Lume on Religion

Digital Changeling > Gaming > Session Notes > S is for SmartLink > Lume on Religion

It is a bit hard to describe the religion of Amazonia to those who haven't been there. The best I can do is say that the country is Roman Catholic with a strong dose of Terra First! thinking mixed in. My parents are both observant Roman Catholics, so I was baptized and confirmed like almost every other girl in Sao Paulo. I never thought too much about religion when I was young. It was all pomp and ceremony. I was taken to church every Sunday and I knew what was expected of me there. It was one of the only places my mother didn't have stupid unrealistic expectations for.

I suppose I should be sad to say that the whole morality part of it never seemed to play in very high in my parents parish. Maybe it was just their parish priest. Looking back on it I guess he must have been terribly young, not more than 25. He spent a lot of time talking about tolerance and love and God's forgiveness. Very happy fluffy crap that wouldn't stand up on the street. When I was ten he left the church to get married. I wasn't really old enough to have needed any personal guidance from him, but I gathered later on that he gave quite a bit of radical advice about love, sex, and marriage that would have eventually gotten him in trouble.

His replacement was 65 years old, the worst misogynist I've ever met, and prone to lectures that reeked of brimstone. More than once I heard him say in conversation that all sin was the fault of female "temptations". I was very, very careful not to provoke him at my confirmation. I'm glad to say I never saw the man again after I left home.

You're probably wondering what I meant about Terra First! thinking before. Right after the coup, before I was born, Speaker Hualpa laid down a mandate for the Church in Amazonia: Recognize the sentience and soul of awakened beings or they would be violently unwelcome. This demand was not in line with the Vatican's muddled stance on all things awakened, but what could the local cardinals do? After several months of "secret" negotiations they obtained special dispensation from the Vatican to allow any awakened being that could demonstrate its sentience and its understanding of the religion to be baptized and/or confirmed. In theory the cardinals were responsible for coming up with rigorous test for those non-humans who were desirous of entry into the Church. In practice this meant that anything that could speak and was willing to read the bible was in.

Over the years Amazonian Catholics who had been born after the coup got used to seeing all manner of strange things in church. It only takes so much being told that you're the same as your strange sunday school friend before you start to believe it. I'm sure there are people out there who don't think Free Spirits or Feathered Serpents should be treated like people, but they generally keep their mouths shut in Amazonia.

It's hard to explain how the idea of ecological responsibility and the raw rights of Mother Earth came into this, but trust me when I say that after the awakened began to be excepted into the clergy in '45, they did. I think Catholics from other parts of the world would be disturbed to experience how different things are in Amazonia. I suppose Terra First! members would feel vindicated. For most of the people in Amazonia, it's just the status quo. Not everyone really believes that the forests should have retaken the open space in Brazilia or that a Feathered Serpent deserves to be the dean of the USP, but it's they way things are and it's considered politically incorrect to complain.