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Smoking ban leads to new religion

Wednesday 16 July 2008

Café owners in the Netherlands are joining religious movement known as the One and Universal Smokers Church of God, the Telegraaf reports on Wednesday.

‘We stand firmly behind the church’s teachings and that is smoking,’ Cor Busch, owner of the former Lindeboom café in Alkmaar told the paper. ‘Smokers are being discriminated against… but a beer and a cigarette belong together.’

Smoking has been banned in Dutch bars since July 1.

Several dozen bars have joined the movement which claims the Dutch constitution and European rules give it legitimacy under the right to freedom of religion, the paper says.

People who join the church get a membership card entitling them to smoke inside the building. Worshippers believe in the trinity of smoke, fire and ash and honour their god by smoking.

Church founder Michiel Eijsbouts says café owners who are trying to get round the ban on smoking will not be allowed to join. The church, he says, takes smoking very seriously.

‘It has ritual aspects, it is something you experience and we follow our faith very strictly,’ he told the Telegraaf.

© DutchNews.nl


Readers' Comments

What a buncha Horse crap!!! You want tobacco in your mouth!! The man up and put chewing tobacco in your mouth! that way you are only killing yourself and no one else. No one wants to breath in your garbage cigarette smoke full chemicles...

By DR | 16 July 2008 1:20 PM

Ah, there is always the non-believer: he who smoketh not and yet fumeth, he who almost certainly driveth a car and yet worrieth about a bit of backy smoke, he who cannot spell "chemicals". Forgive him, lest he be forced to assemble "Horse crap" into a "bunch". Not an easy task for someone whose nerves are so on edge. Mebbe he should sit down and roll up a lickle number...

By Steve McGiffen | 16 July 2008 4:08 PM

this is crazier than the woman who shipped her fish.

By Jac | 16 July 2008 4:22 PM

But why church?why God?is it because christians are the most peaceful people in the world?so,no other name to use but a church?wonders shall never end in Holland!

By Erwin | 16 July 2008 4:58 PM

If they want a church-cafe smoking den,than so be it,just like a Baptist goes to a Baptist church,and so on for all faiths,then thoes who feel the same way about smoking go to their own place.It's their lungs ,their right and what makes you think that you have the right to rule,if you don't smoke ,go to your own church.By the way I don't smoke,and my sister who did,got lung cancer,still,I don't have the right to dictate against thoes who have the right to worship the cigarette .I would say,if you don't smoke ,go to another church.

By Schon Shea | 16 July 2008 6:47 PM

Hey Dude, relax! You don't want to breathe the smoke, don't go there...

By RK | 16 July 2008 9:12 PM

I think in this instance, I love the Dutch. DR, clearly reading and coming to a reasonable conclusion of the facts eludes you. Only smokers will be around other smokers. It's the whole point.

By Hope | 17 July 2008 12:21 AM

Okay, I'm a smoker and this seems ridiculous even to me. Here's a better idea - free of charge from me to bar owners all over NL. Promote private parties where tickets are preprinted and sold in advance. Print on the tickets that SMOKING WILL BE ALLOWED. Make it so tickets can only be purchased in advance (NO same day sales). This makes the party a private party, making the bar NOT a public place during the party, and NO ONE there can say ONE WORD about smoking being allowed. If people want to smoke badly enough when they go out on Friday or Satruday night, they can make the effort to make plans and pick up tickets in advance.

By Tim Lee | 17 July 2008 6:27 AM

A beer and a cigarette go together? OK if that is the case, why can't you light your cigarette when you dunk it in your beer? As for moaning that you have to stand outside to smoke... Good. get cold, catch flu, whatever it takes you to give up smoking. You don't like cigarettes it just your body craving nicotine, which is your own fault for lighting up a cigarette when you were a kid to impress your mates or the opposite sex! As for this religion lark, it's just another "clever" way to flaunt the law... So take your precious beer and your cancerous cigarette and go baptize yourself in the name of the holy landlord (outside!)

By Craig L | 17 July 2008 12:21 PM

very funny - I like it. Nice to see someone with a light-hearted view on this thing. Good luck to them, I say...

By Joanne | 17 July 2008 2:05 PM

If you look at this very post, all of the anger is in the ones who are non-smokers, while the smokers I guess have their nicotene to relax. I agree, to Ban Cars too. Then smokers, will get the message- but this shit so so hypocritical. Ride a bicylce next to a car to realise how bad that is for your health. But OK! I dont have a solution for that probelm, I can't throw all the cars off the road, so lets throw the smokers out of the Restaurants/Bars. Distrction is the best form of escape.

By Quixxx | 17 July 2008 3:00 PM

Bars ARE NOT public property in the first place. Governments (ie. the EU) have no right to dictate what goes on in private establishments. Of course this has not stopped them from proclaiming private property as public and instigating these terrible, illiberal smoking bans. I have great respect for those who workaround such bans.

By jules | 17 July 2008 3:23 PM

After all these years I still haven't figured out why anti-tobacco advocates have the right to curtail my rights to smoke. Seems some of the Dutch are beginning to undermine the self-righteous crusade...it's about time!!

By John the Skeptic | 17 July 2008 6:57 PM

The hate-campaign against smokers is based on junk science, so what's wrong with creating a junk religion to fight back against the hate?

By Tom. G. | 18 July 2008 11:26 AM

It sounds like a crazy idea, but it's only making use of a loophole in the idiotic smoking ban. It's kinda like fighting fire with fire (if you'll excuse the pun), and it's not as if any of the "worshippers" will be non-smokers anyway, so there is no potential for "Harming Innocent Bystanders With Second-Hand Smoke" or any of that nonsense, so what's the harm?

And can I join?

By Rufus Trotman | 18 July 2008 12:19 PM

If there is such a demand for non-smoking establishments then why didn't they open their own non-smoking bars rather than forcing private businesses to change their behavior? Since time immemorial it's been the God-given right of every working man to go and have a fag and a pint and ponder at the end of every working day.

"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
~ C.S. Lewis

By Flashman | 18 July 2008 6:09 PM

brilliant! totally an in-your-face to the anti-smoking Nazis -- i love it!

By Qweb | 18 July 2008 6:26 PM

I wonder how the "church" feels about cancer?? Is that the devil? Or is that a good thing since you get it from tobacco?

Mouth cancer, throat cancer, lung cancer, hey, all good here!

People who smoke give out an indicator of their IQ, they're automatically at least 20 points lower.

Only stupid people smoke. Sorry, that's a fact jack!

By Jack Steinhilper | 18 July 2008 11:46 PM

Same here- well done. May sound ludicrous but lets face it can't be as ludicrous as the smoking ban itself. Passive smoking is based on garbage science and pubs, restaurants and the like are private property not public places.
Isnt that right Mr Klink??

By Carlos | 19 July 2008 2:35 AM

"Only stupid people smoke"
Sorry to disappoint you, but nicotine has beneficial effects on the brain, increasing activity and improving memory.. hence it now being used to treat Alzheimers and Parkinsons. Some of the most intelligent people in the world smoke!!

By susie | 19 July 2008 11:28 AM

I think all people should be given the freedom 2 choose,smoker and non smoker alike,smoking/non smoking venues,then everyone has a free choice,no need to go along with this Nazi ban, Tug.

By tug wilson | 19 July 2008 12:48 PM

This man is a saint! I hope he brings his religion to the States.

By LT Nixon | 22 July 2008 3:17 AM

There's no religion in having a cigarette, it's just based on democracy. Cafe and bar owners do not need to embrace religion they need to embrace health and democracy and purge it of the minority extremists of the health prudests that peddle junk science and bullying the majority hidden beneath a banner that purports to benefit us. It does not. It just devides which is their aim.

Smoking is a risk but miniscule. The oldest person that's ever lived, Madame Jeane Claument, lived pass 121 and smoker strong French cigarettes. Your risks for disease are greater from your genetics (family tree), stress levels, diet, pollution, where you live (location) etc. Smoking is a small risk amoung many (Spain and Japan have higher smoking rates but lower cancer rates - go figure).

Passive smoking carries no risk. It is a health fraud started by the corrupt diplomats at the United Nations and bullied through by extremist charities through the EEC and our countries so-called representatives.

This is a minority cause of a health fraud bullied through our bent democracies and foisted on us. This is not about health. It is about minorities and fraud and democracy.

If shop owners want to fight this, fight on health grounds. See Enstrom & Kabat study, LA University, CA and the UN WHO 1998 study - both show no health impacts of passive smoking.

Your Govt is part of an international fraud and does not represent anyone but an international extremist minority.

By Johnny Boy | 22 July 2008 10:02 PM

>>>>>>>Church founder Michiel Eijsbouts says café owners who are trying to get round the ban on smoking will not be allowed to join. The church, he says, takes smoking very seriously.

Oh, yeah, OF COURSE it does.

By Skeptic | 28 July 2008 6:44 AM

Well, in some religions fire is holy, right? I believe to the god Ahura Mazda from the Persian empire fire was holy, he was the first Monotheistic god right?

Judaism and therefore Christianity and later Islam have their roots in that religion, now if one regards a cigarette as a 10 minute glow of holy fire in honour of god, yehova, allah, Ahura Mazda, then maybe these guys have actually come to the last stage of the evolution of Monotheism.

And smoking a cigarette is indeed proper worship. It's a legitimate religion looking at it that way

By Chris | 1 August 2008 2:19 AM

What is this?

This is no religion - this is just a bunch of people trying to find a loophole in the law.

By Me | 1 August 2008 5:50 PM

Winston Churchill thank goodness would have no truck with the Nazis. He must be turning in his grave to think our libertarian values have been subverted by these small minded anti-smoking, puritanical, fascists.

Good for the Dutch - my late father always said Europe should be governed from Amsterdam.

By Libertarian | 22 August 2008 12:55 AM

Well i can't help but feel like that was all a lot more of an argument than it needed to be. Smoking bans the world over aren't real democratic policies. Most cases people haven't been able to choose whether the ban is enforced or not. Smoking is bad, or to follow the doomsayers, DEADLY! With these two factors juxtaposing each other why not let people i.e. landlords dictate whether their bar is smoking or non smoking. If people want to harm themselves with narcotics, let them. If people want to quite, let them. But don't refuse to see either side of the argument.

P.S. Holland is a great country, i've never regretted moving here from my police state, facist, un-democratic, ego-maniacle United Kingdom.

By harold | 2 September 2008 9:36 PM

I don't live in U.S. so I don't know much about Dutch law but in the U.S. Constitution it says I have the right to assemble with other smokers if I so wish. The way it is going now, soon I and every other smoker will no longer have our Constitutional rights as long as we still smoke. Don't give me that line that I should quit smoking so I can have my rights back. My rights are not given to me by my fellow citizen, or by my government, they are mine weather the government or my neighbor like it or not. Before I started being persecuted, I tried to be civil about my smoking. I tried to stay away from children and passersby because I didn't know if they smoked or not. But since I'm now the straw man of everyone's problems, I make it my duty to smoke in the most inconvenient place I can manage to legally smoke. When the lynch mob gives me back my rights I'll go back to being civil.

By Smoker Friendly | 6 September 2008 11:38 PM

I would like to say only this:
Will You quit with smoking or will smoking quit with you? (someday)

By Frans J. M. Hendriks | 15 November 2008 9:31 AM

is it just cigaret smoking or is marihuana also being sacred?? make sure to enjoy inhaling deeply relaxing while you can asits guaranteed your beloved ruling government?? will find a way ,so keep on worshipping your GODS in peace and happiness as long as you can from canada GGOODD FOR YOY

By hank hart | 23 November 2008 9:54 PM

Great point made here! Religions do tend to get all sorts of concessions in public life. Why not create a new one to get round the law?? At least these guys would admit that it's rubbish.

Maybe now the EU will see the stupidity of capitulating to religious nonsense, and no longer provide concessions on any religious grounds. Let the laws be secular, let the people keep their religions at home or live within the law.

And so it came to pass, the Lord of Dun'Hill spoke from on high "As thou rolleth, so shall thee smoke! A blessing upon the diminutive burning stick who for many of my people containeth the mightiest of powers!" (Holy Smoke, 11:23-25)

Watch your health though people :)

By OriMeissa | 5 May 2009 10:41 AM

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