In the new Star Trek: Discovery TV series Captain Gabriel Lorca, played by Jason Isaacs, strides across the Starship Discovery bridge in the midst of a battle against the Klingons, and says ‘fire at something, for God’s sakes!
According to Entertainment, the director abruptly halts the action and Isaacs, of Harry Potter fame, steps off the stage. The episode’s writer, Kirsten Beyer, then explains why Isaacs’ ad-libbed line is unacceptable.
“Wait, I can’t say ‘God’?” Isaacs asks, amused. “I thought I could say ‘God’ or ‘damn’ but not ‘goddamn’.”
Beyer explains that Star Trek is creator Gene Roddenberry’s vision of a science-driven 23rd-century future where religion basically no longer exists.
“How about ‘for fuck’s sake’?” he shoots back. “Can I say that?”
“You can say that before you can say ‘God,’ ” she drily replies.
The Telegraph takes the story further.
This won’t be news to many devoted Trekkies, however, as Roddenberry’s atheism has long been acknowledged within the series.
Its most notable depiction was in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode Who Watches the Watchers?, in which Captain Jean-Luc Picard is mistaken for a god by a primitive civilisation that had long-since rejected religion. Picard says:
Millennia ago, they abandoned their belief in the supernatural. Now you are asking me to sabotage that achievement, to send them back into the dark ages of superstition and ignorance and fear? No!
Roddenberry himself was raised as a Baptist, but began to reject his faith in his teenage years, later identifying as a Humanist. He once told Humanist Magazine:
I guess from that time it was clear to me that religion was largely nonsense, largely magical, superstitious things. In my own teen life, I just couldn’t see any point in adopting something based on magic, which was obviously phony and superstitious.
I can’t say I didn’t care about it or examine it; I just let it pass lightly over me. Religion was so full of inconsistencies that I could see no point in arguing each inconsistency out. It was background noise that you ignore.
It’s hardly surprising that Star Trek – and Sci-Fi in general – is regarded as “dangerous” by Christian fundamentaloons. This from David Laughlin, writing for Answers in Genesis:
Although science fiction has predicted a number of useful technologies, the genre is permeated with unrealism, humanism, occultism, New Age philosophy, Eastern mysticism and evolutionism which are of no value in the real world and are condemned in the Scriptures. It is because science fiction has its roots in evolution that the false belief systems mentioned have emerged and thrive in the genre.
An hysterical Creation Science Study blog has a piece entitled “Star Wars is for Sinners”, and explains that:
The show came from the mind of a perverted atheist who we know is burning in Hell, and it has also spawned a bunch of films from godless Hollywood … In addition, the marketing of Star Trek through the secular media was also used to make the worship of the occultism popular in America! … Star Trek is riddled with ungodly themes, and it time for us Christians to stand up against the evils in our media and take it back for Christ.
Of course its “ungodly” themes include homosexuality:
Homosexuality is also rampant in the series. A cult of males, known as The Borg, is a reference to the alliance of homosexual men who were in defiance to God during the times of Saddam (sic) and Gomorrah.
Apparently Patrick Stewart’s character who loves to cross-dress joins this unholy cult for reasons that are obvious, since he is known to be friends with Ian McClellan (sic) who is known for committing acts of homosexuality. Actor George Takei is also known for committing homosexual acts and it is said his performance in Star Trek was used to further the Gay Agenda in America.
If Laughlin is correct in asserting “science fiction has always been a very effective medium for promoting humanistic values”, let have more of it. Lot’s more. But, please, put the Alien franchise to rest. Ridley Scott said he wanted to “scare the shit out of people” with his latest movie Alien: Covenant. It bored the shit out me.
Alien: Covenant is a mess of a movie, one that tries to balance Scott’s high-minded cosmic deliberations with schlocky B-movie aesthetics. In the end, it does neither very well, resulting in a languid film that serves no real purpose. Our poor Xenomorph deserves much better than this.