Finding balance in the new Dark Ages.
The first Dark Ages ended when the Renaissance period began. Renaissance means rebirth or revival. The light returned to a world sunk in ignorance and barbarism. It was both an age of reason and of faith. A complete man was one who fused ecclective elements into his character, a student of all disciplines. He especially reconcilled science and faith, finding that they coexisted well in balance, when not abused.
Consider the universe of human experience as a room. How the room works: the mysteries of the air conditioner, the thermostat, the TV in the corner, the microwave on the kitchen counter--is science's job to explain. But there is more outside the front door than science can measure. This is the role of faith. The man of faith stands on the threshold. He speaks to one who built the room (God) and gains understanding that science has no way to validate. So, when science tries to go beyond it's scope of competancy to talk about what lies beyond the room, faith steps in to set the record straight. There is conflict. This also occurs when faith tries to go beyond its function, trying to prove things needed to be excepted without evidence. Faith is after all trust in the absence of evidence. When faith and science each do their job, there is no conflict. The room is a happy place.
Unfortunately, this lesson has been lost to the so-called modern world. In our society, faith and science are at war. The hypothisis of evolution is taught as a theory even though it never got past the laws of thermo dynamics to reach validity. The law of entropy, directly contradicts evolution. Science didn't admit to its error. Desperate to hang onto a prime tenant of the humanist religion, science just made up a new hypothisis to stay self-blinded, saying natural law no longer had to be universal, it could apply differently to the micro state than the macro state.
Darwin recanted Evolution on his death bed, embarrassed to have ever concieved it. The long line of pre-human ancesstors have all proven to be hoaxes. So-called Peking Man turned out to be a human skull mixed with pig knuckles.
Evolution is driven by humanism which is so destructive in our society, that basic freedom of religious expression is condemned. Merry Christmas is becoming forbidden. Now you can only say Happy Holidays. Schools can't include Christmas carols in their programs without being sued by some nut job with a lawyer. The dark ages have come again even though there are not yet barbaraians at the gates.
Speculative fiction shares this bias. There's more evidence supporting creationism than evolution, however, the writing isn't allowed to reflect this. You're allowed to write a time travel story to go back through time and see evolution at work, but not allowed to go back and show God shaping man from clay and breathing life into him. In the realm of the Gothic, holy water and crucifixes can be used to perform what I call "Christian witchcraft", fighting the devil with his own tools. Ritual has no power. Objects of faith have no power. Only faith itself. But if you try to write a story where a vampire backs away from a child with a guardian angel, or where a man without a cross is protected because of a "born again" relationship to Christ...forget it! In the gothic story, there is so much obsession with shadow, that the light casting shadows is ignored. Yet without light, shadows cannot be seen.
All stories don't have to be "religious" to justify their existance, but the realm of the spirit is as much part of the speculative process as any other element. Writers shouldn't be forced to ignore the spiritual element to sell a story. The cultural "rebirth" of light, restoring balance, needs to be undertaken. Writers need to write outside the box, to redefine genres as necessary.
In his novel "The Count of Monte Christo", Alexander Dumas has a great line..."The soul sets its own horizon." Speculative Fiction should be about creating new horizons and taking readers there..into the deepest reaches of both mind and spirit.