Sacred Lucre

By Tiro

I’m sitting in the Temple while I write. I’m in one of the little side chapels; this one dedicated to Blinga, the Gleaming Goddess. From here, I can see queues of the faithful in the main Nave, kneeling before the altars. They come here seeking salvation, bringing gifts with which to buy their places in the next world – the Heavenly Kingdom of Opulentium – and to encourage greater prosperity in their earthly lives. Their tributes are mostly low-grade offerings: imitation jewellery, bottom-of-the-range mobiles, the commonest of designer hoodies and trainers, and, in many cases, mere vouchers from favoured high street stores. I’m always surprised when people come in with those: as though the gods would appreciate a supplicant who can’t even spare the effort to tailor their sacrifice.

But offer they do. Day after day, night after night they come, trooping inside, paying their entrance donation (minimum £15 plus VAT) to Brother Brigando at the door. The donation is voluntary, but to make an offering without having shown the proper respect to the Temple and the Gods would be unwise indeed. And they make their offerings; a dedicated gift in tribute to the Gods in the hope that they will bestow even greater riches on their followers. Some argue that it goes against the fundamental principles of the Faith to give property away, but to them, I say this: it is an ancient tradition. Even before we achieved Enlightenment and discovered the True Religion, there were echoes of it already in the collective unconscious. And hence there were ‘lotteries’, mere games, but a template for faithful practice, where the faithful would donate a small fraction of their assets in the hope of elevation to the Blessed State of Loadedness. The practice of the modern Temple has merely recognised, lifted and consecrated this most basic, most instinctive, of human impulses.

And occasionally, amongst all the Righteous Shining Tat, someone will bring in something truly special: a brand-new, top-of-the-line smart-phone, or a diamond-studded handbag. Needless to say, we do not ask where these things come from; that’s not for us to concern ourselves with. It would be a breach of our ecclesiastical responsibilities. And besides, Our Heavenly Lady Acquisitia stands watch over all transactions, and as She tells us in Her gospel: proprietas licentia dat. Possession gives right. If they have it in their possession, it is theirs to offer to us. If it were not so, then Acquisitia would have removed it from them. So we, of course, are above such worldly matters as ownership. What is brought unto the Temple becomes the property of the gods, no matter its provenance. And that is as it should be. And we, Brother Brigando, myself, and our brothers and sisters of the Clergy, are the custodians of these gifts. Someone has to take this heavy responsibility, and as the priests of the Holy Ones, it would be unseemly to leave the burden on the uninitiated. So it falls to us to ensure that the sacrifices are properly taken care of.

And life is good.

You can read more about Tiro HERE

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