Jonathan Merritt is the son of former SBC president, James Merritt, and is a close friend and ally of evangelicalism’s left, including Beth Moore, Ed Stetzer, and Russell Moore. He’s also queer as a three dollar bill. Merritt, as we have pointed out many times before, is basically the gay BFF of evangelicalism. And most recently, Merritt posted an article in the New York Times claiming that the legalization of marijuana is a “justice” issue.
But hey, what’s not a justice issue these days?
Merritt, like many advocates of marijuana, claims that he suffers from a mysterious pain disorder and that the plant is the only cure. Of course, homosexuals, in general, are at a far higher risk of drug use, as mind-altering substances help them cope with the mental and physical trauma of sodomy. But Merritt claims that his marijuana use is due to pain, panic attacks, depression, and suicidal thoughts (homosexuals are also at a far higher rate of suicide, due to self-loathing and self-destructiveness).
Merritt said, “On a gray morning in December four years ago, I awoke in my cramped Brooklyn apartment and could not feel my hands. Over the following weeks, the numbness morphed into burning, tingling, stabbing pain that spread all over my body. The pain was soon accompanied by panic attacks, crippling depression and something bordering on suicidal thoughts.”
So then, Merritt says he went to a “green doctor” and after trying marijuana, experienced a “miracle.”
Merritt says, “America is sick, and the Christian call to compassion obligates the faithful to act. Chronic pain and illness now affect tens of millions of Americans, and in many cases the cause eludes the brightest medical minds.”
So…it’s a Christian thing now.
Oh, and also according to Merritt, it’s a racial justice issue. He adds:
While a majority of Christians now favor permitting medical marijuana, they are far more resistant to legalizing it completely. But the faithful must consider that America’s drug war has been a catastrophic failure and has perpetuated social injustices against communities of color.
Merritt then waxes poetically on the Biblical call for justice, which somehow has something to do with pot.
Justice is one of the main themes in both the Jewish scriptures and the Christian New Testament. This includes the famed teaching from the Jewish prophet Micah that “to do justice” is one of only three actions that God “requires” from God’s people and Jesus’s repeated teachings on justice (often translated in English as “righteousness”). The more than 2,000 verses about justice in the Bible have grounded Christians in every major political justice movement in modern American history — from abolition to women’s suffrage to the civil rights movement — and provide solid ground for Christians seeking to rethink this matter as well.
Merritt then goes on to discuss the plight of a “Christian rapper” who goes by the name “Propaganda” as he recalled for Merritt the “injustice” received at the hands of drug enforcement.
He told me that his cousin spent 25 years in prison for a nonviolent drug offense, and a close friend of his served a five-year jail sentence just for riding in a car with another person in possession of drugs. As he put it, “American Christians have to stop being the last ones to the table to have discussions like these. Given the proven racist intent of the war on drugs and the criminalization of marijuana, it’s time for Christians to think critically about this issue and not just default to abstinence.”
Then, Merritt goes on to laud the work of pastor-pervert Craig Gross, founder of XXX Church (a porn-ified “church”) who is now launching a “cannabis church.” Gross has made a cottage ministry out of vices. It’s not surprising Merritt would promote his work (Gross will be selling marijuana paraphernalia on his “church” website).
For the record, I lean libertarian on most issues regarding personal liberty and see a degree of truth in some of Merritt’s claims; in particular, I am saddened by incarcerations due to non-violent drug offenses and view Christians’ embrace for medical opiates but not medical cannabis to be double-minded. However, what I find detestable is a homosexual capitalizing on whatever Christian credentials that have not yet been revoked to use our good religion to push marijuana use.
Assuming marijuana should be legalized (or not), it has zero bearings on the Gospel. These are not “justice” issues and these are not “Gospel” issues. We need to be able to present our points of view with out attributing them to the Almighty.
And for the love of all that is good and pure, evangelical leaders need to stop treating this homosexual like he were a Christian.
[Contributed by JD Hall]