H. Edwin Young
January 27, 1985
A student from Mars swooped dangerously low over the United States one sunny, beautiful Sunday afternoon. He could see the whole realm of the world. He had an assignment. He had been assigned by his professor on Mars to write a thesis about religious life in this strange world. And as he swooped over the earth on this beautiful Sunday afternoon, he began to write furiously and he reached a very basic conclusion in the very beginning. He said, "All of these backward people worship the sun like all other primitive types." And then as he went lower, he discovered that Sunday afternoon people worshipping the sun as their god. And he noticed the different ways in which they would do this. Large crowds would gather and the high priest would dress up in unifoms - strange looking garments - and they would do something with a ball and a bat that he could not totally figure out. And then he noticed that others would walk in twos or fours through long green pastures with strange kinds of sticks and hit the ball for themselves and he said, "That, too, must in some way, hitting the ball reminded them of the sun." But then he said, most people on this particular Sunday afternoon, they would first get almost naked and then they would run down into the ocean with some sort of ceremonial baptism or into a lake or into a concrete pond. And he said then they would go and lie down and anoint themselves with some kind of religious oil. And then lie there and look up into the heavens so they could worship their god, the sun. But he said he noticed there were a few people - heretics - who did not engage in these activities on Sunday. Instead, he said they would dress up in the finest clothes that they owned, and they would go to buildings that had colored glass on their windows to keep the sun out. And this Martian said he couldn't figure out as to whether or not these strange heretics had been excomunicated from worshippin ...
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