Apparently, God has been banned from “Star Trek: Discovery” so thoroughly that the actors are not even allowed to reference him in dialogue. IO9, quoting Entertainment Weekly, notes a story in which Jason Isaacs adlibbed “For God’s sakes!” He got a lecture from the episode’s writer, Kristen Beyer, that religion had been abolished in the future of “Star Trek” and that Gene Roddenberry, a militant atheist, had a dim view toward the idea of God, believing that an enlightened society will have abolished the concept to such a degree that no one would even reference him.

In fact, Ms. Beyer is gravely mistaken.

Religion and ‘Star Trek’

Ex Astris Scientia has an exhaustive article about the relation of "Star Trek" with religion and the numerous references to religious faith that occurred in the various episodes. To be sure, Roddenberry was an atheist, but there is some evidence that Captain Kirk was a believer. Besides he often quoted quip, “Why does God need a starship?” from the fifth movie Kirk informs Apollo in “Who Mourns for Adonis” that “Man has no need for gods. We find the one quite sufficient.” There are also numerous references to Hinduism, Buddhism, and even the celebration of Christmas. Even the militant atheist Picard celebrated the holiday of the birth of Jesus and expressed deep respect for Native American spiritual beliefs.

Aliens have religions in the ‘Star Trek’ future

Needless to say, the Klingons, the Vulcans, and the Bajorans have something like religion in their cultures. Even the logical Vulcans hold to a concept of the “Katra” which, for all intents and purposes, is a soul that can survive after death, even if Spock was obliged to implant his in the body of his old friend, Dr.


The new ‘Star Trek’ has just bought itself a controversy

Considering all of the references to God and religion that have permeated “Star Trek,” it looks like Ms. Beyer has just bought the new show more than a little controversy. “Star Trek” fans are, no pun intended, fanatical when it comes to diversions from canon. The idea that God has been abolished from human society by the time of the new series set ten years before the classic Trek show is not going to sit well.

Star Trek” fans who are also believers are not going to take the idea very well either. While Roddenberry was surely right that much evil had been done in the name of religion, so has considerable good. Missionaries who heal the sick while preaching the word of God or artists who celebrate his glory in art are examples. And one does not have to be religious to be able to justify atrocities. The Soviet Union and Red China, officially atheistic regimes, have killed hundreds of millions.

Some evidence exists that space travel can enhance spiritual awareness and bring people closer to God, however they imagine the concept. The Apollo 8 astronauts read from the Book of Genesis as the Earth rose above the moon on a live TV broadcast.

Buzz Aldrin took communion on the surface of the moon during Apollo 11. The experience of exploring those strange new worlds must, in the hearts of some, inspire something akin to religious awe. If it does not, then not only human society has changed, but the human spirit, and not for the better.