February 8th, 2014
12:48 PM ET

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

By Brett McCracken, special to CNN

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(CNN) - 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

Consider the following:

● “Bar Church,” a self-described “nontraditional church,” which meets at Memories Bar in Abilene, Texas, and is an offshoot of Southern Hills Church of Christ.

● North Brooklyn Vineyard, which meets at Trash Bar in Williamsburg, New York.

● Fort Worth’s “Kyrie,” which advertises itself as “Church in a Pub” and meets at Zio Carlo bar on Sunday nights.

Other churches are starting beer-friendly Bible studies or ministries, such as:

● “Beer and Bonhoeffer,” at Southlands Church in Brea, California, which meets to discuss German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s “The Cost of Discipleship,” while parishioners share their favorite craft brews. “I feel that real and honest discussions between men happen when we have a nice IPA or stout in our hands,” said group founder Pastor Kevin Meisch.

● “Beer & Hymns,” a gathering at First Christian Church in Portland, Oregon, where 100 or so mostly young people sing hymns like “Be Thou My Vision” while guzzling home-brewed beer from plastic cups. Similar “beer and hymns” events have occurred at churches in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Cincinnati.

● “Beer, Bible and Brotherhood,” an Oxford, Connecticut, group launched by the Rev. John Donnelly of Christ Church Quaker Farms, which studies Rick Warren’s "40 Days in the Word," while quaffing Sam Adams brews.

● “What Would Jesus Brew?” Valley Church in Allendale, Michigan, sponsors gatherings for craft beer enthusiasts, designed to “reach out to people in a loving, grace-filled way that meets people where they are and as they are.”

And all this is on top of the dozens of Catholic “theology on tap” events taking place at taverns across the country.

In the Protestant world, the trend toward tolerance of alcohol reaches beyond churches into conservative college campuses as well.

Last August, Chicago’s Moody Bible Institute — which just last year lifted a ban on long hair for men and nose stud earrings for women — dropped its ban on alcohol and tobacco consumption for its faculty and staff.

In September, Southern California’s Biola University — founded as the Bible Institute of Los Angeles in 1908 — lifted its ban on alcohol and tobacco for of-age graduate students, noting that the changes “shift the responsibility of conduct from the institution to the individual.”

Even though they are still banned from consuming beer while students, many recent graduates of evangelical colleges are starting to make an impact in the craft beer industry.

Several recent graduates of Indiana’s Taylor University launched the website ThePerfectlyHappyMan.com, which offers craft beer reviews and tips for beer tasting and making.

Tom Smillie, Christian beer maker and writer for The Perfectly Happy Man, says his love of good beer has allowed him to build relationships with nonbelievers.

“Sometimes I’ll go alone to a bar and have a great conversation with a person about sports, politics and most often religion,” said Smillie. “Beer is communal and appeals to the common man. Interestingly the gospel message is, too.”

The communal value of beer also appeals to Scott Sullivan, an alumnus of evangelical Calvin College who owns the Greenbush Brewing Company in Sawyer, Michigan.

“We are the community gathering place,” notes Sullivan, whose pastors are regulars in his taproom.

“Conversations and debates go on all day and people trade ideas. … I’ll often have a pastor sitting next to an atheist talking about all sorts of things, which isn’t something that can happen in a conventional church setting. How can you beat that?”

Christian craft beer aficionados like Smillie and Sullivan are also quick to point out that beer history is closely tied to Christian history.

St. Patrick reportedly used beer as a way to lure in Irish heathens before he converted them to Christianity. In the Holy Roman Empire, beer lover Charlemagne promoted improvements in brewing at monasteries throughout the empire, gradually making the church the primary wholesaler of beer in society.

Some brews today — such as Weihenstephan (founded 1040 AD) and Leffe (1240 AD) — originated in medieval monasteries. Famous nun Hildegard von Bingen was a brewer and is sometimes credited with the discovery that hops add preservative qualities to ale.

Despite their sometimes dour reputation, America’s Puritan founders were also big beer fans.

The Mayflower and other ships to the Massachusetts Bay Colony were stocked with ample wine and beer. In 1620, the ship carrying John Winthrop to the Massachusetts Bay Colony contained three times as much beer as water. In 1630, the Arabella brought Puritans to New England with at least 10,000 gallons of beer in tow.

Beer — then safer to drink than water — was such a necessary staple for the Pilgrims that a brewery was the first permanent building constructed in Plymouth.

Among colonial Christians, “no one felt any tension between Christianity and the moderate use of alcohol,” notes historian Mark Noll. Rather, most believers in America before 1800 “regarded the moderate use of alcoholic beverages, particularly beer and wine, as a privileged blessing from a gracious God.”

Perhaps today’s “beer Christianity” is not so much a new trend as it is a return to the posture toward alcohol that characterized much of Christian history?

Certainly vestiges of the temperance and Prohibition movements of 19th and 20th century American Christianity remain.

Many conservative denominations — Southern Baptists, for example — still discourage members, and particularly leaders, from consuming any alcohol.

In 2011, well-known pastor John MacArthur minced no words in chastising the “Young, Restless, Reformed” movement of young Calvinists for their fondness of beer.

“Cultivating an appetite for beer,” wrote MacArthur, “is not merely bad missional strategy and a bad testimony; it is fraught with deadly spiritual dangers.”

The dangers are real, to be sure. No one disputes the fact that drinking has its fair share of downsides, spiritually, physically, emotionally or otherwise. But so do a lot of things.

As I argue in my new book “Gray Matters: Navigating the Space Between Legalism & Liberty,” there are many perfectly good things in the world that can go wrong when we consume them recklessly.

The answer for Christians is not to demonize the good gifts of culture and wholly avoid them; nor is it to consume indiscriminately or immoderately.

As Martin Luther once said, “Do not suppose that abuses are eliminated by destroying the object which is abused. Men can go wrong with wine and women. Shall we then prohibit and abolish women?”

Luther viewed beer as a gift from God — something with the potential to be misused, but also something that could be used to honor the creator.

That’s how I hope Christians today see it as well — not as a lightning rod of the culture wars, to be avoided or embraced as some sort of statement, but as a pleasurable gift of a good God, who made water, yeast, barley and hops, and human beings with the creative capacity to brew up something wonderful.

Brett McCracken is the author of "Gray Matters: Navigating the Space Between Legalism & Liberty" and "Hipster Christianity: When Church and Cool Collide."

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Christianity • Church • evangelicals • Protestant • Sacred Spaces • Spirituality

soundoff (970 Responses)
  1. JM

    Jesus drank wine. C.S. Lewis drank.

    2One person’s faith allows them to eat anything, but another, whose faith is weak, eats only vegetables. 3The one who eats everything must not treat with contempt the one who does not, and the one who does not eat everything must not judge the one who does, for God has accepted them.

    February 9, 2014 at 10:14 am |
    • Greta

      Why not be filled with the Holy Spirit. Being filled with the Holy Spirit doesn't abuse children, or drunk drive, or embarrass oneself, or say things you regret. Alcohol ruins relationships, marriages, lives. Christ gives life. Drink at his well instead.

      February 9, 2014 at 11:04 am |
      • igaftr

        Teaching children there is such a thing as "holy spirit" when no evidence of such a thing can be found is tantamount to child abuse.

        February 9, 2014 at 11:10 am |
      • Attack of the 50 Foot Magic Underwear

        And exactly how does rabbi who has been dead for 2000 years "give life"?

        February 9, 2014 at 11:17 am |
      • tallulah13

        Perhaps those "filled with the holy spirit" should be embarassed by what they say, when they say things like children should be hit if a parent suspects that they might be gay, or when they tell people who don't have the resources to feed their children that they can't use birth control.

        The thing about those "filled with the holy spirit" is that they think that somehow they have the right to dictate their personal agenda to society. All we unbelievers are asking is that you prove your holy spirit actually exists before you try to inflict your belief on others.

        February 9, 2014 at 11:57 am |
      • truthprevails1

        Haven't read the bible ever have you?? Child abuse is rampant throughout it.
        76% of the prisoner population is christian, so your 'christians are holier than thou' stuff fails.

        February 9, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
      • doobzz

        " Being filled with the Holy Spirit doesn't abuse children, or drunk drive, or embarrass oneself, or say things you regret."

        Aside from the poor grammar, do you have verifiable evidence that "spirit filled Christians" don't abuse their children, act in embarrassing ways, drive drunk or say the wrong thing at times?

        February 9, 2014 at 1:22 pm |
  2. NorthVanCan

    I would need more than a couple of drinks to get through an hour or two of gibberish and nonsense.

    February 9, 2014 at 10:10 am |
  3. bostontola

    I think fundamentalist Christians may have lost the fundamentals.

    Judaism was a very exclusionary religion. Chosen people. It seems to me that Christianity's fundamental update was opening up the Abrahamic God to all. It's like closed system Apple vs open system IBM/Microsoft. It was a very successful marketing move.

    The stories in the bibles also incorporated the best sellers from other religions. Most religions did this, not just Christianity. Humans were traders. Traders of not just materials and products, but traders of ideas. Just like today, there are science journals where scientists build on good ideas (scientists do provide citations now), humans wanted to know how things got the way they were thousands of years ago and various religions had some good (for the time) explanations.

    Over time, it seems like some sects of Christianity got co.cky. Their interpretations weren't just best for them, they were right and everyone else's were wrong. If you don't interpret like them, you are wrong. This is fundamentally exclusionary, back to Judaism style. Haven't the fundamentalists lost the fundamentals?

    February 9, 2014 at 10:06 am |
    • alonsoquixote

      Much of the mythology of Genesis, such as the creation and flood myths, borrow from earlier Sumerian and Babylonian myths, e.g., Utnapishtim and his family become Noah and his family in the Jewish retelling of the flood myth from the Epic of Gilgamesh. The early Christian writers borrowed from Greek myths and from other religions when they were composing their miracle stories for Jesus. E.g., in regards to the topic of the article, there is a story of Jesus converting water into wine in the Wedding at Cana story in the Gospel of John. That story was borrowed from stories of Dionysus changing water into wine. Other miracle stories, such as raising the dead Lazarus, the daughter of Jairus, and the young man from Nain are similar to Asclepius bringing the dead back to life. And, of course, some of the Christian storytellers gave their godman a miraculous birth so that he would be no less impressive than other gods popular at the time.

      February 9, 2014 at 11:21 am |
      • bostontola

        The Zoroastrians had important contributions as well.

        February 9, 2014 at 11:25 am |
        • alonsoquixote

          Definitely. The notion of a coming savior appears to have been incorporated into Judaism after contact with the Zoroastrians who believed in a Saoshyant who would bring about a renovation of the world. And early on in Judaism, Yahweh was the source of both good and evil. E.g., see Isaiah 45:7 and Job 9:22-24. The elevation of Satan from the status of a being simply carrying out Yahweh's orders to the status of an extremely powerful being who is the archenemy of Yahweh, whom Yahweh seems unable or unwilling to control, occurred after Jewish contact with Zoroastrians who had a dualistic system with Ahura Mazda being the supreme deity opposed by Angra Mainyu. It was at this time that Jewish notions of the afterlife changed to a view of a moralized afterlife as well.

          February 9, 2014 at 11:57 am |
  4. highplainsparson

    This is a much healthier and more biblical perspective on alcohol than many of our tee-totalling parents and grandparents had. Frankly it made no sense.

    February 9, 2014 at 10:02 am |
  5. Bex

    Sounds a lot like the Tim Wilson song "First Baptist Bar & Grill!" http://youtu.be/_sbDBXOk7KA

    February 9, 2014 at 9:56 am |
  6. Bootyfunk

    'Beer — then safer to drink than water — was such a necessary staple for the Pilgrims that a brewery was the first permanent building constructed in Plymouth.'

    lol. no it wasn't. they could just boil water and it would be a LOT less work than brewing beer.
    did the they give beer to the 4 year olds? no? how did the kids survive by drinking water?

    February 9, 2014 at 3:03 am |
    • aino

      Yes, they did give beer to 4 year olds. Water carried so many communicable diseases that there was a large social stigma against drinking water, unless from pure springs. Also, beer contained many calories which was important for a society where starvation was always a real threat. But they brewed beer that was much weaker and less bitter than we brew today.

      February 9, 2014 at 9:42 am |
      • Bootyfunk

        lol, no, children did not drink beer instead of water. where did you get this info? seriously....

        February 9, 2014 at 4:34 pm |
        • aino

          16th century manuals for raising children often stipulate how much beer and wine a child should consume in a day (no more than three glasses of wine or light beer).

          February 9, 2014 at 6:06 pm |
  7. bostontola

    Monks pioneered many tasty drinks like Chartreuse and Benedictine in addition to making beer and Mead. Some monks were great at science and the science of distilled beverages. Gotta love those monks.

    February 8, 2014 at 9:04 pm |
    • Darryl Doc

      Why not, Monastery brewhouses from different religious orders have existed across Europe since the Middle Ages.

      It's in the bible, in the Book of 'He-brews' ...bwahahaha

      February 9, 2014 at 12:09 pm |
  8. Reality #2

    Beer today can only mean that understanding the Resurrection Con is within reach of the general Protestant !!

    For the next saloon reading:

    Saving Christians from the Infamous Resurrection Con/

    From that famous passage: In 1 Corinthians 15: 14, Paul reasoned, "If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith."

    Even now Catholic/Christian professors (e.g.Notre Dame, Catholic U, Georgetown) of theology are questioning the bodily resurrection of the simple, preacher man aka Jesus.

    To wit;

    From a major Catholic university's theology professor’s grad school white-board notes:

    "Heaven is a Spirit state or spiritual reality of union with God in love, without earthly – earth bound distractions.
    Jesus and Mary's bodies are therefore not in Heaven.

    Most believe that it to mean that the personal spiritual self that survives death is in continuity with the self we were while living on earth as an embodied person.

    Again, the physical Resurrection (meaning a resuscitated corpse returning to life), Ascension (of Jesus' crucified corpse), and Assumption (Mary's corpse) into heaven did not take place.

    The Ascension symbolizes the end of Jesus' earthly ministry and the beginning of the Church.

    Only Luke records it. (Luke mentions it in his gospel and Acts, i.e. a single attestation and therefore historically untenable). The Ascension ties Jesus' mission to Pentecost and missionary activity of Jesus' followers.

    The Assumption has multiple layers of symbolism, some are related to Mary's special role as "Christ bearer" (theotokos). It does not seem fitting that Mary, the body of Jesus' Virgin-Mother (another biblically based symbol found in Luke 1) would be derived by worms upon her death. Mary's assumption also shows God's positive regard, not only for Christ's male body, but also for female bodies." "

    "In three controversial Wednesday Audiences, Pope John Paul II pointed out that the essential characteristic of heaven, hell or purgatory is that they are states of being of a spirit (angel/demon) or human soul, rather than places, as commonly perceived and represented in human language. This language of place is, according to the Pope, inadequate to describe the realities involved, since it is tied to the temporal order in which this world and we exist. In this he is applying the philosophical categories used by the Church in her theology and saying what St. Thomas Aquinas said long before him."

    The Vatican quickly embellished this story with a lot CYAP.

    With respect to rising from the dead, we also have this account:

    An added note: As per R.B. Stewart in his introduction to the recent book, The Resurrection of Jesus, Crossan and Wright in Dialogue,


    "Reimarus (1774-1778) posits that Jesus became sidetracked by embracing a political position, sought to force God's hand and that he died alone deserted by his disciples. What began as a call for repentance ended up as a misguided attempt to usher in the earthly political kingdom of God. After Jesus' failure and death, his disciples stole his body and declared his resurrection in order to maintain their financial security and ensure themselves some standing."

    p.168. by Ted Peters:

    Even so, asking historical questions is our responsibility. Did Jesus really rise from the tomb? Is it necessary to have been raised from the tomb and to appear to his disciples in order to explain the rise of early church and the transcription of the bible? Crossan answers no, Wright answers, yes. "

    So where are the bones"? As per Professor Crossan's analyses in his many books, the body of Jesus would have ended up in the mass graves of the crucified, eaten by wild dogs, covered with lime in a shallow grave, or under a pile of stones.

    February 8, 2014 at 8:29 pm |
  9. Drinkie Crow

    Drinking gets old. In all reality it should be avoided and not for religious reasons.

    My partner lost a drivers license for life and almost went to prison. I've missed classes due to being hung over back in the day didn't graduate until I sobered up.

    Though maybe if there are more drunks in the world the cost of a hardship license will drop. I'm glad we are both beer free now.

    February 8, 2014 at 6:24 pm |
  10. Philip

    How many denominations are there in Christianity?

    February 8, 2014 at 6:08 pm |
    • Tebow

      41,000, why?

      February 8, 2014 at 6:09 pm |
      • Philip

        wow! just wow!

        February 8, 2014 at 6:10 pm |
        • Tebow

          How many states constitute the US? 50, right?

          How many constitutions are there? There is only one supreme law that governs the US, right?
          Each State might have their own governing laws, ultimately, all states are subject to the supreme law, which is subject to and cannot violate the US constitution.

          Likewise, all Christians worship one true God, it is the God of the Bible. There may be different denominations but all Christians are united when it comes worshipping God.

          Now that you know the answer, don't go around repeating yourself.

          February 8, 2014 at 6:20 pm |
        • Tebowing

          All those nasty rumors of Tebowing in the shower were false!!!

          February 8, 2014 at 6:25 pm |
        • Tebowing

          That Simon Peter was a bottom boy for the messiah, why all the objections for LBGT marriage, one wonders.

          February 8, 2014 at 6:29 pm |
    • EX Catholic

      How many idols (statues, paintings, crucifixes, carry ons, etc.) does the RCC have/worship/venerate?

      February 8, 2014 at 6:23 pm |
      • Reality #2

        None, from an ex-Catholic who was taught the proper meaning of RCC statues et. al. e.g. We don't worship the statue of Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial. We honor the man it represents.

        February 9, 2014 at 12:24 pm |
    • Snowflakes

      How many different types of atheists are there? No 2 are alike or disbelieve for the same reasons. Each has a different theory and explanation on why their disbelief is not like a religion.

      February 8, 2014 at 8:03 pm |
      • doobzz

        Troll better.

        February 9, 2014 at 1:37 am |
  11. Cal

    A supposed infalible unchanging religion changing yet another stance on an issue. Shocking.

    February 8, 2014 at 5:48 pm |
  12. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    I remember commenting that Jesus was a follower of Dionysus and so probably had no use for beer. Oh well. Deleted again.

    February 8, 2014 at 5:29 pm |
  13. Angry Inch

    This whole thing as so much potential. Christian Wine Tasting Excursions for example. Think about it, it could be a gold mine.

    February 8, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
    • niknak

      More of a gold mine would be Diet Coke tastings, as all the fundies I know drink like 5 of them a day.
      That stuff is nasty, I use it to loosen rusty bolts when working on old cars.
      But I own stock in all the cola manufacturers because I see how much cola people down, and the fundies down heaps of it.
      So drink up you little closed minded believers, I have an early retirement to fund!

      February 8, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
  14. tallulah13

    I prefer my beer without religion It tastes better that way.

    February 8, 2014 at 4:10 pm |
    • Angry Inch

      It would be funny to get drunk and listen to a sermon. And eat Tri-Tip, thinly sliced and cooked medium. Pinto beans, fresh salsa and flour tortillas. This is what food is meant to be. Simple, perfect, juicy and delicious. I would say Amen! and get more beer.

      February 8, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
      • The Running Twit

        They should serve free all you can drink beer during the sermon. It could be more entertaining.

        On the other hand, MADD would be very mad!

        February 8, 2014 at 4:46 pm |
  15. tony

    too much strong alcohol kills young women in just a few years

    February 8, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
    • Angry Inch


      February 8, 2014 at 3:57 pm |
      • Evidence

        When I was a young woman your evidence would have been my right eye.

        February 9, 2014 at 2:15 pm |
    • Angry Inch

      Follow up question, what does it do to old women?

      February 8, 2014 at 3:58 pm |
      • Evidence

        We know when to walk away.

        February 9, 2014 at 2:16 pm |
    • Angry Inch

      Some people can drink and some can't. For example, I can't. No self control when it comes to alcohol. Runs in the family. I have been sober for over a year now. Just one of life's little pleasures I have to do without. I don't have that issue with anything else, just booze. Some people can drink, some can't (or shouldn't).

      February 8, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
      • Vic

        That's right. Hard alcohol is not easy, some people just can't stomach it.

        I enjoy 70% alc/vol Vodka with my lemonade anytime, no problem. I can do for shots of whiskey (40% alc/vol) and four bottles of beer, no problem, but I don't exceed that. I no my limits.

        February 8, 2014 at 4:16 pm |
      • Vic

        That's right. Hard alcohol is not easy, some people just can't stomach it.

        I enjoy 70% alc/vol Vodka with my lemonade anytime, no problem. I can do four shots of whiskey (40% alc/vol) and four bottles of beer, no problem, but I don't exceed that. I know my limits.

        February 8, 2014 at 4:17 pm |
      • Angry Inch

        I never knew my limit I just craved more alcohol. I believe alcoholism is a disease but it is easily cured with sobriety.

        February 8, 2014 at 4:20 pm |
        • niknak

          Or death.....

          February 8, 2014 at 4:28 pm |
        • Which God?

          AI, I give you a lot of crdeit for staying sober. I had an alcohlic father, very abusive. I drink, but very little, even though I'm well into retirement age. I'm terrified of being like my father was.

          February 10, 2014 at 1:17 pm |
  16. Tom, Tom, the Other One

    A better communal experience, if not communion, would be to pass a bong around the communion rail. But no, smoking is bad for you. Perhaps hash brownies or mushroom Koolaid (that's a regional thing). Communion should then be an hour or so before the service starts. But don't surround us with pictures of a guy being lashed and tortured, or tenderly showing us the holes in his hands while wearing a crown of thorns.

    February 8, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
    • Drinkie Crow

      Going to a few church services will keep you off the road, I speak from personal experience. Free parking, no cover charge and it's opening just as the late night Saturday night club is closing. Bonus, there is coffee.

      February 8, 2014 at 6:37 pm |
  17. Rainer Braendlein

    Drink alcohol, only when you are in the right state.

    Certainly, complete prohibiton would be a nonsense even from the Christian stance. Once, Jesus made wine out of water, that was the first miracle he worked. Jesus certainly did not prohibit the consumption of alcohol.

    Once St. Paul told Timothy he should use some wine as a drug, and wine was ever used at the Lord's Supper which is one of the most holy actions of the Church.

    On the other hand St. Paul writes that a persistent drunkard can not inherit the Kingdom of God. Alcoholism is a severe sin.

    There is a story in the Old Testemant: A certain Nabal refused to pay David his wage (David and his soldiers had protected the herds of Nabal). David was about to kill Nabal as an act of revenge but in the last moment he was prevented from that by the faithful Abigail, and Abigail told him that he should commend his case to the LORD, and he did it. Then Nabal, the godless sinner, made a party, drank too much, and died.

    It is not sure that Nabal died because he had drunk too much but boozing belonged to his goodless life.

    In a word: Only Jesus can make us happy, can give us a happy heart. When we refuse Jesus, we get an unhappy heart. And when we try to cover up this by alcohol, alcohol becomes poison for us. It will not only cause our physical destruction but also the destruction of our soul.

    One who doesn't accept Jesus, and keeps on sinning, faces the consequences of the sin: desperation, depression, misfortune, etc. Consumption of alcohol worsens it all. Better one would stop sinning through the releasing power of Jesus, and get happy through Jesus himself.

    One who believes in Jesus can surely consume some wine, maybe in order to increase the joy which he yet has in Jesus.

    We should not consume alcohol when we are in a state of depression caused by any stumbles of us. But if we are in a happy state we can drink some alcohol in order to increase the joy (see the wedding where Jesus made wine out of water).

    First straighten things out through Jesus' power, and after that you can make a party together with your friends, and drink some alcohol. Don't drink alcohol before you have straightened things.

    Better Nabal had converted to the God of Israel, had payed David's wage, and had made a party together with David and his soldiers. In that manner Nabal had used alcohol correctly, and it had not become poison for him but increased his joy in God,

    February 8, 2014 at 3:02 pm |
  18. PsiCop

    I'm surprised this article didn't mention the Belgian tradition of Trappist ales, made entirely by monks on the property of their monasteries, and rather famous as such. There's now a US Trappist ale, Spencer is the name (IIRC).

    And going beyond just beer, there's a long tradition of monastic vintners. Monks have been making wine in Europe for centuries! A lot of winemaking techniques, not to mention the discovery of terroir, may have been pioneered by Cistercians.

    Pardon the pedantry. Drink up! 😉

    February 8, 2014 at 2:01 pm |
    • G to the T

      Didn't a monk discover/invent campagne?

      February 8, 2014 at 7:09 pm |
      • PsiCop

        I believe so. That would have been Dom Perignon. (No relation to the modern-day Champagne brand of that name ... the company that makes it, simply named it after him.)

        I think you're right. I also believe he was the one who identified cork as a useful material for plugging wine bottles. (But I might be wrong about that.)

        February 8, 2014 at 10:34 pm |
  19. Toquide

    That's the belief of traditional religions bordering in myth,that worries most responsible humanist who thinks that the future is bleak for humanity who lacks the knowledge for basic survival due to ignorance.

    February 8, 2014 at 1:59 pm |
  20. palintwit

    Conservatives believe that the movie Deliverance is an accurate account of christian life in America.

    February 8, 2014 at 1:53 pm |
    • Do they?

      I don't know but by the looks of the posts on these boards I'd say CNN posters believe that.

      February 8, 2014 at 7:06 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.