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Superman Returns Donating Member (804 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-20-07 10:38 PM
Original message
Scientology & the 1st amendment
It all started with news I posted on another forum about Tom Cruise in the new Bryan Singer movie, Rubicon. Discussion then segued into Germans not wanting Cruise to portay the part because of his beliefs. Basically,I got into a debate with someone who doesn't consider scientology to be a religion and therefore, the 1st amendment shouldn't be applicable. In fact, that person called me a retard. Sure I may not personally agree with Ron Hubbard but I believe it should be considered a religion if people wish to follow it's doctrines of faith. What this person is basically saying is that religion should only be considered by how many practice it, how old it is, and whether it's become mainstream. But all religions had to start somewhere, right? Didn't Christianity start out a fringe religion? Plus, believing in aliens isn't any more crazy than a man rising from the dead, talking snakes, or the world being 6,000 years old...right? I just think it's dangerous when people feel they have a right to determine what is and isn't a religion in terms on the Constitution. Unless excercising one's faith breaks the law, shouldn't it be protected? What standard should we hold on what is or isn't a religion?
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MichiganVote Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-20-07 10:43 PM
Response to Original message
1. Not sure Jesus Christ and those of his time read science fiction.
Or had a Constitution....or movie stars who make too much money for what they do or what they want...
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Rabrrrrrr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-20-07 10:48 PM
Response to Original message
2. The difference is that Scientology's "scriptures" are not available to the public,
Edited on Fri Jul-20-07 10:49 PM by Rabrrrrrr
and even to adherents, they have an eventual cost of upwards of $100,000.

Scientology also does NO community service, which is the reason we have non-profit status in this country: with the understanding that the community won't tax an organization if it isn't trying to make a profit, AND is giving money and/or services back to the community for free (such as soup kitchens, homeless shelters, after school programs, or whatever).

(and yes, before you or someone else jumps in and proclaims "but some churches don't do that, either" blah blah blah, yes, some churches/mosques/temples/synagogues/ashrams/non-profits/environmental groups/ACLU/etc. are also as evil and self-focused as Scientology and don't give anything back to the community except the heavier exhaust from the leader's new Jaguar and Hummer, but they are few and far between in comparison with the vast number of legitimate ones).
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flyingfysh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-20-07 10:49 PM
Response to Original message
3. is fraud a religious practice?
Scientology is a religion when it is convenient to be. Other times, it is a non-religious practice. In any case, it is very good at bankrupting people by extracting all their money. Read www.xenu.net for lots more information.
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lvx35 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-20-07 10:51 PM
Response to Original message
4. Pretty much anything, including a religion with one adherant.
It doesn't matter. All that matters is that the practices of the religion aren't illegal. And I think in many cases, such as shamanistic faiths where they take hallucenogens, they should be willing to allow victimless crimes in the name of religious freedom.
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w13rd0 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-20-07 10:53 PM
Response to Original message
5. Scientology is a business entity...
...and a social network. It's "religious" beliefs are trappings to dodge taxes. And before anyone says it, yeah, I consider Mormons and just about everyone else in the same fashion. As far as I am concerned, ALL churches should be treated as corporate entities with an operating charter and be taxed and legislated regarding accordingly.
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Madspirit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-20-07 10:58 PM
Response to Original message
6. A Cult is a Cult is a Cult
...but yeah, if one absurdity is allowed, why not all as long as no one is making them drink arsenic-spiked Kool-Aid.

I hate Scientology but I think Germany is wrong in their ban of them. They certainly aren't the most dangerous cult around. That would be the fundies of Christianity and Islam.
Lee

Lee
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karlrschneider Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-20-07 11:18 PM
Response to Reply #6
11. A cult is a religion that hasn't accumulated much power.
...
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Madspirit Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-20-07 11:28 PM
Response to Reply #11
14. Exactlly!
Hi Karl! :hi:

Lee
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UTUSN Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-20-07 10:58 PM
Response to Original message
7. I'm willing to repeal the 1st Amendment if it regards Scientology!!1 (cough) n/t
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Superman Returns Donating Member (804 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-20-07 11:02 PM
Response to Original message
8. I really don't know what to believe
and the 1st amendment has always sparked numerous legal cases regarding what is or isn't a religion. Sometimes the Court has flip flopped on the definition depending on the ideological bent of the judges. But ultimately, I still don't understand how we can define Scientology as a cult no matter what their personal and sometimes dubious beliefs are. We can do the same about any religion.
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philosophie_en_rose Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-20-07 11:10 PM
Response to Original message
9. Germany is bound by a U.S. Constitutional Amendment?
Edited on Fri Jul-20-07 11:11 PM by philosophie_en_rose
:shrug:

If so, prohibition was doubly a waste. :9

Thank Xenu, we did away with that one.

:patriot:
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Superman Returns Donating Member (804 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-20-07 11:14 PM
Response to Reply #9
10. The discussion evolved
from Germany's treatment of Cruise to Constitutional rights regarding Scientology.
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originalpckelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-20-07 11:22 PM
Response to Original message
12. The problem with Scientology is not its religious beliefs, but its practices.
Edited on Fri Jul-20-07 11:23 PM by originalpckelly
Even though Christians have confessionals, people are not hooked up to lie detectors to see if they're telling the truth. Scientology does that with the E-Meter. It is a primitive lie detector, and it is used to mentally rape the folks who join up with Scientology, mental rape is a very accurate description of what goes on too. These people are stripped of all privacy and they are asked about their deepest darkest secrets, then they are forced to relive any horrendous events in their lives repeatedly, until they feel an odd high. That sounds like a good thing, but it is a psychologically damaging technique, that is, once again, akin to raping the Scientologists' mind.

The people at the bottom of the orgs are all very nice people who got caught up in some horrible shit, but the people at the top are motherfuckers just doing it for money.

These folks are truly dangerous, to this date, the largest infiltration of the US Government ever in its history was the time the Scientologists penetrated it with the Guardian's Office, an intelligence organization that uses the same and worse techniques of the CIA. The Guardian's Office has been renamed to the Office of Special Affairs, but they are still up to their old tricks. No one in America has the guts to take them on at the prosecutor level, because they just destroy people left and right.
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Sanctified Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-20-07 11:25 PM
Response to Original message
13. Sorry but the First Amendment does not apply to Germany.
I could give two shits about Tom Cruise and his religion but to think another country needs to abide by the 1st Amendment is retarded.
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originalpckelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-20-07 11:28 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. I don't know if that's really fair. The particulars of our 1st Amendment...
I agree, they don't have to follow, it's not their law. However, the most fundamental rights guaranteed by the 1st Amendment all nations that consider themselves free and civilized, must abide by.

On the other hand, the discussion is mute in the case of Scientology, because it is a criminal organization masquerading as a religion.
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Sanctified Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-20-07 11:37 PM
Response to Reply #15
19. No Country that considers itself fee needs to abide by our Constition.
How free are you if you have to follow someone else's rule.
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originalpckelly Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-20-07 11:39 PM
Response to Reply #19
20. Oh my, I'd suggest you read what I wrote.
I'm talking general principles, not the specific law. Of course they don't have to follow our US Constitution, but to call themselves civilized they must protect the same freedoms.
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Sanctified Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-21-07 12:39 AM
Response to Reply #20
27. So only civilized countries will uphold the Second Amendment?
n/t
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Superman Returns Donating Member (804 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-20-07 11:34 PM
Response to Reply #13
17. See Post #10
but yeah, thanks for the "retarded" comment.
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Sanctified Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-20-07 11:36 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. The fact that you are arguing over Germany's position on Tom Cruise
is retarded.
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Superman Returns Donating Member (804 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-20-07 11:42 PM
Response to Reply #18
21. thanks again for the compliment
but it was that particular news story that triggered a debate into what is or isn't a religion. You can look up hundreds of court cases on the subject, it's still an issue the Supreme Court and lower courts are trying to get right. Scientology was merely the vechicle for this discussion.

And frankly, getting back to Tom Cruise, since when has it been fair to punish the production of a movie for an actor's personal beliefs? Since when do we judge an actor by what he does on his spare time rather the merit of his ability?

that's ok, call me a retard one more time without taking the time to read what I write.
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Superman Returns Donating Member (804 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-20-07 11:47 PM
Response to Reply #21
22. you know what
Edited on Fri Jul-20-07 11:47 PM by Superman Returns
I brought up this topic to discuss the broader issue of how we define what is or isn't a religion in terms of applicability to the 1st Amendment. It's a very murky issue. But after being called a fucking retard 3 times, I've had about enough. Thanks to all participated. I'm gonna stay clear of DU for awhile.
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Sanctified Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-21-07 12:41 AM
Response to Reply #21
28. Supreme Court and Lower Courts = United States
What Germany considers a religion = there own damn business.
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Toasterlad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-20-07 11:51 PM
Response to Reply #18
24. Dude, Your Reading Comprehension Skills are Terrible.
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Sanctified Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-21-07 12:35 AM
Response to Reply #24
26. Dude, how does a discussion evolve from Germany to the 1st Amendment
Without one person arguing that Germany should follow the 1st Amendment.
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Toasterlad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-21-07 12:42 AM
Response to Reply #26
29. The Evolution of the Argument is Moot (I Love That Word)
The OP is asking how Scientology should be reconciled with the 1st Ammendment of this country. The fact that it started with a discussion about Cruise and Germany is not relevant.
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sjdnb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-20-07 11:32 PM
Response to Original message
16. Protecting Mythology
Personally, I don't care if someone wants to genuflect to Medusa, but, IMHO to provide extraordinary protections or exemptions from common laws for such practices, is detrimental to civilization.
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Toasterlad Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-20-07 11:49 PM
Response to Original message
23. As Far As I'm Concerned, Any Religion That Charges You to Be a Member Isn't a "Real" Religion.
That includes Catholicism. I'll never forget being told I had to prove I was a member of a Catholic parish before I was allowed to be present at my godson's confirmation. The "proof" cost $20. I don't know how non-Catholic churches handle stuff like that, but I'm pretty sure Jeebus didn't appreciate money and the church having much to do with each other. "Render unto Ceasar..."

Enjoy that, Sister Mary Michaels, you mean old hag. Yes, I WAS paying attention in 7th grade.
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Warren DeMontague Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-21-07 12:02 AM
Response to Original message
25. Yes, see, my belief that Unicorns like to eat Rocky Road Ice Cream while flying
is legitimate, because it's shared by billions around the globe and has centuries of faith-based, scholarly analysis to back it up.

Whereas your belief that magical gnomes come and fix the cobbler's shoes while he's asleep is just fuckin' crazy talk, man.
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Jed Dilligan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-21-07 02:44 AM
Response to Original message
30. They are a cult
And what is your interest in German law, anyway? I think the Germans have good reason to be suspicious of cults.
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