I was compelled to write this piece after reading this article by none other than Russell Brand. The reason I was compelled is this: he bemoans the death of Philip Seymour Hoffman and blames drug laws for making drug addicts seem immoral (drug addicts being victims of a disease that could "attack" anyone). Indeed, the subheading of his post claims that Hoffman is another victim of extremely stupid drug laws.
Why are drug laws stupid? To quote Brand, "If drugs are illegal people who use drugs are criminals. We have set our moral compass on this erroneous premise, and we have strayed so far off course that the landscape we now inhabit provides us with no solutions and greatly increases the problem."
Then Brand makes the wild assertion that those who make the drug laws are "deliberately creating the worst imaginable circumstances to maximise the harm caused by substance misuse."
The war on drugs is politically motivated for Brand, and since data shows prohibition doesn't help at all but only makes matters worse, why don't we stop? Brand says because of tradition, prejudice, and extreme stupidity.
He is not, however, judgmental of Hoffman or Justin Bieber. Why? Because he's the non-judgmental type? Obviously not. No, he is not judgmental because he, too, is a drug addict in recovery and knows what it's like.
Brand then blames the Devil for the mental illness of drug addiction (and he knows this because he's been there). No, he didn't use the word "devil," but he blamed him just the same. He says in spite of the praise that comes with being a star, "there is a predominant voice in the mind of an addict that supersedes all reason and that voice wants you dead. This voice is the unrelenting echo of an unfulfillable void" (my highlights).
So then, the "disease" of addiction is the fault of those who make drug laws and the Devil. But it most assuredly is not Hoffman's fault. After all, if you are hearing voices, if they are speaking into your mind, then how can you be held accountable for that?
Brand's solution? No drug laws, and an environment of support, tolerance, and understanding.
You see, for Brand and so many other secularists out there, addiction really isn't your fault. You don't bring yourself into addiction. If there are abnormal blips on a brain scan that indicate you are addicted to something, then you aren't responsible. After all, you didn't put those blips there. It's just the naturalist's devil manifesting himself inside of your brain, possessing you and making you do irrational things. Stupid everyone else, how hard is it for you to understand that, we even have empirical evidence!
So obviously we shouldn't judge Bieber or Hoffman; they aren't stupid, they are victims, and it's everyone else's fault. We are the idiots, stuck in our traditional understanding and trying to make those addicted to drugs suffer even more by considering them to be criminals. How dare we.
THIS is the face of tolerance, of support, of understanding. Anything less and YOU are the dumb, ignorant, and unloving one.
But true love would be pointing to reality, and reality is that we aren't demon-possessed by brain dots. We give in to sin, which creates patterns of addictions, like a bad habit, evidenced by brain dots. Should we support the repentant? Absolutely, and we should help them, but they must understand that at root it is our sinfulness, meaning our own desires, that produces our addictions.
But for Brand and so many others, my question is this: Where do you draw the line? How do you draw the line? Once God is out the door then who says what is and is not true? Well, the individual of course. And given man is bent toward wickedness, which any honest, "non-stupid" person can tell, Brand's belief system will result in the majority of people moving further into immorality, all the while screaming toleration and acceptance for one another (sound familiar?).
And why will they scream for toleration? Because the majority, like Russell Brand, will have been there too. Someday the majority will be drug addicts. The majority will be sexually deviant, homosexuals, adulterers, rapists, and murderers. No, not someday. Not someday. If Jesus made one thing clear it's that we all are these things at heart already.
So yes, I can sympathize with Russell Brand. Because I've been there too. I'm there right now. But by God's grace I haven't bought into the lie that my desires are not my sins but instead is the Devil in my brain.
But for Brand and others, we must all tolerate each other because it's not really our fault, it's the Devil in our brain's fault.
When society turns the corner and everyone is an addict, society can no longer be to blame since we are a society of addicts. We are all victims of this disease, this black plague, and it's causing us to hurt others and ourselves. But it surely isn't our fault, society will cry. We didn't choose to get involved with drugs, or rape, or theft, or murder. It was the dots on our brain, they just came out of nowhere! Those dots were telling us to do it, and we couldn't help but listen!
God help us. May He cause the Spirit working through the proclamation of the gospel to conquer fallen wills, and demonic brain dots, for His glory. May we give true love, which is the Truth, that Christ is the only way to salvation, and that we are sinners enslaved to our own addictions, but we are willing slaves, slaves not just by nature, but by choice.