trick to lure and corrupt children. If that sounds weirdly specific it’s because I’m recounting a literal specific example. There were even households that didn’t allow Veggietales for the same reason.
There’s even a verse somewhere in the bible that says “from birth, the imagination of man is evil by nature” and they would quote that as proof that their kids must never be allowed to enjoy fantasy or even explore their own creativity too deeply. Realistic media only. Realistic thoughts only. Everything else was demons.
She’s either going to be a short-lived meme or her loose connection to Trump will drive a new Satanic Panic movement so buckle up for that possibility.
I swear the problem with a lot of political discussion on this site stems from recognising that many ills are primarily institutional rather than individual, but still trying to apply the Christian notion of redemptive suffering, so we end up chasing ourselves up our own assholes trying to figure out how to inflict pain on a corporation.
A random guy came into my school to tell us about the Bible. “The Bible says women should always be quiet and obedient,” he said. “It also says they should be able to shapeshift into dragons any time they want to.” And then there was a long silence while we all tried to process that.
There was an event where people were supposedly going to meet “God”. We were all seated in a university lecture hall and after a very long wait a really beautiful woman showed up and I asked her if she was who we were waiting for. She was very flattered but said, “Me?? Oh no..he actually came, observed the audience from the end of the corridor and left.” People were devastated, some even started crying.
You know what I don’t get? Christians and Crosses. Like I get it you believe Jesus died on a Cross but why would you want to wear that? Why would God want you to? Like imagine someone important to you died from being shot, would you decorate your house with guns? Would you wear gun necklaces? Would you feel comfortable seeing other people doing so? Almost celebrating the thing that took the life of someone dear to you? Doesn’t make sense does it?
God looked like a Godzilla-sized lemur with a voice that sounded like AOC. She emerged from the lake that reached the centre of the earth and said to me: “Humanities in their hubris has lived unchallenged for too long.” So she introduced to the world a natural predator of humans. To let us stand a chance, God also turned everyone into half spiders so we could run faster.
Untitled Poem CV from ‘Absolute Solitude’ Dulce María Loynaz, 2016 (posthumous) // detail from ‘Jacob Wrestling the Angel’ Léon Joseph Florentin Bonnat, 1876 // detail from ‘Jakob ringt mit dem Engel’ Rembrandt Harmensz van Rijn, c. 1659 // Untitled Poem LXXXVI from ‘Absolute Solitude’ Dulce María Loynaz, 2016 (posthumous) // ‘Jacob Wrestling with the Angel’ Gustave Doré, 1885 // description of ‘Jacob and the Angel’ Sir Jacob Epstein, 1940-41
Cleansing is the act of erasing negative unwanted energies from an object, space or person. Banishing is sometimes mistaken for cleansing, banishing is much more forceful and requires more preparation. Here are some cleansing methods I frequently use.
For this method you can use sage, incense or any herb bundle. Simply burn it and navigate the smoke over the object, person or space. Intent is key.
Soil / Salt
Bury the object in soil or salt for a day.
Water friendly crystals can be bathed in moon water to be cleansed. You can also cleanse yourself, for example by taking a bath with moon water.
Idea; clean your altar space with moon water in order to cleanse it.
“Abolish religion if you like. Throw everything on secular government if you like. But do not be surprised if a machinery that was never meant to do anything but secure external decency and order fails to secure internal honesty and peace.”
In the “lynching era,” between 1880 to 1940, white Christians lynched nearly five thousand black men and women in a manner with obvious echoes of the Roman crucifixion of Jesus. Yet these “Christians” did not see the irony or contradiction in their actions.
Not a religious person, but… science does discount or not rule out the existence of a god or divine intervention. In fact, the more we learn about the universe and the more our technology develops, the more we realize how plausible it is.
We know it’s possible for a computer or similar technology to simulate a reality as detailed as our own. It would need to be what is known as a Jupiter Brain *(a computer the size of Jupiter), but it is theoretically possible. It could theoretically be fine-tuned by someone else, of a higher intelligence or of a kind of intelligence we could not possibly understand. Our minds to theirs the difference between our minds and an ants?
The more we understand terraforming and gene editing and contemplate voluntarily seeding other planets with Earth life, the more we realize it could have been done by someone or something else to put us here.
Who’s to say our universe isn’t inside a black hole, and that the big bang was the moment that black hole opened, from the perspective of inside that ‘nothingness’? And we know you can create black holes.
And who’s to say someone or something else isn’t making use of technology beyond anything our modern day peoples minds are capable of understanding, to manipulate laws of the universe we haven’t even discovered yet, to do things we currently think are undoable?
It’s purely hypothetical. But it’s not impossible.
Hagia Sophia, its original full name being Ναός της Αγίας του Θεού Σοφίας (Church of the Holy Wisdom of God) is a Greek Orthodox Church located in Istanbul, present day Turkey.
The church was completed in 537 by the orders of the Byzantine emperor Justinian I and it was the most precious and impressive landmark of Constantinople and the entirety of the Byzantine Empire. The basilica was designed by the Greek geometers Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles. Upon setting his eyes on the completed church, it is said that Justinian cried out in Byzantine Greek “Νενίκηκά σέ, Σολομών!” (Neníkiká se, Solomón) which means “I have outdone thee, Solomon!” He was referring to Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem, whose majesty had been unparalleled according to the Hebrew Bible. Hagia Sophia remained the largest cathedral in the world for the next thousand years.
Hagia Sophia became the seat of the Patriarchate of Constantinople.
The basilica suffered a lot of damage due to earthquakes, fires and during the era of Byzantine Iconoclasm, when the use of religious images was prohibited. At that time, Emperor Leo the Isaurian (726) ordered the icons to be destroyed, a damage that Empress Irene of Athens (797 - 802) tried to reprieve as much as possible. The cathedral was repaired after each of its destructions.
In 1204, Constantinople was sacked by the Crusaders. According to Greek historian Niketas Choniates, the crusaders stripped Hagia Sophia of all its gold and silver ornaments and several furnishings. According to Arab historian
Ali ibn al-Athir, the crusaders also massacred some of its clerics. During the Latin Occupation of Constantinople (1204-1261) Hagia Sophia functioned as a Roman Catholic Church but its extensive damage was not repaired until its return to Orthodox control.
On 29 May 1453, Constantinople fell to the attacking forces of the Ottoman Turks which marked the end of the Byzantine Empire and the beginning of a several centuries long enslavement of Greek and Slavic people. During the siege of the city, the women, children, elderly and sick seeked refuge inside Hagia Sophia. When the city fell, the Ottoman troops headed to pillage the Church first thing.The sick and elderly they found inside the Church were killed and the children and women were sold as slaves. When Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror came to see the church himself, he immediately ordered it to be converted into a mosque. Mehmed renovated Hagia Sophia and retained its name as Aya Sofya, which became the first imperial mosque in Constantinople, now called Istanbul.
During Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent’s reign (1520-1566), the gorgeous mosaics depicting Jesus, Mary and various Byzantine emperors were covered by whitewash and plaster, which was removed only in 1931.
Until the 20th century, Hagia Sophia had been renovated and modified many times, especially with the addition of structures of the Islamic faith. The most notable example of restoration was by Sultan Abdulmejid (1823 - 1861) who hired the Swiss-Italian architects Gaspare and Giuseppe Fossati for the job. The brothers worked on strengthening the structure in many ways and tried to prevent further damage to the Christian mosaics and decorations.
Gaspare Fossati’s 1852 depiction of the Hagia Sophia, which he and his brother renovated. Lithograph by Louis Haghe
In 1931, Mustafa Kemal
Atatürk, first president of the Republic of Turkey, which is the natural successor of the Ottoman Empire, ordered that Hagia Sophia should be turned into a museum. He was thus trying to make Turkey a secular state and lead it to the path of a more contemporary and tolerant society. For the first time in centuries, the carpets were removed to reveal the marble floor decorations and the plaster was also removed, uncovering many of the worn mosaics. The state of the Church was deteriorating and its restoration was funded by WMF. It was finished in 2006. By 2014, Hagia Sophia was the second most visited museum in Turkey, with 3.3 million visitors annually. In 2006, the Turkish government permitted Christians and Muslims alike to pray in a small room but it was strictly prohibited in the rest of the building.
In 2007, Greek American and Turkish movements started campaigns so that Hagia Sophia would function as a church or a mosque respectively. Since the 2010s, several turkish campaigns and government officials demanded Hagia Sophia to be turned to a mosque again. When Pope Francis acknowledged the Armenian Genocide in 2015, which Turkey officially denies, the Mufti of Ankara threatened that the conversion of Hagia Sophia would be accelerated. In 2016 and ever since, muslim prayers have been held there by various groups but
the Association for the Protection of Historic Monuments and the Environment
filed a lawsuit and the court decided the monument should remain a museum.
Since 2018, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expressed his intent to convert Hagia Sophia to a mosque, aiming to ensure the vote of the religious populace. He added that
Atatürk’s move to make Hagia Sophia a museum was a “very big mistake”. Inside Hagia Sophia, he dedicated his prayer to all the souls who “left them this work of inheritance” and especially the conqueror of the Church and its city. In May 2020, Turkey celebrated the anniversary of the Fall of Constantinople with an Islamic prayer inside Hagia Sophia. Greece condemned that action and the Turkish goverment called that stance futile.
On 10 July 2020, and in the mid of tense relations of Turkey with many countries, including Greece, the Council of State with Erdogan’s influence decided the turn of Hagia Sophia to a mosque. The decision received secular and global criticism as well as requests to be undone. The decision is supported by the large majority of the politicians in Turkey and the largest part of the public. A few Turk scholars have denounced the decision. With a blatant indifference to the concerns, the Turkish president invited
many foreign leaders
to the opening of Hagia Sophia as a mosque, including some of those expressing concern and particularly Pope Francis.
On 22 July, the ancient marble floor was covered once again with carpets. The Christian mosaics will be once again hidden with curtains and lasers, with the promise that they won’t be further destroyed.
As Hagia Sophia is a UNESCO World Heritage Monument, this decision needed the official agreement of its committee. This step was ignored and UNESCO announced its deep regret for this decision. The World Council of Churches, Pope Francis, the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople and the Russian Orthodox Church’s Patriarch Kirill of Moscow have denounced the conversion. Josep Borrell, the EU’s high representative of the foreign affairs, Greek culture Minister Lina Mendoni, the spokesperson of the USA Morgan Ortagus,
Jean-Yves Le Drian, the foreign minister of France,
Vladimir Dzhabarov, deputy head of the foreign affairs committee of the Russian Federation Council have all criticised the move. The former deputy prime minister of Italy Mario Salvini led a protest against the decision, calling for all plans of a future accession of Turkey in the EU
to be terminated once and for all. Greece and Cyprus called for EU sanctions on Turkey. A protest was held in East Jerusalem, Israel, during which a Turkish flag was burned and a Greek and a Greek Orthodox Church flag were displayed.
From the other side, Ersin Tatar, the prime minister of the “Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus”, congratulated the decision. This state is globally recognised only by Turkey, as the rest of the world acknowledges it as occupation of the northern part of Cyprus since the Turkish invasion in 1974. The foreign ministry of Iran, the Arab Maghreb Union, the grand Mufti of Oman and the
Pakistani politician Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi supported the decision. The Muslim Judicial Council in South Africa celebrated by sacrificing a camel.
On the other hand, Shawki Allam, grand Mufti of Egypt, ruled that conversion of the Hagia Sophia to a mosque is “impermissible”.
Hagia Sophia opened as a mosque for Friday prayers on 24 July amongst celebrations and even songs with lyrics such as “you were always ours and we’ll always be yours”.
In Greece, bells tolled and flags flew at half-staff at hundreds of churches across the country in protest. It is the fourth Byzantine Greek church converted from museum to a mosque during Erdoğan’s rule.
And that is the story of Hagia Sophia.
*All information is from Wikipedia and various news sites.
Also - despite the fact it made the story about 10000% bleaker, I liked that someone finally made immortality a curse. I’m so fucking tired of these wine-snorting vampires prancing around the centuries like casual sex and retaking Chemistry 101 for the 56th time is actually One Fine Life?
Immortality sucks ass. Immortality already sucked ass a long time ago - from Homer’s gods to the bitter giants of the Arthurian tales, no immortal is ever truly happy, and why would they be?
(Imagine the heartbreak. The loneliness. The constant, enduring grief.)
In a way, I often lowkey suspected this new phenomenon of the ‘cool-ass vampire’ must be somehow tied to our descent into late-stage capitalism - in a world where human connection is nothing compared to constant & relentless consumerism, being immortal is no longer a curse, but a way to keep enjoying life forever (centuries of buying new shit, the time and money to exhaust every single Buzzfeed shopping list - what bliss). And maybe stuff like The Old Guard is a sign something’s changing. That we’re waking up, and we’re slowly realizing what Homer and the Gawain Poet and so many others - including JRR Tolkien, who saw the horrors of WW1 and half his friends wiped off the face of the Earth - have been trying to convey for centuries: human life is finite, and what makes it worthwhile is love - the quiet, persistent, low-volume love you share with friends and family and loyal pets and beautiful summer days. Nothing else truly matters.
I think a lot of people, particularly white people, don’t realise that not all religions are purely based on belief
I was raised as a Hindu by my mum and a Jain by my grandma. by belief, I am agnostic. but Hindus and Jains are both ethnoreligious groups. that means our ethnic groups and religious beliefs go hand in hand. that doesn’t mean that every Indian person is a Hindu, it means for Hindu Indians, both parts of our identities affect each other and everything else about us.
so I don’t logically believe in Hinduism or Jainism but they are both a huge part of my culture. my clothing, my food, my festivals, even a lot of my habits are informed by Hinduism and Jainism even though I don’t have a set belief in God. I celebrate the festivals and learn and tell the stories of my Gods even if they’re not my Gods (and technically Jainism is a branch of atheism anyway, it’s just religious atheism). Pallavi Gunalan (y'all should check her out - not all comedians are cishet white men) said “my family… we’re Hindu by culture but atheist by intelligence” and even though it was just a line in her set it sums up the experience of so many people from ethnoreligious backgrounds
I’m an atheist. I’ve always mostly considered religion as part of my general “tolerate everything”, “live and let live”, etc principle. In practice it seems like a pretty poor predictor of whether or not someone will be kind or mean, like other poor predictors like race and favorite sports team and things like that.
I’m mostly unbothered by most religion. It’s just, many (most?) Christians, specifically, seem to have a belief system where they simultaneously believe “God sends people to hell if they do no bad things other than not believe in him” and also “everything God does is good”.
And that as a belief really scares me, because that implies a super fundamental difference is morality that’s difficult to reconcile. I always wonder about my Christian friends, how could they think that sending me to hell was a good thing? In practice, a lot of them say “I don’t really believe that specific interpretation of hell” and a lot of them say “it’s complicated” and don’t really have much of an explanation.
I’ve never really done anything about this dissonance. It’s never really affected my friendships, fortunately. But the end result is, I definitely feel vaguely uncomfortable in Christian spaces, while, like, Buddhist or Shinto spaces feel perfectly welcoming.