by HB 10 Replies latest watchtower beliefs

  • yknot
    My questions were:
    1. I understand JWs are not prepared to fight for their country, work for the Government or local authorities, serve on a jury, vote, salute the flag or honour national traditions,etc. This is apparently an attempt to be 'in the world but not of it'.

    JWs can and do work for Governments and local authorities. According to the WTS some even work at the U.N.
    Voting is a matter of conscience and I know many who do in local elections (like school board, taxes, or annexations). Evil as I am… I am currently serving as a delegate. I also will tell you that practically all JWs I know go to see the fireworks on the 4th of July. Are JWs the type to be carried away with nationalism, no and that is a good thing.

    So do JWs accept state pensions and social security payments and benefits? I understand they pay taxes so I assume they do accept state benefits with a clear conscience, but it seems very selfish to just pick and choose the bits of the system they like and leave out the bits they don't. Taxes are required by law but accepting benefits is not obligatory. I do understand the rights of conscientious objectors, but JWs don't make an effort to positively contribute to society in any other way I can see.

    If a JW has earned a pension (rare now in the US job package) they collect, SS is paid in by all who are have an income and are younger then 65 and collected by all who are eligible. Surely you choose to pick & choose from your rights within a socialist government as Americans do in a democratic government regardless of religious affiliation. BTW as a born-in JW, because of strict moral expectations I am not a criminal and I pay my taxes without much ado. To many politicians JWs are a great type of constituent to represent; they don’t push personal political agendas, and pay taxes without political demands. Government leaders like to lead, non-questioning JWs make great sheeple as long as you let them graze without forcing a confrontation.

    Also, there is a new issue in today's world, as in the West we are all part of the "War on terror". This involves helping to defend our respective countries in various ways such as watching out for suspious looking bags left on railway stations etc. Taking the JW anti-war stance to it's logical conclusion, if a JW saw a suspicious package and did his moral duty and reported it to the authorities, would he technically be participating in the "war on terror"?

    Please try to remember that you are on a small island and America (where most of the JWs live) is a larger area of land. In the United Kingdom you also have Muslims that espouse things that would land them in Gitmo here. Our perceptions are different as our cultures. The idea of looking out for a suspicious package is as foreign as the idea of hailing a cab in my rurally isolated area. I know some JWs in London and yes they do feel the worries of terrorism. The Extremist Muslim rhetoric has them as much on edge as other Londoners. As for moral duty well what is considered moral and duty tends to be individual discernments but those that I know in areas considered vulnerable to terrorist activities all would report to the authorities without feeling like they were participating in a war. Besides “alternative service’ is now a matter of conscience.

    2. Although JWs do not vote, I assume many of them must have private political views. Are these ever expressed amongst the congregation in conversation, or do they carefully avoid all mention amongst themselves? (If so it must be very difficult to have an interesting genuine conversation!)

    Again some do vote in local issues that do not have to do with the ability to cause someone’s death. While I know of voting, I have never heard political discussions beyond that of persecution by governments towards JWs. There is a great deal of apathy in the USA toward the politics, even in an election year.

    And theoretically, if a political Party proposed in their election manifesto to ban belonging to the Watchtower Society, would the Governing Body then change its mind and order members to vote in the election to try to keep that Party out of power?

    The JWs have faced government bans and in the past, the WTS tends to take the issue to court. If that fails they whine to the UN or other international watchdog groups about religious persecution. Many countries such as the US do not consider economic stimulus to countries who show a lack of freedom of religion and limit aid to food. Voting would not be encouraged. Additionally persecution actually tends to strengthen the unity and devotion to the WTS. The few countries that would purpose such bans are really of little financial consequence to the WTS, they would encourage their members to disobey the law even if it meant death, evoking Luke 20:25 “By all means, then, pay back Caesar’s things to Caesar, but God’s things to God.”

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