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Saturday, August 22, 2015

Drug Culture

Recently our area had a drug raid on three people growing "medical marijuana". As the raid struck, the owner was telling them "We are card-holding medical marijuana patients" and was upset with the reply, "I don't care." They confiscated 33 plants, 9 more than the allowed 24 for medical marijuana users. The owner was distraught. "That crop was to heal me."

How did we get here? How did we get from "This drug will ease pain" to "This pain reliever will heal me"?

Sprout Phermaceuticals of North Carolina has succeeded in its third attempt at releasing flibanserin, known as "female Viagra." It is supposed to treat women with low libido. The FDA shot it down twice before because it felt the medical risk outweighed any benefit it could provide. Groups like the National Organization for Women are insisting that it be released. "Women have the right to make their own informed choices concerning their sexual health," they say, ignoring the potentially dangerous side effects.

How did we get here? How did we arrive at "this pill will give women a sex drive"? When did sexual desire become the product of a pill?

We live in a drug culture. People take drugs for everything. They take them to lose weight and to gain weight. People take "uppers" to feel happy and "downers" to keep from feeling too happy. We have drugs advertised on television for just about anything you can imagine. You can see a commercial touting the latest anti-depressant (with possible side effects of suicidal tendencies ... what?) followed by a commercial for a law firm willing to sue the company that offers the latest anti-depressant. From cigarettes to alcohol, from illegal drugs to prescription medications, we're glad to find something we can take that will produce anything "better" than what we have now. Do they? No, not normally. They make us feel better, perhaps, but from cigarettes to alcohol, from illegal drugs to prescription medications, most of what we take only makes us feel and does not make us better. Aspirin doesn't cure strained muscles. Anti-histamines don't eliminate allergies. Medical marijuana doesn't restore cancer patients. But we take them, often and with gusto.

How did we get here?

We bought the lie. We bought the "human animal" story. We actually believe the story that people are machines. With the proper tools we can fix anything. So let's not bother with proper eating and exercise; let's take a pill. But that's not right either, because "proper eating and exercise" is simply a different tool than "a pill". What we've failed to recognize is that Man is not merely another animal, a complicated machine. He is body, soul, and spirit (1 Thess 5:23; Heb 4:12). And we aren't merely dealing with a physical realm, but a spiritual one as well (Eph 6:12) and we aren't well equipped to handle it (Jer 17:9; 2 Cor 4:4).

I am amazed that someone would believe that a drug intended to alleviate discomfort would be able to cure cancer and HIV. I marvel that people (especially women) believe that a pill is all that is required to produce sexual desire in a woman. But given our current climate of secularism and materialism, denying much beyond the physical nature of our worlds or the mechanical nature of our bodies, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised. Still, I won't be waiting for a "godly drug" that will make me a sin-free follower of Christ. Hey, they haven't even come up with a "skinny pill" yet.

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