Australians believe in Space Aliens, Americans believe in God

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by Neil Godfrey

I am glad I live in Australia rather than America.

Many of us here have cancelled plans to emigrate to New Zealand or Nepal since our erstwhile reactionary Prime Minister John Howard lost his seat at the recent election.

But even more happily invigorating is the latest HarrisInteractive poll on American beliefs, giving us the opportunity to compare the intellectual climate and health of the two countries.

82% of Americans believe in God, a statistic that makes me think of black overcast skies and Cromwell’s dreary England. Compare Australians. It is a statistical fact that “more Australians believe in space aliens than believe in God, despite the fact that more Australians have been to church than have been abducted by UFOs.” (Dale, 100 Things Everyone Needs to Know about Australia.) To be fair, space aliens in the original source refers strictly to the possibility of intelligent life out there and not necessarily to those little green creatures that abduct people in their sleep. But who’s splitting hairs?

See, Australians have checked out church and found it only has a ceiling or arch or stained glass up top. But no-one can justly accuse them of being incorrigible sceptics simply for the sake of scepticism. Australian’s can’t deny space aliens.

And the best part is that space aliens don’t make any claims on how people should vote or run the country or what films should be censored or what sexual leanings should be the basis of legal rights.

And they make much more interesting discussion topics than God when there are a few beers to get things going. I’m also sure they can offer much more fertile material for pick-up lines than God. One only has to compare “Have you had a close encounter lately?” with “Have you prayed today?”

And space aliens are much sexier than God. God positively frowns on sex. He will only reproduce by remote control through genetic-spirit implant into a virgin, — and he only ever went that far once in all eternity! Space aliens do much more interesting things while still working in mysterious ways with their abductees, as we all know.

Why Space Aliens are a more positive Belief Object than God

  1. Space Aliens don’t divide people morally over whether people believe in them or not
  2. Space Aliens don’t threaten to send you to hell if you don’t believe in them
  3. Space Aliens do not justify any wars
  4. Space Aliens do not make rules that mess up people’s sexual health
  5. Space Aliens expect you to believe in advanced technology but not in miracles
  6. Space Aliens do not command earthlings to keep impossible or silly rules
  7. Space Aliens do not censor the arts or any creative activity of earthlings
  8. Space Aliens do not want your money or your soul. (Some do want your body but only for a moment of experimentation after which it is returned without discernible after-effects.)
  9. When earthling attempts to communicate with Space Aliens are reciprocated it will be a scientifically verifiable event
  10. Space Aliens do not make any promises they can be accused of failing to keep
  11. Space Aliens do not take offence or get angry, — ever (even if you make graven images of them or have a laugh at their expense)
  12. Having a personal relationship with a Space Alien is entirely optional
  13. If you do decide to have a personal relationship with a Space Alien you are not required to go from door-to-door telling others about it.


post election thoughts (Australia, 2007)

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

by Neil Godfrey

What a shift? Or should that be, What shift?

Of more interest to me than the Rudd Labor win (that was a huge emotional relief) were:

1. the demise of the religious right Family First Party (but dammit, they have 1 Senator who could make a lot of noise if he finds himself in a balance of power decider position), and

2. voices of true “liberalism” — J.S. Mill type stuff — being heard to squeak out here and there now that reactionary-squatter type “conservative” Howard has been given the boot. Liberal member Malcolm Turnbull actually said the Liberals should support a government apology to the aboriginals, some even said that the popular will rejecting their dismantling of the industrial system should be respected, and they all agreed to go along with the consensus of international opinion in respect to Kyoto.

But then the party darn gone went and chose Lord Brendon Nelson as its leader who promptly stifled some of those voices of philosophical liberalism. So it looks like Labor will continue to be the main bulwark of “liberal” politics for the immediate future.

And that leaves the Greens as the next in line to fill the gap of working for the bottom line issues of real worker and pensioner security, end of  involvement with war ventures, and environment. Whether that will happen will depend largely on events. Environment change and sellout policies by the major parties has increased their vote over recent years. I’d hate to think it will take more casualties in wars and real suffering on the part of workers and others losing their entitlements to bring about to further advance them to major-party status. Trouble is, those sorts of conditions can also become perfect tinder for extremists on the right to whip up fear and lead people to vote against their own interests.

Lots of work ahead for us Green supporters. We couldn’t have a more perfect candidate in the local area, Pauline Collins, to galvanize supporters into action as early as February next year to prepare for the next election.

Looking back on last weekend:It’s a bit strange how our extended personal identities can be so bound up with our nation in such a way that the leadership of the nation can directly affect our feelings of self-worth. So many decisions by the exiting government leader made me cringe with embarrassment and so often I told others I wanted to emigrate and find a new homeland. I hated having to admit to being an Australian when overseas. Our nation’s international image was so completely at odds with my personal values and understanding of the issues our PM appeared to be deliberately lying about.

But last Saturday I knew something new was on the move. I stood in the rain, wearing a poncho over my Green Party t-shirt and ready to hand out “how to vote” flyers at 8 am as voters came in their droves. In the pouring rain. As early as the very minute the polling opened. I had expected a trickle at that hour and in that weather, but not the crowds walking up the pathways to the booths. Surely most would wait for the rain to clear before bothering to come. But no, it was clear people were in a mood to deliver a message — I could not help but suspect they were finally wanting change, having seen through the sham and callousness and outright lies of a conservative nineteenth century squatter-values government.

It had been a depressing campaign between the two major parties. Nothing about our sons and brothers being killed and killing others in Afghanistan and Iraq, or our concentration camps for refugees via the wrong mode of transport (evoking atavistic images of being swamped by coloured races from overseas), or our desertion of fellow-citizens to the injustice and barbarity of torture and imprisonment without trial overseas — and their ongoing demonization once finally returned, or the widening gulf between the rich and poor, or the horrifying gap between white and indigenous conditions, or the gap our government had entrenched with our East Timorese and Pacific neighbours through shocking bullying and paternalism, certainly not a word about the clamping down on freedom of information and gagging of debate in Parliament and through PR spin-doctors working on behalf of government agencies. Those issues, it seems, were minor non-issues reserved for the “chattering classes”.

Bring on the real debate: Who would keep interest rates lower for home-buyers? Who would offer the best tax breaks?

To be fair, there was also much talk about WorkChoices and even Kyoto. But even there the differences between the parties were muted enough and it was rarely clear exactly how or to what extent Labor would do things differently.

But Howard, who wanted to take Australia back to the rule of the squatter where those who owned the money claimed absolute right to set all conditions of their workers, and who was a master of fear-mongering and stifling information and debate, has lost his seat. I will have to examine myself — I am one of the few who cannot bring himself to feel sorry for one responsible for so many ruined lives, and responsible for abandoning Australia’s infrastructure and educational future.