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believe-out-loud:

onemorehippie:

Twt: @OneMoreHippie

#LGBTQ #love #nohate #bible

"Often for people like you and me, we believe a false narrative over our lives that we’ve rehearsed for a long time. Call it a devil’s script.

… Part of me wants to believe that ‘I suck’ and ‘I’m no good’ and ‘I deserve this’ — because it’s actually harder to believe that I’m loved, I’m accepted, and I’m on God’s mind every second of everyday. It’s so dang comfortable and familiar to stay inside the darkness of depression and self-hate, but so unpredictable to be within God’s grace. It’s so difficult to say out loud, Jesus loves me, I am infinitely adored, I have a love I don’t deserve.

All this might sound corny to you: but that’s exactly what the devil’s script does. It makes us feel like we can’t be positive, that we can’t smile, that we’re not allowed to have joy — but the truth is, God is seeking for your happiness this very second. God has a better script."

thetransintransgenic:

thetransintransgenic:

tryitinheels:

if you’re not jewish, kabbalah is not for you.

you are not allowed to read about it. you are not allowed to wear red bracelets. you are not allowed to practice it or think it’s cool and mystical.

you are allowed to respect that it exists, and that it is not for you, and that’s it.

Yeah no but this needs some context.

Like, Kabbalah is not just “mysticism”. It was/is a Jewish spiritual/religious reformation, born/created very deliberately as a response to the surrounding social pressures.

And by “social pressures”, I mean “Medieval Christians were freaking jerks”.

Now, when discussing anything to do with medieval Judaism you need to know Jews place in medieval society. Which was somewhere close to the bottom. Jews were tolerated — Christians, technically, aren’t allowed to make money off of lending to other Christians, so Jews were tolerated politically so that someone could run the banks. “Jews run all the banks!” yes, because you literally forced us to. Also, it was pretty useful for the nobles to, whenever they built up a lot of debt, say “The Jews ate a Christian baby!” and kill them all and incidentally burn their records. Apparently that wasn’t well known, so have a wikipedia article.

But anyways, I was talking about Kabbalah. Jews were tolerated religiously for a different reason — the “Wandering Jew” was said to be an example of “that’s what happens when you deny Christ”. They were tolerated as, basically, a theological argument — “These people deny God, and look at how sucky God made their life! They worship God incorrectly, and so God doesn’t protect them! They were once right, and now look at them stuck in the past! Look at how inconsequential they are!

The last bit, especially, was a big one. Being Jewish sucked and got you less than nothing and accomplished nothing. It felt like it was worth nothing — “Why are you Jewish?” “Well, God told me to.” “But God doesn’t really do anything for you, or help you at all, or…”. And that wasn’t just subtext — it was a fashion in medieval kingdoms to bring some random (or sometimes not) Jew in to court and have them debate with professional Christian theologists. Medieval Christians were weird. But, so it wasn’t just subtext — you were literally yelling that at us whenever you had a chance. Jews were being demoralized on a literally national scale.

And that’s where Kabbalah came in. Kabbalah was a brilliant invention — by God, if you believe the tradition, or by the Rabbis, if you don’t. Kabbalah is a set of mystic knowledge and interpretation passed down orally, secretly among the Rabbis. It notably reinterpreted, but didn’t reshape, Jewish traditions. What did a Kabbalist Judaism look like? exactly like anyone else’s. A Kabbalist would do the exact same lighting candles, saying prayers, ripping off a bit of the dough while baking it… but what Kabbalah added was meaning, was “your actions affect things at the highest spiritual realm”. Was “lighting Shabbat candles holds together the multiverse on a fundamental level”. Was “if no enough Jews prayed every day, the universe would stop.”

And that was exactly what medieval Judaism needed. “Why are you Jewish?” “Well, yeah, it isn’t easy, but somebody needs to keep the world spinning.” “You’re lying. I don’t understand how.” “Well, you can’t understand it — you’re not Jewish.” Kabbalah completely reshaped the purpose of being Jewish — and it did it without changing anything, or doing anything even the slightest bit unorthodox. The laws were still the same — and this wasn’t even the first time Oral traditions had been written down. It fit perfectly with Judaism, and spread like a wildfire from Spain out. Even if it’s fallen out of style, it’s probably one of the major reasons why there are still Jews today.

So what does that mean nowadays. Well, for one, it means that Kabbalah is basically intellectual sacred ground in Judaism. You — if you were Jewish — don’t even consider learning it until you’re 30. Taking it is saying “there’s literally no idea you can have that you can keep for yourself”. Christianizing it, Secularizing it, is saying “that thing that you, Jews, made, in order to save Judaism — it’s too Jewish. I don’t like it. I’d rather it be my way.” Kabbalah intellectually — and in stories, physically — shielded Jews and Judaism. Taking that says “you can’t have that shield because I want it.”

So yeah. Stop treating Kabbalah like it’s some sort of generic mysticism. It was literally our cultural antidepressants. Remember when I said before that medieval Christians were weird? And meant “weird” as in “theologically violent”? You’re still doing that. By taking and secularizing Kabbalah, you’re still saying that “Jews aren’t necessary, Judaism is outdated”. STAAAHHHP.

P.S. If my description of its place in Jewish culture piques your interest, then go ahead — study it as a cultural phenomenon. Compare it to other theological revolutions. Learn about its place in Jewish Cultural history. Compare and contrast its appropriation during the Renaissance and its appropriation now. Read stories about Golems.

Learning about Kabbalah is fine — Kabbalah is a really cool thing that happened. But learning Kabbalah? No.

(And if you don’t get what the difference is — then maybe just don’t.)

Shinto: Ema

sparrowdreams:

Great info post on ema. Three pics up from the bottom is an ema from the shrine at what used to be Sendai Castle. (has a picture of the famous Sendai tanabata decorations).

Enoy, and props to the OP!)


sakikikuhoshino
:

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Ema 絵馬, lit. 'horse picture') are small wooden plaques on which Shinto worshippers write their prayers or wishes. The ema are then left hanging up at the shrine, where the kami receive them.

They bear various pictures, often of animals or other Shinto imagery, and many have the word gan’i ( 願意, lit. ‘heart’s request’), meaning "wish", written along the side.

Ema are sold for various wishes. Common reasons for buying a plaque are for success in work or on exams, marital bliss, to have children, and health. Some shrines specialize in certain types of these plaques, and the larger shrines may offer more than one. Sales of ema help support the shrine financially.

This is a Shinto custom and thus can be found at shrines all over Japan.
As Buddhism and Shinto have mixed up a lot, it is not unique to shrines and they can be found in temples, too.

History

image 

White horse at Kamigamo Jinja, one of the few shrines still to keep a live horse.

In Japan, white horses were once offered to shrines as gifts for the kami.

Horses were special because they were restricted to the élite.  For ordinary people horseriders were looked up to.

It was the horse riding élite who after death were honoured as tutelary kami, and the horse was seen as a sacred mount which transported them from one realm to the other.

The practice that evolved in Japan was to offer horses as gifts.  ”Horses were viewed as agents for bearing the kami since ancient times,” says the Kokugakuin encyclopedia, “and it was customary to present a horse to the kami as an expression of gratitude when making a vow or entreaty at a shrine.”

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Horse statue at Izumo Taisha.

However, horses were expensive and thus people who couldn’t afford it used horse figures made of wood, clay or paper instead. Finally the wooden wishing plaques with a picture of a horse on them were born.

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The idea may have originated from depictions of the animals in the Chinese zodiac, introduced from the continent.  Already by the Nara period ( 710 - 794 ) wooden plaques with horse pictures were being donated to shrines.  As sacred art, the paintings were done by leading artists (in a later age Hokusai was to paint them).

By the Muromachi period ( 1337 - 1573 ), subjects other than horses were being depicted, though the practice was still restricted to the élite.

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Later during the Azuchi-Momoyama period (1573 - 1603  ) there were even “ema halls” (絵馬堂) where various artists displayed their ema design work.

It was only in Edo times ( 1603 - 1867 ) that small wooden votive plaques became widespread.  People wrote their names on the back, sometimes adding wishes of their own.

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Originally the wooden tablets were used as prayers against disease and for good crops, but gradually the scope widened. They were hand painted by local people, who created their own designs. Though the practice flourished in Meiji times ( 1868 - 1912 ) , there came a downturn by the mid-twentieth century as modernisation swept aside the old ways.

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After World War 2, adapting silk screen technology, it became possible to mass-produce ema.  With the reduction in price came a revival of popularity. Now you cannot fail to find them in abundance at any large shrine.

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From white horses, the subject matter spread to myth and local folklore. Shrines came up with their own original creations, as in the example from Fushimi Inari where you fill in the fox’s face.

Actuality

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Nowadays there are all sorts of pictures displayed. Very common is the current year’s zodiac. Very often it’s the picture of a kami that’s connected to the shrine.

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However, in recent days basically everything is possible (various anime and even Rilakkuma ones aimed to little kids).

When it is exam season, you’ll find mostly goukaku ( 合格, 'exam passing' ) wooden wishing plates. Students all over their country wish that they’ll pass their tests.

image

Anyone can purchase the plaques.

Usually they cost around  ¥500 -  ¥1000.

You purchase them at the small booth where you can also get a seal in your seal book or lucky charms. If nobody is around you just put the money in a box and take one of the plaques.

It’s not difficult to fill out an “ema”. There are no strict rules. Sometimes you’re supposed to write your wish on the front, overwriting the picture and write your name and address on the back. For others you don’t touch the picture side, but write your wish on the back.

In big cities such as Tokyo you’ll find a lot of foreign languages on those plaques. A good place to check them out is Meiji Shrine.

Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ema_(Shinto)

http://zoomingjapan.com/wiki/ema/2/

http://www.greenshinto.com/wp/2011/12/05/ema-horse-picture-votive-tablets/

angrywocunited:

Groups like the KKK are Christian terrorist organizations.

They’re never labeled as terrorists, not even Christian terrorists.

Y’all are silent about Christian terrorism but will discuss Islamic terrorism to the extent of believing all Muslims are terrorists.  

thexenosapien:

kemetic-dreams:

Vodun was actively suppressed during colonial times.

"Many Priests were either killed or imprisoned, and their shrines destroyed, because of the threat they posed to Euro-Christian/Muslim dominion. This forced some of the Dahomeans to form Vodou Orders and to create underground societies, in order to continue the veneration of their ancestors, and the worship of their powerful gods."

The Affaire de Bizoton of 1864. The murder and alleged canibalization of her body by eight voodoo devotees caused a scandal worldwide and was taken as proof of the evil nature of voodoo even though the confessions that condemned the accused were obtained illegally by torture.
Vodou has often been associated in popular culture with Satanism, witchcraft, zombies and “voodoo dolls”. Zombie creation has been referenced within rural Haitian culture,but is not a part of Vodou. Such manifestations fall under the auspices of the bokor or sorcerer, rather than the priest of the Loa. The practice of sticking pins in voodoo dolls has history in folk magic. “Voodoo dolls” are often associated with New Orleans Voodoo and Hoodoo as well the magical devices of the poppet and the nkisi or bocio of West and Central Africa.

The general fear of Vodou in the US can be traced back to the End of the Haitian Revolution (1791). There is a legend that Haitians were able to beat the French during the Haitian Revolution because their Vodou deities made them invincible. The US, seeing the tremendous potential Vodou had for rallying its followers and inciting them to action, feared the events at Bois-Caiman could spill over onto American soil. Fearing an uprising in opposition to the US occupation of Haiti, political and religious elites, along with Hollywood and the film industry, sought to trivialize the practice of Vodou. After the Haitian Revolution many Haitians fled as refugees to New Orleans. Free and enslaved Haitians who moved to New Orleans brought their religious beliefs with them and reinvigorated the Voodoo practices that were already present in the city. Eventually, Voodoo in New Orleans became hidden and the magical components were left present in the public sphere. This created what is called hoodoo in the southern part of the United States. Because hoodoo is folk magic, Voodoo and Afro-diasporic religions in the U.S. became synonymous with fraud. This is one origin of the stereotype that Haitian Vodou, New Orleans Voodoo, and hoodoo are all tricks used to make money off of the gullible. [47]

The elites preferred to view it as folklore in an attempt to render it relatively harmless as a curiosity that might continue to inspire music and dance.”[48]

Hollywood often depicts Vodou as evil and having ties to Satanic practices in movies such as The Skeleton Key, “The Devil’s Advocate”, The Blair Witch Project, The Serpent and the Rainbow, Child’s Play, Live and Let Die, and in children’s movies like The Princess and the Frog.

In 2010, following the 7.0 earthquake that devastated Haiti, negative attention to Vodou also followed. One of the more notable examples would be of televangelist Pat Robertson’s televised discourse on the subject. Robertson stated that the country had cursed itself after the events at Bois-Caiman because he claimed they had engaged in Satanic practices in the ceremony preceding the Haitian Revolution. “They were under the heel of the French, you know Napoleon the third and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said ‘We will serve you if you will get us free from the prince.’ True story. And so the devil said, ‘Ok it’s a deal.’ And they kicked the French out. The Haitians revolted and got something themselves free. But ever since they have been cursed by one thing after another”.

THIS IS POWERFUL.
How do you hold a grudge for 200+ years about someone trying to free themselves from an oppressor and stay true to their roots?
Mental.

the-goddamazon:

basicallyfrench:

letsflytoparis:

247muslima:

THIS

WHERE IS THIS FROM ?

It’s from “la source des femmes”

IT’S TRUE.

THERE IS NOTHING IN THE QU’RAN THAT SAYS WOMEN’S SOLE PURPOSE IS FOR OBEYING AND PROCREATING.

We are allowed to inherit and own property and businesses, and we are allowed to CHOOSE our husbands instead of having them foisted upon us in arranged marriages. WE ARE ALSO ALLOWED TO PARTICIPATE IN COMBAT.

I’ve read the Qu’ran COVER TO COVER and there’s nothing God says about women being LESS than men. In fact, God IMPLORES men to treat women as equals. Probably because God knew men have a tendency to foul things up and has to remind them that WOMEN ARE ALSO PRECIOUS CREATIONS OF HIS DIVINE WILL.

-huffs and puffs-

Sorry. I was in my feelings. But this touches my nerves a lot when people misinterpret Islam as some misogynistic religion. Nothing could be further from the truth.

hamantash:

i want jewish wizards fighting against the nazis and branding them with swastikas, taking revenge for the slaughter of the six million and fighting in the resistance. i want rabbi wizards in their shtetls, making the menorah glow in the dark, even when things were so terrible that they couldnt afford candles because they were essentially trapped. i want the jewish wizards to lead mass rescue missions for the jews in the camps and to fight against the shower of bullets with a shield, with a magic shield marked with the magen david. i want the jews to become David once more, to fight against the Nazi Goliath and prevail with miracles. 

i want hebrew spells. holy magic written in the language of a lost people, exiled from their land. i want kabbalah and i want the zohar to be mentioned, dammit. i want the zohar to be the textbook for jewish wizards and old rabbis with twinkling eyes and i want the golem to rise up from the clay riverbanks of poland and defend its people from the pervading rumors of the blood libel. i want the witch of endor explained and acknowledged as the first necromancer (a WOMAN, no less) and i want rachel and leah being known as expert herbalists because of their expertise with mandrakes and knowing all their magical properties.

i want joseph, the king of dreams, to be known as the greatest of all seers. i want all the prophets to become seers. some willing, some unwilling (cough jonah cough), but all carry out the word of god and the word of the future. i want the arithmancy of the gematria, the deep analysis of the hidden codes of the torah. i want muslim wizards and jewish wizards to excitedly compare commentaries and ideas on the kabbalah during the golden age and celebrate ramadan and hanukkah around the same time with love and respect for each other’s culture. 

i want enchanted violins playing klezmer music and levitated chairs carrying the lucky bar mitzvah/bat mitzvah on their special day, of chicken soup being listed as a viable healing potion. i want a frying pan that erupts with latkes with a whispered spell from its owner. i want a yad to be the treasured silver wand of a rabbi- none of that wood, no. it’s too easy to burn, like the torahs of Kristallnacht, their parchment turning into smoke in the sky. i want a silver yad with the finger of god pointing to the heavens and the hebrew words of ‘I AM THAT I AM’ inscripted on it. 

whimslcott:

cutemutant:

yochevedke:

tara-joon:

kosherqueer:

*very quiet voice* queer spaces need to be safe for people of faith too 

I don’t think about this enough. How do I make spaces more inclusive to people of faith.

By not talking about how silly and gross religion is and by not comparing sexuality to other things forbidden in the Old Testament like shrimp, etc.

Also by insulting the laws of Leviticus saying they are “impossible to live by haha so funny shrimp is banned” is excluding lgbtqia+ Jewish people bc Jewish ppl follow those laws and for the most part are pretty good with including lgbtqia+. Obviously not all Jewish ppl/organizations/communities are good with this but they are for the most part

and by not associating monotheism with patriarchy, by acnowledging that god is not attributed a gender in islam, by educating yourself about and refuting the notion that islam is patriarchal, by not forcing lgbt muslims to explain “how that works” or how they “reconcile their faith” with xyz thing, by fostering an environment where casual sex and drug/alcohol use aren’t encouraged or considered to be social necessities, and by giving lgbt muslims the space to sort out theological quandries that the community hasn’t resolved yet.

impalassible-nottolove:

So my friend works in the sound booth at his church and during the sermon, the preacher started bashing on gay people, so my friend muted him. Literally muted his preachers microphone I

waltdisneyconfessionsrage:

stroggenough:

waltdisneyconfessions:

"I hated how Louisiana Voodoo was represented in The Princess and the Frog. Mama Odie was a good character, but her role was not significant enough to compensate for the villain being a corrupt Voodoo practitioner. All I saw in the portrayal was stereotypes. My religion is disrespected and stereotyped enough, the Voodoo community didn’t need this Disney movie furthering the idea that all we do is inflict harm upon others"

Mama Odie was hardly a minor character and her role was insanely significant - her character was where the turning point happened. Without her, the story would have no ending at all. And they didn’t even lighten up her style of voodoo, or try to evangelize it or anything - it still resembles Faciliers but she uses it for good and even distances herself from him. They make this clear. She’s just as significant as she is, but you don’t see her as much. Why? Has nothing to do with portrayal and everything to do with the fact that generally people find villains more interesting than Mr. Miyagi’s (a term I lovingly use to refer to characters meant to be mentors or to teach the protagonist an important lesson). Why do you think all superheroes have to be brooding “Woe is me” types. People don’t like good guys that are good because their good - no tragedy, they’re just good people. Or they do like them, but they don’t want stories made about them. Which is unfortunate since you can totally write good characters on that basis, Mr. Miyagi actually being a good example. 

But it doesn’t make them insignificant. You perceive her as insignificant because she FIXES problems, not causes them, and that makes us recognize their value less. It’s an oxymoron, but it’s basically how film and literature works. Look at literally any literature - with few exceptions, people ignore the character who’s friendly, good, and moral unless they are either tragic, heavily comedic, or non-conforming. Mama Odie is somewhat comedic, but that’s alongside other comedic characters. 

But like it or not, looking at it significantly, SHE IS SIGNIFICANT. I really can’t stress that. She basically saves the fuck out of everybody while hardly lifting a finger because she’s a total badass. 

Mama Odie being a significant character really has nothing to do with the confession. The OP is talking about how Mama Odie’s character has no real impact in portraying Voodoo in a positive light. From the beginning movie up until we meet Mama Odie, Dr. Facilier is the representation of Voodoo and it’s all negative. Before we even learn about Mama Odie from Louis, everyone refers to Voodoo negatively.

Even though Mama Odie is a “good” Voodoo priestess, she just comes up too late to mend the problematic portrayal of Voodoo.

Also, Mama Odie is still highly Anglicized. The entirety of “Dig a Little Deeper” is done as a gospel song which does us no favors. Yay at at least one person being the good side of voodoo, but sanitizing it does nothing good. XP

cerulean-tmp:

nonespark:

ask-gallows-callibrator:

wintercoffin:

brotoro:

cherryblossomsparkle:

did-you-kno:

Source

THIS IS ABSOLUTELY CORRECT ACTUALLY

THIS MAKES ME REALLY HAPPY 

he was 100% against preaching to unwilling people, too, and all for bringing religion into the lives of those who wanted it. he would often say that those who pray loudly in front of others were the worst kind of believers

what a cool dude

it makes me sad when people mischaracterize jesus like he was literally the nicest dude ever like he could be anyones bff if he tried because he was so rad like 
i hate christians who make him seem rude like lol no stopv

YES YES YES.

this is because the pharisees would go out into public, get on their knees, and pray where everyone could see them.

because they wanted everyone to see how good they were and how pious, because they were sort of religious authority.

but jesus came and told people to do the opposite, because he wanted them to be humble.

because God wants you to be devoted to a relationship with Him, not to be devoted to making sure others think highly of you.

jesus also encouraged people to do good deeds quietly, or even anonymously.

because he wanted you to do good deeds for the sake of others, not for how good it’ll make you feel or for others to praise you.

jesus was the absolute coolest and i fucking hate it when anyone points fingers at a certain group of people and says “GOD HATES-” NO HE DOESN’T.

THAT WAS HIS WHOLE THING. HE LITERALLY LOVED EVERYONE. ????

This is the type of Christianity and Christians that I like.

policymic:

7 reasons why Jesus was an early feminist

You probably have heard a lot about Christianity, especially when it comes to the religion’s stance on homosexuality and women’s rights. But while some the media’s narrative has often focused on the religion’s conservative, often proudly patriarchal adherents, there’s a compelling argument to be made that Jesus himself had a touch of feminist in him — at least according to the anecdotes about him related by his followers in the Bible’s New Testament.

Read the full list | Follow policymic

Jesus: It's important to help those less fortunate than you. Treat them as your brother.
Christian Conservatives: *hurriedly turn the page*