Debate: Does ALF Believe in God?

By Jake and Glenn


When the alien life form (ALF) Gordon Shumway crashed his spacecraft into HAM radio enthusiast Willie Tanner’s garage, America’s pulse rose to a near catastrophic level.  This sarcastic alien made the country roar with laughter, and, I’d like to think, existential dread.  While America was having a love affair with this fuzzy brown space aardvark, making cucks of us all, one question lingered like a pervert outside of a maternity dressing room: Does ALF believe in God?

Jake: The famed folkie Joan Osborne once pondered a similar question: “What if God Was One of Us?” We never got a satisfactory answer (and she has since been murdered, so we never will) but at least we can attempt to answer this pressing question in honor of her memory.  ALF does, in fact, believe in God.  In several episodes he clearly states that he does.  While these were unscripted lines and always hidden behind clanking pans during cooking scenes, this is undeniable proof.  ALF may not be a Christian, as much of his planet’s iconography most likely revolves around cats, but he surely believes in God.  As a Christian, I find it impossible to wrap my head around somebody, even a space puppet, not believing in the same God I do.  I guess we can just wrap a bow around this debate, because it is over.


Glenn: This debate, like our national nightmare, has only begun. What we have here is a case as old as time itself: a skilled debater projecting his own beliefs onto a genderless, HILARIOUS alien. Alf has specifically condemned many, but not all, of the religiously-inspired terror of the last few decades. Alf condemned ISIS throwing homosexuals to their deaths. Alf condemned Christian anti-abortion activists murdering doctors in cold blood.  Alf condemned orthodox Jewish women for wearing thick dark clothes on a summer day. Does this sound like the actions of a monotheist? Not to me, and I’m a polytheist.


Jake: If ALF, the famed space monster, does not believe in God then there is simply no God. That's how this works. Let me spin you a yarn, then knit you a scarf of a tale, that you will wrap around the neck of your brain to keep your thoughts warm. In 1986, I was a mess. My wife had left me for a guy with a motorcycle louder than my own. I was low. I was drinking a whole six pack of Zima every evening, and I was skipping church. Not just on Saturday, but Sunday, too. Wednesday was not even considered. Then one evening as I was stumbling around my loft, a lovable alien appeared on my TV and said, “No problem.” Sure, I had problems. I had more problems than I had pubes, and I have more pubes than there are stars in the sky. This declaration by ALF jostled me awake and sent me down the righteous path. And that's why I voted for Gary Johnson in the 2016 presidential election.


Glenn: You made the right choice in the election, but the wrong choice in this debate. What you describe here, historical inaccuracies aside, does not make the case that ALF believes in god but rather the case that ALF is god. I ask our readers to loosen the straps on their adult diapers and bear with me here. More and more low-grade science fiction (Arrival, Prometheus, 2069: A Sex Odyssey) are positing the theory that there’s no “god” as we conceive of it, but rather aliens who came in our ancient history and in some way set the stage for the amazing, contemplative, sustainable species we are today. Might ALF simply be one of those aliens who so loved the humanity he created that he gave his own life, so that he could stay with us instead of returning to his home planet? Seems absurd, I know - but no less absurd than moviegoers seeing Prometheus and then paying money to go back and see its sequel.


Jake: While it may be interesting to posit if ALF is God, as you so recklessly propose, it doesn’t fit in with the true words of The Bible. The Bible is “the good book,” which is confusing because technically it’s two books. It’s sort of like how Nymphomaniac is one movie, but they split it into two. And, buster, I am a “nymphomaniac” for the word of the lord and ALF. Of course, ALF believes in God. How could anybody not? It’s actually physically impossible to not believe in God, as a recent study in The Journal of Christian Science conclusively proved. If the only magazine I subscribe to says it, then it has to be true. “The Good Book”? How about “The True Book”? Right? Yeah, I think I am. And I think that ALF isn’t God, but does believe in God. I declare myself the winner, as I always do in both debates and the Winter Olympics.


Glenn: Glad you brought up the Winter Olympics since it was around that time ALF first denied the existence of god outside the sitcom. After those low rent thugs kneecapped Nancy Kerrigan there was infamous video of her screaming “Why? Why?” To whom is unclear, but assuming it was our NON-dark lord is extremely reasonable. In the longer, unedited clip you can see ALF trying to comfort her as she’s taken to the hospital by saying “Because there is no god, Nancy. Nothing happens for a reason!” Now, you can make the case that four years removed from his sitcom being on the air ALF was despondent and in a dark place where he was more willing to accept atheism - lord knows it happened to both of us - but the point remains: ALF, from the time his show ended to the day he was murdered with Joan Osbourne, did not believe in god. And let’s honor him by committing blasphemy today!

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