Welcome to October. The celebration of Oktoberfest is in full swing. Ever wondered where the party started?continue at The Compass
On Oct. 12, 1810, Bavaria’s crown prince Ludwig (late King Ludwig I) married Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen. Everyone in Munich was invited to attend festivities held in the fields outside the city. They liked it so well that they did it again the next year — and every year since. It soon became “Oktoberfest.”
Beer is a large part of Oktoberfest, but the frothy brew has church ties going back centuries before Ludwig and Therese ever met. (The royal Bavarian couple was Catholic, but Ludwig was not the best at following his marriage vows.)
Beer first appeared thousands of years ago, probably concocted by the Sumerians in the Middle East region of Mesopotamia. Ancient Egyptians also brewed beer, as did imperial Romans. But most of this early beer was not any sort of beer we would recognize today. Instead, it may have been made from barley while others could have been more like a Slavic drink known as kvass — low in alcohol content and brewed from stale bread. (This is probably part of the reason beer has often been called “liquid bread.”)
So a group of crazed Fundies stopped the Oktoberfest parade in La Crosse with a megaphone and some signs. I just grabbed some popcorn and observed. Some of the people thought they were racists, literally. Not all proselytizing techniques are created equal. Considering they were shouting down (and never once denounced any particular sin, or what anyone was supposed to do because they were all sinners and destined for hell) primarily a bunch of German Lutherans and Catholics, the reception was not well received. Starting one's own church is perhaps a difficult task for mere mortals to accomplish.