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Religion in fiction

I’m debating whether or not to keep religion in Prisoner of the Molepeople. To me religion is such a fascinating subject, and especially when matters of life and death come up, it’s almost a mandatory subject. At the same time my style is farcical and light-hearted, and when throwing in deep, serious, religious moments into the midst of such a story, the two generally don’t mix. Yet I’m not satisfied with just silly. On the other hand, I’m  not satisfied with just serious. My quest is to make the two work together. We’ll see if it works or if I’m shooting myself in the foot.

3 thoughts on “Religion in fiction

  1. I just read your humor post and then this one and thought I would combine my thoughts into this one post.

    I have had a trial for a great many years, one that I had a hard time sharing with people simply because no one seemed to understand. Basically comedy is one of my main driving forces in life, and what I could never understand was how comedy in the religious sense was basically shunned. Like I understand how the concepts of religion are a serious thing, however if the seriousness of religion was the only way in which I was allowed to apply religion to my life I wouldn’t want it. I need the humor of it as well.

    As a for instance the topic of Family History. Family history for the most part is so incredibly boring to me. I look through my family history and I can take an ancestor and 9 times out of 10 basically everything I can find out about the person are the spiritual experiences they had. But what about their favorite joke? What did they do for fun? When I found out I have a great great uncle on my mother’s side that was a traveling tonic salesman who would grift people of their money, I wanted to know everything about that guy. Of course of anyone in the family there’s no family history of him because he wasn’t serious.

    But going to your ideas of religion within your writing. Remember that even comedians have driving forces. There is such a driving force among the majority of people to tear apart the comedic and the serious, but there are some of us who simply can’t imagine life without them mixed. It’s like the question that so many people have been asked of, “If you could ask God one question?” Most would honestly and justly choose something like why are we here, what’s the point. I honestly would ask without hesitation, “What’s your favorite joke?” And if it wasn’t very funny I would grimace and say, “You’re lame.” And he would laugh and I would laugh.

    Of course there are moments in which comedy is not appropriate and in those moments I choose not to open my mouth. But some of the best comedy comes from very strong backgrounds. To get rid of a religious element simply because of the potential backlash might get rid of the soul of the piece. The humor may disappear because there isn’t a grounded basis for the humor to be in.

    I secretly laugh everytime I read “tight like unto a dish.”

    1. Well said! I think I’ve come to the same conclusion, that humor and religion (or any serious topic) need not be at odds but that one can tackle the most important matters with a light heart. A close friend of ours once told me that he didn’t want to go to the Celestial Kingdom, because he saw it as a world of starched-shirts and never-ending General Conference. Somehow I think he was missing the point.

  2. I like Jon’s thoughts on this very much. I’d also like to ask God what his favorite joke is. Chances are, it will be a different one than the one he tells Jon, because who wants to keep telling the same joke over and over again?

    FWIW, I like the way you use religion in Prisoner of the Molepeople, and in your fiction in general.

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