The First Church of Cannabis sprang from the well intentioned Indiana Religious Freedom Restoration Act explained here. Basically it means that "the state cannot 'substantially burden a person's exercise of religion' unless it is furthering a 'compelling government interest' and acting in the least restrictive way possible". Other States have similar laws. Some see the legislation as an opportunity while others see it as repressive.
Sadly Mother Church has been caught up in the political maelstrom with all sorts of groups using the church to advantage in the guise of worship.
In my book there are three categories of Church users. There are regular users who week by week sustain the Church in their worship and giving.
There are the occasional users, the 'hatch, match and dispatch' brigade, who profess to be Christians expecting the Church to be there when required.
Then there are the other users. The political movements used to great effect by feminists and currently by the LGBT community in furtherance of their particular agendas, currently same-sex marriage under the pretence of equality.
The feminist battle consisted of staged skirmishes, each represented as an insignificant step thus permitting charges of discrimination if the next step were not permitted. Hence the progression from biblical Deaconesses to non-biblical women bishops.
|LGBT activist Jayne Ozanne|
I strongly recommend reading Making Gay Okay: How rationalising homosexual behaviour is changing everything. According to the author, Professor Robert R. Reilly, the debate about homosexuality, and particularly about same-sex marriage, is, at its heart, a debate about the nature of reality. One side believes that things have a nature and purpose that make them what they are. The other side denies that things have an essential nature, and believes that things are nothing in themselves, and can be shaped according to personal choices and desires. Reilly examines the philosophical basis for these competing points of view. [Hat tip to Anglican Mainstream for this article - Ed.]
In another article the dangers are set out plainly. Among them the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) "have concluded that one in six men who have sex with men will contract HIV in their lifetimes and that one in two black men who are gay or bisexual will contract HIV". Despite the recognised dangers the United States Agency for International Development will be spending $1 million to finance the promotion of the LGBT agenda, including contributions to LGBT politicians who wish to participate in the upcoming elections.
In the UK Cardinal Nichols has already been criticised for Queering the Church while Changing Attitude lists fifty-nine churches in twenty Church of England dioceses where "lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered Christians can be guaranteed a welcome" in addition to churches in Ireland, Scotland and Wales, as if they are not welcomed in other churches. Far from it in my experience.
The 'middle way' is claimed to be an "attempt to bridge the divides that separates many in the Church". It is not. It is one more giant step towards securing credibility for another organisation using the Church for political ends.
Readers may remember "self-styled 'Anglican' and LGBT activist" Jayne Ozanne from a previous entry, The road to ruin: "Church of England members back same-sex marriage. Poll shows for first time more Anglicans supporting gay couples marrying than opposing it, despite leadership’s opposition. 'The lowest levels of support for same-sex marriage – 24% – were found among Anglican men over the age of 55, a group that dominates the church leadership'."
The 'Poll' had been "spun to apply pressure to the Church of England on same-sex 'marriage'." Need one say more!
The Church must stand firm.
An author is planning to re-invent the Bible… by putting it in a “queer context”:
"The Queer Bible is my reclamation, through translation, of the queer mythic potential of Biblical stories. I want to make an inclusive, celebratory space within the text that undoes the implicit sexism, misogyny, heterosexism, hierarchical oppression, slut-shaming, etc. and reconstitutes the feminine, the queer, the outcast, the strange."