God shows up in Battlestar Galactica

Ok, so maybe I watch too much TV.

Actually, I don't watch very much TV at all. In fact, most of my TV watching lately is on DVD--Lost (which I've mentioned before) and now the new Battlestar Galactica.

First of all, I need to say that I don't think Battlestar Galactica is nearly as good a show as Lost. But it's still pretty good. If Lost is an A+, then Battlestar Galactica is a B+.

That said, I am really enjoying the show. And I'm especially intrigued by--you guessed it--the spiritual aspects of the show.

The strangest spiritual element in Battlestar Galactica is the Cylons' belief in God. The Cylons are the bad guys. They're basically robots who were created by humans, then rebelled against their human creators, and then evolved into a more organic, human-like creation (in fact, some of them look exactly like humans). But their deepest quest is to be human--to be alive.

Interestingly (and perhaps not surprisingly), the Cylons' God is made to sound very much like the Christian God. When they speak of God, they use a lot of "Christianese." Things like: "God loves you"; "You must repent"; "God simply wants your love"; etc., etc.

The humans, on the other hand, believe in the "Lords of Kobol." Theirs is a polytheistic religion, though exactly what they believe (or what the Cylons believe) is still unclear--at least in Season 1.

But I want to share one of the most interesting dialogues of the show so far. It takes place between Commander Adama (Edward James Olmos) and President Roslin (Mary McDonnell). Adama has told the fleet that he knows where Earth is, the legendary homeworld of humankind, and that he is taking this remnant of humanity there. In reality, Adama has no idea where Earth is, and Roslin knows this. In fact, Adama doesn't even believe Earth exists. He told the fleet this only to give them hope.

Roslin, on the other hand does believe that Earth exists. Here's the brief interchange between them in a scene from the episode, "Kobol's Last Gleaming, Part 1."
Adama: There is no Earth. You understand that.

Roslin: Commander, just because you and I don't know where Earth is doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
Now that's a great illustration of what faith is! Hebrews 11:1 says, "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see."

There you go. Just because you can't see something doesn't mean that it's not there. Just because God's presence isn't always evident doesn't mean that God isn't there.

I love the way that God makes surprise appearances even in silly sci-fi shows like Battlestar Galactica.


Jonathan Watson said...

The one thing that's bothered me about BG is their portrayal of the Cylons' religion. Makes me cringe that they're trying to equate their religion that permits mass killing with Christianity. But, it's science fiction, so I can gloss over it... :)

JusticeSeeker said...

RATS! I was thinking about doing this week's Friday Review (on Presbyterian Bloggers' ring page) on Battlestar since its season premiere is this Friday.

When you mentioned Christianese, you forgot a few. The Cylons' God's first commandment to the Cylons was to go forth and multiply. Oh, and he wants to have a personal relationship with them.

The religious elements, especially the dichotomy (hopefully) to the audience of the bad guys being Christian and the good guys being pagan, has really been toned down; and I regret that. I think the series is weaker for it.

What little I have heard about the upcoming season is that the Cylons are going to begin a trend towards a form of humanism. Don't really know, but I am looking forward to finding out.

What I find hysterical is that the religious press has completely missed this Christians as bad guys story line.

Justice Seeker

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