Indiana’s ‘Religious Freedom’ law is already hilariously backfiring

If you’re someone who pays attention to things, it’s not hard to figure out that Indiana’s “Religious Freedom” law is just a sneaky way Christian folks oppress gay people. But now that the legislation is in effect, it’s having some amusing unintended consequences.

If you’re someone who pays attention to things, it’s not hard to figure out that Indiana’s Religious Freedom law, also known as the “Religious Freedom Restoration Act,” is just a sneaky way Christian folks oppress gay people. But now that the legislation is in effect, it’s having some amusing unintended consequences.

This Tuesday, Indiana was forced to recognize the First Church of Cannabis, and you don’t have to guess what their favorite religious ritual is.

From The Daily Dot:

The First Church of Cannabis is a relatively new denomination, set to hold its first services on July 1, the first day the religious-freedom law goes into effect, according to Forbes. And by obtaining recognition from the state under the new law, church members (who call themselves “cannataerians”) will reportedly be allowed to light up during their church services, even though they will practice in a state where marijuana is still a highly illegal substance. It’s all thanks to Indiana’s recently reinforced religious freedoms.

The church still can’t buy or sell marijuana under the law, but Bill Levin, the self-described Minister of Love and Grand Pooba, says parishioners will still be allowed to smoke-out during church services.

Another way the law has benefitted the church was the tax-exempt status it was granted last week by the IRS.

“Somebody at the IRS loves us because we got it back in less than 30 days,” Levin wrote on the group’s Facebook page.

The First Church of Cannabis has already collected over $11,000 from more than 600 members on its GoFundMe page. If you’re wondering what the minimum donation is, it should be a no-brainer: $4.20.

[Featured image: REUTERS/Mark Blinch]



  1. Avatar


    June 7, 2015 at 7:49 pm

    Wish they would open a branch where I live.

  2. Avatar


    June 7, 2015 at 8:24 pm

    President Walker will quash any religion but Christianity (and his particularly harsh brand at that) as qualifying for religious freedom. He’ll couch it in some anti-sharia gobblygook and include every religious worldview but his, just to be on ‘safe’ side. And yes he will, it’s who he is.

  3. Avatar


    June 7, 2015 at 9:11 pm

    I’ve been saying that these RFRA laws will come back to bite these nutbag christian bigots on the backside — and this is probably one of the more benign uses that these laws will be put to.

  4. Avatar

    Diana Pahule

    June 7, 2015 at 9:41 pm

    This would be wonderful, except these people never seem to learn from their mistakes.

  5. Avatar

    John McGrath

    June 7, 2015 at 10:20 pm

    If I were younger I would form a First Church Of Dionysius, with alcohol as the Sacrament. I would create three fold clergy: Drink Deacons – any barkeep who can pour certain cocktails and properly manage to top off a porter could be ordained. Priest: Any Deacon who spends most of his work time administering the Sacrament — alcohol – and saying something nice or nasty about Dionysius – the shorter the prayer the better – would qualify for ordination. … Bishop[: Bar owner who would be willing to put up an image of Dionysius leading his/her worshipers and operate her/his bar as a church (tax exempt) would qualify. Beautiful certificates of ordination, T shirts, mugs etc. for sale on Amazon. … Someone please steal this idea.

  6. Avatar

    karen waters

    June 7, 2015 at 11:39 pm

    I find cannabis to be spiritually uplifting while alcohol just leaves me puking and miserable but that’s the beauty of religion….to each his own.

  7. Avatar

    Steve McQuiston (@quarterflash14)

    June 7, 2015 at 11:44 pm

    Word is that an atheist is preparing a legal challenge to “In god we trust” on the currency based on the federal RFRA. Talk about LOL/LMAO if it works

  8. Avatar


    June 8, 2015 at 1:33 am

    Indiana has a history of passing laws with unintended consequences. When rock and roll was getting big Indiana passed a law to outlaw large gatherings of people, they soon discovered they had also passed a law outlawing the Indy 500. Law quickly repealed.

  9. Avatar

    mark k

    June 8, 2015 at 1:47 am

    You sir are awesome. If I only lived in Indiana again, I would run with your plan. The first McGrath church.

  10. Avatar

    Melissa Harris

    June 8, 2015 at 3:45 am

    To the founders of this religion, I applaud your work, but I have questions.
    Will you do mission work in states where it is illegal? Is April 20 like Christmas and do you get it off? What do children get on 4/20? Is there a ‘baby’s first bong’ I could buy?

  11. Avatar


    June 8, 2015 at 11:29 am

    I think its kind of funny that people are claiming the law is “backfiring.” How do you know that some of the supporters of the law wouldn’t support a marijuana church? Who has the preconceived notions about a group? Who is making assumptions? Who is the bigot?

  12. Avatar

    Wayne Pannabecker

    June 8, 2015 at 3:01 pm

    LOL I love this story.

  13. Avatar

    Pat O'Connorr

    June 8, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    Catholics already have this covered. I believe it was Rodney Dangerfield who said (Paraphrase) ” I can’t be a Catholic, I can’t start drinking that early in the day”

  14. Avatar

    Linda Stone

    June 8, 2015 at 4:37 pm

    Stupidity knows no bounds.

  15. Avatar


    June 8, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    Plus the Governor banned the playing of the record “Louie, Louie” by the Kingsmen because it was rumored, though never proven, that the song contained some sort of profanity. The Kingsmen sent him a letter of thanks for the publicity, which caused the record to go golden, becoming #1 in the other 49 states.

  16. Avatar


    June 9, 2015 at 12:01 am

    They seem to forget there are gay Christians. No one asks them what they want/think.

  17. Avatar


    June 9, 2015 at 4:19 pm

    Strange my Amerindian relatives have been using cannabus for several hundred years in their religious practices. It is not something that I endorse but as a So. Baptist preacher I must support their right to freedom of religion so that I can practice my own. If that offends you too bab. Being homosexual is not a religious experience.

  18. Avatar

    Fernando Feliciano

    June 9, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    It IS to me! every time I light up, I see God!

  19. Avatar

    John McGrath

    June 9, 2015 at 9:22 pm

    Thanks! Cheers.

  20. Avatar

    Asdd Alkk

    June 9, 2015 at 9:38 pm

    This is just pathetic. How is this backfiring? It’s only weed. Furthermore, there have been bakeries saying that they won’t bake pro traditional marriage cakes either. So do those people get to sue for 100,000+ dollars. Yeah, that’s right.

    People who commit homosexuality, God this entire fkin thing is over sex, aren’t special. Homosexuality is an action and actions don’t define people. So to throw around words like oppress and discriminate is just stupid. And we know you are trying to link this to the civil rights movement which is disgusting. Genitalia and what you do with genitalia is not a civil right lmfao. I mean, is this sick crap some kind of joke?

    You cannot commit blackness, for example, you cannot act black, you cannot hid being black, you cannot feel black, you cannot do black things, but you can commit homosexuality, you can act homosexual, you can feel homosexual, you can hide a want to commit homosexuality and you can do homosexual things. The two do not equate. People that commit homosexuality aren’t special, they’re just like everyone else, it’s just their actions that are different, their extremely backwards actions.

    And the fact that these people have incentive to go into KNOWN Christian bakeries, for example, and demand someone’s product someone’s service someone’s property or face punishment, like we as a society are waving our finger at them saying we know better, of up to sometimes 100 THOUSAND DOLLARS… like it’s incentive to go looking for this stuff to make a quick buck while destroying people you hate, it’s just disgusting.

    Hell, considering there is no way to know if someone is going to commit homosexuality at all and there is no medical test to prove someone is will commit homosexuality, anyone can just say, hey, I’m now homosexual. I mean, I could for a day, say I am gay, walk into a known Christian bakery, demand something I and the baker know won’t be made, and then I can just take them to court get my thousands, destroy my enemy, and then the next day be like, oh I like woman now. This whole thing is just fkin insane and stupidly out of control.

  21. Avatar

    John D. Cox

    June 9, 2015 at 10:15 pm

    In general, a man who is same-sex-attracted is more spiritually and religiously attuned than, in general, a man who is opposite-sex-attracted. This is why up to 1/4 of the Catholic clergy are same-sex-attracted. It’s also why, over the many years in Native American tribes, same-sex-attracted men were considered shamans and spiritual leaders.

  22. Avatar


    June 9, 2015 at 10:22 pm

    Melissa Harris you are awesome!

  23. Avatar

    Kim Roberts

    June 9, 2015 at 11:26 pm

    I’m waiting for a Summer Solstice ritual conducted by skyclad (nude) adherents in a public, outdoor venue.

  24. Avatar


    June 10, 2015 at 12:01 am

    Unless you’re a priest.

  25. Avatar

    Billy W Kovacevich

    June 10, 2015 at 12:23 am

    every time i bone a smooth young twink i see god!

  26. Avatar


    June 10, 2015 at 1:22 am

    Then you are not having sex correctly.

  27. Avatar


    June 10, 2015 at 2:03 am

    Sure it is.

    “The condemnation of homosexuals present in other religions does not exist within Taoism.”

    “If a person is going to engage in sexual activity, the person should be skilled at it and develop his or her sexual knowledge.”


  28. Avatar


    June 10, 2015 at 4:54 am

    You have no right to define what another person finds religion in.

  29. Avatar


    June 10, 2015 at 6:22 am

    Being gay is innate, religion is a choice (and often a bad one).

  30. Pingback: Indiana’s ‘Religious Freedom’ law is already hilariously backfiring | universities phones usa

  31. Avatar

    David DePeal

    June 10, 2015 at 12:36 pm

    @St2coasty “Being homosexual is not a religious experience.”
    Reply: Then you’re not doing it right!

  32. Avatar


    June 10, 2015 at 2:10 pm

    Maybe you just haven’t met the right guy yet?

  33. Pingback: Getting a Religious High in the Hoosier State?: First Church of Cannabis Granted Tax-Exempt Status in Indiana (VIDEO) | Flowers For Socrates

  34. Avatar

    Paul Sibley

    June 10, 2015 at 8:12 pm

    the bigots are these so called Christians who are condemning a group of people because of who they love.do they really believe god will punish people for who they love but wont punish them for hating someone they have never met who has done nothing to them.

  35. Avatar


    June 10, 2015 at 8:18 pm

    Nope. It’s a part of the human experience.

  36. Avatar


    June 11, 2015 at 1:24 pm

    No offense but that’s actually not possible because all cannabis comes from central Asia and has never been a north American plant, it was brought here from Asia via Europe as hemp. There has never been an indigenous strain of marijuana in north America.

  37. Avatar


    June 11, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    Way to work that last little nugget of homophobia into what was otherwise a totally reasonable comment.

  38. Avatar


    June 12, 2015 at 2:57 am

    Apparently you have never had an orgasm.

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