Choosing Religion - Scientology

Mar 23, 2008 at 3:14 PM
Choosing religions is such a personal choice.

In America, thankfully, we're blessed with a constitution that guarantees a separation of church and state -- there cannot be a sanctioned religion here. At least by the government.

But that doesn't mean that there aren't people trying to create a religious intolerance online. Those darned anonymous hackers continue to push against the wall that is religious freedom -- and in ways that they simply would not be allowed to do so in the real world.

Hopefully, there will be better legislation passed to protect people from hate crimes online, and protecting the freedom of religion online as well.

However, I digress.

The point here is that one of the comments I received back when I allowed anonymous comments was a pretended compassion for me, saying that when my kids grew up, if they chose not to become Scientologists then I'd never hear from them again.

Basically, this comment tried to tell me that I'd be forced to sever myself from my own children. A doom and gloom warning. (Pretended help.)

Huh. That's funny. Because...

I have this cousin, you see.

She is my favorite cousin, the same age as me. We were the closest cousins I know. We basically spent our early years constantly in one another's company.

When we hit our teenage years, we'd both gotten just about as much immersion in Scientology as the other. She a little less than I, I think. I had more counseling than her, probably.

At some point, I chose to train up and really learn my religion; she didn't ever do that. In present day, she is now a happy, well-educated, successful business woman, running her own company with her lifelong boyfriend, in a major city. We're proud of her competence and drive, and proud of how long she and her boyfriend have stuck together.

At some point, she chose not to be a Scientologist.

She isn't rude or mean about it, but she simply doesn't choose it for herself. And because she was around it constantly as a child, the lingo is second nature, the basic tools are second nature to her. She finds it very useful to apply to things. We never run into any trouble over this issue. I never would have even thought to blog about it if it wasn't so obviously needed -- to point out the lies being told online right now.

She made that break for herself only. None of us ever pushed her away OR tried to pull her back in. Religious choices are ones we make for ourselves. Each and every one of us. It was my cousin's choice to make, and she made it. I can't say I agree with it, but I respect her right to choose religions, just as I hope others will respect my right to do so as well.

As far as my relationship with the church, the fact that my cousin is a non-Scientologist now has simply never come up as a bad thing, and no one ever even brought up whether or not I should stop speaking with her or break away from her in any way.

I speak to her as regularly as our separate lives allows.

As far as I know, there is no religious doctrine I'm violating.

I spent the weekend with my cousin recently baking and cooking and hanging out. We caught up on a few years of missed time (I've been busy with kids lately), and we had a wonderful traditional Jewish meal (matzoh ball soup - yummy!) with my aunt and uncle. My Aunt is Jewish/Scientologist. It was so nice to see them, and to have a traditional family meal. On that side of the family, most everyone is Jewish. My aunt chose to remain a Jew when she became a Scientologist. She is both equally, and has been both for 30 years.

Now back to that comment.

Honestly. If the comment had been true, wouldn't somebody in the last 20 years have come to me saying I needed to break off from the side of my family that isn't completely devoted to Scientology only?

My family is completely cohesive, we all talk to each other unless we get too busy -- as with any family it happens now and again.

There is certainly no one I am made to break away from.

What a load of hogwash that comment was.

Probably, this boils down to those few people who -- being terribly upset with the religious choices of their family member -- completely mishandled a break in their family over religion.

I assume that it does happen. Human beings make mistakes. Each of us makes our choices our own way. Families sometimes take a while to adjust to the religious choices of other members. We tend to assume that everyone else in our group thinks the way we do -- and when that doesn't turn out to be the case it can be devastatingly difficult to find common reality - agreement.

It is that way for sexual orientation choices, and for religious choices, and sometimes for even the most mundane of choices. For instance, The mother of a friend didn't speak to her for a year over the placement of wedding guests. A religious choice is so much deeper than that. We can get offended because each of us believes we've found the RIGHT path away from evil. Each of us believes this intensely and deeply - that is the very nature of religion.

And so we can rush to make sure everyone we know is also on that right path -- sometimes being deeply hurt and worried for those who don't agree upon what path is the right one.

But as they say in Japan about religious tolerance:

"There are many paths up the mountain, but the view of the moon from the top remains the same" ~ Unknown Origin

I love my cousin very much, and respect her religious choices. She respects mine. I know her full history, and she knows mine -- as most cousins do. And there is no subject which is taboo in conversation with her.

Religious choices are very personal. There is a tenet from The Way to Happiness, which (in typical Hubbard form) goes straight and direct to the heart of the matter - "Respect the Religious Beliefs of Others".

"Faith" and "belief" do not necessarily surrender to logic: they cannot even be declared illogical. They can be things quite apart... The Way to happiness can become contentious when one fails to respect the religious beliefs of others. ~ L. Ron Hubbard

I will gladly respect your religious choices.

Respect mine.