Religious Freedom and Stark Trek

starfleetOne vision of the future involves the advancement of scientific thought, the proliferation of world peace, and an abandonment of religious dogma.  Many hope for (and some Christians fear) a future in which the logic and reason of science leads to the death of faith.  Perhaps you wouldn’t know it by reading this blog, but I am a big fan of Star Trek.  There are several things I try not to make a habit of posting on, sci fi being one of them.  For those of you familiar with the Star Trek universe, please consider the level of religious tolerance in that particular view of the future.

Despite the advanced level of science and technology on Vulcan, that culture remains deeply rooted in the traditions of their past.  Ancient temples and philosophies are revered.  Even after joining the Federation, Klingons continue to meditate, keep ancient festivals, and even expect the return of Kahless (a messianic figure who parallels Christ in many ways.).  Captain Sisko of DS9 is also the Bajoran “Emissary of the Prophets” and bearer of a mysterious orb.  The Voyager series introduced us to Chakotay, a Star Fleet officer of Native American decent.  Although he rebelled against his spiritual heritage as a boy, he would eventually have visions and talk to animal spirits.  All without a conflict with what he knew of scientific investigation.  By the 24th century, Starships have traversed much of the galaxy at many times the speed of light, allowing contact with thousands of species and cultures.  And yet we do not witness religious persecution or mockery between scientific minds and primitive folk beliefs.  Even as scientists witness the birth and death of star systems, they hold their own religious convictions in high regard.    

Gene Roddenberry envisioned a future in which nations and worlds co-existed without losing one’s cultural identity.  And that mutual respect extended to religious belief and practice.  Just a thought.  Is your idea of the future so optimistic?

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