1. Tim Brown says:

    While I didn’t care much for the series in general (I know, blasphemy!), at least Babylon 5 gave a nod to religions (yeah, mostly as quaint little customs, but better than most SF). The almost complete lack of any religion is one big reason why my interest in SF and fantasy dwindled over the years. I’ll have to check out your work!

  2. Kathy Eavenson says:

    I also thought of Babylon Five while reading this article. And if I remember correctly the creator/producer/head honcho (whose name escapes me) was actually agnostic, at best. And he represented religion more fully than the others. Whooda thunk it?

  3. Travis Perry says:

    Yeah, Steve, I see the exclusion of religion from views of the future in science fiction as almost a form of wish fulfillment by science fiction authors–they don’t care for religion, so they want to portray it as having gone away. Or, alternatively, they perceive religion as not representing anything other than temporary cultural arraignments (caused by superstitious people) and so they create new religions, often wacky ones, as in Mad Max Fury Road.

    I think simply putting Christian characters into futuristic contexts in stories affirms that Christianity represents something more than a cultural whim (it represents God in action), that it will continue to exist, no matter what. I think portraying Christians in science fiction stories, even if they are in no other way Christian, is a worthy goal.

    Though I have to say, I felt the premise of your book, For Us Humans, struck me at first as if you were agreeing that Christianity is so fragile or such a particular societal construct that it would not survive contact with aliens…which I think a lot of people who are science fiction fans imagine to be true. But it was good to see in the end that the story was more like, “EVEN IF meeting aliens destroyed Christianity, it would rebound.”

    Keep up the good work!

    • Steve Rzasa says:

      Thanks, Travis. I agree with your take on it being “wish fulfillment”, for sure. I appreciate your comments about For Us Humans. What I was shooting for was the implication that there are “believers” who would fall from the faith, not necessarily that Christianity was fragile – because, after all, Christ’s teachings are far more durable than his followers are.

  4. Princesselwen says:

    The first example I can think of when I think of Christians in sci-fi is David Weber. The two series’ I’ve read (or am reading) of his are Honor Harrington and Safehold. A few mold SPOILERS follow:

    The Honor Harrington books have the planet Grayson, which was settled by a church whose members left earth due to a religious schism over the use of technology. Then their new planet turned out to have an extremely toxic environment, and their church winds up splitting again. They’re generally portrayed positively as smart, brave, and loyal people (there are some bad ones, but that’s true for every world in the Honorverse).
    Safehold is . . . another thing altogether. As a last-ditch effort to save humanity from aliens, the survivors are hidden on another planet. But then some of the leaders go too far, and decide that the only way to save humanity is to create a false religion to suppress all modern technology, while also setting themselves up as archangels to be worshipped. The main conflict of the series revolves around those who believe them (even nine centuries later, when they aren’t around anymore) and those who know the truth.

  5. Dona says:

    I agree with the way you write. In my opinion not having Christians in a story is ludicrous because God and Christianity are reality. People getting saved may happen in a story but can also be too sappy. I haven’t read any of your books yet but because of your philosophy, I’ll definitely give them a try. Humanists have been thinking Christianity would evaporate all along since Jesus and the Pharisees. Happily, they are wrong! God says the last enemy to go before Christ returns is death, meaning humanism dies before that. We have victory on earth during real time, not just once Christ returns. (That’s a story idea for you. ?) 1 Corinthians 15:24-26. May God continue to bless your work. Looking forward to meeting you one day, in Heaven. ???

  6. Clever and imaginative as he was–he loved his fellow humans–Gene Roddenberry was a secular humanist. Expecting him to praise Christianity is unrealistic. Like reading the Divine Comedy for astronomy lessons.

    The reason the Federation respected the religions of various planets they visited was they opposed interfering with the evolutionary process. When the humanoids had evolved enough they would realize how silly and illogical religion was just like the Vulcans and humans had.

  7. You might like the books by Karina Fabian, especially _Discovery_ which features interesting nuns in space.

  8. Paul Mastin says:

    You wrote: “The double-standard, of course, is that alien religions are treated with curiosity and respect. It’s part of the credo of the United Federation of Planets, this approval of diversity.”
    This is not sci-fi or the future. I’ll fix it: “The double-standard of American liberals, of course, is that non-Christian religions are treated with curiosity and respect. It’s part of the credo of liberalism, this approval of diversity.”
    The world we live in today.

What do you think?