Friday, May 15, 2009

Nobody Expects the Scientology Inquisition, Almost Nobody.

"Nobody expected the tolerant inquisition! Perhaps the makers of Angels & Demons should have aimed at Scientology instead."

Excerpts from the James Clayton column: Angels & Demons: "...Nobody now expects the Papal Inquisition, so perhaps Scientologists will now become the marketing target to insult in order to generate movie hype. They could have had Hanks vs. Cruise in a ‘Tom-on-Tom’ sofa-leaping pillow fight, John Travolta blasting Dan Brown on the news and herds of Hollywood citizens marching through Beverly Hills to express their revulsion. As it is, Angels & Demons isn’t actively despised - Angels & Thetans, however, would have been a movie marketer’s dream..."

"...If only Dan Brown had set his original novel in the Sunset Strip and sent Robert Langdon deep into the murky world of Scientology. As illustrated by that BBC Panorama doc in which John Sweeney exploded and in the disgusted Isaac Hayes’s departure from South Park, when you upset Scientologists, they let you know about it. If conspiracy-theory thriller moviemakers want a religious crusade cast down upon them, all you have to do is talk about Scientology without the approval of the church’s lawyers and you’re assured a counter-attack and consequent considerable media exposure..."

We've grown accustomed to seeing parody, like the above, to get a point across through humorous comparison. But San Diego's East County Magazine informs us that Scientologists are going the politically correct route, jumping on the hate crime bandwagon, to twist an introductory law to their bidding, and possibly make an article, like the above, illegal.

La Mesa Rejects HATE-FREE Resolution

“We see a need to stand up for liberty and justice for all,” said David Meyer from the Church of Scientology, who formally asked the La Mesa Council to adopt the resolution. Countering critics who believe the measure targets free speech, he added, “Our mission is to elevate and encourage free speech, not suppress it.” He urged Council to adopt the measure to encourage people to speak out against bigotry, hate and hate-related violence. “If we remain silent, the perpetrator may think we believe it’s okay,” he added. “With our freedoms comes responsibility for our neighbors.

It's good to see that the council saw through this little charade and had the fore sight to see exactly where this would lead:

Craig Maxwell, a former Mayoral candidate, testified that “hate crimes is a redundant category” and argued that the resolution could lead to “criminalization of thought itself.” He urged Council to adhere to the children’s phrase that “sticks and stones will break our bones, but names can never hurt us.” La Mesa’s Police Chief testified that hate crimes have declined locally from 2008 to 2007 and that existing measures are effective.

Each Councilmember spoke out, and while all denounced hate crimes, Councilmembers unanimously expressed the view that the measure was not needed. Councilman Ernest Ewin said the issues raised by the resolution are “already covered by existing laws.” Councilwoman Ruth Sterling also expressed concern over Constitutional issues. “The Supreme Court has ruled that symbolic expression, whether swastikas, burning crosses or peace symbols, are protected speech,” she said. Councilman Mark Arapostathos, a teacher, said schools already promote acceptance, not hate.

Mayor Art Madrid said La Mesa has been a leader in battling hate, noting that the city introduced a human relations advisory committee many years ago and is committed to protecting the rights of all. He added that all members of the Council have received comments from people on both sides of the hate-free resolution who have taken a threatening tone with elected rerpesesnteds. “All of us got e-mails that said, `Support me or else.’”

Nobody expected the tolerant inquisition. Well, almost nobody. Thankfully La Mesa did. If laws like that are enacted, the articles, videos and even this text on this page could be construed as a hate crime. Political Correctness, it's a slippery slope.

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