The secular left has been worried for some time about theocracy-not from militant Muslims, who actually practice it, but from Christians, who still have the temerity to think they have a right to participate in the public square. Turns out the left should worry about another theocratic religion: Scientology.

Prominent Scientologist Tom Cruise apparently had a March 15 rerun of the South Park cable series poking fun at the sci-fi religion of the late L. Ron Hubbard pulled from the air. Cruise threatened to not promote a big-budget movie he’s starring in this summer, Mission: Impossible 3, if the offending program went on the air again. (Well, there’s one movie I won’t have to waste time on.)

South Park is a raunchy, equal-opportunity offender, with a Jesus character hosting a public access program nobody watches. Yet it is Cruise, a Hollywood liberal, not “theocrat” Jerry Falwell, who shuts down free expression when his own beliefs come under scrutiny.

Tom, meet Osama.

About Stan Guthrie

Stan Guthrie is an editor at large for Christianity Today magazine and for the Chuck Colson Center for Christian Worldview. His latest book is God's Story in 66 Verses. He also is author of All that Jesus Asks: How His Questions Can Teach and Transform Us, Missions in the Third Millennium: 21 Key Trends for the 21st Century, and A Concise Guide to Bible Prophecy. He is co-author of The Sacrament of Evangelism. Besides authoring, writing, and editing books, Stan is a literary agent, bringing together good authors, good books, and good publishers. Stan writes the monthly Priorities colum for He has appeared on National Public Radio's €œTell Me More,€ WGN's Milt Rosenberg program, and many Christian shows, including The Eric Metaxas Show and Moody Radio'€™s €œNew Day Florida.€ A licensed minister and an inspirational speaker, he served as moderator for the Christian Book Expo panel discussion, Does the God of Christianity Exist, and What Difference Does It Make?
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