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Reverend Dean Becker Interviewed

Submitted by Thinking CAP on Mon, Oct 26, 2009 - 11:26 pm

Reverend Dean Becker   Welcome to the inaugural interview conducted by ChristiansAgainstProhibition.org.  ChristiansAgainstProhibition.org was fortunate enough to score an interview with one of the better known religious personalities in the effort to legalize and regulate drugs. 

Reverend Dean Becker is the producer of the Drug Truth Network which produces the radio broadcasts: Cultural Baggage, Century of Lies, and the 4:20 Drug War News.

Observant readers will notice that each page carries one of his quotes and links to the podcasts and listings of his radio shows.  Not only can you listen to them, but the full text transcripts are also online.

Christians Against Prohibition: First, thank you for taking the time to allow me to interview you via email.  What religion do you practice being a Reverend?  For how long?  Was your Dad a Reverend too?
Reverend Dean Becker:  I follow the teachings of Christ, but I do not belong to any church, believing that where two or more are gathered in his name.  I have been ordained for 3 years now and preach whenever I am invited.  Thus far I have preached at 5 or 6 churches in the Houston/Galveston area.  

My real father died when I was 4 years old.  My step father was a Christian, supporter of Chinese Ministries and more.  He spent the last 15 years working in prison ministry, oft times will Bill Glass ministry.

CAP: How long have you been a member of LEAP?  How did you hear about them?  Were you in radio before you joined LEAP or did you decide that would be something to spread the word after you joined?
RDB: I am one of the first members enlisted just after the organization was founded.  I don’t know an official count, but I was among the first dozen or so to sign up.  I met Jack Cole, the director of LEAP at a Drug Policy Alliance conference in New Jersey in 2002, we did an interview for my radio show and I signed up on the same day.  I have been in broadcasting since October of 2001 and  I’ve been interviewing members of LEAP on a regular basis since that day.

CAP: You mentioned you’ve been a policeman.  Was that in Texas?  For how long?
RDB: I was a security policeman in the Air Force, guarding B52’s with nuclear weapons on board.  I stayed in Texas for my 2 years of duty, mostly at Carswell AFB near Ft. Worth.

CAP: You sing on your show.  Are you a composer? Musician?  What instruments do you play?  Any links to your music so your fans can support your music endeavors?
RDB:  Thank you for calling it singing.  I write lots of “ditties,” silly, outrageous and damned true little songs to point out the outrageous, disastrous and hypocritical drug war’s failings.

I played drums for numerous rock, blues and punk bands.  The last one was a pop band named Cultural Baggage, when the band broke up, I owned the name and put it to use as my first radio show name.  I produce CD and music videos where folks can hear some of my “music,” check out:

CAP: Thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule to allow me to interview you.
RDB: You’re welcome.

Comments

A PREACHER’S PERSPECTIVE ON PROHIBITION

I have just discovered this website and Rev. Becker, and it is reassuring to find other Christians and Christian ministers who share my views of drug prohibition.

I am an ordained Southern Baptist minister, and I have served as a pastor for 15 years. In those years I have had dealings with a number of people with substance abuse problems. I have seen first-hand the misery that drug addiction can inflict on addicts, their families and society. My experience with these individuals has led me to two conclusions which put me out of step with the majority of evangelical Christians.

My first conclusion is that our government’s current policy of prohibition is a failure and a waste of time, money and lives. The fear of arrest and jail is not and never will be an effective deterrent for most addicts. Some of the addicts that I have met had wrecked their marriages, had their children removed from their homes, had their drivers licenses revoked, got fired from their jobs, evicted from their homes and stripped of all self-respect. Some have done jail time. Compared to the sacrifices they have already made for their habit, another arrest and another line on a rap sheet are small potatoes. Prohibition has only served to make these addicts more secretive and more dangerous.
Not only is prohibition counterproductive, but affordable addiction treatment is in short supply. On numerous occasions I have succeeded in persuading someone to get help only to find that help was nearly impossible to get. Many drug treatment centers require payment in advance. Others require proof of insurance coverage. Some only accept referrals from the courts. The rest have waiting lists of six weeks to six months. The majority of addicts I have tried to help gave up out of frustration and are either still hooked or dead.
These facts have led me to believe that we need a complete overhaul of our drug policy. We need to stop treating addicts like criminals, and we need to stop wasting money and resources on a failed program. Instead, let’s invest in treatment, education and harm reduction. Portugal has had success with such a program and it’s time we should try something similar.

My second conclusion is that cannabis should be legalized. I cannot morally justify recreational pot smoking, at least not to the satisfaction of most conservative Christians. However, marijuana is far less addictive and much safer than alcohol. I have a good personal friend who is a recovering alcoholic. When he was drinking, he couldn’t keep a job and couldn’t seem to stay out of jail. A few years ago, he switched from alcohol to marijuana. Since the switch, he has not only found and kept a job, he is a dependable and valuable employee. And he hasn’t had a single run-in with the law. Over the years, I’ve met quite a few others with similar stories. These stories have led me to the conclusion that our society would be better off if we were more tolerant of marijuana use and less tolerant of alcohol abuse.
If my parishioners were to find out how I feel on this subject, I’d be out of a job, but I am convinced that this is the most logical and the most Christian approach.

Sorry I don't have time right now to write much, but I too am glad you found us and stopped by. Of course I'll pray for y'all.

As usual, the message needs to be couched in terms and in a way that the audience can relate to. I have confidence you will find a way; don't be surprised if some of your perceived staunchest foes come to you with stories that could go a long way to helping introduce this to you congregation. Sometimes God works that way! But I'm sure you knew that. :-)