Tuesday, January 14, 2003

So Who's a Cult?

I watched an NBC Dateline story tonight on the Raelian's claims to have cloned a baby. The interview of the religious group's founder, Rael, was predictably mocking. After all, these people believe that space aliens cloned humanity from themselves. On top of that, Rael has a Jetson idea of fashion and hair style. Their beliefs are so unique that our media refers to the Raelians as a cult. During the Dateline interview Rael's off camera attendant could be heard asking the interviewer to be more respectful of Rael and Rael himself asked if the journalist would be as disrespectful if he was interviewing the Pope or a rabbi. Good question.

Then I surfed on over to TBN and a lady evangelist was in a state of heightened religious frenzy. She was absolutely irrational, frothing, scary. I contrasted this with what I had just seen of the Raelians. At least they seemed composed.

If we step back, and look at these matters from a viewpoint from beyond our own beliefs, can we really afford to ridicule the Raelians? Are their beliefs more bizarre than the beliefs of the major religions? No, I don't think so. No less and no more.

As a footnote to this it is worth noting that the Raelians believe that they must build an embassy called Elohim for our alien ancestors. As many of you will remember, some white supremacist religious group established an encampment near the Oklahoma-Arkansas border in the early 90s and called it Elohim City. There were alledged ties to Elohim City in the investigation of the Oklahoma City bomber/murderer.

No comments: