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Summer-Glau.com Forum » Filmography » Terminator the Sarah Connor Chronicles » Faith and Values in TSCC - Article
Faith and Values in TSCC - Article
chrisdvanne_Date: Sunday, 11 Mar 2012, 17:51 | Message # 1
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Blazius and i often complain about the lack of intelligent articles online in general and about the lazy writing of bloggers who promulgate a shortsighted view of the actors and the tv shows, especially when it comes to Summer Glau.

This is why i'm glad to report here a blog post from Denis Grasska at the Catholic News Agency (CNA); the article, titled "Terminator TV Series Serves As Unexpected Vehicle for Faith and Values" avoid all the usual cliches. The author mentions the influence of Christian values in TSCC, based on examples taken directly from the show.



I particularly appreciate that the blogger does not try to force its views to the readers; also the religious angle is not that often dealt with and highlights James Ellison's role in this regard. I'm convinced that the religious aspect of the show has been brought by Josh Friedman himself and as such should give us a better understanding on what the show is really about.

I recommand every fan of TSCC read this article.

Side note : thanks to The1Russter for pointing this interesting article.


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The1RussterDate: Sunday, 11 Mar 2012, 19:46 | Message # 2
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I found the article quite by chance, or if you are a believer, I was led there by God, while I was searching for a reference to the scene where Cameron asks about faith for a scene I had written. I ultimately couldn't use what I had found for the scene, but I found the article intriguing as I had not read any other article that actually looked into the nuances and detail of TSCC like this one had. Too many bloggers, who think themselves as journalists, gloss over the minute' that makes up each episode to comment on the greater story forgetting that all the little detail contributes to the whole. Religion is part of our lives, even for those who don't practice a religion or believe in God or a god of any kind, it is there. Friedman and his team of writer's didn't knock us over the head with Judea-Christian beliefs, he/they subtly and carefully constructed scenes that drew parallels between what was happening in TSCC and some of what is at the heart of that religion. The article was very adept in pointing that out.

You can also draw parallels between John Connor and Jesus Christ. Other than the happenstance of their initials, there is a similarity and difference that is all too obvious. Each born for a purpose, but where Jesus embraces his destiny, John almost has to be dragged to his destiny. Jesus has disciples and John has devoted followers/friends/family. Christ rejects the protection afforded by the heavenly angels and by his earthly disciples depending solely on the power of God. John needs the protection of friendly terminators and family and friends or else he could killed. Jesus refused the temptations offered by Satan. John succumbed to the temptations offered by Riley. Jesus lived a pure life and allowed himself to be taken and killed for all of humankind. John is imperfect and others die for him so he can save humankind.

It's all very intriguing for those interested in such things.

Because sometimes webpages disappear off the internet, I saved the article as a Word file. I'd be happy to reproduce it here on this thread it you are interested. The article is three years old and you never know when they might clean house on their servers.


Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles REUNION


Message edited by The1Russter - Sunday, 11 Mar 2012, 19:47
 
BlaziusDate: Sunday, 11 Mar 2012, 19:55 | Message # 3
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I know everybody has a unique idea about what the show was about and I also know that people will always have a political agenda to further. My only question is why do you think this article is any better than the other crap we saw recently, Chris? OK, the blogger surely watched the show this time and surely researched it but then he twisted it to further his political views quite aggressively which made me sick reading it.

For instance:

Quote
"As a machine, Cameron lacks the uniquely human capacity for faith. But earlier in the episode, she underwent her own resurrection of sorts, and something about the image of Christ on the cross seems to capture her attention. For religious viewers, the scene might serve as a reminder that faith itself is a God-given gift that humans often take for granted.

“Faith isn’t part of my programming,” Cameron says.

“Yeah, well, I’m not sure it’s part of mine either,” Sarah replies.

Cameron is incapable of faith"


Ahh, so Cameron is only a soulless toaster, incapable of faith and any sentience because Mr. Alpha and Omega refused to give a "soul" to a toaster? Was this really the message of the show? BTW even from his own sentences he admits that Cameron was resurrected and in conjuction with Season 1 Episode 7 its fairly clear that Cam and the terminators are more like angels than humans in this context and should be examined as such.

Also:

Quote
First, how often does a television series acknowledge the reality of post-abortion grief, let alone present us with a male character who has been emotionally devastated by a woman’s “choice”?


I don't want to start a war over human rights and politics but I find those caption marks quite disturbing there personally. It aggressively states as a fact that a woman has no right to decide what happens to her own body. Mind that he isn't speaking in the context of the show.

There are more but I really don't want to get into politics and religion.

I don't deny that the show mixed religion heavily into the story and had a message regarding it but since it was a complex show where it was always questionable what is what you can't take such bold conclusions from it.

Don't misunderstand me, Chris I really enjoy your thread and blog reports and I'm really grateful for them but this one didn't have the intended effect on me I guess.


Summer Glau is so awesome, it isn't even funny!
Blood for the Blood God! Skulls for the Skull Throne!


Message edited by Blazius - Sunday, 11 Mar 2012, 20:08
 
The1RussterDate: Sunday, 11 Mar 2012, 20:39 | Message # 4
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The author, Denis Grasska, inferred Cameron was incapable of having faith from Cameron's very own words, "Faith isn’t part of my programming." That doesn't imply that she may not learn faith, provided faith itself is a teachable concept. If I can disagree with the author, you might say Cameron had 'faith' in John Connor, but lost it to a degree when he placed her life over his own. This can be inferred from the scene where she tells John he can't be trusted anymore and also when she tells Sarah not to let him do that again.

The author doesn't say woman's choice is wrong, only that others, specifically the woman's partner, can suffer as the result of that choice, which was shown in the episode he referenced. There is a medical and psychological evidence that husbands of women who abort their pregnancy do suffer. The author even says that such an issue in this type of program is odd, but draws parallels between the topic and the terminator story nonetheless and I would also say very succinctly. As to the intent of the writers for including this scene when other reasons for the breakup of Ellison's marriage might have been made we don't know, but I doubt if the author of the article is too far off the mark.

TSCC used the Judea-Christian beliefs and societal topics as a metaphor for many events within the show. Denis Grasska just pointed them out. Nothing more and nothing less. No preaching. No telling the reader if something was right or wrong. What we the viewer take from a show will be solely based on our knowledge, experiences, conscience, and faith. The author just pointed out a few observations based on his own. We take from that what we want.

EDIT: Additionally, I don't think the creative minds behind TSCC were trying to teach or preach either. Their intent was probably no more that what I said above, simply used it as a metaphor. Which brings us back on topic to what Chris was saying, there is greater depth to TSCC than what has been previously acknowledged by bloggers and the article by Mr. Grasska is just one of the many various topics and subjects TSCC creators drew on tell us their story.


Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles

Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles REUNION


Message edited by The1Russter - Sunday, 11 Mar 2012, 20:55
 
chrisdvanne_Date: Monday, 12 Mar 2012, 00:25 | Message # 5
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My understanding of TSCC's message is that Cameron is a computer "that will cross against the light". Cameron is maybe incapable of faith but that doesn't mean that she's not able to question herself and her programming.
The roles are clearly attributed in TSCC : Sarah (and Derek at the begining) express the voice of the machines's haters : "They don't feel anything, they don't have feeling, they don't know love" but the tv watchers (and John) know that it's not that simple. John saying "I know that, Mom" while trying desesperately to "clean" the chip, is very meaningful in this regard.

Of course the author had something in mind when he wrote that article (as the one who wrote about the representation of curved woman in tv/movies) but we can use our free will and criticize positively the article. IIRC, John Henry himself asked James Ellison if he is also a creature of God and therefore sacred as such (of course Josh Friedman didn't give us a clue about the answer, as said Russ they leave the reader find their own answers). Quoting that part was maybe not useful for the message the author wanted to convey but we fans know better than that.

The religion and faith is indeed everywhere in the show and at least the article has the merit to make us think about other aspects of the show than the Jameron ship for example.

I don't want to talk too much about the abortion because it can be a sensitive subject indeed; one can aknowledge that the situation described here is the same situation that the couple Owen and Cristina are living in Grey's Anatomy : the husband suffering from the woman's choice to abort. Yet i don't think anyone is criticizing Shonda Rhimes for that.

My goal when i report an article is exactly that; bringing the fans to questions the author's assertions and also confronting our opinions like we do.


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Message edited by chrisdvanne - Monday, 12 Mar 2012, 01:27
 
BlaziusDate: Monday, 12 Mar 2012, 01:58 | Message # 6
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Quote (The1Russter)
EDIT: Additionally, I don't think the creative minds behind TSCC were trying to teach or preach either. Their intent was probably no more that what I said above, simply used it as a metaphor. Which brings us back on topic to what Chris was saying, there is greater depth to TSCC than what has been previously acknowledged by bloggers and the article by Mr. Grasska is just one of the many various topics and subjects TSCC creators drew on tell us their story.


Just one thing, I have absolutely no problem with that Friedman brought these metaphors into the show, more so because if somebody read some of my earlier posts I like to use them too( some members are maybe remembering the Summer Glau= Mona Lisa= Angel/God "Theory" discussion)

Its the same thing as when a poet uses references to Latin/Greek mythology for the same end. Its very easy to make your point with these metaphors because most people are very familiar with them. It doesn't mean of course that said poet believes in ancient gods.

The other goal of the show was to confront different ideas and life situations. But the thing is that the show didn't proclaim an ultimate truth, its up to each viewer to decide what is the truth.

Besides, please somebody show me a single sci-fi which doesn't ask questions about religion. Even Star Trek does it despite that its a highly Marxist show( especially TNG).



Quote (The1Russter)
The author, Denis Grasska, inferred Cameron was incapable of having faith from Cameron's very own words, "Faith isn’t part of my programming." That doesn't imply that she may not learn faith, provided faith itself is a teachable concept. If I can disagree with the author, you might say Cameron had 'faith' in John Connor, but lost it to a degree when he placed her life over his own. This can be inferred from the scene where she tells John he can't be trusted anymore and also when she tells Sarah not to let him do that again.


My problem is that the guy connects the fact that Cam is not human to that she is faithless. Because he believes that sentience is given by God to humanity only, through souls and because machines are not humans they can't get it, they can never be sentient and they are necessarily inferior to humans. So yeah, he preaches and tries to force his views on the viewer just as the Wonder Woman girl.

Quote (The1Russter)
The author doesn't say woman's choice is wrong, only that others, specifically the woman's partner, can suffer as the result of that choice, which was shown in the episode he referenced. There is a medical and psychological evidence that husbands of women who abort their pregnancy do suffer. The author even says that such an issue in this type of program is odd, but draws parallels between the topic and the terminator story nonetheless and I would also say very succinctly. As to the intent of the writers for including this scene when other reasons for the breakup of Ellison's marriage might have been made we don't know, but I doubt if the author of the article is too far off the mark.


"Choice" is between the "" marks which means that he doesn't recognize abortion as the right of women because he thinks its murder.

This point is exactly what made me react so strongly to the article because it crosses the line of innocent chatting about a TV show and introduces touchy political questions while enforces his( flawed IMO) ideas on the reader. From that point it was clear to me what was the intention of this article.

And yeah, I realize that from Elisons POV the author is right however the show isn't just about Elison and he is a very morally questionable character in the show which doesn't exactly make his POV the unquestionable truth. For all we know he may be the same as I interpret the final "Jameron" bed scene in BTR.


Summer Glau is so awesome, it isn't even funny!
Blood for the Blood God! Skulls for the Skull Throne!
 
KrelleKDate: Tuesday, 20 Mar 2012, 19:28 | Message # 7
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Quote (Blazius)
My problem is that the guy connects the fact that Cam is not human to that she is faithless. Because he believes that sentience is given by God to humanity only, through souls and because machines are not humans they can't get it, they can never be sentient and they are necessarily inferior to humans. So yeah, he preaches and tries to force his views on the viewer just as the Wonder Woman girl.


Well I personally is not very religious, but if say that God gave us sentience through our souls, well is it not the a possibel thought, that the machines might also get a soul/sentience through god, but instead of directtly, it comes to them through the labour of man, I mean if god gave us sentience, well then we build Skynet and it also ends up sentient, and some if not all given time, of the machines build by skynet might also be capable of sentience. biggrin
 
ChrisDate: Monday, 26 Mar 2012, 12:03 | Message # 8
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Faith isn't part of my programming never actually said Cameron did not have faith, it just said she wasn't programmed to have faith (if you wish to interperet it that way) it doesn't mean she did not learn it as she clearly had faith in John despite him being a whiney teenager! As always so many questions left unanswered while they produce crap shows instead.

Very good point about Ellison, appears to be a man of faith yet lies to John and Cameron inadditon to other people throughout the show
 
BlaziusDate: Monday, 26 Mar 2012, 18:42 | Message # 9
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Quote (Chris)
Faith isn't part of my programming never actually said Cameron did not have faith, it just said she wasn't programmed to have faith (if you wish to interperet it that way) it doesn't mean she did not learn it as she clearly had faith in John despite him being a whiney teenager! As always so many questions left unanswered while they produce crap shows instead.


I think she spoke about religious faith rather than regular faith.

Then its perfectly understandable why it isn't part of her programming. Faith in God or any kind of religion is a mechanism for humans to answer what is their purpose, who is responsible for their existence( especially without cold, inhuman science), etc. Cameron and other Terminators don't need that since they already know the answers. It still wouldn't mean that a sentient machine like Cameron is anything less than a sentient human its just that the circumstances are entirely different.


Summer Glau is so awesome, it isn't even funny!
Blood for the Blood God! Skulls for the Skull Throne!
 
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