We like to think we change the world by writing, but doesn’t writing sometimes change... us?
After I wrote my first article for STAND, I realized that, to some extent, I had accepted discrimination as a fact of life. After all, it’s not like I had been forced to wear a yellow star or sit at the back of the bus, right?
But it made me angry to write about the bigotry I have endured as a Scientologist. I began recalling other instances of discrimination that I had trivialized, forgotten about or justified as “not that bad.”
I’ll give you an example. I’d been with my then boyfriend for a year or so and we were about to have dinner with his friends. They were mostly musicians, artists (with a couple of lawyers and an entrepreneur, too). Fun, I thought. Artists are known for thinking outside the box, right?
But he looked at me and said, “You know, it’d be better if you didn’t tell them you’re a Scientologist.”
My heart stopped. And even today, as I write this, I have to pause. For a while.
I mean... really? Or else the Big Inquisitor will come and burn me at the stake?
A “little” discrimination is still discrimination, right? It’s a small dose of the same poison and the intention behind it and the end result are the same.
His “recommendation” felt like invisible tape on my mouth.
In 1963, Martin Luther King had a dream. A dream of freedom and equality for all.
He got shot for it. The bullet which killed him is what one could call the essence of “unwillingness to accept views, beliefs or behavior that differ from one’s own.” It’s the exact definition of intolerance.
The difference between the good guys and the bad guys is their intention. You don’t have to be a Scientologist. You don’t even have to like us.
But you should know discrimination is passé.