Yes, Superman, a strange visitor from another planet who… As a kid in the 50’s I knew the entire prologue of the show and to this day, I can do it with the correct emphasis. Why my mind stored that hunk of meaningless tripe and not the name of the person I’m trying to recall is beyond me. I suppose it is because we all longed to be Superman- at least we longed for his cape. I believe I fashioned one from an old bed sheet onto which I painted an ‘S.’ Actually, I’m not sure that it was an old sheet.
I read a report this AM of an ‘appearance’ of an angel – ‘Angel’ priest visits Missouri accident scene. He ‘vanished’ after doing his angel thing, no doubt up into the sky. The clouds in the sky hide quite a lot of activity up there.
UFO’s are seemingly always in vogue at least here in the Home of the Brave. Earlier today I was channel-surfing and there were 3 channels with UFO programs. Three! Simultaneously. Later there was the story of H. G. Wells and his novel, War of the Worlds and how the radio broadcast scared the dickens out of thousands of Americans.
Bible-thumpers, fortunately, in their readings, are treated with gobs of angels and heavenly doings- people descending and ascending out of and back to the sky. The Catholic church has even categorized them into, not surprisingly, hierarchies. Not all angels are created equal. I should have asked Sr. Paulissa back in the 3rd grade whether a lower-class angel could ever rise up to a higher level. The reason I didn’t is because she loved to pull on the hair of your temple when you did ‘foolish and naughty’ things.
Then there is that New York Times bestselling novel, Proof of Heaven, which is actually classified as ‘non-fiction.’ Gulp.
Author Uta Ranke-Heinemann wonders in her book, Putting Away Childish Things, about the so-called Ascension of Jesus into Heaven. By the way, she was forbidden by the Catholic Church from further teaching theology because of her ‘radical’ views. She notes that the purported ascension took place during a meal with his apostles. Luckily, she noted, it was an out-of-doors barbecue, as he rose while still chewing and did not have to negotiate any ceilings on the way up. Lucky for the apostles, too, because they could watch him all of the way up to the clouds. Ranke-Heinemann wonders if the ascension was smooth and steady or did it increase in speed like rockets lifting into space. Further, she notes that the lift-off took place at the so-called Mount of Olives, a small hill, but, nonetheless, closer to heaven.
Ranke-Heinemann also wonders why Mary, the mother of Jesus, was not at the really-last supper. Didn’t she want to wave good bye to her ‘first born son?’ she asks. Rather, Luke tells us that she was with the ‘other women’ a half mile from the launch site.
As the men were gawking heavenward, two [male] angels appear and ask, “WTF! Why are you looking up at the sky?” Clearly, this was a stupid question which deserved no response and none was given. After this rebuke, they, too, flew upward. Trifecta.
As Ranke-Heinemann dared to question such obviously stupid fantasy, she was muzzled by the church. Gosh, who could have imagined? Undaunted, the feisty author merely transferred to a professorship in the History of Religion at the University of Essen, Germany.
The author, noting her ‘silencing’ by the church, says that ‘simple believers’ don’t want any in-depth thinking or analyzing of things in the Bible. “They don’t want to look at it, after having been misinformed, deformed and infantilized by 2000 years of the Church’s fairytale preaching.”
And so it is and so it shall be forever and ever.