They Came From Out of the Sky

I find it discouraging and a bit depressing when I notice the unequal treatment afforded by the media to UFO believers on the one hand, and on the other, to those who believe in an invisible supreme being who inhabits the sky. Especially as the latter belief applies to the whole Jesus-Messiah-Son-of-God fable.

You may have noticed that, in the media, UFO believers are usually referred to as buffs, a term used to diminish and marginalize them by relegating them to the ranks of hobbyists and mere enthusiasts. They are made to seem like kooks and quaint dingbats who have the nerve to believe that, in an observable universe of trillions upon trillions of stars, and most likely many hundreds of billions of potentially inhabitable planets, some of those planets may have produced life-forms capable of doing things that we can’t do.

On the other hand those who believe in an eternal, all-powerful being, a being who demands to be loved and adored unconditionally and who punishes and rewards according to his whims are thought to be worthy, upright, credible people. This, in spite of the large numbers of believers who are clearly close-minded fanatics.

To my way of thinking, there is every bit as much evidence for the existence of UFOs as there is for the existence of God. Probably far more. At least in the case of UFOs there have been countless taped and filmed and, by the way, unexplained sightings from all over the world, along with documented radar evidence seen by experienced military and civilian radar operators.

This does not even begin to include the widespread testimony of not only highly trained, experienced military and civilian pilots who are selected for their jobs, in part, for their above-average eyesight and mental stability, but also of equally well-trained, experienced law-enforcement officers. Such pilots and law-enforcement people are known to be serious, sober individuals who would have quite a bit to lose were they to be associated with anything resembling kooky, outlandish beliefs. Nonetheless, they have taken the risk of revealing their experiences because they are convinced they have seen something objectively real that they consider important. All of these accounts are ignored by the media.

Granted, the world of UFO-belief has its share of kooks, nuts and fringe people, but have you ever listened to some of these religious true-believers? Have you ever heard of any extreme, bizarre behavior and outlandish claims associated with religious zealots? Could any of them be considered kooks, nuts or dingbats? A fair person would have to say yes.
But the marginal people in these two groups don't matter in this argument. What matters is the prejudice and superstition built into the media coverage of the two sets of beliefs. One is treated reverently and accepted as received truth, the other is treated laughingly and dismissed out of hand.

As evidence of the above premise, I offer one version of a typical television news story heard each year on the final Friday of Lent:

"Today is Good Friday, observed by Christians worldwide as a day that commemorates the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, whose death redeemed the sins of mankind."

Here is the way it should be written:

"Today is Good Friday, observed worldwide by Jesus buffs as the day on which the popular, bearded cultural figure, sometimes referred to as The Messiah, was allegedly crucified and according to legend died for mankind's so-called sins. Today kicks off a 'holy' weekend that culminates on Easter Sunday, when, it is widely believed, this dead 'savior' who also, by the way, claimed to be the son of a sky-dwelling, invisible being known as God mysteriously 'rose from the dead.'

"According to the legend, by volunteering to be killed and actually going through with it, Jesus saved every person who has ever lived and every person who ever will live from an eternity of suffering in a fiery region popularly known as hell, providing so the story goes that the person to be 'saved' firmly believes this rather fanciful tale."

That would be an example of unbiased news reporting. Don't wait around for it to happen. The aliens will land first.

-- From "When Will Jesus Bring The Pork Chops?" (George Carlin, 2004)
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