Welcome to Out of Eden. This is an attempt to document my journey through religious deconstruction starting on day one. Join me, Sam Morse, as I attempt to finally figure out what I believe in by asking the difficult questions regarding my childhood fundamentalist Christian faith. Listen as I wander the no-mans-land that is agnostic uncertainty.

Hope in the Stars

Hope in the Stars

Hope in the Stars

by Sam Morse

I am about to really let my inner nerd out. Bear with me, it's nerdy but relevant. I would describe myself as a mediocre Star Trek geek. I know enough about the universe to keep up in conversation and follow along with any new movie/television series, but if a true Treky nerd was to break down back stories I would immediately feel lost. I rarely engage with any form of media to collect deep cut details or to be the ultimate fanboy. I usually just become obsessed with soaking in as much of the emotion or personal thought behind the creation of the art in question. With Star Trek I immediately connected with a creator like Gene Roddenberry because he wanted to create a version of the future that obviously gave him hope.

He created a future worth striving for within a fictional representation of our universe. He was able to tap into something and (prophetically at times) predict a technological, science driven future for our species. I remember watching the original series as a kid and wondering why I felt more hope for this future than I did with the present world around me. I was supposed to be living in this Christian nation, and yet everything around me seemed to be focused on greed. I am not saying that I am this perfect socialist soul. I have spent years of my life fully submersed in the never-ending cycle of commercialism. Retail therapy has this warm blanket way of wrapping you in its deceiving empty arms. My mind is, however, often drawn back to the semi-Utopian future that is Gene Roddenberry's Star Trek. 

In this fictional future, human kind has moved past the majority of its worst qualities and ideals. The concept of money has been eradicated from our species because the only worthwhile currency is the potential of its individual members. Education and purpose is the only value to create any form of fair ranking, and the only dividing line is how hard is one willing to work to achieve this personal goal. Due to a focus on automation and scientific reason, goods are easily produced and available to all. Now let's also accept that certain marvelous inventions in this universe are the reason this egalitarian future is possible. We are nowhere close to machines such as food replicators: a machine which could potentially feed all with a simple voice command. What my mind is drawn back to, however, is that shouldn't these ideals and inventions be our goal? Is socialism and equality that difficult of a future to strive for?

I think back to my faith in someone like Jesus, who two thousand years ago was deeply aware that we are only as strong as the weakest around us. The ones who are most in need should be not only the most cared for but given the most time and compassion. When we are so focused on our own personal gain we forget that we are part of a species and the amazing potential we could have as a collective. I re-read his sermon of the beatitudes and I am deeply moved at how far ahead of his time he was. We are still striving and fighting for these qualities thousands of years later.

Matthew 5

"You’re Blessed"

5 1-2 When Jesus saw his ministry drawing huge crowds, he climbed a hillside. Those who were apprenticed to him, the committed, climbed with him. Arriving at a quiet place, he sat down and taught his climbing companions. This is what he said:

3 “You’re blessed when you’re at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.

4 “You’re blessed when you feel you’ve lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.

5 “You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.

6 “You’re blessed when you’ve worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you’ll ever eat.

7 “You’re blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourselves cared for.

8 “You’re blessed when you get your inside world—your mind and heart—put right. Then you can see God in the outside world.

9 “You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.

10 “You’re blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom.

11-12 “Not only that—count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens—give a cheer, even!—for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble.

 

I truly believe that if there is a God (a fact in which I cannot scientifically prove) then this marvelous Creator is rooted in the best of what we have only begun to connect with. He is at his purist essence love. May we hope and pray for a future like Gene Roddenberry placed his hopes and dreams in. Let us focus on the potential of learning and discovery and forget the addiction that is gain and greed. May physical hunger be a forgotten thought as we allow the spiritual meal of love and kindness, that goes beyond human understanding, to enter our lives. Let illness be slowly chipped away by the doctors and scientists willing to spend their lives tediously studying because they know that their work is best of pursuits. The world will become increasingly uncomfortable as we choose to downgrade the importance of ownership and power, as we instead elevate the importance of equality, equity, and community. Let us find hope in the discovery of stars instead of gaining power on this earth.

Hidden Questions

Hidden Questions

Time for a "Bird of Sorrow"

Time for a "Bird of Sorrow"