Is Nanase christian?

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Postby Erik Mesoy on Sun May 01, 2005 8:44 am

*what Pixiest said*

Subjectmatter wrote:But I'm fairly sure there is no law presently in place in any nation which specifically prevents men from bearing children. Will we be seeing that in the future?
Men, as a rule, do not bear children whether or not there is a law on the subject. :P I don't think we'll see a law on that subject, because it would be slightly pointless.
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Postby DarkShive on Sun May 01, 2005 9:29 am

They do have religious beliefs; I just don't beat the heads of the audience with them. There may be mention of God in future comics, but I won't get into the specifics of belief systems.

With homosexuality, the presentation is simple. I deem it a single aspect of their character, and beyond that, design them as I would any other character. With religion, I'd be disrespectful if I didn't portray the belief system accurately. In the case of making an overbearing member of a particular religion (as some theorize of Nanase's mother), I'd have to be particularly careful as I'd be portraying a strictly devout character. I may have more wiggle room with casual observers of a faith, but I'd have to be very careful or I'd wind up portraying someone who's supposed to be devout as someone who knows very little about their own religion. What's worse, I run the high risk of a stereotypical portrayal.

The only religion I'm particularly interested in addressing in EGS is Buddhism. That wasn't just a random thing at the start of Night Out, Part I; Justin has a distinct interest in Buddhism. In fact, it's the first thing ever hinted at about Justin (back when he claimed he was about to obtain inner peace while meditating). One of the jokes about Justin, however, is that he's not very good at Buddhism; he collects material objects, he's not a vegetarian (this is debatable amongst Buddhists; killing animals seems to be universally wrong in Buddhism, but eating an animal someone else killed is a loophole evidently used by some Buddhists. Nonetheless, it's a strike against Justin's Buddhism), and he's just generally full of desires. I don't know why, but the idea of a "bad buddhist" amuses me.

So, I suppose I should apologize to all my Buddhist readers out there. My apologies. Although, I should note that if you were GOOD Buddhists, you'd be free of the desire for an apology. *is savagely beaten*
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Postby Subjectmatter on Sun May 01, 2005 10:27 am

Erik Mesoy wrote:*what Pixiest said*

Subjectmatter wrote:But I'm fairly sure there is no law presently in place in any nation which specifically prevents men from bearing children. Will we be seeing that in the future?
Men, as a rule, do not bear children whether or not there is a law on the subject. :P I don't think we'll see a law on that subject, because it would be slightly pointless.


Tangent wrote:Interestingly enough, men can carry a child to term, it's been done with monkeys. You'd just need to do a cesarian to deliver the child.

But Dan's already said it's a moot point, so... :D
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I checked it out too, he's quite right.

I think that there is a HUGE market for men who want to become pregnant. Not just among gay couples either. Men must have at least somewhat similar parental instincts to women.

I personally look forward to carrying a child, but I think I'd like to find a suitable partner first...
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Postby DaGeek on Sun May 01, 2005 11:00 am

The reason (as far as I can tell) religion is not mentioned in online comics is:

A) It would offend other religions/atheism/etc. I'm a non-denominational Christian, and I love this comic, and I'm VERY glad that Dan did not put any religion in it that's strikingly obvious! This forum is a debate about wondering, there's no evidence she is/isn't, and I'm very thankful to Dan for that! Religion in online comics is not good... It's not so bad in a book based on a real event, but in fictional books, they should never put any religion in, because (for example) in the book/comic the "god" of whatever religion could do something that goes TOTALLY against that religion, or, "make exceptions" for a human being. As with Christianity, I'm sure that would defy any other religion. I mean, for example: God has a plan, and he won't change it cause we don't like it, but that could happen in comics or books.

B) The author may not feel comfortable because he/she may not believe the beliefs he/she is writing about i.e. A buddhist writing about Muslims and Christians.

C) It just is NOT necessary to make a good story, which is a good thing.

Well, now that I just spent 10 mins or so typing that up, I'd say I'm finished with this post.
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Postby Subjectmatter on Sun May 01, 2005 11:22 am

If I may retort to Da Geek's post...

A) Shouldn't the author be allowed to interpret a religion however she likes? If someone is offended then they should quite simply not read the book or comic.

B) Who cares whether the author is uncomfortable? That's her business and its her choice to put it in in the first place.

C) That depends entirely on the story, if a story requires discussing a religion in order to be good, or if the story is a discussion about a religion itself, then it should definately include it. An excellent example is Arthur C. Clarke's The Light of Other Days where the questions surrounding the validity of the religions of a more materialistic focus such as christianity, islam and judaism could be easily solved in the narrative, Clarke chooses to skirt around the issue with a deus ex machina upholding the ambiguity around Jesus at least (the others were not really addressed).

In short, an author should never feel bullied into side-stepping these issues. However, she should not go out of her way to insult any particular group for no reason either.

Bad Dageek for bullying artists! Bad!


[EDIT]: Hmm... Oscar Wilde said:
"No artist has ethical sympathies. Ethical sympathies in an artist is an unpardonable mannerism of style."
Whether religion includes an ethical system is of course debateable, the problem is that if you belong to that religion then yes as the word of whatever 'God' is necessarily true, but if not then the system is based on argument by authority, therefore moral rather than ethical.
Only Buddhism escapes this as it makes no claim to being the ultimate authority on anything. The teachings are even intentionally ambivalent as this is considered an inherent part of human nature.

Of course, buddhism isn't a religion either by many definitions of the word as it is not theistic.

[EDIT] no. 2:

Jamie said it much better than I. Read his post below instead.
(He also used fewer words)
Last edited by Subjectmatter on Sun May 01, 2005 11:34 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby Jamie on Sun May 01, 2005 11:26 am

Darkshive wrote:They do have religious beliefs; I just don't beat the heads of the audience with them.


I could not agree more. You
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Postby Erik Mesoy on Sun May 01, 2005 11:41 am

Where would generations of vampire lore be without Christianity?
Still using lots of random holy symbols (cf. Carpe Jugulum), garlic, daylight, stakes and running water, perhaps? :P

*goes off to beat Dan savagely*
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Postby Jamie on Sun May 01, 2005 12:07 pm

Erik Mesoy wrote:
Where would generations of vampire lore be without Christianity?
Still using lots of random holy symbols (cf. Carpe Jugulum), garlic, daylight, stakes and running water, perhaps? :P


You forgot decapitation and cremation. Add a good exorcism, and it
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Postby Tangent on Sun May 01, 2005 2:41 pm

It could be a celtic cross, which are quite beautiful and ornamental...
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Postby bunnyThor on Sun May 01, 2005 6:12 pm

Xiroth wrote:
Tuitsuro wrote:I guess this is where the boy mindset vs the girl mindset comes in, because why in the heck would a girl represent herself as, "lookie, but no touchie"? As a guy, I don`t understand that. Is it the difference in wanting to be appealing vs wanting to deal with certain people?

This apparent contradiction confused me a great deal for a long time too. The conclusion I finally ended up coming to after a lot of thought and investigation was that young women, particularly those under the age of about 20, generally don't dress like that to be impress men except with obvious exceptions (like dates). They are, instead, dressing like that to be fashionable and impress their girlfriends. It's only because the fashions of this era are as they are that they dress like that, rather than because they want to be stared at or hit on by random men (well, getting hit on by attractive guys could be considered a beneficial side-effect in some circumstances, I suppose).


Fashions of *this* era? Some of our fashions are fairly demure compared to the flapper of the '20's or the in-your-face cleavage of the 1700's. No, women's fashions of almost every era (in European-based societies at least) has everything to do with making the woman appear as f***able as possible because until very recently, that's where 95% of a woman's worth in society lay. Even today where in enlightened societies women are allowed the same life options (mostly) as men, there is a very pervasive message throughout much of society that a sexy woman is more valuable than a non-sexy woman. It is not surprising that women--especially young women who are still trying to find their purpose and identity--go to great lengths to try to be "sexy", even if they have no real interest in engaging in sexual pursuits. Consciously or unconsciously most of us--male and female--have bought into the lie that attractiveness is one of a woman's highest virtues and when a woman is recognized for her attractiveness then and only then can she truly feel good about herself.
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Postby Michael Brazier on Mon May 02, 2005 12:54 am

Actually there is an incongruity here ... if Nanase's mother is an evangelical Protestant, which is where the clues point to, and Nanase has been raised as such, it's surprising that she would have become a practicing magician. For one of the things a devout evangelical Protestant furiously opposes is black magic: summoning demons, making pacts with them for power, etc. And it's commonly assumed, in the evangelical churches, that any positive depiction of magic will tempt the young and naive into trying black magic. (Hence the suspicion of fantastic fiction, in which some magic at least is good.)

The incongruity is, if that's Nanase's background, she ought to have a few qualms about the source of her magical powers ... and she hasn't. The possibility that Nanase's magic is the result of a pact with the Devil must have occurred to her; but she doesn't act as if that possibility were real. So how was she convinced that her powers are, indeed, innocent? (Inquiring minds want to know!)
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Postby Tuitsuro on Mon May 02, 2005 2:05 am

I know a wiccan friend who came from conservative religious household, so it does happen with some people, on occasion. And although she strikes me as somwhat curious, it may well be Nanase doesn`t care where her magical abilities come from, exactly... Or it could also be that she's dealt with the consequences already.

Meh, perhaps there aren`t any consequences at all. Lots of things in life are free rides, if you're lucky.
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Postby nick012000 on Mon May 02, 2005 2:41 am

Or maybe the price of her magic was that the faeries made her into a faery? :wink:

I've got nothing against gay people, folks. It's just that the pun amused me.
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Postby Dahak on Mon May 02, 2005 7:20 am

Michael Brazier wrote:Actually there is an incongruity here ... if Nanase's mother is an evangelical Protestant, which is where the clues point to.


I get Catholic myself.

Red hair and Fairy magic tends to implies Irish ancestry.

And there are more Catholics than any other denomination in both Japan and Ireland.

Of course that leaves her the personal out of the syncretization of St Bridget and Brigit Daughter of Dagda and Goddess of Healing, Fertility and Smithcraft. Having gained magic from one of the Tuatha de Danan would be describable as fairy magic, while it being a Saint that is teaching/granting the ability might give the student some peace of mind. :)

Which also would give us a reason that Susan's abilities mostly revolve round being good with a hammer.
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Postby Free Radical on Mon May 02, 2005 8:44 am

Dahak wrote:Red hair and Fairy magic tends to implies Irish ancestry.

I know people think red hair and Ireland go together, but it really isn't all that common here. I agree though that there's no reason why Nanase's mother couldn't be a conservative Catholic.
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Postby Berk on Mon May 02, 2005 8:55 am

Free Radical wrote:
Dahak wrote:Red hair and Fairy magic tends to implies Irish ancestry.

I know people think red hair and Ireland go together, but it really isn't all that common here. I agree though that there's no reason why Nanase's mother couldn't be a conservative Catholic.


I'm Irish and I don't have red hair, also, Tedd has purple hair, his dad has blue, the immortals have blue-green and pink hair. Regular hair colours don't seem to mean much.
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Postby madbob on Mon May 02, 2005 4:11 pm

...if Nanase is Christian she is probably having some serious issues with it... in the NP comics, her little 'day out' with Ellen seemed to cause her to have guilty feelings about it...not that the guilt is her's, it probably came from her mother...when the comic originally was posted, I said that no one should blame her faith, but they should question the institution behind it...don't get me wrong, religion is great for people that need it...but the dogma and litanies behind the the faith have caused more people problems though out history...in case anyone is wondering, I'm Catholic...although I haven't practiced my faith the way the Church expects me to...there lies my problems...


..please don't be offended by my rantings...I've been at odds with the Church for a long time...
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Postby Suteben_NP on Mon May 02, 2005 4:16 pm

Michael Brazier wrote:The incongruity is, if that's Nanase's background, she ought to have a few qualms about the source of her magical powers ... and she hasn't. The possibility that Nanase's magic is the result of a pact with the Devil must have occurred to her; but she doesn't act as if that possibility were real. So how was she convinced that her powers are, indeed, innocent? (Inquiring minds want to know!)


Because a pact isn't something that can be entered into unkowingly.
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Postby m2pt5 on Mon May 02, 2005 7:15 pm

Berk wrote:I'm Irish and I don't have red hair, also, Tedd has purple hair, his dad has blue, the immortals have blue-green and pink hair. Regular hair colours don't seem to mean much.

Sorry to go a bit off-topic here...

Holy crap. Irish and living in Australia. That's a helluva distance right there.
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Postby Jeffery McLean on Mon May 02, 2005 8:27 pm

Jamie wrote:Where would generations of vampire lore be without Christianity?


I once picked up a book that expored the oragens of the vampire mythos.
Pre-christian influence vampires are boring.
Think night of the living dead only the vampire can only rise at night and must return before sunrise. Only one vampire at a time (no mass reserections) and burring them or burrning them is usually effective.
They would appear to friends and famaly to take same into the afterlife so they wouldn't be alone. They would appear to enemys to take vengence.

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Postby UltimateRandom on Tue May 03, 2005 5:21 am

Religion is relative. Different people and areas have different adaptations and different focus to their religions. Everybody has a different meaning to their religion, ranging from simply an ethic guideline to a way of life that influences everything they do.

In any case, I am of the opinion that magic does not necessarily require demonic pacts. I personally would never even think of acheiving magical capabilities imparted by an external agent. Devils and demons tend to ask too much and be unreliable. If the source of magic is based on the person themself, then there shouldn't be any problem (particularly for the actual magic-user). Of course religion is not always that openminded, and could probably get you for the 'perversion of nature'.
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Postby Beacon on Tue May 03, 2005 7:47 am

Note: The following is not a slander on Christianity or Christians in general, merely a statement of a darker time.

The Christians have managed the most effective propaganda campaign in all of history. Even today, in our relative enlightenment, many people think witches are brides of Satan. Recently, witches changed their names to wiccan in attempts to ditch that misunderstanding, with only mild success, I believe. I don't know if this campaign was done intentionally, although I'm sure some corrupt higher-ups knew what they were doing. The pagans did not worship God, and in a closed-minded age, it was decreed that their "gods" were deceptions cast by Lucifer. Whether this was spread in order to try to save the allegedly misguided people, or merely to strengthen the church I don't know (probably a bit of both). The fact that witches are pagan, not satanists, is much more common knowledge these days, though, and I'd like to think we're that much closer to an era of true enlightenment. Unfortunately, there are still bigots like Jack Chick out there, spreading disharmony and dragging the name of Christianity through the mud.

A side-effect of this is the belief that any kind of magic is demonic in nature. I've always thought this was a bit contradictory. Religious texts state that Satan is the Prince of Lies, who whispers sweet but empty promises to lure people into sin. With that in mind, how could anyone actually gain magica powers from him?

Anyway, even if Nanase is Protestant, there is no reason she should consider that her powers are from Satan. As Suteben said, I doubt one could enter into a satanic pact without knowing.
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Postby madbob on Tue May 03, 2005 8:56 am

Beacon wrote:Note: The following is not a slander on Christianity or Christians in general, merely a statement of a darker time.

The Christians have managed the most effective propaganda campaign in all of history. Even today, in our relative enlightenment, many people think witches are brides of Satan. Recently, witches changed their names to wiccan in attempts to ditch that misunderstanding, with only mild success, I believe. I don't know if this campaign was done intentionally, although I'm sure some corrupt higher-ups knew what they were doing. The pagans did not worship God, and in a closed-minded age, it was decreed that their "gods" were deceptions cast by Lucifer. Whether this was spread in order to try to save the allegedly misguided people, or merely to strengthen the church I don't know (probably a bit of both). The fact that witches are pagan, not satanists, is much more common knowledge these days, though, and I'd like to think we're that much closer to an era of true enlightenment. Unfortunately, there are still bigots like Jack Chick out there, spreading disharmony and dragging the name of Christianity through the mud.

A side-effect of this is the belief that any kind of magic is demonic in nature. I've always thought this was a bit contradictory. Religious texts state that Satan is the Prince of Lies, who whispers sweet but empty promises to lure people into sin. With that in mind, how could anyone actually gain magica powers from him?

Anyway, even if Nanase is Protestant, there is no reason she should consider that her powers are from Satan. As Suteben said, I doubt one could enter into a satanic pact without knowing.



...hah, yeah people like that are almost funny in their narrow-mindedness...their writing pads are only an inch wide...I've run into some indivduals who told me because I played RPGs and read things by certain people that my eternal damnation was assured...I don't know...boredom, or damnation...
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Postby Erik Mesoy on Tue May 03, 2005 9:57 am

Beacon wrote:bigots like Jack Chick
Shush. You're violating the ToS by mentioning him. It counts under incitement of hatred, I believe. :P

(If anyone doubts me, just check out the website he runs. Oops, now I've violated ToS too.)
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Postby Free Radical on Tue May 03, 2005 11:14 am

Beacon wrote:The Christians have managed the most effective propaganda campaign in all of history. Even today, in our relative enlightenment, many people think witches are brides of Satan. Recently, witches changed their names to wiccan in attempts to ditch that misunderstanding, with only mild success, I believe. I don't know if this campaign was done intentionally, although I'm sure some corrupt higher-ups knew what they were doing. The pagans did not worship God, and in a closed-minded age, it was decreed that their "gods" were deceptions cast by Lucifer. Whether this was spread in order to try to save the allegedly misguided people, or merely to strengthen the church I don't know (probably a bit of both). The fact that witches are pagan, not satanists, is much more common knowledge these days, though, and I'd like to think we're that much closer to an era of true enlightenment.

You seem to be mixing a few different things in here and suggesting that they are the same. While the church did, as far as I know, consider pagans to be worshipping the devil, neither they nor the pagans themselves would have considered them to be witches. Witches, rather, were those who cast spells on people, and belief in this (and fear of a witch's power) predated Christianity. Interestingly, according to wikipedia, early Christianity actually tried to stop pagans from killing witches, and it was only later that they started killing them themselves:

Wikipedia wrote:Early Christianity attempted to put a stop to the pre-existing pagan practice of hunting and killing witches. When Charlemagne imposed Christianity upon the people of Saxony in 789, he proclaimed:
"If anyone, deceived by the Devil, shall believe, as is customary among pagans, that any man or woman is a night-witch, and eats men, and on that account burn that person to death... he shall be executed."


Also, modern Wicca, as far as I know, was only created in this century, and isn't actually a direct descendant of the older pagan religions, but rather a modern interpretation of them.
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