Are They Serious?

 

Saw this story this morning.  Headline:

Navajo Nation President Objects to NASA Sending Cremated Human Remains to the Moon

Here is the full story.

Some excerpts: “It is crucial to emphasize that the moon holds a sacred position in many Indigenous cultures, including ours,” President Nygren wrote. “We view it as a part of our spiritual heritage, an object of reverence and respect. The act of depositing human remains and other materials, which could be perceived as discards in any other location, on the Moon is tantamount to desecration of this sacred space.”

“We believe that both NASA and the USDOT should have engaged in consultation with us before agreeing to contract with a company that transports human remains to the Moon or authorizing a launch carrying such payloads,” he wrote.”

I’ll assert, straight up, that this guy doesn’t believe a word he is saying.  This is a naked power play.  Apparently, NASA was stupid enough to go along with it in the past:

“He said this situation “echoes back to the late 1990s, when the National Aeronautics and Space Administration sent the Lunar Prospector, carrying the remains of (former astronaut) Eugene Shoemaker, to the Moon.”

“At the time, Navajo Nation President Albert Hale voiced our objections regarding this action. In response, NASA issued a formal apology and promised consultation with tribes before authorizing any further missions carrying human remains to the Moon,” President Nygren wrote.”

Maybe someone at NASA was smart enough to pretend contrition with no intent to actually give in.

So what do you think?  Does this guy really believe what he says, or is he as cynical as I believe?

 

 

 

 

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  1. JoelB Member
    JoelB
    @JoelB

    Is the moon so sacred that mankind defiles it merely by walking on it? What of various rocket stages and transportation/communication devices left on it? Should colonization materialize or manned stations be established, there is a possibility that some might die there. Must their remains be removed? All earthly projects in the USA require environmental statements which must address tribal concerns.

    Perhaps we should refrain from traveling in space altogether lest we defile the sacred.

    • #1
  2. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    At what point are we going to regain our sanity and either laugh in these people’s faces and/or tell them to [REDACTED] off?

     

    • #2
  3. Miffed White Male Member
    Miffed White Male
    @MiffedWhiteMale

    The only rational response.

     

     

    • #3
  4. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Not only is every square inch of North America on “sacred Indian ground,” but other planetary bodies as well.  Might as well scrub the Mars mission too . . .

    • #4
  5. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Their pathetic cultures lost.

    Losers,

    • #5
  6. Jimmy Carter Member
    Jimmy Carter
    @JimmyCarter

    JoelB (View Comment):

    Is the moon so sacred that mankind defiles it merely by walking on it? What of various rocket stages and transportation/communication devices left on it? Should colonization materialize or manned stations be established, there is a possibility that some might die there. Must their remains be removed? All earthly projects in the USA require environmental statements which must address tribal concerns.

    Perhaps we should refrain from traveling in space altogether lest we defile the sacred.

    In space there will be no lavatories, either.

    • #6
  7. Globalitarian Misanthropist Coolidge
    Globalitarian Misanthropist
    @Flicker

    JoelB (View Comment):

    Is the moon so sacred that mankind defiles it merely by walking on it? What of various rocket stages and transportation/communication devices left on it? Should colonization materialize or manned stations be established, there is a possibility that some might die there. Must their remains be removed? All earthly projects in the USA require environmental statements which must address tribal concerns.

    Perhaps we should refrain from traveling in space altogether lest we defile the sacred.

    Presumably they do not worship everything, so just send the remains into the sun and delight in your loved one’s new cosmic brilliance.

    • #7
  8. WI Con Member
    WI Con
    @WICon

    Most photos, documentaries I’ve seen of Resrvations look like slums. 

    Clean your own crap up on earth and piss off.

    • #8
  9. RetiredActuary Coolidge
    RetiredActuary
    @RetiredActuary

    Does every religion get this sort of veto power?  Are there any areas of human activity that are off limits to a religious veto?

    • #9
  10. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    The only rational response.

    That will do.

    • #10
  11. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Tex929rr: “We view it as a part of our spiritual heritage, an object of reverence and respect. The act of depositing human remains and other materials, which could be perceived as discards in any other location, on the Moon is tantamount to desecration of this sacred space.”

    Desecration? No, this is how we consecrate the Moon to make it a sacred space. More cemeteries on the Moon, please. Consecrate the whole to the dead.

    • #11
  12. Nohaaj Coolidge
    Nohaaj
    @Nohaaj

    I am quite sure that this Navajo Pres’s sacred dismay will be assuaged completely with a proper check with enough zero…

    Not a power play, a bold and naked shakedown. 

    • #12
  13. Mad Gerald Coolidge
    Mad Gerald
    @Jose

    Stad (View Comment):

    Not only is every square inch of North America on “sacred Indian ground,” but other planetary bodies as well. Might as well scrub the Mars mission too . . .

    You beat me to it.  I was about to claim that Mars is sacred to my faith system and any desecration requires redress and reparations…

    • #13
  14. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Miffed White Male (View Comment):

    The only rational response.

    That is beautiful.

    • #14
  15. Randy Weivoda Moderator
    Randy Weivoda
    @RandyWeivoda

    Surely somewhere there must exist a religion which holds that God or the gods wants human ashes on the moon, as soon as we have the ability to put them there.

    • #15
  16. Mad Gerald Coolidge
    Mad Gerald
    @Jose

    Too late?

    Rocket set to release remains of 330 people, including George Washington, JFK and ‘Star Trek’ cast into space: ‘Permanent memorial’

    Texas-based company Celestis Inc.’s inaugural Enterprise Flight is scheduled to launch at 2:18 a.m. Monday from Cape Canaveral in Florida, marking the first time human remains will be released on the moon and beyond by a commercial company. 

    The two-stage Vulcan Centaur rocket will first drop 62 of the 1/4- and 1/2-inch long titanium capsules filled with DNA or cremated remains on the moon, in a 6-foot-tall, 8-foot-wide device called the Peregrine Lunar Lander.

    It will become a “permanent memorial.” 

    • #16
  17. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    Tell the Indians they can put a casino on the moon, and they’ll quiet down.

    • #17
  18. Mad Gerald Coolidge
    Mad Gerald
    @Jose

    RetiredActuary (View Comment):

    Does every religion get this sort of veto power? Are there any areas of human activity that are off limits to a religious veto?

    Only off limits to the Christian and Jewish vetos.

    • #18
  19. CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill Coolidge
    CarolJoy, Not So Easy To Kill
    @CarolJoy

    The sad fact is that occasionally the leader of one tribe or another makes a plea for the larger society to consider the beliefs of its peoples regarding some matter where the tribe is right.

    For instance, for years the uranium tailings issue regarding how waste from uranium mining operations were handled was a valid point of contention.

    But often such pronouncements made by a tribal leader are “taken care of” by the industry or governmental agency that has a decent balance in its checkbook and can hand a payment over to the leader making such a statement.

    Immediately after that the tribal leader, and sometimes most of the tribe, goes silent.

    This one notion of the moon itself or its admirers  being traumatized by the insertion of human remains into its vast moon valleys seems rather ridiculous. But who knows? Maybe tribal leader needs a bit more money in his bank account.

     

    • #19
  20. Mad Gerald Coolidge
    Mad Gerald
    @Jose

    NASA responds. By sidestepping.

    In a pre-launch science briefing on Thursday (Jan. 4), NASA representatives addressed the controversy over the payloads containing human remains being included on the mission, noting that the mission is a private, commercial effort and that NASA has merely contracted for its scientific payloads to be transported to the moon. “We don’t have the framework for telling them what they can and can’t fly,” said Chris Culbert, Commercial Lunar Payload Services (CLPS) program manager at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. “The approval process doesn’t run through NASA for commercial missions.”

    Culbert added that the private companies launching payloads as a part of the CLPS program “don’t have to clear those payloads” before launch. “So these are truly commercial missions, and it’s up to them to sell what they sell,” Culbert said. 

    However, in long hallowed government tradition, they will form a committee…

    The U.S. government has formed an interagency group to review the Navajo Nation’s objections and request for delay, agency representatives added during the briefing.

    The private company Celestis was a bit more direct in their response:

    Celestis, for its part, does not find those objections to be substantive.

    “The regulatory process that approves space missions does not consider compliance with the tenets of any religion in the process for obvious reasons. No individual religion can or should dictate whether a space mission should be approved,” Celestis CEO and co-founder Charles Chafer said in an emailed statement to Space.com.

    “No one, and no religion, owns the moon, and, were the beliefs of the world’s multitude of religions considered, it’s quite likely that no missions would ever be approved,” Chafer added. “Simply, we do not and never have let religious beliefs dictate humanity’s space efforts — there is not and should not be a religious test.”

    • #20
  21. BDB Inactive
    BDB
    @BDB

    This is rich.

    “The act of depositing human remains and other materials, which could be perceived as discards in any other location…”

    Why then we’ll start digging up all those “discarded” Indians from your sacred US soil and studying their DNA so you don’t have to wallow in heathen ignorance about where your people came from, you Chukchi refugees.

    Frankly, their territorial claim to THE MOON would have gone better without the dead give-away line about “discards,” when the sacredness of human remains is typically the cornerstone of everything else they claim.


    I’m generally supportive of Indian causes.  I disagree with them about genetic analysis, but rarely has a people been so thoroughly destroyed (Carthage), and so I grant a pro-Indian bias to much of my opinions.

    This idiot “President” is only hurting his own people, and should be rejected by them for literally debasing all their other arguments about land and tradition.

    Heck, we’ll even let the Navajo Nation discard his ass into one of our universities.  Hard to do any harm there — those really are trash heaps.

    • #21
  22. BDB Inactive
    BDB
    @BDB

    Besides, the moon is as good as dead once I’m elected:

    https://www.imao.us/a-realistic-plan-for-world-peaceakanuke-the-moon/

     

    • #22
  23. kedavis Coolidge
    kedavis
    @kedavis

    BDB (View Comment):

    Besides, the moon is as good as dead once I’m elected:

    https://www.imao.us/a-realistic-plan-for-world-peaceakanuke-the-moon/

    I remember The Tick, at least the animated version.  Dunno if they did the same for the “live action” series.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    There was also a short story in the second issue of the 1980s revival of Science Fiction Review that I was involved with.  In that story, visiting aliens already known to the various governments are discovered by some regular people, who then use (I think) a laser weapon on an alien ship to carve a message into the Moon to let everyone else know what’s up.

    • #23
  24. GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Malpropisms Reagan
    GLDIII Purveyor of Splendid Malpropisms
    @GLDIII

    BDB (View Comment):

    Besides, the moon is as good as dead once I’m elected:

    https://www.imao.us/a-realistic-plan-for-world-peaceakanuke-the-moon/

     

    I have the shirt.

    • #24
  25. BDB Inactive
    BDB
    @BDB

    kedavis (View Comment):

    BDB (View Comment):

    Besides, the moon is as good as dead once I’m elected:

    https://www.imao.us/a-realistic-plan-for-world-peaceakanuke-the-moon/

    I remember The Tick, at least the animated version. Dunno if they did the same for the “live action” series.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    There was also a short story in the second issue of the 1980s revival of Science Fiction Review that I was involved with. In that story, visiting aliens already known to the various governments are discovered by some regular people, who then use (I think) a laser weapon on an alien ship to carve a message into the Moon to let everyone else know what’s up.

    Spoooon, Arthur!

    • #25
  26. DaveSchmidt Coolidge
    DaveSchmidt
    @DaveSchmidt

    Nohaaj (View Comment):

    I am quite sure that this Navajo Pres’s sacred dismay will be assuaged completely with a proper check with enough zero…

    Not a power play, a bold and naked shakedown.

    Of course NASA must create a position to advise them on such culturally sensitive issues.  Hire President Nygren’s daughter or nephew and he’ll have some fresh revelations about NASA’s programs. 

    • #26
  27. Eugene Kriegsmann Member
    Eugene Kriegsmann
    @EugeneKriegsmann

    I find myself increasingly unsympathetic to the sensitivities of indigenous cultural taboos. If the Navajo consider the moon to be sacred ground, then they can choose to not participate in its “desecration.” Banning others of a different cultural bent from doing so shows a complete lack of understanding of the basic concept of cultural diversity. I am very tired of my culture, such as it is, being denigrated by members of other cultures. You do your thing, I will do mine!

    Exactly what have the Navajos or a host of other non-western cultures contributed to the science of space travel which is the provence of NASA.  As non contributors they have nothing to say about how the missions are carried out, or what those missions entail. As I understand it, Navajos traditionally dumped the bodies of their dead in fissures in the mountains and scrupulously avoid them thereafter. I don’t recall anyone asking them to find a more suitable way to dispose of their dead. The also abandon their houses in which a person has died. There would be an awful lot of empty houses if we were forced to observe their cultural tenets, probably more than actually usable ones.

    Personally, I think @miffedwhitemale’s redacted comment expresses my view completely.

    • #27
  28. Matt Bartle Member
    Matt Bartle
    @MattBartle

    I would say they are welcome to go remove the remains if it’s that important to them.

    • #28
  29. Arahant Member
    Arahant
    @Arahant

    Eugene Kriegsmann (View Comment):
    I am very tired of my culture, such as it is, being denigrated by members of other cultures. You do your thing, I will do mine!

    Exactly. And my ancestors were joyous desecrators. Also, looters, pillagers, rapists, murderers, pirates, and many other things. I want my culture back!

    • #29
  30. iWe Coolidge
    iWe
    @iWe

    We should not respect any pagan faith.  Their religions are predicated on evil, from start to finish. Every pagan deity is a physically tangible force, which makes every faith built on “Might Makes Right.”

    Remember: every primitive/pagan faith we have knowledge of, has, at at least one time in its past, eaten people. Including every native American tribe we know of.

    Those faiths deserve no accommodations or respect whatsoever.

    • #30
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