Marijuana – Will Christians Be The Ones to Legalize Pot In Oklahoma? Today we’re talking about trends and shifts in the culture. Too often people believe what they hear versus truly knowing truth for themselves. Join us as we talk to our friend, Pastor Paul Blair, on the issue of legalizing marijuana and on whether or not Christians are actually going to be the ones to help legalize marijuana in Oklahoma.

Air Date: 07/30/2018

Guest: Pastor Paul Blair

On-air Personalities: David Barton, Rick Green, and Tim Barton


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Transcription note:  As a courtesy for our listeners’ enjoyment, we are providing a transcription of this podcast. Transcription will be released shortly. However, as this is transcribed from a live talk show, words and sentence structure were not altered to fit grammatical, written norms in order to preserve the integrity of the actual dialogue between the speakers. Additionally, names may be misspelled or we might use an asterisk to indicate a missing word because of the difficulty in understanding the speaker at times. We apologize in advance.

Faith And The Culture

Rick:

Welcome to the intersection of faith and the culture. This is WallBuilders Live! Where we’re talking about today’s hottest topics on policy, faith, and the culture. But always from a biblical, historical, and constitutional perspective.

We’re here with David Barton, America’s premier historian and the founder of WallBuilders. Also Tim Barton, national speaker and pastor and president of WallBuilders. And my name Rick Green, I’m a former Texas legislator.

Check out WallBuildersLive.com to find out more about us and the program. And then also WallBuilders.com to get some great resources for you and your family.

David, Tim, when we talk about faith and the culture and what’s happening right now, the hot topics out there we obviously talk about what Christians are viewing as hot topics and sometimes whether or not we have an actual biblical worldview on those hot topics versus just kind of a cultural what’s popular view. Because we’re seeing a lot of things go anti-biblical, but even Christians are jumping on board.

David:

Yeah, that’s true, Rick, in a lot of different areas. And, by the way, just one of the things that is a good trend that’s growing is that overall the country is moving to be more pro-life. So, despite all the other trends that are out there, they’re moving to be more pro-life and for the first time in a long time in recent years it’s the younger generation that’s become more pro-life than the older generations. It had been that the older you were the more pro-life you were, but that has now changed and we’re finding that the younger generation, among teenagers for example, only about 19 percent are pro abortion.

So, you’re looking at 81 percent that aren’t pro abortion -that’s amazing stats. So, we’re seeing this real change. When you think about how we see this progress in pro-life direction, we saw what happened with those videos exposing Planned Parenthood. We saw how Congress responded, convened special panels on the prosecution of Planned Parenthood and the other universities and facilities that were using, just despicable stuff that was being done taking aborted baby parts and using it for experimentation, etc..

Current Favorability Rating for Planned Parenthood

David:

So, you look at all that and you’re seeing all this stuff in the news the last five years. So, my question is, a recent poll just out, what do you think the favorability rating for Planned Parenthood is right now?

Rick:

Man, as many scandals, and selling of baby parts, and all those things– of course, we probably see more of that in our circles of media that we pay attention to than the general public. So, I’m assuming you’re talking popularity of Planned Parenthood in the general–

David:

Nationally. Overall population. Even though the nation has a very strong pro-life bent and especially among young people, how does that translate to Planned Parenthood?

Rick:

Well, they’ve got hundreds of millions of dollars to play with and brand themselves. So, factoring that in I’d say that they’re probably– I don’t know 50-55 percent popular.

David:

62 percent popular. Two out of three Americans view Planned Parenthood in a favorable light. Now, here’s where it gets interesting – half of American churchgoers think Planned Parenthood is good and one third of pro-life individuals hold a very positive opinion of Planned Parenthood.

Rick:

That’s just crazy! Seriously? So, one third of people that call themselves pro-life?

David:

Yeah, one third of pro-life individuals have a positive opinion of Planned Parenthood.

Rick:

The number one abortion provider in the country.

Do Most Americans Even Know?

Tim:

Now, Rick, and dad, this is I’m sure part of the study, too, where I would take even part of this discussion is the fact that I don’t think most Americans know they’re the number one abortion provider.
Rick:

Good point.

Tim:

I’ve seen college students have this debate with other college students and people were arguing the great things Planned Parenthood did. And somebody says the number one abortion provider in the world and the person arguing how great Planned Parenthood was said, “Well, no they’re not.” And they said, “Yeah, they abort over 300,000 babies every single year.” Other college students said, “No, they don’t. You’re just making that up.” And the student said, “No, I’m not making it up.” “Oh yeah? Well, where did you get your number?” “From Planned Parenthood.” And the student literally had no idea that Planned Parenthood was an abortion provider at all – much less the number one in America, arguably the world.

But this is where our problem, I think, the underlying problem is is we have so many people that are just so ignorant of basic, and I’m saying basic information, it’s basic to us. If you pay attention to what’s happening, if you kind of watch the news, even the exposés on Planned Parenthood, it’s not hard to find that information. But most people are just not plugged in, they don’t know what’s happening in the culture around them, and therefore, they’re not really educated on what this is.

So, if someone says Planned Parenthood’s doing a great thing for women’s health well, oh, okay, they must be doing great things for women’s health. We just don’t know factual based data information truth anymore. It’s very much in our subjective culture we’re just believing what we hear about something and people just don’t know truth very well.

Rolling to Another Issue

David:

See, that’s exactly the point is I think America is a pro-life nation. But I think that the lack of knowledge and the consistencies in thinking is the greatest problem we have. We don’t know what Planned Parenthood is. We don’t know that they’re the biggest abortion provider and that they do more sex ed curriculum than any other group in the nation. Their curriculum is used in schools across the nation more than any other. And guess what they promote? It’s abortion. So, people do not know.

Now, if you take that lack of knowledge and that kind of inconsistent thinking, let’s roll forward to another issue that’s out there right now and that’s the issue of marijuana usage. Now, here’s the deal is nobody has really come out with all these new blazing studies on marijuana that show that all the effects that it had previously are now gone and those effects don’t happen anymore. No one is showing that the health effects and the mental effects are any different than what they were.  So, you go, okay, why was marijuana ever banned at any point in time ever? And how come we’re saying it’s okay now?

Tim:

Well, so first of all, saying that there’s no studies showing that there are no longer negative effects – whether it’s the physical, the health, the brain, whatever it is. So, I would counter and say, “Show me where the studies were in the first place that said that was all negative, and bad, and we’re doing something detrimental to the human body or to those around you.” Because I guarantee you that this is the argument from so many libertarians and even Christians I know is that, “No, this is not proven to be bad. There’s never been studies, no, and it shouldn’t be on the banned substances list. This is healthy. It’s good. It doesn’t harm you.” So, I would ask – where are the studies that ever did show it was negative?

The First Time Marijuana Was Banned in America

David:

Well, it’s interesting that the first time that marijuana use was banned in America was 1937. And a number of–

Tim:

I’ve never heard that before.

David:

Yeah, 1937 and in a number of subsequent years there have been efforts to remove the ban on marijuana. And when those efforts were brought forth – whether it be in state or federal legislature, like, for example, in the 1970s the Controlled Substance Act under President Richard Nixon – “Hey, let’s not make marijuana a criminal offense.” Then all these medical studies roll out again saying, “No, it needs to be kept a criminal offense because look at the effect it has on both body and mind.” There is no shortage of studies whatsoever.

And I just jotted down some of the overall notes. This is what the medical studies have affirmed that marijuana use alters the senses, it alters the sense of time, it changes the mood, it impairs body movements, it creates difficulty with thinking and problem solving, and it impairs memory functions.

Long term effects is it affects brain development. It shows that those who use marijuana when they’re younger lose up to eight IQ points between the ages of 13 and 38. They have breathing problems including daily coughs, and phlegm, and lung illness, and a higher risk of lung infections. There’s an increased heart rate which raises the chance of a heart attack. If you’re pregnant there’s problems with child development during pregnancy. There can be intense nausea and vomiting, dehydration. It’s linked to depression problems, anxiety, and suicidal thoughts among teens.

Now, we are having a lot of suicides among young people right now. At the same time we’re saying marijuana is great. So, I don’t know if that’s a correlation or not, but these are all studies previous to right now.

Response From Medical Doctors

David:

So, these are the studies are out there. Now, how does the other side respond to these studies? And I’ve found it interesting there are groups of doctors out there. And I just read the website of one of these groups of doctors. So, there’s this chief surgeon who’s speaking for the doctors and here’s the response. Let me just throw it out – what do you think the response is from medical doctors to why marijuana laws, anti marijuana laws, are bad?

Tim:

From what era is my question. Because right now–

David:

Right now.

Tim:

So, modern doctors? Well–

David:

This is a current website pushing for the complete legalization of marijuana. It’s medical doctors pushing for it and this guy is a chief surgeon who’s writing on behalf of the other doctors for the group.

Tim:

Because it would help medical patients have pain relief.

David:

No, the argument is in 1937 when they banned the marijuana it was because so many Mexican immigrants were coming in and they were bringing marijuana with them. So, banning marijuana is both racist and anti immigrant and that’s why it needs to be legal. And that’s your medical arguments–

Tim:

Huh.

David:

–the medical evidence? So, it’s interesting. But, Rick, as we were talking before, part of the problem with this is that Christians don’t know the information, they– and citizens – not just Christians, Americans don’t know the information, don’t know all the multiple studies that are out there. They’re hearing this kind of libertarian thing that says, “Well, the government shouldn’t be telling us what’s right and wrong and if it’s our body we can do it we want to with it.”

That’s Alright Until…

David:

That’s alright until you get behind the wheel, or you get behind equipment, or vehicles, or whatever else, and all of the studies that go with that. Or you have more suicides, more depression, more medical health cares. It just keeps going on, and on, and on, and it’s no longer libertarian that, “It’s just me that it affects.” So, Christians are going into that.

And so Oklahoma is coming up on a vote about whether to have medical marijuana. And medical marijuana is– that’s step one toward getting complete legalization. That’s what happens across the United States and it looks like the Christians may be the ones who vote in the legalization of marijuana in Oklahoma. Which is just it’s just an astounding thing. It’s like we’re talking about half of churchgoers have a favorable opinion of Planned Parenthood – it’s just because they don’t know the facts.

Rick:

Well, one of our friends is kind of a boots on the ground there in Oklahoma, Pastor Paul Blair, and he’s following this one. So, we’ll get the story from him and what’s happening in Oklahoma and whether or not it’s evangelical Christians, according to some of these headlines we’ve seen, that are actually going to push for and help get this issue over the top unfortunately. But he’ll be with us when we come back from the break. Pastor Paul Blair, our special guest, on WallBuilders Live.

Pastors Only Briefing Trip

Tim:

Hi, this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders and I want to encourage all the pastors out there with a unique opportunity that we’re presenting it WallBuilders. We’re doing a special tour just for pastors that you can come and learn more about the spiritual heritage of our nation. Not just seeing the sights but understanding the significance of what they are and what they represent.

We get to go to the Capitol at night.  And we get to see the spiritual heritage of our Founding Fathers, of who we are as a nation, where we came from. We bring in congressman that will tell you about current legislation, about our religious liberties  and freedom, and what’s going on in Washington, D.C.

If you’re a pastor or if you want to recommend your pastor for this trip, you can go to our website at www.WallBuilders.com. And there’s a link that’s for scheduling.  If you click on that link there’s a section for pastor’s briefing. There’s more information about the dates, when it’s going, and how it’s going to happen. If you want to know more about our nation, our religious liberties, our freedom, our spiritual heritage, this is a trip you want to be a part of.

Rick:

Welcome back. Thanks for staying with us here on WallBuilders Live. A good friend, Pastor Paul Blair, with us from Oklahoma. Pastor, always good to have you, sir.

Pastor Paul Blair:

Rick, my pleasure. Good to talk with you.

Rick:

Hey, what’s your website for Fairview Baptist?

Pastor Paul Blair:

FairviewBaptistEdmond.org.

Rick:

Alright, FairviewBaptistEdmond.org. We’ll have that at our website today, WallBuildersLive.com so folks can learn more. But Pastor Blair, I could not believe this article saying that it looks like marijuana could pass in Oklahoma and that evangelical Christians are voting for it. What is going on?

Medical or Recreational?

Pastor Paul Blair:

Rick, unfortunately Oklahoma has a tremendous reputation and we have been very conservative and we typically vote on national elections very conservative ways. But the church, unfortunately, even in our state is very much conforming to the world rather than trying to transform the world for Christianity. And several issues we’ve been working on in the past years – whether it be abortion, or other issues like this, we haven’t been able to get the major denominations to come out of their shell and get engaged.

We saw in this last election, this is a very loosely written bill for medical marijuana. And for anybody who’s had experience with that in the past, I went out to California in 2012 on a business trip and while there I walked down one of the boardwalks in Venice Beach and about every third shop on the boardwalk was a medical marijuana shop. And every one of them had a doctor on duty ready to give you a prescription for your anxiety, or for your headache. So, basically anybody qualifies in the way it’s been written in these other states for a prescription.

Rick:

Yeah.

Pastor Paul Blair:

So, medical marijuana, for all practical purposes, is recreational marijuana. Unfortunately, our state has now voted by a vote of the people to legalize it. And quite frankly, our legislature in the past years, they all campaigned as conservatives and Christians for the most part. Yet we’ve expanded gambling, we expand the liquor industry, we raise taxes. It just is absolutely baffling to see so many that profess Christianity, but have so little evidence of Christ being the Lord of their lives.

Rick:

Yeah, typically you have– there’s been a pretty good grassroots activity in your state–

Pastor Paul Blair:

Right.

Rick:

–among Christians that have said, “We want to make sure that our values are represented in government.”

Pastor Paul Blair:

Right.

Rick:

So, those things, it’s surprising to see. But we face the same thing in Texas and we have a lot of people that run saying that they’re a Christian–

Pastor Paul Blair:

Right.

The Lord of Every Facet

Rick:

–that the Bible– and actually David’s point, you’d probably appreciate this, Paul. David’s pointed out on our program several times it’s not enough to say “Are they Christians?” It’s “Are you Biblical?”

Pastor Paul Blair:

David, and George Barna, all of you guys work so aggressively in worldview. And that’s the problem. We don’t teach in most churches a comprehensive biblical worldview. In other words, if Jesus is the Lord of your life, He is the Lord of every facet of your life.

Rick:

Yeah.

Pastor Paul Blair:

So, whether it’s how we handle business practices, or how we look at politics, we ought to look at it from a biblical perspective. But, as you guys know, most Christians have a post-modern worldview. So, we may actually be born again spiritually, but we think and act like the world in many ways and that’s the tragedy.

Rick:

So, so that really is not following the Great Commission, right? Because we’re supposed be making disciples of all men to follow His commandments. Not just get them to walk the aisle, but actually be disciples and follow those commandments.

Pastor Paul Blair:

Rick, you were spot on. And that’s where the church in America has deviated from the original. The original church was all Jewish and the Jews didn’t didn’t compartmentalize their life. There was no such thing as the secular world and the spiritual world – everything was to be done for the glory of God.

Adopting the Greek Mentality

Pastor Paul Blair:

But we have adopted the Greek mentality of just reciting a creed, assuming that’s good enough, and living life as we want to live. Well, that’s not what discipleship was. If we are followers of Jesus then we should be following Jesus and His guidance in every area of life. And obviously, we’ve failed not just in America in general, but even in the most conservative state, the heart of Christianity, here in Oklahoma.

Rick:

Yeah, yeah. No doubt about it. Well, Pastor, anything that we can do to help. And obviously, I guess at this point it’s– if it’s going to be on the ballot in November it’s going to be a matter of getting people to get educated on the issue, not to show up and vote, but get educated first.

Pastor Paul Blair:

It’s ironic that in Oklahoma and I know in other states there’s this big call to battle opioid abuse. And currently, pain meds are prescribed by doctors and issued by pharmacies. And supposedly they don’t have that under control. Now, how is legalizing marijuana going to improve the situation overall?

Rick:

Right.

Pastor Paul Blair:

It obviously is not. But I think we checked out of reality when we started recognizing more than two genders officially.

Rick:

Yeah, yeah. No doubt, no doubt. Well, man, I will give you this bit of hope – I know in Arizona it looked like it was going to pass and it came down to a very close vote. But because people got engaged and got educated, they started putting out the stats, they started showing the negative effect that’s happened in California and Colorado both, they end up defeating that. I guess that was last year, maybe the year before last.

But anyway, of course they’re going to come back and try again. But they did win even when it looked like they weren’t going to be able to. So, man, brother, we’ll pray for you guys to have a come from behind victory here.

God’s Best Work When the Hour Seems Darkest

Pastor Paul Blair:

Well, you know the old story – God does His best work when the hour seems darkest. So, keep praying for us. We are still in the battle on the frontlines, so we’re praying for a miracle.

Rick:

And, hey, we can– now tell us when you can be heard on Bott Radio Network all across Oklahoma.

Pastor Paul Blair:

Bott Radio Network in Oklahoma at 3:00 every day, program called Exploring the Word.

Rick:

Exploring the Word. Well, man, keep teaching them the truth, brother. We appreciate your time. Thanks for coming on.

Pastor Paul Blair:

Thank you, buddy. God’s blessings to you and David. Take care, Rick.

Rick:

That’s Pastor Paul Blair. Stay with us, folks. We’ll be right back with David and Tim Barton.

Avalon Project

Tim:

Hey, guys, this is Tim Barton with WallBuilders. I know you hear my dad and Rick talk a lot about our Founding Fathers about the original intent of our nation, a constitutional heritage that we have. And really we’ve seen how far we slipped away from that. And I know a lot of us as we hear my dad and Rick talk think, “I wish there was a place that I could go where I could see these documents and I could read and learn about the Founding Fathers firsthand.  See the things they did.”

I want to give you some websites today that can help you accomplish that very thing. If you get online you can go to places like Library of Congress and you can look under their century of lawmaking or historical documents. You can go to the Avalon Project, to the Founders Constitution, Google Books, or even the internet archives.  

Or you can just go to WallBuilders.com. We have a section for our WallBuilders Library. And under that section we have different subgroups for historical documents, historical writings, even a place where you can get helpful links to find out more information about other websites.  Where you can do research for yourself and find the truth for yourself. Friends, this is the time that we need to know who we are and where we came from. WallBuilders.com is a great place to go.

Rick:

We’re back on WallBuilders Live. Thanks for staying with us. Special thanks to Pastor Paul Blair from Oklahoma for joining us today on the program as well.
We’re back with David and Tim Barton. And, guys, it sounds like he’s surprised as well. And it’s kind of like, how do you combat this if if you haven’t laid the foundation in pulpits across the state?

Conforming Instead of Transforming

David:

Well, I thought what he said was significant in that the church is conforming to the world rather than trying to transform the culture to Christianity.

Rick:

Yeah, yeah.  

David:

So, the church is thinking like non Christians and they’re pretty gullible in that what they’re being told or what they’re hearing. And when– I was googling this a minute ago and I was looking to see why was marijuana initially made illegal. All of the front page of Google, which is what I was using, and it could be Google is skewed in this direction, all the articles said because it’s racist and anti immigrant. And it took me back to that medical site and I found that was quoted over, and over, and over, and over, again.

So, in looking for why marijuana was initially made illegal I had to go really deep into the pages before I started getting the statistics, and the studies, and the medical research, etc..

Be Intellectually Honest

David:

So, the top thing you find all over it is, “Well, it’s racist and it’s anti immigration, we can’t be that, so we’ve got to be pro marijuana.” It’s such shallow thinking, but that’s what education is doing right now. We no longer generally teach students to think, we’re more into what we want them to know.

Tim:

And it’s worth noting, had they said, “We won’t do marijuana because only Mexicans do this and we don’t want that here because we don’t want Mexicans.” Had they said that, you could say, “No, that’s totally racist.” But if they have something beyond just, “We don’t want Mexicans to have it.” Well, then you have to be at least intellectually honest and dig a little deeper and say, “What is that they’re looking for.”

It’s also worth noting if we’re talking about something for medical purposes, generally, I don’t recall even medical procedures or medication being approved by a vote of the state. It seems like there’s some other kind of agency that generally–

David:

Is that maybe the FDA, the Food and Drug Administration–

Tim:

It seems like there’s some agency that normally looks at this. And so it does raise the question, if this is not even FDA, why do we feel so compelled– of all the things to say let’s legalize, of all the medical practices we might say let’s legalize, well, if the FDA has not had enough information for them to say, “Hey, this is a good deal. We think it’s fine. Go for it.” Then why do we think– And this is where even as Christians, how is this logical? How can you rationalize this?

Take A Popular Vote on Everything Medical?

Tim:

Or, at this point, if we’re going to say, “Hey, no, we should take a popular democratic vote on everything medical.” Well, so what will that do to medical practice in the medical field in general? Can we vote on every medical procedure we like? Can we vote on everything we want to be healthy that that might not be healthy, but if we vote on it, well, then it’s acceptable? This is where it’s not very logical that we’re not looking in information, we’re not looking at the facts, we’re not even looking at the FDA.

Which, I’m not really a big fan of the FDA to begin with, but at this point, if the FDA is not even approving this and they’re the ones that generally approve drugs that are sanctioned legal in America, it just seems like this is a very backward way to even try to do it. Not to mention it does defy a lot of the consequences. Whether you talk about a gateway drug and some people want to argue, “No, it’s not a gateway drug.” Well, okay. So, we can be honest – not everybody that does marijuana is going to end up doing hard drugs. But I would say you’ll be hard pressed to find someone who’s done hard drugs that did not first do marijuana.

Rick:

That’s right.

Tim:

So, it doesn’t lead everybody to hard drugs, but there’s no doubt that this is a beginning place for many people that will lead somewhere they don’t need to go. There’s a reason that manufacturing jobs have left California and Colorado and it’s not just because the tax rate – it’s actually, Colorado, you can look and say, hey, wait a second, if we’re saying that marijuana is not illegal and you can come to a manufacturing job and let’s say you get smoke breaks, or you go out and smoke marijuana, is that going to increase your facilities productivity?

Do generally people smoke marijuana and all of a sudden they’re really excited, and want to be more productive, and they have more of a plan and purpose and a vision for their life, they know who God’s called and created them to be if they could just smoke some marijuana. No, that’s not how that works.

But we’re not thinking about this logically, rationally, or even biblically. It really is just an emotional appeal, “Well, I want to do it. It feels good. I think we should.” And this is really not a good decision and pretty dangerous when we look at where the nation’s leaning on this issue.

It Makes You Wonder

Rick:

And it makes you wonder– and of course, Tim, we see this with the young generation at the youth leadership programs we do. But why this has become the cause of the day. Right? Why are so many latching onto this as the symbol of freedom somehow. That this is how you fight against an overreaching government. Why is marijuana the thing that they’ve chosen?

Tim:

Well, I would point out I think it’s interesting – it’s generally marijuana and human expressions of sexuality are the two things they go for.

Rick:

Yeah.

Tim:

And so, generally, it’s things that are self gratifying that they try to go and they make that appeal that, “Well, this makes me feel good. So, I want to do it.” So, it really does seem to be a self gratification motive more than anything else. Because if it truly was medicinal, well, there are other medications– we’ve had numerous doctors we’ve talked to – there are other medications that can accomplish the same thing. And people would argue, “Yeah, but they’re more expensive.” Right.

But if it’s just a medical purpose, right. If it’s just medical, you don’t have to have this just for medical. And generally, when people say, “Well, I need it medically.” Why? Because your elbow hurts? Yeah, you’re 18 years old and you have a hurt elbow so, “I need marijuana”.

David:

Well, I’ll point out that Paul said when he was in California at Venice Beach he was walking along and you could get a prescription for anxiety.

Rick:

Yeah.

David:

You walk in and say, “I’m anxious. I need a prescription.” And you get marijuana. Did you know– does everybody remember the Americans With Disabilities Act? When that first came in we said, “It’s really good because now we’re helping handicapped and those in wheelchairs and you have ramps going up. This is the angle of the ramp and this is how high your stairs have to be.”

Marijuana – Will Christians Be The Ones to Legalize Pot In Oklahoma?

David:

Right now, going to the colleges, one fourth of students are coming in with a claim under the American for Disabilities Act. And their claim is they have anxiety when they test. So, they’re getting medical disabilities coming in with anxiety. You know what? That’s been the way since the beginning of time. You might be a little nervous when you take a test. But now we’re having Americans With Disabilities, federal laws doing this. See, the anxiety thing, and just facilitating this, and not dealing with it is, that we’re dealing with superficial things here and we’re not going to the root causes.

Rick:

Well, sitting on the sideline is not an answer. All our listeners in Oklahoma we encourage you to get educated on this issue and show up and vote on this thing in November. Get your friends and families educated on this. Just look at the negative ramifications in these states that have done the same thing and you will not want it in your backyard. Thanks for listening today, folks. You’ve been listening to WallBuilders Live.