11 August 2009

crush on Xenu

I have one celebrity crush of the utterly frivolous, 13-year-old girl kind. The kind of crush that mainly has to do with thinking the celebrity in question is SO CUTE!!! mixed with a bit of much older "man i'd like to get with THAT" crushiness. It's all predicated entirely on physical hotness.

The crush in question is giovanni ribisi, who most people don't know from adam. He plays scarlett johanssen's photographer husband in LOST IN TRANSLATION. I know him from Saving Private Ryan (he's Wade); when I saw SPR in the theatres back in 1998, I developed an instantaneous crush on him.

I had occasion recently to google him, or look him up on imdb. and I was informed that Giovanni Ribisi, my Celebrity Crush, is in fact a scientologist.
and i groaned, thinking: oh no! he's crazy!

and i thought briefly about how crazy these wacky scientologists are.

Last week, it dawned on me that - yes, scientologists are wacky, but no more wacky than any other group who believes in some sort of Higher Power. For scientologists, it's some kind of weird sci-fi fantasy scenario; for Christians, it's the Zombie son of god. I don't really know WHAT it is for Muslims, or Jews, or Hindus, or anyone else.

The point is: it's incredibly unfair of me - hypocritical even, maybe - to slam Scientologists more than any other group. I'm a nonbeliever down to my toes - and in my secret heart of hearts, I scoff at pretty much every group of religious on the earth. I'm just too skeptical and too rational to accept these pretty stories about Gods and angels and Xenu.

But the point is: mainstream religions have scoffed down Scientology in ways that parallel MY scoffing down of mainstream religions. And it is wrong of me to have a hierarchy in my scoffing. if it's nuts to believe in the Flying Spaghetti Monster, it's equally (no more, no less) nuts to believe in resurrected middle easterners, or dudes emerging the from the bellies of whales. Or that awful Abraham-and-Isaac story (what kind of sickos came up with THAT one? seriously).

Feeling sympathy for Scientologists was not where I ever intended to go (crush on dashing young Giovanni Ribisi notwithstanding), but I DO. Let's be equal-opportunity scoffers, if we're going to scoff. I can single out certain of scientology's beliefs that I find particularly harmful (ie, their hatred/disbelief in psychiatry and psychiatric medications), but they are no worse, no weirder, than certain beliefs I find particularly harmful in other religions (ie, Catholicism's anti-birth-control ideas, Christianity's anti-homosexual ideas).

So: a cautionary word to myself, and to other nonbelievers. Even smaller sects, like Scientology, should be afforded the same respectful contempt and skepticism conferred on larger, more established sects.

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