#MethodistHillary

Some levity for your evening: from many of the same summer-breaking scholars of religion who brought you #IfTrumpwereEvangelical, it’s #MethodistHillary!

Indeed, her faith hasn’t received the same kind of notoriety as her Republican opponent’s ambiguous religiosity, but the presumptive Democratic nominee for president has been a regular churchgoer for a long time. (As pointed out here last week.) The founder of #MethodistHillary acknowledged that tweaking this kind of Protestantism might be harder than the evangelical inside-joking from yesterday.

But before long, #MethodistHillary was trending this morning — and even drawing the attention of public radio.

(Which is exactly the kind of attention any self-respecting Methodist would covet, amirite? Not that any self-respecting Methodist would admit to coveting anything… Okay, back to the tweets.)

Predictably, the #twitterstorians went back to the 18th and 19th centuries for their jokes:

But for my money, the funniest tweets were more contemporary observations originating with Bowler and some of her colleagues! I know that Methodist-founded colleges and universities are often ridiculed by us “Christian college” folks for having only the most nominal of relationships to their founding theological traditions. But clearly the spirit of faith has come down on Durham and revealed something about denominational humor to the people of Duke Divinity School.

Now, I have to admit: I’m not a Methodist and haven’t actually spent that much time around that tradition. So why, I started to wonder, was I finding all this so hilarious?

At first, all the references to casserolehot dish, grape juice, and fellowship hall coffee made me wonder if this had more to say about Clinton’s Illinois upbringing than her church background.

But then it hit me. It wasn’t my Midwestern self whose funny bone was being tickled. It was my denominational self, as ever caught in between the two largest wings of American Protestantism.


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