You may or may not know this, but Angelina and I are Christian. Honestly, that doesn’t change anything, or at least it shouldn’t. We are still the same bloggers who started this blog almost two years ago, we’ve been Christian our entire lives. Knowing this shouldn’t change anything :). I’ve just been a bit saddened recently over certain things I’ve been noticing a LOT in not just Young Adult books but in a lot of media. It deals with diversity in a sense, not in race or sexuality or different mentalities, but it deals with the religious side of things.
Maybe you haven’t noticed, or maybe you have, but there is a lack of religious main characters in Young Adult literature. I’m not saying all YA has nonreligious characters, sometimes they never specify, sometimes they do, what I am saying is that it would be nice to see more characters out there of all religions. There is a lack of characters who feel like they believe in God, or Gods, of whatever their religion may be. There is a LARGE quantity of characters I’ve read who either say they don’t believe in God, or would like to think He exists, and sometimes, they even make fun of religious people, although that isn’t common.
I would LOVE to read more about other religions, so I don’t want this to be limited to Christian characters. Wouldn’t it be interesting to read a story through the eyes of someone who is Jewish or Islamic or Mormon or some other religion? I am getting tired to reading only characters who are atheist or agnostic. What I’m NOT saying is get rid of these characters completely, so don’t blow up on me here. These characters are important as well, so we shouldn’t erase them. Instead, I think we should find a way to add more religious characters to represent more family types and people types.
So this is kind of a l0ong-winded post of me going on and on about how I want religious characters OF ALL TYPES. Here is what I think we shouldn’t do when it comes to these characters.
When it comes to these characters, they should be realistic, right? They shouldn’t be over drawn stereotypes (unless that is who they are as a character, cool) but there are different kinds of people. I for one am a Christian who supports the LGBT community, I’m not saying all Christians agree because that is kind of obvious that not everyone agrees. As a mini note as to why I support them: they’re human too. God loves all of his children and we, honestly, shouldn’t hate, doesn’t He say to love our neighbors? Mini note aside, there are different kinds of people in all religions like I mentioned in my example :P. It IS important not to write off a stereotype, ANY stereotype for that matter.
I don’t know about you, but I think it would be a good way to dispel myths about certain religions and help people better understand religious people (and those who aren’t. Again we need these characters too).
So, now that I am done going on my mini rant, what do you think? Should we add more religious characters of ALL types? If no, than why? If yes, than what kind of characters would you like to be represented more often? Have you read many books with religious characters?
*There are MANY types of diversity needed more in literature in general. We also need more characters of other races, family types, sexualities and mentalities. This is just one topic I’d like to see more if to better diversify YA characters, although I would also like all of the above listed!*