It’s full of stars…

In a conversation regarding Firefly, there were these two comments:
“Book’s preaching bugs me, but then I’m an atheist so that’s to be expected.”
“Huh. The reason it bugged me was that I’m not.”
I’m not a religious person, athough agnostic is far more accurate than atheist, so I guess I’m looking at this from between these two poles. I have a friend who is deeply involved in his church, but in his life it is simply part of his daily activities, and gets just as much or as little “talk time” as the other important things in his life. If he constantly brought it up the way Book does, I don’t think he’d be as close a friend (any moreso than any other person who regards me as a ‘potential sale’ :), or nearly as good a Christian. (Lead by example and all that. I may not be in a church any more than I was, but I do believe I’m a better person for having known him*.)
That said, I’ve known quite a few pastors in my time and as a general rule they are a bit different than even the most dedicated church deacon because it is their job, so to speak, to always be ‘on’.
So, comparing Book to the one good (non-judgemental, open-minded) Christian that I know, he comes off poorly. Comparing him to most pastors I’ve met, he’s about average. Whedon himself is quite anti-religion, so I suppose that fits.

* – And his family, especially his most divine (currently sickly) wife. Hi Margie!

2 Replies to “It’s full of stars…”

  1. Hmm. Interesting, esp. since I just was noting how much I liked the relatively even-handed rendition of Book — neither the saintly man that everyone falls all over themselves obeying, nor the vain/clueless/corrupt/naive jerk that most priests/preachers are portrayed to be.
    He does get on a single note, of course. Thinking of the priests I’ve gotten to know, they spend a lot of their time, when not dudded up, talking about normal things. On the other hand, Book seems to be on a mission, and both getting to know the folks on the ship *and* influence them as he sees right seems no more unnatural (and, from his perspective, obnoxious) than the doctor framing everything in terms of taking care of his sister, or Jayne framing everything in terms of being bully.
    It will be interesting to see how the character develops over time, given both Joss’ skill and his anti-religious bent. Some of the best religious portrayals I’ve seen on TV in the last decade were from another avowed atheist, JMS …

  2. Actually, I think that Books lines in the first show were much more ‘even’ (and Joss wrote part of that) — different writer for this episode, so Books more… evangelical.

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