Scientologist Louisa Hodkin with her fiance Alessandro Calcioli. A Supreme Court today ruled the couple should be allowed to marry in a Church of Scientology chapel

Debate: As its first official wedding takes place, is Scientology a religion like any other?

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What's going on?

A couple who won a human rights case in the Supreme Court are to marry in a Church of Scientology chapel in London today.

Scientologists Louisa Hodkin and Alessandro Calcioli, both 25, will make history when they tie the knot this afternoon in a ceremony which will be streamed live over the internet.

The wedding follows a successful challenge to the law preventing Scientologists marrying in their own churches, brought in July by Miss Hodkin.

Five Supreme Court Justices said that religion should not be confined to faiths involving a "supreme deity" and that the Church of Scientology was a "place of meeting for religious worship" because it held religious services.

So do you agree with the Supreme Court ruling that Scientology churches are just like those of any other religion?

Yes

Ok so it’s a little whacky. But Scientologists will tell you they form part of a religious group, and how can you prove them wrong? Scientology is a system of belief that attempts to place man in a cosmological hierarchy, while offering spiritual guidance to its members, and requiring of them certain leaps of faith. So far, so very much like any other recognised religion. The British Supreme Court felt that there was no legal cause to prevent Scientologists getting married in their own church. Now, to any truly rational being, that should settle the matter: the British legal system stands up more scrutiny than any religious text.

No

Suggesting equivalence between Scientology and, say, Christianity or Islam is among the worst nonsense committed in the name of even-handery. It takes Scientology’s PR at face value, and fails to show any critical appreciation of what Scientology is, and how it treats believers and ex-believers. Basically, as so many former Scientologists will tell you, the religion strips its members of their cash while feeding them a diet of lies cribbed from the works of a science fiction author (one who reportedly said “I’d like to start a religion, that’s where all the money is.”) It is a cult, pure and simple. What a shame that the Supreme Court got taken in.

Scientology is a religion like any other

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