This week, I'll sidetrack a little from my usual insights about storytelling and wish you to have a good day. I would also like to take this time to remind you that gifts are not how many people give or receive love primarily. Perhaps what they want is a hug or quality time. Let us show love to each other and continue to do so for the rest of our lives.
Now I'll give you a little insight in my planning for my stories. When studying societies, religion is always important, especially early on in the culture. What this means is religion is certainly necessary as I intend to build an entire "world" and therefore cannot ignore the concept and various debates surrounding it. However, it will certainly be different. I do not consider myself worthy of doing a "Christ Story" and so all stories take place before such an event. Hence, Christianity won't be present in name though I will certainly borrow from it.
Basically, when religion appears in my stories, it's trying to explore the basic principles and focus of what religion means with definition I found while reading through the Roman Catholic Catechism: "Give God what is Due." What this means will be an interesting topic as the question rises, "How can you have religion without divine revelation?" My quick answer is that if God is the source of all that is Good, then it means you have to align your spirit with what is good and oppose evil. Hence, the values of Love, Respect, and Mercy will be present as I want to strongly advocate virtue.
So will Neostriker be a religious story? Not really. Neostriker is a world but religion will certainly be part of it. Therefore there will be occasional short stories about religion, but it won't be the main subject. However, because religion advocates for virtues and is a major player in the fight between good and evil, you will certainly see some of the same ideas. After all, the basis of religion isn't evil when considered from the definition I gave earlier. On the other hand, the people who take charge of religion are very much susceptible to corruption. Another way of saying this is that "religion is not a tool. Those who use religion as a tool are likely to become evil."
Therefore, if you are paying attention to my logic, radicalism is a result of someone using religion as a tool. How can we rationally keep it in check? Consider the basic principles of religion and make sure your actions do not contradict any of them. If God is Good, then that means you cannot do evil if you want to be on God's side. If God is the Author of Life, that means you cannot take another's life except to protect your own and those under your care (self-defense). If God is Love, that means you must love even those who hate you. If God is Truth, then you cannot lie. Consider these and respect them and you should be on the right path to practicing religion properly.
Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!
J. D. Nyle