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Religion, Lately: Doing Halloween Biblically, Ghosts v. Religion,  and Cannabis for Shiva

Religion, Lately: Doing Halloween Biblically, Ghosts v. Religion, and Cannabis for Shiva

By Kenny Smith…This year’s Halloween’s top-ten Biblically themed costumes? Pharaoh, Naughty Nun, Priest with Enormous Erection (cleverly packaged as “Keeping Up The Faith”), and of course Zombie Nuns (said to be marked down 20%!). What do practicing witches actually think about Halloween? Some hate it. Some love it. In Mumbai, Wiccans used the holiday Samhain (also on October 31) as an occasion for casting protective spells for the benefit of women in India. And while many continue to lump Wiccans. Pagans, and Satanists together, Real Housewives of Beverley Hills’ Carlton Gebbia stakes out a religious identity not reducible to any of these exactly: “I’m Celtic, which is my ancestry. And I practice witchcraft. My grandmother was a Pagan… There’s no one defined answer.”

Cannabis: The American Sacrament

Cannabis: The American Sacrament

A number of new religious movements have come to see the ritual use of cannabis products as central the religious quest. The Church of the Universe, founded in Ontario, Canada in the late 1960’s, teaches that marijuana provides a vital “calming influence,” helps to focus and “direct [one’s] thoughts without interference from negative forces,” allows for an experience of communion with the natural world, and overall “makes life worth living.”

Cannabis Cafes of Amsterdam

Cannabis Cafes of Amsterdam

By Heather Abraham In an intriguing Religion Nerd article entitled Cannabis: The American Sacrament Kenny Smith examined America’s passion for cannabis and suggests that cannabis, if legalized in the United States, may come to function in ways comparable to other culturally sacred substances ritually consumed each day in the workaday world or with family and […]