Artistic or Religious Freedom?

The German government has banned Tom Cruise from using any of its military sites because he is a member of the Church of Scientology which it considers to be a cult masquerading as a religion. Cruise is making a film about Claus von Stauffenberg who attempted to kill Hitler in the summer of 1944.

One question raised by this episode is who decides what is or is not a religion? And, what does a person’s religion have to do with making a film or keeping a job? it really is irrelevant whether or not the Church of Scientology is or is not a religion, that decision belongs to individuals, not to governments. Many atheists regard Christianity or Judaism or any religion as nothing more than a collection of myths. If an atheist was in charge of deciding who could use military sites they might decide against Christians on grounds that religion is a cult. The memory and bravery of Claus von Stauffenberg should not be caught up in some silly dispute about religion.

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