Saturday, 7 February 2009

Did They Really Say That? Part 3 - The Religious Right


This is the third and final part in the series that puts the spotlight on some of the most remarkable comments aimed at brutalising drug policy in Australia.

Drug addiction is a sin
-Brian Watters. Salvation Army
Maybe we need to clear up the two arguments from religious groups. The first argument is that religion is meant to be compassionate and based on loving your fellow human regardless of their actions. Ideals like “love thy neighbour”, “turn the other cheek” or “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” are the core of a better world. The teachings of Jesus are mostly taken into account as practical methods for living a more Christian life. To these Christians, drug addicts need help via practical and compassionate treatment that maintain their dignity as people and to keep them safe. They are mostly supporters of harm minimisation and consider the problem a medical issue.

At the other end is the religious right who have reshaped Christianity to suit the modern evangelist or moral crusader. The focus is self improvement, conservative ideology and a return to the 1950s style, nuclear family. There is no room for druggies, gays and liberals. This is a new era of born again Christians who are active in politics, social commentary and government lobbying. In their quest to make the world more Christian like, religious fundamentals like humility and benevolence are overlooked. Fundraisers for the poor are replaced with large venue religotainment where you can experience on stage miracles like faith healing, participate in pray-a-longs for a better life and enjoy words of wisdom. The donation plate is passed around constantly and sales of DVDs, books etc. raise plenty of money for the church involved but how much of it goes to charitable purposes is debatable. Flamboyant and wealthy pastors are not questioned about amassing small fortunes or inciting hatred against non Christians but are looked up to as the strong, warriors of God. Muslims are evil and atheists are soulless. Programs for helping the community are replaced with self improvement classes for managing your money or losing weight and it is no longer necessary to keep your faith private. These Christians have joined the culture wars and they’re in it to win. In contrast to the first mentioned Christians, drug addicts need discipline and tough love. To help with their obdurate cause, they embrace a Zero Tolerance policy with tough police action. In their quest for a drug free world, abstinence is king and Harm Minimisation perverts the weak. Just like the Catholic Church’s view on condoms, adhering to their interpreted message from God is more important than actually saving lives.

"Christ came to make people whole, yet the total abstinence message is the truth that some Christians do not want to hear!"
-Graeme Rule. Director - Drug Free Australia (DFA)
The onset of evangelism in Australia has seen a new breed of political active Christians in the area of illicit drugs. Like all extremists, the religious right make some extraordinary comments combining the rejection of medical knowledge, cherry picked junk science, religion and moral panic. This gives them enormous scope to basically say what they want under the cover of religion and morality.

By offering addicts clean syringes, injecting rooms and alternative legal drugs, which maintain self centered and destructive behaviors for addicts, is part of the current nihilistic and consumer culture, which is opposed to Christian principles.
-Drug Advisory Council of Australia Inc.
Harm Minimisation
The line between Christian principles and conservative values are becoming increasingly blurred and we are seeing a cosy relationship between the religious right, politicians and the MSM. The big loser is society and the people they are suppose to be helping. The current policy of Harm Minimisation is projected by the religious right as unchristian, immoral and a failure although it is heralded by the experts as the best solution we currently have. Incidentally, Harm Minimisation is not properly implemented yet and is still biased towards law and order. Disapproval of Harm Minimisation means that science, reality and facts are the enemies of the religious right. For example, a quote from evangelist, Bill Mulleunberg states that Harm Prevention is the only proven drug policy. This is scientifically wrong, unworkable in reality and not a fact but a lie.

The question is, how many more people have to die before we reject the foolishness of these harm minimisation advocates, and their mistaken belief that illicit drug use is just a health issue, and not also a criminal justice issue?
Instead of seeking harm prevention - the only proven drug policy - and a zero tolerance approach to drug use, they recklessly continue pushing the line that people will always take drugs, so we must try to make it “safer” when they do. This is not only a counsel of surrender, but it is costing people their lives.
-Bill Mulleunberg. CultureWatch
In an attempt to discredit Harm Minimisation, there have been some cracker comments that just completely ignore the facts. By cherry picking research, they can produce “sound byte” statements that might be effective in the media but are only disingenuous attempts to trick the public.

It is clear that stricter laws reduce drug experimentation
-Craig Thompson. Drug Free Australia (DFA)
While much of the western world is entrenched in basic Harm Minimisation programs, other countries such as Sweden and the US are used as examples of where Zero Tolerance is working. The problem is that it’s not true. The US has more people in jail than any other country, spends $69 billion per year addressing their problem yet has the highest drug use rate on the planet. You wouldn’t think this is true considering some of the bizarre statements from the religious right.

Given that the US is making better headway than Australia, in both binge drinking and illicit drug use among its young people, we should be looking more closely at what is working there
-Jo Baxter. Executive Officer - Drug Free Australia (DFA)
I always thought that lying was considered a sin and not part of Christian values but the religious right include it in their arsenal of propaganda weapons to fight Harm Minimisation.

Free needle programs have not stopped the spread of deadly, incurable disease. Hepatitis C infection is soaring among Australian drug users. Free needles encourage more drug use, just as free injecting rooms would do. Young people assume that heroin cannot be such a dangerous drug if State governments distribute free needles to inject it, provide legal injecting rooms and support heroin trials to supply free heroin to addicts.
-Rev Fred Nile, MLC, of the Christian Democratic Party. NSW
The lengths they go to trying to discredit Harm Minimisation is incredible. Ex magistrate and DFA member, Craig Thompson is often seen as the credible face of Drug Free Australia (DFA) but if you read what he says carefully, you might be fooled into thinking it’s actually satire laced with juicy conspiracy theories.

Needles to addicts, marijuana as medicine, industrial hemp, responsible drug use education, and softening drug law enforcement are "harm reduction” policies.  Isn't "harm reduction" really the old failed "responsible use" policy that got us into all this trouble in the first place?   It does not seek to "prevent" harm, or to "cure" harm.  It seeks to "reduce" harm – to the user and dealer – at the expense of society.
-Craig Thompson. Drug Free Australia (DFA)
or

What is the force behind "harm reduction?" . . .   Could it be power, politics and money?
-Craig Thompson. Drug Free Australia (DFA)
and

The new "harm minimisation" doctrine claims that drug abstinence is not possible and "safe use" is the way to go.
-Festival of Light article
The main targets for opposing Harm Minimisation strategies are needle exchanges and the Sydney Medically Supervised Injecting Centre (MSIC). Clearly a success, there has been many attempts to find a loophole for raising controversy. My favourite is from Gary Christian:

High overdose rates at the centre were due to drug users experimenting with higher doses, knowing nurses would be on hand to help them
-Gary Christian. Honorary Secretary - Drug Free Australia (DFA)
I laughed for about an hour when I first read this. Apparently an MSIC client admitted he did this but believe me when I tell you, overdosing is not fun. This is the single most absurd theory I have ever heard. It did though bring to mind, our friends, The Festival of Light who made this comment about Gays some years back.

Ironically, in spite of these costly programs, the success of the very expensive multi-drug treatment for AIDS has weakened the motivation of homosexual men to practise "safe" sex.
-Festival of Light
Maybe not as exact as Gary’s claim but just as delightful was this from DACA inc.

Injecting rooms will allow evil to flourish and prosper as addicts buy drugs for use in the injecting rooms.
-Drug Advisory Council of Australia Inc.
DACA inc. (not a government council at all but a private corporation) also answered the biggest question, are drugs evil?

Drugs are evil
-Drug Advisory Council of Australia Inc.
David Noffs, son of the late Rev Ted Noffs who founded the Wayside Chapel in Kings Cross, and developer of drug prevention programs in Australia and overseas, said this:

This (harm minimisation) approach to the drug problem became federal and state policy about 15 years ago. It (claims) drug use is inevitable and should somehow be managed. Is it any wonder that drug use has escalated among young people in Australia to the point where it is four times that of the US (and over five times that of Sweden)? In the Netherlands, a noted harm minimisation country, the drug problem is out of control. Why is it then that Australia persists with a drug policy that is a public health disaster? ...It is time to pull the plug!
-David Noffs, President Life Education Centers International, Founding President Drug Watch International
Somewhat confused about his statistics? You should be. The drug problem in the Netherlands is out of control? Drug use amongst the young in Australia is four times that of the US? - Pffft. These statements are simply lies which must raise concerns about the ethics of these so called "Christians". It is standard procedure to attack the Netherlands because of their cannabis cafes and liberal laws on prostitution. The US has lied about the Netherlands for years including one US Drug Czar saying “you can't walk down the street in Amsterdam without tripping over junkies." The most publicised lie was the statistical bungle by Clinton’s Drug Czar, General Barry McCaffrey who pointed out the Dutch had a much higher murder rate because of liberal drug policies. Of course he was wrong as McCaffrey had included attempted murders in the Dutch results which meant that the US had a 400% higher murder rate per capita.

The city of Amsterdam is awash with drugs and crime. Indeed, drug-related crime is four times the rate of the US. You can’t walk down a street of central Amsterdam without being accosted by drug pushers and addicts. I lost count of how many times our push bikes were stolen by the druggies to help support their habits. I don’t want that cesspool of crime, drugs and violence to be replicated here.
-Bill Mulleunberg. CultureWatch
The fact is, the Netherlands rate of cannabis use is fairly much in line with neighbouring European countries except in the younger age groups where it is lower. It is also much lower than Australia, the UK and the US. Hard drug use is lower than the European average and significantly lower than Australia, the UK and the US. Recent reports that the Dutch are reversing their pragmatic approach to cannabis use have sent the anti-drug zealots into a frenzy. The “coffee houses” faced a few issues with the banning of tobacco smoking indoors, border towns attracting “drug tourists” from neighbouring countries and some premises being too close to schools. The final result though, is that not much has happened at all. The truth has never stopped the religious right before from creating fanciful stories.

In Holland, where marijuana is openly sold in “coffee houses,” drug addiction has become a massive problem - so much so that Dutch authorities are now having a rethink. They are now clamping down on a problem which is getting out of control. Acknowledging that drug-related offences and links with organised crime are on the rise, the Dutch Government will drastically cut the amount of cannabis that can be sold in the coffee houses, and more jail cells will be built.
-Bill Mulleunberg. CultureWatch
and this

Is it a fact that Holland has one of the highest rates of marijuana use in the world because of its relaxed drug laws?
-Rev Fred Nile, MLC, of the Christian Democratic Party. NSW
To the religious right, Harm Minimisation is not just about drugs but an undesirable lifestyle. The links between moral decay, crime, homosexuals, HIV/AIDS, broken families and drugs is a common theme for the religious right and they never miss an opportunity to tie in these evils together. For them, it’s simply a moral issue.

Obituary statistics reveal that the homosexual lifestyle is violence and accident prone. This may be partly a result of the high incidence of drug abuse. A survey of Australian male homosexuals published by the National Centre in HIV Social Research in 1998, found that "recreational drug use is high among homosexually active men by comparison with the general population. Particular drugs, especially the so-called `party drugs', are used by a sizable percentage of homosexually active men
-Homosexual parenting - the effect on children by Mrs Roslyn Phillips, BSc, DipEd and Dr David Phillips, BSc, PhD, ThA. (Australian Festival of Light )
and

At bottom, the drug problem is not so much a legal problem as a moral and cultural problem. To throw up our hands and give up our young people to the scourge of drugs is a sign of moral irresponsibility.
-Bill Mulleunberg. CultureWatch
and

It was then that I realised Peter was sneaking rock CDs into our home. They were Pantera, Metallica, 2PAC, Cyprus Hill, Korn, Eminem and many more - all with extremely violent lyrics. They promoted marijuana and other drug use, suicide, murder, racial hatred and violence, rape and rebellion against authority. Peter would hide the CDs in his bedroom. I found his hiding place, and confiscated them. I made him give them back to his mates.
-Festival of Light article - When love is not enough
The laughable logic often used by the religious right is similar to primary school standards. A prime example is the over zealous, Bill Mulleunberg who is often seen using comparisons that is similar to comparing apples with rotary engines.

They want to supply heroin to addicts. That’s about as helpful as supplying whiskey to alcoholics. This will simply create life-long addicts. We don’t want to help these people. We want to keep them strung out for life. Such a policy is morally bankrupt and socially disastrous.
-Bill Mulleunberg. CultureWatch
and

Incredible! To see how irresponsible and inane such comments are, just substitute the word rape or murder for the phrase psychoactive substances. People will always rape (or run red lights, or avoid paying taxes, etc.). It is foolish to think we can fully eradicate the problem. So let’s try to minimise the whole problem. This is putting up the white flag of surrender, and condemning many to an early grave.
-Bill Mulleunberg. CultureWatch
and

Nor should we abandon moral principles simply because in an imperfect world not everyone lives up to such ideals. It would be great to pass a law that banished all murder or alcohol-related road deaths. This we cannot do. But we nonetheless pass laws that deter murder and drink driving by making them illegal. To argue that such laws be abolished because they are frequently violated is foolish in the extreme.
-Bill Mulleunberg. CultureWatch
and

In the article Wodak is reported to have said that the legalised product would come in packets that “warn against its effects”. Hey, thanks for that. And when we sell the Uzis and other firearms, we will also have the appropriate warnings attached as well. How thoughtful. And when the child porn mags are freely available in the POs, we will fulfill our civic responsibilities by including a suitable warning.
-Bill Mulleunberg. CultureWatch
and

To say that we should legalise drug use because so many are violating the law is like saying since so many people are killing and raping, perhaps we should legalise these crimes as well.
-Bill Mulleunberg. CultureWatch
and

Right now criminals and corrupt police have a monopoly on selling illegal firearms, heroin, and a whole range of proscribed items.

But by the logic of Dr Wodak, it would be the sensible thing to legalise the sale of submachine guns, and have them sold through the post offices. Or allow heroin to be freely sold, allowing addicts to pick up a batch at the nearest PO. While we are at it, maybe some child pornography and some African elephant tusks could also be conveniently made available this way.

After all, we want to take these things out of hands of the crims, don’t we?
-Bill Mulleunberg. CultureWatch
One of the funniest arguments is that Zero Tolerance is compassionate compared to Harm Minimisation. The religious right argue that sending drug users to jail is a form of intervention that saves them from the evils of continuing drug use. We all know prisons are drug free. The line between addiction and recreational use is removed and all drugs are lumped into one category ... evil.

It is time the dangerous and failed ideology of the harm minimisation crowd is replaced with some realism which is genuinely compassionate and responsible.
-Bill Mulleunberg. CultureWatch
and

In the parable of the Good Samaritan, Jesus gives witness to the way a Christian should behave towards those who are addicted, bringing them to full health with love and kindness even to the point of inconvenience and personal cost.
-Drug Advisory Council of Australia Inc.
David Noffs has the last word on Harm Minimisation.

"I think all the public health officials who have condoned needle exchange programs should be held accountable for those poor souls who trusted them and died anyway!"
-David Noffs, President Life Education Centers International, Founding President Drug Watch International

Cannabis

Only coma and death are left for the cannabis smoker
-Herschel Mills Baker. Director - Drug Free Australia (DFA)
Apart from Harm Minimisation, the most argued about topic is cannabis. If you thought the wacky quotes on Harm Minimisation from the religious right were funny, you’re in for a treat.

Psychosis can occur after only one or two joints. Sex organs and unborn babies can be damaged too
-Churchill Fellow and former teacher Mrs Elaine Walters
Recently, some sections of the religious right have attempted to use science as a tool to bolster their support. It is the very weapon that has been used against them to squash their silly, non scientific moral based arguments. The problem is that science is about the truth and no amount of cherry picking data or junk science can change the facts. It’s probably not surprising considering the religious right cited science as the foundation of Intelligent Design(creationism) in their attempt to undermine evolution. Suddenly there were regular reports of cannabis causing everything from psychosis to shrinking brains. Statistical witch hunts and junk science became media headlines and fuel for a new wave of anti-cannabis crusaders.

An adolescent who uses marijuana goes to his doctor with symptoms of depression, and is prescribed medication. A few days later, he dies. It is assumed to be a case of youth suicide by overdose - the cause of death is found to be very high levels of anti-depressant medication. But he took his medicine exactly as prescribed. The combination of marijuana plus the medication killed him.
Dr John Anderson. Psycho-Physiologist. Speaking at a drug forum in Sydney on 19 June, 1999 commissioned by Brian Watters to counter previous and future drug forums that opposed his own personal views.
Whether their research was right or not, the religious right were prepared to make some remarkable claims.

Since cannabis use is shown to be even more dangerous than tobacco use, for example, that should be a strong part of why the believer should just say no, instead of buying into the legalisation crowd’s agenda.
-Bill Mulleunberg. CultureWatch
and

You simply are in denial about the 10,000 plus studies on the overwhelming harm caused by cannabis. The evidence alone should settle the matter here, not some libertarian ideology.
-Bill Mulleunberg. CultureWatch
Even the oldest argument of them all, that cannabis is a gateway to harder drugs was re-risen from the dead after being disproved long ago.

...They start with alcohol and marijuana, but most of them end up on cocaine and heroin. I have seen 18 year old girls and by the time they are 19 they are like a spinned out washing machine...
-(Festival of Light article) Linda Coyle, the Perth madam who left the prostitution trade and became a Christian in 1997.
and

Those of us who have worked in the field for many years know that marijuana is a 'gateway drug'
-Brian Watters. Salvation Army
and

Lest it be argued that it is mainly hard drugs that are associated with criminal activities, bear in mind that almost all people enter the world of hard drugs via the door of “soft” ones like marijuana. This is the overwhelming testimony of those working with drug addicts.
-Bill Mulleunberg. CultureWatch
and

And as I argued in the linked article, marijuana is a gateway drug which leads to harder drugs. This is a near universal experience of marijuana users. It was certainly true of me and my friends, and is quite common. Very few grass users just stay on grass.
-Bill Mulleunberg. CultureWatch
The strangest “fact” to arise was the claim that today’s cannabis is much more potent and therefore more dangerous than previously. Apart from ignoring the potency of hash (cannabis resin) that was common in the 1960s to the 1990s, they overlook one major flaw in their argument. Better quality cannabis meant less intake which probably decreased the harms through smoking less. Would a drinker who normally has 6 bottles of beer in one evening still have 6 bottles of whisky if the beer was not available? Of course not, they would consume less to reach the required effect. Is it a coincidence that low tar cigarettes were attacked by these same people as a trick? They argued that a nicotine addicted person would adjust their intake to meet their nicotine requirements. In other words, they would smoke more light cigarettes or less heavy cigarettes to suit their normal intake needs. Amazingly, this was overlooked when it comes to marijuana because cannabis smokers are just mindless, crazy junkies who will take whatever is put before them. The potency issue remains one of the key arguments for the cannabis crusaders.

Marijuana is very potent and very dangerous stuff. It is a far cry from the mild stuff us hippies in the 60s used to toke on. It is many times more powerful, and extremely dangerous. It is much stronger because of higher THC levels (the “high” producing element of cannabis). With increased potency comes increased health risks.
-Bill Mulleunberg. CultureWatch
and

These reports indicate a disturbing level of misinformation about the dangers of cannabis among health personnel at the highest levels. Some of the misinformation may be due to the high level of marijuana experimentation by university students and others in the “swinging sixties”. Some of these former students may be professional researchers, counsellors and doctors these days, and may not realise that the “pot” they smoked in their younger days had perhaps only 10% of the THC content of the cannabis for sale in today’s market. They may also still be occasional users of the drug.
-Mrs Roslyn Phillips. Festival of Light
So what Roslyn Phillips has revealed is that those who took this very dangerous drug, cannabis when students, are all now professional researchers, counsellors and doctors etc. Oops. Thanks Roslyn for clearing up the consequences of casually smoking dope!

Fear is an underlying strategy of the religious right. Cooked up theories and propaganda hiding behind religion gives legitimacy to their attempts at tricking the public. Scare tactics are common practice for the anti-drug nutters but having God on your side somehow makes it okay.

Witness after witness mentioned SA's big marijuana problem since growing ten plants was "decriminalised" in 1987. Some MPs from other states were disbelieving when a parent said it seemed "every second house" in Adelaide grows "dope" in the backyard. However Ann Bressington (left) of DrugBeat testified that in her area, "when you walk down the street of a night, you can smell the marijuana in the air."

"I work with police here, and they tell me that 90% of drug-related crimes - including violent home invasions and break-ins - are linked to marijuana. Only 10% are heroin-related," Bressington said.
-Festival of Light article
and

All of this clearly points to the fact that cannabis should be considered at least as serious as other ‘hard’ drugs such as heroin or methamphetamines.
-Craig Thompson. Drug Free Australia (DFA)

God Said Drugs Are Bad

Heroin addiction is a fate worse then death
-Brian Watters. Salvation Army
When it comes to 21st century medicine, the religious right are a mixed up lot. They are not afraid to take advantage of the many scientific advances unless it involves breaching their ideology. Women’s health, HIV/AIDS prevention, stem cell research and drug treatment are some issues that can be more important than people’s lives. It may just be that other people’s suffering is vastly different than it happening to themselves. It brings to mind the term, “collateral damage”. Surely those suffering aren’t that selfish that they can’t see the bigger plan?

The addicts in their iniquitous soul-destroying world of substance abuse don't understand the love and hope we have invested in them.
-Brian Watters. Salvation Army
Although the religious right often clash with science, they are not afraid to use their own special brand of research to prove their point. Like all good anti-drug moralists, they cherry pick their data to form an argument that washes well with an uninformed and emotional public. Harm Minimisation is a radical change to traditional treatments that have relied on years of public misinformation to appear appropriate. Luckily Harm Minimisation is very successful and slowly the public realise the benefits although groups like the religious right try their hardest to discredit it.

The drug lobby is playing a terrible hoax on the Australian people. In 1985 they pushed for misnamed `needle exchanges' - which are really needle giveaways. When heroin addicts inject and are `out of their minds', they dump their used needles wherever they happen to be - in parks or on the beach, where innocent people can receive deadly injuries.
-Rev Fred Nile, MLC, of the Christian Democratic Party. NSW
Some strategies include obvious lies.

The NSW government has now legalised possession of one gram of heroin - enough for 20 shots. Weak politicians have thus torpedoed the police campaign against drug dealers.
-Rev Fred Nile, MLC, of the Christian Democratic Party. NSW
Some strategies include bizarre statements.

If someone could prove to me that having supervised injecting rooms saves lives, I'd be the first to support them. But the evidence shows otherwise.
-Brian Watters. Salvation Army
Some strategies include good old Christian values.

How do we achieve this? Through research, and service delivery to our valued clients. We aim for a holistic service that includes good medicine, counselling, Christian teaching, housing, 12 step recovery program and other possible support from local church community networks.
-Dr George O’Neil - Fresh Start Recovery
Some strategies include outrageous claims like alcohol prohibition was a success.

It [alcohol prohibition] was the most lawful period in US history
-Brian Watters. Salvation Army
and


Wodak also brings up the issue of Prohibition in America to justify this lunacy. Please allow me a few inconvenient truths here: During this period, consumption of alcohol declined substantially, as did the cirrhosis death rate for men (cut by two-thirds between 1911 and 1929), and arrests for public drunkenness dropped 50 per cent between 1919 and 1922.
-Bill Mulleunberg. CultureWatch
Of course, the real agenda behind the anti-drug crusade from the religious right is Christian morality. Like most issues that irk them, society must take a back seat to their beliefs. By making drug use a moral issue, it gives them some control and a public voice including the ear of the government. Faith based programs are less successful than treatments based on Harm Minimisation which in the end, is hard to argue with. This is where God, morality and Christian values becomes essential to their argument.

And it still baffles me as to why any believer should seek to argue for the legalisation of illicit drugs. Why do believers want to go down that road? What biblical rationale is there for doing such things?
-Bill Mulleunberg. CultureWatch
Their message is simple - drugs are bad. People who take drugs are bad. They do not care about what’s best for addicts or if alcohol is far more dangerous than moderate drug use. It’s not the point. Drug use is associated with evil,

Our goal should be to deliver people from the oppression of the devil, not keep them enslaved to it.
[...]
The good news of the Kingdom of God is that people can be set free and given a new life. Injecting rooms do not do this. Thus they are neither Christian nor compassionate.
-Bill Mulleunberg. CultureWatch
Maybe drug users are possessed.

Any police officer will tell you that a person on drugs will be more likely to neglect a child, abuse a spouse or take a life. It’s not just that people do bad things to get drugs; drugs make them do bad thing.
-Bill Mulleunberg. CultureWatch
In the end, according to the religious right, drug users have a simple choice. Turn to God for salvation.

A lot of damaged women and men in Adelaide tonight, are taking drugs to hide their hurt. If they are listening, I have a message from God for them. He says He loves you very much. He wants to save you from all the mess and pain in your life.
-Mrs Roslyn Phillips. Festival of Light


RELATED ARTICLES:
Did They Really Say That?
Part 1 - The Media
Did They Really Say That?
Part 2 - Politicians

For an in depth look at the religious right in Australia and their influence on drug policy, read the articles below from Firesnake.
Australias Religious Right:
Part 1
Australias Religious Right:
Part 2
Australias Religious Right:
Part 3

10 comments:

Jack Dorf said...

Terry, I always considered these guys the true masters of religotainment.

Gledwood said...

I just wanted to say though that one consquence of the more liberal, tolerant, modern approach is that I've felt the Government has given me a complicit "permission" to use... I have to say I'd never have got into needles were there not exchanges everywhere, no way! & remember our heroin is very easily smokeable... it just takes far longer (not like smoking crack) and you get about 50% of the high from injecting but hey WAY safer than sharing dirty needles...

Terry Wright said...

What a hoot, Jack.

Jump for Jesus - PRICELESS.

I am still looking for the bit in the bible where it says to set yourself on fire and ride a motorcycle.

Thanks Gledwood.
I understand your reasoning as I used to think that as well. Then it clicked to me that I had been using needles for occasional speed use long before my heroin addiction. I didn't even know there were such things as a needle exchanges back then and I would have to get the courage to approach a chemist. I used to say my partner was a diabetic which worked most times. I was going to shoot up no matter what.

Ben Pobjie said...

Bill Meuhlenberg really is one of the lowest creatures on this earth.

RVB said...

See? You don't even need to put a context in for these pieces for them to be laughable. This is a great post; most of it is comprised of excerpts from various religious nutjobs who self-parody.

Gledwood said...

I wouldn't have stuck a needle in myself in a million years were there not exchanges... i used to think people were CRAZY to bang up drugs when they would come on in other (what I then thought as better) slower ways which then seemed to me more fun (because more drawn-out)...

Terry Wright said...

Thanks Ben
He's a hypocrite of mega proportions. I must admit though, I find reading his site very funny. I used to read A Western Fart first, then Bolta's site and now it's CultureWatch. Am I regressing or digressing?

Thanks RVB
I'm glad you enjoyed it.

Gledwood
I think everyone starts out opposed to shooting up. Do you remember when you once thought you would never do heroin? Now it's no different to having lunch.

Brett said...

What I feel has happened is that the government and the churches are doing what ever they can to get people who have substance abuse problems to conform to the way they want these people to behave. Ttreatment centers like Narconon Vista Bay are only letting a person believe that they are powerless over their life and their addiction. They need hope and they need to feel in control over their own lives. Narconon Vista Bay is a scam!!!

Tom said...

The idea that we have the drug and alcohol problem under control in the US is nonsense. Day in and day out I see the effects on families and individuals when it comes abuse of substances, legal or illegal. The idea of decriminalizing drugs or having needle exchanges is ludicrous. It would be like building a drinking and driving lane and being ok with people over using alcohol and letting them drive. What they need is a family drug intervention and some help to resolve that problem. I don't feel we need to be more tolerant to drug and alcohol abuse. We need to rehabilitate these people back to good standings in society.

Terry Wright said...

Thanks Brett for recognising that Narconon Vista Bay is a scam!!!

They often try to spam this site by pretending to make a legitimate comment mixed in with links to their rehab program.

DIRTBAGS!!!