Sunday, October 27, 2013

Billy Sunday - Golden Chains of Love (1929)

One of the most controversial religious figures of the 1920’s and 1930’s used to be play ball for Chicago, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia before becoming an evangelist. He was known as one of the fastest base runners to ever take the field. His name was Billy Sunday, who could preach as fast as he could run.

He is most often remembered for his speech about sin, in which he vowed, “I'm against sin. I'll kick it as long as I've got a foot, and I'll fight it as long as I've got a fist. I'll butt it as long as I've got a head. I'll bite it as long as I've got a tooth. And when I'm old and fistless and footless and toothless, I'll gum it till I go home to Glory and it goes home to perdition!"

I’ve never been too overly fond of evangelists, seeing them as more of a division than a unifying force. Religious beliefs are so very personal in nature, while evangelical preachers often lead flocks who have little knowledge of their own religion beyond what the preacher tells them. Still, in the days before television, the revival meetings were a form of entertainment. They swept into towns in a carnival like atmosphere, sucking everyone along with them and leaving town flush with cash.

Not much has changed since the days of Billy Sunday. Were he alive today he would be in Heaven here in Hell on Earth. But, with so much for him to rant about; from the moral decay of society in general, to the misguided; and sometimes downright evil; intentions of most of our elected officials, he would probably be speechless. Still, the videos are fun to watch.

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