Praise the Lord and pass the beer, change is brewing among American Christians


Something is brewing among American Protestants, and it has a decidedly hoppy flavor.

For much of the last century in the United States, Protestant Christianity’s relationship with beer was cold or even hostile at times. Protestant organizations such as the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union and the Anti-Saloon League led the campaign to make alcohol illegal.

Even after Prohibition ended, many evangelicals defined themselves by their abstention from alcohol, called “the beloved enemy” by televangelist Jack Van Impe.

Drinking was, and in many cases still is, outlawed on Christian college campuses and among leadership of many churches and denominations.

But in recent years, change has been fermenting. Taverns and beer halls, once dismissed as the domain of the “worldly” in need of reform, are today the meeting places for churches

Written By: Brett McCracken
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  1. Once alcohol has clouded all thought processes, then you are ready for your religious brainwashing.

  2. In reply to #2 by Miserablegit:

    Once alcohol has clouded all thought processes, then you are ready for your religious brainwashing.

    Probably the reason why the Salvation Army go around pubs with collecting tins.

  3. Maybe they’ll all join a monastery and make good beer for me like the Trappist monks. One can dream…

  4. A christian once said to me that Beer was a poison yet he would go into a hospital and let doctors use “poisons”(drugs) on him without question. I find that very strange.

  5. In reply to #8 by ikinmoore:

    A christian once said to me that Beer was a poison yet he would go into a hospital and let doctors use “poisons”(drugs) on him without question. I find that very strange.

    Poisons? No problem, according to Mark 16:18…

    “They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them…”

    Regarding beer, the following is widely attributed to Ben Franklin: “Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” Sadly, this is wrong. What Franklin did write was: “Behold the rain which descends from heaven upon our vineyards, there it enters the roots of the vines, to be changed into wine, a constant proof that God loves us, and loves to see us happy.”

    Pretty much the same thing. Bottoms up!


  6. praise the lord and pass the hobgoblin,for beer is the true religion and i am saved

  7. Ah! The monastic traditions! – and the science which goes back even further!

    The Past, Present and Future of Mead –

    Wine has been part of human culture for 6,000 years, serving dietary and socio-religious functions. The history of mead dates back 20,000 to 40,000 years and has its origins on the African continent. In order to really understand the history of mead we need to go much further back in time. The modern honeybee can be traced back using mitochondrial DNA sequence analysis to just over 1 million years ago, when it separated from its parent species.

    The honeybee has always gathered nectar and pollen and it has been engaged through the millennia in a battle against indigenous yeast. Low sugar content syrups such as nectar can experience spontaneous fermentation as a result of the action of wild yeast. This is not beneficial for the honeybee, since it needs the sugars of the nectar for its metabolism and life cycle. Enzymes in the bee’s honey stomach convert the 12-carbon sugar, Sucrose, to two 6 carbon sugars, Fructose and Glucose. But this is only half the story. The bees learned through the millennia that by drying the honey and thereby increasing the osmotic pressure they could make their much-needed honey less and less suitable for fermentation by native yeast. But the battle raged on and some indiginous yeasts became osmotolerant, i.e. they could survive in environments of high osmotic pressure. The surviving yeasts became ideal yeasts for wine and beer fermentation.

    If we now fast-forward almost one million years to somewhere between 20,000 and 40,000 years ago, we have the first indication of man’s knowledge of mead. As nomadic peoples wandered out of Africa and into the Mediterranean they took with them bees, honey and, unknowingingly, osmotolerant yeasts. Wild, indigenous yeasts like those first bio-engineered by bees almost a million years earlier, were responsible for the fermentation of wine grapes – a practice which started in the Mediterranean some 14,000 to 34,000 years later. Not until the time of Louis Pasteur, in the mid 1800’s, did man become aware of yeast as the life form responsible for fermentation. By selecting for osmotolerant yeasts, the bees were responsible for fermentation basics about one million years before man undersood the nature of yeast metabolism.

    The origins of mead can be traced back to the African bush more than 20,000 years ago. Feral bees were well established, elephants roamed the continent and weather patterns were seasonal, as they are today in Africa. Extreme conditions of drought during the dry season, and torrential rains in the rainy season were common. This weather pattern would eventually cause hollows to rot out the crown of the Baobab and Miombo trees, where the elephant had broken branches. During the dry season, the bees would nest in these hollows, and during the wet season the hollows would fill with water. Water, honey, osmotolerant yeast, and time and viola – a mead is born. Early African bushmen and tribes gathered not only honey, but also mead and as successive waves of people left Africa they took with them some knowledge of mead and mead making.

    Ah! The wonders of evolutionary discoveries!

  8. In reply to #2 by Miserablegit:

    Once alcohol has clouded all thought processes, then you are ready for your religious brainwashing.

    Hmm, hadn’t thought of it that way!

    I thought the opposite – i.e., in an informal setting of drinking, folk’s inhibitions are lowered. Possibly a ripe time for one’s inner doubts about god/religion to emerge. “I know what I was feeling, but what was I thinking?!”

    No women were mentioned per the beer festivities. That would be a game changer; are women not allowed, or, they don’t want to participate?

    Some blow-hard preacher on tv was banging on about sinning, not pleasing goD, etc. Trash the flagellants, humans are simply carbon-based units of nature.

  9. Xianity was founded on the miracle of drink-spiking and ethanol has been a sacramental drug ever since. Beer, wine or spirits, the fashions change and supply varies. Xians don’t even accept that their sacramental drug is a drug. Xian cultures frequently have secular institutions with tautological names like “Drugs and Alcohol…” this or that.

    When the grog ran out at that wedding in Cana, Mary’s inspired plan to get Jesus to spike the water bottles ensured followers for centuries.

  10. In reply to #15 by Stafford Gordon:

    They’re scraping the barrel now!…

    …and rolling it out, too ;p

  11. Oh give me break! If they promise to stay out of my pub, I promise to stay out of their church.

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