Keeper of the Faith: Science, Justice, and the Bearing of the Cross

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Title: Keeper of the Faith: Science, Justice, and the Bearing of the Cross
Creator: Fialka
Date(s): 1998, updated 2001
Medium: online
Fandom: The X-Files
External Links: "Keeper of the Faith - Fialka". Archived from the original on 2015-06-16.
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Keeper of the Faith: Science, Justice, and the Bearing of the Cross is by Fialka.

It was part of a series. The author comments that: "Many of these essays first appeared as discussions on OBSSE, Scullyfic and/or ATXA."

The essay was first posted to The Annotated X-Files Study Guide and is at Fialka's Candybox.

Later, it was reposted:

Sadly, when the old NBCI server went the way of so many really cool, free things on the net, I never could find another free site with enough space to house the whole Study Guide, and it didn't get enough traffic to warrant paying for 250mb on a server somewhere. Not to mention, I no longer have as much time on my hands as I did back then, so like the UFOs...well, it is another UFO. Some of it still appears to be here, if you can wade your way through all the advertising on FortuneCity. I sure won't be insulted if you don't. These essays are from the original site, and appear here unchanged. Unlinked titles got abducted by aliens somewhere along the way. If you find them wandering dazed by the side of the road, could you be so kind as to send them home?


Just what is Scully's faith? An intriguing question once one moves past the obvious answer: well, she's Catholic. Catholic by religious upbringing, certainly, but I would venture to say there's a difference between religion and faith, and that for Scully in particular, these may not amount to quite the same thing. A religiously Catholic scientist seems a contradiction in terms, yet Scully wears a cross, which (all continuty gaffs aside) she's apparently had since she was a teenager. The fact that she has continued to wear it suggests it has a deeper meaning than a mere symbol of her religion.

It seems to me that a scientist, especially one as rabidly rational as Scully, could not possibly believe that someone could be born without sexual intercourse as a means of conception. She could not believe that the wine and the wafer actually become the body and the blood of that man, or that by eating it she is incorporating God into her body. Yet I have highly rational Catholic friends who have confessed that yes, they do actually believe this. And it would not be out of character for the same to be true of Scully, despite the fact that these things are well beyond the explanation of science. And that, I suppose, is where we come face-to-face with God. BUT, if Scully can believe in an immaculate conception, then this immediately begs the question why she can't believe her own eyes half the time, especially when it comes to the phenomena she's observed over the last seven years of investigating things for which her science can offer no explanation at all. Over and over we see a brilliantly intelligent woman reject the evidence of her own senses because what she has seen simply DOESN'T FIT. It is not scientific, not possible, even when she hears it recounted in her own voice (The Red and the Black).

No matter which you believe (prayer or chip) a case can be made that God has ordained Scully's healing by causing the smoker to give the location of the chip to Mulder. Whether through prayer or technology, Scully has her miracle. Returning to Church ritual would, it seems to me, be the natural way for her to acknowledge that she is trying to understand the meaning of this gift, to reaffirm her faith that she is here to serve justice, even when it seems that justice can never be served. Still, having received the chip, and considering her own scientific doubts about what it was and what it might do, what made her agree to put it inside her own body? Some might say desperation, and of course there's an element of that, as well as an element of feeling that she owed it to Mulder, who had danced with the devil to get it for her, and who had to believe they had tried every means possible to save her life, so he might be able to accept her death without going off the rails. But I would say faith. Faith in Mulder, and faith in the science of the chip -- whose design is as beyond her present understanding as is God's design for the universe. She had to try, she had to know if it would work. Because along with Scully's illogical belief in an unprovable deity, comes an unfathomable scientific curiosity -- the absolute faith that in time, all can be known, all mysteries solved and understood. And that is actually more in line with her faith in God than I'd previously supposed. Maybe that's why, however far she drifted, Scully never stopped wearing that cross.