Hands up if you like Star Trek.
For those who do, the phrase “Resistance is futile” will need no further explanation, but for those who don’t, it is a line used by The Borg when they encounter any free-willed living creature that they seek to conquer and assimilate. The conquered are then stripped of their individuality and identity, resources, and their best creations.
However, please do not misunderstand the Borg; they are not war loving. In fact, they only seek perfection — perfection of uniformity and purpose — and by attaining perfection they believe they will eradicate war and better allocate resources.
Their vision is the one and only true vision for how living organisms should behave. Sounds reasonable enough — or at least on the surface it does — but when you dig a little deeper into the story it is revealed that The Borg actually operate with a hive mentality. They have a queen that sits at the top of the hierarchy and sends the other Borg drones scurrying off to do her bidding, implementing her will and her vision, regardless of the cost in regards to the life of the drones. Upon scratching a little bit beneath the surface we come to see that the mission statement of unity and uniformity is nothing more than the camouflage for a quest for power, and a way to rule without opposition.
Sounds like a formidable enemy!
But hope need not be lost, because there is resistance, and that resistance takes shape in the form of The United Federation of Planets. It is an alliance of planets that work together in matters of trade, politics, and security, each planet maintaining its own autonomy and identity, and still contributing to the aims of the whole group.
Resistance is not futile. Time and time again, despite what seems overwhelming odds, Star Fleet repel the Borg and eventually win the war. How is it that such a collection of peoples, diverse in languages, cultures, and beliefs, could prevail against what seemed such a superior opponent with what seemed a singular purpose? How could they withstand an enemy who had one aim and acted and spoke without deviation?
The short answer is that they understood the difference between uniformity and unity, they understood that there was a peculiar and unique strength that comes from freedom of thought and ideas. They understood that this freedom allowed creative solutions to problems that were unique to individual planets, but that could also benefit the whole group. They understood that freedom of thought and freedom of will are imperative in the resistance of tyranny.
But that’s just Hollywood! A TV show. Real life is not like this.
Anyone who says this missed the history classes on The Dark Ages where the Roman Catholic Church suppressed freedom of thought, and instead ruled through papal edicts with absolute authority and without deviation.
When thought and autonomy are suppressed, what you are left with is tyranny, which is perhaps why God gave humanity a choice in the biblical creation narrative. After all, without that choice, where could humanity have expressed a freedom of will, a freedom to choose to follow God or to decide that they knew better? Without that choice presented to them they would have had uniformity with God’s will in so much as they would have lived eternally in peace and in harmony with one another, never sinning and thus bringing death into the world. However, without that choice they would never have been in unity with God. God is love, and love cannot be forced, it must be chosen.
Throughout time, resistance to tyranny has never proven to be futile. France is no longer under the yoke of Nazis in part due to the French resistance and its allies. South Africa is no longer subject to apartheid because the people rebelled. Chattel slavery has been abolished in the U.S.A. but it required a war to do so. In fact there is only one thing in life that I have ever found to be futile, and that is the saving and life changing grace of God. But even Christ allows and requires that our choice of him must be done freely.
In the Bible, we are called to love God with our minds, our bodies, and our souls. I have made that choice for myself. I have made the choice freely to love God with my soul. I have made the choice to freely love God with my body by serving him. And I have made the choice to love God with my mind first and foremost by freely choosing him.
It is my prayer that all humanity will choose God, and choose him freely.
Jeremy Storm is a father, student of theology, antagonist, and staunch advocate for equality of both race and gender.
Image by rawpixel.com
We invite you to join our community through conversation by commenting below. We ask that you engage in courteous and respectful discourse. You can view our full commenting policy by clicking here.
This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at http://spectrummagazine.org/node/9581