Rael, leader of the International Raelian Movement, today sent his support to the leader of the Anglican church of Saint Matthew's in central Auckland, New Zealand, for posting a controversial billboard that shows the Virgin Mary and Joseph in bed, apparently after having some disappointing sex.
Rael, leader of the International Raelian Movement, today sent his support to the leader of the Anglican church of Saint Matthew's in central Auckland, New Zealand, for posting a controversial billboard that shows the Virgin Mary and Joseph in bed, apparently after having some disappointing sex. New Zealand Christians have expressed outrage about the billboard and want it removed.
In contrast, Raelians around the world, including Rael himself, are commending Saint Matthew's for its innovative approach.
“Making people think about the fairy tale of Christmas is highly needed,” explained Mark Woodgate, leader of the New Zealand branch of the Raelian Movement. “Millions of children are told at this time of year that a god was born from a human female without any sexual intercourse. This was probably acceptable 4 or 5 centuries ago when people didn't know anything about the biology of conception. But to keep telling this story to our children now and to accept it as adults is just like believing in Santa Claus. It's urgent to put more emphasis on science and rationality in our spiritual life.”
Woodgate said the Raelian philosophy is based on information given to Rael that all life on Earth was created by human beings from another planet who were mistaken for a god or gods by our ancestors.
"Raelians recognize all prophets of the past as messengers of these creators, who through their prophets tried to educate us until we could understand that we were created scientifically," Woodgate explained. "That science is at the very core of all that we experience and feel as human beings."
Woodgate said a prophet's life is never easy.
“The teachings of all past prophets have been betrayed and distorted, and the supposed celibacy of the Virgin Mary is one of the best examples of that," he said. "What the Anglican Church is trying to achieve with this billboard is commendable. It's bringing rationality to the story of Jesus while allowing people to focus on his original message of love. That message is beautiful and it's a part of the Raelian philosophy.”
Woodgate said Rael has encouraged people to reject the Christian version of Christmas along with Santa Claus.
"He usually reminds the Raelians celebrating the holidays with him that such celebrations have nothing to do with Jesus, who wasn’t even born on the day the church says he was," he explained. “People should do all they can to bring these annual festivities back to their origins by adopting the pre-Christian, fun-loving mindset, and, most importantly, by removing all the mysticism, whether it’s related to the birth of a god in a barn or to a mysterious Santa Claus or Father Christmas."
Woodgate said Raelians around the world exchange "'Merry Saturnalia'" wishes rather than "Merry Christmas" or "Happy Christmas" sentiments, and that they are preparing to celebrate the end of another great year of scientific discoveries "that are in perfect agreement with every part of the Raelian scriptures."