What would you do if a "pot" store opened up next to your church?

"A church congregation that is just feet from Seattle's second pot store took to the streets Sunday to protest its opening." Too close for comfort.

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Bert Perry's picture

Given that something like a third of adults have used the stuff, I've got to suggest that any church in any residential area of the country is already within a quarter mile of a drug dealer.  This just makes it official, and makes it easier for the police to keep an eye on them, and makes it easier for churches to minister to the potheads of the world.  The volume may be bigger, or might not, but the big difference is that the dealer is hanging out his shingle more obviously.  Maybe.  I remember Jason Ormiston noting that his drug dealer neighbor when he lived in North Minneapolis simply set out the table as if he were selling lemonade or produce from his garden.

Come to think of it, maybe he was.  Just a little bit less nutritious than beans or squash.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

josh p's picture

There are several within a few miles of our church. One of them is in what was a church about a year ago.

Aaron Blumer's picture


I think this church's response is probably not the best way to go about it. 

But at least they know institutionalized vice when they see it. What has changed is that what was treated as bad behavior is now treated as perfectly normal (at least in some places). The quantity of users isn't really important.

As far as morality goes, it's interesting to compare and contrast the 'gay marriage' issue. If the idea becomes legally accepted in all 50 states, will there be more gay marriages? (Arguably there has never been a gay marriage and never will be, but will there be a whole lot more relationships going by that name? At first, probably yes, but eventually probably not. But is the total number really the issue? There's a difference between sanctioned behavior and non-sanctioned behavior and what a society sanctions matters)

AndyBern's picture

What did the early church do when immorality was everywhere, such as at Ephesus?

Andrew Bernhardt

Bert Perry's picture

It's worth noting that not every thing that is legal is socially acceptable.  For example, drunkenness--believe it or not, we tolerate it far less today than we did 50 years back, when at least in blue collar jobs, someone often could come to work hung over or even drunk and not be fired.  For example, my dad's band director in high school.  Don't try that today.  Along the same lines, bar-related murders have dropped precipitously in the same time as it became increasingly unacceptable for a man to drink his troubles away at the bar after work.

I'm guessing marijuana will be along the same lines.  If someone uses the drug out of choice or because it helps them medically, they might not be prosecuted, but employers will probably still refuse to give them a job handling heavy equipment and the like.  There is actually at least one study that suggests that dope use is down since legalization in Colorado.

In the same way, prenatal infanticide has been legal since Roe V. Wade, but that doesn't seem to have moved the moral argument.  

I'd even suggest that same sex mirages won't change the moral equation much for a very simple reason; if one judges by the numbers and the behaviors observed, they're really not the marrying kind.  Plus, the marriage penalty tends to hit couples that cannot breed (leaving one parent at home for a long time) pretty hard.  The irony will be if the relative marriage rates--currently about 10% of those for heterosexuals if I'm doing the math correctly--demonstrate once and for all that homosexuals are, indeed, quite different from heterosexuals.

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Jim's picture

Recently a McDonalds opened near our church and several church members (via blog and Facebook) complained about it

Now it's where I drive through after church Smile

Perhaps we who have exemption from property tax should be thankful for that and be less concerned about what is next door


WilliamD's picture

There's a church in Hawaii that had an adult book store open up underneath them. They didn't protest, they just act like good neighbors. In Ephesus, it was the pagans who protested the church, not the other way around. Churches are stuck in the glory days of Christendom where they think they are entitled to certain social privileges. 

If a pot store opened up next to me, I'd bring them brownies...(without pot in them of course). 

Larry Nelson's picture


Mark_Smith wrote:

[Wait until the McDonalds] is in the church!


"Parishioners at Brentwood Baptist Church in Houston are singing the Lord’s praises right along with the world-famous McDonald’s slogan, “We love to see you smile.” The church is the first in the nation to have a McDonald’s hamburger franchise on its grounds. The franchise is located inside the church’s new $7 million Joe Ratliff Lifelong Learning Center, named after Brentwood’s senior pastor. The 75,000-square-foot building houses a basketball court, an aerobics studio, a computer center, an arcade, a banquet hall, more than 60 classrooms, and the McDonald’s, which has become a hit with the church’s more than 10,000 active members.

Effie Worrell, a senior vice president and community development manager for Houston’s Wells Fargo Bank, says the effort has the same impact on job creation as churches that create community development corporations (C.D.C.’s). “There is a big trend with pastors leading C.D.C.’s,” says Worrell, who specializes in making loans to church C.D.C.’s. “The key for many communities is church-sponsored businesses. They are planting the seeds, and with the money they make, other projects are seeded.”

The Rev. Joe Ratliff, Brentwood’s 51-year-old-pastor, came up with the idea for the McDonald’s at Brentwood. “I noticed that McDonald’s was putting restaurants in gas stations, in schools, and in hospitals,” he explains. “Why not have a franchise on the church grounds?”

- http://www.blackenterprise.com/mag/mcdonalds-goes-to-church/


Bert Perry's picture

It's worth noting that, Jim aside, the social acceptability of McDonald's, and the food they serve, is declining despite being quite legal.  

On the flip side, Joe Ratliff's picture gives every indication that he's spent a fair amount of time benefiting his local franchisee, if you catch my drift.  If I believed that proximity to something drove the probability of addiction, then it would be something worth dealing with.

But that said, oddly enough I'm not a lutefisk addict after nearly twelve years in Minnesota.  :^)

Aspiring to be a stick in the mud.

Chip Van Emmerik's picture

I was born in MN, and my dad still has lutefisk every Christmas - and I still can't stand the stuff.

Why is it that my voice always seems to be loudest when I am saying the dumbest things?