Was late Tejana singer Selena really a Jehovah's witness?
No she was only studying, her mom is an active JW, I am not sure if Abraham her father is DF'd or just does his own thing now.
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Welcome to the forum! I also heard her grandparents were JWs.
Thanks for the answers. I've read in many articles where it mentions that she was a J.W. believer and didn't celebrate holidays. However since she was an entertainer who wore provocative costumes and married to a non-believer[Chris Perez], I had always wondered what her status as a J.W. was. I found these articles:
Mrs. Annie Perez was Selena's 3rd grade teacher.
I didn't remember at first that I had had her as a student. "Didn't you have her?" I asked Mrs. Elaine Oelfke. I remember her being good friends with Lynn Cappel. She was an ideal student. You usually remember the outstanding ones--the really good one or the bad ones. She did everything she was supposed to do. She was an average student (scholastically), did her work, was obedient. She had a glowing personality, but was quiet at the same time. On the playground the kids would call out "Selena!" She was friendly with the other students.
This was an excellent class, a neat class. There were no problem children in it. It wasn't like the classes today; so many of the kids today are on medication, for attention deficit disorder and such. She was in the class Christmas play. Amy Ledbetter was Mrs. Claus. Jerry was Mr. Claus. I don't remember what Selena played. It wasn't a musical but everybody had a part. She might have sung--they had to sing some Christmas songs (maybe Abe helped out with this?)
For Valentine's Day the kids made Valentine boxes and some of the kid's boxes were in the paper. But I don't remember Selena's box. Maybe she didn't make one, that might have had something to do with being a Jehovah's Witness. She was the only Hispanic in the class [with the possible exception of the girl on the front row, right], but English was her primary language. She didn't have any language problems at all. I don't remember any meetings with her parents.
Mrs. Judy Peacock was Selena's music teacher.
Selena lived around the corner from us. She was a natural talent. I didn't teach her a single thing. Her dad was real controlling. He wouldn't let her sing Christmas carols because of being Jehovah's Witness. She had been chosen to sing at the school Christmas assembly, but couldn't. She couldn't even have happy birthday sung to her. One day she came in and said it's my birthday but you can't sing happy birthday to me. But we sang happy birthday to her anyway. She was a sweet girl and a natural-born talent, always cooperative. One day she came into class all excited and told me, "Mrs. Peacock, I got to sing with the band last night and it was great!"
Selena never took a major part in any school play or program. She never belonged to the choir because she wasn't allowed to sing religious, holiday, or patriotic songs, which made up most all the repertoire of the choir. They spent the school year learning songs for upcoming programs.
Source: Bernstein, Ellen. "Birthday hoopla is prohibited: Selena statue won't be ready for today", Caller-Times Interactive, 16 April 1997.
Selena's family was relieved when they heard that a life-size statue of the late Tejano singer would not be finished by today - what would have been her 25th birthday, sculptor Buddy Tatum said.
Though inactive Jehovah's Witnesses, the Quintanilla family ascribe to the principles of the religion which prohibits birthday fanfare, said Bert Quintanilla, Selena's uncle and marketing director of the family-owned Q Productions.
The festivities that surround famed musicians who've died young, such as Buddy Holly in Lubbock, and Janis Joplin in Port Arthur, usually center on their birthdays, officials from those cities say.
The family would not want attention drawn to Selena on her birthday, said Abraham Quintanilla Jr., Selena's father, who managed her career. "When you have a birthday, all the attention is given to that individual. We believe that the attention should go to the almighty creator," he said...
Jehovah's Witnesses use the Bible as their sole guide to belief. The Bible records two birthday events, both of which are stained in blood. Two of God's servants, John the Baptist and a breadmaker in ancient Israel, were killed on the birthdays of reigning leaders who persecuted them.
The honoring of Jesus and God instead of people colors the Quintanilla family's vision of how Selena should be memorialized.
Durrill says he found this out the hard way. "Finding out her religion didn't recognize birthdays caused some problems. But we also had to change a tile design on the pavilion to be sensitive to their religion."
An original mosaic design featured a white rose disintegrating into the white light of the heavens. The white rose, Selena's favorite flower, has come to symbolize the singer, who was gunned down by her fan club president two years ago.
The family objected to the design because the Bible says that death rids the body of consciousness. "You stop to exist as a living person," Abraham Quintanilla said, "and you are kept in God's memory for a future time when the resurrection of the righteous and the unrighteous will take place."