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  • Babylon 5, Great Maker, and Religion

    Before I jumped ship from the rotting Episcopal church and was baptized in the Serbian Orthodox Church, I noticed that of all the TV shows I have ever seen - ESPECIALLY SCIFI SHOWS, JMS treated religion with great respect and sympathy bordering on deep personal understanding. There are so many, many, instances in the B5 saga to mention just here. I can say that from an Orthodox Christian viewpoint much of what he wrote is extremely close to good theology as understood in my faith.

    Recently on the JMSNews site, I read something JMS wrote in which he identified himself as an Athiest. His roman Catholic stories, anything Jewish, and his made up faiths of aliens are wonderful. Remarkable, considering the respect and accuracy of his writing. Whatever he's doing in this realm, I hope he keeps it up!
    Michael Malloy

    Never forget:

    Moscow; Beslan 2004
    Kosovo: 1999, 2004
    New York City: September 11, 2001
    Smyrna: September 9, 1922

    http://www.hri.org/docs/Horton/hb-title.html
    Armenian Genocide in Turkey: 1915-1917
    http://www.armenian-genocide.org/

  • #2
    Be careful. When I created a similar thread, I was attacked and patronized for "not knowing" that JMS is an atheist.

    http://jmsnews.net/forums/showthread.php?threadid=93
    Recently, there was a reckoning. It occurred on November 4, 2014 across the United States. Voters, recognizing the failures of the current leadership and fearing their unchecked abuses of power, elected another party as the new majority. This is a first step toward preventing more damage and undoing some of the damage already done. Hopefully, this is as much as will be required.

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    • #3
      Be careful. When I created a similar thread, I was attacked and patronized for "not knowing" that JMS is an atheist.

      http://jmsnews.net/forums/showthread.php?threadid=93
      What the hell are you talking about? I just re-read that whole seven page thread - even though I had a pretty good memory of it - and the fact that he's an atheist is mentioned maybe three times. Certainly not in an attack.

      Some damn high flames in there for sure... you weren't even the cause of most of 'em that I recall.

      EDIT: Oh, sorry, re-reading again, you got swept up in one attack that had more to do with some bigot's ranting than you. *rolls eyes*

      To be actually on-topic: Somewhere in this archive (and on the Midwinter guide) there's a snippet where JMS says he's gotten contact from religious, philosophy, and ethics teachers, using his stuff, which I thought was pretty impressive as well. I've often wondered if there's an actual religion that the whole thing might be based around (some of which is hit on in that thread ZHD linked). Or if one might be drawn from it - which is a crazy thought, but it interests me nonetheless.
      Last edited by Radhil; 10-23-2004, 03:07 PM.
      Radhil Trebors
      Persona Under Construction

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Z'ha'dumDweller
        Be careful. When I created a similar thread, I was attacked and patronized for "not knowing" that JMS is an atheist.
        So by sticking with the topic you'll help keep it from happening again, right?

        Jan
        "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Babylon 5, Great Maker, and Religion

          Originally posted by Michael Malloy
          Recently on the JMSNews site, I read something JMS wrote in which he identified himself as an Athiest. His roman Catholic stories, anything Jewish, and his made up faiths of aliens are wonderful. Remarkable, considering the respect and accuracy of his writing. Whatever he's doing in this realm, I hope he keeps it up!
          My understanding is that at some point JMS actually was quite religious which would explain his understanding of the religious impulse. I think this quote from JMS is very telling about why he doesn't shy away from discussing and examining beliefs:

          I think you *have* to question what you believe (or don't believe, or believe
          you believe or believe what you don't believe) on a regular basis, the way you
          exercise any muscle. If you leave it unattended, it gets flabby and soft and
          intellectually lazy. The peril of the unexamined life is one of the things
          I've often railed about in one place or another...whether or not you come back
          to your original position after a lengthy self-examination, the important thing
          is that you *do* it from time to time, honestly and straightforwardly, because
          you could change your position, or if you don't, at least you now have more
          reasons and a better understanding of it, so that you can defend it and talk
          about it rationally rather than get angry because you can't articulate why you
          believe what you believe.
          Through his stories, JMS tends to get people to really think about what they believe and why without challenging those beliefs which I think is a rare gift.

          Jan
          "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Re: Babylon 5, Great Maker, and Religion

            Originally posted by Jan
            Through his stories, JMS tends to get people to really think about what they believe and why without challenging those beliefs which I think is a rare gift.
            Yes. He has said many times that he considers his role to ask the questions, not provide the answers. It certainly shows in his work.
            I believe that when we leave a place, part of it goes with us and part of us remains. Go anywhere in the station, when it is quiet, and just listen. After a while, you will hear the echoes of all our conversations, every thought and word we've exchanged. Long after we are gone .. our voices will linger in these walls for as long as this place remains. But I will admit .. that the part of me that is going .. will very much miss the part of you that is staying.

            Comment


            • #7
              Well... Actually... He is NOT religious... (IMO)
              To be religious mean to follow some cult (the cult of Christianity or Judaism or what ever your believe is)...

              But to believe that there is Someone (not something for it is conscious) there - is a different thing.

              (I AM NOT SPEAKING IN HIS NAME - I AM SPEAKING IN GENERAL TERMS)


              I believe. I believe in G-d. But by my believe I'm not determing Him or dimming Him. He is who He is, He ever was and ever will be.

              JMS makes us question right about everything. But at same time he says that the truth is absolute but it differs from every point of view and this makes truth tremble.

              He can state that he believes in nothing - but as I see it - if it is so - then the one who created B5 is not JMS...

              (and I'm not Kosh to tear me apart... )
              Seek salvation, for the war is here... Deny nothing

              Comment


              • #8
                By his own words, JMS says he is not religious. He says he is an athiest. That is his choice - some people agree with that position and others, myself included, feel it is a shame he has chosen that path. But it's still HIS life.

                I simply say that JMS writes with respect when it comes to religions. You simply never see this in television shows, let alone SciFi shows.

                Hey, it beats throwing gasoline on the fire.
                Michael Malloy

                Never forget:

                Moscow; Beslan 2004
                Kosovo: 1999, 2004
                New York City: September 11, 2001
                Smyrna: September 9, 1922

                http://www.hri.org/docs/Horton/hb-title.html
                Armenian Genocide in Turkey: 1915-1917
                http://www.armenian-genocide.org/

                Comment


                • #9
                  I used to believe in the fairy tales, until i saw my false hope for what is waz and woke up and smelt the coffee.

                  THough I can see believing in that @ú$Ç can make you a happier person, even though it don't change a damned thing.

                  Anywayz, @ú$Ç that Ç$ú@ no more philosofical BS from me.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    myself included, feel it is a shame he has chosen that path.
                    as an atheist myself i`m eternally happy that he is as well.

                    we choose our own path through life, don`t feel shame for his and i won`t feel shame for yours, fair enough?
                    "The trouble with being a cynic is that you eventually get labelled as a highly reliable fortune-teller"

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Let the flames begin!
                      Michael Malloy

                      Never forget:

                      Moscow; Beslan 2004
                      Kosovo: 1999, 2004
                      New York City: September 11, 2001
                      Smyrna: September 9, 1922

                      http://www.hri.org/docs/Horton/hb-title.html
                      Armenian Genocide in Turkey: 1915-1917
                      http://www.armenian-genocide.org/

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Let the flames begin!
                        i have other things to do, but please feel free to do your own.
                        "The trouble with being a cynic is that you eventually get labelled as a highly reliable fortune-teller"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I don't really think anyone is flaming here. It is a sensitive subject to say the least.

                          I personally would consider myself agnostic. I believe there must be something more enlightened and powerful than I am in this vast and wonderful universe. I do not, however, believe I have the slightest grasp of it all, especially enough to name it or label it. That's taking something beyond my understanding and trying to put it into the box of my knowledge. That is nothing less than an oxymoron.

                          Infinity itself is beyond our ability to comprehend it. Anyone who says, "I know the truth, absolutely and with certainty and this religion or ideology is that truth," I tend to look at with sadness, for that person will never know all they could, or learn all that they could learn.

                          This, more than anything, is what IMO JMS is trying to say. Open your mind to everything...to all the possibilities. For each one contains a nugget of the whole, and until we collect all of the nuggets, we'll never understand the whole.

                          The only catch is, we can never collect all of the nuggets in one lifetime. The joy of life and living is to try.

                          CE
                          Anthony Flessas
                          Writer/Producer/Director,
                          SP Pictures


                          I have no avatar! I walk in mystery and need nothing to represent who and what I am!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Michael Malloy
                            Let the flames begin!
                            How 'bout not? As originally used by Michael, the word 'shame' has nothing to do with somebody feeling ashamed for something, it's stating a personal regret.

                            Jan
                            (who'd rather leave her Moderator hat off today, thankyouverymuch)
                            "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Spirit
                              He can state that he believes in nothing - but as I see it - if it is so - then the one who created B5 is not JMS...
                              Actually, he's never said he believes in nothing. He obviously believes in truth and keeping promises and acting honorably toward others. He simply doesn't require a god to believe in all that.

                              And if JMS didn't create B5, who did? As wonderful as it is, I'd never thought of it as Divinely Inspired.

                              Jan
                              "As empathy spreads, civilization spreads. As empathy contracts, civilization contracts...as we're seeing now.

                              Comment

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