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Now the problem is the Heresy novels and the retconning of the Emperor to be all atheist and such, whereas before in 2nd edition it seems the Emperor did not actively try to push any specific stance. The Emperor only seemed to care when the Word Bearers were slower than other Legions in their conquests. He cared about the numbers of worlds conquered, whereas Lorgar (in Lorgar's own mind) seemed to be going for quality over quantity.
That is the hardest part to explain now ever since the idea of the Imperial Truth was introduced into the setting. Why did the Emperor tolerate Lorgar's religion building for so many years then? Did the Emperor think Lorgar would "grow out" of it like some rebellious teenager growing out of a phase? If so, then the Emperor is a poor judge of character.
Hardly a retcon when there was next to no lore about the Heresy in the first place. That the Emperor tried and failed to make an atheist science-driven state that turned into a theocratic advancement-fearing one, makes 40k that much more tragic.
The Emperor was mad a Lorgar and the WB twofold, both for their slow progress and their religious practices which caused the first part. If the Emperor takes away the religious aspect then surely they would conquer worlds faster. He was wrong but the crux of the Emperor as a character is that he always thinks he's right, even when he isn't. He walks around in gleaming gold armour, a halo, a supernatural aura that makes people obey him and a big flaming sword and says "hey guys I'm totally not a God, watch me fix this broken Knight with a single touch".
Plus, when you have an empire to build, Gods to thwart and 20 children (tools in the toolkit that speak) all trying to get you to notice them, not noticing Lorgar's religiousness makes sense.
This message was edited 1 time. Last update was at 2021/06/06 17:03:59
Apparently you don't even have to know you're praying to a chaos god for it to work, lore is full of innocent cults that turn out to be worshipping Tzeench or Slaanesh. There's literally no way to win, keeping it hidden only allows real chaos worshippers to set up shop easier.
Indirect worship is deffo a thing but it gives less worship power (?) to the Gods. If the Emperor had said:
"Hey, humanity there are super evil mind monsters that will melt your brain and consume your soul if you worship them. Don't do that."
I'm like 90% sure people would have freaked out and been all "Yup gotta love science and reason".