- Holy Roller
Holy Roller is a term in
American Englishused to describe Pentecostal Christianchurchgoers. However, "Holy Roller" is also more commonly used to describe any religion follower that tries to promote their religion at doorsteps or in public forums. The term is commonly used derisively, as if to describe people literally rolling on the floor or speaking in tongues in an uncontrolled manner. For this usage, the "Oxford English Dictionary" cites an 1893 memoir by Charles G. Leland, in which he says "When the Holy Spirit seized them..the Holy Rollers..rolled over and over on the floor." [ [http://dictionary.oed.com/cgi/entry/50208190?query_type=word&queryword=roller "roller, n1", definition 17b.] "The Oxford English Dictionary". (Account required for online access).] It is generally considered pejorative, but some have reclaimed it as a badge of honor, "e.g." William Branham's statement "And what the world calls today holy-roller, that's the way I worship Jesus Christ." [ [http://www.nathan.co.za/message.asp?sermonum=119 "Why I Am a Holy-Roller"] , a sermon by William Marrion Branham, August 1953] Similar disparaging terms directed at outspoken Christians include Jesus Freaksand " Bible Bangers". The name Shakerswas created as a portmanteauof shaking Quakers.
Kings of Leonfrom Nashvillereleased a song called "Holy Roller Novocaine" in their Youth and Young Manhood album.
*Throwdown, the metal band, also have a song called Holy RollerCheck This:In the famous song Come Together (by the Beatles) Lennon sings " He one holy roller"In the famous song Peace Train by Cat Stevens, he sings "Peace train holy roller..."
The New York Times"; May 2, 1923; page 1. "Bound Brook Mob Raids Klan Meeting: Thousand Hostile Citizens Surround Church and Lock In 100 Holy Rollers."
March 4, 1929; "In the village of New Hampshire, Ohio, the Rev. Ray Dotson, 'Holy Roller' Methodist, so wailed and shrieked, so frothed and grovelled, that he got Fred Conrad, a 200-lb. traction worker, all worked up."
October 12, 1936; "When Jesus Christ first appeared to His assembled disciples after His resurrection, He told them that believers 'shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents' (Mark: 16:17, 18). To many a U. S. religionist of the Pentecostal or "Holy Roller" variety, the 'gift of tongues' has long been vivid reality."
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