In Their Own Words: Prohibition

If you still think that prohibition was a pretty swell idea that was working great until liberals ruined it for everybody…you might be a fundamentalist.

Here’s Marc Monte, fundamentalist pastor (and SFL commenter) to break it down for us:

51 thoughts on “In Their Own Words: Prohibition”

  1. Somehow I actually listened to the whole thing. Thoughts:

    –I know he’s just trying to be precise by using the term “beverage alcohol,” but it rapidly becomes pedantic. And annoying.
    –His voice reminds me of a Muppet. Not sure which one.
    –Alcohol was universal in the ancient world because it was the only sure way to purify water.
    –Ancient alcohol was heavily diluted, usually in a proportion of 4:1, so even though everyone at Cana–and we have no idea how many people were there–drank enough of it to wipe out the supply, they would have drunk more water than wine and Jesus wouldn’t have been supplying a bunch of souses with more booze.
    –Oinos and yayin are not cognates, they’re just words for similar concepts in different languages. “Ice” in modern English, “Eis” in modern German, “Ä«s” in Old English, and “Ä«ss” in Old Norse are cognates. This might sound like a nitpick, but it signals immediately to someone who knows what they’re talking about that this guy doesn’t.
    –It sounds like he’s arguing his own ideas about what these words mean against several millennia of consensus.
    –Aaaaah, the crux of the issue–permissive churches are IN IT FOR THE MONEY! I’m developing a theory that Fundies are closet Marxists.
    –“Look at these young men and ladies over here…” Cloying.
    –So the coveted “testimony” is lost simply by having a beer at a pizza place?
    –Circa 29:30–Bing! Attack on rationalism and the intellect! Hitting on all cylinders
    –A young man sneaking his parents’ liquor and dying in a car accident is a precise parallel to anti-gun arguments that children could kill themselves with a parent’s gun. Wait–now he’s making the parallel… and pushing the envelope. Buying liquor and putting in the cabinet is the same as buying a gun and making your kid shoot himself in the head. Huh?
    –Hoping he gets to Prohibition soon so I can go do something else.
    –“You’re not hearing preaching like this much any more.” Toot toot, goes his horn.
    –Why is Welch’s the universally invoked brand of grape juice? Surely other companies bottle it.
    –So alcohol causes “boisterous behavior.” Apparently so do honorary doctorates.
    –Even when people are willing to do so, I always feel bad for people who are called upon to describe ex tempore their terrible pasts from the platform. I feel like they’re being used, almost like Michael Scott pointedly socializing with the minorities in his office.
    –Alcoholism is a terrible thing, and it’s a legitimate example of God’s grace that this guy is sober now. But that doesn’t make this sermon good or right.
    –“Understand that ‘wine’ is a generic term…” On what basis? This already came up but he’s essentially willing reality to conform to his point of view, which is always dangerous.

    The recording cuts off before the closing, which is a shame, because I’m sure that would have been killer. I’m a little disappointed that Prohibition didn’t literally figure into the sermon, because if any group almost wholly despises big government and the fed’s fascistic tendencies, it’s Fundies, and it’d be interesting to hear how they hold the obvious fascistic Prohibition program up for adulation.

    Oh, and just to be clear–I don’t drink.

  2. Hm. Not much analysis of Prohibition. Baptists o’er the land saw the scourge, and got it banned. Then it got unbanned. I’m disappointed–I was expecting wholesale gilding of the fundy history lily and got gross oversimplification instead.

    Either way, you get the point.

    Fo sho.

  3. “At any rate, I’m nearing the end of my master’s thesis so having a lot of time certainly isn’t accurate.”

    Been there, done that, and best of wishes as you complete and defend it (if that’s how your department does it)! I see that by now you’ve mastered the art of procrastinating by working on something else. 😉

  4. I see that by now you’ve mastered the art of procrastinating by working on something else. 😉

    I prefer to think of contributing this kind of critical examination of a primary source as “priming the pump” before I dive into work for the day. 😉

  5. “I prefer to think of contributing this kind of critical examination of a primary source as “priming the pump” before I dive into work for the day.”

    LOL nice, especially since I can’t criticize that without first removing a nice little pole from my own eyes. 😉 In my (previous) field of study any and all use of language (conversations, TV, movies, books, music, etc.) was fair game for critical analysis. As you doubtless know it is very important to be able to draw from a large variety of sources. The more data you have, the better. It helps strengthen your analysis and critical thinking skills.

  6. especially since I can’t criticize that without first removing a nice little pole from my own eyes. 😉

    I meant “critical” in the sense of rational or evaluative, though evaluation of something like this inevitably leads to the other form of criticism…

  7. My biggest problems with prohibitionists, including IFB fundamentalists, is not their belief that alcohol usage is undesirable, but rather their insistence that every-one must abstain: that total abstinence is THE commandment for the Christian.

    You notice in many prohibitionist churches clauses like this:
    “… we resolve to abstain from the sale and usage of intoxicating drinks as a beverage…”
    “… we resolve to stand against the evils of alcohol…”

    And so on. Such places a yoke upon Christians who don’t agree with these statements and itself is dangerous: if a church can enact extrabiblical regulations on its members on alcohol usage, it can very easily do it for other things (e.g. music, dress etc.). A very slippery slope to legalism, and external-behavior based spirituality.

    But then again, they’ll say, “We’re doing this because we’re taking holiness seriously!” or “Rules that help holiness are better than worldliness!” and so forth.

  8. As for myself, I see nothing wrong with a drink or two: but for now I have to try to respectfully abstain because I am still a member of an IFB church and I must honor whatever covenants I have made. I’m now in the process of leaving however…

  9. @Jordan: I know; that’s precisely how I read your statement. *scratches head* I was referring, obviously unsuccessfully, to your statement about procrastinating on your thesis by “priming the pump” before you can work. What I was *trying* to say is that I have been known to do the same thing. It was a (rather poor) attempt at a joke. I blame insufficient caffeination. I should probably stop commenting first thing in the morning, especially when I didn’t sleep well the previous night…

  10. I knew this guy in college, and his twin brother. They were good guys, spiritual but funny, not boring. My problem is that I can find scriptures that prohibit alcohol, which he quoted, but also scriptures that condone its use. I’m sorry but the Bible seems contradictory on this issue.

  11. @Amanda, yeah I got you–no worries. I think I mainly wanted to clarify that for myself, and any, uh, bridge-dwelling mythical creatures that may show up later.

    @Mark Thomas–spot on!

    @exfundy–Yeah, like I said, I don’t drink, but the Bible’s obvious ambivalence toward alcohol itself (rather than intoxication, which it condemns) convinces me that it’s a matter of preference or “conviction,” in fundyspeak, and so I don’t argue about it.

  12. @ Jordan: I loved this one– “–So alcohol causes “boisterous behavior.” Apparently so do honorary doctorates.”

    I have to say a long, loud AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAMENNNNNNNNNNN!

  13. I’ve always been & always will be a tetotaller, but fundy treating alcohol use of any sort (even when they specify just drinking alcohol, and teaching it as one of the cores of the scripture & faith, is just enraging.

  14. I like beer. I like alcohol. I love Jesus way more.

    Marc doesn’t have to like beer but he should not forbid believers from drinking. He is being a poor handler of the Word of God in doing so. It is a conscience issue. Especially in light of Romans 14 and the fact that Jesus turned water into an alcoholic beverage. No, ignorant Fundys, it was not in fact grape juice. If it was grape juice then the writers of the Bible are errant. Because the dude running the party thanked the groom for saving the best wine for last. And any one with half a brain to think will know that the best way does not come in a Welch’s container.

    His sermon is out of line, full of out of context scripture referencing, and, frankly, immature-in-Christ exposition of the Scriptures.

  15. OMG, I heard Gilbert Stenholm and William Liverman waxing poetic about the same junk in 1977 at BJU. It was a great big YAWN then, too. I supposed this dude learned his lesson well.

  16. I don’t drink because alcohol and antidepressants don’t mix. That one makes fundies’ heads explode. “Drinking bad … but … psych meds bad … cannot … compute …”

  17. Marc is aiming too low. The number one killer in the country is heart failure linked to obesity. And everyone knows our divorce problem. Which is why, in light of the divorce and obesity rates in the Church, I feel we should prohibit food and marriage. I mean, half of all marriages fail. What a terrible testimony to the outside world. So, no more marriage. Problem fixed. And look at how we abuse food. We are a bunch of fatties. God judge the overweight divorced Christian…right?! This is enough to make me drink.

  18. I have swung the pendulum and now trying to find my center. In the past, I used to think that any alcholic drink was the devil incarnate and would set you on the road to hell-fire and damnation. Then I kinda got carried away while in college (not too bad but there were few times that I regretted my over-indulgence.) Finally, through my relationship with my wonderful non-fundy boyfriend and my deepening relationship with Christ, I have come to a personal conviction that it is all about moderation and also not using alcohol as a way to fill an empty void in your life. If you are not controlled by it, not consumed by it, and don’t use it as a way to create emotional fulfillment, then partake in that liberty. And you know that is going to look different to people. I will never condone or approve of alcoholism (my dad is an alcoholic) and/or orgy-type drunkness but if you can drink 5 beers and not feel anything more power to you. I, being the extreme light weight, will stick to my 1 or 2 Smirnoff Ice. Thanks.

  19. I personally don’t drink (for one thing, I’m underage) and I never plan to. If you don’t start, you don’t become an alcoholic. I’ve had too many family members die from alcohol-related sickness and many more abused as a result of drunken family members. My mom’s parents were both alcoholics. My step brothers’ mom passed away this year due to the affects of alcohol. I don’t really find it a joking matter.

    However, there are sensible people in the world who drink wine or champagne or whatever once in awhile and aren’t drunk. I respect them for that and though I personally never want to drink, I don’t see anything un-Biblical about that. They aren’t drunk. It would be like a regular, healthy person eating a Big Mac versus a 400-lb. obese person eating a Super Size meal and two apple pies.

    As for the people that worry that drinking will ruin the testimony– it really depends on the person. I would be shocked to see someone I know who takes a stand against drinking in a restaurant drinking a beer, true. But until I saw that person staggering or acting stupid, I wouldn’t be too concerned. However, there are quite a few people I know who could lay off the Big Macs before they condemn people for drinking beer (or even root beer in a glass bottle for that matter).

    Just my thoughts. 🙂

  20. “It was universally accepted that Christians, Fundamentalists, do not drink.”

    Holy cow is he ignorant? Has he never set foot outside of the United States? Has he never been to a church outside of his own Fundamentalist church? How absurd.

    Anyway the latter passage from Proverbs 23. I had a discussion once with my former youth pastor about alcohol. My intent was never to argue, but he saw that I drink and I mentioned that the Bible never condemns drinking, it only condemns drunkenness. In fact, Paul actually told Timothy it was ok to drink. He retorted with just one verse Proverbs 23:31 “Don’t even look at wine.” And this is what he said, “We know the Bible doesn’t contradict itself. So therefore Paul must have been talking about something else.” Of course if you only read this one verse as a proof text it would look like Paul is clearly contradicting this passage. But you have to read it in context which is actually more than this pastor did. Read 29-35. This is not talking about a person who had 1 glass of wine. Hell this isn’t even talking about a person who had a whole bottle of wine. This is talking about a person who has had a whole bottle of wine, a bottle of scotch and is still reaching for more (Vs 35, “I must have another drink.”) This is the person who is _____ faced. He can barely stand on his two feet. His eyes are read. He’ll likely be praying to the porcelain gods in no time. This is the person who is so drunk that he doesn’t remember how he got that bruise on his arm. But even more, it isn’t just those things. This is the person who does this and is so far under the control of drink that after all he goes through before he can even wake up he has to have another drink. This is the person who is out of control. Quite literally a person who is addicted to alcohol. To use that in a sermon about *mere* drinking is sorely out of context and completely inapplicable. This passage should be used on the person who hasn’t been sober in months, not the person who has never even been drunk in their life.

    Fundamentalism, the problem with proof texting.

  21. Ooo he plays the what if game. What if your child sees me drinking socially and then thinks its ok to drink and that leads them to a life of ruin? Then I’d be wrong for drinking…hmmmm What if my current use of the internet leads children to think using the internet is ok, but then they find porn and that leads them to a life of ruin. I better not use the internet. What if my driving leads children to believe that it is ok to drive and that leads them to a life of ruin partying with friends. I better not do any of that. Oh this is such a fun game.

    Oh one more. Your college and carrer group go to a pizza joint and have beers…they have no testimony. Oh that is rich. I laugh and cry because it couldn’t be further from the truth. I’ve quite literally had the door opened to me, so that I can give my testimony because of alcohol. He just offhandedly says it as fact, “You will have no testimony.” Does he even know if that is true? He just assumes it.

  22. I live in Avon and drive by this church every day. He also hates Islam and has some crummy church signs. The church’s motto is “Home of the Old Time Religion.”

    1. ^^This Nailed it^^^

      “I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men with a favourable presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption, it is the other way, against the holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority: still more when you superadd the tendency or certainty of corruption by full authority. There is no worse heresy than the fact that the office sanctifies the holder of it.”

      In place of “Pope” read Pastor.

  23. I know this guy. His brother Mike Monte pastored a church less than 3 miles from my home. I visited there numerous times in the early 2000’s because he would send me a flyer about special meetings. It was a wild, loud, raucous church. The preachers screamed, intimidated, bullied, drove fear into people and generally said very little that came from the Bible. I still remember one night where the visiting preacher, Bob Gray of TX, who gave the invitation and said “Do you believe that God wants s people saved? Raise your hand.” Everyone did. “Do you know how to lead someone through the Romans Road? Raise your hand.” All did. “Do you believe that if you take your Bible and share the gospel with enough people this week, one of them will get saved? Raise your hand.” All but about 4 or 5 people raised their hands. He noticed. And he ranted and raved for 5 minutes against those of us whose faith was weak, who did not believe that God was in the soul saving business. Then he asked the same question again. All but me and one older lady raised their hands. Then he gave the invitation “If you raised you hand believing that god will save someone this week, come down here to the altar and commit yourself to this.” It was weird, that little old lady and I were the only two, out of 250 people, left in our pews. I say all that to say that the pastor talked about his brother like he was the pope. He idolized his brother. Same kind of preaching, except he is not as much of a screamer.

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