Christianity and Star Trek

I’ve always been a huge fan of Star Trek (ST). On the surface, it appears to be just a fun science fiction series. And it is. However, as any serious Trek fan knows, there is much more beneath the surface.

ST creator Gene Roddenberry’s secular philosophy is obvious. And lately, I’ve started wondering how avid fans, that also happened to consider themselves strong Christians, viewed the series.

Speaking for myself, while still a Christian, I remember watching an episode of the original series and thinking, “Where does God fit into ST’s vision of the future?” The people of Earth have finally created the means to venture far out into space. They’ve met beings from other worlds who have never heard of any of the religions on our blue orb, much less Christianity in particular.

If that kind of progress became a reality, how does it fit into God’s plan?

The answer was simple. God does not fit into ST’s vision of the future. Both alien and human cultures/religions exist. Rituals and beliefs about how things came to be exist.

But belief in God, as a literal entity, an intelligent, omnipotent, omniscient being that controls our fates and the world around us, that punishes or rewards based on obedience to specific laws or commands, had largely vanished.

Even after realizing that, it never stopped me from enjoying the series and movies for what they were. Now, as a secular humanist, I appreciate Roddenberry’s creative, hopeful vision for the future even more. But some Christian Trek fans think otherwise.

After a Google search, I found that many Christian Trek fans lamented the absence of a “Bibical message” and Christian characters (as a side-note, I found it amusing that they were not terribly concerned about Islam, Judaism, Hinduism or Buddhism getting the same treatment).

Others, however, see what they believe to be many parallels between Christianity and Trek. They seemed almost willfully ignorant of the true philosophy behind the series.

So, I guess it’s a mixed bag. I think when religious-minded people really like something, they find a way to fit it into their worldview. But why does it have to fit into anything at all? Especially when we’re talking about something as benign as a TV series. If you like it, just enjoy it without guilt. If you don’t, it’s not “evil”; just don’t watch it.

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