Scientology vs Religion
Scientology vs religion implies that scientology is not a religion. Although the Church of Scientology are quick to maintain it is a religion, and its is registered in many countries as such, there is some question as to the validity of this statement.
The church does perform some of the rites of religion, such as weddings, marriages and deaths etc, this is not the entirety of religion as that is only the rituals. The Church also has ordained ministers to perform these rites and so qualifies itself as a religion. It even has a 'cross' of sorts.
The question also depends upon one's definition of a religion. Some say that faith is an integral part of a religion and other say a God must be included to qualify as a religion. Faith forms no part of scientology and, as per the Founder, L. Ron Hubbard, the realm of God is not intruded upon in scientology.
A study of scientology shows that it falls more in the category of a philosophy than a religion. It is a statement of the existence of life and the universe and how it works rather than an outline of worship.
It is called a religion perhaps because man has been identified as a spiritual being rather than a physical body. It is not a case, evidently, of a body with a soul but a being with a body. A rather different outlook.
In the Creed of the Church of Scientology, it is stated that scientology is interdenominational. This means that a person is perfectly within their rights to hold and maintain their own religion while following the precepts and study of scientology. This is a further implication that scientology is not a religion as it is surely incompatible to hold two religions to ones bosom but it is certainly feasible to hold to one religion while studying and subscribing to the tenets and codes of a philosophy, provided there is not a large disparity between the two and even perhaps if one helps to enlighten the other.
It is likely that discussion will continue on the point of scientology being a religion but as Ron Hubbard pointed out. Are they talking about religious ritual or religious philosophy. And which category does scientology fall in?
It is possibly on this point that the statement, scientology vs religion hinges. Perhaps it is both. The Church is that which calls itself a religion, based, albeit loosely, upon the philosophy which Hubbard developed.
And whereas the Church likes to call itself a religion the Freezone, the main group of independent scientologists, will call it a philosophy.