Is Babylon 5 anti-Christian?

I'm kind of a sci-fi nut and I'm thinking of buying some Babylon 5 DVDs but have read it maybe anti-Christian.

I read on wikipedia and wikiBabylon 5 websites that one of the main races on the show the Vorlon are actually the Angels from Earths past? In other words the show is saying that the Angels from the Bible are aliens.

Does the show really say this?

Just trying to get confirmation of this since anyone can write anything on wikipedia.
Thanks.

Don't take what I say as me being harsh to you.

It's a work of fiction. Don't worry about it. We shouldn't over-analyze stuff to the point where it basically just puts us in constant worry.

It's a science-fiction story, pure imagination. Just enjoy it, and don't always think about things as being Christian or anti-Christian.

I agree what the above poster said. I wouldn't want to spoil the plot for you, but since you already know, it's true the Vorlon's attempt to manipulate other races by appearing as spiritual beings. That's not to say there is no such thing as spiritual beings in the Babylon universe though: only that the Vorlon's have attempted to manipulate and exploit people's spiritual beliefs.

The creator JMS, is an atheist, but he takes pains to treat religion with respect while still criticizing some of its problems in other episodes. For example, he dedicates one episode that criticizes an alien religion for blaming disease on sin and insisting that those who are sick deserve to become pariahs like lepers.

On the positive side, there is an order of Catholic monks on the station who are quite wise and important for some aspects of the plot in season 2. One of the episodes dealing with this order explores how man can be forgiven for a heinous sin and explores the story of the suffering of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane. B5 also has an episode that deals with an evil alien scientist that creates a panacea for disease and extended life at the expense of killing fetuses. The scientist uses this panacea as her revenge on the human race and as part of a diabolical plot to get humans to kill their innocent young to extend their own natural life. This could be viewed as a criticism of stem cell use by scientists.

Babylon 5 has honorable themes; it doesn't celebrate evil or bash religion IMO.

Thanks for taking the time to write all this. Much appreciated!
Other than the whole angel issue the show sounds really good. From everything I've read it just feels like they are saying the angels in the Bible are aliens and I just can't ignore that because the Vorlons seem to play a really big part in the show. I'm guessing the show dosen't directly say that the Angels were aliens but implies it.
Does the show leave open the possibility that this is not the case?

Lets say for example, when the Vorlons came to Earth in the past (example, in the middle ages), they saw that the humans had been influenced by Christianity and decided to imitate that and exploit it.

Does the show say that the origins Judaisim and Christianity comes from the Vorlons?

[quote="Maeglin, post:3, topic:194143"]
I agree what the above poster said. I wouldn't want to spoil the plot for you, but since you already know, it's true the Vorlon's attempt to manipulate other races by appearing as spiritual beings. That's not to say there is no such thing as spiritual beings in the Babylon universe though: only that the Vorlon's have attempted to manipulate and exploit people's spiritual beliefs.

The creator JMS, is an atheist, but he takes pains to treat religion with respect while still criticizing some of its problems in other episodes. For example, he dedicates one episode that criticizes an alien religion for blaming disease on sin and insisting that those who are sick deserve to become pariahs like lepers.

On the positive side, there is an order of Catholic monks on the station who are quite wise and important for some aspects of the plot in season 2. One of the episodes dealing with this order explores how man can be forgiven for a heinous sin and explores the story of the suffering of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane. B5 also has an episode that deals with an evil alien scientist that creates a panacea for disease and extended life at the expense of killing fetuses. The scientist uses this panacea as her revenge on the human race and as part of a diabolical plot to get humans to kill their innocent young to extend their own natural life. This could be viewed as a criticism of stem cell use by scientists.

Babylon 5 has honorable themes; it doesn't celebrate evil or bash religion IMO.

[/quote]

It does not directly state that Christianity or any religion came from the Vorlons. However, it does state via a character's dialog that the Vorlons manipulate other races by appearing as spiritual beings. It never explicitly states that any Christian figure was actually an alien. However, if one wanted to read that interpretation into the show, there is nothing to stop them.

Also, when it is revealed that Vorlons look like angels, all the different major races see the angel in different forms and recognize it with a name. The humans see it but don't blurt out a name like "Gabriel" or "Raphael", so I guess you could interpret it as the Vorlons influencing other races far more than humans. That's probably stretching the interpretation though - I think JMS wants the audience to recognize that the Vorlons could have manipulated human religions via their angelic form (and it doesn't have to be just Christianity or Judaism, it could be Islam or Mormonism). The show never says which religion was manipulated though; that is left to the audience's imagination.

Alright. This has been helpful. Thanks again.

All fiction is reflective of something. When the Terminator in Terminator 2 states: "It is in your nature to destroy yourselves." Was that a meaningless comment? Pure entertainment?

All writing says something. Even the See Spot Run books have a message,

Science fiction has aliens and different cultures but how can we relate to these aliens? As other human beings that may or may not look like us. We have no experience with actual alien beings. So these "aliens" stand in for human ideas so we can relate to the story.

What do you think was behind the profound fan support for the original Star Trek TV show? They saw things in the stories, in the characters, that resonated with them.

As Catholics, we need to be sober and vigilant. Just like the Dan Brown books that weave in story elements that are truly wrong regarding our faith and beliefs. It's not just a story.

God bless,
Ed


Choose Jesus.

But it depends on the story. Should we reject fiction because it has a hint of non-Christian thoughts in it? At what point do we reject it entirely? Isn't that what the critical intellect is for? B5 is not a Christian allegory, but that doesn't mean it is bad.

I get your point, but B5 is no where near the level of offensiveness and misinformation that Dan Brown books operate on. Neither is a lot of fiction. Dan Brown is particularly vile because his book, the Da Vinci Code, purports to be true history and a lot of ignorant people believe it (and I have argued with those who uncritically believe it).

Of course, it depends on the story. It doesn't mean we should think of it only as "it's just a story." If you look at history, even recent history, a lot is said about a society by its writings, including fiction.

God bless,
Ed


Choose Jesus.

[quote="generalyogibear, post:1, topic:194143"]
I'm kind of a sci-fi nut and I'm thinking of buying some Babylon 5 DVDs but have read it maybe anti-Christian.

I read on wikipedia and wikiBabylon 5 websites that one of the main races on the show the Vorlon are actually the Angels from Earths past? In other words the show is saying that the Angels from the Bible are aliens.

Does the show really say this?

Just trying to get confirmation of this since anyone can write anything on wikipedia.
Thanks.

[/quote]

there are a lot of shows/stories nowadays that take some stories that have biblical basis and then turn it into a sci-fi story. among my favorites are Neon Genesis Evangelion and the video game Xenosaga

the whole story is make believe and they probably would have wanted to base it off something. its like CSI being based on a real city, but the characters and events are purely fictional

alot of futuristic sci-fi shows portrait religion as something that is backward or no longer existing in that time period specially when it comes to Christianity or Judaism in shows like babylon5 and startrek, starwars on the other hand embraces both the dark and light side of a religion and the Riddick movies have islam in their future

:thumbsup:

Star Trek, which I love DEARLY, had some secular overtones in it that were often more science-based and secular values-based than Judeo Christian and it got on my nerves, but overall I love the show too dang much! Star Trek the Next Generation had a few episodes with an attitude about religion that I wasn't too fond of. But in general it was a good show. Babylon 5 was just never a show I watched despite my liking Bruce Boxleitner a lot (Tron baby! Oh yeah!)...I can't speak to it. But I will say that some movies I watch and adore have a few undertones and I just don't take it seriously unless it intensely contradicts my faith and crosses a line. I'm a big John Carpenter fan and he always has the Catholic Church in there somewhere. Sometimes they're the cover-up guys, usually the good guys. I plug along with Johnny Boy because he's just my favorite director.

It's tough to draw the line. Look at Gandalf, Ian McKellan. That man is totally anti-Church and anti-Christianity and extremely extremely gay and actively homosexual and in your face about it. Yet look at the Gandalf this guy played!? Oh man....And look at how Mel Gibson is behaving yet look at what he has done in film.

When we really get down to it, science fiction isn't about religion and it speculates that there's alien life "out there." Having no reference to it in Scripture, tradition, or current Church dogma, it's a tough field to explore lol...

Babylon 5 is my favorite show of all time. I think it is one of the most Christian friendly, especially Catholic friendly shows out there.

It's one of my dad's FAVORITE shows of all-time! Though the creator might be an atheist, he's not trying to be in-your-face or using the show as his personal soapbox (I'm looking at you, Seth MacFarlane & Family Guy)-in fact, Babylon 5 is more respectul of the world's faiths (including Christianity) than many shows created by Christians!

Try to see if you can find "Journey Through Gethsemane" on YouTube-you will LOVE it!

[quote="generalyogibear, post:1, topic:194143"]
I'm kind of a sci-fi nut and I'm thinking of buying some Babylon 5 DVDs but have read it maybe anti-Christian.

I read on wikipedia and wikiBabylon 5 websites that one of the main races on the show the Vorlon are actually the Angels from Earths past? In other words the show is saying that the Angels from the Bible are aliens.

Does the show really say this?

Just trying to get confirmation of this since anyone can write anything on wikipedia.
Thanks.

[/quote]

B5 is one of the best written sci-fi series even shown on TV. Bear in mind that it's written by an atheist, so it will have evolutionary talk and such. Interestingly, it's a story that touches on so many facets of life. I actually saw it more as a prescient political drama (the whole season 1 Homeguard thing followed by season 2 introducing Nightwatch -- I could go into detail, but let's just say that Bush's Department of Homeland Security = Ministry of Peace).

As to the Vorlon/Shadow thing, that should be taken as a whole. Again, it came down to ideology. I'm not going to get into detail because I don't want to spoil the story for those who haven't seen it. It's why they did what they did that gives us the how.

Understanding is a three-edged sword, after all. ;)

I'd put Stargate SG-1 in a similar category. Great story...and one that deals more with religious ideas. The Stargate movie dealt with Ra, the Egyptian sun god. The first several seasons dealt with the Goa'uld who were false gods (and later, "dead false gods" as Teal'c liked to put it). The only dangerous point would be where the concept of ascension comes in. It smacks of rank Bhuddism, but if one can recognize that it's a story device, then one can relax and enjoy the story. As a matter of back story, in the Stargate universe, the current human race was the second time our species evolved on earth. The previous race, called the Ancients, or Alterans, figured out how to "ascend to a higher plane of existence." At this point, there was a rift between the ascended ancients and those who believed in free-will and noninterference stayed here and those who believed that they should guide people with their advanced knowledge left our galaxy and became the Orii. The Orii figured out that if people worshiped them, they would become more powerful and created the religion of Origin. They promised ascension and enlightenment to their followers but gave them nothing because they'd have to share the power.

Again, ideology. Fortunately, the Orii end up dead, too. More dead false gods. :)

[quote="edwest2, post:7, topic:194143"]
As Catholics, we need to be sober and vigilant.

[/quote]

Agreed, but like I said to someone who told me to grow up when we were at Downtown Disney and I donned a Goofy hat in the World of Disney store, I said, "grown up doesn't mean boring" and that you can't have any fun. Sober and vigilant doesn't mean boring and not having any fun or imagination.

I consider myself to be a fairly good catholic…no one is perfect but I see nothing anticatholic with B5…quite the contrary. It always seemed to treat religion with respect. There were monks or brothers on B5 as part of the storyline and they were always referred too with respect. It’s actually my favorite tv series after Stargate SG1, Farscape and Forever Knight. Yes I’m a geek. lol

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