Scientology case has judges debating the meaning of religion

Anonycat

Crusader
Case is brought by Louisa Hodkin, who wishes to marry her fiance in the Church of Scientology's building in London

Five supreme court justices have spent a day wrestling with notions of God, nirvana and what constitutes worship in an attempt to decide whether Scientologists may conduct weddings.

In one of the more curious appeals to come before the UK's highest court, senior lawyers – wearing puzzled expressions, and bemused smiles but no wigs – ranged across centuries of legislation and a number of faiths to try to establish what religion is.

The case has been brought by Louisa Hodkin, who wishes to marry her fiance, Alessandro Calcioli, in the Church of Scientology's building on Queen Victoria Street in the City of London.

The registrar-general of births, deaths and marriages has declined to license the Scientologists' "chapel" as a place of meeting for religious worship under section two of the Places of Worship Registration Act 1855. Hodkin and her partner, who are volunteers at the Church of Scientology, claim the refusal is discriminatory. At a previous hearing, the court of appeal rejected their application.

Full story: http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2013/jul/18/scientology-case-judges-religion
 

uncover

Gold Meritorious Patron
From the article:
Strachan, however, insisted Scientology did not qualify as religion: "It does not involve worship of a divine being. The central processes of Scientology are not about reverence or veneration. It's about constructing the self."

I think he never heard about COB Miscavige and applauding to the picture of already gone Hubbard. Co$ should invite him to the next IAS-Event in Saint Hill.
 

kate8024

-deleted-
When did people become volunteers and not staff?

The local org here differentiates between staff and volunteers and usually makes people volunteer for a couple months before they can officially join staff. Volunteers of course have no contract and are not obligated to do anything in particular, they are just public who do things for the org on a regular basis.
 

kate8024

-deleted-
The question was whether or not an org constitutes a place of worship. If you ever worshiped in an org, now's your chance to speak up.

To me, Scientology is clearly a non-theistic religion and its rather pedantic to say that their buildings can not be classified as "places of worship". Do they apply the same standard to the buildings of other non-theistic religions? I'm not trying to stand up for Scientology here btw - only the rights of non-theistic religions in general.
 

Purple Rain

Crusader
This is a debate I do not understand - Scientology is hardly the only non-theistic religion.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nontheistic_religions

I never saw any religion in it the entire time I was there. Just greedy people thought-controlling others and pressuring them to scam the gullible out of their money and labour and lives. There was no "worship" in our laughably named fraudulent and so-called "church" - or anything else of a spiritual nature. Lots of yelling and abuse and shunning and screwing though.
 

Purple Rain

Crusader
The local org here differentiates between staff and volunteers and usually makes people volunteer for a couple months before they can officially join staff. Volunteers of course have no contract and are not obligated to do anything in particular, they are just public who do things for the org on a regular basis.

The term "volunteer" or "staff" has always been interchangeable depending on which one suited the cult's purposes at the time. This has enabled them to have it both ways.
 

Anonycat

Crusader

kate8024

-deleted-
I never saw any religion in it the entire time I was there. Just greedy people thought-controlling others and pressuring them to scam the gullible out of their money and labour and lives. There was no "worship" in our laughably named fraudulent and so-called "church" - or anything else of a spiritual nature. Lots of yelling and abuse and shunning and screwing though.

I agree that this is how many of the staff are - but I believe that many of the regular members of church genuinely consider it to be a religion and whether not I agree with the practices of the church I don't feel its my place to tell them they cannot label their beliefs a 'religion' just because it does not fit my standards of that word.
 

Anonycat

Crusader
This is a debate I do not understand - Scientology is hardly the only non-theistic religion.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nontheistic_religions

I'm not sure if you read both sources you wish to compare, but this is also from the Wiki page:

See also

Antitheism
Atheism
Christian atheism
Creativity (religion)
Church of Satan
Conceptions of God
Deconstruction-and-religion
Ethical Culture
Falsifiability
Freethought
Irreligion
Language, Truth, and Logic
Mu (negative)
Naturalistic pantheism
Nondualism
Raëlism
Secular humanism
Theism
Transcendentalism
Transtheistic
Unitarian Universalism
 

kate8024

-deleted-
You might have missed this:
Strachan, however, insisted Scientology did not qualify as religion: "It does not involve worship of a divine being. The central processes of Scientology are not about reverence or veneration. It's about constructing the self."

No I saw that and that's exactly what I do not understand because that's the same as saying all non-theistic religions do not qualify as religions which is something I do not at all agree with.
 

WildKat

Gold Meritorious Patron
The question was whether or not an org constitutes a place of worship. If you ever worshiped in an org, now's your chance to speak up.

I always had the idea of "worship" as meaning something like "groveling before a supreme being". I guess since any pathetic Scino still left in the cult pretty much has to grovel before Miscabbage and must consider him supreme and all-powerful (since he holds their "eternity" at stake), then maybe Cof$ is now in fact a TRUE religion! :biggrin:
 

kate8024

-deleted-
The term "volunteer" or "staff" has always been interchangeable depending on which one suited the cult's purposes at the time. This has enabled them to have it both ways.

Probably, but at least at the local org they have used those as two different terms when talking to me.
 

Purple Rain

Crusader
I agree that this is how many of the staff are - but I believe that many of the regular members of church genuinely consider it to be a religion and whether not I agree with the practices of the church I don't feel its my place to tell them they cannot label their beliefs a 'religion' just because it does not fit my standards of that word.

My manic depressive acute paranoid schizophrenic ex-boyfriend, founder and only member of the Church With No Floor, was also entitled to his spiritual beliefs but it didn't mean the rest of us should have to accept it as a valid religion. Scientology is and has always been a vehicle to make someone rich. It deserves no more acknowledgement than that, especially in light of the abuses mandated by its own policies.
 

kate8024

-deleted-
I always had the idea of "worship" as meaning something like "groveling before a supreme being".

I think that this is what many people think, but my point here is that there are other definitions of worship. From the wikipedia page on worship:

"Worship in Buddha Dharma may take innumerable forms given the doctrine of skillful means. Worship is evident in Buddhism in such forms as: guru yoga, mandala,thanka, yantra yoga, the discipline of the fighting monks of Shaolin, panchamrita, mantra recitation, tea ceremony, ganacakra, amongst others."

and going even further:

"In modern society and sociology, some writers have commented on the ways that people no longer simply worship organised religions, but many now also worship consumer brands,[SUP][10][/SUP] sports teams, and other people (celebrities).[SUP][11][/SUP] Sociology therefore extends this argument to suggest that religion and worship is a process whereby society worships itself, as a form of self-valorization and self-preservation."
 

kate8024

-deleted-
My manic depressive acute paranoid schizophrenic ex-boyfriend, founder and only member of the Church With No Floor, was also entitled to his spiritual beliefs but it didn't mean the rest of us should have to accept it as a valid religion. Scientology is and has always been a vehicle to make someone rich. It deserves no more acknowledgement than that, especially in light of the abuses mandated by its own policies.

But how does the state recognizing his religion hurt you? It doesn't mean that you personally have to accept his religion as valid. The church of Scientology has many valid things to say against it and has committed ass-tons of crimes, but to deny the right of people to call their beliefs a religion is not right.
 
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