The Religious Use of Sacraments
Date: Monday, September 04 @ 17:54:09 UTC
Topic: Ceremonies & Sacraments


It looks like the whole scene regarding the religious use of sacraments is undergoing a huge change.  After the recent Supreme Court ruling on this subject that opened up the religious defense, dozens if not hundreds of churches are popping up supporting the religious use of marijuana AND psychedelic substances.

In fact, we are seeing attitudes change overnight, and as a result many individuals and groups have reassesed their approach and are setting aside the medical use agenda in favor of religious use.

Yes it seems the US still holds religion sacred, allowing almost anything to go on within a "church" or religious organization.  As long as there is no threat to the general public's health and safety (those people NOT in the church), it is nearly impossible for the Feds to go after individuals practicing their religious beliefs.

It will be interesting to see what happens with this guy Warren Jeffs cause he will be testing the limits of religious tolerance.  He's been arrested for "raping" minors, but within his religious community (which is large, powerful & well organized), it's just the norm.

In fact his FLDS community allows polygamy and marrying minors (like 14 or so - which is probably legal in Utah).

There are some big issues involved, like separation of church and state and freedom of religion that will further test American religious tolerance.

While his case doesn't bear upon the religious use of sacraments, it does address the whole issue of gov't regulation of religious practices.  It seems the gov't LOSES these battles, as American religious zealots have disproportionate influence upon the gov't these days, which is to the advantage of ALL religious groups.

In fact, if you don't belong to some kind of organization or religion in this country, you are essentially powerless, without the kind of rights that the US gov't grants members of such organizations.

COOL is here to rectify these injustices, and by joining COOL a member is covered by the laws that protect religions and corporations (we will have to incorporate soon).  These legal entities have more protection than individuals against intrusion into their affairs.  So each member is protected by religious rights (constitutional) and the Community is protected by corporate law.

Right now there are several legal challenges going on that will attempt to broaden the scope of tolerance on the religious use of sacraments.

My friend Eddy Lepp is seeing a big change in his own case.  Eddy has been trying to grow a huge community plot of cannabis for a large group of patients who require medicinal marijuana.  The local authorities have tolerated his activities, but the Feds have singled him out since he's been so public about it (including high times articles and growing 30,000 plants along a major road). All those plants were taken away and Eddy was arrested and threatened with worse (asset forfeiture & prison).

But now Eddy has wisely formed a new church and deeded land (which was seized too) to the church for growing cannabis.  Now the locals and Feds seem to be dropping the whole thing, and Eddy might even sue for damages (the loss of 30,000 plants was worth a lot, esp according to the police estimated value!).

So the time has arrived for people to claim their god given right to worship the divine in the manner of their own choosing, with whatever ceremonies they deem proper.  So long as they have no negative effect - a PROVABLE effect - the onus in on the gov't now to prove how it impacted the greater community.  This legal burden of proof may be the thing that changes it all.

And it is the right thing to do.  In fact I think that test should apply to all victimless "crimes".  If you can't prove that anyone was actually harmed, and no one in the community is complaining, why oh why are people being arrested, incarcerated, families broken, assets forfeited, lives ruined when no one was hurt?

And if there are hundreds of new churches across the country all legally established, pursuing their religious freedom, granted in the US constitution, how can the gov't go after them all?  And if they did try to make examples of them, the churches will get the support of the most fundamentalist religious organizations in the country!

So the liberals and conservatives have common ground on the issue of religious rights.  It's a lost cause for the government to pursue, and it's possible this will enable ordinary people to have a legal defense for their personal use of marijuana, a plant that has been used medically and religiously by dozens of cultures for thousands of years.

Claim your rights!  Join COOL!  Just say no to religious intolerance!









This article comes from Community of One Love
http://www.coolove.org

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