|Alien drawings from my sketchbook. © O. Douglas Jennings. All rights reserved.|
But during my subsequent 9th grade year, I was reunited with my Christian beliefs through a supportive and affirming Youth Pastor and Christian Youth Outreach program. So Jesus resumed the position of Savior that I had previously tried to swap out with extraterrestrials.
As a middle-aged adult, I have deeper understanding of the culture surrounding beliefs in extraterrestrials. I see the phenomenon as a search for meaning and connection with the cosmos. And the experiences of those who have encountered UFOs and E.T.s, I acknowledge as being significant only in regard to showing the diverse range of human perception and interpretation of experience. It's telling that many E.T. encounters are associated with mind-altering drug use. Such stories are irrelevant to me and my life.
I feel that not only is it unlikely that there have been aliens that have contacted humans, but that even if all such stories are true, they are meaningless. If all the spurious clandestine, dodgy contacts with human kind are actual aliens, then they must be total incompetent dweebs. I don't expect them to be capable of anything more than administering blood tests or harassing cattle. That's a far cry from the fictional, all-powerful alien administrators who ushered in mankind's next stage of evolution in Arthur C. Clark's classic Sci-Fi story "Childhood's End".
There are more pressing matters that occupy my life these days: caring for my family, preparing for retirement, paying for my kids college and trying to keep my head above water in this frustrating economy. I'd rather take part in the political process than count on hapless, large-headed, almond-eyed voyeurs to help me.