The other day I was watching an interview with LeVar Burton, Bill Nye and Larry King. The were talking about the future of education and what it means. They asked him about what Star Trek means He mentioned that with all the popularity of dystopian future, Star Trek was a beacon of hope that our future might just look a little better than it is right now. Then Bill Nye mentioned Zombies.
Anyway, this thought connected well what I have been reading in “To know as we are known.” In the book Park J. Palmer talks about how young people are increasingly optimistic about their own personal futures but pessimistic about the world around them. He states “They believe as, I once did, that they can ‘win’ whole everyone around them is losing.” In terms of Zombies, If survive a zombie hoard what’s the point if I end up alone, I’ll end up a zombie anyway. There are numerous sources that state the Zombification of America is a result of the over commercialized, materialistic and consumeristic culture. We have become self absorbed and self obsessed. The Zombies are meant to be a metaphor for modern society. What do you think? Maybe that’s why it is so popular and people relate to it. It is no longer a metaphor but a reality. The problem with our obsession of a Zombie apocalypse is that we slowly begin to dehumanize one another and start to see each and every person as less than human. Frankly I want to obsess about a future in which every person is more human not less.
In the United States, I think we are at a crossroads between a future in which we dehumanize each other like zombies in hopes of surviving the mess and in the end becoming zombies ourselves or; we choose to live and support one another for a better future. Gene Roddenberry describes this idealized vision of the future.
“Star Trek was an attempt to say that humanity will reach maturity and wisdom on the day that it begins not just to tolerate, but take a special delight in differences in ideas and differences in life forms. […] If we cannot learn to actually enjoy those small differences, to take a positive delight in those small differences between our own kind, here on this planet, then we do not deserve to go out into space and meet the diversity that is almost certainly out there.”
Roddenberry’s vision for the future was one in which we acted as a community to celebrate similarities and differences to solve problems. We took delight in one another rather than fight or hate each other. Star Trek however is a fictional utopia. I can only hope it is possible. It is a hopeful future but I place my hope in Christ and the future he has planned for us.
When we look at the Resurrection of Christ, we need to realize that his Resurrection what not just a bodily resurrection but a spiritual one. Christ was no Zombie. Christ was fully human and fully divine. He lived fully and was resurrected fully. The zombie virus is not just physical, it is spiritual. When we look at zombies, they have lost touch with their humanity. They have no ability to connect and relate to others. They have lost their spirit, they have become soulless. They are physically there, but spiritually dead. Maybe that sounds familiar. The Christian message of hope is that as humans we are meant to live in community. Community with God, with one another. In baptism, we participate in Christ’s death and Resurrection. We longer die alone or live alone; we are with Christ, forever! Because Christ died we can live.
Through Christ we are restored to the “Image of God” we were originally created to be. If there is a cure for the Zombie virus, Christ is It. His example of life, love and sacrifice draws all his disciples together in love to do as the Lord’s prayer tells us to Let God’s Kingdom Come, on earth as it is in Heaven. A future we do not have to fear of is a Zombie Apocalypse because Christ is the victory. The future we hope for is not Star Trek but God’s Kingdom on earth.