The Faith

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The Faith

Post by raven on Sun Jul 17, 2016 1:01 pm

The Faith

The Faith is the core religion of most of Cascadia, and particularly King Pierce. They have a decent reputation, as they provide many charitable needs in King Pierce such as running a hospital, a food bank, and an orphanage. They believe in equality between all genders and will offer safe haven to those who need it. However, some see through this and realize that while the Church provides many things that are decidedly necessary, they use this to push their own agenda. They provide good health care - but only to those who are deserving, they will turn away chaotic gang members, and anyone who could afford to pay for private health care unless they pay exorbitant amounts. While they run an orphanage, they all but brainwash the children in their care to believe in the Faith as well. They have some roots in Christianity as it was the presiding religion of America, though they also have elements of paganism, buddhism, and their own beliefs.

Structure

The Faith is a large organization, and as such, its structure is extremely important. At the top, the leader, so to speak, of the Faith, is a prophet. The prophet can be male or female, and can be anyone who God chooses to speak for Them. On the whole, this is usually one of the high priests or priestesses of the Faith, as they are most attuned to listening for Their voice. There are six priests and priestesses at any given time, similarly to the Council. The priests are appointed by the Prophet, and the entire group can change when a new prophet is chosen, though this is uncommon. The prophet also chooses the head doctor at Hope Medical Center and the matron at the orphanage. All under the employ of the church are Faithful - doctors who are not Faithful will usually work for the government, though generally, those who have faith prefer to work at the medical center. Though women are usually the ones employed at the orphanage to care for children, there is no rule against men working there, and monks can be a good father figure for the children. Whatever the case, those employed at the orphanage have devoted their lives to the Faith, and as well as helping with the children, they are usually the ones who read the sacred texts. The priests each have a small circle of clergymen and women who can guide rituals and religious meetings throughout the area.

Beliefs

The Earth was harmonious before humans came into creation. Death fueled life, apparent chaos had a distinct order about it, and everything fit into its place. However, there was also Darkness, and it would destroy that balance if left to be. The being that would come to be known as God had a vision, however. Once it was made a reality, the vision came to be known as humanity. Earth became their classroom and their test - whether they would fit in the harmony of the world, or destroy it. While they were potentially God's greatest asset when it came to vanquishing the Darkness, they were also Their greatest weakness. By creating humanity, God created a force that could also be used by the Darkness. They were set to Earth, where they would go through infinite cycles until they chose a side: Balance or the Darkness. For a long time, things went smoothly, but as other ideas of God came into the world, the Darkness used it to tempt God's creations. Those beliefs all held truths, which made it even harder to find the Darkness in them - some even identified the Darkness, though they gave it a form such as Gods and called it the Devil. This and other errors made it impossible to truly identify the Darkness, and many religions ultimately led to the Darkness.

Millennia passed before God was finally able to reach his first true prophet. In 2046, Jeremiah Holt identified the God and the Darkness, and transcribed God's word for the Faithful that would come. The simple name of the Faith was used, as they had no need for other identifiers. They were Faithful to the true God, and naming themselves after Jeremiah would have been a mistake. While he was a true vessel of God, and near perfection, he was not the focus of their belief.

In 2082, almost 100 years ago, Jeremiah passed away, after naming his successor as Prophet of God. While new revelation has occurred since Jeremiah's time, the core values of the Faithful remain unchanged, and Jeremiah's texts are still referred to as well as the Prophet's word. Since Jeremiah's death, no prophet has stayed as a prophet for more than 15 years, as a tradition to avoid overstepping God's first true follower, who led the Faithful for 16.

God
While the Faithful use the Christian singular of "God", their beliefs on God are closer to the pagan or Hindu congregations. God is an unknowable number and transcends the human limitations of sex and gender. God is a mix of many consciousnesses and also only one; those who die become one with Them. That said, the Faithful are known to refer to Them as masculine or feminine if they have the specific needs of one or the other. Prayers involving pregnancy and birth, for instance, are directed to Goddess, may She watch and protect them.

Community
One of the most crucial pieces of the Faith is their community. Humans have flaws, it's a simple fact, and those flaws are the cracks that lead to temptation to sinful behavior. No one human can ever avoid this, but together, those who are pure hearted and faithful can make up for the flaws in one another and become closer to what God intended them to be. For this to work, however, everyone has to be kind, gentle, altruistically helpful, and humble enough to accept both their faults and other's help. Those who succeed in becoming the best they can be become one with God, while those who stray into the Darkness are doomed to an eternity of loneliness in the void. The Faithful believe that the majority of people will be somewhere in the middle, and will be reborn once again into a human body, until they reach their potential or stray so far that they cannot be saved.

Mutants
Just like humans, mutants are God's sacred creations. Their powers, on the other hand, are a Darkness that they should avoid. It is a sign of temptation, and while mutants who are pure, faithful, and nonviolent can overcome it and become one with God once again, they have a harder time of it due to the darkness that has gripped them. Helping those struggling with temptation is still a marker of the Faith, however, and helping mutants is no exception. Those of the Faith are taught to be cautious, however, as those who openly use their abilities can spread the darkness to others. For this reason, and to remain in good standing with the law, the church is hesitant about helping known mutants, and they prefer to not know if the person they're helping is mutant or not.

That said, Class B characteristics are a different matter entirely, as they believe that these features are a sign that in someone's past or present life, they did something so terrible that they were cursed. Class B mutants are openly feared, and the church will not offer them assistance, regardless of their behavior.

Gender Roles
While much of society has outgrown certain gender roles, the Faith goes back to a bit of a traditional perspective in that, on the whole, women are nurturers, and men are defenders. Women care for children, while men ensure that the family has enough to get by. However, the Faith stresses that all roles are equally important. In the church, men and women are equal, just not the same. It is also acceptable for a male to fill roles generally occupied by a woman, and the idea of being in an inaccurate body is one that is accepted among the Faithful. Children are encouraged to fit into any gender that feels correct to them, and those who do not identify as one specific gender are seen as being more godly due to the transcendence of gender. Honesty is key, however, and the idea of lying about one's identity is repulsive to the Faithful, as this deception is seen as one of the more impure things someone can do.

Communion
God speaks most often through the Prophet as well as the six priests and priestesses of the Faith, however They can speak to anyone. God's word is often difficult to decipher, however, and it is important to speak to one of the priests or their clerics to ensure that enlightenment is true and well understood. Attempting to decipher God's word without assistance can lead to dangerous habits which can allow the Darkness to impersonate God.

Traditions

Gatherings
As was traditional in most Christian faiths, Sunday is a holy day. Every Sunday, the Faithful will gather in the nearest meeting place - the few Faithful that reside in the upper district will always meet in churches, but in the poorer areas of town, it is much more common to meet in homes or empty lots. The Faith has no desire to spend money maintaining church houses when the funds would be better spent on medical supplies. Whatever the case, there is always at least one priest, priestess, or cleric at each meeting, and they will lead the prayers and songs. Job vacancies, personal difficulties, and community matters are discussed as well as God and scripture. The first Sunday of every even-numbered month is a larger meeting, where church managerial business is discussed, and a prayer circle is formed. In the circle, all adults hold a candle, and anyone is welcome to speak at any time.

Tithe & Charity
As was common in many religions, the Faith asks a tithe from their believers - 1/10th of their wages earned to be devoted to the church, to provide for supplies for the hospital and the orphanage. Additional donations where able are appreciated as well - part of the community is giving what you have in excess to those who don't have enough. Additional charity is welcomed in the form of giving directly to other members who are struggling, or giving to the Faith so that supplies can be purchased and donations to members can be made. The Faith is very open about what they do with their funding, allowing the members to see that their donations are not being wasted.


Daily Life

Like other religions that include the notion of 'sin', though the Faith calls it being tainted with darkness, the Faithful believe that is important to avoid 'bad' behavior. The worst things that the Faithful can commit are violence, greed, and damage of community. It is considered necessary to confess to a priest or a cleric in order to remove the darkness from your soul once you have committed such an act. The servant who is told of such things keeps them quiet from the rest of the Faithful - an oath of secrecy similar to that of Catholic priests in confession - but the Faithful have a way around this: clerics are allowed to tell priests/priestesses, who are always permitted to tell confessions in the event that their divine knowledge tells them it is for the best (rather, if God tells them that someone needs to know).

Moreover, while greed might be hidden more easily, violence and damage to the community is almost always observable by those around them. Even outside of the Faithful, it's unlikely to wish to be around someone you know committed violent crimes, and such news often travels. While forgiveness is encouraged, forgetfulness is not, and while the majority of the Faithful will move on with less time than the average citizen, there are those who do not wish the Darkness to spread to them, and will hold grudges when finding out that someone was tainted. On the whole, however, as long as one becomes a changed person upon finding God, even those who have been violent in the past can be welcomed into the Faith.

Relations with the Government
The Faith has a rocky relationship with the government, to say the least, since so few members of the government follow the traditions and expectations of the Faithful. On the whole, politicians are the wealthy, and they like to stay that way, giving little in terms of charity to the many who could use it much more than they could. Law enforcement has a tendency to violence, which is also frowned upon. While the Faith will not make any moves against the government, they frown upon them immensely. In turn, the government allows the Faith to do much of what they want without repercussions as, on the whole, it keeps (more) violent riots from breaking out.



*Please note that this is all a work of fiction. It pulls certain elements from existing religions, however it is not meant to represent any single real world religion. While the Faithful believe that this is the "True" religion, this is all fiction, and no member of staff here at RKP encourages you to believe in our made up story, nor do we want to imply that any real world belief is "false".
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raven

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