spaceflight grows closer to reality the religions of the world will begin to
use their formidable power and wealth to insure their representatives are on
board. It looks like a conundrum of you cannot
take them with you but they will make it impossible to leave them behind.
This program needs funding, political support and public will and all three of these can be provided by religion, but at a cost. If this ship allows Christian missionaries, Jewish Rabbi's and Islamic Imams admission how long before the ship faces its first religious war. How long before the fist scientist are brought up on charges of heresy? How long before legitimate authority is overthrown by a vision of God received by a religious authority? How long before the ship changes course because "God spoke to the heart" of a reverend? How long before the name of the ship is changed to reflect the new directive"it began as a research mission and now it is a missionary ship. The most feared ship on the sea"was the ship that brought the missionaries, for these ships always brought destruction. Perhaps another colony ship is heading our way as I speak, bringing their planets religion with them, it will be very bad for us when they arrive.
It is my opinion, there is no greater problem facing this project than that presented by religion. No doubt, religion will use every means possible to either be on board or to insure it never occurs. What are we to do? What is the answer?
It has always been thought humans will always need religion. Maybe not. At one time we needed religion to explain the world around us and perhaps we have outgrown that need. Perhaps we can have faith without religion. If we bring our toxic earth religions with us on our starships we will never have the answer to that question. If we do need religion to survive, then I am sure that just as God has spoken to us once He is capable of speaking to us again.
I shudder to think there may a distant planet that has taken to the stars and failed to leave their religions on their planet. There may be a missionary ship headed our way. As indigenous people know from around our globe, there was nothing more fearful that to see the missionary ship appearing on the horizon. When the missionaries arrived from Europe they stripped the natives of their religion and culture and forced a new religion upon them. Perhaps"we will find out what that feels like firsthand.