A Rabbi, A Priest And An Atheist Hit A Bong In Viral Video

By Victoria Kim 03/22/17

The unlikely trio smoked weed while having a conversation about religion and spirituality for an episode of "Strange Buds."

A rabbi, a priest and an atheist.
Photo via YouTube

A rabbi, a priest, and an atheist... It sounds like the opening line of a zinger—but it’s no joke.

The unlikely trio got together for an episode of Strange Buds, the Cut.com YouTube series behind “Grandmas Smoking Weed for the First Time” and “Parents & Kids Smoke Weed Together.” 

Rabbi Jim Mirel, Reverend Chris Schuller, and Carlos Dillard, who describes himself as a “conservative homosexual atheist,” sat down for the episode, where they shared a bong and a few joints between them. A conversation about religion and spirituality ensued.

“There’s no biblical precedent for this, really,” said Schuller, an Episcopal priest. “Although I have to say, I have known thousands of Episcopalians and plenty of them smoke dope.” Dillard quickly corrected Schuller, “We call it weed now.”

After a few puffs, the three got into a discussion about religion. Dillard revealed that he was denied confirmation by a priest when he was 14 years old. He had been excommunicated from the church because he “openly had gay sex acts” in his school. 

The rejection made Dillard question and research God and religion. Now, he’s a skeptic who believes religion is simply people’s way of “trying to justify a way to understand” the world. 

“Why would God put me in the life I was in for so long? Why are there 37,000 kids dying everyday? That’s not miraculous,” said Dillard, who grew up both Southern Baptist and Roman Catholic while in foster care and living with his adopted family.

The rabbi and priest were sympathetic to Dillard’s apathy toward religion.

Rabbi Mirel suggested that Dillard may be more spiritual than he thought. “I like what you’re saying. But everything that you say about who you are, what your life is like, what you do, what you think—to me, that speaks about a person of faith. Because you have a basic faith in the world and the universe, you do." 

Mirel continued, “You might not call that ‘God,’ but there’s something inside of you that really is a spiritual person. I just met you, but I can love you because, why? Because I see you, and the Bible says, when I see your face I see the face of God.”

Rev. Schuller added, “Just think of God as all things true, knowing that we don’t know all things.” Dillard nodded.

When the moderator asked if marijuana is mentioned in the holy books, Mirel answered, “The anointing oil as found in the Book of Exodus had some qualities that would elevate the person. And there is a theory that one of those was oil from the hemp plant. Historically, many people who’ve had mystical experiences, I think it’s very likely that they were under the influence of some mind-altering substance.”

The conversation then turned to drug policy, when the moderator asked Schuller if more religious people should smoke marijuana. “What I would definitely like to see are all the weed laws changed to be just about the same exact thing as what beer and liquor are,” said the priest. 

“If it helps you become a better person, if it lifts you up, and gives you a new view of life, it’s a very positive thing,” said Rabbi Mirel.

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr