What Would Jesus Do About Dope? 

  What Would Jesus Do About Dope? 

Posted by FoM on July 22, 2000 at 08:30:22 PT
E-Mail Letters To The Editor 
Source: WorldNetDaily 

About Christians and drugs, the answer to this problem is a simple one if you simply ask the right question: What would Jesus do? Let's suppose we gave the drug problem to Jesus. What would He do? Would He build bigger prisons, or would He build hospitals and schools? Would He seek to solve the problem through punishment and condemnation, or would He heal people? 
I think the answer is obvious that Jesus would take the healing, constructive approach. The reasons He would do that are very simple. First, He loves us and wants to see us healthy and restored from our infirmities. Second, that's the most practical approach. It is the approach that really works the best. That leads to the next logical question: Why should we do any different than Him?  Clifford A. Schaffer War on Some Drugs is Unchristian:    Joel Miller's op-ed, "One Toke Over the Line, Sweet Jesus?" was pretty darn good. He deals with the topic of sobriety from a viewpoint rarely expressed in the media. Not being a Christian but with a fair understanding of ethics, morality and spirituality I agree with his stance: intoxication is to be preached against and the virtues of sobriety extolled. He hits the big one at the very end when he says, "Given the monumental failure of the drug war, its ever-increasing violations of individual liberty, egregious injustices, and the fact that there is no biblical mandate to back it up, Christians should seriously -- and scripturally -- reconsider their support of it." The sins of the state in enforcing the rabid tenets of prohibition are beyond appropriate (in a democracy dedicated to the principles of liberty) and downright unchristian. In fact, close to fascist, in my opinion. Because of the deep harm done to our nation through the policies of prohibition, our people have become slaves to the state. Drug use predates any of our current religions (there is a distinction between use and abuse). There are faiths in existence which use mind/mood altering substances as sacraments (Rastafarians and native peyote use). We are a nation which self-inflicts more harm to our persons through diet and personal habits (cigarettes) than with all illegal drugs combined. There are those who feel that the current persecution of drug users, particularly cannabis users, is cruel, unusual, un-American, illegal, immoral and bordering on demonic. Pot smokers are the new victims placed with the lions in stadiums for sport (watch any of the "reality" based police shows). Our homes and our bodies are no longer safe from violation by the state. We prosecute and persecute the sick and dying and leave a disastrous heritage of innocent deaths and broken families in the wake of our prohibitionist fervor. In my mind the disaster called the war on (some) drugs is unchristian as hell and I welcome Mr. Miller's horn at the walls.  Allan Erickson Can't Go as Far as Legalization:   I agree wholeheartedly with your views on the subject of drug use and most of what you have to say about the drug war. Only one thing niggles my mind and that has to do with out-and-out legalization. I can't completely agree with the concept of legalization because of the tacit endorsement and approval legalization of hard drugs implies. This in turn weakens our culture even further and potentially encourages more experimentation (sort of like handing out condoms in school while teaching abstinence -- the message is unclear to say the least). So, the sticky wicket is in how we approach this problem. The extremes of the drug war leave me outraged. The rights of people are perpetually violated all in the name of the collective good but with no good results. To jail the addict is ineffective to say the least and dealers are always popping up to replace those removed. How do we preserve individual rights and take a moral stand with no ambiguity?  Margaret Making an Informed Decision:   I just wanted to thank you for the commentary on drugs, and the Christian response. First of all, it's been too long since I laughed out loud reading something written by a Christian! The statement, "On the sin scale of most Christians, doing drugs is pretty close to doing sheep," is just too priceless! Second, you basically gave voice to something that has been in the back of my brain for a while now. I am trying to make an informed consideration on how I feel, as a Christian, about our current drug policy and the seeming shrillness of the usual Christian knee-jerk position. Thanks again, and please, please, please keep the sense of humor!  Gerald Kelley Balancing Private Morals, Public Policy:   As a Christian studying these legal-moral issues I have come to these conclusions regarding this issue: 1) There are sins in the bible that God has criminalized and commands the state to punish (murder, adultery, theft, etc). 2) There are sins in the scripture that God has not criminalized and for which sanctions are to be imposed by families and churches (drunkeness, laziness, gossiping, etc). If we stay within this type of regulative principal for civil law and government, we will have an ordered society and a maximum amount of freedom, not to mention a greater influence from families and churches on the surrounding society. The state should punish only those sins that God has criminalized and respect the authority of families and churches to impose sanctions on those sins God has not criminalized. If we fail to maintain a proper scriptural balance in these matters from those in authority then we sow the seeds of tyranny and/or anarchy. Was it not one of our founding fathers who said "unless we are governed by God we will be ruled by tyrants"?  Phil Litton Friday July 21, 2000  Saints and Dope Smokers:   Regarding, "One Toke over the Line, Sweet Jesus?": As a preacher (and converted drug user/abuser) who once was all gung-ho for the so-called "War on Drugs," I am slowly coming to the same conclusions you are. I must say, though, that your analysis is fresh and compelling. Frankly, I've never noticed the distinction you aptly make against God's take on, say, prostitution, vs. His take on drunkenness -- i.e., civil prohibition vs. personal warning. Hats off to you for that nugget! I have in recent years come to loathe the "War on Drugs." As you point out, it is a subterfuge for all kinds of abuse under the color of authority. Here is my nugget for you: Ever notice how "liberals" (read: anti-Christian secularists) are so VERY fond of attacking the inanimate and the intangible? Nothing turns them on like wars on poverty, ignorance, crime, drugs, racism and so on -- not by spreading the gospel, of course, but by creating cancerous and oppressive government bureaucracies and diverting HUGE sums of cash to be used to "solve" the social demon of the hour. Funny, but with all the money we've thrown at those social evils in the past 50 years, they have ALL gotten worse, while -- well, what do you KNOW? -- our FREEDOMS have somehow become more and MORE restricted. So, while this insight is not original with me (and, for all I know, you've already made this point previously), all these so-called campaigns against social "bogey-men" are really fronts for stealthily wearing down by attrition our (constitutionally-enshrined) individual liberties "for our own good" and in the name of "society." So, yes, we Christians are FAR too often the willing stooges of the aspiring Himmlers and Lenins in our midst, posing as social superheroes.  M.R. O'Donnell What About the Harm Caused by Drugs?   Your point on the linkage, for Christians, of drugs and alcohol, is well made. I suspect that, superficially, in the Christian community, it will be reasonably well taken. However, I must dispute your apparent belief in legalizing drugs. I think that the use of drugs may need to be decriminalized, particularly for "victimless" use. This is akin to someone's using alcohol in their home, or elsewhere, but not driving or otherwise being a threat to others. Having been involved with Sacramento Valley Teen Challenge for 20 years (a resident Christian program for men and women with drug and alcohol addictions), I have seen first hand the devastating impact that drugs have on people. The problems arise not just around the criminal activities that these people then practice to support their habits, but the incredible emotional, physical and financial impact that drug use has on the users and their families. If there were a practical way to divert users from the court system to a program like ours, it would help. However, many of those who would accept diversion to a Christian program do so to avoid jail time, rather than having a true interest in cleaning up their lives. Ergo, we are reluctant to take court diversions, though we sometimes do. The issue is incredibly complex, but like with alcoholics, if the drug user doesn't want help, there is none that can be given.  Todd A. Dierdorff, President, Sacramento Valley Teen Challenge  Drinking Booze, Smoking Boomers:   Well, dang! Finally, an intelligent article on drug use and Christianity. Thank you for pointing out the weakness in Gary North's position. I'm a great fan of Dr. North, but have disagreed with him on several points. That doesn't make him wrong, of course, it's just that I think his defense is flawed in this case. On the issue of "dissipation," the Bible mentions in Timothy 5:23, that a little wine will help ease an upset stomach. And Proverbs 31:6 instructs one to give "strong drink" (NASB) to one who's down and out. Now, it's obvious that these verses need to be taken in context and tempered with the exhortations against drunkenness and dissipation. But isn't it apparent that getting a little mellow with a 'J' is the same as relaxing with a martini? Two or three boomers will have similar results as two or three margaritas, so why the difference in treatment from a legal standpoint? I think the "War on Drugs" has the same purpose as the push for "Gun Control." It's not about guns; it's about control. Thanks for listening and writing insightful articles.  JC Warren People Control, Not Drug Control:   I agree with your claims that we are to remain level-headed at all times no matter what we choose to indulge in. However, the Good Book tells us in Genesis that God placed the plants on this planet for our use. It also tells us that the very first miracle that Jesus performed was turning water into wine during a celebration. Moderation (as you stated) in all things is the key. The war on drugs isn't about drugs. It's about the government finding a way to circumvent our Constitution with the backing of the public. If "drugs" were the real issue, why isn't alcohol on the list? This drug causes more harm to our society than the others combined. (It also helps keep our judicial system propped up). If you wanted to keep a revolving door in our jails going (and the money it generates), would you rather have people out and about drinking, or people sitting in their homes with the munchies watching TV quietly? It's just about showing all of us who has the control. To arrest someone for smoking pot, let them out of jail and basically say, "Go have a drink" is a lack of rational thought that rivals any ever espoused on planet earth. All in all though, good article.  Nate Stone War on Personal Responsibility:  Just wanted to drop you a quick note to say that I really appreciated your column on the bible and drugs. You are absolutely correct. We need more Christian commentators like you pointing out drug prohibition for what it is, an ineffectual, immoral, unholy war against personal responsibility and the Christian ethic.  Tim King One Toke Makes Good Read:  I just read your "One Toke over the Line, Sweet Jesus?" and wanted to let you know that it was a very entertaining read. You've obviously got a brain in your head. I'm not sure yet that I totally agree with your conclusion (though I'm tending that way), but it certainly has started me thinking, which is a good thing. Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I thoroughly enjoyed your writing style. Several smiles, and at least one laugh, mixed in with real thinking. Now that's effective communication!  Kent West Talking Smack about Drug War:   Liked your column, "Yakkity yak, don't talk smack." Personally, I think people who use drugs indiscriminately are dinghies, but that's their problem, much as it is with too much boozing. I don't use alcohol or drugs, but, as with anything else, it's the responsibility of the person doing whatever he's doing to make sure no one else is getting hurt. That's why we have courts. Unfortunately, though, on that subject, we find a legal system which is less than responsive when you usually can't access it without a slough of costly legal fees and a lawyer. I was under the impression it was the intention of the Founding Fathers of this country to, in essence, give us negative rather than positive government. That is, a government which would punish transgressors when they harm someone else, as opposed to the government telling everyone what they must do for their own good. Seems that idea got lost along the way. When people accept such positive law, they undermine their own freedoms whether they realize it or not. What they are asking for is more of the "nanny" state.  Bill Direct Link To Above Letters: Action Center: letters worldnetdaily.comWeb Posted: July 22, 2000© 1999 Related Articles:One Toke Over The Line, Sweet Jesus? Yak, Don't Talk Smack

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Comment #11 posted by FoM on July 23, 2000 at 20:16:39 PT
You made me smile again! LOL!
That's funny dddd! Thanks for the invite to get a split personality! No I don't think so. I have enough trouble figuring out one of me. Have a ball but leave me out of it! LOL! I'll speak my mind sometime. I'll wait until it's appropriate then watch out! Well that's what my husband always says! LOL!Peace, FoM!
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Comment #10 posted by dddd on July 23, 2000 at 19:59:54 PT
FoM..To put out my 4 cents on the topic of your cautious approach to voicing your opinions,,,,,,I can understand your reluctance to be too opinionated,being that you are somewhat the "host"of this forum,,,,,I personally like hearing your opinions,and I'm quite sure most everyone feels the same. Here's my suggestion,,It may seem underhanded,and perhaps unethical,but you might consider commenting under an assumed name,,like that guy who called himself "Elliot Fleener".As long as you didnt offend anyone,and refrained from using profanity in your message,,it might be a good way for you to speak your mind,,without being accused of being an evil and devious host,who was poisining the discussions and influencing the commentaries. I think you should feel free to speak your mind FoM.I dont think it's improper for you to say what you think. We'll keep an eye on you,and if we think you've gotten out of hand,,,and Kap and CongressmanSuet start backing up all your opinions,,,and Observer starts sounding like a "moonie",complimenting all your comments,,,,then those of us who havn't come around to your way of thinking,will intervene,and start a new website,and try to get Observer,Kap,CS,and all your other followers de-programmed.JAH Shine on you.....LOL......dddd
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Comment #9 posted by zion on July 23, 2000 at 15:55:02 PT
Speaking one's mind
Personally, I think more and more Christians are examining their knee-jerk support for the War on Drugs. Dialog like this helps.Zero tolerance=Zero compassion -Z
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on July 23, 2000 at 09:07:37 PT
Hi dddd and everyone
Hi dddd,I hope everyone does speak their minds. I just don't feel I should. I try to stay very neutral in my comments so I don't seem to lead the news one way or the other. I think that's the way to be if you do what I do. Please discuss this topic. It is very important.PS: I really like your humor! It makes me smile!Peace, FoM!
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Comment #7 posted by dddd on July 23, 2000 at 09:01:35 PT
Speak out CS
 Thanx FoM....I was sortof concerned about offending someone with my offbeat commentary. As you've probably noticed,I'm not very "chicken",when it comes to saying too much. Dont be shy CongressmanSuet.I hope your "being real quiet on all this religious stuff",doesnt mean you avoided speaking your mind.......Peace......dddd
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on July 23, 2000 at 07:24:09 PT
Just Me
Hey dddd, I like that! LOL!CongressmanSuet all I can think of to avoid any arguments is see, hear and speak no evil. I know when to not speak anymore! I just go hide and let everyone else talk. I'm a chicken! Peace, FoM!
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Comment #5 posted by dddd on July 23, 2000 at 02:30:17 PT
What would Jesus do?
 After he turned the water into wine,he'd turn your lawn clippings into skunkbuds.
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Comment #4 posted by CongressmanSuet on July 22, 2000 at 22:04:18 PT:
You notice Im being real quiet...
on all this religious stuff. I guess its because of my true humanitarian streak...
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Comment #3 posted by MikeEEEEE on July 22, 2000 at 14:20:52 PT
War On People
Jesus was for freedom, he wasn't for the oppressive government. I think he would judge the drug war a poor example of humanity.
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Comment #2 posted by freedom fighter on July 22, 2000 at 12:42:49 PT
War on "Drugs"
are just a war on "people". It does not matter if you are christian or not. Christian people need to understand this, that our own government are waging war with it's own citizens. There are literally thousands who are in prison on drug charges and they never even use "drugs".If we want to live in christ, we must also let others live their lives the way they want to as long they do not harm others. But, if we as christians choose to criminalize others because they are different, how can we call ourselves christians? In conclusion, christians should also realize something.. If you as a christian supporting the war on "drugs", you also have a friend who support this ideology. That friend is a big time drug dealer. It is very clear that big time drug dealers do not want legalization for this simple reason, "Greed" and they are very supportive of christians who would sprout out anti-drug statements.An ounce of good cannabis(400$) is worth more than an ounce of real gold(290$). This is the value that our christian society have placed on this substance wither we like it or not! It is time for change now! 
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Comment #1 posted by aeiouy on July 22, 2000 at 10:41:51 PT:
There are some nice responses above from the Christian community, and some outright dumb. For instance, some say they know the war on drugs is a failure, but they don't want legalization because it will just make the 'problem worse' or they've seen what happens to 'people's lives'. This is the same liberal crap I hear time after time in the media! America was supposed to to be a free nation where one may pursue his or her dreams so long as it did not violate the life LIBERTY or propety of another. Haven't these people read any thing about alcohal prohibition??? It IS a shame when someone destroy's there life from drugs...or junkfood or gambling or dirty language or compulsive shopping. BUT it is THEIR life to live in peace or chaos, not mine. As a follower of Christ myself I truly believe in my heart of hearts (and I have struggled with this issue way back) that Jesus IS for legalization, especially medicine, and I would hope that the Christian community will follow suit and realize the war on drugs might be the war on Christians someday.
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