Its a Nice Day for a Scientology Wedding

Originally posted on BVLSINGLER PhD Diary + Blog :

Scientology is in the mainstream news again with the announcement that a woman who wants to marry in a Scientology chapel has won a Supreme Court battle to have it recognized as a ‘place of meeting for religious worship’.  Five judges have over-ruled a 1970 ruling that prioritized veneration of a God in deciding what was genuine religious worship or not.  

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Good news for Miss Louisa Hodkin who gets to go through her choice of ritual in her choice of location.  

But what does this really mean for Scientology? Is it really a religion now?

This is a subject I’ve been considering in a paper that I am hoping to submit in the new year to a journal – it considers Jediism and the question of what is ‘really real’ religion and where we get our ideas about ‘realness’ from.  

In the case of Scientology this Supreme…

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About Chris

Scholar of religion/nonreligion... PhD Student (Lancaster University), blogger, singer, actor, thinker... Northern Irish living in Scotland. Co-founder of The Religious Studies Project. Managing Editor at the NSRN. Baritone masquerading as a tenor. Vegetarian for no particular reason.

One response to “Its a Nice Day for a Scientology Wedding”

  1. Reinhard Rieder says :

    Scientology’s bona fides have been officially recognized by a number of governmental agencies and public authorities in the United Kingdom. These include: HM Customs and Excise, Inland Revenue (2001) and the ministry of defence (1996). http://goo.gl/WRG1fE

    In October of 1983, the Australian High Court ruled that Scientology is a religion and “[t]he conclusion that [the Church] is a religious institution entitled to the tax exemption is irresistible.” The High Court reached this conclusion on the basis of an evaluation of the definition of religion that encompassed the teachings of all faiths generally accorded religious status. This was an expansion of the previous definition of religion in English law that had restricted religiosity to a narrow Judeo-Christian concept and which excluded the majority of worshipers in the world. The High Court decision is now recognized as the seminal decision on the definition of religion and on tax exemption in Australia. In fact, the Inquiry into the Definition of Charities and Related Organizations conducted by the Australian government cites this case as “the most significant Australian authority on the question of what constitutes a religion…. The High Court found Scientology to be a religion. On the question of the current approach to the meaning of religion, the Scientology case provides the best elucidation….”

    This case is recognized internationally as a leading case on religion. In February 2005, the English Lords of Appeal issued a judgment in Secretary of State for Education and Employment and others (Respondents) ex parte Williamson (Appellant) and others in which the Court referred to the Australian High Court Scientology decision as “illuminating” on the issue of the definition of religion, noting that “the trend of authority (unsurprisingly in an age of increasingly multi-cultural societies and increasing respect for human rights) is towards a “newer, more expansive, reading” of religion (Wilson and Deane JJ in the Church of the New Faith case [Church of Scientology case] at p174, commenting on a similar trend in United States jurisprudence)”

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