Oregon church can brew hallucinogenic tea for services, judge rules

You can take drugs legally only if you pretend to believe in the right imaginary creatures:

An Ashland church can import and brew a hallucinogenic tea for its religious services, according to a U.S. District Court ruling.

Judge Owen M. Panner issued a permanent injunction Thursday barring the federal government from penalizing or prohibiting the Church of the Holy Light of the Queen from sacramental use of “Daime” tea.

The church, which blends Christian and indigenous religious beliefs in Brazil, uses tea brewed from the ayahuasca plant in their services. The tea contains trace amounts of the chemical dimethyltryptamine or DMT.

According to the church’s lawsuit, the tea is the central ritual and sacrament of the religion where members believe “only by taking the tea can a church member have direct experience with Jesus Christ.”

Full Story: the Oregonian

(via Thiebes)

National Geographic article on ayahuasca

For centuries, Amazonian shamans have used ayahuasca as a window into the soul. The sacrament, they claim, can cure any illness. The author joins in this ancient ritual and finds the worlds within more terrifying?and enlightening?than ever imagined.

Full Story: National Geographic: Peru: Hell and Back

(thanks Gwen!)

Court sides with church in dispute over drug-laced tea

The buzz around the fringeblogosphere today:

A unanimous Supreme Court ruled today that the adherents of a small religious group can continue, for now at least, to import and use an illegal drug in their worship services. The court, in a decision written by new Chief Justice John Roberts, held that the federal government had not adequately demonstrated that it had a compelling interest in banning what even federal prosecutors admit is a “sincere religious practice.”

Pew Forum: Supreme Court Rules that Religious Group Can Use Illegal Drug in their Worship Services

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