Religion and femmeslash- How does a character's religion/beliefs (or lack their of) influence what and how you read/write?
I feel like this is a bit of a cop out, but it depends on the character and the story. These are just some examples from my own experiences.
The one non AU Guiding Light Olivia/Natalia fic that I considered writing was going to be a rumination on Natalia's faith structured around the Latin Mass, so for that it was going to be incredibly important. Part of the reason that I wanted to write it was because I felt like a lot of fic writers were ignoring that aspect of her character, when the show was clearly making her relationship with the Catholic Church incredibly important to her. But then I couldn't find a plot, so it never got written.
When I wrote Vows
, I gave a lot of thought to Emily, JJ, and Will's religion and then the show went and totally Jossed me in regards to Emily, who I never would have pegged as Catholic. Also, JJ wasn't the one that got blown up at the end of that season, but that wasn't as important to me. I have a little pet peeve about how the only people on TV that have any sort of interesting religion based story lines are either Catholic or Jewish, as if your average Lutheran or Methodist can't have a crisis of faith. But that's a whole different topic.
Anyway, I put the thought into it because I knew the fic would be structured around wedding vows, and I didn't want to just use some generic set, because I was trying to contrast the actual vows being taken with Emily's thoughts. As Will is from New Orleans, there's a pretty good chance that he's Catholic, but Catholic ceremonies don't really lend themselves well to hospital bedside weddings, so I really focused on JJ, the fact that she's from Pennsylvania, which certainly has a diverse and interesting religious history, and her general socio-economic background. And I decided that Will would be perfectly happy honoring her religious choices. So the vows that run through the story are Quaker, mainly because I liked them the best and I liked the double meaning around the word "Friends" in the first line.
Because I felt like Emily came from old blood American WASP elites, and we didn't know anything else at the time, I went with her being Episcopalian. So when she thinks, "Marriage is a lifelong union and not to be entered into lightly," it's taken from Episcopal wedding vows. And I did all of that not because the characters have ever shown (up to that point) as being particularly religious, but because weddings in American society are, to me, inherently religious events.
So basically, if the canon emphasizes a character's religion, or if it's inherent to the story, then it absolutely influences what I write. If I was writing about Callie and Arizona, then Callie's struggles with her faith would probably be in the back of my mind as I wrote it, just like Arizona's relationship to the military, and a million other things that we know about the characters. If I was writing Avatar:TLA fic, I would try to keep in mind that it takes place in a society without any Judeo-Christian underpinnings. On the other hand, if I was writing about Andi and Miranda, I probably wouldn't think about it as much or even at all.
I'm sure there are lots of other experiences out there though, and I'd love lots of other answers to this.