I have been invited to talk about Reverend Roger Christie and Religious Freedom with Reverend Raymond Christl on Blog Talk Radio “The Free American Hour” I originally met Reverend Ray Christl on the NORML Daily Audio Stash. There was sort of a heated discussion going on between Radical Russ Belville several ministers who visit the stash. I’ve blogged about it here, or you can search the NORML Daily audio stash for more of the conversation. Ref: http://stash.norml.org/on-religious-use-of-cannabis/comment-page-1#comment-66533
I don’t know if I am the most qualified but I definitely give it my best.
This is my story, I have been a Christian since I was 22 when I actually got baptized in the Provo River (Provo Canyon, near of course Provo Utah) .in 1999 by Pastor Gene Short of Light the Way Church in Orem UT.
I had given up cannabis and also all drugs including tobacco, however that is not completely true if you include caffiene which is FAR more habit forming than marijuana and is something that I have not been able to kick my whole life. I have been sucking down pepsi almost every day for 25 years.
When I found Christ it is what I considered a new and relevant revelation on who He is (you can see an old version of my story “This Ragged Life Renewed” ( http://mystory.behindzioncurtain.com ). I originally wrote that in 2001. Christ opened my eyes to so many things. Mostly faults and short-commings in myself causing me to look deeper, and to grow inwardly.
I started using cannabis again when what is diagnosed as having Migrain and cluster headaches, and cluster headaches are the worst of the two.
I have blood vessel problems that were found via CT Scan, which cause these headaches in part. I also have a lot of spinal on other head/skull damage from skateboarding and climbing things, etc..
Since I started using cannabis legally and even prior to that when I continuously went to jail when I was a teen and a young adult because I refused to let the government tell me what I could put in my body. I was 17, 18 and 19 when I got arrested for marijuana, 2 of those arrests resulted in several months each of jail time, and I didn’t give up smoking weed for years later, when I gave my life totally to the Lord.
Rasta Fari and reggae music is what brought me to discipleship of Jesus. It was in the spiritual and Jesus Christ oriented music that I felt comfortable and not too offended by my Mormon (LDS) root, to look into the Bible and study about the whole history of it. Then eventually adding prayer to my daily activity, and eventually having a very real experience with the physical manifestation of the whole spirit, in just an event that shined a light on what it was all about.
I talk about that a little in this video.
For about 12 years I have been a born again Christian, disciple of Christ. It has been since I was 17 that I have listened to reggae music regularly.
When I first bought Peter Tosh “Legalize It”, and I started smoking ganja regularly. I went to a few Dead Shows and I traveled all over the USA on my own from the time I was 15 until I was.. Oh well I guess we still move a lot. 5 times in 3 years. That’s a record for us, but just barely.
Previous to finding Christ and submitting to the will of God I drank a lot and tried to not be at my parents house because I couldn’t get a long with my mom and as a result I didn’t get a long with my pop either. My dad drank a lot when I was younger, and we never had a great relationship. I moved in with my cousin Aimie who was dating a self proclaimed skin head. We got tattooed and talked about politics. I guess we got in a few fights but nothing to brag about. It was politically motivated.
I had all kinds of home made tattoos all over my body. It was really lashing out. Mostly at my parents who could never get a long.
My dad who named our childhood dog “Spook” and regularly made racist jokes about this dog. Just in jest as he saw it, not anything mean or cruel.
He grew up in a different time than my generation did, and he served in the national guard in the 1960s when the MLK marches took place and he claimed among other things that the people that he hired to work for him were black people and he paid them well and treated him with respect, and it was those same people who came back with the keys to steal from his laundry mat. My dad exaggerated from time to time, but had the best of intentions. But that was one thing that I believe was true and effected him deeply, because he talked about it on multiple occasions.
Apparently he was stationed in Georgia at the time. So it must have been pretty tense times.
But a little bit of that rubbed off on me when I saw the BATF shoot little 14 year old Sammy Weaver in the back in 1992 at Ruby Ridge in Idaho, and they had no right to be on that property anyway. It was horrible. And thats when I started losing confidence in our government. I was 13 years old at the time. So I started feeling like my future was in jeopardy one way or another.
So the whole skinhead thing didn’t sound so bad. I already didn’t get along with my folks because they were Mormon and I was a toker. Mormons are more anti-cannabis than any other religious group that I have encountered. So that separated me from having a relationship with my folks, and many other unrelated issues and circumstances.
What I did learn about skinheads, is that their history and the origins of one of the preferred musics in skinhead pubs both in England and the USA and also other parts of the world is reggae. SKA wouldn’t exist without black reggae music.
Without learning about skinhead culture, I would have not been as keen to learn about this wonderful reggae music that I fell in love with at a young age.
I made this video about my family and my past and my heritage.
I’ve always felt that remembering the mistakes of our past helps us to prevent them from happening in the future.
So essentially, learning about skinheads helped my break the racist ideology of my forefathers that practiced Mormonism.
Mormon doctrine is notoriously racist. It was pretty much what the main plotline of the Book of Mormon is about. “The Righteous White Nephites and the wicked dark skinned Lamanites. blah blah blah”.
I thank Jah every day for my new prospective on life that Jah has been blessings abundantly since creation.
This is a video that I made about Marcus Garvey, a very influential figure in the Ras Tafari movement.
If you want to learn more about my cannabis ministry visit: Cannabis Faith On xCannabis.com
Cannabis has been a rich part of many religious movements, doctrines and rituals. It is no less important now.
This brings me to the topic at hand which is Roger Christie. I have never met Roger Christie, I have sent him email and I have posted in his blog for a little over a year.
I originally started xCannabis before I ever learned of Roger Christie surprisingly seeing how well know he is and how long he has been doing his ministry, but when learned of him he very soon became a favorite person of mine and I looked for his videos to come out often. Which also led me to learning about Chris Bennett. Which I have read a few of his very exhaustive articles on this subject. That guy is too smart for his own good, but I love his work! I have also saw Chris Bennett on CannabisCulture which I still read twice or more a week.
The conversation that I had with Russ I made a recent VLOG about and I posted a couple of other related blogs on xCannabis.com.
So if you are interested in what the beef is between Russ and Roger Chrstie, its best if you go to http://stash.NORML.org
I would like to thank Russ for all that he does there! I disagree with him about Roger Christie, but I believe united we stand and divided we fall.
One point I am going to be making on this show is “Does the Controlled Substances Act Override the 1st Amendment“
If you listen to a few of Clay Douglas’s shows you will see why I am posting this now, and why I tell the tale of me spending time living with skinheads.
Here is his playlist.
By “Radical” Russ Belville on November 16, 2010
By “Radical” Russ Belville on July 19, 2010
By “Radical” Russ Belville on March 11, 2010
By “Radical” Russ Belville on March 9, 2010
More info about the religious use of cannabis