Offensive Media Bashing - Is there an Upside?

Aug 30, 2006 at 1:56 PM
I take exception at hearing my religion getting bashed.

I am a Scientologist. Just saying this can give you a pre-decided concept of what and who I am, a pre-judgement. That is commonly known as prejudice.
There seems to be an increase in anti-Scientology jokes and innuendo, such as NPR's "Wait, Wait... Don't Tell Me" poking fun at Tom Cruise' "Scientological ways", calling them "crazy". Or the bashing and lies that occur in the dark moldy underbelly of the web (either grossly malicious or, optimistically, having nothing better to do than poke sharp sticks at things unknown).

But I have been thinking about the fact that name recognition for Scientology must be WAY up. I haven't had anyone ask me "What's that?" in ages, when I mentioned my religion. I kind of get the idea that there isn't anyone out there anymore who has not heard of it. The average Joe also is NOT reacting badly to my being a Scientologist. I generally get positive responses, even from strangers.

I think that all this Scientology-bashing is aimed at weakening the church, but that's just not possible. Completely impossible, because Scientology is factually as amazingly workable as it says it is. Anyone who goes straight to the horse's mouth to find out what's up, who honestly wishes to improve themselves is gonna like what they see. Period, end of story. Any decent, sane person who has ever felt the benifit of a Scientology service knows full well that it works and is a force for good in the world.

So, since all of this attention can't weaken the church, it follows that it will eventually strengthen it.

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For some reason, it is okay with some people for the media to bash just Scientology as a religion (but, of course, not their own religion). This is an abuse of the fact that Americans are feeling religious fellowship strain at present. In light of recent world events, it seems that some people are less comfortable with our patchwork religious landscape. Because laughter is used to release strain, there is some comic abuse of that fact occuring - and I'm seeing a general rise in religious jokes that would have been utterly taboo just a few years ago.

This will change back once people get sick of the "us versus them" mentality. I think that people who are currently getting an earful of Scientology religion-bashing jokes are gonna get sick of it sometime soon. There is only so long that the media will be able to get away with slapping Scientologists in the face before even the guy who was looking the other way is gonna step in and say enough is enough. It's gauche, petty, hypocritical, malicious, bigoted and trite (and a hundred other things).

Eventually, that will become obvious to anyone other than the kind of people who wear white sheets on their neighbor's lawns.

People are naturally curious. So, the bashing will backfire and this campaign of hatred will eventually result in more people coming in the doors of their local church of Scientology to find out what all the ruckus is about.

At least that's what I think.

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