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How to Get Episcopalians Fired Up About Hand Sanitizer

Traditionally, it’s been hard to get Episcopalians fired up about much of anything.  The whole point of the religion was to leave the enthusiasm for “them” and have a nice, proper religion where we worshipped “Gawd” on Sunday according to the Prayer Book.

The culture wars, starting in the 1960’s, changed all of that.  Some Episcopalians got fired up when V.G. Robinson was made a bishop.  Others (like KJS, although she’s a ringer from the RCC) got fired up when the first group tried to leave with property.

Now we’re facing COVID-19.  One of the infallible nostrums for this disease is the use of hand sanitizer, most of which contain alcohol.  This alone should generate enthusiasm amongst clergy and laity alike; as my second year Latin teacher (a fine Episcopal minister) noted in class, when four Whiskeypalians get together, there’s always a fifth.

And that leads me to my point; when your Episcopalian friend or relative (or those who are in the ACNA, REC or one of the “Continuing” churches) balks at the use of hand sanitizer, instead of, say, telling them that it has 70% alcohol, just tell them it’s 140 proof.  They’ll slather it on with gusto after that.

I must confess that, after my upbringing, when told about the alcohol content, I made the mental conversion to proof.  There are more things than liturgy and “smells and bells” which are “continuing” in the Anglican/Episcopal world, and I guess this is one of them.  (This is another.)


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