Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Catholics and Alien Life Forms. It's OK To Believe In Aliens

Most religious believers don’t think discovery of alien life would threaten their faith.

Berkeley, Aug 19, 2008 / 04:00 am (CNA).- While some news writers and commentators from scientific backgrounds presume that the discovery of extra-terrestrial intelligence (ETI) would undermine religion and religious belief, a new study reports that most religious believers do not think such a novel discovery would shake their faith. One mainline Protestant respondent to the survey even commented “Hey! I'll share my pew with an extraterrestrial any day.”
(I'll believe this one when I see it.)

The findings come from the Peters ETI Religious Crisis Survey, conducted by Ted Peters, professor of systematic theology at both Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary and the Center for Center for Theology and the Natural Sciences at the Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley California. Also written by research assistant Julie Froehlig, the survey notes several prominent commentators who hold that the discovery of ETI would shake religious belief.

“It might be the case that aliens had discarded theology and religious practice long ago as primitive superstition and would rapidly convince us to do the same,” Arizona State University physicist and astrobiologist Paul Davies has said, according to the survey report. “Alternatively, if they retained a spiritual aspect to their existence, we would have to concede that it was likely to have developed to a degree far ahead of our own. If they practiced anything remotely like a religion, we should surely soon wish to abandon our own and be converted to theirs.” (Or at the very least update the book of Genesis and admit it's metaphor.)

However, the responses given to the Peters ETI Religious Crisis Survey show few religious believers say that the discovery of alien intelligence would affect their religious beliefs.
The survey report summarizes the hypothesis it is testing as: “upon confirmation of contact between earth and an extraterrestrial civilization of intelligent beings, the long established religious traditions of earth would confront a crisis of belief and perhaps even collapse.”

The survey reports that the evidence gathered “tends to disconfirm this hypothesis.”
Surveying 1,325 persons from around the world, the researchers categorized respondents’ religious beliefs as non-religious, Roman Catholic, mainline Protestant, evangelical Protestant, Jewish and Buddhist. Categories with a sample size of less than 35 were not used in the survey.
The researchers asked respondents whether the confirmed discovery of intelligent beings living on another world “would so undercut my beliefs that my beliefs would face a crisis.”

Less than ten percent of respondents agreed or strongly agreed with the statement, excepting Jews, who agreed or strongly agreed at a rate slightly over ten percent. While about ten percent or less neither agreed nor disagreed, 89 percent disagreed or strongly disagreed. (I suspect the truth of this would strongly depend on just what kind of aliens we are talking about,)

Among Catholics, eight percent agreed or strongly agreed while 82 percent disagreed or strongly disagreed. (Even the Vatican has come out and said it's OK to believe in the existence of aliens.)

One Catholic survey respondent commented, “I believe that Christ became incarnate (human) in order to redeem humanity and atone for the original sin of Adam and Eve. Could there be a world of extraterrestrials? Maybe. It doesn’t change what Christ did.” (Actually, if one is forced to throw out the book of Genesis, it dramatically changes our understanding of what Christ was about.)

“Within the scope of Christian theology, it appears that little if any beliefs preclude the existence of extraterrestrial beings,” the survey report says. “Their presence would at most widen the scope of one’s understanding of creation and create some puzzles for how Christians understand the work of salvation.” (Duh.)

When asked whether they believed the confirmed discovery of extra-terrestrial intelligence would throw their religious tradition into a crisis, 78 percent of all respondents disagreed or strongly disagreed, with only 11 percent being in agreement or strong agreement.
Catholics disagreed or strongly disagreed at a combined total rate of 66 percent, while 22 percent agreed or strongly agreed.

Curiously, the non-religious respondents composed the group most confident that the discovery of extra-terrestrial intelligence would undermine traditional beliefs and cause a crisis in religion. While only 20 percent disagreed or strongly disagreed, 70 percent were in agreement or strong agreement with such a statement.

Trying to explain the disparity between religious and non-religious respondents’ estimates of the fragility of religion, the report writers said “it appears that people who embrace a traditional religious belief system do not fear for their own personal belief; nor are they particularly worried about their own respective religious tradition. A shred of evidence suggests that believers in one religious tradition might be more inclined to impute fragility to other religions to which they do not subscribe or about which they know little.”

“Non-religious people seem to know too little about religious people, because they are mistaken in their assessment of the fragility of religious beliefs. (Non-religious people may be mistaken with regards to a hypothetical survey, they may be dead on if we encounter the reality.)

The report writes that the survey does not confirm the hypothesis that “the major religious traditions of our world will confront a crisis let alone a collapse” in the event of the discovery of alien intelligent life “Furthermore, it appears that non-religious persons are much more likely to deem religion fragile and crisis prone that those who hold religious beliefs,” it says.

I find the low key, but somewhat persistent raising of the alien question in Catholic circles fascinating. This is a new phenomenon. I was thunderstruck when La Osservatore Romano quoted a Vatican astronomer as saying it was OK for Catholics to believe in aliens. That sort of came right out of the blue.
I've wondered just how much the Vatican actually knows about the presence of aliens (or lack there of) as they certainly are well connected in intelligence services. There's a plethora of articles on the Internet about alien encounters with governments. Those don't interest me so much as verifying data is hard to come by. However I am aware of one purported alien interference story which I did have verified.
It involved a mysterious blob of light energy which appeared outside two Montana based Intercontinental Ballistic Missile sites. The energy ball completely disrupted all electrical communications within the base command site, leaving the military personnel without power or communications. The balls stayed for 12 hours and then disappeared as mysteriously as they appeared. I was first made aware of this when I saw a Discovery Channel program which interviewed the two commanders of the sites. The interesting thing was each commander thought his was the only missile site this had happened with as the Air Force had done a masterful job of isolating the members of each command from the other.
This whole thing was verified for me by an acquaintance who was a Colonel in Air Force Intelligence assigned to Malmstrom Air Force Base at the time of these events. He was part of the debriefing team for one of the missile sites. He was stunned when I told him there were two incidents and that I had seen it on the Discovery Channel. He couldn't believe this incident had been declassified and he couldn't believe he didn't know about the other missile site. Apparently the compartmentalization extended well up the chain of command. For those who are interested the phenomenon also happened to the Soviet Union. Perhaps someone was sending a message.
The verification for this story and the secrecy surrounding it said an awful lot to me. It convinced me there is far more to this alien thing than we have been led to believe. Maybe the alien abduction folks aren't as off the wall as we would want to think. Shutting down nuclear missile sites is quite the message.
Native Americans take this phenomenon very seriously and so does the National Security Administration. When Leon Secaterro wasn't teaching us, he was regaling us with stories of alien intervention and alien inner dimensional sites within the Navajo reservation. He freely admitted he had seen the greys and that they were not friendly. He and other members of the tribe spoke of the continual surveillance by solid black helicopters. They also spoke to the use of dimensional portals by aliens to give them messages, which probably has something to do with the presence of all the solid black helicopters. That and the reservation's proximity to certain secretive government bases having to do with weapons technology.
He spoke of at least three other alien races besides the Greys and repeatedly made the point that humanity descended from Star Nations and not Adam and Eve. The Navajo cosmology contains numerous references to Star Nation peoples which is the basis for the Star quilts. This cosmology of an alien ancestry is germane to almost all indigenous tribes and their understanding of mankind's origins.
Sometimes it gets confusing when Native spiritual people talk about the Holy Ones or the Other Side Camp or their Ancestors. These are not the same things. Ancestors can refer to both dead relatives or their original alien races depending on the context. Holy Ones can be considered Angelic type beings or transcendent inner deminsional aliens or both at the same time. The Other Side Camp can contain them all. Their understanding of demonology is just the same. They don't have a concept of a fallen angel and his hosts of demons. Their understanding of malevolent influence is either the spirits of dead humans or the result of inner demensional alien interference from beings who feast off of the worst of our emotional energy. Leon speculates that the Greys might actually be our future selves from a ecologically destroyed earth and instead of being carbon based, had to become silicon based.
These late night talks got mind boggling and the speculation most interesting. Almost as interesting as speculating why the Vatican is all of a sudden interested in letting us know that believing in aliens is OK.
For some interesting discussion on this topic of aliens and Catholicism: http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/sitchin/esp_sitchin_9.htm


  1. I am not sure of the exact year, could have been 1965-66, but I remember my brother running into the house explaining that there was a UFO in the sky down the street from our house. I ran out of the house so quick and darted down the street following my brother and there in the sky was an object of light overhead and it took off so fast into the horizon to the north. I just stood there in awe. It was an amazing thing to witness.

    Ever since then I never really doubted that there were space ships or aliens.

  2. An interesting article, however the conclusions that are drawn cannont even remotely be considered to be.

    1325 respondents may be enough to form a valid conclusion for a small town, but on a global scale that number is insignificant and meaningless. To use that number of respondents to generate the conclusions postulated in the article is irresponsible and an obvious attempt at deception.

    The simple act of doubling the sample size could easily cause a tremendous deviation in results. A deviation that would support opposing conclusions.

    I suspect that this another attempt by the Vatican to divert attention away from the real issues facing the church.

  3. Carl, people respond to questions in one way, but often actually respond in another way. While Catholics might say, oh sure, I would let ET sit next to me in Church and would accept him/her, they do not wish to include homosexuals, divorced and remarried or women priests.

    I think it is interesting that the Church has come out and said it is ok to believe in ET's. I actually thought it was ok to believe that before they said it was ok to believe it. Do they really think that people need their ok to approve what they think? There are far too many people who have witnessed UFOs for them to deny it. But, I don't doubt for a minute the amount of hysteria in the Church if an ET showed up in Church!

    Colleen, very interesting and thought provoking about the military bases experiencing a sort of lock down. Perhaps it was a test to make sure they will not function.

  4. This from a web search "Extra Terrestrials"
    BRITONS have spotted a staggering 150 UFOs this year, The Sun can reveal.
    That compares with just 135 sightings reported to the Ministry of Defence for the whole of last year — and 97 the year before.

  5. Colleen:

    A curiosity question:

    If you hadnt chosen the alien article for this post, what would you have posted in its place?

    I'm curious to see what you might have been diverted away from today.

  6. Carl,
    Lighten up... Dude. Really.

    I'm glad Colleen posted this article about the Aliens... cuz, it sure is funny.... like I said, lighten up.

    God does have a sense of humor after all... and no one is smarter than God, eh?

  7. To truthfully answer you Carl, I'm not sure what I would have posted. I've been meaning to write something on the alien thing for a long time because it's crucial to understanding Native American spirituality and their attitudes about 2012.

    Although, now that I think about it, I was contemplating writing about a phenomenon we call the City of Light. I might do that tomorrow. That too is a very interesting story and alot of us here in Helena are getting continuous downloads about the existence, or soon to be existence, of a dimensional city which will be just outside the visible light spectrum, but accessible to people who 'vibrate' high enough.

    Sort of like in the book of Revelations, when it speaks about the New Jerusalem. This is not an end of the world scenario though. It's more of a transitional scenario.

    Butterfly, there is a pretty big jump in sightings all over the world. Either the ET's are prepping us for the big 'open' contact, or somebody's military has developed some interesting technology. Or should I say developed some interesting reverse engineered technology.

  8. Colleen,
    What is reverse engineered technology?

    How will this New Jerusalem be "accessible to people who 'vibrate' high enough?." Will we be able to go there? Who is there? Vibrate how? Who is qualified to enter?

  9. Reverse engineering is starting with a finished product and tearing it apart to figure out how it works.

    Some people speculate that some of our stealth technology and certain quantum leaps in computer technology are products of reverse engineering from alien societies. Probably from crash sites.

    I won't get into the city of light thing here. I'll do it tomorrow on the main blog.

  10. Thanks Colleen. I'm lookin' forward to reading about it. I hope Jesus is in the equation here in the City of Lights / New Jerusalem, because I don't want to go anywhere that He is not.

  11. Colleen, I like your reverse engineered technology. The same thing happens in scripture study...deconstructing a passage by going back to the beginning (reverse) to set it in time and place for meaning to the author, meaning to the intended hearers and meaning to the actual hearers. Once you are aware of all that, you can then bring the passage 'forward' to our time and place and what it can mean for the hearers today.

  12. Margie, I never actually thought about reverse engineering with regards to scripture, which is funny, because I rely on it all the time.