On the block where I grew up I played with kids whose parents were Holocaust survivors. What they endured was a terrible note in man’s history. Thank goodness they made it to America, a country founded on religious freedom, because religious discrimination is against our values and violates our laws.
How times have changed. The internet has opened up a whole new aspect to civilization. Whether it ignores the past or simply never accepted it, I cannot say, but religious hatred is, sadly, alive and thriving on computer screens across our country.
So much has been published by mainstream media about Scientology. Once in a while it will be accurate, but far more often it’s not. Whatever the story, if I, as an active, long-term Scientologist, express anything positive about my religion—how it’s made me a happy person, helped me have a wonderful 29-year marriage, form more true friendships and relationships than I ever dreamed of having, or anything of the sort—I would be verbally attacked. I would be called names, accused of crimes, branded as brainwashed, and of course, lectured by someone (usually) with no personal experience with it on why I should not be a Scientologist.
Is this as bad as the genocides waged against other religions in the past and present? No, of course not. But bigotry is bigotry.
But what upsets me the most is that what is really being done is the squashing of my cherished First Amendment rights.
I don’t have freedom of speech in a forum where a gang of hateful people can bully me down and stop me from ever saying what I would like to say. I don’t have freedom of thought when members of my faith are attacked or sent hate mail. I don’t have freedom of religion when my chosen religion is continually pilloried with no attempt to show the other side.
Is this as bad as the genocides waged against other religions past or present? No, of course not. But bigotry is bigotry.
I love America. I studied political science in college so I could better understand my country. I am an avid reader of history and politics in my personal time and I feel privileged to live under a government established to protect me. But the bigotry spewed all over the internet is crippling us as a people. It always seemed like something that happened “over there.” America was the country that stepped in and fought for people all over the world, ensuring those fabulous rights that our forefathers wisely articulated and set forth.
Well, what about mine? I don’t understand why an American television station is allowed to promote religious intolerance. I don’t understand why our free press has become so closed-minded that they just rehash the same negative stories again and again.
I am a Scientologist and I am proud of that. Of the hundreds of people that I have met and befriended in the almost 30 years I have been practicing Scientology, not one has felt compelled to disparage my beliefs, so I find it hard to believe that this anti-Scientology sentiment is felt by much more than a handful of individuals with a perverted agenda who have been granted a disproportionately loud voice by a media that also has an agenda.
My life is joyful and full because of L. Ron Hubbard’s hard work, research and discoveries. In Scientology I have met some of the most exceptional, jubilant and dedicated people I’ve encountered in my life and they all deserve their Constitutional rights.
I, for one, am delighted to at last have a public voice and some freedom of speech, here, on this blog.