How do they decide which is which??

by Super_Becka 10 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • Super_Becka

    OK, I know the notion of pagan symbolism has been beaten to death on this board, but I still have a question about the whole concept.

    So, the WTS bans pagan elements. We can see that in their arguments against Christmas and Christmas decorations, and other similar things. They forbid the use of anything with pagan origins. A little extreme, in my opinion, but fair enough.

    But then they turn around and say that some "pagan" things, like wind chimes, pinatas and Hawaiian luaus are OK for "True Christians" to use. They argue that these things, among others, have lost their religious/pagan meanings and are merely customary now.

    So, a Christmas tree, which is used only as a decoration at Christmas and has no "pagan" connotations in the modern world, is evil, along with Christmas itself, but a wind chime, which was created with the sole purpose of "scaring away demons" by pagans centuries ago, is A-OK.

    How the hell does that work??

    How does the WTS decide which things are "pagan and evil" and which things are "safe" for its members to use/partake in?? Is there a set of criteria or is it all based on the whims of the old fogies in Brooklyn?? Like, does a member of the GB say, "Hey, my wife really likes wind chimes, she thinks they're pretty, so let's not ban them anymore so she can put one up at our house", or "You know, smashing a pinata is sort of fun, I enjoy it, let's not ban it anymore so I can smash them and not have to hide it from other JWs"??

    Things like Christmas trees and mistletoe are considered heathen pagan elements of a pagan holiday, but things like pinatas and Hawaiian luaus, which have very strong religious connotations in their respective cultures, are no longer banned by the WTS, and I want to know who gets to decide what's pagan and what isn't, and how they can say that pinatas, for example, have lost their "pagan" origins and have no religious meaning now, but that Christmas trees are still horrible and evil pagan decorations.

    How do they decide what makes something pagan or not, and how do they decide what is no longer pagan??

    Any help and references would be very helpful.

    Thanks guys!!

    -Becka :)

  • blondie

    Welcome to the wonderful world of the Watchtower Talmud.

  • TheListener

    The truthful answer is : The WT decides and the dubs don't really know why some things are ok and others aren't.

    They don't care. They will do or use whatever the WT says they can and they will steer clear of whatever the WT tells them to. They don't put a lot of thought into it.

    Of course, the most dificult thing for a thinking dub is explaining this to someone who is asking sincere questions. But, let's be honest, most people are polite enough not to push the issue with them and the ones who are impolite and force the dub to think this through are written off and the subjects aren't brought up again.

  • greendawn

    That's the question I could never understand why the origins of something should have any sigificance when the original meaning was completely lost and irrelevant. It's all down to manipulation by the FDS.

  • damselfly

    Simple! If the loss of the item will suck all the joy out of a child's soul then it is banned.

  • insearchoftruth

    Another great question Becka (spelled it correctly this time!). Other things I have questions about are wedding rings, I thought that the tradition of the honeymoon was pagan as well and it amazes me that wedding anniversaries can be celebrated because I can't remember them being specifically addressed in the bible.

    One of the posts I read on line here a bit ago also talks about how some currency in the US has pagan symbols on it, such as a the pyramid on the one dollar bill, but I would venture to guess a jw would never refuse a few of them for a wt or an awake, would they.

    A lot of the rules seem to be at the whim of the governing body, because if you look at the history of the organzation, birthdays and Christmas were both celebrated when Jesus invisibly returned in 1914 (there words not mine <grin>) and then spent time evaluating the jws (who were not the jws at the time) to declare them the only religion.

    One holiday I really question that is banned is Thanksgiving, what is the reason for that, I can not even think of anything pagan about its background.

    I think if one were to look deep enough, there are so many things that are used today that were used by other religions/cultures that it would cause our heads to spin if they were to have to eliminate all of them. Look at how things are named today, we have cars that were named Demons and Taurus, months are named after gods, etc.

    For an organization that is so driven by the bible (LOL), man sure makes up a majority of their doctrine.

  • dvw

    you got that right. wedding rings,ear rings, lip stick, eye shadow, even the days of the week, (sunday, sun worship) monday, moon worship) saturday, saturn) thursday, thor the god of thunder) cant remember the others. ALL pagen origins. i think the gb. is just a bunch of sad stupid old men trying to cope in an ever more complicated world.

  • A Paduan
    A Paduan

    Obviously they pull it out of their............reserves

  • Super_Becka

    So, based on the responses on this thread, would I be correct in saying that there's no rhyme or reason to what gets banned by the WTS for being "pagan" and what doesn't?? That it all just happens on the whims of the Governing Body??

    To me, it would appear that only things that might possibly bring some form of joy and sense of being a part of the world to a person's life are banned, otherwise, anything goes.

    Wedding customs are OK, pinatas are OK, luaus are OK, wind chimes are OK, but of course, things like Easter chocolates and Christmas trees are heathen pagan objects that belong to the Devil.

    I love how they've even misconstrued the meaning of the word "pagan" - it doesn't mean "Satanic" or "of the Devil", it just means pre-Christian, that's all.

    Gotta love WTS scholarship and reasoning.

    Thanks for the help everyone!! And if anyone else has something to add, I'd love to hear it!!

    -Becka :)

  • ballistic

    It sounds like you've pretty much got it sussed.

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