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March 28, 2010

The God Blog, three years later

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/the_god_blog_three_years_later_20100324/

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The OG About

It passed without my noticing, but last Sunday marked three years since The God Blog was written into creation. That first post, titled “What’s in a faith?,” focused on the unique beliefs practiced by those at Temple 420.

It’s a post I’ve returned to several times when I’ve updated the religious, political and legal adventures of Temple 420’s founder Craig X Rubin. It’s also one I’ve looked to as a model for the type of journalism I’ve hope to disseminate via this blog. An excerpt:

It’s really a philosophical query, one reporters aren’t well-suited or aptly trained to answer. But the current case of Temple 420, a Hollywood congregation that reads the Bible and smokes marijuana to communicate with God, is begging the question.

The Rev. Craig X Rubin, a minister ordained by the interfaith Universal Life Church and founder of the temple, sued the LAPD for $30 million Wednesday, claiming his religious and civil rights were violated when narc officers raided his sanctuary/head shop in November and purportedly told him it was not a “real religion.”

But what is a real religion?

“There is no standard in nature to which one can go to decide if a group is a ‘real’ religion,” says Dan Olson, chair of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology at Indiana University South Bend. “It all depends on whether people in the society that they are part of are convinced they are a religion. When different parts of society don’t agree, like so many other things in life it often comes down to the group that has the most influence and power to determine whether the group will be persecuted and harassed or given respect and resources by others in society.

Since then, I’ve published 2,839 posts—51 mentioning “South Park” and an unknown many more sports related—mixed up my facial hair and received a bit of recognition as a religion blogger and as a blogger in general. Better yet, I’ve had a lot of fun.

Here’s to many more overlooked anniversaries.

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