It’s almost Easter! So how about a little post on Christianity and science fiction?
I recently read this article: Christianity vs. Science Fiction
I must admit, with all the political correctness going on the sci-fi world (perhaps from the strange recent mainstream popularity of “geekdom”, mostly comprised on wannabes who consider themselves geeks because they have an iPad, use social media, and enjoy some sci-fi based thing (not that I mind sci-fi going mainstream in and of itself, only that the new crowds are helping to shape sci-fi’s future in ways I find inane)), I was expecting this to be an article about why Christianity is somehow incompatible with the enlightened scientific progress of sci-fi.
But, thankfully, no! The article reads:
On the other hand, I have to wonder where all this Christian animosity in Science Fiction & Fantasy has come from. Sure, I realize there are a lotta overzealous religious types spewing hatred on a daily basis, instead of the compassion and respect Jesus preached. But c’mon, has it really been that bad? No one alive today was ever tortured to death in the Inquisition (unless you believe in reincarnation) so why is it often used as an example of how bad Christians are? Shouldn’t non-Christians take the high road and not follow in the footsteps of history’s worst “Christians”? Get some compassion, not some contempt.
I’m digressing… the point here really is, where has Jesus gone in the Science Fiction & Fantasy world? He was once there, you know.
SF/F fans, what really is so bad about Christianity? (The Biblical teachings of Jesus, not the televangelist pleas for donations). There seems to be a recent trend to exclude or discredit Christianity in Science Fiction.
I think it’s really part of an ancient trend of trying to exclude or descredit Christianity in general.
But in terms of Christianity vs science (and sci-fi by extension), I think there are a few common fundamental misunderstandings of what both actually are.
“If Christianity teaches that I am a sinner, then it condemns me, and that is evil!” No, it calls you to recognize your sins in order to redeem you, because you are worthy of it.
“Science explains things!” No, science is a method of correcting incorrect explanations in order to do something useful, not a system of creating or verifying explanations. Science fiction seems to suggest that Science! somehow provides some magical systems in and of itself that makes scientific progress achievable. So if only more people would do some Science! life would be easier and there’d be more technology, and maybe more world peace. It’s a bit like thinking Math! will build skyscrapers. Sorry, no. Progress still relies on human ingenuity, imagination, and interest.
“Christianity doesn’t explain things!” No, it does not explain physical phenomena, nor does it seek to. It calls you to have faith in what you already feel in your heart: that love is real, that there is a real moral difference between right and wrong, and that you are worth something and will live forever. You will never be able to experience any physical phenomena that can prove or disprove this to you; you can only choose to believe it or not.
I reckon there are darker reasons Christianity is frowned upon, such as pride and self-righteousness and the worshipping of money, fame, the physical body, etc. They have to condemn Christianity lest they condemn themselves. And they are masters at self-deception, like alcoholics in denial, so they see themselves as the honest ones.
So the anti-Christian sci-fi author thinks: “We are smarter than people were hundreds of years ago, so in the future, people will be smarter still! So, since Christianity is obviously false, it will be much more apparent in the future. Either people will be smart and less Christian, or what Christians remain will be very obviously stupid.”
Which amounts to little more than a pat-myself-on-the-back “I told ya so!” story.