Okay, quick recap...
Church....Harry Potter quote sends me into a twitter of confusion...church, Harry Potter....Harry Potter, church...(I know, right?)....still reeling from it....okay, decision to create blog post about said Churchy Pottery Incident
The Quote: "The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death."
Origin: The Bible (It's strange for me just to type that, though I'm sure several of you knew this before it plunked into my thoughts)
Unusual Quote Used: Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, written on Lilly and James Potter's tombstone.
The Question: Does religion belong in fantasy(fill in your blank here) books?
The Answer: To be determined
For the longest time I have scraped every word of reference to religion from my books for three main reasons in order of importance:
1. Future readers could be turned off from my exclusion/inclusion of their religion.
2. I want people to debate the actions of my characters, not the fact I may have said they passed a chapel on their way to go battle a---doesn't matter what I put here, because a lot of the talk is just going to be that there is now religion mixed in with my "witchcraft." (I am ambiguous when it comes to religion, there's a reason I strongly believe in that freedom.)
3. I don't want to be burned at the stake by various religious parties. (To me that just doesn't sound like fun.)
So there isn't a OMG moment, there are several, "good heavens", "oh my goodness" and the like, which could reference the stars rather than any actual deity place, but there are no churches, synagogue, mosques, sorry if I left yours out, etc. mentioned, or anything else that could spark tension and take away from my story. I realize that it will probably come up anyway and be listed on some person's banned book list, but I'm doing my best to see that the message in my books carry, and not something that I wrote in an off hand thought of description. However, one of the most highly thought of authors in my very long list of mentors, J.K. Rowling, (I'm sure there are more who talk about religion, I just can't think of one right now) has broken the religion code (One I apparently made up myself) and even quoted the Bible. So where does that leave me?
It leaves me with the original reasons I had for not including religious references. (See 1, 2, and 3 above) Including religion is done on an individual basis, but my reason is more for 1 and 2 than 3. I could care less what someone says about me who knows nothing of me, let alone my relationship with my God. No one knows that but the Lord Himself, besides, isn't there something about judging people in the Bible, huh?
So, here's my conclusion: I'm not going to add religion anytime in the near future for my books because I want people to get what they will from my books and because I don't want to turn readers off because of my own self preference of religion. "To each his own," is my favorite quote here. I think that's what each author has to do for their own religion/writing references. For some it will be a big deal, and for others, not so much. Therefore, each will have to make his/her own list of reasons they do or don't and decide from there. Ultimately, it's going to be the author who has to answer to his/her own work, so it must be his/her decision.
So, what are your reasons for inclusion/exclusion of religion in your writing works? Let me know in the comments and don't forget to enter my contest!