The Watering Hole, Saturday, May 16th, 2015: Holy Rollers

Karma is a Bitch…

You Reap What You Sow…

The Law of Unintended Consequences…

A Homer Simpson “D’OH!” moment…

A Simpsons’ Nelson “HA-ha!” moment…

What Goes Around Comes Around…

Revenge is a Dish Best Served Stoned?

However you want to describe it, it’s going to be a fun time in Indiana on July 1st. July 1st is the day that Indiana’s revised RFRA law goes into effect. It is also the day that the State-of-Indiana-approved “First Church of Cannabis” holds their inaugural worship service. So when July 1st rolls around, prepare your favorite snacks, roll a fattie/fill a bowl/fire up the bong/bake some ‘special’ brownies, and get ready to enjoy the circus and the fireworks.

An excerpt from yesterday’s Think Progress thread about the Church, which was formed in March subsequent to Indiana’s revised RFRA law:

“It’s going to be a standard service,” Bill Levin, the group’s leader and self-proclaimed “Grand Poohba and Minister of Love,” told ThinkProgress. He explained the ceremony will last around 45 minutes, complete with music and teachings, but will conclude with an unusual benediction: “At the end of the service … we will enjoy cannabis, because it’s how we enjoy life.

An article from the Christian Post website, written by Vincent Funaro, is also informative. (I would have posted a link to it, but pop-up ads there refuse to go away – while, yes, I DO want to look at The Home Decorator’s big Outlet sale, I got their email yesterday so right now it’s just blocking an entire paragraph – but I digress!) While the article is written in a straightforward, non-committal way, I thought the stock photo they used to begin the article, although captioned appropriately, was just a tad over-the-top, not to mention outright misleading.

Hindu holy man(Photo: Reuters/ Navesh Chitrakar)

A Hindu holy man, or sadhu, smokes marijuana in a chillum on the premises of Pashupatinath Temple in Kathmandu February 17, 2015. Hindu holy men from Nepal and India come to this temple to take part in the Maha Shivaratri festival annually for holiday when it is legal to smoke the otherwise illegal drug. Celebrated by Hindu devotees all over the world, Shivaratri is dedicated to Lord Shiva, and holy men mark the occasion by praying, smoking marijuana or smearing their bodies with ashes.

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An Indiana organization dedicated to marijuana that calls itself the First Church of Cannabis will host its first “worship service” on July 1, the same day that the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act goes into effect.

The organization will test the law’s ban on government burdens on the exercise of religion as it will feature a pot-smoking session that is illegal in the state of Indiana.

The cannabis group’s founder Bill Levin explained plans for the service to U.S. News and said it will open with “Amazing Grace” played on a harmonica by a popular young musician and move to a quick sermon followed by a “call to worship,” which is actually just a time for smoking marijuana.

“I’m an old-school producer,” Levin told U.S. News. “We start off the show soft and we have a build-up and then in the end we explode in glory and we all dance around the hall.”

Levin is searching for a church that will lease him space for the event and will also consider holding it on a religious campground or in a public park. It’s still unclear if local police and prosecutors are prepared to accept pot smoking as protected conduct under the state’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

Peg McLeish, a spokeswoman for the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office in Indiana told U.S. News that the Religious Freedom Law doesn’t necessarily protect people who commit crimes from being arrested.

“It’s that they could assert [their religious beliefs are] a defense if they are prosecuted,” she said.

Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act says the government cannot “substantially burden” a person’s ability to follow their religious beliefs, unless it can prove a compelling interest in imposing that burden and it does so in the least restrictive way.

Critics of the law contended that it could be used to discriminate against the LGBT community on the basis of religion. This would apply to Christian business owners refusing to service gay weddings based on their beliefs.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence later clarified RFRA after signing it into law in March stating that it “does not give businesses a right to deny services to anyone.”

To appease detractors, Pence signed revisions into the law to remove fears that it would allow businesses to discriminate against the LBGT community in April.

However, the article fails to point out that part of the Church’s raison d’etre is the celebration of the healing and medicinal powers of the ‘blessed’ plant.

And yes, folks, there is a membership application posted on The Church of Cannabis’ Facebook page – in fact, I see that someone we know visited before I did. 😉

Hmm…is anyone else thinking what I’m thinking? 😀

This is our daily Open Thread – have fun!

25 thoughts on “The Watering Hole, Saturday, May 16th, 2015: Holy Rollers

  1. I don’t usually wish churches well, but the Church of Cannabis has the possibility of becoming an exception to that otherwise stubborn policy. Oh, and should they ever run out of the good stuff, they can stop by here in the very near future. About three miles from my desk there’s a huge greenhouse complex under construction, one that will soon be filled with the green plants from which cannabis derives. There’s also going to be a retail outlet about two blocks from here. So if there should come a shortage in Indiana, I know a place.😉

  2. The NBC handicappers picked Firing Line to win the Preakness over American Pharoah, recalling the show William F. Buckley Jr. hosted all those years. You can’t get more Republican than that!

  3. I just ran across this comment posted on the recent TP thread on the Gambian dictator talking about slitting the throats of homosexuals:

    American Institute of Culinary Politics-Elemental News of the Day:

    ” Most of us at the AICP-END concur that homosexuality is a sign of decline in a nation, especially when a government promotes it over morality, religious freedom, and common sense. President Obama has worked hard not so much because he loves gay people but he loves their money and he also wants to make America look bad throughout much of the world. Vladimir Putin does not want homosexuals running amuck nor do most African leaders, Middle Eastern leaders, and Iranian leaders. Only in the United States and in Western Europe is there this constant drumbeat of forcing people to accept gays as equals and that it is a ‘normal way of life,’ which most know it is not. Gays are but 1.5-2.5 percent of any population but here in the United States, the young and dumb believe they comprise 50-percent or more of the population, which is terribly erroneous. While we do not approve of the Gambian president’s words, it is easy to understand how the LGBT community seeks to overstep its parameters by forcing itself onto those who simply do not want to bother with it. Barack Obama is making the United States into the laughing stock of the world through this constant push-push-push of ‘Gaydom’ down the throats of the American people and the world in general. We hope the next president will not be such a schmuck that he or she will use minority groups—especially the LGBT community—as little more than something with which, to raise money and cause upset. Chef Murph MacDougal.”

    I googled the “American Institute of Culinary Politics, and there’s even worse stuff – apparently they hate Obama and loves them some Carly Fiorina and Ben Carson. Yeesh!

    • Although not about the LGBT issue, this is how ‘moral and upstanding’ the Repugnant is:

      Tennessee Republican who pressured mistress to have abortion votes to restrict them for other women

      DesJarlais, a respected physician from Jasper, “has always advocated for pro-life values,”
      …national press have combed through the 675-page court transcript from DesJarlais’ 2001 divorce, and found that he “had sexual relationships with at least two patients, three coworkers, and a drug representative while he was chief of staff at Grandview Medical Center in Jasper, Tenn

    • Why are so many people so damned afraid of LGBT folks? What the hell possible difference does sexual preference make to anyone other than oneself? Irrational hate and fear seem to be the main drivers of some folks’ existence, and for no rational reason.

      Whenever I run across these hate and fear birdbrains I’m reminded of that song from South Pacific. Rodgers and Hammerstein summed the idiots up extremely well:

      You’ve got to be taught
      To hate and fear,
      You’ve got to be taught
      From year to year,
      It’s got to be drummed
      In your dear little ear
      You’ve got to be carefully taught.

      You’ve got to be taught to be afraid
      Of people whose eyes are oddly made,
      And people whose skin is a diff’rent shade,
      You’ve got to be carefully taught.

      You’ve got to be taught before it’s too late,
      Before you are six or seven or eight,
      To hate all the people your relatives hate,
      You’ve got to be carefully taught!

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