Drunken Glory

2013, Religion  -  29 min Leave a Comment
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Meet Brandon Barthrop, a "meth head" who speaks to God, a hipster preacher with a congregation of thousands. When VICE first found him online they didn't know if he was a joke or a savior. It looked like he was high all the time, but why was he smoking invisible spliffs, why was he doing fake lines and jacking up with imaginary needles? And why there were so many people watching him do it?

Getting wasted on God is not a new thing, but Brandon is part of a fresh generation of godly drunks which have been growing since an event in 1994 known as the "Toronto Blessing" when a whole load of pious Canadians suddenly appeared to be smashed, while soberly attending church.

The "Florida Outpouring", a similar event in 2008, signaled the new form of worship as churches began to embrace modern media. For the first time ever, the Internet became the number one place to get your Christianity in America. God TV blew up and other churches began to appear on platforms like YouTube. It was this ability to reach new larger, enthusiastic audiences that inspired Brandon to create his own media ministry.

So, VICE got on a plane and flew to Minneapolis (the God town... with churches on every corner) to try and get drunk on the glory of God. Somewhere in the middle of that snowy mess is Brandon and the "crack house", which is the ministry of the "drunken glory" movement. VICE will be meeting his friends and followers to see what exactly they're about and also talk to the rest of the people around there to see what they make of the drunken glory.

As the Internet continues to empower fringe preachers like Brandon, surprising variations of Christianity will continue to pop up. This drunken glory thing might seem pretty weird from the outside, but really how weird is it compared to any other religious experience?