Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Suri Cruise Negotiates Divorce

Divorce is hard enough on kids when you don't have a culty raving loon of a parent.


I read in the news that Tom Cruise has been granted "special permission" to see his daughter, Suri.  Since she has left the Church of Scientology, he is no longer allowed to associate with her (nevermind that a six year old doesn't make her own decisions about leaving churches).  But because of his "A-list status" (in the form of an XL donation to the Church, I am sure), he has been given "exclusive visitation rights," which has in turn pissed off other members of his congregation who have been forbidden to see loved ones & family members who've decided Scientology is not for them.

You can guess what I would say if any church told me that I was not allowed to have contact with a member of my immediate family.


I have great respect for religion.  I believe in God, and I double majored in English and Religious Studies in college because I'm fascinated by religion.  I am so glad that there are so many different paths to God/enlightenment/spiritual connection so that billions of diverse people from all over the planet can find peace and calm and love and something cosmic.  

But that said, I am baffled by people who accept their religion's extremist views and policies without an ounce of critical thinking.  What makes people blindly go along with whatever their church/temple/mosque/etc. decrees, regardless of whether or not it makes sense or feels true?  And don't tell me it's "faith," cause 99% of the time, this is not about God.  It's about the people in charge of the religion, who are just as human and wrought with imperfection as you and me.

There's a form of bullying that exists within a lot of churches: you're going to hell if you don't ________; you won't be accepted if you wear __________.  I remember being about 12 years old and attending a Wednesday night youth group at a Methodist church with my friend (this friend, in fact).  Both she and I caused a scene a couple times when we challenged what was told to us: by fellow youth in the group and by its leaders.  

Back in the early 90's, fairy and wizard decor was all the rage (remember?) and I had both plastered on my walls.  One of the youth group leaders told me that this was not acceptable--that it veered too far into the "occult" and was, essentially, anti-God.

WHO WOULD'VE THOUGHT?!

I debated with this youth leader on several different occasions over stuff like this, ultimately deciding that the group was not for me.  To be clear: I don't fault anyone else for staying, and I don't even fault people who have thought deeply on the issue, investigated thoroughly, and come to their own conclusion that depictions of fairies are, indeed, blasphemous to Christianity.  My problem is with the people who don't even think about it and just take what their religion/religious leaders say without any sort of healthy questioning.

Great things come from people who challenge the powers that be.  After all, blind acceptance can lead you straight to Jonestown.

21 comments:

danielle and dinosaur toes said...

i actually really love this post. living in the bible belt, it's difficult if not impossible to have people see that you can be a christian AND think for yourself. i always think, if god gave me a brain and a personality, shouldn't i embrace and use both of them?

J. said...

As you know (and have seen first hand on my facebook) I live in the middle of redneck country/the Bible belt and I struggle with this on a daily basis. I have been raised in a church, and am very active in that church to this day- however, I am also extremely liberal and am a HUGE believer in the seperation of church/state and religious freedom. This causes many around me to question my faith. I'm so thankful that God gave me enough of a backbone to stand up to the hypocrits and those who refuse to actually think for themselves (and a voice loud enough to drown out their negativity).
While I am a member of a church, I do believe that the idea of 'church' itself has become so extreme and so far from what it actually means to live as a Christian. It makes me sad to see so many people allow their 'church/leaders' to dictate their lives. Great post.

Desirae @ Going with the Flow said...

I love this post. I think it is ridiculous that Tom Cruise is "not allowed" to see his daughter or whatever the deal is. I believe myself to be a Christian, and I refuse to do some ridiculous things that some "Christian" churches do/participate in. I agree with Danielle, above, God gave us a brain and a personality, we SHOULD embrace and use them both. I honestly don't get people that think otherwise. But I respect other religions, I do not down them. But yeah, I agree with your post all the way ;]

Lesley said...

poor little suri! we were quite the rebels, weren't we??? ha! pretty sure some of those girls never forgave me.;) and clearly claire, fairies are devilish.

Lindsey said...

So well written and thought out. I could not agree more per the ususal. Scientology is seriously scary as are most extreme religions. Any "religion" (aka cult) that is THAT secretive is obviously hiding something. Poor Suri.

Leeann @ Join the Gossip said...

First off, can I just say that I live down the street from the main Scientology Center? Not going to lie, it scares me to drive by. Just gives me the creeps.

I am Catholic and attend church regularly. That being said, I don't agree with everything I am told. I think it's OK to go to church and worship but also have your own thoughts and opinions.

As far as you, you need to get to church and be saved because that fairy worshiping is unacceptable!! ;) Great post!

Kathy said...

i really like this post. although i'm not a practicing anything, i've been given "the look" from some of those who go to church/practice a faith and basically have been told that i'm going to hell because i don't belong to a religion.

in my mind, i don't believe you have to belong to a religion or go to church to be considered a good person.

Amy said...

I definitely like what you say in this post. It's really sad when people give a negative impression on religion by putting others down. I suppose I can only speak for Christianity, but it very clearly states in the Bible that we are supposed to love one another and build each other up! And there is definitely not a clause in there that says "but only if they're another Christian."

Dee Stephens said...

I like this post too and I totally agree.
There is a lot of bullying and hypcritism in the church.
I grew up in Jimmy Swaggert's church so I know ALL ABOUT IT!

Natalie Stevens said...

Perfectly written as always Claire. Something I find myself caught up in often. As what is considered a 'heavily tattooed woman' and a christian, some churches certainly have an issue with my appearance. That use to really upset me and bug me. My idealistic eyes were open and everyone in my church was meant to be an open loving and christ like christian... It seemed it wasnt the case. So simply, I no longer attend a regular church, with regular service, because my relationship with God is so much more than standing in a building and raising my hands while other people watch. I often wonder what Jesus would think if he was hanging out in some of the 'christian' churches these days...

On a completely different note. Scientology freaks me out. While I was at university (One of my majors was also religious studies!!) I was writing a paper and I remember I did this Scientology online quiz from their New Zealand branch. For the next 3 months they rang me almost 4 times a week, to try to sell me some book in steps to enlightenment. So. Odd.

Krystal said...

this is so so well said! i totally agree with you. i spent my "formative" years as a christian, went to a christian college and minored in religion - the amount of blank mindedness when following any religion has always baffled me. i was probably like that in HS but thank goodness I had some amazing college instructors who weren't afraid to go against the grain.

Megan said...

I really love this post. At the moment in Australia there is a huge debate about whether gay people should be able to get married. I respect that everyone has their own opinion but to me saying that it shouldnt happen "because the church says so" is not good enough at all. It kind of shows that people havent thought about the issue at all and are just on auto pilot?!
Great post Claire its a sentiment I whole heartly agree with!

Meri said...

Even without all of the scientology madness, when I see pictures of this child I just wonder and worry about her future in the spotlight- I hope she makes it out alive more so than Lindsey Lohan or Paris Hilton!

Deals, Steals and Heels said...

woman, you KNOW that fairy is just waiting to get you to dance with lucifer!

Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird said...

It sounds a lot like being Amish... have you seen that show Breaking Amish? I just can't figure out how telling people they can't have contact with their loved ones is ever okay. I don't think God would ever be okay with that.

drollgirl said...

oh such a touchy subject.

my dad was a preacher, so i am completely biased on this topic because of my upbringing, which included going to church 3x a week, plus weekend bible studies, plus youth group every thursday, plus bible camp in the summer. needless to say, after all of THAT, i want ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH RELIGION. but to each his/her own. do what you want (and try to be a good person), but think critically about all that you are taught, and don't force it on others.

Kelly said...

Great post! I always admire people who touch on religion/politics and put themselves out there.

I feel really bad for Suri :(

Pat said...

Reminds me of some "group" in my county who raised a ruckus over us having anything related to witches and ghosts in our classrooms. For heaven sakes, it was Halloween time! Being employed by the county I had to abide by it. It really made me mad that this group was that controlling over the school system.

Ocean Dreams said...

What a great post! I seriously can't believe that Tom Cruise is really that stupid to believe in a religion that won't allow him to see his daughter. I'm a Christian but if I read things or learn things at church policy wise that I don't believe it you better believe that I'm going to stand up for it or at least not practice it. It's too bad that such a young child has to suffer the consequences of not seeing her father due to his weird beliefs.

melifaif said...

Fairies are blasphemous!?! Holy shitoli!!!???!!!! lol. I could so click with you on so many different levels. WE MUST MEET!!!!

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

Ok. I usually shy away from anything religious on blogs but here's the deal. I'm going to talk about the fact that Tom Cruise has completely went overboard on his beliefs. It's like he's addicted to the church.