One of the upsides of being off sick is that I’ve watched a bit of Star Trek. In fact I have viewed all 695 episodes of the Original Series, Next Generation, DS9, Voyager and Enterprise. I’ve just finished this Easter weekend. All I haven’t seen are the films, as they’re not on Netflix.
I love the Star Trek ethos, the universe and philosophy developed by the makers. There are many sci-fi dystopian visions of the future. Over population (as in Logan’s Run or Soylent Green) or aliens out to eat you (as in the Alien films) or technology gone wrong (Terminator or Matrix).
Star Trek foresees a much more positive view of the future, a heading towards a society where money is not needed because we freely share the universe’s resources. Where different races and planets unite in a Federation of Planets, where cultural differences are celebrated in a common search for truth.
True, there are some folk who don’t get the vision. Like the Borg, who value technological enhancements without emotion, or the Dominion who look down on all solid lifeforms as inferior to their shape shifting form. But in the Star Trek universe these competing insular philosophies always lose compared to the open, tolerant, united vision of the Federation.
Now I’m not sure if this ties in with my politics or my faith. Actually, it’s a bit tricky to see what comes first. My politics are left of centre where we are trying to build a better world. A world where I can disagree with people and still be part of the same tolerant society. This is the Liberal Democrat vision of an open, tolerant, united society.
My faith recounts Jesus standing up in the synagogue and reading the prophecy of Isaiah. He quotes,
Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
He then sits down and proclaims that He is the fulfilment of this vision. So for me, as I try to follow Jesus of Nazareth, I’m also following a Lib Dem vision of freedom and a Star Trek vision of healing and progress.
As Jesus would have said, “Live long and prosper.”