E.T. Meets Jesus

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The top Vatican astronomer says that it’s okay to believe in extraterrestrials, that it’s not contrary to the faith and that we should consider them as our brothers.

Jesuit Father Jose Funes, director of the Vatican Observatory, said Christians should consider alien life as an “extraterrestrial brother” and a part of God’s creation.

But wait, it gets better. He says they may not need redemption.

If aliens exist, they may be a different life form that does not need Christ’s redemption, the Vatican’s chief astronomer said.

Asked about implications that the discovery of alien life might pose for Christian redemption, Father Funes cited the Gospel parable of the shepherd who left his flock of 99 sheep in order to search for the one that was lost.

“We who belong to the human race could really be that lost sheep, the sinners who need a pastor,” he said.

“God became man in Jesus in order to save us. So if there are also other intelligent beings, it’s not a given that they need redemption. They might have remained in full friendship with their creator,” he said.

Father Funes went on to say that Christ’s incarnation and sacrifice was a unique and unrepeatable event. But he said he was sure that, if needed, God’s mercy would be offered to aliens, as it was to humans.

That last sentence made my imagination take off like a, well like a rocket.
(cue wiggly “imagination” dissolve)

2012: An alien interstellar spacecraft, not resembling a flying saucer at all but more like an enormous sea urchin on LSD lands in Bellflower, California. Why? Who knows? They’re aliens. Three bizarre machines disembark, each carrying a creature floating in a clear tank of multicolored liquid. The closest thing they resemble is a chambered nautilus but a hundred times weirder. Having monitored our broadcasts for the last 50 light years of their approach to us, they have some ability to translate our language, but it is not very accurate. We are as strange to them as they are to us. People are afraid at first, but after a while they begin to crowd around the creatures in their machine-suits. There seems to be something peaceful and wise about their appearance and their floating, almost dance-like movements. Some people attempt to communicate and the aliens seem to respond at least by turning toward those who are speaking. Understanding is creeping its fragile, tentative way forward when suddenly Ray Comfort breaks through the crowd, introduces himself with a tone of great importance and confronts them with his spiel about sin, salvation and hell fire. (He doesn’t have a banana. Just as well; they have tentacles, not hands.) The aliens’ translation technology struggles to put Ray’s babbling into terms they can comprehend. His name comes out something like “Starlight Pleasure.” With the exception of nouns and a few verbs, most of our words are still incomprehensible to them. When the translation gets to the part about burning in hell the aliens respond to the concept with horror beyond their experience and take it as an immediate threat. Their liquid atmospheres swirl into darker colors. All three turn toward Ray. Black metallic appendages with flat cones come out of the machines and point toward him. The rest of the crowd begins to quietly back away from Ray. The peaceful and wise feeling is gone. Suddenly a staccato blast of extremely loud, extremely low frequency sound pulses turns Ray’s internal organs into mush. He crumples to the ground. The aliens back away from his scrambled body, board their ship and lift off into space. On their way out they mine the solar system with devices that will destroy any of our attempts to go into space beyond orbiting our own planet. They leave this part of the galaxy forever.

Let’s hope any E.T.’s who ever come here are atheists. Imagine them trying to forcibly convert the savages of Earth to their True Faith.

About Richard Wade

Richard Wade is a retired Marriage and Family Therapist living in California.

  • mike

    So if there are also other intelligent beings, it’s not a given that they need redemption. They might have remained in full friendship with their creator.

    I knew the church wants us all to believe that we are terrible, wretched, sinful creatures. But now it appears we could even be the most awful sentient life forms in the universe.

  • Dylan Armitage

    @ mike: That’s not just the idea that they want you to have, it’s the most popular idea among high schoolers! Seriously, I cannot go a single day without hearing someone say something about how horrible all of humanity is.

    Not only could it be thought of that way, but also in a way that humanity itself is “God’s chosen species,” if you will. They refer to humanity as that single lost sheep, which places us as the single most important aspect that the shepherd is searching for to help.

    Sometimes, I just can’t seem to see how people think like this and don’t think what they are saying sounds crazy.

    I can just imagine the Simpsons episode where the aliens come and get elected president coming true. That is, if they were not atheists. Intergalactic religious war?

  • http://www.runicfire.net ansuzmannaz

    Fortunately, we could very well be among the first technological civilizations in the galaxy.

    Unfortunately, I’m pretty certain that other civilizations will have their superstitions and equivalents of religion.

  • http://godisadyke.blogspot.com/ VickiLynne

    i have a friend that is a believer of this i don’t doubt it and it’s worth the investigation, i bet they’re nicer and more kinder than the humans that travel this earth

  • Maria

    LOL

  • mikespeir

    “So if there are also other intelligent beings, it’s not a given that they need redemption. They might have remained in full friendship with their creator”

    So, God might have gotten it right next time around? (Must’ve been his third try.)

  • Ken

    At least the Vatican is good for something.

    Without it, we would have one less thing to laugh about.

  • Viggo the Carpathian

    If you all have not read Orsen Scott Card’s Enderverse series, do. It deals with humanity meeting other species… it aint pretty.

    Xenocide.

  • http://www.blakeclan.org/jon/greenoasis/ Jonathan Blake

    Actually, this is almost taken right from the Mormon playbook. The details are a bit fuzzy, but Mormon prophets have taught that Jesus created many worlds with inhabitants like us (Moses 1:33–36—a Mormon scripture). According to Mormonism, however, they all needed Jesus’ atoning sacrifice .

  • http://thatatheistguysblog.blogspot.com NYCatheist

    Here, you might enjoy this short story about a future missionary trying to convert an alien fungus:

    http://www.booksfromscotland.com/Books/Nova-Scotia-9781841830865/A-Case-of-Consilience

    Charlie Stross has a good post about the Fermi paradox too:

    http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2008/05/why_the_fermi_paradox_isnt_mor.html

  • Vincent

    nice tale.
    Ray Bradburry wrote a short story about astronauts moving from occupied planet to occupied planet, each time getting closer and closer to meeting Jesus but always getting there just after he dies.

    That would suck. Having to die on every single world where there is life.

  • David D.G.

    Suddenly a staccato blast of extremely loud, extremely low frequency sound pulses turns Ray’s internal organs into mush. He crumples to the ground.

    (*sniff*) I just love a story with a happy ending!

    The aliens back away from his scrambled body, board their ship and lift off into space. On their way out they mine the solar system with devices that will destroy any of our attempts to go into space beyond orbiting our own planet. They leave this part of the galaxy forever.

    Aw, phooey. So much for the happy ending, then. Thanks a heap, Ray.

    Seriously, I loved that little sci-fi snippet! That was beautifully written!

    ~David D.G.

  • Darryl

    Richard, you have a good imagination. You should (maybe you do) write Sci-Fi.

  • Stephanie

    Oh dear, maybe I’m just not intellectual enough- but after the first snippet, all I could think was, you mean “Brother From Another Planet”?

  • http://ohthethinksyoucanthink.blogspot.com Linda

    Richard,

    I have three words for you:

    “Just say NO.” :)

  • cipher

    Can the aliens take care of Kirk Cameron too before they leave?

  • jdcollins

    This is really weird. I just got done reading a book by Mary Doria Russel called The Sparrow. It’s weird because it takes place in the near future and a group of people have discovered intelligent life on another planet. The Government doesn’t want to do anything about it, so the Jesuit Society takes up the plan to send a crew to the other planet.

    It’s a good read if you haven’t read it. Makes you think, which I assume most of us like to do.

  • AnonyMouse

    When you got to the part with the metal cones that shoot innard-liquefying rays, I have to admit, the first thing I thought of was the Daleks.

    I would love to see Ray Comfort face off against those… well, no, not really, because it wouldn’t be pretty. The look on his face would be priceless, though.


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