Those good folks at Worldview Weekend have given me yet another gift in the form of this column by Ralph Barker, the first in a two part series entitled UFOs and the Gospel of Christ. Barker claims to have seen his first UFO when he was 10 and that it "flew at very high altitudes and performed almost instant, high speed, ninety-degree turns. Nothing flying, then or now, with the exception of Superman, can do this." So he believes in them, apparently. Then he launches into a tirade about new agers and anti-Christian conspiracies:
There exists throughout the world various "gifted" people who supposedly can contact aliens and channel their messages to us earthlings. This certainly is interesting to consider but here is the really intriguing point. These messages routinely attack, ridicule, or undermine Christianity. The aliens don't seem to be threatened by Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, or any other ism. They focus their attacks on Christianity. Could this be because Christianity is the only true religion? This would be my bet.
Of course, he later contradicts this claim that they ignore other religions and focus on Christianity when he gives an example that he again claims targets Jews and Christians, but that does nothing of the sort:
What is particularly interesting about this invitation is who is not welcome to join them. The unwelcome are the practicing Jews and Christians. Listen to this quote that subtly applies to them. This message comes from space being OX-HO who speaks to those associated with a British Columbian UFO contact group. OX-HO says:
People of earth, you are becoming fourth dimensional (meaning that humanity is evolving into a new species) whether you are ready or not. Leave the old to those who cling to the old. Don't let the New Age leave you behind.
The more you read the book the clearer it becomes that "the old" referred to by OX-HO is outdated religious beliefs like Christianity and all that right/wrong stuff.
But of course, that quote says nothing about Christianity. Or Jews. And just as obviously, all the other great religious traditions of the world would also be "outdated religious beliefs" dealing with "right/wrong stuff." He ends it with this:
Now the question is who inhabits the UFOs. Are they aliens? Are they extra terrestrials? Are they from our future? Who or what are they? Enquiring minds want to know.
Oh, they do indeed. I for one cannot wait for the next installment. In fact, I'm gonna make a prediction: Barker is going to claim that UFOs are real but are "demonic". He might even do what Kent Hovind used to do in his seminar and endorse the notion that UFOs are "satanically owned and operated" and are used to transport Satan from place to place because, unlike God, he can't be in all places at all times. I can't wait for the second installment.
I'm pretty sure that the inhabitants of those UFOs are the bastard offspring of the unholy union of space aliens and Elvis's ghost.
Well that explains it. The black helicopters are really Satan's private space fleet doing secret renditions of Christians to the planet Mongo to be interrogated by Ming the Merciless. How'd I miss something so obvious?
Well, PaulC, your suggestion is patently absurd, while mine has the ring of truth.
I heard about this other popular religion that's fond of space aliens and intergalactic emperors.
And they call Tom Cruise crazy!
As far as I know, these so-called aliens only seem to abduct middle- to lower-class white people, usually WASPs. They seem to avoid abducting, for example, Latinos, African-Americans, Chasidic Jews from Brooklyn, al-Qaeda members, Bill Gates, and all of Congress.
So, if the aliens exist, their sampling methods suck. Further, they only seem to pick up people who are, shall we say, not the the sharpest tools in the shed.
Rather than targeting Christians, then, I would suggest the aliens are trying to understand why Christians of a certain stripe are so f***ing stupid. That the abductions continue indicates the aliens don't understand why any better than the rest of us do.
I see more evidence for the existence of aliens than I do for the existence of god. So I think alien believers should be shown at least as much respect as religious people, but that is not done in our society.
So I think alien believers should be shown at least as much respect as religious people
We are all entitled to an opinion about what "should" happen. But in reality, beliefs that conform to a consensus of many people are shown respect, whereas those that contradict that consensus are marginalized. This holds independently of any rational support for the views. A rational argument is at best a starting point for influencing the consensus in which case your idea might gain wide respect in a generation or so after a certain group of influential people have died and been replaced by others.
It's a pretty recent development for societies to empower everyone even in principle to champion a particular viewpoint or to accept observation and logic as objective arbiters of the truth. In past ages, it was widely understood that important truths were a matter of received wisdom. Today we pay lipservice to the enlightenment, but we're still biological humans and most of us expend more energy forming coalitions with other humans than trying to puzzle out the way things actually work. If you view religion as a shared symbolism for building coalitions, it is much simpler to understand what's going on than to imagine that most people actually care about the truth or wish to test their beliefs rationally.
Nothing flying, then or now, with the exception of Superman, can do this." So he believes in them, apparently.
How does he know it wasn't Superman?
I would scarcely have believed it possible for someone to write this stuff with a straight face. I still can't quite wrap my mind around how one does it.
Ever notice how these folks quote biblical verses about who not to trust and listen to, including quotes that mention "false Christians," yet they continue to preach hatred and intolerance?
I'm not sure why the Jesus-freaks and the UFO-junkies don't get along. I mean they're pretty similar mindsets. Invisible man in the sky watches over you all day long helping your favorite sport team to win the big game, etc., versus little green men sailed through trillions of miles of void just to stick a probe up your rectum. Both groups seem to have "I am the center of all creation" delusions.
Steve, give the guy a fuggin' break! UFOs are REAL. Superman's a comic book character, and much less likely to have all of the powers shown in what is an openly fictionalized account of his deeds. Superman probably can fly in very sharp parabolas, but not at right angles.
One of the most amusing pieces of testimony in the McLean v. Arkansas creationism case was the cross-examination of Norman Geisler, in which he declared that UFOs were demonic in origin.
A recent issue of Fortean Times (issue 211, 2006's "special issue") has a cover story on "Flying Saucers from Hell" that is about "a now largely forgotten counter-theory ... of infiltration by demons from the fiery pits of Hades." Cited works include Barry H. Downing's _The Bible and Flying Saucers_ ("be open minded about aliens as part of God's creation"), Billy Graham's _Angels_ (suggests UFOs are angels), John Weldon with Zola Levitt's _UFOs: what on earth is happening: the coming invasion_, Clifford Wilson's _UFOs and Their Mission Impossible_, _The UFO Concern Report on the Hill-Norton UFO Initiative_ (a report endorsed by Lord Hill-Norton, former British Chief of Defense Staff, with authors including Gordon Creighton, former editor of _Flying Saucer Review_ and "the best-known demonologist in the UK). A group called the Christian UFO Research Association (CHRUFORA) started in May 1977 by a group of priests and former ufologists advocated the view that UFOs are demonic.
So Barker's not quite novel...
Is that pronounced "ch" as in el chupacabra? Or "ch" as in chimera?
I sometimes buy UFO magazine simply because I am wholly incapable of resisting it's many charms. It's a lot like having to look at the accident wreckage on the side of the road, but funny.
But I've never seen them (and they are clearly the experts) mention Flying Saucers From Hell. I suspect that's because the theory is so cracked most of the UFO nuts even reject it. Although I have heard it on Art Bell... I suppose that just means we ought to teach the controversy...