#BSG and #Religion: Six Degrees of Separation

‘Six Degrees of Separation’
This episode open with an interesting dialogue between Gaius Baltar and Six. Baltar is looking through a microscope at some cells.

Baltar: I don’t see the hand of God here. Could I be looking in the wrong place? Let me see. Proteins? Yes. Hemoglobin? Yes. Divine digits? No. Sorry. I’m sure I can find evidence of his divine hand in some of these delightful little samples.  After all, there are so fracking many I’m sure even I can be relied upon to find God in one of them.

Six: What is it that drives to to blasphemy, Gaius? A need to tempt fate?

Baltar: Boredom, actually. Indeed, every waking hour is spent in what some might say, has become my own personal religion. The Church of the Mystic Cylon Detector.

Six: Well…are you finished? (The scene shifts from Baltar’s lab to the bedroom inside of his head.) If you would give yourself over to God’s will you’d find peace in his love like I have.

Baltar: Could you help me with this zipper. I’m having a bit of trouble.

Six: He has a plan for us.

Baltar: How do you know it’s a he?

Six: There is only one true God.

Baltar: Really? You running a glitch in the program or something? ‘Cause you say the same thing over and over again. Now, I’ve accepted your God and all that. Can’t we reboot the hard drive?

Six: He’s not my God. He is God.

Baltar: Yeah, your God, my God, everyone’s God. He’s big enough for all of us, isn’t he. Now please. Please, honey. Can’t we do something a little more elevating?

Six: It’s important you form a personal relationship with God. Only you can give yourself over to his eternal love.

Baltar: For God’s sake! I can’t take this anymore.

Six: I’m trying to save your immortal soul.

Baltar: What you are doing, darling, is boring me to death with your superstitious drivel. Your metaphysical nonsense which, to be fair, actually appeals to the half-educated dullards that make up most of human society, but which, I hasten to add, no rational, intelligent, free-thinking human being truly believes. (Six leaves while Baltar’s back is too her.) Which leads me to the inescapable conclusion that Cylons, are, in the final…. That Cylons are, in the final analysis, little more than toasters…with great-looking legs.

This conversation comes on the heels of Baltar being threatened by Six to not make her mad. Of course, Baltar didn’t pay this any heed, and so begins his problems in this episode. After being summoned to the CIC, Baltar runs into a Six model who goes by the name Shelly Godfrey. At first Baltar assumes that only he can see her, and is shocked, at best, when he realizes that everyone can see the Six standing in the CIC. It is at this point that Godfrey accuses Baltar of being the traitor. Godfrey claims to be a assistant to Dr. Amarak, the doctor onboard the Olympic Carrier that was destroyed in the episode “33“.

The “evidence” that Godfrey brings forward, does implicate Baltar as the traitor and he’s thrown in the brig. After a visit from Pres. Roslin in the brig, Baltar has this monologue:

I know that we haven’t spoken before. And I don’t wish to offend. Please. Dear God, and I now acknowledge that you are the one true God. Deliver me from this evil and I will devote the rest of what is left of my wretched life to doing good. I don’t know what to… To carry out your divine will, is what I want to do. To carry out your divine will. Grant me grace and forgiveness.

And then, of course, the Six inside of Baltar’s head come back. She informs Baltar that, “All will be well. It will be as God wants it to be.”

Lt. Gaeta comes in and announces that the evidence is fake and Baltar is free and Godfrey is nowhere to be seen.

The more I think about it, the more the Cylon God sounds like the Evangelical God. We hear the catch words: personal relationship, God’s will, etc. But, there are some diferences as well. The Cylon God comes off a being petty and manipulative. Baltar questions the Cylon God and his problems begin. He acknowledges the Cylon God and everything goes away. Sound familiar? This was the God that I believed in for a long time…a God of punishment and wrath. One false step meant eternal damnation. Of course, I no longer buy into that belief. I see a God of love and peace. Don’t get me wrong, things aren’t always better on the other side. Bad things still happen. However I don’t blame those on God’s will.


About Craig

I'm a former American Baptist turned Agnostic turned Lutheran. I have a Master of Divinity from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. I write for Simul Iustus et Peccator and Unsettled Christianity. View all posts by Craig

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