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The Blasphemous Art Project

Blasphemy Is Not A Crime

Immodest Hijab

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Hijab can mean other things to some people besides simply a religiously obligated modesty, for example, a symbol of cultural identity or a visible protest against intimidation in the face of anti-Muslim bigotry. People can liberalize in their own way, and while the hijab will always be a symbol of modesty culture, there are ways to make it stand for the exact opposite.


Other Art:

Bathala & Ikapati’s Creation!

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According to one pre-colonial Filipino Tagalog creation myth, Ikapati, a fertility goddess, created Earth when she gave her lover, Bathala, clay to play with to help ease his boredom amid the empty universe. Bathala was amused and formed the clay into a ball and carefully crafted mountains, islands, rivers, and valleys. Ikapati thought his artistry was so beautiful that she hung it up in the sky, where they could admire his work together. Bathala is worshiped as an omnipotent creator of the universe, and he was known to communicate with humans through his auspicious blue "tigmamanukan" omen birds. Ikapati, also known as Lakanpati, is venerated for the abundance that she brings to crops and herds, and she is associated with unhusked rice. Both deities were identified with male and female qualities and are believed to be gender fluid.

Goddess Yawa

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Yawa, also known by her full title "Nagmalitong Yawa Sinagmaling Diwata," is a Filipino goddess of seduction and lust. According to some legends, she was birthed from a night flower as a fully grown woman. Her parents guarded her to the extent that sunlight never touched her skin, making her exceptionally pale. While she was under guardianship, she was taught weaponry skills and sorcery, and some worshippers even regarded her as a physical embodiment of a weapon. Her name translates roughly to "beguiling demoness, bedazzling goddess" and thus reveals how a shadow side accompanies her beauty. Due to Spanish colonialism, she became demonized, and for many, the word "Yawa" is synonymous with "Demon." She was originally married to Saragnayan, the Lord of Darkness, and they ruled over night creatures in Galdun, a realm where the sun never shines.

Goddess Lalahon

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Lalahon is a pre-colonial Filipino goddess of volcanos. She is a guardian of wildlife and protects against natural calamities, like volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, and wildfires. Many native Negrense groups believed that she lived within the active volcano of Mt. Canloan on Negros Island. She was also worshipped as an agricultural goddess because the volcanic eruptions provided rich minerals to the soil in the surrounding areas, hence the meaning behind her name, which can be translated to "the one who brings times of plenty." The volcano was seen to represent her feminine nature; beautiful when serene and dormant, yet mighty, deadly, and destructive when a fiery outburst erupts. Her physical traits also express her spirit; her ruby eyes evoke images of hot coals, her dark hair is reminiscent of volcanic ash and rock, and her body can turn into flowing lava. She also has the power of pyrokinesis and can do everything from shooting fireballs from her palms to making a volcano explode at the snap of a finger. Despite being a mostly benevolent goddess who would come down to the mortals to grant them abundance, she was also known for her fondness for virgin sacrifices, as they would increase her beautiful appearance. Needless to say, with a goddess this powerful, it's best to stay on Lalahon's good side.

Goddess Hera

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The Greek Goddess Hera is the deity of marriage and childbirth. Despite being the patron of marriage, her notoriously unhappy marriage to the king of the Gods, Zeus, caused her to become perhaps the most famous cuckolded wife of all time. Her beauty was well known, but her vindictive nature, demonstrated through the ruthless action she took against the participants in her husband's affairs, took away from the attractiveness of the Queen of the Skies. She is associated with peacocks, which also ties into her perpetual quest to prevent Zeus's infidelity. According to mythology, a priestess that worshipped Hera had caught the attention of Zeus. Knowing her husband's persistent ways, Hera set her hundred-eyed giant watchman, Argos, to guard her priestess. This was no match for Zeus, and he conspired to have Argos killed. To save her guardsman, she transformed him into a peacock, which is the origin of the bird's distinctive plumage.

Tainted Love

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The story of Hades and Persephone is one of a wicked game. Persephone is the Greek goddess of the bounty of spring and the daughter of Demeter, who herself is the goddess of agriculture. According to legend, one day, Hades, the God of the Underworld, caused the earth beneath Persephone's feet to open up while simultaneously, he appeared in his chariot and sucked her downwards, abducting her to his realm. Demeter went into a deep depression while searching the world for her daughter. Her grief caused her to neglect her duties and, therefore, the world became barren and sent the humans into famine. Eventually, Persephone's whereabouts were discovered, and Zeus, the King of the Gods, began to negotiate her release. Persephone was free to leave so long as she had consumed nothing from the Underworld... However, after eating nothing for months throughout her ordeal, she had finally eaten a few pomegranate seeds to sate her hunger. Now tainted by underworldly materials, this now obligated her to remain bound to Hades as his queen. A bargain was struck; Persephone would spend most of the year with her mother Demeter, but she must always return to her husband. Thus, the earthly seasons were born, Autumn signifying Demeter beginning to grieve the loss of her daughter, and Winter representing Demeter's depression while Persephone is in the Underworld with Hades.

While this may sound like a terrifying ordeal, many have reimagined this story for the modern age. Perhaps Hades was not a manipulative kidnapper but a lover who desired to free Persephone from an overbearing, codependent, and emotionally enmeshed mother. Perhaps Persephone did not eat the pomegranate in desperation or through trickery but instead happily feasted with her partner as they rejoiced in the eternal bond they were creating together. After all, even according to tradition, they had one of the happiest marriages in the pantheon, and neither ever had an affair, a rare feat in Greek mythology.

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