When it comes to promoting a moral code across Flint, neighbors don't seem to have a problem with that.
â??I think that's a great idea,â?? says Sandra Aagesen, a Flint resident.
â??We need to reach out to our youths,â?? says Tim Smith, who has lived in Flint for more than three decades. â??We get them while their young, maybe we can make some changes."
But when you tell them the moral code backed by the church of Scientology, neighbors reconsider.
â??Oh, that's another story,â?? says Aagesen.
The Way to Happiness program includes 21 precepts, including do not murder and do not steal.
City council members are now considering endorsing the program.
â??I'm not so sure that a lot of people will even look at it but the ones that do, at least stop and think about it,â?? says Aagesen.
But city councilman Wantwaz Davis says some vetting needs to be done.
â??We just can't keep having the same routine and the wheel is constantly spinning and there's nothing new. So I would vet that system,â?? says Davis by phone Monday evening.
City officials were unavailable for comment Monday but a city spokesman says city leaders often work with various churches.
Councilman Davis says that's the problem.
â??What is in it that distinguishes them from what's already in existence?â?? questions Davis.
Church of Scientology leaders issued the following statement to NBC25 News.
"In areas of instability, unrest, crime and violence one element underlies the visible problems: the decline or absence of common sense morals.
The Way to Happiness provides a common sense moral code for youths and adults that they can use to make good choices in life. This book written by Author and Humanitarian, L. Ron Hubbard has been translated into 112 languages and over 110 million copies have been distributed internationally."
-Monika Biddle, Church of Scientology