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Politics, Religion, and Human Nature - Fundamentalism and UFOs PDF Print E-mail
Written by Peter Robbins   
Monday, 31 August 2009 06:00
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Organized Religion and the Impact of Declassification
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Fundamentalism and UFOs

“...no reasonable mind can assume that heavenly bodies which may be far more magnificent than ours would not bear upon them creatures similar or even superior to those upon our human Earth.” -- Giordano Bruno, Italian scientist-philosopher, arrested in 1592 and burned to death as a heretic in 1600

“I believe in G-O-D, not U-F-O.” -- Mike Huckabee, evangelical Christian minister, former Governor of Arkansas, and former candidate for President

The results of The Peters ETI Religious Crisis Survey do not take into account the UFO related beliefs of religious fundamentalists, Christian or otherwise, and we should strive to understand what they are. If we fail to do so our ignorance may result in some very rough going. Reverend Bridget offered me a good starting point, “… the interesting part about the religious beliefs and the skepticism about UFO reality, is that religious fundamentalists are willing to literally believe in angels and miracles as recorded in the Bible because the Bible is their authority, but dismiss other concepts that could explain the same sort of phenomena. I also think the fascination and fear of the unknown is in many ways why religion, especially the fundamentalist, black and white brand, thrives and mainline gray area faiths are struggling.”

I first became interested in the UFO related beliefs of fundamentalists a dozen years ago, and not for the best of reasons. It followed my learning of a broadcast of the popular evangelical television show, “The 700 Club.” The program aired on July 8, 1997 and featured an exchange about the then current Mars Pathfinder Mission. The discussion soon shifted to the possibility of aliens from space and UFOs. It was then that host Pat Robertson stated it was his firm belief that, even if they were real, such ‘aliens’ were really demons whose intention was to lead people away from Christ. His opinion allowed for no possibility that an actual space alien had ever made its way to Earth, even for a brief visit. In fact the situation was so grave, maintained Robertson, that those who actually believe that space aliens were real should be put to death by stoning.

I had never heard of anyone holding such a draconian view in all the years I’d been involved in UFO studies. Was this an isolated position or one shared by others who adhered to Mr. Robertson’s religious beliefs? My UFO related views and opinions are not faith-based and it was difficult for me to take in how someone could claim to know what I considered the unknowable. In this case, the absence of any possibility the Earth has ever been visited by intelligent beings from another planet, solar system, galaxy, dimension or time. Intolerance should always be taken seriously, and soon afterwards the journal Freedom Writer included a commentary about the show, saying, in part: "As the founder and chairman of the Christian Coalition – a group dedicated to becoming the most powerful political force in America – Mr. Robertson's extreme ideas need to be taken seriously, for they not only negate pluralism, but condemn to death those who dare to believe differently."

We Americans have the right to hold whatever religious beliefs we wish, including the right not to believe, just so long as our beliefs do not impinge on the rights of others. My readings on the broadcast included a pair of books on Christian fundamentalist beliefs as they pertained to the UFO phenomenon, UFOs and Their Mission Impossible, and the more luridly titled UFOs: Satanic Terror. Both underscored Mr. Robertson’s basic belief – not that you should stone to death those whose UFO conclusions differed from yours, but that we were misguided souls whose secular, scientific and historic views were only leading us further from Christ’s teachings and any understanding of the revealed word. In the opinion of the authors it came down to this: that as no direct references to extraterrestrials or their applied technology appear in the Old or New Testament, all anomalous UFOs are demonic in origin and among the signs and portents predicted in the Book of Revelations.

In an effort to better understand fundamentalist UFO beliefs, I put a series of questions to three people I know who were qualified to answer them. My good friend Kim, a Christian fundamentalist, and Joseph Jordan and Guy Malone, Christian fundamentalists with an established involvement in UFO studies. All were gracious and forthcoming in responding to my questions, even the most difficult of them.

Malone observed that, “Like most secular people, most Christians have not made this an independent topic of research, and therefore their opinions are largely shaped (like all) through what they see on television and movies, and their own ponderings. Adding any form of religious belief in God to the question of life on other planets, and you typically get the same response from religious adults as you do from a religious 12-year old : "Well I suppose God could have created life on other planets if he wanted to..." (add disclosure event here, and it becomes) ".. and now the government says it's true so I guess it is.”

All three adhere to a literal interpretation of The New and The Old Testament, and were in agreement that, as neither holy book contained any literal, direct reference to aliens from space, the notion was excluded from their beliefs, an argument, regrettably, which the Roman Catholic Church used in the 1500s to destroy the native populations of the Americas. The "antipods," as they were called, could be nothing but Satanic because nothing in Scripture even alluded to their presence.

Kim, Joe and Guy share the view that the intelligences behind the UFO phenomenon are not from another star system or planet, but interdimensional entities, demonic in nature, pretending to be aliens. A fallen angel is able to manifest itself in physical form. Satanic craft are able to make it appear they originate from somewhere out it space. Jordan added that the demon hypothesis was rooted in the belief that ‘they’ were preaching a new, and by extension, blasphemous gospel which included a message given to some abductees and contactees that ‘they’ were the true creators of our religions. This is seen as a key deception that can only be attributed to Satan.

As to how Christian fundamentalists as a whole may respond to any official pronouncement that UFOs and aliens were real - and that at least some of are extraterrestrial in nature, Malone felt, “..they would react to a government disclosure announcement with disbelief, and possibly conclude that said government is either in collusion with the fallen angels, or deceived by them.."

Strong words. The possibility of citizens convinced the government is in collusion with or deceived by fallen angels. What if the government does implement a declassification process which supports an extraterrestrial explanation? Might not some of the more extremist fundamentalists conclude that elements within the government were now, bluntly put, in league with Satan? And if so, might not acts of domestic terrorism be an appropriate response? I respectfully noted that the self-professed Christian Timothy McVeigh’s justification for bombing the federal offices housed in the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City was to strike back at the government for its botched mishandling of the Branch Davidian standoff in Waco, Texas, a year to the day prior. McVey’s unconscionable act resulted in the deaths of 168 men, women and children and the complete destruction of the building and remained the greatest single act of domestic terrorism until September 11, 2001. All of my respondents sadly agreed such a possibility would not be out of the question, but that such an action would only be undertaken by a true extremist, an acknowledged reality in all religions. They also agreed that no true believer – meaning someone who has established a personal relationship with Jesus and maintained a ‘heart belief’ as opposed to a ‘mind belief’ in his or her Christianity – would ever take part in such a heinous act, but instead would do everything within their power to preclude it.

Jordan summed up, that as an Evangelical Christian who at one time had been an agnostic, and been involved in metaphysical studies, he supports the release of all pertinent, classified UFO information. He feels this would result in an honest discussion between the citizenry and the government, cause Christians to finally wake up, and act as a call for everyone to make a choice: between an extraterrestrial or other hypothesis, and the UFO beliefs held by Christian fundamentalists.

The UFO beliefs of other faiths religious extremists vary, but I do have a particular concern about the rise to power of the reactionary Taliban, as intolerant and vindictive a fundamentalist religious sect as the world has seen. We do not know what their reaction to an official endorsement of an extraterrestrial reality might be, but I’m convinced it will be seen as a heresy and in some manner interpreted as in direct violation of their interpretation of The Koran. Such a threat to the fundamentalist Muslim way of life will only be compounded if it originates with ‘The Great Satan,’ that is, America. Lets remember that other perceived insults to the faith ranging from infidel troops on the ground in Saudi Arabia to disrespectful political cartoons published in a Danish newspaper, have resulted in the destruction of property, the deaths of many people, and out-and-out Jihad.



Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 September 2009 13:30
 

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