I'm sorry, but the lawyer was incredibly weak on his cross-examining this liar of an elder. There are PLENTY of articles proving that Witnesses are forced to shun their own family members if they do not live in the same household, as Garybuss illustrated. Why did this lawyer fail to show the court through the WTS's own publications that this guy was a filthy liar? Surely he could have had access to this information. Not only that, but he should have brought up the point that that Pharisees thought Jesus worthy of shunning or DF'ing or whatever, because he associated with people who they refused to associate with. The comparison could have easily been drawn that this whole shunning-----sorry, I mean Disfellowshipping (like there's any frigging difference) never originated with Jesus. While it's not a legal point, it's certain a moral one that might have made a strong impact on the judge.
Plus, I thought the elder saying that shunning involves "tarring and feathering" was rather bizarre. Is he claiming that the Amish tar and feather their members? If so, does he have documentation that the Amish or any other Christian religion does such a thing? And his trying to say that "shunning" and "disfellowshipping" are not the same thing is absolute ridiculous and it could easily have been shown that he doesn't know what he's talking about. Here's the definition of "shunning" on Wikipedia:
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Shunning is the act of deliberately avoiding association with, and habitually keeping away from an individual or group. It is a sanction against association commonly associated with
or dismembership. In some cases, the shunned person or group is considered
, abominable, or spiritually diseased by shunning group.
I would have read this to the moron and then ask his specifically to point out anything in that definition that doesn't apply to the way Jehovah's Witnesses treat someone who's disfellowshipped.
Also, the scripture that they used in 1 Corinthians that talks about drunkards, idolators, etc. is irrelavant. I would have pointed out that it said absolutely NOTHING about DFing someone who doesn't believe everything the Organization teaches.
Another thing I would have asked him is this: If a Witness comes to an elder and says "I don't believe this certain doctrine and here's the scriptural proof why", and tells others in the congregation what he's discovered, will he be Disfellowshipped? I'm sure the elder on the stand would try and dodge the question, but I would pin him down and force him to admit that yes, they would be disfellowshipped. I would then say, "but what if, in 5 years time, the WTS changes their mind on a doctrine and it is now in line with what the person who was disfellowshipped for? Will that person be contacted by the elders and apologized to? Will they automatically be re-instated into the congregation? After all, they were right all along and it was the Organization that was in error.
The elder on the stand, would of course, try to say some crap about "running ahead of the Organization". I would then ask him to show me where this term or idea is used in the bible. Naturally he wouldn't be able to. I would then make sure I summarized the situation by asking "So what you're telling me, is that a Witness can be disfellowshipped for believing something that the Organization might have taught as "fact" 10 years ago or 5 years from now, and he will receive no apology and will continue to be shunned by the congregation?
I shoulda been a lawyer!!