Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — A Philadelphia-based evangelist who recently expressed his concerns about the failure of rangers at Independence National Historical Park to deal with illegal pot smoking at the renown public park has now been receiving violent messages from those angered by his beliefs.
As previously reported, Michael Marcavage of Repent America and several other Christians were recently preaching and engaging in conversations with visitors at Independence National Historical Park, unaware that a marijuana rally was taking place, when they observed people puffing pot as part of a permitted event. Upon inquiring from individuals as to whether they were smoking marijuana, they smiled and said they were indeed toking weed.
Marcavage then brought the illegal activity to the attention of nearby federal park rangers, who stated that they could not take any action because the park had granted a permit for the event. He captured the discussion on video, which later went viral.
“They’re smoking marijuana over here,” Marcavage stated as he approached one ranger.
“Right,” the ranger replied.
“You’re letting them do that?” Marcavage asked.
“They’re on federal property. They have a permit with the parks,” the ranger answered.
“Right, but they don’t have a permit to smoke marijuana,” Marcavage asserted.
“They have a permit with the parks,” repeated the ranger.
Marcavage then spoke with Ranger Ryan McLeod, who was the supervising ranger on duty. He stated that he was aware of the matter, but likewise contended that the group had a permit, and that he could not stop the illegal activities from taking place.
“We don’t have the resources to combat that right now,” McLeod said.
“So, you’re going to let them smoke marijuana?” Marcavage asked.
“We’re not letting them. It’s an officer safety issue,” McLeod stated. “They do have a permit. … I’ll just leave it at that.”
Marcavage states that he is not opposed to the rights of the marijuana supporters to assemble and express their views, but rather the inaction of the park rangers in permitting illegal activity. Following reports of his concerns, which include the usage of drugs in public areas where children and babies are present, many sent Marcavage messages laced with profanity and violence.
“I hope you and your family get AIDS and die you collectivist piece of garbage,” Aaron Meyer from Winter Springs, Florida wrote.
“I hope slaughtered (sic), not just killed, but people like you deserve to be cut up a thousand times and have salt and vinegar poured into your wounds you filthy piece of (expletive),” posted Ty McLane, a homosexual advocate, marijuana supporter and animal rights activist, who later deleted his comment.
“Jesus has spoken to me and has told me that you, Michael Marcavage, are a total idiot and he does not approve of what you are doing!” wrote John Eggert from Los Angeles, California. “In fact, he told me to smoke a bit of weed to calm myself down since I was quite upset after reading the tripe on your website. God thinks you suck and so do I!”
Others claimed that Jesus used marijuana himself.
However, still others supported Marcavage, noting that there will always be opposition when one takes a stand for righteousness.
“God continually bless you, Michael Marcavage, and keep you as you obey Him in difficult places of apostate paganism in this apostate land,” wrote one supporter named Michael from Washington state. “REPENT AMERICA!!!”
“My how ‘tolerant’ people love!” a man named Dan from Wisconsin commented after reading one of the violent messages to Marcavage.
However, Marcavage and others remain concerned about the allowance of illegal activity on park property. He recently sent a letter to Superintendent Cynthia MacLeod, Chief Ranger Patrick Suddath and others overseeing the National Park Service to outline the situation.
“I am thoroughly disgusted that officials at Independence National Historical Park have been knowingly and willingly accommodating criminal drug use in the park through the intentional issuance of permits – a public park that is meant to be a safe, family-friendly atmosphere,” the letter reads. “Permitting illegal activity is a threat to any civilized society of law and order, and for sworn officers to disregard such behavior in plain sight and broad daylight is reprehensible.”
“I trust that you desire for Independence National Historical Park to be a much more civilized and respectable representation to the world of the birthplace of America,” it continues. “It should be a place where families are not afraid to bring their children and do not have to worry about exposing them to the inhalation of illicit narcotics.”
While there is a debate among Americans about whether marijuana should be legalized, many Christians remain opposed to the smoking of the plant as the substance interferes with the Biblical command to be “sober-minded.”
“Sorcery/witchcraft is from the Greek word ‘pharmakia’ the same word we get pharmacy from. It means the general illicit use of drugs (same application as today) and the use of drugs to cast spells,” writes Steve Rudd in Drugs and the Bible: E, Shrooms, Cocaine, Crack, Marijuana. “Psychologically, drugs can cause us to lose all sense of control. We switch our entire dependence and reason for living to the chemical.”
“The Bible teaches in I Corinthians 6:19-20 that God has given us our bodies; our bodies belong to Him,” he continues. “We are also told in Romans 12:1 that we are to present our bodies a living sacrifice to God. Can we do this and be drug dependent?”
Marcavage agreed. He said that Scriptures such as Genesis 1:29 regarding seed-bearing plants are often profoundly abused.
“The Scripture, which refers to God’s perfect creation before The Fall, pertains to plants that were made for food, not smoking,” Marcavage explained. “We know that since The Fall, there are many plants and weeds that can be harmful or turned into narcotics, such as poppies, which are used for opium and heroin. 2 Kings 4:39-40 also refers to men crying out about ‘death in the pot’ after they tried to consume wild gourds, which were not good for food.”