I refer to the international news reported by Andre C. James published by the Digital Journal which deals with a Moscow regional court’s ruling that the “Church of Scientology is nothing more than an extremist cult and should be banned”.
The said ruling was handed a week ago.
Further, according to the court, Scientology texts:
“foster the creation of an isolated social group, whose members are taught to precisely carry out commands, many of which are aimed at confronting the outside world.
“The ruling marks a decade long battle between the Church of Scientology and Russian authorities, with the most recent incident in 2009 where Scientologists won a decision at the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, in which Russia was fined 20,000 euro for repeatedly failing to register a Scientology cell in the Siberian city of Surgut as a religious organization.
“According to expert opinion accepted by the court, Scientology is nothing more than hate speech directed to certain social groups who denounce Scientology. The court is of the opinion that Scientology is only a selection of books and leaflets by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, who founded scientology in the 1950s.
“The Church of Scientology was founded by L. Ron Hubbard in the early 1950’s after he developed a self-help system called Dianetics which was first published in May 1950. He subsequently developed his ideas into a wide-ranging set of doctrines and rituals as part of a new religious movement that he called Scientology. His writings then became the guiding texts for the Church of Scientology”.
As a Humanist and a practicing philosopher, I beg the indulgence of the reader to allow me to share my ideas and adumbrate on my point with regard to this significant issue.
It is my considered view that the ruling of the court is not wise, capricious, arbitrary and patently illegal.
It is my humble contention that the said ruling is unwise by virtue of the fact that it negates the basic right of an individual or the citizens to freely practice their religious right. This is a clear case of the state’s unconstitutional, immoral and illegal act of encroaching upon the heart of man. It will negate the autonomy and diminish humanity of man!
It is capricious on the ground that it violates the laws, both local and international. I am specifically referring to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other pertinent global convention.
It is arbitrary on the grim account that the state violated the legal doctrine of the separation of the church and the state. The state has no right to tell to the people, which religion is good or which beliefs are bad, evil or detestable. If they will do that, then such actions will incontestably lead to discrimination, bias and selective justice!
Wherefore, both logic and reason will lead us to the undeniable conclusion that the said judgment of the Moscow regional court is patently illegal and void ab initio (void from the beginning).
If it is fine for the government to ban all religions, then would it be fine also, if one day they decided to ban atheism, agnosticism and the like? The constitution guarantees the right of the citizens to have religion or not to have religion, to believe and not to believe, to be a believer and be a non-believer.
Hence, for purposes of the constitution and the law, atheism, agnosticism, paganism, and the like are statutorily construed as “forms of religions” or “religious beliefs and affiliations”. To reiterate, whatever the hell an individual’s religious and/or spiritual beliefs are, the fundamental law and so as various international treatises and conventions guarantees and protects that basic human right!
I may not agree with those people who profess religion, yet I am going to passionately defend to the fullest possible extent their right to practice or not to practice their right, either to believe or not to believe or even to suspend their judgment.
In the titanic and immortal words of Voltaire:
“I may not agree to the words you say, yet I am going to defend to death your right to say it!”
It is in this great sense that I also vehemently and blatantly disagree with the government in its truly unwise and utterly invasive interference with the people’s right to believe or not to believe!
Part of the duty and obligation of the state is to respect and protect the rights of the people to freely choose or abstain from any religious beliefs; not to reduce the right nor to limit it or impose otherwise!
The arbitrary act of banning religion is unconstitutional and inhumane! Your religion is yours, my non-religion or being an atheist is mine and the state has no right whatsoever to meddle in my domain of conscience! To each his/her own!
Let’s agree to disagree with all rationality, always governed and persistently guided by our full reason and humanity!
In the monumental words of former American President Thomas Jefferson:
“We are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left free to combat it.”