Today was an amazing day. However, at the last hour, I got a rather disturbing notification. A friend of mine manages a candy store in a neighboring city. It’s a fairly large corporation and is packed with every kind of candy you can imagine. Willy Wonka would be jealous. Among the many treats and candy-themed memorabilia are gag sweets and joke candies. Among those was a “marijuana breath spray.” It is very clearly meant to be a joke. First, the price is too cheap for it to be real marijuana. Second, it’s illegal to sell here in Arizona. Third, it says on the packaging that it isn’t real marijuana.
I should put a disclaimer that while I don’t smoke it, I don’t mind so much if other people do. To me, it’s like alcohol: a tool that muddles the mind and slows the senses. It’s not a toxic waste dump. It’s not crystal meth. It’s not going to spread like a virus from the smoker to the “helpless victims” on the same bus. It’s weed. Big deal. Now, that being said, I also don’t have a problem with people who think aforementioned things. I won’t have a problem if you think that smoking marijuana is wrong. I won’t care if you think that it is a danger to your children and to society. I won’t judge you if you think that it’s a sin to use God’s plants in such a way. However, there is something else that bothers me.
I hate when self-proclaimed disciples of Christ use His name to spew slander at organizations that support the use of marijuana. First off, this candy store wasn’t even supporting anything. They had a gag candy. I might also point out they had some very hilarious fake poop chocolates. Doesn’t mean they think kids should go around eating poop! When a leader – a true, passionate leader – uses his/her influence over the masses to not only A) tell an outright lie, and B) publicly bash any establishment, said leader is abusing his/her power.
To be less vague, here’s the story:
A religious fanatic walked into a candy store and found this fake marijuana breath spray. He whips out his smart phone and proceeds to record himself while spinning around, careful to get an entire view of the candy store. He introduced the store, gave it’s name and location, and then held up the fake spray and loudly said “They are selling marijuana to kids!” He then proclaimed that this was affront on the communities children. He then urged all of his followers (which are in the range of millions), to spam his… sorry… OUR outrage (because clearly he speaks for us all) to the store’s public Facebook profile, their corporate office, and their in-store phones. Within the next few minutes, the store was alight with rage from concerned parents, anti-marijuana activities, and community officials. The News swooped in and said they’d be arriving in the morning to cover the story.
I am totally okay with you having an opinion. I am totally okay with you having an opinion that is entirely different from my own. I honestly don’t care. If you hate it that bad, fine. That’s totally fine. Boycott it. Keep your children from the store. I think it’s excessive and a little silly, but fine. That’s okay. That’s totally okay.
But how dare you claim to be a disciple of Christ and set the dogs on anyone or anything like that? How dare you call yourself a follower of Christ? When, in any record, did Christ waltz into an establishment and go “Hey! This place is evil! Everyone, destroy it! DESTROY IT, MY FAITHFUL SHEEP!”? Some of you who haven’t studied the bible thoroughly might point out when Christ entered the temple of His Father and saw the merchants there. He cast them all out. That temple was a house of God, not a shopping mall. So don’t go INTO A SHOPPING MALL and THROW STONES AT THE CORPORATION.
What this person did, as a human being, was totally inappropriate. You can be passionate and fight for your cause. That’s okay. But you march into a store, high and mighty, and say “DESTROY THIS DEVIL’S HOUSE, MY SHEEP!” and you instantly lose all credibility as a respectable human being. But worse than that, you soil your name. And if you bear Christ’s name – Christ, who was perfect – then you damn well better live up to it.
To the anti-religion people out there looking at this going “See? THIS is what I was talking about…” know that you aren’t wrong here. But religion, true religion, isn’t about power, or throwing stones. It’s about bringing people closer to God, to their bliss, to their truth.
To the religious people out there, I’m so sorry you are being dragged down by this moron. You are good people, with good hearts and good intentions. So please, for your sake, and the sake of your children, live up to your good intentions. Don’t let people like this man hurt your name, your religions name, or Christ’s name.
I strive to live up to the good name of Christ, in my own way. I may not follow all of His teachings to the letter, but I take His second most important commandment to heart: Love thy neighbor as yourself. Love is the most powerful thing in the world. We must love one another, love each other, and love even our enemies.
To the man who blatantly misused his influence under Christ’s banner, shame on you. To ALL to preach hate and rage under the name of Christ, shame on you. Nevertheless, I still love you. I may not respect you, but we are all Children of God. We are all members of the Human race. We are all in this life together, forever. Let us love one another, tolerate each other’s mistakes, and teach the future generations of this world that hate only creates more hate. As Yoda, the wise (albeit fictitious) councilor once said: “hate leads to suffering.” Suffer no more. Let go of hate. And let’s all build a better world together.
Love is all we need.
Thanks for reading. I love you all, from the deepest parts of my heart. Remember: if you’re going to dream, dream BIG!