BILLY SUNDAY THIS THURSDAY

Late reports from the Billy Graham Crusade watch

Before the Billy Graham Crusade, which starts Thursday, radio announcements spread the word that more singers were needed for the 6,000-voice choir. Just come to rehearsal and bring $15, the crusaders say. If singing is twice praying and it's free to get into the prayer dome, what new math computes twice zero as 15 bucks? This is the antithesis of the loaves and fishes. And did everyone see the Post-Dispatch's Sunday Q&A between religion reporter Patricia Rice and Mr. Graham himself? Seems that Rice had to shout the questions while one of Graham's assistants listened on an extension phone to repeat missed words to the hearing-impaired evangelist. So what hardball questions did Rice ask? Does he talk to his great-grandchildren about his regrets? No, they're too young. What does he expect will happen when he has to answer to God? "I am not expecting a big reception." He's talking about heaven, not St. Louis. But he expects to get to heaven: "By God's grace and his mercy, because I am a sinner." Well, he's coming to the right place -- from the Trans World Dome, the casinos are a short limo drive away, and Sauget is just an exit or two down the interstate.
 
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