On 2/7/2013 7:12 AM, Platonist Guitar Cowboy wrote:



On Wed, Feb 6, 2013 at 8:11 PM, Quentin Anciaux <allco...@gmail.com <mailto:allco...@gmail.com>> wrote:



    2013/2/6 meekerdb <meeke...@verizon.net <mailto:meeke...@verizon.net>>

        On 2/6/2013 1:25 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:

        On 06 Feb 2013, at 04:00, meekerdb wrote:

        On 2/5/2013 11:02 AM, Craig Weinberg wrote:


        On Tuesday, February 5, 2013 1:14:07 PM UTC-5, John Clark wrote:

            On Tue, Feb 5, 2013  PM, Craig Weinberg <whats...@gmail.com> wrote:

                > Unpopular religions are denounced as cults.


            A religion is just a cult with good PR.


        It's interesting. I would be curious to know whether every established
        religion intentionally sought legitimacy at some point,

        What would that mean? Legal? Where there is official government 
recognition of
        religion (and probably tax breaks) the answer would be that they sought 
the
        recognition.  And all that you can consider 'established' have sought
        adherents.  But "legitimacy"??  I'm not sure how that world can be 
attached to
        "religion".

        In my country, that is the case. Religions have to be recognized by the
        government. If not they are classified as sect, and are forbidden (like
        scientology). It is awkward and arbitrary, but that's simply the case.

        I'm curious.  How do they get recognized?  Do they  have to apply,


    They have to apply. But contrary to what Bruno claims, sect are not 
illegal, some
    sects can and have been declared illegal (as any group can be). But for 
example,
    scientology is not illegal in Belgium (for now) but they are often brought 
to
    justice by ex-member (for good reason I think).



Sorry to be frank, but if this is serious (I miss some joke), then it is naive: the mechanism that serves to monitor and "regulate" the founding of religions in Western Europe, is the same judicial tool to control and finally repress religious groups- by seemingly "integrating" them.

The moment any of these groups moves to do things like:

- change conceptions of marriage

- change conceptions of family

- import for example its sacred ceremonial brew from South America, that has a controlled substance in it for thousands of years

- want more appropriate economic frameworks for taxation for their conceptions of groups and individuals (why not marriages, as Judith Butler often put forward, between 3,4,5 or more partners, if their financial strategy and survival is solid with every partner consenting? Today: If a community of six partners works and lives together, hopefully they pair off to 3 males and 3 females, and still they would be taxed as 3 couples)

- or simply make too much money: the western democracy rears its totalitarian face; less obvious than in North Korea, but let's stop telling ourselves stories about our democracy vs. China etc. We have learned nothing from totalitarian times and wars.

Just because we hide the totalitarian tendencies in different judicial spots of cultural prejudice, doesn't mean freedom of religion.

A Rastafarian wanting some of his sacred herb in France: fat chance, if he were to cite his religious reasons in court.

One can invent a religion and cite it for anything from eating hallucinogenic mushrooms to burning Jews. In the U.S. the general rule is that a legal prohibition must serve a secular purpose (not be directed specifically at a religion) and laws apply equally to everyone. So if your religion says you can beat women who show their face in public, that's just too bad for your religion.


So yes, you can apply for official recognition of your religion if you are interested in playing poker in pairs with plastic money beside your bed.

Sorry, prohibition applies here too. So yes, alternate religious groupings are in practice illegal in Western Europe, if not on paper.

PGC

So what's the advantage of being recognized? Will some authority prevent you praying at a shrine or from reading your sacred text if you're not recognized? Will you get some tax advantage if you are? And when a religion is recognized that must imply that it is somehow defined. How is that done? And how finely are religions defined...is Christianity recognized as one religion, or do they distinguish Catholics from Baptists from Mormons? This all seems impossibly messy.

Brent

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