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New Star Trek honchos tell star: No mentioning God; we want a universe where He doesn't exist
Much like . . . just about every other mainstream series.
I've been talking for nearly four years about the universe of mainstream television, where God doesn't exist and plays no serious role in anyone's life. In fact, you will often hear television characters refer to "the universe" itself as their de facto god.
So it's no surprise to me that the new Star Trek series is applying the exact same principle, and doing so quite literally, to the point where an ad lib by star Jason Issacs was smacked down because it included the phrase "for God's sake." Mainstream television isn't just disregarding God. It's militantly going to war against even the most offhand reference to Him:
The imposing Captain Gabriel Lorca strides across the Starship Discovery bridge, squinting at the raging battle on the viewscreen, rattling off orders to his crew with rapid precision. There’s a Federation ship under attack by Klingons, and the Discovery is rushing to join their fight. “Lock on the Bird of Prey!” Lorca barks. “Basic pattern Beta 9. Hard to port! Fire at something, for God’s sakes!”
The Klingons blast the Discovery. Lorca and his shipmates lurch hard to one side. The high-tech set’s thousands of lights flicker anxiously, conveying the ship’s wounds.
The director halts the action and Lorca, played by British actor Jason Isaacs of Harry Potter fame, steps off the stage. The episode’s writer, Kirsten Beyer, approaches to give a correction on his “for God’s sakes” ad lib.
“Wait, I can’t say ‘God’?” Isaacs asks, amused. “I thought I could say ‘God’ or ‘damn’ but not ‘goddamn.’ ”
Beyer explains that Star Trek is creator Gene Roddenberry’s vision of a science-driven 23rd-century future where religion basically no longer exists.
“How about ‘for f—’s sake’?” he shoots back. “Can I say that?”
“You can say that before you can say ‘God,’ ” she dryly replies.
Understand now how things work around here? In a "science-driven" 23rd century, God has left the building, or was never there in the first place according to the vision of Gene Roddenberry, at least as understood by modern-day writers like Kirsten Beyer.
Dropping an f-bomb is perfectly fine, but even acknowledging the concept of God is so verboten that production will be stopped and you will be thoroughly chastened. Don't. Say. That. Again.
If you find this shocking, though, you haven't been paying attention. The only role God ever plays on mainstream television is as a foil. Christian characters may be depicted, but they're depicted as simple-minded dupes who are easily led by scheming charlatans into hating gays, women, minorities, the poor . . . whoever. Good luck finding anything on mainstream television that includes a serious role for God in the story. He's been rooted out of the TV universe for some time now, and all Kirsten Beyer is doing is demonstrating how safe she feels being this militant about making sure it stays that way.
None of this should be a surprise. Secular creative types dream of a world with no God, which to them means no moral boundaries. They don't mind treating "the universe" as their pseudogod because "the universe" doesn't regard their behavior as sin and doesn't hold them to account for it. It also doesn't want them in church on Sunday morning when they'd rather be sleeping off whatever they did on Saturday night (or even worse, watching Meet the Press).
But this made-up world is far from reality. Real stories of people as they actually are would acknowledge the role of God, and of people's faith in Him, in the normal course of life. It takes a pretty militant effort to root this out of the universe you've decided to create for television, but Hollywood has done it very thoroughly.
Makes you think, doesn't it?
Dan's new novel, BACKSTOP, is a story of spiritual warfare and baseball. Download it from Amazon here!