Watchtower and civil liberties?

by MsMcDucket 5 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • MsMcDucket

    I was just wondering if anyone else feels like the Watchtower is discriminating against former members by refusing to let us choose are own religion and beliefs? It seems like an obstruction of civil liberties to have a former member segregated from the congregation because they choose not to believe in the religion anymore. Not only do they segregate us from the congregation, but our families. That has got to be a crime. It should be a crime for the organization to attack sites that oppose the Watchtower's beliefs. We should be allowed to have OUR own religious viewpoints. The bible should always be allowed to be quoted because it's not illegal to do so. If anyone uses the scriptures that the Watchtower has used to show how they (the Watchtower) had misused them, it should not be considered copyright infringement.

    I'm sleepy and I just got off work, so my meaning may not be coming across clearly. But does anyone understand what I'm trying to say? They are not "paying Ceaser's things to Ceaser" in this regard. Don't you agree?

  • inbyathread

    The WTS is not discriminating against us. We can leave whenever we want. We can worship anyone or anything we want. That is our right. As long as we are active witnesses for the WTS we are required to follow the rules, guidelines that they establish as being part of their society. Once we are DA'd or DF'd from the WTS, the WTS wrongly expects us to continue following their rules which includes shunning.

    You and I can speak with anyone we want. Either a person in the organization or ourside of it. My choice. It is their choice to add to the conversation. The WTS prohibits its members from speaking with a person who is DA'd or DF'd. That is their rule and the founding fathers of the U.S. made it clear with the 1st amendment to the constitution.

    Amendment I

    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    This amendment protects me (an individual outside the church) from the church - The church cannot tell me how to worship.

    This also protects the church from me. - I cannot tell the church how to worship

    There is no protection for member of any church for actions or rules made by the church.

  • MsMcDucket
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    Hmmm, well, how come they could sue "Quotes" for using his freedom of speech and practicing his religious beliefs?

  • greendawn

    This is a question better answered by a lawyer because there are so many ramifications and subjectivity in such laws and much depends on how individual judges view things.

    Obvously the WTS is suppressing the freedom of speech of its membes and shunning is a cruel method of punishment especially for those who have JW family, but the law is an ass and may fail to see these things as they really are. The freedom and rights of religions are sacred to them. But who knows what a very skilled lawyer can do?

  • inbyathread

    MsMcDucket you ask why could the WTS sue Quotes? Because they can. Ps 94:20 speaks of framing trouble by decree. and Prov 12:20 talks of fabricating mischief. The WTS claimed copyright infringement they never proved it. It would have taken a judge and a jury to decide if the claim was factual or not. The cost of going to court was too expensive for Quotes to continue. The WTS knows this and they will continue to fabricate claims knowing that the defendants cannot afford to fight them. Since this never really goes to court a judge cannot make a determination that the WTS is really filing false claims. When someone like Bill Gates provides a person like quotes or elsewhere the unlimited resources to fight the WT Goliath then we will see some action. Until then, all we can to is be a pest like a horsefly and just bite them. A little here and a little there.

  • Oroborus21

    MsMcDuckett: please note the first word in the First Amendment: "CONGRESS ...."

    The Constitution and the Amendments to it concern what rights and privileges individuals have vis a vis the Government. The First Amendment applies to the Federal Government and via the Fourteenth Amendment to the State governments.

    Private persons, of which a corporation is legally deemed, have no 1st Amendment rights against each other.

    The Government cannot prevent you from speaking or preaching from your soap box in a public forum or in the public byways but a private person CAN prevent you from speaking or preaching on their doorstep.

    regarding the Quotes site, the site had numerous problems involving copyright infringement, including the offering of CD-ROMS of copyrighted material for SALE. In my opinion too, Mossier erred by not including "comment, criticism, evaluation, etc." all of which is expected and the REASON that Fair Use or Fair Dealing is permitted as an exception to copyright law. He boasted that what he was reprinting were the words of the Watchtower and only the words of the Watchtower without any "editorializing" and that is exactly what is not permitted to be done with copyrighted material. Thus, the Quotes site was legitimately attacked.

    It is not a question of combatting CRITICISM as can be seen by the continued operations of many websites which have been functioning for many years and also the publication of books and other publications which have been published since the beginning of the Organization that have been critical of the Society/JWs and sometimes made limited legitimate use of copyrighted materials.

    It should be noted that this is a different viewpoint than for example, the Church of Scientology, which has viewed certain writings as trade secrets and copyrighted, and made attempts to keep the material secret and within authorized user's hands. Thus Scientology has agressively litigated against persons and websites that had such "secret" material. In contrast, with a few exceptions, like service manuals and the elder's manual, most material is meant by the Society to be distributed to the public.

    Secondly, the CoS has adopted policies which are meant to discredit and, if possible, overwhelm any source of criticism whenever possible. Thus it or its members or certain affiliates have engaged in aggressive litigation, counter-PR, mud-slinging, etc. against any and all critics, even when the legal claims have been meritless or the information is known to be untrue or obtained in illegal or immoral ways.

    In contrast, thus far it would seem, the Society has not engaged in such tactics. (With some limited exceptions pertaining to Olin Moyle, Merriman and May, and to a lesser degree Carl Olaf Jonsson, Walter Salter, Ray Franz, et al., and other former Witnesses (deemed apostates) who were "bad-mouthed" in their home territories.)

    The Society is not actually too eager to squash all criticism since as its culture drifts closer to the mainstream, and as it as a religious organization is more accepted worldwide, criticism (and especially any form of government oppression or religious persecution) are reinforcing to the theology and worldview. JWs see themselves and the Organization as the only true religion (church) and thus expect that Satan and his dominion will persecute it. The need for this is even greater now that there are few other mechanisms (or doctrines) keeping members anxious about Armageddon.


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