#that wasn’t very christian of you.
Brendon Urie pics on your bedroom wall? I call this good taste 👌😉
Idk if I would call it that lol just due to the quality of them
But I can’t find it in my heart yet to take them down so sfhkjnf
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Do you guys know of any good online Bible study groups to join?
I think the lack of Christian fellowship in my life is wearing on me. I need to fix it.
But I don’t respond well in places with very large numbers of people (I usually just hang back and don’t add anything) and that’s the problem with a lot of online Bible studies. I need to be able to break off in smaller groups or something. A lot of big group chats are just overwhelming to me and also I have a hard time connecting to people. I feel like it’s not very edifying. Maybe for some people, but not for me.
Or do any of you want to study the Bible together?
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I can’t possibly imagine spending eternity with someone who saw me being abused in a cult as a child and though “yeah no I’m not gonna do jack shit about that”
Like.... why does anyone thing I would want to do that.
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You know, now that I think about it, my deconversion occurring two years before I started playing dnd might have contributed to how she turned out... and why I can’t seem to stop making allusions to my deconversion in pretty much all of my writing ever since.
Basically, my character was an orcish woman named Valdis Kulahn who was a cleric that wanted to spread the word of her lord and savior wherever she went, but was like 90% illiterate and didn’t actually know what the holy book actually said. Unfortunately, we were only able to play for two sessions, so I have no idea how that would have gone down for her, but I do remember my own feelings of complete and utter betrayal after I had read the Bible from cover to cover and found out what was actually written within it.
One day I want to try and bring her out again. I want to know her story.
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me, up at 3am: so here’s why clerics should be Better,
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hey anybody remember how Christians took the Columbine shooting and turned that into a message about how all American Christians will one day face a gun to their head, probably as a child in school, and it’s their duty as a follower of Christ to die instead of denouncing Jesus
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thinking about,,,,,ladder n dusk again :]
(tag rant moments//)
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in case anyone needed to hear this today the rapture isn’t biblical and revelation is at its core about liberation from oppression and my world will never be the same
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i saw you asked what conservatives see in spn, I’m currently at mid s14 of rewatching spn with my right wing father and it’s is... absolutely a viewing experience. His favorite character is dean because my dad finds him personable and funny and he likes the older brother dynamic between him and Sam, and the relationship with John reminded him of his own dad. but my dad also REALLY loves castiel. Lazarus Rising is one of his favorite episodes just for Cas’ entrance, and he really really enjoyed like. girlboss s4-6 and 8 Cas killing people. and it’s incredibly strange because my dad is a Christian pastor, he does prison ministry for inmates every week. so I’d assumed he wouldn’t like cas as a character because his character development is about losing faith in God, but no my dad fucking loved it. he said it reminded him of his own abusive father and he became like... a castiel apologist. when we got to TMWWBK my dad kept saying that he “loves dean, but cas is right in this situation” until cas slaughtered the Republican campaign office lol. when the writers started nerfing Cas in season 9 my dad was annoyed and said “cas used to be so cool ://“, but then when we got to the episode Claire is introduced he changed his mind and said he liked that Cas who was formerly very violent and ‘would kill a child’ had calmed down and learned to love while the opposite happened to dean which cas was visibly saddened by. and at this point I wasn’t sure if my dad was reading it as queer because he also said shit like ‘cas is a christian character’ and then just didn’t elaborate. when we got to Amara he was fucking MAD that they’d given dean a love interest he said it wasn’t ‘satisfying to the plot, he doesn’t even know her”. when we got to Lily Sunder and the ‘I’ll cure you of your human weakness’ my dad was like ‘holy shit. is castiel (spanish slur for gay man).” and i just walked away lol cuz he knows that i am gay too. when I came back he said some shit to me like “listen i change my mind that word only applies to bad homosexuals” and then he was silent for a long time before saying “plus he isn’t even a man. see he was a woman before. also dean doesn’t feel like that so it’s just sad”. when we got to 12.22 and cas being stabbed by lucifer my dad like audibly fucking gasped and started yelling in spanish and did the old man thing where he leaned forward in his recliner. with the widower arc and dean being a little bitch to jack I forget which episode it was but my dad said “i think they are trying to show that he (dean) is acting like his father. because sometimes they compare characters, so I think dean is John and castiel is” and then he forgot Mary’s name for a moment so he said “castiel is his wife.” and then 5 seconds later he went “wait. wait” and paused the tv and just looked at me going “what the fuck. what the fuck. he’s Not Gay!!!! But he is the husband?’ absolutely insane viewing experience. when we got to Tombstone my dad told me “i hope he gets a new female body, because dean loves him but isn’t gay”. sorry that this was so long im unwell
BRO. BRO BRO BRO. EXCUSE ME? I LOVE THIS.
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I had somewhat infrequent contact with the church youth group as a high schooler--I wasn’t a regular attendee, but enough of my friends were that I usually had the lowdown on what was happening. I have a personal policy that I don’t turn down invitations to participate in things unless I have an actual conflict (which is, let me tell you, an interesting, rewarding, and occasionally dangerous way to live your life) so when one of my friends said, “Hey, Hell, the youth group is doing a volunteer project and we need people. You in?” I said sure.
She told me to dress for messy outdoor work, and we’d drive there together on Saturday morning. No other details were provided.
So Saturday morning came, and I found myself standing in jeans, steeltoe boots and a tank top in front of a very, very run-down house with about a dozen other teenagers and a couple adults. The adults had that slightly manic look common to youth group leaders, and matching church t-shirts.
They also had half a dozen sledgehammers.
I had a fantastic feeling about how this day was going to go.
The house, they explained, was condemned. It needed to be demolished.
There were words after that about the who and the what and the why (and, presumably, about why they had decided to recruit a bunch of teenagers to do this In The Name Of Jesus) but I was vibrating at a speed that rendered audio waves impossible to decipher and didn’t catch any of it. Something-something-something-jesus, something-something-something-hit things with sledgehammers, don’t hit the marked support beams, Something-something-something-HELL YOU GET TO WRECK THIS HOUSE was basically all that got through.
They said something that my brain interpreted as “GO!”
I had a sledgehammer in my hand and was swinging through the front door faster than a chipmunk on cocaine. Which was wholly unnecessary; the front door was unlocked. I just wanted to do it.
I plowed a straight line through that house from front door through the back wall just because I could, then doubled back to go for some of the fun tile spots. Around me, a dozen sweaty teenagers were going absolutely feral. The ones with sledgehammers were swinging wildly at anything they could reach, and the ones without were kicking holes in the drywall for no reason and prying apart any surface they could get a grip on.
The adults had cleared out about five minutes in; we were left with our sledgehammers and no inhibitions.
These wholesome christian teens had spent most of their lives being proper and helpful, and now, for what may have been the first time, they were being told to be as destructive as they were capable of being, and it immediately went to their heads. We were a swarm of holy termites. We were sledgehammer-bearing tornadoes. We punched holes in that house until there wasn’t any house left to punch holes in.
Did we take out some of the marked support beams on accident? Absolutely. Was this whole plan deeply, deeply unwise? Sure! But we were having a great time!
The teens with sledgehammers mostly got tired and traded off sooner or later, and a couple of us decided that now was the time to solve some universal mysteries for ourselves, like: can I run straight through a wall if I get a far enough running start? Can I kick a door down like in a movie? If we work together, can we throw John right through that drywall?
The answers to these questions was a shining, reverberating YES.
(John was fine, probably.)
By the time we felt that our work was done, the house was just a few upright studs with a roof on top, sitting in a lake of debris. We straggled out on to the front lawn, dragging our sledgehammers, and watched as the adults hooked chains to the remaining beams. The chains were hooked to the back hitch of someone’s Compensator pickup truck, which was being used for its actual function for probably the first time ever. We watched as the truck pulled away from the curb, the chains going tight--
--and with a sound like breaking toothpicks, the beams broke, and the house pancaked in on itself. We cheered like it was the Second Coming.
I don’t know why they had us do this. I don’t even know whose house it was. I just know that there are few joys purer than the joy of wrecking something bigger than you with nothing but the strength of your own arms, and few euphorias more glorious than the feeling of putting a sledgehammer through a front door for no reason at all.
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okay i’m going to rant about Supernatural here for a minute, as a head’s up, but i’m just seeing so many people not understand what the show is actually doing - which is fair, i don’t expect anyone to have 15 seasons of genre tv show memorized - and assuming the worst when i’m pretty sure that it’s a fucking beautiful, galaxy brain story playing out.
like, just. the final season 15 big bad is literally God - but he’s not really God, the Christian God, he is the incarnation of the writers themselves. the character of God was originally a tongue-in-cheek avatar of the actual writers as the author of the Supernatural books (yes, inside Supernatural there are Supernatural books, and Supernatural conventions, and a Supernatural musical), Carver Edlund - as in Jeremy Carver and Ben Edlund, two of the primary writers at the time. he was, at the time, a ‘prophet’ who could foresee the future and write what was supposed to happen.
the character of God is the author of this story, and this entire season has been about how the protagonists have to defeat God - they have to literally defeat the story itself in order to be victorious. in a fucking unprecedented level of meta, the villain of the final season is literally the story and the writers themselves.
and then you have Castiel, a character who was supposed to be in a handful of episodes 11 years ago and then permanently killed off. a character who was meant to be permanently killed off again three years after that, who was kept and brought back again and again because the fans demanded it, because Cas and Misha Collins became so intrinsic to the story.
at the end of his first season, the ‘prophet’ (God) told Castiel that he wasn’t supposed to be in this story, and Castiel replied, Yeah, well, we’re making it up as we go.
and then, in the episode before the one with this confession, God confronted Castiel and called him the one thing that he couldn’t ever control. God, Cas’s “father” (the writers who created him) shouted at Cas for never doing as he was told, for always being the spanner in the works.
and then, Castiel culminates years of character development with a beautiful speech about how happiness is in the being, not the having, and comes out as explicitly queer. he confesses that everything he’s ever done has been for love.
and what is Supernatural about? Supernatural is about love saving the world. that was literally the final message of the season 5 finale, which was originally intended to be the series finale. the first time Supernatural ended, “love will save the world” was its final message.
Castiel is the queer love that the writers never intended to exist but that they couldn’t control and couldn’t stop, that they tried to kill and couldn’t.
Castiel didn’t die, Castiel is the queer love that couldn’t die.
and, i think many people don’t realize, the deal that Cas made with the Empty was something put into action - two seasons ago, i think? it was quite a while ago that he made this deal. this has been planned for a long time, it wasn’t a last minute fan service thing. there are people putting meticulous care into this story and they’re not playing around with it, they are laying out their final hand with deliberate intention. the writer who crafted Castiel’s confession (a gay man, fyi) wrote that speech as the first thing he wrote for the season. there is care here.
people unfamiliar with the show may also not realize that when Castiel first came on the show, he saved Dean from hell - because Dean had also made a deal, a deal trading his life for the one he loved most, his brother. Castiel made a deal trading his life for the one he loved most, his son.
that is a parallel, a rhyme to this story, that can only be completed with Dean saving Cas from hell. that is a beautiful, poetic, fucking incredible way to bring this to a close. i have been very wary about actually trusting this show after getting burned over and over, but even i can’t deny the care being written into this and the self-aware beauty of the story that is unfolding.
Castiel has died a dozen times before, at least, as has Dean - in fact, two seasons ago Cas escaped the Empty, the "hell” he was just taken to. leaving your story there would be hella weak sauce, and make no narrative sense.
but Dean, who has been galvanized by rage for so long - Dean, who has been lost and furious knowing that he’s a puppet whose strings have been pulled for a capricious God’s amusement and who now knows that maybe the only real thing in the universe is that an angel is in love with him - laying down his anger and choosing to fight for love, saving Castiel the same way that Castiel first saved him? our protagonists, collectively known as Team Free Will, defeating the Author and choosing their own destiny, choosing love and saving the world?
now that’s a fucking story.
i’m still nervous, of course i am. but all of the pieces have been set in place, and with two episodes left, for the first time i’m actually excited to see how this story ends.
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Why Smart People Believe Stupid Things
If you’ve been paying attention for the last couple of years, you might have noticed that the world has a bit of a misinformation problem.
The problem isn’t just with the recent election conspiracies, either. The last couple of years has brought us the rise (and occasionally fall) of misinformation-based movements like:
Sandy Hook conspiracies
The MRA/incel/MGTOW movements
the birther movement
climate change denial
But why do people believe this stuff?
It would be easy - too easy - to say that people fall for this stuff because they’re stupid. We all want to believe that smart people like us are immune from being taken in by deranged conspiracies. But it’s just not that simple. People from all walks of life are going down these rabbit holes - people with degrees and professional careers and rich lives have fallen for these theories, leaving their loved ones baffled. Decades-long relationships have splintered this year, as the number of people flocking to these conspiracies out of nowhere reaches a fever pitch.
So why do smart people start believing some incredibly stupid things? It’s because:
Our brains are built to identify patterns.
Our brains fucking love puzzles and patterns. This is a well-known phenomenon called apophenia, and at one point, it was probably helpful for our survival - the prehistoric human who noticed patterns in things like animal migration, plant life cycles and the movement of the stars was probably a lot more likely to survive than the human who couldn’t figure out how to use natural clues to navigate or find food.
The problem, though, is that we can’t really turn this off. Even when we’re presented with completely random data, we’ll see patterns. We see patterns in everything, even when there’s no pattern there. This is why people see Jesus in a burnt piece of toast or get superstitious about hockey playoffs or insist on always playing at a certain slot machine - our brains look for patterns in the constant barrage of random information in our daily lives, and insist that those patterns are really there, even when they’re completely imagined.
A lot of conspiracy theories have their roots in people making connections between things that aren’t really connected. The belief that “vaccines cause autism” was bolstered by the fact that the first recognizable symptoms of autism happen to appear at roughly the same time that children receive one of their rounds of childhood immunizations - the two things are completely unconnected, but our brains have a hard time letting go of the pattern they see there. Likewise, many people were quick to latch on to the fact that early maps of COVID infections were extremely similar to maps of 5G coverage - the fact that there’s a reasonable explanation for this (major cities are more likely to have both high COVID cases AND 5G networks) doesn’t change the fact that our brains just really, really want to see a connection there.
Our brains love proportionality.
Specifically, our brains like effects to be directly proportional to their causes - in other words, we like it when big events have big causes, and small causes only lead to small events. It’s uncomfortable for us when the reverse is true. And so anytime we feel like a “big” event (celebrity death, global pandemic, your precious child is diagnosed with autism) has a small or unsatisfying cause (car accident, pandemics just sort of happen every few decades, people just get autism sometimes), we sometimes feel the need to start looking around for the bigger, more sinister, “true” cause of that event.
Consider, for instance, the attempted assassination of Pope John Paul II. In 1981, Pope John Paul II was shot four times by a Turkish member of a known Italian paramilitary secret society who’d recently escaped from prison - on the surface, it seems like the sort of thing conspiracy theorists salivate over, seeing how it was an actual multinational conspiracy. But they never had much interest in the assassination attempt. Why? Because the Pope didn’t die. He recovered from his injuries and went right back to Pope-ing. The event didn’t have a serious outcome, and so people are content with the idea that one extremist carried it out. The death of Princess Diana, however, has been fertile ground for conspiracy theories; even though a woman dying in a car accident is less weird than a man being shot four times by a paid political assassin, her death has attracted more conspiracy theories because it had a bigger outcome. A princess dying in a car accident doesn’t feel big enough. It’s unsatisfying. We want such a monumentous moment in history to have a bigger, more interesting cause.
These theories prey on pre-existing fear and anger.
Are you a terrified new parent who wants the best for their child and feels anxious about having them injected with a substance you don’t totally understand? Congrats, you’re a prime target for the anti-vaccine movement. Are you a young white male who doesn’t like seeing more and more games aimed at women and minorities, and is worried that “your” gaming culture is being stolen from you? You might have been very interested in something called Gamergate. Are you a right-wing white person who worries that “your” country and way of life is being stolen by immigrants, non-Christians and coastal liberals? You’re going to love the “all left-wingers are Satantic pedo baby-eaters” messaging of QAnon.
Misinformation and conspiracy theories are often aimed strategically at the anxieties and fears that people are already experiencing. No one likes being told that their fears are insane or irrational; it’s not hard to see why people gravitate towards communities that say “yes, you were right all along, and everyone who told you that you were nuts to be worried about this is just a dumb sheep. We believe you, and we have evidence that you were right along, right here.” Fear is a powerful motivator, and you can make people believe and do some pretty extreme things if you just keep telling them “yes, that thing you’re afraid of is true, but also it’s way worse than you could have ever imagined.”
Real information is often complicated, hard to understand, and inherently unsatisfying.
The information that comes from the scientific community is often very frustrating for a layperson; we want science to have hard-and-fast answers, but it doesn’t. The closest you get to a straight answer is often “it depends” or “we don’t know, but we think X might be likely”. Understanding the results of a scientific study with any confidence requires knowing about sampling practices, error types, effect sizes, confidence intervals and publishing biases. Even asking a simple question like “is X bad for my child” will usually get you a complicated, uncertain answer - in most cases, it really just depends. Not understanding complex topics makes people afraid - it makes it hard to trust that they’re being given the right information, and that they’re making the right choices.
Conspiracy theories and misinformation, on the other hand, are often simple, and they are certain. Vaccines bad. Natural things good. 5G bad. Organic food good. The reason girls won’t date you isn’t a complex combination of your social skills, hygiene, appearance, projected values, personal circumstances, degree of extroversion, luck and life phase - girls won’t date you because feminism is bad, and if we got rid of feminism you’d have a girlfriend. The reason Donald Trump was an unpopular president wasn’t a complex combination of his public bigotry, lack of decorum, lack of qualifications, open incompetence, nepotism, corruption, loss of soft power, refusal to uphold the basic responsibilities of his position or his constant lying - they hated him because he was fighting a secret sex cult and they’re all in it.
Instead of making you feel stupid because you’re overwhelmed with complex information, expert opinions and uncertain advice, conspiracy theories make you feel smart - smarter, in fact, than everyone who doesn’t believe in them. And that’s a powerful thing for people living in a credential-heavy world.
Many conspiracy theories are unfalsifiable.
It is very difficult to prove a negative. If I tell you, for instance, that there’s no such thing as a purple swan, it would be very difficult for me to actually prove that to you - I could spend the rest of my life photographing swans and looking for swans and talking to people who know a lot about swans, and yet the slim possibility would still exist that there was a purple swan out there somewhere that I just hadn’t found yet. That’s why, in most circumstances, the burden of proof lies with the person making the extraordinary claim - if you tell me that purple swans exist, we should continue to assume that they don’t until you actually produce a purple swan.
Conspiracy theories, however, are built so that it’s nearly impossible to “prove” them wrong. Is there any proof that the world’s top-ranking politicians and celebrities are all in a giant child sex trafficking cult? No. But can you prove that they aren’t in a child sex-trafficking cult? No, not really. Even if I, again, spent the rest of my life investigating celebrities and following celebrities and talking to people who know celebrities, I still couldn’t definitely prove that this cult doesn’t exist - there’s always a chance that the specific celebrities I’ve investigated just aren’t in the cult (but other ones are!) or that they’re hiding evidence of the cult even better than we think. Lack of evidence for a conspiracy theory is always treated as more evidence for the theory - we can’t find anything because this goes even higher up than we think! They’re even more sophisticated at hiding this than we thought! People deeply entrenched in these theories don’t even realize that they are stuck in a circular loop where everything seems to prove their theory right - they just see a mountain of “evidence” for their side.
Our brains are very attached to information that we “learned” by ourselves.
Learning accurate information is not a particularly interactive or exciting experience. An expert or reliable source just presents the information to you in its entirety, you read or watch the information, and that’s the end of it. You can look for more information or look for clarification of something, but it’s a one-way street - the information is just laid out for you, you take what you need, end of story.
Conspiracy theories, on the other hand, almost never show their hand all at once. They drop little breadcrumbs of information that slowly lead you where they want you to go. This is why conspiracy theorists are forever telling you to “do your research” - they know that if they tell you everything at once, you won’t believe them. Instead, they want you to indoctrinate yourself slowly over time, by taking the little hints they give you and running off to find or invent evidence that matches that clue. If I tell you that celebrities often wear symbols that identify them as part of a cult and that you should “do your research” about it, you can absolutely find evidence that substantiates my claim - there are literally millions of photos of celebrities out there, and anyone who looks hard enough is guaranteed to find common shapes, poses and themes that might just mean something (they don’t - eyes and triangles are incredibly common design elements, and if I took enough pictures of you, I could also “prove” that you also clearly display symbols that signal you’re in the cult).
The fact that you “found” the evidence on your own, however, makes it more meaningful to you. We trust ourselves, and we trust that the patterns we uncover by ourselves are true. It doesn’t feel like you’re being fed misinformation - it feels like you’ve discovered an important truth that “they” didn’t want you to find, and you’ll hang onto that for dear life.
Older people have not learned to be media-literate in a digital world.
Fifty years ago, not just anyone could access popular media. All of this stuff had a huge barrier to entry - if you wanted to be on TV or be in the papers or have a radio show, you had to be a professional affiliated with a major media brand. Consumers didn’t have easy access to niche communities or alternative information - your sources of information were basically your local paper, the nightly news, and your morning radio show, and they all more or less agreed on the same set of facts. For decades, if it looked official and it appeared in print, you could probably trust that it was true.
Of course, we live in a very different world today - today, any asshole can accumulate an audience of millions, even if they have no credentials and nothing they say is actually true (like “The Food Babe”, a blogger with no credentials in medicine, nutrition, health sciences, biology or chemistry who peddles health misinformation to the 3 million people who visit her blog every month). It’s very tough for older people (and some younger people) to get their heads around the fact that it’s very easy to create an “official-looking” news source, and that they can’t necessarily trust everything they find on the internet. When you combine that with a tendency toward “clickbait headlines” that often misrepresent the information in the article, you have a generation struggling to determine who they can trust in a media landscape that doesn’t at all resemble the media landscape they once knew.
These beliefs become a part of someone’s identity.
A person doesn’t tell you that they believe in anti-vaxx information - they tell you that they ARE an anti-vaxxer. Likewise, people will tell you that they ARE a flat-earther, a birther, or a Gamergater. By design, these beliefs are not meant to be something you have a casual relationship with, like your opinion of pizza toppings or how much you trust local weather forecasts - they are meant to form a core part of your identity.
And once something becomes a core part of your identity, trying to make you stop believing it becomes almost impossible. Once we’ve formed an initial impression of something, facts just don’t change our minds. If you identify as an antivaxxer and I present evidence that disproves your beliefs, in your mind, I’m not correcting inaccurate information - I am launching a very personal attack against a core part of who you are. In fact, the more evidence I present, the more you will burrow down into your antivaxx beliefs, more confident than ever that you are right. Admitting that you are wrong about something that is important to you is painful, and your brain would prefer to simply deflect conflicting information rather than subject you to that pain.
We can see this at work with something called the confirmation bias. Simply put, once we believe something, our brains hold on to all evidence that that belief is true, and ignore evidence that it’s false. If I show you 100 articles that disprove your pet theory and 3 articles that confirm it, you’ll cling to those 3 articles and forget about the rest. Even if I show you nothing but articles that disprove your theory, you’ll likely go through them and pick out any ambiguous or conflicting information as evidence for “your side”, even if the conclusion of the article shows that you are wrong - our brains simply care about feeling right more than they care about what is actually true.
There is a strong community aspect to these theories.
There is no one quite as supportive or as understanding as a conspiracy theorist - provided, of course, that you believe in the same conspiracy theories that they do. People who start looking into these conspiracy theories are told that they aren’t crazy, and that their fears are totally valid. They’re told that the people in their lives who doubted them were just brainwashed sheep, but that they’ve finally found a community of people who get where they’re coming from. Whenever they report back to the group with the “evidence” they’ve found or the new elaborations on the conspiracy theory that they’ve been thinking of (“what if it’s even worse than we thought??”), they are given praise for their valuable contributions. These conspiracy groups often become important parts of people’s social networks - they can spend hours every day talking with like-minded people from these communities and sharing their ideas.
Of course, the flipside of this is that anyone who starts to doubt or move away from the conspiracy immediately loses that community and social support. People who have broken away from antivaxx and QAnon often say that the hardest part of leaving was losing the community and friendships they’d built - not necessarily giving up on the theory itself. Many people are rejected by their real-life friends and family once they start to get entrenched in conspiracy theories; the friendships they build online in the course of researching these theories often become the only social supports they have left, and losing those supports means having no one to turn to at all. This is by design - the threat of losing your community has kept people trapped in abusive religious sects and cults for as long as those things have existed.
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Things that you need to remember to understand the vast majority of European history:
Britain and France’s foreign policies towards one another was essentially a mutual fuck you
Russia is big and cold
(On a related point: invading Russia doesn’t work because Winter™️)
The Pope loves a good crusade
There were a lot of treaties of ‘Perpetual Peace’ that totally worked (lol)
Trying to maintain the ✨balance of power ✨ pretty much always led to war
German wasn’t Germany until quite recently but when Germany became Germany it made everyone a bit nervous
Italy also wasn’t Italy until pretty recently
The French love a revolution
They also love a republic but aren't great at keeping one around
Napoleon (the first one) was a Bitch and messed everything up
Standard British answer to any reasonable request: ✨no ✨
War is the answer to everything cause who doesn’t love a good war?
The Holy Roman Empire wasn’t the Roman Empire but they liked to tell themselves that it was
The Habsburgs liked to be in charge
😍 m o n e y 😍
Britain liked ships
Spain also liked ships
So did the Portuguese
The Spanish were very Catholic (but the Spanish Inquisition were actually expected)
Basically all the royals were related (*haemophilia has entered the chat*)
England and Scotland were Not Friends but France and Scotland were (which equaled Major Problems)
The Dutch were 💰rich 💰and everyone wanted a bit of it
Religion was a *bit* of an issue
✨ feudalism ✨
Everyone want to be the Romans 2.0
You could making a drinking game out of all the French Wars of Religion
Everyone found the Ottomons a little bit scary (cause they were *gasps and screams of horror* not Christian)
There has been more than one defenestrations in Prague
Poland Lithuania was not very Lithuanian
British policy to land/important cultural item/anything that they come across: ✨finders keepers ✨
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Author: lets not talk about this, okay? Nothing has ever felt as good and right as writing this...
Summary: in which she’s worried about him after the accident...
Warnings: smut, +18, nsfw content, unprotected sex
Disclaimer: I do not want any comments under this post about Silverstone. No racist remarks towards Sir Lewis Hamilton. If I find any I will block you. <3
“And Max Verstappen is out of the British Grand Prix!”
It had been a very long and painful weekend. Seeing every part of the accident: the collision, the dust, the bang, the ambulance, the ruined car. Your mind kept playing over and over again the same scene: Max being escorted towards the ambulance before leaving the track. You didn’t remember being this stressed in awhile. Watching everything fall apart from the McLaren garage, it all seemed to be happening in slow motion. This gut feeling was eating you alive the moment the race started but you shrugged it off, thinking it was just the normal anxiety for the race. You should have known better than to ignore it. It wasn’t like you could have done anything to change the course of events. When Daniel and Lando came back to the pit lane to wait and see what it was going to happen they found a very distressed side of you. In that moment you didn’t care if it looked suspicious that you were so worried about Max, you didn’t care that Daniel could start suspecting you and your feelings. The only thing you cared about was him and his well-being. No questions were asked and you ran to your brother to hug him. Both of you were really worried, he was one of his close friends after all. The tension was cuttable within the room, even after the race restarted and everything seemed to go back to normal. But it didn’t. Not until that day’s late afternoon when you saw him post on his socials. A relieved sigh left your lips as you knew he was okay. You had left multiple messages in his voice mail even if you knew he wouldn’t have checked it, it made you feel calmer in that moment. But then days started to go by and he never answered. No texts. No calls. No nothing. You didn’t want to put any pressure onto him, knowing he was going to be even more stressed now, cause of all the drama risen by the press but you thought he could have at least found a minute to text you he was okay. You had heard from Daniel that he was doing fine, so if he could find a moment to talk to the McLaren driver, then why couldn’t he find it for you? You tried to let it go until the Hungarian Grand Prix.
“I’m sorry, honey, but I have some interviews just before the start of the race.” Daniel apologized as he quickly gathered all his belongings and left the room. You sighed, not really because of how fast he had left you, you knew it was his job, but because of how your own thoughts were driving you crazy. You were sitting on Daniel’s couch in his room at the track, playing with his stress ball. All you could think about though was him. Where was he? What was he doing? Was he being interviewed as well? Was he okay? You didn’t know and the lack of information was eating you alive. You suddenly stood up, throwing the ball on the couch. You had had enough of this situation. You didn’t care about being caught anymore, about your brother, about press, about anything. You needed to see him. Therefore that was what you did. You grabbed your phone and left the room as well. Walking around the paddock you met a few drivers, waving at Pierre and Charles and winking at Lando who was being interviewed as well. The British boy stared at you walking around the paddock with a frown on his face when he spotted you getting closer to the Red Bull garage. Where were you going?
“You don’t have to if you don’t want to. We both what kind of questions they would be asking you anyway... See you out there, Max.” You hid behind the wall as you spotted Christian Horner’s frame standing in the threshold of Max’s room. You were going in blind since you didn’t exactly know where he was but stumbling across the Red Bull team principal and almost getting caught had given away this important piece of information. You listened to his footsteps walking away and passing by you, thankfully he was too busy on some papers to sense your presence. You heard a door being closed and you leaned forward to see if anyone was around. The hallway looked empty and silent so you took advantage of that moment to quickly make your way towards the dutch man’s room. Before you could think about it twice your knuckles were knocking on his door.
“Did you forget someth— a distracted Max opened the door and was soon pushed inside by you— What are you doing here?” You were quite offended by his words. It had been two weeks since the last time you had ever had any contacts with him and all he had to say was that? You locked the door in order to avoid any awkward situation and turned around. Max looked different but his appearance had stayed the same. Once again he had allowed his beard to grow out which you were very thankful for and his hair was just slightly longer and less gelled than always. He looked like a more laidback Max. After scanning his entire being from head to toe you came back to reality.
“What am I doing here? Wow... Maybe if you cared enough to reply to my texts I wouldn’t be here bothering you, your majesty.” You bitterly spat back. He rolled his eyes at you as he leaned back on the table, his hands sustaining his weight. He didn’t know why he was acting like a douche. Point was that he had missed you. A lot. The first thing he had thought about after the crash was you. He didn’t know why, but he thought of you. When the paramedics started to ask him questions to see if he had had any brain damage he kept mumbling your name. Thankfully nobody took his random and confused rambling serious or he would have had a lot to explain. He never stopped thinking about you for the following days. He wanted to see you but his schedule had become suddenly even busier. He lost track of time and two weeks had gone by without any text, call, dm.
“I didn’t have time to answer to anyone, my manager took control over my socials...” he realised right after how all of it made him sound even more like an asshole. He wasn’t trying to find any excuse, he just wanted to make up for the time you had lost. You crossed your arms, waiting for him to continue and maybe have some decent explanation or even apology from him. He was accidentally distracted by your move as you pushed your breasts against your arms, making them even more exposed than they already were because of your red top. It was quite hot in Hungary, even because it was the middle of summer. The weather was not playing in his favor. Max brought his attention back on your annoyed face. He couldn’t help but find it cute how upset you had become. It showed that you cared about him more than your friends with benefits relationship should have allowed you to.
“I’m sorry, I should have called you. I’m also sorry for being an asshole...” he apologized. The frown on your face softened and turned into a smile, you uncrossed your arms recognizing the boy in front of you. You slowly made your way towards him, the smile on your lips only widening which caused him to grin as well. When you were at less than a foot away from him you rested your hands on his waist, slipping slightly in the waistband of his race suit which hung lowly from his hips. He hissed at the contact, he had missed your touch as well. You smirked as your lips ghosted over his, the atmosphere within the room drastically changed. Even if you wanted to be mad at him you couldn’t. You hated to even admit it to yourself but Max was always going to be your weak spot.
“You were worried about me... It’s cute, prinses.” He smiled as his hands cupped your cheek. You playfully rolled your eyes at him, feeling blush spreading over your cheeks after being exposed by him. You had been more than worried. The first few nights you had even struggled to fall asleep, the thought of him haunted you. But what you hated even more was that you couldn’t talk about it to anyone. Yes of course Daniel knew you were worried about Max, however he didn’t know how much worried you were. And if he had found then Max wouldn’t have been here standing in front of you. His eyes stared right into yours as he looked at you in pure admiration. He couldn’t believe he had such a pretty thing all to himself. Yes, you weren’t dating but he knew neither of you two was sleeping around with other people nor dating someone else. Should have he grown a pair and just tell you about his feelings? Definitely. Was he scared of your rejection? Yes, that too.
“It’s whatever... I would have been worried about any other driver if it had happened to anyone else...” you bluntly lied to his face. You both knew that was a lie but he decided to play along and raised both his eyebrows, a sly smirk displayed on his plump lips. He knew you wouldn’t have shown that much interest and worry towards anybody else, except for your brother. It boosted his confidence to know you cared that much. His thumbs caressed your cheeks lovingly, before moving his right hand and tracing your bottom lip with one of his thumb. You stared at him in awe, slowly turning into putty in his hands. He was so obsessed with you. Everyday you were always all over his head. He found any stupid excuse to see you, talk to you, be with you. You drove him insane and whenever you couldn’t be together it drove him even crazier.
“Now you know I don’t like liars, schatje...” he muttered under his breath. You let out a soft whimper when he pressed his thumb against your lips which you gladly open for him to slide it inside. Your mouth was soon wrapped around the digital as you kept the eye contact, batting your lashes to provoke him. He gulped and you saw his Adam Apple moving while he struggled to keep his composure. You sucked on his thumb, your tongue swirling around it. He loved this side of you. He loved every side of you but this one. This one made him crazy. He loved how your naughty side perfectly matched his, it felt as if you were made for each other. There was nothing either of you could do that appeared a turn off for the other. His other hand traced your jawline before resting at the back of your neck. He softly tugged you hair back, making you gasp and let go of his digital.
“Such a naughty girl, aren’t you?— you nodded smirking at his words— Maybe you should put that dirty mouth of yours at good use...” he bit down on his bottom lip as he saw you nodding eagerly. There was little to nothing that you wouldn’t have done to please him. See him overwhelmed by pleasure was your favorite view. And he felt the same. He could’ve never grown tired of the sight of you shaking beneath him, whether it was for his fingers, tongue or cock. He always loved to see you lost in pleasure, when you would let out those loud moans of yours and your fingers would scratch his skin because it’d feel that good and you wouldn’t even be able to speak a sentence. Your breath hitched in your throat as you waited for his next move.
“But I’ve missed having you wrapped around my cock too much, so maybe next time...” he mumbled before crashing his lips against yours. Nothing had ever felt this right. You both let out soft moans at the collision, your hands gripping his shirt and grasping his chest, attempting to pull him even closer to your body than it was actually possible. His hands soon found their place on your back, pulling you closer as well wanting to melt your bodies into one. His lips felt better than ever pressed against yours, whilst his scent inebriated your senses. Your head started spinning and you briefly felt dizzy, but his hands had such a tight grip on you that if you wanted to he wouldn’t have let you fall. You had to force yourselves away from each other, feeling the lack of oxygen. You grinned at his rosy cheeks and even plumper lips. His eyes looked even more blue due to the contrast with his reddish face. But you didn’t look any different from him. Flushed cheekbones, red lips, heavy breath. You would have stayed like that forever.
“Fuck... I’ve missed you so much, baby...” you mumbled against his lips and he felt his heart skip a beat at the nickname you had just given him. As much as he liked to play the tough guy, Max was actually one of the softest boys you had ever met. He simply melted whenever you looked at him or when you gave him lovely pet names. He didn’t show it much because of his bad experiences and lack of affection in his childhood but he adored shows of affection. Especially from you. You were the only person he was okay with sharing his soft side. And as he sat you down on his desk he couldn’t help but think about how badly he’d prefer to be in his bedroom so that he could lay down on his bed and make sweet love to you to show you just how much he loved you. Because although the little dutch man had always struggled to show and sort out his feelings, he recently came to the conclusion that these strong emotions he felt towards you whenever he even simply thought of you wasn’t just lust and desire. It was something more and it scared the shit out of him. His first reaction was to simply run away, escape and never have to deal with them again. However his feelings were just too strong to be avoided. He was slowly accepting the fact that he’d rather be rejected by you than never see you again. That was how badly he loved you.
“So gorgeous... You’ll be the death of me, prinses.” You grinned at his words as he pushed your shorts down your legs and you helped him by kicking them away. You were quick at reconnecting your lips into a sweet yet heated kiss as you attempted to get him out of his race suit. He chuckled when he saw you struggling. You were soon left with only your underwear and tops, not having enough time to get fully undressed which bothered the both of you a lot. Usually you loved quickies, you loved sneaking around and having sex in weird places, you loved the thought of getting caught. But right now you hated it. Maybe it was the fact that you hadn’t seen each other for way too long, two weeks had felt like a year to you two. You felt the urge to be all over each other as if getting closer could make up for the time lost. He detached his mouth from yours to leave a trail of wet kisses all over your jaw and neck, stopping to nip at the soft spot where your shoulder met your neck. And he finally was able to hear those beautiful noises he was obsessed with leaving your sweet lips. Your nails scratched his nape as you squeezed your legs around his waist.
“Never leave me for this long... I hate it...” you muttered without any filter. Max’s heart fluttered in his chest as he smiled. He was happy that you needed him as much as he needed you. It raised in his head the chances of you liking him back and, if he was lucky enough, even loving him. He kissed his way back on your lips, making you giggle because sometimes he would tickle you with his beard which you loved more every moment that passed.
“I wouldn’t even dare to think about it, lieverd...” he whispered back as he got rid of his boxer as well. You remembered one day asking him about all the pet names he gave you in dutch. You were laying naked in his bed, one of his arms wrapped around your neck as he taught you some of them. Your fingers caressing his chest as you failed to pronounce most of them but you both didn’t care. You should have known it was more than sex in moment like that. Your panties were soon discarded on the floor as well. His fingers came to softly grab your chin, making you look up at him as he pushed himself inside of you. Loud groans and whimpers left your lips and you had to remind yourselves you weren’t alone in the building in order to not draw any attention to the room you were currently in.
“Fuck, you feel good as always, schantje...” he moaned as he proceeded to move. You gripped his shoulders to find some leverage. He felt just as good as he always did, hitting all the right spots without you even asking. Your legs were tightly wrapped around his waist as he pounded into you at the right pace. Your lips moved in sync but it was hard to focus on anything else but the feeling of him inside of you. One of his hand rested on your hip while the other grasped at your leg and pushed it further up on his waist to better the angulation. The change of angle stole your breath away as you held tight onto his large figure, afraid to fall back on the desk. Max’s pace remained constant for the following minutes before speeding up a bit. Sweat running down his temples as he focused on the rhythm and to keep you close. You could see his biceps bulging through his shirt and you scratched the skin of his arm with your hand as you attempted to find some more leverage which caused a groan to roll off his tongue.
“Max... Fuck, don’t stop...” you managed to say, knowing damn well he wasn’t going to stop. You wrapped your arm around his neck to pull him closer. Your lips soon found his in a sloppy and needy kiss as he tried not to slow down his hips. But he was struggling, because you felt so good he couldn’t focus. So he did what was best. He took you into his arms and as a loud gasp left your hips he walk backwards towards his couch, sitting on it. You smirked as you realized what he had just done. The new position gave you more control than Max usually would like but he didn’t care in that moment. He was yours and yours only. He would have given you anything even control over him and his body. You fixed your posture on top of him and started to bounce on his cock. You had to shush him and yourself up by kissing him because it even felt better like this. The crown of his cock hitting that spot inside of you that had you seeing stars.
“Just like that, baby... Shit, that’s a good girl...” he moaned when you started to rock your hips back and forth. His hands squeezed your waist as he helped you out with the pace and the movements. You started to feel your legs tremble both for the pleasure and for the tiredness. But you weren’t going to give in so easily. He was having a hard time holding himself back, just the sight of you riding him was breathtaking and pushed him close to his limit but he wanted to see you cum first. One of his hand moved away from your hip to your ass and delivered a slap on one of the cheeks. You whined at the contact and clenched around him. That movement was backfiring him but he didn’t stop, knowing just how bad you loved it.
“Mmh fuck, Max...” you moaned when pain and pleasure mixed up. Your head falling in the crook of his neck as you quickened your pace and everything got blurry for a second. He pushed you up so that he could watch fall apart as your eyes screwed shut and you clenched around him, the knot inside of your stomach snatching as you came undone around him. And that was all it took him: the sight of you reaching your orgasm on top of him, riding his cock like your life depended on it and scratching his skin. He followed you right after. You felt him cuming inside of you and let out a soft moan at the feeling of his hot load painting your walls. Your movements slowed down after you had briefly stopped, your entire body shaking. You collapsed on top of him, not even bothering to get up and clean up. He sighed, feeling in heaven as his hand petted your sweaty hair. He pushed one strand out of your face, being unable to see your pretty face. His stomach tightened into a knot as he fell even harder for the girl on top of him.
“Max? Are you there? Ten minutes and we gotta leave the building.” You were waken up from your state of trance by Christian Horner’s voice. Max gave him the okay before hearing him leave the place again. You sighed and slowly got off him, he grabbed a cloth and tried his best to clean you up. Your legs were still a bit shaking and he couldn’t help but feel a bit proud of himself. You sat up on the couch, still recovering from everything that had just happened. Max got dressed, pulling his race suit up and fixing his messy hair. There was nothing he could do about his red cheeks but he could easily blame it on the heat of the day. He turned around and saw you still sitting, fixing your underwear and shorts. He knelt in front of you so he could face you.
“Can I see you after the race? I don’t care if I win or not, I just want to be with you afterwards.” He stated and you smiled, cupping his cheek with one of your hand. He leaned in your touch, his facial features softening at the soft caress. You weren’t used to this sode of the dutch man. He wasn’t usually keen on showing affection, nevertheless you appreciated this change of behavior towards you. His scruff felt rough under your touch but you didn’t mind, indeed you made a note in your mind to compliment him for letting it grow out freely.
“Yes, I would love to... Now go kick some asses, champ.” He smiled at your words before leaning in and pecking your lips which actually led to a bit steamier kiss than he was planning but he didn’t mind at all. As he detached his lips from yours you let out a little whine, never wanting him to leave but he had to. He chuckled when he saw you waving at him with a pout on your lips. He closed the door behind him and tried to wipe that smile off his face so that he wouldn’t look suspicious. You smiled to yourself as you laid down on the couch, waiting a bit before trying to leave the Red Bull building. Your phone dinged in the back of your shorts and your first thought was Max probably warning you about people around his room. You unlocked the device and checked the notification.
«Max Verstappen, uh? Who would have thought 😉»
Lando fucking Norris...
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Ok I'm probably not going to say this right but after your last post I have have a question I guess? I don't really like sex and I love the idea of a relationship that doesn't require sex to be happy and healthy. I really relate to the whole not being anxious about taking a shower together or expectations or wahtever that you talked about but I've never experienced it before. Is that something you get from dating a friend? I guess I just want to know how you get to a place like that.
CW for sex talk. Hello friend. Apparently today is the day for Long Ass Ask Answers.
I wish someone had told me this years ago so I’m saying it to you now in case it saves you some angst:
Don’t settle for bad sex.
If you don’t like the sex you’re having, stop. If you don’t like having sex at all—neat! You’ll have so much time for other activities. You do not owe yourself to anyone, under any circumstances, even if you’re socially trained to think you do.
Listen. I took PhD qualifying exams in Feminist theory. And even I had more or less submitted myself to the idea that sex just wasn’t going to be that fun for me and I’d need to learn to deal or be alone.
I admittedly have very little sexual experience, but the experience I had up until my current relationship was lackluster. I wasn’t repulsed by sex, but it was eh at best and painful at worst and I’d never initiated a sexual situation in my life because A. ultra conservative Christian doctrine during your formative years can seriously fuck up your perception of intimacy in general (insert Youth Pastor Voice here: “men enjoy the act of sex, women enjoy the results of sex: children”) and B. I just…would rather do all sorts of other things. Sex was a thing other people wanted from me and if I cared about them I was supposed to provide it.
Objectively, I knew this was wrong. And yet.
Let me lay out some Inarguable Truths for you. Sex should not:
hurt (unless you want it to)
make you uncomfortable
make you feel dread or guilt before or afterward
be used as leverage
be treated as a necessity by your partner
I told my current partner at the very beginning of our relationship (when I was trying to convince him that he didn’t actually want to be in a relationship with me) that I didn’t particularly enjoy sex, that I really didn’t like penetrative sex, and I that wasn’t willing to pretend otherwise anymore.
His response: “then we won’t have sex.”
Let me tell you, that threw me for a loop. I was expecting the more typical, “you’d enjoy sex with me” or even “what a waste.”
“Ever?” I asked.
Well, okay then.
After a couple of weeks, I decided to try anyway. Not because I felt pressured but because I was curious. I thought maybe there would be one of those fanfic/romance novel moments and, suddenly, I’d love sex because I’d found The Right Person. Reader, I did not get my moment. Except for this time, I didn’t feel like I had to just suck it up. So we stopped. We made stir fry and cuddled and talked about the RMS Carpathia and Abraham Lincoln’s assassination (any nerds know what these things have in common?) instead. A+ evening.
A week later, he came to me, and after spending a surfeit of time qualifying what he was about to say with assurances that he didn’t expect anything from me, etc., etc. he told me he’d done some research because he was concerned there was an underlying issue causing my pain/discomfort. I hadn’t ever thought to ask my doctor because, at my pap/annual exam each year, they’d say my downstairs parts looked fine and send me on my way. Surely they would have said something? But I made an appointment with an OB and I brought a list of questions.
Did you know that endometriosis can make penetrative sex hella painful? Did you know that, if you have an autoimmune disease, even if you’re managing it well, you might deal with significant inflammation the week before your period, which can also make sex hella painful? Did you know that if you’re a small human you might just have a lower cervix which can (surprise) make sex hella painful? Did you know that there are things you can do to at least somewhat ameliorate these issues? Did you know that, when you stop viewing sex as an uncomfortable thing you have to provide and instead view it as an optional activity where you have full autonomy, you suddenly stop feeling guilt and dread at the very concept of physical intimacy and can actually, maybe, enjoy it? I do now. I didn’t for 15 years.
Do not settle for bad sex. Because if someone isn’t willing to sort out why you’re uncomfortable, and how to change your approach to intimacy to fix it, they’re probably not a good partner for you. If you simply don’t want sex and your partner insists on it, they’re probably not a good partner for you. There is a whole spectrum of reasons why you might not enjoy sex and I obviously can’t speak to all of them but Please. Learn from my mistakes. When you start drawing hard lines you're going to make progress, one way or another. Don’t let anyone convince you that you’re broken or undesirable if you’re not interested in sex. That’s a them problem, not a you problem.
I arrived to the place I'm at in my current relationship because I advocated for myself and said I wasn't willing to do something that made me uncomfortable. And my partner, who views me as a three-dimensional human being with more to offer the world than my body, immediately validated my feelings and agreed not to push my boundaries. Was the fact that we were friends for years helpful there? Sure. Because I already implicitly trusted him. But the important thing here is to know your limits and be willing to stick up for yourself. If you're explicit about your desires, it's easier to find the folks who are a good fit for fulfilling those desires.
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Okay so that post about phylacteries.
I don’t know the OP, I don’t know their intentions, and if they’re pretending to be Jewish - please don’t pretend to be something you’re not. Full disclosure here for myself: have both Christian and Jewish heritage, was allowed to choose, went Reform, have gone back and forth on how I identify, have spent much of my adulthood immersed in Jewish organizations, but missed out on Hebrew school and a bat mitzvah (I’m on the fence about doing it as an adult).
The premise of the post is that the term ‘phylactery’ that has a specific meaning in Dungeons & Dragons is a term appropriated from Judaism, referring to the small boxes of scripture that Jewish men wear on their arms and head while praying. The other premise was that this was deliberate anti-Semitism on the part of D&D to keep out Jewish players.
People were biting back saying that the OP was a fraud and that the term is Tefillin, and everybody knows that.
So, here’s the thing.
The item is referred to as Tefillin, and I have never heard anyone refer to it in any other way. You will mostly see Orthodox men wearing them to prayer, although that certainly isn’t exclusively an Orthodox action.
However, phylactery very much is another term for Tefillin that appears in respected Jewish reference material. Even if the word is now obsolete, that was not just pulled out of thin air.
And, the phylacteries in D&D are described in ways that make it clear that this is not necessarily an unconscious appropriation. The Phylactery of Faithfulness, for instance, is specifically described as a small box containing religious scripture affixed to a leather cord and tied about the head.
Phylactery of Faithfulness: This item is a small box containing religious scripture affixed to a leather cord and tied around the forehead. There is no mundane way to determine what function this religious item performs until it is worn.
Dungeons & Dragons also appropriates Golems. Golems have a very strong history in Judaism. And they appear in some Jewish literature in the middle ages specifically as protectors and helpers. Not necessarily benign ones, but still.
Do I think these words and concepts were taken as deliberate anti-Semitism? No, actually. Do I think they were appropriated and used negatively and that some subconscious or covert anti-Semitism may have gone into it? Absolutely because people carry those stereotypes without even considering them. Does it make me uncomfortable to see a book mentioning a Golem with that exact terminology, or to see something that resembles Tefillin described as blood magic, which was what Jews were accused of in the Middle Ages? Yes.
Fantasy and science fiction creators have a very long history of appropriating, distorting and abusing customs, religious practices and cultures from non-Western, non-Christian populations. This doesn’t just happen to Jews. But it does happen and it often helps perpetuate negative stereotypes.
I love Star Wars. But they’ve lifted so much it’s not funny. In Star Wars, the Sith are seen as being terrabad, to the point where in The Rise of Skywalker it’s forbidden to write or speak Sith. And then if you look back into the lore you find that the Sith were subjected to millennia of repeated acts of genocide, attacks on their home worlds and deliberate attempts to completely erase their culture. Would you like to know where the Common Sith alphabet comes from? Let me help you out with that.
You can’t even pretend this wasn’t taken from Hebrew because they didn’t even bother to change some of the sounds. Look at Zayin, He, Bet, Shin, and Dalet for example vs. the Sith letters that have similar sounds.
The bottom line is that words that refer to Jewish religious objects have been appropriated by D&D and many other works of literature and film, and it’s not wrong to point it out, describe how it’s being used and raise objections to it. And it’s not drama for someone with Jewish heritage to feel uncomfortable about it.
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I find a lot of the conversations on here about ancestors extremely frustrating. People say things like, “I can’t work with or honor my ancestors because they hate me because I’m gay.” (Or any oppressed identity).
And I’m like.... do you think none of your ancestors were gay? Really? Over the last thousand years? Back when everyone had ten kids? Not one was homosexual? Or bisexual? Or a person who experimented? Not one? And that they all care? Like every single ancestor from Adam to 1890 hates the LGBT community? There wasn’t one cool grandma?
It’s rooted in this notion that every person born before 1980 is some kind of mega-bigot and that’s just not the case. I don’t think that’s a safe assumption to make, especially when we’re talking about a large group of people who cannot speak for themselves. I was always taught that someone becomes a capital-A Ancestor when there is no living memory of them on our plane of existence. So unless they were keeping a written record or stories have been passed down, there’s no way to know how they feel without interaction. There have been cool people in every time period and there have been assholes in every time period.
People will try to say, “oh but my family is all really Christian” or “well in our traditional culture this was forbidden.” And I’m like, what were they before they were Christian? You don’t have any pre-Christian ancestors? Were all your Christian ancestors practicing modern American Fundamentalist Christianity? And in your traditional culture, was this always forbidden? Or was it just taboo and people were still out being gay regardless?
And even if all your ancestors are spiteful, why not adopt some ancestors? Why not call upon the Mighty Dead? Why not honor your Beloved Dead?
And why would you assume your ancestors wouldn’t change over time? I feel very strongly that they can and do. If someone can change their life around in five years, imagine what they could do with 800.
And why would you assume your ancestors wouldn’t love you? I think a lot of people who come from traumatic backgrounds hear a constant whisper - a whisper that says, “The world is not to be trusted and you are not worthy of love.” And you are worthy of love. Don’t let your trauma stop you from seeking love (from the living or the dead, for that matter).
A lot of people on here want to heal their ancestors using magical rites. I support that, but also, you need to heal from your trauma too. Sometimes pain confuses us. Sometimes we think the world has turned its back on us, when in reality, we have turned our back on it. And trauma stops us from knowing the difference.
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Hi! Late-20's Conservative Jewish woman from upstate NY here. Have you read "Constantine's Sword", and if so what did you think of it? I read it from my synagogue library and it felt like such an impactful book to me, in terms of understanding the history I always knew about on some quasi-genetic level but could never put into words, and I'm wondering about your perspective. Did you have a similar moment, where you felt your understanding of the history of antisemitism in Xtian-dominated communities suddenly move from the intuitive or theoretical to the concrete and real? If so, what prompted that moment?
Mazal tov on your upcoming wedding!
Hi! Thank you so much for your well wishes, we both appreciate it!
I have read Constantine’s Sword, and it is a very powerful and good read. I recommend it highly for anyone that hasn’t read it.
I think, for me, the turning point where Christian antisemitism’s impact in Christian hegemonic nations became real and not theory was a (relatively) innocuous encounter I had in college. I went to a very liberal school in a very liberal place. Being black, brown, indigenous, queer, Muslim...all these things were celebrated, and loudly. We had a College/Department of Ethnic Studies, a good one. Our diversity and activism was a point of pride at the school.
So in this context, I was a college sophomore and I had walked from class down to student housing, passing (for the first but not the last time) flyers that showed cans, a Magen David, and a stereotypical cartoon “greedy Jew” on them that read “Palestinian children slaughtered according to religious rite.”
I knew what blood libel was. I’d read about it, learned about it, studied antisemitism in European history. But I’d never seen an outright blood libel accusation in real time in my real life before. So I was understandably a bit perturbed, and a coworker asked me what was up. Not in my usual “stealth-Jew” frame of mind (my school was and remains notoriously antisemitic), I explained. This grown-ass man, a grad student in ethnic studies, who I had never heard express any particular opinion on Jews said, “Wait, you’re Jewish? But...how do you hide your horns?“
And he was serious. Earnest. He wasn’t attacking me, he was genuinely confused and curious. Because he had never met a Jew and, through he was no longer Christian, he retained the antisemitism found in Christian hegemonic societies.
That was the day that very much pushed my understanding of antisemitic attitudes based on Christian hegemony (as opposed to my lived experience of spontaneous antisemitic acts by bigots) from theoretical to concrete.
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