“Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side”– Han Solo
The way religion is portrayed in sci-fi is sometimes the worst of straw men. Just a few examples include Good Omens, American Gods, Raised By Wolves, and the entire concept of “The Force” in the Star Wars universe.
These aren’t religions. They’re crayon sketches of a religion drawn by someone with only a passing knowledge of (or deep experience with) an actual religion. They’re pediatric theology canonized into a sci-fi framework meant from the start to highlight a pre-conceived set of flaws.
As geeks, our (valid) enjoyment of the sci fi story unwittingly undermines our potential enjoyment of religion and religious experiences. But, as RELIGIOUS geeks, we now have to overcome this perception of religions being completely illogical, appealing to the small of mind and weak of intellect.
BUT… as IT folks with a strong connection to an organized faith system, we also have the opportunity to point out these flaws and help others see them as such. We don’t need to re-write the Bene Gesseri order any more than we need to make the magic of Harry Potter adhere to the laws of physics. But by engaging our fellow nerds on the subject, we can encourage them to more critically assess the story’s (and therefore their own) pre-conceived notions.
Tune in tomorrow to hear what Leon Adato, Justin Dearing, and Jason Carrier have to say on the subject.