What Clearwater's Saying: Scientology Sign at Local Business
A Clearwater Patch story about downtown shop owner's Scientology sign sparked quite a response from our readers. Have you weighed in yet?
Monday's Clearwater Patch story about a local shop owner's Scientology sign sparked quite a response from our readers.
Patch reported that Travis Wilkinson, owner of Berry Beautiful Salon and Spa, intends to place a sign in front of his business stating “Notice: this is one of the only spas in downtown Clearwater not owned by a Scientologist."
Wilkinson, a Southern Baptist, says it's "hurtful" that people think he's a Scientologist and that customers often think his business is associated with the church simply because it's located downtown.
The story had more than 70 comments as of Tuesday evening and had even gotten national attention, appearing on the AOL homepage. AOL is Patch's parent company.
Comments ranged from a conversation about expressing religious beliefs to defenses and criticisms of the Church of Scientology:
- "I understand Wilkins' desire to separate himself from Scientology," commented Mark Lamprecht. "Good on him. Maybe this issue will open the door for him to share the gospel."
- "It is so important to create tolerance in our world, wrote Jancis Dienes. "I think it would be better if Travis Wilkins proclaimed 'I am a proud Baptist' on his sign, which would serve his purpose without upsetting anyone. I am a Scientologist and I respect all religions."
- "By the way, the Church of Scientology is the largest tax-paying organization in downtown and the 7th largest in the City of Clearwater," commented Pat Harney, public affairs director for the Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization. "The Church pays well over $1,000,000 in taxes annually. Additionally, everyone of the thousands of Scientologists living in the area, pay taxes just like Southern Baptists and other citizens do!"
- "$1,000,000 is chicken feed in todays world," responded Barbara Scott. "I don't consider Scientology a religion. Maybe they think so, that's their perogative."
What do you think about Wilkinson's sign, or about downtown businesses and the perceptions of the Church of Scientology in Clearwater?
Post a comment below to share your opinion with your neighbors and continue the conversation.
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