Playing God at 'U.F.O. Land'

Chuck Colson
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Posted: Mar 07, 2003 12:00 AM
"There is nothing out of the ordinary on the snowy country road that leads into Valcourt [Quebec] with its cedar log fences, silos, and bales of hay," begins the New York Times article. "That is, until out of nowhere emerges a faded blue sign depicting a flying saucer welcoming visitors to 'U.F.O. land.'"

No, it's not some lost piece of Disney World, Canada. U.F.O. land is the home of Raël, the founder of the Raëlians. Raël claims to be Jesus' half brother and the son of a human woman and a space alien. Journalists who meet with Raël must agree in writing to address him as "Your Holiness," but are forbidden to ask why they must address him as "Your Holiness."

Visitors to U.F.O. land can view a huge mock-up of the spaceship that Raël claims he boarded when he met with aliens in 1973 and 1975. The aliens, he told the New York Times, are "a little more like Japanese than European people, but they are not green. Their suits are green, yes, but not their skin."

The aliens explained the mysteries of life to Raël. Elohim, an Old Testament word for God, has been mistranslated, they said. Elohim really means "those who came from the sky," that is, space aliens who cloned the first humans. Salvation comes from cloning as well. When our bodies begin wearing out, say the Raëlians, we will one day soon be able to clone ourselves and upload our consciousness to the new, young body we've created. Thus science gives us eternal life. This will be in part possible through an artificial womb the Raëlians are developing called the "Babytron." And the Raëlians are the ones who founded Clonaid, the company that claimed in December to have produced the first cloned baby.

Raël waxes philosophical: "If you can clone a human being," he explained to the Times, "there is no God and no soul." Interesting logic, isn't it? He is saying there is no God and that he has proved we are a product of science. So he sets himself up as god.

Of course, there is no danger from the Raëlians. The cult is nothing but a farce. Raël's teachings about free love are no doubt more attractive to followers than his teachings about creation and cloning. But the Raëlians are a metaphor, an incredibly powerful one portraying in living color the deadly logic of cloning. Cloning, you see, makes us our own god. We create ourselves in the image we choose. Raël may be mad, but he is entirely logical.

And this metaphor exposes the real agenda of the pro-cloning movement. It strips the veneer of humanitarianism away from it and shows us exactly what is at issue. As C. S. Lewis wrote in The Abolition of Man [buy book], "The power of Man to make himself what he pleases means . . . the power of some men to make other men as they please."

Humans are irresistibly religious, and so there's always something we worship. If we won't worship the one true God, we are forced to worship the one who has killed the true God—Nietzsche's formulation.

This is the ultimate throne of science—science taking over—and we all become its slaves. This was C. S. Lewis's doomsday vision in The Abolition of Man. If the Raëlians don't serve as a wake-up call to the Christian community and to our neighbors, then we really are unthinking and woefully blind.


For further reading and information:

Clifford Kraus, "Earthlings, the Prophet of Clone Is Alive in Quebec," New York Times, February 24, 2003 (free registration required).

BreakPoint Commentary No. 030106, "UFOs, Little Green Men, and Cloned Babies: It's Time for a Ban."

C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man (HarperSanFrancisco, 2001).

Charles Colson, "Can We Prevent the Abolition of Man?" an address to U.S. Congress members and staff, May 1, 2001.

Nigel M. de S. Cameron, "Fresh Perspectives on Cloning," Council for Biotechnology Policy, January 7, 2003.

"Bioethics and the Christian"—In this special BreakPoint radio broadcast, Joni Eareckson Tada, a well-known author, artist, and advocate for the disabled, talks about President Bush's speech on bioethics and calls for a total ban on human cloning.

The "BreakPoint Christian Response to Cloning Kit" includes useful materials to help Christians (laity and church leaders) understand why they should stand up for human dignity and the sanctity of human life; speak to their fellow believers about the issue; speak to unbelievers about the dangers of human cloning; and take the first step toward opposing all human cloning.