A thought emerged in my mind recently that at first seemed quite absurd. As I’ve mulled the idea over for a while, it doesn’t seem quite so “out there” as it did. See what you think:
On the battlefield there is a protocol: the enemy is fair game; if he or she intends me or my side harm, then I am at liberty to take his or her life — immediately. No committee meeting necessary to give me the go-ahead.
Off the battlefield there is an assortment of ways to handle the taking of human life, ways that have changed from time to time throughout history.
Historically, European kings and queens took to themselves the right to judge whether or not a subject should live or die. If necessary, trumped-up charges of treason could be applied to various wives and courtiers, resulting in the loss of a head at dawn the next day.
Convicted pirates were granted an immediate hanging wherever they were found by officials of the British Empire.
When the American Colonies were being founded, the life of the Native American had little or no value for the longest time. Scalps were taken and traded freely.
In the American northeast a woman (usually) could be hanged, burned or drowned for being unable to disprove the charge of being a witch. Often the taking of the woman’s life was granted by a jury as the result of a short trial. Many times the life was freely and quickly taken at the whim of villagers, quick to quote the Bible and unwilling to “Suffer a witch to live.” Exodus 22:18.
In the southern states of the USA the life of the slave was at the mercy of his or her owner. If the owner deemed it necessary, the slave could be awarded the original meaning of the word for letting an employee go — he or she was terminated, and perhaps died on the spot, by bullet, beating or hanging.
In the same southern states — in my lifetime — black people, young and old, men and women, were lynched (hung by a rope thrown over a tree limb) or pulled apart by wild horses for the minutest of causes with or without proof of guilt. This so-called “justice” was swift and often without right to appeal. If someone had a rope, it was used — right away. Law enforcement officers were often guilty of turning a blind eye to this practice.
In much of the Middle East — TODAY — a woman may be stoned or beaten to death ON THE SPOT as a result of ANY accusation from a man who testifies that she did something irreverent or blasphemous. Homosexuals, or others accused of deviant behavior, are often seen hanging by the neck from makeshift gallows in centers of commerce.
In the civilized world, the wanton taking of life is not now so easily achieved, and the death penalty is slowly being stricken from the books of justice — at least for now.
So here’s where my thoughts took what I considered to be a strange turn:
In past decades, The Gospel According to Hollywood depicted the arrival of aliens from other planets as a thing to be feared. The aliens were here to take over. Bodysnatchers would inhabit our bodies if we went to sleep after their arrival, etc., etc. The life of an alien, in the movies, could be taken without hesitation. Allowing the alien to live would have placed the people of earth in peril.
Lately, from time to time, a movie or TV program hits the screens that portrays the visiting aliens as beneficent to the human race; all these modern other-worldly tourists want to do, says Hollywood, is help us make our planet a better world. They want to ease our social problems and help clear up rampant sickness.
You have to wonder, is there a law on the books protecting the rights (if they would actually have any) of visiting aliens? Or, since they aren’t even human, is the life of these visitors deemed of no more value than the subject, the witch, the slave, the woman, or the Afro-American? I guarantee you, a peon behind someone in one of the big chairs has drafted a protocol for how to handle this anticipated eventuality.
You may not have given much thought to how the world should handle the arrival of so-called visitors from other worlds. You may subscribe to the shrinking contingent of believers in the notion that planet earth contains the only life forms in the universe.
On the other hand, you may see the UFO phenomenon as a manifestation of evil spirits, pretending to be friends, but bent on the quiet destruction of the inhabitants of our Godly Creation — a theory I presently subscribe to.
Congratulations if you’ve read this far. Now try this next small section:
For me, the whole notion of alien equality is really “out there.” But judging by the craziness portrayed in the daily news, it won’t be long before we see a whole slew of new crazies coming out of the closet claiming to be from another world and demanding equal rights to life and welfare and more. Then they’ll announce that their “brothers and sisters” are due to show up anytime soon, and that we should prepare ourselves to meet them.
Sound ridiculous? Yes, it does … just like the reports we see right now on the evening news, reports that we never imagined we would be seeing, reports that I suppose even Hollywood is having a hard time keeping up with.
Alien equality is just going to be the next chapter. And beyond that ... even stranger.
And that’s just my take on it ….