As I have watched the episodes of Star Trek through the years, as with almost all Sci Fi shows, books and movies, there is a deeply ingrained secular, humanistic approach to them. Never having the chance to meet the man, I would probably assume Gene Roddenberry himself shared this same philosophy.
Nevertheless, throughout the series’ runs there was always that underlying sense of almost pity towards those who followed any type of religion. In fact, at times it went so far where conspicuous religious symbols were ordered to be removed from officers, so long as they did not conform to StarFleet’s uniform code. (TNG – Ensign Ro) And this despite the fact Worf stood on the bridge wearing a Klingon sash. So, in Star Trek, is there a difference between religious symbols in Ro Laren’s case, and value symbols, as in Worf’s case?
Where I am living, this concept of core values and a strong push towards secularism has become a focal-point of our local media and a heated topic of debate. Otherwise known as the Charter of Quebec Values, this Charter would inevitably deny the right to work those who choose to wear any conspicuous religious symbol in public arenas, such as hospitals, daycare centers, schools, and any other public institutions. However, religious symbols deemed part of the Quebec value system would remain untouched, such as the cross in our National Assembly and the large lit cross on top of Mount Royal in Montreal.
Now, personally I’ve never been religious, but have participated in quite a few religious ceremonies from different religions. By participating, my core values were never changed, but I did learn something from each one that I attended. With many religions having been around for millenia, I find it difficult to believe that 400 years fom now all religion would be wiped out on earth. Changed, perhaps. Wiped out, no.
So this week’s question deals with religion in Star Trek and on earth in particular. Is religion being suppressed in the Star Trek universe or are those who are religious just not allowed to hold high positions in public institutions, such as the military (StarFleet)? Has the secular way of life in Star Trek just so overpowering that those who still practice religion are shunned and perhaps forced to practice underground? Or do you believe that religion is still very strong in the Star Trek universe, but we just don’t see it on screen? Or is there something else going on in the Star Trek universe that we are just not aware of? So head on down to the forums. We’d love to hear from you!