Couldn't You Choose a Sacrament That's Less Fun and More Nauseating?

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The U.S. Supreme Court was unanimous in concluding that the Religious Freedom Restoration Act protects the ritual use of the psychedelic tea ayahuasca by the tiny American branch of O Centro Espirita Beneficiente Uniao Do Vegetal (UDV). The Pima, Arizona-based Church of Cognizance, whose leaders are scheduled to be tried on drug charges next week, probably will have a lot more trouble making a similar case. Although the Church of Cognizance is even smaller than the UDV, its sacrament–marijuana–has a much bigger recreational following, which could make all the difference as the government argues that it can't afford to make an exception for religious use.

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  1. From the look of things, I’d better found my church with cheeseburger-based sacraments right now. In 20 years when fatty foods are banned, I’ll have a good case for an exemption.

  2. Technically, it’s not the thing being ingested (etc.) that’s the sacrament, but the act of ingesting (etc.) the thing.

  3. I suppose it’s probably impolite to point out that over the centuries, Christians have killed more people than have pot worshippers….

  4. It’s nice to know that the courts and legislators know what my god legitmately wants me to experience. Glad to see that they can differentiate between a “real” religion and some made up hooey about wine being the blood of a martyr or some such. What was that bit about “prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” again?

  5. As a lifelong member of the Church of Cognizance, I am shocked and appalled to discover that some vile and dishonest wretch has been commenting under my name and claiming to be an atheist these past couple of years.

  6. I sure hope they win, but if they do can you imagine the congressional grandstanding in the run up to the elections in support of the Religious Freedom Clarification Act? I’d love seeing the GOP get all giddy at the prospect of defining just what defines legitimate worship.

  7. I had no idea I was so religious.

  8. Did anyone else catch this:

    In Arizona, people using peyote who aren’t members of the Native American Church also are exempt as long as the peyote is used for a “bona fide religious purpose” in a manner that doesn’t threaten the public.

    Holy cacti, Batman!

  9. I suppose it’s probably impolite to point out that over the centuries, Christians have killed more people than have pot worshippers….

    I am confused…who has to drink now?? although i am pretty sure akira has to drink anytime anyone posts.

  10. I love that the Church of Cognizance smokes pot.
    In other news the Church of Prudent Judgment drinks alot of whisky for breakfast, and the Church of Tantric Purity routinely does coke off the cantor’s tits.

  11. I’ve seen the light!

    Praise the Herb!

  12. Often heard in court: “We are congnizant of the facts,” or “Released on his own re-cognizance.”

    Not-so-veiled references to herbal spiritualism?

    Here at the Reformed Church of Cognizance, we combine baptism with sacrament: we wash our hair with hemp shampoo.

  13. I suppose it’s probably impolite to point out that over the centuries, Christians have killed more people than have pot worshippers….

    Ohhh…. * headbutt *

  14. How about Rastafari, which is quite large (by comparison) and well-established (by comparison)?

    Does anyone know if they have ever tried legal challenges to defend their right to “smoke da’ herb” as part of their religious practices? If so, what was the rationale for denying them?

  15. I’ll bet that was no olive branch in that dove’s beak.

  16. Madpad,
    Umm, sorta?

  17. Someone needs to find that long lost book of the Bible that has the real story of the last supper. First Jesus and the disciples built up a killer appetite by smoking joints rolled from the finest weed on the planet, then they ate all the fatty, sugary, fast food they could hold down, had an amazing dessert of bong hits and lines of coke and then capped it all off by chain smoking cigarettes while watching a combination of rated R movies and porn. In the lost Gospel of Steve, it was described in great detail and all believers were admonished to perform this ritual as often as possible to ensure their rightful place in the kingdom of heaven.

  18. Josh-

    although i am pretty sure akira has to drink anytime anyone posts.

    Especially if the post is about either ‘religion’ or ‘Republicans’… :o)

  19. Whatever happened to the Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church?

    I get high for the fun of it. The crime is that it’s illegal.

  20. Scott,
    That book was destroyed by the inquisition. But before it was consigned to the fire, it served as the muse for the Michelangelo’s first crack at the Last Supper.

  21. Thanks kwix…sorta not very much but if that’s all there iz…that’s all there iz.

  22. Marley 4:20
    And yeah, thou should roll thy doobie tight. Puff twice, not once nor thrice, before thou passes it again to thy left. And they smokethed it and it was good.

  23. I’m actually a high priest of the COC.

    Sunday service usually consists of 6 hours of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 and the blessing of the Hawaiian pizza.

    And we got the incense thing pretty well covered.

    Just FYI, here are our “Ten Suggestions”:

    1) That’s not a microphone, dude, keep it going.
    2) Less joking, more toking
    3) Clean this thing, okay? Jesus.
    4) Buck up for the pizza.
    5) You change the channel.
    6) ……
    7) Zepplin is the Lord thy God.
    8) Dude, don’t burn my couch.
    9) …..

  24. Nice Guy: Thise suggestions need to be inscribed on a mirrored plague.

  25. I read the linked article and an interesting question came to mind… What happened re sacramental wine during prohibition? Was an exception made?

  26. answered my own question. exceptions were made “for sacramental purposes, or like religious rites.” good reading here if you’re interested… http://www.religion-online.org/showarticle.asp?title=886

  27. Umm, for all you Xtians and Jooos, you could always look to Genesis, Ch1.29

    “[29]And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat.”

    Not to put too blunt(heh,heh) a point on this, but that means hemp, coca and opium are all religiously exempt, a gift from God. ‘Shrooms are kinda iffy since they ain’t got no seeds per se.

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