Personal observations Re: former religious members

by Zico 14 Replies latest jw experiences

  • Zico

    It seems to me that many (not all) agnostics/atheists on here, as former JWs, seem to grow quite an adversity to religion as a whole, seeing any kind of religion as harmful, and when they make such critism, those on the board who have maintained religious beliefs often point out to them that they need to distinguish between the effects a mainstream religion, and a high control religion has on someone's development.

    I've generally found that people who had religious parents, but were raised in 'mainstream' or moderate religions but stopped attending don't hold any grudges or ill thought about the religion they were raised in as children, whereas those I know who were raised in the Jehovah's Witnesses and left, are usually quite anti-Watchtower (Myself included!)

    I thought about this, after a general discussion at work today, when a girl in my office, in her late 20s, and who was recently married made a comment that I found surprising. She was raised by parents who were devout members in the Church of England, but stopped attending in her teens and now does not believe in God, but yet, stated that after she has children, she would like to go back to Church, because she feels 'Sunday School' will be helpful in teaching her children good morals, and will provide a simple answer to the question of why their are problems in the world.

    This seemed to be accepted as normal, so I asked if people often did this, and was even more surprised to be told they knew of a few parents who did. Of course, my work colleagues are hardly representative of the whole population, or even the UK population, but I still found it interesting.

    I'm sure some on here might question the merits of my work colleague's opinion (And I also struggle to see the point) but I found it revealing of the general opinion of non-believers who were raised in mainstream religions, as a contrast to that of former-JWs.

    I can't imagine a former-JW turned atheist taking their child to the Kingdom Hall because they thought it would aid their development.

    Note that I did say this was a personal observation. Any thoughts?

  • DJK
    those I know who were raised in the Jehovah's Witnesses and left, are usually quite anti-Watchtower

    About thirty people left the witnesses from my KH since I left. I seem to be the only one anti-watchtower.

    What happened to the ferret?

  • Zico

    "About thirty people left the witnesses from my KH since I left. I seem to be the only one anti-watchtower."

    Interesting. I admit most of the people I know who have left are from here, so that would bias my viewpoint somewhat.

    "What happened to the ferret?"

    The ferret left about 6 months ago, but I guess I haven't been here regularly enough to be noticed!

  • ferret

    ferret is here

  • Zico
  • Narkissos


    The practice your colleague described is very common in French mainstream churches, too (mostly Catholic of course, but "historical Protestant," Reformed or Lutheran, as well).

    This strikes a cord in me because I was still attending a Reformed church when my daughter was about to be born. I had been asked to help teaching Sunday school (which I had done many times before in a moderate Evangelical church). It struck me that most children in the Reformed church were sent there by parents who never came to church.

    (Incidentally, as I must have told already, this eventually was the end of my parishioner's life, as I suddenly realised that I would never want my child to receive a confessional instruction, however "liberal". Religion was part of my story, not hers. So there was no point in teaching other children. But strangely enough I had to become a father to realise that.)

  • oompa

    Your observations are dead on. It is ok for them to go back because the church was not the dominating controlling monolith in their life. Many religions are much more in ..............maybe not a cult.....................oompa

  • greendawn

    Some may not be openly anti watchtower because they are still under the spell of the old org they may fear that jehovah or are not 100% sure that the old org is wrong.

    Alternatively they may just want to get on with their lives and completely forget religion.

  • nelly136

    i let my kids go to sunday school at a baptist church for a whiles, i dont think it hurts kids to have religion tasters. when they said they were bored of going i didnt send them anymore.

    i would have also put them in catholic school if i could have because the catholic schools round here are far superior education wise than the every day schools and if theyd had to say a few hail marys for a better education then i could have lived with that,none of my friends that were brought up catholic and attended catholic schools ended up raving pope kissers.

    they ended up in a C of E school as that was the better choice of what was left. it meant once a month of so they were trotted down to the village church for half hour or an hour and got to go to the harvest festival and make easter bonnets for easter service etc.

    i'm personally quite anti any organised religion but i'd rather my kids could go into a church for weddings christenings etc and not be worried that a bolt of lightning was gonna turn them into a smoldering pile of dust like i did as a kid. i dont' want my coloured view of jws to make them uncomfortable with stuff that normal people dont bat an eyelid over. Definately didnt want religion to turn into some luring mysterious taboo subject so if they ever get approached by some cultsniffing weirdo they'd be afraid to tell me about it.

  • jakes


    "Apostates" from cults like the JWs and Mormons tend to avoid joining other churches or going back.Firstly because cults are all-pervading

    and exclusive of other creeds, and secondly because they are taught to test religious claims against their own sense of truth. Mainstream

    churches are much more gentler and tolerant toward others.


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