Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Redefining Religion Through Writing


At only eight letters in length, it is not a big word by any means, in fact I can think of many that are larger, such as tintinnabulation.

So why does such an average word create so much hate and violence?

Religions are supposed to be peaceful retreats from the evils of the world, yet those same sanctuaries seem to thrive on battling those that oppose.  Sometimes verbally, sometimes violently.  I want to tale religion back to its roots and redefine why it was organized in the first place.

Before anyone starts ringing the alarm bells, let me state my position briefly.  I believe people of all walks of life should have the freedom to worship any god, idol, season, animal, or anything else that they desire to devote their lives to.

For many, religion brings meaning, and a sense of purpose, to their lives.  They strive to show respect to their creator as payment for their existence.  Often, the sense of community created allows for a safe haven, and can even prevent  some members from straying down an "evil" path.

Sometimes, those same safe havens can become a hiding place for evils as the organization attempts to cover up the wrong doings to save face.  Although this is not commonplace, the announcements we do hear can easily tarnish the reputation of a place of worship worse than if it were reported and handled correctly.

My beliefs do not fit into any particular religion, but rather take bits and pieces from all.  Honestly, I cannot understand how one religion can be the right one, when there are so many out there.  If Hinduism is wrong, regardless if it is the oldest practiced religion, then what makes Christianity right?  So, although I believe that anyone should be able to worship their own deity, I also believe that they should not force their beliefs onto me while, at the same time, telling me why I am wrong.

Now that I have presented my views, very briefly, I can get back to the post at hand.

I am not bringing up religion to start a nasty debate over who is right or wrong, but rather because I am having a conundrum.  I have an idea for a novel, possibly a series of novels, that involve religion.  In fact, the novels will basically reinvent religion throughout the series.  Obviously, it will be fiction so I am not literally planning on rewriting the bible.  Rather, I will be presenting it from another point of view.

The series of novels will be Sci-Fi in nature, but contain a certain horror element throughout.  Yes, you read that right.  I will be using some of the stories in the bible and turning them into Sci-Fi Horror.  The reason I find this to be problematic is that I do have some friends and family that are deeply religious.  I believe that they will realize that I am writing for entertainment purposes, but there is a chance that they will be upset and consider my writing sacrilegious.  I also believe that people I don't know will think the same, just look at the flack that Dan Brown received over the DiVinci Code.  I want to respect their beliefs, yet express myself in my art form.  Do I go all out and create the masterpiece I know is there, or hold back a bit?  I don't think I can hold back. 

In the long run, I guess I don't really care what others think as long as I am happy with the outcome.  But, as any writer would, I want the masses to like my creations and praise them for what they are...not spite them for going against their beliefs.

We have seen Demons and the Church in movies before, most notably in exorcism type movies, but I want to take it back to its roots.  I have it plotted out in my mind, and practically have the first chapter complete.  Now, I need to find the time and motivation to continue.

I don't want to give away too much, because my idea is very specific.  I am always afraid to release the plot too soon, and have others copy.  So, I will leave you with the following teaser:

In the beginning there was Adam and Eve and a Garden called Eden...or was there?  That is what I plan to tackle, and I will...

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