Sunday, January 25, 2009
I Remember Golden Days When All This Was A Mystery
For those of you who don't know, I went to one of those super uptight catholic private high schools, so granted, my opinion of organized religion (or at least the people who run them) is not exactly high. I mean yeah, I believe in God and the afterlife and all that, but if you expect me to believe that humanity got started by two fig-leaf-wearing people who just popped out of the ground one day, I invite you to run the 100 meter dash in a 50 meter room.
However, that being said, I bear a certain kind of respect to all basic religions, not so much for the specifics, but rather for the general lessons they teach. And for the most part, I'm not one of those people that looks down on religion. Except one, and that's the target of today's rant.
Before now, I've steered clear of Scientology, since I'm a rather small blog and I'd really rather not turn away any potential readers (seriously, let's get those numbers up), and also because I don't want to get sued. But now that I've gotten a pretty good fan base going (Hi jM!), I think I'm good.
I'm going to say this once and only once, so listen up: Scientology is not a real religion. And despite its name, it has absolutely jack shit to do with science. Stop trying to convince people that it is a legitimate belief system.
And please don't try that bullshit about how believing that aliens dropped bombs into a volcano out of airplanes is no different than believing that someone could die and rise again three days later, because believe me, THERE'S A DIFFERENCE. While I don't believe or necessarily agree with everything in the bible, at least it wasn't written by some asshat who went on the record to say that you could get rich by making a religion, and that the only way to control people is to lie to them.
One of the reasons I avoided the topic of Scientology is the fact that people who criticize them in anyway tend to get harrassed, monitored, and so on until they recant. Which kinda strikes me as ass backwards. If you want people to take you seriously as a religion, I figured acting like a cult would probably be a step in the wrong direction. People disagree with religions all the time. It comes with the territory of trying to explain creation and the afterlife. If you can't handle people questioning your beliefs, don't believe in anything. But this is a matter of freedom of speech. You're basically threatening people into thinking the way you do. That's not religion, that's terrorism.
But all in all, the main reason that I can’t take Scientology seriously as a religion is that, well, it doesn’t actually teach you anything. The reason I can respect most major religions is that, even if some of the specifics tend to lean towards what-the-fuck-ery, at least the overall message is one of “Treat others the way you want to be treated”. With Scientology, the basic message is “If you throw enough money at a problem, it’ll magically go away!” If you don’t see anything wrong with that statement, please, do yourself and everyone around you a favour by diving head first off the tallest building within walking distance.
Where most religions (not to mention basic human decency) would dictate that you’re supposed to help those who are sick, Scientology says that people are sick because they deserve it. Sucks to be them. Where most religions say that you can move up through introspection and being a good person, Scientology says that you can move up by forking over a Scrooge MacDuck money bag. Fuck that shit.
But of course, this is probably gonna fall on deaf ears. The reason cults still exist is because people want them to. People join cults because they’re bored with their lives and they want simple answers to complex answers. That’s not how it works. But hey, if they’re dumb enough to believe that the answers to life come with a price tag, maybe we should let them believe it. Good luck with the return policy, re-res.