The Intangible Design, Fourth: The Inapprehensible

The Intangible Design is now posted.

Fourth of Six.

The Darkborn besiege the church, and various desecrations and treasons are confessed.

It is interesting for a monotheist to see material written in his atheist days. On the one hand, as it always is in every science fiction story, the Church is portrayed as corrupt and evil; one the other hand, there is no other place to go to get a crucifix or holy water needed to drive back vampires and unclean spirits.

While not clearly stated, as it always in in every science fiction story, here the church clearly has a Roman Catholic look and feel.  Indeed, it is remarkable that the explicitly pagan deities in Gary Gygax’ are served by bishops and archbishops and so on.

Combing through the litter of my memory, I can only recall two evil religions in science fiction that look and feel like something else: the Friendlies of the Dorsai series by Gordon R. Dickson are Puritans, and the quadratheist Donkey-Headed Zhee from Galaxy’s Edge by Jason Anspach and Nick Cole are Mohammedans.

I suppose an exception must be made for the Goa’uld symbionts from STARGATE, who quite deliberately have the look and feel of any number of pagan deities, while the Ascended Ones have the look and feel of Buddhists — except, of course, that evil Ascended Ones, once again, predictably, are Roman Catholics.

For an organization that has done more measurable good than any other in history, and is so central to Western Civilization, one would think it odd to be so universally used as the blackhat in every space adventure story.  It is almost as if the world hates the founder and so hates the institution he founded.