THE ORIGINS OF REHU-L


A Tale of Woe and Wit

by GregORY Singleton, Founding Farter

Many (well, some) have written me privately and asked for an elaboration on my remarks about the origins of this list. It evolved (actually was expelled) from another list. The story (mostly a documentary) will be told in three parts: FOOD WARS, THE CRISIS, THE RESOLUTION.



FOOD WARS


September 28, 1994 was a day pretty much like any other day, except that the giggles took hold of the serious and somber scholarly list, ecchst-l (Ecclesiastical History). A thread from the previous day on Polygyny had transmorgified into a thread on wedding ceremonies. The humble listowner posted a piece of dogeral (which was very popular at middle-class main-stream denominational weddings at the turn of the century). The piece was so bad that it drew some commnet, including the following, which led to the various food threads which dominated the list for 24 hours. I replicate selected posts from that fateful day without editing:


Date: Wed, 28 Sep 94 10:40:00 EST
From: "Warren Lewis, ERIC/RCS, 812/855-5847" 
To: ecchst-l@bgu.edu
Subject: Re: Christian Weddings (was Polygyny)

>> We two, >> We two, >> We always knew >> We two >> Would be >> We two. > > Sounds like Dr. Suess. I've never understood how Horton could sit on an egg without cracking it.

wwl
------------------------------ Date: Wed, 28 Sep 1994 08:45:25 -0700 (PDT) From: Marc Gottlieb To: ecchst-l@bgu.edu Cc: Multiple recipients of list Subject: Re: Christian Weddings (was Polygyny) On Wed, 28 Sep 1994, Warren Lewis, ERIC/RCS, 812/855-5847 wrote: > I've never understood how Horton could sit on an egg without cracking > it. Multiple guess quiz time: Either: 1. he has a very tender butt 2. he is still 'high' from last night's faculty party 3. he is a student of levitation, the course prior to water-walking 4. "Its a Mystery, my son..." 5. It is a metaphor for living life successfully 6. all of the above 7. none of the above 8. a few of the above 9. A few of the above, but Im not quite sure which 10.I wish he'd squash the damned egg; I like omlettes! Best, Marc ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 28 Sep 1994 10:19:19 -0700 (PDT) From: Marc Gottlieb To: ecchst-l@bgu.edu Cc: Multiple recipients of list Subject: Re: Christian Weddings (was Polygyny) On Wed, 28 Sep 1994, Wendy Thorson wrote: > > On Wed, 28 Sep 1994, Warren Lewis, ERIC/RCS, 812/855-5847 wrote: > > > I've never understood how Horton could sit on an egg without cracking it. > > > > > Multiple guess quiz time: > > Either: > > > > 1. he has a very tender butt > > 2. he is still 'high' from last night's faculty party > > 3. he is a student of levitation, the course prior to water-walking > > 4. "Its a Mystery, my son..." > > 5. It is a metaphor for living life successfully > > 6. all of the above > > 7. none of the above > > 8. a few of the above > > 9. A few of the above, but Im not quite sure which > > 10.I wish he'd squash the damned egg; I like omlettes! > > > > Best, Marc > > Watch out, Marc! Go for #10, and you never know WHAT gets squashed in > with the WHO! > > Wendy > > yeah, well even worse, the local coffeeshop has taken to slipping brocholli (shudder) into my omlettes. We will know the endtimes have arrived when (cringe) they shift over to (yuuk) eggplant... (yech). Excuse for short while, John Hagee is preaching on the Boobtoob and I need the entertainment..... cheers! keep smiling... marc ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 28 Sep 94 12:28:47 EST From: "Warren Lewis, ERIC/RCS, 812/855-5847" To: ecchst-l@bgu.edu Subject: Re: Christian Weddings (was Polygyny) Message-ID: <199409281728.AA18814@uxa.ecn.bgu.edu> Friend Marc: No broccholi? For shame! I anathematize you as no better than George Bush. wwl ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 28 Sep 1994 10:56:52 -0700 (PDT) From: Marc Gottlieb To: ecchst-l@bgu.edu Cc: Multiple recipients of list Subject: Re: Christian Weddings (was Polygyny) On Wed, 28 Sep 1994, Warren Lewis, ERIC/RCS, 812/855-5847 wrote: > Friend Marc: > No broccholi? For shame! > I anathematize you as no better than George Bush. > > wwl > one of the very few things Bush was right about, methinks, was his Stance on Broccholi.. (tho frankly its not THAT bad,.ha! G-d created it, must have had a reason, maybe its just a sign of His eternal sense of humor, to laugh at us whilst we choke down our omlettes at Lyons Restaurant, ha!) cheers vand keep humor alive...... ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 28 Sep 1994 10:59:04 -0700 (PDT) From: Marc Gottlieb To: ecchst-l@bgu.edu Cc: Multiple recipients of list Subject: Re: Christian Weddings (was Polygyny) On Wed, 28 Sep 1994, Warren Lewis, ERIC/RCS, 812/855-5847 wrote: > Friend Marc: > No broccholi? For shame! > I anathematize you as no better than George Bush. > > wwl > eggplant, however, comes as close as anything has yet, to making me seriously consider the existence of an Evil Entity, ha ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 28 Sep 1994 14:10:19 CST6CDT From: To: ecchst-l@bgu.edu, Multiple recipients of list , Subject: Re: Christian Weddings (was Polygyny) B> On Wed, 28 Sep 1994, Warren Lewis, ERIC/RCS, 812/855-5847 wrote: > > > Friend Marc: > > No broccholi? For shame! > > I anathematize you as no better than George Bush. > > > > wwl > > > eggplant, however, comes as close as anything has yet, to making me > seriously consider the existence of an Evil Entity, > ha No broccoli? No eggplant? Both of those like wine, beer, tapioca, salsa, and cheeseburgers are among God's good gifts. Tell me sir just what are your redeeming virtues? As any reader of Russell Hollister Jeffrey's 47 volume trilogy on the nature of evil knows full well ZUCCHINI and CUCUMBERS (cousins under the skin) are the fundamental lodging place of the Evil Entity. Gus Seligmann gus@cas.unt.edu ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 28 Sep 1994 14:17:44 -0500 (EST) From: lester john ness To: ecchst-l@bgu.edu Cc: Multiple recipients of list Subject: Re: Christian Weddings (was Polygyny) Try a good mousakka, it might change your mind! Lester Ness lness@nickel.ucs.indiana.edu On Wed, 28 Sep 1994, Marc Gottlieb wrote: > > > On Wed, 28 Sep 1994, Warren Lewis, ERIC/RCS, 812/855-5847 wrote: > > > Friend Marc: > > No broccholi? For shame! > > I anathematize you as no better than George Bush. > > > > wwl > > > eggplant, however, comes as close as anything has yet, to making me > seriously consider the existence of an Evil Entity, > ha > > ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 28 Sep 1994 14:23:39 +22310610 (CDT) From: suzyq@mail.pittstate.edu (Susan M. Johns) To: ecchst-l@bgu.edu Subject: Re: Christian Weddings (was Polygyny) (fwd) On Wed, 28 Sep 1994, Warren Lewis, ERIC/RCS, 812/855-5847 wrote: > Friend Marc: > No broccholi? For shame! > I anathematize you as no better than George Bush. > > wwl > > eggplant, however, comes as close as anything has yet, to making me > seriously consider the existence of an Evil Entity, > ha *** Eggplant is a delicacy to be desired compared to boiled okra! Susan Johns "With whining comes Systems/Circulation Librarian responsibility!" Axe Library, Pittsburg State University Pittsburg KS 66762 Fax: (316) 232-2430 suzyq@mail.pittstate.edu Voice: (316) 235-4115 ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 28 Sep 1994 12:31:07 -0700 (PDT) From: Marc Gottlieb To: GUS@cas.unt.edu Cc: ecchst-l@bgu.edu, Multiple recipients of list Subject: Re: Christian Weddings (was Polygyny) > > On Wed, 28 Sep 1994, Warren Lewis, ERIC/RCS, 812/855-5847 wrote: > > > > > Friend Marc: > > > No broccholi? For shame! > > > I anathematize you as no better than George Bush. > > > > > > wwl > > > > > eggplant, however, comes as close as anything has yet, to making me > > seriously consider the existence of an Evil Entity, > > ha > > No broccoli? No eggplant? Both of those like wine, beer, > tapioca, (great stuff, and tester of my skills as every batch Ive tried to boil up has wound up in the garbage can ... why cant I boil a rice for goodness sakes!? a truer proof of man's limited nature G-d has yet to place on earth!_) salsa, and cheeseburgers yum! but thou shouldn't mix the kid in the mother's milk..... (treif!) (and remember, Jesus kept kosher!) (his Mother told me so!) are among God's good gifts. Tell me > sir just what are your redeeming virtues? apparently very few, or so Im told.... all too frequently.... I do give thanks for porno flicks and I come with retractable horns... As any reader of Russell > Hollister Jeffrey's 47 volume trilogy on the nature of evil knows was that the Old German or the Sanskrit version? > full well ZUCCHINI and CUCUMBERS (cousins under the skin) are the > fundamental lodging place of the Evil Entity. and they take their winters in Eggplantlandia! ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 28 Sep 1994 13:33:43 -0700 (PDT) From: Marc Gottlieb To: ecchst-l@bgu.edu Cc: Multiple recipients of list Subject: Re: Christian Weddings (was Polygyny) On Wed, 28 Sep 1994, lester john ness wrote: > Try a good mousakka, it might change your mind! what is a mousewhatzamakallit, and dare I ask whats inside it!? (recalling: "There are two things you don't want to know what goes into them, being legislation and sausages.") cheers all. marc maybe mouseka is a third? squeak...squeak....sque.......a......... ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 28 Sep 94 16:46:29 EDT From: Timothy Hall <3Z2PBUX@CMUVM.CSV.CMICH.EDU> To: Multiple recipients of list Subject: Re: Christian Weddings (was Polygyny) (fwd) but fried ocra and fried eggplant, like fried green tomatoes, are all delicacies genuinely to be desired! Tim Hall/History/CMU ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 28 Sep 1994 15:58:18 CST6CDT From: To: ecchst-l@bgu.edu, Multiple recipients of list , Subject: Re: Christian Weddings (was Polygyny) (fwd) > Eggplant is a delicacy to be desired compared to boiled okra! Even for a vegetable lover such as I boiled okra is beyond the pale. It is not a food it is an obscenity. Gus Seligmann ps when you see Kelly Woestman in History say hi. ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 28 Sep 1994 16:56:49 -0500 (EST) From: lester john ness To: ecchst-l@bgu.edu Cc: Multiple recipients of list Subject: Re: Christian Weddings (was Polygyny) Mousakka is a Greek/Turkish dish that resembles lasagna, but with slices of steamed eggplant in place of pasta. I'm sure any local Greek restaurant would have it. Lester Ness lness@nickel.ucs.indiana.edu ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 28 Sep 94 17:08:13 EST From: "Warren Lewis, ERIC/RCS, 812/855-5847" To: ecchst-l@bgu.edu Subject: Re: Christian Weddings (was Polygyny) The anti-broccholi faction is not certain that God did create that vegetable. Some are of the opinion that broccholi, in the same waythat demons are fallen angels, used to be an artichoke. wwl ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 28 Sep 94 17:17:34 EST From: "Warren Lewis, ERIC/RCS, 812/855-5847" To: ecchst-l@bgu.edu Subject: Re: Christian Weddings (was Polygyny) (fwd) Anyone who speaks against boiled okra, I will personally smite, as Samuel hewed Agag to pieces before the Lord at Gilgal. wwl ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 28 Sep 1994 15:30:23 -0700 (PDT) From: Marc Gottlieb To: ecchst-l@bgu.edu Cc: Multiple recipients of list Subject: Re: Christian Weddings (was Polygyny) (fwd) > Even for a vegetable lover such as I boiled okra is beyond the > pale. It is not a food it is an obscenity. > > Gus Seligmann yeah, I am inclined to agree with you, and I am a naturally agreeable kinda guy anyways, but exactly what does a vegetable have to do to achieve status as "an obscenity"? For one thing, vegies do propogate themselves out in the open in broad (no pun intended, Lord help me!) daylight, .... is that is? Or, is it some non-sexual transgression of the flora kindgom unknown perhaps, and thereby uncondemned by Paul/Augustine, or? cheers! marc inquiring minds want to know, paticularly where obscenity is involved!!! ------------------------------ ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 28 Sep 1994 15:35:58 -0700 (PDT) From: Marc Gottlieb To: ecchst-l@bgu.edu Cc: Multiple recipients of list Subject: Re: Christian Weddings (was Polygyny) On Wed, 28 Sep 1994, lester john ness wrote: > Mousakka is a Greek/Turkish dish that resembles lasagna, but with > slices of steamed eggplant in place of pasta. I'm sure any local Greek > restaurant would have it. well it started out sounding good, but frankly if it is yet anther conspiracy effort to try to slip *yuch!* eggplant into my diet, our friendly Greeks can keep it. cheers! marc who is just now getting used to eating goatcheese, .... enuf is enuf! ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 28 Sep 1994 17:33:49 -0500 (CDT) From: Gregory Singleton To: ecchst-l@bgu.edu Cc: Multiple recipients of list Subject: Re: Christian Weddings (was Polygyny) (fwd) [COMPLETELY OBJECTIVE LIST OWNER MODE ON] I am a fair person. I also like a little humor. The parade of vegetables has been fun, and may continue to be fun. BUT I WAS BORN AND BRED IN ALABAMA! WE WERE FORCED TO EAT OKRA, WHICH IS AN UNNATURAL ACT! AND YOU PEOPLE WONDER WHY WE ARE STRANGE? Please continue the entertaining discourse about the great variety of vegetables, BUT NO MORE OKRA! [COMPLETELY OBJECTIVE LIST OWNER MODE OFF] Have a nice day, Gregory H. Singleton HISTORY NORTHEASTERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 28 Sep 1994 15:42:49 -0700 (PDT) From: Marc Gottlieb To: ecchst-l@bgu.edu Cc: Multiple recipients of list Subject: Re: Christian Weddings (was Polygyny) On Wed, 28 Sep 1994, Warren Lewis, ERIC/RCS, 812/855-5847 wrote: > The anti-broccholi faction is not certain that God did create that > vegetable. Some are of the opinion that broccholi, in the same way > that demons are fallen angels, used to be an artichoke. yeah, well it also rather looks like it might have just seeped or oozed up outta the Netherspace where that horny (oops, horned) guy with the tail resides....? and all those sexual seed like things all over it, too... what ARE we eating!>??? ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 28 Sep 1994 15:44:27 -0700 (PDT) From: Marc Gottlieb To: ecchst-l@bgu.edu Cc: Multiple recipients of list Subject: Re: Christian Weddings (was Polygyny) (fwd) On Wed, 28 Sep 1994, Warren Lewis, ERIC/RCS, 812/855-5847 wrote: > Anyone who speaks against boiled okra, I will personally smite, > as Samuel hewed Agag to pieces before the Lord at Gilgal. > > wwl > wasnt that on Klingon? ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 28 Sep 1994 15:49:37 -0700 From: daniel.scuiry@laina.ucop.edu To: ecchst-l@bgu.edu Subject: Re: Christian Weddings (was Polygyny) If this be so, then methinks we be skirting dualism, even Manicheaism or gnosticism if there be an "evil-broccoli-principle." (I wonder if Valentinus would have liked broccoli?) Daniel AKA Mr. Pedantic ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 28 Sep 1994 16:18:39 -0700 (PDT) From: Marc Gottlieb To: ecchst-l@bgu.edu Cc: Multiple recipients of list Subject: Re: Christian Weddings (was Polygyny) dunno if Valentinus would have liked it, but its pretty clear that Augustine's mama force-fed him way, way too much brocholli! ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 28 Sep 1994 16:33:19 -0700 (PDT) From: Sarah Cline To: ecchst-l@bgu.edu Subject: Vegetables and theology I'm a Northerner raised in Virginia, now transplanted to California, where even my cats eat broccoli (in preference to canned catfood!)-- But no one can convince me that grits are worth eating. I have many vegetarian friends (some of my best friends, and all that), and one in particular eschews (rathering than chews) meat, since there is noevidence that Jesus ate animal flesh other than fish. Does Augustine or others have commentary on this? Sarah Cline/History/UCSB ------------------------------ Date: Wed, 28 Sep 1994 20:17:26 EST From: "Margaret Susan Thompson" To: ecchst-l@bgu.edu Subject: Southern veggies As another Southerner, I must protest this maligning of okra! Have you never eaten gumbo? Or fried okra? Or pickled okra? Pure ambrosia!! This list is certainly nourishing today, isn't it?? Bye y'all, PeggySue from Hogtown (really!--though some of you may only know it by its gentrified name of Gainesville, FL)--one of *two* folk (that I know of) on this list so blessed.... p.s. I also love eggplant and broccoli.... Margaret Susan Thompson Dept. of History, 145 Eggers Hall Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 13244-1090 315-443-5882, 443-2210 ------------------------------
There were many, many others, including a thread on whether Jesus was a vegetarian. But you get the idea. Now on to the Second Chapter.


THE CRISIS


Part two of the Holy Farter's history of origins of REHU

After over 100 such postings (the various food threads taken together generated more posts on ecchst-l than any other topic ever) some of the members became distressed. The following are only two of a dozen such posts, and the litowner received several dozen more privately, most of which were not particularly good-tempered:

Date: Wed, 28 Sep 1994 19:26:36 -0700 (PDT)
From: John Conway 
To: ecchst-l@bgu.edu
Subject: ECCHST listings

Dear Prof Singleton,
I subscribed to this network in the hopes of receiving scholarly help
with discussions of topics in ecclesiastical history. Instead the network
seems to be clogged with frivolous and unscholarly opinions about food
and/or polgynny! Is it not time to impose your right as moderator to
insist that messages are related to the List's proper purpose? 
Individuals who want to sound off on non-scholarly topics can surely do
this directly to each other, and not interfere with more academic
pursuits. It is a waste of my time to have to delete so many irrelevant
interventions.   I cannot believe that these add to the reputation of
what should be a valuable scholarly resource.   See what Jim Mott has
done for HOLOCAUS-L in keeping the topics discussed at the right level of
academic interchange.

John S.Conway, Dept of History, UBC, VAncouver, B.C. Canada
------------------------------

Date: Thu, 29 Sep 1994 12:50:47 +0100 (BST)
From: Stephen Clark 
To: ecchst-l@bgu.edu
Subject: Re: ECCHST listings

I must endorse John COnway's post.
THis list seems to behave more like a usenet group populated entirely by
late night revellers. If that's what it is, OK, but please describe it
differently in your advertisements. If it's meant to be about
ecclesiastical history, please talk about that.

Stephen CLark
Liverpool University

The listowner had to agree, and therefore posted:

Date: Thu, 29 Sep 1994 07:39:29 -0500 (CDT)
From: Gregory Singleton 
To: ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY 
Subject: The Purpose of This List
Message-ID: 

[AS-MUCH-A-WEARY-READER-AS-LIST-OWNER MODE ON]

Yesterday, in a private post, I suggested to one of the list members that
ECCHST-L is more like the conversations in the hallways or at lunch at an
AAR or ASCH meeting than like the formal sessions.  Using that image, I
further suggested that humor will creep into the conversation from time
to time.  I told the list member that the sillyness had run its course.
When I woke up this morning, I found out I was wrong.

We have had a little fun.  Even the stodgy list owner has joined in. Most
of us are on several lists, and the volume can be staggering.  Many of us
have teaching, research and writing obligations which make time precious.
 I suspect that the majority of us have a sense of passion about the
subject matter of this list that befits a vocation.  We even have
something of a Social Contract binding us to that passion.  In the
following paragraph, I quote from the initial mission statement
circulated when the list began.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------
Ecclesiastical History is a discussion list for scholars, students and
others interested in Church History, History of Christianity, and/or
Historical Theology.  Discussions of all relevant topics are welcome, and
we especially encourage comparative dialogue across centuries and
traditions.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------
The list owner is not a Puritan (nor a Calvinist of any sort), and would
hate to see humor vanish from this list.  I am only reminding us all of
the purpose of our sharing this cyber-space and exhorting us all to share
that space responsibly.

My thanks to those members who took a portion of a humorous thread down a

useful path with the discussion of the relationship between food and
soteriology in the cosmology of the Early Church

[CURMUDGEON MODE OFF]

Gregory H. Singleton  
HISTORY         NORTHEASTERN ILLINOIS UNIVERSITY

And some were contrite:

Date: Thu, 29 Sep 94 08:20:28 EST
From: "Warren Lewis, ERIC/RCS, 812/855-5847" 
To: ecchst-l@bgu.edu
Subject: Let us make souffles, rather than hash
Message-ID: <199409291320.AA26897@uxa.ecn.bgu.edu>

For my part in our recent romp in the vegetable section, I accept our
SysOps correction.

Wit in the ether is like leaven in the dough, in right proportions. If we
use our propensity for folly as a style of discourse to lighten and
enliven our substantial exchanges, we will at once improve our rhetoric
and prove to all our consummate wits.

cheers

wwl

And some, thankfully, were not:

Date:          Thu, 29 Sep 1994 11:35:45 CST6CDT
From: 
To: "Warren Lewis, ERIC/RCS, 812/855-5847" , ecchst-l@bgu.edu
Subject: Re: Christian Weddings (was Polygyny) (fwd)

SERIOUSNESS GENERAL'S WARNING "THE FOLLOWING IS YET ANOTHER VEGGIE
MESSAGE AND MAY DO SERIOUS DAMAGE TO YOUR SENSE OF DIGNITY."

     Agag served boiled okra and deserved to be hewn to pieces fit only
for gumbo.  However, since the boiled okra had been served before the
battle the name of the site had been changed to Gagall.  Incidentally
some of my best friends are boiled okra eaters and in fact I even married
one of them.  I should also be noted here that a correct translation of
the Hebrew in the famous case of Elisha v The Children indicates that
they cried after him "Go up thou boiled okra eater, go up thou boiled
okra eater."  Sometimes the punishment does fit the crime.

Gus 

Which led others to respond:

Date: Thu, 29 Sep 1994 15:07:26 -0400 (EDT)
From: NANDERSO@drew.edu
To: ecchst-l@bgu.edu
Subject: Nature of this list

I do not presume to criticize those who have recently added their
comments and messages to this list; however, I am beginning to wonder if
we share similar notions as to what ecclesiastical history is and
entails.  Anyway, when I logged on this morning and found 114 messages in
my mailbox, 99% of them generated by this list in less than 12 hours, my
skepticism was greatly increased.  Not long ago, I commented on another
list that the Internet can be a great waste of a scholar's time.  I was
roundly criticized and denounced as a being narrow-minded.  Attempting to
read 114 messages is a waste of time and energy by anyone's standards,
which is why I deleted every one of them.  I hope we can get back to
ecclesiastical history someday.  

Neil Anderson
Drew University

------------------------------

Date: Thu, 29 Sep 1994 15:10:08 -0400 (EDT)
From: Marshall Massey - The Environmental Projects Center

To: ecchst-l@bgu.edu
Subject: Appropriate posts

I found it disheartening to dial up this morning and see 101 messages
from ECCHST-L in my in-box -- all posted in just 24 hours.  I don't have
time to read that kind of volume every day.

     I found it *aggravating* when 37 of those postings proved to be
vapid chit-chat on Dr. Seuss and vegetables.  Unfortunately, most of them
came labelled as responses to Greg Singleton's tantalizing post on
weddings -- which forced me to peruse each one before deleting it.

     I enjoy off-topic posts.  They keep a list alive.  But if you're
going to share frivolities, please be sure they have merit.  And label
them appropriately!

     Otherwise -- well, if there are 240 subscribers on the list, and
your post takes 20 seconds to download, read, find worthless, and delete,
you've wasted 80 minutes of people's lives -- the equivalent of locking a
person in a closet for an hour and twenty minutes.

     As a great ECClesiastic once put it --

     When you go to the house of God ... draw near to hear rather than to
give the           sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they do
evil. Do not be rash with your             mouth, and let not your heart
utter anything hastily before God.  ...Therefore let your      words be
few.  For a dream comes through much activity, and a fool's voice is     
     known by his many words.
                         -- Ecclesiastes 5:1-3

With thanks for your forebearance,
Marshall Massey                          Internet:  MMASSEY@delphi.com
The Environmental Projects Center               CompuServe:  71223,770

There were some moderate voices:

Date: Thu, 29 Sep 94 15:29:10 EDT
From: ChasCamer@aol.com
To: ecchst-l@bgu.edu
Subject: Veg & the List  & Soteriology 

Our host on this list, Greg writes:

>My thanks to those members who took a portion of a humorous thread down
a >useful path with the discussion of the relationship between food and
soteriology in >the cosmology of the Early Church
>
>I have to say that I too was a little overwhelmed by the quantity of
vegetables thrown >at our many heads yesterday, and probably missed some
of that discussion of >soteriology as a result (though I did pick up one
wonderful late sending from Bob >Kraft re: "non-meat eating in early
Christianity in the Jesus traditions"--in fact, Bob >and or Greg, if
either of you has a file of the "useful path" portion that you could 
>send me, I'd appreciate it; but no hurry, and not to worry if you don't
have the file or >the willingness).  

But this whole business of humor leading (or being led) into usefulness
tends to corroborate the thesis of "creativity experts" (see, eg: the
Portable Standford, *Creative Blockbusting*) that the group mind (group
of minds) that doesn't freewheel misses out on some of its most important
thinking.  It is often the "inconsequential" that triggers (has as its
consequence!) the "consequential"...

So my thanks go to Greg for moderating this list moderately.  


Charles
Charles Cameron   ChasCamer@aol.com

Yet others defended the comic spirit:

Date:          Thu, 29 Sep 1994 14:34:07 CST6CDT
From: 
To: NANDERSO@drew.edu, ecchst-l@bgu.edu, ecchst-l@bgu.edu,
ecchst-l@bgu.edu
Subject: Re: Nature of this list
Message-ID: 

> Not long ago, I commented on another list that the Internet  can be a
great waste of >a scholar's time.  I was roundly criticized and 
denounced as a being >narrow-minded.  Attempting to read 114 messages is 
a waste of time and energy >by anyone's standards, which is why I deleted
 every one of them.  I hope we can get >back to ecclesiastical history 
someday.  

     I, on the other hand, who have often noted that anything worth
taking seriously is worth joking about, watched with absolute fascination
as a thread that began as a set of connected one-liners soon degenerated
into a rather learned and worthwhile discussion of religious dietary laws
and NT vegeterianism, a topic I had never considered before.  

     To me one of the greatest values of INTERNET is the wonderment of
watching literate people joke and think out loud.  But then I have often
been accused of taking the dictum "Don't take life too seriously, you'll
never get out of it alive." seriously.

G. L. Seligmann
Univ. of North Texas 

Wnich led to this incipient point in REHU-L

Date: Thu, 29 Sep 1994 18:44:34 -0500 (CDT)
From: Gregory Singleton 
To: ecchst-l@bgu.edu
Cc: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Re: Could the vegetable conversation be continued off-list?

On Thu, 29 Sep 1994, Cynthia J. Cupples wrote:
> 
> It is nice that that ecchst-l has sprouted witty exchanges, but some
> curmudgeons among us are lurking here to read about church history.
> 
> Cynthia Cupples
> ccupples@phoenix.princeton.edu
> 

Cynthia has a good point.  In order to accommodate the need of both
curmudgeons and comedians (I claim membership in both) I am negotiating
with our listerv people to set up a Religious Humor list.  In the
meantime, may we all please take Cynthia's post to heart.

Greg

At which point a new chapter begins.



THE RESOLUTION



The negotiations for a new list went well, and the ecchst-l began a new era of law and order:

Date: Fri, 30 Sep 1994 11:51:51 -0500 (CDT)
From: Gregory Singleton 
To: ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY 
Subject: The recent epidemic of humor.

Humor is a good thing.  Many of those of us from a theistic background
consider it one of the gifts from God.  

Humor also has its place.  It is not certainly out of place as a part of
our serious business on this list, however 68% of the over 100 posts in
one day given to humor rather than the substantive issues of the various
threads is a bit much.

In order to make ECCHST-L more manageable, but still provide a space for
those who may want to take the humor further, I have instituted a new
list on religious humor, and you will receive an announcement of that
list shortly.  

This is not an attempt to stifle humor on ECCHST-L, but to keep it in
perspective, to allow those who want a brief smile and get on with the
serious business of the list to do so, and those who want to revel in the
hilarity to do so, but in another room, so to speak.

As a result, the ham-fisted authorities of the list will be fairly quick
to suggest that the hilarity be taken to the room made available for that
purpose.

My best to both communities on this multifaceted list.

Greg

And the new list was launched:

Date: Fri, 30 Sep 1994 12:06:40 -0500 (CDT)
From: Gregory Singleton 
To: ECCLESIASTICAL HISTORY 
Subject: NEW LIST FOR ECCHST-TERS (and others)


                    ANNOUNCING A NEW LIST

                            REHU-L


                        RELIGIOUS HUMOR



RELIGIOUS HUMOR is an unmoderated forum for holy hilarity and religious
revelry.  The primary purpose of the list is to provide an arena for the
escalation of occasional humor interjected into the dominantly serious
discourse of ECCHST-L (Ecclesiastical History), but non-Ecchsters are
welcome as well.

The list is UMODERATED, but not UNMONITORED.  The list owner will
intervene in the case of egregious offensiveness or ad hominem attacks.

To subscribe, send the message

SUBSCRIBE REHU-L Your Name

to 

listserv@bgu.edu

Which led to these early examples of the listowner lamely trying to prime the pump, and listmembers stepping in and bailing him out.

Date: Mon, 3 Oct 1994 12:20:34 -0500 (CDT)
From: Gregory Singleton 
To: rehu-l@bgu.edu
Subject: Bumper stickers

I thought of starting a line of bumper stickers for various
denominations. Thus far I've come up with

EPISCOPALIANS DO IT WITH CLASS

PRESYTERIANS DO IT WITH GOOD AND PERFECT ORDER

LUTHERANS DO IT WITH GRACE

CATHOLICS DO IT WITH GUILT

UNITARIANS TALK ABOUT IT

CHRISTIAN SCIENTISTS THINK ABOUT IT

But my favorites are Pentecostalists--I'll let you figure out why on your
own.

Any other entrants?
------------------------------

Date: Mon, 3 Oct 1994 15:12:18 -0400
From: craigheadh@acad.winthrop.edu
To: rehu-l@bgu.edu
Subject: Re: Bumper stickers

Pentecostals, of course, do it on the floor.  Baptists, on the other
hand, do it in the water.  Anglicans do it by the book.  Zen Buddhists
don't do it al all; they are it.  

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 3 Oct 1994 15:47:00 -0500 (CDT)
From: Gregory Singleton 
To: rehu-l@bgu.edu
Cc: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Re: Bumper stickers

On Mon, 3 Oct 1994 craigheadh@acad.winthrop.edu wrote:

> Pentecostals, of course, do it on the floor.  Baptists, on the other
> hand, do it in the water.  Anglicans do it by the book.  Zen Buddhists
> don't do it al all; they are it.  
> 

Close, but no cigar on the Pentecostalists.  The floor is still open on
that one.

Like the Baptist and Zen, but with the Anglicans, don't we have to ask
how many ribbon markers they use?  :)

BTW, maybe two or three of you have already heard this, but the origin of
 the denominational bumper sticker idea came from an incident within the
last year.  On a morning with particularly nasty traffic, I was driving
east-west in Chicago (always a fun thing to do) and stuck behind a car
with a bumper sticker proclaiming "HONK IF YOU LOVE JESUS."  I do, so I
did.

The guy driving the car turned around and gave me the finger.  I couldn't
stop laughing.  Fortunately, the traffic started moving.  He did not look
amused.  (True story)

------------------------------

Date: Mon, 3 Oct 1994 15:30:36 -0700 (PDT)
From: "Theodore M. Seeber" 
To: rehu-l@bgu.edu
Cc: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Re: Bumper stickers


'Nother religious bumper sticker:  MY BOSS IS A JEWISH CARPENTER


------------------------------

Date: 03 Oct 1994 16:04:56 -0400
From: Kenneth Moyle 
To: rehu-l@bgu.edu
Subject: Re: Bumper stickers


I may as well save anyone else from having to lower themselves to saying
it:

	"Pentecostals do it with tounges"

	There.

	Would Lutherans do it best with a diet of worms?

	With Presbetyrians, there is always the danger of getting knoxed
up.... rats, I just know that there's a clever pun for a punch-line, but
I'll be damned if I can think of it.....

	....Ken Moyle

/------------------------------------------------------------------------\
|Kenneth C. Moyle                                     
MOYLEK@McMaster.Ca|
|Computing Services Coordinator (Sciences)   
...!uunet!mnetor!maccs!kenm|
|Computing and Information Services                                     
|
|McMaster University  -  Hamilton, Ontario (Canada)                     
|
------------------------------------------------------------------------/


------------------------------


Date: Mon, 3 Oct 1994 18:53:08 -0500 (CDT)
From: Gregory Singleton 
To: rehu-l@bgu.edu
Cc: Multiple recipients of list 
Subject: Re: Bumper stickers

KEN MOYLE WINS THE PENTECOSTAL DIVISION OF THE BUMPER STICKER CONTEST.

As an overweight Lutheran, I am going to have to think about the diet of 
worms.

Calvinist do it with innate depravity.

------------------------------

Date: Tue, 4 Oct 1994 11:30:25 +1000
From: jhatte@metz.une.edu.au (Jennifer Hatte)
To: rehu-l@bgu.edu
Subject: Re: Bumper stickers

I can't match what's gone before, but perhaps quantity will make up for
quality: 

>...  with the Anglicans, don't we have to ask how many ribbon markers
they use?  :)

Some use many. Others use their fingers. 

Anglicans also do it high and low and adopt a variety of positions. They
employ 39 articles.

Christian Scientists not only think about it; they think they're doing
it.

Salvationists do it in the street, to music.

Missionaries do it in the field.

Methodists do it soberly.

Quakers do it quietly.

Televangelists do it publicly for money.

Gideons do it in motels.

Yogis do it bearly  (sorry  about that one!)

Jehovahs Witnesses do it with one foot in the door.

Mormons do it with suits on.

Evangelicals try to get everyone else to do it.

Adventists do it on Saturdays.

Church historians do it vicariously.


>BTW, maybe two or three of you have already heard this ...

No comment!!

Jenny Hatte

jhatte@metz.une.edu.au

And the rest of the REHU-L story you know.


THE END



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