Blaming Drugs, or People? 

Blaming Drugs, or People? 
Posted by FoM on September 20, 2000 at 07:24:02 PT
Random Fire By Joel Miller
Source: WorldNetDaily
We live in an age when it's better to blame things than people for wrongdoing. When two teen-agers shoot up their school in Columbine, we blame their guns, their videogames, the Internet, their parents; we blame everything ... but the kids. Ditto for every major school shooting in the country; our pointer fingers wave in every direction except in the trajectory of the trigger pullers. After all, people just don't do bad things like that, do they? Something must make them do it. 
Something made them do it? Sorry. Things don't do anything. Things are just things -- inanimate objects -- and because they are inanimate they need people to do, to act, to accomplish. This remarkably unremarkable fact of life is especially true and important to remember when considering our response to drugs and their use. When I wrote my piece about politicians and media hyping drug fears, I used crack as my main example. Crack, we were told by the politicians, talking heads and media savants, was going to ruin the country. Nationwide apocalypse was only a toke away. It turned out, of course, to be utter bunk. Despite the individual lives ruined by using the drug, crack was not America's Enola Gay. Upon reading this column, one reader wrote me to say, "Regarding the issue of crack cocaine your ignorance is exceeded only by your arrogance. I have first-hand experience with crack, and my story is not the exception, but rather quite typical." The reader went on to say how a crack addiction destroyed his wife and their marriage of 10 years. "Within three weeks of her first toke of crack she was turning tricks in the local black ghettos to supply her demand, and her uncle was her pimp. Her MO was to find out who was 'holding' and offer herself for the night in exchange for all the dope she could smoke. ... She was not predisposed to any of this behavior -- the drug is just so addicting that it completely destroys all existing values and morals. She knew what she was doing and hated herself, but couldn't stop." As tragic as this story is, it is absurd to blame crack -- especially when the blame is cast as a precursor to arguing for drug control. Inanimate objects don't destroy our lives -- our use of them does. Cars don't crash and kill children; drivers do. Same goes for firearms. Insult a gun all day long, and you won't get shot; the same might not be true for insulting an armed man with a short temper. The fault, if any, resides with the user, not with what is used; to say otherwise is to chuck individual responsibility out the window. Christians, quite unfortunately, fall prey to this sort of blame-the-object thinking. The present-day reaction by Christians to drugs (that is, for drugs, ban 'em; for users, can 'em) is, however, remarkably out of step with what the Bible actually teaches. Believers, for instance, often argue that using drugs damages the body, after which they quote the infamous passage from I Corinthians, which states that our bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, and to abuse God's temple is a despicable sin. Agreed, but let's get the context of that passage (I Cor. 6), which specifically condemns fornication: Know ye not that your bodies are the members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of an harlot? God forbid. What? Know ye not that he which is joined to an harlot is one body? For two, saith he, shall be one flesh. But he that is joined unto the Lord is one spirit. Flee fornication. Every sin that a man doeth is without the body; but he that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body. What? Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own? For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's. If Christians are going to quote that passage (usually the whole passage is ignored, in favor of the brief reference to being temples of the Holy Spirit) in answer to drugs and as a defense for waging the war on drugs, as people like Cal Thomas do, we have to grasp something: Scripture is obviously talking about the believers' behavior, not the objects of the behavior. The fornication condemned by Paul is an action. The problem isn't the female with whom one fornicates -- it's the fornication. Perhaps Martin Luther was thinking of this same passage when he said, "Do not suppose that abuses are eliminated by destroying the object which is abused. Men can go wrong with wine and women. Shall we then prohibit and abolish women?" I think not. We instead encourage men to keep their pants higher than their knees. Just like wine, drugs are used by people in an ungodly way -- to get plastered. Does that mean we ban wine? For all of its condemnation of drunkenness in both the Old and the New Testament (and there is plenty of it), nowhere in Scripture is the prohibition of alcohol touted as a solution. It merely encourages sobriety and discourages dipsomania. Why? God holds no grudge against booze. After all, he created it. He merely wants it used in a responsible way. The same is true for drugs. When God created the world, he created dope too -- marijuana plants, opium poppies, mandrake roots, all of it. "And God saw every thing that he had made," says Genesis 1:31 "and, behold, it was very good." Notice how it doesn't add, "except that nasty coca bush." Just before that concluding statement in the first chapter of Genesis, God even said, "Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat." That doesn't mean just apples and tomatoes. Christians will appropriately point out that man fell from his Edenic state because of rebellion against God. Granted, but the fall was ethical. Man behaved wrongly and was cursed by God; his sin never changed the fact that God's creation was intrinsically good. To say that created things themselves are evil is to adopt an ancient Greek notion of the world, wherein the material universe is somehow dirty and inferior to the spiritual. Scripture does not teach this. "I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus," wrote Paul in Romans, Chapter 14, "that there is nothing unclean of itself." Likewise, Christ himself spoke to his disciples, as recorded in the Gospel of Mark, saying: There is nothing from without a man, that entering into him can defile him: but the things which come out of him, those are they that defile the man. ... Do ye not perceive, that whatsoever thing from without entereth into the man, it cannot defile him; Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats? ... That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man. Christ said man's problem was moral, not material. Man's problem isn't the drugs he takes; it's his sinful heart, and laws against drugs won't cure that problem. The only thing that can is regeneration by the Holy Spirit -- something Drug Czar Gen. Barry McCaffrey can't offer. The fall introduced abuse into the world. God gave drugs to his people for use (Gen. 1:29). Sin entered the world, and man perverted that gift. We're good at it. God gives food; we become gluttons. God gives sex; we become adulterers. God gives wine; we become drunkards. God gives drugs; we become junkies. Do we blame the drugs? No more than we blame the Twinkies. The problem of drug abuse lies in the individuals who abuse them. To direct efforts at stemming abuse anywhere else ignores this fact and gives God a bad name by blaming something he made as a helpful gift to man for our misuse of it. Was God missing something when he created dope? Did he somehow overlook the negative effects it would have on some people and communities? Was he shortsighted, careless, possibly a bit na´ve or foolish? Give me a break. If we're looking for a fool to blame for our folly, we can start with the bathroom mirror. Direct Link To: Blaming Drugs, or People? the 4th Amendment, Part IJoel Miller: Drug-courier profiles and the assault on the Bill of Rights the 4th Amendment, Part IIJoel Miller: Police search-and-seizure tactics endanger American liberty Joel MillerManaging EditorWorldNetDaily Publishinghttp://www.WND.comCannabisNews Articles - Joel Miller
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Comment #1 posted by observer on September 20, 2000 at 09:53:32 PT
The Way of the Oppressor
Another excellent piece by Joel Miller! She knew what she was doing and hated herself, but couldn't stop." ... As tragic as this story is, it is absurd to blame crack -- especially when the blame is cast as a precursor to arguing for drug control. Very true. The draconian, oppressive laws persecuting crack users did nothing to stop her; the laws merely drove up the price of crack to the point where she could pay for it only by prostitution. Likewise, lay the blame for much whoredom, also, on Drug Prohibition. Sad story. (If arrested and jailed, she could also be expected to be raped and prostituted to prison guards and others. Thanks McCaffrey and other prohibitionists: you're a fine Christians for upholding Prohibition.) Envy thou not the oppressor, and choose none of his ways.-- Proverbs 3.31 
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