Star Trek: the Next Generation

by Louis A. Turk, B.A., M.Div., Ph.D.

John was exhausted when he arrived home from work.  Alice, his wife, had also had a hard day.  They were both so tired they didn’t even feel like talking.  It was past meal time, and Alice hadn’t had time to even begin dinner.  To make matters worse, their children were squabbling with each other.  A little relaxation was badly needed.  They all decided to microwave some TV dinners, and watch "Star Trek" on their big screen as they relaxed in the den.  They were just one of millions of families—many of them Christian families—that watched "Star Trek" that evening, and they were spellbound as they watched Captain Kirk (or Captian Picard) guide his ship to planets inhabited by alien peoples.  Relaxed in their overstuffed chairs, the vast majority of these television viewers never even consider the implications of what they and their children are watching.  Their guard is down, the show is irresistably interesting, and only briefly during commercials do any of them take their eyes off that fascinating color picture.

What is the significance of "Star Trek" and "Star Trek the Next Generation?"  The March/April 1991 issue of The Humanist magazine answers this very question.  Virtually the whole issue of that magazine is devoted to an in-depth interview of Gene Roddenberry, the creator and producer of Star Trek.  The article begins like this:
 

Wow!  If a Baptist preacher had told his congregation that "Star Trek" was humanistic, would not many of them have denied it in anger?  Yet here is The Humanist magazine saying it loudly and clearly.  Certainly The Humanist magazine knows what a humanist is and believes if anybody does.
 

Humanist Principles Espoused In Star Trek

Among the many humanist principles held by Roddenberry and woven into the themes of his Star Trek shows are:
 

Atheism

Roddenberry’s mother raised him up in a Baptist church (Ibid., 6), but his father did not go to church.  Says Roddenberry, As a result of this negative influence from his father, Roddenberry became an atheist early in life.  Said Roddenberry: From those quotes we see how serious a mistake it is to lie to a child—about Santa Claus or anything else.  When a child realizes he can’t trust his parents about the existence of Santa Clause, he might start believing what his parent’s tell him about the existence of God too.  Also, Roddenberry’s confusion about why God doesn’t control Satan shows a great ignorance of the teachings of the Bible.  Human being can create robots with preprogrammed computer brains, but only God could create beings with free wills, able to choose between good and evil without His intervention.
 

Situation Ethics

Humanists hate the Bible, and therefore they deny the absoluteness of truth or morals.  This theme is constantly stressed on "Star Trek" as the following exerpt from the interview illustrates: Of course the "rule book" referred to above is the Bible.  It should extremely concern Christians to realize that "Star Trek" teaches our children "that there can be no justice so long as laws are absolute," for Biblical laws are the absolute laws  to which Rodenberry was referring.
 

Anti-Fundamental Christian Sentiment

When The Humanist asked Roddenberry his thoughts about the religious right and fundamentalism, he responded as follows: Fundamentalism, the way humanists define the word, means belief in revealed religion, that is, belief that the Bible is inspired of God and therefore inerrant.  What Is Roddenberry’s solution to protect society from all us "mean-spirited," limited-thinking, Bible belivers?  Why public education in humanist principles, of course!  If they can’t get us, then they will get our children.
 
Continues Roddenberry How amazingly twisted these humanists are!  Our public school system has turned from safe havens of learning into  terror zones of violence, drugs and sex since God and the Bible were thrown out.  Yet “more of the same” is the solution to the “strange, violent” ideas of Christianity?  What strange, violent ideas?  Our belief that murdering unborn babies is wrong?  Our belief that capital punishment is right for murderers, rapists, and kidnappers?  Our belief in spanking children when they are naughty?  Our belief in turning the other cheek in the face of religious persecution?  Brethren, public education is socialism and it is sin.  It is destroying our children.  It is humanistic and therefore atheistic.  It is our moral duty to oppose it.
 

Other Humanist Doctrines

Roddenberry also believes in the legalization of drugs (Ibid., 20), and the legitimacy of the gay lifestyle (Ibid., 25).  Not mentioned in the interview, but obvious to all who open pay attention to what they see on "Star Trek" are Roddenberry’s belief in evolution, the existence of human life on other planets (not possible if Adam was the "first man" as mentioned in 1 Cor 15.45), the belief that there will be no second-coming of Christ and no divine judgement upon sin.  Says Roddenberry: If Roddenberry’s philosophy is the philosophy you want your children to learn and to live by, fine: the heros and heroines of Star Trek are all humanists.  But if you want your children to grow up to believe in God and Jesus Christ, you had best not let your children watch "Star Trek."

Be sure to also read "Ye Must Be Born Again."


(C) Copyright 1994 by Louis A. Turk. All rights reserved. You may  reprint this article, provided you do not edit it in any way without the author's consent, and provided this paragraph is printed at the end of the article.  Other publication requires advance permission of the author.



Louis A. Turk, B.A., M.Div., Ph.D.

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