I really liked "The Word to Space." It was a refreshing change of pace to think of a planet that was interested in converting Earthlings in trans-planetary mission work. Even more interesting was the idea that a Jesuit priest would be the one to suggest fomenting a holy war on Akron in order to point out to the Akronites that their religion will not work on Earth (and also to get them off Earth's back). I wonder if there was no ethical conflict for Fr. Moriarty in regards to the fact that he started a war in which beings were killed, possibly innocent ones. He definitely did not seem to consult a superior for permission to do that, so in that sense, he seems a bit like a rogue cleric. On the other hand, Akronites seemed to be getting killed anyway, as there was already religious persecution on the planet. Did any alternative kind of action exist for him?
In response to the Murphy article, along the same train of thought, I was wondering why the existence of aliens would really pose much of a problem for Christianity (the article only briefly addressed other monotheisms, let alone other faiths, unfortunately). It seemed to me that the possibility of E.T.s was only threatening to Bible literalists or people who chose to take the Bible alone, sola scriptura, w/o accepting any other religious text as valid in assisting w/ its interpretation. That's just what I got out of it, but if someone else had a different take, please comment.