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Posts Tagged ‘Evangelicals

“The real novelty of our own time is not the prominence of the religious Right but the silence of the religious Left”*…


“The Word of Life” mural, otherwise known as the “Touchdown Jesus,” at the Hesburgh Library, Notre Dame University


Catholics make up a disproportionate share of the intelligentsia of the religious Right in the United States. Although they constitute only a fifth of the US population (and white Catholics make up less than 12 per cent of the US population), they maintain a high profile among conservative think tanks, universities and professional organisations. On the US Supreme Court, four out of five Republican-appointed justices are Catholic, despite evangelicals making up a substantial portion of Republican Party support.

To understand Catholic overrepresentation on the US Supreme Court, and how Catholics in some sense became the brains of American conservatism, we must look to the history of Catholic education in the US…

When evangelicals mobilised politically in the 1970s and declared a ‘culture war’ against the menace of secularism, they put aside their longstanding anti-Catholicism and reached out to Catholic conservatives. Catholics proved to be perfect partners. Unlike evangelicals, conservative Catholics could draw on research universities, law schools, medical schools, business schools and other intellectual-producing institutions in the fight against secularism. Evangelicals’ suspicion of higher education since at least the days of the 1925 Scopes trial over teaching evolution meant that they had built few institutions of higher learning. Their bible colleges and seminaries were meant to create believers and converts, not intellectuals.  Evangelical law schools and PhD programmes remain extremely rare in the US. Ironically, a tradition so devoted to spreading literacy saw too much learning as a potential danger…

Catholic intellectual life in the US is not solely conservative, and Catholic conservatism sometimes cuts across the Left-Right divide in the US (on immigration and the death penalty, for example). But it remains the case that Catholic intellectuals are overrepresented in the US conservative movement. By virtue of their 19th-century separationist anxieties and their investment in institutions of higher learning, Catholics have become the brains of the religious Right in the US…

How the Catholic Church became the intellectual engine of the religious Right: “Evangelicals bring the votes, Catholics bring the brains.”

* Alec Ryrie, Protestants: The Faith That Made the Modern World


As we ruminate on religion, we might recall that it was on this date 1512 that Martin Luther joined the theological faculty of the University of Wittenberg… where, five years later, he wrote his famous Ninety-five Thesesand launched the Protestant Reformation.

Portrait_of_Martin_Luther_as_an_Augustinian_Monk source


“Here’s to alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.”*…

“It is well to remember that there are five reasons for drinking: the arrival of a friend, one’s present or future thirst, the excellence of the wine, or any other reason.”
– Latin proverb

The BBC reports:

At high-end bars in the United States and United Kingdom, bartenders are crafting cocktails with ingredients like crickets, tarantulas, scorpions and even giant ants.

The Artesian bar at the Langham hotel in London has been serving up their Langham Tea Punch for just over a year. The ingredients include Courvoisier cognac, Japanese sencha tea and an oven-baked tarantula and scorpion [pictured above]. Just last month, the bar upped the ante by introducing their Vieux Carre cocktail, which pairs cognac and rye whiskey with a side of toasted Colombian giant ants and Mopani worms. Both cocktails cost £16.50

“The drinks are a great talking point since insects aren’t a typical source of nutrition in the UK,” said Artesian head barman Alex Kratena, who noted the cocktails are usually ordered in groups. “Some insects get toasted, which brings the drink extra flavour and some are used for decorative purposes. Most are rather tasty!”

Stateside, White and Church in New York City serves up a trio of insect cocktails, including a cinnamon-flavoured rum paired with honeybees, a margarita-like drink with Mexican spicy worms, and a Batida de Cocco drink with heavy cream and dried grasshoppers. The drinks ring up at $13 each.

Brave enough to drink up and chow down?  A single bug can provide 10 to 20 grams of protein, offering a nice nutritional boost in addition to the more usual buzz.

*Homer Simpson

As we order a round for the house, we might send reverent birthday wishes to athlete and evangelist William Ashley “Billy” Sunday; he was born on this date in 1862.  After a successful career as an outfielder with the Chicago White Stockings, then the Philadelphia Phillies, Sunday hit the “kerosene circuit” as a preacher, ultimately becoming the most celebrated and influential American evangelist of the first two decades of the 20th century (e.g., playing a significant role in the passage of the 18th Amendment– Prohibition).  Historians estimate that, over the course of his pre-broadcast-era career, Sunday preached face-to-face to more than one hundred million people–  to the great majority, without electronic amplification.


Written by LW

November 19, 2011 at 1:01 am

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