Thursday, November 01, 2007

Martin Luther and Beer

Yes, yesterday was Halloween. But it was also Reformation Day. And to celebrate Martin Luther's world-changing action 490 years ago, I'm reprinting a post by BeerAdvocate user ColoradoBobs that I thought was pretty cool:

490 years ago today (October 31), Martin Luther posted on the door of the church in Wittenberg, Germany 95 Theses for debate regarding the practices and doctrines of the Roman church. What followed turned into the Protestant Reformation. During Luther's years of preaching and teaching as well as informal conversation, his students wrote down verbatim most of what he said and recorded it in dozens of volumes of "Table Talks." Among the hundreds of astonishing and sometimes controversial things he said (wouldn't you hate it if all your casual conversations were copied and published!?), Luther talked more than a couple of times about beer.

After consuming some bad beer in Dessau,
he wrote to his wife Katherine, "Yesterday I drank something which did not agree with me, so that I had to sing: 'If I don’t drink well I have to suffer,' and yet I do like to do it. I said to myself what good wine and beer I have at home, and also what a pretty lady . . ."

On moderation:
"God does not forbid you to drink, as do the Turks; he permits you to drink wine and beer: he does not make a law of it. But do not make a pig of yourself; remain a human being."

On the devil:
"Whenever the devil pesters you, at once seek out the company of friends, drink more, joke and jest, or engage in some form of merriment."

On aging:
"We old folks have to find our cushions and pillows in our tankards. Strong beer is the milk of the old."

On the mode of baptism:
“Besides, the Word [i.e., the Bible] is the principal part of baptism. If in an emergency there’s no water at hand, it doesn’t matter whether water or beer is used.”

And this one was a joke (he didn't actually believe folks get to heaven by being good):
"Whoever drinks beer, he is quick to sleep; whoever sleeps long, does not sin; whoever does not sin, enters Heaven! Thus, let us drink beer!"

So, let's raise a glass to good old Martin Luther. And may all the Lutherans among us show us how it's done!

Well said, ColoradoBobs. Ein Prosit, ein Prosit der Martin Luther! Prost!


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