PHOTO CREDIT: BLIND NOMAD
“As the weed-worship house shows, where does religious tolerance end? Can I have a Second Church of the Latter Day Misogynists, and therefore refuse service to all women? Or what about a Man-bun Monthly congregation, with followers who owned a coffee shop that discriminate against anyone without that hairy backwards unicorn horn?” PHOTO CREDIT: BLIND NOMAD

The most interesting argument against gay marriage I’ve ever heard is the famous “Where does it end?” defense. If gays can marry, what’s stopping polygamy, pedophilia, zoophilia? I believe it deserves a valid conversation, but the differences merit very different talks at very different times.

Even more interesting is what is happening in Indiana. The religious folk who hide behind expired beliefs are seeing a progressive version of “Where does it end?” A religion upon which gays can be refused services (marriage, business, etc.) because God didn’t intend on two men or two women mingling their fruits? Where does it end, a church based around the devil’s plant, marijuana?

Well, yes!

The First Church of Cannabis was founded in March of this year, as “Cannaterians” pushed Indiana’s new Religious Freedom and Restoration Act to greener lands. But before you plan a road trip, know that marijuana is still illegal in all forms in Indiana. Yet the church plans to grow hemp, and since marijuana is considered a sacrament of this church, it will challenge these laws with the shield of the RFRA.

Joining the Cannaterians behind the excuse of religious tolerance are the owners of Memories Pizza, which became the first business in Indiana to announce that it will refuse to serve gay weddings.

“That lifestyle is something they choose. I choose to be heterosexual,” owner Kevin O’Connor said. Besides the scientific inaccuracies of that statement, I have no problem with businesses refusing service under certain circumstances.

What I do have a problem with is people using the broad stroke of “religious tolerance” to allow them to deny other people from basic services. As the weed-worship house shows, where does religious tolerance end? Can I have a Second Church of the Latter Day Misogynists, and therefore refuse service to all women? Or what about a Man Bun Monthly congregation, with followers who owned a coffee shop that discriminate against anyone without that hairy backward unicorn horn?

“I have nothing against women or non-man bun wearers, it’s just that everyone is entitled to their beliefs,” the rhetoric would go.

Where does it end? When you find no concrete reason to discriminate against another person, so you use baseless, archaic beliefs to muddy up morality.

The First Church of Cannabis was created “to start a church based on love and understanding with compassion for all.” It’s inclusive, green and probably smells wonderful. Memories Pizza, on the other hand, is exclusive and scientifically ignorant.

I am not advocating for these restaurant owners to be forced to service the LGBT community, but their logic can be followed to bad ends.The First Church of Cannabis showed that the logic can go both ways, but unfortunately the churches that tell you what not to do far outnumber the ones that seek to expand into progressive territory. How much farther can the logic go down the path of exclusion until it gets even more ridiculous?

The religious who wonder where it ends would like to limit liberty, while the Cannaterians want to see how far they can expand it.

Follow Christopher Leelum on Twitter: @_Leemin94

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