On Netflix tonight I watched an episode from the original series of Star Trek, "Bread and Circuses". Although I had seen this episode before, somehow I had missed an important detail.
WARNING: Spoiler Alert!
The creator of the series, Gene Roddenberry, had a vision of the future that was built on several
noble ideas, such as the brotherhood of all humans, and freedom and
equality for all, no matter their race or color or gender, and respect
for other cultures, and peace-seeking. The series often reflects that vision. In the middle of this episode,
Kirk all but makes the claim that all men are brothers, just as was claimed by a certain religion in the episode, which Kirk thought was a primitive
superstitious worship of the sun.
Later, at the end of the episode, Lt. Uhura explains to the bridge crew
what was in plain sight but which they had missed: it was not the sun in
the sky which this religion worshiped; rather, it was the Son of God
which it worshiped.
Kirk is awed at Uhura's revelation, and realizes
that just as Christianity, with its message of love and brotherhood and
peace, ended the Roman Empire's despotism and slavery on Earth, it was
beginning to do the same thing in this parallel culture on a similar but
alien planet. In contrasting Caesar and Christ, Kirk gave credit to
Christianity as being the driving force at ending slavery, hatred,
murder, war, and at elevating peace, brotherhood, freedom, equality -- it is the
foundation of the Roddenberry vision for the future.
Kirk essentially said that Christianity is what rescues worlds.
I was surprised. But quite pleased.