So, as some of you know, I’ve recently given in to the peer pressure, both from my husband and lots of people on Skepchick, and I started watching Battlestar Galactica. Okay…I didn’t “start watching” it. In an unabashed display of geek crack addiction, I went on a two and a half week bender in which I watched the entirety of the first three series, and the first two episodes in the fourth. Once I finish “Razor” and watch last week’s ep, I’ll officially be caught up. Whew!
Now that I am completely and hopelessly obsessed (I may or may not have actually said that this show is better than Doctor Who), imagine my horror when I received an email from writerdd containing a link to a site claiming that Battlestar Galactica is actually MORMON PROPAGANDA and we shouldn’t watch it because it will infect our minds with Mormon ideas! Dun Dun Duuuun…
After a bit more reading, here, it seems that the creator of the original series was an LDS member, and very likely constructed the mythology of the show purposefully to popularize Mormon Beliefs. So, because the new series retains this mythology, does that mean it is also propaganda?
I don’t think it is. Yes, the underlying story contains the same elements of Mormon theology as the original, but taking the show as a whole, I think the argument that the new incarnation of Battlestar Galactica exists to push Mormonism is pretty weak.
Look at the show’s content, for one thing. It has violence, swearing, drinking (alcohol and tea), and lots and lots of sex. For the most part, these elements are not generally used to show weakness or moral depravity, but are shown as part of the normal course of life.
Possibly the strongest argument against this idea is the fact that the show’s hero, Admiral Adama, is an atheist. The show seems to take a very comparative approach to the subject of religion. Characters of several different religious persuasions are portrayed as equally moral, or at least true to their own particular moralities. I think part of the reason I enjoy the show so much is that it is a sort of exploration of the sources of and ramifications from different types of religious belief.
So, should skeptics quit watching? No way. The history of the people in the show is interesting, regardless of its original source, and I think if nothing else, we can laugh to ourselves at the fact that if this is indeed Mormon propaganda, most Mormons would find it completely offensive. Why deprive ourselves of a beautifully constructed, well written, sexy and intelligent show because some of the ideas in it might come from a source we don’t agree with? Wanna know a secret? It’s called “science fiction” for a reason. It’s FICTION! It’s not going to turn us all into Mormon zombies.
I have to go now. I have this sudden urge to put on a white dress shirt, tie, and name tag and go ride my bike.