An Oklahoma senator has released a report outlining what he believes is some of the Pentagon’s most wasteful spending. Among a number of odd items includes a workshop on how Christianity would be affected if aliens were proven to exist.
Senator Tom Coburn is known to be the “waste-watcher” on Capitol Hill, as he investigates unnecessary spending in various branches of the government. On Thursday, he issued what some consider to be a laughable list of Defense Department expenditures that have nothing to do with defense.
In addition to $1.5 billion being spent on a plan to invent roll-up beef jerky, an iPhone app that helps people schedule their coffee breaks and scientific research on the swimming patterns of goldfish, was a workshop blending Christianity with the existence of aliens.
The event, entitled “Did Jesus Die for Klingons Too?,” focused on “the implications for Christianity if intelligent life were to be found on other planets.” According to the Global Post, actors such as LeVar Burton and Nichelle Nichols were present, and an “intergalactic gala celebration” was included, at which attendees were urged to don “starship cocktail attire.”
Klingons are are a group of aliens from the fictional sci-fi television and movie series Star Trek, which originated in 1966 and continues (at least in movie format) to present day. The series deals with a band of aliens and humans that seek to solve the problems of the universe, tackling topics such as imperialism, class warfare and racism. Some episodes are also said to have addressed sexism, feminism and religion.
Coburn issued a statement along with the list, asserting that the Pentagon needs to cut non-defense expenditures such as these.
“The American people expect the Pentagon’s $600 billion annual budget to go toward our nation’s defense,” he said. “That isn’t happening. Billions of defense dollars are being spent on programs and missions that have little or nothing to do with national security, or are already being performed by other government agencies.”
He stated that if these expenditures are not cut, the Pentagon will continue spending billions of American taxpayer dollars on frivolous items. He said that the approximately $37 billion that will be spent over the next ten years on support and supply services could be better handled in the private sector. Coburn also commented that the Department of Defense has become the “Department of Everything,” as it even helps to run grocery stores across the country.
“The DoD budget is aligned to strategic priorities we have identified to keep America safe and maintain the strongest military in the world,” Pentagon spokesperson Lt. Col. Elizabeth Robbins told reporters with NBC today in a written statement. “Over the past several years we have redoubled our efforts to make better use of the taxpayer’s defense dollar and meet our fiscal responsibilities.”
Coburn doesn’t think so. He says that the country could save at least $69 billion over the next decade if the Defense Department would simply stick to defense.
While Coburn’s report outlines that the government is proceeding with its plans for the roll-up jerky, as “a variety of flavors are being developed, including salami, chipotle, turkey, pork and smoked ham,” it is not known whether it came to a conclusion by the end of its workshop as to how Jesus’ death would apply to aliens if they indeed exist.