Leading article: Faith and reason

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The Independent Online

Madonna (or "Esther", as she now prefers to be known) has been promoting her brand of Kabbalah from a humble corner of Kensington for some time now. We say: good luck to the one-time material girl. And we trust no one will be bad mannered enough to mention that Esther's spiritual guru has just gone on trial in Israel for extorting money from a terminally ill cancer patient.

Mr Travolta - another celebrity who has suffered on account of his unconventional beliefs - must have heard that Britain is an open-minded place. The Hollywood star attended a Church of Scientology gala in East Grinstead, West Sussex, this weekend. He was seen to "leap from his seat" and begin dancing at one point. A reverie, no doubt.

We welcome Mr Travolta and look forward to hearing more of his church's views on how each of us can banish those invisible spiritual parasites known as "body thetans" and find salvation on the planet Teegeeack. After all, it makes a change from the familiar "love thy neighbour" sermons pumped out each week by the Church of England.

So come one "belief system", come all. Come Kabbalah, come Scientology. We wish the British people the best of luck in deciding what to believe in.

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