To Boldly Go…Away from Religion

July 3, 2009

TOSopeninglogo

I realize the Friendly Atheist has already posted this but I found this article by Nick Farrantello in The Humanist magazine so compelling I have to include it (especially so close to Independence Day since it’s about personal freedom). feel free to call me a copy-cat, FA fans.

Oddly but accurately titled “Star Trek Made Me an Atheist,” Farrantello shows how the original series (TOS to Trekkie Geeks) made him compare the worldview of the USS Enterprise crew with what he saw around him in religious institutions.

He writes: [A]s a boy I found it increasingly hard to understand why Christians weren’t acting the way Kirk and Spock were. If there was a God, some being causing earthquakes and hurling hurricanes, why wouldn’t Christians (or Jews or Muslims for that matter) fight against such a being? What I was learning on Star Trek seemed more moral to me than what I was learning in church.

I really have no other commentary to add. Well said.

For me, the pinnacle of the article is Farrantello’s inclusion of this classic Kirk monologue from the episode “Who Mourns for Adonis?”

[Remember] who and what you are: a bit of flesh and blood afloat in a universe without end. And the only thing that’s truly yours is the rest of humanity. That’s where our duty lies!

Such a profound statement from such an often-campy space opera reminds us all why the show was so far ahead of its time (and maybe our time).

Live long and prosper…




Another reason to move to North Carolina…

July 2, 2009

OK, so maybe we in North Carolina have our own problems — textile industry meltdown, political corruption and an unavoidable obsession with college basketball. But, in my meaner (but lighthearted) moments, I can always reflect on a stressful day with the mantra “At least I don’t live in South Carolina.” OK, I’m only half kidding (I truly don’t like the climate in S.C. but other than that don’t hold much against the Palmetto State). But a blogger at Rant and Reason did a great job of beating up his or her home state so I wouldn’t have to lift a cyber-finger. Among the blogger’s complaints:

  • Once again, my state is in the national spot light because of our governor’s Argentinian escapade. Sanford, in all his hypocrisy, has added yet another stain on the edifice of our already tainted reputation as a state. It makes me wonder just how much worse it could possibly get for South Carolina when a supposed family man with “good Christian values,” a powerful spot as chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association, and a shot at the 2012 Republican nomination can stoop so low.
  • Only in South Carolina can a state legislative body unanimously pass a measure creating a state-sponsored “I Believe” license plate with a superimposed cross on it to the exclusion of other options and faiths
  • In the movie Borat, featuring Sacha Baron Cohen, the racist and misogynistic students in the RV came straight from a frat house at the University of South Carolina (the school I currently attend).

Take heart, my neighbor to the south, you still have Stephen Colbert, a funny collegiate mascot name (Gamecocks) and Charleston (I won’t mention Hootie and the Blowfish but they did record a few songs I liked — there, I said it and I’m not taking it back).