National Geographic, known for its matter-of-fact scientific shows now has a different type of program in its second season, The Story of God. This move was done presumably to increase its market share. The program has succeeded to cultivate a certain gravitas concerning its subject. It has done so even without an in-depth investigation of the true reverence of any believer. It also avoided the mockery of faith on a rationalist basis. It helped that the channel chose Morgan Freeman as the lead actor and narrator in the series.
Freeman is natural to this role. He has an innate warmth which draws people to him and listen to what he says. To many in the audience, it is nearly a breach of reverence to refuse. The sonorous voice celebrates the basic unity of the religious experience. The audience quickly becomes the connoisseur of wonder.
In the second season of The Story of God, Freeman, the Academy Award winning actor, makes a bold claim. He says all three major religions of the globe today- Judaism, Islam and Christianity, drew their tenets from one another and another more ancient religion – Zoroastrianism. The latter is considered to be one of the oldest faiths in human history.
In an interview, Freeman has clarified the beliefs and principles which he believes the three religions imported from Zoroastrianism.
He also told the interviewer how religion has impacted his personal life. He recalled the faith acquired during his life journeys. The 79-year-old actor admitted that although he gained knowledge, Zoroastrianism has impacted him the most. He continued on to say that the three tenets of this religion are the good thoughts, good deeds and good words. He said that he-and almost all religious people- strive for that. Put in such a perspective, believers of the three major religions are believers of Zoroastrianism.
According to Zoroastrianism, there is only one supreme, universal and transcendent God, the Ahura Mazda or “Wise Lord.” If one goes by Encyclopedia Britannica, the religion once flourished in Iran, but now it barely survives in that country. Zoroastrianism is now much stronger in India.
The initial three episodes made for the second season will be about a number of themes, “The Chosen One,” “Heaven and Hell” and the “Proof of God.”