Bartenders Share How Customers' Drink Orders Reveal Their Theology
“A priest, a pastor and rabbi walk into a bar…”
A survey of bartenders has revealed that what we imbibe can be a window into the soul.
Pint of Guinness Beer - A working man's drink, usually consumed by followers of Martin Luther, who favored the beverage and jump-started the Reformation by extolling his flock to "drink more, sport, recreate ourselves, aye, and even sin a little to spite the devil so that we leave him no place for troubling our consciences with trifles."
- Missouri Synod Lutherans usually frown as they drink their beer.
- Members of more liberal ECLA churches will often ask for the non-alcoholic version, Guinness Zero, for an appearance of orthodoxy without the risks.
- Calvinists will also sometimes order a Guinness, but drop a shot of whiskey in for emphasis. Because they shun "vain repetitions" they will often misremember the simple rhyme, "Beer on whiskey, mighty risky. Whiskey on beer, never fear." After a couple of these boilermakers, they must be helped back to their homes, and inevitably will throw up, as God preordained.
A “Flight” of Craft Beer Samples - Methodist groups order this as a nod to Arminian “free will.” They methodically taste each one, then argue over which to choose.
12-ounce glass of Cabernet - Jesus turned water into wine, and the scriptures say wine "gladdens the heart of man." Some Catholics prefer this beverage as it reminds them of the Eucharist, and casts a holy haze over the often tawdry surroundings of their local pub.
- (For Irish Catholics, see "Calvinists" above).
- Eastern Orthodox also like wine, but have learned to repeat "Wine is a mocker" before each sip.
- Jews of course prefer sweet, kosher Mogen David wine, not only for Shabbat gatherings and feasts, but also to treat a bad cough if they’re out of Robitussin.
Flagon of Mead - This drink made from fermented honey is usually consumed by wandering monks, Norse Neopagans, Celtic Christians and role-players from the Society for Creative Anachronism. Mead indicates a longing for days of yore, when theological disputes were settled by the crack of a mace on your opponent's helmet. Three flagons of mead will convince anyone that they are "Thor, Odin's Son" by the end of the evening. Seasonal, usually available around Valhalla-ween.
Shot of Whiskey - Generally consumed straight by Episcopalians, thus the moniker "Whiskey-palians." Of course, their English Anglican forbears drink whiskey made from peat bogs, which gives it a smoky flavor and also explains their centuries-long membership decline.
Craft Hard Cider - Usually requested by seminary students just learning the difference between Reinhold Niebuhr and Justin Bieber.
Cosmopolitan - Cocktails are the domain of the fringe theologies. Mostly consumed by East Coast elites at New York's Union Seminary or Yale and Harvard Divinity Schools, mostly at private gatherings rather than a bar. Imbibing usually induces free flowing incomprehensible theological jargon.
Mojito - Made with club soda, rum, mint and lime. Favored by Liberation Theologians for its Cubano-Latin American vibe. "Comes the Revolution, we will all drink Mojitos!" Consumed communally or not at all.
White Russian - Adherents of the Church of The Dude cannot abide any other drink. “But if you don't have it, that's cool too.”
Margarita - Requested by those who are into sacred dance, meditative yoga poses, and manifesting their best life now. Pantheists usually order it on the rocks, like Meister Eckhart always did.
Mimosa - Students of Feminist, Womanist and Mujerista Gender Studies gravitate to this refreshing drink. After several rounds, they sometimes can't remember what they identified as when they walked in.
Manhattan - When two followers of Open Theism settle in with a few Manhattans, they can agree that God can't know the contingent future, which is left "open" with possibility. But they can never agree which one of them will pick up the tab.
Unproven Health Liqueur - Televangelists turn down alcoholic drinks (at least in public) and instead ask for the $125 Silver Solution concoction marketed by Jim Bakker as a cure for Covid-19. When that’s not available, they fall back to colorless and odorless vodka, served in a paper Dixie cup.
Water - Baptists usually order water when they first sit down until they're sure no one is watching, and then they ask for a sip of your beer.
Next Time: How common pick-up lines at a singles bar reveal the abject spiritual desperation of Generation Z.
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