Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Tom Cruise

This posting must begin with a disclaimer so no readers are confused by my defense of Tom Cruise's basic human rights. First I am NOT a member of any Tom Cruise fan club and secondly I would NEVER join his Church of Scientology. However, my love of freedom and fear of the incremental growth of government requires me to speak out against my ancestral homeland -- Germany.

I heard today that the German military has refused to allow any filming on military bases for Cruise's new movie about a failed assassination plot to kill Adolph Hitler as noted in this 26 June Reuters story --


Why? Because Mr. Cruise is a member of the Church of Scientology which the German government does not officially recognize as a religion considering it instead to be a scam just trying to make money.

However this decision by the military might have to be reversed based on this court case decision from Hamburg, Germany stemming from a 1997 lawsuit filed by a Scientologist who was denied a city contract due to his religious beliefs. The excerpt below (also posted to the website below on 26 June) shows that the Hamburg City government violated the German Constitution's clause regarding religious freedom --


"The Scientologist refused to sign the document and filed suit against the city. The Hamburg Senior Administrative Court has now decided in her favor. The court held that the distribution of the filter by officials of the Hamburg City government violated the Scientologist’s rights under Article 4 of the German Constitution, which protects freedom of religion, as well as the city’s constitutional duty to remain neutral."

Again -- I am no fan of Cruise or Scientology but I do find the timing of this German military decision and the Hamburg court decision to be an amazing coincidence. Religious freedom is essential in Western democracies whether the church is Lutheran or Scientology so this Hamburg court decision is a victory for freedom of religion advocates like me!!

When I first heard this news report today I immediately thought of Pastor Martin Niemoller's (a German) poem which I will close this posting with to encourage readers to be vigilant when it comes to the slippery slope of government expansion:

"First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist

Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist

Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew

MY ADDED LINE (with apologies to Pastor Niemoller) -- Then they came for the Scientologists and I did not speak out because I was not a Scientologist

Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me"


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