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You know who else is bearded & drinks alcohol? ME. Also, Jesus.

Charleston Southern University has fired Professor Paul Roof for allowing his face to appear on a beer bottle.

"They said that this was not an image for the Christian environment and that it may seem to students that I am endorsing the use of alcohol," says Roof, who taught at the university for seven years and also founded the social club Holy City Beard & Moustache Society. HCBMS hosts beard and mustache competitions as charity fundraisers for ovarian cancer patients and their families.

What? This image?

paul-roof-m

If all Christians were that stylish, we atheists would have to worry that religion was becoming cool again. I usually keep my beard fairly closely trimmed, but Roof is making me think I have to try harder if I’m going to compete.

But nah, I don’t have to worry. When Christian schools are firing decent human beings over facial hair and beer, and when their commenters are saying things like this:

I’m very proud of CSU. I have children, and I would certainly consider CSU a college for them, based on CSU’s principles. Not enough people stand up to the bullies of the leftwing radicals.
From the disbanding of Gender Stiudies at USC-U and the funding-pull for homosexual propaganda at CofC, decent and moral people are fighting back.
Good for you CSU. We’re supporting you. Thank you for representing us.

I get to sit back and coast on my relatively feeble beard and once-a-month glass of beer.

Comments

  1. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    As is reflected by many comments and posts on his page and comments to CSU Paul is easily one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. First time I met Paul he walked up to me at a local restaurant and handed me a card inviting me into the SouthEastern Beard and Mustache championships. Since then I’ve had the pleasure of speaking with him a number of times. Great guy.

    And the guys at Holy City brewing are also great guys and are not at fault here.

    Part of the proceeds from Holy City’s can sales went to Lowcountry Women with Wings a charity that raises money for support services for women with Ovarian Cancer.

  2. chigau (違う) says

    Rev
    ovarian cancer
    There is probably a ‘sinful women’ connection in there somewhere.

  3. carlie says

    The kicker is that, according to that article, he doesn’t even own that image. He didn’t have the legal right to agree or disagree with its use.

    “I don’t own the image, I have not been compensated for the image, and the brewery didn’t come to me and say, ‘Hey, Paul, can we use your picture?’ They’re friends of mine, and they said, ‘We’re doing a beer can,’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, that’s cool.’ I’m not in control of somebody else’s business. They don’t have to ask my permission.”

    So they’re firing him for something that was totally out of his control, which I think could be easily challenged in court.

  4. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    So they’re firing him for something that was totally out of his control, which I think could be easily challenged in court.

    True but he’s in good with Chris and the Guys at Holy City so as far as I’ve heard he was more than totally cool with it. And why wouldn’t he be?

    I’t purely CSU trying to stay in the good graces of the Southern baptist convention from what I can tell.

    And just in case anyone wonders, his beard only looks like that during the competitions. Any other day , like when he’s teaching, it’s just a good old fashion big ass beard.

  5. Alverant says

    Radical? That guy needs to look up the word and learn what it means. He’s not using it correctly.

    Did the college think he had control over the image or that if he asked the brewery to stop they would have? Even if he gave permission, putting a face on a beer can (and when you can hardly tell who it is) isn’t an endorsement of drinking beer. If that’s the logic the college wants to use, does that mean the phrase “in God we trust” on our money an endorsement of christianity?

  6. EvoMonkey says

    I usually keep my beard fairly closely trimmed, but Roof is making me think I have to try harder if I’m going to compete.

    I am envisioning a cephalopod-inspired tentacled beard on you PZ. That would look great on a beer bottle and certainly it would be fiercely competitive in the beard and moustache contest.

  7. gussnarp says

    @carlie re#4:

    So they’re firing him for something that was totally out of his control, which I think could be easily challenged in court.

    Didn’t a recent Supreme Court decision basically say religious institutions could fire anybody they want for any theological reason they want and it’s entirely untouchable by the courts? I think the gist was that they could always do that for pastors, but basically expanded that to nearly everyone, certainly teachers. I’d think someone who didn’t teach any religious classes at all at the college level ought to be outside of that ruling, but I wouldn’t hold my breath.

    I expect they can’t just fire janitors that way…

  8. Matrim says

    I never understood the Christian temperance movement, at least not the teetolalist portions of it. Jesus’s first fucking miracle and they’re all clutching their pearls.

  9. Nentuaby says

    Well. Sounds like he’s a believing Christian, but one of those fellows who pays more attention to the words actually attributed to Jesus in the Bible than to the viler bits of the thing, or what 18th century bluenoses felt *should* have been attributed to Jesus in the Bible. I hope he finds a new place to teach that’s more about “Christian Charity” than “Christian Purity” and that this firing works out for the best in the end.

  10. ironchew says

    @ Matrim

    I never understood the Christian temperance movement, at least not the teetolalist portions of it. Jesus’s first fucking miracle and they’re all clutching their pearls.

    It’s the same mentality that keeps the War on Drugs going strong. The Protestant work ethic sees escapism and fun as sinful and Good Christians™ in turn must punish as many recreational drug users as possible. The only backlash to this has been in Prohibition and recent efforts to legalize cannabis because rich people use pot and alcohol too. Legalization of psychedelic drugs is still a pipe dream.

  11. playonwords says

    @ Matrin #12
    As I understand it the anti-booze fundies say that the “wine” in the miracle was grape juice because that is what Judeans drank at that time.

  12. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    Cans…. but anywhere in Charleston SC has them. I have a sixer in my fridge right now.

  13. ruthstl says

    Phyllis Schlaffly is currently suing her nephew to prevent him from trademarking his Schlaffly beer, on grounds that most people associate the name with her rightwing morality. I much prefer the beer.

  14. Rev. BigDumbChimp says

    I always wondered if Schlafly the beer was from the same family.

    Interesting, and yes the beer is much better than Phyllis

  15. says

    Tom Schlafly is a nephew to Phyllis Schlafly by marriage — she married his uncle, the late John Fred Schlafly

    Phyllis Schlafly, who declined to be interviewed for this story, argues that the word Schlafly has no usage or meaning other than as a last name, and she lays claim to it.

    Huh. Seems to me that Tom Schlafly was born to the name, while Phyllis married into it, so you’d think Tom’s claim was the more solid. Well, I imagine ol’ Phyllis is thrilled, she hasn’t been news for ages, this must of been one helluva gift horse to her.

  16. gussnarp says

    @Rev. BigDumbChimp – Judging by the website, it looks like they’re only available in South Carolina. I wanted to drink one in solidarity, but I guess I’m stuck with my own local brews.

    On a related note, man is it ever a good time to like beer in America.

  17. says

    Tony:

    she isn’t the only person with the last name, so ‘Schlafly’ isn’t hers to own, IMO

    Her reasoning is that it’s meaningless beyond a surname, so it can’t be trademarked.

  18. says

    @19, Rev. BigDumbChimp

    Interesting, and yes the beer is much better than Phyllis

    That’s hardly difficult. Falling down and breaking your arm is arguably “much better than Phyllis Schlafly” — it may be a painful nuisance, but at least it only effects one person and will get better and go away.

  19. David Marjanović says

    So beer is a leftwing radical cause now?!? Will wonders never cease.

    The Protestant work ethic sees escapism and fun as sinful

    Escapism? That’s excruciatingly funny. America is founded on escapism.

    grape juice because that is what Judeans drank at that time

    while unicorns floated above them, farting rainbows.

  20. U Frood says

    Alcohol isn’t Christian? What?

    My Freshman year of college, I went on a trip to Ocean City with the Lutheran student group. While I was there the older students in the group offered to get me any alcohol I wanted.

    Ok, that wasn’t exactly condoned by the Pastor, but as Lutherans, we drank real wine at communion (even at age 11).

  21. blf says

    Alcohol isn’t Christian? Huh? These nutters need to visit Ireland. The priests and similar can be rather heavy drinkers.

    (Ok, ok, this does not “prove” anything. And they can also be some of the most dedicated to teetotalism.)

  22. robertfoster says

    But, but, but — They don’t say what kind of beer it is! Don’t Southern Christians know anything? Beer isn’t a sin unless it’s ABV is above 6.0%. (For those not in the know, ABV stands for Anointed by The Virgin.)

  23. RobertL says

    I saw this over at Lawyers, Guns & Money and it was suggested that the brewery should put out another beer featuring the image of the Dean or VP. An image that they have the right to use, of course.

    See who gets fired then.

  24. Lyn M: ADM MinTruthiness says

    Toni and Inaji:

    Had a case, some 20 years ago now, where an established business was seeking an injunction against a newly opened business using a personal name slapped in front of the regular business name. So it was as if you had Town Beer and Wine, then someone uses Smith’s Town Beer and Wine. There was also some trade dress involved, specifically colours and font. I got the injunction, but had to make it clear that there was no objection to the use of the personal name of itself. You can’t stop someone from using their own name, but you can stop someone from copying your successful name and trade dress with only the addition of a personal name. At the time there was just one case where a person’s name was blocked of itself, and that was under appeal. I may be behind the times here, but that was the way it was.
    I would update my research, but can’t reach Google right now.

  25. says

    First: I’ve been to Holy City Brewery. They are pretty fucking awesome. They provided the beer at the Lowcountry Highrollers derby bout I attended (my niece skates for the Swamp Foxes — go out and support your local derby! Now!), and they had an excellent brewery tour, where I met with and talked to the brewmaster.

    They are good folks.

    (Also, my wife wants to defend Prof. Roof because of his involvement with Whisker Wars, where she rooted for him.)

    They ran this by Prof. Roof before they put him on the can. But that’s pretty much his only involvement. Apparently, they didn’t need to, but they wanted to make sure it was OK with him. Other than that, he had no input.

    This firing of Prof. Roof is ludicrous. He made his name in Whisker Wars, and by promoting the Holy City Beard and Moustache Society in general. The beer was riding on that image (literally).

    So this is the far right, as far as I can see it: get all up in arms when one of your own is fired from a television program for spouting hateful things, but fire someone for appearing on a beer can when he had nothing to do with it.

    Seems totes legit to me.

  26. says

    On the note of “alcohol isn’t Christian”, I’ll point to Trappist Beer. It’s a tradition of Christian beer brewing older than the United States itself.

    Then again, I’m way past the point of being surprised at Christian ignorance of their own history.

  27. Reptile Dysfunction says

    IIRC, the Southern Baptists split off originally
    over the slavery question. Now they seem to
    have tied their brand to Calvinism & teetotalism.
    Teetotality. Whatever. & speaking in tongues.

  28. Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human. says

    Thought just occurred to me.

    Almost all representations of Jesus in the United States show a Germanic or Nordic man with long blonde hair and blue eyes. Erm, wouldn’t he have been more into beer than wine? The northern edge of wine grape viability tends to migrate back and forth across parts of the Germanies, while beer can be made anywhere you can grow hops, and/or barley, and/or wheat. So Germanic Jesus did beer.*

    * If, of course, he ever existed and there is zero evidence that that particular rabble-rousing rabbi ever lived.

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