|Date||June 23, 2036|
June 23rd, 2036:
The Anti-Church -
How the Guardian Church Rescued Humanity From the "Opiate of the People."
(Essay Submitted for Modern World Faiths, UTM Humanities Program)
By: Prof. Mari Ruti
"Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people." Karl Marx.
"God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. Yet his shadow still looms. How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it?" Friedrich Nietzsche.
Disillusionment of organized religion is nothing new. Although Atheism - the rejection of belief in gods, or a higher power - was only defined in the 16th Century, the concept has been with humanity for much longer. This subtle sub-culture of non-believers, virtually shunned by scholars and religiously-minded historians, remained in the dark corner of society's closet for some time. Occasionally peeking its head out to test the levels of apathy, the philosophy began to enjoy some mainstream footing during the rise of the scientific and rationalist movements of the 19th Century. Yet it wasn't until the emergence of the Guardian Church in 1996 that "Accepted Atheism" became the dominant, mainstream philosophy it is today.
Toting facts over faith has ever been a tenant of the Guardian Church since its establishment in 1996. Long before the great migration of "believers" to the Church, Atheists and fence-sitting Agnostics began to stand up and take notice of the evidence as it poured in. When the first skeletal remains of what were clearly determined to be "non-human entities" began to emerge, the response from the public was enormous. American schools, long embroiled in the debates about education of Creationism vs. Evolution converted in the hundreds as if overnight in widespread support of strengthening the division between "Church" and "state." The results of this overwhelming conversion have had far reaching effects here at home in the United States, as well as abroad. Between the first evidence of Guardian interaction, discovered in 1995, and the last global census in 2033, the percentage of people describing themselves as belonging to an established religion has dropped by an astounding 43%. (The rise in those defining themselves as Atheist has likewise increased by nearly the same amount.) This is in no small part due to the insurmountable evidence the Guardian Church has provided to back up their claims of otherworldly intervention in human history. Though scientific evidence has flown in the face of religion before (all those pesky dinosaur bones which just wouldn't obey the rules with carbon dating), the undeniable evidence of Guardian contact has been enough to dissuade even the most die-hard Creationists.
A point of Atheism has always been that nothing can save man, except for man himself. Existentialist philosopher, Jean-Paul Sartre (1905 - 1980) stated that, "nothing can save [man] from himself, not even a valid proof of the existence of God." This meant that as there exist no absolute values that can be called upon to govern human behaviour, humankind is forced to formulate these values for itself - ultimately making human beings responsible for their own actions. Now, of course Sartre wasn't around to see the evidence gather in support of the "Guardian Race Theory," however, the philosophy he promoted has found itself sanctimoniously succinct with Guardian Church concepts. For Atheists, and others who fall outside the realm of organized religion, a strong emphasis is placed upon man saving himself, and not waiting for a "god" of any kind to save him. There has been a strong growing desire among the non-religious crowd toward this idea, and has been reflected by the Guardian Church. While many Guardian Children believe that our alien masters are here to guide us into the future, there is a very firm emphasis on the Guardians waiting for the opportune time when humanity has grown in sufficient power and ability. Acting in our best interest, the Guardians want humanity to grow to its full potential, thereby allowing us to focus on our own well-being, as opposed to waiting for a "god" to do so for us.
The Guardian Church has done more for the human race than giving us the opportunity to "save ourselves," it has also broken down the restrictive dogmas that once confined us to thinking inside the box. It may have taken the Catholic Church some time to catch up, but back in 2027 (and three decades after the evidence had already made the statement for them) Pope Marcellus III made a public proclamation conceding to the existence of the Guardian Race. Likely a last ditch effort to put an end to the widespread desertions of its congregation, the Catholic Church was too little too late. The tide had already been turned, and organized religions everywhere were feeling the blow from the archeological discoveries. Islam, for example, which at the turn of the 21st century was declared to be the fastest growing religion on the planet, has dropped from having 1.1 billion followers in 1997 to just 125 million today, while the Guardian Church has seen exponential increases in all corners of the globe. How much longer can organized religion hold up against the onslaught of irrefutable evidence to its beliefs?
The Guardian Church is the solution mankind has been waiting for. Finally, a "religion" that focuses on facts over fantasy; cooperation over condemnation; and progress over stagnation. The Guardian Church has finally accomplished what humanity has been attempting to do since the advent of rational thought; take control of its own destiny. As we reach out to become more than what we are, our full potential as a species will be realized at last.