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Snippet: Husbands of Priests
The Question
Far to the north, they say there is a clan of priests who were forbidden by their gods to ever pick up sword or spear. Sounds reasonable enough - there's enough war about without the clerics wading into the midst of things. Except that these priests took it much further than just weapons. The edict is that they cannot use anything that cuts or anything that pierces. No knives, no needles, no razors or awls. Hell, they are lucky they can pick up a quill to write, the ethos is taken to such an extreme.

Now you would think that the priests would just enlist servants to do all the tasks for them - slice up their meat, shave their faces, mend their clothes. Hell, that happens here all the time, but the clergy only have their own delicacy laziness as an excuse. But these poor priests, there's another edict passed down on them, that they may never hold earthly power over a lay person. I can't imagine that flying around here at all. The councils would be silent if we made our priests stay silent.

So you'd figure that these priests must be miserable, eating everything with a spoon and having beards that go on for days. Well, this clan figures that if the priest is married, then the spouse isn't a servant. Except, of course, there's another edict from the gods. Very busy and personable gods, if you ask me, always in their people's business. This law forbids priests from ever joining in union with a woman. At this point, I can't imagine anyone is lining up to join the ranks of the church.

At this point, I think the clan has got all the rules that the gods think are necessary, and look them over. And no where does it say that a priest can't marry a man. Yes, that's right, that's exactly what they did. I say the gods missed a law, but who am I to argue with the deities? The priests start marrying men, and these men come into the church and do all the things for the priest that he can't do for himself. They cut up his meals, they act as bodyguards, they shave his face. I guess there's a saying - 'A bearded priest is a lonely priest'.

Somewhere along the line, they realize that the gods never said that a priest couldn't marry more than once either, so you've got priests who have three, four, five husbands, all working together to keep the clergyman's house in order. It sounds degrading to me, but apparently most of the men are happy that way. There are odd folk like that all over the world, but apparently up far north, boys like that are turned over to the church to become the next generation of priests, or husbands.

I don't know if all the, uh... 'duties of marriage' come into play. But if they did, I guess we know which side the priest falls on, right? That whole edict of 'use nothing that pierces'.