Monday, April 20, 2015

#1346: Ralph Barker

Ralph Barker is part of the The Christian Worldview Network and a UFO enthusiast (one wonders whether he is also the author of the obscure 1968 book Great Mysteries of the Air). Irreconcilable views of reality, you think? Well, no (disregarding the fact that UFO beliefs tend to be irreconcilable with reality), not to Ralph Barker. In his two-part series “UFOs and the Gospel of Christ” for the Worldview Weekend, he claims that although UFOs exist, various New Agers and similar people use them “to 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.” In other words, there is a conspiracy to use UFO sightings to make Christians sound silly. Methinks Ralph Barker may have got his defense of religious fundamentalism off on the wrong foot.

Given that the existence of extraterrestrials sits poorly with the kind of literal, Biblical fundamentalism Barker espouses, who are running the UFOs? Well, “If we do allow for alien life then certain questions must follow at least from a Christian standpoint. For example, are aliens fallen beings? Do they need redemption? Did Jesus die for them? Did Jesus die for all beings, earthling and alien? Did He die just once here on earth or did He have to visit and die on each planet? All good questions.” So, not aliens: “Personally, I think they are something else. In my youth I held to the idea that they were truly alien visitors. Today, I still think they are alien visitors but not visitors from another planet. I am convinced they are visitors from another dimension, a spiritual dimension. I believe they are demons. Just think about it.” I don’t think the piece of advice at the end would make any minimally rational person arrive at the conclusion Barker wants them to arrive at.

Apparently he once broached the question of whether there was extraterrestrial life to a congregation in Texas: “As we were discussing this, a local magistrate in the congregation had a question. His question definitely caught me off guard. He wanted to know if aliens did exist, could we eat them. I think he was a hunter. What do you think? Can we eat them?

Diagnosis: “In conclusion I submit that the evidence or lack thereof points to a satanic deception and it is working,” says Barker. But the evidence incontrovertibly points toward poor reasoning skills and a tenuous grasp on reality. Where do they find these people?