Tuesday, March 19, 2013

"The aliens will save us"

Say what you want about them, but those guys in the Vatican can put on a show.

That's what I was thinking as I watched the installation of Pope Francis I.  As with the emergence of any new leader, there is always a sense of excitement and expectation that arises.  A few people appear to be more expectant than others.  I came across one such person on Coast to Coast AM the other night.

Cris Putnam, an expert in biblical prophecy, was the guest on the radio show.  He asserted that Francis I might be the pope that discloses to the world the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life.  Putnam is quite correct in pointing out that the Catholic Church has been quite active in the science of astronomy.  The Vatican Astronomical Technology Telescope in Arizona is but one example of this fact.  Indeed, Catholics are something of a rarity in Christianity in that they do not see scientific fact as being in conflict with theology.  Putnam, however, believes more is going on than astronomy.

Together with co-author Thomas Horn, Putnam is releasing a book called Exo-Vaticana: Petrus Romanus, Project L.U.C.I.F.E.R and the Vatican’s Astonishing Plan for the Arrival of an Alien Savior, which argues that "the Vatican is positioning itself as a religious authority in anticipation of the imminent disclosure by world governments of the existence of extraterrestrial life."

While I don't necessarily slam the door on the notion of the Vatican sitting on information about alien contact (although I doubt it), I bristle at the mention of "savior." 

It's not a new idea.  A few years back, Canada's former minister of defense charged that the United States "knows how aliens can make the world greener" or so the paraphrased headline goes. Yep.  They are our "space brothers"and are only here to help us out.  

My problem with this line of thinking has nothing to do with aliens and everything to do with human nature.  We are afflicted by earthquakes, hurricanes, and so many natural disasters that feel out of our control.  Adding logs to our pyre of execution are the fruits of our own actions.  Things like Global Warming and the threat of nuclear war...we're hoping someone will save us.  Mostly, save us from ourselves.

This, in my opinion, is toxic thinking.  It takes the religious concepts of "salvation" and "rapture" and merely transfers them to a science fictional realm.  We postulate a theoretical point in the future where a singular event will occur and all will be well.  In the meantime, we hypothecate towards our savior(s).

We are the only ones who can save us.  The "aliens" will not land and fix it all.  Jesus will not show up, twinkle His eyes, and set everything aright.  Nor should He or they.  We've made our mess.  We must either clean it up or die in it.

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