As one of my favorite shows comes to a close this season, the story line involving religion in Dexter this year really got me thinking. Religion plays a huge part in many people's lives. It can join people of like faith together and it can build walls between those that disagree. It can cause people to say they are acting in such a way due to their particular beliefs and others can use those beliefs to twist a message in the way they see fit.
I use themes of religion in my book Well With My Soul and some people have scoffed at the language used by some of the fervently religious characters I've created. Many people find it difficult to believe that someone listens so earnestly to what others say when they use the phrase "God told me to tell you..." - but as Dexter has proven: it happens. It happens when Jim Jones told people what 'God was telling him'. It happens when Lisa Ling recently did a documentary on faith healers on the OWN network. It happens when people are in dire need of something in their life and faith gets many, many people through tough times.
But it can also be used to by certain politicians and those in power to stir up emotions in people, to rally them together as some sort of battle cry. Religion is a powerful force that has been utilized throughout history for personal gain. My novel is but one story that shows how a man's ego can get in the way of God's message...and really be a message simply shared by man.
And when you get down to it, that can be true of so many different people who use God's name to get something accomplished - something they want to see happen. Because how many of us can claim to know for certain what God's plan is if we're only human? I for one know I falter and can't even pretend to tell you what God wants in your life.
I'm doing good enough working on my own.