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Religion Library: Scientology

Gender and Sexuality

Written by: J. Gordon Melton

The logic of the church's understanding of issues such as homosexuality would be to view it relative to the role it plays in each person's life.Does it contribute to any dysfunctionality and hinder progress up the Bridge?If yes, it could be a problem, but otherwise, there would be no reason to consider it any different from heterosexual activity.

Though the major thrust of the church has been with the individual working up the Bridge, the church tends to privilege life in the family and has established programs to assist members in creating happy and functional nuclear families.Hubbard saw the nuclear family as the norm, and in The Way to Happiness included among his precepts admonitions to "Love and Help Children" and "Honor and Help Your Parents."The need to express one's desire to survive through sexuality and the creation of a family is seen as the second of the eight dynamics of life.

The Church has not spelled out a policy on abortion.The logic of its understanding of the thetan is that it would neither support nor deny a person the right to an abortion.Scientologists would consider an unwanted pregnancy, for example, relative to how it functions in the pregnant woman's life or how it relates to her movement toward Total Freedom.A woman with an unwanted pregnancy might approach the chaplain at her church to seek counseling.Counseling would look to the optimum solution of the situation for all concerned, the choice that brings the greatest good for the greatest number of those involved.It would be for the individual to work toward the best solution rather than simply seek conformity to the church's preexisting dictates. That being said, the church does have a bias toward the family and would see the drive to reproduce and raise a family (the second dynamic) as a most important consideration in abortion-related situations.

Study Questions:
     1.    Should it be argued that Hubbard was insensitive to the rights of women? Why or why not?
     2.    How are women viewed within Scientology? What leadership positions can they hold?
     3.    What is the church's stance on homosexuality? On abortion?
     4.    What can be said about sexuality within the church of Scientology?


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