Not too long ago, I made an appearance on the Rational Faiths podcast. Rational Faiths is an interesting website with a lot of thoughtful commentary on religion, particularly Mormonism.
This particular podcast episode focused on non-scriptural ways we fill our spiritual cups. I talk a little bit about how the brain is wired for God (thanks neuroscience book I read recently!) and how I always turn to fantasy and sci-fi when I need comfort.
Plus, I talk about how there are a wider range of women to read about in sci-fi and fantasy. Sure, the scriptures have women, but Deborah is pretty much on her own in terms of ladies I identify with. You might find a Jael lurking around, ready to pound in someone’s brain, but the Deborahs and Jaels of the scriptures are usually glossed over Sunday School — if they are mentioned at all. Instead, we spend time extolling the virtues of the Esthers, Ruths, and Marys. There’s nothing wrong with them, but it’s hard for me to see myself in the scriptures without doing a lot of on-my-own reading.
It’s a lot less stressful to just soothe myself in the pages of sci-fi and fantasy. Do I read other things? Of course. But if I feel sad or angry or alone, the awesome literature recommended by the other podcast guests doesn’t do it for me. No, I need true escapism.
The scriptures don’t make me feel better, but a little adventure — with magic or in space — often does the trick.