Did Jesus die for Klingons? Other questions I want the Pentagon to explore


Gourd and Man. (Matthew Apgar/AP)

An outcry is building against the fact that, according to Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), the Pentagon spent $100,000 for a workshop on interstellar space travel, which included a session to address the question: “Did Jesus die for Klingons, too?”

Apparently, this dealt with the intersection of Christian theology and space travel.

But I am not irate.

Some might point out that the question seems oddly biased in favor of Christianity. Nonsense. If anything, this is prejudiced in favor of Trekkies.

Anyone who calls this project “wasteful” and “stupid” or “wastefully stupid” or “stupidly wasteful” is missing the point. Anyone can spend thousands of dollars on a tank.

But what is a tank, in the scheme of things? No, the Pentagon was right to prioritize larger questions like, “Who are we?” and “What is our place in the universe?” and “Did Jesus die for Klingons, too?”

After all, we are but dust. Man’s life is but the blink of a gnat’s eye. We are but the weird, whitish substance that appears at the corner of the cosmos’s lip when the cosmos is yelling. Why should we not, while we remain here, try to gaze into the deep, to answer the questions whose fulfillment will enable us to know our own souls? In fact, why do we build tanks at all? Let us have more workshops instead, where we untangle questions like this.

Here are a few to start:

What is the sound of one hand clapping?

If a tree falls in a forest, but no one is there to hear it, does the tree make a sound?

What if a space tree falls in a space forest? Is the answer the same?

Is Joseph Smith?

Can tauntauns become Calvinists?

How does the doctrine of transubstantiation work out for ugnaughts?

What is Buddha’s opinion of Hutts?

How does God feel about George Lucas’s recent sale of Lucasfilm to Disney?

Given that there will be a “Star Wars: Episode VII” in 2015: Is there a God?

Is there a Thomas Aquinas for Vulcans?

Is Mithridates a Cylon?

Midichlorians. Yea or nay?

Does Ecclesiastes affect the crew of the Serenity in any way?

This isn’t a question, but maybe spend, like, $600,000 to watch every season of “Battlestar Galactica.”

Money well spent.

Alexandra Petri writes the ComPost blog, offering a lighter take on the news and opinions of the day. She is the author of "A Field Guide to Awkward Silences".

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