Choosing my religion

Letters to the Boston editor, October 24, 2008
By BOSTON PHOENIX LETTERS  |  October 22, 2008

Choosing my religion
There’s nothing that strikes me as heroic or important about Gregg Housh’s farcical jihad against Scientology. In my opinion, it symbolizes the hollow nature of the post-modern, Starbucks-friendly protest. Obviously, the ideas and precepts associated with Scientology are ridiculous, but let’s get real: it’s tremendously hypocritical for people to fight against the detrimental nature of some Hollywood fringe religion while ignoring the ills of the major ones. Anyone with half a brain knows that any of the top monotheisms is responsible for more death and destruction in a given week than you can pin on the entire history of Scientology.

Scientology is a convenient target because it has yet to log enough followers to be considered a religion instead of a cult. Domestic ridicule of religion is largely a numbers game. If someone wanted to fight important, distressing fusions of God and politics, they would be fighting against the evangelical position on condoms in Africa, the oppression of women in Afghanistan, or the destruction of Palestinian homes. I don’t understand why I should be handed banal literature about the bullshit that Tom Cruise believes while I try to board the subway. To quote Joe Strummer, I don’t want to hear about what the rich are doing.

Mike Arria
Cambridge

Gregg Housh is a bit like what the article stated: “Paul Revere and Web savvy.” It’s too bad this organization, a so-called church, outed him and no doubt has started yet another long, litigious bullying campaign against him.

People must read more of these articles, and then do some research. The best way is to watch videos (available everywhere) made by ex-Scientologists, made by mainstream media, made by long-time critics, and made by Anonymous. They have been trying to educate the masses for years, even while the Church of Scientology has spent a lot of time and money suppressing freedom of speech. We should all listen to what is being said.

Wendy Tocan
Toronto, Ontario

Conventional wisdom
Thanks for reporting on the disgrace at the Republican National Convention in St. Paul. Unfortunately, political repression is becoming institutionalized at both parties’ conventions. Boston actually led the way in that respect, when it hosted the first presidential nominating convention since the terrorist attacks in 2001. The Feds turned our city into a police state.

During the Democratic National Convention here, I was racially profiled by the Secret Service. (See “Idling While Brown,” News and Features, September 3, 2004.) In the illegal arrest, they pulled me out of an anti-war march, shoved me down an alley, and put me in handcuffs. Then the Secret Service hauled me off to the police station near Government Center. To defend my constitutional rights, I have filed a lawsuit. In federal court, my attorneys are really achieving some accountability.

We the people must assemble a majority to push back against these outrages upon our civil liberties. Until we do, the authorities will continue to target minority groups, whether they be Indian descendants (like myself) or protesters — no matter who follows this arrogant, incompetent presidency.

Vijay Shah
Cambridge

Text of the week
Recently, we asked our readers to name their favorite new album. Here’s what one person had to say.
Something else by robin thicke ‘solid’

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