I think I will write one this week. I am still fuming about this, but don't want the letter to sound that way - hence the cooling off over a few days. I may need a little more cooling to be honest.
I am thinking of beginning the letter like this:
I was disturbed to read in March 1997 that 39 members of a little known cult called 'Heaven's Gate' committed mass suicide. As ludicrous and destructive as that belief system was that lead to such tragedy, it's victims were all grown adults. They could have chosen to leave, or not participate in such actions. No children died in that mansion in California.
But last week, as reported in the local press, as well as carried by UP and national news, a young child, known in court records as Baby Binn, was being denied blood transfusions by it's parents, under the watchful consultation of the 'city overseer' and so called 'Hospital Liason Committee' of Jehovah's Witnesses in Fort Wayne. This child, who by the way, is not one of Jehovah's Witnesses yet, was being subjected to his/her parents' interpretations of a single scripture in the Bible book of Acts that states to 'abstain from blood'. Such restriction, according to Jehovah's Witnesses, means to reject blood transfusions. But the doctrines of this sect [and I know well as a former lifetime member] are fraught with duplicity. The same group that denies blood to this child [and will watch it die for sake of the parent's integrity], will also allow hemophiliacs to accept 'blood fractions' that keep him alive. Yet a single treatment requires the use of 2500 units of blood and extraction of it's components. And hemophiliacs need constant treatments using these blood components.
A shocking cover article in the organization's Awake magazine in May of 1994 featured pictures of 26 dead children who had been refused blood transfusions. The organization seeks to make them heroic - when in fact, it was often the parent's belief system that was being enforced, not the children's. True, some youth may choose, based on the sects' understanding of the Bible, that they wish to refuse blood. But how is this conceivable in the case of a baby? Or a three year old? Or a seven year old? Yet persons of these ages die - gradually starved for oxygen in much the same way they would die if suffocated - not for belief systems they embrace, but for belief systems of parents. And how much pressure is exerted by the religious intervention upon the parents - often with religious leaders sitting right outside the room in the hospital? Especially when the parents know that should they allow life sustaining treatment to be given - they themselves would be expelled from the church and shunned by their friends and family?
Even in the case of teenagers who have been reared under the strictures of that faith, would have little perspective that differs from the parental model they have observed. Hence, rather than martyrs for the faith, they are more correctly just mimes of adult opinion, fully expecting that 'faithfullness' to Watchtower doctrine would result in a 'sure ticket to paradise' promised by the sect.
Thankfully, thousands of good, honest and careful Bible readers among Jehovah's Witnesses are working to reform this policy that shifts like the sand while it that kills children and adult adherants alike. That group is working through an organization called Associated Jehovah's Witnesses for Reform on Blood - or it's acronym AJWRB. The policies and duplicities of the current ban on use of blood are carefully detailed on the organization's website, showing that Witness policy not only fails to fully ban blood use, but in fact allows such for the well informed Witnesses. My experience shows that most Witnesses do not fully understand the policy - and that the policy is quite hypocritcal in it's application, as shown in the above example.
If you are unfamiliar with the damage done by this religion - or the lives it ends every year - please inform yourself. To be forwarned is to be fore-armed when that familiar knock comes at your door. Your children could be at risk should they ever accept this religion. Or your grandchildren.
In the meantime - please pray for Baby Binn. And for those adults who hold it's precious life in their hands as they wrestle with these issues. Let's not allow this sort of religion to sell it's self-engineered martydom as proof of God's love.
Please make suggestions/modifications.