This is one of the four ‘Freedoms’ paintings by Norman Rockwell inspired by President Roosevelt’s State of the Union Address in January 1941. The date is important, as the speech took place *BEFORE* the United States entered World War II. FDR knew war was coming, of course. He knew about the radical Nazis oppressing ideologies contrary to their own, such as Protestant Christians and homosexuals, as well as Jews.
I believe Humans are multi-dimensional beings. They are Emotional, Intellectual, Physical.
And they are Spiritual.
This doesn’t mean Religious by nature. Religion is just an expression of Spirituality.
This is why I believe it’s a mistake to leave Spirituality out of Fiction. Doing so leaves out one dimension of the human experience.
One story which demonstrates this beautifully is ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding,’ the original and the sequel. The family is Greek Orthodox and their religion is vital to their cultural identity as Americans and as Greek Americans. It is their community, the strength of all their commitments, the depth and backdrop to their family unity. My favorite scene is the Hero converting to this religion for the sake of his bride. She’s watching the ceremony, emotional, and doesn’t feel she’s worth converting for. And her brother says, “Yes, you are.”
That is why I have Buddhists in my stories, even though I am not Buddhist, for example. And some of my characters are at a place in their lives where they find personal enlightenment while having coffee with friends at Starbucks. We’re all on a spiritual journey of one kind or another.