History Main / SecularHero

21st Jan '16 5:32:09 AM theknack101
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* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' - While her late husband was a ChurchMilitant, Aveline is the closet thing the game has to an agnostic and states that she married a man but not his religion. Sebastian, Carver, Bethany, and Anders are all Andrastians (though the latter two have issues with TheChurch), Fenris goes back and forth on how much stock he puts in religion, and Merill worships the old elf pantheon. Isabela comes one of the few non-Andrastian human nations and Varric is a surface dwarf who treats his race's ancestor worship with some irreverence.

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* ''VideoGame/DragonAgeII'' - While her late husband was a ChurchMilitant, Aveline is the closet thing the game has to an agnostic and states that she married a man but not his religion. Sebastian, Carver, Bethany, and Anders are all Andrastians (though the latter two have issues with TheChurch), Fenris goes back and forth on how much stock he puts in religion, and Merill worships the old elf pantheon. Isabela comes one of the few non-Andrastian human nations and Varric is a surface dwarf who treats his race's ancestor worship with some irreverence. And also Andrastian.
8th Dec '15 9:55:49 PM Fireblood
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Obviously, most authors want to appeal to as large an audience as possible, and one way to do that is to reflect the audience and their world in the work. Depicting a lot of church services that aren't plot relevant may bore the audience, taking a particular religious stand may turn some people off, and most people are neither holy rollers nor antagonistic atheists. Conversely, some authors write for a niche market of conversion stories, and starting the target of the conversion in this middle-of-the-road place is both more likely (a devout member of one faith is less likely to change to another) and more common statistically speaking.

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Obviously, most authors want to appeal to as large an audience as possible, and one way to do that is to reflect the audience and their world in the work. Depicting a lot of church services that aren't plot relevant may bore the audience, taking a particular religious stand may turn some people off, and most people are neither holy rollers nor antagonistic atheists. Conversely, some authors write for a niche market of conversion stories, and starting the target of the conversion in this middle-of-the-road place is both more likely (a devout member of one faith is less likely to change to another) another, nor is a strong atheist going to "get religion" so easily) and more common statistically speaking.



Many other reasons for downplaying religion involve characterization. Perhaps our hero prefers to live his creed rather than profess it much; for this guy, his deeds are his devotions, and "God helps those who help themselves." Then again, perhaps he's compartmentalized his life; he goes to church once a week and the rest of the time he's getting on with the business of living. (These cases have some overlap with the NayTheist.) Maybe he's a believer who's [[HeroicSelfDeprecation uncomfortable with asking for divine help]] or bothered by the idea that Somebody Up There might be taking an interest in him (If GodIsEvil or a [[JerkassGod jerkass]], can you blame him?).

Note that the in-universe society might have a common religion that everyone presumably follows (such as medieval settings or other places with a dominant religion), or it may have many religions with no one sect that's predominant (the USA being a major example). Also note that this hero may not believe in a deity at all and finds it a waste of time to dispute the matter with others. The hero's secular nature may only become clear if/when religious topics are addressed. For whatever reason, this guy has better things to do.

This trope is neither the HollywoodAtheist, who expresses lack of faith actively rather than passively, nor the FlatEarthAtheist, who holds back belief [[ArbitrarySkepticism despite evidence to the contrary]]. In works with PhysicalGod(s), a character who acknowledges but does not worship them is a NayTheist.

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Many other reasons for downplaying religion involve characterization. Perhaps our hero prefers to live his creed rather than profess it much; for this guy, his deeds are his devotions, and "God helps those who help themselves." Then again, perhaps he's compartmentalized his life; he goes to church once a week and the rest of the time he's getting on with the business of living. (These living (these cases have some overlap with the NayTheist.) NayTheist). Maybe he's a believer who's [[HeroicSelfDeprecation uncomfortable with asking for divine help]] or bothered by the idea that Somebody Up There might be taking an interest in him (If (if GodIsEvil or a [[JerkassGod jerkass]], can you blame him?).

Note that the in-universe society might have a common religion that everyone presumably follows (such as medieval settings or other places with a dominant religion), or it may have many religions with no one sect that's predominant (the USA being a major example).predominant. Also note that this hero may not believe in a deity at all and finds it a waste of time to dispute the matter with others. The hero's secular nature may only become clear if/when religious topics are addressed. For whatever reason, this guy has better things to do.

This trope is neither the HollywoodAtheist, who expresses lack of faith actively rather than passively, in a negative way, nor the FlatEarthAtheist, who holds back belief [[ArbitrarySkepticism despite evidence to the contrary]]. In works with PhysicalGod(s), a character who acknowledges but does not worship them is a NayTheist.
NayTheist. Characters who are simply agnostic or atheist without it falling into the latter tropes would also qualify.



* In the ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'' books, Percy finds out that [[HalfHumanHybrid his father is Poseidon]] and reasonably asks what this means about any sort of religion other than Greek paganism. He's essentially told "[[HandWave don't worry about that]]," and the topic never really comes up again. (For what it's worth, the Greek Underworld seems to be the legitimate afterlife in this world.)

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* In the ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'' books, Percy finds out that [[HalfHumanHybrid his father is Poseidon]] and reasonably asks what this means about any sort of religion other than Greek paganism. He's essentially told "[[HandWave don't worry about that]]," and the topic never really comes up again. (For again (for what it's worth, the Greek Underworld seems to be the legitimate afterlife in this world.)world).



* On ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer,'' [[ActionGirl Buffy]] uses crosses and holy water to fight vampires and demons, but never really ponders the religious implications of that. At one point a new vampire asks about the existence of {{God}} and she notes that she knows "nothing definite." (This was ''after'' she'd been to {{Heaven}}.) The only legitimately religious characters on the show seem to be [[TheSmartGuy Willow]] and [[TheWoobie Tara]], whose Wicca falls squarely into ReligionIsMagic territory, and villains (whether they worship demons, [[PhysicalGod Glory]] or [[UltimateEvil the First Evil]]).
* In ''Series/{{Firefly}}'', Shepherd Book is a Christian preacher, and Inara is apparently Buddhist. The other characters don't have a problem with an open display of religion, but Mal most definitely does. "You're welcome on my ship...God ain't." However, a flashback to the Battle of Serenity Valley has him kissing a cross for luck and expressing religious beliefs. It's heavily implied that due to the Browncoats losing the War, Mal has lost most of his faith and become [[RageAgainstTheHeavens very angry]] [[NayTheist at God]] as a result.

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* On ''Series/BuffyTheVampireSlayer,'' [[ActionGirl Buffy]] uses crosses and holy water to fight vampires and demons, but never really ponders the religious implications of that. At one point a new vampire asks about the existence of {{God}} and she notes that she knows "nothing definite." (This (this was ''after'' she'd been to {{Heaven}}.) {{Heaven}}). The only legitimately religious characters on the show seem to be [[TheSmartGuy Willow]] and [[TheWoobie Tara]], whose Wicca falls squarely into ReligionIsMagic territory, and villains (whether they worship demons, [[PhysicalGod Glory]] or [[UltimateEvil the First Evil]]).
* In ''Series/{{Firefly}}'', Shepherd Book is a Christian preacher, and Inara is apparently Buddhist. The other characters don't have a problem with an open display of religion, but Mal most definitely does. "You're welcome on my ship... God ain't." However, a flashback to the Battle of Serenity Valley has him kissing a cross for luck and expressing religious beliefs. It's heavily implied that due to the Browncoats losing the War, Mal has lost most of his faith and become [[RageAgainstTheHeavens very angry]] [[NayTheist at God]] as a result.



* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' has Lois learn that her mother was originally Jewish. She experiments with the religion a bit, but ultimately concludes that she doesn't really care about either it or Christianity, despite the family being church-going in other episodes. (This was a [[SeasonalRot later episode]], so whether we can call any of the Griffins "[[JerkAss heroes]]" is arguable.)

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* One episode of ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' has Lois learn that her mother was originally Jewish. She experiments with the religion a bit, but ultimately concludes that she doesn't really care about either it or Christianity, despite the family being church-going in other episodes. (This episodes (this was a [[SeasonalRot later episode]], so whether we can call any of the Griffins "[[JerkAss heroes]]" is arguable.)
arguable).
9th Oct '15 2:26:48 PM nombretomado
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* In the ''PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'' books, Percy finds out that [[HalfHumanHybrid his father is Poseidon]] and reasonably asks what this means about any sort of religion other than Greek paganism. He's essentially told "[[HandWave don't worry about that]]," and the topic never really comes up again. (For what it's worth, the Greek Underworld seems to be the legitimate afterlife in this world.)

to:

* In the ''PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'' ''Literature/PercyJacksonAndTheOlympians'' books, Percy finds out that [[HalfHumanHybrid his father is Poseidon]] and reasonably asks what this means about any sort of religion other than Greek paganism. He's essentially told "[[HandWave don't worry about that]]," and the topic never really comes up again. (For what it's worth, the Greek Underworld seems to be the legitimate afterlife in this world.)
29th Sep '15 5:42:06 AM TheKaizerreich
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* While Reimu and Sanae from ''VideoGame/{{Touhou}}'' are UsefulNotes/{{Shinto}} {{Miko}}, the religious affiliations of other heroines like Marisa, Sakuya, Youmu or Reisen are unknown. In fact, characters who have an official affiliation also tend to be very important people in their respective religion rather than "just believers".
25th Sep '15 4:19:35 PM nombretomado
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* When asked, ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'' co-creator GregWeisman is [[http://s8.org/gargoyles/askgreg/search.php?qid=15462 willing to speculate]] about characters' faith; however, the only explicitly religious content in the show (aside from WonderWoman briefly mentioning "the gods") was a scene when, after a ReasonYouSuckSpeech from [[spoiler:the original Roy Harper]], Roy finds [[GreenArrow Ollie]] sitting miserably in a hospital chapel.

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* When asked, ''WesternAnimation/YoungJustice'' co-creator GregWeisman is [[http://s8.org/gargoyles/askgreg/search.php?qid=15462 willing to speculate]] about characters' faith; however, the only explicitly religious content in the show (aside from WonderWoman briefly mentioning "the gods") was a scene when, after a ReasonYouSuckSpeech from [[spoiler:the original Roy Harper]], Roy finds [[GreenArrow [[ComicBook/GreenArrow Ollie]] sitting miserably in a hospital chapel.
23rd Sep '15 4:14:38 PM nombretomado
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'''Roy''': Well, this is awkward to say, given [[FluffyCloudHeaven where I am]], but I've never really been that religious. I mean, I guess my mom raised me to worship the [[NorseMythology Northern]] [[FantasyCounterpartCulture Gods]], but I always just figured as long as I don't actively offend any of them, they'd leave me alone.

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'''Roy''': Well, this is awkward to say, given [[FluffyCloudHeaven where I am]], but I've never really been that religious. I mean, I guess my mom raised me to worship the [[NorseMythology [[Myth/NorseMythology Northern]] [[FantasyCounterpartCulture Gods]], but I always just figured as long as I don't actively offend any of them, they'd leave me alone.
10th Sep '15 7:11:26 PM ChaoticNovelist
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* ''Literature/JourneyToChaos'': Eric's only interest in the many religions of Tariatla is academic because he's a {{bookworm}}. On the other hand, he spends a lot of time [[PalsWithJesus chatting with a big name like Tasio]] because the god thinks they're "betest friends".

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* ''Literature/JourneyToChaos'': Eric's only interest in the many religions of Tariatla is academic because he's a {{bookworm}}. On the other hand, he spends a lot of time [[PalsWithJesus chatting with a big name like Tasio]] because the god thinks they're "betest "bestest friends".
28th Aug '15 1:22:22 PM Willbyr
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* Sonozaki Shion of ''VisualNovel/HigurashiNoNakuKoroNi'' is a great example of this trope. She's sent to a Catholic school (against her will) and escapes, later on saying "If I stayed in a place like that, I'd either end up brainwashed or insane!" She also denies the existence of the village god, Oyashiro-sama on a lighter note.

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* Sonozaki Shion of ''VisualNovel/HigurashiNoNakuKoroNi'' is a great example of this trope. She's ''VisualNovel/HigurashiWhenTheyCry'' was sent to a Catholic school (against her will) and escapes, escaped, later on saying "If I stayed in a place like that, I'd either end up brainwashed or insane!" She also denies the existence of the village god, Oyashiro-sama on a lighter note.



* Roy from Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick:

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* Roy from Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick:''Webcomic/TheOrderOfTheStick'':
1st Jul '15 8:47:59 PM nombretomado
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* Bill Adama from ''Series/BattlestarGalacticaReimagined'' does not believe in the Gods. This leads him into conflict with President Roslin on several occasions. Adama's theological views evolve in the course of the series from atheist to non-religious believer.

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* Bill Adama from ''Series/BattlestarGalacticaReimagined'' ''Series/BattlestarGalactica2003'' does not believe in the Gods. This leads him into conflict with President Roslin on several occasions. Adama's theological views evolve in the course of the series from atheist to non-religious believer.
28th Mar '15 8:24:38 PM nombretomado
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* One episode of ''FamilyGuy'' has Lois learn that her mother was originally Jewish. She experiments with the religion a bit, but ultimately concludes that she doesn't really care about either it or Christianity, despite the family being church-going in other episodes. (This was a [[SeasonalRot later episode]], so whether we can call any of the Griffins "[[JerkAss heroes]]" is arguable.)

to:

* One episode of ''FamilyGuy'' ''WesternAnimation/FamilyGuy'' has Lois learn that her mother was originally Jewish. She experiments with the religion a bit, but ultimately concludes that she doesn't really care about either it or Christianity, despite the family being church-going in other episodes. (This was a [[SeasonalRot later episode]], so whether we can call any of the Griffins "[[JerkAss heroes]]" is arguable.)
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