There was a long thread today on the Kindle Boards about the perils of posting religious or political opinions and thereby losing readers who take offence at those opinions.
That makes no sense to me. Every book is going to offend someone; even if you write happy, fluffy romance, you’ll offend people who think that women should be beaten and locked up if they look at a man. I would rather offend people on my web sites so they don’t buy my books than have them buy the books and then post bad reviews all over the web because they found the books offensive.
I think it only really becomes a problem when an author is fanatical about something. Richard Dawkins is an example who springs to mind; he’s written some great books and his beliefs about evolution are probably right, but I lost respect for him when he became a militant atheist.