The Independent doesn’t get America

The Independent, a British left-leaning paper, doesn’t understand America. Its recent article on Scientology on trial in France opens:

The Church of Scientology in France went on trial today on charges of organised fraud. Registered as a religion in the United States, with celebrity members such as actors Tom Cruise and John Travolta, Scientology enjoys no such legal protection in France and has faced repeated accusations of being a money-making cult.

(Emphasis mine.) (Via the Corner.)

That’s not how it works in America; we don’t register religions here. Scientology is protected, not by some sort of government registration, but by the First Amendment.

Of course Scientology is a preposterous fraudulent cult, but that’s beside the point. Cults are legal in the United States. What will bring Scientology down is its history of imprisoning and killing people.

One Response to The Independent doesn’t get America

  1. Nice post. I’ve just posted on the case at http://deligentia.wordpress.com/2009/10/28/scientology-current-problems-illustrate-susceptabilities-of-religion/ I argue that the problems are indicative of broader susceptabilities facing religion–namely, susceptability to the profit-motive and an over-estimation of religious leaders.

    If you haven’t already read it, here is a NYT article on the case: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/10/28/world/europe/28france.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=scientology&st=cse

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