January 17, 2003

For I am a jealous people …

I finished Lester Del Rey’s collection of short novels a couple of days ago but I didn’t get a chance to write about his story that I was talking about in my previous entry yesterday because I got caught up in too many other things :p So I thought I might as well talk about it today since I still feel strongly about that story. As I surmised, the story indeed was about God siding with the aliens but it God takes a more active role than I had envisioned at the beginning of the story – God appears to the alien priests as he did to Moses and tells them directly that they have been chosen to inherit the universe and that they must wipe humankind off the face of the Earth. Setting aside the whole argument as to whether the story is blasphemous or not (since I have the feeling that some might consider it to be so), what interested me was the question as to what I would do if I was put in the place of Del Rey’s protagonist, the priest.

The story ends with the priest holding a mass where he tells everybody "God has decided to side against us, I can only say that he’s chosen a worth adversary" or words to that effect. The point of the whole story is that Man is the only creature that would fight against his own maker. I keep on thinking what I would do if I was in that position. Granted, in the story the aliens are made out to be totally inhuman beings who torture animals and people for fun and then eat them for food and even eat their own kind. So the humans seem noble to rise up against them but that just means Del Rey stacked the decks a bit.

I believe in a merciful God – a God who can understand the failings of humanity. While I’d be the first to understand if God were to decide to wipe out humanity because of our greed, stupidity, prejudice and the worst qualities in humanity that we seem to show more and more these days, I don’t accept it that God would choose a race that is essentially even worse than humanity to be our successors. So if God were to decide that humanity was just not worth salvation, I’d probably understand looking at the world of today but then again, I also believe that humanity has the potential to be so much more than we are because sometimes we show such courage, honesty, compassion, feeling and humanity that it makes me realize all over again what we as humans are capable of ….

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