Friday, April 06, 2007

Christianity and Science Fiction

Old friend Guy Stewart checks in, to let everyone know that he has a new website, SF and Faith - Crossroads, as well as new content on his older site, Writer, teacher, husband, father: Guy Stewart.

Guy is an interesting fellow. I've had the pleasure of knowing him for about 25 years now, and it's been a real delight to watch him mature from being an ambitious amateur to being a contributor to ANALOG (which, for reference, is a magazine I've never succeeded in selling to). While you'll find some good reading on his Writer, teacher, et al site, I think the Crossroads site offers promise of being something far more meaningful — if he can pull it off. He's certainly issued an ambitious manifesto, but if there's one thing I've learned over the years, it's never to underestimate Guy when he's feeling ambitious.

Me, I'm of the opinion that science fiction and Christianity can't be reconciled, at least, not in any way that does not betray underlying contempt for Christian beliefs. This goes back to the roots of the genre: the founding fathers of sci-fi were for the most part atheists and secular humanists, when not outright Marxists, and one of the central tenets of sci-fi at least since the Campbell era has been a profound belief in the perfectability of man. If I could collect royalties for every sci-fi novel, story, or movie that in some approving way expresses the idea that some day men will evolve beyond the need for gods, and in fact, become as gods...

But never mind that. Closer to home, this is the weekend of Minicon, and those of you who are local may notice that once again, I'm giving Minicon a miss. I may show up for Hilary Moon Murphy's party Saturday night, but at this point, that's only a vague maybe.

My biggest problem with Minicon — I mean, Minicon has a vast catalog of problems and I haven't time to list them all, but my single biggest problem with it — is that Minicon always takes place on Easter weekend. And, while I've had the pleasure of participating in some deeply moving Passover seders during the con, I have never once been able to get the con organizers and panel schedulers to understand that this holiday, Easter, is the single most important weekend in the entire Christian year.

Christianity ain't about Christmas, folks. God did not become Man to bring candy and toys for good little goys. He took on our form so that He could live and die as one of us, and then prove that there is such a thing as eternal life, through his triumph over death. He took the absolute worst this world has to offer, and then rose above it. The Crucifixion and Resurrection are the proverbial it, and the entire, critical, and most profound core of Christianity is expressed in those three words Christians say to each other on Easter morning: "He is risen."

Somehow, that proclamation seems strangely incompatible with spending Sunday morning with a bunch of hungover Klingons who are trying to remember where they left their battlets...