Martin Luther vs. Florence Nightingale

A day after Stephen became the first saint to make it to the Faithful Four, by defeating Augustine of Canterbury 62% to 38%, the Elate Eight rolls on!

Today it’s Martin Luther taking on Florence Nightingale in a matchup featuring two saintly heavyweights of kitsch. To make it to this point, Martin defeated David Oakerhater and Joseph Schereschewsky while Florence got the best of Anselm of Canterbury and Henry Beard Delany.

Yes, folks, March Madness may be done (congrats to the North Caroline Tar Heels) but Lent Madness is just heating up!

Martin Luther

Martin Luther loved life! He loved to drink beer. He loved to eat. And, he loved to wrestle with his faith with other clever, inquisitive people.

As we commemorate the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017, the creation of Martin Luther kitsch (or lovely commemorative keepsakes, depending upon your perspective) has cranked up.

If you make the pilgrimage to Wittenberg, Germany you’ll certainly want to taste some of their famous Luther Biere which you may drink from a Luther stein!





And, since you wouldn’t want to drink too much beer on an empty stomach, you might as well purchase some Luther wurst topped off by Lutherbrodt (Luther bread) for dessert.







Of course, you’ll want to bring home a souvenir or two from your sojourn. There are plenty of t-shirts to be found, as in any town catering to tourists. 
But, for something truly special, you’ll stand proudly in your “Here I Stand” socks. Or, for warmer weather, Luther flip flops.






Scholars may think that Brother Martin never actually stated “Here I Stand, I can do no other” at the Diet of Worms, but it is popular and we aren’t going to let go of this catchy phrase anytime soon!

Or, perhaps you could tuck small souvenirs in the corners of your suitcase for the kitchen workers in your church back home; a Martin Luther cookie cutter!




Courtesy of several websites, you don’t have to go to Wittenberg to collect Martin Luther paraphernalia. In February 2015, the Playmobil company announced that their then newly launched Martin Luther Playmobil figure had sold out of the first 34,000 figures manufactured in less than 72 hours! Sales are now over 500,000 of the little plastic reformer!

If you’d like something equally fun, but a bit more edifying, you’ll enjoy Papa Luther: A Graphic Novel or, The Life of Martin Luther: A Pop-Up Book.






A popular decorative element on a wide range of Luther kitsch is the Luther Rose. This seal was designed in 1530 for Martin at the behest of Luther’s protector, John Frederick, Elector of Saxony.





Earrings? Tie? Pillow? Temporary tattoo? (you just can’t make this stuff up!)

Martin Luther had a sense of humor, so while I’m guessing he would be astonished by the fuss in this 500th year after he hoped to share some reforming ideas with other scholars, I think he’d chuckle and go right along with the jokes! And, he’d especially enjoy the fact that Pope Francis and Protestant leaders from around the globe are commemorating this 500-year milestone together.

Beth Lewis

Florence Nightingale

If you have a nurse in your life that you’d like to thank, here are the top 10 “Florence Nightingale” gifts that you can give!

1. Every nurse secretly wants to be the original Florence Nightingale. For just $19.99, you can give your special nurse that opportunity with his/her own special Florence Nightingale costume:

2. Is your nurse not the type to dress up? Never fear, you can get your special nurse their own troll doll dressed like Florence to ride on the dash of their automobile for a cheap $10.00 on Etsy: 

3. If you really love your nurse, grab that special person a 1st edition copy of Florence Nightingale’s “Notes on Nursing.” Drop your bid over on Ebay for a mere $625.00. Every nurse should have a copy of “Notes on Nursing.”

4. If your nurse likes to show his/her Nightingale pride, this shirt is just the thing for $21.99.






5. Every nurse today needs a Nightingale lamp for those graveyard shifts when the generator fails. For just $18, your nurse can let their light shine, just like Florence Nightingale.

6. Many nurses take, or have taken, the Nightingale Pledge when they graduate from nursing school. You can purchase your special nurse this beautifully framed copy of the pledge that shows their dedication to their fellow man:
7. Have you been so moved by the story of Florence Nightingale that you’d like to encourage your son or daughter to follow in her footsteps? Start telling them the story of Florence Nightingale and her courage during the Crimean War. It’s now on SALE in the Easy store.










8. Share the prayer of Florence Nightingale with your special nurse and let them know that they touched your life in a special way.

9. After a long shift at work, what every nurse really wants is a foot rub. Known as the “Nightingale Special,” a foot, back, or any kind of massage is just the ticket to show your special nurse that their work matters.

10. Finally, while someone is giving your nurse a foot rub, whip up the “Nightingale cocktail” to help your special nurse unwind:

The Nightingale cocktail recipe is made from banana liqueur, triple sec, light cream and egg white, and served in a chilled sherry glass.
Shake all ingredients vigorously with ice in a cocktail shaker. Strain into a chilled sherry glass and serve.

More seriously, forget the kitsch and craziness above, if you have ever been sick, or injured, or afraid, and have been blessed by the caring hands of a nurse, say a prayer of thanks for Florence Nightingale. Every nurse today has been influenced by her legacy. Thanks Flo, the love of God is indeed in the face of every patient we touch.

Anna Fitch Courie

Martin Luther vs. Florence Nightingale

  • Florence Nightingale (54%, 3,927 Votes)
  • Martin Luther (46%, 3,359 Votes)

Total Voters: 7,286

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238 Comments to "Martin Luther vs. Florence Nightingale"

  1. Thomas G. Stama (Athanasios)'s Gravatar Thomas G. Stama (Athanasios)
    April 5, 2017 - 8:11 am | Permalink

    All for St. Florence!

    • Bruce Smith+'s Gravatar Bruce Smith+
      April 5, 2017 - 9:06 am | Permalink

      Me, too, Thomas!!!!

    • Oliver's Gravatar Oliver
      April 5, 2017 - 4:36 pm | Permalink


      • April 5, 2017 - 9:17 pm | Permalink

        Oliver is back! And maybe Oliver has to go to school these days so can’t post first thing at 8am? Good to hear from you though!

      • Diana's Gravatar Diana
        April 5, 2017 - 11:14 pm | Permalink

        Oliver! So glad you are back.

      • P!ATD crazy fan's Gravatar P!ATD crazy fan
        April 6, 2017 - 9:27 am | Permalink

        Agreed! Flo is the way to go!!

  2. Lois Keen's Gravatar Lois Keen
    April 5, 2017 - 8:11 am | Permalink


    • Nancy MacLeod's Gravatar Nancy MacLeod
      April 5, 2017 - 9:50 pm | Permalink

      Was leaning that way, but Anna lost me at “dedication to their fellow MAN”

  3. Trudy's Gravatar Trudy
    April 5, 2017 - 8:13 am | Permalink

    For my husband, a retired nurse, I voted for Florence.

    • Howard's Gravatar Howard
      April 5, 2017 - 9:03 pm | Permalink

      For my wife, a retireed RN, I just had to vote for Florence. Wife had a hard time giving it up after she retired, but now – 5 years later – our lives are filled with travel and enjoying our grand kids.

  4. Lianna-Rae's Gravatar Lianna-Rae
    April 5, 2017 - 8:14 am | Permalink

    My vote has to go to Florence Nightingale. My mother is a nurse and it is so interesting seeing the resemblance between both of them!

    • Andrea's Gravatar Andrea
      April 5, 2017 - 11:05 am | Permalink

      Yes,my mother also was a nurse. I voted Florence in her honor.

    • Robert Coates's Gravatar Robert Coates
      April 5, 2017 - 9:30 pm | Permalink

      I have several nurse friends. I voted for Florence in their honor.

  5. Elizabeth T. Massey's Gravatar Elizabeth T. Massey
    April 5, 2017 - 8:15 am | Permalink

    Martin Luther changed the church forever!

    • Anne-Leith Matlock's Gravatar Anne-Leith Matlock
      April 5, 2017 - 10:38 am | Permalink

      Yes indeed and even pope Francis is honoring Lushers contributions!

    • Laura B's Gravatar Laura B
      April 5, 2017 - 9:35 pm | Permalink

      Florence is awesome. I hate this pairing. But yes, I had to vote for Martin for this reason.

  6. Elizabeth T. Massey's Gravatar Elizabeth T. Massey
    April 5, 2017 - 8:16 am | Permalink

    Martin Luther forever changed Christianity!

  7. Susie Webster-Toleno's Gravatar Susie Webster-Toleno
    April 5, 2017 - 8:16 am | Permalink

    In my role as hospice chaplain, I work with some amazing nurses. Anyone of us, when sick, would be lost without them. Florence gets my vote.

  8. Joline Frazier's Gravatar Joline Frazier
    April 5, 2017 - 8:17 am | Permalink

    If you are a nurse who graduated before 1965, chances are you carried the lamp at your capping ceremony or graduation. I still have mine, as well a deep love of the healing arts. Ms. Nightingale’s influence has saved untold thousands of lives, and comforted many more.
    Thank you Lent Madness for giving her her due.

    • Whit in Ohio's Gravatar Whit in Ohio
      April 5, 2017 - 10:00 am | Permalink

      My nursing school still does the capping ceremony with the lamps. It’s separate from the graduation for the whole college, and takes place the night before graduation in a more intimate venue.

      • Diana's Gravatar Diana
        April 5, 2017 - 12:35 pm | Permalink

        That is awesome. When I was going through my mother’s things after her death, I found her cap. (No lamp, though. Too bad.) I gave it to the Director of Nurses at the local hospital for a display they were doing on the history of nursing. I kind of miss nurses wearing caps, though as a Sister who wears a veil, I can understand first hand that there are good reasons for not wearing them – comfort for one, and slip sliding around for another. But there was something beautiful and professional about nurses in those caps. Glad they get to wear more comfortable clothes these days, though. Starched white dresses must have been a pain to keep clean, given what nurses deal with.

        • April 5, 2017 - 3:33 pm | Permalink

          “As a sister who wears a veil”…Are you a religious, Diana?

          • Diana's Gravatar Diana
            April 5, 2017 - 5:13 pm | Permalink

            Yes. I’m a Sister of the Community of the Transfiguration. Our mother house is in Cincinnati. Check us out at

          • April 5, 2017 - 5:41 pm | Permalink

            That is so cool! I’m gonna check out your Community website right now!

          • Howard's Gravatar Howard
            April 5, 2017 - 9:15 pm | Permalink

            My late wife, Carolyn, was a lay member of the CT. I lost her after 44-1/2 years of marriage. A year later I met and married my now retired RN wife, Penny. She was Lutheran at the time. She had a tough choice today.

        • Anne Ravenscroft's Gravatar Anne Ravenscroft
          April 6, 2017 - 1:53 am | Permalink

          I wore my cap once after the day my license came. I’m a pediatric nurse (now a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner). The first child I took care of that day knocked it off my head and it never went back on at work. And I don’t miss the white dresses, pantyhose and nurse’s shoes. Who ever said white was practical when you were working with messy stuff.

          Go Flo for the Golden Halo!

    • Carol in Uganda's Gravatar Carol in Uganda
      April 5, 2017 - 10:36 am | Permalink

      I graduated in 1967 and, at my capping in 1963, I got a lamp and candle. One of the proudest moments of my life! My favourite nursing instructor’s name was Florence, we called her Flossie behind her back! I have nursed for 51 years, how could I vote for anyone but Ms Nightingale even though I understand she was a very difficult woman to deal with.

  9. Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
    April 5, 2017 - 8:17 am | Permalink

    I usually vote for whoever has the better kitsch in this round, and it’s hard to beat Luther’s “Here I Stand” socks and flip flops. But Florence is a childhood source of inspiration, and there I stand.

    • Scott Berry's Gravatar Scott Berry
      April 5, 2017 - 10:05 am | Permalink

      How ironic you would say, “there I stand” as that was Luther’s critical final comment when being tried for heresy: “Here I stand…God help me!”

      • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
        April 5, 2017 - 11:06 am | Permalink

        Yes, Scott, that was purposeful.

  10. April 5, 2017 - 8:18 am | Permalink

    Luther for the Halo since Augustine got knocked out.

  11. Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
    April 5, 2017 - 8:18 am | Permalink

    Florence was a great lady, but I cannot imagine the church without Martin Luther. He ended the celestial treadmill that glorified works (to support the largess of the holy princes in Rome) over all else and kept the words of scripture and the Eucharist out of the hearing of the insufficiently holy masses. Without him, there is no Grace, no Middle Way, no modern Catholic Church, no tradition that recognizes the variety of ways to know God. For me, it has to be Luther, especially on this 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. “The body they may kill, His Truth abideth still…”

    • Celia Cole's Gravatar Celia Cole
      April 5, 2017 - 9:06 am | Permalink


    • kesmarn's Gravatar kesmarn
      April 5, 2017 - 10:07 am | Permalink

      I agree. I’m a nurse, but Luther gets my vote.

      • Robert's Gravatar Robert
        April 5, 2017 - 1:21 pm | Permalink

        I was a nurse but voted for Luther, as well.

    • Elaine's Gravatar Elaine
      April 5, 2017 - 2:08 pm | Permalink

      Well said! Luther gets my vote!

  12. Ntathu's Gravatar Ntathu
    April 5, 2017 - 8:19 am | Permalink

    To honor my mother and many others with the healing touch, I cast my vote for…

  13. April 5, 2017 - 8:21 am | Permalink

    For those interested, I ponce again post my 95 Lent Madness Theses:

    Our congregation’s website also has a number Reformation 500 resources including videos:

    Good luck, Marty. #HereIVote

    • April 5, 2017 - 8:39 am | Permalink

      I read that in the first round, Lou, and it’s a great resource. Thank you for providing it.

    • Jennifer S.'s Gravatar Jennifer S.
      April 5, 2017 - 10:20 am | Permalink

      All people everywhere must read the the 95 Lent Madness Theses (above) before voting. And then vote Luther. Even if he doesn’t win halo think how perfect it would be in an imperfect world for him to win a runner-up stein…but to do that he needs your vote today!!

    • Maggie's Gravatar Maggie
      April 5, 2017 - 11:35 am | Permalink

      Thank you for the well presented information on Luther! Kind of wish I had read it before I voted! My vote for Florence was in large part due to my gratitude to the nurses who have helped me through a scary time recently, and for my deep respect for those who serve in this profession. However, after reading your very persuasive and compelling Vote for Luther piece, I realize what a debt I owe to him for my own understanding of Christian love and salvation. So though he didn’t get my vote this time, if he should be in future contests I would be much inclined to support him for the Golden Halo!

      Only human!

    • Wilhelmina Jenkins's Gravatar Wilhelmina Jenkins
      April 5, 2017 - 12:41 pm | Permalink

      Thank you for this!

    • Minerva's Gravatar Minerva
      April 5, 2017 - 12:47 pm | Permalink

      Thank you, Lou Florio! After reading your Lenten Madness Theses on Martin Luther, how could one not for Martin. Now I know that our beloved furry animals go to heaven!

      • April 5, 2017 - 6:11 pm | Permalink

        I liked and was surprised to learn of that belief of Luther’s, too, Minerva.

  14. Donice Gilliland's Gravatar Donice Gilliland
    April 5, 2017 - 8:22 am | Permalink

    I voted for Florence, but Martin Luther might well win any contest for “most impressive collection of Kitsch”.

  15. Amy C.'s Gravatar Amy C.
    April 5, 2017 - 8:22 am | Permalink

    1. Luther already has a mug and pint glass
    2. SEC didn’t congratulate the South Carolina Gamecocks. (And this PC faux pas the day after samepayday….)

    • Allison Askins's Gravatar Allison Askins
      April 5, 2017 - 11:41 am | Permalink

      I made a similar note of the slight to the USC Women’s Basketball Team, aka, 2017 NCAA Champs!
      50 lashes to the SEC! (And that’s not the one the Lady Gamecocks are in!)

  16. Sharon's Gravatar Sharon
    April 5, 2017 - 8:26 am | Permalink

    I would point out that Notes on Nursing is available on Amazon and Kindle for a lot less than $625. I am presuming that Anna Courie does not have a financial stake in promoting the Ebay copy.

    • April 5, 2017 - 8:42 am | Permalink

      Yes, that’s correct. It was just the most expensive copy I could find for fun as a part of the Saintly Kitsch round. 🙂

      • April 5, 2017 - 9:13 am | Permalink

        That’s the spirit, Anna! 🙂

        • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
          April 5, 2017 - 9:43 am | Permalink

          Also the eBay copy is a First Edition.

          • April 5, 2017 - 9:59 am | Permalink

            Exactly! And you can’t get one of those at the Evil Amazon Empire. 😉

    • Elaine's Gravatar Elaine
      April 5, 2017 - 9:27 am | Permalink

      Well, I doubt Kindle is the first edition. 😉

      • Robert Andrews-Bryant's Gravatar Robert Andrews-Bryant
        April 5, 2017 - 1:47 pm | Permalink

        Maybe the first KINDLE edition? Lol

  17. Diane Pyle's Gravatar Diane Pyle
    April 5, 2017 - 8:29 am | Permalink

    I voted for Florence……the forunner of Claire Randall Fraser of the Outlander Series, by Diana Gabaldon.

    • April 5, 2017 - 8:43 am | Permalink

      Oooohhhh…I wish I had thought of that!

    • Allison Askins's Gravatar Allison Askins
      April 5, 2017 - 11:42 am | Permalink

      I didn’t know that!! So glad she got my vote. Clare would get my vote, too!

  18. Judy A's Gravatar Judy A
    April 5, 2017 - 8:40 am | Permalink

    Where is the package of gummi worms, for the “diet of Worms”?

    How about Paul McCartney’s lyric,
    Sister Suzie, brother John
    Martin Luther, Phil and Don
    Brother Michael, auntie Gin
    Open the door and let ’em in, yeah

    Vote Martin Luther.

    • Peg S.'s Gravatar Peg S.
      April 5, 2017 - 9:13 am | Permalink

      Or, vote Florence as you think of those healing hands reaching out at all hours:
      Blackbird singing in the dead of night
      Take these broken wings and learn to fly
      All your life
      You were only waiting for this moment to arise.
      Blackbird singing in the dead of night
      Take these sunken eyes and learn to see
      All your life
      You were only waiting for this moment to be free.
      Blackbird fly, blackbird fly
      Into the light of the dark black night…

    • Kate's Gravatar Kate
      April 5, 2017 - 3:52 pm | Permalink

      Big like….perhaps “luv”…for McCartney reference!!!

  19. Deborah Sampson's Gravatar Deborah Sampson
    April 5, 2017 - 8:41 am | Permalink

    500 years of Luther. There might not be an Anglican church without him.

    • Francis Hubbard's Gravatar Francis Hubbard
      April 5, 2017 - 12:52 pm | Permalink

      Either of these two would be very worthy to win the golden halo. For me, the tie-breaker is that it’s the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. Luther this year and Florence Nightingale next year!

  20. Doris Westfall's Gravatar Doris Westfall
    April 5, 2017 - 8:41 am | Permalink

    The 95 Theses T-Shirt had me! Being a graduate of a Lutheran university (Go Valparaiso Crusaders!) and marrying a Lutheran helped a little too.

    • April 5, 2017 - 9:15 am | Permalink

      Me too, Doris (about the t-shirt). And good morning.

    • Ruth W.Davis's Gravatar Ruth W.Davis
      April 5, 2017 - 9:16 am | Permalink

      Agree. It’s the T-shirt that got my vote. Plus, Luther began the creation of the modern world — for good or ill.

  21. Betsy H's Gravatar Betsy H
    April 5, 2017 - 8:47 am | Permalink

    If one of these two becomes first runner up I’d like to see a commemorative T shirt in the lentorium. No question these two are big on kitsch. I voted for Florence, on general principals. But on kitsch I’d say it was a tie!
    I do sort of wonder about the appropriateness of considering the Nightengale pledge and prayer as kitsch??

    • Tessa Lucero's Gravatar Tessa Lucero
      April 5, 2017 - 10:01 am | Permalink

      I thought about that too, then thought it’s not the words of the pledge and prayer, it’s the presentation. And even items deemed kitsch can have something important to impart.

  22. Carey's Gravatar Carey
    April 5, 2017 - 8:48 am | Permalink

    Anyone that likes to drink beer, eat food and wrestles with their faith gets my vote. Plus our local Lutheran college Roanoke College has a bust of Luther outside their new sports facility, Luther all the way.

  23. Gwynn's Gravatar Gwynn
    April 5, 2017 - 8:50 am | Permalink

    Lent Madness at its finest! Insanity! The patron saint of the reformation…THE REFORMATION PEOPLE…on its 500th anniversary no less versus a woman who changed the entire practice of medical care for the western hemisphere… the end I must confess I think ML was kind of a jerk and Flo was a true saint. Go Flo!

    • April 5, 2017 - 9:41 am | Permalink

      It is perhaps the essence of paradigm shifting to be ‘a jerk’–without that part of personality that makes us not want to hang around you after a while, you won’t keep pushing the walls down. Doesn’t help me decide who to vote for…

  24. Nancy C.'s Gravatar Nancy C.
    April 5, 2017 - 8:52 am | Permalink

    Having just wrapped up another graveyard shift, I can only cast my vote for Flo…all the way to the Golden Halo!!! And guess I need to get my gloves on one of those lamps…

    • April 5, 2017 - 10:05 am | Permalink

      Bless you, Nancy, for your work on the graveyard shift. I used to work in nursing homes, and for one year I was on graveyard. Not an easy life.
      I voted for Flo, also.

      • Allison Askins's Gravatar Allison Askins
        April 5, 2017 - 11:44 am | Permalink

        God bless the souls who work the graveyard shift at nursing homes. Especially if they truly have the healing gift. My parents are there now, and it is a dreadful time of life for them. I am so grateful for the healers.

  25. Leamarie's Gravatar Leamarie
    April 5, 2017 - 8:52 am | Permalink

    Had to go with Florence, in solidarity with women everywhere and the caring, nurturing touch of women for humankind in general. When we are sick, we want that gentle touch in nursing care, whether professional or family or friend.

    • April 5, 2017 - 9:18 am | Permalink

      And hooray for all those male nurses who also provide that caring, nurturing touch.

  26. Laura P.'s Gravatar Laura P.
    April 5, 2017 - 8:54 am | Permalink

    The troll nurse almost tipped the scales, but not quite. Luther’s influence is too far reaching to ignore. I will not be disappointed if Nightingale wins, though.

  27. Debs Voorhees's Gravatar Debs Voorhees
    April 5, 2017 - 8:56 am | Permalink

    I want/need the Luther socks!! “Here I stand. I can do no other.” It’s the story of my life.

  28. Timothy J's Gravatar Timothy J
    April 5, 2017 - 8:58 am | Permalink

    As much as I love the kitsch of Martin, I come from a long line of nurses in my family. Florence for the win!

  29. Mollie Douglas Turner+'s Gravatar Mollie Douglas Turner+
    April 5, 2017 - 8:59 am | Permalink

    Florence almost had me at abstaining from whatever is “deleterious and mischievous,” but I had to go for Luther. I own a “Sin Boldly” pint glass already (Thanks, Linda and Gary Loyd!)! I shall have to use it today to put good vibes into the universe for Martin.

    Both such important figures in their own way. Hard to choose.

  30. Debbie B-W's Gravatar Debbie B-W
    April 5, 2017 - 9:01 am | Permalink

    Go, Flo!

  31. Trey's Gravatar Trey
    April 5, 2017 - 9:01 am | Permalink

    For Martin, despite all his many flaws, because he dared to proclaim that God was available to any person and without an intermediary. Truly a revolution of religious freedom. His contribution is simply incomprehensible. Martin, on this 500th anniversary for the win!

  32. JustMeJo's Gravatar JustMeJo
    April 5, 2017 - 9:01 am | Permalink

    My sister, my godchild, my mother-in- law, my sister-in-law… only a vote for Florence is possible for me today!

  33. Sue's Gravatar Sue
    April 5, 2017 - 9:01 am | Permalink

    Bible and a beer.
    Grace with a growler.
    Prayer with a pint.
    Go, Martin Luther!
    Although, the Outlander reference was good!

    • Diana's Gravatar Diana
      April 5, 2017 - 9:14 am | Permalink

      Good one, Sue.

  34. April 5, 2017 - 9:03 am | Permalink

    The t-shirts, the beer stein(s), the socks, the coloring book, I want ALL the Martin Luther kitsch! But I voted for Florence. I know a few nurses and have been blessed by kind, helpful ones in my all too many hospital stays.

  35. emily fitzgerald's Gravatar emily fitzgerald
    April 5, 2017 - 9:03 am | Permalink

    Is all this becoming just a tad too commercial???

  36. Sarah Fox's Gravatar Sarah Fox
    April 5, 2017 - 9:05 am | Permalink

    Anyone but Martin Luther!

  37. Celia Cole's Gravatar Celia Cole
    April 5, 2017 - 9:05 am | Permalink

    Interesting. I have to think Luther changed Christianity. The Catholic Church had lost its way. No, Luther wasn’t perfect, but other than Christ, none were.

    Today the collective church struggles on to do our best, maybe because folks such as Luther challenged us all to keep our eyes on God’s will?

  38. Diana's Gravatar Diana
    April 5, 2017 - 9:07 am | Permalink

    For Martin Luther and Florence Nightingale
    Tune: Purpose, Hymnal ’82, 534, God is working his purpose out

    God has brought forth many a saint
    O’er years and centuries.
    Each one is true holy gift, each one has much to teach.
    Each failed to live a perfect life
    Each erred in ways that grieve.
    And the saints and we need as much grace
    As the waters cover the sea.

    Martin was a struggling monk
    (an Augustinian).
    Saw that power and wealth had dimmed
    The Light of Love in Rome.
    He nailed his truth with eloquence
    On doors once closed to grace.
    The hope he revealed is for every one
    Of every race and all faiths.

    Florence could not stay at home
    When she saw tragic need.
    She poured out her life and skills
    To serve those suffering.
    She could be tactless on the way
    To making nursing real.
    But her service to God and to wounded folk
    Was grace with human feel.

    God still works through human beings
    As year succeeds to year.
    God works through us in spite of us
    A truth that should bring cheers.
    Nearer and nearer draws the time,
    The time when we’ll surely see
    That the earth is as full of the mercies of God
    As the waters cover the sea.

    (If I might be permitted a personal note, I have long loved the hymn “God is working his purpose out”, except for one thing. I wince at the line that “the time that will surely be when the earth shall be filled with the glory of God . . .” The earth is already filled with the glory of God. We need grace to open our eyes to see it NOW as well as looking forward to when we will see more clearly. I think the saints are flawed/graced examples of that glory and am grateful for this opportunity each Lent to reflect on that incredible wonder. Thanks, SEC.)

    • April 5, 2017 - 9:23 am | Permalink

      Excellent hymn, Diana. And a hearty “Amen!” to your personal note.

    • Verdery Kassebaum's Gravatar Verdery Kassebaum
      April 5, 2017 - 10:46 am | Permalink

      “God works through us in spite of us….” I’m hanging on to that quote!
      And this is a hymn that I haven’t heard sung in many a year, so thanks for that as well.

      • Diana's Gravatar Diana
        April 5, 2017 - 12:41 pm | Permalink

        If I couldn’t believe that God works through me in spite of me, I’d give up. My favorite word of all time is Grace!

    • kesmarn's Gravatar kesmarn
      April 5, 2017 - 11:20 am | Permalink

      Lent Madness was already a pretty wonderful experience. And you have just made it that much more wonderful this year, Diana. Thanks so much.

      • Allison Askins's Gravatar Allison Askins
        April 5, 2017 - 11:47 am | Permalink


      • Diana's Gravatar Diana
        April 5, 2017 - 12:03 pm | Permalink

        Wow, I’m honored. Thank you so much. You’ve provided me with some much-needed encouragement.

    • Grace Kennedy's Gravatar Grace Kennedy
      April 5, 2017 - 2:32 pm | Permalink


  39. Beverly D's Gravatar Beverly D
    April 5, 2017 - 9:07 am | Permalink

    Bless all those marvelous nurses and their aides that have taken care of me over the years and followed in Flo’s footsteps.

  40. Michael Cartwright's Gravatar Michael Cartwright
    April 5, 2017 - 9:12 am | Permalink

    I think what nailed it for me for Luther was the fact that the Pope is joining the 500 year celebrations.

  41. Karen K's Gravatar Karen K
    April 5, 2017 - 9:14 am | Permalink

    With all due respect to Florence Nightingale my current reading of “Brand Luther” has upped in my opinion the impact of Martin Luther on the world.

  42. Constance's Gravatar Constance
    April 5, 2017 - 9:17 am | Permalink

    I always have a hard time with Luther because of his anti-semitism.

  43. Mark Putman's Gravatar Mark Putman
    April 5, 2017 - 9:20 am | Permalink

    Where are the bobble head saintly kitsch items??? That is a real missed opportunity!

    • April 5, 2017 - 10:34 am | Permalink

      I wish I had known this! I was won over the by the Nightingale Troll vs the Nightingale Bobble Head….BUT it is out there. 🙂

    • Diana's Gravatar Diana
      April 5, 2017 - 10:48 am | Permalink

      I found this:
      but couldn’t find a Florence version. It is possible, however, to have a custom bobblehead doll made, so do not despair. I did find, on Pinterest, a picture of Florence Nightingale soap. So much kitsch, so little time.

  44. christy's Gravatar christy
    April 5, 2017 - 9:20 am | Permalink

    In this anniversary year I MUST vote for Martin Luther. I visited Wittenberg in 2011 and purchased some Luther socks for the family but they weren’t as colorful as these, must google and see where they can be acquired.

  45. Edwina's Gravatar Edwina
    April 5, 2017 - 9:24 am | Permalink

    GO FLO !!

  46. Pat Floerke's Gravatar Pat Floerke
    April 5, 2017 - 9:27 am | Permalink

    What wonderful celebrity blogs today! Not easy to stay in touch with the saint behind the kitch while displaying such unbelievable kitch, but they both did it today. I appreciate the peaks into the personalities/lives of both saints, but Beth Lewis managed to keep me hooked on Martin Luther one more time. Thanks for the fun.

  47. KnikArm1995's Gravatar KnikArm1995
    April 5, 2017 - 9:31 am | Permalink

    It’s Florence for the gold!

  48. Alice's Gravatar Alice
    April 5, 2017 - 9:33 am | Permalink

    Florence for the win, but Martin’s kitsch is way better. The t-shirt, the socks, the toy Martin. I kind of want them all.

  49. Barbara Bartholomew's Gravatar Barbara Bartholomew
    April 5, 2017 - 9:34 am | Permalink

    Luther all the way for he changed the church and we are all inheritors of that great change!

  50. Anne E.B.'s Gravatar Anne E.B.
    April 5, 2017 - 9:35 am | Permalink

    Gotta go with Flo!

  51. Camille's Gravatar Camille
    April 5, 2017 - 9:37 am | Permalink

    Baptized Luthern, but now a lapsed Catholic. I’ve been told baptismal waters run deep, therefore Martin. Also, my Luthern Mother may haunt me despite our deep respect for nurses.

  52. Katherine Grimes's Gravatar Katherine Grimes
    April 5, 2017 - 9:39 am | Permalink

    While I love nurses, I was married in the Church of the Reformation in Washington, D.C., so I must vote for Martin Luther today.

  53. Betsey's Gravatar Betsey
    April 5, 2017 - 9:41 am | Permalink

    Ah, I voted and then saw Martin is behind 🙁

    A 500th anniversary year?! It ought to be Martin for the halo!

  54. St. Celia's Gravatar St. Celia
    April 5, 2017 - 9:41 am | Permalink

    I voted with the image in my mind of dead Syrian children loaded into a truck, their glazed eyes looking up into a sky filled with . . . what? I wanted to vote for nurses for them, and physicians. But they had people frantically hosing the chemicals off their bodies, and they had people lifting their bodies into the trucks for a bumpy ride to the hospital, or to the morgue. It makes no real difference this morning whom I vote for, but I saw “Sin boldly” at the top of the page, and I remembered my own commitment to vigorous intellectual thought, not as a “gadfly” practice but as a moral discipline, a means acceptable to God of resistance to evil, and I voted for Luther.

    • Barbara's Gravatar Barbara
      April 5, 2017 - 9:54 am | Permalink

      Amen and Amen and Amen

    • Diana's Gravatar Diana
      April 5, 2017 - 10:51 am | Permalink

      I voted for Florence, partly thinking of the children in Syria who need compassionate care and skilled treatment following the horrendous evil of that brutal attack. Thanks for your thoughtfulness, St. Celia.
      Florence stood firmly against the arrogance and stupidity of the powerful war machine of her day as she served those who were its victim.

      • Diana's Gravatar Diana
        April 5, 2017 - 10:52 am | Permalink

        ooops – that’s victims. There were and are so many.

    • Allison Askins's Gravatar Allison Askins
      April 5, 2017 - 11:50 am | Permalink

      Well said. Truly heartbreaking and beyond understanding.

    • April 5, 2017 - 1:26 pm | Permalink

      Thank you, ST. Celia. I voted for Florence for the caretakers of those children, dead and alive, but standing up against evil, here and there, is what we must do.

  55. mefster's Gravatar mefster
    April 5, 2017 - 9:47 am | Permalink

    Martin LUTHER, for God’s sake!

    Random observation: I think technically Florence N would be the meat or portabello to Claire Randall’s sandwich, since the Crimean War falls between Claire’s two time periods…

  56. Allen McCorstin's Gravatar Allen McCorstin
    April 5, 2017 - 9:48 am | Permalink

    Among all the hoopla and analysis, our Madness Masters seem to have overlooked the fact that if Marty could have found a really good gastroenterologist we might NEVER have had a Reformation. The boy had a lot of time to think, if you get my drift.

    • April 5, 2017 - 5:43 pm | Permalink

      We’d still have had a Reform of theology, liturgy, spirituality, church politics, etc. in the 16th-17th centuries, as it was necessary. However, if Luther’s innards behaved (and if he kept his drinking within safe limits), the Reform may not have been accompanied by a tragic breach of communion and fellowship within the Western Church, a breach that sadly continues to our own day.

      • Starla's Gravatar Starla
        April 7, 2017 - 6:14 pm | Permalink

        Luther didn’t cause that breach- he was only trying to correct some of the man-made wrongs that the popes & MEN had brought into the Catholic church that burdened the people with works-righteousness.
        But the pope try to have him murdered and he would not back down from the truth he rediscovered. Therefore the breach!

  57. Yvonne Telep's Gravatar Yvonne Telep
    April 5, 2017 - 9:49 am | Permalink

    As I am a former nurse and we all owe so much to Florence, I was voting for her from the get go. But you almost had me with the ” Nailed it” T-shirt.

    • April 5, 2017 - 10:36 am | Permalink

      Me too! And I wrote for FloNi! The shirt was just the pip!

  58. Jay Weigel's Gravatar Jay Weigel
    April 5, 2017 - 9:51 am | Permalink

    I’m a nurse, so Florence, of course!

  59. Whit in Ohio's Gravatar Whit in Ohio
    April 5, 2017 - 9:56 am | Permalink

    Tough one! Both of these saints are favorites of mine. I love Luther’s theology of the Eucharist, and always have. But Florence Nightengale is the founder of modern nursing. And I’m a RN student. But this year I think it would be especially appropriate to honor Luther with the Golden Halo for Reformation 500. And almost all of his kitsch really is Luther kitsch, whereas some general nurse kitsch snuck in to Florence’s entry. Also, to Florence Nightengale a male nurse was an oxymoron (I’m a male nursing student). We have to judge her by the standards of her time, of course, but togeather these things tip me over into the Martin Luther camp.

  60. April 5, 2017 - 9:58 am | Permalink

    It was a tough one for me today, as Martin Luther is inarguably and massively influential in protestant Christianity and also had the better kitsch. But….he simply leaves me cold. I went with Florence again.

  61. Story's Gravatar Story
    April 5, 2017 - 10:00 am | Permalink

    I had to go with Florence Nightingale but I want those Martin Luther earrings!

  62. April 5, 2017 - 10:00 am | Permalink

    As a retired nurse how can I not vote for Flo! I graduated from Trenton State College in 1973 and the faculty gave each of us a copy of “Notes on Nursing”, I still treasure me.

  63. Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
    April 5, 2017 - 10:01 am | Permalink

    Anna (who was hospital-trained)
    Christine (a doctor of nursing)
    Emily (and her multiple tours of duty as an army nurse)

    For all them and all those nurses and students of nursing I have known and/or have been cared for by, I shall go with the Flo!

    • Susan Maurine's Gravatar Susan Maurine
      April 5, 2017 - 10:17 am | Permalink

      “Go with the Flo”– I wish I’d thought of that!

  64. April 5, 2017 - 10:02 am | Permalink

    Martin Luther without a doubt has the best kitsch since Lent Madness began. But, for many reasons (including not wanting my brother and sister in law, both nurses, and my older daughter, a CNA, to be mad at me), I voted for Florence.

  65. Carol Buckalew's Gravatar Carol Buckalew
    April 5, 2017 - 10:02 am | Permalink

    Flo for the gold! I have the troll doll -someone gave it to me- and it’s just as ridiculous as it looks in the picture.

  66. Christine Parkhurst's Gravatar Christine Parkhurst
    April 5, 2017 - 10:12 am | Permalink

    I voted for Flo- can’t get over Luther’s attacks on Jews. I lived in Nice, France for six years and was deeply disturbed at how hatred and distrust of Jews is taught in a Christian context in many branches of Christianity in Europe. Watch The Sorrow and the Pity- documentary on the Holocaust- and see what the French member of the SS has to say. He learned to hate Jews in church. Ugh. On the other hand, watch Weapons of the Spirit, a documentary about the little Protestant town in France where everyone risked their lives to shelter thousands of Jews because it was their Christian duty.

    • Diana's Gravatar Diana
      April 5, 2017 - 11:56 am | Permalink

      Thanks for the video recommendations. I’m trying to build a small DVD library about resistance to evil, about forgiveness and compassion in the hardest times. These will be helpful additions.

    • April 5, 2017 - 5:37 pm | Permalink

      Christine, with the town in the film you mentioned, as the people were French Protestants, they were more likely to be Calvinists than Lutherans and, thus, would have always had been taught a more positive view of Jews.

      • April 5, 2017 - 5:38 pm | Permalink

        Correcting my grammar: “… always HAVE been taught…”.

  67. Nolan McBride's Gravatar Nolan McBride
    April 5, 2017 - 10:13 am | Permalink

    I appear to be having trouble voting on my phone today. I have tried twice, and fear the outer darkness if I try again. If my vote has not gone through, put me down for Florence.

  68. Rev Douglas McLemore's Gravatar Rev Douglas McLemore
    April 5, 2017 - 10:13 am | Permalink

    What no Luther bobble head doll! Even we lowly Methodist have a Wesley bobblehead.
    I voted for the nurse and her dedication to serve others. In honor of my mother.

    • Lou Florio's Gravatar Lou Florio
      April 5, 2017 - 3:53 pm | Permalink

      There are both Martin Luther & Katie Luther bobblehead dolls. Let not your heart be troubled.

  69. Ann Garvin's Gravatar Ann Garvin
    April 5, 2017 - 10:17 am | Permalink

    Florence Nightingale was also a leader in public health! Her realization that the fighting man was more likely to die of disease than bullets lead to her working with the British high command on ways to promote sanitation in Army camps. They realized it was less expensive to keep them healthy than to train new soldiers (whatever it takes, right?). Florence all the way! #OnceaNurseAlwaysaNurse

  70. Carol's Gravatar Carol
    April 5, 2017 - 10:23 am | Permalink

    I truly had to draw straws! The more I learn about Luther I think he must have been a great guy to hang with. These days I need the care of a devoted nurse more than I need an intellectual drinking buddy. You all see where this is going?!

  71. Linda Burnett's Gravatar Linda Burnett
    April 5, 2017 - 10:33 am | Permalink

    in honor of my friends Dale, Millie, Ginger, and my grandmother who would have been a nurse in another time my vote is for Florence!

  72. Barb Gutzler's Gravatar Barb Gutzler
    April 5, 2017 - 10:36 am | Permalink

    Go with the Flo!

  73. Kathy in Nicaragua's Gravatar Kathy in Nicaragua
    April 5, 2017 - 10:40 am | Permalink

    I’m going to be checking back in during the day to see if Martin can inch his way up into another of those nail-biter close finishes we had last week. With all due respect to Florence Nightingale (if she loses, I’d like to see her back in another year’s Lent Madness soon), this is the 500th anniversary of the 95 theses. From my first look at the brackets last November, I had Martin Luther for the Golden Halo!

  74. Carolyn Tungate's Gravatar Carolyn Tungate
    April 5, 2017 - 10:53 am | Permalink

    can’t get to the voting web page.

  75. Verdery Kassebaum's Gravatar Verdery Kassebaum
    April 5, 2017 - 10:54 am | Permalink

    Florence is winning (as of 7:52 a.m. PDT), so my vote for Martin won’t hurt. This is his year–and I want some of that Lutherbrodt!
    But I will be delighted if Florence gets the halo; she made a huge difference, also.

  76. Kate's Gravatar Kate
    April 5, 2017 - 10:58 am | Permalink

    “Nailed it! ” Until. Then, I was keeping Flo at the top of MY list…..but , Go , Martin!

    • Kate's Gravatar Kate
      April 5, 2017 - 11:19 am | Permalink

      To be clear….Martin would never have had my vote but for the kitsch today. It was really the t-shirt that won! The Catholic Church had truly lost its way in many areas and desperately needed reforming. But not the knowledge of the Eucharist, given to us by Jesus Himself and emphasized and retaughr by His disciples for centuries…..and Martin’s anti Semitism was deplorable. But, wow…the shirt is brilliant! Flo’s troll was a saintly second.

  77. J's Gravatar J
    April 5, 2017 - 11:00 am | Permalink

    Martin Luther definitely has better kitsch. He gets my vote!

  78. Diana's Gravatar Diana
    April 5, 2017 - 11:06 am | Permalink

    Cecil Woodham-Smith’s biography about Florence Nightingale cites a letter she wrote about trying to follow her calling through the church. In it she said: “I would have given her [the Church] my head, my hand, my heart. She would not have them. She did not know what to do with them. She told me to go back and do crochet in my mother’s drawing-room; or if I were tired of that, to marry and look well at the head of my husband’s table. ‘You may go to the Sunday School if you like it,’ she said. But she gave me no training even for that. She gave me neither work to do for her, nor education for it.” Florence Nightingale in a letter to Dean Stanley, 1852.

    Florence heard a call from God and, tragically, had to go outside the church that should have supported and encouraged her holy vocation in order to respond. Yet she persisted. Sometimes I am simply overwhelmed with gratitude for the strong, courageous women who have “followed the right for Jesus sake” and made possible so many of the rights I could too easily take for granted.

    • April 5, 2017 - 11:11 am | Permalink

      Just amazing, Diana. 🙁

    • Ann Garvin's Gravatar Ann Garvin
      April 5, 2017 - 11:12 am | Permalink

      Woodham-Smith’s biography is a classic! I was given an old edition (still have it!) as I began my nursing education in college. Thanks for quoting it. #GoFlorence

      • Diana's Gravatar Diana
        April 5, 2017 - 12:00 pm | Permalink

        I agree. That book is an absolute treasure. When looking for the quotation from Florence’s letter, I was surprised to discover that Cecil Woodham-Smith was a woman. I never looked past what I thought was a masculine name and have learned yet another gentle lesson about not leaping to conclusions without anything or anyone.

        • Diana's Gravatar Diana
          April 5, 2017 - 12:01 pm | Permalink

          That should be ABOUT anything or anyone. Why do I always catch my errors when it’s too late to edit?

    • Irene Lawrence's Gravatar Irene Lawrence
      April 5, 2017 - 2:46 pm | Permalink

      Did you see the Episcopal Café report yesterday on the people defined by “Love Jesus not the church”? A large majority of that demographic are women. Apparently Florence would understand.

  79. Rose Mahan's Gravatar Rose Mahan
    April 5, 2017 - 11:06 am | Permalink

    There sure are a lot of nurses doing Lent Madness. As with yesterday ( and I lost that one, too), I tend to go with the person whose greatest impact was spiritual rather than secular. Florence Nightingale was an amazing person whose work is lasting, but without Luther, there would be no Protestant church.

  80. April 5, 2017 - 11:24 am | Permalink

    a really really tough one. I love Florence Nightengale, but in honor of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, I’m going with Luther this time.

  81. Izzie's Gravatar Izzie
    April 5, 2017 - 11:30 am | Permalink

    Florence my Grandmother was a nurse and I NEVER know what to give her for her Birthday.

  82. Izz's Gravatar Izz
    April 5, 2017 - 11:31 am | Permalink

    Difficult choice. Had to go with, “once a nurse, always a nurse”. Go Florence.

  83. Allison Askins's Gravatar Allison Askins
    April 5, 2017 - 11:37 am | Permalink

    Florence is my heroine these days … she and Dawn Staley (who, also, by the way, helped us work our way through March Madness, SEC folks! Go Lady Gamecocks, who I am sure had a nurse or two help them through all the injuries their careers thus far have endured.) Thank you, Florence, and thank you to all the nurses helping my parents through their current crisis. On to the Halo, I say!

  84. April 5, 2017 - 11:48 am | Permalink

    Martin Luther, how I love that man. As a teen I read “Here I Stand” and subsequently several times since – he was a phenom to be sure! He literally changed the fabric of the Western world and he is most worthy of the Golden Halo.
    Alas, during the last round I was bummed that focus on his anti-Semetic views – which were universally held at the time – disqualified him for so many people. Since medieval times there has been a great awakening and most every Christian sect has sought forgiveness and actively works towards reconciliation. That said, I’m glad Martin will go down to his worthy opponent today. Primarily, I’m happy not to witness a Championship pairing of Luther v. Jagerstatter. Anti-Semite v. Nazi martyr. We’d all go out of our minds!
    The other reason I’m happy about Martin Luther’s defeat: it comes at the hands of Florence, and I have no doubt – Martin would be proud, too.
    Isn’t this an interesting pairing, in that both Martin and Flo shed much light on the spiritual significance of our secular work? One of Martin’s epic contributions was to reconnect faith to everyday life. “Vocation” was expanded (“restored”) from priestly duties to domestic, civic and employment duties. You can even take vocation camping! Here’s a quote, “Works of monks and priests, however arduous they may be (thanks you SEC guys!) do not differ on whit in the sight of God from the works of the rustic laborer in the field or woman going about her household tasks. All works are measured before God by faith alone.”
    THANK YOU, Martin Luther for that lovely segue to Florence Nightingale! A woman who eschewed the easy life of the Uptown Girl for the Call to service, Florence connected her faith in God to her work in life. Faith must be lived out in the world. Our lives must reflect God’s glory by making the world a better place with practical achievements. (OMG! Was she a Girl Scout as well?!) To Florence, healing the sick was doing this – showing God’s goodness by doing His work in the world. The faith of an activist! As a sidebar, When seeking practical experience in her nurse training, where did Florence turn? The Institute of Lutheran Deaconesses in Kaiserwerth, Germany.
    Congratulations on your big win today, Florence!

  85. Beth Owen's Gravatar Beth Owen
    April 5, 2017 - 11:54 am | Permalink

    Flo for the win.

  86. Heather Hall Lewis's Gravatar Heather Hall Lewis
    April 5, 2017 - 12:16 pm | Permalink

    This was a tough one, but since I have a Martin Luther bobble-head staring down at me from the shelf in my office, Luther got my vote today. I wish I could add to the kitsch as the bobble-head is quintessential Luther swag.

  87. Christopher's Gravatar Christopher
    April 5, 2017 - 12:19 pm | Permalink

    He’s got 95 problems but a nail ain’t one.
    (Love that joke. Still voted Nightingale)

  88. Margaret B Kober's Gravatar Margaret B Kober
    April 5, 2017 - 12:25 pm | Permalink

    Come on Brother Martin. This was really hard, I’m a retired Lutheran advanced practice nurse.

  89. April 5, 2017 - 12:26 pm | Permalink

    Martin has much better kitsch.

    • Amy's Gravatar Amy
      April 5, 2017 - 2:24 pm | Permalink

      Love the “Sin Boldly” beer glasses.

  90. Junior Abraham's Gravatar Junior Abraham
    April 5, 2017 - 12:32 pm | Permalink

    What about the South Carolina Lady Gamecocks? Huh?

  91. Marilyn Johnson's Gravatar Marilyn Johnson
    April 5, 2017 - 12:42 pm | Permalink

    Despite all the great Luther kitsch, I just have to vote for Florence. In the world of health care, nurses rule and we can thank the blessed Nightingale for that!

  92. Meredith Hales's Gravatar Meredith Hales
    April 5, 2017 - 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Sigh…..I voted Martin, but I think Flo may win.

  93. Claire's Gravatar Claire
    April 5, 2017 - 12:54 pm | Permalink

    But, but, but Martin has the better kitsch!
    I voted on the merit of the kitsch presented.

  94. Gloria Rousseau's Gravatar Gloria Rousseau
    April 5, 2017 - 1:02 pm | Permalink

    With a copy of “Notes on Nursing” and a 50 year old Nightingale pledge bookmark…there is no question where my vote goes.

  95. marie jones's Gravatar marie jones
    April 5, 2017 - 1:29 pm | Permalink

    True, Martin does seem to have the better kitsch, but making a decision on that element alone seems so shallow! He will garner myriad accolades this year. . . .but Diana has stated it so well. I, too, am going with the Flo!

  96. Dutton in Madison, GA's Gravatar Dutton in Madison, GA
    April 5, 2017 - 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Well, Florence is surely the mother of modern nursing, and we owe her a tremendous debt; but Luther was, in effect, the father of the modern church (yes, even the Roman Catholics have been influenced by his reforms, so how can I not vote for Luther?

  97. Fiona's Gravatar Fiona
    April 5, 2017 - 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Martin Luther undoubtedly has the better kitsch, and whilst I am disappointed that no mention has been made of Florence Nightingale’s pet owl, my vote goes to Florence for her indefatigable work to reform nursing and change government policy.

    • April 5, 2017 - 5:57 pm | Permalink

      She had​ a pet owl, Fiona???? That is seriously cool!

      • Pamela Payne's Gravatar Pamela Payne
        April 5, 2017 - 6:24 pm | Permalink

        Yes, the owl’s name was Athena. One of my nursing students gave me a small watercolor painting of Athena as a gift (which she had painted herself)….still hangs in my office. I already have Notes on Nursing but now I need the troll doll! Luther is a towering figure in our church history, and has some fabulous kitsch, but I started my bracket eith Florence for the Golden Halo, and I won’t stop now! Go Flo!

  98. Nora's Gravatar Nora
    April 5, 2017 - 2:03 pm | Permalink

    Luther Playmobile figurine for the win!

  99. Therese's Gravatar Therese
    April 5, 2017 - 2:04 pm | Permalink


  100. Leo's Gravatar Leo
    April 5, 2017 - 2:06 pm | Permalink

    I wanted to vote for Luther in the “wurst” way (love the “Nailed It” T-shirt) but I work w so many great nurses I am voting for Flo to honor them. Go Flo Go!

  101. John's Gravatar John
    April 5, 2017 - 2:10 pm | Permalink

    How can I NOT vote for Martin at the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation? !

    • Deb's Gravatar Deb
      April 5, 2017 - 4:21 pm | Permalink

      Amen!!! Who couldn’t vote for the Anniversary Guy?

    • Kay Lewis's Gravatar Kay Lewis
      April 5, 2017 - 11:21 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely, John!! Me, too!

  102. Christina Thom's Gravatar Christina Thom
    April 5, 2017 - 2:48 pm | Permalink

    Voted my profession.

    • April 5, 2017 - 3:01 pm | Permalink

      Ah. Great to hear you’re a Lutheran cleric. 😀

  103. Donna K.'s Gravatar Donna K.
    April 5, 2017 - 3:54 pm | Permalink

    ARRRRGGHHHH! I can’t decide!

  104. Jennifer Seaver's Gravatar Jennifer Seaver
    April 5, 2017 - 4:33 pm | Permalink

    Florence has a cocktail named after her. Does Martin?

    • April 5, 2017 - 6:01 pm | Permalink

      I think it’s called beer (or biere, for our German-speaking friends). 😀

  105. Doris Westfall's Gravatar Doris Westfall
    April 5, 2017 - 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Of course! Martini!

    • April 5, 2017 - 6:05 pm | Permalink

      Good one, Doris! You’re wittier (or Wittenbergier) than I.

  106. Linda from St. Ed's's Gravatar Linda from St. Ed's
    April 5, 2017 - 4:52 pm | Permalink

    I greatly admire Florence, but my vote must go to Brother Martin today for his influence in spreading God’s Word in the vernacular. I see he’s the underdog here, but may I mention he’s the also King of Saintly Kitsch? Sin Boldly Lager, Prepare for the Wurst Sausage Fest shirts, and Here I Stand socks…I mean, what’s not to love?

    • Allen McCorstin's Gravatar Allen McCorstin
      April 5, 2017 - 5:05 pm | Permalink

      Linda, how I admire your life’s work. Blessings upon you.

  107. Elizabeth's Gravatar Elizabeth
    April 5, 2017 - 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Florence because Luther has gotten more than sufficient credit for his contributions (a whole denomination of Christianity named after him!), and because he did not love the least among us.

  108. Jean Middleton's Gravatar Jean Middleton
    April 5, 2017 - 5:24 pm | Permalink

    My daughter is a nurse, so my vote was for Florence!

  109. April 5, 2017 - 5:32 pm | Permalink

    For the third time, I voted for Florence Nightingale.

    For the third time, I voted for the person up against Brother Martin. (I would have voted for him if he was paired, in this year’s bracket, against either Anselm or Ms. Crosby.)

    While Brother Martin can rejoice (like all of us!) in being a recipient of God’s radical grace, I still don’t see him as Golden Halo material. While the Western Church of Luther’s day was in urgent need of reform in its theology, liturgy, spirituality. ethos, and internal politics, I also think that (in the process) Luther did some real harm to the people of God.

    Here are my three reasons to vote for Florence Nightingale, and my four reasons to vote against Martin Luther.

    For Ms. N.:

    1. She voluntarily went into a battlefield situation as a non-combatant to express compassion to those caught up in the violence and, in the process, ruined her health for the rest of her life (a sort of martyrdom).

    2. She established the ethos of service and compassion for the modern nursing profession.

    3. She was an lay Christian who expressed her faith in an articulate way.

    Against Br. M.:

    1. His attitudes towards Jews and Judaism expressed in his later works were destructive, particularly in the light of the more positive comments in his early works. The trajectory of his developing opinions was all wrong. We could blame his heavy drinking or early onset dementia, but still the example is poor.

    2. Similarly, his fiery comments toward the RC leadership (and toward other Protestants at times) meant that the necessary reforms were accompanied by an unnecessary breach of fellowship and communion among Christians. Sadly, this breach has been institutionalised even to our own day. Again, we can possibly blame the booze or the brain synapses, but …

    3. His “sola fide” teaching has led in some quarters to the idea that, if you get your beliefs right, you’ll be right with God but, if you get your beliefs wrong, you’ll be fuel for an eternal BBQ. I can’t see this idea reflecting a Jesus-shaped God in any way, shape, of form.

    4. While he was courageous in the face of Church authorities, he encouraged the Church and individual Christians to take an uncritical, and almost lap-dog, approach to secular authorities. This is definitely the wrong approach now, in the age of Trump.

    Anyway, Florence for the Gold! Franz for the Silver!

    • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
      April 5, 2017 - 6:13 pm | Permalink

      Well put.

  110. Zoey - 6 years old's Gravatar Zoey - 6 years old
    April 5, 2017 - 5:34 pm | Permalink

    My name is Zoey. I voted for Florence Nightingale because I love how she was a nurse and took care of people.

    • Pamela Payne's Gravatar Pamela Payne
      April 5, 2017 - 6:27 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Zoey…you make a very excellent point!

    • VT Patty's Gravatar VT Patty
      April 5, 2017 - 9:04 pm | Permalink

      Good reason, Zoey! Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

    • Diana's Gravatar Diana
      April 5, 2017 - 11:21 pm | Permalink

      Yay Zoey. A wonderful reason to vote for her.

  111. Brad's Gravatar Brad
    April 5, 2017 - 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Married to a Nurse. This one is a no-brainer and besides she is right.

  112. Carol's Gravatar Carol
    April 5, 2017 - 6:06 pm | Permalink

    Still can’t condone Luther’s professed “make children recite catechism before giving them food or drink”…besides I’m a nurse. Florence gets my vote!.

  113. Linda Wilson's Gravatar Linda Wilson
    April 5, 2017 - 6:14 pm | Permalink

    As a nurse for 25 years turned priest for 25 years this was not really hard for me. I first saw a 1928 BCP around 1975 when a patient asked me to pray with her in ICU. I next saw it in 1984 when I visited an Episcopal church. That was it. I joined up immediately. Florence was a good Anglican but blind to religion, denomination, color, etc.. Her “religion” was to help people heal in every way possible. With all respect for the contributions of Martin, I hope Florence gets the Halo. Without her influence some of us would not be here to vote.

  114. Janene's Gravatar Janene
    April 5, 2017 - 6:50 pm | Permalink

    Once again, all this stuff for sale is just plain weird !

    • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
      April 5, 2017 - 8:26 pm | Permalink

      It is called kitsch for a reason.

  115. Jan Miller's Gravatar Jan Miller
    April 5, 2017 - 6:57 pm | Permalink

    At the risk of being a poor sport, if Martin loses in this year of all years, this Lutheran with Episcopalian overtones will cheerfully say goodbye to Lent Madness–after buying one of those “nailed it’ t-shirts, of course.

    • Brett's Gravatar Brett
      April 5, 2017 - 7:16 pm | Permalink

      And as an Episcopalian who keeps a small catechism on his nightstand, I’d totally understand. I’m sure I’ll still play but I’ll be annoyed for awhile. He got my vote 3 times..

      Luthercopalians unite!

  116. Lux et veritas's Gravatar Lux et veritas
    April 5, 2017 - 7:00 pm | Permalink

    How is this even close? We’re talking about MARTIN LUTHER!

    • April 5, 2017 - 8:02 pm | Permalink

      I know. To me, the current vote defies logic.

      • April 5, 2017 - 10:48 pm | Permalink

        you are not the only one. but, it’s only a game. right?

        • April 6, 2017 - 1:43 am | Permalink

          That’s what I keep telling myself, Diane. “Self, don’t take this too seriously.” Rinse and repeat.

  117. Lux et veritas's Gravatar Lux et veritas
    April 5, 2017 - 7:02 pm | Permalink

    Honestly, I generally stopped caring about this after St. Augustine of Hippo lost…

    • Marilyn Johnson's Gravatar Marilyn Johnson
      April 5, 2017 - 10:13 pm | Permalink

      Lux et veritas… Exactly how I felt when Joan of Arc, my childhood hero, was eliminated in the first round. But I persevere and wait for the wisdom of the larger group as to who will win this year’s Golden Halo. I’m trying to be a good sport.
      My problem was I picked Joan for the title before any voting began!

  118. Maris's Gravatar Maris
    April 5, 2017 - 7:04 pm | Permalink

    I vote for Florence Nightengale in honor of my mother who is a nurse

  119. Jan Miller's Gravatar Jan Miller
    April 5, 2017 - 7:09 pm | Permalink

    For all you Luther Leaguers, here’s a chorus of “Good Ol’ Marty Luther”:

    Good Ol’ Marty Luther,
    Good Ol’ Marty Luther,
    Played by the Reformation Band.
    His five-and-ninety thesis
    Tore the Pope to pieces.
    I think the Reformation’s grand!

    Ol’ Marty Luther,
    Ol’ Marty Luther,
    Played by the Reformation Band.

    Ol’ Marty Luther,
    Ol’ Marty Luther,
    Played by the Reformation Band!!

    • Jan Miller's Gravatar Jan Miller
      April 5, 2017 - 7:11 pm | Permalink

      That last word should be “grand”–OOPS!

  120. Fredericka L Smith's Gravatar Fredericka L Smith
    April 5, 2017 - 7:40 pm | Permalink

    This post of crass commercialism didn’t help me solve my dilemna. In the end, i voted for Martin because he inadvertently created the modern world with all its complexities.We have him to thank or curse.

    • April 5, 2017 - 8:08 pm | Permalink

      Uh-oh, Fredericka. Have you become what the SEC calls a Kitsch Krank? (See the SEC’s Monday Madness video for reference.) I figure that if Notre Dame can have Touchdown Jesus, we can have our saintly kitsch. 😀

  121. Jane Pedler's Gravatar Jane Pedler
    April 5, 2017 - 8:21 pm | Permalink

    Even though I am Lutheran and a great admirer of Luther himself, as well, I voted for Florence, and I’m glad she won today. I have been an admirer of her since childhood; I’m one of those people who always to be a nurse, as she was. Never made it to that status, but did become a health care worker, a lot because of being inspired by her. Go for the win, Florence!!

  122. Rita OConnor's Gravatar Rita OConnor
    April 5, 2017 - 8:40 pm | Permalink

    I can’t look past the power of the protestant reformation. Luther has my vote!

  123. April 5, 2017 - 8:59 pm | Permalink

    As a woman named Florence, daughter of a woman named Florence, for whom else would I vote? You go, Flo!

  124. Davis Dassori's Gravatar Davis Dassori
    April 5, 2017 - 9:21 pm | Permalink

    As a sentimental partisan of the Sienese Republic, I cannot vote for Florence. Not this time, anyway.

    Catherine of Siena has been poorly served in this space in past years.

  125. Danita Shaw's Gravatar Danita Shaw
    April 5, 2017 - 9:30 pm | Permalink

    Yes yes, I caved voted for Flo for me mum.

  126. Carmen F.'s Gravatar Carmen F.
    April 5, 2017 - 10:06 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been wondering if like my grandchildren out here in British Columbia perhaps Oliver has been on Spring Break from school. I was so blessed to benefit from the TLC of the nurses at our local hospital quite a few years ago when I was terribly ill. They were so kind during their ministrations to my needs. Florence Nightingale was their historical mentor, and she gets my vote today.

    • Miss Jan's Gravatar Miss Jan
      April 6, 2017 - 11:05 am | Permalink

      It has been a long break then. This is about the third week with no Oliver comment and no word from the SEC on the subject. I’m not sure we have heard from Oliver since the photo of him and the big bracket he made for his parish was posted.

  127. Brett's Gravatar Brett
    April 5, 2017 - 11:09 pm | Permalink

    Voted for Martin, but thought I would share this. An audio recording of Florence Nightingale from 1890.

  128. andrea's Gravatar andrea
    April 6, 2017 - 1:04 am | Permalink

    Liked the Luther kitsch, but had to go with the Flo, for her sanitary reforms and founder of modern nursing. I also liked the troll doll and the pledge.

  129. Jackie B's Gravatar Jackie B
    April 6, 2017 - 7:13 am | Permalink

    This retired RN says GO, FLO!!!

  130. S. Sellers's Gravatar S. Sellers
    April 8, 2017 - 7:39 pm | Permalink

    Luther! Here I stand!

Comments are closed.