In the 1980 film, The Gods Must Be Crazy, a tribesman in the Kalahari
encounters technology for the first time--in the shape
of a Coke bottle. He takes it back to his people, and they use it for
tasks. The people start to fight over it, so he decides
to return it to the God--where he thinks it came from.
The timeless appeal of this theme lies in the question it raises: Is
race of the 21st century any more enlightened than
their tribal ancestors depicted in this film? Since no human being can
objective about matters concerning the human race,
the closest we can come to exploring an unbiased view requires the
to consider how a non-human observer would see it.
Our hypothetical observer is a highly evolved being from another planet
arrives in earth orbit, just as the 21st century begins.
His mission is to report on the progress of the human race since its
ancestors left their evolutionary birthplace of Africa.
He prepares with extensive review of all human history. Then, after
of observing the geopolitical situation, he writes
The trouble began thousands of years ago, in the part of the planet
known as the
Middle East when two Gods- the God of Judaism and
the God of Islam gave their respective followers the same small piece
Naturally, each God favoring His followers over the
rest of humanity affirms that it is His will and His people's destiny
to the land He gave them. In support of His will,
each group kills in His name, locking their respective populations in a
terrifying cycle of violence.
The crisis spreads to the rest of the planet when the God worshipped by
named Osama bin Laden joins the battle. This God
directs His followers to fight a global war of terror against the
oppose His interpretation of the Islamic religion.
According to this God there is no act more sacred and worthy of eternal
than giving one's life in the cause of killing the
enemy. Their most hated enemies are the followers of the God of
Judaism, and the
powerful Americans who have been supporting them.
Not long after my arrival, the God of Osama orchestrated a terrorizing
America which brought another God into the turmoil.
This God of Christianity- the one that has blessed America with all its
fortunes and powers appoints President, George W. Bush
to battle the evil-doers of the world. Through George and his close
directs the attack of Afghanistan, despite the fact
the actual perpetrators were from another country, Saudi Arabia.
innocent civilians are killed, mountains are bombed
but Osama is not caught or killed.
Determined to destroy all evil, George Bush's God calls upon him to
country called Iraq. Because the American people could
not have understood the higher purpose, the God of George Bush
instructs him to
lie and deceive his people so they will not oppose
His will. For the past two years, the occupying army of George Bush's
been battling the Iraqis (who follow the God of
Islam) and the followers of Bin Laden's God who have come to Iraq fight
American enemy. The country that was the cradle of
civilization is being dismantled and destroyed, while hundreds of
its citizens are maimed and killed. As a result, the
hatred between the followers of the different Gods runs deeper than
ever. Still, the most serious of all the carnage generated by humanity is
being inflicting on the very planet that sustains
them. Strangely enough, the human race had been growing aware of the
their planet. Then after George Bush became
President of America, he defied all scientific knowledge and regressed
policies that are destroying millions of species, along
with the life-sustaining ecosystem of the planet.
I wondered why the God of the most advanced country would call upon its
to spread hatred and violence, while promoting the
destruction of the ecosystem. I was also confused by intentions of
like the one that forbids birth control despite the
fact the planet is growing dangerously over-populated. And there are
deny the equal rights to people for reasons of nature
like gender, race and sexual orientation.
If I didn't know better, I would think The Gods of this planet Must Be
I have found some reason to believe that humanity will survive
dangerous period, incited by their Gods. They seem
to be gradually gaining the ability to see past the illusions generated
more primitive senses and emotions. For instance in
the past 600 years they have acquired the ability to see past the
the earth is flat and their sun revolves around
their planet. Now there appears to be a small but growing number of
them able to
see past the illusion of Gods compelling men to
kill in Their name.
If only more of them could travel to space and look down on their
planet as I
have. From the bigger picture of the earth, afforded
by space travel, the belief that the one true God favors any one group
over another seems as obsolete as the belief the
earth is flat.
Jerry Rose is the author of the book Faith in a Fishbowl. He can be