Aha - read it too fast. I know virtually nothing of European laws.
OK, tilt away!
Aha - read it too fast. I know virtually nothing of European laws.
OK, tilt away!
"I would like this to become a permanent thread, because I think there are grounds - at least in Europe - to take this matter up to the European Court of Human Rights. Not sure we'll ever get there, but one must start somewhere." EdenOne dixit.
I intend to do it with the help of a Family Rights Protection Association of my country in Europe, because now that I have announced my voluntary withdrawal from JWs org. for reasons of conscience, the organization of JWs is putting pressure on one of my daughters "pioneering" and on her husband's family to shun me completely, infringing the Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of the Human Rights. I think I am going to prepare a complete record for the end of the summer and I will keep you informed in due time.
So how would you proceed to sue, since this would also include religions such as the Mormons, Amish, and yes even the Catholics that excommunicate their unrepentant members, and break all ties or dealings with that person?
So how do you propose to change God’s laws written in the Holy Bible to satisfy your human needs? That was Christ purpose in Mark 12:17, and in America since 1799. To keep church and State separate. How much of Prophecy do you wish to complete. By all means move forward.
JW's become acutely embarrassed about disfellowshipping when it's brought to the notice of non-JW's. It has no martyr quality like the blood issue!
During the "mentally diseased apostates" saga they even lied that shunning was a "personal matter", which of course is patently untrue as refusal to shun is a disfellowshipping offence!
Look at this quote taken from the Independent newspaper, UK:
Rick Fenton, a spokesperson for the Watchtower Society, insisted last night that ostracisation was "a personal matter for each individual to decide for himself". "Any one of Jehovah's Witnesses is free to express their feelings and to ask questions," he said. "If a person changes their mind about Bible-based teachings they once held dear, we recognise their right to leave."
Rick Fenton's comment is only half the truth for yes it may be true that each person can make a decision on their own pertaining to bible beliefs but he stops short on how JWS even ones own family members are to treat these people if they aren't accepting the expressed beliefs set out by the WTS/JWS.
I am in the U.S. and am totally frustrated by the protection of religious institutions that goes on here. I do wonder if there is any way that the business side of WT corporations could be addressed?
Just as an example, say a family worked for a certain Motor Car Company for generations, all of them! Nobody has ever worked outside of the corporation. Then the young adult third generation member decides to go over to another company that offers better pay and benefits. What would be the legal issues involved if the governing corporate heads of the families company instructed the family members and all who knew this young person to cut off all ties not even e-mailing him? How would the business world look at such a company?
If the young person also was a whistle blower then certainly there would be a lot of tensions but really, can a Corporation legally behave this way tearing apart families so completely. Maybe this scenario has happened (say in a Mob run company) but it can't be considered an attractive business practice can it? I wonder if there are any precedent setting cases involving these sorts of 'family' run; i.e. Mob run businesses?
The JW.$$org IS a business as far as I'm concerned. There is nothing really spiritually edifying about it. The fact that underage people give the 'loyalty oath' dedicating their lives to this corporation should at least be held up to scrutiny. I was 16 when I made my 2 question statement (a different 'contract' than what is said today BTW) and so why should I be held accountable and be shunned by my family?
I apologize if this is all too simplistic but I certainly have been hurt greatly by the shunning policy and have experienced much mental 'Pain and Suffering' due to these legalistic policies. I would love to be able to sue this horrible religious corporation for it!
Since you want to bring the Bible to this discussion, Mark 12:17 states that we should "give back Caesar what is Caesar's". Well, here's what "Caesar" demands:
The European Convention of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms states:
Article 9 – Freedom of thought, conscience and religion
Article 10 – Freedom of expression
Article 11 – Freedom of assembly and association
Article 14 – Prohibition of discrimination
The enjoyment of the rights and freedoms set forth in this Convention shall be secured without discrimination on any ground such as sex, race, colour, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, association with a national minority, property, birth or other status.
When a religious organization terminates unilaterally fellowship with an individual that exercises his right to freedom of thought and of holding opinions, and does so in a way that discriminates such individual against the general population outside that religious group (after all, Jehovah's Witnesses talk, conduct business, and discuss religious matters with the population at large, even proactively), then such religion is practicing discrimination. When a religion instructs its members to discriminate former members by shunning them, it's practicing discrimination. This is clear from the European Directive for Equal Treatment of Persons Irrespective of Religion or Belief, Disability, Age or Sexual Orientation, of 2 April 2009, #12: "Discrimination is understood to include direct and indirect discrimination, multiple discrimination, harassment, instructions to discriminate and denial of reasonable accommodation". Also, the amendment made on Article 2, paragraph 4, says: "An instruction or request, based on a hierarchical relationship, to discriminate against persons on any of the grounds referred to in article 1 shall be deemed to be discrimination within the meaning of paragraph 1". The Watchtower Society goes beyond mere instructions or request to discriminate, and enforces this policy upon its members by threatening with termination of fellowship those who refuse to stop discriminating former members.
As for other religions, they don't concern me. If their members or ex-members feel their rights are being violated, by all means, they should take action against them. Shunning on religious grounds is a horrible way to treat others and should stop.
As for "changing God's laws", one should first ask if we're talking about "God's laws" or human rules written in the name of God. Second, even if what's written in the Bible were to be proven to be from "God", it follows that "disfellowshipping and shunning" don't have biblical support, and are a mere human corporate interpretation of a sacred textbook, concocted to suit a certain theological agenda. The Watchtower doesn't even respect their sacred book, because they go beyond what's written in it to enforce a policy that goes against the teachings of Christ and against the laws of the land, which they are told to respect and abide to.
Finally, if the Watchtower Society had any respect for History, then they would know that the termination of fellowship prescribed by the apostles Paul and John didn't involve shunning as prescribed by the Jehovah's Witnesses today. However, the implications of acknowledging what was involved in the termination of fellowship in the early Christian congregation contemporary to the apostolic letters would be devastating to the theology of the Jehovah's Witnesses, namely their two hopes system. For more information on this item, I advise you to read carefully Valeriy A. Alikin's excellent dissertation thesis: "The Earliest History of Christian Gathering" (2009, Leiden University).
Last, don't be ridiculous, no one is trying to "fulfill prophecy" here. The Watchtower Society and the Jehovah's Witnesses need a reality check, and to understand they can't exist beyond and above the law. Once they stop breaking the law, we're good. Stop being delusional.
You're so wrong on every count, WheninDoubt.