Richard Carnes: Church of Sarcasm
Freedom of religion is a topic that was once fought for and helped to establish the USA. Today, I am being tried for something that has been a part of my family’s religion for generations.
Religious sarcasm is nothing new. Actually it has been around since before written history. The use of sarcasm in rituals, ceremonies, communion and prayer is mandated by my deity as with many other religions around the world (Trustafarians, for example).
Who should be able to control the growth and possession of sarcasm that is so healing (as the U.S. patent for “perceived irony” states) and spiritually enlightening, not to mention the George Washington sarcasm: “Use it everywhere.”
A doctor is able to prescribe hundreds of patients a day wit-filled anecdotes. Who is to tell me I cannot use sarcasm as a religious sacrament in the privacy of my own home?
Hold on a minute. Time out.
Last Friday, local transplant-from-Hawaii Trevor Douglas appealed to Happy Valley for assistance in his “courageous” quest to defeat a marijuana possession charge that he claims violates his religious rights.
So, my first two paragraphs were taken from his appeal (a letter to the editor) and I replaced the word “cannabis” with “sarcasm,” along with a few other literary liberties, to show how the absurdity of such claims can become clearer by simply replacing a single word.
Twenty years ago, fellow Lawn Chair Team member Craig Campbell took the opening lines from the NRA’s objectives and replaced the words “guns” and “firearms” with “lawn chairs.”
Nothing against the NRA, but it was pretty damned funny to read (and for years worked well for the team). Same goes for these silly claims made by the THC Ministry of Hawaii, the religious organization that Douglas is currently hiding behind in an attempt to keep his behind out of jail.
Look, I am one of the last people you would expect to defend religion in any way, shape or form. But the truth is, when used correctly, it can be a source of good and comfort in the world. Yes, the benefits are only short term, but in many cases that’s better than no comfort at all.
Using religion in any form as an excuse for rationalizing nonsense got old the first time a human sacrifice was performed to help crops grow. This particular form of nonsense has to do with smoking pot, nothing more, nothing less.
Our religious freedoms are fine and dandy, but the laws allowing such outrageous organizations to continue to exist (Scientology, anyone?), much less be tax-free, are just downright dumb. Local governments statewide (and probably soon, nationwide) are wasting countless hours desperately attempting to control the oncoming ganja storm.
We need to legalize it, regulate it, tax the snot out of it, let these silly religious scams fold, and just move on to more important issues like the economy, jobs, terrorism, climate change, etc.
In the meantime, Mr. Douglas can just pay a fine and go “spread the word” elsewhere.
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