Obama on Aliens: A blow to Christianity?

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Today’s question is Obama on Aliens. What is your response? 

So, President Barack Obama gave an interview to New York Times Columnist Ezra Klein. When asked about UFO and possible aliens, President Obama said, “It would not change my politics at all. Right? because my entire politics is premised on the fact that we are these tiny organisms on this little speck floating in the middle of space. My science adviser told me there are more stars in the known universe than the grains of sand on planet earth. But the point is: The differences we have on this planet are real, they are profound and they cause enormous tragedy as well as joy.  But We are just a bunch of humans with doubts and confusion, we do the best we can. The best thing we can do is to treat each other better because we are all we got. And I would hope that the knowledge that there are aliens out there solidifies people’s sense that what we have in common is a little bit more important but no doubt there would be immediate arguments about weapons systems. New religions will pop out.”

Obama says, finding aliens would not change my politics at all because my entire politics is premised on the fact that we are these tiny organisms on this little speck floating in the middle of space. The Christian philosophy of politics is that human beings are exclusively created in the image of God. We are accountable to God. As Obama would say, we are our brothers’ keepers. In Genesis chapter 4, Cain killed his brother Abel. That is the first murder of the world. Then God comes down and inquires of Cain, ‘Cain, where is your brother Abel?’. Cain replies, ‘I don’t know. Am I my brother’s keeper?’ Then God says to Cain, ‘What have you done Cain? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground’. 

     That sums Christian worldview. When you hurt someone, God is watching you. On the day of judgment, God will ask you an account of what you have done in this world. Whether you are a common man or the President of the United States, it does not matter. You are created by God, you are living on God’s planet and one day in the future, you will be accountable to God. President Obama alludes to this story in his speeches. ‘I am my brother’s keeper’. He exemplifies the dichotomy of today’s Western thinkers: Rejecting Christianity’s basic beliefs yet upholding Christian ethics. 

    On the one hand they say, ‘We are these tiny organisms on this little speck floating in the middle of space. There is nothing special about us. As Darwin said, we are just an accident. As Carl Sagan said, we are just stardust’. On the other hand they say, ‘Now, we should love each other and take care of each other’. They fail to recognize there is no logical connection between the two. If we are just animals, there is no reason to impose a universal ethical standard on all of us. If we are just animals, there is no reason to uphold empathy rather than discrimination. President Xi believes that some people belong in camps. If we are just animals, an American President has no right to tell how the Chinese President should rule his country. Cats in America have no right to tell how cats in Australia should live.

     In contrast, Christianity believes that there is one God who created all of us and he gave one moral standard to all human beings. That is why in Christianity there is justification to say certain things are evil and certain things are good. 

    Atheists love the principle of mediocrity. There is nothing special about human beings. They have been craving for any trace of extraterrestrial beings. When the first astronauts landed on the moon, they opened their Bibles and said, ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth’. Exploring outer space was about knowing more about the grandeur of God’s universe and to glorify his wonderful name. That has changed over the years. The spirit of Carl Sagan took over NASA and its astronauts. Today’s they are desperate to find extraterrestrial beings to declare that there is nothing special about human beings. “Look at all these aliens, we evolved, they evolved. There is no Creator. Forget about God. Put away your Bible.” But you see, there has been absolutely no evidence for any extraterrestrial beings. Francis Drake wrote equations for civilizations in extraterrestrial spaces. But so far, we have found none. 

    As a matter of fact, extraterrestrial beings do not confuse Christians. The Bible starts with an extraterrestrial being: God. In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. God is the eternal, extraterrestrial being who created us. He also created angels and demons. They are also extraterrestrial beings. Satan could easily send a few thousand demons in the form of aliens to deceive humanity. In fact, if you read the Book of Revelation, you will see Satan sending his demons to earth to deceive human beings. So, extraterrestrial beings do not pose any blow to Christian faith. 

Obama then says, “My science adviser told me there are more stars in the known universe than the grains of sand on planet earth.” 

     The idea here is there are trillions of stars out there, there is nothing special about human beings. They are like the stepmother and stepsister in the Cinderella story. ‘There is nothing special about you, girl. You are just an ordinary village girl like any other girl in the town. You are poor and wretched.’ In one dimension that is true. There is nothing special about Cinderella. But that is not the end of the story. The Prince found her lost shoe. He has been searching for that girl, that one girl living in that tiny village. He has been on a quest to find that one girl. When he finds her, he loves her, marries her and takes her to his palace. 

Christianity is a cosmic Cinderella story. There is nothing about you or me. You are a tiny creature living on a tiny planet in a tiny solar system in a tiny galaxy. Yet, God loved you and came to this world to save you, to know you and to take you to his home called heaven. 

“ there are more stars in the known universe than the grains of sand on planet earth.” That does not surprise us. Read Psalm 8. The psalmist says,

 “When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them?”  Psalm 8

     The Psalmist wonders, ‘in this huge universe, I am nothing. Yet, why did you love me?’. The interesting thing about the universe is not that it is huge, or our tiny, temporary existence. The interesting thing is you are significant to the Creator of this universe. Lord Jesus Christ, the Creator of this universe loved you, came to this world to save you and to give you meaning, purpose and eternal life. 

Obama then said “We are just a bunch of humans with doubts and confusion, we do the best we can.” So much hope and change. His words reflect the mood of our time. We are just creatures with our doubts and confusions and let us do our best. That is not what Christianity teaches. You can be confident that you are created with a mission. You can be confident that God loved you and chose you in Christ. You can be confident that one day you will see Jesus face to face. 

        Carl Sagan used to dismiss planet earth as nothing but ‘a pale blue dot’ in the ocean of the cosmos. That is true. But that is not the end of the story. This pale blue dot is precious in the sight of God because it has been designed to be the home for the human beings who are loved by God. 

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