United Methodists Call for Ending Drug War 'In the Love of Christ'

Earlier this month, the New England Conference of United Methodists, a group of 600 churches spanning six states, approved a resolution calling for an end to the nation’s war on drugs. They believe the love of Christ constrains us to do so.

In part the resolution reads, “In the love of Christ, who came to save those who are lost and vulnerable, we urge the creation of a genuinely new system for the care and restoration of victims, offenders, criminal justice officials, and the community as a whole. Restorative justice grows out of biblical authority, which emphasizes a right relationship with God, self and community. When such relationships are violated or broken through crime, opportunities are created to make things right.”

Read more at christianpost.com/news/united-methodists-call-for-ending-drug-war-in-the-love-of-christ-141766/#fmg0jwE4ADkUDDDg.99

What is the USCCB’s position? We really do need to end the drug war. It’s a huge waste of money and doesn’t help anyone. If Tobacco is legal, then marijuana ought to be too. For those addicted to hardcore drugs, society needs to help them, not throw them in prison!

Should we also legalize prostitution? Cocaine? LSD?

Maybe I’m the only one who paid attention to the commercials in the 1980s about your brain on drugs?

Everything starts with protecting the family…good influences lead to better choices and less people getting addicted to drugs.

I heard a preview on NPR this morning about a focus later in the day on the rise of heroin deaths in the US. In it, they stated that the number of heroin deaths had quadrupled from the decade spanning 2004-2013 in relation to any other decade. Having lost a close friend to an overdose last October, this is an issue that I am sensitive to. It made me wonder whether the rise in the death count was a result of our relaxed attitude about underage drinking and recreational drug use.

I know it is a big step from drinking in high school and smoking some pot to doing heroin, and I think the term “gateway drug” is more of a joke than anything else. I may not have hard evidence, but I’m going to say that there aren’t many people (if any) who have used heroin without first doing marijuana. I am not saying marijuana is the cause of heroin use, but if we expand the pool of people who smoke marijuana, it would make sense that a proportional amount would also experiment with other drugs.

This post is also not to say that the US has taken the right approach to these issues, but I do not believe we should be supporting the decriminalization and/or legalization of marijuana.

Portugal at one time had the highest rate of drug use in Europe. They decided to decriminalize all drugs and provide rehabilitation for drug users instead of throwing them in prison.

Guess what? Drug use decreased significantly, and so did the AIDS rate from shared needles.

I never said anything about prostitution, did I?

I agree that society need to help them out, but I also do prison ministry and many of the inmates are there because of drugs… no surprise there, but also many say that they needed to be in jail in order to see that they have a problem. If they never had ended up in jail because drugs were legal, would any of them ever kick the habit?

Now, I can’t say how many will stay off drugs when they come out, but sometimes, you have to hit the bottom and jail is bottom for many people. Most of the people who were addicted to drugs and who ended up in jail did have one thing is common though… they tried to find a cure on the outside for all of life’s problems, and the cure was not God.

Peace,

John

Why should the USCCB have a “position” on everything? One reason the Church lost much of its moral authority in society a few decades ago is that the USCCB would take a position on every issue that the MEDI*A would decree to be important. Sure, they would speak out against abortion, and then 49 other issues too, so that pro life got diluted down to 2%.

There are many positions, including legalization of drugs, where individual Christians may support a few different positions, none of which are incompatible with the gospel. But the Church, itself, should focus on the very few issues that are most important, that are most often neglected by the Media, and where one position is unquestionably the only position consistent with the gospel. Catholic Answers focuses on just a few, prolife, gay marriage, euthanasia, stem cell research, for instance.

Hopefully the USCCB is past the day when its spokesmen seemed to represent CNN, the Washington Post, etc. Unfortunately many dioceses and parishes are still into diluting, though less so. The United Methodist Church should concentrate on forming converted citizens, who will then make prudent choices in the public square.

Society does help them, many drug users choose to NOT get that help.

This ^^:thumbsup::thumbsup::thumbsup:

Bolding mine - This is spot on. Not all marijuana users go on to other drugs but most if not all addicts started with pot and/or alcohol.

There is a common misconception that people are put in prison or jail for just using drugs. People are put in jail/prison for committing crimes. I worked in my state’s correctional system for most of my career and one thing I know for sure. You can get addicts clean & sober but what you end up with is a clean & sober criminal. Criminal thinking and addiction are so closely related that to address one without the other makes the problem worse, not better.

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