Science Fiction and religion
seem strangely related to me. I am a dedicated fan of Star Trek and the new revised Battlestar Galactica. I am also a dedicated student of religion. It’s something to do with the leaps into the big themes: death, time, love, right vs. wrong. My favorite Star Trek episodes are the ones where time folds and the Enterprise encounters itself from a time before or a time ahead. And so, when I read a long discussion on writer Dawn Potter’s facebook page about Star Trek and literature (Hamlet and Milton), I was thrilled. Usually, my sci fi friends don’t know Milton. And, my Milton friends don’t know Spock. But Dawn’s friends were actually parsing Star Trek. Many of us agreed that we also liked Star Trek The Next Generation. My theory is that Captain Picard and his comrades are like unitarians in space (in pajamas). Actually, this is my friend Paul’s theory and he is a Unitarian (when he feels like it), so he should know. Anyways, he says that we (he and I and other liberal religious people, like most Unitarians) share Picard’s politics. We try to embrace all cultures, never want to harm anyone, or take away from any culture’s (or planet’s) right of self-determination. And yet, if anyone misbehaves, we understand that we have to take action of some kind. Always, force is the last recourse, though. That’s a little different from Star Trek 1, I think, but the cold war was over by 1986 when Next Generation began. Is that the right date? I think so, but I am sure some Next Generation person will correct me if I am wrong.