500 Years of Protestant Reformation

Today’s the 500th anniversary of Martin Luther changing the world. Just thought it’s worth a mention.

Selena Gomez just broke up and you still think this is newsworthy?

As a guy who grew up in the creepy, skeevy weirdness that is still the Catholic church, good on Martin Luther. However, also as a guy who grew up around all the worst sorts of Baptists and Methodists in Eastern TN, damn you, Martin Luther!

Yeah, my church made that front and center of all weeks sermon. It was nice to be reminded that Jesus and Martin Lurther were both something of radicals and liberals,

Martin Luther also evolved into a raging anti-Semite. Just sayin’.

According to a Reddit thread last month, he had an enormous constipation problem and wasn’t shy with bitching about it via snail mail to his bros:

Dominus percussit me in posteriora gravi dolore; tam durus sunt excrementa, ut multa vi ad sudorem extrudere cogar, et quo diutius differo, magis durescunt. Heri quarto die excrevi semel, unde nec tota nocte dormivi nec adhuc pacem habeo. Ora quaeso pro me.
The Lord has struck me in the behind with heavy pain; my excrements are so hard that I am forced to push them out with great force so that I’m sweating. And the more I postpone it, the harder the excrements get. Yesterday I have defecated for the first time in four days. Because of that I could not sleep all night and still have no peace. Please, pray for me! (to Melanchthon, 12.5.1521, WA BR 2, 333

Mein Ars ist bös worden. Dominus visitat me.
My ass has gone bad. The Lord visits me. (to Amsdorff, same day. WA BR 2,334

Hodie sexto die excrevi tanta duritia, ut pene animam efflarim. Nunc sedeo dolens sicut puerpera lacer et saucius et cruentus, hac nocte non habiturus aut modicam quietem.
Today I have defecated the first time in six days, the stool was so hard, I nearly died. Now I am sitting here like a woman who has given birth: lacerated, wounded, stained with blood. Tonight I will not even have a little bit of sleep. (to Spalatin, 9.9.1521, WA BR 2,388)

Anus meus et venter tandem in gratiam rediere mecum, ut nulla opus habeam amplius medicina, sanus per omnia sicut antea, deo gratia.
My anus and my stomach have finally made peace with me so that I do not need medicine any more. I am as healthy in all things as I have been before, thanks be to God. (to Spalatin, 7.10.1521, WA BR 2,395)

Next you’re going to tell me he wasn’t a big supporter of the LGBT movement.

Here’s a kind of weird opinion piece in which one of the world’s most famous Protestant theologians says the Protestant Reformation was successful…

so now all the Protestants can become Catholic again…

except for him.

Quite a weird piece. How high up in an ivory tower do you have to be to imagine that the Catholic Church has solved all it’s problems?

His point is not that the Catholic Church is perfect, but rather that none of the original complaints that Luther or his contemporaries had about Catholicism are valid any more: Indulgences are no longer sold; the Church no longer claims that the Pope has any direct influence over what happens in Purgatory (indeed, the Catholic Church is kind of wishy-washy on the existence of Purgatory nowadays); and while the Church still condones the Intercession of Saints (praying to dead folks in the hope that they’ll put in a good word for you), in practice it’s not emphasized as much, and the Catholic beliefs on saints are not far from common Protestant beliefs about their own righteous dead.

The author’s point is that aside from structural differences, the gap in belief between a Catholic and a Baptist today is far less distinct that that of a Medieval Catholic and, say, a Medieval Calvinist. I’d probably go further and say that the difference in actual religious views between a generic Catholic and a generic Anglican or Methodist are probably not even as pronounced as the difference in religious views between a Catholic Dominican priest and a Catholic Franciscan priest.

Changed Beer forever too!

Luther’s revolt gave the weed a significant boost. The fact that hops were tax-free constituted only part of the draw. Hops had other qualities that appealed to the new movement; chiefly, their excellent preservative qualities. “All herbs and spices have preservative qualities, but with hops, beer could travel really well, so it became a unit of international trade that symbolized the growing business class, which was tangentially connected with the Protestant work ethic and capitalism,” says Bostwick.

If the Catholic Church lost control over the printed word with the invention of the printing press — the technological weapon that ensured Luther’s success — it lost control over beer with the rise of hops. “The head went flat on monastic beer,” says Bostwick. “Did Protestantism explicitly promote hops? I don’t think so. But did it encourage the use of hops? I would say, yes, probably.”

So you’re saying he’s responsible for hipster microbrewers too? The Inquisition would’ve been too good for him.

Nah, that was Reagan’s deregulation which created those. He paved the way (with hops).

Yeah Catholicism is flawed, but it’s better than say… American Evangelicalism and what’s come out of it.

I’d rather have theologians than people who have never read the Bible dictating what Jesus wants us to do.

Spoiler alert: it’s not to love your enemies.

Anyway, thanks Luther! The best one-word description of Protestantism that I have read is ‘overcorrection’. Of course philosophies vary wildly within either major branch, but the Protestants I grew up with had separated salvation so fundamentally from works/actions and the message of Jesus it became insufferable and led an extremely reactionary social agenda.

Catholicism, on the other hand, correctly tied the practice of Christianity to our existence but rooted piety in the wrong actions like ceremony, deference to religious hierarchy, and prayer. Shout out to all the self-described 'non-denominational’s here.

This is my favorite Martin Luther quote from now on.

There’s un-Christian Catholicism as well- look at the crap the Koch Brothers support. That’s pretty much Evangelical heresy as well.

And yes, at this point, I openly call these forms of Christianity heresy or Satanism (with no offense intended towards Satanists)- we really need to start attacking Republicans on their false religion.

All I know is, I’m mad as hell and I’m gonna throw a stool at someone.

You guys need to chill out and have a cuppa. Heresy is pretty smooth and satisfying, IMHO.