NPR has published a report questioning whether or not intelligent extra-terrestrial beings celebrate their own form of “Christmas.”

In a soon-to-be published book, First Contact, The Washington Post’s Marc Kaufman quotes Gary Bates, the head of Creation Ministries in Atlanta, who says he is deeply uncomfortable with the notion of extraterrestrial life and that intelligent, morally aware alien beings would undermine the views and beliefs so central to his faith:

“My theological perspective is that E.T. life would actually make a mockery of the very reason Christ came to die for our sins, for our redemption… the entire focus of creation is mankind on this Earth… it is a huge problem that many Christians have not really thought about.”

Epicurus — an ancient Greek philosopher and the founder of the school of philosophy called Epicureanism — proposed that life exists on other celestial bodies and in 1600, philosopher Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake for, among other things, believing in a “plurality of world,” so this question is old, contentious and sometimes dangerous.

But doctrines can change. A statue of Giordano Bruno now stands in Rome, near the Vatican. Two years ago, the director of the Vatican Observatory, Jesuit astronomer Jose Gabriel Funes, matter-of-factly referred to potential life in the universe as our “extraterrestrial brothers” and went on to say:

“As a multiplicity of creatures exists on Earth, so there could be other beings, also intelligent, created by God. This does not conflict with our faith because we cannot put limits on the creative freedom of God.”

Vatican astronomer from Arizona, Brother Guy Consolmagno — a trained as a physicist at MIT — stated that the Church has always recognized extraterrestrials, beings with wings who hail from OUT OF THIS WORLD called “angels.” He continued:

“The whole mythology of angels in the Jewish and Christian tradition shows that the Church, the religious people, the people that wrote the bible, were not afraid of other intelligent creatures who are also worshiping God.”