This article’s a response to the eye opening piece Scientology Stops Freedom of Speech Again – At MySpace by Gretchen Peters.
Gretchen’s conflict with the cult of Scientology has given us more reason to worry that the religion of Tom Cruise and many other famous people might have some sinister objectives. Not only is the religion completely opposed to any sort of criticism (not too uncommon with religions, unfortunately) but they’re dedicated to doing anything possible to make sure said criticism isn’t viewable by the public.
As a consequence, there’s been a growing debate as to whether the Scientologists’ actions are justified, or even legal.
In the Scientology debate, there seems to be a lot of problems with what should rightly be considered “free speech.” The Scientologists claim that it is their right to protest that which is offensive to them, whereas the anti-Scientologists claim that it’s their right to protest a religion that they perceive to be a cult.
Nobody should be debating that there’s a general right to say whatever you want, or to argue someone else’s point. The problem comes up when Scientologists threaten to sue to get offensive websites or articles removed. I’m not sure as to the constitutionality of something like this, but I do know that it’s silly and stupid. If they’re lying about you, correct them on your own site. If they’re offending you, don’t act offended and they’ll stop trying. I guarantee half of the people that protest the Scientologists do so because they know it’ll get a rise out of them.
We resort to the law too much in America. Yes, you can protest anything that offends you, but that doesn’t mean you should do it. My problem with the Scientologists is not that I think of their actions as particularly unconstitutional-they may well be, but I won’t pretend to have researched it-my problem is that anyone who pressures anyone else to be silent by using the law is a jackass. The threat of a lawsuit is such a great tool for suppressing a public discourse about a controversial topic that it’s pulled out constantly, but it’s a crutch for people with a major flaw in their arguments.
I have no problem with the Tom Cruise boys handing me flyers and pamphlets or trying to tell me about their religion; I have a problem with the jackass telling them to stop or they’ll be sued, and I have a problem with the Scientologist jackasses that try to stop someone from handing out an anti-Scientology flyer by claiming it’s libelous. If someone’s sharing their opinion, there’s no reason to oppose that; if you feel that your cause is completely correct, you should be encouraging debate. And, by the way, I mean debate, not just the automatic gamesay of whatever the opposing side says. Good luck finding a religion that really debates its opponents, or even considers their opinions.
But the lawsuits come pouring in from lawyers who can make any opinion sound like an assertion of fact, and these retards try to force things to disappear, as they did with the myspace pages in the article.
There’s also a taboo in America about attacking religions, and the Scientologists use our fear of the non-politically correct to enforce their agenda. Even though it’s a young religion with no aged mythology (as Christianity, Judaism, etc. have), it enjoys the same can’t-touch-this stigma. I’d say that nobody has such a holy history as to not be criticized, and nobody should act discriminated against lest they actually spark some discrimination. These Scientologists act like someone’s trying to commit genocide on them when we really just think there’s something logically wrong with the idea of an alien who started mankind and trapped other aliens’ souls to us in a big volcano.
All religions deserve to be practiced freely and in an unfettered manner, nobody’s debating that. The problem is that some of these religious people think that they have a right to hold themselves in a brighter light than the rest of us. The Scientologists try to shut down anything that doesn’t fit into their world image, and anything that doesn’t suck other people into their fold. That makes you a jackass, my friend. I don’t need a pamphlet to say that.