A (Not-so) Subtle Influence

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Growing up I used to be a bit of a Star Trek fan (“beam me up Scottie”), so I decided to have a look at the latest series – Star Trek: Discovery.

I was quite enjoying the series until episode 5. The episode contained 2 surprising uses of the f-bomb in quick succession – it was surprising because it was totally out of place in the context; in fact, it seemed slipped in as something consciously ‘a bit naughty’ but at the same time affirmed by repetition. As a further surprise, the episode ended with a clear inference that the on-board doctor and chief scientist are in a gay relationship – something just thrown into the show because they can.

I was left wondering WHY? Why do producers and script writers inevitably seem to crawl into this gutter? Why introduce it to Star Trek?

Whilst we don’t have any control over what is produced, we do have control over what we take in – so I won’t be watching it anymore, and I am left to lament that even Star Trek is not safe from the social engineering agenda of the Hollywood elite.  

It also raises the question of the habits we allow ourselves, and it brought to mind the warning of Jamie Smith in his recent book You Are What You Love: “…cultural liturgies are not just one-off events that you unwittingly do; more significantly, they are formative practices that do something to you, unconsciously but effectively turning your heart to the songs of Babylon rather than the songs of Zion (Ps 137).”

The idea is that we do not just act upon our environment, but our environment, through the very actions we engage in, acts upon us, shaping us, moulding what we love, which in turn sets the direction of our lives.

We therefore need to be careful about the habits we form; to be careful to give ourselves to habits that shape our souls in righteousness and godliness, and to avoid habits that militate against that. In writing to the Colossians, Paul, being conscious that our ability to live godly lives is shaped by our habits, urged

Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
— Colossians 3:1–4