Jesus Is Not Better Than the SpaceJump

Considering how much scientific awesome-ness was required to make Felix Baumgartner’s recent 24-mile-high SpaceJump, I don’t think Christians should be able to use the event to promote their own agenda…

Here’s Pastor Mark Driscoll arguing that Jesus beats “skydiving”:

… My kids were spellbound. We could not believe what we were seeing. That a single person would travel from the heavens to the earth was mind-boggling.

And, the whole world agrees. Everything from the nightly news to social media has been buzzing ever since. Apparently, the notion that one man would come down from the heavens is something that God has hardwired deep within all of us as something profoundly gripping in our soul.

But, it wasn’t the first time or even the greatest trip. Jesus did something even more amazing.

That’s not even a subtle Jesus Juke

Look, God didn’t hardwire us to be enthralled by the SpaceJump because it was like someone coming down from Heaven. I watched my computer screen, mesmerized, because of how scientists and engineers came together to make the jump possible. (Also, you know, because the dude could have gone *splat* when he landed.)

I have yet to see any report that Baumgartner thanked God before, during, or after his jump. There was no Bible with him in that tiny capsule. He didn’t hold a group prayer before starting his ascent. The only reference to anything spiritual was a tongue-in-cheek comment made to Baumgartner by the previous free-fall-jump record-holder Joe Kittinger back in Mission Control, just before the jump: “Our guardian angel will take care of you.”

The pastor who doesn’t accept scientific theories because they might contradict the Bible doesn’t get to use Baumgartner to promote Jesus. It’s a new rule. I just created it.

Plus, Baumgartner out-miracled Jesus. And unlike everything in the Bible, we actually have proof to back up this amazing event.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the chair of Foundation Beyond Belief and a high school math teacher in the suburbs of Chicago. He began writing the Friendly Atheist blog in 2006. His latest book is called The Young Atheist's Survival Guide.

  • Glasofruix

    From the heavens? I’m not sure that vacuum filled with radiation is heaven comfy.

  • A3Kr0n

    I like your new rule.

  • C Peterson

    Let’s not forget that his sponsor, Red Bull, taught us that it was only
    through the use of energy drinks that Jesus could walk on water!
     

  • Andrew B.

    “But, it wasn’t the first time or even the greatest trip. Jesus did something even more amazing.”

    What?  Get hammered without drinking?

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1351473675 Matthew Baker

    Its a good thing that Felix Baumgartner didn’t bump into the firmament that would have really screwed up his jump.

    • Russian Alex

       Yeah, that usually tends to be somewhat of a disappointment.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

       Come on. Yes, it ss an absurd notion that there was even such a thing in the first place, but as I understand it, even Christians don’t believe there’s a firmament any more, because its breaking led to the flood. This is a straw man.

  • http://twitter.com/gingerjet gingerjet

    I heard an interview with him after his jump – he did make reference to God.

    • shoetree

      Correct, he asked God to not let him die in front of his parents and girlfriend.

    • http://twitter.com/nicoleintrovert Nicole Introvert

       Yeah. I recall him making a reference to god in the press conference, I just don’t remember the exact words.

  • DougI

    If Jesus did something more amazing then why isn’t there a youtube video of it?

    • amycas

       I’m sure the omnipotent god could accomplish such a feat. I mean, if my sister’s cat can have a youtube channel, then it shouldn’t be beyond a god’s grasp

  • Russian Alex

    As a person fascinated by aviation since childhood and a current student pilot, I’d say the whole Jesus thing is rather underwhelming.

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    I only caught the landing, but… DAMN!

    Why would someone take something so…. so undeniably awesome as a space-jump and turn it into an opportunity to push Jesus? Why can’t we just sit here and appreciate this feat of engineering and human… umm… what’s the word? That thing, where you keep reaching further and trying harder and doing ever more awesome things? (I swear, it’s right on the tip of my fingers, too.)

    Anyway, can’t we just enjoy this thing for what it was without bringing religion into it?

  • yohocoma

    The only reference to anything spiritual was a tongue-in-cheek comment made to Baumgartner by the previous free-fall-jump record-holder Joe Kittinger back in Mission Control, just before the jump: “Our guardian angel will take care of you.”

    Why do you think that was tongue-in-cheek?

    I’m curious: Would your perception of this marketing event change if you found out Baumgartner said a silent prayer before the jump?

    • Baal

       No, it’d still be a marketing event that did some interesting engineering and had the spectacle of a dramatic end (a lot like auto racing really).  The jumpers religiousness or not wouldn’t change how I viewed it.

      Had the jumper said, “13 angels gently carried me home to the love and warmth of my family in the light of christ”  the marketing effect for redbull would have been overshadowed.

  • http://twitter.com/FelyxLeiter Felyx Leiter

    “Apparently, the notion that one man would come down from the heavens is something that God has hardwired deep within all of us as something profoundly gripping in our soul.”

    OMG!!!!  And I totally love eating bread and fish and drinking wine!!!!  God must have hardwired it deep within me and is now profoundly gripping my soul on surf’n’turf night!!!  BIBLE!

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Michael-Harrison/23417637 Michael Harrison

    I stand by what I heard: that a guardian ninja watched over Baumgartner.

  • Antinomian

    But, but, there be monsters out there….

  • jesusandkaren

    They’re hiring at http://www.kfinleyblog.com

  • Gunstargreen

    I don’t think Jesus broke the sound barrier on the way down so no, not as cool.


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