Eat, Drink and Be Merry…
Recently I was forced, on two separate occasions, to consider and report on my favorite bible verse. I’m not a real bible verse kind of guy. I don’t find a verse particularly useful and rarely find them meaningful.
This is not a judgement on the entire bible, rather it is how I look at individual verses. A verse, taken out of context not only from the words written around it but the culture and time it was written, can come to mean anything to anyone. So I’m more of a bible story person rather than a bible verse person.
But a bible story didn’t fulfill the requirements, so I went in search of a verse. And I found one. One that I can embrace and claim as my favorite.
Then I commended mirth, because a man has no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labor the days of his life, which God gives him under the sun.
– Ecclesiastes 8:15
This is where the oft quoted phrase of “Eat, drink and be Merry” comes from. And I happen to be a fan of all three activities. And to know that God commands me to do them is proof that he loves us, is it not? Or as another great American put it:
Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy.
– Ben Franklin
So, that got me to thinking. What else have great people had to say about this topic. And by this topic, I do mean beer. Because, if Mr. Franklin is right, and I’m not going to tell him he’s wrong, then beer is the de facto proof of God’s existence.
Abraham Lincoln had a high opinion of Beer. In fact, he believed that enough beer could save our nation!
I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.
But it is not national leaders alone that understand God’s love through beer. The common man can appreciate beer too.
Without question, the greatest invention in the history of mankind is beer. Oh, I grant you that the wheel was also a fine invention, but the wheel does not go nearly as well with pizza
– Dave Barry
And of course, our own president can appreciate the miraculous powers of common beer.
I have always believed that what brings us together is stronger than what pulls us apart.
– President Barak Obama
2009 Beer Summit
So if so many wise people can see that beer is good and godly, why is it so often looked down upon? That is a mystery I’ve often contemplated, and I think I have some answers.
- Beer tastes like horse piss. It’s true, most American beer does. Or worse, American light beer tastes like… nothing. Call me a beer snob, but I do not like the weak American style beers. But attacking all beers based on the poor taste of a few is akin to attacking all religious people for the extra-bedroom activities of Ted Haggard.
- Beer makes one silly. But only if beer is drunk in excess. Which should be measured by kegs, not cases, and by activity, not occasion. I can’t help that pot bellied rednecks drink to much while watching football. That neither lessens football or beer, both of which are Good. Instead, it shows that rednecks really “get” the holy concept of “Eat, Drink and Be Merry.” Instead of a negative, they should be held up as the example!
- Beer is expensive. But that’s just silly. Beer is the single reason that mankind developed civilization. Without beer, we’d all still be small clans of hunter-gatherers, or perhaps advanced to the point of quilting bees and scrapbooking. But nothing civilized.
So let’s accept, shall we, that beer is holy. And needs to, at times, be consumed. For God did command it.