EDITOR, The Tribune.
The Economic Recovery Committee’s recommendation that the Free National Movement administration decriminalise Indian Hemp (aka marijuana, ganja and cannabis) is a sign that the central government is understandably desperate for a new source of revenue. Committee members seem oblivious to the dire spiritual implications of recreational marijuana, apparently not realising that such a legislation would amount to nothing more than a formal embrace of Hinduism.
Indeed, Christianity in The Bahamas would be vulnerable to being Hinduized, to use the term of the late Elliott Miller of the Christian Research Center in the United States. It is already deeply troubling that so many Bahamians are yoga practitioners. According to Miller, yoga is derived from a Sanskrit word meaning “to yoke or to unite.” Miller argued that the objective of yoga is to “uncouple oneself from the material world” and unite with Brahman, the impersonal cosmic consciousness of the universe.
I have argued in the past that The Beatles’ Sgt Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band album had conditioned tens of millions of Westerners to wholeheartedly embrace Hinduism and other forms of Eastern mysticism and practices, such as the use of recreational marijuana and transcendental meditation. This cavalier attitude towards the use of illicit drugs and religion in the sixties led to the drug trafficking crisis of the eighties and the rabid fascination with New Age religions. On the front cover of the Sgt Pepper Lonely Hearts Club Band album are Indian Hemp plants decorated around a collage of photos of famous people. As a result of The Beatles giving Maharishi Mahesh Yogi and Hinduism widespread publicity, other prominent Hindu leaders such as Swami Vivekananada, Sathya Sai Baba, Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh and Patanjali are now household names in the United States.
In The Bahamas, it was Bob Marley and Wailers’ performance during their Survival tour concert at the Queen Elizabeth Sports Stadium in 1979, coupled with the subsequent acceptance of Rastafari by thousands of Bahamians, which have helped in pushing the controversial subject of ganja into the mainstream.
Harvard-trained Dr Uma Dhanabalan told The Economic Times in 2016 that cannabis is one of the essential plants in the Vedas, which are the religious texts of Hinduism. Dr Dhanabalan had Book 11, Hymn 6, Verse 15 of the Atharva Veda-Samhita in mind, which reads as follows: “To the five kingdoms of the plants which Soma rules as Lord we speak. Darbha, hemp, barley, mighty power: may these deliver us from woe.” One cannot divorce recreational marijuana use from its Hindu spirituality. With its main ingredient called tetrahydrocannabinol coupled with its known psychedelic effects, recreational marijuana isn’t spiritually neutral. It exposes one to the three main Hindu gods of Vishnu, Brahma, and Shiva, in addition to the other 330 million gods that the 1.2 billion Hindus worship. As alluded to in the Bahamian Constitution, The Bahamas is a Christian nation. Why are we formally opening the borders to Hindu idols to compete with the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob? With so many Bahamians being raised within the Judeo-Christian culture, there’s little need to scale the language barrier as it relates to biblical terminology. It goes without saying that many Bahamians are familiar with the apostle Paul’s warning in 1 Corinthians 10:20 about demons masquerading behind idols. In our so-called postmodern Bahamas, our society has become, unfortunately, a melting-pot of religious diversity. I am a firm believer in Psalm 33:12, which says that blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.
The Bahamas Christian Council, as the spiritual custodian of The Bahamas, is well within its rights to challenge any move by the Minnis administration to legalise recreational marijuana.
Freeport, Grand Bahama,
October 27, 2020.