I am a Jew. Seventy years ago, my father, who lived in northern England, was asked by surprised strangers who learned he was Jewish, “Why don’t you have horns coming out of your head like Jews are supposed to?” A few years later, millions of Jews were disposed of as filth, a disease to be exterminated. Two thousand years ago, Christians were fed to the lions, hated and feared, harassed as a cult. Not too long ago, blacks and gays were abused, humiliated, and terrorized; and such was considered normal fare. Today, any of these atrocities would be considered hate crimes.

Yet Mark Jenkins feels free to carry on the burn-the-books-poison-the-philosopher-ye-who-say-the-world-is-round-shall-die mentality by sliming another religion—Scientology (“Clash of the Cretins,” 5/19). Under the guise of movie critic, he seethes forth: “Scientology is a nasty business”…”Hubbard’s crackpot theo-psychology”…”a creepy cult’s notion of freedom.” Imagine the outcry if he stated this lie instead: “Christianity is a nasty business”…”Jesus’ crackpot theo-psychology”…”a creepy cult’s notion of freedom.”

I apply the principles of Scientology to my life. I find them workable and like countless others have achieved spiritual expansion through this philosophy. That this is not everyone’s cup of tea is fine. The rights of all individuals to their own ideas and beliefs should be respected, without fear of prejudice or smear campaigns. Mark Jenkins has a right to his, too, but the Washington City Paper should draw the line at printing them when they are tantamount to the marketing of hate.

Arlington, Va.