The Thermian’s Dilemma, or Galaxy Quest as a Cautionary Tale About Fundamentalism

I agree with the author of this post: Literalism does diminish our faith, reducing its beauty and depth, making it less resilient in the face of adversity, and requiring one to ignore or gloss over anything that is contradictory – turning the faith into a pale and poor parody of itself.

The use of the great movie “Galaxy Quest” to illustrate this point is brilliant.

expressionist coffee

tumblr_nox34umQs01r3oqygo6_1280I loved Galaxy Quest as soon as I saw it. As a fan of Star Trek in all of its incarnations (OK, maybe not Star Trek 5 so much), I recognize almost all of the players in the movie: the geeked-out fans, the trapped actors longing to move beyond their stereotypes, land the viewers of the movie who like science fiction because maybe, just maybe there really is something more out there than just what we know. But I’ve noticed that there is a moral to the tale of Galaxy Quest that lies underneath the trappings of its science fiction.

If you remember the story (and more pertinently if you don’t), the story is this: Galaxy Quest was a 1970’s TV show which is seen by an extraterrestrial race (the Thermians) who have no concept of fiction. As such, when they come under attack from General Sarris they see the…

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Author: Allen

A would-be historian turned IT Professional who responded to the call to the Ministry, and is now focused on social justice and community service. He is the proud father of a daughter and son, and enjoys life with his wife near Boston. You can follow Pastor Allen on Facebook at

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