the dark overlord’s temple

The Dark Overlord’s Temple (a story)

They came into the temple, expecting a bunch of crazy people and found families with young children. And they expected to need the guns and warrants they carried to actually protect them. But we invited them for dinner and asked them about their faith and their families.
They expected orgies, incest and black masses in the living quarters. Instead they found herbal tea and vegan meals on the table. No goat’s head or pig on the altar, just a group of people who wanted to understand the world.
They took some of the younger ones aside and interviewed them with the leaders’ blessings. Asked them if they were molested, like the rumours said. Tried to encourage them to tell them any victim stories they had. Yet they found none. They seemed saddened when they left. But then they had entered, practically salivating at the thought.
What they found was the family these people had lacked. The foundation of faith our parents had not been able to give us. And truth. Nobody crazy or stupid. Just earnest, loving people. Ready to pitch in and create something special here on earth.
Instead of “peace on earth” as our mantra, they found “be your own god” or “be true to yourself”.
They found people who had been searchers, who had now found what they had looked for or lost in other groups. They found people who had put aside traditions and impossible ideals. And left behind bigotry within the church.
The only thing that made us different was the gods we worshipped. We didn’t head for the light or order. We found solace in knowing our gods were in the shadows and chaos with us, helping us be our best human. Helping us take pride in ourselves as their creation. Having a personal god we could identify with.
Gods we understood who didn’t condemn us for being what they had created. Gods who in many ways seemed just like us.
And when the police and social workers sadly walked away, thinking maybe they had it wrong, we pulled the rug back. And called up our gods to dance in our victory.

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