Is Star Trek a Gift From God?

star-trekOh the depth and confusion of the fundamentalist mind. James Pinkerton from FOX News muses on whether Star Trek is gift from God:

But seriously, what if “Star Trek” is a gift from God? If all knowledge comes from God, as we are told in Romans 11:33, then that’s where all creativity comes from, too. And also science and technological knowhow. Of course, not all knowledge, creativity, and science is put to good use, but that’s a failing of men, not God and His works.

He wonders whether we’d be better off with force fields and photon torpedoes:

Would Israel be safer if it could shoot down enemy missiles and rockets with such photon torpedoes, or block them altogether with a force field?  Of course it would….

Why don’t we have force field technology?… Some might say that we will get them eventually, but maybe we need them now.   Right now, and in a big way–because we are increasingly vulnerable to various kinds of weapons of mass destruction.

If Israel had photon torpedos and force fields, wouldn’t others, too? A good part of the sequences in Star Trek are people fighting, after all.

Amidst all this amusing musing, he brings it all together with the need for “faith”:

In the meantime, perhaps we need more faith–and a keener eye for hopeful indicators. Perhaps we need to recognize that these days, too, are days of wonders and miraculous signs, just as in Acts 2:43, and yet we don’t see them, or we don’t see all of them.

Sure James. Please give us some evidence of these wonders and miraclous signs we’re supposed to be seeing (apart from Star Trek, of course).

Why doesn’t the U.S. have such safekeeping, peacekeeping technology?  Maybe the answer is that our leaders have not had enough faith.   That’s right, not enough faith.

I think Pres. Bush had far more faith than I want in a leader, and he didn’t do too well with the peacekeeping part, did he? I can’t imagine what someone with more faith would do!

The signs [for God] are everywhere, folks. And I believe that “Star Trek,” and similar shows, are some of these signs.

You know it’s bad when Christians are offering Star Trek as evidence for God’s existence. Do I hear a scraping sound of the bottom of a barrel?

  • Vhyrrimyr

    Wasn’t Gene Roddenberry an atheist?

    • Mike Hitchcock

      From the following, one might get that impression…

      “I condemn false prophets, I condemn the effort to take away the power of rational decision, to drain people of their free will–and a hell of a lot of money in the bargain. Religions vary in their degree of idiocy, but I reject them all. For most people, religion is nothing more than a substitute for a malfunctioning brain.”

      Gene Roddenberry

      • J. Allen

        Indeed, religion basically was absent in Star Trek until Roddenberry passed away, and then it crept in a little on some of the offshoots like Deep Space 9.

        Also, the character ‘Q’ who basically had godlike powers I always took as a critique of the holy.

        • Question-I-thority

          I Space Chronicles 12:9-11

          9)…Uzza, whom we haven’t seen on the show before, puts forth his hand to hold the artifact; for the oxen like beasts stumbled.
          10) And the anger of Q was kindled against Uzza, and he smote him, because he put his hand to the artifact: and there he died before Q.
          11) And Captain David was afraid of Q that day, saying, How shall I bring the artifact home to my ready room?

          • http://foreverinhell.blogspot.com Personal Failure

            here, i’ll correct it for you:

            Uzza, Uzza, whom we haven’t seen on the show before, and who was wearing a red shirt, puts forth his hand to hold the artifact; for the oxen like beasts stumbled

            Never wear red in space.

            • rodneyAnonymous

              “The away team will consist of myself, Dr. Spock, Ensign Expendable, and Yeoman Newman.”

        • BurnSpeed

          I don’t know how much religion was missing from star trek. I was watching reruns the other day and they happened upon a planet that was exactly the same as earth during the roman empire (by chance apparently). All through the episode they would hear about people worshiping the sun, at the end they figured out it was the son, as in son of god that was going around the planet. Yes star trek had space jesus!!!!!

    • rodneyAnonymous

      Wikipedia:

      Although Roddenberry was raised as a Southern Baptist, he did not embrace the faith; he viewed religion as the cause of many wars and suffering in human history. Roddenberry considered himself a humanist and an agnostic atheist.[12]

      According to Brannon Braga, “In Gene Roddenberry’s imagining of the future [...] religion is completely gone. Not a single human being on Earth believes in any of the nonsense that has plagued our civilization for thousands of years. This was an important part of Roddenberry’s mythology. He, himself, was a secular humanist and made it well-known to writers of Star Trek and Star Trek: The Next Generation that religion and superstition and mystical thinking were not to be part of his universe. On Roddenberry’s future Earth, everyone is an atheist. And that world is the better for it.”[13] This would seem to contradict the Star Trek episodes as aired; in an original series episode, Captain Kirk refers to the fact that mankind is largely monotheistic; the episode “Data’s Day” of The Next Generation refers to a presently occurring Hindu festival

  • DDM

    I read a quote the other day from a fundie that tried to use the clitoris as proof of God’s existence. So yeah…

  • Mike Hitchcock

    The bottom of that barrel is too far down to hear anything.

  • localtraveler

    After sharing very close working quarters with a conservative, devout Catholic, a born-again type Baptist, a Jehovah’s Witness and a variety of Protestants, I would say that there is no bottom to the barrel. Absolutely everything is up for grabs as a “gift from God.” George Bush, Rush Limbaugh, Ben Stein, Fox News….This is why I don’t celebrate Christmas–I don’t like God’s presents.

    • Logan

      Happy Saturnalia!

  • Question-I-thority

    Prayer bombs and faith fields. Spew crap and prosper! Fox News – going boldly where no idjit has gone before.

    • Yoav

      Somebody already tried it. There was a bumper sticker in Israel during the first gulf war that said “Psalms against missiles” (although since the missiles came anyway I guess the field generated is not strong enough or otherwise Saddam had an Allah jammer to let his rockets cross the Yahwe force field ).

    • Mike Hitchcock

      I though British TV was bad – then we got cable…Fox. CNN. *sigh*

  • LRA

    Oh, ye naysayers! May you be touched by his noodly appendage! Nero the pirate and his band of scallywags set about to explore and give candy away, but alas a natural disaster correlated to shrinking pirate numbers got in the way.

    The FSM has spoken. rAmen.

  • Fentwin

    “Perhaps we need to recognize that these days, too, are days of wonders and miraculous signs”

    Miraculous signs? In the old days a miracle meant something; killing all the first born, splitting seas, plagues. Now old JC is lucky if he can muster an image in some toast.

    I really like the idea that faith builds technology. How many prayers per gallon is required to keep the space shuttle aloft?

    • Aspentroll

      “Miraculous signs? In the old days a miracle meant something; killing all the first born, splitting seas, plagues. Now old JC is lucky if he can muster an image in some toast.”
      Beautifully stated.

  • Reginald Selkirk

    Just remind them that Satan is also a gift from God…

    • Mike Hitchcock

      Is my atheism a gift from God?

      • Travis

        Of course it is, and I bet you never even thanked him for it. Thats pretty ungrateful, He probably put a lot of thought in that gift.

  • http://leavingreligion.wordpress.com leavingreligion

    FOX News is proof that idiotic theories are all around us.

  • Keith Watson

    You want force feilds? STOP CUTTING SCIENCE EDUCATION FUNDING.

    • Daniel Florien

      Force fields will come about through prayer, not science!! :)

  • Jexie

    If all knowledge comes from god as the article and bible state, then atheism is a gift from god as is evolution.

  • http://www.houseofzot.com Zotmaster

    “The signs [for God] are everywhere, folks”.

    Just not anywhere where they can be proven.

  • jynnan_tonnyx

    Using Star Trek to prove religion kinda makes sense:

    Trekkies = Undersexed social misfits obsessed with fiction
    Evangelicals = Undersexed social misfits obsessed with fiction

    Therefore, logically: Evangelicals = Trekkies.

    Makes sense to me.

  • http://thinkingforfree.blogspot.com Eamon Knight

    Inventing photon torpedoes and force fields? Using faith? Sounds like a project for the creation science folks to take on….

  • http://arkonbey.blogspot.com arkonbey

    Wow. Poe’s law in action.

  • David Buckna

    Fentwin said: “Miraculous signs? In the old days a miracle meant something; killing all the first born, splitting seas, plagues. Now old JC is lucky if he can muster an image in some toast.”

    The Bethsaida miracle – Jesus healing a blind man
    http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1282/is_n8_v49/ai_19336556/print

    Keith Mano writes: “As far as I can judge, this is irrefutable evidence that a miracle did occur at Bethsaida. Back in 30 A.D. the blind did not often receive sight: there were few, if any, eye surgeons and seldom a decent miracle-worker. No shill in the crowd could have faked it all by pretending to be blind — because only someone recently given his sight would see “men as trees, walking,” would see the Cubist jumble that Virgil told Oliver Sacks about. A faker, not knowing about post-blind syndrome, would have reported that Jesus had given him perfect vision.”

    • Daniel Florien

      Someone writes down a story a couple generations after an event happens, with no corroborating evidence, and that’s considered irrefutable evidence? Funniest thing I’ve heard all day.

      I guess you believe Muhammad ascended into heaven, too? And Joseph Smith was a prophet who was given golden tablets by an angel?

    • LRA

      Not to mention that if Jesus was God, then he absolutely WOULD give back perfect vision– not only by healing the eyes, but the visual cortex as well. Duh.

    • Len

      How would he have known what trees look like?

      • Daniel Florien

        Don’t wreck the story!

    • http://thinkingforfree.blogspot.com Eamon Knight

      Well, there’s a blast from talk.origins past…..
      Hi, Dave. I don’t think you’re going to make any more headway here than you did over there. Not with lame apologetics like that.

    • Fentwin

      You are supporting my point. Back then all JC had to do was spit in your eye and your blindness was cured. Now all we get are toasty images.

      • LRA

        And Cheetos– don’t forget Cheetos!

      • Daniel Florien

        Hey Jesus is pissed from doing all those things and then being crucified. We should be grateful for the Most Holy Toast!

        • rodneyAnonymous

          You can use it to make grilled cheese sandwiches on your Most Holy Griddle.

          • Andrew N.P.

            God makes images appear on bread.
            The George Foreman grill makes images appear on bread.
            Therefore, George Foreman is God.

            Prove me wrong, UF.

          • Fentwin

            The Father, son and holy toast?

            Bwahahahahaha…hack, cough…ha

  • rodneyAnonymous

    There is no chapel on the Enterprise. No earthly monetary system. I’m no Trekkie, but Gene Roddenberry had a pretty excellent vision of the future.

    • Reginald Selkirk

      There is no chapel on the Enterprise.

      You seem to be forgetting about nurse Chapel. I think old James T. worshipped there from time to time.

      • rodneyAnonymous

        There are a few oblique references to Federation religion in the original series, and effectively none after that. Roddenberry was explicitly anti-religious.

    • http://thinkingforfree.blogspot.com Eamon Knight

      Not sure if that’s exactly true. At the beginning of “Balance of Terror”, Kirk is conducting a wedding of two crew members. At the end of the episode, the bride is back in the same room…well, it’s a bit ambiguous what she’s doing, but her groom was killed in the battle, and IIRC there is some symbol (though not a cross) mounted on the wall. The room may have just been a generic assembly hall, not a dedicated chapel. And even non-theist cultures are likely to maintain ritual assemblies, with symbols (eg. the Unitarians and their lamp).

      Of course, there’s also the execrable ending of “Bread and Circuses”.

      • rodneyAnonymous

        OK, “there is no chapel on the Enterprise” is not true. That’s an exaggeration of my intended point: there is no organized worship like US Navy ships, or even really unorganized worship. The chapel is presumably there for marriages etc, and as you say it may have just been a generic assembly hall, not a dedicated chapel.

  • Gaytor

    Knowledge comes from God… Shenanigans. According to the Bible, Adam ate fruit from the tree of knowledge. All of mankind has been punished ever since. The Tower of Babel was set to reach the heavens (as if it were taller than the Burj Dubai) so he scattered them about and confused there languages.
    Consistently through the book and the actions of Christians down to the teachers (believe as a child) ignorance has been bliss. Knowledge from God… When they reconcile Abiogenesis happening in a lab with Genesis I’ll hear what the fundies have to say.

    • rodneyAnonymous

      So because knowledge comes from the forbidden fruit, and Eve was tempted into eating it by the serpent, Star Trek is a gift from Satan?

  • Spanky

    Wow, what a vivid imagination….

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  • RonnyGunz

    Excuse me? What does God need with a star ship?

    • Andrew N.P.

      *claps* You win this thread, sir.

    • Travis

      He’s been planing a sequel to the great flood, clearly. But this time it will be a space arc, just like in that star trek movie where they come back in time for whales. I know God said he’d never do another great flood, but thats corporate marketing speak for you. If he really wasn’t going to create another flood he would of simply said we do not comment on rumors and speculation. By outright denying it you know he’s planing it.

      I bet he’ll show it off in 2012.

  • http://thebeattitude.com theBEattitude

    Thanks for the link Daniel. I was in the middle of writing a post about a “relevant church” in Illinois doing a Star Trek themed sermon series. It is very comical and reads more like an attempt by the church to be irrelevant. This church may have been inspired by the FOX News revelation of this divine gift of Star Trek.

    If you want to check it out:
    http://thebeattitude.com/2009/05/15/here-we-go-again-the-church-is-attempting-to-be-hip-and-relevant/

    • Daniel Florien

      You scooped me, I have an article on that going live tomorrow.

      • http://thebeattitude.com theBEattitude

        I hope your still going to post it. I’m know you’ll have a completely different sarcastic perspective than I did. Besides, making fun of people is always more fun in groups.

  • Aspentroll

    Why would force fields be necessary, prayers work, don’t they?

  • hefty

    mmm circular logic. the strongest of them all.

  • Baconsbud

    Why does religion feel they have to get involved in anything people seem to like? I find it funny that they have to claim their god is involved in so much yet they then turn around and say how terrible science is. I guess they are just desperate to have their god in every thing.

    I don’t believe there is such a thing as a peacekeeping technology. All the weapons and technology that has ever been brought forward has never stopped war. If someone did come up with a force field that prevented missiles from hitting them, how long would it take for someone to come to power saying we need to destroy our enemies? I remember reading how the atomic bomb would stop wars according to some. I don’t know the numbers but a lot of people have died in wars since then.

  • DigitalChris

    Dear OP,
    You just got trolled. Come on; was some Faux News pundit REALLY contemplating this rubbish, or did he think “Boss wants me to bring 1 million hits to the site. Shit, what’s popular…. AHA! How about I combine Star Trek lovin with Fundie hatin!”

    Yours,
    Captain Obvious

    • rodneyAnonymous

      Um, did you do any research on this claim, or is it true because it sounds good?

      All sources point to: James P. Pinkerton is dead serious.

      It is possible that you are correct, but I don’t see what suggests that is probable, besides how ridiculous the article is.

      • Kodie

        Exactly how ridiculous was the article? The direct point of the article was taking a science-fiction idea like many others that actually have come to pass and wondering if and when we’ll be working on it and what good it might do. Don’t you ever think that? Does nobody wonder when the flying cars will be here? His ideas for these inventions were his own religious/political motives, but still. The ridiculous parts referenced god, the bible, and some miracles, and made a distinction between works of art and goals of science that god intended and a few that were obviously mistakes the humans made (did not please “god” or obviously wasn’t signed by him). And this part:

        “But today, too many of us are trained to think of technology as something different and mostly apart from spirituality. That’s unfortunate, because God created the geek and the nerd, too. Not to mention every tool, and every lifesaving device, and every form of protection.”

        He’s trying to summon nerd power to do his bidding. Star Trek isn’t a gift from god. He should ask god what’s taking so long, ’cause he believes in miracles and prayer and stuff. The human imagination has already the capacity to “invent” things fictitiously and realize some of them scientifically and technologically, this is not news. What I want to do with force-field technology and what he wants to do with force-field technology and if it ever will be, what others want to do with it is how it will be. Does he think other nations wouldn’t use it, it’s just for the U.S. and Israel? Anyway, if it were up to me, I say skip the force fields and just have clouds rain money (not your clouds, just mine).

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  • pa2rick

    James Pinkerton clearly has his phaser set to “stupid”.

  • http://blog.notdot.net/ Nick Johnson

    On an unrelated note, every time I come here from Google Reader, I get the “welcome, Googler” message (you might want to fix that) and think “wait, how did he know I’m a Googler?” until I realise you mean ‘someone who Googles’, not ‘someone who works at Google’ :P

  • claidheamh mor

    Xians have taken over (or close enough to it for me) the Ray Bradbury board. He is not xian, but they get on the board to pray for him to convert. Yech. Why is that unrelated, intrusive crap tolerated on that or any board? Apparently, enough of the ones running it are xian that they don’t control it to what it should be.

    So Gandhi or anyone else who voiced that concept was right: You have to have a certain moral (ethical) minimum in a society, or you will be unable to bring morality (ethics) about. Yes, I’m calling the xians on the board having nothing to do with their religion immoral and unethical.

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