Sign of the times: Religions becoming more tolerant?

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Look for a sign of the changing times? Then look no further than the evolving attitudes of religious institutions. In New York, the Orthodox Union that certifies kosher foods could start approving medical marijuana.

If you didn't know, for a food to be considered kosher it must follow a strict set of dietary and ceremonial laws laid out in  The Torah, and be blessed by a rabbi. The Orthodox Union has refused to certify cigarettes because of their health risks, but Rabbi Moshe Elefant, the union's chief operating officer, says he "would not have a problem" certifying medical marijuana because it has health benefits.

Since marijuana is a plant, it doesn't actually need to be certified kosher, but it could be distributed in other forms like edible substances. Medical marijuana is set to go on sale in New York next year.

Meanwhile, the Presbyterian Church USA appears ready to accept same-sex couples. Presbyterian churches across the country are in the process of voting whether to allow pastors to conduct same-sex marriages. The vote would change the language of their constitution by defining marriage as a "unique commitment between two people" rather than "man and woman."

The change would not force anyone to officiate a wedding of which they did not approve. But you have to admit, things aren't what they used to be.


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