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Television programs provide one of the most popular forms of entertainment today From The Simpsons to The X-Files television shows amuse shock sadden and excite us by turns Television does more however than simply entertain Television shows are cultural products and as such they reflect reinforce and challenge cultural ideas It acts as a mirror and a model for society In examining and understanding those cultural messages and popular appeal of certain television shows we should understand something about the society that has created and sustained them Arguably Star Trek is one of the most popular television shows ever produced Today Star Trek includes four television series and nine motion pictures Like some of the other television shows Star Trek has been subject to the vagaries of producers and writers so it is difficult to generalize about the intent of the authors of Star Trek or the viewpoint of the readers Yet it is also clear that Star Trek has at various times been reflective informative and critical about the culture -American culture- that produced it Star Trek has addressed a wide variety of issues including war capitalism individualism technology race gender prejudice religion etc The list can be extended to many other issues but here I will focus on race gender prejudice and religion only As portrayed on television such issues are representations of socio-cultural perspectives on broad human concerns For taking a closer look to those issues in the continuing parts I will give some examples from a number of Star Trek episodes that had written in different times The portrayal and treatment of religion in the Star Trek television series and films provides an important cultural commentary on the place of religion in society Although no single coherent approach to religion appears in Star Trek the series is nevertheless variously reflective of informed by and critical of societal attitudes toward religion The portrayal and treatment of religion in much of
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