I was wondering today whether Donald Trump not smoking, and not drinking alcohol or coffee (or even tea), was the result of a strict Presbyterian upbringing, rather than trendy PC capnophobia.
His mother was Scottish, from the Isle of Lewis. I couldn’t find much about her, but I discovered that Lewis was predominantly Presbyterian, and seems even to have had alcohol prohibition, and illegal drinking dens called ‘bothans“. So most likely she was a Presbyterian, and is why he’s a Presbyterian too.
And I turned up this fragment on religious attitudes to smoking:
I suspect that Trump’s mother belonged to the 52% of Presbyterians who think it’s wrong to smoke cigarettes, and the 32% who think it’s wrong to get drunk, and that’s how young Donald was raised, and how he’s remained ever since. But it’s just a guess.
I also came across this fragment about someone who had fled from Presbyterianism to Catholicism:
After a particularly interesting “Bible Study” on Sunday evening, I told Jewels, “I guess we should visit the Catholic Church. Maybe there we will be free from the ‘demon of alcohol’ syndrome.” Many folks at churches we visited here hold the opinion that someone who drinks alcohol, even in moderation, is on the fast track to hell. Well, I enjoy beer. I like to make beer. It tastes good with Bar-B-Q and Mexican food. I do not abuse alcohol and I can go for months without a beer, but I do not like others determining my eternal fate based on whether or not alcohol passes my lips.
And finally I ended up watching the BBC documentary below about the English Civil War between the royalist cavaliers and the parliamentary roundheads (so called because they were the skinheads of their day, while the cavaliers had long hair) had resulted in a social division that persisted to the present day, and people were either roundheads or cavaliers, and that fox-hunting, smoking, alcohol bans and restrictions were the product of a roundhead mentality which had reigned through the Blair and Brown Labour years. I suppose that with Jeremy Corbyn, Labour has now become even more roundhead than ever, and he may even be a Leveller.
After the puritanical parliamentarians (some of whom were Scottish Presbyterians) had won the war, they (or rather Oliver Cromwell) banned all sorts of things, including Christmas (something that’s happening again), theatres, and doing more or less anything on Sunday apart from going to church. They also emptied the churches of paintings and statues, and smashed stained glass windows, and painted the walls white.
After Cromwell died, England turned its back on the puritans, and invited Charles II to return, and the Restoration era that followed seems to have been one in which everything that had been banned by the puritans was enjoyed anew with gusto.
So when are we going to get our restoration, eh?