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@ Bogi_Khaosa: My knowledge is limited only to Catolic Church clergy - yes, they drink a lot, in fact many of them can outdrink a soldier, lawyer or actor and those are really heavy drinking proffesions (at least in Poland).

@Shadowkat: Weak willed? Certainy not, but You would think that a person (nevermind of what gender) that comes out of secluded monastery for the first time in her/his into a place that (compared to that monastery) is full of fleshy temptations will, at least, have a couple of restless nights?

As far as SMs and sex is concerned, Icame to conclusion (fluffwise) that genetic modification that transform them makes more alike their primarchs in certain aspects and that also mean they have some distance, genetical kinship with the Emperor himself.

I mean, look at the way chaos SM are tempted, even those that came to worshipping Slanesh were not persueaded by simple "Join me and You can !@#$# like crazy".They had to be tempted with something personal and intimate that couldbe turne into an excess.

Another thing: SM are, in a way, living a life not so different than millitant AS (train, pray, fight) and there is no SM Diologous or Hospitalliers that could tempted in a way I have described.In fact, situation described in second part of "Space Wolves" series (don't recall the title) shows a situation when a SM have a personal contact (starts seeing her as a person) with a woman and grows attracted to her - this situation makes perfect sence to me, only this something really rare.

P.S. If You are reffering to my remark from "derailling" part of discussion - I thought that was evidently tongue-in-cheek - my apologies if You took that seriously.

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  Well, I actually am a member of the clergy in RL. I'm an ordained anglican priest in the Church of England and married to another. Most of my closest friends are members of the clergy and I've met a fair number of clergy and religious leaders from other churches and other religions. I know a number of members of religious orders (Franciscan friars), so I don't think I'm operating under any illusions on that score. But I'm not sure how relevant this is. As Kaihlik says, the Imperial Cult is not Christianity, and the 41st millennium is not the 21st century.

  Aramis' point, which I was supporting, was that if you go back to the original source material (and I'm looking here at my old copy of Rogue Trader with its panel about the Sororitas) the sort of ideas being played on by Rick Priestly and others was clearly some sort of darkly gothic sci-fi spin on medieval catholicism. I'm not saying that the Sororitas are identical to catholic nuns in their outlook (and certainly not to modern 21st century catholics) but that a medieval catholic outlook is probably a good touchstone if you're looking for a way of getting into the mindset of the Sororitas. Certainly a better starting point than a 21st century Western one, with its assumptions derived from 20th century psychological insight that sexual desire is a natural human need that cannot be suppressed without causing serious problems. In a medieval catholic mindset indulging any bodily desire is suspect. Striving for the purity of your soul is all, and depriving oneself of things one needs or desires in order to achieve this physically is a mark not of psychological mal-adjustment that is bound to cause problems, but of an intense devotion that is entirely praiseworthy.

  I don't personally find Sandy Miller's 'take' on the Imperium one I buy into, so I tend to go with what it says in IH, which mentions nothing about the Sororitas having 'optional' vows. I tend to think that 'chaste' means what it conventionally means, which is no sex outside of marriage. In most Religious Orders getting married means leaving the Order, though it is conceivable that special provision might be made for some to marry and remain within the Order. Marriage (generally seen as including procreation and the raising of children as at least a possibility) is generally seen as a separate calling to life in a Religious Order.

  Irrespective of whether a member of the Sororitas is in a Militant Order or not they will have been raised in a Schola and their initial training will certainly be within their community so their formative years will have been entirely shaped by the Ecclesiarchy. This means that although they may have opportunity to interact with those of very different values and experiences they will likely do so through an ideological filter that encourages them to reject anything that disagrees with the norms of the Order. In addition, they will doubtless be encouraged to confess any temptations they experience towards heterodox beheviours or attitudes, which reinforces a sense of guilt if they do in fact find themselves 'straying'. In fact it is this very purity of belief that has led to them being trusted with these roles that bring them into contact with a wide variety of people.

  Now none of this is to say that Sororitas do not ever have sexual relationships, just that when they happen they'd better lead fairly swiftly (and ideally before any actual sexual intercourse occurs) to marriage or they will be condemned by everyone within their own Order. It is also quite likely that the Sororitas herself will be wrestling with quite profound feelings of guilt over the whole thing. In fact, I suspect they happen more often than would be the case with RL contemporary nuns, who have chosen to enter a Religious Order and may leave whenever they wish. Sororitas are not volunteers, they are chosen, and many may end up being very frustrated by the choice that was made for them when they were a child.

 @Shadowkat - I didn't raise the issue of sex, it was there in the original post. And to be honest, the way Sororitas are illustrated exaccerbates the issue. Their dress is highly sexualised, yet they are presented as chaste. There's a logical question to ask there.

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bogi_khaosa said:

 

I wonder how many people here have had experience interacting with actual real-world members of the clergy. They're not these kind of cardboard cutouts some people seem to imagine they are. Not even most monks. (I know, different religion and all that, but still the same rules apply.)

(PS. in my experience, a lot of them tend to drink and smoke quite a bit. Maybe Clerics should get Carouse? happy.gif )

 

A good bit of that was picked up pre-formation; I don't know many under 50 who smoke, and know about half of them in the local RC Archdiocese. The drinking is slightly more than socially normal. See, my dad happens to be clergy, a permanent deacon, so I've gotten to associate with quite a few priests and deacons. Plus, I worked p/t in the cathedral rectory for 3 years. Those who pack the booze away tend also to be from heavy-drinking subcultures. /A great many are darned near teatotallers. Heaviest drinkers I know are Irishmen who became priests (purple passports and all).

 

So no... perhaps as a background skill...

Also, the AS formation begins at 16 or under...they literally don't get much time to be "rebellious teens," if any. As RevMark points out, they are, like medieval nuns,  chosen by others more than there by choice. And the SoB codex makes them out to be exceedingly conformist, even outside the Ordos militant.

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My main experience with RC clergy was in grad school, as I went to a Catholic university for that leg of my education. So a good many of them were indeed over 50, that is, my professors.

There were other well-known vices going around the seminarians, but I'm not going to get into it here.

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@bonehead: Saddly, text alone doesn't convey tonal qualities and body posture... do not dismay! That question was saucily delivered with arms crossed beneith the bosum, hips cocked to the side, and a preadatory grin that leaves you wondering if anything that comes out of your mouth in answer will do. So, do not fear there is no need to apologize!

My point was that the first thing that comes to mind when speaking of SMs isn't one of sex... but the topic seems to rear its head whenever AS come into play (some seem to think they just can't keep their armour on). It just interests me why there is so much of an urge to turn AS into panting lustful beasts.

To your SM comment: After an interesting session where my acolytes had to deal with some rather debase cult activity one player commented that they wished they had a SM along since they were 'totally immune' to any and all physical desires. Another player argued against that statement and the first rattled off that SMs 'weren't even capable of having sex, much less feeling attraction'. The debate ended with all eyes focused on me, the GM and the only female in the room, with the loaded question of 'what do You think?' After a few moments of thought, I replied that I saw no reason why a marine couldn't perform physically (As far as I know they are um 'intact')... BUT mentally there would be issues due to the training that they recieve and the lack of contact with females in general. Most 'human' emotions such as lust would be confusing to a SM and translated into anger/agression. Just as attraction may be translated into a urge to protect/defend the person. Basically, it just wasn't normal situations that marines found themselves in where they had either the time or the contact with women that would bring such emotions out. The book you are thinking of is Ragnar's Claw btw, where he feels a strange attraction to the =][= psyker Karah which I used to point out the fact that 'totally immune' wasn't true at least in that respect.

Anyhow... back to the main topic!

Just what about rp'ing a female npc do you have trouble with? Thier reactions? Emotions? How they deal with pc's?

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I think a SM is probably physically capable, but not psychologically. He can't, erm, perform, due to total lack of desire. Which is kind of necessary for men to stand at attention for the Emperor.

Even if psychologically capable, they would be likely to be gay given their all-male environment.. It's like a Tim of Finland fantasy, in space.

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bogi_khaosa said:

Even if psychologically capable, they would be likely to be gay given their all-male environment.. It's like a Tim of Finland fantasy, in space.

See no problem with that. I mean, after plowing through (excuse the idiom partido_risa.gif) most of the Horus Heresy novels I must say that I sensed some homoerotic overtones trroughout the saga. Although Space Marines seem unable to actually having sexual attractions (due to not only their training and mental conditionin but surgery and biochemical treatment to their brains as well), they are certainly not above romantic feelings for eachother.

Sure, many of the authors choose to portray most of their interactions as gruff, macho and manly in every way, but some descriptions are a little too romanticizing concerning masculinity, glory and honor amongst brothers. I guess what im trying to say is that I suspect that some Space Marines do have a platonic sense of love towards other special battle brothers in their Chapter.

Oh, by the way. By todays psychological standards a Space Marine would be considered a neurotic nutjob in most aspects, but lets keep the real world out of this shall we? gran_risa.gif

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Religious orders, Catholic or otherwise, have long histories of breaking vows of chastity.  Various monastic reformations and hard line attempted to deal with this reoccuing problem which was frequently decried by religious reformers, reactionaries, and a staple of medieval comedic writing (such as the Decameron or the Cantebury Tales).  Medieval Spain, for example, had sumptuary laws regulating the dress for a priest's mistress and rioting broke out in one city when it was attempted to outlaw priests having mistresses.  And while we are at it, here's the definition of chastity:

 

chaste
  /t?e?st/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [cheyst] Show IPA
–adjective, chast⋅er, chast⋅est.
1. refraining from sexual intercourse that is regarded as contrary to morality or religion; virtuous.
2. virgin.
3. not engaging in sexual relations; celibate.
4. free from obscenity; decent: chaste conversation.
5. undefiled or stainless: chaste, white snow.
6. pure in style; not excessively ornamented; simple.
7. Obsolete. unmarried.

 

None of the bolded definitions, including the most common usage, are necessarily incompatible with having a lover of either gender.  Added to that we have Ciaphas Cain so yeah, Sororitas can have sex.

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bogi_khaosa said:

To be honest, the person's gender rarely even enters my head when creating an NPC (or PC). I mean, look at it this way.

You are pulled over by a cop, er, Arbite. He or she accuses you of drunk driving, er, consorting with heretics and demands that you get out of the car. 

Is the person's gender going to make a difference?

This is why I said in another topic I can't really "do" a female PC. They'd just be identical in every way to a male PC and there'd be no point in them being female. If I try to deliberately make something "girly" about them, it would seem very contrived and silly. I seem to manage it slightly better now after a string of female NPCs, but in the end, if I was creating a PC, they'd still be male.

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Cynical Cat said:

chaste
  /t?e?st/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [cheyst] Show IPA
–adjective, chast⋅er, chast⋅est.
1. refraining from sexual intercourse that is regarded as contrary to morality or religion; virtuous.
2. virgin.
3. not engaging in sexual relations; celibate.
4. free from obscenity; decent: chaste conversation.
5. undefiled or stainless: chaste, white snow.
6. pure in style; not excessively ornamented; simple.
7. Obsolete. unmarried.

 

None of the bolded definitions, including the most common usage, are necessarily incompatible with having a lover of either gender.  Added to that we have Ciaphas Cain so yeah, Sororitas can have sex.

chaste
  /t?e?st/ Show Spelled Pronunciation [cheyst] Show IPA
–adjective, chast⋅er, chast⋅est.
1. refraining from sexual intercourse that is regarded as contrary to morality or religion; virtuous.
2. virgin.
3. not engaging in sexual relations; celibate.
4. free from obscenity; decent: chaste conversation.
5. undefiled or stainless: chaste, white snow.
6. pure in style; not excessively ornamented; simple.
7. Obsolete. unmarried.

 

And now the definitions relating to chaste abstaining from any sex are in bold. Somehow, I get the feeling highlighting definitions of the word "caste" will do little to help any point of view here. I guess you could say that you highlighted 5 definitions while I only highlighted 3, but only the first three definitions really directly relate to human sexual relations. Four and five do in a round about descriptive way while six is of a completely different matter all together and seven is... an odd definition to say the least.The heart of chaste is to be pure. It all really depends on what the culture and speaker deems as pure and not pure.

All in all, it's really not a good argument point at all. Of course forced celibacy or chastity are going to break down now and again, but is it "right" for them to? Of course a Sister can still have sex, but would it be viewed as just hunky-dory by her peers even if they do know it happens sometimes? If it is okay for them to get their bang on, under what circumstances would such be fine and which circumstances would it be frowned upon or admonished? Would those who break down and fail to be as faithful and pure as the others lose status/face? I don't think it's a question of whether the AS can/do engage in lustful romps, it's a question of how it is viewed and taken when found out.

 

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@Cynical Cat

Ok, I'm not sure where you got your definition of 'chaste' from, but here's what Wikipedia says:

Wikipedia

Chastity is sexual behavior of a man or woman acceptable to the ethical norms and guidelines of a culture, civilization, or religion. In the western world, the term has become closely associated (and is often used interchangeably) with sexual abstinence, especially before marriage. However, the term remains applicable to persons in all states, single or married, clerical or lay, and has implications beyond sexual temperance. In Catholic morality, chastity is placed opposite the deadly sin of lust, and is classified as one of seven virtues. The words "chaste" and "chastity" stem from the Latin adjective castus meaning "pure". The words entered the English language around the middle of the 13th century; at that time they meant slightly different things. "Chaste" meant "virtuous or pure from unlawful sexual intercourse" (referring to extramarital sex),[1][2] while "chastity" meant "virginity".[3][2] It was not until the late 16th century that the two words came to have the same basic meaning as a related adjective and noun.[1][2]

My Concise Oxford dictionary defines it as: "abstaining from unlawful or immoral or from all sexual intercourse, pure, virgin." I'm pretty sure the OED will therefore say something similar.

The fact is that in common usage 'chaste' does pretty commonly refer to sexual temperance or abstinence. Most people use Chastity and Celibacy as synonyms. Now in fact they don't mean the same thing, because Chastity refers to living within moral norms, so a married couple who are not celibate might still be considered chaste. You're right to suggest that we don't know what the moral norms or the 41st millennium and the Imperial Creed might be so we can't say that it's incompatible with having a (or multiple) lovers of either gender, but I think all the evidence we have suggests they are more akin to Medieval Catholic moral norms than to 21st century ones, especially if we are looking at the Sororitas. (The Marines may well have completely different moral norms, but then they don't exactly follow the Imperial Creed in a traditional sense in any case). As chaste, whatever specifically it might mean, must mean living an exemplary and restrained sexual life by the standards of the day, and there seems to be considerable agreement that the Imperial Creed supports strong stable social structures and procreation I think it's a fair assumption that chaste likely rules out casual sexual relationships, adultery, and possibly homosexuality (depending on exactly how much stress is put on procreation by Imperial Creed). It probably means living a life that is either celibate or includes sexual expression only within marriage (incidentally, I don't think anything in this prevents Imperial Creed supporting polygamy or polyandry or indeed group sexual relationships if formalised, which are perfectly compatible with support for procreation and strong social structures). However, we are now straying far off topic. All I'm really trying to say is, saying 'Sororitas can have sex' doesn't help us much. We need to know who they are allowed to have sex with and in what circumstances. Otherwise 'chaste' just becomes meaningless.

You're absolutely right that there is a long history of members of medieval religious orders breaking their vows. I would fully expect to find the same in the 41st millennium, because, as I said in my previous post, unlike modern members of Religious Orders (who by and large do keep their vows) they have generally not chosen to enter a celibate life. The point is, as Graver says, and as you yourself note from your examples, that by and large the breaking of vows would be disapproved of officially. Religious who broke vows of celibacy were ridiculed at the least, and in some circumstances were put on trial and defrocked. Now the question is, what would likely be the punishment for Sororitas (not an order noted for its softness in regard to sin and corruption) who broke their vows? Because if it was serious enough, that would be considerable incentive not to break them, or if you did, to do so very very discretely. I suspect that at the least you'd have your purity seals removed publicly, which would be humiliating to say the least. Demotion, expulsion from the Order, corporal punishment, none of this seems particularly unlikely. It might merit branding or some other sentence that would make the sin apparent to others.

 

As I've said before, I personally think all this makes for far richer roleplaying potential than assuming there is some sort of fairly laissez-faire sexual morality. What if someone uncovers evidence of a senior Sororitas' secret relationship? Would they blackmail her? What if the 'someone' was harbouring unsanctioned psykers and could use the Sororitas to cover things up?

 

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RevMark said:

 

As I've said before, I personally think all this makes for far richer roleplaying potential than assuming there is some sort of fairly laissez-faire sexual morality. What if someone uncovers evidence of a senior Sororitas' secret relationship? Would they blackmail her? What if the 'someone' was harbouring unsanctioned psykers and could use the Sororitas to cover things up? 

You see I still think that it would not be against the rules but that almost all sisters and certainly ones of lower ranks would be unwilling to do it due to them having a more medieval Catholic mindset. Just because it is allowed does not mean that it is likely, thier upbringing is more likely to affect thier opinions in the matter which has been noticed is very strict and fairly in line with a Medieval Catholic upbrining (except with glow globes and bolters).

I still think that personal vows would very much be a part of a sisters lifestyle allowing them to show personal reverance to the Emperor. You mentioned before that you saw no evidence of Sisters takeing personal vows but if you look at the Sisters Oblatia in the Inquisitors Handbook the first sentence in the becoming a Sister Oblatia seems to suggest otherwise. I am not actually arguing that a Sisters PC should be engagining in any sexual relationship and would frown upon a player trying to argue that a sister would see not problem with it, simply that there is no rule in the organisation that is the Adeptus Sororitas that forbids it.

Kaihlik

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There seems to be a big assumption that all medieval insituitions promoted celibacy. rathe,r i think, they promoted a focus on spiritual goings on from their members. Historically Popes had children and mistressess, I dont play the ecclesiarchy as much different. They Preach an ideal rather than an achievable state. Given the diverse nature of imperial faith it wouldn't be unreasnoble to encounter Holy harlots such as those mentioned in Gilgamesh or records of eygpt (admittedley by later greeks).

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trentmorten said:

There seems to be a big assumption that all medieval insituitions promoted celibacy. rathe,r i think, they promoted a focus on spiritual goings on from their members. Historically Popes had children and mistressess, I dont play the ecclesiarchy as much different. They Preach an ideal rather than an achievable state. Given the diverse nature of imperial faith it wouldn't be unreasnoble to encounter Holy harlots such as those mentioned in Gilgamesh or records of eygpt (admittedley by later greeks).

Even a little historical research shows you to be WAY off base. The church has always taught self denial, as part of the road to spiritual growth. Sexual abistinence is even a biblical virtue (letters of St. Paul to the Corinithians). That some popes, mostly of the Borgia Line, were corrupt SOB's who ignored the canons of the councils is not proof that it was acceptible behaviour for clerics at the time. In fact, the canons of the era show the opposite; married priests were not supposed to have sex even with their wife.

Anyway, Back to 40K

Given the model in place, and the use of the term, and the text of the 40K3E Codex Witch Hunters (p10):

While not actively prosecuting the Ecclesiarcy's wars, the sisters of the Orders Militant divide their time between prayer and training. Indeed, to the Adepta Sororitas, the two disciplines are nigh inseparable. A sister may devote many long hours knelt before the high alter of her convent, fasting and meditating upon the meaning of  a single passage in the Litanies of Faith, before gaining profound insight by the conclusion of her vigil. To the Adepta Sororitas, penitence and self-mortification is a vital part of life as a devout servant of the Emperor, for only through extreme self-denial can one truly gain an inking of the sacrifice tha the master of Mankid Himself has made for His faithful subjects.

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@Kaihlik

My reading of the Sisters Oblatia material is that the Vows taken by a Sister Oblatia are 'personal' only in the sense that not every Sister takes such vows. The Vow is a well-recognised 'option' that some take, not a personalised expression of devotion. And taking such a Vow, which marks you out as different from your sisters, requires much testing and evaluating from your superiors before it is allowed - because otherwise it would be seen as a sign of pride. In addition, IH clearly states that all Sisters Oblatia must already have taken the 'standard' vows of a Sororitas, with the additional Vow being an additional promise made by a few fanatically devout Sororitas. Therefore the entry for Sisters Oblatia actually suggests (as the entry in IH for the Sororitas does in fact) that there is a standardised Rule (similar to the Rule that a medieval monastic would swear obedience to - typically one that includes Poverty, Chastity and Obedience) that all Sisters follow. For each Sororitas to come up with her own vows as a personal expression of devotion would result in anarchy, not an Order. I can't see any evidence from the write-up in IH that 'chaste' is not supposed to be understood in the normal conventional sense, or that it is not intended to describe all Sororitas.

@Trentmorten

Yes, Popes had mistresses and children. The point is, however, that they were therefore no longer regarded as being chaste. Definitions of chastity did not change, rather these Popes were seen to be corrupt. This is what I'm suggesting to be the case in the 41st Millennium. By all means, let's have illicit affairs, mistresses, illegitimate children etc etc, but let's just remember that they continue to be regarded officially (and especially by fanatical groups like the Sororitas) as illicit and, in particularly blatant cases (such as very public failings in senior figures) as evidence of a corrupt nature, making those who commit such acts de facto heretics.

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If it wasn't for the fact the I had read somewhere else that specifically stated that it was allowed I would be agreeing with you, that statement does not allow for much alternate interpritation. The thing is I have read somewhere else and as much as you might not buy into Sandy Mitchells view of 40K, it doesn't change the fact that current word from GW is that all Black Library books are canon (and Sandy Mitchell did write the Dark Heresy novels like them or not). To be honest the word chaste is likely just a word that the author thought would make them sound pure, a throw away word that is now causing this argument, but I cant prove that so I wont try and argue from that direction. I am simply trying to merge the two opposing statements into something that can make sense.

Also I wasn't implying that all vows made by the Sororitas were optional or that they made up their own but simply that their was more they could do outside of thier required devotion to show their commitment to the God Emperor. The vows of the Sister Oblatia are optional and I merely suggest that there are many more optional vows not stated in the background that a Sister may make for whatever reason. They would not be made up by the sisters rather they would be recognised devotions layed out by the order that a sister may be allowed to request the head of thier order (or whoever is in charge) to take. I dont think this is an overly unreasonable interperitation of the background (its not like GW consider it in this much detail anyway). Black Templar have personal oaths that they take before a battle which are basically preapproved oaths, I know this isn't quite the same but it isn't a huge leap of the imagination that the sisters have similar systems. You can certainly draw parallels between the Black Templars and the Adeptus Sororitas in thier level of self denial, devotion and fanaticism.

I think we are going to have to agree to disagree since I wont be ignoring the Ciaphas Cain background because I dont like it and you feel strongly that the attitudes of the Sororitas are incompatible with these views so I will end this here, thank you for the debate.

Kaihlik

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Graver said:

All in all, it's really not a good argument point at all.

Uh, yes it is. It proves that "chaste" doesn't necessarily have to mean "virgin" in the sexual sense, it can mean many different things...

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aramis said:

Caiphas Cain DOESN'T say it is permitted. It implies more that it is tolerated by Cain.

If thats the case then I will do not mind admitting that Sisters should be chaste, I did admit when I first mentioned it that I dont have the book on me and that I couldn't remember exactly. Have you actually read the book because you hadn't on the first page and you seemed to be quoting me to prove your point later on. Considering that I am the one who brought it up in the first place and admit I cant remember what it says exactly only that I was pretty sure it said it was permitted it seems a bit daft to argue to me on that basis.

Sorry if I sound like a prick there I am trying not to but its hard to word this properly.

Kaihlik

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I have not read it, myself, but the mentions of his surpriste by others indicate it's not the norm.

A number of my friends have, however, and all agree Adepta Sororitas are not, normally, permitted to engage in sexual activity.

Just because something HAPPENS does not prove it is ALLOWED, merely that some do so. Neat thing, logic.

The reported reaction, curiousity and surprise, indicates it's abnormal. Abnormal and allowed is bloody rare in dealing with religious groups.

Applying Occam's razor, to wit, the simplest solution is the most likely, the Sister with a lover is doing something abnormal, and probably disallowed, but Cain either doesn't care, or stores the information for later, or otherwise decides not to act. That's why I asked about his nature. It's important to understanding the evidence presented.

I have, however, skimmed a lot of materials from older editions of 40K, and all indicate harsly ruled, abstinant, brainwashed radicals.

Homoeroticism in cloistered communities is not uncommon; it is often non-consummated. Loving pair-bonds, sure. Sexual partners, less likely. Outsiders other than ecclesiarchy priests, probably not even acceptable, unless it serves some higher purpose.

After all, the AS are not portrayed as the Bene Gesserit (from Dune).... Now, if the sisterhood looked more like the Dune Bene Gesserit, THEN I'd be all over sex-as-weapon. But they are celibate without being chaste... ;)

 

Also important: not everyone has the same sex-drive. I have known some women who have complained of absolutely no sexual interest whatsoever, neither homoerotic nor heteroerotic. Hung out with one in college; two others I went to HS with, and one is a friend's sister. All their relationships are purely platonic. Several guys, as well; One of those went into the priesthood.

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My point about chastity  is that it's definition varies according to use and context.   My point, which is not disproven, the use of the word "chastity" does not mean when they're required to be celibate and when the existing supporting evidence says they aren't (Cain), then they clearly aren't.  Now that doesn't mean that some aren't celibate or that they're aren't rules governing their sexual conduct (I imagine things like adultery and association with any but loyal Imperial servants are out, among other things), but it does mean that some of them do have sex lives.

To make things more complicated, the rules undoubtedly vary somewhat from order to order. 

The Cain quote is clear that sexual activity is allowed.  Cain is just surprised by it.  My copy is loaned out to a friend so I can't post an excerpt proving that before the weekend.  If someone wants to beat me to the punch, by all means go ahead.

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The term Chastity varys almost none in modern use. Being chaste almost always means "Not having sex."

Unless the Cain novel explicitly says it's specifically allowed, odds are it was an illicit liaison, perhaps socially accepted, but still illicit. Especially since rulebooks going back to their first appearance all refer to their chastity, fanaticism, and restrictive oaths. At least for the Ordo Militant.

Like Bill Clinton getting Oral from a woman 20 years+ his junior in his office. Technically, it's sexual harassment, and by his OWN executive letter, grounds for termination of an executive branch employee (I was an executive branch employee at the time of his reelection). Most people's attitude was, "Cool, Moni can say she did the President" even tho' he committed an act that was a criminal violation in the jurisdiction: sex between a married person and a person other than their spouse, and by his own order, a terminalble offense. Does Bill not getting the ticket for sexual misconduct mean sexual misconduct is permitted?

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Kaihlik said:

I am simply trying to merge the two opposing statements into something that can make sense.

I can see that, and I respect what you're trying to do. I DO dislike the Sandy Miller Dark Heresy books, but I can see why you might want to include them as canon.

Kaihlik said:

Also I wasn't implying that all vows made by the Sororitas were optional or that they made up their own but simply that their was more they could do outside of thier required devotion to show their commitment to the God Emperor. The vows of the Sister Oblatia are optional and I merely suggest that there are many more optional vows not stated in the background that a Sister may make for whatever reason. They would not be made up by the sisters rather they would be recognised devotions layed out by the order that a sister may be allowed to request the head of thier order (or whoever is in charge) to take. I dont think this is an overly unreasonable interperitation of the background (its not like GW consider it in this much detail anyway).

You're right, it isn't unreasonable to assume there are other optional vows beyond the required devotion. I would still argue, however, that as 'chaste' is a description applied to all Sororitas we are meant to assume that chastity is part of the required devotion rather than an optional extra. And yes, (LOL) GW don't consider it in this much detail.

Kaihlik said:

I think we are going to have to agree to disagree since I wont be ignoring the Ciaphas Cain background because I dont like it and you feel strongly that the attitudes of the Sororitas are incompatible with these views so I will end this here, thank you for the debate.

Kaihlik

No, thank you. And thank you for your civility. A rare thing in forum debates, I find!

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