Our site scope has established that both fiction and non-fiction can be on-topic, and so are questions about religious texts. The latter meta discussion included some asides about how religious texts should or shouldn't be referred to: the question says "stating that a particular religious text is fictional is pretty offensive to those who believe it" and posits making religious texts on-topic here precisely because our scope isn't restricted to fiction; the top answer says "I think we can take religious stories. By doing so, we wouldn't be calling them fictional". However, I don't think our meta has ever directly discussed this issue by itself: how OK is it to refer to religious texts as fictional, or for that matter to refer to them as factual?
Some extreme cases are clear due to violating the Be Nice principle: to quote again HDE's answer on religious texts, nobody should be able to say either "Oh, this is ludicrous and didn't happen, and people are stupid for thinking it did" or "This absolutely happened, and you're insane for thinking otherwise". But these are clear-cut cases of personal attacks, which are never OK. Let's consider other ways in which the issue could arise:
- A question asking for the origin of a trope in fiction, and an answer explaining that it originates from a religious text.
- A question asking for the earliest fictional story satisfying certain criteria, and an answer about a religious text.
- A question about a religious text based on the assumption that it's factual, and answers based on the same assumption.
- A question about a religious text based on the assumption that it's fictional, and answers based on the same assumption.
- An ID question about a vaguely remembered fiction story and an answer (correct or incorrect) proposing a religious text as the answer.
What do we think about any of these (partly hypothetical, but some have actually occurred on the site already) cases? Where do we draw the line between acceptable and unacceptable discourse on religious texts on Literature SE, either in questions or in answers?