Apparently, a lot of people do. The Church of Scientology has been labeled by several courts and media outlets as a cult. I don't know what to call it, so of course I did a little bit of research and here's a video I found, courtesy of YouTube, via CNN and my favorite news anchor, Anderson Cooper.
Still confuzzled? Me too. I guess it's not for me to understand and if it was, I'm not sure I'd want to. A long time ago, I made Jesus my choice. I'm not saying it's the right thing to do, I'm saying it was right for me.
The difference here is the religion that I am a part of is the one that is more widely accepted so therefore by our American society's standards, it is right. That to me is hypocritcal.
America was founded on five freedoms: freedom of speech, freedom of the press, the freedom to peaceably assemble, the freedom to petition and the freedom of religion. Who are we as Americans to tell grown people that they can't meet and worship who or whatever they want? To be completely honest, all religions were thought of as cults at some point.
Shoot, if we follow the true definition of a cult then we all belong to one cult or another. Webster's list about 10 definitions, I'll only give you one:
* a particular system of religious worship, esp. with reference to its rites and ceremonies.
To tell the truth, I can see how Christianity can be considered a cult, but it is what I believe. I was raised in a predominantly black church that is full of those "undignified praisers" and unique saints and if I were on the outside looking in on some of the churches I've been to I would probably say they were a cult too.
But, since I came up in that church and I understand the feeling you get when it seems like the preacher is speaking directly to you or you read a passage in the Bible that was written centuries ago and it speaks directly to your spirit or when the choir is putting down some of that good ole' sangin', I can not and will not call it a cult.
But you do have to wonder about a religion or a cult that needs it own glossary and cadre of recruiters. I know every religion has its own missionaries, but dang. Jehovah's Witnesses come knock on your door. Christians might stop you on the street. But Scientologists come through your TV with celebrity endorsements.
Before Tom Cruise, you really didn't hear a lot about celebrities and Scientology. John Travolta belonged to the Church of Scientology for years and the most I ever heard about it was that few minutes he talked about it on Oprah.
Then came Cruise jumping all over Oprah's set and laughing with that dang cackle when he brain-washed, I mean convinced Katie Holmes to convert and marry him. Now, the Smiths have been linked along with Brandy, Kimora Lee Simmons, Usher is said to have converted, Kirstie Alley, Isaac Hayes, Leah Remini, Giovanni Ribisi who was raised as a Scientologist and the one that totally shocked me, Doug E. Fresh.
I don't know why I was so shocked though. It could be that the brother is from Barbados and more than 70 percent of the county's population identifies as Christian and the rest are Muslim, Rastafarian, Hindu, Buddhist and of the Baha'i Faith.
It could also be that black folks who aren't Christian, Muslim, Rastafarian and Jewish sort of baffle me. I guess it is just the sheltered life that I lead that sort of makes me place certain people and certain groups into a box. Either way, All of that sort of caught me off guard a little bit.
I still don't have an opinion on it, I just find it fascinating that people can have a spiritual connection without having a diety or an object to worship. But hey, if it works for them, it works for them.
Personally, I'm sticking with Jesus!