Commentary on a Shield Hero and Slavery Post

Recently, Beneath the Tangles featured a very long and well-written post on the topic of slavery in The Rising of the Shield Hero.  It is worth your time to read when you have a good chunk of free time:

Guest Post: When a Shield Hero Becomes a Slave Owner

Rising 21

Slavery is a very interesting topic in regards to Christianity, because the Bible never condemns it in explicit terms.  This has led to epochs where rulers and nobility saw slavery as permissible, especially in the Age of Exploration and when the wars between Christendom and Islam became more advanced.  Thus, the papacy had to condemn the practice several times in encyclicals and statements in the years 1462, 1537, 1639, 1741, 1815, and 1839.  (See Slavery: A Problem in American Institutional and Intellectual Life by Stanley M. Elkins.)  I might also add the 1435 encyclical commanding that Canary Islanders be freed from the condition of slavery.  That slavery could be countenanced is rather odd when one considers that Medieval society had made great strides in eliminating slavery with its borders so that it was virtually non-existent by the 11th century, which coincides with the end of the Viking Age.

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The Duluth Pilgrimage, pt. II

This is the second part of the narrative of my pilgrimage to the relics of St. Maria Goretti, and it looks like it will be the penultimate rather than the ultimate post.  I know that many of my dear reader are more interested in anime than my religious opinions and experiences, of which the beginning of this month has been replete.  So, I promise to double post tomorrow: the last of this series and then a post on Beautiful Bones – Sakurako’s Investigation, Utawarerumono (the original series), or Heavy Object.

No other incidents worthy of note took place until I reached St. Monica’s Church in Duluth.  The complaints of my belly had made me half an hour late to the Mass, but not late enough to miss the homily.  That the Church parking lot was full and that I needed to park in some overflow parking pleased me, as I was wondering how many American Catholics would be interested in venerating a saint’s relics–a practice which probably strikes many as medieval.  Since the main part of the Church was packed, I was ushered into a conference room, in which the mass was broadcast on a large TV screen.  (This stands as the one way watching Mass on TV counts as participation in it.)  To my surprise, many of the Catholics attending were Asians, Africans, and Hispanics, making me a minority–something I had not expected.

St. M. Goretti


After my brief reflection on the diversity of the body of Christ, I turned my attention to the missionary priest offering the homily.  Several facts about St. Maria Goretti which the priest unveiled surprised me.  For example, America’s people had been greatly involved with the saint and her hometown: three of her siblings came to live in America, her prayers were asked in interceding for the Americans to break out of the Anzio Death Trap during WWII (which area contains the second largest cemetery of American soldiers in Europe),  the American soldiers taught the residents of her town baseball which they love more than soccer now, and the American Archbishop of New York, Cardinal Francis Spellman, led the campaign to have St. Maria Goretti’s residence in Nettuno renovated in 1953.  And so, the padre referred to the saint as a very American saint.  Sort of how one may view St. Padre Pio as a very American saint in his solicitude for American soldiers during WWII and even the Americans who visited his monastery afterwards.  But, Italy has so many saints that they can spare some for other countries.

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Planning a New Blog

For a while, I have been thinking about how scatterbrained this blog often is.  You just need to look at this blog’s subtitle: “Commentary on Anime, Books, Religion and History–the Important Stuff in Life.”  Formerly, “booze” also made up part of the title, but those articles received the scantest readership of any on this site.  My articles on tea were better received!  With due regard for the voice of my dear readers, I have decided that Medieval Otaku ought to focus on anime and religion–particularly where the two intersect.  Of course, I promise to continue writing about tea when good opportunity affords itself.  For example, I have received a new Dooars (similar to Assam), Darjeeling, Keemun, Yunnan, and a Genmai cha sample (roasted rice green tea) which ought to be reviewed as soon as enough leisure is given me to enjoy them all.  Though, I can tell you right now that the Dooars was unimpressive.  It takes milk and sugar really well (my least favorite way to have tea), but lacks some of the complexity of a good Assam–which connoisseurs know are never that complex to begin with.

Trinity Blood, one of the best unions of Catholicism and anime in recent years

Trinity Blood, one of the best unions of Catholicism and anime in recent years

So, expect a modification of the subtitle soon.  I haven’t yet decided what to call this new blog, but I shall release the name as soon as the blog looks presentable, i.e. a couple of starter articles, an about page, and some nice decorations.  It will focus on history and literature.  Incidentally, I have another blog which I work on in collaboration with some friends of mine called Aquilon’s Eyrie.  It concentrates on topics concerning American culture, history, and politics with a decidedly conservative slant.  (If any of my dear readers feel like knowing this side of me would cause them to love me less, please eschew reading these articles!)


Oh, I might be submitting a short story to the Christian Short Story and Poetry Contest 2014.  Of course, that link is for the 2013 contest, but my friend informs me that they begin accepting submission for the next one on September 4, the day after their Christian Novel Contest ends.  The curious thought of writing the 80 Word document pages necessary to fill their recommended length for the novel contest seems tempting, but the inspiration to write a new piece of that length has yet to come to me.  At any rate, you’ll be able to read the short story after I discover the fate it meets at the judges’ hands.


Thanks for reading!  Oh, and I found something rather amusing about Japan: the Liberal Democratic Party has nearly a two-thirds majority in their parliament.  However, these Liberal Democrats endorse a stronger military and more pro-business laws.  How’s that for upside down?