Monday, March 30, 2015
Indiana's First Church of Cannabis: Because Verily Your Law Is An Abomination Unto Us, and Ye Will Reap Whatsoever You Sow
Pretty much everyone - except, praise the Lord, the GOP 2016 candidates - hates Indiana's egregiously homophobic new "religious freedom" law: Businesses outside the state have threatened to boycott it, and those within the state have opened their own #openforservice and #wewelcomeall campaigns; Connecticut, Seattle and San Francisco have banned state-funded travel to the state; 30 law professors, including many in Indiana, have written an open letter ripping it as a terrible, not to mention illegal idea; social media has loudly protested it with Equality For all campaigns; and high-profile tech leaders are warning normal non-hateful travelers to stay away - all this even as the beleaguered Indiana lawmakers who passed it, reportedly taken aback by the flood of outrage because they have such wee little brains, say they will push an amendment "clarifying" the law to remove an "obvious misconception" that it, gasp, discriminates against anyone. "What it does is it sets a standard of review for a court when issues of religious freedom and other rights collide due to government action," they explained, straight-faced.
Among the skeptics is Bill Levin, a 59-year-old marketing consultant, libertarian, and pot legalization activist so excited about his new religious freedom he's already filed and received papers - Zig Zag maybe? - from the Secretary of State to found the First Church of Cannabis; the giddy response to his Facebook announcement has moved him to declare his creation "the fastest growing church in Indiana." He's also gotten support from pot advocates in Colorado considering joining the religious freedom party. Levin's posts about the church - "One Toke, One Smile, One Love" - are pretty high-spirited, opening with, "HAPPY MONDAY fellow Hoosiers. It is another glorious day... All wake, smile and feel love in your heart. You have just found your new spiritual home." Stressing that "LOVE is the cornerstone of this church - ALL WELCOMED!" Levin writes, "Please join me in building a better spiritual future for all." He has set up a fundraising page that seeks donations ranging from $4.20 a month for an individual membership to $1,000 to become "a CHURCH POOHBA." His goal: "Ultimately I see a HOUSE OF HEMP built with Love by Hoosiers for all to participate in. We will offer family services to help those in need. We will reach our hands out to those that need it. We will love, honor and respect each other," with no bogarting of joints en route. Psalms 133:1: "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!"