Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Scientology: The Basics versus The Beginning Books

Mr.Pete brought up an excellent point: "I think a little more distinction between the Basic and Beginning books would be helpful rather than just links to them."

"The Basics" are a big deal right now in Scientology. They are mentioned a lot by Scientologists and there have been questions about them in comments on this blog. So I think I'd better clearly explain what they are.

We actually have three things that get talked about:
- The Basics
- The Basic Books
- The Beginning Books

First the word "basic". Here it is being used to mean "most important or essential". It is not being used to mean "elementary: serving as a starting point or minimum". I think some confusion has been caused because the word "basic" has both of these definitions.

The "Basics" are a collection of books and recorded lectures regarded as containing the fundamentals of Scientology and Dianetics. That may not seem significant on first reading, but think about it this way: the Basics are what Scientology is built upon and if you have not studied them then you really don't have a full and complete grasp of what Scientology is.

The "Basic Books" are the books within the the Basics. That is, the books excluding the recorded lectures.

The "Beginning Books" are the books to read to get an introduction to Scientology. They are a sub-set of the Basics and fit the "elementary: serving as a starting point or minimum" definition of the word basic. But to call them "basic" would be really confusing, so we call them the "Beginning Books".

I hope that helps.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

The Mosque Next Door - What should you do about it?

In this photo taken Aug. 23, 2010, members of the Memphis Islamic Center pray at Heartsong Church in Cordova, Tenn., a suburb of Memphis, Tenn. while their mosque is under construction nearb

A huge Islamic Center is about to be built next door to your local church. What do you do?

Unfortunately, due to misrepresentation in the media and outright lies by people with a vested interest in creating conflict, the all to common reaction is protest and outrage.

Lies such as "They're funded by Saudi Arabia," and "It's a breeding ground for terrorists," get yelled out by intolerant bigots and passed on by a media that thrives on controversy and conflict.
Luckily there are still sane and tolerant people in this world who instead welcome their new neighbours. Here is a wonderful tale of such tolerance and sanity: Cordova Christians put out welcome mat for mosque.

Well done to the pastor and congregation of Heartsong Church in Cordova, Tennessee. They are applying the tenets of their faith and not only offering the hand of friendship, but are also communicating with the "Muslims next door." The result is peace and understanding as it should be between us all whatever our religion or lack of.

I wish the so called "Christians" in other parts of the country would take a lesson from these good people and act likewise.


Sunday, September 05, 2010

How supported is Al Qaeda by Muslims?

Too often the media portrayal of Muslims implies that they support Al Qaeda. Too often the media portrayal of Islam is that it is a violent and hate driven religion.

Both of these ideas are false generalities and, just to prove it, there is a very interesting diagram on the "Anonymous Arabist" blog which you can see below.

Notice that the Al Queda population is at most 0.00063% of the Muslim population of the world. Not exactly a significant amount.

So let's realize that Muslims are just human beings like the rest of the population of the world and stop creating controversy over building Mosques in New York and stop the misrepresentations of their intentions in the media.