Why I’m a Scientologist

Every so often, I experience something odd. Someone will come along and insist that I defend my beliefs.

They usually have a completely incorrect idea of what my beliefs are, so it gets a bit weird. But hey, it keeps life entertaining (to say the least).

Guests gathering in the outdoor cafe after the grand opening of the Church of Scientology of the Valley
Guests gathering in the outdoor cafe after the grand opening of the Church of Scientology of the Valley in Southern California.

I am sure this happens to others as well. When looked at from the outside with no real understanding, there are many things that seem odd about a religion to the uninformed or misinformed. I know in some cultures there are prayer wheels one spins. Long rows of them all spinning at different speeds. I have no idea what is behind this. I know several religious groups that have unusual hair styles like the Hare Krishnas, Sikhs or Hasidic Jews. I don’t know what this is about either, but I bet there is a reason. I guess I should find out…

Sikhs lined up with bright orange turbans.
Sikhs celebrate the festival of Vaisakhi in spring.

Now, if everyone looked at these things from the point of view that they represented something to learn, it would be great. Unfortunately, it seems to be more popular to make fun of things one doesn’t understand than to learn about them. When some people ask me about my religion, it appears to be more a way to make me look stupid for believing what I do than to actually find out about it. Aside from this being just plain lazy, I think people should be asking an entirely different question. The question isn’t: “Why do people believe odd things?” The real question should be: “Why do people turn to these religions in the first place?” Once you understand that, you might just find in yourself true curiosity about their actual beliefs.

I’m a Scientologist because I truly thought there was more to life than getting a job, going home at night, watching a little TV, going to bed and then doing it all over again.
Albert Einstein
Albert Einstein

I’ve heard it said that religion is the opiate of the masses. Usually I hear this type of thing from some arrogant know-it-all and I disagree with him wholeheartedly. Check your history: some of the most intelligent men and women in the world have believed in some religion or another. If Albert Einstein, one of the most brilliant minds ever, believed in religion, perhaps it isn’t something just for “the uninformed.” In fact I love what Einstein said about it: “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”

So, why am I a Scientologist? I’m a Scientologist because I truly thought there was more to life than getting a job, going home at night, watching a little TV, going to bed and then doing it all over again. There had to be something more fulfilling than that! After looking into various philosophies and religions, for me that “something” turned out to be Scientology.

One of the basic tenets of my faith is that one should do something about bad conditions. One should help people. There are so many ways to do this (just pick one and go for it). I found that my religion really was more fulfilling than watching TV and going to bed. Learning more about people and using that information to help them is just about as good as it gets. Hope blooming in someone’s eyes is one of the most wondrous sights to behold.

I am familiar with lots of other religions and guess what? Every one of them has some sort of doctrine about helping people. Lifting others up. Making the world a better place. Some of the most amazing changes in our world have happened because people thought there was more to life than just looking out for “number one.” Religion makes us think about something beyond just us. It makes us strive to be better people and to make the world a better place.

Salvation Army members offer platters of donuts for National Donut Day
The Salvation Army provides 64 million meals, including donuts, to millions of Americans every year. National Donut Day grew out of a tradition of Salvation Army “Donut Lassies” serving World War I soldiers in France these fresh reminders of home.

So, before you make fun of someone’s religious beliefs, do me a favor. Look at what they are doing with their religion. Do they help other people? Are they involved in charity work? Are they building others up? If so, why belittle their beliefs? They certainly aren’t hurting you. And if their beliefs make the world you also live in that much better, why worry about it? Trying to control other people’s thoughts probably wasn’t what you were put on this earth to do. Wouldn’t it be more fun to leave behind you a number of people who remembered you fondly as someone who helped them and made them feel better about themselves?

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