Tag Archives: pearls before swine

Oktoberfest Pilgrimage Live Blog: A Visit to Beer Land

IMG_0488.JPG

“Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.” Benjamin Franklin

One of my favorite comic strips is Stephan Pastis’ Pearls Before Swine. A few months ago one of the main characters appropriately named Rat, since he is a rat, decides to open his own amusement park called Beer Land. The series of strips is amazingly brilliant, especially to true beer drinkers. I think the strip from that series that I most enjoyed was this one, because of the way Pastis linked a ride at the strip to the syrupy Disney ride It’s a Small World.

Today we did a bit of a road trip and took the U-Bahn from Munich to a small town on the outskirts of the city called Erding, for a visit and tour of the Erdinger Weisbier brewery, the largest brewer of wheat beers in the world. Before heading to Erding we had taken a short visit to the historic Marianplatz where we were able to see the famous Glockenspiel at the old city hall, or Rathaus.

IMG_0489-0.JPG

Now Judy has incurred a couple of injuries to her knee, ankle, and a couple of years ago had to her Achilles’ tendon repaired. As such sometimes a lot of walking causes her a lot, I mean a lot of pain. We tried to go out some yesterday but after a few minutes at Marianplatz but she was in such pain so we went back to our hotel until later in the evening when we went to dinner with our friends.

This morning she was in less pain but she knew if she didn’t get some European style crutches that she would not do well and possible be confined to the hotel for must of our remaining time here. For those that don’t know, European or as they are referred to in the United States Canadian crutches are far superior to the type most of us know and loath so much. They provide the user much more mobility and less pain to the armpits and shoulders because you do not swing from them.

So while she hung out with our friends I googled where to find the crutches in Munich. The word for crutches is krucken and they are sold at stores that specialize in equipment for those recovering from injuries as well as those with various physical disabilities called a Saniatshaus. The closest of these was about two miles away, so with google maps to guide me I set off. I walk pretty fast so it didn’t take that long to get there and when I did after the normal greetings with the lady at the counter I asked for a pair of crutches, which she showed me and allowed me to even pick the color. They cost about 34 Euros, which isn’t too bad, and for that quality I would have payed more in the U.S, had I gotten them at home. I made my way back by hailing a taxi to save time. Had a nice conversation about Munich, beer and the Oktoberfest with the driver and he delivered me back just city meters from where Judy and some of our friends had gathered. Since we were waiting on some of the rest of our group we had a beer at an outdoor cafe across from the Rathause where we saw the Glockenspiel do its thing when the clock stuck eleven.

Once all of us were gathered we boarded the U-Bahn to Erding a trip of about 45 minutes. Once in Erding we caught a city bus to the Erdinger brewery. We got our tickets for the tours and bought a couple of items in the gift shop and then went on the tour. The tour took about an hour and a half and was amazing.

I was impressed with how well a large brewery can make great beer using only the natural ingredients of hops, barley or wheat malt and water. There are no added sugars, food colorings known to be carcinogenic, Bisphenal A (BPA); cheap filler grains such as rice and corn as well as high fructose corn syrup, dextrose, and mono sodium glutamate, and even propylene glycol (a component of anti-freeze) are found in many mass produced American beers. This is because of the observance of the strict Bavarian or German beer purity law the Reinheitsgebot which stipulates what are acceptable ingredients in beer. Frankly the difference in taste is amazing as well as the effects, especially the morning after. But I digress….

As I mentioned the tour was informative and enjoyable. At the end of the tour, which cost 12 Euros per person we were provided freshly baked Bavarian pretzels, two large Bavarian Weiswurst, which are a mildly spiced and finely textured pork sausage and three half liter glasses of whichever of the eight styles of Weisbier that Erdinger brews.

10670000_10152772414817059_3414239591729879256_n

It truly was a visit to Beer Land and I am sorry to say that at each stage of the tour I kept thinking about that comic, but no, I didn’t see the German kid beat up the French kid for his Hefeweizen.

So Since this a religious pilgrimage, I will close with a quote from one of my favorite rebellious theologians, the eminent Doctor Martin Luther:

“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!”

Have a great day.

Peace

Padre Steve+

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under beer, civil rights, faith, History, nazi germany, Religion, travel

Here Come D’Judges: Padre Steve Encounters Yet More Interesting Christian Intolerance

pb131005

The past few days have been rather crazy and since they have been rather crazy I elect not to go into details on the personal side of the house. It could be considered bad form and I am not about trying to make other people look bad even if they really do deserve it. It is kind of like my first confession where I asked the Priest “if they deserved it was it still a sin?”

The look on his face was classic. Unfortunately he said it still was a sin despite mitigating factors. I hate that.

But despite the personal craziness what is even more crazy is the craziness of some Evangelical Christians. This is where big crazy meets personal crazy. I had a distant relative go nuts on Facebook. No problem, since I really don’t need that kind of crap I decided to drop him as a friend.

Now I don’t know about you but I really don’t think that it is cool for people to be talking about killing Democrats just to defend gun rights. Likewise when someone in the same comment thred openly approves of people who call President Lincoln “Ape Lincoln it tells me just where their heart is. But hey, that’s just me.

About a week later he noticed that I dropped him and fired off a shotgun blast my direction. It is interesting to me how people yell at you on social media, e-mail or in text messages. THEY TYPE IN ALL CAPS LIKE YOU ARE TOO FUCKING STUPID TO READ NORMAL SCRIPT. But I digress…

Personally I really don’t care what people want to believe so long as they leave me alone. I am a live and let live kind of person though I did love Live and Let Die But my distant relative decided to jump on me for dropping him. Personally I could care less now, but he decided to make his point. He was angry about my posts. That’s okay with me because it is a free country. However he said that my writings they label him as “CHRISTIAN, white and gun caring.” Yes he said gun caring not carrying.

That comment kind of stunned me because I am white, a career military officer, combat veteran, Christian and not against the Second amendment. Likewise I never intended for him to feel attacked or condemned. However because I am socially and politically a bit to the left and could be best termed a “Progressive Christian” I despite being related am some kind of enemy of God. So in the current fucked up and horribly divisive society we live in I am the enemy to “Christians” like my relative who value race and guns over the Gospel.

So truthfully I have finally decided that I don’t care what some people think of me. Especially Christians who seem to be on a jihad including relatives. So when he interrogated me as to why I dropped him as a friend I told him that I don’t tolerate racism and that the Gospel was not just for white people nor guns. After that he decided that our feud had to end NOW. He decided to ask my forgiveness and say that “We will know who’s understanding of the gospel was correct in the day of judgment.”

Now I don’t know about you, but on the day we when are all standing in from of the Lord in judgement I don’t think that any of us are going to be gloating at what happens to others. Likewise I don’t think that people will be cheering because they were “right” and someone else was wrong on that day.

The thing that got me about this was the way my distant relative and so many others decide to so flippantly throw out the “God’s judgement” card when they got confronted on their bad behavior. That seems to be a common feature of people that cannot handle someone disagreeing with their view of God no matter what their particular religion.

Frankly, if people throw out the idea of killing their religious or political opponents and use racist terms in the process I don’t want have to listen to it. They can say all they want but when I am on Facebook I just want to enjoy keeping in touch with people and occasionally make pithy comments. Now my Twitter feed is different, but that is another bridge to burn at another time.

The people that really know me know that my basic approach to life is to live and let live, agree to disagree and to have fun. My real friends run the gamut of the current religious and political divides. I even have some friends who are Los Angeles Dodger’s fans, not that there is anything right with that. But again I digress…

Thus when I have someone throw the “God’s judgement” thing at me be they a stranger or a distant relative who doesn’t really know me I kind of chalk it up to the fact that they do not know me. At the same time I have to factor in that they could have bigger issues going on in their life and need someone to vent on.

As for me I certainly am not perfect. I give my mom, dad and grandparents credit that when I was a kid I was taught that no one knew everything. Most people in my family were and are very opinionated, but that being said we are still a pretty tolerant bunch. I am like totally thankful for that now because though I am opinionated and will draw boundaries in relationships I am not going to decide that somehow I am going to be sitting next to God acting like Nelson on The Simpsons laughing at the misfortunes of others.

The fact that so many Christians, as well as those of many other religions need to ensure that their God is in the whacking, schwacking and damming business rather than in the business of grace and redemption does bother me. Likewise I am bothered by those that take that belief and decide to use it to turn the government into their religious police in order to crush those that they do not agree with.

This happens worldwide and across the religious spectrum and no matter where it occurs and who does it is still evil. It doesn’t matter if it is the killing of Christians by Moslem extremists in the Middle East or Africa, the oppression of Palestinian Moslems and Christians by Israelis, the killing or slaughter of Jews by Moslems or Christians; or the persecution of atheists, agnostics, free thinkers, homosexuals or others by Christians, Jews, Moslems, Hindus or anyone else it is still evil.

When I get condemned for my beliefs by such people I will defend myself. Likewise I will call them out on it but never would I resort to violence, the threat of violence or even step into the realm of eternal damnation because someone disagrees with me and my interpretation of the Christian Gospel.

I figure that there will be plenty of people in the afterlife that I would prefer not to be around and who doubly would not want to run in to me. But I figure that God can keep fistfights to a minimum. He may not be able to keep the fistfights to a minimum down here but after all, we are human and sometimes even a bit inhuman.

Praying for peas…

Peace

Padre Steve+

2 Comments

Filed under faith, Religion