Thursday, May 21, 2015

9 Things You Should Know About Jehovah's Witnesses

A lot of people I know think of Jehovah's Witnesses as the people who sometimes knock on your door to talk to you about God.

That's all they know about the Jehovah's Witnesses. So let's fix that right now.

1) They don't accept blood transfusions.

Imagine you're in a car accident and you're taken to the hospital. They need to give you blood. Devout Witnesses won't accept it.

2) If you commit what the church views as a serious sin, and you're deemed unrepentant by a committee of elders, you will be disfellowshipped.

Not just kicked out of the church... but disfellowshipped. Which means no one in the church can ever speak with you again.

3) They believe the world's ending soon and only they will be saved.

4) They don't celebrate birthdays.

Why? For one, they believe your death day is way more important than your birthday, so who cares.

5) They don't celebrate other Holidays.

6) They are currently governed by seven dudes.

The Governing Body formulates doctrine for all Witnesses everywhere.

Women aren't allowed.

They don't have any special qualifications despite being able to set policy for millions of followers.

And they're appointed for life.

7) Jehovah's Witnesses are discouraged from getting higher education

Preaching is supposed to be your true calling. College would just get in the way of that. So while you might get away with learning a trade, Church Elders actively discourage you from going to a university.

They don't want you to be part of a secular world and they know how tempting it can be when you're surrounded by people who don't feel like God's watching over them at all times.

More importantly, a lot of people who go to college are taught to think critically and examine their beliefs. They take science classes and philosophy classes. And some of them eventually shed their faith.

That's a risk the Church doesn't want people to take.

8) They were the original Pledge protesters.

I feel like I should say something nice about the Witnesses.

The first major legal battle involving the Pledge of Allegiance involved a Witness family in the 1930s.

A little boy said he didn't want to salute the flag because his religion taught him not to bow down or pledge allegiance to anything except God.

He was expelled from school and the courts said that was the right decision.

Years later, kids from a Witness family from Pennsylvania also refused to salute the flag, and their case made it all the way to the Supreme Court. The justices voted 8-1... against the family.

It was a horrible decision, it was reversed with another case a few years later, but they deserve some credit for protesting mandatory participation in the Pledge. Today, it's usually atheists who make the news for protesting the Pledge, but that wasn't always the case.

They did it. It wasn't easy. They got harassed for it at the time but they stood strong on this issue. So good on them.

9) There are so many resources for ex-JWs or people looking to get out.

Did you know there's a subreddit just for ex-JWs? It's awesome.

There are also several websites exposing the church's beliefs.


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