That is a rather long episode of the Fan Series Star Trek Phase II. I apologize on the length but it was the only clip of the specific scene that I could find on this specific subject. If you want to skip to the scene itself skip to 52:26.
Now this specific scene talks about that specific incarnation of James T. Kirk saying that “Space is not the Final Frontier, it is the human soul, Space is where we’ll meet the challenge.” This line frankly blew me away. It was a line that was both surprisingly succinct and powerful. One of the most powerful single lines that I have seen from any Star Trek production let alone a fan series. One that is made with a pretty high quality to boot but that is just a testament to the occasional pearls of brilliance.
But at the end of the day I have to wonder if we are actually beating this thing, if we are rising to the noble objectives of that statement. And I have to wonder if we are largely because Star Trek.
No wonder I don’t like Star Trek too much with that kind of clap trap. Though I suppose there is nothing wrong with the clip in and of itself. What they are proposing to do was quite monstrous and Picard should be righteously indignant about it.
But no its really the comments. I have read in that comment section everything from saying that they are surprised that Trek was made in the eighties, at the height of Conservatism, to any one of a million comments. You can still probably see one of them at the top. “Religion gone? Make it so…” I have seen similar sentiments expressed about both the Judaic and Christian religions, and then just religion in general. Going on and on and on and on about how religion is either mentally deficient in some way shape or form. Or wishing it wasn’t there, or wishing that the religious could all sink into some pit or be put into some mental institution. Or snide comments about ‘oh why am I living in a state surrounded by those people.’
On and on and on it goes.
And this kind of bigotry and this kind of sentiment apparently comes from one place. And that place seems to be in this case, oddly enough, Star Trek.
A show that has preached diversity from day one by having a black woman at communications, an Asian at the helm, a Russian at the navigation station, and an alien science officer, a show that has continued to push the boundries, encouraging this kind of rhetoric? It seems inconceivable but yet it seems to be happening.
And I can’t think of an example of this in any other single show that I have seen. Nor any other Science Fiction Universe. Not Babylon 5 which showed a scene at the end of an episode where Jeffery Sinclair introduced the alien species to a representative of each one of Earth’s major religions. Not Doctor Who which had the Doctor say ‘sometimes really impossible things happen and we call them miracles’. Not Farscape.
Even Stargate SG-1 showed a lot more sensitivity to religion…and they were battling a race of false gods! When Samantha Carter said something along the lines of ‘out of all the gods out there I sure hope one of them is real.’
None of these shows has done this. Granted they also have their moments where they portray power-hungry Gods, or demi gods or their followers who would use their power as a club. But they always balanced it out.
So again I ask…are we failing the challenge? It sure seems that way to me.
I don’t care who you are. Atheist, Libertarian, Gay, Straight, Conservative, Liberal, Christian or Jew, we all deserve to be treated with respect and to be heard out. By one another.
To have our ideas heard and at least be tolerated. Fine we can disagree and fine we don’t always have to let you into our little clubs or marry you or anything. But to at least have the conversation.
People who claim to be of the highest tolerance, Star Trek fans, seem to be very intolerant for anyone who holds a different political, moral, or religious ideology.
So I put the question to you, are they failing the challenge? Are we?