Y’all better stop smokin’ the devil’s cilantro now…
According to News18, a woman named Ashley Ontiveros was kicked out of Redemption United Methodist Church in Oklahoma City, after they confused her cilantro for marijuana. The wild instance occurred on November 14th, when a video went viral on TikTok.
The heads of the church accused her of bringing “drugs” to the congregation, even though she told them many times it was simply cilantro that she was using for her Mexican soup.
The church provides worship services for inmates, however friends and family members of the inmates are allowed to attend as well. The woman was visiting her sister who is currently incarcerated.
In the video you can see Ontiveros crying outside of the church, as nobody would let her in after the miscommunication. You can also see members of the church confronting her about bringing “weed,” even though she constantly pleaded that it was simply cilantro.
She captioned the video:
“They didn’t even let me explain! They astronomically just accused me!!”
You can hear her say in the video:
“Smell it, I promise you. I’m not like that, that’s why I’m so mad.”
The situation was investigated by police, and shocker… it was cilantro and not weed.
Church authorities then later issued a statement, saying that it wasn’t about the cilantro, it was about bringing food to the church which provides a sermon for inmates. They claim that the inmates are not allowed to have outside food:
“Redemption Mission provides faith-based services for inmates through an arrangement with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections and has been hosting services since 1994. Family members, visitors and guests are welcome to attend the services as well, but they are not allowed to give food items to the inmates to take back to correctional facilities.The video clip that is being circulated around social media of an incident that occurred at Redemption Mission Penn Avenue in Oklahoma City on November 14 is of a person who was upset because the staff did not allow her to give a bag of food to a family member who is an inmate attending the faith service.
Redemption Church does not discriminate against any persons based on ethnicity or family of origin. This policy of the DOC and the staff at Redemption Mission Penn Avenue applies to all persons. We want all persons to feel welcomed into our church, but we must have safety standards for the inmates, the DOC-approved volunteers who transport the inmates, and the staff at Redemption Mission Penn Avenue.
We are committed to fair and equal treatment of all and regret any misconceptions that may have occurred as a result of this incident.”
Definitely doesn’t sound like that in the video… I mean, you can hear the lady going on about drugs.
The video has since gone viral, prompting outrage from the general public, however Ontiveros maintains that this was a number of church members and not the church as a whole. She asked not to send insults or threats to the church, and that she didn’t want money either.
“I appreciate every single one of you for helping bring awareness to this church and who was running it. But hearing that they are getting death threats just hurts to hear. I don’t wish bad on anyone even if they did wrong to me.”