These are the days when I wish I was on Facebook.
Charlie Pierce sez:
[GOP nominee David Brat] got his undergraduate degree at Hope College in Michigan, which is run by the Reformed Church in the United States, a conservative evangelical wing of the United Church Of Christ.
The confusion starts with two similar sounding churches: the Reformed Church in America and the Reformed Church in the United States. The latter merged with the the Evangelical Synod in North America in 1934, forming the Evangelical and Reformed Church, which in 1957 merged with the Congregational Church to form the United Church of Christ.
Confused yet? Wait, there's more.
A breakaway section of the Reformed Church in the U.S. (RCUS) didn't join the 1934 merger and formed the "Continuing RCUS," which became (and still is) the RCUS. But Hope College has no connection to that church, either.
Hope College was founded "with help" from the Reformed Church in America. The RCA traces its roots to the Netherlands, and to a church service in New York City in 1628; which is quite a bit before the RCUS got started, as even in Germany the original Reformed Church which became the RCUS didn't get started until the 18th century.
So there's no connection between the UCC and Hope College except the word "Reformed," which merely refers to the Calvinist side, v. Lutheran, of Protestantism.
I hope this clears things up. And it's still not worth signing onto Facebook over.