“Life can be a curse as well as a blessing.” –Gaius (“Gleaming I”)

Probably the most intriguing character on Battlestar Galactica is Dr. Gaius Baltar (James Callis). The reason he resonates especially with me is because of his internal struggle, as a man of science, to embrace the idea of faith. His is the battle of the scientist versus the theologian, trying to reconcile worlds for faith and facts.

“What is the most basic article of faith? This is not all that we are.” –Leoben Conoy (Callum Keith Rennie)

All truth journeys begin with a leap of faith, that is, what we choose to put our trust in. For some, it is ourselves (the individual or humanity); for some, it is science (the determination of our senses, empirical evidence, and measurable/reproducible data); for some, it is the spiritual (under the assumption that there is more to this life than presented, both in terms of the spiritual and in terms of after this life; that there is more to us than body and consciousness including a spiritual dimension to the universe beyond our senses).

The fact that there might be a world beyond what his science could measure, categorize, and deal with was the thing that sent Gaius into his version of the dark night of the soul, nearly driving him mad at one point.

“We’re all just trying to discover who we are.” –Gaius

If you watch what drives Gaius, beyond self-preservation, it is redemption. He begins with the search for his true identity, in order to quit being a traitor either to the Cylons or humanity. He wants to come to terms with who he really is and is looking for a place to belong. Once he finds the community to which he can belong, it would provide his identity (this is who you are), provide his mission (this is what we do), provide training (this is how we do it), and then send him out to live their mission (now go do it).

In other words, Gaius Baltar is on the journey of what it means to be fully human.

“Life has a melody, Gaius. A rhythm of notes that become your existence once played in harmony with God’s plan.” –Caprica Six (Tricia Helfer)

He realizes that we live in a “failure condition,” that we largely sleepwalk through life, wondering what’s it all about, why we are here, and what we’re supposed to do and be. He wrestles with the idea of being originally created in God’s image, related to God, in right relationship with Him, under His rule and agenda. Something along the way went wrong, with humanity, with the Cylons, with creation. Something cause humanity to disconnect themselves from the rhythm of life set out by God, becoming alienated not only from each other, but God and creation.
“Our people need a new beginning, a new way to live in God’s love. Without hate. Without all the lies. All they need is for someone to show them the way.” –Caprica Six

With the half-human, half-Cylon child, we have echoes of the story of Christ. With Christ, He seeks to rescue His people and usher in His kingdom, modeling a new way of living.

“Repent of your sins and you will be saved.” –Caprica Six

Embracing this new way of living, this way of being fully human, begins with repentance, exchanging your old way of life for a new way. Gaius offers up this prayer: “Dear God, I now acknowledge that you are the one true God. Deliver me from this evil and I will spread the rest of my wretched life to doing good. I want to carry out your divine will is what I want to do. To carry out your divine will.”

“Stop running from our lives and start living them.” –Gaius

The final and longest part of the journey is joining the story of the mission to restore. To live out a life of love, becoming part of the ministry of reconciliation between God and creation.

Science and religion don’t have to be at war with one another. If allowed room for each to do what they are called to do, there are areas where the two meet. True spirituality and true science abhor certainty, it is because an attitude of certainty stops you from questioning. once you’re certain, you “know” and not only do you close your mind to further conversations, but there is no point in further investigation. Both science and religion are truth pursuits, and all truth is God’s Truth.

Gaius continues to have what passes for his faith tested. It’s uncertain whether he understands what he believes, the tenets of his faith, or even the idea of who God is and how He works. Only by continuing to question and test does he stand a chance at the redemption he so desperately craves.

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