Friday, August 22, 2014

Did you know Martin Luther King Jr was a Star Trek fan?

Nichelle Nichols caused a sensation in the 1960s for her role as Lieutenant Uhura in the classic television series, "Star Trek." It was one of the first times a black woman was cast as a main character in a major television show. But Nichols almost quit the show to pursue other dreams. She talks to host Michel Martin about her character's importance during the civil rights movement, and how Martin Luther King Junior convinced her to stay on "Star Trek".

Nichelle Nicols, who played Lt. Uhura, was considering leaving the show to pursue a career in theater until a chance encounter

Nichols was at a fundraiser when she was told a ST fan wanted to meet her... it was none other than Martin Luther King Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was an avid fan of the TV show Star Trek in the 1960s

Nichols told MLK how she was planning on leaving the show, and he immedately became serious...

He said to Nichols, "For the first time we are seen as we should be seen... it is not a black role, but an equal role"

After this convo, Nichols decided to remain on Star Trek... understanding that her role represented something very important

Nichols would even share in the first interracial kiss of US tv, a milestone in the media's role in advancing civil rights

Many people see Star Trek as a nerdy show, without seeing the bigger picture. MLK knew better though-and he was a Trekkie

I'm Michel Martin, and this is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News.
On this Martin Luther King Day, we are looking at the legacy of the civil rights leader. We're looking back and we're looking forward to talk about what that legacy still means.
In a moment, we'll hear from the legendary singer and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte, who admired King as a leader and also knew him as a friend.
But one of the things that might not be so well known about Martin Luther King, Jr. is that he was a Trekkie, a fan of the television show "Star Trek" - that according to Nichelle Nichols, the actress who played the groundbreaking role of Lieutenant Uhura on the popular series from 1966 to 1969 and in the movies that followed. And if we've forgotten why we liked her so much, here's a clip.
(Soundbite of TV show, "Star Trek")
Ms. NICHELLE NICHOLS (Actor): (As Lieutenant Uhura) I'm connecting the bypass circuit now, sir.
(Soundbite of buzzing)
Ms. NICHOLS: (As Lieutenant Uhura) It should take another half hour.
Mr. LEONARD NIMOY (Actor): (As Spock) Speed is essential, lieutenant.
Ms. NICHOLS: Mr. Spock, I haven't done anything like this in years. If it isn't done just right, I could blow the entire communications system. It's very delicate work, sir.
Mr. NIMOY: I can think of no one better equipped to handle it, Ms. Uhura. Please proceed.
MARTIN: Well, there you have it. Even Spock was a fan. And Dr. King was a fan. And according to Nichelle Nichols' biography, he also played a pivotal role in setting the course for her career. And she is with us now to tell us more about it.
Welcome. Thank you so much for joining us.
Ms. NICHOLS: I am delighted to be here with you. Thank you.
MARTIN: Now, in hindsight, of course, you know, everybody recognizes that this was a groundbreaking role. An African-American woman fourth in command on a spaceship in the 23rd century, you know, an officer, a leader. But you had actually planned to quit after your first season. Why?
Ms. NICHOLS: Well, I grew up in musical theater. To me, the highlight and the epitome of my life as a singer and actor and a dancer/choreographer was to star on Broadway. And as my popularity grew once the show was on the air, I was beginning to get all kinds of offers. And I decided I was going to leave, go to New York and make my way on the Broadway stage. And a funny thing happened.
MARTIN: Well, tell us about that funny thing that happened.
(Soundbite of laughter)
Ms. NICHOLS: I went in to tell Gene Roddenberry that I was leaving after the first season, and he was very upset about it. And he said, take the weekend and think about what I am trying to achieve here in this show. You're an integral part and very important to it. And so I said, yes, I would. And that - on Saturday night, I went to an NAACP fundraiser, I believe it was, in Beverly Hills. And one of the promoters came over to me and said, Ms. Nichols, there's someone who would like to meet you. He says he is your greatest fan.
And I'm thinking a Trekker, you know. And I turn, and before I could get up, I looked across the way and there was the face of Dr. Martin Luther King smiling at me and walking toward me. And he started laughing. By the time he reached me, he said, yes, Ms. Nichols, I am your greatest fan. I am that Trekkie.
(Soundbite of laughter)
Ms. NICHOLS: And I was speechless. He complimented me on the manner in which I'd created the character. I thanked him, and I think I said something like, Dr. King, I wish I could be out there marching with you. He said, no, no, no. No, you don't understand. We don't need you on the - to march. You are marching. You are reflecting what we are fighting for. So, I said to him, thank you so much. And I'm going to miss my co-stars.
And his face got very, very serious. And he said, what are you talking about? And I said, well, I told Gene just yesterday that I'm going to leave the show after the first year because I've been offered - and he stopped me and said: You cannot do that. And I was stunned. He said, don't you understand what this man has achieved? For the first time, we are being seen the world over as we should be seen. He says, do you understand that this is the only show that my wife Coretta and I will allow our little children to stay up and watch. I was speechless.
MARTIN: Ms. Nichols, I have to tell you, the same was true in our house. I mean we would run and our parents would literally call and say look, look, you know, she's on.
Ms. NICHOLS: Yes. Yes.
MARTIN: But that's kind of a heavy responsibility, though. I do have to ask you about that. I mean the fact is you did put a side some of your own personal dreams to stay in that role.
Ms. NICHOLS: Yes. Yes. Well, you know...
MARTIN: And then you did three movies. And how does that sit with you now?
Ms. NICHOLS: Well, it's interesting that you said, you know, you would run through the house and look. I met Whoopi Goldberg when Gene was doing The Next Generation and she had told me when Star Trek came on she was nine years old and she said she turned the TV on and saw me and ran through the house screaming: Come quick, come quick. Theres a black lady on TV and she ain't no maid.
(Soundbite of laughter)
Ms. NICHOLS: And that did something to my heart, so I knew that I had made the right decision, because as Dr. King said, you have been chosen.
MARTIN: If youre just joining us, this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News and I am talking to Nichelle Nichols who is probably best known for her groundbreaking role as Lieutenant Uhura on the classic television series Star Trek.
I wanted to ask you what you think about how African-American women are portrayed on television today. And, of course, since you, you know, what such a big deal, as Whoopi Goldberg put it in her own style...
MARTIN: see a woman of color in leadership who was, you know, an equal player who, you know, clearly had a leadership role. But on the other hand, there's still a lot of criticism that African-Americans who try to drive or the lead characters in a show, they're still the best friend, right?
Ms. NICHOLS: Mm-hmm. Yes.
MARTIN: They're still the friend, the buddy, the secondary role.
MARTIN: I just was curious about your thoughts about where you think people are.
Ms. NICHOLS: Well, if you notice, that is not the reflection of what our life is. And so we can never give up. We can never stop. You can never get too relaxed and think, oh, everything is fine now because it isn't.
MARTIN: Final question I wanted to ask, we've been asking all our guests in today's program and I'd like to ask you, how do you interpret Martin Luther King, Jr.'s challenge today?
Ms. NICHOLS: I think it's as valid today as it was when he declared it. His work isn't finished. It's only just begun. But we've come a long way from Dr. King's day in which there were dogs being unleashed on the marchers and fire hoses. And here I was projecting in the 23rd century what should have been quite simple. We're on a starship. I was head communications officer.
(Soundbite of laughter)
Ms. NICHOLS: Fourth in command on a starship. They didn't see this as being oh, it doesn't happen till the 23rd century. Young people and adults saw it as now.
MARTIN: Actress, dancer, singer, space travel advocate, Nichelle Nichols is probably best known for her role as Lieutenant Commander Uhura on the television series Star Trek and she was kind enough to join us from our studios at NPR West.
Nichelle Nichols, thank you so much for joining us. Thank you for everything you've done.
Ms. NICHOLS: Thank you.

Rian Johnson Says Next 'Star Wars' Will Have Less CGI, More Practical Effects

As if videos from the set of J.J. AbramsStar Wars movie featuring live-action alien costumes and full-scale X-Wing Fighters haven’t been enough of a clue, Rian Johnson, who will pick up the franchise after Abrams, says Star Wars: Episode VII will feature more practical, traditional effects.

They’re doing so much practical building for this one. It’s awesome,” Johnson said on the latest Girls in Hoodies podcast. “I think people are coming back around to [practical effects]. It feels like there is sort of that gravity pulling us back toward it. I think that more and more people are hitting kind of a critical mass in terms of the CG-driven action scene lending itself to a very specific type of action scene, where physics go out the window and it becomes so big so quick.”

“I probably sound like a grumpy old man talking about it,” Johnson continued. “I do wonder because I think kids are growing up watching those and that’s the thing that they love now, so I don’t know whether it is a generational thing, and it could be.”
VOTE: THR's Emmys Ballot is now open!

Of his own Star Wars movie, Johnson joked that it’s “boring to talk about, because the only thing I can really say is, I’m just happy,” adding “I don’t have the terror I kind of expected I would, at least not yet. I’m sure I will at some point.”

Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII will be released in December 2015, with Johnson’s Episode VIII scheduled for a 2017 release.

The Top 10 Reasons Why the Star Wars Prequels Sucked! , Zero Charm or Chemistry

I am a long time Star War fan, don.t get me wrong, but like many of us, who watch New Hope in 1977 so on we were looking for something along those line, We did not get it, I sat thought Jar-Jar Binks and on I can't ever watch the  Star Wars prequel , However  Star Wars: The Clone Wars  T.V Show are pack with far action and more enjoyable (Season 1-6 )  follows the Republic’s clone army in their struggle against Count Dooku’s Separatist forces, and features fan-favorite characters like Anakin Skywalker, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Ahsoka Tano, and Darth Maul.  so let hope that Star Wars: Episode VII Will Live up to all are hopes, My thought!

Star Wars: Episode VII Production Update

At the end of last year Lucasfilm and Disney invited all young aspiring actors to attend an open casting call for roles in J.J Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII. The casting calls spanned 11 cities across the US and UK and over 37,000 hopefuls attended, with a further 30,000 submitting applications online.

Having hunted high and low for young and undiscovered talent, the filmmakers are delighted to announce that two actors from the open call call have been cast.
Crystal Clarke is an American actress studying in Glasgow, UK, who has both stage and screen acting experience and is soon to be seen in her first feature, The Moon and the Sun (to be released in 2015). British actor Pip Andersen is a skilled practitioner of parkour, a discipline that involves propelling oneself through any given environment with incredible grace and agility. Pip recently demonstrated this remarkable skill in a Spider-Man ad for Sony.

“The Star Wars universe has always been about discovering and nurturing young talent and in casting Episode VII we wanted to remain absolutely faithful to this tradition. We are delighted that so many travelled to see us at the open casting calls and that we have been able to make Crystal and Pip a part of the film,” said producer and Lucasfilm president Kathleen Kennedy.

Meanwhile, principal photography continues at Pinewood Studios in London after wrapping on location in Abu Dhabi in May.

In August, the team will take a brief two-week hiatus while adjustments to the current production schedule are made as actor Harrison Ford recovers from a leg injury. Harrison is doing well and is looking forward to returning to the set soon. Shooting remains on track to wrap in the fall with the film scheduled for release on December 18, 2015. All Star Wars, all the time

It’s with no small amount of irony that I, of all people, compose this list of hate against George Lucus’ Star Wars prequel trilogy. During their production, as each released, and in the years since, I have been quite the prequel apologist. There are several aspects of the films which deliver, and perhaps that will make for a follow-up to this list in the near feature. However, with the knowledge that six new Star Wars films are coming in as many years, and seeing how Disney has thus far chosen to treat the property, the flaws of the prequel trilogy seem more relevant than ever.
On the one hand, these criticisms serve as warnings for J.J. Abrams and the rest of the creative team working on Episode VII, the film which will set the tone for those to follow. On the other hand, it’s a testament to the enduring legacy of the Star Wars brand that the franchise may yet flourish despite these missteps.
Here are the top 10 reasons the Star Wars prequels sucked:

1. Jar-Jar Binks

Lucas has defended Jar Jar as essentially no worse than C-3PO, who provided comic relief throughout the original trilogy. That fails to recognize the real complaint. People don’t hate Jar Jar because he’s funny. They hate him because he’s not. The Gungan proves fairly useless in any given circumstance, and that’s at his best. At worst, he’s a liability so destructive that his only redeeming characteristic is accidently hurting an enemy.

He even leads a vote in the Senate to empower the galaxy’s greatest dictator. Threepio he is not.

2. Yippie Little Annie

The prospect of exploring the adventures of Anakin Skywalker, doomed to become the Sith villain Darth Vader, held no end of promise. Unfortunately, little of that promise was delivered.

Again, I get Lucas reasoning in taking us back to Anakin’s youth. He wanted to emphasize the tragedy of Vader by showing us the earnest, sympathetic, and capable young boy he once was. But again, that could have been done in several ways without compromising the integrity of the character.

In the end, Anakin’s prequel arc portrays him as a manic-depressive who never should have been entrusted with responsibility of any kind. Instead of the good-natured child who fell into bad choices with good intentions, Anakin turns on a dime with no rational motivation whatsoever.

3. Lame Battle Droids

How do you get killer robots wrong? Just copy James Cameron, who proved the concept in Terminator. Recall the cold hard reality dished to Sarah Connor by her frayed protector, Kyle Reese:
Listen, and understand. That terminator is out there. It can’t be bargained with. It can’t be reasoned with. It doesn’t feel pity, or remorse, or fear. And it absolutely will not stop, ever, until you are dead.
That’s the sense of dread which should have been evoked by Star Wars’ battle droids. Instead, we got bumbling and half-assembled toasters which seem barely capable of crushing a bug.

I get that Lucas wanted to establish the need for human troopers, thus explaining the lack of battle droids in the original trilogy. But that could have been done in a dozen different ways without wholly undercutting the threat these machines present. It’s tough to feel a sense of tension in a fight, when the bad guys look like robot chickens.

4. Lame Jedi Order

The Jedi Order suffers the same fate as Boba Fett in the prequel trilogy. The air of mystery surrounding Alec Guinness’ portrayal of Ben Kenobi, and the sage wisdom of the hermit Master Yoda, led audiences to believe that the Jedi were towering magical figures committed to justice for all.

By contrast, the Jedi seen in the prequel trilogy end up deserving their fate. Aloof, insensitive, and apparently blind, these knights of the old republic fall to the obvious machinations of a single and far more competent Sith. Indeed, the prequels make old Ben and recluse Yoda far less endearing. Instead of powerful agents of the light, clinging faithfully to the galaxy’s last hope, they emerge from the prequels as hapless victims of their own arrogance who ultimately fail even to guide Luke in the true will of the Force.

5. Zero Charm or Chemistry

Another stark contrast between the original trilogy and the prequels can be seen in the colorful personalities on display in the former versus the stiff wallflowers featured in the latter. Han Solo has no analog in the prequel trilogy. Neither, really, do Princess Leia or Luke Skywalker.

Anakin is clearly intended to evoke his son, with similarities in origin, appearance, and story arc. But actors Jake Lloyd and Hayden Christensen never convey the same sense of earnest wonder or eager heroics that Mark Hamill did.

And let’s not even talk about the forced

6. The War That Wasn’t There

Consider these two excerpts from different opening crawls. First, from A New Hope:
It is a period of civil war. Rebel ships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire.
Then, from The Phantom Menace:
Turmoil has engulfed the Galactic Republic. The taxation of trade routes to outlying star systems is in dispute.
Which gets you more excited?

For a saga called Star Wars, there’s a conspicuous lack of warfare in the prequel trilogy. Episode I ends with a skirmish between klutzy droids and even klutzier amphibians. Episode II ends where the Clone Wars begin, and Episode III begins with the Clone Wars’ end. It’s like watching a movie about Pearl Harbor that’s not about the actual bombing.

7. The Sith That Weren’t There

It’s said that film is the art of showing, not telling. Expository dialogue telling us that a character is smart, scary, nervous, or whatever the case may be, proves far less effective than the visual portrayal of a character exhibiting those traits.
In the case of the Sith, their evil took dramatic visual form in the person of Darth Vader. We didn’t just hear about what a horrible guy Vader was. We got to see it. We watched as he raided rebel bases, tortured a young princess, and ruthlessly assassinated incompetent subordinates.

By contrast, the Sith in the prequel trilogy lurk largely unseen and mostly talked about. We barely get to see what a badass Darth Maul is before he’s cut down in The Phantom Menace. We endure exposition in Attack of the Clones, telling of Count Dooku’s intriguing background and prowess, but see little of it in action.

8. Boba the Clone

Boba Fett endured as one of Star Wars’ most beloved characters ever since his cryptic first appearance in the televised 1978 Christmas special. The character’s appeal lay more in what we didn’t know about him than what we did. That mask, that rarely used voice, and his singular purpose made us wonder – who is this guy?

Who would have guessed the answer was this: a clone of another bounty hunger who served as the genetic template for the mass-produced soldiers that would eventually become Imperial stormtroopers? Did seeing Fett as a ten-year-old boy in Attack of the Clones improve the character’s enigmatic image, or tarnish it? The answer probably goes without saying.

Just be thankful Lucas didn’t follow through on his desire to place a teenage Han Solo as Chewbacca’s youthful ward in Revenge of the Sith.

9. Shiny New Galaxy

One of the stark contrasts between the original trilogy and the prequels lays in the overall aesthetic applied to props, costumes, ships, and architecture. In the originals, everything was roughed up. Scuffs, dents, and faded colors all contributed to a “used universe” look which differentiated Star Wars from much of the science fiction which came before it. The idea that outer space means spick-and-span really has no conceptual merit. Thus, Lucas’ aesthetic choices in those first films lent them a certain authenticity.

By contrast, the prequels were clean as a whistle. Everything from Naboo’s plucky starfighters to Coruscant’s illustrious skyline was bright and shiny. Even sandy Tatooine seemed cleaner than remembered.

10. Digital Everything

When Jurassic Park hit theaters in 1993, it proved beyond any doubt that computers could generate graphics so lifelike that filmmakers would henceforth be empowered to create anything they could imagine. As with similarly industry-shaking technological developments before it, like the advent of talkies or the arrival of color, the years that followed saw heavy emphasis on the new methodology.

With the possible exception of James Cameron’s Avatar, there may be no greater example of computer graphics gone wild than the Star Wars prequels. The problem is, when the whole world is clearly fake, it doesn’t matter how good it looks. That’s a lesson applied by Peter Jackson in his Middle Earth saga, where judicious use of computer graphics supplemented practical effects, physical sets, and real locations.

SDCC 2014: Rebels, Imperials, and Smiles Under the Helmets

For members of the 501st and Rebel Legions — worldwide costuming fan groups — each day offers another opportunity to help bring Star Wars to life. Making public appearances in support of our local communities and charitable organizations is the primary reason members put so many hours into making sure their outfits are accurate — so that Star Wars fans everywhere may experience Star Wars in their own neighborhoods.
And as part of these worldwide organizations, members of the Legions also come together for larger events to celebrate Star Wars, especially during what is generally referred to as “convention season.” Whether it is a dedicated Star Wars Celebration, or any number of pop-culture conventions, these larger events allow members from all over to come together and share in their personal love of Star Wars.
With the excitement of Star Wars Rebels building, members of the 501st and Rebel Legions, as well as their friends in the Mandolorian Mercs, were on-hand at San Diego Comic-Con to appear on behalf of vendors on the convention floor, hear the latest news, and visit with old friends.
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With members in attendance hailing from all over the world, an annual dinner is often part of the convention experience. This year was no different, allowing members to catch-up, and enjoy an opportunity to spend time together celebrating Star Wars, discussing new creations, and family news.
SDCC, Comic-Con
SDCC, Comic-Con
Back on the floor, a convention also means that Legion members can pose for pictures with other attendees, compare costuming notes, and celebrate some of the original creations fans create in their love of Star Wars.
SDCC, Comic-Con
SDCC, Comic-Con
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And no convention, especially SDCC, would be complete without the annual group photos! This year’s 501st photo also featured several honorary members, including Vanessa Marshall, Dave Filoni, Steve Sansweet, and Lucasfilm’s own Mary Franklin.
SDCC, Comic-Con
SDCC, Comic-Con
SDCC, Comic-Con
In addition to booth appearances and photos back in the convention hall, members set to the dedicated work of preparing for the annual Droid Hunt for convention attendees to participate in, exchanging specially made badges discovered on the convention floor for items generously donated by various Star Wars licensees.
SDCC, Comic-Con
SDCC, Comic-Con
SDCC, Comic-Con
As SDCC drew to its close, members began their inevitable voyages home — perhaps a little saddened that it always seems to end so quickly, but happy to have connected with their fellow fans in celebration of Star Wars.
SDCC, Comic-Con
SDCC, Comic-Con
And with all eyes now gazing towards Star Wars Rebels, other major summer-time conventions, and events in support of our local communities, we all know it won’t be long before we have another opportunity to come together and help bring Star Wars to life for fans across the world as we all prepare for Celebration 2015!
SDCC, Comic-Con
SDCC, Comic-Con
Lawrence Green wanted to be a stormtrooper or Luke Skywalker when he first saw Star Wars. Now, he’s both, as a member of the 501st and Rebel Legions. Designated by 501st founder Albin Johnson at the 2007 Rose Parade as “the 501st’s own Jedi Luke”, Lawrence is the executive officer & public/media relations officer of the Southern California Garrison of the 501st Legion. You can follow his personal tweets at @Lawrence_Green and find the SoCal Garrison at and @501SCG.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Exclusive: Watch Brad Paisley's Patriotic 'Country Nation'

Brad Paisley's latest song isn't cynical, or ironic. It's a plainspoken love letter to his fellow Americans.

Breitbart News is proud to share Country Nation with our readers.
The best-selling artist recruits some new friends for a song that honors those who fix our broken AC units but know how to kick back on the weekend.
The song comes from Paisley's ninth album, Moonshine in the Trunk, set for an Aug. 25 releas
e. Fans can download Country Nation now via iTunes.

Friday, August 15, 2014

RealClearPolicy coverage of marriage and childbearing, Are Nonmarital Births on the Decline?

This morning I'm seeing a lot of coverage of this new Centers for Disease Control report, which claims that the upward trend in nonmarital births has "reversed." Here's a chart:
Take a very close look at all three lines, though -- the two measures of births declined sharply, but thepercentage of all births that were to unmarried women was basically flat. As the CDC explains:
The percentage of births to unmarried women declined slightly in 2013 to 40.6%, after holding steady from 2011 to 2012 at 40.7%; the percentage peaked in 2009 at 41.0%.
In other words, nonmarital births didn't really decline in particular; all births declined by about the same proportion. It's good to see the illegitimacy rate holding steady when it's been increasing for decades -- but it's hard to say whether this will be an enduring phenomenon, or whether the short-term factors that reduced childbearing across the board (especially the economy) had a more pronounced effect on unmarried women, forcing the line flat when it otherwise would have continued upward. Since unmarried mothers tend to be poorer and less educated, it's not hard to imagine that the recession would have played a bigger role in their childbearing decisions.
Another interesting fact from the report is that the unmarried women who do have children are increasingly likely to be in cohabiting relationships:
See previous RealClearPolicy coverage of marriage and childbearing herehere, and here.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Is It Okay for Christians to Use Marijuana (Cannabis) and Other Drugs? The Bible's take on other mind-altering drugs

Hallucinnogenic Drugs alter a person's perceptions of reality and may cause hallucinations and other alterations of the senses. Drugs classified as hallucinogens include: LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide), 2,5-dimethoxy-4-methylamphetime(DOM), N,N-dimethyltrptamine(DMT), psilocin, and mescaline. There are two aspects of these drugs that classify then as hallucinogens. They all have common side effects, including distortion of sensory perception, and other psychic and somatic effects. These drugs also exhibit cross-tolerance. This means that a user of hallucinogenic drugs develops a higher tolerance to hallucinogens, the more they are used and the shorter the time span is between the last usage.

Is smoking weed a sin? Although the Bible does not address marijuana directly, it does discuss other mind-altering drugs. Specifically, the Bible addresses the use of drugs in the book of Galatians:
Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)


A number of young Christians these days use marijuana and other recreational drugs. Some of them write to ask if this kind of behavior is acceptable for Christians. If you are over 35 years old, you are probably thinking "that's a no-brainer." However, in many of today's Christian churches this question has never been answered adequately. This page answers the question of marijuana use from what the Bible says. Another page examines medical aspects of marijuana use.

Bible verses about marijuana


Okay, so there are no verses that talk directly about marijuana. Is that surprising? Although the Bible mentions weed, it was the kind that interferes with agriculture (Genesis 3:18). Pot was something you cooked in (Numbers 11:18). The only smoking that was going on at the time the Bible was written was caused by burning wood, houses, sacrifices, and ultimately, people (at the judgment). So, smoking of cigarettes and marijuana are not mentioned in the Bible.

Who is a Christian

At this point, we need to back to examine the question from a more fundamental perspective. We originally asked if it was okay for a Christian to use marijuana and other drugs. The question we need to ask first is "Who is a Christian?" Many young people believe they are Christians because their parents are Christians or they aren't Jewish, so they must be Christians.
Aren't you a Christian if you go to church and at some point went up front in response to an alter call? Jesus said that people are Christians if they believe in Him.1 Jesus also indicated that those who believed would hear His voice and follow Him.2 Part of the process of following Jesus is to repent. Repentance is a fancy Christian word that means to turn from one's sins and go in the opposite direction (righteousness). Jesus said that those who do not repent will perish.3 Jesus also indicated what kind of commitment one should make to be considered His disciple:
Then He [Jesus] said to them all: "If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for Me will save it. What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self?" (Luke 9:23-25)
So, Jesus made it quite clear that a casual confession of "faith" isn't going to cut it. One who really believes in Jesus will follow Him as their ultimate purpose in life. Now that we have a clear understanding of who is a Christian, we can go back to the original question.

The Bible's take on other mind-altering drugs

Is smoking weed a sin? Although the Bible does not address marijuana directly, it does discuss other mind-altering drugs. Specifically, the Bible addresses the use of drugs in the book of Galatians:
Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)
So, where are the drugs mentioned in this verse? Actually, the word translated "sorcery" is the Greek word pharmakeia,4 from which we get the English word "pharmacy." The primary meaning is "the use or the administering of drugs" (usually associated with sorcery or idolatry). Since this verse comes from a list of things that, if practiced, would preclude one from heaven, this should be a reasonably strong suggestion that the Christian should not practice drug use. In addition, the book of Revelation lists drug use as one of the things for which the unrepentant will suffer the wrath of God.5
The Bible has a lot to say about alcohol. In biblical times, there was no hard (distilled) liquor—just wine and beer (which was more diluted at that time than it is now). Even so, the Bible has much to say about people who used wine to get drunk. One was Lot, who got drunk and slept with his daughters.6 Others sold girls to get wine to get drunk.7 The Bible warns about the bad effects of drunkenness—seeing strange sights and being confused, saying stupid things, making poor decisions, vomiting, getting involved in fights, and losing one's wealth.8 We are warned not to join with those people.9 The consequences of such behavior is judgment.10 Jesus Himself used two examples of those who will be drunk when God comes to judge the world.11 God's judgment of such behavior does not paint a pretty picture. The New Testament condemns drunkenness12 and warns that those who engage in that behavior will not inherit the kingdom of God (i.e., heaven).13
The Old Testament warns the priests not to go into God's house drunk, or they will die.14 In the New Testament, those who serve in the body of Christ are not to be addicted to wine or any other sordid thing.15 Even those who do not directly serve in the church are warned not to be addicted to wine.16 Finally, the New Testament commands us to not get drunk, but be filled with the Spirit of God:
Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit. (Ephesians 5:18)
Does marijuana get one intoxicated? Even proponents of marijuana usage encourage users never to drive a motor vehicle while using marijuana.17 Why is this? Because when one use marijuana, one is legally intoxicated and incapable of clear thinking and reasonable reactions. Being intoxicated is clearly condemned in scripture. So, if one uses drugs or anything else to escape and get high, or is addicted to these substances, it is against the commands of scripture and inappropriate for Christian participation.

Breaking the law?

Besides the moral question, there is the legal question. Christians are commanded by the scriptures to be in subjection to governing authorities and submit to every human institution.18
Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. (Romans 13:1-2)
The only exception to this command would be if those in authority directly contradicted the commands of God.19 Since smoking marijuana was never a command of God, Christians should not smoke marijuana where doing so is illegal.

What about freedom in Christ?

We do have freedom in Christ, but that freedom is not to be used to sin:
  • For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. (Galatians 5:13)
  • Act as free men, and do not use your freedom as a covering for evil, but use it as bondslaves of God. (1 Peter 2:16)
The freedom of Christ is freedom to follow Him in service to others. We are not to use the law as an excuse for immorality (e.g., "I can't help that person because it is the Sabbath"20). Likewise, we are not to allow things (e.g., drugs) to bring us under their control:
  • "Everything is permissible for me"--but not everything is beneficial. "Everything is permissible for me"--but I will not be mastered by anything. (1 Corinthians 6:12)
  • For speaking out arrogant words of vanity they entice by fleshly desires, by sensuality, those who barely escape from the ones who live in error, promising them freedom while they themselves are slaves of corruption; for by what a man is overcome, by this he is enslaved. (2 Peter 2:18-19)
We are not to be slaves of sin, engaging in fleshly desires and lusts, but we are to serve the living God.
Even so consider yourselves to be dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus. Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body that you should obey its lusts, and do not go on presenting the members of your body to sin as instruments of unrighteousness; but present yourselves to God as those alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God. (Romans 6:11-13)
There are many who call themselves Christian, but basically serve their own desires. God will not be deceived by those who play the Christianity game. Jesus said that you will know them by their love for one another,21 and not love of self.22

Seek first the kingdom...

Ultimately, the most important principle in the Christian life is to do what Jesus told us to do. When Jesus was asked what was the most important commandment, he answered:
And He said to him, " 'YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.' This is the great and foremost commandment." (Matthew 22:37-38)
Obviously, smoking marijuana does nothing to fulfill this most important commandment. Along the same lines, Jesus said that people should seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness.23 However, these days, it seems that many "Christians" seek first the kingdom of self and its attendant pleasures. The scriptures predicted as much when the apostle Paul wrote to Timothy:
But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; Avoid such men as these. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
Jesus indicated that people would respond in several ways to the gospel message. In one of His parables, He indicated that there were different kinds of soils. One of the soils was filled with thorns and weeds, which choked out the ability of the crop to produce fruit. The reason why these people produced no spiritual fruit is because they were more concerned with the "worries and riches and pleasuresof this life"24 than with the kingdom of God. There are many other verses25 in the Bible that condemn those who seek pleasure first, instead of God's kingdom.

God created herbs

Many Christians make the argument that God created the herbs (including marijuana) for us:
And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. (Genesis 1:29, KJV)
Marijuana smokers are especially fond of the King James version, since it uses the word "herb". However, the Hebrew word is much less specific, having the general meaning "plant," with the root word having the meaning "green." Furthermore, the verse talks about fruit trees, indicating that the real meaning of the verse is about edible plants.  So, the verse makes it clear that God created the plants for us for eating. It doesn't say anything about smoking them! Here is the more contemporary NASB translation:
Then God said, "Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you;" (Genesis 1:29, NASB) Marijuana - What's a Parent to Believe?

Conclusion Top of page

The argument has been made that everything God created is good, and that this includes hemp. Everything God created is good,26 but all these good things can be turned into evil. Sexual relations are good within marriage,27 but adultery is evil.28 It's all sex, which was created by God for good, but not all that men do with it is good. Poisonous mushrooms are good for breaking down dead wood, but bad for eating. Hemp is good for making rope, but bad for smoking. So, now you know. Do what's right!
for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking [and smoking pot], but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. (Romans 14:17)

References Top of page

  1. Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent." (John 6:29)
  2. "My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they shall never perish; and no one shall snatch them out of My hand." (John 10:27-28)
  3. "I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish." (Luke 13:5)
  4. Thayer's Greek Definitionspharmakeia φαρμακεία (Strong's #G5331)
    1. the use or the administering of drugs
    2. poisoning
    3. sorcery, magical arts, often found in connection with idolatry and fostered by it
    4. metaphorically the deceptions and seductions of idolatry
    Part of Speech: noun feminine
    A Related Word by Thayer's/Strong's Number: from G5332
  5. The rest of mankind, who were not killed by these plagues, did not repent of the works of their hands, so as not to worship demons, and the idols of gold and of silver and of brass and of stone and of wood, which can neither see nor hear nor walk; and they did not repent of their murders nor of their sorceries [pharmakeia] nor of their immorality nor of their thefts. (Revelation 9:20-21)
    and the light of a lamp will not shine in you any longer; and the voice of the bridegroom and bride will not be heard in you any longer; for your merchants were the great men of the earth, because all the nations were deceived by your sorcery [pharmakeia]. (Revelation 18:23)
    "But for the cowardly and unbelieving and abominable and murderers and immoral persons and sorcerers [pharmakos] and idolaters and all liars, their part will be in the lake that burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." (Revelation 21:8)
    Outside are the dogs and the sorcerers [pharmakos] and the immoral persons and the murderers and the idolaters, and everyone who loves and practices lying. (Revelation 22:15)
  6. That night they got their father to drink wine, and the older daughter went in and lay with him. He was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up. The next day the older daughter said to the younger, "Last night I lay with my father. Let's get him to drink wine again tonight, and you go in and lie with him so we can preserve our family line through our father." So they got their father to drink wine that night also, and the younger daughter went and lay with him. Again he was not aware of it when she lay down or when she got up. (Genesis 19:33-35)
  7. They cast lots for my people and traded boys for prostitutes; they sold girls for wine that they might drink. (Joel 3:3)
  8. Do not gaze at wine when it is red, when it sparkles in the cup, when it goes down smoothly! In the end it bites like a snake and poisons like a viper. Your eyes will see strange sights and your mind imagine confusing things. You will be like one sleeping on the high seas, lying on top of the rigging. "They hit me," you will say, "but I'm not hurt! They beat me, but I don't feel it! When will I wake up so I can find another drink?" (Proverbs 23:31-35)
    On the day of the festival of our king the princes become inflamed with wine, and he joins hands with the mockers. (Hosea 7:5)
    And these also stagger from wine and reel from beer: Priests and prophets stagger from beer and are befuddled with wine; they reel from beer, they stagger when seeing visions, they stumble when rendering decisions. All the tables are covered with vomit and there is not a spot without filth. (Isaiah 28:7-8)
    I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly--my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was worthwhile for men to do under heaven during the few days of their lives. (Ecclesiastes 2:3)
    The LORD has poured into them a spirit of dizziness; they make Egypt stagger in all that she does, as a drunkard staggers around in his vomit. (Isaiah 19:14)
    Wine is a mocker and beer a brawler; whoever is led astray by them is not wise. (Proverbs 20:1)
    He who loves pleasure will become poor; whoever loves wine and oil will never be rich. (Proverbs 21:17)
    for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags. (Proverbs 23:21)
  9. Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, (Proverbs 23:20)
    But now I am writing you that you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or a slanderer, a drunkard or a swindler. With such a man do not even eat. (1 Corinthians 5:11)
  10. Woe to those who rise early in the morning to run after their drinks, who stay up late at night till they are inflamed with wine. (Isaiah 5:11)
    Woe to those who are heroes at drinking wine and champions at mixing drinks (Isaiah 5:22)
    Wake up, you drunkards, and weep! Wail, all you drinkers of wine; wail because of the new wine, for it has been snatched from your lips. (Joel 1:5)
    They will be entangled among thorns and drunk from their wine; they will be consumed like dry stubble. (Nahum 1:10)
  11. But suppose the servant says to himself, 'My master is taking a long time in coming,' and he then begins to beat the menservants and maidservants and to eat and drink and get drunk. (Luke 12:45)
    "Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap." (Luke 21:34)
  12. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. (Romans 13:13)
    For those who sleep, sleep at night, and those who get drunk, get drunk at night. (1 Thessalonians 5:7)
    For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans choose to do--living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. (1 Peter 4:3)
  13. Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. (1 Corinthians 6:9-10)
    The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-21)
  14. "You and your sons are not to drink wine or other fermented drink whenever you go into the Tent of Meeting, or you will die. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come." (Leviticus 10:9)
    No priest is to drink wine when he enters the inner court. (Ezekiel 44:21)
  15. An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, uncontentious, free from the love of money. (1 Timothy 3:2-3)
    Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain (1 Timothy 3:8)
    Since an overseer is entrusted with God's work, he must be blameless--not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain. (Titus 1:7)
  16. Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. (Titus 2:3)
  17. "Principles of Responsible Cannabis Use" NORML's website, February 19, 2007.
  18. Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God. Therefore whoever resists authority has opposed the ordinance of God; and they who have opposed will receive condemnation upon themselves. (Romans 13:1-2)
    Remind them to be subject to rulers, to authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good deed (Titus 3:1)
    Honor all people, love the brotherhood, fear God, honor the king. (1 Peter 2:17)
    Submit yourselves for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether to a king as the one in authority, or to governors as sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and the praise of those who do right. For such is the will of God that by doing right you may silence the ignorance of foolish men. (1 Peter 2:13-15)
  19. saying, "We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name, and yet, you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and intend to bring this man's blood upon us." But Peter and the apostles answered, "We must obey God rather than men." (Acts 5:28-29)
  20. Then Jesus asked them, "Which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?" But they remained silent. (Mark 3:4)
  21. "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another." (John 13:34)
  22. But realize this, that in the last days difficult times will come. For men will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, arrogant, revilers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, malicious gossips, without self-control, brutal, haters of good, treacherous, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God; holding to a form of godliness, although they have denied its power; and avoid such men as these. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
  23. "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." (Matthew 6:33)
  24. "The seed which fell among the thorns, these are the ones who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity." (Luke 8:14)
  25. For we also once were foolish ourselves, disobedient, deceived, enslaved to various lusts and pleasures, spending our life in malice and envy, hateful, hating one another. (Titus 3:3)
    What is the source of quarrels and conflicts among you? Is not the source your pleasures that wage war in your members?You lust and do not have; so you commit murder. You are envious and cannot obtain; so you fight and quarrel. You do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, so that you may spend it on your pleasures. (James 4:1-3)
    Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you; and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. You have lived luxuriously on the earth and led a life of wanton pleasure; you have fattened your hearts in a day of slaughter. (James 5:4-5)
    But these, like unreasoning animals, born as creatures of instinct to be captured and killed, reviling where they have no knowledge, will in the destruction of those creatures also be destroyed, suffering wrong as the wages of doing wrong. They count it a pleasure to revel in the daytime. They are stains and blemishes, reveling in their deceptions, as they carouse with you (2 Peter 2:12-13)
  26. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. (Genesis 1:4)
    And God called the dry land earth, and the gathering of the waters He called seas; and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:10)
    And the earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed after their kind, and trees bearing fruit, with seed in them, after their kind; and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:12)
    and to govern the day and the night, and to separate the light from the darkness; and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:18)
    And God created the great sea monsters, and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:21)
    And God made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and God saw that it was good. (Genesis 1:25)
    And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. (Genesis 1:31)
  27. See The Biblical Design for Human Sexuality.
  28. "You shall not commit adultery." (Exodus 20:14)
    'If there is a man who commits adultery with another man's wife, one who commits adultery with his friend's wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death." (Leviticus 20:10)
    The one who commits adultery with a woman is lacking sense; He who would destroy himself does it. (Proverbs 6:32)
    "You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY'; but I say to you, that everyone who looks on a woman to lust for her has committed adultery with her already in his heart." (Matthew 5:17-28)
    For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. (Matthew 15:19)