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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

(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. bostontola

    The only evidence I've heard for Abrahamic God(s) is personal witness of how God changed their life, communicates with them, loves them, etc. Of course, people from all religions with different Gods bear the same witness. They are equally certain that they feel the presence of their God as Christians are, Jews are, etc.

    So what personal experience proves, is that belief in God, any God of just about any religion, stimulates feelings of a personal relationship with that God. It creates a brain state that confirms events as the intent of their God. The existence of all these religions and the Gods thereof, along with the similar spiritual experience that comes from it, is powerful evidence that the personal witness of spirituality and relationship with a God will always happen with any well formed religion. This completely eliminates personal witness as evidence of any of these Gods.

    You could argue that there is a God that is behind all God worshipping religions, and people just got the details wrong. The relationship felt is with this God. In this case, you are left with Deist God that is not tied to any religion's particular creation myth, rules, etc. This God is not in conflict with science at all, in fact must be in total harmony with science.

    The bottom line is, spiritual experience happens in all religions, it isn't special to you or your religion. It shows that belief in God is all that is required, not an actual God. In particular, Jesus as a savior has no evidence, hell and heaven have no evidence, none of it does.

    February 9, 2014 at 8:05 pm |
    • RB

      people from all religions with different Gods bear the same witness

      Hey bostontola, do you have references for this? I googled & got zip. Thanks.

      February 9, 2014 at 8:53 pm |
      • bostontola

        RB,
        That is surprising to me. I googled religious experience and got tons of sources. I also know people who have given me their personal testimony.

        February 9, 2014 at 9:16 pm |
        • RB

          Me too & maybe I misunderstood what you were saying. I got lots of results for Christians, none for "other gods."

          February 9, 2014 at 9:32 pm |
        • bostontola

          RB,
          You must have different google than I do. Page 1 results have religious experiences of different religions. As I said, people of other religions gave me their personal witness.

          February 9, 2014 at 9:54 pm |
    • lngtrmthnkr

      There us no evidence of God for some of us. For others there is huge evidence and we see it all around us. If God was worried about what we call him, he wouldn't have told Moses that his name is I AM. People in all Religions and faiths that have on deity can find him, he dos'nt hide from seekers. JW s believe that he won't hear you unless you call him Jehova. Really? Would a loving God be so petty? American Indians called him the Great White Spirit. He made himself known to them befor the Bible ever showed up on the continent.Why would'nt he ? He loves all people and answers to any name they use to address him. Jesus made a new covenant with us but If you never heard of him, how could you be held accountable to him? The bottom line is that he is Love,that is his essence and character. Love is fair, not petty,forgiving, unselfish, faithful,and true.He dos'nt tell people to kill other people, belittle them or hate them , it would'nt be possible that's not what love is.

      February 9, 2014 at 9:12 pm |
      • In Santa we trust

        Have you adopted native american worship or claim that god as the christian one?

        February 9, 2014 at 9:34 pm |
      • igaftr

        " For others there is huge evidence and we see it all around us"

        False. There are thing you see that you atribute to a god, but ignore the infinite number of other possibilities.

        February 10, 2014 at 9:59 am |
  2. Doris

    You know most people don't realize, but there used to be another OT book just after Jeremiah. They took it out a long time ago. But it was called Fermentations. I still seem to remember part of it. It went something like:

    How the Lord has coveted Zion's draught
    with the cloud of the best abbey ale!
    He has hurled it down with the splendor of the punch-top
    from top to the bottom;
    he has not remembered his footstool
    nor where he hath parked

    February 9, 2014 at 7:43 pm |
    • Salero21

      Whaaat!!! A good piece of Evidence just out of the blue, that such church/religion a la Americana, a la beer-belly, a la carte, a la Cartel, a la hillbilly or a la redneck is 999.99% stupidity. Amazing how is it that what I've been saying, turns out to be proven in a matter of minutes. 😀 😀 😀 The Facts then remains unchallenged, undisputed and unrefuted!! 😀

      February 9, 2014 at 7:51 pm |
      • Water to Whine

        First of all, I'm wondering if you realized Doris was kidding. The just to be clear, what "facts" are you talking about and how exactly are they unrefuted?

        February 9, 2014 at 8:02 pm |
        • Salero21

          If she/he/it was kidding that's his/her/it's problem. I don't kid around with God's Word, with the Faith or things considered holy by the Bible. That would be Total stupidity if I ever do that. I don't do that because I don't practice churchianity/religion a la Americana, a la beer-belly, a la carte, a la Cartel, a la hillbilly or a la redneck. If I ever do then that would be 999.99% stupidity on my part.

          February 9, 2014 at 8:12 pm |
      • bostontola

        Is "999.99% stupidity" smart?

        February 9, 2014 at 8:08 pm |
        • Salero21

          I prefer decimals and percentages over Fractions!! 😀 😉

          February 9, 2014 at 8:27 pm |
        • Salero21

          I prefer delusion over Facts!! 😀 😉

          February 9, 2014 at 9:39 pm |
      • Salero 21

        This maricon stole my name from my blog. He is unworthy.

        February 9, 2014 at 8:39 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      This song always sounded of the olde religion:

      There were three men came out of the west, their fortunes for to try
      And these three men made a solemn vow
      John Barleycorn must die
      They've plowed, they've sown, they've harrowed him in
      Threw clods upon his head
      And these three men made a solemn vow
      John Barleycorn was dead

      They've let him lie for a very long time, 'til the rains from heaven did fall
      And little Sir John sprung up his head and so amazed them all
      They've let him stand 'til Midsummer's Day 'til he looked both pale and wan
      And little Sir John's grown a long long beard and so become a man
      They've hired men with their scythes so sharp to cut him off at the knee
      They've rolled him and tied him by the way, serving him most barbarously
      They've hired men with their sharp pitchforks who've pri
      cked him to the heart
      And the loader he has served him worse than that
      For he's bound him to the cart

      They've wheeled him around and around a field 'til they came onto a pond
      And there they made a solemn oath on poor John Barleycorn
      They've hired men with their crabtree sticks to cut him skin from bone
      And the miller he has served him worse than that
      For he's ground him between two stones

      And little Sir John and the nut brown bowl and his brandy in the glass
      And little Sir John and the nut brown bowl proved the strongest man at last
      The huntsman he can't hunt the fox nor so loudly to blow his horn
      And the tinker he can't mend kettle or pots without a little barleycorn

      -Steve Winwood

      February 9, 2014 at 7:55 pm |
      • Salero21

        😀 😀 😀 More Evidence on top of already mounting evidence that the drunkard church or the church of the drunkards is 999.99% stupidity. Either a la Americana, a la carte, a la Cartel, a la hillbilly or a la redneck in the woods. However atheism, evolutionism and idolatry are ALL Total stupidity.

        February 9, 2014 at 8:02 pm |
        • Doris

          Obviously you need something to do. I know, you should do an inventory of your emoticons and get back to us later with a count. I promise I won't be fussy if you're off by a few.

          February 9, 2014 at 8:14 pm |
        • Salero21

          Or it could be a la Britannica!! Either way it took the German Martin Luther to challenge the RCC while the Britons remained subservient.

          February 9, 2014 at 8:19 pm |
        • Salero21

          Doris,

          Obviously if you are hanging around here like that you also need something to do!! 😀 😀 Maybe a la Americana or better yet a la Britannica!!! 😉

          February 9, 2014 at 8:24 pm |
      • Doris

        Oh I love that song, Tom. It does have that feel. Just last night a Blind Faith song came on and just for a moment I was confused because of the vocal and thought it was Traffic. Evidently there are a number of variations of the folksong John Barleycorn.

        February 9, 2014 at 8:07 pm |
      • svann

        I was going to say that that was a Jethro Tull song but looking it up it was Traffic.

        February 9, 2014 at 8:37 pm |
  3. children of Israel

    The world is afraid to speak about Edom because satan will kill them for taking his mark of the beast. But what names are written on the kingdom gates to enter the holy city new Jerusalem? (Ezekiel 48:31) – Revelation 21:12-13

    February 9, 2014 at 7:39 pm |
    • Reality #2

      "Nineteenth-century agnostic Robert G. Ingersoll branded Revelation "the insanest of all books".[30] Thomas Jefferson omitted it along with most of the Biblical canon, from the Jefferson Bible, and wrote that at one time, he "considered it as merely the ravings of a maniac, no more worthy nor capable of explanation than the incoherences of our own nightly dreams." [31]

      Martin Luther once "found it an offensive piece of work" and John Calvin "had grave doubts about its value."[32]

      February 9, 2014 at 7:52 pm |
  4. Water to Whine

    Jesus drank alcohol. What's the beef? Just don't drink too much. The average male can drink two beers a day and not get drunk or damage the liver. Cheers.

    February 9, 2014 at 7:27 pm |
    • Angry Inch

      It is our duty to pay tribute to the Lord by drinking responsibly and enjoying His medicinal herb.

      February 9, 2014 at 7:30 pm |
      • sam stone

        i agree, although i prefer the herb to the drink

        February 10, 2014 at 1:50 am |
    • Colin

      The myth of Jesus changing water into wine does not appear in the Gospels of Matthew, Mark or Luke. It is first asserted in the Gospel of John, which was written around 95 C.E., about 65 years after the alleged act occurred. Given that John is the most supernatural of the 4 canonical gospels, what likely happened is that the author borrowed from the myth of Bacchus and/or Diogenes, both of which have their principal character performing miracles with wine.

      February 9, 2014 at 7:35 pm |
      • Water to Whine

        Yeah but pretty much everyone drank wine in the culture Jesus was a part of. The Jews in particular.

        February 9, 2014 at 7:42 pm |
    • Salero21

      Jesus has not drink since that last supper. Why can't they do the same and wait till His Return?

      Such church/churchy/religions is 999.99% stupidity a la Americana, a la beer-belly, a la carte, a la cartel, a la hillbilly or a la redneck. However atheism, evolutionism and idolatry are all Total stupidity. Those are the unchallenged, undisputed, unrefuted Facts!!! 😀 😀 😀

      February 9, 2014 at 7:41 pm |
      • Science Works

        A drink a drank and Sal fell in the tank ?

        February 9, 2014 at 8:16 pm |
  5. Angela

    ...then again American Christianity isn't exactly a shining beacon of what Christianity ought to look like is it?

    February 9, 2014 at 7:21 pm |
    • Angry Inch

      Perhaps not, but it would more tolerable with a few beers.

      February 9, 2014 at 7:22 pm |
    • Angry Inch

      Angela, just so we know, what should it look like? I won't to know in case I see it...

      February 9, 2014 at 7:25 pm |
      • Angela

        It would be great to see a Church which is identified ny it's peace, joy and love for one another vs misery, judgement and strife. Also the Church has done a fantastic job of misrepresenting God as mean and unloving...

        February 9, 2014 at 7:35 pm |
        • Water to Whine

          The Bible represents god as mean and unloving. Remember when he killed all those Egyptian babies because Pharoh wouldn't change his mind?

          February 9, 2014 at 7:50 pm |
    • Angry Inch

      Angela, follow up question, who is in charge of the beacon and why?

      February 9, 2014 at 7:31 pm |
  6. mscab

    Check the menu at the last supper and get back to me.

    February 9, 2014 at 7:16 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      There was clearly more to it than wine and bread. Hallucinating that his disciples were eating his flesh and drinking his blood was... unusual for a Passover supper.

      February 9, 2014 at 7:19 pm |
  7. Elliott Carlin

    Another non-story concerning Christianity, brought to you by CNN.
    Can we have an honest article on the stifling cultural practices of Islam?
    Perhaps then your liberal readers won't be so supportive of it and not oppose Christianity so much.

    February 9, 2014 at 7:10 pm |
    • niknak

      Oh, you mean like burning witches at the stake, or tying ropes around woman's necks to see it they float and are witches to then be burned?
      How about the Spanish Inquisition, that was some really great and progressive religion going on there.
      Your Xtianity is no different than what those whackos in the ME are doing now.
      All of you are crazy nuts on a ridiculous lark for your various sky fairies.

      February 9, 2014 at 7:16 pm |
      • alonsoquixote

        And don't forget the Portuguese Inquisition in 1536 CE, nor the Peruvian Inquisition, which started in 1570 CE, nor the Roman Inquisition in the 16th century.

        And there was also the Goa Inquisition, which was established in 1560 CE in Portuguese India to persecute Hindus and Muslims who had been converted to Christianity, but who were suspected of returning to their former religion. The Portuguese forbade the public worship of Hindus and Hindus were forced to assemble periodically in churches to listen to preaching or to refutation of their religion. But the Portuguese suspected that their forced conversion efforts weren't entirely successful, so they employed the inquisition against those they suspected of returning to their former religion.
        That inquisition, which didn't end until 1812, like the others, allowed the inquisitors to seize the property of those they persecuted and enrich themselves.

        February 9, 2014 at 8:24 pm |
    • badlobbyist

      Or come visit my home state of Utah.
      Nope, Muslims aren't exactly the most tolerant folks. But they sure aren't alone in their intolerance.

      February 9, 2014 at 7:28 pm |
      • ?

        What if some of them are cool. I don't know any. Do you?

        February 9, 2014 at 7:32 pm |
    • truthprevails1

      Do you support abortion? If not, why?
      Do you support a woman's right to use contraceptives?
      Do you support gay rights? If not, why?
      Do you recognize that you reside in Secular country that guarantee's freedom of and from religion?
      Do you support evolution being taught in publicly funded schools? If not, what version of our origins should be taught?

      See when it comes down to it, I have no issue with you believing...that is your right but the above issues (and they do exist) are mostly coming from christians and they need to be called out on. Christians share your great country with people of many beliefs and in order to make any society work for the betterment of all, you need some mutual respect.

      February 9, 2014 at 7:30 pm |
    • igaftr

      EC
      "Perhaps then your liberal readers won't be so supportive of it and not oppose Christianity so much"

      So you are saying that christianity is the lesser of two evils?...perhaps, but they are still evils
      Hardly a good case FOR christianity, a better case for no religion at all.

      Try to think BEFORE you post.

      February 10, 2014 at 9:42 am |
  8. children of Israel

    The children of the devil are Edomites they are ruling the world right now, but not for long. To be a Jew you must come from the tribe of Juda Praise the Lord *Genesis 29:35 And she conceived again, a bare a son: and she said, Now will I praise the Lord: therefore she called his name Judah; *Hebrews 7:14 For it is evident that our Lord sprang out Juda; (The precept is Psalm 147:19-20)

    February 9, 2014 at 7:07 pm |
    • niknak

      You are one creepy fundie, kid of Is.
      And we have many creepy believers here on this blog, but you are in the running for creeper of the year.
      Attaboy, your imaginary friend will be so proud!

      February 9, 2014 at 7:12 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      Edomites? No match for an Operating Thetan, surely.

      February 9, 2014 at 7:14 pm |
  9. tallulah13

    They keep changing the headline on this article.

    February 9, 2014 at 7:06 pm |
    • Elliott Carlin

      Perhaps the editor is on the sauce?

      February 9, 2014 at 7:11 pm |
  10. svann

    Jesus was at a party where the guests drank so much they ran out of wine. So Jesus made more!
    Its in the bible.

    February 9, 2014 at 7:03 pm |
  11. children of Israel

    Isaiah is the son of Amos. *Isaiah 41:8 But thou, Israel, art my servant, Jacob whom I have chosen, the seed of Abraham my friend. *Isaiah 45:4 For Jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: *John 13:18 I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: *Romans 9:13 As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

    February 9, 2014 at 6:50 pm |
    • Tom, Tom, the Other One

      But thou, YHWHW, art our sock puppet. What we need said thou wilst say, and what we need justified thou wilst justify.

      February 9, 2014 at 6:57 pm |
      • Tom, Tom, the Other One

        Sorry, YHWH. I think your God's name sounds like the call sign of a pirate radio station in a tramp steamer off São Miguel Island.

        February 9, 2014 at 7:02 pm |
    • Yay Yahway

      Picture the Israelites with their huge foam gloves cheering:

      "We're numbah ONE!"

      "We're numbah ONE!"

      February 9, 2014 at 7:05 pm |
      • doobzz

        And twerking.

        February 10, 2014 at 1:19 am |
  12. children of Israel

    These are the last days. *Genesis 49:2 Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father. *Acts 5:31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. *Matthew 1:21 And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for he shall save his people from their sins.

    February 9, 2014 at 6:29 pm |
  13. Jim

    Thankfully some can see that alcohol and following Jesus are not exclusive. Unfortunately some do not understand that means enjoying the drink and remaining sober.

    February 9, 2014 at 6:17 pm |
    • Austin

      ya the definition of wine has changed since the days of Christ as well.

      February 9, 2014 at 6:18 pm |
      • truthprevails1

        No child, fermenting is a natural process. How the hell are you so certain that the wine in the bible was not alcohol??? Where can we find this info?

        February 9, 2014 at 6:42 pm |
        • Elliott Carlin

          you can make a point without using an expletive. It is possible.

          February 9, 2014 at 7:08 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          EC: With any other person, yes but Austin doesn't merit respect of any form. Austin has zero interest in ever looking outside the box and lost every chance at respect he'd ever get from me when he stated last night that he has fantasies about blowing up/burning down liquor stores-that just sounds a little too dangerous to me.

          February 9, 2014 at 7:21 pm |
      • svann

        The oldest-known winery was discovered in the "Areni-1" cave in Vayots Dzor, Armenia. Dated to c. 4100 BC, the site contained a wine press, fermentation vats, jars, and cups.

        February 9, 2014 at 7:27 pm |
      • sam stone

        the definition has not changed, Austin

        you cannot handle your drinking, so no one else should be able to drink?

        what a petulant, delusional child you are

        February 10, 2014 at 1:54 am |
  14. children of Israel

    Every knee will bow down to the Lord God of Israel our God I AM The Word of God his name Ahayah Bahashem Yashaya

    February 9, 2014 at 6:03 pm |
    • Austin

      Austin

      ustin

      Contents

      1 Background
      2 Paternal lineage, Y chromosome
      2.1 Y-DNA of Ashkenazi Jews
      2.2 Y-DNA of Sephardi Jews
      2.2.1 Y-DNA of Jews from North Africa
      2.2.2 Y-DNA of Portuguese Jews
      2.2.3 Y-DNA of Oriental Jews
      2.2.4 Y-DNA of Roman Jews
      2.3 Y-DNA of Kurdish Jews
      2.4 Y-DNA of the Jews of Yemen
      2.5 Y-DNA of Mountain Jews
      2.6 Y-DNA of Jews from Ethiopia
      2.7 Y-DNA of Bene Israel
      2.8 Priestly Families
      2.8.1 Cohanim
      2.8.2 Levites
      3 Maternal line: Mitochondrial DNA
      3.1 Mt-DNA of Ashkenazi Jews
      3.2 Mt-DNA of Jews from North Africa
      3.3 Mt-DNA of Jews from the Iberian Peninsula
      3.4 Mt-DNA of Jews from Iraq
      3.5 Mt-DNA of Jews from Libya
      3.6 Mt-DNA of Jews from Tunisia
      3.7 Mt-DNA of Jews from Ethiopia
      3.8 Mt-DNA of the Jews of Turkey
      3.9 Mt-DNA of the Jews of Georgia
      3.10 Mt-DNA of Jews from Yemen
      3.11 Mt-DNA of Bukharan and Persian Jews
      3.12 Mt-DNA of Moroccan Jews
      3.13 Mt-DNA of Cochin Jews and of Bene Israel Indian subcontinent
      4 Autosomal DNA
      5 Comparison with the genetic heritage of non-Jewish populations
      5.1 Palestinians
      5.2 The Samaritans
      5.3 The Lembas
      5.4 Inhabitants of the Iberian Peninsula

      February 9, 2014 at 6:09 pm |
      • Thirsty

        You're both nuts. Cheers!

        February 9, 2014 at 6:11 pm |
        • truthprevails1

          That they are...frightening to think that either of them walk the streets freely.

          February 9, 2014 at 6:52 pm |
        • sam stone

          a frightening thought is that they are not alone in the extent of their delusions

          February 10, 2014 at 1:57 am |
    • Austin

      because of the effects of paternal and maternal chromosomes, skin color is of no value.

      white or black is of no value.

      February 9, 2014 at 6:11 pm |
  15. Cynthia Avishegnath

    Pot services held in church, some day?

    February 9, 2014 at 6:01 pm |
    • In Santa we trust

      Rastafari already embrace it.

      February 9, 2014 at 6:03 pm |
    • Marty

      How can anyone defile the Temple of The Holy Spirit which is the body of true believer of God Incarnate Jesus Christ that would be a sin and thus not true Christian.

      February 9, 2014 at 6:09 pm |
      • Thirsty

        I dunno Marty – how can anyone believe in invisible sky fairies?

        February 9, 2014 at 6:13 pm |
      • In Santa we trust

        Marty, If you're going down the no drugs route where do you draw the line? Alcohol? Caffeine? If not why ban marijuana?

        February 9, 2014 at 6:18 pm |
    • One step further

      If you get the right thing at the right time you can see actual demons follow you around 7-11. Hint: beer and weed won't help. Those just make The Hobbit movie hilarious.

      February 9, 2014 at 6:11 pm |
  16. tyurtuy35463456

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    February 9, 2014 at 5:58 pm |
  17. Angry Inch

    I can think of hundreds of church drinking games...

    February 9, 2014 at 5:56 pm |
  18. scientificpoetry

    Makes sense... any rational thinking person would need to be drunk to go along with all the myths. So keep serving up the alcohol. Maybe Marx should have called religion the alcohol of the masses and not the opiate...

    February 9, 2014 at 5:55 pm |
    • Alias

      Just one more way to get you hooked so you keep coming back.

      February 9, 2014 at 6:00 pm |
    • Quiet comforts

      Even opium has a time and a place. Our death beds for example.

      February 9, 2014 at 6:55 pm |
  19. Salero21

    Now, even though this form of religion a la beer-belly, a la carte, a la cartel, a la hillbilly, a la redneck or a la Americana is in any or all cases 999.99% stupidity. Atheism is still Total stupidity and so is evolution, revolution and idolatry.

    February 9, 2014 at 5:55 pm |
    • The Truth

      Now, even though this form of religion a la beer-belly, a la carte, a la cartel, a la hillbilly, a la redneck or a la Americana is in any or all cases 999.99% stupidity. Salero21 is still Total stupidity and so is her bible.

      February 9, 2014 at 6:00 pm |
  20. children of Israel

    The trans atlantic slave trade was a bartering system. *Joel 3:3 And they have cast lots for my people; and have given a boy for an harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink. *Genesis 49:12 His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk. *Revelation 1:14 and his eyes were as a flame of fire;

    February 9, 2014 at 5:53 pm |
    • Austin

      The other high haplogroups are E1b1b, E1b1a, R1b1a2, and I . Arabs have also been found with haplogroup J1, specifically J1c3d or P58- (L147.1-L858/L859) an Arab branch of the Cohen gene. We may have parted company with this group about 4,000 years ago with Ishmael and Isaac as their father, Abraham lived at the beginning of the 2nd millennium. .

      February 9, 2014 at 5:56 pm |
    • Austin

      Abraham and Moses were slaves. Other heathen/pagans were slaves as well of Israel.

      there is nothing to be proven by any notion of slavery what so ever. being a slave does not mean you are God's elect.

      God's elect are baptised with the Holy Spirit. That is promise to the whole world.

      February 9, 2014 at 6:16 pm |
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About this blog

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.