Sunday, April 22, 2012

Sunday Sermon Nazarene and The Roman/American Empire Meanwhile The Glorification of War and The Demonization of Marijuana

"That which we call sin in others is experiment for us."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson * * *

"If the government can't keep drugs away from inmates who are locked in steel cages, surrounded by barbed wire, watched by armed guards, drug-tested, strip-searched, X-rayed, and videotaped – how can it possibly stop the flow of drugs to an entire nation?"
– Ron Crickenberger

No theory from medicine or philosophy or psychology demands alcohol, tobacco and caffeine must be legal while marijuana, cocaine, and heroin must be prohibited.
Chris Berg a Research Fellow with the Institute of Public Affairs.
From website Spirit Caller: War on Drugs

Today's items:
War On Drugs
War on Islam
Roman Empire Versus American Empire
The Christian Way: Nationalism, Militarism, Materialism, Nihilism
and the Abandoned Nazarene

The Top Five Special Interest Groups Lobbying To Keep Marijuana Illegal | AlterNet
The Top Five Special Interest Groups Lobbying To Keep Marijuana Illegal | AlterNet
Last year, over 850,000 people in America were arrested for marijuana-related crimes. Despite public opinion, the medical community, and human rightsexperts all moving in favor of relaxing marijuana prohibition laws, little has changed in terms of policy

1.) Police Unions: Police departments across the country have become dependent on federal drug war grants to finance their budget...

2.) Private Prisons Corporations: Private prison corporations make millions by incarcerating people who have been imprisoned for drug crimes, including marijuana...

3.) Alcohol and Beer Companies: Fearing competition for the dollars Americans spend on leisure, alcohol and tobacco interests have lobbied to keep marijuana out of reach...

4.) Pharmaceutical Corporations: Like the sin industries listed above, pharmaceutical interests would like to keep marijuana illegal so American don’t have the option of cheap medical alternatives to their products...

5.) Prison Guard Unions: Prison guard unions have a vested interest in keeping people behind bars just like for-profit prison companies...

The article doesn't mention other groups such as politicians who have sold to the above mentioned groups and lobbyists. Most politicians having little or no personal integrity vote whichever will get them the most money for their election campaigns and for plum jobs once they leave politics.

Many politicians also are afraid to back legalization of marijuana in fear of losing votes. It's the equivalent to being anti-war in general or against a particular war ie Iraq , Libya or the coming war with Iran. There are even those who anticipate a war with North Korea, Russia.

Being anti-war in America is the kiss of death even Obama gave up on that once he was sworn into office. As for drug policies President Obama has doubled down on The War On Drugs . But it is difficult to judge if this is merely a political move fearing a backlash from those groups against legalization or something he believes in. And if so does he erroneously think Marijuana is a 'Gate-way Drug" because he is no better informed about marijuana than most people.

The Gateway drug proposition is just nonsense. We could as easily say coffee or any caffeine drink is a Gate Way drug if most people who use Marijuana began as Coffee Drinkers .

Another group who are gung-ho on the War on Drugs is the US mainstream media who believe whatever urban myths they have heard about Marijuana. Watch the old and the unintentionally very funny Reefer Madness circa 1950. The film shows how after taking a few puffs off of a joint the drugged individual will rape or kill or commit suicide or will take part in sexual debauchery practice "Free Love" and various criminal activities .

The stigma and paranoia and hysteria about drugs goes at least as far back to the book by Thomas DeQuincy The Confessions of an Opium Eater in which various racist tropes about people from the East who are seen as evil, debauched, lazy and so forth. This if you like is the negative side of Orientalism in which the people outside the West are depicted as mysterious and as untrustworthy and so on. Because as we know or at least this is what many misinformed people believe that anyone who uses Marijuana or opium develops a love for Eastern Music, dress, philosophy and religion. Smoking pot the anti-drug crowd fear on a conscious level or unconsciously will turn a Westerner away from Christianity and lead one to become a Hindu or a Buddhist OMG???

Universities in the old days often played the film Reefer Madness at the beginning of each year as part of their welcoming of the new students . These days universities are more apt to show the hyper-macho militarist film Top Gun or some other pro-war film or a combat film based upon a pro-war video game or they might play the anti-semitic The Passion of The Christ which to me is just another violent bloody torture-porn film disguised as some sort of bizarre religious message. So much for The Sermon On the Mount instead what matters is the suffering of the Nazarene caused by unbelievers . The message is also according to some theologians that we are all guilty of spilling the blood of the Nazarene which gets added to "Original Sin" and so all life is merely suffering before one goes to Paradise if one has real faith and prays a lot. All works one performs are pointless.And here we find the root of Nihilism because nothing matters beyond Faith so murdering thousands invading nations to prove one's power or to take their natural resources is of no interest to a God whose hands are bloodied by the millions killed by Him or in His name.

The early Christians once they took control of the Roman Empire they identified themselves as being Romans and so needed to reconcile their Christian belief system and history with bein part of a militaristic , materialistic self-serving brutal Empire.
We see these days the same sort of twisted logic being used by Christians in the USA who have identified themselves with the American Empire and Nation State. Jesus said render onto Ceaser that which is Ceaser's and render unto God that which is God's.
But the Nazerene never says that Chistians should idenify themselves with the state or whatever nation they reside.

The Wild Hypocrisy of America's Conservative Christians In Britain, the devout tend to be economic progressives. Why have American Christians embraced social Darwinism? by David Sirota , Alternet April 20, 2012

Here's a newspaper headline that might induce a disbelieving double take: "Christians 'More Likely to Be Leftwing' And Have Liberal Views on Immigration and Equality." Sounds too hard to believe, right? Well, it's true -- only not here in America, but in the United Kingdom.

That headline, from London's Daily Mail, summed up the two-tiered conclusion of a new report from the British think tank Demos, which found that in England 1) "religious people are more active citizens (who) volunteer more, donate more to charity and are more likely to campaign on political issues" and 2) "religious people are more likely to be politically progressive (people who) put a greater value on equality than the non-religious, are more likely to be welcoming of immigrants as neighbours (and) more likely to put themselves on the left of the political spectrum."

These findings are important to America for two reasons.

First, they tell us that, contrary to evidence in the United States, the intersection of religion and politics doesn't have to be fraught with hypocrisy. Britain is a Christian-dominated country, and the Christian Bible is filled with liberal economic sentiment. It makes perfect sense, then, that the more devoutly loyal to that Bible one is, the more progressive one would be on economics.

Here in the United States, those who self-identify as religious tend to be exactly the opposite of their British counterparts when it comes to politics. As the Pew Research Center recently discovered, "Most people who agree with the religious right also support the Tea Party" and its ultra-conservative economic agenda. Summing up the situation, scholar Gregory Paul wrote in the Washington Post that many religious Christians in America simply ignore the Word and "proudly proclaim that the creator of the universe favors free wheeling, deregulated union busting, minimal taxes, especially for wealthy investors, and plutocrat-boosting capitalism as the ideal earthly scheme for his human creations."

For more on drugs check out: The decriminalisation (or even legalisation) of drugs , 01/03/2012 -in Newspaper items Vaada E-News ABC Online, The Drum, 1 March 2012 by Chris berg at Incorporating Comorbidity E-News

It doesn't take more than a moment of thought to recognise that the rulings on which drugs are legal or illegal are governed by no particular logic.
No theory from medicine or philosophy or psychology demands alcohol, tobacco and caffeine must be legal while marijuana, cocaine, and heroin must be prohibited.
We cannot rely on distinctions about relative harm. Many experts have pointed out that marijuana is on balance less dangerous than alcohol. But this legal discord isn't unusual. One British police chief controversially stated a few years ago that ecstasy is safer than aspirin.
Nor is the distinction between recreational or medicinal use any help. There are legal and illegal drugs that fall on both sides of that artificial line.
The generally accepted definition of the word "drug" offers no guide to legality either: "any substance other than food which by its chemical nature affects the structure or function of the living organism".

Whether a drug is illegal is nothing more than an accident of history. Drug laws were not written dispassionately by a panel of the best medical and ethical minds in the world. The laws bear no relation to the damage those drugs could cause or their danger to society – they were not written to minimise harm or protect health.

see for instance:
The Consumers Union Report on Licit and Illicit Drugs by Edward M. Brecher and the Editors of Consumer Reports Magazine, 1972

also see: Drug Hysteria: U.S.A. :
John Strausbaugh & Donald Blaise eds, foreword by William S. Burroughs, The Drug User: Documents 1840-1960
. New York: Blast Books, 1991. at

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