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Catholic Culture Overview
Catholic Culture Overview

Jesus is Not an Alien

By Fr. Jerry Pokorsky ( bio - articles - email ) | Jan 11, 2022

Authentic Catholic teaching provides the most comprehensive and reasonable understanding of the human person. We have a body and soul, and we are male or female. We have five senses. The faculties of the soul include intellect and will, memory, and imagination. Emotions—properly controlled by reason—complete this fundamental vision of who we are. But the Sacraments—first among them, Baptism—elevate us, and we enter into the life of the Blessed Trinity. In a nutshell, this vision provides us with the framework for “Christian anthropology.”

The culture has lost this vision of human reality. So perhaps we should turn to the movies for help. Of course, it’s too much to ask Hollywood to break the stranglehold of politically correct distortions of our anthropology. But the bizarre frightens us, and monster and science fiction movies contrast the natural and the abnormal. Such films may have high entertainment value, and the contrasts often unexpectedly reinforce an orthodox understanding of human nature.

Consider a few examples:

  • Scientist Victor Frankenstein develops a technique to impart life to non-living matter, and he designs a proportionally large Creature. He uses lightning and electrodes to shock the monster to life. Humans reject him, and the hideous Creature becomes murderous. The lesson? Tinker with human nature, and we must contend with various Frankenstein monsters. But we need the eyes to see them.
  • Ruggedly handsome movie stars often marry gorgeous women. Why do these marriages fall apart so quickly? The movie Species provides a clue. Scientists download alien DNA from space and mix it up with human DNA, resulting in a beautiful woman, and she panders to the worst of male lust. Her beauty is only skin-deep, and her appearances disguise an evil alien lizard that kills its mate, providing a worthwhile lesson to the story: Young men and women, make sure your future spouse doesn’t have an evil and lizard-like soul. Lust distracts us from the demons within. So take your time in courtship, relax, and enjoy one another’s company. Get to know the person of the opposite sex and wait until marriage.
  • In a Twilight Zone thriller, a 6-year-old angry boy has godlike mental powers. In the episode, “It’s a Good Life,” the boy creates horrible creatures, such as three-headed gophers, and kills them. He banishes anyone thinking unhappy thoughts about him into the otherworldly cornfield. He bans his enemies from Twitter. (Just kidding!) Everybody is under his rule. Fear of the little demon paralyzes even his parents. The boy is a metaphor for tyrants everywhere and our cowardly refusal to confront evil. The program ends with the boy’s father praising his young son, saying, “And tomorrow... tomorrow’s gonna be a... real good day!” But it won’t.
  • The scientist in The Fly invents a matter-transporter device and finds his DNA mixed with a housefly. He loses his human form and becomes a human mind trapped in the body of a tiny fly. Caught in a web with a spider about to consume him, he screams out, “Help me.” In character, actor Vincent Price smashes both the human fly and the spider. The movie concludes with these words: “He was searching for the truth. He almost found a great truth, but for one instant, he was careless. The search for the truth is the most important work in the whole world and the most dangerous.” Baloney. Jesus says, “You will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (Jn. 8:32) But here’s a good takeaway. Put moral limits on scientific experimentation.
  • In an unpublished movie script, scientists tinker with viruses in a Communist Chinese biological warfare lab, and a Virus escapes and kills millions. Scientists use unborn baby body parts to develop dangerous vaccines. Mass hysteria fuels obsessive-compulsive pseudo-worship of the Virus. A news cycle doesn’t pass without references to protecting the population with vaccine mandates. Everyone lives in fear, and the Virus is the topic of every conversation. An evil government functionary has near hypnotic control over the entire population. We’re all left pondering the question: Can we protect our bodies from government control?
    Relax, it’s only a movie.

So here is what we can learn from a few Hollywood horror flicks: Only God is the author of life. Physical beauty is skin deep, but true beauty is virtuous. Failure to confront evil leads to slavery. Scientists, keep your bloody experimental hands off our unborn babies and stop messing with our DNA!

God created us in His image and likeness. He sent His Son into the world to save us from our sins. Jesus is not a space alien. Born of Mary, the Word of God reconciles God and man in His Person. “We have not a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sinning.” (Heb. 4:15) Jesus heals us, restores us to His grace, and elevates our nature in Him.

After commanding us to baptize all nations, Jesus sends the Holy Spirit upon us to fully incorporate us into His Mystical Body. But we do not lose our freedom and identity in Him or to another creature. He elevates and restores us, beginning with Baptism and sends us on a mission to continue His work in the world.

In Jesus (with the help of a few movies!), we have the eyes to see the horrors of unrestrained science. With the grace of His courage, we will not cower in the face of petty tyrants and elitist criminals—even within the Church. Violating human nature has dreadful consequences. The Transgender Medical-Political-Industrial-Media Complex promotes-—with these words used with precision—crimes against humanity. So parents, ask your kids if they have learned anything practical about human nature the next time they report they’ve watched one of Hollywood’s horror pictures.

As we recover and rediscover our humanity in Jesus and His Sacraments, we can rejoice with the early Church Father, Saint Irenaeus, “The Glory of God is man fully alive.”

Fr. Jerry Pokorsky is a priest of the Diocese of Arlington who has also served as a financial administrator in the Diocese of Lincoln. Trained in business and accounting, he also holds a Master of Divinity and a Master’s in moral theology. Father Pokorsky co-founded both CREDO and Adoremus, two organizations deeply engaged in authentic liturgical renewal. He writes regularly for a number of Catholic websites and magazines. See full bio.

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