I’ve been taking Church History this term, online. If you’ve followed this blog at all, you know that I like a good play on words. Hence the following. But first a little background.
Before Constantine became emperor, Christians were persecuted viciously. They were required to renounce their faith and accept the pagan gods of Rome. Some did, some didn’t. Constantine reversed this policy, making Christianity the state religion. The Christians who had retained their faith (not recanted) felt that those who had recanted were a threat to the purity of the church. These purists became known as Donatists, after their main spokesman. What follows is a different version:
Little known fact: police have their origins in North Africa. The donutists emerged after the persecution of people who liked glazed donuts by the Roman emperor Imperious. The persecution caused them to band together in a support group that worshiped donuts at the local coffee shop. They believed that they were the heirs of the true faith and were unwilling to acknowledge as valid, the faith of those who had renounced donuts under the persecution. The believers came to follow the Coptic faith, known as Copts, later shortened to cops. They dressed in blue or grey clothes, usually with a stripe on the leg. The outcome of their unwillingness to compromise is that today there remains a small population obsessed with rules and orthodoxy, who can often be found at the coffee shop worshiping donuts. Fortunately or otherwise, these donut-worshipers have the government on their side and have been invested with the power and authority to throw miscreants, heretics and unbelievers, in jail. They are not to be trifled with; they are indeed a force to be reckoned with. They continue to believe that when their savior returns, there will be a glorious celebration with never ending donuts for all who have believed, those who have converted, and those who are sincerely penitent.
Unfortunately, Augustine liked bearclaws, which the Donutists did not consider a true donut, not being round with a hole in the middle, even though they are glazed. Such is the narrowness of orthodox interpretation. The result was an internecine warfare, which Augustine finally won by enlisting the emperor’s favor. The result was that the cops were forced underground. It is unclear whether they first resurfaced in Paris on “le Metro,” or in New York City on the subway. Either way, as noted above, they now enjoy a position of authority and command respect.
Next week’s lecture will address the coffeeists.
Thought you’d like to know.