August 14, 2018

Evangelicals in Space

Link Hogthrob & Dr. Strangepork Pigs in Space Puppets
Photo by Ayleen Dority [CC BY 2.0]
You know those articles you come across online that make you think "there's no way this is serious" or "the author has to be joking here" but a small part of you isn't completely sure? Is the author serious, or is this satire? And just because the author is not at all serious doesn't necessarily mean that somebody won't read it as if he or she was entirely serious.

When it comes to subjects like religion or politics (or even better, the interface between religion and politics), it is becoming increasingly difficult to tell. One problem is that just because what is expressed in an article seems like it has to be a joke doesn't necessarily mean that the person who wrote it wasn't serious. Another problem is that even if it was a joke, somebody is bound to take it seriously.

This post by Mark Silk from Religion News Service falls into this category for me. It seems to be predicting that Christian evangelism will become an important part of Trump's Space Force. It has to be a joke, right? Yes, I think it does. It is a clever slam on the Religious Liberty Task Force created by Jeff Sessions. And yet, I can't help thinking that some evangelical Christians might take this seriously and think it sounds like a good idea. Perhaps an evangelical Christian like Mike Pence would do so. Honestly, I cannot say that I find the possibility of something like what Silk describes here being implemented at some point. I find that to be an extremely sad commentary on the influence of evangelical Christianity in U.S. politics.

In any case, kudos to Mr. Silk for writing such a fine post. It was brief enough to be widely read and clever enough to provoke some thought about some of the implications of continuing to inject faith into our politics. I just wish I could be more confident that nothing like what he describes would ever happen.