The Apple Test
The existence of E.T. would be more problematic in Christian theology.
In the "fall from Eden" as described in Genesis, the entire universe is cursed because of the Original Sin of Adam and Eve (which is a basic tenant of Catholicism). A sentient being living 10,000 light-years away may not take too kindly to this idea. Imagine, the alien is supposed to believe that it's doomed to death and judgment because a small-cranium naked biped living on a subgiant rocky planet once bit into a spheroid of carbohydrates, sugars, and water.
The essence of Christianity is redemption through God's sacrifice of his only son. Because aliens are not descended from Adam and Eve must they be separately saved too? Or did they pass the Apple Test?
Jennifer Wiseman of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center is optimistic that finding E.T. would exemplify the greatness of God. "We would have a wider view of creation that embraces and integrates religious and non-religious ideas."
Smith said that the precepts of an all powerful creator in Judaism would accept the idea of life off the Earth.
So, our first question for the aliens might be: "Got God?"
Image credit: SETI Institute, NOAO