Blessed are the Sheep, TOS: S1E26 “Errand of Mercy”

The Enterprise is sent to protect the planet Organia, which has been targeted by the Klingon Empire as a strategic military location.  The seemingly straightforward mission soon turns strange, as the Organians prove to be a civilization of extremely passive and peaceful people who hate violence of any kind, no matter the intention.  If the meek are truly blessed, these kindly aliens might find their strength in the next world, as they are doomed to be obliterated by the impending Klingon threat.

Kirk and Spock tried so hard to help them in the beginning, and they were not ethically wrong in their intentions.  The noble captain cared about Organia and wanted to save a poor ‘sheepy’ people from a horrible life of slavery at the hands of the Klingons.  Unfortunately, he wanted to use force and violence to carry out his ends, which was against the Organian moral code.  The Klingons demonstrated their might through authoritarian fascism.  It was a power that even Kirk and Spock feared, but it inspired their strength as the ‘protectors’.

Steadfast in their duty, Kirk and Spock resort to unconventional strategies to persuade the Organians to fight.  Kirk detonates a munitions hold to inspire the Organians to fight, but these aliens disapprove of violence of any kind, even justified violence.  Soon the Organians reveal Captain Kirk’s true identity to the Klingons in an attempt to save him from execution.  In this way, they applied their own moral system to inspire an action that seemed unconventional, similar to what Kirk did.

The situation continues to escalate, with the Klingons about to ensure their victory by sheer might.  Just as the tension peaks, every weapon on and around the planet was suddenly made too hot to handle…by the Organians!  The meek and soft-spoken peacemakers put an end to this bitter conflict by force.  Even though Kirk and the Klingons were outraged that these aliens would ‘meddle’ in their affairs (it was their war after all!), the very conflict itself was wrong according to a higher moral law.  It therefore seemed right for the Organians to take it from them… using their own unconventional means.

Throughout the conflict, the Organians were never worried, because they knew the truth about themselves the whole time.  Perhaps they could have told Kirk and Spock, but they didn’t see the point apparently.  Maybe Kirk and Spock would have acted differently if they knew that the Organians were never in any real danger, and instead stand in awe of such ability.  The real power was in their principles, which enabled them to achieve a higher form of existance.  In the end, it is revealed that the Organians were the most powerful beings imaginable.  They surpassed their corporeal existence and therefore needed the ultimate moral law to survive.

The natural conclusion of the ultimate moral law is meekness, because all violence, even justified violence, will eventually be condemned as destructive.  Think of the potential outcome if an Organian were to disobey the moral code for whatever reason: their entire civilization would be destroyed almost instantly.  Absolute power will corrupt absolutely if it is not respected and controlled.  If the Organians did have complete godlike abilities, then thank God they were good!  The only way a civilization this powerful could possibly emerge is by developing an absolute distain for violence.  This makes sense considering that most other godlike beings in the Star Trek universe were quickly eliminated due to their malicious intentions.

The Klingons were powerful for being ruthless, and this elicited violence from the Federation to oppose their fascist empire.  However,  everyone is dwarfed by the ultimate power of the Organians, who rejected both alternatives.  The truth of their nature embodies the real meaining of ‘meek’ as told by the Biblical beatitude.  The Greek word for meek, “praus” (πραεῖς), refers to a horse trained for battle. When a wild horse was broken, it still possessed its strength and bravery, but it now it was disciplined.  The horse was ‘meeked’ from being rebellious to being loyal.  Only the most powerful of the wild horses could become war horses, and the highest level of discipline is required to direct such forceful potential.  Since the Organians were as compelling in their discipline as they were in their ability, they truly were the meek.

Source for Greek Translation: Strong’s Greek Lexicon. Copyright © 1987, 2011 by Helps Ministries, Inc.

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