Okay, so “Space Force” sounds like a gimmick that you’d see in a 1950’s ad geared to dungaree-wearing boys. These boys, who’d be named “Dick” would show the girls, named “Jane,” just how it was done. So as I read about the furor of dedicating a King James Bible from the Bible Museum as the official Bible for military branches aimed at the stars, I had to think how very small we actually are. So 45 thinks, like Reagan thought, that we need outer-space defenses. These guys need to read more science fiction. Actually, some plain old science would help. If there are most advanced civilizations out there—and such seems increasingly likely, given that our understanding of science is subject to change—we are nothing more than cosmic mosquitoes buzzing close to our own planet where we can wail on each other in the name of lucre. And we call it “Space Force.”
An article on NPR points out the hypocrisy of swearing in the military on a Bible. One guy in there, I’ve heard tell, was called “the prince of peace.” He’s somewhere near the back. The public loves a good warmonger, though. We can send our tentative rockets into orbit where bug-eyed aliens laugh with bemusement, and say “Just you try something.” Or we can make business deals with Russia with one hand while pointing our missiles in their direction with the other. Is that a missile or am I misreading something, Dick? I can’t ask Jane, because she just follows along. Maybe we’re inheriting the consequences of those who grew up reading Dick and Jane. Boys with their rockets, girls with their dolls.
Bringing religion into the military is nothing new. German soldiers marched out into a couple of World Wars with “Gott mit uns” inscribed on their waists. Millions died. No lessons were learned. So now we want to take conflict so far over our heads that we can’t even see. Ancient people knew the gods were fighting far above. That’s how they made sense of the world. Some, like Erich von Däniken took those stories literally and thought our alien observers were the reason. Now that we’ve got drones we have no need of UFOs anymore. All that sci-fi I watched as a kid wasn’t wasted after all. Only I grew up reading that Bible instead of swearing on it. I was pretty sure that war wasn’t a good thing, as he rode on a red horse with his sword pointing upward. Time to dust off William S. Gray and get back to watching Space Force.