The startling news, first reported by the BBC World Service May 29th, that ancient Israelites used “cannabis as part of their religious rituals” has electrified American fundamentalists, like nothing short of an Elmer Gantry TV marathon.
Forensic spectrographic analysis from 2700 yr. old temple-remains in Tel Arad, first discovered in the 1960’s, confirmed the repeated, definite presence of THC, CBD, and CBN.
You know what this means folks: Mary Jane meets Mary Magdalen; “don’t bogart that rote-ritual, my friend….;” it’s the Temple of the Holy Bong in the making. If only Pentecostal-preacher-turned-screaming-comedian Sam Kinison were here to appreciate the delicious cosmic irony.
Although, technically it was pre-Christ, so there is sort of a loophole for the Christian faith. And we can always count on them to murmur, “you know those Jews, they were all closet-Epicureans anyway.”
I see a whole new phase of the Great American Traveling Church Show, about to kick off. If you want to amuse yourself with the hilarious history of this very American epoch, read Kurt Andersen’s excellent 2017 book Fantasyland. He has a historian’s eye for detail, and the writing pedigree of the Harvard Lampoon.
According to Andersen, we’re due for another ‘Great Revival’, and I’m putting my money on the C-word…. Cannabis!
Seriously, this has all the technical possibilities of another ‘Great Schism’ in the Christian faith, more than anything since Martin Luther posted his 95 complaints on the cathedral door, bringing us all the way to Jimmy Swaggert talking to Elvis in a church-sanctioned séance.
By the way, the big technical disrupter back then (1517) was the printing press, which was in dire need of content. Martin Luther’s thesis was a godsend; ditto Christopher Columbus. See how all this works?
With Cannabis as the accelerant, let us not forget the possibilities of doctrinal deviations run amok. Themes like “The Immaculate High”, and the folksy book-store favorite, “How Me & Margo Found Enlightenment;” stuff like that: big winners.
And those potential Saints & Prophets, for the Mormo-Catholic apostates who like their weed. I could see a Saint Willie, Saint Elon, and Latino favorites, Saints Cheech & Chong for starters. No doubt Bishop Extraordinaire Snoop will be given a double-helping of deification.
While I’m writing all this a bit tongue-in-cheek, there’s nothing fanciful about historic, conceptual twists & turns in the earthly tenure of our 2-legged hominid species. One extraterrestrials would probably label, “irrational.” But hey, even Mr. Spock did imbibe from time to time.
The human animal might just need a new ecumenical paradigm that opens the mind with a different state of innocent consciousness. At least to get through the next 50+ years. So far the 21st Century has been a bust.
Sellers is a South Park Republican who lives in incorporated Oro Valley. His background is federal tech-transfer commercialization. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org