Non denominational christian churches near me
2014.05.21 04:14 DailyVerse
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2008.07.16 18:22 Christianity by grace through faith in Christ alone.
A non-denominational subreddit for the encouragement of Bible-believing Christians, to the glory of God. We place an emphasis on sharing biblically sound advice and content with one another. /Christians is also a Protestant-based forum upholding the Five Solas of the Reformation, including salvation by grace alone through faith alone in Christ alone. "In Essentials Unity, In Non-Essentials Liberty, In All Things Charity." Discord: https://discord.gg/bTCEqNW2qG
2012.08.01 16:13 In Essentials
"In Essentials Unity, In Non-Essentials Liberty, In All Things Charity"
2023.03.26 13:29 AbhiFT [REQUEST][STEAM] Gift card of $36 or £29.90 for MS Flight Simulator 2020 [FOURTH ATTEMPT]
This is my fourth try still asking for a GiftCard amounting to the same sale price of the game. I know copy paste is not appreciated here for re-attempts, but last time I really worked hard on the poem for three days (I Know the poem sucks) and people seemed displeased with it. Further I really don't have anymore to say. I have seen some old posts where this game was asked by people but was never gifted once, but some other games here are gifted again and again. I really don't know why this game doesn't get any love, but I would really appreciate you for gifting this to me. And I will one day pay you in some way or another. What is MS Flight Simulator 2020 about?
Game (40th AE is the base game): MS Flight Simulator 40th Base Edition
Microsoft has a long history with Flight Simulators. Their first Flight simulator was released in 1982. While the previous games were fun, the new MS Flight Simulator does something incredible which no other game has ever done: It simulates the topography of the entire Earth as accurate as possible to real world through satellite data of Bing/Google maps along with Cloud Computing to generate better visuals and real data for air traffic and weather. Moreover, it also takes real wind and real-world time into consideration.
The game also has an active community-driven add-ons that only makes the game even more realistic and grander. If any game has the biggest world map of all, this is it. This game has the world map almost as big as the Earth itself. You can visit many of the world-famous attractions like Eiffel Tower, The Taj Mahal and even football stadiums! But you can also explore some famous landscapes as well, and if you fly low enough, you can experience some wildlife too. The game features Geese, Seagulls, Grizzly Bears, Black Bears, Elephants, Giraffes, Flamingos. You can experience the beautiful endless sea, but make sure you have enough fuel; You surely don't want to end up like Chuck Noland, and to make matters worse, you won't have your trustee, Wilson!
Microsoft Flight Simulator features 25 handcrafted airports, 4 classic commercial airports, 14 heliports and 15 glider airports. There are over 37,000 total airports in the game along with 37 airplanes, gliders, and helicopters with unique flight models, the likes of A320 Neo, Boeing 747, Cessna, DA62, and the cutest CTLS and A5, with detailed interiors of the cockpit. Isn't that the ultimate definition of simulation? Why I want it:
I love exploring the world, something I am not financially able to do in real world. Every Time I watch something on TV, it's 90% of the time travel channels. The first time I tried Flight Simulator on my friend's PC, I fell in love with it. What I love about MSFS is the grand scale of the game. While in games like ETS 2 even a 4,000 KM journey can be completed in 3-4 hours, with MSFS, it would take real world time. For example, it takes ~1h 15m non-stop flight from Paris to London (Average), so it would also take almost the same amount of time in the game too (that is real world 1h 15m). Even staying in the cloudy sky is so much fun with sunlight shining, thunder and rain. I love playing simulation, tycoon games as they are the pinnacle of freedom in gaming world with no bounds. I remember when I played Flight simulator 2000 back in 2003 and wondered, what a shitty game. Seriously, at that time I thought who would play this game with 65% of the screen occupied by the cockpit? And here I am today.
What I love about the FS 2020 game:
I am in touch with the MSFS community on Discord and YouTube videos, with always waiting for max737Ifly video to show up as his videos are so good and realistic (even my mom loves watching it). I just cannot get enough from this game.
- There is nothing unlocked in the world. I don't have to pay extra or do specific tasks to unlock some part of the world. I can visit any place any time!
- The scale is grand. This has the biggest map of any game.
- So many different airplanes to choose from and they all act and feel different.
- This game is very relaxing. I can just unwind and soak the beauty of the world from the comfort of my chair.
- I love this game cause it takes up whopping over 150GB of Disk space.
- I love pushing and flicking buttons. Especially the flick switches. They are so yumm to touch. And the clicky sound it makes is better than any orgasm. Basically, I am flicking and pushing buttons while flying around in a tube.
- I can crash the plane without having to worry about anything.
- Landing! Landing in this game is like going to final exam without studying anything. If you nail it, that feeling is amazing!
- I can fly along with the birds!
- I can land the plane anywhere I want. Even in a grassfields or your ex's backyard.
- I am tired of playing the repeat levels of Fall Guys.
- The full detailed cockpit is amazing!
- Realistic ATC commands with interactions. If I am angry, I can choose to ignore the ATC.
- I need to find more things I like after playing the game.
I can play this game even when I am listening to Podcasts and it makes such an immersive experience. The tiny details the game provides, like waiting instructions from ATC before you move a muscle, dialing the knobs, flipping tiny switches in the cockpit only adds to the experience which I enjoy a lot. This game is enjoyed by both, casual gamers and professional pilots as well. The game sends me to another world and is like a therapy for me. And playing MS Flight Simulator makes me feel like a bird. The game brings me a joy I cannot express through words.
Here are some content from the game:
Here is me playing FS on my friend's PC:
- Some beautiful scenes (this is just a trailer)
- Beautiful clouds
- FS vs Real life
- Hudson River
why I can't get it:
- Potash Ponds
- Simpson Desert
- The deep hole near Antarctica
I cannot afford it to be honest. I have taken some surveys to earn a bit here and there to collect for the game but it's such a long process and the reward is generally not worth it. My bad luck is that due to a technical mistake, the game was selling with 80% discount but due to time zone difference, I couldn't grab on the once in a lifetime opportunity. I also tried other giveaways for steam gift cards, but I never win them, and they are so rare to come by. I am really struggling with money and hence I am here.
Because I cannot afford the game, I tried to look into alternatives:
An explanation of why GamePass and MS Rewards ain't the way:
- Xplanes really is the only contender, but it lacks the real-time aspect of weather, wind, terrain MS Flight Simulator provides. Moreover, it's more about planes and their simulation than exploration.
- DCS World, which is a full-on military combat simulation game. Even though that game is extremely hard to play with a keyboard, I still managed to play some couple of hours in it. However, it's really not something I am interested in as It's not a game where you can explore the world and the Jet planes are very speedy and hard to control. Compared to that, Flight Simulator is more of an arcade style game and controlling it is fun and easy even with keyboard and mouse.
MS Rewards: In India, we can only get an Amazon gift voucher for Rs. 250 for 4,000 points. So only 162 points are allotted per day to farm. Given that, I get mere Rs. 250 in 25 days. So a total of something around 64,000 points required for a total of Rs 4000. This is what the game costs now post sale. So it would take me around more than a year to accumulate so many points. By then I might just lose interest in the game.
Game Pass: I don't have a card that can work with game pass. And in the long run it will cost me far more than what the game would have cost me. I also won 2 month free game pass key on reddit which I wasn't able to redeem due to card issue. It's a game that I plan to play for a really long time.
Also, I am saving to get a 500GB SSD just for this game along with some add-ons. I won't be asking here if I could have afforded all of these. I cannot get both of them. And SSD costs more than the game.
why you should gift it to me:
I will be playing this game everyday and you won't feel your money is wasted. This gift will bring such a big smile to my face that even Joker would feel ashamed. I know many people hoard games and don't play them, or they play for a few times and stop. I can guarantee you that once I get this game, I will be playing it every single day! This game is the reason I am for the first time requesting for a game here. And I promise I will do justice to the game and gifter. I am not requesting for any deluxe version or anything, just the base game will suffice for me. I can say it from my heart that the day I get this game, will be the day I will be flying in the air of joy! As this community works on the principle of making others happy with no selflessness! But I can never be happy unless I own this game. This game is the only game missing from my library of happiness.
If that's not enough, let me tell you something: you will feel on top of the world if you gift this game to me, even more than me. Don't ask me how. Be the first person to gift someone MS Flight Simulator on this sub and feel proud. If you don't feel on top the world, I will make sure to pick you up free of cost from your home in one of your choice of plane and will personally drop you on the top of Mt. Everest. I will also let you touch some buttons in the cockpit or let you control the yoke. But only you have to figure out how to get down from the Mt., as I will be flying all that time exploring the world. But if you don't like cold places, I can show you a secret place (This Secret place is a part of a DLC and there is a way to unlock this place)!
To anyone who gifts this game to me, I will forever remember you and engrave your name on my grave thanking you that I died in peace. And when I meet God, I will personally tell him that if it weren't for you, I would have gone to hell.
My steam ID
Price of base 40th Anniversary edition in India: Rs. 3,999. However, I will still ask for the discounted price of 2,999 which is $35. The rest I will try to manage from somewhere or use the MS Reward for 4 months.
submitted by AbhiFT
to GiftofGames [link] [comments]
2023.03.26 13:28 lolpolice88 Moe mai ra e te Toa. Kane Te Tai honourably fought to defend Ukraine from the fascist, Neo-Conservative Christian Putinist regime & the cynical manipulations of debt-finance driven USA. These murderous ideologies must be overthrown and cooperation & tech made to heal & bring peace. Donate to No Duff
Donate to his veterans support charity No Duff if you can, it will go to his daughtewhanau, to return his body and continue his enduring kaupapa, which will help other whanau in this conflict and others.
No Duff Charitable Trust Givealittle page:
Kane Te Tai remembered as man of honour committed to aiding Ukraine https://www.rnz.co.nz/news/national/486507/kane-te-tai-remembered-as-man-of-honour-committed-to-aiding-ukraine
Whānau and friends of slain soldier Kane Te Tai say he will return home as a warrior in life and death, and be remembered as a man who always fought for what was right. “Don’t get me wrong, I don’t find anything glorious about killing young mobilised Russian boys who are crying in their trenches” https://www.stuff.co.nz/world/europe/300777917/the-shelling-is-so-close-it-makes-you-puke-says-kiwi-fighting-in-ukraine
RNZ understands the body of the slain New Zealand soldier has officially been identified as Te Tai and is now being transferred to Kyiv.
He is understood to have been killed while clearing a trench in the Vulhedar area of Ukraine.
Sources have told RNZ he had moved deeper into the trench, away from his team, when he was killed by Russian soldiers.
His team were forced to leave his body there, before Ukrainian marines went in and recovered him overnight.
Veteran support and advocacy group No Duff is now working to ensure a New Zealander can be available to escort his body through the country to the Polish border, before travelling with him for his final journey home.
Comrades and friends have said they believed it was important a Kiwi was always with him, but the process would not be simple.
Te Tai co-founded No Duff with Aaron Wood, who told Midday Report his mother had asked them to manage the journey home.
"We're pulling all the pieces together. A number of volunteers and interested people from New Zealand, all the way through to Ukraine and in between, are coming together to make this happen."
It was highly likely they would be able to bring him home, Wood said, but there were numerous jurisdiction challenges ahead.
Deeply respected during time in Ukraine
Te Tai joined the Defence Force after leaving high school and went on multiple deployments while serving in the 2/1 Royal Battalion.
He left the Army in 2010 and travelled to Ukraine in April last year, operating under the call sign 'Turtle'.
Te Tai was a prominent character in the warzone and was widely followed on social media.
His colleagues described him as well-known and deeply respected for his professionalism, skill, leadership and relentless sense of humour.
They said he never underestimated the importance of his job, or the lives he held in his hands.
His death marks the third New Zealander to be killed in the combat - after the deaths of his best friend Dominic Abelen and humanitarian Andrew Bagshaw.
Te Tai had become the unofficial expert for New Zealanders in Ukraine, often acting as the point of contact for Kiwis wanting to travel to the warzone. He would ensure people knew what they were signing up for, a way to get into the country and a unit to go to.
He admitted in an interview with RNZ his initial motivations for going there were selfish, but that changed quickly on arrival.
The soldier became an infamous figure in the war, often featuring on Russian propaganda sites - seen by RNZ - particularly the Wagner group, who put a NZ$11 million price tag on his head.
In a conversation with friends he joked about ratting himself out for the money, illustrating his sense of humour.
Te Tai always said to his friends he was not afraid to die, but he also was not afraid to live.
During nearly a full year in Ukraine, he garnered respect from people in all walks of life. He volunteered with Ukrainian families, taught civilians how to fight and eventually found a spot at the frontline as one of the team's leaders.
Te Tai said he was fiercely protective of his team and did anything to make sure they were safe.
During one mission in August 2022, his best friend, Abelen, was killed in trench warfare. In an interview after the mission, Te Tai said the team were unable to get his body back and it ended up in Russian hands, but that did not stop him from trying.
He told RNZ they only stopped because Abelen would not have wanted them killed in the process.
Just last week Te Tai posted on social media, revealing that while clearing a Russian position he had found a "long lost friend" who had wanted to visit New Zealand.
Te Tai had thought his friend was dead and was amazed to find him alive, describing it as a "Hollywood moment".
He said at first he did not recognise the man, who had been shot four times and was skinny.
"He'd been starved by Russians for two months and drinking anti-freeze because the Russians wanted a laugh."
The man did not want to be left with the Ukrainians, but Te Tai had to keep fighting. He promised he would return and walk him personally to hospital.
That was exactly what he did, he said.
'The people grow on you'
In that August interview with RNZ, Te Tai said he had fallen in love with the country and its people, and was deeply respectful of their resolve.
"I was sort of getting a bit bored of being at home... and coming into this conflict was just one of those things that selfishly I thought I could be close to the war without getting too entangled.
"But then that sort of changes... I've met so many people, I've been everywhere in this country and the place grows on you, the people grow on you, and their strength, and that's why I'm still here."
Te Tai said he was prepared to leave everything in Ukraine, but in the weeks before his death he had made moves to return home.
His mother said he always kept her up to date, ending the calls with "I love you Mum", but more recently it was like "I'll see you soon".
In a Facebook message to another friend he said he loved Ukraine, but it was time to start living a real life - "gotta put the toys away and start to build while I can", he said.
"That's enough war for me, I love this place, it's like a playground where I can do anything I want.
"But that's the problem isn't it? So before the game gets me or before I decide that life here is too easy, maybe it's time to start living my real life.
"This place is pure escapism, we are all trying to run from something, mine is from having a real life, but the time is near."
Passionate about the cause
Te Tai is being remembered by his friends and comrades as a man of honour who was passionate about his cause, always doing everything he could to protect people.
Longtime friend Aaron Wood described Te Tai as a beautiful man, who he loved to bits.
"He just wanted people to live their best lives and he wanted to help as many people as he could.
"That sounds like a cliché, but with him it's a truism. That's his whole life... Just serving people, that's what he did, that's what his message was."
That was what he died doing, Wood said.
His mum, Ngaire Te Tai, said there was never any talking him out of it.
"He never did anything by halves, my son. We tried to stop him, but he had his mind made up, that's just Kane.
"When you were around him, you just felt safe."
A gift she said she knew he spread much further than just Ukraine.
Ngaire Te Tai's final comment about her eldest boy was: "Don't let my son's death be in vain."
He leaves behind a 12-year-old daughter.
The shelling is so close it makes you puke, says Kiwi fighting in Ukraine
A Kiwi soldier fighting under Ukraine’s military intelligence says he’s prepared to die.
Kane Te Tai, code name Turtle, is fighting in a secretive reconnaissance unit on Ukraine’s front line in the eastern Donetsk region.
After deaths, injuries and resignations, Te Tai now leads the Foreign Reconnaissance Team after only joining in July.
A December article in The New Yorker magazine revealed the existence of the unit and featured Turtle.
It’s the same unit that 28-year-old Kiwi Dominic Abelen was fighting in when he was killed in August, and the two were like brothers.
Te Tai’s unit has set up a PayPal to fundraise for vehicles it needs to move around its area of operation, near the town of Pavlivka.
As Te Tai was interviewed, he had to be careful his phone wasn’t too bright, so as to not give his unit away to any Russian drones flying overhead.
“We live on the line, we just occupy whatever place we can find at the time. If it gets too hot we just find somewhere else,” he told Stuff.
His unit’s job is primarily reconnaissance, a small mobile force that could reach into Russian land or no-man’s land between the trenches, and destroy a tank or hold a position, before the Ukrainian army moved in.
“Find it, locate it, observe it, report it, attack it.”
Good 4x4 vehicles are a necessity.
Donetsk is known for farming and coal production, and Te Tai described the land as similar to the Canterbury plains.
Soldiers try and use the tree lines separating the fields for cover, and trench systems are built through them.
During the winter, the roads and fields are muddy, pocked by craters from Russian artillery barrages.
The Foreign Reconnaissance Team can get the necessities of war – food, bombs, clothing, bullets - just fine.
Reliable working vehicles and parts, and enough for an emergency stockpile, are harder to come by.
The Foreign Reconnaissance Team is reliant on vehicles driven into Ukraine from throughout Europe by volunteers and paying for them with donated money.
“You can use that vehicle until it is blown up or you crash it, unfortunately both those things happen all the time,” Te Tai said.
“The last three vehicles we’ve had, in the last month, they’ve been hit with artillery. Holes in the front, s... just smashed through.”
Unlike the famous International Legion Battalion, which tens of thousands of foreigners have joined since the start of the war, the Foreign Reconnaissance Team is for some of the highly-trained foreign few.
Te Tai served a tour in Afghanistan for the New Zealand Defence Force and thinks of himself as having spent his whole life training to fight.
His team is given autonomy, building trust with local Ukrainian commanders to find out what they want and then formulating missions.
Te Tai was able to talk about one operation the Foreign Reconnaissance Team conducted during a December battle in Pavlivka, first described in the New Yorker article.
Te Tai and a small team of a half-dozen were set to cross a bridge at night and enter a tree line which ran into the centre of the town.
The mission was to see how close they could get to the Russian positions before they were fired on.
“The moment that we got onto the bridge, everything just opened up, rockets, missiles everything. We ran across this bridge and were just trying to scramble to the safest nearest spot.”
Te Tai’s team managed to get into the tree line and into a trench – all in the dark – but the Russians began to shell progressively towards them down the tree line.
“I remember just looking at everyone in the pit and we all had this look on our faces like, ‘well, the party had to end some time’. We had this feeling of acceptance.”
But, just as the next shell was set to kill the team, it flew off somewhere else and the Russians then began to bomb regressively back along the tree line.
“By divine intervention we missed getting smashed... We all knew we were supposed to die that night.”
Before joining Foreign Reconnaissance, Te Tai was working for a church training Ukrainians in basic military skills.
He was open with people back in New Zealand about what he was experiencing, including old army colleagues.
Te Tai described an environment where Kiwis in Ukraine often stayed in touch and worked together, including Dominic Abelen who contacted Te Tai before making the trip.
When Abelen said that he was set to join the International Legion Battalion, Te Tai told Abelen he was hearing bad stories.
“You go there as a foreigner, you get given a weapon, some ammunition, and sit inside a trench and you fight or die, that’s how it’s portrayed.
“People would tell us: 'Thank you for training my son, he didn’t make it back, but I felt he was better off than he was before’,” he said.
Abelen, now with the nickname Tolkien, made his way into the Ukrainian army, but managed to get taken into Ukrainian military intelligence.
Talking to Abelen about what he was doing, Te Tai had had enough of training soldiers and the 37-year-old felt like he was running out of time to fight.
“I told him [Abelen], ‘I’ll jump in with you too’.
“And he [Abelen] was like ‘thank God, cool man’,” said Te Tai.
He ended the volunteer work and a recruiter told Te Tai to get to Lviv where he entered a secretive military intelligence training camp.
Recruits weren’t allowed to use their phones and were closely evaluated for a two-week period.
“Pretty much from the second they take you into the camp, they don’t tell you what’s going on.
“They operate it like a psychological test, to see if you can be just told what to do and not know any other parameters,” he said.
Access to weapons was heavily restricted and there was heavy scrutiny as Ukrainian officials went through candidates’ records and social media, trying to weed out spies and the weak.
“When you talk to someone, it’s always a cover story, you’re never talking to who you think you’re talking to,” Te Tai said.
Then, one morning in July, officials gave Te Tai a contract and drove him to the Foreign Reconnaissance Team in Donetsk.
“As soon as we pulled up... Dom had no shirt on... he said, ‘let’s do some work’.”
“I was like ‘my man!’.”
Abelen had put in a good word for him with Ukrainian intelligence, Te Tai said.
He gave Te Tai the code name of Turtle, after he had originally named himself Talon. Talon was too cool, Abelen said.
Te Tai described new troops arriving for the unit as a big event, a celebration of strengthening the group after the fighting took its toll.
“There’s a high attrition rate either by death, injury, or guys wanting to leave.”
The Foreign Reconnaissance Team currently operates out of a house, planning their missions on a whiteboard.
“We’re normally strapped for time. If we’re not out working we are resting, or we are giving instructions.”
Te Tai said there aren’t ranks in the unit, so while he is the team’s leader, he sits on the same step as the other foreigners in the unit.
He eats Ukrainian food: soups like borscht, and two-minute noodles and toast.
At night Te Tai watches Netflix and YouTube fail compilations to decompress. Sometimes, he hears the Russians shelling, keeping him awake.
When you’re fired on by artillery, you can hear the lifespan of the shell, he said.
He described how shells left the Russian gun with a distant duh-boom, screeching through the air, before exploding somewhere on the Ukrainian side of the line.
Some shells landed far away, but some hit so close to soldiers that the concussion made them puke and made them feel sick for the next day, he said.
“That shit happens like every week.”
About six weeks after Te Tai joined the unit, Abelen was killed during a mission.
“It pissed me off more than anything, it just consolidated for me that I’m not leaving any time soon.”
Te Tai said Abelen didn’t have a death wish, but he was a soldier and fighting was what he had trained for his whole life.
“I could have told him, ‘you are going to die today’ and he would have been like ‘it’s a good day to die’, that’s just who he was.”
Killing didn’t weigh on Te Tai’s mind, he said. He described it as part of the job, and said his views hadn’t changed since Abelen’s death.
“Don’t get me wrong, I don’t find anything glorious about killing young mobilised Russian boys who are crying in their trenches,” he said.
“I’m willing to die, for sure, but I don’t want to die.”
Te Tai has no plans to leave and wants to attend a victory day parade in Kyiv.
“I know we’re going to win, I know that for sure,” he said.
“I’m staying here until I can’t take it any more, or I am dead.”
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2023.03.26 13:19 The_Swan101 CFIF #8: How a Single Douglas Adams Joke Ruined a Priest's Career
“The Answer to the Great Question … Of Life, the Universe and Everything … Is … Is … Forty-two.” - Deep Thought
One cannot understate the popularity of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Beginning as a radio series in 1978 and later spawning a hexalogy of novels, Douglas Adams’ series following the misadventures of Arthur Dent drew international acclaim for its charm and wit. The most significant pop culture contribution of the franchise might be the number 42: the answer to the meaning of life, as declared by supercomputer Deep Thought.
Although Hitchhiker’s Guide drew nearly unanimous praise from the public and critics alike, its rise in cultural relevance brewed some controversy in Christian circles. This controversy materialized mostly in the United States, whose “Satanic panic” of the 1980s coincided with the meteoric rise of Hitchhiker’s Guide in pop culture. Admittedly, Douglas Adams’ series was not subject to the same intense scrutiny that Christians aimed at the likes of Dungeons & Dragons. Nonetheless, Pan Books, the publisher of the Hitchhiker’s Guide series of books, still received several letters from angry parents accusing Adams of “demonic” rhetoric—largely because he said the meaning of life is 42, and not seeking salvation through God and Christ.
Predictably, Pan Books was unfazed by the accusations, insomuch that they—nor Douglas Adams, a self-described “radical atheist”—never published a formal response to critics. Still, for the most dogmatic Christians, Hitchhiker’s Guide was another effort for popular media to corrupt children by implanting diabolical notions of life’s purpose. This came to a head in 1984, in the small Louisiana town of Moss Bluff.
Laying on the outskirts of Lake Charles, Moss Bluff’s population stood at around 10,000, according to the 1980 U.S. Census results. Despite Louisiana’s high poverty rate, Moss Bluff was an affluent town with a thriving Christian population. Central to the town’s culture was the Moss Bluff Pentecostal Church and its young and charismatic pastor, Reverend Jonathan Logan.
Logan wasn’t a native to Louisiana, originally hailing from a rural town in Texas, but his arrival in 1979 marked a turning point for the Church. Logan prided himself on being in touch with the interests of young people, and his sermons frequently discussed the troubles and anxieties of growing up, parental expectations, and bullying in schools. While his style was initially controversial among the older conservatives in his audience, he produced an infusion of religious enthusiasm among children and teens alike that silenced even his most staunch opponents.
One of Reverend Logan’s most frequent appeals to young people was his reliance on pop culture references. His sermons often used characters or ideas from popular media as allegories for religious morals (in one notable speech, he carefully analyzed how the Force from Star Wars was an embodiment of the Holy Spirit, which culminated in a standing ovation from audience members). In order to remain relevant, Logan had to keep a steady eye on the interests of his younger audience—occasionally blinding him to the fears of his elder viewers.
When Reverend Logan casually joked about the meaning of life being 42 before delving into a legitimate speech about how Arthur Dent’s pursuit of meaning parallels the need for a cultural reconciliation with God, he unknowingly stepped on a landmine. Beginning with quiet whispers, his audience began trickling out of Moss Bluff Pentecostal Church, children in tow. More than half of his weekly attendants left before the end of his sermon—some of their own volition, most from the peer pressure of their “anti-Satanic” brethren.
What ensued was a sixteen-week boycott by 40% of Moss Bluff Pentecostal Church’s congregation. Reverend Logan repeatedly attempted to understand the outrage of his elder audience, but—incensed by the realization that their young community leader had been spreading Satanic propaganda since 1979—they insisted that the only way they would end the boycott would be through Logan’s resignation.
Facing pressure from other church leaders, and newly cynical towards a town that rejected him on such nonsensical grounds, Jonathan Logan resigned from his position as a pastor on August 20th, 1984. Two weeks later, Logan left Moss Bluff and disappeared from the public record. Ironically, his replacement’s name was Adams.
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2023.03.26 13:18 Black_Londoner Blood to stain the steps of St Paul's Cathedral in protest at Harry's Afghanistan kill count.
This is from the Sky News (UK) Website
"Human blood is set to "drench" one of the UK's most famous landmarks in a protest over Prince Harry's controversial remarks about the number of people he killed in Afghanistan.
Russian artist Andrei Molodkin says he will project a sculpture featuring blood donated by Afghans on to St Paul's Cathedral in the coming days, along with footage of the Duke of Sussex.
It comes after Harry faced criticism for revealing in his memoir that he killed 25 Taliban fighters while serving in Afghanistan, writing that it was "not a number that fills me with satisfaction, but nor does it embarrass me".
The prince also admitted that he did not think of those he killed as "people", but instead as "chess pieces" that had been taken off the board.
Molodkin told Sky News that Harry's remarks had made him "very, very angry" and the idea of his project "is to drench St Paul's Cathedral in the blood of Afghani people".
"They read they are just 'chess figures'... for some prince hunting by helicopter," he said. "It looked like a safari situation.
"How he told it, for him it's like a computer game."
The artwork contains blood donated by Afghans, says Andrei Molodkin
The sculpture is called Royal Blood Blood 'pumped' into royal coat of arms
Molodkin said four Afghans in Calais had already given blood for the sculpture and another five Afghans in the UK will donate when the stunt is carried out before the end of March.
The artist said about 1,250ml of blood will be used for the artwork after being taken from donors by a registered nurse, kept in a fridge and then "pumped" into the sculpture of the royal coat of arms.
Explaining how the project will work, he said: "Blood will go in the royal coat of arms, it will circulate in there.
"It will be projected... on to the cathedral - so all the cathedral will be in the blood of Afghani people."
Moldokin said a video featuring Prince Harry will also be projected on to the cathedral.
Artist will try to take blood from inside cathedral
Molodkin said he will attempt to take the Afghans' blood inside the cathedral - where Harry's parents, King Charles and Diana, were married - but he has not approached St Paul's to seek permission.
"I think in the church, you can give the blood," he said.
"It's a cathedral - it's for everyone. Everyone can come there and pray. Donating blood, it's kind of a way of praying."
Sky News approached St Paul's Cathedral for comment but did not receive a response.
Molodkin, who used to serve in the Soviet Union's army, said he explained to all the Afghan donors why they were giving blood.
Asked how they felt about Harry's remarks, he replied: "I think they are very angry."
He added: "Even in the army, you're scared to participate in the shooting of others… you're very stressed about. But he thinks it's a video game."
Afghan on Harry: 'We should get compensation'
Molodkin, who now lives in the south of France, hit the headlines last year after he produced a sculpture featuring an image of Vladimir Putin that was filled with blood donated by Ukrainian fighters.
"Now I can't go back to Russia," he told Sky News.
He believes he would face jail for his artwork if he returns to his home country under its current laws.
"I can't go there while [Putin] still has power but I truly believe it's not possible to continue like this," he added.
"People who kill so many people and start a blood war like this… and try to brainwash… can't stay longer."
THE CONTROVERSIAL ARTIST WHO USES BLOOD AND OIL TO MAKE HIS POINT To coincide with the World Cup in Qatar last December, Andrei Molodkin unveiled a replica of the World Cup trophy that slowly filled with crude oil. It had a symbolic price of $150m – a figure that matched the amount of money allegedly spent on bribes and kickbacks to FIFA officials Last August, Molodkin presented a sculpture of the White House that reportedly contained the radioactive blood of Nagasaki-born men to commemorate the 77th anniversary of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki atomic bombs In May last year, Molodkin showcased a glass portrait of Vladimir Putin which was filled with the blood of Ukrainian soldiers. An image of the artwork was said to have been live-streamed near Moscow's Red Square as Mr Putin oversaw Russia's Victory Day parade Back in 2013, Molodkin opened an exhibition called Catholic Blood that featured an installation where he pumped blood donated solely by Catholics around his replica of the Rose Window at Westminster Abbey, which he saw as a Protestant symbol Artist Andrei Molodkin Image: Andrei Molodkin says he has been creating artwork containing human blood for more than a decade Molodkin said he has "worked with human blood for 15 years" and the sculptures he creates "represent the symbol of power", adding: "Then the people who are abused by this power, I ask them to donate blood for this".
Read more: Biggest revelations from Harry's memoir Taliban bans women from universities
Harry's comments in his book prompted criticism from senior military figures, with Admiral Lord West - the former head of the Royal Navy - reportedly calling the prince "very stupid" and warning he had increased the risk of threat against the Invictus Games.
Taliban officials called for Harry to be put on trial, with a senior leader in the group saying the militants he killed were "not chess pieces, they were humans".
Click to subscribe to the Sky News Daily wherever you get your podcasts
In response to the criticism, Harry told Late Show host Stephen Colbert it was a "dangerous lie" to say he had "somehow boasted" about the number of people he killed in Afghanistan.
The duke carried out two tours in Afghanistan during his time in the military, including one tour between 2012 and 2013 when he served as an Apache attack helicopter co-pilot gunner"
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2023.03.26 13:14 suzilla10 [Thank You] put their username(s) here
I hope you are all well and Spring is around the corner for you as well. Over here, it seems a bit like Spring and November are fighting, with gray & rainy still having the upper hand. At least, days are notably longer now, which helps me to get things done a lot :-)
Thank you for all the generous mail you send my way. It always makes me smile and lifts my spirits, especially on days with bad weather or crappy days at work and is very much appreciated, although I'm late with posting a proper TY.
: Thank you very much for the pretty Valentine’s card. I love all the cute stickers and washi. Congrats on reaching your reading goal! I haven’t read much lately, but I got 2 smallish books for Christmas, which I plan to start reading soon: “Legends & Lattes” a fantasy book which I vaguely remember also being recommended somewhere on Reddit and the non-fiction book “Thirteen Lessons that saved Thirteen Lives” about the Thai cave rescue. “The Keeper of Happy Endings” also sounds intriguing. Thank you for recommending it! u/libertyprogrammer
x4: Thank you very much for the card and postcards from your travels and sharing your experience, it sounds like you had a wonderful time.
Yes, the stamp I used for the Christmas card is by Tim Holtz. His channel was the first I discovered and liked when searching for tutorials, and I usually end up buying something after watching a new video, lol. So, I mostly use his products, which are also easier to find over here, whereas I struggle to find brands and products from other tutorials, e.g. one's Jennifer McGuire uses often.
Thank you for the happy surprise postcard for RAoC’s birthday! I’m keeping it around my desk 😊 u/ImOKReally
x2 Thank you very much for the wonderful handmade postcards. I specially love the bird one. I love all the stamps you used. The one that is covered in stamps also has some cancellation marks that say “cancelled” in German (“entwertet”). I’ve never seen this before and wouldn’t have expected German Post to care, especially since I often receive envelopes with stamps that aren’t cancelled (or only partially). u/amyt13
: Thank you very much for the cute Christmas card and the goodies! u/BeanutPutterSammich
x2: Many thanks for the cute postcard (it looks suspiciously like ImOKReally 😊). Good luck on finding a car! I learned driving with stick, so I don’t know if I could drive automatic (and I also know stories about people driving into random things, because they weren’t used to automatic). However, last time I drove a car myself is so long ago, I’d probably need to start learning all new anyway (too many buttons and electronics in cars nowadays, lol).
Thank you very much for the awesome Valentine’s package! BF and I have a “half year” – anniversary on 15 Feb, so we also skip Valentines or merge it (as you probably know, Valentines isn’t a big thing here anyway).
Have you heard anything about the new season of Picard? After the disappointments of the previous seasons, I wasn’t motivated to check it out yet, but maybe I’ll do some day. u/CanaMeow
x4: Thank you for the “foggy” card, the hilarious “cats on Brandenburg Gate” postcard, the “morning sky” card, the “Mount Rainier” postcard and all the goodies!
I love the stickers, washi and the pens you used and of course the stamps, especially the Apollo 11 one and the one with the fireflies(?). Thank you for sharing the news about your life. Dog sledding sounds so much fun. I think there was a yearly dog sledding competition near my hometown, but I don’t know if they are still able to do it, since there hasn’t been much snow.
Congrats on the foot-rest pillow! That’s something I wouldn’t want to miss since I started using one. At home, I use a meditation cushion that turned out to be too big for me to use for meditation. (Or I sit on it when I need to spread out stuff like stickers all over the floor in order to sort it, lol). u/DaenerysWon
x3: Thank you very much for LNY-mail, the cute Valentine’s card and the St. Patrick’s card. I’m happy to hear there’s some time off for you on the horizon. Your plans sound a lot like plans I would make. I think I’ve checked out one episode of Farscape recently when looking for something new (to me, lol) to watch, but ended up not paying much attention. I’ll give it another try 😊
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2023.03.26 13:10 varJoshik Cursed Rulers: Parallels Between Auberon & Emhyr
Final part in the series about the mirroring act between the three Aen Elle elves & their Continental counterparts. Previous works: Black Knights: Parallels Between Eredin & Cahir Love(less) Sorcerers: Parallels Between Avallac'h & Vilgefortz
“Emperors rule their empires, but two things they cannot rule: their hearts and their time. Those two things belong to the empire.” “The end justifies the means.”
Leaders of the highest order for their people, both rulers pursue the greater good at the expense of decency and their own humanity. A greater good to be achieved through similar means – by begetting the child who is prophesised.
In the Witcher, both Auberon and Emhyr are embroiled in a plot of siring the child of prophecy with Cirilla Fiona Elen Riannon – their blood relative. Genetically, the incest is a matter of degree: Emhyr is Ciri’s biological father, Auberon Ciri’s ancestor 8 generations past. Symbolically, however, the degree collapses with Auberon because a few human generations are meaningless to elves. They call Ciri Lara’s daughter, effectively deeming Ciri Auberon’s granddaughter. But the reader – not unlike Ciri herself – won’t know about this until the very end of the tale.
Notionally, both rulers bind their actions with Ithlinne’s prophecy. The problem with prophecies is they decouple arguments from verification, lending themselves to the rationalization of all and any action. At least insofar as knowing
the future accurately
is impossible. This is the case for humanity, it is not the case for elves. Elven prophecies were made by
the elves and for
the elves in the first place. Consequently, the degree to which each ruler knows the prophecy to be true and believes in it differs. For Emhyr, mystical secret knowledge of the universe is irrelevant in comparison to political expedience: reason of state is what the tomorrow will bring. The Nilfgaardian Emperor is neither a mystic nor a fatalist. Contrary to the Alder King – a Sage, a ruler, and an elder – who has witnessed and likely verified some of what the Seers have prophesised. Elves conceive of the nature of time as cyclical in which the fate of things is tied up in the endless repetition of endings giving birth to new beginnings, the dance of attraction between life and death, two sides of the same coin which form the singular eternal truth of existence – change is only an eternal reoccurrence and re-arrangement of all. Auberon, you see, is a bit of a mystic. And even without Seers privy to secret knowledge, an extraordinary life span reduces the elves’ proclivity to black swan fallacy
, or at least pushes the error probabilities. But at the end of the day, mysticism takes the cake.
The idea that either ruler must be the progenitor, however, comes at the instigation of an outside force.
Shortly after Ciri’s birth Emhyr is visited by a sorcerer. Emhyr has a strong aversion to mages; he was cursed by one. Even so, Vilgefortz proves himself capable of helping him regain the Nilfgaardian throne and is straightforward about what he wishes in exchange – gratitude, favours, privileges, power. Vilgefortz tells Emhyr about Ithlinne’s prophecy – a version about the fate of the world; a human interpretation. Then he plants the seed as to what Emhyr should do to steer the fate of this world. Naturally, he has his own agenda. It is not a huge leap of imagination to conceive of Auberon having been similarly persuaded by Avallac’h (an elven Knowing One who thematically parallels the human Vilgefortz
). Not only are Avallac’h and Auberon tied by broken familial bonds, they are each a participant of the Elder Blood programme; and each, a Sage. Avallac’h serves nearly as a double for Auberon, his own fate also tied with Ciri’s. And Auberon is a “willing unwilling” in his arrangement with Ciri; implied so in his rage when he reveals Ciri ought to be grateful to him for lowering himself to the endeavour at all. There is an alternative.
Neither the Emperor nor the Alder King is pursuing the incestuous course of action out of lust. But both have the option to waive being the sire. Ithlinne’s prophecy is not explicit about the father of the Swallow’s child. For elves the match is backed by science. For humanity – pragmatism.
Emhyr has ordered to wipe out the Usurper’s name from the annals of history and is cementing his earthly power, conquering and ensuring the succession laws play out in his favour. Not only is he legitimatizing his rule over Cintra – the gateway to the North – by marrying its last monarch’s granddaughter, by keeping it in the family, he is also consolidating his rule among the Nilfgaardian aristocracy. The Emperor’s concern lies with the dynastic struggle for power: it is his blood that should rule the world and because history is bending its arc according to Nilfgaard’s dictation that means surmounting the Nilfgaardian succession laws. From such perspective, not
fathering Ciri’s child would create numerous problems. Ciri as Emhyr’s heir would remain behind any other male offspring he might have (with any Nilfgaardian aristocrat). Ciri might not be acknowledged as a legitimate successor in Nilfgaard in the first place as she is a foreigner, born in Cintra at a time when her father was not yet an emperor; a bastard, effectively, and a girl besides. Ciri’s husband, moreover, may have designs on power himself and his remaining under Emhyr’s control, or Ciri’s control, is not a guarantee. It is difficult to be the correctly-shaped chess piece in a game of interests of the state. That a widely recited prophecy about the fate of the world can lend an aura of destiny to the brutal political machinations undertaken to seek retribution and pursue earthly power is convenient; a descendant who will be the ruler of the world – a bonus. But to get there sacrifices must be made.
‘Cirilla,’ continued the emperor, ‘will be happy, like most of the queens I was talking about. It will come with time. Cirilla will transfer the love that I do not demand at all onto the son I will beget with her. An archduke, and later an emperor. An emperor who will beget a son. A son, who will be the ruler of the world and will save the world from destruction. Thus speaks the prophecy whose exact contents only I know.’ ’What I am doing, I am doing for posterity. To save the world.’ - Lady of the Lake
Notably, the manner in which the Emperor claims to understand Ithlinne’s prophecy does not make guarantees that a father’s incest with his daughter will ensure his progeny will one day save the world. The saviour is a few generations away and the causal arrow between now and then is not direct: the son could die, could father a child with a genetically non-fitting partner, could be sterile, or could turn out to be a daughter altogether. Not to even begin with what the world needs saving from in the first place; again, elven prophecies were written by the elves and for the elves. Emhyr var Emreis is neither an elf, a geneticist, an idealist nor a mystic. He is an autocrat.
Elder Blood is the creation of elves and it is elves who understand how their genetic abilities play into handling what was foretold by Ithlinne. Emhyr’s daughter, the Lady of Time and Space, is the descendant of an Alder King who has utilized Hen Ichaer
in the past and whose ambitions lie in an altogether different ball park than that of an Emperor of one single world. Appropriately to the Saga’s love for subversion, it is ironic that human understanding of elven prophecies remains on the level of poetry, while elves – the irritatingly poetic, mystical species – can read the science elevating the prophetic jargon into something more. Which regardless does not invalidate the problem with prophecies: they lend themselves to the rationalization of action, frequently covering up the real horses the powerful might have in the race. Legitimatization of the ruler’s right to remain the leader of their people is relevant in Auberon’s life too. More on that when we return to the Fisher King parable and the nature of curses upon the two rulers.
Role & Relationships
Let’s take a look at the characters’ personalities. Appearance: a play of contrasts
A very tall, slender elf with long fingers and ashen hair shot with snow-white streaks. An elf with the most extraordinary eyes – as on all Elder Blood carriers – reminiscent of molten lead. A man with black, shiny, wavy hair bordering an angular, masculine face that is dominated by a prominent nose (hooked, presumably, or Roman if you like). The Emperor of Nilfgaard does not resemble an androgynous elf by any means. But this does not mean nothing remains in him of the elven gene pool. Not only does Emhyr’s etymological origin link with the Romano-Celtic world underpinning all things elven in the Witcher. Nilfgaardians are effectively the Romano-Brytons. The human population in the South of the Continent mixed with elves heavily, retaining a lot of elven law, customs, language, and DNA. As Avallac’h says about heritability, “the father matters,” and Emhyr was one half of the equation for getting Ciri. Rex Regum - King of Kings
The readers are probably more familiar with the imperial system and how that features in the depiction of Nilfgaard. Auberon Muircetach’s position as the Supreme Leader
of the Aen Elle – as opposed to merely a “king” – is instead much more reminiscent of the station of a High King.
Ancient and early kingdoms of Great Britain and Ireland boast many High Kings (e.g. Ard Rí Érenn
Brian Boru, Ard Rí Alban
Vortigern, King of the Britons, etc). The High King was usually elected and set above lesser rulers and warlords as an overlord in a land that shared a high degree of cultural unity. Emperors usually ruled over culturally different lands (regularly obtained through recent or ongoing conquests). In character such high kingship was sacred: the duties of the ruler were largely ceremonial and somewhat restricted, unless war, natural disaster or any other realm-wide occasion created a need for a unified command structure. The Irish High King, for example, was quite straightforwardly a ruler who laid claim to all of the land
of the Emerald Isle. Noteworthy, because the ruler is frequently seen as the embodiment of the land, associated with the health and well-being of the realm that the land sustains. In quasi-religious terms, High Kings gained their power through a marriage to, or sexual relationship with, a sovereignty goddess
; frequently, a mother goddess who was associated with the life-giving land. As one of the most frequently studied elements of the Celtic cosmology, this feature is instantly recognisable in the outlook of the elves in the Witcher and factors heavily into Auberon’s relationship with Ciri. Ciri who is the avatar of the Triple Goddess
– the Virgin, the Pregnant Mother, and the Old Woman Death. As Sapkowski notes in Swiat króla Artura. Maladie
“…no Wiccan mystery in honour of the Great Triple, cannot be performed, [without] the goblet and the sword. Grail and Excalibur. The rest is silence.”
Through the Triple Goddess’ interaction with her God-counterpart (a ruler who briefly assumes the role of the god
) is showcased the eternal cycle of life – one which cannot be realised without the interaction of the cup (feminine) & the sword (male). Excalibur is the symbol of rightful sovereignty and its wielders are frequently powerful men, but Ciri is a woman and a woman is the Grail, bringing salvation and new life. To possess the Grail is to legitimize oneself as the ruler, as the leader, protector, and father figure of the realm. Thus a King of Kings must do exactly that. A protector, a father figure, and a druid (wise man) merge into a symbolic whole in the Supreme Leader of the elves.
(But Ciri is also the witcher girl and owns a sword, unyielding before the matter of her gender. And though many a men might take her for the Lady of the Lake, she is not about to part with her sword.) The realm is all
From early age, Emhyr’s father instilled an understanding in his heir that nothing counts more than the interest of the state. The blood of the Emreis family must be on the throne. Fergus never abdicated, not after torture, not even after his son was turned into a mutant hedgehog in front of his eyes. Love for his child did not sway Fergus from having his son suffer in the interests of power and the realm. This is how the shard of ice in Emhyr’s heart forms. Auberon, equally, “thinks of England” when attempting to regain his daughter’s legacy and restore their people’s power. The circumstances of Lara’s demise, however, beg the question about the Alder King’s role in facilitating or enabling the conditions that let things spiral out of control and break beyond repair. The stakes were infinitely higher for Auberon than they are for Emreis’ dynastic struggle. But what would an answer to this question change? In their cold hearts these characters see themselves each as duty-bound.
Ambitious and gloried, they nevertheless occupy different stages in their lives.
Emhyr’s ambition burns bright and fresh. Auberon’s has dwindled into a shadow of the past; buried under having witnessed and lived through the sacrifices that a ruler makes in the name of power. Emhyr chooses to seek retribution and power beyond what would befall him should he accept his life as Duny (the cursed, pitiful Duny), the prince consort of Cintra. Never losing sight of his goal, love and human happiness become temporary phases and means to an end, and Emhyr returns to Cintra only in the form of flames and death to pursue his daughter in insane ambition. The White Flame retains an active disposition; a lust for life. Neither Emhyr nor Auberon gallop at the head of their armies though, leading instead from the rear. They have lackeys for carrying out their will remotely (e.g. Cahir and Eredin). Emhyr, however, is said to be otherwise highly involved in the ruling of his empire, even if many revolutionaries who had helped him on the throne had hoped he would remain but a banner of the revolution. In contrast, the Alder King has more or less withdrawn from life and active service. In presence of Avallac’h and Eredin, Auberon appears much more like the standard Emhyr had refused to become. Of course, many decisions the equivalent of which Auberon has already made are still ahead of Emhyr, including as concerns the freedom of his daughter. A ruler’s heart
Did Emhyr believe that he would be able to see Pavetta in Ciri and thus push through with the incest? Did Auberon hope to glance the memory of his wife in the eyes of Lara’s “daughter” and manage in this way? As already noted, neither ruler is pursuing their plans out of lust, but as lust must be induced for the act to bear fruit I cannot help but wonder what these characters must do to themselves to follow through with their plans. Because the love that is called for between a woman and a man in order for new life and hope to be born is in this instance abnormal. Yet it is undoubtedly love
that plays a huge role in determining both Emhyr’s and Auberon’s eventual fate.
Until the emergence of false-Ciri, Emhyr var Emreis is said to have had numerous ladies in the imperial court. Little is known about Auberon’s disposition, but by the time Ciri starts frequenting his bed chamber it has become evident the image of a dowager king fits the elf like a glove; disaffected with romantic dalliance, he is still aware of the courtly intrigue and expectations surrounding it.
The next evening, for the first time, the Alder King betrayed his impatience. She found him hunched over the table where a looking glass framed in amber was lying. White powder had been sprinkled on it. It’s beginning, she thought. … At one moment Ciri was certain it was about to happen. But it didn’t. At least not all the way. And once again he became impatient. He stood up and threw a sable fur over his shoulders. He stood like that, turned away, staring at the window and the moon. - Lady of the Lake
Emhyr’s marriage to Pavetta, Ciri’s mother, was an unhappy one. In his own words, he did not love “the melancholy wench with her permanently lowered eyes,”
and eventually would have had the vigilant Pavetta killed. Inadvertently, Emhyr caused Pavetta’s death anyway.
‘I wonder how a man feels after murdering his wife,’ the Witcher said coldly. ‘Lousy,’ replied Emhyr without delay. ‘I felt and I feel lousy and bloody shabby. Even the fact that I never loved her doesn’t change that. The end justifies the means, yet I sincerely do regret her death. I didn’t want it or plan it. Pavetta died by accident.’ ‘You’re lying,’ Geralt said dryly, ‘and that doesn’t befit an emperor. Pavetta could not live. She had unmasked you. And would never have let you do what you wanted to do to Ciri.’ ‘She would have lived,’ Emhyr retorted. ‘Somewhere … far away. There are enough castles … Darn Rowan, for instance. I couldn’t have killed her.’ ‘Even for an end that was justified by the means?’ ‘One can always find a less drastic means.’ The emperor wiped his face. ‘There are always plenty of them.’ ‘Not always,’ said the Witcher, looking him in the eyes. Emhyr avoided his gaze. ‘That’s exactly what I thought,’ Geralt said, nodding. - Lady of the Lake
After Pavetta’s demise Emhyr hounds his own daughter to the ends of the earth, killing her grandmother, burning down her home, and driving Ciri into an exile from which she never fully recovers. An exile which kills the innocence in her; the snow-white streaks in Ciri’s hair are from the trauma. In contrast, Auberon does not seem to even know what became of Shiadhal – his partner and the mother of their daughter together. On the verge of death he confuses Ciri for Shiadhal and says, “I am glad you are here. You know, they told me you had died.”
The Alder King recalls Shiadhal affectionately, in the same loving breath as he recalls their daughter Lara. Lara whose exile – voluntary or not – killed her.
When Ciri was six years old, Emhyr took a lock of hair from her and held onto it; out of sentiment and for his court sorcerers to use. One of Auberon’s last lines to Ciri involves tying a loose ribbon back into Lara’s hair.
In regard to their brides-to-be, both rulers are saddled with fakes. A fake Ciri-Pavetta and a fake Shiadhal-Lara. But Emhyr’s and Auberon’s attitude toward the fake is diametrically opposite. Emhyr sees false-Cirilla as “a diamond in the rough.” Auberon calls Ciri “a pearl in pig shit, a diamond on the finger of a rotting corpse.” For Emhyr, a diamond is the essence of his poor peasant girl. While a pearl in pig shit, for Auberon, remains the essence of Ciri. Neither ruler can entirely ignore the social vigilance extended toward the ruler’s bedchamber either. The idea of a “foreign bride” is frowned upon among the Nilfgaardian aristocracy; it decreases their ability to influence the Emperor. Ciri’s social status at Tir ná Lia is never explicitly addressed, but the presence of human servants – all of whom that the reader sees are female – and casual xenophobia from Auberon himself does not make it hard to venture a guess.
‘If I were … the real Cirilla … the emperor would look more favourably on me. But I’m only a counterfeit. A poor imitation. A double, not worthy of anything. Nothing …’ - False-Cirilla Lady of the Lake
‘It’s all my fault,’ she mumbled. ‘That scar blights me, I know. I know what you see when you look at me. There’s not much elf left in me. A gold nugget in a pile of compost—’ - Ciri Lady of the Lake
The Alder King is unable to bring himself to love Ciri. The Emperor relents, caring for his daughter at last as a father should at the very end, in the one moment where it matters. Moreover, Emhyr ends up eventually marrying his own reason of state and comes to love the false-Cirilla. The contrasts do not end here. Real Ciri threatens to tear Emhyr’s throat out for what he is planning to do to her (unknowing that he is her father), yet with Auberon Ciri turns submissive and grows attached. She weeps over Auberon’s corpse and vows vengeance on Eredin for killing the Alder King. Ironic as Auberon never intended to let Ciri go, while Emhyr does let his daughter walk free. The shard in Auberon’s heart never melts. It shifts in Emhyr’s.
In their last meeting with the girl, both rulers implicitly reveal their blood relation to Ciri.
Cursed Rulers of the World
Emhyr’s tale begins and is framed with a curse. Likewise Auberon’s. And for both it is love in its different manifestations that will shift the curse just enough to offer closure. For healing largely entails obtaining closure.
‘They were silent for a long time. The scent of spring suddenly made them feel light-headed. Both of them. ‘In spite of appearances,’ Emhyr finally said dully, ‘being empress is not an easy job. I don’t know if I’ll be able to love you.’ She nodded to show she also knew. He saw a tear on her cheek. Just like in Stygga Castle, he felt the tiny shard of cold glass lodged in his heart shift.’ - Lady of the Lake
The reference to H. C. Andersen’s fairy tale of the Snow Queen is self-evident. Emhyr var Emreis is an Emperor whose heart has been pierced by a shard of ice. In the Saga the legend is elven and refers to the Winter Queen who conducts a Wild Hunt as she travels the land, casting hard, sharp, tiny shards of ice around her. Whose eye or heart is pierced by one of them is lost; they will abandon everything and will set off after the Queen, the one who wounded them so gravely as to become the sole aim and end of their life.
There are two ways in which to interpret the way Sapkowski applies the legend of the Snow Queen in the Saga. First, as a complement to the author’s stance that in life - where most things are shit - the Holy Grail is a woman, because it is the love of a woman and the hope a woman instils that often makes men act in inconceivable ways; love is the great motivator and the great balancer of scales. Almost as powerful as death. Or more so?
‘I would not like to put forward the theory that hunting for the wild pig was the primordial example of the search for the Grail. I don’t want to be so trivial. I will - after Parnicki and Dante - identify the Grail with the real goal of the great effort of mythical heroes. I prefer to identify the Grail with Olwen, from under whose feet, as she walked, white clovers grew. I prefer to identify the Grail with Lydia, who was loved by Parry. I like New York in June… How about you? Because I think the Grail is a woman. It is worth investing a lot of time and effort in order to find it and gain it, to understand it. And that’s the moral.’ - A. Sapkowski Swiat króla Artura. Maladie
In this reading, we find the framing to the stories of Geralt and Yennefer, Lara and Cregennan, Avallac’h and Lara, and many others. Including the story of Ciri herself – for Ciri is ultimately the author’s Grail in more ways than one. More than one party goes to great lengths to solicit her favour in a guise that includes elements of a love relationship but not the heart of it.
Secondly, we can interpret the legend in universal terms: the shard of ice is the definitive experience of our lives which distorts reality and makes the rest of our lives spin around it in one way or another. For Emhyr, such an experience could have been the trauma experienced in his youth. Fergus’ uncompromising death conditioned the boy early on to sacrifice personal feelings to the cause and let the only true feeling in his heart remain forever locked behind the ends a ruler must go to unthinkable lengths to achieve. Fergus did not deem his son above suffering for a cause and the son learned the lesson. Until…
In Andersen’s Snow Queen, Gerda manages to find her brother Kai in the Snow Queen’s castle, but despite her calls his heart remains cold as ice. Only when Gerda cries in despair do her tears finally melt the ice and remove the piece of glass from Kai’s eyes and heart. In the Witcher, the shard in Emhyr’s heart moves first upon witnessing his true daughter’s angry tears. For the second time – in thanks to the bogus princess of Cintra; his poor raison d’etat.
It brings us to the defining contrast in Emhyr’s and Auberon’s stories, and it concerns alleviating the suffering of those are bound to you by blood or love.
Recalling another case of incest that resulted in Adda the strigga, we may remember that the Temerian king recognises that his daughter is suffering and insists on disenchanting her instead of killing her. Realising that your own blood – who has been thrown into this world of suffering thanks to you – is suffering and consequently choosing to do something to alleviate this suffering fortifies the Saga’s faith in enduring human decency. Geralt himself is thoroughly vexed by the prospect of letting the same evil happen to Ciri that happened to himself and does everything within his power to prevent it (failing, trying anyway). Here lives the redemption of man, and in redemption his rebirth.
‘They passed a pond, empty and melancholy. The ancient carp released by Emperor Torres had died two days earlier. “I’ll release a new, young, strong, beautiful specimen,” thought Emhyr var Emreis, “I’ll order a medal with my likeness and the date to be attached to it. Vaesse deireadh aep eigean. Something has ended, something is beginning. It’s a new era. New times. A new life. So let there be a new carp too, dammit.”’ - Lady of the Lake
As Emhyr and false-Cirilla take a stroll in the gardens after Stygga, they pass a sculpture of a pelican pecking open its own breast to feed its young on its blood. An allegory of noble sacrifice and also of great love – as False-Ciri tells us.
‘Do you think—’ he turned her to face him and pursed his lips ‘—that a torn-open breast hurts less because of that?’ ‘I don’t know …’ she stammered. ‘Your Imperial Majesty … I …’ He took hold of her hand. He felt her shudder; the shudder ran along his hand, arm and shoulder. ‘My father,’ he said, ‘was a great ruler, but never had a head for legends or myths, never had time for them. And always mixed them up. Whenever he brought me here, to the park, I remember it like yesterday, he always said that the sculpture shows a pelican rising from its ashes.’ - Lady of the Lake
It is difficult to set aside our trauma and not pass it on to our children. Letting our children be free to choose and not sacrificing them on the altar of our fate is to rip open ourselves, calcified and bound to our path, and to feel all of it as we grope in the dark to feel for them. Emhyr’s father might not have gotten it entirely wrong, though his mind at the time was set on making his child an extension of himself. The cycle of death and rebirth begins and ends within that to which we give birth. Giving our children a chance before it is too late, we also give a chance to ourselves. By finding it in his heart to extend to his daughter the courtesy his father Fergus never extended to him - by letting Ciri free - Emhyr lets the part of himself that has defined his entire life die. His end stops justifying the means. He breaks the cycle on the edge of the precipice to which he has brought them and thus allows for the possibility of new beginnings for himself and for Ciri.
In a sense, False-Cirilla and Emhyr get the ending Ciri and Auberon might have gotten if –
The story of Auberon Muircetach achieves a fundamentally different resolution.
‘What does the spear with the bloody blade mean? Why does the King with the lanced thigh suffer and what does it mean? What is the meaning of the maiden in white carrying a grail, a silver bowl—?’ - Galahad Lady of the Lake
Galahad asks the questions that the innocent Perceval in his Story of the Grail
failed to ask, thus losing his chance at freeing the Fisher King from his curse. And the Fisher King is the guardian of mysteries, among them the Holy Grail. But it is not because of gain that a chivalric knight with a shining sword should seek to free the Fisher King from his curse, but rather because it is a human thing to do. Sapkowski claims to be partial to Wolfram von Eschenbach’s rendition of the Grail myth in Parsifal. Wolfram’s message, according to Sapkowski, is the following:
‘Let’s not wait for the revelation and the command that comes from above, let’s not wait for any Deus vult. Let’s look for the grail in ourselves. Because the Grail is nobility, it is the love of a neighbor, it is an ability for compassion. Real chivalric ideals, towards which it is worth looking for the right path, cutting through the wild forest, where, as they quote, “there is no road, no path”. Everyone has to find their path on their own. But it is not true that there is only one path. There are many of them. Infinitely many. … Being human is important. Heart.’ ‘I prefer the humanism of Wolfram von Eschenbach and Terry Gilliam from the idiosyncrasies of bitter Cistercian scribes and Bernard of Clairvaux…’ - A. Sapkowski Swiat króla Artura: Maladie
The unimaginable sadness in Auberon’s eyes belies the suffering of the Alder King who is the avatar of the Fisher King
. In the Witcher’s story between elves and humans, it is the elven males who all
share aspects of the Fisher King’s fate, because they are the keepers of their Grail – the protectors of elven women. Auberon’s wound is wrought by time: by surviving his wife and daughter, by the witnessing of the fading of his ambitions and the results of pursuing them without success. He has lost his line. The Fisher King’s injury represents the inability to produce an heir. A ruler who is the protector and physical embodiment of his land, yet remains barren, sterile, or without a true-born successor, bodes ill for the realm. The Alder King’s injury consists in having lost control of the source of his people’s power, leaving the elves imprisoned and scattered across two worlds. Auberon’s personal tragedy, however, subsists in the lost power having been functionally manifest in a daughter.
‘Lara.’ The Alder King moved his head, and touched his neck as though his royal torc’h was garrotting him. ‘Caemm a me, luned. Come to me, daughter. Caemm a me, elaine.’ Ciri sensed death in his breath. - Lady of the Lake
Elder Blood is indeed an accursed blood because it enslaves its carriers to its purpose. Emhyr has a theoretical chance to walk away from the pursuit of earthly power; the construct is social. Elder Blood, however, has a particular and real, magical function, and in virtue of being a genetic mutation it is embedded in the gene-carrying individuals. Functionally, Elder Blood allows to shape fate with degrees of freedom unimaginable for an ordinary individual. It’s a difference comparable to the one between a character in a story and the story’s author. Therefore the Aen Saevherne – the carriers of the gene – are bound
to the thing they carry within their DNA that allows them to a greater and lesser degree shape the fate of reality. However dearly Auberon, or Lara, might have ever wished to untie themselves from their own essence, it seems impossible. The loss of control over power then is quite simply so pivotal as to necessitate a moment of original sin.
As already witnessed by way of the legend of the Winter Queen, the original “myths” of the Witcher world usually originate among elves; humans, the interlopers, push themselves into those myths only later. This creates an interesting conundrum. In Parsifal, the Fisher King is injured as punishment for taking a wife who is not meant for him. A Grail keeper is to marry the woman the Grail determines for him, which – if we equate woman with the Grail – is what the woman determines. Unfortunately, we know nothing about Shiadhal, so we cannot verify if this part of the legend dovetails. But generally, in a wholly elven world which may have matriarchal tendencies, in lieu of worshipping the mother Goddess, such cosmology is relatively unproblematic. Except suddenly there are humans too. And Auberon – the highest leader of elves and the father of the new scion of Elder Blood – is indirectly injured because a human sorcerer – Cregennan – turns himself into a Grail keeper (in place of another, special elf) by taking a woman not meant for him.
‘Witcher,’ she whispered, kissing his cheek, ‘there’s no romance in you. And I… I like elven legends, they are so captivating. What a pity humans don’t have any legends like that. Perhaps one day they will? Perhaps they’ll create some? But what would human legends deal with? All around, wherever one looks, there’s greyness and dullness. Even things which begin beautifully lead swiftly to boredom and dreariness, to that human ritual, that wearisome rhythm called life.’ - Yennefer Sword of Destiny
Cregennan’s injury is to die. But what about the original Fisher King figure? What is Auberon’s original sin in this?
I see two possibilities. It could be that Auberon in his ambition hastened his daughter’s way into exile and, in a display of his displeasure, never made any effort to ease his daughter in to the personal sacrifices they, as Aen Saevherne, must make; walking without blinking to the end of the path Emhyr turned away from. It could equally be that Auberon, instead of locking Lara up in a tower to protect her from the folly of youth, let her go to Cregennan. It could be an amalgam of both, and the misjudgement of a father who allows
freedom, who feels for his child, and is rewarded with an irreversible injury is probably the greater tragedy.
Because, regardless of the origin of the curse upon Auberon, one thing does not change – the icy eternity in the Alder King’s heart never fractures.
‘‘Zireael,’ he said. ‘Loc’hlaith. You are indeed destiny, O Lady of the Lake. Mine too, as it transpires.’ - Auberon Lady of the Lake
Ciri passes through the shadow world of the Alders; a manifestation of fate. Her footsteps sowing discord and movement and change into the immutable, time-locked amber of the elven utopia. Her presence providing the trigger that will unshackle the past from future in a world where for a long time nothing has changed, died, or been reborn. She is destined and destiny, annihilation and rebirth, the grain of sand in the gears of the great mechanism; a strange girl. The child of hope and the Goddess who ought to be Three. Lara, the true daughter of the Alder King, is dead. Emhyr’s daughter still lives. There is nothing Auberon can do for Lara anymore and thus the ice in Auberon’s heart has crystallised. Emhyr still has a chance; he is where Auberon once was. And yet, there is one thing Ciri, the witcher girl with a sword of her own, can still do for the Alder King.
‘Va’esse deireadh aep eigean… But,’ he finished with a sigh, ‘it’s good that something is beginning.’ They heard a long-drawn-out peal of thunder outside the window. The storm was still far away. But it was approaching fast. ‘In spite of everything,’ he said, ‘I very much don’t want to die, Zireael. And I’m so sorry that I must. Who’d have thought it? I thought I wouldn’t regret it. I’ve lived long, I’ve experienced everything. I’ve become bored with everything … but nonetheless I feel regret. And do you know what else? Come closer. I’ll tell you in confidence. Let it be our secret.’ She bent forward. ‘I’m afraid,’ he whispered. ‘I know.’ ‘Are you with me?’ ‘Yes, I am.’ - Auberon Lady of the Lake
The only way Ciri the Grail knight will be able to find her true self – the Grail – is to cure the suffering Alder King from his curse. Ciri’s presence in the world of the Alders is after all also part of her coming of age story. Through becoming Auberon’s destiny, Ciri must close the circle for him and bring closure. He would never let her go because the shard in Auberon’s heart is no longer able to melt. Auberon does not follow the motif of alleviating the suffering of one’s blood and/or love; and he dies. The roles are reversed, in fact. It is Ciri who realises Auberon is suffering. So Ciri must do what only she can do, because remaining human is important. Heart is important. The sacrifice a ruler makes on the altar of power includes his own heart, which is why there should never be only one, but always two; always.
‘Time is like the ancient Ouroboros. Time is fleeting moments, grains of sand passing through an hourglass. Time is the moments and events we so readily try to measure. But the ancient Ouroboros reminds us that in every moment, in every instant, in every event, is hidden the past, the present and the future. Eternity is hidden in every moment. Every departure is at once a return, every farewell is a greeting, every return is a parting. Everything is simultaneously a beginning and an end. ‘And you too,’ he said, not looking at her at all, ‘are at once the beginning and the end. And because we are discussing destiny, know that it is precisely your destiny. To be the beginning and the end. Do you understand?’ She hesitated for a moment. But his glowing eyes forced her to answer. ‘I do.’ - Lady of the Lake
Death Crone to Auberon Muircetach, Ciri never becomes the Mother Goddess in the Saga. It is a choice she must make for herself and the choice still lies ahead of her. The predicate to making such a choice at least for now, however, she achieves; she goes her own way. In a sense then, both rulers are father figures, who through their choices “beget” the child who is destined. Perhaps this too the Knowing Ones knew, and for this reason Auberon never could have budged, never could have changed his mind in regard to his purpose in the long and winding story of his life. Something is ending, but something is also beginning. A good ruler is responsible for the flourishing of their realm, for providing hope. It is Ciri’s role to be the beginning and the end, and though there might be ways in which to nudge the hand of Fate, whatever is destined must happen. Destiny, however accursed, must run its course.
That is the hope and the release.
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2023.03.26 12:57 yuke1922 Feeling some hope, hopefully motivational a bit.
Was going to post an image but didn’t realize this sub doesn’t allow it.
Anyway a bit of sad news, Brutus (4.5 month Maltese Shih Tzu) is currently being treated for kennel cough. Doing really well, it doesn’t ruin his day, he really only coughs a few times a day, but it has gotten a bit worse so the vet wanted to start some treatment, and we’d do some X rays if things don’t improve after two weeks. Thankfully he has an appetite and is a pretty well behaved puppy all things considered.
Pretty sure he picked it up at daycare, which has been a Godsend.. otherwise. His behavior generally had gotten so much better after getting used to daycare, from being less annoying puppy and being able to hold his bladder for more than 15 minutes LOL.
I still have bouts of frustration and puppy blues but nowhere near what they were even just a few weeks ago. Even though he most likely picked up the sickness from daycare (and is vaccinated) if you’re struggling w puppy blues, hang in there until your pup is vaccinated and can go to daycare and I recommend giving it a shot.
Definitely took a few days for both of us to adjust, but he went from literally needing me as a shadow non stop and enforced naps to actually allowing me to type this on my phone without having to shoulder surf and lick my phone AND keeping himself entertained!!!
Still a learning experience for both of us, but my recommendation is daycare and starting to board your pup for a day or two here and there to get used to the times when you can’t be there, and he can trust and socialize with others.
Hope this helps someone out there!
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2023.03.26 12:55 steves_friend_ every time i tell my mom im not planning on coming to church she seems closer and closer to kicking me out
im paranoid to even go into more detail bc it would be very bad if she found this. but yeah. i recently told her im not christian anymore and although she claims that we both have to “respect each other’s values,” she still expects me to go to church. it feels like it is a condition for me living here. i’d love to leave but the cost of living is so high and i can’t afford to do anymore than im doing right now or ill **** ******. this is such an impossible situation because i don’t know what makes me more miserable, not going and dealing with her nagging and disappointment, or going and being faced with all the negative feelings that come with that. i fucking hate my life dude, ppl who expect certain ideologies out of their children shouldn’t have any
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2023.03.26 12:54 Accomplished-Eye-159 Is it really difficult to become an Ismaili?
Just curious but I have reverted to Islam years ago but never committed myself formally to 'Sunni' or 'Shia' as wasn't born into either of these. I like some aspects of both but have never been able to choose one or the other.
Having read although not in great depth into Ismalism this could appeal and I have a great deal of respect for the Aga Khan IV and love the balance between material and spiritual worlds that is promoted as well as a more believable version of 'Mahdism' in that he is currently carrying out Mahdi-ist work as one of several Mahdi rather than a one unknown person in the future.
Question, is it really difficult to revert to Ismailism? I don't have any Jamatkhanas near me as far as aware. Where can you find the practices and prayers that are used? I can continue to be I guess 'non denominational'but part of me maybe wants to identify with a particular so called 'sect' :-)
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2023.03.26 12:42 DangerousGur6250 I started at the ripe old age of 12, and now I’m quitting 4 years later
Writing this I realise it’s been 4 years of non stop near daily porn consumption, and I’m done letting it screw me over. I’m becoming more and more perverted, and I’m getting stranger around women, and I need to stop. Every time I fail I’ll post it here, and I hope y’all can help me out. I’m done letting it fuck me over, this is my vow to myself. Wish me luck lads ✊
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2023.03.26 12:39 KawaiiShiroiKabocha Sales Position at English School
I currently work twice a week a few hours a day at an English School. I never told them that I grew up here for a few years and speak near fluent Japanese.
My boss just found out and offered me a full time sales position to teach and do sales. He wants me to recruit students and explain the contract and the school.
What compensation package should I be seeking? Base pay? Commission?
How do Japanese people react to a non Japanese trying to sell them something or sign a contract? I want to go into this with eyes wide open.
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2023.03.26 12:39 AudreysEvilTwin How to live with someone I have a poor relationship with? (Me 30F, my mother 67F)
TL;DR I live with my mother, we don't get along and have serious communication struggles, leaving is not yet an option for financial reasons, and I don't know how to endure this situation without going crazy.
I live with my mother for now, while I save up money to renovate my apartment. I expect I'll finally be able to move out next year, but until then I don't know how I'll be able to preserve what's left of my sanity while I still live here.
We don't get along well. She may not be the stereotypical toxic narcissistic parent, but she has some serious issues that have caused chronic relationship difficulties between us. I cannot communicate with her at all; every time I try to raise a concern with her, she employs just about every communication no-no in the book, from dismissiveness, stonewalling, knee-jerk denial and defensiveness, tu quoque, to joking around pointlessly in an attempt to deflect the conversation (one time I was trying to have a serious conversation with her about something important to me and this woman just stuck out her tongue at me), to simply not listening and not trying to understand my point of view. She lacks basic psychoemotional skills, doesn't understand concepts such as boundaries, and has never been interested in educating herself in that regard.
Our arguments usually involve me trying to teach her basic communication skills while I'm upset about a problem and need her to have those communication skills already in place in order to solve it. And I'm just exhausting myself and working myself up into a state of despair while I feel that she just doesn't give a shit and wants me to fuck off along with my grievances.
And the communication problems are just one small part of the problem. She mismanages the household and I have to ensure I do everything myself if I want it done well (I work a full-time job, she's retired), because of course it doesn't work if I communicate with her about it and hope for the best. She makes some really questionable financial decisions that she refuses to be held accountable for, and then I have to foot the bill. We have joint ownership over a property (me 75% and her 25%) that we need to renovate and sell, and she went behind my back to get my uncle to do some shoddy work on it, because she's in a hurry to sell it and it's easier to ask for forgiveness than for permission, I guess, and, again, I have to foot the bill. She has told private things about me to random people, and suddenly I had my third cousin's creepy husband asking me about them, shit like that. She randomly gets mad at me, acts pissy and passive-aggressive, and refuses to tell me why. During the pandemic she fell for the antivax and Covid denialist/conspiracist rhetoric (as a doctor and a cancer survivor, no less), and I was basically living in close quarters with someone who refused to protect herself, and that's when I decided she was a lost cause.
If this were a marriage, I'd have filed for divorce several times over. In many ways I think life with her is influencing me for the worse. She's a deeply religious person from a rural background, with a very austere and anhedonic lifestyle and very conservative beliefs, and I don't think the upper levels of the hierarchy of needs are real to her; she doesn't read anything non-religious, doesn't do anything for fun, doesn't appreciate ideas or aesthetics or new experiences, complains all the time, and just seems to content herself with taking care of basic needs and going to church and that's it. And she sets the tone in this house. I often feel like I'm living inside someone else's life, and it's not a life I'd have chosen for myself. It's a struggle to stop myself from decaying into the same kind of person.
I mention all this particularly because this attitude of hers has caused me great damage as a young teen, when I was seriously struggling with social exclusion and body image and the transition to a more "adult" level of independence and self-expression, and she didn't consider these problems valid at all, and was basically useless in helping me deal with them. I'm still dealing with the fallback of having been a "loser" kid. Even being in my predicament at 30 is seen as a "loser" thing; I wasn't even sure of posting this, because I'm sure there are many people who have zero sympathy for adults living at home and probably believe I should be ashamed of myself for having this problem.
So basically I'd like to know how to tolerate an inescapable bad situation at home. Typically, inescapable bad situations translate to depression, and I've been dealing with some of that recently; my coping mechanisms are a bit overwhelmed at the moment. Yes, I have a therapy appointment for the next month, but I'm not really getting my hopes up; it would be good to have someone to talk to nonetheless. Regarding my living situation, renting right now would make no financial sense for me, and my own apartment isn't yet habitable (no kitchen, no working toilet, very little furniture).
Thanks for reading.
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2023.03.26 11:42 Icy-Cycle6470 I feel guilty about hating to go to church
This is a throw away account.
I grew up with a family who is heavily religious and frowns upon anyone who doesn’t attend church. I’m 20 now, still living with my family since they’re housing me while I attend university. I am forever grateful that they didn’t kick me out, but since I’m still under their roof I still have to follow their rules.
Maybe it’s just an Asian thing, or maybe just a strict parent thing. Either way, they don’t take no for an answer. Ive seen how they talk horribly behind the rest of the families backs. About how they’re going to hell for not attending masses on Sunday. Usually I can bear it, suck it up because if I speak out it would honestly get worse. But as of late the church I’m forced to attend has been giving transphobic and homophobic sermons.
I can’t help but always tear up whenever I’m forced to sit through them. I can’t leave, and I can’t cry. Because if I cry, my parents would just tell me to get over it after.
My family knows about me being gay, when I came out though they went on that iconic homophobic rant about how I’d go to hell and how it’s “Adam and Eve, not adam and steve blah blah blah.” But they came around enough to tolerate and pretend i never came out. Though I learned my lesson about coming out as gay to them. If i were to ever come out to them as non-binary, I think they would have actually murdered me.
But yeah I feel guilty and I feel as if I owe my parents to attend a place that makes me miserable.
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2023.03.26 11:31 ARPoker Why do Catholics claim that they created Christianity?
They claim that Catholics created Christianity or were the first Christians and the Apostles transferred their power to them…somehow that power allows their leadership to decide things for the Religion…?
Forgive me, I don’t seem to know a lot about this and the Catholic publications I read seem to state a lot of things I have never heard of and make it even more confusing for me.
I mean, I have never heard these claims from anything other than a Catholic Church member or from a Catholic publication. I’ll link the publication that made me decide to post these questions. Even the scripture they reference is really a stretch. The word Catholic isn’t even mentioned in the Bible.
The Apostles gave the seven the authority over food distribution and the social work of the Church, the 7 were all Jews.
Thank you for any insight https://www.scripturecatholic.com/apostolic-authority-succession/ https://catholicstand.com/power-of-the-church/
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2023.03.26 11:26 GraemeMark Religious harassment
I busk on the square in my town; there’s a statue of the trinity there where people have been praying during Lent.
Twice already they’ve told me (not asked) to stop playing. Both times I’ve refused. I told them I can’t stop working for 40 days.
They say things like “we’re Christians and we have to be quiet at this time.” To which I say “well go to church,” and that plenty of people have come from praying at the statue and thrown me money. But I’m really wasting my breath, because they just want me to respect their authoritah, which I won’t.
They generally use underhanded threats as well: “God is watching and it might turn out bad for you” or “if you don’t respect the culture you’ll be beaten up”… that one made me think violent thoughts.
Anyway, I’ve let myself be provoked and yelled at them a couple times. Then I sarcastically played a Christian song and said (into my mic) that it was nice, but the lyrics were a bit weird.
I just think they’re the fucking Taliban and they trigger me, but getting mad just never looks good and I’m sure I’ve lost money because I’m just not into my playing or paying attention to people around me.
What should I do? I feel like their presence is a fart in the middle of our beautiful town 🤣 With their twatty-looking faces.
Sorry, ranting into the void a bit.
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2023.03.26 11:19 StellaS_Katsi I don't know what to do...
Hey everyone... So, I can't afford therapy, too scared to get a mental diagnosis or whatever it's called, but I'm lucky enough to have some friends that stick by me so that's why I'm still here, I just wanted to share what I'm going through and to see if anyone would like to just help me out with some advice...
So, I'm 18, and just migrated out of my home to move in with my dad... But a bit of backstory, my childhood was a pretty rough one... First 12 years of my life I; Had epilepsy, Almost died a couple of times,(being admitted into the immediate care unit) Went through abuse with my mom Had to learn how to educate myself mostly since I could not attend school but my parents did buy me study books. Growing up, I always tried to look at the bright side of stuff, and things did get better for me, don't have epilepsy anymore(never had a seizure in a long time) went to school, made friends finally and best some rough challenges... So, not to drag this on, I'm finally here with my dad and my brother moved along with me, but I always feel like I'm fucking up... I get berated and told mean things by my dad when I mess up, my little brother gets scolded but it ain't that serious and I get jealous at times because I never got that kind of teaching at that age, I love my brother but yeah, I feel like I'm pressured into doing so well in school, I haven't played videogames in months, just studying, and that was my only outlet, I'm trying to get a job whilst studying but it's taking a while, and I feel like I'm just good for nothing. For context, for a while I did not pick up my brother from school cause I thought my dad was handling it, and he was, but I walked near his school but never checked up on him... One day my dad caught me walking and called me into the car and just kept on yelling at me, scolding me, calling me foul things that just adds to the collection of things he has said in my head, and i feel worthless, like I have no future and my only future is to take care of my little brother if anything happens to him, like my life revolves around him... I didn't do well in one of my exams because I was depressed and I never thought this mind set could affect my studies, idk what to do and the only reason I don't kill myself is because I was raised a Christian, and I don't wanna end my suffering to experience eternal suffering... There's also the ordeal about my feelings, and sexuality and shit and I feel like I'm a big mess who cannot be normal and happy, and the weirdest shit is I don't act this way Infront of my friends, according to my dad, I seem relatively happy and normal around them, but I never told him how I feel and never will... There's a lot more I want to vent out but if any of you can ever hear me out, please DM me if appreciate it... And thanks for reading... I might be deleting this later, cause I have a tendency to regret my decisions hahah
Idk if it's appropriate to add a TLDR here but: depressed guy wants to talk to someone about his life issues.
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2023.03.26 11:08 KingoftheRednecks Spears Among the Stars, ch 24
Mogan would have thought a beach-side wedding would be a more romantic affair, and perhaps for them it was. For the tribe, it was a sign that the next generation would be wildly different from the one before it. In few cases would it be this extreme, but Mogan wondered if they would know anything like the hunts and the gathering trips he grew up with.
Perhaps, on the other hand, it was a sign of life, something to counteract the death that had surrounded the tribe for months. Perhaps the problems were really eased, or perhaps Mogan thought so since he didn't have to deal with as many of them.
Not that there weren't problems, here and there. The prohibition on fighting carried outside the tribe—otherwise, how would disputes get settled?--and so there were a dozen duels, two of them resulting in deaths. It seemed that the use of laser pistols, starting with both weapons holstered, was becoming popular, and while this was slightly less dangerous than microflinted spearheads, it was considerably moreso than knives, which were the usual weapon of choice. Then again, one of those deaths came from knives, modern knives with monomolecular edges.
On the other hand, medicine was so different here that nearly anything short of “dead before he hit the ground” was curable. Infection was a thing of the past, and while Mogan had treated infected wounds and outbreaks that swept through the village, thanks to his own implant he had never gotten sick. It was seen as one of his “blessings,” that the spirits of disease were frightened to touch him, and it was taken for granted that Ellisan never got sick either.
For that matter, perhaps fifty women were with child when they left their planet, and not a single woman had died in childbirth. That was a new thing, one which confounded every shaman. Everyone knew that a woman's first birth was the most dangerous day of her life, and for this to no longer be a danger at all was a sign that the San were definitely on the way to better things.
He was right in what he'd suggested to Ellisan, in that the minor explosions were more a result of stress than excess. He himself hadn't touched a woman since Hyeshi, not in anything approaching lust, but he suspected that were it not for that, and were he a younger man he might well be out there himself, appreciating the planet's bounty.
But instead of growing, the fuss died down, and while there were still a few who insisted on drinking too much, control of the budget helped to ease that back as well.
Chadnov, amusingly, had settled into the life of a married man. Ellisan had told him that he'd even asked her quietly for advice on what would make a pregnancy easier. Mogan wasn't sure how serious the man was, but he hadn't been responsible for any of the messes that Mogan had had to clean up, so that was a good sign.
Perhaps even better was that they had spent some time talking. He had seen some marriages—especially ones that started with a child on the way like this one had, where the two of them went months learning about each other in the physical sense without having any discussions about what they were and wanted. Perhaps Chadnov was wiser than Mogan had given him credit for.
And Mogan, in turn, had more time to relax. He never got used to the vehicles, but he was able to swim and to spend time walking among the prettier parts of the city, to try different foods and drinks, and sometimes to just sit on the beach like an indulgent father and watch his people enjoy themselves.
He wasn't the only one who spent time working. Many of them tried to find more information—the stealthiest of the fore-runners were picked to look over the barracks, and others were sent to befriend soldiers and see if they would talk. Ellisan insisted on doing some of it herself. Mogan didn't much like it, but she could pass for Sylfa, especially with cosmetics making her look older, and Mogan did trust her more than the Sylfa poachers with them. He didn't truly think they would betray the tribe, but they weren't part of it, and the people of the San were not their people.
That was why it was a surprise when somewhere around the third week Chadnov wandered over in a way that he probably thought looked casual, sipping one of his now-rare drinks.
“Good eve, Chadnov.” Mogan nodded, thinking. “How is family life treating you?”
“It's a surprise... but how do you do it? How do you live, never seeing her?”
Mogan paused, blinking back tears that he certainly didn't expect. “It's... it's not easy, Chadnov. We... we knew what would happen. I had to disappear, or they would hunt me down, and our daughter to. And she had to show elsewhere, or else they would have looked for her and found us. She landed the shuttle, I carried Ellisan off.... then we turned around to look, and she wasn't there.”
“All this time, I thought you were lucky, blessed more than any of us. It's the opposite, isn't it?”
Mogan stared at the horizon as it tried to crash down on him. Their last few days. The moment when she came back from her meeting with the captain—Shirfa, his name was, but they called him Shircha, Captain Cloaca, because “asshole” just didn't go far enough—when she let them know that she had failed and humanity was declared a non-sapient species. The months they'd spent together, bittersweet months when they'd toured the Sovereignty and also knew that it would tear them apart.
“That's neither here nor there,” Mogan said roughly. “Has something gone wrong?”
“No,” said Chadnov. “We're, uh.. we're actually doing well.” The fact that he had to be defensive about that said that Mogan had failed to hide his feelings as well as he had hoped.
“Please,” Chadnov said. “Be silent and listen.”
Mogan bristled for a moment—this was a hunter in disgrace because of his own dumb decisions, after all. But he paused, and with an effort of will, he didn't respond to the command with any insults. “Alright, Chadnov... Speak then. I'll listen, and I'll try to understand.”
Chadnov nodded. “You wonder how it happened, right? I saw some of you looking at her—she has no chest, she has no hips, her legs are just strange—none of you find her sexy, and... really, I don't either. But we talked, every night around the fires, and she and I sort of have the same place, the same role. She stands in the Sovereignty the same way I stand among the San. Not really insulted, but not really respected, either.”
“Look, I'm... I'm not a smart man. I'm... I'm not like you and Ellisan and Burya, I don't always just... know what I should do and do it because I should; I just... try. I know you think I married her because I can't lead anything if I don't... but I can't lead anything if I do either. Everybody knows... I'm very strong and not very smart; I'll never lead a war party or a hunting party or one of these new units, and sometimes I'm angry about that but I think if I did I would get people hurt.. I can't just... somehow come up with the right way, like you guys can. That's magic to me, just like these implants were magic pebbles once to you and the laser rifles were magic firesticks.”
He took a deep breath. “I'm sorry if I caused trouble for everyone else. I'm trying to make it right—by her, not just by you—but sometimes I just don't know what I'm supposed to do. Maybe I'm the kind of guy tradition is made for. I guess there aren't any real decisions to make if tradition makes them for me, right? That's OK—I'm... not good at making decisions. This way I can let all the wise men for generations back make them for me. And they're wiser than me—by the Frozen Valley, maybe everybody's wiser than me—so they're probably right even if it doesn't make sense to me, right?”
“I'm going to be a father, and I never really thought of that. Not smart, I know—I poked everyone that came close enough; I knew I'd be a father someday, but I just let that be in the future somewhere. But then again, I'm not smart, so I try not to stab myself about it; I can't do what I can't do.”
Mogan nodded. “I think I understand, Chadnov. Believe me, I've felt foolish more than once when I first came to the stars. Nothing made sense to me at all. Besides that, I'm a craftsman. I'm the best craftsman I've ever seen... and then they showed me a machine that can make anything. Right away, perfectly. I think I understand how you feel.”
“Maybe,” Chadnov said, “But I've always been like that. I guess I'm lucky—everybody knew I... wasn't good at thinking stuff through. They didn't expect me to. You came back and all of a sudden they expected you to know everything.”
Mogan chuckled drily. “And you call yourself dumb. You're a good man, Chadnov, and you'll be a good husband.”
“I... thank you, Shaman. That's what I'm focusing on right now. But Karshta and I were talking...”
“That's good. Talking with each other, learning about each other, that's a good start to a marriage.”
“I hope so. But she was talking about how the soldiers didn't really want to be here, and how they were happy for an excuse to get away from this. And I was thinking.... And I'm not good at thinking, I know it. But I had this idea. My ideas are bad ideas, everybody tells me that, but I thought, maybe I'd tell you this one, and you could decide for me.”
“Maybe you're judging your cast a little short before you throw, Chadnov. But what were you thinking?”
“Well, the soldiers at the barracks, they don't want to be here. Karshta says that everybody thought this would be a vacation, but the Governess made them run around out in the woods hunting down people they don't really care about. They want to be relaxing out here on the beach like us, not walking all day every day, especially because, well....”
Mogan chuckled. “Because they really can't.”
“Yes, but nobody wants to spend their time like that. So Karshta and I talked, and we thought... I'm sure this is a stupid idea—go ahead and laugh, but I have to say it just in case... What if we just... went to the barracks and asked them to leave? Just.... give them some sovereigns and tell them they can go somewhere else if they say “I surrender”?”
Chadnov flinched and almost fell off his chair—or bed, Mogan was really still not sure—as Mogan leaped to his feet.
“Ellisan! Get the elders, now!”
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2023.03.26 11:05 Chief_Whizz Adventist Doctrine Advice: Any Unique Positives or Issues Common to Others?
Hello and hope you are well,
I've posted here before and received helpful guidance, for which I'm very grateful. I wonder if I might trouble you again for your support.
To give a very quick summary of a very complex situation:
My wife was brought up SDA and then drifted from her faith. She has a long history of anxiety disorders and OCD. Earlier this year, he anxiety and her (dormant) faith came into contact, and exploded into an extremely intense manifestation of religious OCD / scrupulosity - with all the usual symptoms: intense fear of hell, an urgent need to be a perfect Christian and find salvation, and inclinations towards maximalist interpretations of scripture to be sure that she would do so. This largely meant turning her back on all her usual, secular activities, replacing them with religious devotions.
We had been engaged to be married later this year. We brought that forward in response to her huge anxiety about our relationship being unholy (for better or worse - it seemed like the only option). She has been receiving treatment for her mental health.
OK, to the matter at hand:
Over the course of the last two months, we've managed to start some healthier observance of Christian faith, largely doing so through self-directed bible study, prayer and learning, and not through association with the Adventist church or any other. It has been a largely 'non-denominational' / generic type of Christianity, although I know that she will still be inclined towards Adventism when she does choose a church - not least because of her upbringing, some family members, and a sense that it's the right denomination for her.
I don't mean to speak too negatively about Adventism in general, as I'm sure that there are good churches and good people who have an excellent experience. However, as this sub attests, it's a denomination which carries lots of risks due to certain aspects of the doctrine and characteristic legalism, focus on sin and condemnation, belief in imminent second coming, and inclinations towards works-based salvation (or at least a sense that it's about following more of the Old Law and Ten Commandments rather than salvation through grace alone). These issues aren't necessarily inherent in the doctrine, but they are frequently associated with the SDA experience according to much that I've read.
In short, we've seen lots of positive things on our 'Generic Christianity' journey, but very few of these are unique and inherent to Adventism. The issues that are unique or inherent to Adventism, or characteristic of the experience, seem mostly negative.
The current situation is that I see an opening for us to consider a wider range of churches, denominations, doctrines, and to choose one that may entail less risk for someone with an anxiety disorder.
I hope you'll understand my reason for asking the following questions, which are to make me more able to respond to my wife's needs by telling her that: another denomination would still give us all the positives of Adventism (1), while avoiding some of the dangers or negatives (2), without losing out on anything (3) - but we can still choose to avoid anything that we might want to (4).
So, my question is in a few parts:
1) Can you think of anything uniquely positive about Adventism that isn't shared by other doctrines? (I can't, but the focus on physical health would be an example answer - although actually I think that should cut across Christianity.)
2) Can you think of anything specifically to Adventism that is negative, and avoided in other denominations? (This would probably be the one we could answer at greatest length.)
3) Can you think of anything positive about other denominations that Adventism rejects?
4) Can you think of anything uniquely negative about other denominations which Adventism avoids?
Thank you very much for your help. I'm just trying to avoid a type of observance which may exacerbate her mental illness, so guidance is much appreciated.
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2023.03.26 10:54 No_Kaleidoscope_5756 friend currently treats me like a mentee
Me [NB,21], Friend [F,22]
Me and my friend have been friends since we were 18- start of first year we instantly clicked! She is fun, openminded and intelligent. We have both navigated some pretty rough terrain as it relates to mental health, and have supported each other through that for a decent amount of time.
My mum died in August 2022- and we had a fall out. Essentially I asked her if she would want to come to the funeral, she asked me to send her the details but I was in a super bad place and forgot- asked her the day before if she was coming and she sent me a long text explaining why she couldn't (regarding mental health issues). The next day I saw her at an empowerment brunch on instagram and I blew up because I did not understand why she could go there but not support me.
Whilst she explained that it was because of mental health and wanting to be empowered, I ended up dismissing her mental health as a way to lash out and ended the friendship.
I ended up regretting it as I really cared for her- reached out and said I still wanted to be friends, and she requested space- this was in September.
We reconciled in Feb, and we talked over a few things.
As soon as we sat down she talked about law career opportunities and stuff- I remember being very overwhelmed by this as we met up to talk about a rupture in the friendship and I let her know that I did not feel comfortable with that after. She mentioned how it hurt that I mentioned her mental health and brought up an incident with a mutual friend; I apologised for both things.
I asked her why she did not call to explain why she could not come to the funeral, or organise lunch after the fact- and she stayed silent. I brushed this off at first, but noted it. Part of me now is quite angry because it seems as though she just did not want to offer me an explanation for this break in communication.
I came out as trans-masc/non binary to her- and she kept quiet, I understood that it may take some time to sink in.
We agreed, perhaps prematurely? that we were friends again because overall, I missed her a lot and it felt like old times.
I have noticed that she doesn't talk about her mental health when I bring up topics of my own surrounding it- I understand that I hurt her and maybe she doesn't feel comfortable.
I noticed that she has not asked me any questions about my identity, and its been a while now since we met up- I am looking for support in safe spaces and groups but other friends have been more forthcoming with questions which helps me to feel safe and affirmed and most importantly, seen.
She is also Christian which whilst I understand does not mean you can't be open minded (she knew I was queer since we were 18), I am self conscious of the fact that this could play a part- although I may be overthinking. I also invited her out to possibly meet with my other long time friend, she said she would follow up with me abut it,I asked again and she did not get back to me. When we meet it is mostly on campus.
Whilst she is not eager to discuss personal topics of her own, She is eager to share any resources- I let her know I was struggling with scheduling, and she sent like 5-6 paragraphs (I still haven't read all of them yet as I am overwhelmed and I already have a personal tutor who I may actually work on this with).
She sent me an internship recently, and I said thanks- she said it was "the least she could do" and I just said I just care about her presence. She also said how "I've been going through a lot" when I was talking about academic pressure.
I asked her if she could support me recently via facetime after i went to my first trans group- she said she could after she got back from the hospital. I called her later in the evening and she apologised for not being able to call but did not reschedule, Again, like the time around my mum's funeral- I felt betrayed and neglected.
Whilst I can see that she cares- I do not feel as though this is a friendship of equals. I am uncomfortable as I have shared personal issues with her and I do not necessarily feel seen- and I do not enjoy being pitied.
I need emotional support from her, I already have mentors who, I am able to trust more because of established expectations and more consistent communication overall.
And whilst I understand she does not feel comfortable discussing mental health topics, I also do not feel comfortable talking about how I am navigating the world - so I wonder where this leaves us.
Because at this point, with the avoidance of personal topics and the fact that she seems to be only comfortable discussing career related stuff/organisation, this does not feel like we are equals and I do not like being pitied or treated like a mentee LMAO.
I know I might need to bring this up to her, but a. I need to prioritise my workload and other work commitments right now, and perhaps can return to this over the summer. It is just such a hard conversation, and whilst I am typically quite assertive, part of me does not know if it is best just to allow us to drift off- which could already be happening.
Any advice? Thanks !!
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2023.03.26 10:53 KorraAvatar What separates those who make it to high level and those who don't?
I have been thinking about this deeply recently and have been wondering if it simply comes down to a matter of natural affinity, money, or perhaps, accessibility to a native environment, whether that be in Japan itself or a Japanese community in your home country. It is starting to become clear to me that in order to improve oral proficiency, you need to be in an environment surrounded by native speakers. (I was fed this idea that if you immersed a ton, you would just become fluent naturally like a baby, which in hindsight, was obviously a silly notion and I was an idiot to believe it, but I was non the wiser at the time)
Just to clarify, I am not talking about the obvious things such as 'consistency' and 'desire to learn', and I am aware that simply 'living in Japan' won't make you 'fluent' either (we are all intimately familiar with the stories about expats who relocate to Japan and fail to reach even a basic conversational level, let alone fluency). I am specifically referring to the serious learners in the community who have the passion, dedication, motivation, and who actively devote a considerable amount of time to studying Japanese and don't make it far, or don't make it at all, while others do despite both parties pouring in comparable amounts of time. Is this where 'living in Japan' gives people that edge and creates an advantage for some and a disadvantage for others?"
I also think the same about English learners who are native to Japan. I follow a number of Japanese youtubers and have listened to stories about how they reached fluency (Atsu, Saki, Haruki, Uzi are just four that immediately spring to mind) , and the stories typically follow a the following pattern "Studied English grammar in middle school high school but couldn't speak well > Went abroad and studied at a a foreign University ( or a working holiday visa) and became fluent. However, there numerous Japanese people who do the same and don't make it anywhere near as far as people like that.
If we were to assume that "immersion time" and "dedication' between parties is equal, is this where factors such as "natural talent" , "money" and "environment" take over? This is something I am really curious about and I really like to know what the people in the community think. This not just a question to Japanese learners, but also to the Japanese people on this subreddit?Through your interactions with foreigners, what is the one thing that those who you thought were really good at Japanese shared?
(Apologies if this was a little long_
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2023.03.26 10:53 More-Presentation958 Dorm question
Lots of questions! Incoming freshmen! Question about the dorms! Do u get to chose which floor u can live? Also do u get to chose if u wanna live in like the east lo or west lo? Which dorms do u recommend for political science major? Why are people hating on Al? I heard Al is the most social but how come everyone tells me it’s a bad dorm?😂 do u get to chose preference to which type of roommate u want? Ex:non-smoker, Christian, and race? Anything I should know about the living situation lmk thank you!
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2023.03.26 10:32 Silent_Eye7642 I talked with two pastors of my church because I don't believe in God anymore
Yesterday, I had a long discussion with two pastors that I know. I have questions because I am deconverting and I want responses from religious people. One of my questions was: how can God be just if he is so wrathful and murders a lot of people in the Old Testament? I mean he killed innocent babies during the flood and during the plagues of Egypt. And they said to me that he must punish humans because they sinned. But he could have known that, he is omniscient and omnipotent. So again, I don't understand how God can be just ih he killed a lot of people. I also talked about the difference between the God of the OT and the one of the NT (the doctrine of Marcion that there are two distinct gods). But they said that he is one. But again, how can he be the same if he changed a lot between the old and the new Testament? By the way, I really like to discover the Christian doctrines of the early Church, like the gnostics or the apocryph gospels. So I still don't believe in God, he cannot be just.
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