[LMB] SF Inventions I want

Beatrice Otter beatrice_otter at zoho.com
Mon Sep 7 05:44:04 BST 2020

---- On Sun, 06 Sep 2020 20:44:13 -0700 Joel Polowin <jpolowin at hotmail.com> wrote ----

Eric Oppen <mailto:ravenclaweric at gmail.com> wrote:
> I'd thought that it was canon that religion didn't exist in the Federation
> any more.  Did I err?

Bajor's prospective joining of the Federation was a big plot element
for much of _DS9_, and I don't recall any suggestion that they would
have to abandon their big-plot-element religion to do so.


Star Trek is weird about religion. Berman and Braga (the show-runners of TNG, Voyager, and the first three seasons of Enterprise) were very much liberal white atheists who think religion is superstition and Christianity sucks and that religion is something smart people move beyond. However, they also didn't want to be racist, so Chakotay had "native spirituality." Except that the way Chakotay was created was suuuuuuper racist. He never got a specific tribe because all Native Americans are the same, right? And he was played by a Latino actor because all brown people are the same, right? And when there was any episodes dealing with his spirituality, it was generic New Agey stuff with a mishmash of Native American stereotypes, because again, all Native Americans are the same, right?

Meanwhile, DS9 was Ron Moore's baby, and *he* loves religion. But also, he doesn't know much about non-Christian religions, so both the Bajoran religion and the religions in Battlestar Galactica are very definite commentary on American Christianity. And in DS9, it's clear that the "religion is superstition, everything has a scientific rational answer" is not Federation policy, but rather the worldview of most Humans and Starfleet officers.

Beatrice Otter

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