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Romance > Religion in Romance?

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message 1: by Kenzie (new)

Kenzie London | 4 comments In the last 3 months I have become ,what I think is addicted to Romance, escapism, fairy tale, happy ending books. But I have now come across the second book Royal Target that is obviously a platform for bible bashing in this case the Mormon faith. Is there a way of identifying these books? ,or as i think there should be a warning on them just as there is when the passion gets a bit high in other books.As a atheist or is it agnostic ? I don't know? (don't believe in god). These type of books work in two ways 1. They ruin the story with all the religious mumbo jumbo but 2. they clear out all the raunchy sex, cant have that in a religious book. (I dont need a blow by blow explanation of what happens in the bedroom)

message 2: by Stan (new)

Stan Morris (morriss003) Some people like read about religion and some don't. I wrote a book this year that mentions religion a lot, but mentions theology very little. Most people are religious to some extent, so mentioning their religious affiliation often adds to the character's depth. But religious prejudice of any kind usually spoils a book for most of us.

message 3: by Kenzie (new)

Kenzie London | 4 comments Dont get me wrong I'm all for "quoting the scriptures" if it is pertinent to the plot but this is out and out bible bashing. But I really appreciate your comments. I might just avoid going outside when there is lighting around for awhile ...just in case

message 4: by Sybil (new)

Sybil Powell (sybilpowell) | 58 comments Dianne wrote: "Seems to me if religion is seminal to the romance, wouldn't matter which one it was. I would hope that there would be some type of reference to it in the book description. I do know that there are ..." Some religions forbid their women to marry outside their faith, therefore it is quite possible to use that situation (instead for example of another lover) to create tension in a situation without promoting a "hobbyhorse" or even a religion. But it is important to look futher than your own preconcieved ideas.

message 5: by Sonya (new)

Sonya Heaney | 20 comments In mainstream publishing, books with a religious aspect are labelled that way ('Inspirational Romance' has many individual lines over at Harlequin, for example). However, a lot of self-published authors don't do the labelling so well...

Being Australian, we don't have religion as 'in your face' in our culture, so I've been shocked a bit by stumbling over preachy books a few times.

I definitely expect religious romances to be marketed as such. I don't appreciate having religion forced on me.

However, if religion is included because it is a part of who a character is, I won't complain. Robyn Carr writes secular romances, and yet still somehow managed to include a priest (vicar? - I have no idea of religious terminology) as a hero in one of her books. This one Forbidden Falls (Virgin River, #9) by Robyn Carr

message 6: by Sybil (new)

Sybil Powell (sybilpowell) | 58 comments Actually I do so agree with you Sonya, I wrote a non religious book where two religions clash. It favoured neither of them but formed the background to the difficulties the couple faced and yet when I approached one reviewer they said we don't review religious books. Now if the books were clearly labled I'm sure it would helped me in this situation.Inshallah

message 7: by A.R. (new)

A.R. Simmons (arsimmons) | 36 comments First: if a book offends you, put it down. Second: as an author (or as a teacher, as I once was), I believe it is beyond poor manners to foist religious or political beliefs on others.
I, however, write mystery/suspense novels set in the contemporary Ozarks where religion is an important aspect to the culture (although there is great diversity in beliefs, it is primarily Christian). Believe me, not all the folks in the Bible Belt are believers.
As a parting note: I find self-invited missionaries offensive, especially the missionary atheists.

message 8: by Jackie (new)

Jackie Williams | 34 comments Religion in romance is a difficult one. I never mention an actual religion in any of my books (partly because I am just not interested in religion myself and partly so I don't offend/upset anyone)but I just had an interesting if annoying email.

My latest in Scarred series has a terrorist out for revenge on my hero (who escaped from said terrorist - long story...) anyway the dirty deed was done in Afghanistan and my emailer just told me not to stereotype Afghans to a religion. I don't even mention a religion. The terrorist is just a horrible person but apparently the name I chose for the terrorist is a popular one in whatever religion this emailer is on about and so I have been told off for it.

I'm not going to change my terrorist's name because the accusation is completely ridiculous but it just shows how some people get wound up over it.

message 9: by Sybil (new)

Sybil Powell (sybilpowell) | 58 comments I find religion fasinating, not any particular religion but why people believe what they do. Why some feel salvation comes from killing other people. (Remember the crusades) While others believe so strongly that they fear being damned. Some of the eastern religions open your mind to new concepts of life. To ignore religion is to ignore centuries of original thinking. Not only that, it can be inspirational in a secular way

message 10: by Stan (new)

Stan Morris (morriss003) I would think religion in romance is the same as in other genres, but I think end-of-the-world stories should probably have some religious references. (Especially if four horse riders with death heads make an appearance.)

message 11: by Jacqueline (new)

Jacqueline Rhoades (jackierhoades) | 14 comments Several of my books take place in the rural areas of Appalachia and the Ozarks. Christianity is part of the culture. In one of my books, there is a definite contrast between an old woman who has a deep and personal relationship with God and a group of church ladies who call themselves Christian Soldiers (They're mean and spiteful). While they are secondary characters, they lend realism to the story. I don't consider it bashing or supportive, merely a portrayal of the human condition.

message 12: by Sybil (last edited Mar 27, 2014 02:09AM) (new)

Sybil Powell (sybilpowell) | 58 comments Islam is the culture in Saudi Arabia, in my book 'Inshallah' I show it in normal family life. No recommendation or critisism this does not make it a religious book. It is merely the fabric on which the story is woven.

message 13: by Erich (new)

Erich Penhoff | 133 comments Religious killings during the Crusades..? I like to point out several facts about the Crusades. Richard Plantagenet, the Lionheart led the third Crusade, not for salvation, but for the looting and bounty offered by the Pope. He sacked Messina, Limassol, captured Cyprus and raided the Coast from Tripoli to Cairo. He never attempted to retake Jerusalem, because it was not worth the price in lives. The Templar...Knights of the temple Mound amassed a fortune from slave trades and forced labour in the ports of the Lebanon and Palestine. Philip King of France killed the Cathars, exterminated them, for their wealth not because of their religion, religion was only the fire starter for him. Isabella and Fernando of Spain masters of the Inquisition against the Seraphim Jews, used the confiscated money to finance the search for the western lands of spice (America). Islam is a latecomer in the dominant religions, six hundred years after Christianity was fostered. Today you have 28 individual sects in Islam, two are killing each other on a daily basis, Shia & Sunni, Hazara! Religious wars are fought every day, Nigeria Islam vs. Christians. Serbia Christians against Muslim. Both these are simply for the dominance and the power of ruling.
The Crusaders sacked Constantinopel, todays Istanbul, the seat of the Eastern Christian Pope, the Orthodox side of Christianity. The Romans did not fight at Marsala for their religion, they fought for control of Palestine... Islam is a religion, not a culture, under its 28 subgroups there are several cultures going back to the Khanate of Afghanistan, and the Ismaeli faction of the Muslim doctrine. Sharia progress leads to the culture of extremists, like Saudi Arabia, and Qatar.
Inshallah.. so God willing.. we learn to understand and not fall into the hate mongering of Muslim and Christians alike. I just returned form the coast of Syria, where the religious fervor leaves little place for humanity. Democracy is used as an excuse to kill and be killed, but it is in reality a killing ground not for absolution of sins, it is for the control of the country its riches and the power it brings with it.

message 14: by Sybil (new)

Sybil Powell (sybilpowell) | 58 comments Erich wrote: "Religious killings during the Crusades..? I like to point out several facts about the Crusades. Richard Plantagenet, the Lionheart led the third Crusade, not for salvation, but for the looting and ..."

I am well aware that Islam is a religion but in Saudi Arabia it forms the law and in all practical aspects the culture. Thank you for the history lesson and your inferance that any religion can be used as an excuse for anything which is a basic world wide truth.

message 15: by Jackie (new)

Jackie Williams | 34 comments Ah well you see, there's the rub and the above comments show me that I am right in not mentioning religion at all in my 'light read' romances if I can help it.

There are too many arguments/differences of opinion and I don't want my books to get bogged down in that. I don't even want to teach my readers a lesson/moral..I just want them to have a few of hours of feel good entertainment and I don't think there's anything wrong in that.

message 16: by Stan (new)

Stan Morris (morriss003) Jackie wrote: "Ah well you see, there's the rub and the above comments show me that I am right in not mentioning religion at all in my 'light read' romances if I can help it.

There are too many arguments/differ..."

Good idea.

message 17: by A.R. (new)

A.R. Simmons (arsimmons) | 36 comments I'm old fashioned. I have strong religious and political beliefs, but think it poor manners to force them upon a reader who has no idea beforehand that they will be subjected to something they might well find offensive.
On that subject, a character might champion certain religious beliefs, but the narrator probably shouldn't.
Does it make sense to say that putting romance in a predominantly religious book works better (offends less) than putting religion in a romance?

message 18: by Stan (new)

Stan Morris (morriss003) A.R. wrote: "I'm old fashioned. I have strong religious and political beliefs, but think it poor manners to force them upon a reader who has no idea beforehand that they will be subjected to something they migh..."

Excellent point, A.R. I'm not the least bit religious, but I don't make that argument in my narrations. My characters make arguments both for and against religion. Why? Because people have different beliefs, and it adds to character development to have them express those beliefs. Right now, I'm writing books about couples who come together despite those beliefs. In one book, the young woman is a devout Baptist, but the man is bitter and cannot stand to be around a religious gathering. In another, the man believes in God, but his woman is an atheist.

message 19: by Sybil (new)

Sybil Powell (sybilpowell) | 58 comments That is precisely the situation in the book 'Inshallah' it is impossible to write about Saudi Arabia truthfully and ignor the national religion place a situation outside the religion and inside the country and you have a meaningful story.

message 20: by Paul (last edited Apr 09, 2014 02:42PM) (new)

Paul Howard (paulhowrd) | 9 comments I don't know what the rules are, or if there are any. In one of my stories, the central character, who proclaims he is not a religious man, finds himself dreaming constantly of Simon Peter, who keeps pushing him on. The story is not about Christianity, yet it ends up playing a role in the outcome. I think the part of religious in a story depends on what the story is. A romance can be religious, a religious story can be romantic. It doesn't really matter what the author's personal beliefs are, human beings are religious, portraying them in that way is not only true to the characters, it's part of what makes many people tick.

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