Have you heard the one about the rabbi, the priest and the atheist who pass around a bong? It’s no joke.
In a new video, Rabbi Jim Mirel, emeritus rabbi of the Reform temple B’nai Torah of Bellevue, Washington, Episcopal priest Chris Schuler, and Carlos Diller, who describes himself as a “conservative homosexual atheist,” take turns sharing hits of marijuana and their thoughts on religion.
Mirel says that although he had not gotten high for some time, “I’m here to experience one of God’s creations.”
After speaking to Diller for some time about how he seems to be a “person of faith” despite not believing in God, Mirel is reminded that he’s “been holding that joint for a while” and asked if he needs a light, to which he responds, “Yeah, light it up.”
Asked if the use of marijuana appears in the Hebrew Bible, Mirel references the anointing oil mentioned in the Book of Exodus, which he says “had some qualities that would elevate the person” and possibly included “oil from the hemp plant.”
Although Exodus does not mention hemp in the portion on the anointing oil, God does instruct Moses to make the oil from “spices” and “incense,” which some have taken to be references to psychoactive plants.
Mirel also speculates that as “historically, many people have had mystical experiences, I think it’s very likely that they were under the influence of some mind-altering substance.”
Asked if religious people should smoke, Mirel says that “if it helps you become a better person, if it lifts you up and gives you something, a new view of life, it’s a positive thing.”
In another moment in the video, which was filmed on Ash Wednesday by WatchCut, the priest uses the ashes from the joint to makes a cross on the atheist’s forehead.