ATTN: JMS - Religion in B5

B5JMS Poster b5jms-owner at
Wed Feb 2 04:48:47 EST 2000

From: Bill McClure <mster2 at>
Date: 1 Feb 2000 18:51:03 -0700
Lines: 104

Hi Joe,

I've been wanting to write to you for a long time, but for one reason or

another, I've just never gotten around to it until now.  First of all, I

just want to say thank you so much for giving us the best show ever
produced on television.  Babylon 5 affected my life so profoundly in so
many ways, I know I could ever put it all into words.  I was hoping you
might have time for a couple questions concerning the various aspects of

religion and spirituality that you portrayed on the show...

I've read various places that you are an atheist, so I'm assuming you
might have been trying to mirror some of your own personal beliefs with
the agnosticism of the Garibaldi character.  But even if you don't
belong to any church or organized religion, I was wondering if you might

be a Unitarian-Universalist and just didn't realize it...?

I first came across the UU church a couple years ago.  It's the only
church where I've really ever felt welcome and accepted, and it quickly
became a second home for me.  In short, the basic idea behind UUism is
that there is truth and validity in *all* the world's religions --
exactly as you portrayed with Sinclair's long receiving line at the very

end of "The Parliament of Dreams," a scene which always moves me deeply
every time I see it.

I suppose our official list of UU principles is the easiest way to sum
up what our church is all about.  As UU's, we covenant to affirm and
promote:  the inherent dignity and worth of every person; justice,
equity and compassion in human relations; acceptance of one another and
encouragement to spiritual growth; a free and responsible search for
truth and meaning; the right of conscience and use of the democratic
process; the goal of world community with peace, liberty and justice for

all; a respect for the interdependent web of all existence of which we
are a part.

To me, those things all sound a lot like ideas that G'Kar might have
included in the Interstellar Allliance's Declaration of Principles that
he penned at Sheridan's request.

For me personally, I have always carried this sort of belief system all
my life, but I always thought I was the only one.  I never knew my
beliefs actually had a name until I came across a UU church.  So I was
wondering how familiar you might be with UUism and whether you'd feel
comfortable in that sort of setting...?

Every UU church is quite different, depending on what the widely varying

diversity of its individual members brings to each congregation.  Each
service is different too since our minister tries very hard to give
equal time to all the different kinds of spirituality.  Our hymnal book
declares our faith as a "living tradition" and includes songs and
inspirational readings from all the different religions of the world.

Of course, that kind of diversity can also be a source of potential
conflict sometimes, since our church has members from such widely
differing creeds, ranging all the way from traditional Judeo-Christian
values, to Buddhism, Taoism, Native American spiritualism, and
everything else in between.  The greatest source of conflict in our
church so far has been between our group of strictly
scientifically-minded humanists and the Earth-based neo-paganists who
espouse the Gaia principle and practice Old World religions like Wicca
or witchcraft.  But as long as we all strive to adhere to our list of
principles, *everyone* is always welcome.  Like G'Kar once said, "We
need not be afraid of those who are different.  We can embrace that
difference and learn from it."  Personally, I consider myself a "hopeful

agnostic," and I know we have some hard-core atheists there too.  I
simply don't know of any other church that welcomes self-avowed atheists

with such open arms.  The whole point is that everyone needs the freedom

to find their own spiritual and religious path, wherever their personal
search for truth and enlightenment might lead them.  It's also the only
church I know of that doesn't claim to have all the answers on
everything or try to tell you how you should live your life.

I was just curious if you've ever had any experience with UUism,
especially because so many of the messages you conveyed in B5 are so
right on target with what it's all about.  G'Kar's famous "We are One"
speech from the Declaration of Principles is a *perfect* example of the
Unitarian concept of the oneness and interconnectedness of all life.  It

still gives me chills every time I hear it!

In short, Unitarian-Universalism is a liberal religion based on love and

the acceptance of all people.  Sounds like you would fit right in, Joe.

Best regards,

Bill McClure

From: jmsatb5 at (Jms at B5)
Date: 1 Feb 2000 22:14:47 -0700
Lines: 21

>But even if you don't
>belong to any church or organized religion, I was wondering if you might
>be a Unitarian-Universalist and just didn't realize it...?

The way I see it, if you're going to be a unitarian you may as well be an
atheist and get it over with.


(jmsatb5 at
B5 Official Fan Club at:
(all message content (c) 2000 by
synthetic worlds, ltd., permission
to reprint specifically denied to
SFX Magazine)

-*** B5JMS SUBSCRIBERS: Replies to messages go to the list maintainer,
-*** <b5jms-owner at>.  If you want to reply elsewhere, adjust
-*** the "To" field.  See for all
-*** other information about this list.

More information about the B5JMS mailing list