The Emperor of Mankind (Also called God-Emperor, Omnissiah, The Anathema and Revelation) is a 48,000 year old psyker and man of peak physicality who
rules on the Golden Throne forever and ever is decrepit and being kept barely alive for the sake of warp travel and keeping Chaos at bay HERESY! Please report to your Imperial Guard Unit's assigned Commissar for execution.
Born in Central Anatolia, as the result of a shamanistic gathering wishing to ward off the influence of Chaos in the 8th millennium BC, the Emperor of Mankind (real name: Unknown) is one of the most influential men in history. While tracing his history back through imperial records it becomes hard to quantify the years before the Age of Strife. At that time he was a warlord who conquered Earth with an iron fist. In so doing he spread reason, science and atheism as he went (burning churches and houses of worship wholesale, see below), since he knew that the prayers of the religious were sustenance for the Chaos Gods.
Once Earth was conquered he set out to guide humanity and defend it against the onset of Chaos in a campaign known as The Great Crusade (no, not that one). His two major gifts were the Astronomican, a psychic beacon that allows for safe travel through the Warp, and the project that would eventually give birth to the Adeptus Astartes (Space Marines to the non-Gothic speakers, Angels of Death to everyone). After being betrayed by his first child he is hastily placed on the life-support-enabled Golden Throne to, in turn, act as a sort of permanent life support for the Imperium of Man. The Imperium continues to rely on him to protect against Chaos and power the Astronomican.
In this near-death state he constantly requires sustenance of psychic energy leading to one thousand psykers a day being sacrificed to keep his barely functioning brain from going brain dead and the Imperium from being obliterated. He is worshiped as god for the things he has done while most of the knowledge he has imparted on mankind has been replaced with rites and rituals.
The Last Church
“”Why does your faith require special treatment? Is it not robust enough to stand some questioning? No one else on this world enjoys such protection, so why should you and your faith be singled out for special treatment?
“”The record of human experience shows that where religion is strong, it causes cruelty. Intense beliefs produce intense hostility. Only when faith loses its force can a society hope to become humane.
One story of note is The Last Church from the book Tales of Heresy by Graham McNeill recounting a conversation between the Emperor himself (Revelation) and a priest named Uriah Olathaire of a Christian church with the serial numbers filed off. The battle of wits and words between these two characters is worth reading and might feel very similar to a real world conversation, including a wonderful statement of "Faith. A willing belief in the unbelievable without proof..." Revelation also recounts a story that is a perfect recount of GMO hysteria, where one tribe attacks a flock of livestock that are genetically modified for food and in turn causes them to rampage and cause destruction to them.
At the end of the story, the Emperor, finally revealing himself to Uriah, is left with a dire warning:
“”To deny humanity a thing will only make them crave it all the more. And if you succeed in this grand vision of yours? What then? Beware that your subjects do not begin to see you as a god.
How right he was.
The Emperor revealed himself while bringing the blessings of science, enlightenment, reason, atheism, unity, protection, technology and morality to mankind. After he is put on the Golden Throne he is declared as god, has his enlightenment reduced back down to rites and rituals and the Imperium of Man decay into the ultimate fascist wet-dream.
"Did not go as planned" would be an understatement.
Status as God Emperor
The Emperor himself has always imparted the idea that he is not a god, but rather just super-human. After his placement on the golden throne and subsequent decay, he had become revered for his actions but it went so far as to form a religion around it, producing an Imperial Cult. Presumably he would not be pleased about this, but since he can't speak, we would never know. (Perhaps the revived Roboute Guilliman might have some words?)
Unfortunately, much like this situation, horrible people have turned to calling Donald Trump God Emperor. The ways they compare ground down to Personality cult, military power desires and absolutely nothing else. For some examples, The Emperor is brilliant, capable of feats of science and engineering beyond that of a mortal man, while Trump is considered a bumbling fool who hardly understands the concepts of magnetic catapults. The Emperor is capable of diplomacy (with the Eldar), while Donald seems to not care about that. The Emperor is in peak physical condition, capable of pulverizing many extremely strong Xenos while Trump's health and physicality is questionable. The Emperor has no desires for business and instead the betterment of Mankind, while Trump seems to only care about his public image. On that note, The Emperor was more in favor of everyone while Trump only seems to care about the rich and elite. The Emperor, for the most part, had a stable reign after the Age of Strife and until his placement on the golden throne among those he kept close to him, while Trump can't even keep his staff together. The Emperor isn't shown for much when it comes to leisure, while Trump has spent tons of time on vacation. The Emperor has psychic powers and practical longevity (he's still alive at 48,000) and those things just don't exist in the real world. So...why call Trump God Emperor when he's clearly not even close to the Emperor's prowess?
- An abridged testament to his word
- A less easy testament to his word
- And the funny one
- Fun:Didit generator
- At least in universe. Today he would be about 10,000.
- Did I mention he actually looks middle-eastern unlike some other fictional middle-eastern deity?
- There are four of them. Khorne, the Blood God; Tzeentch, the God of Changing Stuff (really); Nurgle, the God of Decay and Waste; Slaanesh, the God(dess) of Lust, Pleasure and Pain.
- More complicated explanation: Twenty primarchs were created based on the Emperor to serve as the genetic base for the Space Marines, the first of which was Horus. His heresy crusade (aided by 8 other primarchs, their Space Marine legions and the power of the Chaos Gods) against the Emperor (who had 9 primarchs and armies of his own) caused huge casualties for both sides, leaving Horus dead and the Emperor gravely wounded.
- The Church of the Lightning Stone is the given name, but the context makes it obvious what it really is. It also bears strong resemblance to Lindisfarne.
- Roboute Guilliman on Lexicanum