Rocket scientist, Herbert Montgomery, has been suspended from his position at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) pending a personnel department hearing for having calculated the rate of ascension of Jesus Christ into Heaven on company time and using company equipment.
“If he would have used a slide rule or pocket calculator on his lunch break that would be different,” said a spokesman for JPL, denying Mr. Montgomery was being singled out for his faith. “Instead, he programmed a campus supercomputer to do complex non-scientific related calculations while on the clock.”
Factoring in all the variables such as the height and weight of Jesus (as a solid not an ectoplasm manifestation), his robe, sandals and compensating for atmospheric conditions of 2,000 years ago, the supercomputer came up with a familiar number: 17 miles per second, which is the acceleration rate a rocket must achieve to escape earth’s gravity.
Herbert has hired a lawyer to represent him in the disciplinary proceedings he faces from his employer, which he considers religious persecution and a test of his faith.
“There’s room for faith in the scientific mind,” said Herbert.
However, Herbert has drawn criticism rather than support from the religious as well as the scientific community. Both for his unauthorized undertaking of calculating the rate of ascension of Jesus into Heaven and for the errors in his data entry.
“According to the Gospel,” said Father Juan Gomez. “Jesus didn’t have a running start, taking a leap of faith into the air like some Superman character as Mr. Montgomery assumed.”
Father Gomez also questions anyone’s faith that has to be confirmed by a slide rule or supercomputer.
“Without the inertia generated by Jesus running and jumping, acting as additional propulsion,” said a JPL colleague of Herbert. “It is doubtful the Son of God ascended to Heaven as calculated.”
More likely Jesus made it to a low stationary earth orbit instead.
“Yeah,” Herbert replied. “But technically he’s still circling up there somewhere above our heads, right?”
Copyright © 2008-2012 by Robert W. Armijo. All rights reserved.
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