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Vaevictis Asmadi writes...

Hello again Greg,

This isn't so much a question as it is a comment/ramble on the subject of religion in Gargoyles.

In the past you've stated that you prefer not to confirm or deny the existence or non-existence of the Abrahamic monotheistic God in the Gargoyles Universe, and that you don't wish to define or describe GOD in the Gargoyles Universe as being specifically Abrahamic. I think that this is a wise decision. Many television or book series set in the real world have some take on the supernatural and spiritual; often they take one single religion to focus on as being "true." In my opinion this is usually fine for fiction, as long as the "incorrect" religions aren't depicted as being evil or a one-way ticket to Damnation; but it is a more difficult task to create a universe wherein all the religious beings exist, though not at all impossible! I've never been willing to accept any religion's claim of being The Only Truth No Matter What, including my own religion. (I find it interesting that you've comented on the Biblical God as being "geotheistic.") I also like that no episode ever makes explicit whether the Third Race are or are not divine. They clearly exist, but their religious significance (if any) is left for viewers to decide. Supernatural and magical things and beings exist in Gargoyles, but without eliminating the ambiguity of the real world.

But I'm wondering if you planned how you will handle the omnipotent Allmighty God(s?) in other monotheistic religions, such as Sikhism and some indigenous African religions. I think some forms of neo-Paganism may monotheistic as well, having an Allmighty Goddess or Creator. I think it would be only fair to have the same consideration towards the Allmighty of any religion that includes belief in such, but that's my opinion. And I don't know if you've thought about this yet.

Hinduism also has monotheistic denominations or forms. There are the many Hindu deities, and this makes the religion appear polytheistic, but not all the gods are the same. The Trimurti (Vishnu, Shiva, and Brahma) and Krishna (an Avatar of Vishnu) sometimes appear as though they are just gods. But my limited understanding (not being Hindu), is that these four particular "creatures" are actually the names and manifestations of the Allmighty/Infinite/God/Creator of the Universe. Different sects or denominations consider one or another of these four to be THE God, while considering the other three to be alternative manifestations that the Creator sometimes takes. For example, the Vaishnava Hindus consider Vishnu the Omnipotent/Infinite God, creator, sustainer, and destroyer of the whole universe, and consider Krishna, Shiva, and Brahma to be manifestations in which Vishnu sometimes appears. I think Rama is also a manifestation or Avatar of Vishnu. In comparing Hinduism to other religions, at least some Hindus very much consider their concept of the Allmighty the equal of the Abrahamic God.

I can't ask how you would like to handle individual stories, since I know little about Biblical myths and almost as little about Hindu stories. I saw how Jacob was handled in the comic, but I don't know how that story was told in the Bible. But I'm a little curious what further thoughts you've had about this topic, if you feel like sharing.

Greg responds...

Just to clarify, I believe God is presented as geotheistic in certain sections of the bible (parts of Genesis and Exodus especially) but not consistently throughout the bible. There are many chapters and verses where God is clearly presented monotheistically.

My basic fallback to your question is one word: research. If and when I start to deal with these issues, these cultures that I am less familiar with, I will first do a boatload of research (either myself or with the help of a research assistant like Kathy Pogge). Then I'll make decisions based on that research.

For example, I'm pretty well versed in the Judeo-Christian traditions. But when I set out to write in detail about the Stone of Destiny and how it might wind through those traditions, Kathy did a ton of research, and I reviewed it all and sorted through it and then made my decisions as to how I wanted to present things.

Response recorded on September 16, 2010