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Easter Service (MARK GEALY)
(original, smirk, religion, physics)

This is a true story.  There's no way I could have made this up.

     One year back in the early '80's when I was Graduate Student
Emeritus in Physics at the University of Denver, I attended one
of the annual Easter morning sunrise services at the Red Rocks
amphitheater with several of my friends .  It was a gorgeous
morning and I was quite inspired to be at such a gathering of
more than 10,000 people.

     Of course, the service was appropriately very ecumenical,
and consequently fairly lame... until the sermon.  This was given
by the pastor of a local Denver Baptist church.  His strategy was
to illustrate the 'miracle' of the resurrection by comparing it
with an everyday miracle.  (You should read the following recon-
struction of his speech out loud in the dialect of the most
obnoxious imaginable evangelist because that's exactly how it was

     He said, "Friends, we all know about the Law of Gravity! 
And that whatever goes up MUST come down."  

     I thought, "I'm with ya so far, but it IS possible to
'throw' something up fast enough so that it won't return.  No
problem, but where are you going with this?"  

     He continued, "But we also know that when an airplane flies,
the Law of Gravity is superseded by the Laws of Thrust... and

     I thought, "I beg your pardon?  I have formally studied
physics for ten years now and have never HEARD of any laws of
thrust or elevation...  Is it possible that you're a moron?"

     There was sufficient elaboration upon this to reveal that it
was this poor illiterate fellow's clear understanding that
airplane flight is possible precisely because of the timely,
judicious, and obviously miraculous suspension of the Law of
Gravity.  THEREFORE, Jesus was unquestionably raised from the
dead!  Gee, why hadn't I thought of that?

     I was entertained beyond my wildest imaginings.  The people
in our group were all a bit high on the combination of coffee,
donuts, and lack of sleep.  As we left the arena, we struck up a
song in which numerous bystanders joined.  To the familiar hymn
tune 'Jesus Christ is Risen Today', we sang:

Laws of Thrust and Elevation, Al----le--lu-i-a
Overcome the Gravitation, Al----le--lu-i-a
When a plane flies high or low, Al----le--lu-i-a
Gravity goes right out the window, Al----le--lu-i-a

(From the "Rest" of RHF)

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