…is American “Old Tyme” Religion. This is one of the most basic and fundamental aspects of American culture, and it is the reason why Lutherans, at least those of the Hypo-European bent like myself, will always be lonely, will always be unpopular, will always be “Roman.” I realized this as I was walking around “Old Threshers” in Hamilton, IL and seeing just how much the common people relish the “Old American Religion.” In fact, on Sundays, there is always a “Worship service” at Threshers led by one of the local Protestant clergypersons, which also draws my own members who have tents or crafts at this festival. Though I have never been to it (I have been having Mass at my own parish) I have no doubts that it is done in the style of the Old West, with the sentimental, sappy songs that unfortunately pass for Christian. “Old Tyme” Religion is why Lutheran chorales, stout Luther hymns, reverent posture and conduct of the Divine Service, weekly Communion, chanted liturgy, and any number of other “favorites” of orthodox Lutherans will always, always be looked at with disdain and suspicion. Lutheranism in other parts of the world has its challenges, but as far as I know, the American aversion to chanted services, elaborate ceremony, colorful vestments, and devotion to the Sacraments is homegrown Americanism. Correct me if I’m wrong.
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