Monday, March 03, 2008

Scientology versus the world - Part 2

DocORock said: I've only been looking at the Scientology site for a day or so now and I've tried to stay away from the one-sided views (although many Internet roads lead to Lisa McPherson). If I were to consider becoming a part of that institution, my first apprehension would be the statements the organization makes with an undertone of "anyone who opposes our religion (and practices their own?) is a suppressor and therefore an enemy of the church. Wow - even the rightest winged Christians don't damn other religions that way!

Once more, I have to say you've been reading too many anti-Scientology sites. Your statement "the statements the organization makes with an undertone of ..." is a generality. I need specifics. Why don't you post another question/comment with links to the specific pages you are referring to and how come you get this impression from them? That way I can address specifics.

To answer the rest of what you say, let's go over this "enemy of the church" thing logically: The word "enemy" means "somebody who hates or seeks to harm somebody or something". If someone decides to "hate or seek to harm" my Church or my religion then they are an enemy by the very definition of the word and please note that they have elected themselves as an enemy, we didn't.

If someone has a disagreement, upset or grievance with my religion or my Church then there are plenty of ways to handle grievances without resorting to "hating" or "seeking to harm". The Church is always trying to improve and do better so if someone finds something wrong we have lots of ways of correcting it. For example there is an online report form to make the reporting of problems very easy.

If someone has no interest in Scientology then that's not a problem. Your religion (or lack thereof) is your own choice. The Creed of the Church of Scientology says: that "all men have inalienable rights to their own religious practices and their performance."

In his article, Religious Influence in Society, L. Ron Hubbard stated how important religion is to mankind. He said: "When religion is not influential in a society or has ceased to be, the state inherits the entire burden of public morality, crime and intolerance. It then must use punishment and police. Yet this is unsuccessful as morality, integrity and self-respect not already inherent in the individual, cannot be enforced with any great success. Only by a spiritual awareness and inculcation of the spiritual value of these attributes can they come about. There must be more reason and more emotional motivation to be moral, etc., than threat of human discipline." You will notice that he is not saying "Scientology" he is saying "religion." In other words he's covering all religions here. They are all important to the future of mankind.

My personal viewpoint mirrors this. When I meet a person who has a different religious belief than mine, I don't mind at all. I have no problem with it. The right to believe as you see fit is a basic human right. It is in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: "ARTICLE 18... Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance."

I have friends who are Christian, Mormon, Jewish, Hindu, new-age spiritual and atheist as well as Scientologists. I don't have a problem with them and they don't have a problem with me. Why should we? All religions have the same basic goals of peace and salvation. We all have the same basic idea that man is a spiritual being. So why should we be in conflict?

Other references:
What does Scientology have to say about other religions?

4 comments:

Jim Gatos said...

Grahame,

Very good post and answers..

Let me add a couple of personal observations if I may.

First of all, concerning the "enemy" thing. Hey, I don't hide behind a "handle". I come right out and tell you (and the world) my name. Of course however, I don't go around "hating" scientology" or anything. Except for the fact that I type fast and have a limited amount of time, I try to express myself the way I think. No big deal in that. I also thank you for your bluntness and sincerity. I really do learn a lot on your blog, on Scientology, and other topics.

I don't feel threatened that someone is watching my back, tracking my every move, hoping to "convert" me to another religion. That's ridiculous. If I have questions about a religion, I go to the source. I have attended Baptist, Greek Orthodox, Catholic (I went to a 4 year Catholic High School), Methodist, Lutheran, and Presbyterian Services. The only one who can convert you is you yourself. I may go to a Scientology Church someday, we'll see. My decision, my concern.

Perhaps you are the better man because I honestly can't say I respect ALL religions. I respect the individual's right to belief but I find some religious practices very much not to my liking. However, I simply "don't go there". I mind my own business.

For someone to be an "enemy" of Scientology" turns me off because all I see is a lot of good in your members and, like Christian go around quoting the saints and other influential christians, a couple of Scientologists I know quote L. Ron. If I didn't think the quotes or philosophical outlook were without merit I wouldn't have been intrigued enough to read more about Hubbard, Scientology, and your nlog. That's not conversion, that's common sense..

Thanks
Jim

Harry said...

When I first came into Scientology I read a couple of things that said things along the lines of "those who oppose Scientology are 'bad people'". Not only did I disagree, I was offended! Why? Well, up until a couple of years ago, I thought Scientology was bad. According to this, I was a bad person. But I wasn't a bad person. I'm the same good person I am today.

What gives?

Two things. First of all, the most important thing in SCN is "what's true for you is true for you". End of story. That makes it tough to criticize SCN, and I almost feel bad for the folks who wish to do so. But I don't. :)

Secondly, I asked myself "how could this be true?" Well, I used to oppose and ridicule SCN. Why? I didn't know anything about it!! I just HEARD it was bad, weird, etc. Here's the deal: SCN is about empowering individuals so that they are more capable and can exercise more self-determinism. SCN opposes war, oppression, corporal punishment, racism, etc. This is a fact. Take it from a (well meaning) former skeptic. So... let's assume a person REALLY UNDERSTOOD the TRUTH about what SCN stands for (see above). Let's further assume that, knowing all of this, they fought against SCN. What type of person would that make? A racist, oppressive, jerk! :) In my book, that is certainly a "bad person".

I grew up Christian. I think Jesus was a great man. For all I know, he could've been the "son of God". But my admiration of him is not incumbent upon that. Speaking as a Scientologist, I appreciate other religions. I have Catholic and Muslim friends. Atheist too. They're all wonderful people. And they like me. Even though I'm a "weird" Scientologist. :)

Grahame said...

Hey Jim,

Thanks for being so patient. I'm gradually catching up on my backlog of unanswered comments.

Thanks for your comment. I like your candor. Keep posting!

Grahame said...

Thanks for your comment Harry. Sorry I took so long to moderate it.