Sunday, April 20, 2014

Praise it and blaze it.

Easter is a strange holiday. I'm not even going to look at its pagan roots: the concept isn't really in dispute any more. But Easter is, if viewed from one angle, an opportunity for conservative Christians to explain that their support for the death penalty is proven by their approval of nailing some guy to a stick and letting him hang there until he dies. Or something like that.

Has anybody noticed that Easter this year comes on 4/20? It's a popular meme among the marijuana crowd online. However, to put it in another light, it can be used as evidence that Jesus supports medical marijuana.

Probably because the Bible can be used to support pretty much any viewpoint out there, there are plenty of verses that can be cited to support this position.

Isaiah 18:4 - "The Lord said unto me, 'I will take my rest and I will consider in my dwelling place like a clear heat upon herbs.' "

Ezekiel 34:29 - And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more.

Genesis 1:12 - And the earth brought forth grass, and herb yielding seed after his kind, and the tree yielding fruit, whose seed was in itself, after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:29-31 - God said, "Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed which is upon the face of all the earth.…To you it will be for meat." …And God saw everything that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.

Revelations 22:2 - In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Psalm 104:14-15 - He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; and wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man's heart.

You can google the term "easter grass" and come up with a lot of sites that sell it, but I think you'll be disappointed with what you get.

And you can even drag politics into it. Remember, the US government is conducting a war on drugs, whereas Matthew 5:9 tells us "Blessed are the peacemakers." I'll bet you can do that math on your own.

There are those who will try to tell you that the Bible condemns drug use: one explanation is that the original Greek word for "sorcery," pharmacea, is the same root word for "pharmacy." Look hard enough, you'll see explanations for the use of herbs (to include marijuana) as medicine only, because all drug companies deal in poison. That's not only a little extreme, but shows an open ignorance of history: much like chemistry and alchemy have the same roots (as do astrology and astronomy), early wise women and hedge wizards started concocting drugs to help people. But many of their naturalist practices came from pagan roots (and berries, but let's not get into that...): the priestesses would often double as healers. And if they could help people more than the Christian priests and their prayers, the witches must obviously be condemned as evil (otherwise, people might go see the pagans for help).

This is also where you'll find the argument that the actual phrase should not be "suffer not a witch to live," but "suffer not a poisoner to live." Sorry, guys. The specific translation there should, in fact, be "witch." It's just that pagan priestesses of the time knew enough about natural medicine that they could also concoct poisons.

In a similar vein, there's an old French word, grimoire, that refers to a book containing magic spells, such as what would be owned by a witch or sorcerer. The root for that word was grammaire, which was a book of grammar (usually Latin, in the early days; the same source gave us the Olde Englishe word grammarye). But much like with the Tea Party today, somebody with a little knowledge frightened the average illiterate peasant back then; so somebody with a big thick book was probably up to no good.

And much like with pharmacea, that's the difference between the root of a word and the actual definition.

But, really, what can be more pot-induced than a holiday based around hard-boiled eggs and ample supplies of chocolate?

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