So recently, I said a few things on my webcomic site about hating "stealth preaching" in fiction. Let me elaborate on what I meant by that.
I know that there is an "Author Tract" kind of fiction. One where the author explicitly writes his fiction as an elaborate parable. While I find it irritating in cases where I disagree (and even when I agree, if it's done badly), I can't really take issue with it. That's just unsubtle writing. I don't enjoy it but there's no law against it.
No, what I take special umbrage at is those stories that try to trick you into slowly trusting them, and then turning into a sermon for the author's favorite cult. And this is something that you might not encounter that often if you're a normal person, but if (like me) you're a conservative Christian and creationist who likes science fiction (and furries), BOY will you run across a lot of it.
I don't have a problem with science fiction which just assumes that there is no God and evolution is true. That's a pretty standard set of assumptions for science fiction. I also don't have a problem with a surprise moral (religious or otherwise) if it's handled well and does not necessitate demolishing straw men. Rather, my problem is with works that start out not really mentioning these things, and then suddenly right the heck out of nowhere, there's an overly evil religious person or an evil stand-in for God or some such. A dead giveaway for when you've run into this muck is when the bad guy suddenly holds the Stupid Ball for no other reason than that he's religious, or is an environmentalist, or eats his toast with the butter side down, or whatever the author has an issue with.
One example is Harry Harrison. I consider him to be a just plain bad (if prolific, and somehow marginally popular) writer. The one book of his that I read to the end had a bunch of villains who were too stupid to figure out how to unscrew a screw without killing themselves (I am not kidding), and the hero protagonist was able to figure it out because he was not blindfolded by religion. The book flat-out states that the reason for his victory against the confounding properties of a bog standard screw is the Power of Atheism. I shouldn't need to point out that this is retarded.
Another example, sadly, is Anne McCaffrey. She's a great author and I liked the Brainship/"Ship Who [past tense verb]" series, but the Dinosaur Planet series suddenly turned into a hamfisted parable in favor of vegetarianism. Oh no wait, sorry: it's not a parable at all. The protagonists straight up say that eating meat makes you evil. I kept waiting and waiting for this obviously flawed assumption to be proven wrong, but nope. Vegetarians good, everyone else bad. What's worse is that this sneaks up out of nowhere at all. Some members of the human team (who were mentioned to be genetically prone to carnivorous behavior, to be fair) just suddenly go full carnivore, kill and eat aliens, and are now both evil and slightly dumber. Because ... just because. Maybe I'm wrong and this ends up not being the ultimate moral (the library didn't have the complete series), but for a couple of books along the way, you sure could have fooled me.
I could go on (Vonda M. McIntyre sure seemed to be saying symbolic things in her Star Wars novel "The Crystal Star," repeatedly breaking in-universe logic along the way), but point made. If you're not prepared to tell your readers up front how your story will go, and then suddenly hand a character whose opinions you dislike the Idiot Ball just so you can prove him wrong, then you suck. If you specifically set up the universe to demonstrate continually and in painfully obvious ways that you are right and the people you hate are wrong, and yet some idiots still persist in their demonstrably wrong views simply because they're evil and stupid, then you suck. If a character starts out realistic and then suddenly turns into a cartoon of their former selves just because they converted to (or secretly belonged to) a group of people that your worldview can't handle, then guess what ... YOU SUCK.
So yeah. That's "stealth preaching." It sucks. Don't engage in it. It's horrible and unnecessary and kicks sand in the faces of your readers. By all means, argue as strongly against a given thing in your fiction as you want. Have people you disagree with proven wrong, if you want (see the movie "Serenity" for how to do this well). Have some characters be stupid if you want. But don't artificially weight the fictional universe in your favor, and don't suddenly turn formerly realistic characters into evil idiots just because you disagree with them on something. Because not only does it cheese off everyone who thought they were reading a story rather than a tract, it's also bad writing of the most irritating kind. Learn to make your moral work within the fabric of your own crafted reality, and without needing some of the characters to be complete morons.
That is all.