Magi Mike's Blog

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Religion as Science Fiction: Will Christians be Left Behind?

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Scott Brown, an American scifi (science fiction) fan, criticized American scifi films thus:

There’s a fix I just don’t get from mainstream American science fiction, perhaps because of its grinding obsession with the imperialistic—and its depressive sibling, the dystopic—not to mention its wearisome push for ever shinier effects. Like its cousin American religion, American scifi is fixated on final battles, ultimate judgement—particularly on questions of control and leadership—and a vote on the whole good/evil issue. Even the most morally restless imaginings—the Losts and Battlestars— eventually prolapse into Bruckheimeresque excerpts from the Book of Revelation.

The US scifi fan says, as an antidote to US apocalyptic pseudosci religiofi, he turns to the UK’s Doctor Who…

a fussy 900 year old neurotic who’s part Ancient Mariner, part Oxford don, with a whimsical fashion sense, a close acquaintance with defeat and futility, and a tendency to rattle on. He subscribes to no Force like creed. No enlightened military Federation stands behind him, photon torpedoes at the ready—indeed, his race, the Time Lords, is more or less extinct. His signature gizmo isn’t a blaster or a phaser but a souped up screwdriver. His Millennium Falcon? The Tardis, which looks to the unschooled like an old telephone booth. It’s actually a police call box, a relic from the ’50s, and the ship’s most spectacular feature isn’t artillery, it’s feng shui—it’s bigger on the inside. The Doctor is courageous and heroic, sure, but in the Mèdecins Sans Frontiéres vein…

Andrew C Bulhak’s blog, noting this, summarises that “American scifi is, at worst, shaped by imperial bombast and triumphalism, and at best saddled with the weight of manifest destiny, whereas British scifi is shaped by the pathos of faded glory and the possibilities opened by not having a heroic destiny, and is so much richer for it”. Quite true, but what is more interesting is the way the obsession Americans have with religion feeds through into scifi. Or is it that their apocalyptic scifi obsessions conditions their Rambo Christianity?

Christ was, of course, obsessed with apocalypse himself. He thought the world was going to end and set out to warn his fellow Jews that they had better start behaving as God’s Chosen People were meant to. They were meant to be blessed or holy, like God, that is free of sin, so that they would be admitted into God’s kingdom—a Jewish kingdom—so they had to repent of their sins first, then stick to being sinless until the apocalypse had happened. If they were sincere, they would have been saved, but being sinless was no easy matter, Christ kept reminding them. The gateway to hell was much wider than the narrow gate to heaven.

American Christians now believe that God’s kingdom is the USA, and all of them, because of their magical “faith”, are automatically free of sin and so saved—they will enter the post apocalyptic theocracy—but Jews will only if they accept Christianity! None of them stop to consider that the salvation of Christians was invented by Paul to allow his novel religion to spread in the Roman world, after the Jewish War virtually put paid to the original Church of James the brother of God. Christ was God, but US Christians would rather believe Paul, a man, and ignore much that Christ said. If Paul is the Nicolae Carpathia of the Christian Left Behind books, then he is the Antichrist, and Christians are really antiChristians. Perhaps they should think that they might not be melting the bad guys at the end, but they will be getting melted down themselves.

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Written by mikemagee

24 November, 2009 at 9:58 pm

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