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Timerover51's Daily Thoughts Blog Tools Rate This Blog
Creation Date: October 28th, 2017 08:28 PM
timerover51 timerover51 is offline
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My Daily (sort of) Thoughts on Various Topics. Not Politically Correct.
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In Moot Member Blogs Religion and Government Entry Tools Rate This Entry
  #1 New November 4th, 2017 02:45 AM
I figure that I will post this here, under the assumption that it would be too hot a subject even for the pit.

One of my biggest problems with the government system and general tone of Traveller is its view of religion. The following are the government types associated with religion.

Classic Traveller
D Religious Dictatorship. Government by a religious organization without regard to the specific needs of the citizenry.
Traveller 5.09
C Charismatic Oligarchy. Government by a select religious,
mystic, or psionic group, organization, or class enjoying the overwhelming
confidence of the citizenry.
D Religious Dictatorship. Rule by prophets.
E Religious Autocracy. Government by a single religious, mystic, or psionic leader wielding absolute power.
As Law Level is dependent on government type, all of these have a very high likelihood of very high law levels, with T5.09 having an extremely high law level.

The depiction of the only religious dictatorship covered, that of Pysadi, is not exactly favorable.
The Mother Church is an authoritarian religious institution dedicated to the management and control of the entire world. This religious dictatorship vests power in the Epopt generally regarded as a figurehead-and an advisory council of priests who actualry carry out the routine tasks of government. Society is tightly controlled, but the people are generally contented and unaware of the pervasive influence of their church government. A strict law level prohibits guns land frowns on weapons in general), greatly restricts freedom of movement and action, and absolutely forbids (due to religious strictures) the manufacture, sale, or consumption of alcohol.
I have completed the classwork for a Master of Arts in Religion, but never completed the required paper. I have friends who are Mennonite, and I have spent time in the Amish communities of Illinois and Indiana. My Grandfather on my father's side was named after Menno Simmons. I live adjacent to a community that was started as a religions community in 1902, and attend the church the founder started. For information about it, you can look up Zion, Illinois. In my studies and experience, I have never come across anything like the depiction of religion in Traveller. It sounds like a badly stereotyped and distorted view of Puritanism, and is quite simply highly offensive.

Major news to Traveller authors, the larger a religion gets, the greater the likelihood of major schisms in it, resulting in the breaking off of large chunks of the believers. I just celebrated the 500th anniversary of one of such splits, known as Reformation Day.

Now, I understand that I will be beaten about the head and shoulders by those citing the Catholic Church during the Medieval Period, but there is a caveat that those beating me will be ignoring. Most of the active oppression of religious dissenters was done, not by the church, but by the government under the belief that multiple religions would undermine the state. The Medieval governments did have to worry about this thing called Islam, which was not exactly a nice thing to have near you. Once the church lost the backing of the government, the church was in major trouble. Go see how well the Catholic Pope did with Henry the Eighth of England, and large swathes of Germany. Take a look at the Wars of Religion in France.

As for the extremely high law level almost guaranteed by the die roll based on the rules as they exist, my church is offering concealed carry classes, and has a shooting club meeting every Monday. So much for prohibition of weapons.
Views: 300 | Comments: 3

RSS Feed 3 Responses to "Religion and Government"
#3 February 20th, 2019 07:44 PM
SpaceBadger Says:
I guess I am responding to Magnus more than to the blog post, hope that is OK. First off, based on our discussions on FB, I totes have to agree with your "intolerant butt-monkey on social media" self-evaluation. Props for total honesty there, butt even moreso for your ideas of various alternative interpretations of the religious government types in the remainder of your comment. Right on, bro!
#2 November 5th, 2017 06:28 PM
MOD HAT ON! As a Moderator I think that if you keep civil then it would be an ace topic. And if others get stupid well I can bite the bullet and issues infractions (with Cryton's approval). MOD HAT OFF.
#1 November 5th, 2017 06:24 PM
Well, first off while I am a bit of...okay a lot an intolerant butt-monkay on social media here I've civil, mostly. Second, I think you're forgetting that one these are guides not hard rules and law level is mostly to see how often Travellers get rousted by the local fuzz. It could be that say Gov E is a form of benevolent dictatorship and totes allow their native population to have weapons but restrict off worlders from having any. There's nothing to say that a religious world has to have a creepy totalitarian government. And last those Gov and Law types are for the world Gov, could be local governments are run by a council of bishops or something similar which stays in power both due to the population's peity and responsiveness of the local government. So yes, it does on the face without context seem to be harsh but no better way for a Ref to mess with players but not be an ass than letting players think they understandthe world by merely looking at its Gov type.

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