Monday, 27 January 2014

Old Time Religion

I didn't realise until the other day that Scientology was not recognised as an official religion in the UK - but that's now all in the past.

Because the UK Supreme Court decided the other day to abandon a long standing legal 'rule' that in order to be regarded as an official religion - said religion must worship a God. 

Just about any God will do, I think, or a multiplicity of Gods if you follow the Hindu religion, for example, but until the Supreme Court ruling - the absence of a Supreme Being in Scientology meant that the group could not conduct official weddings in their own church.

Now I have to say I agree with the Surpreme Court and speaking as someone who doesn't believe in a Supreme Being, I thought to myself - 'Why treat Scientology differently to other religions or faith groups, especially as they all seem equally bonkers to someone like me?'

Now I'm no expert on Scientology, although I remember doing an IQ test many years ago in Edinburgh when I was walking around bored and bumped into a supporter of L. Ron Hubbard - who offered me a hot cup of coffee and shelter from the rain.

Turned out he was a Scientologist looking to recruit new members, yet even though I was assured that my test results were off the Richter Scale, I remained completely unimpressed and was out of there as soon as I finished my hot drink and dried out a bit from the Scottish weather.

If I recall correctly, L. Ron Hubbard is the inventor of Scientology which is all about mysterious aliens visiting the earth many years ago and spawning the human race - John Travolta (of Saturday Night Fever and Pulp Fiction fame) made a terrible movie about all of this nonsense, the name of which escapes me for the moment.

But that's the whole point - seemingly intelligent people believe these ridiculous things including Tom Cruise, but they are no more crazy of far fetched, if you ask me, than the creations myths of other religions - be they the etchings of the Torah, Bible, Qu'ran or the creation myths of the Hindu or Mormon religions.

So, while I have no religious belief myself, I take my hat off to the UK Supreme Court for striking a blow in support of freedom of worship - it's such a shame that there are not more countries with such a tolerant attitude, for example in Syria where different branches of Islam are engaged in a murderous civil war.