Scientology Crime Syndicate

28 Nov 2000

German_Scn_News <german_scn_news@hotmail.com>

[This group is apparently is not connected to Scientology, but if Scientology were more forthright, they might try something like the "Alliance for Spiritual Freedom"]

Ministers outraged by leaflet


"Alliance for Spiritual Freedom"
calls for people to leave church

Mutterstadt, Germany
November 25, 2000

Many Mutterstadt residents were more than a little surprised not too long ago when they found in their mailboxes a leaflet from the "Bundes fuer Geistesfreiheit," which called for them to leave the church. The Mutterstadt minister of both denominations reacted with outrage.

The distributer of the leaflet, the "Bund fuer Geistesfreiheit" ["Alliance for Spiritual Freedom"], according to research by RHEINPFALZ, is a corporation of public rights with offices in Munich. The "Bund fuer Geistesfreiheit" (bfg), according to its home page on the internet, "represents the interests of church-free people with a free-spirited, agnostic, humanistic or atheistic outlook."

In the leaflet which was distributed in Mutterstadt was an article with a headline of "Do you want a 2.5 percent increase in pay?" which offered practical tips for leaving and in which members of the church community were called to leave the church. It said that the money could be reinvested in additional retirement to avoid an increase in income tax.

The leaflet ran into heavy criticism from the local clergy: it was said that for years the "Bund fuer Geistesfreiheit" apparently saw its main mission as moving Christians to leave the church "with a mixture of false information and half-truths," said Reverend Hans-Peter Jung of the Protestant church and the Catholic clergyman Gerhard Matt. The sect and weltanschauung commissioner of Speyer bishopric, Christoph Bussen, believes the nationwide operation by the bfg to be a "form of radical atheism" which placed "polemics in front of factual discussion." He said leaflets have been appearing off an on in Ludwigshafen and vicinity in the past. "As far as we're concerned any person has a right to be an atheist. But the Bund is not about constructive discussion," Bussen said.

The Evangelical and the Catholic Churches have therefore authored a counter-leaflet. Under the title "The Churches and your money: fiction and fact," they respond to the bfg's accusations about two-thirds of the church taxes being used to pay the preachers and the personnel in church establishments and less than a tenth expended for public social service.

That was an old tale, the two Mutterstadt ministers also made it clear. The truth was that Speyer bishopric and the Evangelical Church of Pfalz expended 25 percent of the church tax income for social purposes and services. Over 500 kindergartens cost the bishopric and state church about 50 million marks a year. In addition, the churches fulfill missions in the fields of youth work, care for the elderly, care for the sick and education, which the state would have to pay at the expense to the taxpayers if the churches weren't there, the reverend emphasized.

It was stated that those who wanted the churches to decrease their social services missed the point of their real mission: the churches provided an indispensable service to the community by spreading their message bound with Christian values.

Citizens of Mutterstadt reacted in various ways to the leaflet. Several took on the issue of the content of the leaflet and the church tax, as a poll on the street showed. Others felt the carryings-on by the "Bundes fuer Geistesfreiheit" were a disgrace. None of the people questioned said they would leave the church because of the leaflet. (mix/rpe)


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