Jesus Created Marijuana, And It Should Be Legal

Jesus Created Marijuana, And It Should Be Legal September 8, 2016

cannabis leaves on old wooden background

If you grew up during the era of big wheels, horrid hair styles, and the Reagan administration, you probably grew up thinking that green plant you see above you was a really dangerous item. This is especially true if you grew up a Christian during that era.

I mean, it was the lowest level “drug” on the list of drugs, but it was the gateway drug. This gateway drug was to be especially feared, because it represented the slippery slope to every other drug or form of immorality. Even trying it once could result in you no longer wanting to wear your denim skirt. Try it twice and you might swap out Sandi Patty for Motley Crue. Three times? Well, by the third time you wouldn’t even want it anymore, because you’ll be in a dark ally buying an even harder drug with the money you got from pawning your wedding ring.

It was all a bunch of nonsense.

All these years later, it is still a bunch of nonsense.

The times are changing though. Some states have now legalized marijuana, with several more considering doing so this fall. I believe this is in part due to the nation growing in collective awareness that marijuana no longer need be feared, and that in fact, the war on drugs has actually destroyed more lives than it aimed to help.

Not everyone is happy about this change. Recently on Facebook, Franklin Graham stated the following:

“The percentage of adults using marijuana has almost doubled in the last three years of the Obama Administration. Recreational use has been legalized in four states and will be on the ballots in five more in November. But if Christians had voted, maybe this wouldn’t even be an issue. I pray that Christians by the millions who didn’t vote in the last election will turn out to vote this fall. Let’s vote against these laws that are harmful to youth, to our nation, and to our future.”

(You gotta love that dig at Obama as if he’s the reason more people use marijuana, but whatever.)

I think it’s time that Christians in America had a refresher course on a few things instead of just blindly swallowing the same old narrative they’ve been trying to scare us with. Unlike what Franklin Graham is urging Christians to do, I am urging Christians to adopt a biblical worldview when it comes to marijuana.

Marijuana is not some strange, synthetic compound cooked up in you neighbor’s basement. It’s not some new thing they invented in the 80’s that sounds good at first, but then destroys all the lives it touches. Marijuana is not something God sits on the throne grieving over.

Instead, marijuana is something that was created by Jesus himself, that God declared to be good, and that God granted us permission to consume.

Speaking of Jesus in the first chapter of John, he writes: “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made” (v3). The Apostle Paul affirms this truth in the first chapter of Colossians: “For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him” (v16).

Taking even the most conservative hermeneutic forces us to recognize that, as a plant naturally existing in creation, Jesus created marijuana.  To deny this, one would have to deny that John 1:3 and Colossians 1:16 are true when they claim that nothing exists in nature that was not created by Jesus. A liberal hermeneutic may get you around this, but a conservative, high-view of scripture, will not.

Furthermore, when we look to the Genesis narrative of creation, we know that everything God created God declared to be good (1:12). The opening chapter of the Bible goes on to address the use and consumption of these plants:

“Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.” Genesis 1:29

So, here’s where accepting the inspiration and authority of Scripture lands us: Jesus created marijuana, it was created with a good purpose in mind, God declared it to be good, and God gave us permission to consume it.

If you want to adopt a biblical worldview towards marijuana, it begins with affirming God created it for our good and our benefit.

Now, affirming this certainly isn’t free license to do whatever we want. We are called to reject gluttony (over-consumption). We are called to use wisdom. And in some cases, Paul says that just because we can do something doesn’t mean we actually should do it. There is a responsible middle-ground that exists between making something legal and regulated, and encouraging an irresponsible or gluttonous misuse or abuse of something.

However, this idea that marijuana is a dangerous drug that needs to be banned– this irrational fear of a plant God made– is totally unwarranted.

We see evidence all across the country that people are experiencing healing and comfort from the use of marijuana (and a host of other natural, plant based products)– and this makes complete sense. If God created it and declared it to be good, the proper and responsible use of plants– including marijuana– would certainly have good and positive results.

As Christians, I think we should be people who affirm that everything God made is in fact, good. Marijuana is on that list.

However, instead of embracing God’s creation, we have rejected it. We’ve been destroying lives, building a prison industry, making people rich by forcing you to buy their synthetic drugs that do what God’s plant does naturally, and preventing people from experiencing natural healing, over the offense of ingesting something God made for us and gave us permission to use.

Those days must end.

I am a devout Christian. I affirm the goodness of God. I affirm the goodness of God’s creation. I affirm the inspiration and authority of Scripture.

And I think marijuana should be legal.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • It’s the same fundamentalist reflex that teaches alcohol consumption is a sin.

    The war on marijuana has cost an amazing amount of money and incarcerated an amazing amount of people for no social return. There is no good reason I’m aware of why alcohol is legal and marijuana is not, although there are some bad ones.

    Because of its effects, we might have some laws around the times when using marijuana could be dangerous in the same ways we have them for alcohol. And certainly, each individual would need to make healthy choices for their own lives in terms or whether or not to use it and to what extent. You could certainly destroy your life with marijuana, as you could with plenty of other perfectly legal things.

    But being illegal? Not a great reason for it. And being morally opposed to it de jure as a Christian seems hard to justify.

  • I’ve never used marijuana, and have no interest in it.

    It has never made sense that we allow cigarette smoking and alcoholic beverages, yet have laws against marijuana.

  • A Freedom Fighter

    An estimated $150 BILLION PER YEAR from recreational cannabis sales in America goes directly into the hands of organized crime and criminals. Legalization will take this fortune away from criminals and drug lords and place it into the hands of legitimate responsible business. Another $15 BILLION is wasted on needless cannabis law enforcement and another $30 BILLION lost in potential tax revenue. BILLIONS and BILLIONS down the toilet every year due to ridiculous cannabis prohibition laws that make no sense and destroy people’s lives daily. When considering legalization ask which is safer, cannabis or the legal alternatives?

    US CDC Figures on numbers of deaths per year in the USA:

    * Prescription Drugs: 237,485 + 5,000 traffic fatalities
    * Tobacco: 390,323
    * Alcohol: 88,013 + 16,000 traffic fatalities
    * Cocaine: 4,906
    * Heroin: 3,365
    * Aspirin: 466
    * Acetaminophen (Tylenol): 179
    * Marijuana: 0, no fatal toxic overdoses and almost no traffic problems

    So, which is safer? Legalize cannabis NOW!!!

  • JD

    Amen! There’s zero logical reason for prohibition, plus it’s entirely ineffective. Heck, one could argue it’s counterproductive as it only enriches black market actors and leads to dangerous drug innovations (bath salts, K2, etc) absent any regulatory controls.

    That’s not even touching upon the unfathomable carnage created by prohibition to minority communities. As a Christian, I can’t support prohibition because the effects of that prohibition are far worse than the drugs themselves. Plus, I don’t believe ours is a faith where we enforce our ethics with the gun of government.

  • Al Cruise

    The real reason it has remained illegal is that it’s the primary way of getting minorities/poor into jail. Especially with the use of private run prisons .

  • Nimblewill

    He also created rattle snakes!

  • JD

    And as far as I’m aware, one can own a rattlesnake without fear of armed men kicking your door in and throwing you in a cage.

  • Nimblewill

    But if I sold a rattlesnake to a kid………………………..

  • Ron McPherson

    “It’s the same fundamentalist reflex that teaches alcohol consumption is a sin.”

    So are you saying that Jesus, at the wedding of Cana, didn’t turn the water into grape juice? Heretic!

  • olbab

    And a zillion other often lethal creatures. But just restricting it to “seeded plants” (’cause Bible) covers a host of deadly things. Just sayin’.

  • I’m an addict. I can’t use anything. If you’re not an addict you won’t have a problem using Marijuana recreationally. Beer or spirits either MHO.

  • John

    Bwahhhhaaaaaaaa. This is one of the best, most sensational posts by Ben in a long time. The headline got me and I couldn’t resist. Ben’s reasoning continues to defy logic, but he sure knows how to ruck it up. Good one.

  • Aw nimble chew nevah bin high mon? ~€=-)

  • They grow the best pot in Galilee! `▪€=-)

  • Kimbrough Leslie

    Poor fundamentalist/formerly fundamentalist theology. It’s as bad as “praise” music with sloppy lyrics that confuse LORD (Yahweh Adonai) with Lord Christ (Kyrios Christos)/Jesus the Christ, has Jesus creating everything (vs. the Word (Logos) by which God created/creates), and implies the Father dying on the cross. Jesus of Nazareth didn’t create anything. Of course none of this is to mention that the marijuana of today isn’t the same as the 60s or to deal with the very real problems of cartel crime, environmental degradation from marijuana cultivation, or multiple psychological, if not physical addictions, including alcohol abuse, which is, granted, more likely to lead to violence.

  • bheller1

    Benjamin: I’m an agnostic who nevertheless can relate to most of your columns—if not verbatim, then metaphorically. But this time out, I had a hard time hanging on.

    Starting right-off-the-bat with “Jesus Created Marijuana” which gave me pause on a couple levels.
    First, I have no problem reconciling (for the sake of argument) the concept of “Creation” with The Big Bang (or thereabout). However, your claim that Jesus (rather than the usual Creator, God) created marijuana threw me for a loop. I’m familiar with stories of Jesus *transforming* water into wine; raising the dead; walking on water and such, none of which suggests (at least to me) that he, himself, ever spontaneously brought anything into existence from nothing. Secondly, the statement in question here seems (at least to me) to imply that marijuana didn’t exist prior to the birth of Christ.
    Forgive me for suggesting that this article sounds much like I would imagine it would had it been written under the influence of something else that Jesus may have created around the same time —peyote.

  • JD

    Are rattlesnakes really your go-to argument against legalization? Is it against the law to own a rattlesnake? Do you get your door kicked in by armed men for owning a rattlesnake? Do you get thrown into a cage like an animal for owning, or possessing, a rattlesnake?

  • And rattle snake venom has wonderful uses, such as the cancer treatment CB24, use in blood thinning agents, etc.

    So, yes, same applies to rattle snakes: they have wonderful uses for us.

    Just because something could be used poorly or wrongly doesn’t mean it is lacking in goodness. Marijuana has a host of good, medicinal uses.

  • Yes- and an additional reason is the pharma industry. Just ask the folks who sell Essential Oils– the FDA is cracking down on free speech, making people take down MEMEs that promote using plant oil to treat illnesses, etc. It’s because the pharma industry wants to force you to buy their drugs instead of starting out with the natural stuff God created. They’re in the money business, the treatment business– not the healing business.

  • Hopefully I can clarify: I am a trinitarian Christian and believe that Jesus is one with the father and that he has existed eternally. This is why John 1 claims that in the beginning Jesus existed, and that nothing was created that wasn’t created by Jesus. We believe the Jesus found in the Gospels is God in the flesh, which is why I worded it the way I did.


  • James Quinn

    If Jesus didn’t create anything, how do you contend with John 1?

  • James Quinn

    That was a compelling counter-argument you made. Very thorough explanation as to which part he got wrong, why, and what a better approach to these passages in scripture would be. Thank you for being so helpful.

  • Dean

    “…the marijuana of today isn’t the same as the 70s…”

    Is like that saying the wine in the Bible isn’t like the wine we have today, it’s more like grape juice?

  • Dean

    I agree with Ben’s post, but the title is clearly clickbait.

  • Very, very old grape juice.

  • Jon-Michael Ivey

    There were strains of marijuana available in the 1970s stronger than most of those consumed today. They just were not as popular. The stronger strains are more common today because of prohibition; if drug smugglers are going to risk punishment either way, they prefer to carry the stronger stuff so they can charge a premium. The same phenomenon occurred during Alcohol Prohibition, when the commonly consumed beverages changed from fairly week beers to highly concentrated distilled liquors and then back to fairly week beers once alcohol was legal again.

  • Ron McPherson

    I actually heard an evangelist point blank say there was no alcohol in wine associated with Jesus lol

  • Andrew

    Wow I never thought I’d say this ( I actually had to look out the window to make sure a fiery meteor wasn’t headed towards earth) but I agree with BLC. I think he’s probably adopting this position for the wrong reasons, but hey I can still agree with the end result.

  • bheller1

    I find it awfully convenient that the concept of The Trinity, per se, didn’t come about 50-100 AD. I’ve never read of Jesus suggesting a fusion of himself with his father or a holy ghost. He spoke of God as his father–a separate person–not even using the majestic plural “We”.

  • “Be ye not drunk with wine, but be filled with the Holy Spirit! Not that any of us could get drunk, anyway, because our wine doesn’t have any alcohol in it. Whose idea was this, anyway?”

  • Jessica Smith

    Jesus created coca leaves and opium poppies, too. Should cocaine and heroine be legal for that reason? Mega-lame argument.

  • Scott Ellis

    Like you said, you’re agnostic. Your curiosity could be satisfied by reading the Holy Bible.

  • Brandon Roberts

    i do agree it should be legal as well as all other drugs but i also think it should be regulated and programs should be in place to help addicts but i also understand that this is a tough issue

  • Nimblewill

    Are you suggesting that minorities/poor are the ones using marijuana or the only ones being arrested for using marijuana?

  • Well, at one point Jesus told his followers that “if you have seen me, you have seen the father, for I and the father are one”. So, true, the concept of the trinity was articulated later, it becomes the word/thing fallacy: just because the word isn’t there doesn’t mean the thing isn’t there.

  • A broken clock is still right twice a day!

  • Al Cruise

    The only ones who go to jail for it at an astoundingly higher rate as compared to whites for the same offense. It is not a suggestion, that is a true fact.

  • Nimblewill

    Why do you think that is? Is it some sort of conspiracy against the poor? Who do you suppose it responsible for it? Is it the Dems or the Reps?

  • Tim

    There seems to be more evidence that marijuana is good for us rather than bad. And I agree that the war on drugs has done far more harm than good. Enjoy responsibly, as nothing is without potential side-effects.

  • Ron McPherson

    Amazing isn’t it?. And when Jesus turned water to wine they were astonished that such good wine was served later (and not earlier), because it was the cheap stuff typically served at the latter part of the event (I.e. when everyone was, ahem, tipsy and so it didn’t matter). Like whoever heard of getting drunk on Welch’s grape juice?

  • Andrew

    Yes! Hopefully you’ll be right on things more often in the future :). Clocks can be fixed after all

  • Al Cruise

    White racism is responsible for it.

  • JD

    Yes, those drugs should be legal as well.

  • JD

    Why? Well, there’s an issue of systemic racism within the system (see NYPD’s Stop-and-Frisk program’s disparate treatment of whites vs minorities), but I think much of the problem is socioeconomic. Middle/Upper class individuals are more likely to be able to afford quality legal representation to fight the charges. The poor are typically stuck with public defenders.

  • JD

    Sarah, it has been legal for more time in American history than it’s been illegal. Also, what damage have you seen it do?

    Oh, and we tried alcohol prohibition and it failed miserably. It failed just as marijuana prohibition has failed. The real harm has come from prohibition, not the plant itself.

  • True, but he also prays that his disciples would be one as he and the Father were one.

  • Rattlesnakes are legal.

  • James Quinn

    Fallacy of false equivalency. Heroin is not a plant, cocaine is not a plant. Just because they have plant in them, they are still a totally different product. So, it’s mega-lame to try to claim that heroin and a marijuana leaf are somehow the same.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    And the further processes of both plants have been weapons in the medical pharmacology arsenal… that they have also been abused is a separate, but still medical, issue.

    A drug is not a drug is not a drug, else we’d be using Aleve to cure cancer.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    And actually, what’s been called “Hospital Heroin,” used in medical care pretty regularly, is the exact same chemical, albeit processed and standardized by a professional and licensed laboratory…

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Considering that cannabis, in and of itself, is not addicting, in any of the recognized ways, treatment is not necessary.

    A dear man further upthread (Hiya, Charles! Glad to see you still around!) has, for years, honestly characterized himself as an addict… For such people, pretty damned much anything, including benadryl for allergies, Listerine for breath, or anything else is a potential trigger.

    That medical issue is completely separate from those who enjoy the gentle herb and are capable of not doing it all up at once.

    For myself, I was born on the autistic spectrum, as well as with a serious chemical imbalance, resulting in major depressive disorder.

    I am on 3 pretty powerful meds, and have been since I was 41 (would that such godsends, to me, have been available in my youth… I’ll be 60 this coming Valentine’s Day.) My doctor and I discussed medical cannabis (although it had been at least a part of my life since I was 15). He’s a man who was both an M.D. and held a doctorate in neuropharmacology. Chris sat back, did some calculations in his head, and said, “Paul, I really think it can help you.”

    My other meds tend to balance out the internal chemicals, and cannabis provides the ability to pull it all together and focus.

    Funny thing, though… those times I’ve had to do without any of the “legitimate” pharms, the withdrawal was excruciating… but I’m a grown-up… I’ve weighed the positives and negatives, and am happy to continue the course of meds… That our insurance is pretty cool, and we’re in a better financial situation makes it possible I’m able to use the good and not have to worry about the bad.

    Now, cannabis? I held a valid medical card in California and in our future state of New Mexico, I’ll have no problem doing the same.

    2 miles this side of the state line? If anyone really had an axe to grind with me, I could face a possible stretch of 30 years in state prison… for a plant that ha-Shem created (not a Christian, so I don’t tend to see John as other than a lovely mystical tract)… for a plant that has helped to make me a much healthier man in these sneaking-up-on-autumn days of my life.

    Sorry for the long-winded comment, but I was really, really pleased to see the good Doctor post this, and I had to spout off and pontificate… *smile*

  • bheller1

    I spent nine years (K-8) in Catholic school. While what’s said of the Church, that it puts less emphasis on the Bible than Protestant denoms generally do, I’m here to tell ya, I had my fair share of it. (I was so Manchurianized that I was thinking seriously of entering the priesthood–a course that I now realize would likely have had serious consequences.) I probably would have proceeded on to Catholic high school, but the completion of construction of the only one within reasonable traveling distance was a year off so I enrolled in the local public high school. I’ve often quipped when thinking back on at the quirk of fate, “There, but for the grace of the Acme Construction Company, go I”.

  • bheller1

    It’s always been Manischewitz.

  • Typhon

    how has marijuana prohibition failed?

  • Typhon

    What med’s are you on? Just curious what you’re attempting to replace with marijuana.

  • Typhon

    Actually all 3 do in fact come from a plant.

  • Typhon

    got any proof?

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Well, firstly, I’m not replacing any of them with cannabis… cannabis is an adjunct and seems to be, for lack of a better phrase, sort of a glue enabling each to work together.

    I am on Escitalopram, Mirtazapine (which has the most horrible withdrawal, but nevertheless does what it needs to) and Gabapentin. Additionally, there are OTC allergy meds, only at night, and melatonin, also at night.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    I will offer, though, that at least when first prescribed back in ’98, the first mirtazapine felt like I’d hit the biggest joint in history, complete with killer munchies. (Marie Callendar’s Chocolate Cream Pies were my weakness… LOL)… Difference is that I’ve been on it for many years, am well-adapted to the side-effects, and, fortunately, in a financial situation so that the severe negatives are not an issue.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Obviously, I make no secret of my advocacy for mental illness, and autism in all it’s manifestations… I’m retired, I don’t have to deal with the societal and employment aspects of my openness, and, hell… When there are no secrets, and I do my best to be a good citizen and child of ha-Shem, what harm can be done to me?

  • Paul Julian Gould

    (in case anyone is wondering, I’m Jewish and “ha-Shem” is a name for God and means “The Name” in some circles, so as to avoid the possibility of profaning the true Name)

    Personally, my name for God tends to be “The Boss,” as in, “Good morning, Boss! Thanks that I am still able to draw breath!” *smile*

  • Typhon

    I rarely see remeron anymore, why are you using gabapentin? do you have some other condition?

  • Paul Julian Gould

    One of the off-label uses has been as a sort of anti-depressant, but also has extremely mild sedative effects. It was originally prescribed as an adjunct to the other two. *(I mentioned that my doctor held a PhD in neuropharmacology, and knew well what played well with what)

    That I have a serious back ailment, it also does seem to calm the nerves around that area as well, so it’s helpful.

  • JD

    Seriously? Access to it is easier than ever before, and that’s in areas that haven’t legalized or passed medical marijuana laws. The government is incapable of stopping it’s flow into the US, or the cultivation of it inside the US. The only thing the drug war has been effective at is filling prisons, but it certainly hasn’t slowed the rate of drug usage. Here’s a gallup poll done on marijuana usage that highlights prohibition’s failure:

    It’s a war against basic laws of economics that has torn communities apart and enriched violent cartels.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Or Mogen David 20/20… oh… wait… that was a lost weekend back in the 70’s…

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Except for someone with addictive tendencies, cannabis tends to be a self-regulating substance… most consumers find a particular point where they know they’ve had enough, as differentiated from alcohol that just tends to shut down that part of the brain.

  • I grew up a Pentecostal Christian, so his title made perfect sense to me. Not clickbait, just Christianese.

  • Al Cruise

    Sure. Start with reading the book “The New Jim Crow” the facts in that book have been independently verified as accurate. If that doesn’t suffice their are many Government documents that also confirm the facts.

  • Paul Stone

    Thank you for this thoughtful article. I share your belief in both the spiritual origin (as with all plants), the healing capabilities, and the need for a more common-sense legal approach.

    Medical cannabis saved my life. It was the only thing I found that could break me out of a horrible downward spiral of chronic pain and chronic depression… and believe me, I tried all the conventional Western medical treatments and medications, and most holistic/alternative treatments and medications as well.

    I grew up in the 80’s thinking that I should always “just say no”. I thought people who used marijuana were bad people. It wasn’t until I was almost 40 that I finally tried it, and I discovered that not only healed much of my health, it also brought me closer to God by reopening a spiritual side that years of pain and suffering had closed off.

  • Coming from a plant and being a plant are two different things. It’s the difference between a “true story” and “based on a true story”. Heroin is not a seed bearing plant, and neither is power or crack cocaine.

  • Typhon

    All 3 come from a plant, are illegal, addictive, and damaging to the human body. There’s no justifying drugs.

  • Typhon

    No I’m asking if you have any proof, I’m asking you to show it.

  • RonnyTX

    Years ago, what I never could figure out, was why a neighbors son was given years in the pen for selling marijuana? That just didn’t make any sense to me. And back then and in my county, it was illegal to sell alcohol; but plenty of people brought it in from neighboring county towns and sold it here. Yet I never heard of those people getting a sentence of years in the pen/jail, for doing such. And yet, I came to find out that I had neighbors of every side of us, who were alcoholics. The worst case was a married couple, who had 3 or 4 kids, under 10 years old. They lived about a 1/3 of a mile up the road and that was a really sad case, what with all the young kids. The littlest girl, around 3 or 4 years old, she would sometimes walk down to our house and Mom would give her something to eat and clean her up, in our bathtub. Scary, that child walking down the road by herself and crossing a highway, to get to our house. So as I got up in my teens, I could see the damage alcohol had done to some of my neighbors;but if any smoked pot,which I don’t doubt some did, I never saw the bad effects of that and or personally knew about such. And I grew up where a good many people were hard against any drinking of alcohol; but they seemed to think that things like marijuana, was much, much worse. Which as I say, such never made sense to me. Not since I could see the obvious damage that over drinking did, to some of my neighbors and their families.

    Oh yeah. just thought about the neighbor lady, who had kids, two girls, in the local school. She threw a party for the kids in her girls class. Now these were kids in their mid teens or younger; but it was the neighbor lady, who spiked the punch, they were drinking! A younger cousin of mine was there, he didn’t know that, got drunk on the punch and cut himself, when he walked out though and broke their patio door! :-( He made it ok; but it was bad enough he had to go to the local emergency room. Ah just remembering, this same neighbor lady, she was the one that went to visit her parents one day, came back drunk and ran over out and the neighbors mailboxes. Just so much in my growing up, where I saw excess use of alcohol hurting people; but yet I knew a lot of people, who thought that marijuana, was much worse. Well, that never made a lot of sense to me. Not since I could see the obvious damage the one caused; but didn’t see the same, for marijuana.

  • RonnyTX

    Paul, I’m sure glad to hear, that it helped you in that way! :-)

  • Sheila Derr

    Benjamin, thank you for sharing your perspective on this ongoing debate. The trouble I have with this piece is that it is overly dependent on a faulty theological assumption and it doesn’t offer enough biological perspective.

    Creation was declared good before Adam sinned…it is not clear therefore where marijuana falls and what God’s final verdict is on it.

    As a recreational drug, marijuana has historically been valued for its mind altering effects. Science also offers perspective on the down sides of marijuana: diminished cognitive function (including concentration, memory, learning and judgment), impaired motor skills, and decrease in motivation, as well as the potential health problems that result from inhaling an irritating/toxic chemical when it is smoked. Nowhere in scripture do I see examples of God’s people being encouraged to pursue mind-altering chemicals as a means of recreation. What I do see is encouragement to be of sober mind, to care well for our bodies, and to love God (with all our soul, strength, and mind) and neighbor (as ourself).

    Please understand that I am not debating the merits of the medical use of marijuana. I think that there is enough evidence that, in some cases, the quality of a person’s life can benefit from its use. We must seek to remain informed on these things and to advocate where wrong and injustice occur but to otherwise affirm that under certain biological and psychological conditions, its use as a medical/psychiatric intervention could be beneficial. I think that in the case of the latter, a licensed, informed, and responsible physician or psychiatrist would be the better judge of this need than the average person or even a politician though.

  • Questioning

    And so are a lot of medicines, only difference being that they are legal. Try being on chemo for a while. There is no good reason for marijuana to be illegal. There are probably more people addicted to prescription drugs than illegal drugs.

  • Typhon

    Yes, but those medications are used for treating illnesses and disease. Marijuana has some beneficial “properties” but nothing comparable to the efficacy of modern medicine.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Thanks to Harry Anslinger and W.R. Hearst, in 1936 my mother, as well as millions of other people became potential felons overnight, due to what was in their family medicine cabinet… Meds (that actually did work) were commonly containing “Tincture of Indica,” among other things…

    Our friend a couple of messages up seems to be of the mind that a drug is a drug is a drug and they’re all bad…

    Antiperspirant is a drug. Tylenol is a drug… If all drugs were alike, we’d be using Aleve to cure cancer…

    Each substance has its use. The ones that I see that are the most harmful are those that talented but mercenary chemists have created as “synthetic marijuana,” but are actually modified cannabinoids that are not the same thing, but have actually harmed people.

    Since humans have always used some sort of “mood elevator,” and likely always will, whether or not some like that fact, the fools with no other purpose than to make money, have substituted these barely legal substances for the place of the comparatively and operationally benign cannabis herb itself.

    If our friend upthread has seen lives wrecked by cannabis, I’d offer she contact the media, as she’s the first one in history to do so… In almost every instance I’ve ever seen, the LEOs find cannabis and add it on to the list of charges, but it is invariably other substances that have caused the problems.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Thank you, Ronny… and I also consider it, if not a life-saver, exactly, at least something that has helped to make life worth living.

    You’re here in Texas… you know as well as I that in NM, we each would undoubtedly qualify as patients… this side of the state line we could face lengthy prison terms…

    But we’ve got entirely too many folks, some on this thread, that have that “all drugs are bad” mindset, and will not be dissuaded from their rigidity.

    Cannabis has been a medicine for body, mind and spirit for at the least 10,000 years it’s been documented… It’s been a felony bust since 1936.

    And the latter is due to Harry Anslinger’s bigotry and ignorance, thinking that only “blacks, Mexicans and jazz musicians” use the stuff, as well as Hearst’s wanting to kill off the competition for his lumber mills, creating the paper for his yellow rags… Hemp would have cut into his profits.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Dunno where you live in this big piece of property, that is a 13-hour drive to get across, but if you were closer, having read your commentary for a couple of years, would love to run into you some time and… ummm… “compare notes.” (LOL)

  • Questioning

    And who knows what other beneficial properties might be uncovered if it is legalized. There are many more pros to legalization than there are cons, as have been noted here. Those people, who have benefitted and are benefitting, from its usage, would likely argue the “nothing comparable” claim.

  • Statis

    Hi Ben! Love what you talk about here most of the time, but I suggest you research this a bit more. I am assuming you are talking about the FDA sending letters to to a couple of multilevel marketing companies selling essential oils. If this is not the case and you are referring to something else, please let me know.

    Big Pharma is guilty of numerous sins (see Ben Goldacre’s book ‘Bad Pharma’ for instance), but there are good reasons for the FDA to enforce the law about unsubstantiated medical efficacy claims by companies or people selling those products from companies.

    There is a great summary here:

    I really doubt the FDA has the authority or resources to take down memes belonging to private individuals espousing their beliefs about essential oils, but they should apply the laws regarding advertising medical claims to companies and representatives of companies.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Reason I stated this is that more than a year ago, some really strange commenter decided to voice his willful ignorance by accusing me of worshiping some “pagan” false god called “ha-Shem,” and some strange wackiness did, thereby, ensue… As this is a Christian-oriented blog, and I attempt to be a good guest and not crap on the furniture, figured I’d get that out of the way early… *gentle smile*

  • Typhon

    None of the “pro’s” listed here are either anecdotal or unsupported, and plenty of research exists from other countries that everyone on here will ignore without even reading it.

  • Questioning

    The first part of your statement makes no sense. I suppose you meant “all of the pro’s.” As far as the “everyone on here” claim, that statement, in and of itself, is purely opinion and unsupported. I would be just as correct in saying “everyone on your side” will ignore any research supporting marijuana legalization. Given all we know about pot, if legalizing will help break the back of the cartel, or at least reduce their power and put some of that money where it is needed, then for that reason, and that reason alone, IMO it is worth the legalization effort. Naturally, there are dangers with any drug or substance like this, but we stand a whole lot better chance of controlling a legal substance, than an illegal one.

  • monty’s bones

    “Nowhere in scripture do I see examples of God’s people being encouraged to pursue mind-altering chemicals as a means of recreation.”

    So turning water to wine at a wedding was what, exactly?

  • Sheila Derr

    monty’s bones – you tell me. I’m very interested to see the reach you make with that one.

  • Karen the rock whisperer

    But people who grow coca use the leaves to good effect, countering some of the burdens that hard work and high altitude puts on their bodies. Before heroin and cocaine existed, people used “poppy syrup” to induce sleep in pain-ridden bodies.

    I think it’s important to see and acknowledge the medical use of plants, as well as the unwisdom of using some of them recreationally.

    It’s also important to acknowledge the benefit to people of things made with those plants, after they are processed. Sure, there is abuse, but the sheer amount of pain that has been successfully dealt with by opium derivatives is overwhelming. Where I live in California, the number of people who’ve been helped by medical marijuana is impressive.

    Now, being an atheist myself, I don’t believe any deity made any of those plants. But they are gifts to us humans, whether you believe from God or from evolutionary processes. We need to use them wisely.

  • apoxbeonyou

    Some of my family actually believe that the “wine” Jesus created was actually caffeinated, which is how the party-goers were able to differentiate it and the cheap stuff. How else would they have known if they were drunk as skunks? It apparently ‘woke them up’ because it had caffeine.

  • RonnyTX

    Paul, I’m way over here in rural, small town NE Texas. Closer to the Atlantic ocean here, than I am to New Mexico! :-) LoL

    Living here with my older sister right now; but have the small farm, that I inherited from my Mom. A little less than 15 acres, with an old house on that; but out back, several years ago, I redid and added to an old shed building and make a nice mini house out of that. :-) Lived there, for several years and did like living there. :-)

    One problem with the place. I had some big weeds, come up in one side of the yard, several years ago. Foolishly let them go too long! (ha) Well, last years spring was so wet, it was a long time before I could even mow that yard. Was in another group, several years ago, when a guy posted a picture of a wild marijuana plant. I double checked and sure enough, that was the real tall weeds, I had in one part of my yard! :-( Didn’t know if I could get in trouble with the law over this or not? So looked it up online, a couple of years ago. Looked at the pictures online and sure of what I have. Wild marijuana, for certain. Or what some call wild hemp or ditch weed. Also found out online, that these wild plants don’t have the chemical in them, that makes a person high. But then I read another page, that said that didn’t matter in Texas and you could still get in trouble, for having such on your property! :-(

    Oh, I’ve also seen this same wild weeds, just down the road from my sisters place. And some in the road ditches. That both close to here and at the nearby county seat town. Seems the stuff thrives, along the interstate highway there! (ha) Ah well, back at my old home place, when it cools down a bit more this fall, I have a lot of weed pulling to do! :-) LoL

  • gimpi1

    I live in Seattle, and we in Washington legalized marijuana several years ago. We have marijuana stores, selling both smoke-able weed and consumables such as candies, sodas and drink-mixers. We’ve had virtually no real negative consequences, and several positive ones. I just don’t see why this is a big deal. The four states that have legalized have not seen a big jump in drug-crime, traffic accidents, use of harder drugs or health problems. We put a high tax on marijuana products, which has helped the state’s budget. We are seeing higher (see what I did there) marijuana use, but we’re seeing a bit less alcohol-usage problems.

    There simply hasn’t been a downside. I can’t imagine what Mr. Graham is so afraid of. Of course, I’ve said that before…

  • monty’s bones

    It’s an example of Jesus fitting in with 1st century Palestinian culture and encouraging the use of an intoxicant for recreation at a wedding – there’s nothing unusual about it, except the miracle part. Being encouraged to use a drug for recreation doesn’t mean using it to excess or even regularly. Ceremonial and festival use of various drugs is common among human cultures.

  • gimpi1

    Personally, I think it’s the for-profit prison industry. They get paid per-prisoner, and they want as many as possible. They contribute to political campaigns, so I’m sure politics is involved, but only to collect these campaign-‘contributions.’

    Politicians also like to “look tough” on crime. Supporting harsh laws (and not worrying about consequences) is just a marketing-ploy in politics.

    In general, Republicans have been more supportive of privatizing things like prisons, in theory to save money. However, it hasn’t saved a dime, and has created a “justice” system that is pressured by private companies to lock up more and more people, to increase profits. Republicans have also tended to be more “law and order” candidates. Therefore, if I had to assign responsibility to a political party, it would likely be republican.

    The real problem, in my view, is a for-profit prison system. Other countries have made this mistake. China, for example, uses prison-labor for factory work, and they lock up huge numbers of people – even giving districts quotas – to have a big enough slave labor force.

    That’s not the way we want to go. You should never give monetary incentives to do some things, and one of those things is locking people up.

  • gimpi1

    Al gave you a good starting-point. Are you unable to do your own research for some reason?

  • gimpi1

    Our current information is that marijuana is not physically addictive. It can be psychologically addictive, as can many other legal substances such as caffeine. It (and any inhaled smoke) can cause lung irritation and damage, however, it is nowhere as addictive as tobacco and not smoked in the high amounts that tobacco is. Any drug during pregnancy is to be used with caution, however, one of the traditional uses of marijuana was to control morning sickness in early pregnancy. How safe this is is unknown, and part of the problem with our schedule 1 rules is that research to determine the safety and efficacy is illegal.

    We can’t really discuss the dangers of something when we refuse to study it, now can we?

  • gimpi1

    Or, perhaps you’ll change your views, and realize Ben was right about many other things. Your clock can be fixed, too:-)

  • gimpi1

    I appreciate your views, however, I don’t think your ideas about God’s will should be given force of law. I feel people should be able to make their own choices about their lives – as long as those choices are not directly harmful to others. That means we should be able to smoke or drink what we choose, live as we choose, believe what we choose, and the law has no business intervening.

    You should be able to make your case against recreational use of drugs such as marijuana or alcohol. Others should be able to hear your case and other viewpoints, then make their own decisions. As long as they aren’t causing obvious harm to others, it’s their business and their choice.

    For me, it’s an issue of personal freedom.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Most of what’s “wild weed” has been able to be traced back to WW II, when “Hemp for Victory” became legal until the end of the war… was a cheap fiber that did well as padding for military vehicles and aircraft… Wouldn’t want to smoke it… most it would cause would be a nasty headache, with nothing enjoyable about it…

    Wow, Ronny… you’re quite a haul from here, but it seems most places in Texas are… *smile*

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Oh, also the “wild weed” has been a good photo op for the DEA’s eradication program… usually when the org comes up for funding… go figure…

  • Andrew

    Ok let me be Ben. “Everything those evil and hateful little fundies say and do is wrong and stupid, so I’m just going to do the polar opposite of them on everything…even if it means being totally inconsistent at times or contradicting the Bible, because I just hate those damn fundies. Let me tell you about how much I love everybody!!!…except those damn fundies, they’re excluded and they deserve whatever shit happens to them!!!” Na, I think I’ll just pray for Ben. Adopting his viewpoint seems horrible

  • Sheila Derr

    gimpi1 – Thanks for sharing. Provided one person’s freedom doesn’t impede on another – I would argue that’s where law comes into play.

    My perspective differs from yours…the trouble with humanism is that there is no universal right or wrong…you and I determine that for ourselves. Unfortunately or fortunately, law sometimes is necessary to level the playing field or forge common ground.

  • Sheila Derr

    “Ceremonial and festive use of various drugs is common among human cultures.” – this I would agree with. I would also agree with your statement about being encouraged to use drugs recreationallly. Where I disagree is the use of these as lenses for interpreting scripture in this instance. This encounter was about the miracle than an endorsement of recreational drug use.

    I think this is where our perspectives – Secular Humanism and Christianity – may have difficulty reconciling differences.

  • BeachTables

    Jesus created Marijuana…. assuming Jesus/God created it, it was used by every civilization on the planet even before Judaism was established.

    From the DEA website:

    The Origins of Cannabis

    The oldest known written record on cannabis use comes from the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung in 2727 B.C. Ancient Greeks and Romans were also familiar with cannabis, while in the Middle East, use spread throughout the Islamic empire to North Africa. In 1545 cannabis spread to the western hemisphere where Spaniards imported it to Chile for its use as fiber. In North America cannabis, in the form of hemp, was grown on many plantations for use in rope, clothing and paper.

  • Ron McPherson


  • RonnyTX

    Typhon to Benjamin:
    All 3 come from a plant, are illegal, addictive, and damaging to the human body. There’s no justifying drugs.

    Ronny to Typhon:
    The same could be said of tobacco and I was on that, from 15 to 58 years old. Just glad one of my sisters bought me some vaping stuff, 3 years ago. :-) I tried those, liked them and ended up getting a different type of vape pen. Sitting here now, using such. :-) And since I used to smoke over 3 packs of cigarettes per day, when I first started vaping, I used a vape liquid that had 28 or 30 grams of nicotine in it. I need to check out the figures again; but today, I think I’m down to 1 or two grams of nicotine? And most of what I’m vaping now, is propylene glycol. That’s one of the main ingredients in vaping liquid. And the great thing is, I can get this ingredient at the local farm stores, for $21.50 or so a gallon. :-) Talk about cheap, as compared to most cigarettes! :-)

  • RonnyTX

    Typhon to Questioning:
    Yes, but those medications are used for treating illnesses and disease. Marijuana has some beneficial “properties” but nothing comparable to the efficacy of modern medicine.

    Ronny to Typhon:
    I remember about 15 years ago, when I had a medical problem, that my local doctor couldn’t figure out. So, he sent me to a specialist. Guy told me right off, what the problem was and ordered me some meds. After I started taking them, I read the leaflet, that came with the main med. It said that med had caused severe liver damage and even death, in some people! Well, I kept taking that med, because I really had no choice. And since then, I have took it about 3 or 4 more times. But if marijuana would help my particular problem, I know full well, that I rather us that, this this other med. Figure with it, there would be a lot less possible bad side effects! (ha)

  • Realist1234

    Totally agree. The idea that just because God created something means it is ‘good’ for humans is laughable. I actually thought the title was a joke, before I read on. There is sufficient scientific evidence to show that this drug is not ‘good’ – Short-term use of the drug impairs thinking and coordination, and in long-term studies, teens who smoke marijuana have lower IQs later on, as well as structural differences in their brains, though scientists debate whether this is an effect of the drug or a result of habitual pot smokers seeking out less intellectually stimulating pursuits (not good either way). Marijuana use has been linked to mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. Marijuana smokers are also likelier to suffer from bronchitis.

    Ben – is this how you want your daughter to end up?

  • gimpi1

    Um, OK, except he’s never said any of that. Do you disagree with his concern with ending human trafficking? His deep belief in helping poor and sick children around the world? His devotion to following God as he has come to understand the Divine? The hard work he’s put into his education and books?

    You seem to be focused on trivial things that personally offend you, rather than looking at the totality of his beliefs and the actions they have inspired. Can I ask why?

  • Ms JT

    I am on Escitalopram. If i skip a dose (and Im only on 20mg/day) oh my goodness! my heart pounds, i get horrible nauseous. I get dizzy. I used to take clomazapam also (A highly additive anti-anxiety med) the side effects of missing a dose were not even close to the escitalopram

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Different meds affect people different ways… for myself, I seldom feel the escitalopram, but I know it’s doing its job… withdrawal, for me, from that takes about 5 days to kick in, and it’s mostly insomnia and “brain zaps.” Mirtazapine, however, within 36 hours, I’m like a heroin junkie going through the “jones.” Barfing, the trots, headache… just like I’d had the worst case of the flu ever. Nevertheless, I also know how effective it is for my issues, and grateful it works, and grateful to ha-Shem and my late parents’ generosity and good health insurance that I really only have to deal with the bad side on the very occasional times my doctors’ office drops the ball and doesn’t hit it in a timely manner… Early ordering and a really sharp pharmacist at K-Mart keep that extremely occasionally, thank God… *LOL*

    I was on Paxil, early in the diagnosis, and hated it… too “leveling” and other things, but my wonderful doctor in L.A. and I found a good mix… Lots of folks over my Disqus “career” have taken it on themselves to diss me for putting “poison” in my old bod, or giving Big Pharm my bucks, or any other presumptious criticism. I don’t really give a damn, any more than I do regarding those on here who seem to have some ingrained hatred of cannabis… They work for me, and I have to live in this body, mind and soul, thanks… *smile*

  • Paul Julian Gould

    … and, also, even in those thankfully rare occurrences where I have to deal with a day of the Remeron Jones, the cannabis, as well, serves to mitigate the nausea and other issues, as well as keeping me from freaking out… *slightly kidding regarding the last* *smile*

  • Ms JT

    I HATE it when people criticize psych meds. I don’t understand the issue with taking drugs, even strong drugs to help with a major medical problem. Nobody says the same thing to diabetics, cancer patients, or asthma.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    True… me too…

    But humans have been ingesting substances as long as there have been humans… That some of these substances have mystical, sedative, pain-killing, or stimulating properties seems to matter mostly to those who subscribe to a certain set of doctrine and dogma that really only come from as recently as the mid-19th to early 20th century.

    I was always amused that every company or corporation for which I’ve ever worked always have plenty of coffee stations and energy drinks in the vending machines… God forbid that they’d have anything, even chamomile tea, that might calm employees, or, God forbid, help them think critically. We’re a damned selective society, as regards what we seem to tolerate and what we seem to hate. Any substance that inspires any sort of mystical or thoughtful state of mind tends to have the highest DEA schedule… go figure…

    Folks have imbibed deeply at the religious and law enforcement vibes that the nebulous phrase “mind altering” inspires such abject terror.

    My meds, both pharmaceutical and truly traditional, are accurately described as “mind altering.” And, for this, I am extremely grateful, and the state of my mind, affected as it’s been since birth, really is better for being “altered.”

    I don’t get the mindsets (nor do I really wish to understand totally, as I suspect I’d be diminished by the effort) of those that can’t get over some terror of “drugs,” whether from some attitude against “Big Pharm,” or on the other side, that “pastor” and right-wing indoctrination have convinced that “drugs”… all drugs… are bad.

    (I’m sure I annoy my wife that, whenever I visit her school, I can’t avoid commenting on the “drug-free” signs around… I’d hope it’s not “drug-free,” as we’d have lots of teachers and administrators with stinky bodies, killer headaches, achy bodies, or who can’t keep their eyes open)

  • Typhon

    That’s great, I found your personal experience very interesting and incredibly similar to other personal stories.

  • Typhon

    Actually cigarettes aren’t illegal, therefore the same cannot be said about tobacco.

  • Typhon

    Al also has ignored me since I clarified if he had proof that he was able to provide and to no surprise he clearly didn’t.
    I’m not obligated to do research to support his statements, he is. Yet he clearly hasn’t conducted any himself. I find it interesting that you criticize me yet say nothing to someone who posted unsubstantiated claims. It demonstrates your favoritism.

  • gimpi1

    He offered you two references. You complained that he isn’t offering you “proof.” What do you want, exactly? A detailed explanation on a blog? That’s not possible.

    Did you check his citations? Citations are how one generally offers supporting evidence on a blog. Long-winded explanations are generally considered rude. A citation lets someone follow up at their own pace.

    He had citations to offer, so it appears to me that he clearly has done some research. He appeared to engage in good faith. You didn’t.

  • Andrew

    “You seem to be focused on trivial things that personally offend you, rather than looking at the totality of his beliefs”
    From what I have seen on his blog, what I described seems to be a large part of his beliefs. Sure he has never said anything exactly like that, but it’s definitely the general impression I’ve got.
    Yes he does have some bright spots in things like commenting on human trafficking ( and maybe if he spent more time talking about that I would agree with him more). Overall though he largely seems to just be directing a lot of rage at any viewpoint ( as well as a lot of subscribers of said viewpoints) that in anyway resembles the kind of background he came from before becoming “formerly fundie.”
    Anyway that’s the vibe I’ve gotten.

  • RonnyTX

    Sheila, in my growing up, I was never asked to try marijuana; but if some other kid had, had such and offered it to me, I might very well of tried it. But back then, the biggest deal in my home church, was young guys with too long hair! (ha) And I also knew alcohol, was considered a big no-no. But regular tobacco, that was seen as just fine, if you wanted to use such. In fact, where I went to church, between Sunday School and the preaching hour, the guys who wanted a smoke or to take a dip of snuff, they went outside and did that, during a 10 or so minute break. (ha) :-) The one young lady who smoked, she would go to the womens outhouse, to have her smoking break. :-) And at 15 years old, I found a partial pack of cigarettes and that’s when I got started smoking those. And that was way back in 1970, so I could also buy such, at the local stores. Went to 58 years old, before I quit cigarettes and started vaping. So have been off of cigarettes, for around 3 and 1/2 years now. What got me to quit, was some of my family getting me to go to another doctor for a checkup and she told me, that I had just started with emphysema. Well, I’d seen 2 uncles grow old and die with that. And for several years before they died, they were in very bad shape and couldn’t do much, that they wanted to. Just strange to me, that even way back before I started, smoking was seen as OK, by many of my local church members. Well the pastor smoked too. But what I don’t remember any of them talking about, is the great damage that smoking tobacco, could and would do to a person, over a period of time. Just shaking my head, thinking again about back then and how one of the bigger gripes, was young guys with hair, that the preacher thought was too long! :-)

  • RonnyTX

    Gimpi, I was 18 years old, before I tried alcohol. Us kids went on a several days trip, to Mexico. There, alcohol was legal for us to buy. Remember the first day and evening, I bought a bottle of wine and I drank it down, about as fast as I would a coke. :-) Was upset, cause I couldn’t see any effect from it, so bought another bottle of wine and started on that! (ha) Still remember being in the hallway of that old hotel, when the walls started moving back and forth! :-) And the Mexican folk I could see, they were laughing. Didn’t figure out till much later, that they were laughing about me swaying back and forth, as I walked down that hall! :-)

    So, I ended up getting drunk, three evenings in a row. Never got sick or woke up with a hangover. Never figured out, what was the big deal, some people had about drinking? Especially wondered why kids my age and around, made such a big deal out of drinking? After that, I didn’t drink any alcohol for years; but one time found a recipe for balloon jug wine, in an old garden type magazine. Made some of that and it was the best wine I ever tasted. :-) First time I did that though, I thought the stuff stopped fermenting to fast, so added more sugar to the mix. :-) Didn’t realize, that would just make it stronger, with more alcohol! :-) Still remember my first sip of that homemade wine. My, it hit my stomach and the warmth just spread out, over my whole body! :-) LoL

    Now personally, I do think it better, if people don’t drink alcohol; but then that’s simply because I saw so much damage from that, in the community I grew up in. Just too many people, drinking way too much! :-(

  • RonnyTX

    Yeah, about 120 miles from Texarkana. :-) Went there the other day, with oldest sister-we went to a nieces wedding. Sure was good to see them all and their little kids. :-) And always love seeing their Mom too, an ex-sister-in-law of mine. And one of her brothers was in from Northern California. Could still recognize the guy and I bet I haven’t seen him, since I was 17 years old! My, my, that is a long haul back when! :-) LoL

  • RonnyTX

    Paul to Ronny:
    Oh, also the “wild weed” has been a good photo op for the DEA’s eradication program… usually when the org comes up for funding… go figure…

    Ronny to Paul:
    Oh yeah and that’s the part that made no sense to me. Since the wild stuff has so little if any of the chemical, that makes a person high. And I need to look it up again; but hope that page I read on before was wrong, about a person could get in trouble with the law here, even if they had the wild marijuana on their property-the kind that couldn’t even make you high. Man, that part I read on that, it just didn’t make any sense at all.

    And thinking with this wild hemp I have, it’s so big I many save the stalks for later use. They’re big enough so that I could use them for kindling, in my homemade wood stove! :-)

  • RonnyTX

    Paul, as I see it, the only thing that really matters, is you or any of us, simply getting what we need,something that helps, when we have a medical problem. And that’s why I can’t understand some people getting so bent out of shape, when a person uses marijuana, for a health problem.

  • RonnyTX

    I have one 2nd cousin, who is severely autistic. :-( He and his parents live in Alabama, so I haven’t gotten to see any of them, in a long, long time. :-(

  • RonnyTX

    Paul, will be good to get to meet up with and talk with you, in the next life! Looking forward to that! :-)

  • RonnyTX

    You’re right Karen. That is and as you said, we need to use all things wisely. See you in the next life. :-)

  • RonnyTX

    Typhon to Ronny:
    Actually cigarettes aren’t illegal, therefore the same cannot be said about tobacco.

    Ronny to Typhon:
    True; but sometimes I wonder why they aren’t illegal? Especially, since cigarettes are addictive and certainly damaging, to the human body. I certainly know how addictive they are and after all my years of smoking, I sure know how they messed with my breathing. And three and a half years ago, when the doctor told me I had just started with emphysema, I was just so glad, that my chest x-rays, showed me to still be OK there.

  • RonnyTX

    Andrew to Gimpi1:
    Ok let me be Ben. “Everything those evil and hateful little fundies say and do is wrong and stupid, so I’m just going to do the polar opposite of them on everything…even if it means being totally inconsistent at times or contradicting the Bible, because I just hate those damn fundies. Let me tell you about how much I love everybody!!!…except those damn fundies, they’re excluded and they deserve whatever shit happens to them!!!” Na, I think I’ll just pray for Ben. Adopting his viewpoint seems horrible

    Ronny to Andrew:
    Andrew, I was brought up in a certain church from birth and taught there, to be what I call a super fundamentalist. (ha) But in time, God taught me better. Do I hate people, who are fundamentalist? No, I don’t. But I don’t like or agree with some things they say and do, that hurt other people. What God has taught me in this life time, is that I am to love every person. And that so, not matter who they are or what they do. For the person or persons, that I might be tempted to look down on or despise, Jesus Christ loved those persons so much, he went to the cross and took all of their sins, upon himself. :-) So, I can disagree with those people on somethings; but I am to love them, just as Jesus Christ did and does.

  • RonnyTX

    Ron, when I grew up in the local church, we used Welchs grape juice, for the Lord’s supper. :-) I was taught that all alcohol use was a sin; but I started smoking. Didn’t get jumped on about that, because the pastor and some others in that local church, also smoked cigarettes. Sad thing, the pastor died from cancer. :-( But before he died, the doctors told his family, to get him some wine and give him a bit now and then and that would make him sleep and rest more. Now where I live, this pastors son, was also a preacher and would not go in a liquor store. So, he got his daughter and son-in-law to do that. He was actually afraid, if some people saw him in a liquor store, he would get a bad reputation!

  • Paul Julian Gould

    I’ll be there, friend… look for me!

  • Paul Julian Gould

    I’m on the highest functioning end of the spectrum (what they now call PDD-NOS), wish I was as articulate verbally as I try to be online, but still can be an engaged voice for those who are farther along the line than I.

    And my dear “little” brother-in-law, Charlie, is a 57-year-old man with Down’s Syndrome, who was fortunately, not among those with the heart issues…

    Great guy, is passionate about the Detroit Tigers, loves Star Wars, and with whom I had a “light sabre” battle at our table at Red Robin up in Detroit, for which I’m sure most of the other patrons figured was just part of an entertainment thing RR was testing out…

    I try to be a voice for folks such as myself and various friends, and those like my BIL that can’t speak for themselves. Something that helps this tired old fart to get up in the morning… *gentle smile*

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Old guy Pentecostal, back in the day, in Birmingham, AL used to refer to the “Lord’s Supper,” “Holy Communion,” or whatever other designation as “grape joose and a crackuh…” (actually he was rather the old-school “crackuh,” so I took it with a grain of salt, and am rather proud I never insulted him… would say more about me than him, of course.

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Indeed… I’ve seen too many over the years that get challenged to provide citations that, in order to not be misunderstood, must be written with full context and so forth… A comment thread on another person’s blog is neither the time nor place for in-depth analysis and documentation… A link or two should suffice… just sayin’…

  • Paul Julian Gould

    People have been using the gentle herb for at least 10,000 years, with no attributable deaths or overdoses… Folks have been using it as true medicine for body, mind and spirit.

    Some folks these days have no issue with the body medicines… It’s those that are medicine for the mind and/or the spirit that they freak out over… Don’t get it, except that some folks are such that they need absolutes, and tend to think in binary ways… it either is or it ain’t to those folks…

    Goes along with the “God said it, I believe it, that settles it” that falls apart spectacularly when actual specifics are requested.

    Stuff works for me, in concert with the pharms, and what doesn’t help, I don’t do… I know what works for me… others’ mileage obviously varies, but some folks just can’t allow their preconceptions to be challenged… kind of a fear-based way to be, but that’s just my take…

  • Kimbrough Leslie

    THROUGH him, the Word, Logos. Presumably the human person Jesus of Nazareth/Y’shua bar Yosef was not pre-existent but the Incarnation of the second person of the Trinity.

  • RonnyTX

    I know what you mean Paul. :-) I also try and speak up for others. For me, it’s simply being deaf in the higher frequencies and very hard of hearing, in the lower frequencies. And even with two hearing aids, when I come up to a person I don’t know, I really don’t know how will I will be able to understand them or not? And there’s my little great niece with Downs Syndrome, like your brother-in-law. My, that little girl is one of the brighter lights in my life. :-) When she sees me or her Grandma come in the door, she throws her arms out wide and comes running at us, to give us a big hug! :-) My, no amount of money in this world, can buy something as good as that! :-)

  • RonnyTX

    Will do! :-)

  • RonnyTX

    Thank you Typhon. :-)

  • Typhon

    The reason for legality is irrelevant, staying objective: cigarettes aren’t illegal. Marijuana, cocaine, and heroin are. Not sure why an elaboration was necessary to being with.

  • Matthew

    Some might argue that smoking in public places is harmful to others. Maybe, in public places at least, smoking shouldn’t be allowed?

  • gimpi1

    Well, I’ve read Dr. Corey for a couple of years, and some of the most prevalent topics I’ve seen have been about work on children’s poverty issues (he’s the reason I’m sponsoring a child), and his scholarship regarding human trafficking. He’s spent a lot of time talking about it.

    I don’t want to insult you, and I’m not sure how this question will come off, so I’ll just apologize in advance and ask it; could this be a case of confirmation bias? Most people tend to remember things that upset them or that they disagree with much more easily than things that they agree with or support. Perhaps you’re selectively remembering the things that upset you and giving them more weight than other topics. Just a thought…

    Now, he does disagree with much of conservative Christianity. And, you know what, that’s fine. That’s his background and story. He has every right to tell us about how and why his viewpoint changed. Personally, I find it compelling, and it’s much more likely to reach me as an outsider than almost anything anyone can say.

  • RonnyTX

    Paul, I really like what you said, about knowing what works for you. I’m the same here, for some problems I have. I know what OTC med(s) or prescription meds have worked for me. And a couple of years ago, I went about 30 miles down the road, so I could see one specialist. I told that doctor what another specialist had given me, a few years before. She ordered the same for me and I got the same good results. :-) But the last time I went to a clinic, about 12 or so miles up the road and at the local county seat. Told them the name of my specialist doctor and where she was. And that what she had ordered for me, had healed up my particular problem. I couldn’t find my old med bottles at the time, so thought they would call her and find out what they were; but no, the doctor I had closer to home, he ordered me something else. And that something else, did not do the job. :-( It helped; but it did not cure up the problem. So, back to the specialist and she ordered me the meds I needed! :-)

  • Paul Julian Gould

    First doctor I saw had me on Paxil, and I told him, after a few months, regarding the side-effects that were making work difficult… So he switched up and we tried Wellbutrin… A week or so, and I had to see him to say it was making my thoughts race, while not amping the old bod, and that I really didn’t like it… He doubled the dosage… 2 days later and I went catatonic for a full afternoon…

    Found the doctor in Pasadena, to whom I owe so much sanity, and life has been great. Even though I don’t live there any longer, the Texas Tech physicians here have been cool with “it ain’t broke, let’s not fix it.” *smile*

  • Paul Julian Gould

    (that was Pasadena, CA, btw… not Pasadena, TX… just sayin’…)

  • Obscurely

    I agree with your position, but why don’t we lay off Franklin Graham for a while — in the sense that Pres. Obama decided not to enforce federal law in Colorado, Washington, etc, he is in a sense responsible for greater recreational use? I’m glad he didn’t enforce it but I think blogs like yours should be careful with the facts …

  • Typhon

    Yeah I didn’t think so.

  • Questioning

    He gave you proof to review, it’s your fault if you are too lazy to look at it, or did you want him to quote the whole book here.

  • RonnyTX

    Great to hear, they finally got you going on the right med! :-)

  • Typhon

    That’s not how it works, he has to prove himself not me. Grow up.

  • Questioning

    He has given you artifacts to review, artifacts he has used, that he believes, prove his point. He cannot post a book on here for your convenience. If you are truly interested in knowing if what he says is true, then you will investigate. Methinks you are afraid to know if what he says is true, so you are being recalcitrant.

  • Andrew

    “Perhaps you’re selectively remembering the things that upset you and giving them more weight than other topics”

    Well I’ve been consistently keeping up with this blog for about a year now and the vast majority of the posts I have seen are basically directed attacks towards people he doesn’t like. Yes he does have some posts on helping the poor and human trafficking ( but even in some of those I have noticed that he can’t resist a dig at conservatives), but they appear to be quite few and far between compared to other topics. It’s almost as though sometimes I feel like I take one step forward to finding some common ground with him, only to be pushed about three steps back.

    “Now, he does disagree with much of conservative Christianity. And, you know what, that’s fine”
    Yes it is. However he largely seems to be disagreeing with conservative Christianity simply for the sake of disagreeing with it. Also if he simply wants to disagree it would help if he wouldn’t fill his posts with so many insults, mischaracterizations, and falsehoods.
    ” I don’t want to insult you”
    Oh quite the contrary, you are the first person I’ve dialogued with on this site who doesn’t constantly hurl around insults and use emotional rhetoric. Your tone is quite civil in fact. Your questions are much appreciated, thanks.

  • Typhon

    He hasn’t given me anything he’s just talked about potential sources, not providing them.

  • James Quinn

    This blog is called “formerly fundie” and is a blog about leaving fundamentalism. We’ve spent three years following it as Dr Corey transitions out and shares the process with us.

    Why you’re so critical of this, I have no idea. It’s like showing up to a blog by a guy who was a race car driver, and then complaining that he’s always talking about race cars. Or it’s like reading a book on cooking and walking away annoyed that they talked about food the whole time. The criticism doesn’t even make sense.

  • Questioning

    He gave you a whole book and the name of the book. I typed in the name of the book, and sure enough there it is, a real book written by Michelle Alexander.

  • Andrew

    So you’ve never been to a blog that expresses different viewpoints than your’s and discussed and critiqued their views? That’s actually much more common then you appear to realize. You also appear not to have read my post. I didn’t say it was wrong that Corey critiques conservative Christianity. I just point out what are wrong with the critiques themselves.

  • gimpi1

    You’re welcome!

    I bring up confirmation bias because I’ve also been reading Ben’s blog for a couple of years. Yet, I remember vastly different things than insults to conservative people. I remember the passion that he brought to sponsoring children, a passion that helped me get over a foolish fit of pique I had with World Vision over a minor slight after I’d done some volunteer work for them. I was letting my hurt feelings blind me to all the good they do, and the only word I have for that today is “stupid.”

    I remember the interviews he published with sex-workers, humanizing them. I remember the in-depth posts on human trafficking, reaching beyond the simple stereotypes, encouraging people to see the problems with seafood processing, clothing manufacture and other industries that use slaves – mostly children. That’s what sticks in my mind.

    I started more out of curiosity, I’ve always been interested in spiritual matters, but never drawn to any one belief… I think of myself as an outsider to religion in general. Ben’s helped me to see Christianity beyond it’s public, political face, a face that can be frankly off-putting.

    He’s shared his pain and confusion as he came to believe he was not following his beliefs in an honest way. I relate to that. He’s also tried to explain things to me that I frankly don’t understand – such as prayer. I simply never learned how or why people pray. He’s been respectful and enlightening as I work to discover this part of life…

    I understand that while he was a conservative Christian, he did things and said things that he now believes caused harm, things he regrets. That’s what I see in his posts on conservative American Christianity – someone trying to make amends and perhaps warn others about the errors he feels he made.

    What insults have you seen? Perhaps I don’t register them,since it isn’t my “tribe” being gored. If you could explain how you feel insulted, it might help me and others avoid saying the wrong thing without realizing it. For instance, as a non-believer, I strongly resent people who tell me that I can’t have any real morals or ethics without a belief in God. I have decent ethics, thank you, and it’s frustrating to be told by a casual internet commentator that I don’t. Is it something like that that you feel with Ben?

  • Typhon

    Again, dropping the name of a book isn’t proving anything other than that there is a book that exists with that title. If there is a quote, statistics, case reports, research, anything significant then post and cite it here; but just saying the title and leaving me to assume that it’s in there isn’t proving anything.
    Did you attend college? Did you perform a research project and just tell your teacher “I got it from this book” and “it’s your fault if you are too lazy to look at it”. No you didn’t, either you did it correctly, failed out of college, or never attended at all.
    I don’t care what your education level is nor will I exploit your lack thereof, but to assume that I’m not ransacking a library in search for this book due to laziness is simply not true, it’s your ineptitude and/or incompetence that’s preventing you from understanding how this evidence citation actually works.
    I’m not going to continue arguing with you about a conversation that the other person clearly forfeited from. He didn’t have proof, so he posted one of the least specific references that anyone can possibly use: a book with no page, no chapter, no paragraph, no edition, no publisher, nothing outside of the title and author. It is abundantly clear that he was lying as I assumed he was because I know that his statement far from the truth.

  • Andrew

    Yes sort of. For instance he often broadly refers to gun owners ( especially gun owning Christians) as “sadists” “ammosexuals” “gundamentalists” and good guys with guns in quotation marks as though such people do not exist. This isn’t exactly Christian love. In fact it sounds like the same kind of thing he says is toxic, only it’s playing to a different tune. And honestly it makes me wonder if he even knows anyone who is a gun owner. I have never known someone with a gun ( and trust me I’ve known plenty), no matter how powerful or “scary” the gun is, who fantasizes about shooting people with it. My friend once told me that having a gun was like having fat pants. He hoped he never had to use it, but it was nice to know that it was there just in case. Also there are plenty of examples of people with guns stopping robberies and murders. Yet Dr. Corey just can’t seem to comprehend that most gun owners are just normal people, who have guns for completely legitimate reasons. It’s like he thinks that everyone with a gun is just some maniac waiting to go off and kill someone.

    He also seems to think that conservatives hate everybody. Looking at his blog I often see posts saying conservatives are anti-black, anti-Hispanic, anti-LBGT, anti-poor, anti-women, anti this, that and another. Again this is a complete ( and harmful) mischaracterization. I do not hate anybody! It is true that I oppose economic welfare programs (for lack of a better term) like raising the minimum wage and free education ( and fyi I’m a college student working several low wage jobs to help put myself through school), but that doesn’t mean I’m anti-poor. In fact part of the reason that I oppose programs like that is because I believe in the long run it will make the poor worse off. Yet I have seen Dr. Corey state that because I do not support this I am not pro-life

    Yes it is true that I think the “Black Lives Matter” movement is a problem, but that does not mean that I am anti-black. I oppose that movement because they are using divisive rhetoric and lies that are turning people against each other, that their actions have led to the deaths of police officers, and that they are completely hypocritical. If they care so much about the lives of black Americans they why is it they are not focusing on black communities. Over 80 percent of blacks that are killed are killed by other blacks. The fact that the BLM movement never mentions this, and seems to indicate that bringing it up is just a racist tactic, tells me all I need to know.

    It is true that I think that Christian Businesses should not have to cater to same sex weddings but that does not make me homophobic. A free society is one in which privately owned businesses may chose who they want to do business with, and given that Christianity prohibits same-sex relationships, there is nothing wrong with a Christian Baker saying they do not want to bake a cake for a gay wedding. That does not mean the baker hates gays or wishes harm on them. It simply means they are trying to follow their own personal ethics. I’d also like to say that opposing “gender neutral” bathrooms is not transphobic. In fact most people would probably say that telling a grown man they can be in the same bathroom as 10 year old girl is just common sense. If there is a man who is truly convinced that he is a woman, and wants to live like a woman in his private life, then I am content to let him be. It’s when the rest of the public is expected to comply with it that I take issue. I highly doubt that if I started saying I was Alexander the Great, and that people should form up an army to help me conquer the world, Dr. Corey would have any real qualms about saying I was a lunatic and that people should not have to listen to me, regardless of whether or not I was offended.

    I think that illegal immigrants should be deported, but that does not mean I am xenophobic. I simply think that if they want to come here, they need to do so by the legal process (which I do think could be amended). I am welcoming to anyone who wants to come to this country legally and work to better themselves, and contribute to American society as a whole. The problem I have is that many immigrants come here illegally, leading to rises in welfare and voter fraud. Yet according to Dr. Corey I am being Un-Christian by simply using the term illegal immigrant.

    Then there is the matter of patriotism. I personally see no problem with being a devout Christian, all while saying the pledge of allegiance, singing the national anthem, and saying I am proud to be an American who believes in American Exceptionalism. Yet from reading this blog you would actually get the idea that people who do that are idolaters. I have even seen him compare people who say the pledge of allegiance with people worshipping ancient pagan gods. That is simply ludicrous. Having a commitment to your country is no more idolatrous then having a commitment to your spouse. There is nothing wrong with having multiple allegiances so long as your allegiance to Christ is the one that has the greatest priority.

    Well that’s my rant. Sorry it’s so long, but you did ask for some examples. I’m also sorry about the people who tell you that you don’t have ethics because you aren’t a believer. Fyi that’s not what the Bible says.

  • John

    The Bible tells us to be sober, that includes both alcohol and drugs. There’s really no other way to look at it.

  • gimpi1

    Thanks for the follow up. I can understand how you feel. I consider myself very progressive, and disagree with you on most things, but I think we’ve shown that people can disagree without being disagreeable.

    I own firearms. I never thought I would, but I married a man who could likely arm a third-world country, and I had to make my peace with guns. I actually found out that I like to target-shoot, and I’m pretty good at it. I’ve even done some training – women are sometimes more comfortable with a woman showing them the basics of shooting. However, since Ben is a veteran, I’m sure he knows many people who own firearms. I, personally, would like to see basic rules regarding background checks and such, and I think it’s fair to look at the U.S. vs other countries regarding firearm crime. I don’t know if our main problem is firearms or our lack of care for mental illness. We have far more disturbed people living in the shadows than any other developed country.

    My experience with poverty comes from being raised by two disabled parents. My mother was a polio-survivor and my father survived traumatic brain damage in an industrial accident. That sort of poverty is brutal, and the hardest part is you know it won’t get better. Most people say, “Oh, I support helping people like tha,t just not the deadbeats.” In my experience, there are few actual ‘deadbeats’ and every attempt to attach them winds up hurting people like my family.

    I regard easy access to college as a no-brainier. (See what I did there?) In fact, our H-1 visa program is bringing in people who have been educated in countries that make it much easier to get a higher education. In fact, as more education is necessary to earn a living, it just makes sense to make it part of a public education. After all, a public education used to stop at the 8th grade, since that was what was necessary for employment. It changed to 12th grade as more education was necessary. It may be time to make it 14 years. At least it’s worth talking about.

    I don’t follow your ideas about the BLM movement at all. I don’t see it as divisive to talk about policing. I just see it as understanding that people have different experiences – like my background with disability. I don’t know what it’s like to be black – and therefore treated as suspect – so I ask people who do. Just like the way I asked you about your experiences. I also don’t see why murders are related to police shootings. The comparison I’ve heard is like saying heart attacks are bad, so how dare you talk about cancer? Both are bad, but they’re different, and they may have different treatments. Does that make sense?

    I know you don’t see discriminating against gay people as hateful. I would suggest that gay people have a different perspective. If it’s OK to refuse to do business with a gay couple due to your religious beliefs, is it OK to refuse to do business with an interracial couple for the same reason? (Yes, there are religions based on racism. Google ‘Church of Jesus Christ, Christian’ if you have a strong stomach.) I believe anti-discrimination laws are reasonable, and without them, we’d quickly see the sort of discrimination we saw in the past. I’m old enough to remember it, and it was nasty. However, there’s very little people like better than creating in-and-out-groups. Sad, but true.

    My perspective is also shaped by my experiences on this. My mother was a seamstress, and, when I was in college back in the 1970’s we had a small business making wedding gowns. Back then, the big religious controversy was divorce. I remember seeing couples that other wedding-industry folks gossiped about. The old, “I give this six months,” sort of thing. I remember asking my mother if we should be working for couples that we really thought shouldn’t marry. She said, “That’s none of our business. We’ve been hired to make a dress. The customer’s personal life is not our concern.” I thought that made sense. As I’ve built my business as a graphic designer, I’ve never thought that I had to approve of everyone that I do business with.

    I agree with you, that there’s nothing un-Christian about displays of patriotism. There’s also nothing especially Christian about them. The two aren’t related, in my view. Ben’s view might be affected by his Mennonite faith, which is both pacifist and declines involvement with any civic works – believing that they should be, “in the world but not of it.” I don’t support any kind of attempt to demand displays of patriotism or shame people for not making them. Demanding someone be patriotic is like demanding that they love you – it never works. You either feel it or you don’t.

    Good talk, Thanks. I hope you were comfortable with the way I made my points. I found yours interesting. Perhaps we can set an example here.

  • Andrew

    Yes good talk. I’m glad you shared your experiences and I did find a few of your viewpoints thought provoking. I’ll say one more thing before I go. You were asking whether or not it would be ok for a business to deny service to an interracial couple on religious grounds ( and yes I’m aware of the heretics who try to twist scripture into a white supremacy doctrine). I’ll go ahead and say that I believe any private business (keyword private) should have the right to deny service to anyone they want to…and yes that includes me. Personally the attitude I’ve developed over the last few years is if someone hates me enough that they don’t want to sell me anything then I’d just as soon take my money someplace else. I understand your concerns about eliminating anti-discrimination laws, but personally I’m inclined to believe that while some businesses would discriminate the vast majority would still do business with anyone who could pay for their services. Discriminating is quite costly. Just food for thought.

  • Questioning

    Um yes, I did graduate from college and yes I have written research papers. This is not college and this person is not writing you a research paper but whatever, I will play along. First of all, consider the book as the research paper, replete with all necessary information you are harping on, page numbers, publisher, title, and author. It is easy to find, you do not have to ransack a library to find it. Secondly, consider what he is attempting to prove. There is no theorem, no mathematical proof, no handy one line conclusion to refer to, you have to do the research. You asked him to provide proof. He believes the contents of this book constitute that proof. Is it proof? I don’t know, that is for you to decide, and here is the part of your little analogy that you conveniently left out. In order for a research paper to be assessed, sources to be confirmed, and graded, it has to be read. This is the part you seem totally disinterested in doing. I suspect this may be due to one or more of the following: 1) your mind is made up in this area and you have no interest in entertaining other opinion or 2) you are afraid of the information the book might present or 3) all you are really interested in is having the appearance of winning an argument on an internet forum comment page. As far as your haughty little “exploit” snark, the only thing being exploited here is your petulant stubbornness. Finally I would be willing to bet you cannot “prove” that his statement is far from the truth. Bye now…

  • theprozacqueen

    True…I think that the biggest reasons those things are legal and marijuana isn’t is because the government hasn’t figured out how to tax and regulate it yet. It’s about the money, at least partly.

  • Kimbrough Leslie

    Actually, since you bring it up, the wine in Jesus’ day would not have been aged as today’s vintages are, was more like syrup to which water was added, and didn’t not have as high of an alcohol content.

  • Typhon

    I don’t have to prove that his statement is false, if he cannot prove that it is true, then by default it is considered false. So far, no one can prove that his statement is true, as I predicted from the beginning.

  • gimpi1

    i hope you’re right about businesses choosing not to discriminate to raise their bottom-line, but sadly, I don’t share your optimism. I’m old enough to remember people discriminating against black people and Jewish people, and none of them chose to stop. It took force of law. In fact, as long as discrimination was legal, business-owners were pressured to discriminate – often through terrorism, KKK style. I’ve never seen discrimination ended without using force of law. Do you have a different experience or memory?

    One interesting thing I want to mention – take it for what you will. I notice you said, “Personally the attitude I’ve developed over the last few years is if someone hates me enough that they don’t want to sell me anything then I’d just as soon take my money someplace else.” Earlier, you said, “…there is nothing wrong with a Christian Baker saying they do not want to bake a cake for a gay wedding. That does not mean the baker hates gays or wishes harm on them.” I’m not sure from this if you see discriminating against someone a hateful act or not.

    Thanks for your perspective. Every time I talk to someone, I learn something, and I often learn more by talking to people I don’t agree with. That’s why I think learning to disagree without being disagreeable is so important. Good talk. I’ve enjoyed it.

  • Andrew

    Sorry let me clarify. I think people can discriminate for a variety of reasons. For instance you’ve probably seen stores with signs that say “no shirt, no shoes, no service.” Technically that is discrimination. However I think it would be a stretch to say that the owner of that store hates shirtless people. He probably just wants to make his store seem more professional. In the same way Christian Bakers (as an example) probably do not hate gays. They simply disagree with their lifestyle preferences, and do not want to take part in them. I think you mentioned that you designed websites, or something related? Would you want to do business with say the Koch brothers ( don’t take that the wrong way, you mentioned that you were more progressive, and in my experience most progressives seem to really dislike the Koch brothers) by designing a website for them that might support their business? If you don’t then I would say it’s not because you hate them but because you disagree with them. I threw the word hate in their because discrimination is basically associated with racism. I’m also trying to raise the point of why it is some people demand to do business with someone that doesn’t want to do business with them. If someone is forced to do business with you it’s certainly not going to help mend any sort of hatred or animosity that they have towards you. In fact it would probably have just the opposite effect. I hope I cleared things up. Thank you for the fruitful dialogue.

  • Dean

    Kim, sounds like you have an agenda if you ask me. When we speak of wine vintage, we speak of aging wine so as to alter its taste, aging wine doesn’t increase it’s alcoholic content. You can make wine with typical alcohol content in about two weeks. In fact, you can make prison wine in even less time than that. Finally, without a high enough alcohol content, you wouldn’t get any of the properties that drinking wine rather than some other non-alcoholic drink in ancient times would have provided (i.e., killing bacteria). People have been drinking wine since the dawn of civilization, literally like thousands of years BC. So this is not some new fangled technology that the people of the New Testament were trying to figure out. It just baffles me what this is even something that Christians want to spin, why does it matter so much that Jesus enjoyed drinking alcohol?

  • gimpi1

    Actually, I’ve worked on political campaigns for Republicans, designing direct-mail pieces and such. It was an agency assignment. I’ve also done print design for companies that I don’t like – products I don’t care for or approve of. I’ve also volunteered web-design work for World Vision, among others. I wouldn’t accept a job for, oh, neo-nazis or such, but as long as someone isn’t engaged in something illegal or actively hurtful, I’ll take anyone’s money.
    And that website is…!

    I see my client’s beliefs as none of my business. They hire me to design or create something – an illustration, a brochure, a catalog, a magazine design, a website. My job is to do my best to create a beautiful, functional piece that fills their needs. If they support political goals I don’t care for, that’s fine. The world doesn’t owe me agreement. The only thing I would steer clear of is, as I said, anything illegal or anything that advocated causing harm to others.

    Just an aside, you are aware that being gay isn’t a choice, right? You used the words “iifestyle preference.” I may be picking nits here, but all the best evidence is that sexual preference and gender identity is inborn. There’s simply no evidence that either can be chosen. I don’t know if that matters in your beliefs, but I thought it was important to mention.

  • Andrew

    I’m not actually sure whether sexual orientation is decided by biology or psychology or both or whatever ( and to be honest, as charged as the debate is, I don’t know if I’ll ever fully develop an opinion on it). I would say that it’s not something that could be so easily flipped like a switch. You bring up something interesting with your work history. You say that you have taken several jobs with groups that you do not necessarily agree with. No one forced you to do it, you did it because they were willing to pay what you asked. You also said that you would refuse service, but only in very specific situations. I think you may have answered one of the fears you expressed earlier. You were worried that should anti-discrimination laws be overturned, a large proportion of private firms, businesses, etc. would refuse to offer their services to minorities. However I think the mindset that you have would be the far more predominant one. Don’t just take my word for it. If you’re interested, look into the writings of Thomas Sowell, and Walter E. Williams, both of which are black economists ( I personally think Sowell’s “Markets and Minorities” would be a great place to start). One of the things they point out is that while there has been widespread discrimination ( Jim Crow, Apartheid, etc.), it is the result of government mandate. Yes their were laws that prevented private businesses from providing services to minorities, but those laws had to be rigidly enforced, because private for profit companies were hurt by them. So yes I would say that anti-discrimination laws should be overturned, but I am in no way calling for some kind of mandated discrimination. That is just an un-free market as anti-discrimination laws.

  • “I am a devout Christian. I affirm the goodness of God. I affirm the goodness of God’s creation. I affirm the inspiration and authority of Scripture.”

    Really? You told me the Old Testament stories are exaggerations and fairy tales.

  • Matthew

    It´s my understanding that although there isn´t archeological evidence to support the biblical account of the Red Sea crossing (for example), there isn´t archeological evidence that denies it either. So .. it seems to me that both sides of the Christian theological paradigm are in a “wait and see” mode. I´m wondering if that´s how most of the Old Testament stories should be viewed?

    Of course … I´m no expert. I come from a background where this stuff was taken absolutely literally without any head knodding to outside sources of information. That said, I´m also aware there are those on the more progressive side who have other agendas as well.

    Wait and see … sounds like a place a person of faith needs to be.

  • Questioning

    Let me restate what I said in my last sentence since you are not following. Forget his claim. In the post above you made a claim of your own. Here is what you said…. “because I know that his statement far from the truth.” So you know this do you? If I asked you to provide “proof” could you? You, who claim to know what proof is, could you show me the proof? I suspect you would provide me with some links or other research that I would have to go read and make my own determination, no different from what was done for you. Just for the record, you can consider those rhetorical questions. I am not really interested. These kinds of things don’t lend themselves to being definitively proven in either case.

  • otrotierra

    Typhon fails to offer a valid counterargument in the five posts above, and Typhon’s next post will again fail to offer the evidence he simply does not have.

  • James Quinn

    What a joke. Dr. Corey has never called the OT a bunch of “fairy tales.”

  • gimpi1

    I’m a “best evidence” gal. Right now, the best evidence is that sexual orientation and identity is inborn, so I go with that. Best evidence is, however, always subject to new, better evidence, so my views can change. All it takes is better evidence. Right now, none is in the offing.

    I am not optimistic enough to share your views on discrimination. I’ll just cite one example. In the American South, one of the worst aspects of our discrimination was the denial of voting rights. This denial was totally illegal. After the civil war, the franchise had been extended to black men. In the 1920’s, when women were enfranchised, this right was legally extended to black women as well. However, in the south, any black person who tried to register to vote was lynched. This was totally illegal, and totally tolerated by the majority. The enforcement mechanism was not governmental. It was terrorism.

    There are other examples. All through the country, not just in the south, “red-lining” was used as an extra-legal way of keeping neighborhoods segregated illegally. Specific unofficial banking policies kept mortgages and business loans unobtainable for certain groups. A totally illegal form of debt-bondage was used to keep share-croppers destitute.

    You see this sort of thing all over the world. Only occasionally is it enshrined in law. Generally, it’s just a culturally agreed-on set of privileges and restrictions. They’re always there on women, and often extended to any ethnic or religious minority group.

    I’ll look at the authors you recommend. However, as I mentioned, I’m old enough to remember a great deal of this. What I saw.on TV, what my parents told me about, what friends my age experienced – those things are always going to carry a lot of weight. My experience tells me that people generally like to discriminate. We like to set ourselves apart, to restrict the rights of others – since that gives us greater rights. We like to feel special and superior. I think the basic, tribal instinct is too strong to not express itself unless it’s legally constrained.

    Good talk. Thanks again.

  • otrotierra

    Pretty awful of Jesus to not only consume alcohol but also supply it in large quantities at a wedding party.

  • otrotierra

    Better tell Jesus before he consumes and supplies more alcohol at another wedding… yikes!

  • John

    There’s nothing sinful in the Bible about drinking wine, and he didn’t tell or force anyone to get drunk. In fact, I drink a glass of wine with dinner all the time.

  • otrotierra

    This is true, we never see Jesus drinking in excess, though he was accused of such behavior. Hanging out with the wrong crowd!

  • John

    Yup, Jesus drinks wine all the time. He even went so far as to use wine as part of the communion. I think the detestation that many Christians have against all forms of alcohol hurts the image of the church more than helps it.

  • otrotierra

    Well you know, drinking can lead to dancing!! Yikes!!

  • Paul Julian Gould

    Even more so, some pretty vintage-quality stuff, at that!

  • Typhon

    I realize your questions are rhetorical and we’re more than likely constructed in that manner deliberately, because you’re probably starting to realize that the answers wouldn’t be favorable to your case. When I’m asking to support my claims I can and do support them, and yes, with research. That’s how it works and yet no one can manage to abide by this standard.

    “Research that I would have to go read and make my own determination, no different from what was done for you.”

    The entire foundation of that remark, as well as your entire paragraph are based on presumptions. Regardless of the accuracy/inaccuracy of said assumptions, providing a link or a research study is of no fair comparison to that of providing a 300-plus page book reference.

  • 10 Tips To Raising Christian Kids After Fundamentalism
    Benjamin L. Corey
    Benjamin L. Corey Bob Shiloh 8 months ago
    There’s plenty that’s questionable in the OT. For example, there is an absence of evidence that the Exodus occurred in the numbers reported. It probably happened, but with much smaller numbers. We also have archeological evidence that the Canaanite genocide never occurred historically. Then there’s the more outlandish claims like living in a fish for three days, the sun standing still, etc.
    There’s also conflicting accounts of events, where we know one can be true but both cannot be true because of the law of noncontradiction (two opposing facts cannot both be true at the same time).
    Whether it historically occurred as reported is not relevant for me, because historical accuracy is not the genre of literature this is. It could have happened, but I don’t need it to have happened.

    The main contention with the OT however, is the teachings that conflict with the teachings of Christ– burning people alive, killing enemies, slaughtering children and babies, taking their wives as sex slaves, etc. I reject these could be accurate commands from God, because they are in opposition to what God in the flesh taught us about how to live.

    As I said Ben does not believe in the Old Testament….

  • Questioning

    “I realize your questions are rhetorical and we’re more than likely constructed in that manner deliberately, because you’re probably starting to realize that the answers wouldn’t be favorable to your case. ”

    A pretty large presumption on your part, speaking of presumptions. You are incorrect in that presumption as well… based on empirical evidence alone, I would posit that he can come much closer to proving his claim than you can. Furthermore I have made no “case”. I have not said where I stand one way or another. I am only pointing out to you that he offered his proof, just as you asked, and you refused to acknowledge it.

    “providing a link or a research study is of no fair comparison to that of providing a 300-plus page book reference.”

    This statement cannot be supported, it depends on the study and/or the book being referenced. Again, in either case, the information must be read to make any judgments about whether it constitutes proof or not.

  • Typhon

    I don’t know what keeps bringing you back here. I honestly don’t even remember what this conversation was originally about. It didn’t involve you, I recollect that much, which is why I find it odd that you put so much effort into a conversation that was settled days ago.

    So what do you want?

  • Kimbrough Leslie

    No agenda. Not trying to argue, like some misguided teetotalers, that Jesus never drank real wine. Actually, I learned in doctoral liturgical studies research that apparently the common wine in Palestine/the Roman world was thick and syrupy, which may be one of the reasons for the mixing of water with the wine in preparing the Eucharist. It stands to reason that if it was routinely mixed in other contexts, the alcohol content would be lower. While it’s true that sanitation was such that those who could afford it, at least, avoided some water sources, it’s not actually true that wine, even today, is antiseptic enough to eliminate germs passed via a common cup, for instance.

  • Kimbrough Leslie

    It’s actually the Reed Sea (Yam Suf) in the text, not the Red Sea, which opens up the possibility of a historical event perceived by Moses’ people as a miracle but by the Egyptians as a stroke of luck, although they never recorded their defeats, anyway, only victories, and the event, whatever it was, likely would not have been seen as significant at all.

  • Matthew

    Thanks so much. I did some very quick internet searching and it seems that the “Reed Sea” theory is one of three major theories regarding the crossing that is still being debated today among scholars.

  • Just goes to show: All drugs are illegal, except the ones the lawmakers like…. ;)

  • Much as I love this article, I must disagree that all plants were made for our consumption. You wouldn’t find me eating foxglove, laburnum or deadly nightshade…. ;)

  • People probably got drunk on Jesus’s miraculous wine. That was why the religious authorities moaned about him, just like they do about His followers today. The only thing in the Bible that looks as if it condemns drinking alcohol is the bit about not getting drunk on wine, but instead being filled with the Spirit. As usual, the legalism brigade have hijacked a beautiful text about being filled up with God and made a dull, fun-sucking rule out of it (I have been drunk once, and didn’t enjoy it, so I personally don’t get drunk). But this verse (it’s Eph 5:18) is not an injunction that Christians must never be drunk, as it is most commonly used to ‘prove’. Instead, this is an antithetic parallelism that contrasts being drunk on alcohol with being filled with the Spirit. Both situations produce ‘good feelings’; both might lead us to do things we wouldn’t normally do. But when taken together, the contrast of being filled with the Spirit (and its consequence of gorgeous singing, worship and general well-being) is so far away from drunkenness (and its consequence of ‘debauchery’ – doing possibly harmful or hurtful things; what some call ‘sin’) that you would be almost forced to agree that being filled with Holy Spirit is far, far better than being drunk. But if a Christian wants to go get drunk, fine as long as he harms nobody else. The problem comes with addiction – and in my church we have drug addicts and alcoholics, so I am well aware of the problems – not with being drunk; and being drunk does not become a slippery slope to addiciton in the vast majority of cases.

    As for the ‘sober’ verse, sorry (and no disrespect) but that’s yet another Rule made up by legalists. It’s likely been mistranslated too. Any student of the bible should know that behaviour flows from relationship; any attempt to manufacture good behaviour (following the ‘Law’) is doomed to end in failure because the Law is actually the strength of sin; it’s what gives sin its power. Nobody was ever made righteous by following the Law; instead, the Law makes us conscious of sin. The Law simply tells us what is right; it does not help us in any way to follow it, nor does God expect us to keep it. Our righteousness must be in Christ alone, and not in any of our own works, which are as filthy rags. A housegroup leader recently tried to pull the ‘sober lifestyle’ thing on me, and I was having none of it. (I’m stil lfriends wth him btw!) My freedom in Christ was bought at the highest price – the life of the Son of God – and I’m not willing to surrender that freedom lightly. I spent fifteen years in the Wilderness learning freedom, and when I came back into Church, Father never told me that it was time for me to lose my freedom! And so I won’t. (More on the exercise of personal freedom here:

    Life in the Spirit does not involve trying hard to be good. It involves merely letting God live His life through you. It really is that simple! This is the path to purity….the word ‘Holiness’ simply means being set apart for God; letting the Spirit live the life of Jesus through you is not only the way to purity, but also to holiness – because letting Him live through you is the ultimate expression of being set apart for God

  • otrotierra

    Thanks tony! Some thoughtful context.

  • Ta mate :)

  • Foxglove is, to this day, the main pharmaceutical source of the heart medication Digoxin. To synthesize Digoxin would be far more expensive than simply to grow greenhouses full of high-potency foxgloves and extract it from them.

  • That’s a good point, Kate! I work in the raw materials side of the pharmaceutical industry and I am familiar with digoxin/digitoxin, so I don’t know why I didn’t think of that.

    You still wouldn’t catch me eating it, though! ;)

  • Mars Bilters
  • Clayton Gafne Jaymes

    Mr. Corey, I hope you are well aware of how much you don’t believe in God and are intentionally going against him with the goal of misleading others. Because if you don’t then you are in for a serious reality check on Judgement Day and will unfortunately be fully responsible for other ppl’s deaths that listened to you.

    You are in serious error in many ways gentlemen. Should you mean to belong to God through Jesus you’d do well to go to God and seek His will and repent of the things you teach.